Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a Merry Christmas! Now that things are starting to calm down here a little special I put together with a Christmas Collector and owner of Elves Antiques. 

I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

What Not to Give and What to Give Someone with a Gluten & Wheat Allergy?


Everyone loves this time of year except for people with Celiac Disease or people who have food allergies.
When Family and Friends don't know what to give a person for Christmas, Holidays, Birthdays they automatically go to food. They will give you a gift certificate to a restaurant or a gift bag full of food from World Market. Don't be too mad at your family or friend. I will make them feel really bad by saying, "Man this looks so yummy but I can't eat any of it, so I am re-gifting it to you right now so Merry Christmas 2015." 

This is a time when friends and family doesn't know what to get people so they get them food and gift cards to restaurants. Celiac & Gluten Allergy hates them.

Here is a list of what NOT to give someone with Gluten and Wheat Allergy:


1. DO NOT give them a gift card to a restaurant. 

I can't count how many times my friends or family have given me a gift card to McDonalds, Steak n Shake. 
Steak n Shake is a scary place to eat if you are gluten-free. McDonalds has nothing to eat. 

DO NOT give them gift cards to fast foods because they don't do a good job with gluten allergies.   

If for some reason you have a family or friend tradition of giving someone a restaurant gift card then do some research for your area. Call restaurants in your area. For example, in Grand Rapids Michigan area, Georgio's Pizzeria has gluten free pizza and pasta. The Olive Garden has gluten-free pasta and Red Robin has a gluten-free bun at the 28th Street location by Woodland Mall. Again take some time to do the research. If you don't have time to do the research then don't give the person a food gift card. 

2. DO NOT give them gift baskets of food or Towering boxes with food. 


I hate it when a friend hands me a pre-made food gift basket.  If I am lucky I might be able to eat one item from it. Plus, you know the person didn't put much thought to the gift.   Don't give your friend or family with Gluten allergies a basket full of crackers, sausages, cheese, and dips. Even worse don't give them a basket full of a variety of cookies and chocolates.  Such as these:

3. DO NOT give them  Tin of Popcorn

You wouldn't think it would have gluten and wheat in them but a lot of them do. The wheat and gluten is usually coming from the seasoning or topping or the facility in which it was made.

ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENTS. IF IT DOESN'T SAY GLUTEN-FREE ON IT THEN DON'T GET IT. It is better to be safe then sorry. Also, if it says it is gluten-free, but was made in a facility with wheat, DON'T GET IT. Again it is better to be safe then sorry. 




GLUTEN FREE POPCORN:
If you have a tradition of giving a tin of popcorn a place that does have Gluten-Free popcorn is:
http://www.popcornopolis.com/classic-xl-3-5-gallon-tin-xl.html
 

4.  DO NOT Give them homemade cookies or bake-goods you  made. 

Only give them bake goods if you are 100% sure they are gluten-free. wheat, barley, oats (unless it says Gluten Free Oats). Be extra careful with contamination. Make sure you wash your utensils, pots and pans extra hard. If at all possible use wax paper, aluminum foil or something on your pans to have extra protection from contamination.


5. DO NOT give them a subscription to Cooking Magazines such as Rachel Rays, Cooking Network, etc. (Unless told otherwise from your family member or friend). 

I hate getting a subscription to Rachel Rays or the Cooking Network and seeing so many recipes that I can't have.There is always a way to take those recipes and make them gluten-free, but it takes time and money to perfect them into being tasty gluten-free.

Instead get them a magazine subscription to:
Simply Gluten Free Magazine
https://simplygluten-free.com/glutenfreemagazine/

Gluten Free Living
http://www.glutenfreeliving.com

6. DO NOT give hand creams, soaps, shampoos, conditioners and makeup without making sure they are gluten-free. 

People forget there can be glutens in body lotions, hand lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and makeup. If you know the products the person you are buying for uses then you should be fine. If not just do a simple phone call to the company to make sure. You can also look it up on the Internet.  Just keep in mind products ingredients do change so look for the date on your research.

What to Get your Gluten & Wheat sufferers:

 1. Kitchen Tools

Celiac's and people with food allergies do a lot of baking. 

2.  Gloves

3. Messages, Hair Cut.

4. Gluten-Free Apps

5. Gluten-Free Magazine Subscriptions such:


6. Gluten-Free Cookbooks

7. Movie Tickets

8. Community Theatre Tickets. 
If you live near Grand Rapids, MI. Check out:


Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
www.grct.org




Broadway Grand Rapids
http://www.broadwaygrandrapids.com


9. Scarves

10. Gift Cards for Retail Stores, Amazon, Ebay, etc.










Monday, November 17, 2014

Gluten Free Pizza Delivery




GEORGIO'S GOURMET PIZZA RESTAURANT & DELIVERY
I heard that Georgio's Gourmet Pizza carries an amazing Gluten Free pizza. I was in the area with my mother and grandmother. We decided to see if they actual do carry that amazing Gluten Free pizza that everyone has been talking about. I was so excited. THEY DO!! (Jumping up and down with excitement).  People were looking at me like I was crazy. 

    The GF pizza only comes in a 10' pizza with two toppings. I love chicken and pineapple pizza.  I made sure the chicken was GF because you never know if their seasoning they put on it contains gluten or sometimes all they have is breaded chicken.  Our waitress checked and came back saying they can put a piece of plain chicken on my pizza. I ended up ordering my pizza with chicken, spinach, and pineapple.  The waitress told me the pizza takes about 20 minutes to cook. I had time to wait.   But if you are going on your lunch break make sure you have at least 30 minutes just incase.   

    I was prepared for a flat thin crust that looks hard or rubbery.  I was eating lunch with my mother and my grandma. My grandma ordered pizza, so when the pizza came to the table I thought they screwed up because the 10' inch Gluten Free pizza looked like the regular pizza. The waitress assured me that it is. It was it because my grandma got the ham and cheese.  That 10' inch pizza was packed with chicken, pineapple, and spinach. The crust wasn't extremely thin or extremely thick. It was rubber or grainy.  It was perfect. The crust didn't look like a frozen crust they just heated up. Instead it looked like a normal rolled out yummy pizza.

I had to get my grandma's opinion on it. She didn't really know it was gluten free because she was paying attention. I have a thin piece. Did want to give her too much because that yummy pizza was all mine. My grandma tried it. She took the bite. She says, "Yum that is really good." I said to her, "That is Gluten Free." She replies, "Really." I replied back, "Yeah I know. It is crazy good." 

I saw on their menu they deliver. I made sure they deliver the Gluten Free pizza and they do. They are located, for me, in Grand Rapids/Kentwood/Cascade area MI. I am so excited to have GF pizza delivery. They also have Gluten Free pasta too.  The prices are very reasonable. You get alot for your money.  I believe the 10" gluten free pizza with three toppings came to $15.99.  Keep in mind that the meats are an extra $1.99. 

I had leftovers. I warmed a slice up in my oven and it came out tasting like I just ordered it. I ended up eating my pizza for two days and it help up great. I am not a huge fan of cold pizza. I never had been so I can't really give you an opinion on that because it would taste nasty to me even if it had gluten in it. I hate cold pizza. Never could understand how people can eat cold pizza and to eat it for breakfast. 

If you are in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area you must stop over and grab some of Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza.

How would I rate my experience a 5 out of 5 stars. 
How would I rate the taste of the Gluten Free Pizza 5 out of 5. 


Please send them a thank you letter expressing how thankful you are about them serving gluten free food.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lets Get Nabisco to Make Gluten Free Oreos




IT TIME TO GET NABISCO TO MAKE GLUTEN_FREE OREOS
Please take a second and sign this petition to show Nabisco that making a gluten-free oreo cookies isn't a waste of money.

https://www.change.org/p/nabisco-please-make-real-gluten-free-oreos#

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Helpful Comparing U.S. College Allergy Chart


I ran into this chart and thought it might be helpful to those who are entering or returning to a college.





 




http://allergicliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Comparing-Colleges-US-2014.pdf
http://allergicliving.com/2013/08/22/comparing-colleges-chart-u-s/

Its College Time- Know Your Food Allergy Rights

                        I myself is a college student. A few years ago, I had an issue with the school. I was paying for a meal plan, but they never would make me anything that I felt safe to eat. After my mom and I talked to my advisor and the college nurse they told me all they can do is cook me up plain meats and vegetables, but they are going to say they are 100% gluten-free because they can't use a different pan and cooking enviroment. I never know there was laws to help out and inforce. 

I ran into this article by Patrick Bennett. I thought I should pass this on to you. http://allergicliving.com/2013/08/22/know-your-food-allergy-rights-college/


The rights for people with food allergies and celiac disease in college have come a long way. There are two main legal documents which apply, and a recent Department of Justice complaint which resulted in a settlement all but confirms that severe food allergies constitute a disability under U.S. law.

REHABILITATION ACT, 1973

Applies to: Any public entity that receives federal financial assistance.
Rights given: Nobody may discriminate against an individual with a disability.
Administered by: Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first federal legislation aimed at providing equal rights to individuals with disabilities. Section 504 of this act deals with ensuring equal rights for individuals with disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools. Individuals with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to benefit from services offered, such as education. This is where the 504 Plan comes from, which is a legally binding document that ensures the individual with a disability will be accommodated.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 1990

Applies to: All public and private schools, regardless of federal funding, plus other areas.
Rights given: Expanded coverage of Section 504 to different areas, including all public and private schools, regardless of federal funding. A disability in the ADA is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Administered by: Department of Justice (DOJ)
After the original passage of the ADA, courts tended to strictly interpret the term “substantial”, requiring proof that the impairment substantially limited a major life activity. In some food allergy cases, accommodations weren’t granted because the person with a food allergy failed to demonstrate that they were limited in a “substantial” manner. For example, a girl with peanut allergy barred from a daycare wasn’t considered disabled because she could eat foods other than peanut, thus the major life activity of eating was not considered to be “substantially” limited.

ADA AMENDMENTS ACT, 2008

Applies to: Same as ADA.
Rights given: Greatly expanded the scope of who was to be considered disabled under the ADA. Instead of strict interpretation of how a major life activity was substantially limited, the term disability was to be “construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals”. In addition, the amendments added that “the question of whether an individual’s impairment is a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis.”
It was with the passing of the ADAAA that food allergies and celiac disease more clearly entered the realm of disability and the rights that are afforded.
Administered by: Department of Justice (DOJ)

LESLEY UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT

In December 2012, a settlement agreement was reached between Lesley University and a group of students with celiac disease who filed a complaint under the ADA. Their complaint was based on the fact that the university required them to have a meal plan, but didn’t offer safe options for their medically required gluten-free diet.
The DOJ indicated that it would pursue the complaint, which shows that it took it seriously enough to pick it out of the thousands of complaints it receives. This resulted in a settlement agreement being reached: Lesley was to provide safe options, allow students to pre-order safe meals, display notices by foods containing allergens or gluten, and more. In addition, the university had to award the students $50,000 in damages.

IMPORTANT NOTES

• Unlike K-12 schools, colleges have no obligation to seek out disabled students, including those with food allergies or celiac disease. The student must contact the disabilities office and provide documentation of the medical condition in order to be accommodated.
• Individuals with disabilities are entitled to “reasonable accommodation”. This means they must have an opportunity to enjoy the same benefits that someone who is not disabled is able to enjoy. But it has to be “reasonable”, in that it cannot create an undue financial burden on the institution. No college has to undergo a major change in their programs to provide accommodations. For example, a student who is allergic to multiple foods probably wouldn’t be able to ask a college with a cooking school to refrain from using allergens in its classes, since that would require a major programming change and perhaps  create a financial burden.

• Any college run by a religious organization is exempt from the ADA, unless it receives federal funding. Then it falls under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Thus, the only colleges not required to provide accommodations are those run by religious organizations who also do not receive any federal funding whatsoever – a few do exist, like Hillsdale College and Christendom College.Received this from http://allergicliving.com/2013/08/22/know-your-food-allergy-rights-college/

Girl Scout Might Offer Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie




MIGHT OFFER A CHOCOLATE CHIP SHORTBREAD COOKIE


I am looking forward to trying the new Gluten-Free Girl Scout Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie. This cookie is made with real chocolate chips and real butter. The Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread is premiering in a number of test markets this year, so keep your figures cross they will actually make and sell them.  Please email the Girl Scouts expressing how important it is to offer a Gluten Free Cookie.  



National Foundation for Celiac Awareness- College Dorm GF Care Package



GLUTEN-FREE CARE PACKAGE GIVEAWAY

Start off the school year on the right foot!  Enter to win a care package full of dorm-room friendly goodies perfect for the gluten-free student.  We'll announce the winner at the end of August!

http://www.celiaccentral.org/college/Gluten-Free-Care-Package-Giveaway/1142/




Tornado Hit My House

On July 6, 2014 at 10:30pm my house in Kentwood MI got hit hard.

Here is what happened.

9:45pm some thunder and lightening in the distance.

10:15pm still some thunder and lightening in the distance. Watching Wzzm13, our local news station, only to see a Flash Flood watch was on the screen.

10:28pm down pour of rain. Then a couple of branches hit the roof. We have a lot of trees in my neighborhood and do on the occasion have branches fall on our house.   The next second a down pour of rain. The rain was hitting the house really hard. Then "boom" "boom" "boom" and many more "booms". My house was shaking. Then we heard aloud "bang" hit the back of my house by our bathroom.
My mom and I was in our living room together when it hit. While everything was falling on our house we couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. We live near an airport. So did a airplane crash? Was it an earthquake? We kept looking at the TV and still no severe thunderstorm watch.
By the time we decided we should go the basement it was over. My dad, who was in the family room, looked out our slider door and saw all the trees flying in the air and coming towards our house. He screamed at us to "get in the basement", but my mom and I couldn't hear each other in the same room alone hear my dad at the other end of our home.

We quickly went into the bathroom where loudest "bang" hit. The lights went out but only for a couple of seconds. When the lights came back on we saw a hole in our bathroom wall. You couldn't see outside, but you could see behind the drywall. There was also a crack on the ceiling.

We got our flashlights and went outside. Saw tree branches on our cars and panicked thinking our cars were damaged. Luckily they were only small size branches.  But then we turn around to find two of our huge 500+ year old oak trees on our house.  As we were looking around our house to see the damage a neighbor from across the street yells "are you alright?" and I replied to him, "We've been hit."

My dad headed to the backyard to see the damage, but to his surprised all the neighbors trees and debris was crammed pack in our backyard. He went to the other side of the house to get into the backyard, but that side was also crammed packed with trees.

When you look out the windows facing the backyard it looks like we are underground with tree roots eating us alive.





This is what we see out our windows that are looking out towards the backyard. 

Our next door neighbor also had a tree hit their garage. Because it was so dark we couldn't really see how much damage everyone in our neighborhood had. So many trees are down. About 30minutes later we heard many fire trucks and chain saws starting up. 
I was terrified about staying in our house because I scared our house wasn't  structurally safe.  My mom and dad believed we were fine, but lets just say I didn't sleep very good.  

July 7, 2014- 8:00am- Seeing the Destruction
Went outside and was shocked. There was more then two trees on our house. If it wasn't for our chimney one of the trees would have sliced out house in half. The only way to get into the backyard was to climb up a latter onto the roof and then had to climb down a trees on our house, but because it was so crammed with trees in our backyard all you could do was climb. You couldn't find the ground. So many things were jammed in our siding. 

Later that Night 6:00pm July 7, 2014
The news said that Kentwood and Wyoming was hit by an F1 & F2 tornado. We had to get 3 estimates for tree removal for our home insurance. We got our tree quotes. We ended up going with Tree West Tree Service. Instead of just starting the next day in the morning they started that afternoon. They wanted to get all of the parts of the trees that were on our roof off. They said it is important to get them off the roof as quickly as possible to prevent more damage to the roof. They worked pretty late.

July 8, 2014- Tree Removal Day. 
Tree West Tree Service came out and kicked butt getting all the trees and branches cut down. They told us we had a total of 8 trees and 6 of them were on our house. They were amazed we still had a house. They told us God was really with us because those trees should have make our house collapse. 

July 9, 2014- Tree Removal Second Day
Tree West Tree Service was able to finish today. We were very happy with them and would recommend them. If you live in West Michigan I would highly recommend them. Their contact information: 
Owner: Kevin Mahlum. 269-206-6333. Email: treewesttreeservice@yahoo.com.







Thank God for Our Chimney to Stop the tree from slicing our house in half. 

Our trash container was on the edge of the street and now it was thrown in our backyard



 











 



Our Neighbors House Got Hit Too

         

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD GOT HIT HARD


 
 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 


CLEAN-UP TIME

Cutting down the trees on our roof and backyard.





 






 


 

BEFORE

AFTER:

They still have a lot to get done. As you can see they have the other half of the yard to do.
 






THE TREES ARE GONE

 Trees are gone but now are grass is a mud path.


 



 

 

July 10, 2014- Our State Farm inspector came out to determine the damage. She kept telling us if it comes out to more then she is quoting to let them know.

TIME TO FIX ROOF
BEFORE:



 

 



We were very lucky that I had a friend who knew someone that works for a home repair company because all of the contractors and home repair business couldn't get out to fix our house till October. Some contractors/business weren't even accepting any new clients. 
Captain Remodeling was able to move us up due the extent of the damage. 

About a week later, Captain Remodeling came out to do the  Roof first. They had to pull off two layers of shingles and replace the boards. It took them 3 1/2 days. 
They first did the roof. Then a few days later they had their siding workers come out. Then about two weeks they had a husband and wife team that came out to fix our bathroom. 


REPAIRING ROOF
 

 


 

 

 

Finished Roof 

Captain Remodeling roofing crew was very nice.  They were sloppy on things. They created a little damage to fascia this was because of miscommunication. They thought we were going to our whole house with new siding.  They were not able to find the same siding so the insurance company should pay for it, but we didn't want to count on it. We told them at this time no. Well, there was miscommunication and the roofers thought we were going to do the whole house so they weren't really careful with the fascia.  Would I hire them again for roofing? The next time we would do the roof isn't because of storm damage, so we would have time to really check out other roofing companies. We went with Captain Remodeling because my friend suggested them and  because we had to get this done and couldn't find other roofing companies that could do it sooner.  

PUTTING UP THE SIDING 

 Captain Remodeling did our siding. Now we were really happy with our siding. They did a very nice job! Would we have them do our siding again? Yes.


 


 
 



 

Siding Is Finished: 


Time to Repair Our Chimney
Our insurance company only quoted on reparing the top of the chimney which is really stupid because you can't match that brink.  We ended up getting three estimates. The first one was Hancock Chimney.  They seem to be very expensive. To do only the top part of the chimney they were charging about $8000. We had another company come out, but I can't remember their name and they also was charging $7800 just for the top part.  Then our neighbor from behind us told us about Joesph Spica owner of D&W Masonry which is located in Wyoming MI. He has done this now for 40 years. It is just him who builds and repairs chimney. He doesn't have any employees. He did an amazing job. It was very nice.  Would I hire him again? Hell Yes! 

His contact information:   D & W Masonry located in Wyoming MI, Cell: 616-498-9496. Owner: Joesph Spica. 

 

 



This is What I See Looking at Our Fireplace From In the House:

 
 
 

Chimney Tear Down

 

 


Chimney Is Finished:
Doesn't his work look amazing! 
 

 

MORE CLEAN-UP
My dad painted the tree in hopes it will keep out the bugs. 


My dad picking up all the dead branches. 

Neighbor rented a log cutter because he has to cut up all of...

THESE LOGS


The metal fence looks pretty cool the way it got bent.


FIGHTING INSURANCE COMPANY:
Our next thing we have to do is fight our insurance company who didn't give us enought to fix all of our repairs. The rest of the siding costed $8900 and they were only going to pay $4000. 













Life Keeps Beating Me Up Now Family Can I Give Up?

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