Baby Love

So I’ve sort of been neglecting everything involving KaLaLu lately: my blog, my Etsy page, my pinterest. Buuut I think I’ve had a pretty good reason….

11 weeks and 5 days

Yes! I’m a first-time-mama-to-be!! We’re thrilled and can’t wait until early December to meet our little peach!

I’m finally starting to feel a little better (I’ve had all the lovely first trimester symptoms) so I hope to regaining movement here soon. It seems this blog will take on yet another topic, since of course, baby’s on our minds!

Gluten Free in Detroit and London, Ontario

As I said I wanted to write a mini-post to share some gluten-free friendly places I found on our trip. So, here they are!

Detroit:

Photo Credit: Atlastglobalbistro.com

Atlas Global Bistro

We ate here as soon as we got into town. We were starving and were thrilled to find a gluten-free aware┬árestaurant that was open at 11 am. It was a bit fancy, (we felt a little scummy just getting off the plane) but it didn’t seem like we were judged. I had an awesome prosciutto wrapped salmon over polenta (for a pretty good price) and my husband Joey had an omlette with Gouda, mushrooms and spinach. Good Stuff. Our waitress was pretty great too. She gave us multiple┬árestaurant recommendations and seemed to really love talking about her city. I’d recommend this place for lunch since it seemed like dinner could get pretty pricy.

http://www.atlasglobalbistro.com/index.ht

Photo Credit: UnionStreetdetroit.com

Union Street

This place is pretty hip. It has a really relaxed, cozy vibe and on a busy night it’s pretty close quarters. Our waiter was really knowledgeable about gluten, and though they didn’t have a gluten-free menu, there were lots of options for me. But they did have gluten-free beer!!! : ) As I said its cozy and relaxed, but also has a “night-out” vibe, if that makes any sense. It seems like a place where you could go on a date or a stop for dinner before a night out. I definitely recommend this place!

http://unionstreetdetroit.com/04/

Photo Credit: Casscafe.com

Cass Cafe

So, this place only has a couple gluten-free options on the menu, but it’s an adorable cafe with a knowledgable chef. I mean, this guy was good, he wanted to make sure I could eat honey, (because of where bees travel and pollination and all that). Pretty impressive. They were really accommodating too. You can go there to drink coffee or tea while looking at their art gallery, or grab a drink from their full bar while enjoying your food.┬á Check it out.

http://www.casscafe.com/index.html

Photo Credit: Dylan’s Raw Bar and Grille

Dylan’s Raw Bar and Grille

We at at Dylan’s Raw Bar and Grille with Joey’s aunt and uncle before we headed to the airport. I was super excited because they had an awesome deal on lobster. There were non-fish options as well, and most of their sides seemed gluten free. I did’t partake, but the three of them had sushi and really enjoyed it. (and my husband is very picky about good sushi) This is similar to Union street, where its laid back, but could be a little dressy as well. I was really impressed with their food and drink deals and the waitstaff was great.

http://dylansrawbar.com/search.asp?Path=2

 

 

London, Ontario:

Photo Credit: Organicworksbakery.com

Organic Works

Oh. My………I am so incredibly jealous that we don’t have a place like this in Chicago. We went here several times throughout our visit in London. They are completely gluten-free, organic, and vegan. They have some of the best gluten-free bread, pizza crust and sweets I’ve ever had. They seem to be all over Canada. Go here!!!!!

http://organicworksbakery.net/

Photo Credit: Cafe One

Cafe One

This place was really interesting. It was like a Panera with alcohol…. I’d describe it as a higher end fast food. They have gluten free pasta and sauces here. Not incredible food, but pretty good.

http://www.cafeonerestaurants.com/index.html

Photo Credit: Bertoldi’s

Bertoldi’s

DONT GO HERE. We didnt make a reservation, which was our fault, but we ended up waiting way longer than they estimated, like and hour and a half….then we finally got a table and the service was extremely slow. It took our waitress 15 minutes to get to us. Theeeeeen the food tasted like banquet hall food. Wasn’t expecting that. Not worth it at all.

Photo Credit: Garli’s of London

Garlic’s of London

In my eyes, you cant go wrong with a place if garlic is in it’s title. Really nice food with a flare of gourmet, but still very approachable. Go here for a classy date night : )

http://www.garlicsoflondon.com/

That’ all for now. If I forgot any great places we stopped at, Ill add them on, or if anyone has recommendations I’d love to add them here and check them out next time!

Detroit Rock City

I grew up as a Chicagoan who never really knew much about the surrounding mid-west states. But I’ve been catching up since I met my husband nearly 4 years ago. He has family in Michigan so we’ve been going to various tows there. From these visits I’m really looking forward to more adventures….the mid-west isn’t as boring as people make it sound!

We explored Detroit for only a few days, but found some pretty great things…

One of our stops was The Heidelberg Project. An interesting take on the deterioration and desolation that’s swept Detroit, and possibly commenting on consumerism?? It’s definitely worth checking out.

These were gorgeous yellow bushes that were scattered all over Detroit. The loveliness around us ­čÖé

There’s so much to experience in Detroit. There is a strong sense of community that is growing and gaining power. I believe we’ll see big change there in the near future.

Cool things to check out…

http://www.arisedetroit.org/
http://www.detroitblog.org/?p=1832
http://www.heidelberg.org/
http://alliedmedia.org/
http://www.dia.org/

On the same trip we also traveled to London, Ontario and of course drove to the uber tacky but really incredible Niagra Falls… Post on this and gluten free restaurants of Detroit and London coming soon!

Early Revival: Chicago

I’m starting to feel bad spreading all of my deep concerns about the unseasonably warm weather this March in Chicago, to anyone yielding a friendly “Lovely weather, huh?”. So, I’m trying to make the best of it and I’m finding some success.

In Chicago we’re lucky in that we have beautiful outdoor spaces and parks. Trees line many streets here, so when Spring (or summer in this case…) hits, colors illuminate the city.

 

These photo’s were taking in Grant Park on a lovely lunch break I had the other day. Pretty little things : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve never seen bark like this. I believe that there was some old paper poster on it at one time, that gives it the orange glow. Very cool.


 

 

Grant Park

 

 

 

 

 

Someone shared with the squirrels

 

 

 

 

 

And the birds

 

 

 

 

This isnt a full post, but…..

Ok…..

So Toyota has a new commercial out touting their affordable, eco-friendly cars. Mind you, my husband and I possess a Prius.

I get that they’re trying to take a comical approach touching on a game we’ve all played that has “interesting” ups and downs and that it’s a little funny. But, I’m a little angsty about the Gluten Free line. (ha of course)

The line is: “Oh no, my homemade sushi turned Peeee-ushi(sp). Use estimated 53mpg to find a gluten free alternative”.

What does this say about gluten or other allergies and intolerance? Gluten comes from rotten sushi? It’s people who want to make sushi at home who eat gluten free? Or even more-so its high maintenance/ trend following people who eat gluten free. Now I realize I might be make a leap here with that last statement, but really….How else can you take it? With them parodying “Life” right now these are the statements they seem to be making.

Ok. Rant complete.

Raise awareness of allergies and intolerance pleaaaaaase. Statements or stereotypes like this (even based in comedy) can make the lives of us who live with these issues a living hell.

 

Gluten: A protein found in Wheat, Barley and Rye (and some related grains)
Gluten allergy/Gluten intolerance/ Celiac Disease: Each of these make people very, very sick. It’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s a lifestyle necessity.

Barcelona: Food, Wine, and lots of pictures

In late December, my husband and I took a ten day honeymoon to Spain. We hit Barcelona, Tarifa, Tangier, Granada and then back to Barcelona. Busy ten days, but so worth it. The food, the wine, the flowers, the buildings, the wine….. There’ are so many photos, I’m going to break up my posts by city. Hope you enjoy!

-Boqueria Market-

These are a few photos from the Boqueria Market in the heart of La Rambla, a busy strip in Barcelona. We stumbled across these bright stands after wandering around after dinner one night. I highly recommend stopping by, every stand has an incredible selection. The lights and colors alone are unbelievable, especially against the night sky. You can’t go wrong with anything you pick up here.

A side note about La Rambla: Its a great pedestrian strip filled with stalls selling anything from key chains to birds, local street artists in intricate costumes become human statues and cute street cafes offer food and drinks. Its great, but overpriced and doesn’t hold the best food Barcelona has to offer. Definitely take it in, but adventure down some of the side alleyways to find authentic tapas.

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Sant Pau del Camp

Breakfast Steak. mmmmm.

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Park Guell

The Kissing Tree

Gorgeous Cyclamen

Dusty Miller plant

Park Guell is an incredible park designed by Gaudi. It’s a hike to reach (it’s up a number of hills)┬á but it has a beautiful view of the city. With its different tiers, it’s┬á like a little hidden cove with huge trees, colorful flowers and really interesting architecture. Gaudi was known for his eccentric designs (as you’ll see in a second) and this is no exception. There are so many beautiful photos to be taken here, but unfortunately the camera I had then didn’t want to cooperate. At least I got a couple of good ones!

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Sagrada Familia

We took the Metro to see Sagrada Familia. Walking up the steps to the street, you turn around and there it is! It’s not only enormous in size, but it holds such a strong presence. I couldn’t even tell you how many angles, scenes and views there are of this one church. The amount detail is unbelievable. The project was started in 1882 by a different designer that shortly there after retired and Gaudi took over. The completion year is estimated between 2026 and 2028. Yikes. Cant wait to see where it goes.

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Graffiti Art

The street art in Barcelona is really cool. There are so many different styles and techniques used and they all pop with color. Again, I could have taken hundreds of pictures of each piece, but my camera hated me. Ugh.

If you’re interested in more Barcelona Street/Graffiti art, check out:

www.ILoveGraffiti.com

www.bcngraffiti.com

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I could go on and on about Barcelona, but for the sake of space I’ll hold off until another post.

Ideas Needed: Do Help!

Many birthdays ago...

Every year as my birthday encroaches, I find myself reflecting, questioning and making new goals. But every year I slip into daily routines, getting lost in responsibilities and securities. But no more! This new year of my life will be different! (I hope)

I’m around 10 days away from my “new year” and I’ve already got a head start. I’ve revisited my small business plans from a year and a half ago, and I’m putting all of my heart into KaLaLu. I’m quitting my retail job which has been the bane of my existence for the last few years. I have been so lucky to have a job, especially in this economy…I definitely have not taken that for granted for one moment. But I think I deserve to try to find a position that I’m happy in, that I feel that I’m working towards something bigger than myself and helping people while doing it. I volunteer at a children’s hospital, and I get this incredible feeling when I’m there. So my hope is to find something along those lines, but be able to pay my bills at the same time. So please keep your fingers crossed for me, that people will find things they like at KaLaLu!

So the job situation in changing, and that all exciting and good. But what else will change? There some things already in the works, like I will be finishing my degree in the next year….My husband and I will be taking our honeymoon to Spain….We will have our marriage anniversary in the next year. But what are the small things that will shift? As many, many women out there I’d love to get into shape. Tone, exercise, maybe do a little yoga. This will require copious amounts of motivation which I’m sincerely hoping I can stir up.

This is all well and good, but I’d like to reach out to all of you for random things I can take up as a hobby, go see or places I should travel to. I will be visiting Barcelona, the southern tip of Spain, and Tangier Morocco ….I will also be going to North Carolina, Vegas and possibly┬áOregon this year. Anything you guys can think of will be great! Then I will choose some to do, and write about the experience! Please help me explore!

Lying…it has come to this

Now,┬áI have pretty sound morals, I don’t like┬á lying or pushing agenda’s but there is an issue for those who have Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant: These terms are terribly unknown to most. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a restaurant, told them I’m gluten intolerant and went as far as saying I will get very, very sick if there’s even cross contamination. Sadly, the majority of these times I have been “glutened”. After so many experiences like this, my husband and I began “lying” and using the term allergic when speaking of my special food needs.

I’ve had a couple of thoughts about why this may be.

1. I’ve been a waitress, I know it can be a tough job, and having a table that needs a lot of special attention can be annoying or bothersome, especially when its a busy night. So that may be an issue.

2. I believe that many people see gluten issues as a chosen diet or a fad.

3. People at restaurants might not believe that ┬áyou can get sick from something, because some diners lie about allergies because they don’t like an ingredient.

4. There’s just not enough awareness out there!

Whatever the reasons may be, it’s scary to eat out. I think it’s sad that I have to say I’m allergic when I’m really intolerant, but that’s my best bet for protecting myself. I do feel that it’s our responsibility as people with special dietary needs to spread the word and inform others. My advice, always be super thorough in describing how serious your dietary need is, always be crazy nice about it with your waiter/waitress, and if you get glutened at a restaurant after you’ve been guaranteed the food would be safe call and speak to a manager. You don’t have to “get the waiter in trouble”, but the manager needs to know if more training steps need to be taken with their employees. If I get sick when I’m told I’ll be safe, imagine someone with an allergy coming into their restaurant and ending up in a hospital because the staff didn’t take proper precautions. Very serious.

I had a really great experience with a restaurant here in Chicago called Wilde’s with a situation like this. I had done my whole schpeal with the waitress, I ordered off of their gluten-free menu, but somehow got a gluten laden bun on my burger. The first bite seemed off, and with the second bite I already started feeling queezy. I had the burger wrapped to go, and when I got home my husband confirmed that it was a wheat bun. After three days of being wretchedly sick, I called and spoke with the manager. A couple of weeks later I thought I’d give them another chance, and not only did two of the managers come to talk to me and apologize, but the head chef came to my table as well. The managers informed me that they were working on their computer system to separate gluten-free items from the rest, and they were also working on having dedicated gluten-free plates. I would have been thrilled with that alone, but when it came time to pay our check, they refused to accept payment and insisted on the meal being on them. They were great, and really took my getting sick seriously.

Be safe, spread the word, and let me know if you have any thoughts on this!

Wedding Coma

Credit: Christina Noel

I apparently have been unconscious for the last year. It’s actually pretty entertaining to come back to this blog and see that the last thing I posted was on our debate of a venue for our wedding…. Well….. We’re married! On September 18th, I married the love of my life. And it was a great party! Many, many things went wrong, as they almost certainly do with weddings, but Joey and I kept our heads up and our eyes on the prize and enjoyed the day immensely. Everything was vibrant and beautiful.

We did end up going with themed tables…which almost put me into a catatonic state. Up to the night before the wedding, I was putting little details and touches on everything, which ended up being fairly unnecessary because of some slip ups from the venue in setting up the tables. But anyways…My ladies ( my 12 ladies…yep huge wedding party) came together and rocked making everything work.

I mentioned the venue in a slightly dim light just then, but Salvage One was an excellent, amazing venue. We were very happy with them. The atmosphere is very warm and unique, you really don’t need any decorations at all! As with the venue, there was a slight hitch with the caterer, but overall we were thrilled with City Provisions. We worked with Edgar, and he was the best! He made planning fun, with a really laid back vibe. Cletus is incredible, really understanding of food allergies and intolerance, and makes crazy delicious food. Use them as a caterer or go to their shop! They have all local items from deli meat, fancy cheese to really amazing stone ground mustard. You will be glad you did.

Now that I’ve got my props out of the way, I can get down to the new exciting stuff post wedding. I have just started volunteering at a children’s hospital, and though its tough, it’s really, really rewarding. I’ve met some incredible kids, and cant wait to meet more! I am still working on some school work, about a year until I’m degree’d and I cant wait. My puppy is just as rambunctious as ever and my husband is creating waves in Art’s education research. Life is good.

I am excited to get moving again on KaLaLu items. I have some new ideas and new products to share soon, and I have an official website up and running! Please check it out. There will be more to come on the site, but I’m proud of where it is now.
http://www.kalalushop.com

I’m going to be better about posting on here, and NOT have a year between posts…..So come back and check out new Gluten Free Recipes, Wedding Tips, Crafty Things and more!