5 Unexpected Things that Can Contain Gluten

5-hidden-sources-of-glutenSince my daughter’s diagnosis with Celiac Disease a few years ago, we’ve been on a steep learning curve; navigating our way through a life without gluten. Whether you forego gluten by personal choice or health necessity, I figured that for any of those of you who may be new to the world of eating gluten-free, that it could possibly come in handy if I shared a few unexpected places where I’ve often found gluten to be lurking. I’d love for you to help me add to this list or share your favorite gluten-free foods in the comment section. I’m always keen to learn about new tasty things to try.

5 Unexpected Things that Can Contain Gluten

  • Beer / Liquor | I’ve never been much of a beer connoisseur, so this one hasn’t been too hard to pass up on. However it is a food item that is commonly used in cooking / baking, so it’s good to be aware of just the same. There are grain-free alcohol options available, so if you’re bummed about missing out, you can go ahead and turn that frown upside-down.
  • Vanilla extract / Baking extracts | I’ve read conflicting opinions regarding whether the gluten used in the alcohol used to create vanilla / baking extracts is neutralized during the distillation process. To be on the safe side, I always purchase extracts that are labeled as gluten-free.
  • Sweeteners | Barley Malt (also seen as malt extract) is a big culprit (you’ll find it in a lot of chocolate bars). It is very easy to overlook if you’re not prepared to keep a lookout for it. Special note: maltodextrin is considered to be gluten-free (despite having the word malt in its name)
  • Soy Sauce | Growing up, we had a bottle of soy sauce on our dining room table instead of a salt shaker. So it came as quite a surprise to me to discover that our old standby is traditionally made using wheat. Thankfully there are wheat-free / gluten-free varieties available…so keep a lookout for those if you’re a fan like we are.
  • Toiletries / Detergents / Household Cleaners | Non-food items have few standards in place to ensure that they are labeled clearly when they contain gluten. I did find this very helpfully compiled list of Company Statements Regarding Gluten that you may want to look over if you or someone you know has a severe gluten sensitivity or Celiac. It didn’t even occur to me that non-edible products could be a problem until my daughter developed a mystery rash after I laundered her clothing in traditional Tide detergent. I made the switch to Method detergent shortly thereafter and have used both Method and Mrs. Myers on our clothing with no ill effects ever since (their products are better for the environment too…so that’s a bonus).

Of course, when in doubt, contacting a company for specific allergen information is always recommended. Most companies are more than happy to make sure that you are making a safe purchase for your family. I hope this little list helps. Here’s to your health!

Image from Antique Farm House™ (a really cool site coincidently)

Color Crush: Chambray Blue, Dusty Pink, and Camel

color-crush-blue-pink-camelSince I missed out on sharing a post yesterday (our internet connection has been so persnickety recently), I thought it might be nice to wrap up the week with a peek at my latest color crush. Chambray blue, dusty pink and camel…you’re making me all swoony!

1. Silkscreen by Elizabeth Corkery | 2. Numbered Pudding Basins | 3. Band of Horses Wall Clock | 4. DIY Adjustable Unisex Apron | 5. Star Chambray Cocktail Napkin Set | 6. Barr Tray in White/Blue | 7. Rama Chair | 8. Coconut Milk Mango Bath Salts

Have a fantastic weekend friends! xo Ez

Three Things I’m Loving Right Now

how-to-be-a-thoughtful-host1. Here’s a lovely post that Brooklyn Limestone interviewed me for, on the subject of How to be a Thoughtful Host to House Guests. I can’t believe that I forgot to share it with you for all this time. Shows how very thoughtful I am! Ack!

diy-ipad-stand2. I absolutely love the look of this DIY iPad Stand from The Artful Desperado. Not only do I want one for myself…but I also think that these would make awesome gifts to give this coming holiday season (I know it’s early…but I’m trying to pre-plan this year).

call-the-midwife3. I just began watching, and have become completely hooked on Call the Midwife, a BBC television series (watched via Netflix). The main character (Jenny) reminds me so much of my grandmother, and I am now completely captivated by her story and look forward to watching a new episode every night before I drift off to sleep. Have you see it / are you in love with it too?

My Quest for the Perfect White Interior Paint

white-room-inspirationFor the past year and a half my daughter and I have been putting up with some truly hideous high-gloss “white” paint on almost every wall in our home. The blinding sheen has managed to highlight the rough craggy texture of the walls, while simultaneously accentuating every last flaw…and has quite honestly been one of my least favorite aspects of our home. So you can bet that when Sherwin-Williams asked if I’d like to partner up with them on another painting project (here’s what I did last time), that I already knew what my answer would be. Yes please, and when can I get started!

Home inspiration photo sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /

white-walls-beforeWhile the majority of our walls were already “white,” I have been dreaming of a beautiful crisp white (none of this gross yellow-greenish shiny white that we’ve been trying to pretend away). Probably something more like one of the whites seen in my home inspiration photos above.


But if you’ve ever tried to choose the perfect white (or any color for that matter), you know that it is not always just as easy as popping online and choosing a color from a digital swatch. Since I had a lot of questions and wanted to test out as many color samples as I could in order to find the one that would take our walls from eww to ahh, I headed into my local Sherwin-Williams store to get things started.

finding-the-perfect-white-paintYou all probably don’t need the play-by-play of my in-store visit, but I did want to share the bits that could come in handy for you the next time you’ve got a painting project on your to-do list. Here are a few of the helpful things that Sherwin-Williams employees can help you with:

  • Color selection | I described my color wants, and Steve (the employee helping me) was immediately able to suggest four options that could be a potential match. I tried samples of all four, plus a color match to another brand’s paint swatch, and ended up falling in love with one of them. With a sea of beautiful colors to choose from, it is very helpful to have someone knowledgable to guide you through your options.
  • Paint sheen | Because of the heavy texture of our walls (and the fact that I no longer have a toddler leaving fingerprints everywhere) Steve recommended a flat sheen to minimize texture and cut out the awful glare that our high-gloss paint tormented us with. And for areas with a bit more wear (such as the stair railing) a satin sheen, so that fingerprints can be easily wiped away!
  • Special pro tips | Painting over high-gloss walls is notoriously obnoxious. Steve recommended that I wipe everything down with either a deglosser or Simple Green (I chose option II because it was less toxic) before painting. I wasn’t sure that it would be enough, but I’m happy to say that it worked like a charm!
  • Bonus…I also found out that if you sign up for Sherwin-Williams free Paint Perks program you can save 10% off all your Sherwin-Williams paints and supplies (you’ll also get a $10 coupon when you sign up), receive painting tips/ideas and exclusive sale alerts, plus manage your painting projects and keep a record of your paint colors for 10 years. No more stashing paint swatches away in a drawer and hoping you’ll remember where you’ve put them the next time you need to paint!


So now after two days of work, our living room is rocking a gorgeous coat of the perfect white paint that I found, and we’re in love! I’ll be sharing a few pictures of the results with you next week PLUS I’ll be hosting an awesome paint giveaway. Stay tuned!

sherwin-williams-paint-colorsOf course there’s a whole world of color to fall in love with at Sherwin-Williams. Next time you have a home painting project to tackle, I hope you’ll feel inspired to stop by your local store and see the possibilities for yourself!

sherwin-williams-sponsorThis post was kindly sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. Images (except those used in the inspiration board image) and opinions are my own. Find more from Sherwin-Williams: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube | Google+

My 5 Favorite Creative Resources Online

mastering-mobile-photographyToday I’m spilling the beans on five of my favorite creative resources available online! Hopefully they’ll come in handy and become some of your favorites too!

1. Mastering Mobile Photography / 11 Tips to Better Phone Photos — Artifact Uprising
•  If you’ve ever enviously wondered “how did they manage to do that with a phone camera,” then you’re going to love this incredibly informative article. My favorite tips: Create Blur on Purpose and Master the Movement

ywft-awesome-fonts-and-stock-art2. You Work for Them  | fonts and stock art / featured font: YWFT Belle
•  Most font shops online offer your standard run of the mill options, but You Work for Them is one of my favorites for finding unique choices. The only problem is that I can never choose just one font to buy…they are all so good!

stocksy-stock-photography-source3. Stocksy | stock photography / image by Melanie Defazio
•  The first thing that I can think of to say about Stocksy is: “finally stock photography that doesn’t suck!” Really! You have to see for yourself to know what I’m talking about. If you ever have a project calling for an extraordinary image, but you’re not able to take that photo yourself…be sure to check these guys out.

creative-market-fonts-and-more4. Creative Market | Handcrafted fonts, themes, graphics, and digital resources / image by Decade Type Foundry
•  I enjoy keeping an eye on this site and all the creative content that their community is coming up with. The price for credits to use towards purchases on the site is fairly reasonable too.

skillshare-online-classes5. Skillshare | Creative Online Classes
•  I’ve talked about my admiration for the creative online classroom Skillshare before…and my love has not faded since. I am always signing up for new classes to take over there when I have a spare moment. In fact, that’s one of the best things about Skillshare. You select the classes that interest you, take them whenever it works into your schedule, and learn at your own pace! If only all schools worked that way!