Make mine Virginia Wine!

I am lucky to be located in a state that really offers everything, Virginia has beaches, mountains, farmland, and city you really do have everything. Something else that we have a lot of are vineyards and wineries.  I LOVE wine, my roommate and I are probably addicted to the cheap-o, but pretty good wine from Trader Joe’s.  However, one of my favorite weekend past times is to traps all over this beautiful state to wine taste my way around Virginia.  Please make mine Virginia Wine!

Since last fall I have really been racking up the wine glasses from the different vineyards I have done tastings at. But this summer I have gone on a few great wine tasting weekends! I am no wine expert but I love to drink wine, try wine, and hang out at vineyards, I mean who doesn’t?  I am here to tell you a little about a few of my favorites over the past few months.

We have certainly been blessed to have so many vineyards in the DC/Metro area and thus far I have not really tasted a wine I hated, so that is always a plus!

For my roommates birthday back in May we went to two Wineries in Leesburg, VA. Lost Creek Winery and Hidden Brooke Winery, both were gorgeous and delicious!

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Hidden Brooke Winery (above) sitting here on this front porch was such a pretty view!

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Lost Creek Vineyard and Winery (above) the terrace outside was precious and their staff was incredible!

A little later in the summer a few friends and I went on a quick adventure to Bull Run Winery out in Manassas, this is a newer Winery but it has really made a name for itself quick! It has amazing wine, especially the blueberry wine, and the atmosphere was fun and intended for you to hang out, and enjoy some wine with friends. Some nights they have live music! This was my second trip to Bull Run and I know I will be back again.

A weekend a little later in my roommate and I went on an adventure out to Delaplane, VA for the annual Strawberry Festival out there and decided wine tasting needed to follow. We headed out to a Vineyard I had heard all about, and nothing but good things, Naked Mountain Vineyard, it was GORGEOUS, set up in the mountain hillsides with scattering of chairs ready for you to take in the view and enjoy some incredible wine, DRINK NAKED!

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Then most recently, last weekend, I went with a few pledge sisters on another wine tasting adventure, hitting 3 vineyards in one lovely afternoon!

We started off back in Delaplane VA at another renowned Winery called Barrel Oak Winery, again an extremely fun atmosphere, but this time almost centered around dogs! They love their dogs here and that was evident, although I am primarily a cat lover, I do love all animals and dogs are super cute! This place was fun and partially family oriented.

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Then we headed out to Amissville , VA to Grey Ghost Vineyards, although it was a little more mellow, the wine was delicious and I brought home a delicious chardonnay. The view was gorgeous!

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And last but certainly not least we headed to Granite Heights Winery, which used to be one of my pledge sisters family’s farm. She grew up there and now it has been converted into a winery! It was very quaint, and the wine was delicious! The old house was gorgeous and the farm as a whole was just a beautiful site to see. It was so wonderful to be able to enjoy great wine, while taking in some real life history from someone who had grown up there. And as a bonus, I scored the most INCREDIBLE blueberry cinnamon jam, to die for!

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That is a lot of vineyards, however there are a lot more to go! More updates about wine tasting adventures around VA and running trails I have been exploring! xox Glutenfreeprep #GFP

Meet the Diva.

So I am not sure if it has been proclaimed upon the blog but I am a cat lover. Not completely a crazy-cat lady, yet, but many of my friends are beginning to feel as though I may be headed down that path. I do not completely agree with them but I do love cats, sorry not sorry.  My entire life my family has had a cat, my cat growing up, Bagheera (like the Jungle Book!) was probably the most demonic creature alive, however my parents were virtually saints for keeping him and “loving” him. Needless to say, he is the only cat I have not enjoyed, but as a 10 year old, when a cat ruins your sparkly, light-up boots by peeing on them; said cat gets put into the dislike group.

However, from then on out we have always had luck with our cats, after Bagheera, my parents have had a few cats who have been wonderful! Throughout college I also, always had roommates who had cats. When I first moved off campus my roommate had 1 cat, and got another. When that roommate moved out, another moved in another cat, and another. So 2 years, 4 different cats. A lot of love and a lot of cat pictures; but never a cat of my own. And as I write this it seems more and more like a crazy cat lady but again, sorry not sorry.

So, when I moved out on my own in March I came to the realization that for the first time in my life, except the times I lived in the dorms in college, I would not have a cat, whether it be a roommate’s or my parents. And that was just completely unacceptable. So after being settled in my new place for a few weeks I set out on a mission to give a loving kitty a new home. I searched online a bit and found a cat that I thought was very precious so I attempted to set up an appointment to meet her. However this cat was at a foster home so it would be difficult to set up an appointment right away, so they had me come into their shelter (more like a cat house) and see if any of the other animals there would meet my fancy.

When I went into this house it was insane, there were cages and cats everywhere, all loving and wanting to come home to be loved by a nice family, or pair of roommates in this case. So I made my way through this maze of cages and was introduced to many different cats, males, females, short haired, long hairs, young, old, and every color you could imagine. However, one very small female caught my eye because of her petite stature and her cute little socks. Her adoptive name was “Little Princess” however, that was a bit pretentious for my liking so:

Meet Dinah (Dine-ah) – like the name of Alice’s cat in the original Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, I swear the Disney character names are a complete coincidence, I am just a sucker for Disney.

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She’s a petite little thing and a diva of all divas. She loves to knock over everything and chew on everything she should not however, I love having her here, she certainly makes me smile more often than she makes me angry.  And I am so happy I rescued her from that crazy place she was living before. She’s a cuddlebug like no other and is such a chatty cathy if I have ever heard one.

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Well that is all for now from your crazy cat lady in training, hope you love her as much as I do! Keep checking back for more gluten free goodies, vineyard adventures, and running trail adventures! xoxo Glutenfreeprep #GFP

One of the best events of the year! The Summer Lilly Pulitzer Sale!

Ladies, ladies, ladies, its one of the best times of years for all of us Lilly lovers out there! Last summer I am really not sure where I was or what I was pre-occupied with but I missed the sale and I was throughly depressed.  I was not going to let that happen again! So this time I was much more on my game and up and ready to shop when the sale started at 8 am!

IMG_4857But as it always happens, the Lilly site crashed! It was a tragic start to my day. I could shop but I wouldn’t be able to add to my cart. Stressful, exciting, saddening. But not to fear the day was eventually saved when I was able to shop at lunchtime. But one dress I had my eye on in the morning had already been completely snapped up before I was able to actually shop but I still scooped up a few very cute finds at an amazing deal!

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I got this super cute and super versatile striped dress – the Kaleb Dress I am super excited to sport this in the fall, even with the super springy colors!

Followed by another wonderful dress just itching for spring to start again was the Darcy Dress, perfect if I am ever invited to a tea or to attend the horse races, whenever wherever!

And a very cute top that I am in need of more of, I am an avid shopper for my bottom half – I have a colored shorts and pants addiction – however I need tops to mix and match as well. This Drew top will be the perfect addition to my collection, of small but growing perfect tops for any occasion.

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Now, all I have to do is wait and wait and WAIT for this wonderful order to be processed and delivered! Love love love everything that I ordered and I can not wait to wear all of it! Keep an eye out for updated on that as well as a post to come introducing a wonderful new addition to my life since I have moved out! Keep reading to find out who!

That’s all for now! Love your gluten free Lilly lover! xoxo Glutenfreeprep #GFP

Go Ape!

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So back in the beginning of the summer I told my roommate that I would take her to this zip line and ropes course in our area called Go Ape! as her birthday present from me, 3 months later we finally got around to it. This place was awesome! It was exhausting, nerve racking, exhilarating, and awesome! We went to the course located in Rock Creek Park, MD. There were 6 different obstacles ranging from zip wires and Tarzan swings into rope ladders, to crawling through a wooden tunnel and walking a wire, all in the tree tops.

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So you get there and you sign your life away, but that is to be expected, swing at your own risk of course. And you go into a quick preview of what you have to do to survive in the trees  taught by great instructors, and you go. You climb up, swing across, balance your way through to the final goal of zip lining through the tree tops.

I was pretty scared for the first course or two, and gained my confidence as the courses progressed. You have to make sure you are all hooked in or else falling to your doom, (I’m probably be a little dramatic but still the idea remains).  All in all it was so much fun and I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have a slight fear of heights.

It definitely makes me want to get out and find more ropes courses and things of the like, it was challenging and a great form of exercise while also fueling that adrenaline thrill; Go out there and Go Ape!

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TTFN! xox Gluten Free Prep (GFP)

A Plethora of Gluten Free Deliciousness!

It’s been a long time since I have done a post of my original reason for blogging, Gluten Free! It is something I have been embracing now since the Spring of 2011 so more than 2 years now!  I have experimented a lot but every so often I find a gem that absolutely must be shared! (as well we some delicious snacks I have found here lately!)

First as a delicious (BUT SPICY) snack, I thought it would be fun to try a gluten free twist on a jalapeño poppers. They turned out different but delicious! Not too many ingredients but the wraps were a little more difficult to locate.

Gluten-Free Jalapeño Poppers!

You will need:

– Jalapeños (1 per popper, so get as many as you intend to eat… I would recommend sharing they are hot, hot!)

– Cheese sticks!

– Rice paper (spring roll) wrappers (I found mine at the World Market section of Bed, Bath, & Beyond)

– canola or peanut oil

– 2 good sized sauce pans

Directions:

To prep: heat canola oil in one sauce pan, and water in the other:

1. Cut the ends off, slice in half longways, and gut the jalapeños.

2. Cut a cheese stick in 1/2 and put 1/2 of it in between the pieces of a jalapeño and place them back together

3. You will need to soften the rice wrappers in the hot waters for moments to be able to wrap the popper in it. Once you have done that you wrap up the jalapeño/cheese duo and drop it in the very hot oil.

4. You will roll the popper around until crispy (chop sticks work great for this!) and let dry on a paper towel.

5. The repeat!

**for extra crispiness I wrapped and fried them again.

Once complete – serve with ranch and enjoy!

*for original version and AWESOME pictures check out Ohbiteit.com*

 

Another dish that I experimented with this week was something you can’t really go wrong with whether you are gluten free or not… drum roll please:

Cheddar Bacon Chicken!

It was so easy, and SO delicious! I found the recipe of a great blog called Gluten Free in Utah, her site is great and full of wonderful tips! For example I did not even know Glutino carried a type of Pop-Tart, exciting!!

This took barely any prep and I could eat it for days, you will need:

– Chicken breasts

– Cheddar cheese

– Bacon

– Onions and bell peppers

– salt/pepper/garlic powder

Directions:
1. Cook up the bacon, I cooked up 1/2 a pack for 2 people and 2 chicken breasts

2. Once you have cooked the bacon, remove and let it cool and get crispy

3. Cook up the peppers and onions in the bacon grease, once those are tender put those aside

4. Then cook the chicken breasts in the rest of the bacon fat and juices from the veggies, you can season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and let that cook for a while until chicken is cooked through and tender

5. The in a greased pan lay the chicken down, top with the peppers, onions, bacon, and cheese. Then bake at 350 degrees until everything is melted.

Serve and enjoy!

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Well that is all for now! More to come soon about my recent tree top adventure and adventure plans for the fall!

TTFN XOX Gluten Free Prep #GFP

 

Polka Dots, the new stripes?

When I was growing up, lets say middle school, I LOVED polka dots, I thought they were the cutest thing! However, polka dots were not the most flattering on a girl turning into a lady and just starting to get curves but doesn’t know how to dress them. So needless to say polka dots faded out of my wardrobe slowly but surely as I became more aware of this lack of flattery.

However, a decade later and a little more grown up, polka dots have made it back on the scene. I have reinstated my obsession and slowly but surely acquiring more polka dot pieces. My favorite piece that I have added to my collection is this wonderful button up from Loft. It is just standard black and white but it goes with pretty much everything.

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Although I thought I may be alone at first in my re-aquired love for polka dots, I have gotten more compliments on this shirt that many more in my collection.  So thank goodness for this renewed love of the polka dot, and thank goodness that years later I supposedly can pull it off.

So next time! Mix it up, and swap those stripes for the stripes for some spots!

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(above photo J. Crew)

That’s all for now! More to come soon about some outdoor adventures and delicious gluten free goodies!

TTFN XOX Gluten Free Prep #GFP

From January through July, my oh my!

Well hello there friends and readers, if I have any of those left at this point. 😉 Hope you all have been achieving great things in your  lives and living exactly as you envision yourself doing so! It has been a while and I do apologize for my long absence; there has been A LOT of things going on…

Let’s take a flashback to my last post in January, “New year, New Everything!” there were three goals in there that I should have been keeping up with as the year of 2013 has progressed.

Goal 1: Get a full time job.

Goal 2: Keep Running.

Goal 3: Keep Blogging.

Well folks, if you count this blog as keep blogging you can count me in for 3/3! When I said there had been a lot of things going on I meant it!

As January progressed, I continued to dredge on in post grad life, searching for a full time job. So many applications, and resumes, and cover letters, I could have gone mad! Luckily, thanks to my roommate and pledge sister, I applied at, what has turned out to be an amazing company!  Wedding and event planning has always been one of my passions and will continue to be, it will always be something I want to pursue later in life; however as someone in need of a full time job and some great work experience you apply to things that you would do well in and hopefully enjoy as well. Luckily I discovered something exactly like that, I got a job at a custom t-shirt company called CustomInk! I started there in February and have been loving it ever since! Essentially I sell t-shirts for a living! It is a great, young, fun company with wonderful, unique individuals who make coming to work enjoyable every single day. And I mean it doesn’t get much more fun than t-shirts!

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Since the big step into the real world, I have also moved out on my own as well and moved into my own apartment, I have continue to run, and explore the world of gluten free living.  Although the adult world can be stressful, and at times, monotonous, exciting at others but it is rewarding non the less.

So a lot has been happening, work has been taking up a lot of my time. I am still spending my weekends exploring new places to run and hike. I will have to update everyone soon about my tree top adventures and how I am getting closer and closer to a half marathon all the time. Every mile worth it.

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So to continue on with my goals I need to get back into this blog! More to come that is for sure! I have been brainstorming some ideas of some great gluten free goodies to share, there are many adventures, festivals, wine tastings, and races to come. As well as a little bit of this and that in between.

Happy to be back, happy to be blogging. Keep your eye out for more to come from this… GlutenFreePrep. ❤ xox