Friday, December 28, 2012

Udi's Gluten Free Product Review



 
 
Years ago, I didn't really even know what gluten was and only knew it as an imaginary/invisible ingredient in some foods, primarily breads. As a child I remember that my grandfather had an allergy to it as well (celiac disease-I later came to find out), and whenever we would visit them, the menu consisted of breadless meatloaf and other seemingly bland side dishes. That's pretty much the extent of my gluten knowledge, until recently. Hubby and I have been trying to stick to the Paleo (Caveman) diet for almost a full year now, and breads are not a part of our daily routine. I do miss them occasionally and will splurge about one meal per month to get my "fix" haha. As you will see in some of my past recipe posts, I haven't completely given up breads. However, after doing a little more research on gluten and what it REALLY is, I found some very useful information about it, and will more than likely adapt to a new gluten-free lifestyle.
 
"Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. Most of us unknowingly love it, because gluten gives our favorite foods that special touch: It makes pizza dough stretchy, gives bread its spongy texture, and is used to thicken sauces and soups." www.womenshealthmag.com
You're probably thinking...how can I give that up? I love pizza!!! Those were my exact thoughts as well. Keep reading and you will be surprised.
 
Upon further research, I realized that a gluten free lifestyle can also give you this...."increased energy, thinner thighs, and reduced belly bloat." Don't we all want this? Especially after having a baby, it sounded great to me!
 
So I gave it a shot and then discovered Udi's. I was given an awesome opportunity to review some of their gluten free products and fell in love! As soon as my box came I had my eye on those snicker doodle cookies...TO DIE FOR! I couldn't believe how soft and chewy they were! And no gluten?! The ingredient that is "supposed" to give it that texture? Udi's has found a way to give you that great texture you crave, while keeping the gluten out! Needless to say, the cookies were gone within two days (between me, hubby, and my one year old of course).
 
 
After the cookies were gone, we moved onto the muffins. I have to be honest with you...I was skeptical. Double chocolate chip muffins should not be tampered with. Udi's proved me wrong once again. They were very moist and tasty, the perfect dessert or breakfast item on the go. My one year old's opinions need no words...the proof is in the picture. She picked up every last little crumb until her tray was completely clean! The hardest critics (kids) were easily pleased by Udi's products. That's a plus in my book any day of the week!



The gluten-free granola is perfect to throw in your yogurt or in a batch of homemade gluten-free cookies (future recipe to come!). I found this product to be very versatile!

I haven't tried the pizza crust yet but once I do, I will be sharing that recipe with you as well. Thanks again Udi's for allowing me the opportunity to try your products, and for opening my eyes to a new lifestyle!

Happy Kraftin!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Newtown, CT Fundraiser and Donations

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful time relaxing with family, friends, and loved ones. I know my family and I certainly have so much to be thankful for this year! We are feeling the love from all around and appreciate all that God has given to us throughout the year. From the success of opening my new business, to watching our precious miracle daughter turn one, and being reunited with our family from across the country...we continue to count our blessings as they come! Appreciation and gratitude are the "words on the street" as they'd say on my daughter's favorite TV show (Sesame Street).

After hearing about the devastation from Newtown, CT I can't even imagine the kind of Christmas those families are having. My condolences are sent through prayer everyday. It's tragic enough that it even happened at all, let alone days before Christmas. My heart just aches and my mind has been scrambling for what I can do to help, and I know many of you have probably been experiencing similar thoughts. Nothing will heal their broken hearts right now. I can only imagine how many resources it will take to rebuild the hope in that community. What I have decided to do for this week, is donate 100% of Unique & Chic Creation's profits to the families affected by the Sandy Hook massacre. Every little bit can help.

If any of you have had your eye on items from Unique & Chic Creations, now's the perfect time to make your selections. Your generosity will supplement the costs needed to rebuild that community. Here are just a few things my shop has to offer.

Acrylic Monarch Butterfly with Multi-Sized Canvases (ON SALE)
Acrylic Painting with Warm Colors

 
Tulle Tutu Wreath with Initial



 
 
 
Diaper Bikes and Motorcycles for Baby Showers
 
Personalized Modern Subway Art Birth Announcement
 
Tulle Tutu Wreath with Initial
 
 
 
 
 
Family Painting in colors of your choice
 
Hand Painted and Personalized Nursery Letters
 
 
However, if you are not interested in purchasing a product from Unique & Chic Creations, but would still like to donate, I have selected two agencies to include in this post where you can do this. The United Way of Western Connecticut in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank has created the 'Sandy Hook School Support Fund' that will be able to provide support services to the families and community that has been affected. Below is a direct link to make donations in any dollar amount of your choice. You can make the donation online or there is a physical address to send a check. Follow this link to make an online donation:

 
Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470

The other agency is called Newtown Youth and Family Services. They receive their funding for their programs by The United Way of Western Connecticut, which is the agency that I included above. Either way, these families will benefit from your assistance. This is a direct link to donate with PayPal, as well as a physical address to mail donations.
 
 
Newtown Youth & Family Services
15 Berkshire Rd.
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
 
 
So, as I sit and reflect about all of the blessings I have been given this year, I have come to the realization that I can help make an impact in some way....it may not be much, but with your help, we can do something great for our neighbors to the north. MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK! Thanks for your consideration. If you are interested in making a purchase from Unique & Chic Creations, please head here www.kraftinmommy.etsy.com or send me an email here uniqueandchic.creations@gmail.com and I'd be glad to work with you! Thanks!
 
 
Happy Kraftin!
 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Shabby Chic Rosette Headband Giveaway

To celebrate reaching 300 followers on my Facebook fan page AND my blog, I decided to celebrate with a giveaway of one of my favorite accessories from my shop: the shabby chic rosette headband. These are becoming a must have for photo shoots these days! (As you will see we have used two types for our own photo shoots!)

This headband is for size 6-18 months. Here are some of the examples I offer. If selected, you can choose from light pink, watermelon pink, cream, white, baby blue, red, and green roses, and any color ribbon rosette to accompany the set. Headband choices are black, white, red, and light pink.

Unique-and-chic-creations-shabby-chic-christmas-headband
Shabby Chic Christmas Headband
unique-and-chic-creations-headband
Lime Green, Purple, Black/White, and Orange Halloween Ribbon Rosette Headband

unique-and-chic-creations-headband


unique-and-chic-creations-headband

Fill out as many entries as you'd like in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck and thanks for helping me reach 300! Another giveaway to come when I see 400. :) Since you are in the giveaway spirit, don't forget to head over to Ashley Brooke's blog to enter her Merry and Bright Giveaway! You can do that here.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Kraftin!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things....

Is it weird that I remember where every ornament came from and who got it for me? I really love that feeling when I decorate the tree every year. Each ornament tells a story about a time in my life, and it brings me back to that moment. (or maybe my long term memory is way too good for some peculiar reason). Just wanted to share a little holiday cheer with all of you.










These are a few of my favorite ones. Which one do you like? Tell me about an ornament that you will never forget. I would love to hear the meaning behind it!

Happy Kraftin!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ashley Brooke's Merry and Bright $50 make up giveaway

Who doesn't love free make up? Click the button to enter and win $50 worth of beauty product! My super sweet sister-in-law, Ashley, is graciously hosting. Stop in today...it's running until January 4. She's giving away some of her FAVORITE makeup items, including two limited edition Wet-N-Wild eyeshadow palettes, a NYX Doll Eye Mascara in Extreme Jet Black, a NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss in Pink Rose, and a NYX Glide On Slide On Eyeliner in Brown Perfection.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Peace and Healing for the state of CT and the Nation

Wow...I don't even know where to start. When I heard about the CT elementary school massacre, my heart just instantly sank. I can't even comprehend what has happened and WHY??!!! A multitude of mixed emotions are racing through many peoples' minds I am sure. I was going to write about something festive and jolly, but I just couldn't....I need to give my respect to the families, faculty/staff, Connecticut, and the whole country. Hold your children a little longer tonight and please pray for peace on earth and good will towards everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Influenster Cosmo VoxBox 2012

Have any of you ever heard of Influenster? I just recently found them, and I sure am glad I did! In a nutshell they are "an exclusive online community where tastemakers and trendsetters (such as yourself) come to share the latest and greatest news, places, products, and reviews with each other." Look what the awesome crew of Influenster sent me to test and review! Who doesn't like free stuff?! Check them out here to see if you'd make a good candidate for reviews. Can't wait to try it all and share my findings. (Especially that decadent looking bar of chocolate that I will probably need to hide from hubby)


Happy Kraftin! (and testing)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Vintage Shabby Chic Birthday Party

So the time came and went faster than I ever imagined. Everyone always said it'd fly by. I thought, "ya, ya, I know." Now I do know. The anticipation of having her seemed to take FOREVER. Now that she's here, I all want is for time to slow down! Funny how that works.


My little "Lele Bug" just turned ONE at the end of November (few days shy of KraftinMommy's bday)! Choosing the theme of her birthday party was an arduous task! Everything had to be perfect. That's what every mom hopes for the first birthday party right?! After weeks of researching on pinterest and etsy, I had finally decided. What better than something that really describes her personality: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice!


I have really been inspired by the shabby chic and vintage look that is making its way back into party decorations. I was never a huge fan of commercialized decor that you find at party stores. I think the handmade stuff just looks way cuter!

The tulle tutu wreath, ribbon wreath, and fabric banners were three of my favorite items from the party. (Those can be purchased in my etsy shop if you're needing a Unique & Chic touch for your child's next big event).








Candy bars and/or dessert tables are also huge must-haves for the modern party. Not only are they full of decadent treats for your guests to enjoy, but they can also be utilized to display your thematic decor. Since our theme was "Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice" I wanted a sugar table, where all of the sweet treats could be found; a spice table, where our spicy appetizers and finger foods were located; and an everything nice table, aka the presents!! I made a banner to label each area.


Party Favors: Double Chocolate Chip Brownie Recipe in Mason Jars


My famous cream cheese pumpkin rolls (see previous post for recipe)


Sugar!


I have to say I am very proud of the cake I made! It was my first attempt! Watched a few tutorials on how to make the roses.



Spicy Appetizers......yummmmm!

We saved an invitation to frame and have displayed on the dessert table.


I hung pictures from a recent family photo shoot on a spray painted tree limb for an added level of cuteness!


Hand painted letters (these are also available for purchase in my etsy shop).


Photos on fishing line in front of an old window (pinterest inspired!)



Lele Bug had her own mini rose cake and fabric banner.
Everyone had a great time and we are so thankful for all the friends and family that came and helped make this a memorable day for Lele Bug! Now....time to start planning her 2nd birthday party! (If Hubby only knew....waaa haaa haaa)

Happy Kraftin!
Yes, you are seeing that correctly....vertical layers!!!!