Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

I'm excited that spring has finally started. Ever since we began our move from Florida to South Carolina, I've been drooling over garden magazines and websites. We're staying at our daughter's house until the closing of our own place in May, so anything I plant now will be in her yard. So far, I've added a couple of tomato plants, a bell pepper plant, and some marigolds. Once we're in our house, I hope to add quite a few annual flowers in both the front and backyard. I'll probably have a small vegetable and herb garden in the side yard.
Jusben/Morguefile.com

We also hope to take a few small trips before the summer heat starts to sizzle. Of course we'll go visit our other daughter and her family in North Carolina as much as they'll allow. We'd also like to go to Atlanta since my husband has family members there. He also gets frequent cravings for the Varsity. I'm not a fan of hot dogs, but I do like the frosted orange drinks.

Here's a list of some etiquette topics that you might want to read this spring:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tips for Gracious Living

Ever since I was a little girl, my parents insisted I follow proper etiquette - both at home and in public. My mother enrolled me in a variety of classes (children's charm classes, ballroom dancing, and a department store modeling program) to help me learn what she wasn't able to teach me.

My dad was in the Air Force, and it was essential that I know and follow protocol when we lived on base. My parents were also from the South, so I had an extra dose of daily etiquette lessons to follow so I could be a proper Southern Belle. And then when we moved to Japan, I had the opportunity to learn proper manners from a different culture.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Eating Out Gluten Free

I used to enjoy dining out, but not so much anymore. In fact, it has turned into more trouble than it's worth most of the time because I have eliminated almost all gluten from my diet. Although some restaurants have gluten-free menus at the host stand, some servers have to go to the back to look for one.

Here's a list of the restaurants I've found to be the most accommodating:

  • Olive Garden
  • Red Robin (delicious gluten-free hamburger buns)
  • Bonefish Grill
  • Applebee's
  • Wendy's (not a specific menu but a list of allergens)
  • Chili's
  • P.F. Chang's
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Boston Market
  • Carrabba's

If you are eating in a restaurant that doesn't offer a gluten-free menu or guide, try putting together your own gluten-free meal with these tips:

  • Meat, produce, and dairy are naturally gluten-free.
  • Avoid processed foods because many of them have fillers with gluten.
  • Don't touch the breads, cakes, or pies.
  • You can have ice cream for dessert, but make sure it's one that doesn't have ingredients with gluten (cookie dough ice cream).