Luckily for you, it's not possible for my vocal rendition of this Julie Andrews classic to be heard through cyber space...but I guarantee that you are now humming the song on your own at this moment...when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling saaaaadddddd...Sorry, but it doesn't take much to suddenly be transformed to the hills of Austria, now does it? This song got me thinking about all the little wonders of the world that have become a few of MY favorite things, and as a Celiac who spends many hours of my life researching everything under the sun that I can and cannot consume or use (as a product), I decided to be ever-so-kind and share some of these simple treasures with you, my oh-so-dedicated readers! Haaa The handful that I have...you know who you are!
One favorite thing of mine...this lovely tree in my backyard. There's a long story behind this sweet Pluot fruit tree (which has yet to produce any fruit, mind you!) that's heart-felt, but I'm keeping it to myself for now. When I walked out to my backyard yesterday I was stopped in my tracks by these beautiful new blooms that had suddenly appeared...transformed from tiny green buds to these little, white, delicate beauties with the tiniest yellow pods inside. So I suppose that spring is here even though the foothills of northern Nevada are still receiving a light dusting of the white stuff over these past few days.
Knowing for some time that I wanted to write this specific Blog entry, I compiled a list of all kinds of goodies that have enhanced my gluten-free lifestyle and are hopefully preserving my youthfulness in some way, shape or form! Geez...they ought to! A fact that most non-Celiacs do not realize is that WE pay a premium for the "special" products that we enjoy because of their non-gluten containing ingredients...but that's okay - we are all worth it, right?!
So every lotion-loving person is going to thoroughly enjoy these body products made by Gluten-Free Savonnerie™...I found this company a few years ago and have been hooked on their lotions, foaming soaps and body oils and let me tell you, any product that helps produce more moisture for my skin while living in this desert climate, is a huge bonus in my book. Plus, it's great to support a small mom-n-pop business, such as this one. Give them a try and I'm sure you'll be hooked too.
In my never-ending quest to find products that continuously give moisture back to the skin...as my best pal in Australia would say, I have also become a giant fan of anything...well, almost anything from Kiehl's of New York. I only say "almost anything" due to the fact that some of their lovely products do contain certain gluten-type ingredients such as wheat-germ, oat kernal flour and triticum vulgare. For some Celiacs simply using products with any gluten can cause the skin to break out in a rash - I happen to be one of those lucky people, so I'm very careful with the body-lotions that I will put on my skin - it's just not worth it otherwise.
Tapping into my love of Italy and all things Italian, I found a most-excellent and fairly unheard of line of cosmetics, Erbe Dermocosmetica, that are molto bene and all made of the purest and most organic blends and ingredients that are safe for Celiacs. ERBE products are completely free of: mineral oils, animal substances, synthetic fragrances, wax, colorants or dyes. Nothing is tested on animals, either. The only catch is that this stuff is pretty tough to find...you can order it through PURE in either Sun Valley, ID or Jackson Hole, WY or visit the website and flagship store in New York City.
And along similar lines, my last tip on a wonderful and well-researched product would be a line called SUNDÃRI. Founded by a former high school classmate of mine, otherwise known as Christy Turlington, (yeah, the Supermodel, folks) she and two other gals dedicated to the practice of Yoga, the Ayurvedic principles and way of life, created an amazing line of products that are not only restorative and plentiful, but full of all kinds of amazing ingredients indigenous to India. I LOVE this stuff and have used it for over three years now.
Switching gears back to food and this side of the globe, I was introduced by my lovely Aunt to a wonderful bean company named Rancho Gordo...that's right, fresh old-fashioned Heirloom beans grown in the gorgeous Napa Valley, or just over the hill, as I like to say. These beans are amazing and so pretty...seriously. I first learned of them while visiting my Aunt in Seattle last month and then had to pick some up for myself at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. After diving my hand into the giant bowl of beans that Rancho Gordo had displayed on their market table for all the curious, wanna-be bean cookers, I was convinced that these were the coolest and prettiest beans I had ever seen...who wants to cook and eat these, but rather they should be displayed in a vase,, on a table with just the right light shining down upon them to display the sheen and color of each little bean...okay, I am sounding a little crazy now, but check out their web site and see for yourself. Better yet, visit their booth at the SF market and play with the beans too!
I picked up a couple packages of the beautiful Flageolet white beans, perfect for a beige, winter-type soup that my Aunt so graciously taught me how to make, along with buying some of the Cranberry Cargamanio. I can't wait to create a light,spring soup that will hopefully do these little beauties justice. Check back later and I'll post a recipe for both of these beans. Here's a look at my first pot of Flageolet soup ~
So the next time that the dog bites or the bee stings or you're feeling sad, simply remember some of my favorite things, and then you won't feel so bad!
Gluten-free abundance to you and yours~