2019 - Simply Samantha
gluten free

Traveling, Gluten Free, and how to not lose your mind

9:32 AM

Y'all, traveling can be a bit much right? I personally love traveling but that doesn't mean it is any less anxiety-causing for me.

Cause y'all know what happens. All the news stories leading up to your trip start with "PLANE CRASHES" or "SECURITY SCARE DELAYS FLIGHTS".  Not the best things to see before you embark on a trip of your own. Add in allergies and you just increase your stress level to a 10... am I right? 

I'm not going to sit here and type out a post like I'm some nomad that knows what it's like to travel the globe. 
I am just sharing what I've learned from my very few experiences and hope that maybe some little bit helps you. 
However, I'd like to state I am a firm believer that everyone should travel in a way that works for them. Especially when it comes to traveling with food preferences/allergies/intolerances, everyone is going to travel differently.
Just don't be a jerk when you travel, no one wants you to be that. ;) 
Traveling, Gluten Free, and how to not lose your mind

Keep your body in Tip-Top Shape
I think the best way to prepare for travel is to prepare your body for travel and continue to keep it up while you travel. Germs are EVERYWHERE. While I'm not a HUGE germaphobe, I do think the one time in your life where you need to be is when you travel. 

  • Take some immune boosting supplements (such as elderberry) to fight off germs.
  • Pack hand sanitizer and use it like its going out of style.
  • Bring an extra pillowcase just in case the hotel one looks scetch-mago 🤭 
  • Bring an empty water bottle and keep it with you at all times to stay hydrated.
  • Try NOT to stress as this will compromise everything above and lead to sickness. 

#GLUTENFREEISLIFE
Here is the deal Y'all, I know how STRESSFUL eating outside your house can be when you are gluten-free (or insert other food allergies/intolerance here).
If you are traveling overseas, know that the many food systems in countries abroad are 10x better in the U.S. You will eat better, feel better, and won't get looked at funny when ordering the allergen menu. By all means, plan some cool places to eat, but don't do so that it ruins your trip because you are stressed about eating. Bring snacks, hit up the local grocery stores, and (as stupid as this sounds) just hope for the best. 🤞🏻

Travel in Comfort
This is pretty much a no brainer. As much as the old soul in me liked the idea that at one time Americans dressed up to travel, the lazy girl in me likes the idea of throwing on my Adidas and favorite F21 leggings. So, travel in what makes you feel comfy and good.

All in All, just relax
This is definitely easier said than done. This is coming from the over-thinking QUEEN. But when it comes down to it I can pinpoint all my travel meltdowns to my over-thinking, nervous tendency.
I've found having those little things that can help calm you relax. Mine is always a book. Give me a book, stick some headphones in my ears, and my blood pressure should lower ;) But find that one thing that can help distract you from the travel, relax you, and everything should be alright. 

eco-friendly

Love It | Shop

9:00 AM


I share a lot of things here on the blog and socials so I thought it was about time to condense it into a place on the blog where you can find products that I've shared and get them for yourself.

As of right now, none of these links are affiliate. However, as my blog grows, some may become affiliate.

I tried my best to link to the best prices available. But shop around. Healthy living isn't cheap so shop around, shop wholesale or at stores like TJ Maxx and Homegoods to find some of these products too.


Bath + Body


Everyone Lavender and Aloe 3-in-1 Soap

Earth Therapeutics Natural Hydro Body Sponge



 Face/Make Up

Burt's Bees BB Cream with SPF 15 Light-Med
Burt's Bees BB Cream with SPF 15 Light-Med


Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser


Ecotools Start The Day Beautifully Kit Makeup Brush Set
EcoTools Makeup Brushes

Hair



Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo
Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo 

Avalon Organics Shampoo Clarifying Lemon


Giovanni 2chic® Repairing Shampoo with Blackberry & Coconut Milk
Giovanni Repairing Shampoo
with Blackberry and Coconut Milk




Image result for teleties
Teleties 

Giovanni 2chic® Ultra-Volume Big Body Hair Spray Tangerine & Papaya Butter


Home



Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless
 Vacuum One Size Fits All Blue
(great if you live in a small home)


 ZipTuck Storage Bags from Full Circle


Dish Brush




Full Circle ZipTuck Travel Set


Art Naturals Bluetoothâ„¢ Oil Diffuser
Art Naturals Bluetooth Diffuser

Clothes
product
Old Navy Luxe Soft Tops 
(I swear by these!) 

Dog
Ark Naturals Brushless Dog Toothpaste, Large 18 oz Pouch
Ark Naturals Brushless Dog toothpaste 


For the Man
Andalou Naturals MEN Fortifying Shampoo plus Conditioner 3 in 1
Andalou Naturals Men Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner

Laundry + Cleaning

Earth Friendly Ecos® Floor Cleaner

Earth Friendly Ecos Floor Cleaner 
Earth Friendly Ecos® Laundry Detergent Magnolia & Lily
Earth Friendly Ecos Magnolia + Lilly 
(a staple in our house, I buy this monthly!)


Swiffer WetJet Compatible, Microfiber Mop Pads by Easily Greener, Reusable Refills for Wet Jet, 2 Count
Swiffer WetJet Compatible, Microfiber Mop Pads 


Travel


Food | Cooking | Baking





Bob's Red Mill

French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

1:41 PM

Y'all, its no surprise at this point that I love a good cupcake. And while I'm very open that they are never made from scratch (striving for basic here 🙋🏻), I always like finding a way to spruce up those bland vanilla cupcakes with unique new flavors!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream
Some cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla make up the cake part of this cupcake. Topped with my super simple buttercream that is infused with maple will have you wanting more!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream
Gluten Free, Dairy Free French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream
They are the perfect sweet treat for Valentine's Day! 





print recipe

French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream
Ingredients
  • 1 Bag or Box of Gluten Free (vanilla) cake mix of your choice*
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup room temperature (about 2 sticks) Earth Balance Butter Sticks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Maple Extract
  • Instructions
    Make cupcakes according to box and add in the cinnamon,nutmeg,and (1tsp) of vanilla extract.While cupcakes are baking, make buttercream In a mixer, blend butter and slowly add in powdered sugar. Once blended add in vanilla and maple and mix more until smooth.Once the cupcakes are cooled, decorate your cupcakes as you'd like and sprinkle the buttercream with some brown sugar (optional)
    Details
    Prep time: Cook time:30minsTotal time: Yield: 18 cupcakes Servings

*I use Bobs Red Mill Cake Mix for the cupcakes
Gluten Free, Dairy Free French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

dairy free

Fiesta Spinach Dip

9:00 AM

Mexican flavor with the creamy texture of a spinach dip? 
Give me the whole bowl, please! 
Fiesta Spinach Dip - SuperBowl Party  Food, Gluten Free, Vegan - no nuts or tofu
With those Superbowl parties coming up, I'm here to make your life easier and give you an option to whip up a dip that will make people at your party happy and those with food allergies/preferences even happier!
Fiesta Spinach Dip - SuperBowl Party  Food, Gluten Free, Vegan - no nuts or tofu
 Fiesta Spinach Dip - SuperBowl Party  Food, Gluten Free, Vegan - no nuts or tofu



print recipe

Fiesta Spinach Dip
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Container of Spinach (about 3 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Dairy Free Cream Cheese
  • 1 can (about 10 oz) MILD Rotel Diced Tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1/2 Package (about 6oz) Dairy Free Mexican or Cheddar Cheese*
  • 1 TBLS Diced Jalapeno, minced (less if not a fan)
  • 5 TBLS + 1 tsp Dairy Free Sour Cream
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
Instructions
In a medium to large serving bowl, mix together everything. Taste the dip and add more spices if need be. Place it in a 1 - 1.5qrt dish and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until mixture is bubbly.Serve with your favorite tortilla chips
Details
Prep time: Cook time:30minsTotal time: Yield: 8 Servings

Notes
*Fresh Spinach is what you want to use - you can add more than 3oz if you'd like
*The recipe itself makes about a 1.5qt sized dip. If you need it for a large party, I suggest doubling the recipe.
*My husband said that it could be spicier. With that said, I suggest instead of using mild diced tomatoes, use hot. Or use some hot sauce in the recipe to your taste.
*The Dairy-Free Cream Cheese I used was Kite Hill, Sour Cream was Wayfair, and Cheese was the Mexcian blend from Daiya (as always, if you aren't dairy free/vegan you can sub out these for regular cheese products)
*I think I used more cumin and chili powder in my recipe so feel free to add more to yours as well.

I hope this makes for a great addition to your SuperBowl party! 
Or just a party in general!

dairy free

Super Easy, Party Pleasing, Avocado Dip

9:24 AM

Y'all I'm gonna keep this short and sweet. 
You need to put this on your SuperBowl Party "to make" list.
Actually, you don't need a party to enjoy this dip. Make it for yourself and enjoy!
Super Easy, Party Pleasing, Avocado Dip. Vegan and Gluten Free
This recipe is vegan as long as you can get a hold of some good vegan feta. 
Vio Life is what I use and it worked amazingly. My dad loves feta cheese and he was super into this dip. You can eat it as is or throw it over a nice bed of lettuce.
Super Easy, Party Pleasing, Avocado Dip. Vegan and Gluten Free

It's super easy to make an only requires a TAD bit of prep.



print recipe

Super Easy, Party Pleasing, Avocado Dip
Ingredients
  • 2-3 Avocados, diced
  • 1 Pint Cherry or Grape Tomatos, qaurtered
  • 6-8oz Vegan Feta*
  • 1 TBLS dried parsley
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1.5 TBLS Red Wine Vinigar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
Instructions
In a medium to large serving bowl, mix together everything EXCEPT the avocado.Let the the mixture marinate in the fridge for at least an hour and half. After that or when your read to serve, add in your avacado. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips
Details
Prep time: Cook time: N/A Total time: Yield: 8Servings

*I assume you could make your own vegan feta with tofu but I'm not sure how it would taste, so your best bet is to try to find some already made vegan feta. 
Obviously if you are not vegan you can just put regular feta in this dish.
Super Easy, Party Pleasing, Avocado Dip. Vegan and Gluten Free

chicken

Gluten and Dairy Free Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

9:00 AM

I love a good hearty chili on those cool crisp southern winter days. Especially on a Sunday with football on in the background and a warm dish cooking up in the crockpot *instantly feels all warm and cozy*

I've made this recipe a couple times over this Florida fall/winter season. Each time finding what works and does not work. So know this recipe is best if you follow the directions below exactly.


It's become a favorite of the husbands as it's a nice break from my bean chili. Which is also very good but in his words, "it needs meat" 🙄
Just a few simple ingredients blend well together in this protein filled set and forget a meal!





print recipe

Gluten and Dairy Free Crock Pot White Chicken Chili
Ingredients
  • 1.5-2lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs*
  • 3 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained*
  • 2 8oz cans Mild Diced Green Chilies
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon White (or regular black) Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (or any other dairy free milk)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
In a large crockpot, put in all your ingredients EXCEPT the corn starch and water.Cook on high for 5-6 hours till the chicken thighs are cooked through and soft After the 5-6 hours, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon/ladle and place on a cutting board to shredBEFORE putting the chicken back into the crockpot, determine if you would like the soup to be thicker.If you would like it to be thicker, mix the cornstarch and water together and add it to the crockpot. Then place the chicken back into the crockpot and let it cook for another 20-30 minutes.After that time, you can use an immersion blender to blend the soup a tad, don't blend too much or you will lose your beans. Serve with your favorite chili toppings such as tortilla chips or dairy free sour cream!
Details
Prep time: Cook time:6hours Total time: Yield: 6- 8Servings

*Chicken Thighs really work the best. I've used Chicken Breast but they tend to be on the dry side and don't compliment the soup well.
*Northern Beans do work the best, but if you can't find them White Kidney beans will work as well,

2019

FREE Printable Floral Calendar For 2019

9:00 AM

I absolutely love getting emails from the lovely people over at FTD every December. They are so kind as to reach out and send me a preview of their new printable calendar for the new year.

The beginning of the year is a time to reflect on your past year and set your priorities for the upcoming one.
Whether you’d like to focus on eating healthier by trying some vegan recipes or you’d like to get ahead in your career, having designated checkpoints will help your goals become a reality. To help you plan for your 2019 goals, FTD has free floral printable calendars. Simply download the full page printouts (8.5″ x 11″) to hang on your wall or a desktop version (11″ x 17″) that can be folded into an upright calendar and placed in your workspace!

FREE printable 2019 calendar  
 FREE printable 2019 calendar

LINK TO PRINT

If you didn't catch last years post I highlighted some of my favorites essentials for meal planning which, in my opinion, is SO crucial to living a healthy lifestyle.

One of those essential tidbits were these calendars. I use them to write out my meals from week to week. They are the PERFECT size for doing so and they also look nice a pretty up on the fridge.


Go ahead and enjoy these amazing printouts! 
What are you going to use yours for? Meal Planning? Goals?
Maybe just to keep your days straight?😆

Let me know in the comments below!  

PIN for later 
FREE Printable Floral Calendar For 2019

*Disclosure... FTD did not pay me for this post. They only provided some of the content you see above in exchange for this post.
I was in no way compensated for this post 

allergy friendly

Hello..It's me

9:00 AM

Hello!
I am here. I am alive. And I am ready to dive back into this wonderful internet world.
If you're new, Hello! My name is Samantha!

If your a loyal reader, welcome back!

Where have I been these last 3 months?
Well...

About Simply Samantha
I'm a graduate!
I threw myself head first into my final college semester over the last 3 months and unfortunately had to put blogging/social media life on the back burner.

But I'm back!

For those that are new here (and even those that have been here before) I want to take this opportunity to introduce (or reintroduce) myself!

First, My name is Samantha. I'm a twenty-something southern introvert. I live the lovely Sunshine state with my husband and our handsome Rhodesian/Shepard Bruno. We are the happiest snuggled up at home with our pup or traveling the Irish countryside.
About Simply Samantha

About Simply Samantha

I've been blogging for many years now. At first, it was a place for me to share my young ideas and thoughts. However, as I got older and health issues ensued, my blogging became a place to document my new findings as I live a healthier/greener lifestyle.

You can find out more about me here and here

My passion/career is social media. While its overwhelming for many, I've found I thrive in it. I focused my entire college career in it. Social Media is an ever growing and evolving field and I love that I'm constantly learning new things. I think a good social media manager is always open to learning new things that can future help themselves and their clients.

Check out my Social Media services here

So this blog seems mostly about food... what's with that?
Long story short, I've been gluten-free for about 5 years and dairy free for about 2 and 1/2 years.
As many with food allergies/sensitivities know, sometimes finding recipes that fit your food allergies can be hard and difficult. I love to create and share recipes that are easy, tasty, and gluten-free. Food makes everyone happy, so why not share recipes that might make someone's life easier and filled with less gluten 😉

That pretty sums it up! While I love social media and food, I love a lot of other things as well.
(In no particular order) Coffee, Bravo TV, reading, TJ Maxx, monograms, sweet tea, and Star Wars.

That's the end of my ramble. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around waiting for my return and if you're new, thank you for tunning in and hopefully staying tuned in this new years!

About Simply Samantha