Travel Essentials for Summer

travel essentials for summer

Travel Essentials for Summer

Travel is a big part of summer, and it’s a big part of my blog! Some of my travel posts are doing quite well on Pinterest right now, and I’d like share some more tips with you. Today I am going to be talking about travel essentials. When it comes to travel, I try to stick to a minimalist packing list. I don’t like carrying a lot of stuff with me.

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Baiji Water Bottle Review

Baiji water bottle review

Last April, I bought two Baiji Water Bottles on Amazon for our trip to Hawaii. I had the intention of writing a review on the water bottles but it got put on the back burner. Well, after 6 months of not writing a review, here it is!

I took one of these water bottles to the gym the other day and realized that I needed to do a review. All opinions are my own, I bought the Baiji water bottles on Amazon for full price.

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How to save for a vacation | Prioritizing to make travel a reality

How to save for a vacation

My family gets a lot of comments about our travel habits. Most of them are positive, but a few are more along the lines of “I can’t believe you got to go to Hawaii” or “I wish I had the money to blow on vacations like you do” We don’t travel as frequently as some (I wish!) but we are still asked how we are able to afford to do the traveling that we do. The answer is surprisingly simple. Priorities.

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5 best things to do in Branson for families

5 best things to do in Branson for families

I used to call Branson home, but it is also a very popular vacation destination. I didn’t realize just how popular Branson is until I lived there. I have had friends from all over the country tell me that they see commercials for Branson all the time. Families travel from all over the country (and sometimes other countries!) to see what this small, Missouri town has to offer.

Branson is a reasonably affordable place to stay, with accommodations ranging from simple hotels to very nice vacation resorts. It’s central location makes it drive-able from many states and easy to access from everywhere else thanks to it’s small airport. Branson has a lot to offer, and it can get overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start. These are, in my opinion, the 5 best things to do in Branson for families, in no particular order!

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Where to stay on the Big Island | 5 reasons to choose a vacation rental condo

5 reasons to stay in a vacation rental condo | Where to stay on the Big Island

If you’re traveling to Hawaii and wondering where to stay on the Big Island, I have a great recommendation for you! The first time I went to Hawaii, we stayed with family. The second time I stayed at a resort, and this last time we stayed in a vacation rental condo with an extra day at a regular hotel.

Assuming that you don’t have the option to stay with family, which of the 3 options of where to stay on the Big Island is the best? I choose a vacation rental condo, hands down! Keep reading to find out why the vacation rental condo is my first choice of where to stay on the Big Island.

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What I’m packing for Hawaii

what I'm packing for Hawaii

I usually post on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but this week I am adding an additional Friday post because we are leaving for Hawaii today! So, what am I packing for Hawaii? In two words: not much.

I am not a travel expert, but I do know that packing less = less hassle and no checked bag fees. I like saving money! $35 to check a bag seems pretty crazy, and it’s a huge hassle if you have to change planes. We do have to change planes, twice. My husband and I are each taking one bag as a carry on. I could have taken a bigger bag since mine could technically be considered a personal item, but I decided not to since everything that I needed already fit. This is my third trip to the Big Island, but my husbands first. We are both very excited! So,what am I packing for Hawaii? Keep reading!

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HuHot Gluten Free Menu | My Favorite Allergy Friendly Restaurant

HuHot Gluten Free Options | My Favorite restaurant for delicious food without all the gluten

HuHot Mongolian Grill has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. After discovering that I had Celiac disease, I was very happy to discover that there were many HuHot gluten free options!

I recently visited a HuHot in Tulsa, Oklahoma and realized that they have done a huge overhaul on their menu. Now, all of the “signature sauces” are gluten free. This is an amazing update for two reasons! First, those of us who have celiac or gluten sensitives/allergies can now have all of the delicious sauces. Second, the risk for cross-contamination has gone down substantially. I e-mailed the company and received a very prompt response that all signature sauces are now gluten free at all locations.

While HuHot gluten free options are abundant, it is important to note that HuHot is not a completely gluten free restaurant. I think that this is a good thing, because you can go out with your non-allergy friends, and they don’t have to feel like they’re missing out at all.

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Gluten Free Restaurants in Oklahoma City

Gluten Free Restaurants in Oklahoma City | My findings from a weekend in OKC.

Gluten Free Restaurants in Oklahoma City

This past weekend, we took a last-minute trip to Oklahoma City. I tried to search for gluten free restaurants in Oklahoma City on Pinterest and had little luck. Fortunately I was able to find several places, and I am happy to share them here! I will do another blog post about our trip, because Oklahoma City was so different than what I expected. It is only a 5 hour drive for us and we’ve never been there together. I have only driven through once (back in 1995, I wasn’t driving) and Brandon had never been there. The city is bigger than we realized, and it’s such a nice city to visit.

Since it’s such a large city, you do have all the usual chain restaurants with gluten-free menus.  A few that I noticed while driving through were Chili’s, Applebees, and PF Changs. We only spend one weekend in Oklahoma City, so this is certainly not an extensive list of restaurants with gluten free options. These are the restaurants that we visited during our stay.

HuHot Mongolian Grill

There are 4 HuHot locations in Missouri. We have been to all of them. We love HuHot because it’s one of the few places where I can eat and not worry much about gluten contamination. The restaurant in Springfield, Missouri is particularly aware of allergy issues. Their menu items have allergy labels and the staff seems very aware of allergy issues. Oklahoma City HuHot was a little different, but they did bring me a special colored bowl so that the chefs would know that I couldn’t have gluten. They also cleaned the grill before I got up there. At the other HuHot locations we have always had to wait and tell the Chefs whenever we got to the grill, but in this case the server did it for us. Overall the experience with this HuHot location was pretty good! Make sure to check out my thoughts on the HuHot Gluten free menu while you’re at it! I do wish that more locations used the “special” allergy bowls and alerted the Chefs beforehand, I always feel like such a pain having to tell them to clean a special spot on the grill.

KD’s Bricktowngluten free restaurants in Oklahoma City | KD's gluten free menu

Brandon talked about this restaurant while we were driving to Oklahoma City. I was worried that their wouldn’t be anything that I could eat (Southern cuisine = everything breaded and fried) but I said that we should go anyway. I asked for a gluten free menu, and they had one! I had the Thundersticks (grilled chicken skewers) with sweet and tangy sauce. The “sweet and tangy” sauce was spicier than I expected but so good! I couldn’t find the gluten free menu online, but I took a picture of it at the restaurant! We went to eat lunch on a day where the Thunder was playing the Cavaliers (we went to that too!), so the restaurant was PACKED! I know absolutely nothing about basketball, but the restaurant was still a very cool place to eat. Brandon had a chicken sandwich with fries (huge plate) and he said it was really good too. The chicken skewers were technically an appetizer, but they were enough food for me. There were several gluten free sides if chicken doesn’t sound like enough food.


Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

There are several Fuzzy’s Taco shop locations in Missouri, but we had never been to one. There was a long line, so we figured it had to be good! We originally were just going to get a margarita, but the line was so long that we were hungry by the time we got ready to order. They didn’t have a gluten free menu at the restaurant but I was able to find one online today. I had the bean and cheese nachos and unfortunately I got SICK. I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t eaten hardly any beans, cheese, or corn lately due to starting the Whole 30. Since I had messed up the Whole 30 several times, I decided to just eat whatever (except gluten of course) for the weekend. So I don’t know if there was some cross contamination with gluten or if my body was just shocked because I hadn’t had much dairy or beans in a while. Either way, it’s worth mentioning because the margaritas were AWESOME. Several of the tacos are gluten free (corn tortilla shells) as well as most of the salads. I would advise anyone on a gluten free diet to be cautious, but I can’t really be sure if it was gluten contamination or just eating things that I am not used to.

Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse

We actually didn’t go here, but we talked about it. It’s a little pricier than the other options that I mentioned but it has great reviews. I wanted to include it in this list because they seemed to have a lot of gluten free options. You’ll have to download the menu to view them, but there were several and they looked delicious! Hopefully we will be able to try it out next time!

This isn’t an extensive list of all of the gluten free restaurants in Oklahoma City, but hopefully it will help if you are traveling and looking for gluten free options! We also stopped in to Jamba Juice for breakfast one morning. Most Jamba Juice smoothies are gluten free and they are VERY good about allergy requests and information. Most of the actual food items are not gluten free but there are plenty of gluten free smoothie options! If you have any other suggestions for Gluten Free Restaurants in Oklahoma City, please leave them in the comments!

Gluten Free Restaurants Oklahoma City | Some of my gluten free restaurant finds on our weekend trip to OKC!

It would be really awesome if you would share the love on Pinterest!

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