Summer Travel Series: Gluten-Free at Whole Foods

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When I arrived in New York City, my first stop was Whole Foods. I immediately mapped out how close a Whole Foods was to the place in which I was staying and figured out the route to walk there.

We don’t have a Whole Foods near us here in California where I live and anytime I’m in a new city, the first thing I do is find a Whole Foods and go shopping! I like to have gluten-free snacks for myself when I go away because finding food on the go is very difficult if you are GF.

In this case, since I was staying in an apartment, I had a small kitchen to use which came in helpful since my plan was to eat breakfast at home, then venture out for the day.

Luckily, there was a Whole Foods within walking distance in Greenwich Village (which I had pre-mapped out) so in the morning, I set out for some shopping. I approach the store like a person going to Disneyland for the first time, with excitement and wonder!

I bought my favorite gluten-free Kind granola for breakfast along with coconut milk. This is delicious and filling, I eat it a lot at home too. Simple Bites Gluten Free cookies were a real treat for when I wanted a sweet little snack, that box lasted me during my entire vacation since I only ate two a day. Believe me, that was not easy since they are so, so good.

I bought a few big bottles of water and tried a delicious fruit infused water which was out- of- the- world tasty and a great little snack! I also bought apples and containers of berries, some coconut chips, and almonds.

I HIGHLY recommend a stop at Whole Foods for your gluten-free foods and snacks, it’s really the best store for healthy items when you’re on vacation. It’s very difficult to find gluten-free foods on vacation so just map out a Whole Foods and make sure to stop in to gather up a bunch of treats!


Weekend Reading


I just finished A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold which was tragic and heartbreaking! I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a sobering account of a very sad event in US history, the Columbine shootings.

Now I am on to (hopefully) happier books. I also have a new Joyce Maynard novel – Under the Influence to get into but first, these two books. I plan on spending my weekend reading and writing. And napping!

Here’s what I’ll be reading:

The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin
Stephanie Knipper

Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when they were kids. As adults, they’ve been estranged for years, until circumstances force them to come together to protect Rose’s daughter. Ten-year-old Antoinette has a severe form of autism that requires constant care and attention. She has never spoken a word, but she has a powerful gift that others would give anything to harness: she can heal things with her touch. She brings wilted flowers back to life, makes a neighbor’s tremors disappear, changes the normal course of nature on the Kentucky flower farm where she and her mother live.

Antoinette’s gift, though, puts her own life in danger, as each healing comes with an increasingly deadly price. As Rose—the center of her daughter’s life—struggles with her own failing health, and Lily confronts her anguished past, they, and the men who love them, come to realize the sacrifices that must be made to keep this very special child safe.


I really enjoyed The Red Notebook, it was a cute quick read that was so charming  that now I want to read the other author’s books too. The Presidents Hat looks equally as lovely and fun.

Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.

Daniel’s thrill at being in such close proximity to the most powerful man in the land persists even after the presidential party has gone, which is when he discovers that Mitterrand’s black felt hat has been left behind.

After a few moments’ soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It’s a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow … different.


This book is number three in a trilogy and won’t be out until October so add it to your Goodreads list now or pre-order from Amazon. I’ve really enjoyed Elin Hilderbrand’s books in the past and can’t wait to read this one.

Here’s what you need to know:

Some of the stormy weather of the past few seasons seems to have finally lifted for the Quinns. After a year apart, and an ill-fated affair with the Winter Street Inn’s old Santa Claus, Mitzi has returned to rule the roost; Patrick is about to be released from prison; Kevin has a successful new business and is finally ready to tie the knot with Isabelle; and best of all, there’s hopeful news about Bart, who has been captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few dark clouds on the horizon. Kelley has recently survived a health scare; Jennifer can’t quite shake her addiction to the drugs she used as a crutch while Patrick was in jail; and Ava still can’t decide between the two lovers that she’s been juggling with limited success. However, if there’s one holiday that brings the Quinn family together to give thanks for the good times, it’s Christmas. And this year promises to be a celebration unlike any other as the Quinns prepare to host Kevin and Isabelle’s wedding at the inn. But as the special day approaches, a historic once-in-a-century blizzard bears down on Nantucket, threatening to keep the Quinns away from the place–and the people–they love most. Before the snow clears, the Quinns will have to survive enough upheavals to send anyone running for the spiked eggnog, in this touching novel that proves that when the holidays roll around, you can always go home again.

What are you reading?

Summer Travel Series: Beauty Products


It’s really, really hard for me to narrow down my beauty products when I travel. I want to bring everything and I want full sizes. A huge makeup bag is always a must along with separate gallon sized plastic baggies full of my hair, face, teeth, and nail care products.

These are my MUST-HAVES while traveling. 

I use cleansing towelettes for easy makeup removal. These make it very quick to clean my face in minutes. I always wash my face thoroughly  using a warm washcloth to remove anything the towelettes missed.


I was so frustrated when I ran out of my favorite shampoo and conditioner on this trip! I brought along Josh Rosebrook’s incredible Balance shampoo and conditioner and ran out mid-way through my vacation. Note: bring extra of what you love!


Nu Evolution lipstick is so long lasting and bright that it was a no-brainer when it came to packing it! For nice dinners aboard our cruise ship, I turned the heat up and used this bright and dramatic lipstick.


I love this palette from It Cosmetics! It’s lasting me a very long time and has a blush, bronzer, highlighter and pressed powder all in one sleek and oversized compact with a huge mirror!


A must-have necessity for trips is this Capri Clear spray coconut oil. It’s perfect for helping remove mascara and makeup, hydrates skin, and you can use it as a mouth rinse because it’s good for teeth and gums. I never travel without it!


I use this castor oil as a lash serum, pat under eyes for hydration, plus a lip and cuticle softener. Like coconut oil, it’s very versatile!


I brought my samples from Olie Biologique with me and used them daily! This trio couldn’t be more suitable for travel. Small enough to take up zero room and enough to last at least a week.

My other must haves include Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo, Josh Rosebrook travel sized hair spray, Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream, It Cosmetics Under Eye Concealer, Modern Minerals lip gloss and Physicians Formula Organic Mascara.


DIY It: The Watermelon Coconut Oil Mask That Will Save Your Hair

“It’s no secret that coconut oil is like liquid gold where hair is concerned. Dry hair slurps it up immediately, and you can feel and see the difference after a treatment,” explains Wendy Rose Gould beauty expert for hair tutorial and advice site

“Today we’re taking the traditional coconut oil hair mask one step further, though, by combining coconut oil with a super potent blend of hair-nourishing oils. Together, they’ll soften, hydrate, restore and strengthen the ends of your hair to prevent dreaded breakage and split ends.”

About The Oils:

  • Coconut Oil: The base of this anti-breakage, split-end treatment is coconut oil. All hair can benefit from coconut oil, but it’s especially beneficial for brittle, breaking hair. It’ll deeply moisturizing, soften and add sheen.
  • Oontanga Oil: This is oil made from African watermelon seeds, and it’s loaded with essential fatty acids that stop your hair from breaking and makes hair shiny.
  • Camellia Seed Oil: This oil comes from Korea and permeates the hair shaft to restore vibrancy and strength. It also softens your hair and keeps split ends and breakage at bay.
  • Argan Oil: This is a conditioning oil that seals the cuticle, adds shine, and makes hair more manageable during the styling process.

Note: Because this treatment is so oil heavy, we recommend restricting usage to your ends, which is where most breakage and split ends occur anyway.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask Recipe:

Step 1

Combine two tablespoons of liquid coconut oil with 10 drops of each of the other oils and stir well.

Step 2

Apply the oil blend to the ends of your hair and let it set for 10 to 20 minutes before shampooing.

Step 3

Condition and style as normal and repeat once a week for best results.

This recipe makes enough for three weeks of treatment (depending on hair length and thickness). Store in an airtight jar in a dark place. If you place it in the fridge, you’ll need to zap it for 30 seconds to melt it down again.


Photo credit:

Deva Delight for Wavy Hair

by Caroline Leavitt
Most curly girls know it’s all about the products. Use the wrong ones and curls go limp, or even worst, hang in greasy spirals. I’ve long been a fan of Deva products, and like many Deva girls, I was really upset to find they were closing out their DevaCare line, which protects color.
Not to worry, All of Deva products actually protect color, and they’ve simplified things, with lines for wavy, curly and super curly here. They’ve come out with a new line, Delight, for wavy hair.  Since my hair is more curly than wavy, I wasn’t sure about it, but I tried it anyway. And I loved it!
First, there is the scent. Clean, citrus, so delicious I wanted to eat it. The condition wash is light, with a little bit of lather, but my hair felt really clean and moisturized. I loved the conditioner, too.
All Deva products are really, really good for your hair, with no sulfates, silicones or parabens. And guess what? I’m not missing DevaCare products anymore. And I bet you won’t either.

By Hello Dollface