One of my favorite things to eat are bagel sandwiches. When we first got to Augusta, Maine and I began looking for places I could eat Bagel Mainea popped up several times, and each time I figured it wasn’t worth my time to call. Where I’m from most bagels have soy in them, why I don’t know – but they do, and thus they are a delicacy I simply cannot indulge. Finally after a couple of days where hubby found me drooling over the photos of all the bagels, he talked me into calling them.
Hallelujah they do not use oils of any kind in their bagels, and to make it even better…they use real butter on their toasted bagels. (Cue the hallelujah chorus sung by angels.) They are a full service deli, having boars head meats and cheese that they will slice to order. Add into the mix a plethora of bagel sandwiches to choose from, and more ‘flavors’ of bagels than I’ve ever seen – all made fresh, and I was in a literal heaven.
My favorite bagel is the Everything bagel, and theirs took it to new heights in my estimation the kosher salt mixed in with everything, made it amazing. When I added to it with their Harmony fillings, minus the humus because they weren’t sure what kind of oil was used, and this bagel sandwich loving girl and found her new favorite breakfast/lunch place. It helped that they served decent coffee, and offered milk substitutes other than soy, and they were OK with me bringing in my own coconut milk for my coffee! The Harmony consists of Turkey, ham, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado you seriously can’t get much better than that. Well the humus would be a great addition, but I’ll wait until they aren’t as busy so I can find out exactly the kind of oil they use, but still the sandwich is phenomenal without it, so I’ve got nothing to loose.
If you are looking for breakfast, coffee, lunch, whatever…This is an amazing place. The employees are very helpful, and willing to do the leg work if needed to find out about allergies. Plus their place markers, so they know where to bring your food, are as unique as they are. We were the comic for a Freudian slip more than once. Also, another nice touch are their hot beverage cup protectors. You get to choose what panoramic view you put on your cup. I chose poppies, butterflies, and a field of wild flowers. Whatever strikes your fancy that day, from bagels to your cup decor they aim to please. I can’t wait to return!
Every unique touch just adds to the experience. Pets are welcomed on their porch, and as I said they are willing to look into their food for your allergy if you point them in the right direction.
A lot has happened in this twelve-month period. We put our home on the market, after a mad rush to get it all painted and pretty – inside and out.
I started selling photos this year, it’s been a very slow climb but I think I’m gaining traction. I just pray that it continues growing in 2017 (and I hope for a new lens for my landscapes, just saying).
I also started blogging, and that means trying to find ways to monetize it. I’m finding that my health issues combined with my food and environmental allergies have a foot hold in the blogosphere I just need to learn more about how to grow it into a business which means reading more about it.
I can’t help but marvel at how most of my goals are centered on reading more. I often feel like I waste a lot of time reading, when in reality it is the center to my success. It’s official! I can be paid to read! #GOAL
2016 the year of stress… Between getting the house ready to sell, and my health issues “stress” is he only word that could apply to 2016.
Mother nature doing her best to keep our expectations in check… we had a huge hail storm in Southern Colorado and that left me unable to get a contractor out to paint our house until the last minute because so many homes were still unlivable that my house wasn’t a priority.
I had over a month wait with most contractors to get an estimate to get the house payment. And even then they couldn’t guarantee that they could get the house painted within the time frame I needed it done if we sold the house before 1 Nov. I was told this in August. We closed early October.
Thankfully I found a contractor who was able to fit me in, the outside of the house looked great when they were done, before we closed.
Every time we had weather move through I prayed it wouldn’t cause more damage anywhere in the city. I never realized just how stressful selling a house could be. I’ve watched HGTV you don’t see them freaking out on the shows about selling houses, but man! I sure did.
We finally sold the house, and we had a hiccup in moving into a rental; so we spent a month in a hotel. I can’t say it was a hardship. Having the room cleaned every day was a huge luxury I completely and thoroughly enjoyed. We had moved into a suite that had a small kitchenette so I could cook – somewhat – and so we could carry on as normal as possible.
Finally, as I was settling into a routine at the hotel, we got a rental. So every crazy bit spooled up again as we prepared to move into the house.
Thankfully we were able to space the signing of the papers and the actual move in so that we had time to clean the house, and buy carpets for the living areas that were hardwood. Everything went as smoothly as it could possibly go – well, other than the people who packed up our pods did so in a way that damaged most of our wooden furniture pieces. We are still trying to work out the paperwork for the moving company to fix everything. (See…stress.)
Thanksgiving rolled around, we were set up in our new home and all seemed to be calming down. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving…then we set off on a journey to see my In-Laws. Two day in a car, one way, and then the actual visit. More stress… but this time with good coffee, good food, and a wonderful day with just Hubby, Chaz and I going and visiting the missions in and around San Antonio.
I have shared about the coffee…but I haven’t been able to get to the rest.
Finally home, we got down to Christmas. Sadly Hubby’s travel schedule, and my poor health, meant that we didn’t get our decorations up. So we carried our Christmas spirit inside our hearts and let our home remain undecorated.
During this trip I started writing reviews for Yelp and TripAdvisor. I’m gaining a following there, so it will be fun to see where that takes me next year.
I hadn’t felt well for most of December, but I couldn’t figure out why. I had started Botox injection in the summer for my migraines and received my shots in December and that should have boosted my energy. Sadly it didn’t. My energy continued to be lagging until the week before Christmas when I realized why I felt so badly.
The very mention of them often brings people to a halt, with faces twisted in a sympathetic grimace. I had passed a couple without medications, but finally Hubby said no more and insisted I at least call the nurse to see what needed to be done. I called. Hubby was right (I’ve had to repeat that several times so Hubby can bask in the knowledge that he was right) the nurse said a visit to the ER was in order. So, I was taken to the ER and the CAT scan revealed I had three more stones to go. UGH! I left with meds and orders to see my doctor ASAP.
The next day I called my doctor and went into see him for some different meds that work better for me. It was then that I found out I also had ovarian cysts, something any woman who has dealt with them will sympathize with me over. Since I had both at the same time, hurting is an understatement.
Finally Christmas Eve, I passed the last of them (or so I thought) and I am starting to feel better. I have more sleep that is needed to heal; thankfully my body has no problem in letting me know I’ve done too much.
So I’ve had to basically write off the end of 2016 as healing time, instead of doing a last big push to finish the year strong. I must admit that is a nice aspect to building your own business; you are the only one to suffer if you have to take time off. It’s also a great learning moment.
I’ve heard the saying that, “When you work for yourself, your boss can be a real jerk” Nathan Lowel , so this means that I have to remember to take care of my employees (myself) so they are healthy to produce quality work.
Upon writing this I have discovered I have one more stone to go, my right kidney is not happy but hopefully the end is near.
2017 – are you still with me???
I’ve never been one to set outrageous goals for myself. However, since I passed a milestone in 2016 – the age of 35 was given to me as a goal to reach by my allergist, a healthy dose of paranoia got me here and now I’m ready to spread my wings and reach for the stars.
So my plan for 2017 is several things that I have no way of prioritizing.
Make money from my blog
Make money by writing
Make money by editing
Make money from selling my photos
Are you sensing a pattern here?
So here the plan… I need to move out of Colorado. When you are allergic to the sun living at high altitude is not a good idea. In order to move we have to be able to find jobs in the new location, or have a mobile income to take with us. This is where my blogging, writing, editing, and photography come into play. All of these can be done from the road or a new location, so there you have it.
Look for new posts, areas that are allergy friendly, and maybe even recipes…haven’t decided yet.
New health goals…
Avoid dairy, and thus kidney stones, at all costs
Continue to fight my anaphylaxis
Continue avoiding soy at all costs (had to mark a restaurant off my OK list)
Here’s to a brighter and successful new year…2017!!!
Don’t worry; I have not crossed over the vegan bridge. If you have chosen to adhere to the vegan lifestyle, more power to you I could not do that for the love of bacon, and steak, and turkey. However, on this day of our trip we had a lot packed into the day and I needed sustenance. So off to my apps I went. After some digging we decided to try Revolucion Coffee & Juice.
Located in the small shopping center at 7959 Broadway, Ste. 507 (though when we got to that slot they were actually to the left and in the corner though I did not catch the new suite number). They offered almond milk as a substitute for milk (as well as soy if you are so inclined), but they even have cashew milk for their vegan bowls.
I walked into clean and pristine white coffee house (not something I’m used to seeing). I waited for the crowd to thin out, so I could talk with the lady at the counter and not feel rushed or that I was keeping someone from their much-needed coffee fix.
I found out I could have their peanut butter and jelly bowl with cashew milk made in house. Oh my! It was wonderful. Add into it the Revolucion Latte, a lavender infused honey with espresso and almond milk complete with coffee art, and my breakfast was as satisfying as it was beautiful.
The coffee was good, I wasn’t wowed by the flavor of the coffee, however, I have definitely had worse cups of coffee.
The bowl was very filling, I couldn’t even finish it all. But it stuck with me for the rest of the day, and I didn’t have a night of eating because of all the exercise I’d gotten…a huge deal for me.
It was worth every meatless bite. The fruit was fresh, ripe, and flavorful, while the granola held up for the duration of the bowl. My last bite had just as much crunch as the first. Though the PB seemed a little over powering at first, and I was hoping for more Acai flavor since the color was definitely there, still it was a wonderful breakfast.
Hubby deemed the food “too hippy” (a word my family have assigned to food I can eat) for him. So we left there and went and got him breakfast tacos from a local place. He checked – I couldn’t eat there but he at least got some sustenance for the day.
Never have I had as flavorful and beautiful cup of coffee in my life, and since I love coffee and go to any coffee place that looks interesting this is a huge feat.
Press coffee offers almond milk as a substitute for milk, and when I asked what was good a vanilla latte with almond milk was suggested. I agreed and headed out to sit with hubby and the dog at their outdoor seating area.
Tobacco free was the second good news of the day for me.
The coffee was as wonderful as it looked. Hubby got his usual iced sweetened latte and a ham and cheese croissant. It was a perfect start to our day. Overcast, and cool, under a tree so old that it had to have stands to help hold it’s branches up.
Located at 606 W French Pl, San Antonio, Texas 78212 It is a small area, great for working (inside or out depending on the weather) and the coffee is worth repeating.
As shocking as it might sound, I want to travel more. I know, who would have thought that a person who writes about the stress of traveling as a medical freak could wish to travel more. But I do, thus…in May me and my Husband decided to sell our home to free ourselves up for whatever God might have in store for us.
At the time we had been to Maine for Hubby to go on a job interview. We figured since they had flown him out and payed a nice chunk of change on him, that he had a pretty good chance at getting it. Since we haven’t heard back from the company, we are assuming he didn’t get the job.
However, all of that talk about what we would do ‘if’ got us really looking at what we would need to do in order to move.
Other Things To Consider:
I am 12 years younger than my husband. And due to illnesses, freaky medical conditions, and idiopathic anaphylaxis I have only just finished college and started looking at what I could do from home to bring in enough income that my hubby could ‘retire’, something that I would enjoy doing and that would enable us to travel more.
Thus the Blog, and my attempts to get published for stories about the trips we take anyway. I also am a shutter bug and to help fund my fun I sell photos for stock with several different agencies.
Back To The Story:
We decided to sell our house, as it would be the one thing we would absolutely need to do in order to leave. The housing market was on fire for sellers, so it was a ‘perfect timing’ scenario. So we contacted a realtor friend of ours, had her do a walk through and give us a punch list of what we needed to do to sell. Thankfully she knows us well enough to know that we would be working at our own, pain managing, pace.
As of last week, all the paint fume ingesting, paint spattered clothes, and back pain and spasms paid off and we sold the house.
Once that was done we had to figure out where we were going to live, since we weren’t going to buy again. So we put some balls in motion and hubby made a hotel reservation.
(While I’m going to try and break out the numbers on what we are actually saving by staying in the hotel, I’m slow with numbers so that might not happen.)
Since I have to be careful of the company I keep, we signed the paperwork a day ahead of the buyers and we moved into a hotel.
Another back story:
The closing had been moved at the last minute. So we were living in our house with a folding table, camp chairs, and sleeping on an air mattress. Considering we both suffer from nerve and back pain, can you say OWIE!
The hotel was a much needed reprieve. While Chaz is having to get used to only being outside on a leash. And we are having to get used to taking him outside when he asks, life isn’t all that bad.
When we moved in Hubby spoke to the manager and negotiated a lower price, which will average out once we’ve been here for a month (good tip to know), and we won’t have to change rooms.
After owning a 2800 + sq foot home, with nice grassy front and back lawns, not having to clean or do yard work means a lot of extra time. There one down side I was dreading about hotel living…the coffee.
We have stayed in many a hotel and the ones that have offered free coffee for their guests fall short on the my scale of good coffee. When you go to the robust carafe and expect to see a deep umber colored beverage to be filling your cup, only to see a weak brown color (something you would expect to see say when ordering a hot tea) you just know that the coffee is not going to satisfy a coffee snobs tastes buds.
However, I found a way around that little issue.
I brought my Keurig from home. (Cue the Cheshire cast grin.) This way I can choose my coffee, and only drink the best. This also meant that I could order my k-cups from Keurig and get my favorite Caribou Obsidian coffee to enjoy every morning.
The cute little four cup coffee maker that came with the room is tucked away in a cupboard with the offered pre-filtered coffee where it can do no harm. I even brought a favorite mug from home that could handle the amount of coffee I drink in the morning.
You can’t leave anything to chance when your entire day could be derailed by having a bad cup of coffee.
The biggest perk for me is housekeeping. Everyday the trashes are emptied, and if we wish our towels and bed linens are replaced. All without us doing anything more than holding the dog, or simply taking him with us on an errand so they can work. They are by far my most appreciated people here. While we still wash our own clothes, with my allergies I have to be very picky about the soaps I use, not having to worry about the basic cleanliness of the room and linens is a huge relief.
Also they have food (I can only eat the salad, but that’s ok because it means I don’t have to buy the ingredients for salad) Monday-Thursday. And if Hubby wants breakfast before heading out to work, it’s all right there in the lobby waiting for him.
If you dislike big brand coffee shops, that can be found in almost every town. Abhore the cookie cutter chains where every coffee shop looks alike. And if you are looking for a quirky, locally owned coffee place…Then I have the perfect place for you when you come to Colorado Springs.
NEMO’S is the place to you want to go for great atmosphere, wonderful food, and coffee that will keep you coming back for more.
The Anderson’s run the place offering organic coffee, substitutes for milk: soy, almond and coconut. More than most other coffee places in town, trust me I’ve checked.
They also offer a plethora of other goodies to stave off the hunger pangs. Sandwiches,salads, biscotti, and Hubby’s favorite…the sausage breakfast burrito with salsa. If given the option, Hubby will choose to go to Nemo’s to get me coffee so he can have his favorite.
Nemo’s is a coffee house and your favorite lunch spot all rolled into one locally owned pretty package.
When you walk in mismatched table and chairs greet you, along with a couch for relaxing, shelves ladened with books invite you to pull out your favorite and curl up on the couch or easy chair and read to your hearts content. All while enjoying your favorite cup of coffee, or tea.
If work is your aim, then pick a table, as I’ve done to write this article. Spread out a bit and let the creativity flow.
Nemo’s is the place I prove to myself just how much I enjoy my creature comforts. Though I have options of things to eat and drink I typically get the same thing…a caramel swirl with coconut milk. The only variation being whether it’s iced or hot. Another favorite is the homemade biscotti (I highly recommend their white chocolate macadamia nut), they even offer gluten free options.
Hubby’s favorite drink is a sweetened iced latte, and of course their sausage burrito.
When in doubt ask about your allergy. Tracey is very knowledgeable about what exactly goes into the food she serves. Check out their website, she make most of her offerings from scratch, to the point that she even grinds her own wheat. Talk about attention to detail!
Go get your turtle power and let me know what you thought of the place. You can go inside or drive through, which ever you choose you won’t regret it.
Nemo’s is located at 2114 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80909 719-635-2745
What’s a girl to do when big crowds and hot temperatures send her running for the hills?
Why she visits the iconic summer destinations in the winter, of course!
Living with severe environmental (sun and heat) and food (soy and yeast) allergies travel can be a real pain. In December 2015 my husband came to me with an idea. We needed to travel six hours north of Colorado Springs…Why?… Because, he explained, “we have been six hours or more in every other direction”. Makes total sense. Hubby did some research and we decided on our destination.
We went to Buffalo, Wyoming.
A place where old and new meld beautifully into a winter wonderland, rich in history yet hip and modern. No matter when you visit, there is history to be reveled in around every corner of the town.
From the Occidental hotel, to historic down town, everywhere you look you can catch a glimpse of the glory days for this small town.
For the literary buffs out there, you will know this gem as the place where, the Virginian got his man. While the historians will know it for the role it played in infamous story of Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and the Wild Bunch. For those who love the story lines of Craig Johnson in his Longmire series, especially if you have watched the show on A&E/Netflix you will recognize the scenery when you walk the paths in Buffalo Wyoming, as the fictional Longmire country.
And if you are in doubt that you’re in the right place, the “Longmire for Sheriff” signs all over town will confirm my description.
In summer time, locals and tourists a like, fill the streets to over flowing. Whether they are stopping over on their way to Mount Rushmore or Yellowstone the town more than doubles in size in the summer months, making a stay in Buffalo more expensive – and for me more stressful – than it is in the off season.
In the winter, however, the small town feel returns to Buffalo.
Hotels can take time to deep clean their rooms, as the Hampton Inn we stayed at were in the process of doing.
Also no matter where you decide to eat you can almost guarantee a seat without a wait. They have a variety of restaurants that would appeal to almost any pallet. They have steakhouses that can, not only work around food allergies, but will serve you a steak and potato meal worthy of a cowboy who had spent a long hard day in the saddle.
For those who prefer an organic option for their meals, take heart… they have that also. Organic BBQ is a thing, and it is better than one might think. Regardless of which you choose, prepare for the locals to give you a cursory once over, in the friendly small town way, and welcome you to town.
Buffalo Wyoming is a quintessential small town in winter. So out of towers stick out just as much in winter – if not more – than in the summer when out of towners are expected.
With my food allergies, the steakhouse and organic BBQ were a welcome sight. As I have come to realize the more hippy (a family term of endearment for food I can eat) the place is, the more choices I would have, and the Winchester Steakhouse and Up In Smoke, two places that were willing to work with me where my food allergies were concerned, were a breath of fresh air in the small town setting.
They also boast The Fix. The all import coffee house, where even the pickiest of coffee drinkers – me being among them – can find a worthy caffeinated beverage when one is needed. A very important part for any trip I am on, otherwise I am not my normal bubbly self.
They outsource their coffee and syrups so you know you aren’t getting a cup of Folgers for the price of a Starbucks coffee. Beans and syrups from Italy, the attention to detail was a wonderful addition to our trip.
The town is very pet friendly, over all.
We were traveling with our 9 month old 5 pound Multipoo, and other than eating establishments, which we expected, we were able to carry our small dog around while we reveled in the historic atmosphere.
The employees at the Hampton Inn fell in love with our little fluff ball, and did their best to spoil him with attention, as did most locals we happened upon in our exploring.
While we were not headed to another location we did drive through the Big Horn National Park.
We reveled in the clear blue sky, the white mountain peaks, and the wind – which Wyoming is known for – as it whipped the freshly fallen snow into puffy clouds before our very eyes.
We also walked Clear Creek path for a bit.
I enjoyed the opportunity afforded by cold cloudy day to get out and walk a bit. Clear Creek runs through the town of Buffalo, and is filled with picturesque scenery. The locals call out a friendly hello as you pass one another on the path. While the Big Horn Mountains seem to suddenly appear out of nothing in the distance. It is easy to see how in the spring and summer this path would be a tranquil walk, filled with areas to stop and take a moment to enjoy the scenery and quiet the creek provides.
We left our home in Colorado hoping to find an allergy friendly locale where I could relax and enjoy my time away from home, and we hit gold with Buffalo, Wyoming.
A cold, often overcast, place where hippy restaurants abounded so I could eat my meals without fear of reaction. To place icing on this already fabulous cake, it was also affordable. Something I had on good authority was not the case in the summer months.
If you are looking for an affordable winter get-a-way, think of heading west. Just keep in mind that winters in Wyoming are harsh. Which puts into perspective just what it took for settlers of this glorious state to survive each winter, let alone their first winter here.
What’s a dog to do when momma is leaving and taking him with her?…Why he hangs on tight and enjoys the ride of course.
Chaz has had quite a few interesting days in the last few weeks, and this week is proving to be more challenging than either of us thought. I have not only moved things around on him, again, but we are going it alone this week while my husband is on travel.
So not only am I stressed all ready, but now I’m in hyper drive trying to get my To Do list done everyday, I also have to get us out of here on time when I need to for a showing, which doesn’t help his tummy troubles.
At this point even cottage cheese isn’t a guarantee for him to eat. You know he’s stressed when even cottage cheese can’t tempt him.
So when we left for one of our showings we headed out, not to a store with lots of people and carts (stress for both of us), but to the great outdoors. We drove to Garden of the Gods. A wonderful tourist attraction here in Colorado Springs.
Thankfully it was partly cloudy so I got a little bit of a break from the sun. Sadly the place was packed for a Monday, no parking to be found near the famous rocks. So I settled for a spot in lot 12, and we headed out into the great unknown…for him, I’ve been there many times.
Garden of the Gods is a huge tourist attraction here in the Springs. Large looming rocks, red in color, that seem to come from no where. If you look closely you can see distinct shapes with in the rocks, like kissing camels. While there are many legends attached to them, they are a great place to get out and walk around, rock climb, or just take a slow drive through. I had intended to park in the first lot, but it was at capacity, so we did the slow drive for a bit.
Once I found a spot to park, Chaz got antsy to get out and walk.
So I sprayed him to protect against ticks, and off we went. It was a nice walk to a little path, that we took for a little bit. Chaz took the walk like a champ, he got a little nervous when other people would join our path, but otherwise he just trotted along happily sniffing all the different smells we came across.
I was very thankful that the people looking at the house didn’t linger, because the sun came out and even more people began appearing on the trail. We turned around quickly and headed home. It was a nice time out of the house, but it reminded me of just how stressful being outdoors can be. Especially at popular touristy places.
I can, thankfully, keep track of when the doors in the house are open and closed thanks to an app that works with our home alarm system. So when I saw the people looking had arrived at the house we didn’t hang around for too long, which turned out to be a good thing as several smokers drove past immediately after we had gotten in the car to return home.
I honestly don’t know which are worse the early morning showings or the early evening showings – but there is one good thing about the early morning showings…I have a good excuse to go get coffee. You are shocked to read that, I know.
For one particularly early showing I found the grit to get out of bed, and out the door…Nemo’s!
I’m not a huge fan of Starbucks coffee, it will work in a pinch but if I have another option I will gladly go out of my way to get my morning coffee. Nemo’s is my favorite go to spot for coffee outside of my kitchen. They have organic coffee, coconut milk (they have other milk alternative if you require them), caramel (a must for me on hectic days, don’t judge), and on a day like this when I have the dog… a drive through and one of Chaz’s favorite dog biscuits. Everything we need to have a successful start to our day.
Though I’m not sure how much of Chaz’s love for their dog biscuits is the biscuit and how much of it is all the attention he gets when he gets the biscuit. Sometimes I really wish I could read his mind to figure these questions out.
Inside their mismatched tables and chairs make for a relaxed atmosphere where anyone, no matter your height, can find a comfortable place to sit and enjoy their coffee. They also boast bookshelves filled with books of every genre. Something that is very important to book worms like me. If you aren’t like me…someone who takes books with her every where she goes – and is very thankful that someone invented the e-reader because her back is much happier when she isn’t carrying real books with her everywhere she goes… then Nemo’s is the place to be, a good book a great cup of coffee…what more could a person ask for? Plus they have lots of goodies and most of them are made in house.
Hubby would recommend the sausage breakfast burrito, it’s his favorite regardless of the time of day. As for me I would recommend their caramel swirl coffee, I like it iced or hot with coconut milk. It’s so incredibly wonderful!
So with my turtle power in my system I feel just about ready for anything…provided it isn’t too out there. Ha! Our life is so hectic right now, it’s hard to think about adding too much more to our plates. However, our getting out there and seeing the area means I’ll have more adorable stories about Chaz’s adventures for you.