Where Have I Been?

Hello Lovelies!

It has been about three months since I last posted…oops! As you may know, I am a junior at the University of California Davis. This past quarter has been very hectic and stressful for me since I took a very hard load of classes. Now that spring break is over and I’ve received my grades (hard work really does pay off!), I feel it is time to start blogging again.

You may start noticing a few changes to the blog in the upcoming weeks. I am hoping to venture away from the gluten-free theme as it is not my passion. Don’t worry there will still be some food posts, however I am hoping to change the course of this blog towards the lifestyle side of things. Posts you can expect to see in the upcoming months may range from discussing college to travel to simply discussing where I am at in my life. If you have any post ideas that you would like to see me write please leave them in the comments for me. Since I am still in school, I do not have a definitive schedule of when I am going to post, however I will try to post as often as possible. Please be patient with me as I start to change things up!

I’d like to thank you for listening and understanding why I have been away. As a college student, my number one priority must be my education. Just like you, I have hopes and dreams about my future and in order for me to get there I need to work hard and make it a priority. With that being said, I am excited to start blogging again! Hope you are having a wonderful day!

♥ Haley

Check out my favorite post: Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies

 

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How To Survive the Holiday Season!

Hello lovelies! It’s only a couple days until Christmas, the most wonderful stressful time of the year! The holiday season brings joy and cheer, well… and unwanted visitors and the consumption of more food than you can imagine! Don’t get me wrong, there is some good that comes from the holiday season, however it can still be a very taxing time for people. So how do we get through this season? Luckily for you, I have some tips to help you do just that.

Get Out!

When there are too many people at your house or if you are just stressed, get yourself out of the house! Do not try to sit and entertain everybody, you need some time for yourself too. Go to the park and cloud watch or just go to a local coffee shop and buy yourself your favorite drink. Whatever you do, try to make sure you are not mulling over the things that are making you stressed, instead focus on yourself.

Workout!

With all the extra food around comes more temptation. Don’t deprive yourself of the food you want to eat, instead just make sure you are working out. Exercising will help you feel better about yourself and will counteract some of the calories you consumed. Even if you do not care about the food aspect, working out is proven to release endorphins, which make you happier and less stressed.

Treat Yourself

Don’t stop yourself from enjoying the season! Let yourself eat that cookie or brownie, don’t deprive yourself! However, food is not the only way to treat yourself during this season, go get a pedicure or whatever makes you feel good. The holidays are not just about giving to others, it’s about giving to yourself as well. I think you deserve a nice pat on the back for getting through the year!

Have Fun!

While this season may be stressful, there is also some good that comes out of the holidays as well. The holiday season is all about enjoying the time you have with your family and friends, so have fun with them! Have a game night with your family or a holiday party with your friends! No matter what you do, just take the good with the bad and remember to go with the flow. Laugh and smile at the situations you find yourself in, rather than stress and dwell on them.

I hope you found some of these tips helpful! How do you get through the holidays?

♥Haley

Check out my latest Blogmas post: Holiday Tag

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Holiday Tag – Blogmas

Hi all! Hope you are having a great holiday season so far! The Swirl Blog recently posted a Holiday Tag, so I decided to add some holiday cheer to Vitamin Sea & Gluten Free by answering some holiday questions for you though this tag!

Holiday Tag | Vitamin Sea & Gluten Free

When is an acceptable date to play Christmas music?

Thanksgiving. I know some people get into the Christmas spirit November 1st, however, I’m somebody who has to get past thanksgiving before the holiday music starts playing.

All time Favorite Christmas album?

Pentatonix Christmas songs/albums! I love the new spin on music that Pentatonix brings to the music world through acapella! If you haven’t checked out their music yet, you totally should! My favorite holiday song of theirs is Hallelujah.

How do you spend Christmas morning?

I usually spend Christmas morning with my family. We make a big breakfast and eat together in our pajamas while listening to holiday music in the background. Depending on the year we will have one or two Christmas presents to open, however some years we decide not to do presents since they really do not matter.

What’s a new Christmas tradition you want to start doing?

This isn’t really a new Christmas tradition for my family, but we usually do secret santa together. It’s really fun because we get to be as goofy or sentimental as we want. One year my Dad bought my Mom chocolate coal, it was pretty funny!

What is your favorite baked good around Christmas time?

This is a hard question since I have a huge sweet tooth this time of year. If I had to choose one I’d pick sugar cookies since they are fun to decorate!

What’s on your Christmas wishlist {condensed version}?

We are not doing Christmas gifts this year since we are going on a trip to the snow instead. We’ve never had a white Christmas before, so I’m hoping that our time in the snow this year is fun and as stress free as possible!

Favorite Christmas Candle Scent?

Either the scent Winter or Sweater Weather by Bath and Body Works. I think I prefer Winter during the holiday season and Sweater Weather in winter in general.

What is your ideal Secret Santa gift?

This is a hard one! Ummmmmm… I think my ideal Secret Santa gift would be either a DIY or something sentimental, it kind of depends on who has me as their person. I’m someone who truly believe it is the thought that counts, not the gift itself. I’m just happy that someone took time out of their day to think of me!

When is your ideal gift shopping time?

If we were giving Christmas gifts this year, I think the ideal shopping time would be after finals! Until finals were over, I spent all the extra time I had to study…school comes first!

A picture that reminds you of Christmas.

Holiday Sugar Cookies

How do you like to decorate your house, apartment, room?

We usually put lights and a Christmas tree up for holiday decoration. However, this year we are not actually going to be home for Christmas and the rest of my family is in finals until the 23rd, so I’m not actually sure if we will decorate this year.

What is your favorite Christmas activity?

I love decorating sugar cookies and watching movies with my family! Okay, we don’t actually make sugar cookies very often, but we do watch movies together this time of year. It’s a perfect way to have a chill night with the family and still have fun.

What is your favorite thing about Christmas time?

My favorite thing about Christmas time is that I get to hang out with my family. Winter break is typically one of the only times during the year that everybody in my family is together with no school or sports or anything. Winter break is typically the time that we all get together and spend quality time with each other. Christmas time is not about money or gifts, it is about spending quality time with the ones you love!

♥ Haley

Check out my latest Blogmas post: Winter Essentials

Check out the Original Holiday Tag at The Swirl Blog!

 

 

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Winter Essentials – Blogmas

Hello lovelies! Winter is upon us and with the changing of the season comes chapped lips, cold temperatures, and more! Here’s a list of my winter essentials to get you through the coldest season of the year!

winter-essentials-2

Fashion

Keeping warm in the rain or snow is very important during winter. Your first line of defense against decreasing temperatures and increased precipitation has to do with what you wear.

Rain Shell

A rain shell is perfect for keeping you dry in the rain. You can easily put it on over a sweatshirt to keep you both dry and warm during the winter. Make sure to keep all the pockets closed so that the water doesn’t seep into the clothing under the jacket.

Sweaters

I LOVE sweaters, they are easily one of my favorite things to wear during the winter! They not only keep you warm and cozy, but are also super cute and can be worn for almost every occasion. You can dress sweaters up with some jewelry or a scarf, or you just leave them as is for everyday wear!

Scarfs

Scarfs are another staple of mine! As stated earlier, they can easily be paired with a sweater or you can just wear one with a crew neck sweatshirt to keep you warm. My favorite are infinity scarfs. If scarfs are not in your wardrobe yet, I highly recommend you buy one!

Gloves

I’m not the biggest fan of wearing gloves, however I understand the importance of wearing them during windy, rainy/snowy, or simply cold weather.

Warm Socks

I love fuzzy socks and wool socks during this time of year since my feet are almost always freezing during the winter. Even if the rest of my body is warm, my feet are typically cold. If it is raining, I recommend wearing wool socks to keep your feet dry.

Hiking Boots

I recently added hiking boots to my wardrobe and absolutely love them! They are multipurpose shoes, not only can they be used for hiking, but they also can be worn on wet, rainy days to keep your feet dry. My feet are never cold or wet when I wear these boots.

Slippers

Slippers are perfect for days when it is not raining or when you are just chilling at home all day. Like I said earlier, my feet are always cold, so slippers are important in my winter wardrobe.

Miscellaneous

While clothing choices are crucial during the winter, I have a few other items that are equally relevant in keeping you warm.

Cozy Blankets

I’m somebody who loves blankets. During the winter I will sleep with 2 or 3 blankets on, not including my comforter. Blankets are perfect to drape over yourself in almost every occasion, I even know people who will bring blankets with them to school in case they get cold. If you are in need of a last minute gift for someone, a blanket is the way to go! Let me know if you want a post on how to make a DIY blanket!

Tea/Hot Chocolate

Nothing starts or ends the day better than a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate. I’m personally a tea person, but when I’m in need of something sweet I will switch it out for hot chocolate.

Lip Balm

With cold weather comes annoying chapped lips. What better way to combat this nuisance than with a lip balm? My favorite is carmex because it not only treats my chapped lips, but makes my lips feel good. I highly recommend bringing some sort or lip balm with you everywhere you go.

winter-essentials

I hope you find some of these items helpful in keeping you warm and comfortable during the winter. Do you have any winter essentials that I didn’t mention? If so I’d love for you to share them with me!

♥Haley

Check out my latest Blogmas Post: 10 Things To Do During Winter Break

 

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10 Things To Do During Winter Break! – Blogmas

Hello all! Winter break is finally here, well at least for me it is. I’ve only been on winter break for a couple days now, however I’ve already found myself being bored on multiple occasions.  While trying to figure out what to do, I realized that I’m probably not the only person bored during break. Thus I thought I should share some of my ideas regarding what to do during winter break with you! Without further ado, lets get into the activities!

10-things-to-do-during

1. Bake cookies from scratch!

Who doesn’t love cookies? You can curb your holiday sweet tooth and have something to do at the same time. Or if you do not want to eat all those cookies by yourself invite your friends over to have a cookie exchange!

2. Go Ice Skating!

This seems like such a typical winter idea, but I’d thought I’d throw it in anyways. Ice skating can not only be fun, but you can also get some good pictures of you and your friends for instagram!

3. Try a new pinterest recipe!

This is something I definitely want to do this break. I’ve always wanted to work on my cooking skills, but never seem to find the time. Winter break is the perfect time to browse pinterest to find the perfect recipe you want to try. You can always invite a significant other or friends over to make it even more fun!

4. Have a movie marathon!

Why not veg on the couch all day and watch movies? Relaxing movie days can not only be fun, but also can be a nice break after the fall madness!

5. Plan a photoshoot with your friends!

Taking pictures can be fun when you are goofing around with your friends. Go out with your friends and just take pictures. This is so easy to do and all you need is a camera, whether it be on your phone or not.

6. Try a local exercise class!

The holiday season always makes me want to indulge in my sweet tooth cravings, so why not try to combat that with exercising. For those of us who have a hard time exercising by ourselves, trying an exercise class with other people could be good way to jumpstart our fitness journey and give us some self confidence.

7. Explore your city!

There are always going to be places you’ve never tried before. Instead of staying inside by yourself, try a new cafe or find a new park in your city that you’ve never been to before. Just have fun!

8. Try making your own DIY craft!

I always feel a little more crafty during the holiday seasons. DIYs can be a great way to pass the time and they can make great gifts.

9. Volunteer!

It is the time for giving, however you do not need to have money to give back, you can give your time instead! Go volunteer to plant trees in your neighborhood or work at your local homeless shelter. Volunteer wherever you want, as long as you are happy with it.

10. Get ahead for next quarter/semester!

Some professors already start posting their syllabus as soon as the fall quarter ends. Get ahead and start reviewing the new material, that way when you see next quarter/semester it will be easier to grasp the concepts. You can also start studying for any standardized tests you have to take, such as the SATs or the GREs.

things-to-do-during-winter-break

I hope you have a great winter break! Do you have any go to things to do over winter break? If so I’d love for you to share them with me!

♥Haley

Check out my previous Blogmas post: College Fall Morning Routine

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Fall College Morning Routine – Blogmas

Hello Lovlies! I know fall quarter is over for many of us, but I decided to share with you my typical school day morning anyways. This quarter I had classes at eight a.m. every morning, so I started my day pretty early in order minimize my stress levels while getting ready for the day. With that being said, let’s get into my college morning routine.

fall-college-morning-routine

5:30-5:45 a.m. Wake Up 

I wake up between 5:30 and 5:45 each morning depending on if I need to take a shower. While this may seem really early to you night owls, I go to bed pretty early so I still sleep the recommended amount each night.

5:45-6:05 a.m. Wash Face and Do Make Up

After I wake up, I immediately wash my face and put on my moisturizer. I sit and let my moisturizer sink into my skin for about five minutes. During that time I will either catch up on social media or make green tea. Once my moisturizer has sunk in a little bit, I begin to do my make up. Although my makeup for school is minimal, I still like to take my time doing it.

6:05-6:10 Get Dressed

Once my make up is done, I quickly pick out an outfit for the day and put it on. My typical school outfit consists of a v-neck shirt, jeans, and a sweatshirt.

6:10-6:30 Eat Breakfast

This is easily my favorite part of my morning. I usually eat scrambled eggs and a banana in the morning, since it is quick, easy, and full of protein. During this time, I also drink my green tea that I made earlier.

6:30-6:40 Brush and Style Hair

Once I finish breakfast, I usually head to the mirror to do my hair. Typically, I just brush my hair, add some dry shampoo, and let it be. However, if my bedhead was really bad, I take a couple minutes to straighten my hair.

6:40-6:45 Pack Backpack

This step of my morning routine is pretty easy since I usually pack my backpack the night before. However, I always like to check and make sure I have everything before I leave. If you’d like to know what is in my backpack check out this post.

6:45-6:50 Pack Snacks and Fill Water Bottle

The last thing I do at my apartment in the morning is pack snacks for the day ahead. This usually consists of a kind bar and some carrots.

6:50 Leave Apartment and Walk to the Bus Stop

Once my backpack is all packed and I have snacks and a water bottle to get me through the day, I put on my head phones and walk to the bus stop. I usually take the first bus to school in the morning because I have to walk across campus to get to my classes in the morning, which is why I leave so early.

Overall, it takes me about an hour and a half to get ready for school in the morning. I love how calm and destressing my mornings are. Although I woke up pretty early, I had a lot of time to have a quiet, chill morning before exercising my brain all day at school. I hope you enjoyed my fall quarter morning routine!  What are your mornings like? Let me know in the comments! Hope you are having a lovely day!

♥Haley

Check out my last Blogmas post: Ultimate Guide to Surviving Finals

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Ultimate Guide to Surviving Finals – Blogmas

Hi all! The most stressful time of the year is just around the corner…FINALS WEEK! I don’t know about you, but I always lock myself up in the library or at a coffee shop studying twenty-four seven leading up to and during final weeks. Over the years I began to perfect my study methods in order to make finals a less stressful time. Why keep my survival study guide secret when I can share it with all of you? Get ready for my tested and approved method for finals madness!

ultimate-guide-to-surviving-finals

Week Before Finals

  • Create a Study Schedule! This doesn’t have to be super in depth if you do not want it to be. However, I have found that if I physically write out every thing I want to do each day leading up to each final. This can be as broad or specific as you want, from study biology to review chapter 2 of Biology and make flash cards. A study schedule keeps you accountable and allows you to know exactly what you still have to do in order to be prepared for the stressful day to come.
  • Create a Study Guide for Each Class! I have found making study guides to be the most important thing I do when studying for finals or midterms. They allow me to revisit all important concepts I have learned throughout the quarter/semester and create an organized place to condense my notes. Study guides only have to be as in depth as you think the final will be. If the final is cumulative, then it will probably be more in depth in sections you do not understand or haven’t reviewed in a while. In order to make a study guide, pretend that you are making a cheat sheet for a test. (DO NOT ACTUALLY USE THIS ON THE TEST UNLESS YOUR PROFESSOR ALLOWS YOU TO!)
  • Create Flashcards for Classes that Involve Memorization! Flashcards are pretty straight forward. I like to use these for classes like Organic Chemistry and Biology, which are more concept based classes and a bit harder for me to learn.
  • Do Practice Problems/Practice Exams! Once you feel like you have a good handle on the material for the exam, start doing practice problems or exams if your professor provides them for you. Do not use any study materials while doing this so that you can figure out which concepts you do understand and which concepts you need to spend a little more time on.
  • Have Someone Test You on Your Study Guides and Flash Cards! I love to be able to verbally talk to someone about the material I have learned. My biology  professor always told us that if you are able to teach somebody the material you learned, you are prepared to take the exam.

Finals Week

  • Finish Any Steps from the Week Before that Have Not Been Finished! I know that it can be hard to have everything done the week before finals week, especially if you have multiple classes to study for. It just isn’t reasonable to be completely ready for every final by the time finals start. Prioritize your hardest and first finals the week before, then study for your easier and later finals. Pace yourself, studying isn’t a race!
  • Sleep! Sleep is so important. If you are staying up all night studying, you become sleep deprived. The last thing you want to do is be extremely tired and not be able to pay attention while you are taking your final!
  • Eat! Eating well makes your body feel better. Do not skip breakfast the day of an exam, it is the most important meal of the day! You do not want your stomach grumbling in the middle of an exam…trust me!
  • Exercise! Go on a walk or something to destress yourself. I have found exercising to be a great escape from the reality of finals week. If you are worried about not having enough time to go on a walk or to the gym, just bring your flash cards or study guides with you and study while working out!
  • Don’t Stress! Try not to stress, it only makes finals week worse. Instead of stressing, just remember that finals is only a week and that there is only so much you can do.
  • Ace Your Finals! You are now prepared to take you final! Don’t stress, you are ready! Know that whatever grade you receive is okay and that you did your best!

Finals Check List

Good luck on your finals! You will do great!

♥Haley

Check out my last Blogmas post: Merry Blogmas!

 

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Merry Blogmas!!

Hi lovelies! The news is out! I’m doing BLOGMAS, well sort of!

merry-blogmas

What is Blogmas?

Blogmas is when a blogger publishes new content everyday in December leading up to Christmas! Posts can range from Holiday related posts to normal, everyday posts. Unfortunately, I am extremely busy right now with finals coming up, so I will not be able to post everyday. However, I am committed to posting every Thursday and Sunday up until December 25th, so look forward to eight new posts coming your way!

The Mastermind Behind Vitamin Sea & Gluten Free

For those of you who have not been to my blog before: Hi I’m Haley! Nice to meet you! I’m a junior in college studying Marine Biology with an emphasis on conservation and organisms. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do with my life yet, but I do know I want to go into conservation. I started this blog in April 2016 with the hopes of sharing my experiences as a gluten free college student. However, I soon found out that I did not only want to write about being gluten free, I also wanted to write about life and college as well. So, what began as a food blog quickly transformed into a lifestyle and college blog. If you want to know a little more about me, then check out 20 Facts About Me.

Here’s a list of my favorite posts to help you get better acquainted with me and my blog!

I can’t wait for you to see the new content I’ve created for Blogmas! Happy Holidays!

♥Haley

 

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Love Sweat Fitness’s Healthy Cookies

Hi all! I was roaming youtube when I came across a video from Love Sweat Fitness about 3 Quick & Healthy DESSERT Ideas! The one recipe that particularly stood out to me was the cookie recipe because it is easy to make, requires few ingredients, and… wait for it… it’s gluten free! Since it is so convenient and healthy, I decided to try it out for you all!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter (I used Peanut Butter as a substitution)
  • 1/4 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Peel the banana and mash it in a bowl.
  3. Mix the almond butter in the mashed banana.
  4. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Mix.
  5. Mix in the rolled oats to the banana mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 7 minutes.

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Update* The recipe is really easy to make. I did use peanut butter instead of almond butter, however this didn’t seem to change the cookies too much. The only thing I will say is that I used roughy 3/4 cups of rolled oats, however this could be because I used a fairly large banana. So far, this recipe is a success.

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Overall, I’d call these cookies a success! They can easily satisfy my sweet tooth! The insides are a little doughy after baking, but I’m sure if you spread the dough out a bit instead of placing it in balls it would reduce that effect. The promises of being quick and easy definitely held true since these cookies only took about 20 minutes to make! I give this recipe two thumbs up!

Do you have any recipes I need to try out? If so let me know in the comments or on any of my social media platforms! For more Love Sweat Fitness recipes and videos, check out her youtube channel!

♥ Haley

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Lilac Pâtisserie Review

Hello lovelies! I have found another amazing gluten free bakery for you to try! In downtown Santa Barbara there is a little bakery/cafe called Lilac Pâtisserie, which is entirely gluten free! It is absolutely amazing! I can honestly say I have never had anything like it. Usually I can tell the difference between gluten free and non gluten free food, not here though! Not only do they serve sweet treats, but they also serve breakfast and lunch. Lilac Patisserie sells five different types of bread and rolls, including Brioche, Honey Oat (my favorite), Rosemary Olive, Rustic White, and Seven Grain. The bread and rolls can be bought online and shipped to you (check it out here). There cakes are absolutely amazing…suffice to say I would love for them to make my wedding cake someday! The chocolate raspberry mouse cake is amazing, if you have the chance you should try it out! Overall, I think this is hands down the best gluten free bakery/cafe I have tried yet! If you are in the Santa Barbara area, you NEED to stop by and try it out!

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If you want more information on Lilac Patisserie, check out their website here.

They also have various social media account which I have linked down below.

  • Check out their Instagram here.
  • Check out their Twitter here.
  • Check out their Facebook here.
  • Check out their Pinterest here.

I hope you enjoyed my review of this amazing gluten free bakery. If you have the chance you should check them out. Do you have any gluten free bakeries/restaurants I need to try? If so please share them with me!

♥Haley

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