Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Month: January 2015 (Page 1 of 2)

How Aldi is helping me stay gluten free

Aldi gluten free foods

Some of the gluten-free products from Aldi in my kitchen

As you probably know if you’ve been following along here for a while, around the start of last fall I decided to severely limit my gluten intake to see if it helped my thyroid issues and gave me more energy. I’m happy to report that it has indeed.

You may recall how in the beginning I was reticent about gluten-free substitutes for all of the wheat-based foods I enjoyed. Flavor was one concern, but a bigger concern was cost. Up to that point, all the GF breads, cookies and the like that I’d seen were on the pricey side.

As luck — or Providence — would have it, right around the time I decided to avoid gluten, Aldi started rolling out their own line of gluten-free foods, Live G Free. Now, you should know that I love Aldi. It’s not perfect — Lord knows the produce section at the one we frequent leaves a lot to be desired — but back when we were on a rice-and-beans budget, this store made us feel like we could eat like kings.

Their gluten free stuff is just as affordable, for the most part, but it still took me a while to get around to trying it. This is partly because at first they didn’t offer that much, or at least not that I noticed. But it must’ve proved popular enough for them to expand the line, because now there are quite a few items in the line. This include:

  • Pretzels
  • Cookie, brownie and pizza dough mixes
  • Breakfast/snack bars
  • Crackers
  • Pasta – spaghetti, rigatoni and penne
  • Mac & cheese
  • Bread – white and whole grain
  • Frozen foods including pizza, breaded chicken nuggets, waffles, and Hot-Pocket-style sandwiches

The other reason it took me a while to get around to trying the stuff was concern about flavor. But you never know if you’ll like something until you try it, so a few weeks into my GF venture I bit the bullet. The first thing I tried was the crackers, made primarily from rice flour. They don’t taste like wheat crackers, no, but they’re quite tasty in their own right, and great with tuna or egg salad.

The second thing I tried was the fudge brownie flavored breakfast bars. These are actually quite delish, but they’re not very substantial. I keep a couple in my purse for when I have low-blood sugar attacks and start to get hangry while I’m out, and they work in a pinch, but they don’t tide me over very long.

Since then I’ve also tried their pasta (the rigatoni), bread and chicken nuggets. I’m actually quite a fan of the whole grain bread and the pasta. The chicken nuggets take a little getting used to, but they’re starting to grow on me.

I plan to try out some of their other fare in the coming weeks. I’ve mainly got my eye on the waffles. I’d like to try the Mac & Cheese, but I’m also avoiding dairy, so that’s going to be a real indulgence when I do. At any rate, adding some of these products into my rotation has made it a lot easier to stick to my new GF lifestyle, and if you’ve made a decision to give up gluten in the new year, you could definitely do a lot worse.

What about you, reader? Have you ever shopped at Aldi? Do you love it as much as we do? How is your relationship with gluten working out? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Weekend Wanderings & Shopping Wins

The last time I posted here, I mentioned that part of the reason I was too busy to write up a real blog post was because we had to get the house clean enough to entertain my mother on Friday. Well, we ran out of time before we got the house all the way up to Mom code, but that’s okay because we ended up going out instead.

Thanks to the whole truck rear-ending/insurance settlement rigmarole, we weren’t able to do anything for her for her birthday in December. So on Friday she came into town and we took her to our favorite Chinese place, and then we all went to Kohl’s so Matt and I could combine the gift certificates she’d given us for Christmas with a 20% off store-wide coupon she’d gotten in the mail. I ended up scoring a $100 pair of boots for about $2 (sale price of $29, minus the $20 discount, minus the gift card). Win!

Since I was unable to find the pair of dark brown flats that I initially started out shopping for, we decided to go check out the selection at Goodwill. I didn’t find any shoes there (it’s always so hard to find things I like in my shoe size; either there are too many women with size 10 feet out there shopping or there aren’t enough women with size 10 feet donating shoes to Goodwill — probably because it’s so hard to find shoes that size anywhere else, either, so they feel like they’d best hang onto what they’ve got), but I did score a really cute green jacket for $8, along with a cute $5 top.

My $15 shopping haul from last Friday.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:49pm PST


And while my husband and I were debating whether or not I really need a cute green jacket in my wardrobe, a very kind and generous lady named Betty, who was standing nearby, whipped out $10 and handed it to him to buy me the jacket. He did his best to refuse, but she was incredibly insistent, so we finally relented with a promise to pay it forward. So we need to be on the lookout for opportunities to do that. At any rate, thank you so much, Miss Betty, for my new jacket. May you receive a blessing in kind.

The rest of the weekend was just as lovely. I spent Saturday making some tweaks to my website and book sales funnel, and then we had wine and pizza and a Breaking Bad marathon. On Sunday we watched the Dinesh D’Souza documentary America: Imagine the World Without Her, which I think is worth a look regardless of your political leanings. After that I caught up on Castle and Supernatural, and then started a Gilmore Girls rewatch on Netflix, all while I worked on a crochet bunting for the living room wall.

Which brings us to Monday, a day in which I’m trying something new: I’ve decided to dedicate Monday to writing, publishing and marketing tasks, as well as planning and dealing with the things that clutter my mind, in the hopes of laying a solid foundation for being productive the rest of the week. This will hopefully include getting my own blog posts written and scheduled for the week so I can focus on client blogs, and here is one post down.

It’s shaping up to be another busy week. I’ve already got a full freelance workload, and we’ve still got to finish getting the house in shape for entertaining, because we’ve got at least one friend coming over on Saturday. We may also have my nephew joining us on Sunday for the Superbowl, but we’re not sure yet. If that happens, next Monday will have to become an Introvert Day (™ Rebekah Loper) to give me a chance to recover and recharge.

What about you guys? Did you do anything special over the weekend? Score any great shopping deals lately? Do you have Superbowl plans, or do those plans involve skipping it altogether? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Busy week. So have some links.

This is a hectic week. In addition to a full freelance workload, I’ve got to company-clean in preparation for entertaining my mom on Friday, and hormones and lack of sleep are making me scattered and bad at managing things.

So in lieu of blog posts written by yours truly this week, here instead is some recommended reading:

Delilah S. Dawson: 25 Writing Hacks From A Hack Writer – this is a bit long and, being that it’s a guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog, it’s laced with profanity. But it has broader application than just writing–it’s really about how to hack your life to chase your dream–so if you can get past those two things, it’s definitely worth the read.

Arting Hard Like An Artful [MoFo]: 25 Ways To Be A Bad-Ass Maker Who Makes Bad-Ass Stuff – this is sort of a companion piece to the first article. Being that it’s written by Chuck himself and I even had to censor the title, it should be apparent that the same caveats apply.

Want to Be a “Success”? Learn to Be an Outlaster – Motivated yet? Well then, here’s a whole six-pack of motivation from Kristen Lamb — and with zero cussin’!

Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt – A great post to read if you feel envy and dissatisfaction creeping into your life. Or if you just like to dance in the kitchen.

Manners for Gentlemen – It’s not often that I recommend poetry — okay, more like never — but this is just lovely and you should read it.

Hello Followers…

I’ve noticed that this blog has picked up some followers. For their sakes, I thought I should post a quick update to let everyone know that this blog account is only for WordPress experimentation and figuring out the platform. My actual blog, with actual content, is still at You can, however, add it to your reading list via this feed URL:

Really, though, there’s nothing to see here.

5 Home Remedies for Cold & Flu

Cold & Flu Home Remedies

Here’s another favorite post from my defunct other blog, A Sensible Wife. Sort of. It turns out this was actually a repost of a Friday Five post that originally appeared on this here blog. At any rate, this is a timely topic with some good info.

It’s that special time of year, when it seems like practically everyone I know is hacking and coughing and falling victim to the various bugs that are floating around, and I get that threatening tickle at the back of my throat. So I thought I’d share my top 5 home remedies and preventive measures for keeping that tickle from making good on its threat. Continue reading

The Internet of Things: Oh hai, Skynet!

So if the headlines on my phone’s news app are to be believed, the latest Consumer Electronics Show focused a lot on “The Internet of Things” — i.e., connecting everything from smart clothing to smart kitchens to smart door and window locks to the Internet. This isn’t exactly a new development, but it seems to be closer to the verge of becoming commonplace.

I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, holy cow! Look how futuristic! We’re one step closer to living like the Jetsons! Get me one of everything!

On the other hand . . . am I the only one who thinks becoming even more dependent on technology and the Internet than we already are has maybe just a smidgen of potential to be a Very Bad Idea? Like maybe this also puts us one step closer to ending up like the folks in Revolution?

Good thing I read all those Little House books so I’ll still know how to do basic things like cooking and cleaning and staying warm if the grid ever goes down and the Internet goes away — unlike those poor (rich) people who can’t turn on the stove or unlock the front door to leave the house without their smart phones and wifi connections.

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit hyperbolic. But then again, maybe not. It wasn’t all that long ago in the course of human history that the supermarket was a brand new invention that boggled people’s minds. No longer was it necessary to keep a vegetable garden, or visit the butcher or the pharmacy, or have your milk delivered! You could do it all in one place! And you didn’t have to store up plenty of food for the winter anymore because the grocery store is just blocks away! So convenient!

It is indeed so convenient — so much so that it only took a few generations for us to become so dependent on grocery stores that people in urban areas literally starve and riot when natural disasters keep the stores from getting restocked.

How long will it take us to become so dependent on being wired in that we can’t even figure out how to boil an egg or toast bread without help from technology? And then what happens to society if it all goes away?

Not to mention how we’re making it super easy for Skynet and/or the Cylons to enslave and/or destroy us. Hey, even Stephen Hawking thinks that could happen — and he’s not alone. Self-aware machines and doomsday scenarios aside, just look at everything that’s happened lately with the NSA using the Internet to snoop on us. Is it really a good idea to be so hooked in that they have access to our homes as well?

In all seriousness, I think a lot of the new tech is pretty cool, and I’m all for things that make life easier and give us more time to focus on what really matters in life (like having a fridge that automatically tweets what we’re having for dinner!). Still (she said, as if she could actually afford any of these gadgets anyway), I think I’ll be proceeding with caution. I’d love to have my very own Rosie the Robot around to do all of my housework, but don’t think I’ll be turning my back to her if that ever happens.


Just part of the family . . . until she decides to nuke your planet.


Review: Natural Sources Raw Thyroid

A Sensible Wife review of Natural Sources Raw Thyroid

Now that the site hack drama is at an end, let’s get back on track with another of the more popular posts from my now defunct Sensible Wife blog. This review was originally written about 13 months ago, and I still stand by it. I’m still taking this stuff daily, and it’s been a real life saver.

A few months ago, I ran out of my Levothyroxine prescription. It was time for my six-month thyroid checkup, which meant that my doctor’s office wouldn’t renew the script unless/until I came in for the blood work. Unfortunately, money was super-tight at the time, and as a self-employed freelancer, I don’t have insurance (and not sure if Obamacare’s actually going to be of any help in that regard, but that’s a whole ‘nother post). With having to pay out-of-pocket for both the office visit and the labs, we were looking at having to scrape together a pretty big chunk of change. So I had the bright idea of seeing how long I could go without my thyroid medication.

Continue reading

Everything is fine. Also, here’s how to keep in touch.

I’ve got all of the malware rooted out of my websites, for now. My web host, iPage, was moderately helpful, as in they did the bare minimum necessary to help me (after first trying to scare me into purchasing a $200 emergency clean-up service), which is not exactly doing anything to inspire loyalty or make me want to recommend them. So I’m still considering my options as far as switching hosting providers or staying put until my current contract runs out.

At any rate, in the event that this (or something like it) happens again, this seems like a good time to highlight all of the best ways you can be kept in the loop if I need to relocate my blog in a hurry.

  1. My mailing list – This is always the best, most reliable way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. You don’t have to worry about getting bombarded with spam — I only send out an update when I have major news or announcements relating to my books. Had this blog been suspended like iPage initially threatened, I would have sent out an update letting my subscribers know what’s up and where to find me. And hey, you get a free e-book just for signing up! Win!
  2. Facebook – I no longer maintain a fan page, but I regularly post public updates on my personal profile pertaining to my writing and publishing endeavors, as well as links to new blog posts and what not. Because I also post a lot of personal stuff on there meant for friends and family, I only accept friend requests from people of whom I have some idea how they know me, but if you follow me and subscribe to my public posts, you’ll see everything that would otherwise go on my fan page if I still had one.
  3. Livejournal – All of the posts from this blog get mirrored on my Livejournal. If this blog ever goes down, that’s a reliable place to check what’s going on and find where I’ve gone.
  4. Twitter – I also usually post updates about what’s going on here on my Twitter feed. If you simply follow me there, with the fast and sometimes overwhelming nature of the site, you might miss the relevant tweets, but you can always go right to my profile to see my latest tweets.

And the best part is, unlike the RSS feeds, all of these methods are independent of this website’s functionality. So if you already subscribe to this blog, it’s worth signing up to one of these other methods of staying in touch.

Stay of Execution

Well, the good news is that my web host agreed to give me more time to get everything fixed before they take my websites down. The bad news is that I don’t really know how to fix it. I deleted all of mine and Matt’s inactive blogs, save for A Sensible Wife, because that’s still getting hits from Pinterest and is redirecting traffic here, so I’m not too keen on taking it down. Bauhaus Online Creative is still up, too, although I’m not quite sure why I’m bothering to save that one since I can’t really do web dev anymore (I no longer have the necessary equipment and I’m WAY out of practice) and I haven’t updated that site’s blog in more than a year. As for my freelance writing portfolio site, the hackers managed to destroy that one.

At any rate, the one I started with was Bauhaus Online Creative, mainly because it’s the smallest. I backed up the database, uninstalled and reinstalled WordPress, then imported the content to the new database, and uploaded the custom CSS file. But none of the content or customizations are showing up, and I have no idea why. I’ve entered a support ticket on it, and if they can help me figure out where I went wrong and get me on the right track, then I’ll have a process for saving all three sites worked out.

If they can’t (or won’t) help, then I’m seriously considering just scrapping the other two websites altogether and moving this blog to I’d probably have to do a free account there for now, and plan on upgrading when my writing is able to pay the premium fee, which kind of breaks my heart, considering I just got this site the way I wanted it. But, this would force me to focus on the one site and not let myself get spread too thin as I have been in the past. But really, the only reason I’d really need a self-hosted WordPress site is to run an e-commerce site, and I don’t really need Paypal buttons for my freelance services. As for selling books directly, I’d already ruled that out thanks to my state’s pain-in-the-butt sales tax rules.

I may move to even if my host does help me get things worked out. I’m getting really tired of having cheap web hosting crap out on me like this, and I can’t afford to pay for more secure or reliable hosting.

Welp, I keep praying for God to order my steps and supersede my plans with His, so maybe this is all His way of guiding my platform in a better direction. And goodness knows MY way of doing things has never gone all that swimmingly, so maybe it’s time to try something new. For now we’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Do you have experience with Are you happy with it? Does it do everything you need it to do? Oh, and does anyone know if it’s possible to mirror posts to Livejournal without doing it manually? I’d appreciate your feedback!


So apparently my websites all got hacked and infected with malware. I basically have to nuke everything from orbit. I’m not sure what this means for the future of this blog — it may have to go away for a little while. If it does, in the meantime I’ll keep updating at until I figure something else out.

Right now I’m going through and backing up everything I want to salvage, but then I’m going to have to go through every file to locate and delete the malicious code. My web host has been spectacularly unhelpful so far (unless I pay them $200), so I may also have to find a new host for everything.

Just when I was starting to build some momentum here, too. C’est la vie, I guess.

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