Monday, January 21, 2013

Day One- Success!

Well, today is day one of the gluten/wheat free life! For breakfast I had a bowl of cinnamon Chex cereal. Lunch was deli- meat roll ups of Boars Head chicken, colby longhorn cheese and a banana. For dinner I made chicken pot pies using my temptations cookware. Of course there was no crust of gluten filled dough, but instead a mixture of mashed cauliflower and cheddar cheese.

 Here is the recipe for Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pies:

1 package cauliflower florets
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
4 TB butter, divided
3/4 TS sea salt, divided
2 carrots, sliced thin (I used organic pre-sliced carrots)
2 C broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 package sliced mushrooms
12 ounces chicken tenders, cut into cubes
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 TS ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F
Place the cauliflower in steamer, cover and cook for 15 min or until tender
In a large bowl, add the cheese, 2 TB of the butter, and 1/4 TS of salt. Mash until smooth and set aside
Meanwhile, in large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 TB of butter. Add the carrots, broc, and mushrooms, cook until tender crisp. Remove and set aside in a large bowl.

Return skillet to heat and add the remaining 1 TB butter. Cook the chicken, stirring until no longer pink. Cut into small pieces.

Stir in sour cream, pepper, the remaining 1/2 TS salt, chicken and the reserved vegetables.
Place in individual casseroles. Cover with the mashed cauliflower. Bake for 35 minutes or until heated through.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

You Mean I Have What?

Since last August I have been battling some strange stomach issues. This is when my anxiety got really bad because I had no clue what was going on with my body. So the typical anxiety ridden me, thinks omg I have appendicitis, no wait I think I have a cyst, no no I don't, it must be my gall bladder. The weird sensations traveled around my stomach and I felt as if I was going a little crazy. I also had this extremely annoying feeling in my thigh that felt like I needed to stretch it to the moon. Waking up with night sweats because I was so scared I had a real problem. My fear of hospitals and being sick with something made it even worse. Google searches and looking up my symptoms online just made it 1,000 times worse. It literally was ruining my days, every day obsessing about my body, it was terrible.
After visiting my doctor and different specialists on MANY occasions, ultrasounds and lab work- the diagnosis? IBS

How ridiculous! You mean to tell me that after ALL OF THIS, I have an issue that most people and books tell you "it's mostly caused by anxiety and stress"? I still have the weird thigh/leg problem and feel odd sensations in my stomach 90% of the time. 
My doctor told me to take over the counter Miralax, and to maybe cut out some foods such as breads, potatoes and rice. After doing some research about IBS, there seems to be some type of link between IBS and Gluten Intolerance. Cutting out wheat from my diet is something I will be trying, for at least a month to see how I react. I know a few people who have Celiac that are willing to help me on this journey. Because so many people are living this lifestyle, it is pretty easy to find accommodations at restaurants. Grocery stores are full of options too! I will keep you posted on my results. But for to do some shopping to fill my kitchen with wheat free goodies!

Have you been on  gluten-free diet before? How did you react? 

Monday, January 14, 2013

An Unexpected Email

From: Avenues World School
To: Mallory Creekmore

     We are anticipating a total enrollment of 1,100 students for the upcoming school year. We are asking for you to resubmit your papers, and update your resume as necessary. From this end we shall do our best to keep you posted on our progress. We ask for your patience and understanding.

With best wishes for the New Year,

The Avenues Leadership Team

      I re-read this letter a few times before it actually sank in. I didn’t share the entire email as it was quite long but you get the gist.
     I applied to The Avenues School almost a year ago, just to see if I had a shot. This school is one of the most prestigious private schools in New York City and I wanted to see, just see, if I was good enough for such a place. Working there amongst the elite would be a dream come true.
I never heard from them of course, I didn’t expect to, and I had even forgotten about sending in my resume and credentials until last night. I opened my email and there it was- an email from Avenues nine months later.

Let me first say- I am NOT an adventurous person. At all. I am much more comfortable in my comfort zone of Orlando with my family and friends. If I had an opportunity to teach in another state, especially at Avenues, how on earth could I talk myself into the idea? Especially in New York City. It’s like a whole other world there. I am not keen on the idea of relying on public transportation, subways freak me out as it is as a tourist- let alone if I had to do it daily! I cannot just get in my car and go to Target. There is no Target in the city (that I know of). Everything is a production there and getting anywhere is a task. I would be in an apartment and I am not living in a shoebox. After receiving the email, and for the fun of it, I searched for NYC apartments in Chelsea that are close to the school. So there I was searching for apartments on the Highline! For a place that is safe and somewhere I would comfortably live would cost me around 4,000 a month for just rent.

 I know there are people reading this that would think I am the craziest girl in the world for not jumping for an opportunity like this. But what would I do up there while I wasn’t working? I wouldn’t know anybody, and sitting in my extra small apartment by myself doesn’t sound very exciting. Sigh…God sure is mysterious. I am not quite sure what He is trying to do here. Who knows what the future holds for me and my career. But as I reflect on my Word of the Year, I must Trust his plan. He will guide my way.


Friday, January 4, 2013

The ABA Journey

"Welcome to PSY5005- Orientation to Graduate Learning in Psychology".
This is what I read in the syllabus as I opened it up today for my class starting on Monday. AM I CRAZY?! I just graduated with my Masters in Education last month, not even 3 complete weeks ago, and here I am again...AGAIN!
I am not crazy, maybe just a little obsessed with being in school! I am now working as a behavior assistant therapist in families homes, working with children with disabilities and using ABA techniques to change behavior for the better. This is something that I love doing ever since I taught special education at TFA. Because I have to take the BCBA board exam (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) to become a certified Behavior Analyst, I need to take the required courses.

My plan was to just take the courses to meet requirements for the board exam. But after speaking with my academic advisor, she informed me that I would just be FOUR courses away from a second masters degree. So after some thought, I decided to go with it. I am now pursuing my Masters of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis.
While I continue school (again), I will be working with Developing Positive Changes, and a great mentor who is helping me on this crazy yet rewarding journey! I am already loving my clients, and I think they love me too :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I have been purchasing handmade items from one of my school parents for years. I met Tiffanie in 2006 when her oldest son went to Mom's Day Out at my church. I was a young teacher at that time, and her handbags and adorable water bottle holders caught my eye. I was hooked from the beginning! 

Now Tiffanie is making handmade wreaths and wall canvases. These are not just any door wreath! They are a monogram and bow lovers dream! I actually am featuring the canvases here on my blog because as a member of First Orlando, we all know that the beginning of the year means a new "Word of the Year". Our pastor started this awhile ago and each year, we should have a word we live by. This year my word is Trust. My favorite verse that speaks about trusting God is Isaiah 40:31- 
"But those who Trust in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles,
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint"

Trust is a word I need reminded of this year. I need to trust God with His plan and timing. I have been struggling with this lately, and I always need to remind myself of His will. If I am weary and tired, I know I can Trust in Him. This year I can sense change coming, and new things are already happening for me! As much as I am excited, I am equally anxious for the unknown. I cannot wait to hang my Trust canvas in my bedroom for a daily reminder that he WILL renew my strenth.

What is your word for 2013?
Here are a few she has already made for our church family...

If you are interested in A Charming Welcome, and what Tiffanie can create for you, check out her Facebook page- A Charming Welcome