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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gluten-free Thanksgiving

Oh, Thanksgiving. It's a day to give thanks, be with family and friends, and eat a lot of good food. If you're like me and on a limited diet, this can be tricky. But it has been just about 3.5 years since I cut out gluten and dairy - and basically 4 since I cut out hydrogenated oils, but that's a story for a different day - so my family and I are pretty good at this by now.

Gluten free Thanksgiving recipes - Kate the (Almost) Great

1. If you're making a recipe from scratch, you can just replace the allergen with a "free" version. Now, you do want to check what goes in all the other ingredients to make sure that you're unknowingly consuming food you shouldn't be, but otherwise just make these replacements and you'll be fine.

Flour, baking mix, pancake mix, etc. - King Arthur Flour has gluten-free versions!

Cornbread mix, oats, pizza crust mix, etc. - Bob's Red Mill has gluten-free versions!

If your local grocery store doesn't have these, a nearby Whole Foods might. Now that so many people are going gluten-free, these products are so much easier to find.

Butter - Earth's Balance has dairy-free versions (including some that are organic)

Milk - I prefer almond to soy milk, but that's personal preference.

Cheese - Veggie Cheese

2. Here are some great gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes that you could also add to your menu!

Lemon Garlic Green Beans

Corn Fritters with Roasted Pepper Romesco Sauce

Crusted Pumpkin Wedges

Dinner Rolls

Potato Leek Soup

Roasted Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Butternut Squash Risotto

Sage Butter Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey Breast with Bacon and Herbs

Have you found any great gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes? Let me know!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

With Thanksgiving just days away, I thought I would break out the fashion-blogger side of me. I'm talking about outfit ideas for Thanksgiving today!

Thanksgiving Outfits for Women - Kate the (Almost) Great

Everyone celebrates it differently, so I have 3 types of outfits: casual, snappy casual, and formal. However you're celebrating this year, I have an option for you. Plus, these holiday outfits can also work for various other celebrations this holiday season, from Hanukkah to Christmas Eve to Christmas morning to New Year's Day brunch.

Casual Holiday

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas for women - Kate the (Almost) Great

Thanksgiving Outfits for Women - Kate the (Almost) Great

Sweatshirt c/o Marley Lilly

I'm obsessed with this sweatshirt. It is so incredibly comfortable and warm, which is perfect for New England weather. I also love the size of the monogram. I love to monogram things, but it drives me crazy when people wear monogramed everything or they have a giant one on their clothes. But this size is perfect - it is big enough that people can see it but it isn't ostentatious.

Order yours! It's currently down to $37.99 (from $49.99). It comes in 8 colors with many different monogram styles and thread color options. Check out Marley Lilly and all the different monogrammed items you can get!

Snappy Casual Holiday

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas for women - Kate the (Almost) Great

Thanksgiving Outfits for Women - Kate the (Almost) Great

I wore this outfit to a fun brunch my parents threw this weekend for my friends and various other young people they know in the city. It's comfortable but looks like a step up from a sweatshirt and leggings. I love this outfit so much that I struggle to avoid wearing it practically every day.

More Formal Holiday

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas for women - Kate the (Almost) Great

Thanksgiving Outfits for Women - Kate the (Almost) Great

I'm obsessed with this dress. It's fun, it's cute, and, most importantly, it has pockets! Also, it fits me perfectly. But that's not a coincidence - eShakti specializes in customizing your clothes so that they fit as well as possible. With eShakti, you can customize measurements and style. I tend to struggle with finding clothes that fit the way they should because I have short legs (by the way, I'm 5'2"). So many dresses or skirts that have a really short hem are much longer on me, and I need the majority of my pants hemmed. Finding a company that specializes in customizing clothes is a game changer for those of you like me!

EShakti is a great company to work with and I'm so excited to wear this dress this holiday season. I highly suggest them for holiday attire!

What's your plan for Thanksgiving attire? Which of these three do you tend to go with?

Disclaimer: I received the sweatshirt from Marley Lilly and the dress from eShakti in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I'm an Ambassador!

Look who's posting on a Saturday? Well this is for good reason. I am so excited to announce that I am joining the formidable forces of Cure Arthritis Ambassadors!

Cure Arthritis Ambassadore

Here is an excerpt from the wonderful article they wrote:

"The Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Cure Arthritis Ambassadors roster continues to grow and we are pleased to welcome Kate Mitchell to the team. Kate, creator the blog, Kate The Almost Great, is a writer and former teacher who has been battling arthritis symptoms since 2001. Kate plans to use the influence from her blog, social media accounts, and self-published book Aureole, to spread the message that research is the key to finding a cure for arthritis. 

Though she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis back in 2010, Kate has since been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. With 56 joints affected by arthritis and eight fibromyalgia points, her disease is progressing. The cartilage under her knee has even come apart from her kneecap, which makes dislocating it all the more frequent, further worsening her condition. Despite her pain, Kate’s condition is motivating her to take action by spreading awareness."

As a part of my rule as an ambassador, I am launching a new series here on the blog. I want to use my platform to provide a voice for other sufferers of arthritis and its related diseases and conditions. This means that I will be posting weekly or monthly (haven't decided yet) the story of another person who has this condition.

If you would like to participate, fill out this form! You don't have to have a blog to do it. This way I can use my platform to share other people's stories, especially those who don't have a platform but want to share what's going on with them. Hopefully this will raise more awareness, but it will also provide me with more information on the realities of living with arthritis because it can be a wide spectrum.

I'm so excited to continue my journey of activism and to be able to take this next step so I can better help you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, either in a comment here on by emailing me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gift Guide: Yogi

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and you know what that means - it's time to buy presents! I will be posting a weekly gift guide for different topics, interests, and types of people. I know that there are gift guides galore out there, so I'm trying to provide a more specific approach and avoid adding just another gift guide. Today I'm providing gifts for (you guessed it) yogis, or those who practice yoga!

Best yoga gifts - Kate the (Almost) Great

Yoga Clothes for Women

Yoga gifts for women - Kate the (Almost) Great

Tanks: Yoga Clothing For You Ladies AUM T-back Tank ($25), Yoga Clothing For You Ladies Flowy V-Neck Tank Top ($13), Lululemon Cool Racerback ($42), Balance Collection Heather Layering Tank ($20), Athleta Chi Tank Extra Long (available in plus sizes) ($32)

Short-sleeve shirts: Pure Karma short-sleeve top ($38), Lululemon Yogini 5 Year Short Sleeve Tee ($58), Under Armour Women's Short Sleeve V-Neck ($20), Lucy short Sleeve Workout Tee ($39), Athleta Breathe Tee ($52)

Long-sleeve shirts: Lululemon Layered Long Sleeve Tee ($78), Athleta Chi Top (available in plus sizes) ($54), Lole Women's Helene Tunic ($15), Balance Collection Open Back Long Sleeve Tee ($20), Ladies Casual Long Sleeve Jersey with Sleeveless Tank Top Yoga Set ($15),
Athleta Power-Down Primaloft Pullover Top ($79),

Yoga shorts: Lululemon Boogie Short ($42), 2 Pack Nylon Spandex Tribal Pattern Fold Over Yoga Shorts ($15), Athleta Shimmy Short ($27), Lucy Lean and Mean Short ($45),
Champion Women's Absolute Workout Short ($16)

Capri pants: Lululemon Astro Wunder Crop II ($78), Athleta Stride Capri ($79), Balance Collection Capri ($25), Balance Collection Plus Size Capri ($27), iLoveSIA Women's Capri Yoga Pant ($10)

Jackets: Lululemon Rolling With My Omies Hoodie ($80), Athleta Verbier Jacket - available in plus sizes ($118), Prana Randa Jacket ($99), Franato Women's Stretch Athletic Zip Up Yoga Jacket ($22)

Full pants: Pure Karma Atomic Betty Legging ($56), Cozy Orange Juno Fitted Pants ($60), Lululemon Wunder Under Pant ($82), Athleta Revelation Pant ($80), LA Base Women's Long Yoga Pants ($12)

Yoga Outlet was actually kind enough to send me the Marika Kickit Legging, and I love them. They're so comfortable and perfect for doing yoga, going for a walk, or running errands. Once they arrived, I put them on immediately and didn't want to take them off! And Yoga Outlet is a great place. They have so many different yoga necessities, and some of the links in this post go to Yoga Outlet for that category. I really recommend them to anyone looking for good yoga clothing and accessories without breaking the bank.

Yoga outlet review - kate the (Almost) Great

Yoga pants review Kate the (Almost) Great

Yoga Clothes for Men

Yoga gifts for men - Kate the (Almost) Great

Tanks: Spiritual Gangster Warrior Triblend Grey Tank ($20 - I may or may not have picked this tank because of its name), Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Tank ($54),
Mens Yoga Tank Top ($17), Nike Legacy Performance Tank ($25)

Short-sleeve shirts: Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve V ($64), Be Love Men's Peace Warrior tee ($20), Mens Tri Blend V-neck Tee Shirt ($11),
FILA SPORT Performance Tee Big & Tall ($18)

Long-sleeve shirts: Lululemon Conduct Long Sleeve Crew ($78), Prana Men's Talon Yoga Mock Neck ($50), Nike Legacy Performance Tee ($30), Yoga Clothing For You  ($25)

Shorts: Lululemon It's Asana Short ($68), Prana Men's Sutra Short ($60), prAna Men's JD Short ($45), Lululemon Assert Short ($72),

Pants: Lululemon King Fu Pant 2.0 ($98), Prana Men's Sutra Yoga Pant ($70),
Nike Crusader Pant ($32), Godsen Men's Basic Yoga Pant ($15)

JacketsYoga Clothing For You Mens Lightweight Performance Jacket ($43), Lululemon Best Coat Hoodie ($118), Sonoma Fleece Hoodie ($25),  Alo Yoga Men's Casual Track Jacket ($15)

Yoga Supplies

Gifts for yoga lovers - Kate the (Almost) Great

Mats: Gaiam Tree of Life Yoga Mat ($22), Maduka PROlite Yoga Mat ($70),
Lululemon The Mat ($68), YogaAccessories Extra Thick Yoga Mat (Phthalate Free) ($20)

Towels: Sporti Small Hot Yoga Towel ($4), Lululemon The Towel ($38),
Aurorae's Sport/Yoga Mat Towel ($25), Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Mat Towel ($22)

Blocks: Hugger Mugger Yoga Block ($15), Lululemon Uplifting Yoga Block ($12),
Gaiam Yoga Block ($11), Lululemon Dense Foam Block ($12)

Straps: Hugger Mugger 8' Strap ($10), Lululemon No Limits Stretching Strap ($16),
ProSource Yoga Strap ($6), YogaAccessories 8' Cotton Yoga Strap ($8)

Bolsters: Hugger Mugger Bolster ($60), Supportive Rectangular Cotton Bolster Color ($34), YogaAccessories Pranayama Cotton Yoga Bolster ($23)

Mat Carriers: Lululemon Loop It Up Mat Strap ($18), Prana Piggyback Yoga Mat Strap ($15), YogaAccessories Yoga Mat Harness Strap ($10), FMS Yoga Mat Sling Harness ($9)

Disclaimer: I received clothing from Yoga Outlet in exchange for an honest review and promotion. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way or for anything else in this post.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tour through Blogland: My Creative Process and Purpose

Today you're getting a peek into my blogging/writing life! Big thanks to Kenji for nominating me for the Tour through Blogland. (If you're wondering why I didn't capitalize through, check out my capitalization rules!)

Tour through Blogland - Kate the (Almost) Great

1. What am I working on?

I have a whole bunch of stuff in the works! Starting tomorrow, I'm posting my gift guides. I'm trying to focus on specific types of people to make them more helpful and to keep them from being just another gift guide. Like I said, first one starts tomorrow!

I'm also working on some holiday guides for people with chronic illness. These will focus on traveling, food, setting limits, etc. I'm hoping that my past experience will help you have a better holiday season!

I've also been in the very slow process of redoing and relaunching my writing website. I first made it back in 2012 when I published Aureole, but I have a whole bunch of new writing projects in the works, so I want to give the site a facelift. Speaking of which, I have at least 2 books that I'm working on right now, so be on the lookout for information about those! Writing-wise, I'm also doing some freelance writing and editing. Shameless plug: if you want to use either of those services, email me! As we approach the end of the semester, I know that there are a lot of people finishing big important papers for school. I'll help you with them for the price of coffee.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Essentially, I have a unique perspective. Obviously all lifestyle bloggers (and people) do, but mine is especially different from being "just another 20-something lifestyle blogger." There are 2 reasons for this: my health and my writing background.

If you've been around here for even just a few posts, you probably know that I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and I also have knee issues - oh, you know, just my cartilage tearing apart from my kneecap - from the arthritis. But since I've been in pain since the fall of 2001, I have the experience of someone who has been to hell and back and who conquered through it all. I don't just know the best and worst ways to get through the holidays with chronic illness; I also know the power that words have to help people and how to best use them to make a difference. I use this to write posts about what to say and not say to someone who was diagnosed with arthritis, as well as to advocate for arthritis patients and their rights.

Speaking of words, they have been my friend for my entire life. Like I said, I have an extensive writing background, especially in that I write novels. But more than that, I studied it at college, but not just as one of my majors. See, I also majored in secondary education and taught high school English last year. As a part of my training to be an English teacher, I took a class on all the grammar rules. This is why I'm able to write grammar tutorials and why I do freelance editing.

This background in writing and grammar as well as my health history combine to make my blog and my writing different from all others.

Tour through Blogland - Kate the (Almost) Great

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Like I said, I have always been a writer. It is a part of me and has been for as long as I can remember. Blogging gets me writing pretty much every day - also, writing regularly makes your writing better overall - and serves as a great creative outlet.

I also try and use what makes me special and unique to help others with my writing. That's why I write posts about the realities of arthritis and how you can help people with arthritis and what it means to be an advocate.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

For each month, I plan the topic for each day I'm going to post (4 times a week generally). Then, the week of or the week or two before, I start a draft with the actual topic that I'm going to write about. I'll put some notes in the draft about what I want to write about or things I need to remember to include. If it's a post about something that would be good to use SEO, I make some notes on words or phrases to include.

The day or two before it goes live, I'll sit down and type it all out. I usually rewrite certain elements or the entire post at least once, and 99% of the time I preview the post to check for types or notes to myself that I forgot about. I also put [IMAGE] where I want to include, well, images. Sometimes I forget to make them or to just upload them - which is one of the last steps of making a post - which is why I always proofread it to make sure I didn't forget. 99.9% of the time, I write and schedule these posts ahead of time. So at the very end, I go ahead and use Hootsuite to schedule promotions.

In general, I make a to-do list for every day. I either make it the night before or the morning of, and I use Evernote. I used to make to-do lists on paper, but I was going through so much paper, so I switched to Evernote. I also make notes of SEO for the coming week on there.

Well there you have it! I'm very particular and like things to go a certain way, as you can probably tell, and of course that means I need to basically write an essay to answer these questions. Whatever! (insert sassy hair flip emoji here)

I nominate:

Rebecca from Life with rME

Cassie from Sage the Blog

Becca from Becoming Addorable

I also want to introduce you to my awesome sponsor, Rebekah!

I’m an attorney living in Atlanta that loves traveling, reading, writing, crafting, and FSU football! This blog is my place to share my adventures, projects, struggles, joys, and pretty much anything else that pops into my head. You may be wondering how I chose the name for this blog. It has nothing to do with my being an uber conservative rule follower (I actually tend to look for the loophole in most rules), and everything to do with that fact that I shoot  straight like an arrow, and rarely hold back my thoughts. If nothing else, I want this blog to be honest.​ ​I have an amazing family, boyfriend, and three fur babies that are the center of my life

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