The Gluten Free Garcias

Living gluten free in a gluten filled world!

Desert Essence Beauty Products February 14, 2013

Filed under: gluten free,Uncategorized — theglutenfreegarcias @ 10:20 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello All!

Today I am doing a product review of some of my favorite Gluten Free and Vegan products! And I have tried MANY different Organic and gluten free products! Enough of them for my husband to say, “I hope you find something you like soon!” LOL!!

I saw these products for the first time at my Doctor’s office and tried the SPF 15 sunscreen/moisturizer. I liked it, so I bought some more. Then I saw they had some facial scrub and decided to try it too. After reading the directions on the scrub, I decided to try and find the Tea Tree oil facial cleansing pads that my doctor’s office didn’t carry and purchased them through So, I started using them all in a cleansing regimen. I used the scrub, then the tea tree oil pads, and then the SPF 15 moisturizer/sunscreen.

My skin is very sensitive and gets even more sensitive when I am pregnant. I used this regimen while I was pregnant with my Baby Girl (my second baby) and my skin never peeled or was too oily or dry!

Recently, after a little bit of research on their website, I decided to start using their facial wash for sensitive skin instead of the scrub and their moisturizing cream instead of the SPF lotion. So now my regimen is facial wash, tea tree oil cleaning pads, then moisturing cream. These seem to help my face wih dryness more in the winter when it’s cold and web are running the heater and/or fireplace. So far I really like the new regimen!

I use a lot of their products! So many, in fact, I decided to take a picture of all of the ones we use here in our home. I feel so confident about their products and enjoy them so much, I had to tell people about them! I am posting the picture of the products we are using now. And will follow it with a list of the products and what I like about them. The list follows the products from left to right starting with the blue bottle on the far left.

Here is a picture of all of the different products I use from Desert Essence…


1) Fragrance Free Hand and Body Cream – I just bought is a few weeks ago and I have really enjoyed using it! I don’t like it when lotion leaves my skin feeling greasy and this cream definitely does not leave any greasy feeling on my skin! And this is a great lotion for me because, Htd as I said earlier in the post, I am very sensitive to fragrances and it has not irritated my skin at all!

2) Coconut Hand Wash – Sorry about the picture, you can’t see it too well becasue i had to squeeze all of the products into a small space. A few weeks ago, had a sale in which you could buy one of these and get one free. So I bought 4 of them to try out. They have 4 fragrances: coconut, grapefruit, lavender and vanilla chai. I didn’t get vanilla chai. I’m not a fan of vanilla scented things, so I doubled up on the grapefruit fragrance. So far, eh are great and haven’t been too much fragrance on my hands.

3) Organic Jojoba Oil – I use this as an eye make-up remover, but the back of the bottle says you can use it for after sun care, a skin softener for cuticle and feet, and for a scalp treatment. I works really well on waterproof make-up as well.

4) Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner – This conditioner is great for oily hair. My scalp gets oily sometimes, so I used the conditioner when I use the same formula shampoo. It is a very light weight conditioner, so it won’t weigh your hair down. It’s great for people who have thin hair.

5) Daily Essential Moisturizer – This is some awesome stuff! As I died before, I don’t really like things that feel greasy on my skin and this moisturizer feels great and make up goes on very smoothly over it.

6) Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser – I just started using this and it is amazing stuff! It does not smell sage like several other washes that I’ve used. It also has apple juice and aloe in it so it is very soothing. I imagine that it would be really good as an after sun wash as well.

7) Coconut Shampoo – This shampoo smells wonderful! It also cleans my hair without drying it out. My scalp tends to be a little oil and e ends dry, so I often use the tea tree oil shampoo with the coconut conditioner and it works well on my hair. It keeps it balance and that way I don’t have to wash my hair every day.

8) Natural Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Pads – Out of all of the products I have listed on here, these HAVE got to be my favorite!! After I wash my face I clean them with one or two of these pads and it really works well to remove all of the dirt and oil. I am amazed at the amount of dirt it removes even when I don’t wear any makeup.

9) Toothpaste – We have two types of the toothpaste that we use. Desert essence actually make 3 favors: Peppermint, Wintergreen and Ginger. We like them all, but we mostly use the peppermint and the wintergreen flavors. All three flavors are SLS free, gluten free and fluoride free. They are fabulous and leave your mouth feeling super fresh!

10) Daily Essential Defense Lotion SPF 15 – This was the first product I ever tried from Desert Essence. We were going to be taking a trip to Galveston and I wanted a sunscreen that wouldn’t aggravate my son’s eczema, so my Doc recommended this one to us. I put it on him at the beach and he didn’t burn and his skin still looked good. Eventually I started using it as a daily moisturizer and I loved it because (again) it didn’t make my face feel oily (Or make me flash back to my teenage years).

Oops!!! I forgot one of my favorite products…


No, not the diaper or the wipes, the diaper cream. It is called Don’t Be Rash Diaper Cream and it is amazing! My daughter is a breast-fed baby and tends to get diaper rash pretty easily. When I put this on her the rash clears up in a few hours and works much Bette compared to a couple of other name brand creams I have used on her. And the cool part is there are only 5 ingredients in it!

I hope you have found this informative and I hope you decide to give their products a try. They are very affordable and you can mix and match many of their products to make a person skin care regimen for yourself!

Have a great Valentine’s Day!



Mema’s Fresh Apple Cake November 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theglutenfreegarcias @ 5:07 pm

Hello All!!

I am trying to make Saturdays or Mondays my update day, so bear with me! We are in the process of packing our house so we can move closer to our church. Our house has been on the market for over a month and we are patiently waiting for a few bites, but nothing so far. So, needless to say we’ve been cleaning and packing and re-taking pictures for our realtor. We are just at a big transition period in our lives right now! πŸ™‚

So………….Back to the recipe!

This recipe is near and dear to my heart and to the hearts of my family members on my Mom’s side of the family! I plan on making this a part of my family holidays for many years to come! My Mema (my Mom’s Mom) made this cake for just about every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not sure what year she actually started to make it, but I am going to include a picture of the recipe so you can see the wear and tear! She must have made it many, many times! I recently shared the recipe with a friend, shout out to Sarah!! And another friend of mine, who I posted the gluten free chili recipe for was also interested! So Hi to Candace, too! πŸ™‚

My Mema’s Fresh Apple Cake

***Please Note: This is the original recipe and it is not gluten-free. Please look at the written out recipe below!***

Here you go: (BTW- Please read the WHOLE recipe before you get started!)

In a large bowl:
Stir together:
-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cups oil
Add -2 eggs – stir
Add -1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp salt
-3 cups gluten free flour – stir
Add -3 cups chopped apples
-2 tbsps vanilla
-1 cup chopped pecans (optional) – stir

Pour batter (very thick batter) into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350* for 1 hour 15 minutes on a low rack in the oven (if its too high in the oven the top will burn, I learned this the hard way).Β Be sure not to underbake because the middle will be gooey. Test with a long cake tester or a wooden skewer.

Important Pointers:

1) The only thing I had to change on this recipe for us what the flour. I used Cup 4 Cup because it was what I had on hand at the time. I had never used the flour before, but it turned out great! I am going to try it with a homemade flour blend of mine and see how it turns our and I will update my post to let you know how it turned out!

2) I always use Granny Smith apples and have never tried another kind, but I’m sure any type would work just as well. I am tempted to try Honey Crisp as they are tart and sweet!

I will also have to post a picture of the cake the next time I make one! I thought I had one, but come to find out, I forgot to take one! 😦 So Sorry!

I want to post this pic of my Mema in honor of her! She was wonderful! πŸ™‚ Love her pearls! A true Southern Lady! πŸ™‚

This is my Mema in 2004! She look amazing for being 83!! πŸ™‚


Why the Delay? Because we had a birthday!! October 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theglutenfreegarcias @ 9:26 pm

Yes, Sir/Mam!! We had a birthday! Literally IN the Garcia household! πŸ™‚

Marissa Lynn Garcia was born on June 27, 2012 (the day after my 1st/last post)! She was 7 lbs. 12 ozs. and 19 and 3/4 inches long! She looks just like her big brother! Everyone says so! πŸ™‚ It was a homebirth with a midwife attending. yet the midwife barely made it for me to have her! 1 hour of labor and she was here! πŸ™‚

She is a beautiful little blessing! Here is a pic of her right after she was born!

Marissa Lynn Garcia

Born June 27, 2010 2:20 am


I am going to try my hardest to get in the swing of things with this blog. I just have not had a lot of time! So I am going to post a recipe for my favorite Gluten and dairy free chili! I like to make this one when our church has our second Sunday lunch. It feeds a lot and goes great with Rice (my hubby’s fave) or cornbread.

Thanks Candice for the inspiration to actually type this one out!! πŸ™‚

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chili:

What you will need:
-ground beef (if you are making a lot I would use 3 lbs)
-1 large onion (I also put 2 carrots in mine just for more veggies)
-garlic (see recipe)
-2 large cans plus 1 small can of tomato sauce (you can use more or less depending in the amount of meat you use)
-2 large cans plus 1 small can of black beans, pintos or any type of bean you like! (I use black beans in mine because they are a little healthier!)
-2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of chili powder
-1 tablespoon of cumin
-1 teaspoon of salt
-1 teaspoon of black pepper
-2 teaspoons of Oregano

You will also need a crock-pot for this recipe or you can just use a large pot on the stove, not a big difference. But the longer you let it cook the yummier it gets!

Turn your crock pot on the high setting. Start by browning the meat along with the onion in a pan on your stove. You can add some garlic if you like. 2 to 3 cloves freshly chopped or 2 teaspoons of powdered. Put the browned meat mixture into your crock-pot or pot on the stove. Add your tomato sauce, black beans (you can drain the juice from the beans and rinse them if you’d like. I normally do, but the juice will make the chili a little thicker) and all of your spices then give it all a good stir. You can cook this on low overnight or on high for an hour. Make sure to taste it after about 30 minutes, once everything is nice and hot and working together. That way you can see if it needs something more. If you want an extra kick, add in some cayenne pepper!! My hubby loves me to add cayenne! I serve mine with white rice or you can make some gluten free corn bread.smileΒ And if you want a recipe for that, you can buy the Bobs red mill brand. I haven’t tried it before, but I may try so I can add another recipe to my list! πŸ™‚

Y’all have a great week and I hope to post again next Monday! πŸ™‚


Gluten free? Say what? June 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theglutenfreegarcias @ 11:19 pm

Yep, you heard right. We are a gluten free family in a gluten filled world! I am the main blogger here on the site, Stef. My husband Mac and I live in Magnolia, Texas and we have a little boy, Mackie, and a little girl, Marissa Lynn, on the way – she is due any minute now! πŸ™‚ We are Christians and go to church at Founders Baptist Church in Spring, Texas.

I wanted to start this blog because there are some things I just don’t want to put on Facebook anymore. Some people are just too over zealous with comments and I’d like to make it a little more private. I think this is a great journey for me to begin.

I actually enjoy writing, but I am by no means a great writer. I just have a lot of opinions about things that I like to share.

I will be talking about a lot of things that I try, posting recipies, posting family pics, and sharing some things from the Word of God.

If you are reading this, I hope you enjoy my thoughts and stories and hope you visit often. Who knows where this can go? πŸ™‚

Have a blessed day!