3-Ingredient DIY Gluten-Free Vanilla Ice Cream (No Ice Cream Machine Required!)

Being new to this gluten-free journey, I have often found myself panicked thinking, "Oh no! I have GOT to have something sweet!! I NEEEEED it!" But, then I've been left trying to figure out what in the world I can actually eat, without paying for it. Thankfully, I did find out that Trader Joe's has started carrying gluten-free JoJo's and they got me through the rough transition, thank you very much.

Pinterest and the WWW have been my friends through this process, too. I recently scoured Pinterest for a gluten-free ice cream recipe that I saw somewhere else, but then couldn't remember where I'd seen it. Ever have that happen to you? The totally awesomely wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is so simple and only has three ingredients...THREE! I think the cost for everything was under $4. I'm sure you can do it cheaper, too, I was just in a hurry...in a hurry to have some ice cream!

  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (I used the low-fat version)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and vanilla.
  2. In either your stand mixer bowl (or another bowl with your hand-held mixer), use your whisk attachments and whisk the heavy whipping cream until slightly stiff peaks form.
  3. Then fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk/vanilla mixture, until only a few bright white streaks are left.
  4. Pour into a freezer-safe container, smooth the top, and cover with a lid. Place in the freezer until firm. The original recipe says at least four hours, but I think mine was better after being in the freezer overnight.

Ingredients (I apologize for the excessive bokeh in the photo): 

After the cream is whipped, fold it into the condensed milk/vanilla mixture:

This is what it looks like, when it's all been mixed together, and put in the freezer-safe container:

And here is the end result...

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that all the ingredients are low-moisture, so it doesn't end up watery...just delightfully creamy and oh so delicioso! Actually what I mean to say is that HOLY CRAP THIS ICE CREAM IS AMAZING!!!! Ahem. My DH said that it would also be good sandwiched between two cookies...up to you. 

My new favorite way to serve ice cream is in a wide-mouth mason jar. Doesn't it look great?! But, seriously, you will absolutely die over this ice cream, or at least you'll think you've died and gone to heaven. No joke!

And here is the original pin I found on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/185632815864027935

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FREE (or semi-free) in Charleston: Fun, family-friendly, vacation, date night things to do in Charleston, SC, on a budget!

Since relocating to the Charleston, SC, area, I've been on a mission--to search out the fun, FREE (or at least semi-free) things to do! The cost of living is considerably higher down here, because it's a vacation destination. The nice thing about living in a vacation destination is that there are a TON of great, fun things to do. Charleston in quickly becoming a foodie destination because of our many incredible restaurants, too. But, those restaurants are not cheap! Fun? Yes! Delicious? Definitely. Cheap? No. And there are a million different things to do with the kids...all of which seem to cost money. But, they are very fun! Since I'm a mom with young kids, having fun things to do with them (while on a tight budget) is really important to me.

So, that's why I've been on a mission, since moving here. I kept my ear to the ground, and I've been compiling a list of tips and tricks to help families stay within their budgets while still having fun in Charleston!

Things you can do for FREE in Charleston, SC:

  • Waterfront Park (http://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/our_parks/view_park/waterfront_park)
    • Amenities: free public WiFi, park benches, green space, 2 large splash fountains (including the fabulous pineapple fountain), a pier with family swings, dogs welcome, walkways, close to The Market and other great shopping & sightseeing
    • Activities: biking, running, walking, bird watching, swinging, playing in the splash fountains, sunning, fishing, dog walking, photography
    • Parking: If you use one of the city parking garages (there are 2 that are about a block from the park), you will pay $1/hour. It's not terrible, but it does detract from the experience being completely free.
    • TIPS: If you're up for a bit of a walk through scenic, historic downtown Charleston, you can find FREE PARKING, so that this outing would be totally FREE! Just be sure to pack the stroller for the little ones. You can park along the historic Charleston Battery for free, and then walk around 3/4 mile (not even a full mile) to Waterfront Park. The walk is really pleasant, because it pretty much follows the waterfront the whole way, and you're walking by beautiful historic homes and businesses. There is also the East Bay Playground (http://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/our_parks/view_park/hazel_parker_playground) along the way, if the kids need a play break. There is also a VERY SMALL, but FREE parking lot at the East Bay Playground, and you could walk to Waterfront Park from there. As a date, it's a lovely walk to the popular Waterfront Park, and there are many great restaurants nearby. Once you've had your fill, you can walk off that dinner by walking back to your free parking at the battery. 
  • Rainbow Row
    • If you choose to walk East Bay Street between Waterfront Park, White Point Garden, and the Battery, you will notice the exquisite, historical row houses...and their colorful palette! These houses are pieces of history, and are labeled "Rainbow Row" because of their multiple colors. These are an iconic piece of Charleston and the subject of many photographs. 
    • TIPS: To get YOUR best pics of this stretch, snap away at either sunrise or sunset. This "golden hour" is when your pictures will have their best lighting, and Rainbow Row will come alive!
  • White Point Garden & Historic Charleston High Battery (http://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/our_parks/view_park/white_point_garden and http://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/our_parks/view_park/high_battery)
    • Amenities: FREE PARKING, walking paths, sculptures, gazebo, waterfront views, off-the-leash dog areas, fishing, historical markers, short walk to East Bay Playground
    • Activities: walking, running, bird watching, dog walking, fishing, photography, playing
    • Parking: FREE along the battery
    • TIPS: This also can be a completely FREE outing. There is plenty of room for kids to run and play, and my kiddos love walking along the battery and watching the water and boats. As I said above, it is LESS THAN A MILE to Waterfront Park, and extremely close to East Bay Playground (which also has a dog run area). All of White Point Garden is off-the-leash, too, for your fun-loving pooches. Pack a lunch or snack, and enjoy a meal under the expansive live oaks that line the park, or under the quaint gazebo in the middle of the park. And to give you a little historical tidbit, the pirate Bonnet was hanged at White Point in 1718. Rumor has it that he is buried somewhere in the battery. Stop in at the Battery Carriage House Inn (http://www.batterycarriagehouse.com/), where you can stroll the gardens for free, in search of the many ghosts that are rumored to haunt the inn. 
  • The Downtown Library (http://www.ccpl.org/content.asp?id=14611&action=detail&catID=5374)
    • Amenities: free WiFi, great children's area w/ toys and play area (and books, of course), computers, lots of FREE programs & events, lots of history, great rainy day activities
    • Activities: free programs & story times (see the Website for current listings like Movie Mondays, Tuesday Newsday, Wii Wednesdays, Find Froggy Fridays, and MUCH more), computers, reading
    • Parking: 50¢/hour in their covered garage
    • TIPS: Parking is pretty cheap here...and it's covered! The downtown library offers a really great rainy day option for families. During the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Library offers several free concerts and events. We saw a Japanese drum group there this past year during the festival and it was phenomenal...for FREE!
  • Music
    • If you're looking to take in some classical music for free, the Youth Orchestra of the Low Country (http://yolow.org/blog) hosts primarily free events. Just check their schedule to make sure the one you'd like to attend is free.
    • The Pour House (http://www.charlestonpourhouse.com/schedule) on James Island often hosts free music entertainment on their deck. Just check the schedule to make sure there's no cover charge, the night you'd like to go.
  • The Angel Tree (http://www.angeloaktree.org)
    • The Lowcountry is known for its expansive live oaks, but The Angel Tree is a live oak like no other. It is thought to be over 1500 years old (!), and casts shade over 17,000 square feet! You can stop and gaze into the boughs of this beautiful old tree on Johns Island. Stop by on your way out the Kiawah Island. And exploring this beautiful old tree is completely FREE! Free to view! Free to park! Free to enjoy!
  • Charleston Tea Plantation http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/
    • Located only about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, this tea plantation is on historic Wadmalaw Island--believed to have been settled in the 1660s. The Charleston Tea Plantation boasts 127 acres, brimming with over 320 varieties of teas.
    • Activities: factory tours (FREE), gift shop, trolley tours, group tours, and comprehensive Bill Hall Exclusive Tours
    • Parking: FREE
    • TIP: The factory tour is absolutely FREE, and gives you a chance to see behind the scenes of tea making. You will see the tea making process first-hand, learn more about the history of this interesting industry, and learn about several different tea varieties and how they are made. Tours begin every 15 minutes on the quarter hour.
  • Beach: Parking at the beach in Charleston is pretty much NEVER free--but beach access is alwayss FREE. You have to pay for parking wherever you go. But there are some tips and tricks I can share, that I've learned since living here. To keep your beach experience FREE, you will have to walk. Let me just prepare you for that. You may not have to walk very far (not far at all in some cases), but you will need to walk. 
    • Folly Beach: In Folly Beach, here's the tip--you can park ANYWHERE, as long as there's not a "No Parking" sign, and ALL FOUR WHEELS are OFF the pavement. So, find one of the many public beach access points, park your car off the pavement nearby, and haul your stuff out to the beach. Voila--a free beach day! Or, if you know someone with a County Parks pass, you can always borrow their pass to enter and park for free at any of the Charleston County Parks with beach access (Folly Beach, Folly Beach Pier, Isle of Palms, Beachwalker in Kiawah, etc.). 
    • Sullivan's Island & Isle of Palms: For Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms, you can park on the streets near beach access for free. Look for Palm Ave. in Isle of Palms. Just watch signs carefully (especially "no parking" signs of course), and don't park in private lots. Keeping all four wheels off the pavement is the rule in either of these places, as well. Again, you will have to walk a little bit, but that way you won't have to pay for parking. Alcohol is prohibited at Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island beaches, so avoid imbibing on those beaches. 
    • Kiawah Island: I should also note that Kiawah Island does not allow parking on the street to access the beaches. It's a bit more exclusive out that way, so you will have to pay to park at the county park if you'd like to spend a day at the beach out there. But, it's such a nice beach that I say it's worth it. 
  • Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge & Wonders' Way Pedestrian Pathway (http://www.cooperriverbridge.org)
    • When you visit Charleston, you can't help but notice this magnificent bridge that crosses the Cooper River and connects the Charleston peninsula with Mount Pleasant. The bridge itself is magnificent, but they also constructed an AMAZING pedestrian pathway on the bridge that can be accessed at the base of either side of the bridge. Runners, walkers, joggers, photographers, and folks just out for an incredible view of Charleston all love this pathway. 
    • Parking: Park at Waterfront Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, and you can park for free. 
    • TIPS: Pack water! There and back again, the distance you'll cover is maybe slightly less or more than 5 miles. If you have small kids, bring the stroller. The entire pathway is in full sun, so you'll want to slather on the sunscreen, and bring shade for the kids. If you decide to tackle it in summer, just be prepared for heat. Go earlier in the morning to take advantage of cooler temperatures. But, the views and scenery are breathtaking!! And when you're done, you can say you've done it! If you park on the Charleston side of the bridge, you can do the 2-1/2 mile jaunt over to the Mount Pleasant side and then take a siesta at Waterfront Memorial Park--lay on the lawns, play on the playground, grab a bite to eat at the café, swing on the pier, etc.--and then head back over the bridge again. All that would make for a very fun, full day.
  • Mount Pleasant Waterfront Memorial Park (http://www.comeonovermp.com/index.aspx?NID=112)
    • At the foot of the Cooper River Bridge (above), this pristine park will provide incredible views and lots of fun for your family. 
    • Activities: lawn space for playing & picnics, a fabulous shaded playground directly under the bridge (my kids love this!), a café, and a 1250 ft pier with family-sized swings and incredible views of the river, the harbor, and the city
    • Parking: FREE!
  • Historic Charleston Old City Market (http://thecharlestoncitymarket.com)
    • Now, this attraction is only free if you don't buy anything...which I have done. It is still fun to peruse the wares, enjoy all the sweetgrass baskets, blown glass, jewelry, artwork, and walk around, even without buying a single item. It is open 365 days a year, and is such an eclectic and fun part of Charleston life. 
    • Parking: You will have to pay a little money to park in one of the city parking garages that are near the market. But once again, if you aren't afraid of a little more walking, you can park at the battery for FREE, and walk less than a mile to the market. Just park at the battery, and walk straight through White Point Garden to connect with Meeting Street. Walk straight up Meeting Street until you get to Market Street where the start of the City Market is. And if I haven't mentioned it yet, walking around Charleston is a wonderful way to get to know this very historical city. You notice things you wouldn't notice from your car.
  • Charles Pinckney National Historic Site (including the House at Snee Farm) http://www.nps.gov/chpi
    • This historic site has no entrance fee, so you can soak in the history absolutely FREE! Pinckney was the principal author and signer of the U.S. Constitution. 
    • Activities: walking trails, archaeological excavation sites, agricultural history, an 1828 farmhouse (also the visitors center), museum exhibits, bookstore, introductory film, pets allowed on leash
    • Parking: FREE
  • Ride the Trolley
    • Offered by CARTA, the DASH (Downtown Area SHuttle) free service operates in the Historical Charleston Peninsula area. And did I mention that it's FREE?! Just look for the green trolleys with wood trim that say FREE on them.
    • MAPhttp://www.dointhecharlestontours.com/images/dash-map.pdf
    • Parking: Park at the Visitor Reception & Transportation Center Garage. 
  • Charleston City Hall (http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/charleston/cch.htm) & Charleston County Court House (http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/charleston/ccc.htm)
    • Operated by the National Park Service, both of these sites are FREE and open to the public! Exploring these two sites offers visitors amazing glimpses of historical architecture, and loads of history. 
    • Parking: Park at the Battery for FREE and walk to these sites, choose to pay at one of the many pay-to-park parking garages located nearby, or choose meter parking (if available)
  • Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (http://avery.cofc.edu) at the College of Charleston
    • This museum is FREE of charge and open to the public, and also offers free tours. They often host other special events, so check their calendar to see if they have something going on around the time of your visit.
    • Parking: As with most other downtown venues, parking at the Battery and walking is FREE, but you can also opt to pay for parking in a garage or at a meter.
  • The Karpeles Manuscript Library (http://www.rain.org/~karpeles/chasfrm.html)
    • Stunning architecture of the Greek Revival houses this incredible FREE collection of exhibits, displays, and artwork. Fine art is continually on display. They host a few different exhibits throughout the year, so check the Web site to see what's on diplay during your visit.
  • The Dock Street Theatre (http://www.charlestonstage.com/dock-street-theatre.html)
    • While performances do charge admission, it is free to walk around the building and courtyard. The very first opera performed in America was performed here, at The Historic Dock Street Theatre.
  • The Citadel Parades, Museum, & The Summerall Chapel (http://www.citadel.edu/root/parade-schedule)
    • Typically every Friday during the academic year, The Citadel puts on dress parades and you can watch for FREE! After the parade, you can swing by The Citadel Museum, which is also FREE of charge! Check their schedule and hours to make sure they're open when you'll be there: http://www3.citadel.edu/museum. And make sure you stop in at the beautiful Summerall Chapel, before you leave (http://www.citadel.edu/root/chapel). 
    • Parking: The campus is free and open to the public, so parking is FREE!
  • Magnolia Cemetery (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=70585)
    • If you're a history buff, and enjoy a quiet stroll through cemeteries, you'll enjoy this! I haven't visited Magnolia Cemetery yet, but I know I would enjoy it...my kids? Not so much. But, I would love it, so this will have to be something I do without them. You can visit Magnolia Cemetery absolutely FREE, and you can view the graves of authors, former governors, Civil War figures (soldiers, generals, etc.), former Congressmen, and even a British soldier. This cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
    • Parking: Parallel parking--just stay even with the road; they do not have a parking lot
  • Charleston Gateway Walk (http://stjohnscharleston.org/visitors/charleston-gateway-walk)
    • When you're in downtown Charleston, you should take in the Gateway Walk--connects Archdale Street and Philadelphia Alley, and encompasses an area between St. Phillips church and the Unitarian Church. St. Johns Luthern Church is the first of six stops along this garden tour.
    • TIP: Read this article from the Post & Courier about the historic Charleston Gateway Walk before you visit, to brush up on your history and find out the must-see spots along the walk: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20080410/ARCHIVES/304109834.
    • Parking: Park at the Battery Park/Whitepoint Garden for FREE and take a 15-20 minute walk up King Street to St. Johns Lutheran Church to begin the Gateway Walk, or pay to park in one of the many public parking garages.

Cheap or low cost things to do in Charleston, SC:

  • King Street
    • The main shopping street in Charleston, King Street provides lots of shopping options and opportunities to people watch. Pretty much EVERYONE loves King Street. Now, you can walk up and down King Street window shopping and keep this option absolutely free. However, I put this in the "semi-free" category, because odd are you'll end up buying something, or stopping to eat, or something else. Parking isn't free either. So, while you may spend a little money on King Street, it's still one of the main things to do in downtown Charleston.
    • Parking: There are plenty of city parking garages where you can park for $1/hour.
  • Carriage Rides
    • Carriage rides are a great way to hear about the history of Charleston. Carriage tour drivers have their routes selected for them by lottery, so you're never sure about where you'll be going on your tour. Exciting, eh? We've taken one carriage tour since moving down here, and it was really educational and fun. The kids loved being in the carriage, and seeing the horses, so it's a fun thing to do as a family. However, the cost can be prohibitive, unless you know how to do it on a budget. Most carriage companies charge around $20-22 per adult, and around $12 per child. So, for our family of four, we're looking at between $60 and $70 total. Yikes! 
    • TIPS: Most of the time, Groupon and LivingSocial are running some kind of deal for carriage tours. You can pay HALF the price if you take advantage of one of these deals. We purchased one that was around $20 for BOTH adults. The other thing that's good to know is that if you have a child that would be content to sit on your lap, they are FREE! Lap riders ride for $0! We went with two other families, and ended up getting a Groupon for myself and my DH, and then we split another Groupon for two of the kids that would do better in seats of their own. So, instead of spending almost $70, we only spent $30, and one of our kids rode for free on our laps!
    • Parking: Most carriage companies have their own parking lots where you can park for free. Just ask them where to park when you call to make your reservation.
  • Farmer's Market 
    • Charleston: http://www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com/
    • Mount Pleasant: http://www.comeonovermp.com/index.aspx?nid=110
    • The reason I'm including this in the "semi-free" section is because you'll most likely want to spend at least a little bit of money when you go. However, if you like just going and experiencing the market, without spending money, this could be completely free!
    • Activities: Both the Charleston and Mount Pleasant Farmers Markets are wonderful! Walking through the markets gives visitors a chance to see and sample local wares, produce, meats, and seafood, and also listen to local musicians, see the work of local artists, and so much more! If you're looking for a chance to absorb some local flair, visiting the farmers markets is the way to go. At the Mount Pleasant Market, you will find FREE PARKING, and free children's activities!
    • Parking: Mount Pleasant=FREE!
  • Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site (http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/ctl/introduction.aspx)
    • I just love Charles Towne Landing! I love going there just for myself, but I love it for my kids, too. They have an animal forest with animals that are native to South Carolina, or that would have been here when the settlers first came. There are many, many historic buildings and features to explore. Bikes are allowed, and dogs are allowed (on a leash, of course) most everywhere except the animal forest. 
    • Activities: Birding, Historic Trails, Nature Trails, Animal Forest, Interpretive Trails, river & marsh views, incredible live oaks, magnolias, an immense English park garden, The Adventure (a replica merchant ship that you can board and explore), live cannon fireings on the 3rd Saturday of each month, and a gift shop/visitor's center with free WiFi.
    • Admission: $7.50/adult; $3.75/S.C. Senior; $3.50/youth age 6-15; FREE for kids 5 & under. 
    • Parking: FREE
  • Walking Tours
    • While ghost and walking tours are a really great way to get a taste for the history and culture of Charleston, they're not usually cheap. 
    • TIP: The best way to get discounts on these tours is through Groupon or LivingSocial. Subscribe to the Charleston deals, and keep your eyes open for walking tour deals. Like the carriage tours, you will often save 50% off the usual prices.
  • Irvin~House Vineyards & Firefly Distillery (http://www.charlestonwine.com)
    • This is Charleston's only domestic vineyard and winery! It is located about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston on Wadmalaw Island. Couple a visit to the vineyards with a visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation (mentioned above) for a fun day! Stroll around the vineyard grounds, taste the wine, enjoy the walking trails, garden, pond, and petting zoo! Bring a blanket and picnic to enjoy while you're there. Pets are permitted as long as they are on a leash. All the wine labels are created by local Charleston artists!
    • Activities: $5 wine tastings--includes all 5 wines, and you keep your glass; $6 distillery tastings--includes 6 tastings (out of 24 varieties); stroll around the vineyard on self-guided tours for FREE; walking trails, a petting zoo, a garden, large pond, and gift shop
    • Parking: FREE
  • Fort Moultrie (http://www.nps.gov/fosu/historyculture/fort_moultrie.htm)
    • Part of the Fort Sumter National Monument system, Fort Moultrie is located on pristine and quaint Sullivan's Island. It is a short 20-minute drive from downtown Charleston (it doesn't feel like 20 minutes, though--it's so pretty). I really enjoy this fort. The grounds and buildings hold a lot to explore, and it doesn't cost very much at all! The fort covers a history from the Revolutionary War to World War II! It's chock full of history and fun passageways to explore. There is also a great visitors center with exhibits, gift shop, and an introductory film. Don't neglect to stroll the grounds and beachfront while you're there, too. 
    • Admission: $3/adult, $1/Seniors, FREE for Children (15 & under)
    • Parking: FREE and on site
  • Fort Sumter (http://www.nps.gov/fosu)
    • While the tour of the actual fort can be rather pricey, especially for a larger family, the visitors center in downtown Charleston is totally FREE and open to the public. The visitors center is packed with historical exhibits and information. Even if you don't actually visit the fort by boat, the visitors center is a great place to visit--especially since this site played such a pivotal in our nation's history. If you'd like to do it for free, skip the boat tour out to the fort, or see my "tip" below.
    • Fort Tours: For more information on tours and pricing, you can visit the Fort Sumter Tours page. 
    • TIP: However, if you have your own boat, or know someone who does, taking your own boat over to the actual fort is completely FREE, and won't cost you anything but the gas to get out there.
    • Parking: Park at the Visitor Reception & Transportation Center Garage and take the FREE DASH trolley down to the Aquarium & Fort Sumter area.
  • Audubon Center & Sanctuary at the Francis Beidler Forest (http://beidlerforest.audubon.org)
    • The Audubon Center and Beidler Forest afford visitors a REAL swamp experience. Walk the boardwalk through 1,000-year-old old growth forest, and observe the many species of wildlife and birds. They also have "the largest remaining stand of virgin Bald Cypress and Tupelo Gum swamp forest left anywhere in the world." I've been dying to visit, but haven't had the chance yet. It sounds amazing! The swamp has actually been the setting for several major motion pictures, and is internationally recognized. It is less than an hour from downtown Charleston, and from what I hear, it is well worth the trip.
    • Admission: Adult non-members (13-64) are $8/each; Members (& accompanying guests) are $7/each; Seniors/$7 (65+); Children (6-12)/$4; Children (under 6)/FREE!!
    • Parking: FREE and on-site

When planning you visit, I also recommend that you check out "Word on the Street"--a blog supported by Lowcountry Parent Magazine's Web site: http://blog.lowcountryparent.com/word-on-the-street. She typically posts lots of useful information on family-friendly events coming up on the weekend--many times they're free or low cost! 

The Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is also another helpful resource when planning your visit: http://www.charlestoncvb.com. Also check out Charleston.com for event, tour, restaurant, and other visitor information. 

I just discovered Charleston Family Fun, too! This Web site specialized in all fun things for families. And they have a special area coupon section that has discounts on everything from tours to frozen yogurt and so much more! View the current coupons at http://www.charlestonfamilyfun.com/special_offers/coupons. Your family can also register to be part of their Charleston Explorers Club--a FREE program that allows your family to scout area attractions and collect souvenir stamps in your passport book, and then redeem those stamps for great prizes! This is one of my new favorite sites. Subscribe to their newsletter, too, to get up to date information!

My hope is that this post is helpful for both visitors and residents alike! There are plenty of things to do while you're here, that either don't cost a thing, or that can be done on a budget. I look back through my list and think, we could definitely fill up a week with fun, cheap things to do. It almost makes me feel exhausted thinking of all the things we can do. I need a vacation now, after thinking about my pretend vacation. Haha!

Be sure to check back in with me, and leave a comment letting me know what you've been able to explore and enjoy in Charleston. If you also know of other FREE or semi-free things to do in the area, be sure to share that, as well. Have fun!

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Things I'm working on...

I'm so excited about a couple of articles I'm working on right now, and I just didn't want to wait to post them to tell you a little about them. I've been on a mission for a while to search out all the fun FREE (or at least semi-free) things to do in and around Charleston, since we moved here 3-4 months ago. And I'm including some insider secrets to help keep costs down if you live in or visit the area. I just can't wait to share them with you!

Another journey I began about a month ago is the gluten free journey. Unfortunately, this wasn't by choice, but out of necessity. My body just couldn't take it anymore. Ugh! But, I jumped in with both feet, and went cold turkey. And of course, I've been blown away by how expensive gluten free options can be. So, I'm working on the first of many articles about being gluten free on a budget. The first one is about how to stay gluten free on a road trip, which can be a challenge for a first-timer like me. But, I just got back from my first gluten free trip, and I definitely learned some things that I'd love to share with you.

All this is coming really soon, and I'm so excited! Look for more in the next few days. Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!

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