Easy Gluten-Free Snack Ideas #LiveGfree

I am so excited about this post I can hardly contain myself! First, I should tell you it is sponsored by ALDI, but the gushing, excited, borderline geeky opinions are all my own. Last spring at Mom 2.0 I was chatting with one of my favorite ALDI reps and she told me a new gluten-free line was about to come out there. I was SO excited. Gluten-free goodies at an ALDI price? I practically got down on my knees and thanked the Lord right then and there. The day after I got back to Dayton I went to ALDI and BAM – there they were! This is an Instagram pic from my feed on May 5th – I bought ALL THE THINGS! This is only halfway through my trip!

And they were all amazing. I am serious, yo. So in the next few weeks I am going to tell you about ALL my favorites from the liveGfree line at ALDI. But today, we are going to start with easy snacks – very important for a gfree mama like me who likes to eat several smaller meals throughout the day AND for a certain 3-year-old boy who is gluten-free and likes to eat all the time ALWAYS. Here are a few of my easy faves featuring the liveGfree line and other great ALDI brand products.

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A couple of these snack ideas will be featuring these amazingly delicious liveGfree baked chewy bars. I love them the most because they are free of the 8 common allergens (yay for dairy-free peeps!) and they are all natural – NO artificial anything! And you guys?? They are only $2.49 a box. TWOFORTYNINE!! I pay $5 a box for a similar product at other grocery stores. I’ve even had to order them online, especially when Jonah was dairy-free as well and I was desperate. And I really couldn’t afford that. So $2.49? AMAZING.

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I will be featuring Very Berry and Caramel Apple today, but they also have a Cocoa Loco flavor that is basically the tastiest gluten-free snack every invented. More about that in a later post! Now onto the snacks! First, I went with one of my favorite fall snacks – the caramel apple.

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What you’ll need from ALDI (total of $7.77 – I bought a whole bag of apples, not just one!):

Apples (I wanted to get Granny Smith but Jonah prefers Gala )

BerryHill Caramel topping

liveGfree Caramel Apple baked chewy bars

I don’t think I need to tell you how to “make” this! Slice, pour, open – done!

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I made this while the kids were at school, and…I ate it immediately after I was done taking the photos. SO GOOD! What kid wouldn’t love this, too? Forget Pumpkin Spice, fall, I’ll take Caramel Apple over that any day!

Next up, I used the Very Berry baked chewy bar as the centerpiece for a super-fruity snack – this was Jonah’s favorite!

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Products I used from ALDI (toto of $5.77 for all of this – which will make multiple servings, of course!):

liveGfree Very Berry baked chewy bars

Naturipe blueberries

MooTubes fruit-flavored yogurt

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One of Jonah’s favorite pastimes is opening the refrigerator. I wish I was kidding! As soon as he got home from school yesterday, he went straight to the fridge. He saw this in there and had to have it. A perfect after-preschool snack!

He went for the blueberries first. :)

Jonah snacking

I can’t even tell you how handy these little liveGfree bars are to have around – throw one in your purse, stash a couple in the car – they are great for when you need a gluten-free snack!

Finally, I went for a gluten-free crunch snack that is sure to be a hit with EVERYONE – whether they eat #gfree or not! Also super-great for a party or get-together..

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What you’ll need from ALDI (which all together cost me less than $12! And I had enough left over to make this at least one more time. What a great price for a party appetizer!!):

liveGfree Multi-Grain crackers – Sea Salt (sosososososososooooo good.)

liveGfree pretzel sticks (love. Oh how I missed pretzels!)

Little Salad Bar hummus quartet (this is a request from hubby EVERY time I go to ALDI!)

Baby carrots

Little Salad Bar salsa (one of my absolute faves)

This makes an excellent anytime snack, too!

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Is anyone else feeling hungry? So good. I love the roasted red pepper hummus the most! But they are all delish. And I just LOVE the Sea Salt crackers…I really missed having crunchy snacks!

I can’t tell you how happy my budget is now that ALDI has this fabulous line of liveGfree products. As you can see from the first photo in this post, there are a LOT more than just snacks  - and I can’t wait to tell you about more of my favorites! AND I can’t even EXPRESS to you how happy this banner at the top of the ALDI website makes me!!

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Have you tried the liveGfree line yet? What’s your favorite?

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He Really Knows How to Pick ‘Em

So now that the cat’s out of the bag about my new job, I have to tell you the story of how I met my boss, whom I shall call…Brian (mostly because that’s his actual name).

I actually worked for Brian for a few months before I met him in person, but we kinda-sorta has some connections because he and his wife went to high school with my brother and I went to high school with his sister (and his wife and I are Facebook friends so basically we are bests – HEY JENNA!)  and we connected via Facebook, email, phone calls, Google Hangouts, and all the great internetty ways by which you get to know (and hire) a complete stranger without being in the same physical space. Speaking of which, we also go to the same church, but due to the fact that there are three services…we’ve never actually seen each other there. Ha.

Anyway! This year Brian’s kids are going to my kids’ school for the first time and we both have boys who are in 5th grade so at meet-the-teacher night we finally met in person.  (Do people still DO that? Weird.) As luck would have it, one of Brian’s sons is in Joshua’s class [so the chances for my potential embarrassment go beyond this blog post] and their lockers are right next to each other. Like all good amazingly awkward introductions,  we made ours by the middle school lockers. (Which actually sets the stage rather well for what happened next, as it turns out. And also? I LOVE PARENTHESES!) I introduced him to Bobby, Sophie, and Joshua, and our boys met each other, too. And then Brian directed his attention to one Jonah Rapson. I mean, after all, who could resist Jonah’s adorable 3-year-old charms?

(Take note: you might want to resist should you ever be in danger of succumbing to said charms.)

I can’t remember what words were exchanged but I do know I had Jonah say hello in a super-polite manner that would showcase not only his speech therapy progress but also my superb mothering skills. And then Brian started to extend his hand to shake Jonah’s darling, tiny, three-year-old hand, because oh em gee, three-year-old handshakes are ADORABLE, no?

SO here’s the part where what transpired next happened in that super slow-motion thing where I could see what was going to happen but I could in no way stop it and  and I was like “nooooooooooooooooo!!” but it was too late.

For neither Brian nor I saw that as we were exchanging pleasantries, Jonah had inserted his right index finger into his nostril. BECAUSE OF COURSE HE DID. I saw him take it out seconds before…he shook my new boss’ hand. And though my inner monologue was letting out a strangled cry, all  I could do was cringe in mombarrassment.

the perfect pick

Jonah is demonstrating the super-sneaky method by which you can go from pick to shake in under a second. I said “Jonah can you pick your nose?” and he was happy to oblige.

To his credit, Brian saw what was  happening and went through with the handshake. (And presumably then went through an entire bottle of hand sanitizer.)

The really funny thing is, Jonah isn’t much of a nose picker. I mean, it’s not something I really have to scold him for or deal with often. So he picked (see what I did there) an especially momentous occasion to try it out. I guess Brian is just that lucky.

Oh that third child, you gotta watch that one. I MEAN MY PRIDE! MY FIRST IMPRESSION!

Just kidding. It’s so bloggable, it makes it totally worth it.

At least on my end. Sorry Brian! And, nice to meet you?

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far, Is All I’m Sayin’

This weekend we went on a little family road trip/mini vacay and man! Was it fun. I promise to tell you all about it in approximately one week’s time, but to tide you over, here is an anecdote.

We had breakfast at Bob Evans on Sunday, and Joshua busied himself by doing a little Mad Libs-type story on the kids’ menu. Which he then proudly read to us. And we all laughed like 10-year-old boys, even though only one of us was, in fact, a 10-year-old boy. Allow me to present Joshua’s literary masterpiece:

Joshua Mad Lib

And that’s not all Joshua accomplished this weekend: here’s another gem that will love in the internet forever:

My son, ladies and gentlemen! I could not be more proud!

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