Livin’ the Free Life

Livin’ the Free Life is much like an adventure. There are hills to climb and treasures to find. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all alone.

Giveaway – Learning to Bake Allergen-Free by Colette Martin

by Allergy Free Kitchens on May 14, 2014

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2014 Chicago GFAF Expo in Review

by Allergy Free Kitchens on April 14, 2014

This past weekend marked my second annual trip to the Chicago Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. Once again, the seven hour drive to Schaumburg, IL (and the seven hour trip home) was worth it.  Fourteen hours in a car was a small price to pay to spend time with people who inspire, educate, and help our family live the free life.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you my favorite finds and moments from the GFAF Expo, but I wanted to give you a sneak preview of five allergy-friendly products/companies I’m thrilled to have found there.

  • Smart Flour Foods (Gluten-Free, Vegan Pizza Crust) – If you have been looking for a gluten-free, vegan pizza crust, be sure to visit Smart Flour.  Their plain pizza crust, brushed with a little olive oil and served warm right out of the oven, was fabulous.  Serve it up like pita bread.  Dress it up with your favorite pizza toppings.  Oh, the possibilities.  More on that to come.
  • BFree (Gluten-Free, Vegan Wrap) – Hoping for a gluten-free, vegan wrap that doesn’t crumble when you roll it?  BFree did it!  They are new to the US, so distribution isn’t widespread, but I’m trusting as people try their products, that will soon change.  They also offer tasty gluten-free breads.  The breads contain eggs, the wrap does not.
  • Amore di Mona Couverture Chocolat Speciale (Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan Chocolate) – What’s an event without chocolate? Thankfully, I didn’t have to find out.  Amore di Mona Couverture Chocolat Speciale sampled some of the most beautiful chocolates I’ve found in the world of allergy-friendly chocolate.  Their creations are vegan, low-glycemic, non-gmo, nut free, soy free, gluten-free and extraordinary.
  • Ginny Bakes (Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan Cookies) – Want an organic, gluten-free and vegan cookie that tastes like “buttah”?  Check out Ginny Bakes.  Their Organic Vegan Dreamy Delight Cookies live up to their name – dreamy!
  • Red Apple Lipstick (Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free Makeup) – The Red Apple Lipstick booth was THE place to be. What a fun group and what great products. Beautiful colors. No gluten. Paraben free. Made in the USA.  I’m so happy with my purchase – so are my lips.  😉

If you don’t want to miss future posts about these products (and more), you can subscribe to allergyfreekitchens.com in the right sidebar.  To see pics from the GFAF Expo follow me on Instagram or Twitter!

Important:  Before trying any of the above products, please be sure they are safe for you.  Contact the manufacturers for potential cross contamination with your allergen(s), view the information on their websites, and always read labels.  Some of these products are not Top 8 Free.

Were you at the Chicago GFAF Expo?  What were your favorite finds?  Please let me know in the comments below.

Here’s to livin’ the free life,

Wendy

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Giveaway – 5 One Day Passes to the Chicago GFAF EXPO

by Allergy Free Kitchens on March 31, 2014

GFAF-Chicago-Free-Tickets-Allergy-Free-Kitchens

The Chicago Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is coming up in less than two weeks!  I’m so excited about it.  Last year was fantastic and this year I have the added bonus of attending as an official GFAF Expo Blogger.  Why is that such a bonus?  Because the EXPO has given me the opportunity to offer five of my readers a FREE one day pass!

Those who win a free one day pass get:

  • Regular admission entrance into the Expo (Winner picks what date – April 12 or April 13)
  • The opportunity to meet and talk with 150+ vendors
  • The chance to try an outrageous amount of free samples and pick up loads of coupons
  • A tote to help you carry around all of your freebies and purchases
  • A selection of informative and helpful classes
  • The opportunity to meet and talk with some of your favorite gluten-free and allergy-friendly authors and bloggers

Those who choose to attend Sunday will have the chance to see the Radio Disney Chicago Road Crew.  They will be there from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. with prizes and interactive entertainment!

If you are on the fence about whether or not to go, be sure to read this post and visit the official GFAF Expo website.  You can also follow all of the GFAF Expo chatter on Facebook and Twitter.

You’ve gotta hurry!  The window for entering the giveaway is short.

Good luck and I hope to see you in Chicago!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Smart Money Smart Kids – Help for Livin’ the Free Life

by Allergy Free Kitchens on March 28, 2014

Smart-Money-Smart-Kids-Book-Allergy-Free-Kitchens

As I shared in an earlier post, a study on the JAMA Network revealed the additional cost incurred by a family raising a food allergic child averages $4184 a year.  Well, we’ve been at this for six years.  So let’s do the math:  $4184 per year x 6 years = $25,104.  Hello.  I am thankful we had the money to use it, but in recent years it wasn’t funded from our budget; our savings account was the supply.  Not good.  Going backward is the wrong direction.   The solution?  It was time to suck it up and get smart with money.  Big revelation there, right?

I’m not saying my husband and I have blindly and ignorantly made our way through life up to this point.  We’re not extravagant.  We give.  We have a modest home.  And we have a number of steps in The Total Money Makeover completed, but we were lacking the “gazelle intensity” Dave Ramsey talks about.  That has now changed and we look forward to what God will do through us in the years to come.

Like all good parents, we want to model good stewardship before our daughter, and we want to have an atmosphere of contentment in our home.  The first step was to get ourselves on the right path.  Check!  The second step is to have our daughter join us on the journey.  Enter Smart Money Smart Kids, a new book by financial-expert and best-selling author Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze.  It is exactly what we needed to unite our little family on the path to win with money.

 

Smart-Money-Smart-Kids-Book

As part of the Smart Money Smart Kids launch team, I had the privilege of receiving a copy of the book ahead of the April 22 launch date. It is hands down one of the best books on parenting I’ve read thus far.  And it holds true to Dave’s statement:  “Teaching kids about money is never just about money.”  

In this wonderful book, Dave and Rachel share encouragement and age-appropriate ideas to help parents teach their children how to develop a good work ethic, wait for what’s right, and properly steward what they’ve been given.  Everything is purposeful and meant to help you grow your child in a way so he or she will develop a right heart attitude toward money. There’s something else in this book I appreciate – grace.  We all need grace.

To help you get a feel for the heart of the message Dave and Rachel share, I thought I’d share a few quotes from the book:

  • “When a kid saves money, it is not a mathematical event; it is a maturity event that gives dignity.  When a kid buys something with money he or she has saved, it is not merely a financial transaction, you are watching poise, confidence, and maturity develop right before your eyes.” – Dave Ramsey
  • “Children who can learn to plan and be forward-thinking are more poised and confident because life is not always happening to them – they are happening to life.” – Dave Ramsey
  • “The opportunity to learn and witness the discipline of saving at a young age can be one of the greatest tools you pass on to your children.” – Rachel Cruze

I invite you to visit smartmoneysmartkids.com.  There you will have the opportunity to learn more about the book,  read the first two chapters of the book for free, or pre-order your very own copy.  If you pre-order before April 22, you will receive more than $50 in free extras!

Here’s to livin’ the free life,

Wendy

 

Buyers in Germany order more medicaments per man than any other area. The variety of medicines provided by companies is certainly a contributing factor to prescription medicament abuse epidemic. Nowadays there are numerous remedies to treat tourette syndrome, anxiety disorder or facial dermatoses. Sure thing, you have to check with your health care professional to see whether one of these medications is a good choice for you. Learn more about levitra 10mg. What is the most significant info you must know about bayer levitra 20mg? Other point we have to is vardenafil 20mg. A accepted form of sexual dysfunction among men is the erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can exert the quality of breath. Sometimes the treatment options may turn on erectile dysfunction medications or hormone treatments. We hope that the info was useful, but please contact heartiness care vocational if you want to know more. Professional staff are skilled, and they will not be shocked by anything you ask.

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An Eye-Opening Food Allergy Conversation

by Allergy Free Kitchens on March 25, 2014

Allergic-Living-Allergy-Free-Kitchens

While visiting a doctor’s office recently, my mom happened to pick up the Fall 2013 issue of Allergic Living magazine.  As she flipped through the pages, she settled upon the article “It’s All Relative” by Parenting Coach, Gina Clowes.  In the article Gina described six risky behaviors of family and friends when they are around individuals with food allergies.

  1. Newbies
  2. Diagnosis Doubters
  3. The Rescue Squad
  4. The Pity-Partier
  5. Fright Club
  6. Creatures of Habit

I must confess, I’ve encountered all six at some point or another, but it was interesting to hear my mom’s take on where she felt she fell in the group – the fright club.  This surprised me. I know she’s cautious, but frightened hadn’t entered my mind.  I would have picked the pity-partier. (Sorry, Mom. Love you! xoxo)  That’s not an insult to my mom.  You’ll see what I mean.

The pity-partier described in the article would be someone who expresses their sympathy with statements like, “I feel so bad she can’t have an ice cream cone with the other kids” or “I just wish she could have a little something.”  My mom does that, but I understand it is spoken from the heart of a grandma.  She would love to whisk her little granddaughter off to the DQ for a cone or sundae, or sneak her off to the store for a hot pretzel and frozen Coke, but we don’t have that freedom right now.  Instead, we stick closer to home and grandma keeps a stash of safe treats handy.

But back to the fright club.  Part of the definition Gina gave in the article was this:  “Fright club members understand severe food allergies to the point of paralysis.”  The fear of making a mistake holds them back from even trying.  That’s how my mom felt; she was afraid to try.  That revelation forced me to stop and take a look at myself and how I have communicated with my family over these past six years.  And you know what?  I did a pretty good job peddling fear.  How could I not?  I was filled with it myself.  My husband was too.  We were fierce protectors and poor communicators. Fear tainted everything we said or did.  We’re much better about it now, but that’s the tone we had set.

To make things all the more interesting, I had read that same article months ago, but kept it all to myself.  I guess you could say I was having my own little pity party identifying who fit in what category.  After all, it’s a magazine called “Allergic Living” so only people with allergies have any interest in it, right?  Wrong. My mom was thrilled with her find.  She talked as much about the recipes as she did the articles.  What did that teach me?  She wanted to help more than I knew; I was the one holding her back.

What about you?  I wonder if you have some family members and friends in your life who feel like my mom did.  It’s worth a conversation.  You may find you have more help available than you realize.

As this blog post reveals, magazine articles can be great conversation starters.  At allergicliving.com you can see what Allergic Living has to offer, sample/view a free issue, try some tasty recipes, subscribe, and more!

Here’s to livin’ the free life,

Wendy

Disclosure:  I do receive a free one-year subscription to Allergic Living.  However,  this post is honest, factual, and I would have posted it regardless. 🙂

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{ 2 comments }