GFAF Expo – Lisle, IL

Little Sister got to make the trip to Lisle, IL for the GFAF Expo put on by Jen of Gluten Free Life with Jen! Awesome! What a great couple days. While the Expo is still going on today, I made it for the first two days, and what a wonderful experience. Especially because I got to bring my Mom on Friday, and a cousin on Saturday! I love welcoming other people to this wonderful community.

First – I’d like to give a shout out to all of the wonderful bloggers who I met at the show – so many lovely people, so little time! It was great to meet some of the women who have helped to make my transition to gluten free so much easier (and to pick up some of their awesome cookbooks in the process!). Let me tell you, I was a little nervous, being new to the blogging scene and all, but these women were absolutely wonderful, so welcoming, friendly and generous. Thank you!

What were the highlights you might ask? Well, besides meeting all of those wonderful women… First, the bread baking class put on by Carol Fenster of the Savory Palate! Wow! I want to go make bread, now! She picked out 3 easy, tasty and beautiful recipes that can readily be adapted to lots of other food allergies as well. My Mom and I both thought that the best one was her basic yeast bread – it was so pliable and stretchy, with just the right amount of crunchiness in the crust. It was so great to learn why some of the “hazards” of making bread happen, and how we can fix those mistakes. I definitely learned a lot, and feel less intimidated by the whole process. And my husband will be super happy that he might be able to have bread a little more often!

And for the vendor fair, there are a couple newer products/services (at least they are new to me) that were just great ideas… I am going to mention them here, but we are actually going to be doing giveaways of a few of these products, so you will be getting more information in the coming weeks about these products and how you might be able to win something from these companies…. So keep checking back, or better yet, subscribe to our blog to keep getting new posts and to learn when these giveaways happen!

  • Allerbling – taking the concept of the “Cause” bands that started with the Live Strong Foundation and Medical ID bracelets, and creating a cute bracelet for kids with allergies that can be customized with charms for their specific allergies. A great idea to help educate kids and adults alike and to provide another tool to help keep our allergic kids safe! Keep your eyes peeled, as we will be doing a giveaway of one set of bands and charms in the coming days!
  • The Autism International Association is in the process of putting out a new magazine called the Autism Science Digest. They have been kind enough to give me a copy of their first issue to review, and we are in the works of hopefully getting a free one-year subscription for one of our lovely readers! Keep checking back, as this will be coming up later in the month!

There is a new company out called GFree Connect which has been working out the details to connect us, the gluten free community, with the gluten free manufacturers. This family team has figured out a way for us to try samples of different gluten free products at a much reduced cost, so we can learn about products and actually taste test them without a huge monetary investment. Every three months GFree Connect sends a “care package” to your home with about 25 gluten free products to sample as well as coupons and information. We are working with them to hopefully get a care package together to send to one of our lovely readers – subscribe to our blog so you can be notified when this awesome giveaway comes available!

Ooooh – one more exciting tidbit – I got to meet Kelly of The Spunky Coconut this weekend (and yes, she and her little baby bump are absolutely adorable!), and I picked up a copy of her Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts Cookbook for one of our lucky readers! Just another wonderful giveaway that will be coming up later in the month! I think we need to make May our giveaway month, as we have such great stuff coming up!

Those are a few of the great products/services that I noticed at this year’s Expo… If you went, what did you like? Leave us a comment!

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