Ever since my partnership began with Aldi about a month ago, I’ve become an Aldi shopper. On the first couple trips I was learning the ropes (like how you have to put a quarter in to get a shopping cart, and how you bag your own groceries). But I’ll admit my first couple trips happened rather hurriedly. I had Juliet with me on each occasion and didn’t have time to really take in everything Aldi had to offer. 


But this last trip? Totally different story. Juliet was napping and home with Erik. I whipped up my grocery list and headed out the door. If you are a parent you’ll probably agree that grocery shopping alone is somewhat of a luxury. Without Juliet I was able to spend more time checking everything out. 

What I discovered is that Aldi carries an awesome variety organic products. And I am totally pumped about this. Ever since Juliet was 6 months and eating solids, I became much more cognizant about feeding her (plus Erik and I) healthy foods. I make it a priority to buy organic foods for Juliet (not everything) and everyone knows that buying organic can be expensive.But not at Aldi. 

On my last trip I purchased 39 items and 36% of those items were organic. Aldi carries a brand called Simply Nature and a lot of those items are organic. Here is a list of all the organic items I purchased and their corresponding price. Ready to be shocked??

Organic lentil soup – $1.99
Organic chicken tortilla soup – $1.99
Organic spaghetti noodles – $1.19
Organic tomato basil marinara sauce – $1.99
Organic frozen strawberries – $2.69
Organic salsa – $1.99
Organic balsamic vinaigrette dressing – $1.99
Organic ranch dressing – $1.99
Organic agave nectar – $2.49 (I’ve bought organic agave nectar from Target and it was $3.99)
Organic diced canned tomatoes (28 oz.) – $1.49

And yes even some produce including
Organic baby kale – $2.49
Organic Gala apples (3 lb. bag) – $3.99

My favorite products are the organic frozen strawberries and the organic kale. I literally use those items every single day in my smoothies. 
Other organic products I noticed include organic carrots, organic potatoes (plus a few other organic produce items I can’t recall at the moment).

They also carry uncured bacon (with no nitrates added). Juliet loves bacon but we don’t let her eat it unless it’s organic or nitrate free. Organic bacon is so damn expensive! But even though this Aldi bacon isn’t organic, it’s natural and nitrate free. And it only costs $3.89. I bought 3 packages of it.  Aldi carries single serve coffee cups (12 for $5.79, this is the lowest price I’ve ever seen).

Enjoying my strawberry, banana and spinach smoothie at work (made with the organic frozen strawberries I purchased at Aldi)

While I was impressed with the low prices on my first couple shopping trips, I can honestly say I was mostly excited about the low prices in combination with the organic offerings on this past Aldi experience. And now I feel like a true Aldi advocate. Because after that trip I started going around and telling all my friends, coworkers and family how awesome Aldi is and even showing the photo of all the organic products I bought that day. There is something really interesting about Aldi shoppers. If you get them talking, you will find that they don’t just shop at Aldi, they love Aldi. I got a ton of great response from Aldi lovers on my last post, in my Instagram feed and via coworkers and friends that also shop at Aldi. It’s like a secret-but-not-so-secret community of people that love Aldi. It’s sort of funny but I get it. I really do. 

Disclosure - I am participating in a sponsored brand ambassadorship with ALDI. As always, all opinions are my own.
10 comments

I savored every last minute of the weekend. I had to, last week at work kicked my ass hard. It was a 60+ hour week. I’ve worked in advertising for 10 years so I know long hours are common but as I get older and now with a toddler, it’s gets harder and harder. There were a couple days I didn’t see Juliet because I had to work late and I missed her bedtime (usually I work from home after she goes to bed but during really busy times I have to stay at the office). And that really sucks. Erik told me that when he was putting her down to sleep she kept saying “momma momma”. Uh.

And this week and next is going to be the same. Busy as hell. So I guess on this Sunday evening I am feeling a little negative and tired and I should be working but instead I’m blogging about work.

I have time off over Thanksgiving week and in December so I am holding onto that.

I did have a great weekend. Friday evening was a much needed girl’s night out (after Juliet’s bedtime) and I had a couple glasses of wine (I could have drank 10). Then Saturday included a big pancake breakfast with Juliet, a trip to the zoo and a Saturday afternoon filled with playing and a momma/toddler naptime (those are the best). I also made Juliet blueberry fruit snacks and she devoured them.

On Saturday evening Erik and I had a dinner party. I made this beef lasagna which is my go-to lasagna recipe. Our friends Nick and Deanna have a 2 year old and Juliet and her go to daycare together. They are friends but also typical toddlers and there was some fighting going on. During dinner they were yelling at each other “my daddy!”, “no, myyyyyy daddy!” Silly little gals. Most of the group went out after dinner and Juliet and I went to bed at 9.

Sunday included church and a lot of relaxing around the house. I made this ham, corn and cheddar chowder for dinner and Juliet loved it. She is getting really good at eating soup and yogurt with a spoon, it’s messy but she loves the independence.

After a busy weekend, Juliet was ready for bed by 6:30 this evening. Erik and I are spending the rest of the night cleaning up, doing laundry and watching Walking Dead (our favorite show).

I do plan on blogging at least once this week. I’ll be back to talk about my partnership with Aldi and my favorite products and more on my experience grocery shopping there over the past month. I admit, I am becoming an Aldi-lover like so many others.

Wish me luck in getting through the next couple weeks!

1 comment

{Instagram pic from @eatdrinkpretty}

This isn’t the best photo but it is the BEST grilled cheese. Grown-up grilled cheese. Fancy grilled cheese. I could eat 100 of these in one sitting grilled cheese.

I made this meal for lunch a couple weekends ago for a couple girlfriends. There is nothing like homemade soup with a grilled cheese for a comforting, fall meal. This chunky tomato soup is so easy and tastes amazing. It’s a homemade tomato soup using Italian canned tomatoes (you must use Italian tomatoes for this recipe, it’s key to a great tasting soup). It’s an impressive soup and makes great leftovers, too. And it is best when served alongside this grilled cheese.

White cheddar, proscuitto, arugula and tomato grilled cheese (recipe inspired via Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

4 slices whole wheat bread (or any bread of your choice)
4 slices sharp white cheddar
1 cup arugula
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter, softened)
1 ripe tomato, sliced
4 thin slices proscuitto

Preparation

“Butter” the bread using the coconut oil. Lay 2 pieces of bread down and top each slice with 2 pieces of cheese, 2 slices of proscuito, arugula and tomato.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Place the sandwich on the pan and cook until the bread begins to brown and the cheese begins to melt. Flip and cook until the bread begins to brown and is crispy.

Cut in half and enjoy.

Definitely give coconut oil a try on your grilled cheese as a substitute for butter. It gives the bread a super crispy exterior and is really delicious. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste sweet or like coconut at all.

1 comment

Juliet is 20 months! I’m still behind on these monthly posts but not as behind as I was last month. Juliet turned 20 months on October 16th and whoa has this been a crazy month development-wise.

Juliet’s language has exploded. I think I mentioned in her 19 month post that she was starting to use few word sentences. That has continued in full force and she is saying lots of sentences now. She says:

“Momma doing?” (momma what are you doing?)
“Momma hold you (momma hold me)
“Get down Mo” (get down Gizmo) (my parent’s dog)
“In a highchair” (I want to get in my highchair)
“My momma”, “my dada”
“Momma read”
“Thank you”
“Shoes on”
And I’m sure a bunch of other things I’m forgetting.

Juliet is taking in so much. She is learning a ton at daycare and at home with us. She knows her numbers 1-10 and can count to 10. I’ve heard her count to 5 but Erik insists she can count to 10. She knows a few of her letters, too.

We sort of starting potty training this weekend. I haven’t had any plans for potty training but assumed we would start when Juliet turns 2. Well, my mom was babysitting Juliet on Friday and put her on the potty and she peed. So I bought her a potty chair and she has peed on it about 6 times since Saturday. She tells us when she has to go and then she goes. She enjoys it and we praise her big time but we are trying to keep it very low pressure and laid back. She seems ready but I don’t really know for sure. She still seems young to me but maybe not? I honestly have no idea what the right approach is for potty training and I think I’ll just go with the flow.

Juliet loves listening to music and clapping and dancing along when we sing. Her favorite songs are “if you’re happy and you know it” and “wheels on the bus”.

She recently learned how to say her daycare providers name, “Yara” (Sarah) and she says it all the time. Sometimes in the morning when she first gets up she calls for “Yara”. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t break my heart but at the same time I’m so glad knowing that Juliet loves her daycare provider. She is a very happy girl every morning when I drop her off and I feel so lucky about that.

Juliet’s current favorite foods are eggs, raspberries, strawberries, smoothies, peanut butter, peas, edamame and Annie’s Mac n Cheese. She also loves yogurt, hummus, carrots, crackers and the organic fruit and veggie pouches. She would suck 5 of those down a day if we let her. She is a great eater, yay!

It was yet another awesome month with my darling girl. Love you so, so much Juliet! Happy 20 months.

2 comments

Happy Halloween! My little sweetie is going as the itsy bitsy spider and we will be taking her trick-or-treating around our cul-de-sac. We are still working on getting her to say “trick or treat!”.

This photo of Juliet and her friend is from last Friday at a Halloween event at a nature center. We had so much fun trick-or-treating in the woods and going on a hayride. I’m sure Juliet would say the best part was the sucker I let her have as a treat.

Posting has been super light this week due to crazy work. I’m tired and a pretty stressed these days. I can’t wait until December, when my workload lightens up a bit. Good thing I have this little ray of sunshine to come home to everyday.

PS. Everyone thinks Juliet is a dinosaur.

2 comments

kale and cream cheese quicheI whipped up this quiche on Saturday morning with ingredients I had in my fridge. I had a pie crust, cream cheese and kale and I thought it might make a decent breakfast. Erik wasn’t so sure so he passed on the quiche but I thought it was really good (sort of annoying because he wouldn’t even try it). Instead he made pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs for him and Juliet. She had a couple bites of quiche and liked it. Eggs are one of her most favorite foods.

I made this quiche with and without crust. I usually opt for quiche with crust but it’s nice to have a lighter option without crust as well.

Kale and cream cheese quiche

Ingredients

1 refrigerated pie crust
1/2 cup baby kale (I buy the packaged, washed organic baby kale)
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs

Directions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll the pie crust and press into 2 mini tart pans (I only used half of the pie crust and froze the rest for another day). Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. 

Place the mini tart pans on a baking sheet, and bake for 9 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the tart pan on a wire rack to cool. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, eggs, cream and kale. Add in a bit of salt and pepper. 

Pour the filling into the mini tart pans. Pour the remaining filling into oiled ramekins. 

Return the tart pans to the baking sheet and bake, until they are puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. The quiche is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Did you enjoy the weekend? I did! Lots of fun with friends and family. And as always, lots of great food. 
0 comments