Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Play dates and pretzels

I knew the time would come eventually. I admit that I hoped that if I didn't think about it, maybe it wouldn't happen anytime soon.

Hannah was invited to her little friends house for a play date. Of course, she has been to other homes but I have always been there. This was her first time to go by herself.

Thankfully I am friends with this mom(we will call her Abby for her privacy) and I know that she is familiar with food allergies/ epi pens as she is a teacher.

Still I was nervous. Ok not quite true...I was an anxious mess. My head was filled with "what if" scenarios.

We packed a safe snacks and I reminded her of our food allergy rules. The rules boil down to if you didn't bring it from home, don't eat it. Even if you have had it before. Even if you are certain it is safe. Don't eat it. End of story. Just don't.

I was so fixated on that, I nearly forgot to do the last minute review of manners. I knew Abby would not give food, because we already discussed it and felt us bringing snack was best option. Still I was nervous.

We got there and the girls ran upstairs with their American girl dolls.

Abby and I chatted for awhile. Then we sat and chatted a bit more. We had a great time and good laughs but I digress.

I decided to go ahead and leave so that Hannah could gain some confidence in play date scenarios on her own. I trust Abby so that made it a bit easier.

After the play date, I asked Hannah how snack time went. She looked at me surprised and said "don't you know that we were having so much fun that we didn't want to stop for a snack? Fun with friends is much more fun than food anyways"

Out of the mouth of babes

Will I be nervous next time? Probably so. Will I review our food allergy rules? Of course.

But hopefully next time will be a bit easier (for me) and she will gain confidence on how to manage situations with every play date.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

New and Improved Chewy Bars!!

Awhile ago we were went sent
the new and improved chewy bars from Enjoy Life to try out and give our honest opinion on.

Quick disclaimer, I was not paid to blog this and I gave our (my peanut allergic daughter and I) honest thoughts :)

I know Hannah was a bit excited and a bit nervous about trying them out. She has never been a fan of the chewy bars, she simply doesn't like the texture. It isn't just Enjoy Life chewy bars textures either...it is basically ANY food with similar texture.

She laid out all the boxes and decided which ones she would try and which ones she would let me try. Lol.

In fact the only one that she didn't try was the SunButter. Which wasn't a surprise to me as she doesn't like anything even resembling peanut butter.

She tried the other 3 though, and so did I. We did notice a big improvement on the texture from the last ones that we tried. They were softer (less "grainy"?) and had better flavor.

Neither one of us still was a fan of the Carmel apple or the mixed berry. HOWEVER we both really found one that we both loved--which was totally due to the improved recipe!

We are totally excited to add another Enjoy Life food to our list of favorites. My personal favorite was the Sunbutter. The taste and texture is perfect now. They are the perfect size to toss in my purse or in the glovebox in the car!

Hannah's favorite is the Cocoa Loco. She eats them at home, she also packs them in her book bag for a safe snack.

Thank you Enjoy Life for improving your product--we recommend them to our friends with food allergies AND our friends without them!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

FABlogCon--woot :)

Guess who is going to the FAblogCon? This girl :)

Seriously, I can't tell you how excited I am to be going to the first annual Food Allergy bloggers Conference in Las Vegas! I am SO excited to meet so many amazing food allergy bloggers and personalities that I have come to know via twitter and other social media.

When I started on twitter in 2009, I wasn't looking for an online food allergy family. Over time though, I forged friendships with many food allergy parents who were going thru the same things I was in this "whole new world" of food allergy. Now I can't imagine not having these wonderful friends to talk to when I need an ear, or advice when it comes to food allergy. It was always a pipe dream to meet them in real life and now I get to meet them!

This wonderful opportunity is November 2-4 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A huge thank you goes to Jenny Sprague putting this all together. To get more details on the conference, who is speaking, and how to register please go to their website

Food Allergy Blog Conference

I recently reviewed the list of speakers and am totally thrilled at all the wonderful segments that are already scheduled!

There are two tracks to the conference, blogging and advocacy/disease management. No worries about choosing a track, you can attend ANY topic that interests you! Personally, I have already picked which ones that I would like to attend but it was hard to choose!

I am totally looking forward to FABlogCon in November and I hope to meet all of you there!

Oh, and you don't need to be a blogger to attend! This conference is open to anyone who is interested :-)

Please look into this, I promise you that you will NOT regret the experience!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On-the-Go treat win for Enjoy Life!

Recently I was sent some samples of Enjoy Life's new product, Decadence Bars, to try out and review.

Hannah was super excited for them to get to our house, she would check the porch for deliveries every day :)

The decadence bars are soft baked and perfect for an on-the-go food allergy safe snack. They (like all enjoy life products) are free of the top 8 allergens and made in a dedicated facility so there is NO chance of cross contamination. That is a very important detail to our family as
Hannah has had anaphylaxis to cross contamination before in the past.

They come in 4 terrific flavored! Cinnamon Bun, S'mores, Chocolate Sunbutter, and Cherry Cobbler. Of course, we had to try out ALL flavors immediately after opening the package :)

they are smartly wrapped in individual cute on-the-go single servings which makes it the perfect treat to toss in a bookbag or purse.

They are sweet and chewy with just the right amount of icing drizzle on the top. Perfect for when you have a sweet tooth attack.

Personally I think it's another win for Enjoy Life.

We like them here at our house--S'mores is Hannah's favorite already :)

I can't wait to find out what is going to be next for Enjoy Life...we are hoping for ice cream or frozen treats here at our house :)

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Let us eat cake--hopefully?!

Hey friends--

I am sitting here waiting and hoping. I wanted to make a cake for Hannah's baptism tomorrow. Then I ran into a problem, I couldn't find my trusty tried-and-true favorite cake recipe.

After a full search I ended up searching for one online that sounded comparable. I made it up and switched out all-purpose flour to cake flour like I have always done.

Then I ran into possible problem number #2. The cake batter. It looked thinner than I have ever had in the past. This concerns me. Obviously I can't just run out and buy a cake if this doesn't turn out good.

So here I am waiting. Very impatiently I may add. Hoping and praying that this turns out decent.

I really don't want to make another cake tonight if it doesn't.....and I promised my sweet girl a special cake for her baptism day!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Ugh ice cream! What?!?

This evening Hannah told me that their class will be taking a walking field trip to the police station and getting ice cream at the local ice cream shop afterwards. That's what she heard at school anyways.

Then she became very upset. Anxious and crying that she wouldn't be safe there.

I am at a loss. I wasn't even told of this stop for ice cream. In fact, I am pretty darn certain that an ice cream shop is pretty dangerous for a someone with a life threatening peanut allergy. It's a very high level of possible (likely) cross contamination

I am not sure what to do. I sent an email to the teacher asking if in fact this was happening. I am praying that its not.

I hate seeing her scared. It's such a fine line between being very cautious and being anxious when it comes to food allergies.

I am praying that her teacher is able to get her email this weekend, AND I am praying that Hannah misunderstood something and they aren't stopping there.

I hate food allergies!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Birthday party blues

This week was the first time(although I am sure it won't be the last) that we had to decline a birthday party invitation because of food allergies.

Hannah has been invited to SO many parties this year that its made my head spin. We even had 3 more invites in this past week alone. One of them though I had to decline politely.

After speaking with the guardian, I realized that it wasn't going to be a safe environment for Hannah. The guardian wanted all the parents to simply drop off the kids and not stay. She was unable to tell me what food would be present and was very unaware about food allergies. She was very kind when asking if Hannah knew what she could/couldn't eat and if she could give herself her meds if needed. I explained to her that a 6 year old cant be responsible for giving life saving meds if they can't breath. I can't say for sure, but I feel like she didn't understand the severity of anaphylaxis and cross contamination.

I always try to educate people about food allergies whenever possible, so I explained a bit about anaphylaxis and what could happen. She listened but still was unable to tell me what food would be present.

Needless to say, this is a party that is not safe for her to attend. When I explained it to Hannah, she became anxious at the idea of me not being there. I don't blame her one bit. I already planned on declining the invite.

Out of curiosity, I asked her what she thought. She told me that she didn't want to go because she wasn't sure that she would be safe. She was not comfortable with the situation and told me that. I am proud of her. It's a hard decision and a mature decision to chose safety over the fun of a party.

I know she was disappointed though however I am proud of the choice she made on her own. I am SO proud of my kindergartener.

I am proud of her on so many levels, and this is yet another level where I thank the good Lord that she is cautious about her peanut allergy.

She is my life and I love her

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Easter Fun part 2

Our second Easter celebration was with a great group of families and their awesome kids. We may not all know each other but we all feel like we do.

This annual Easter Egg hunt is put on by "my" Local Food Allergy Support Group. If you are in the Columbus Ohio area, please feel free to check out our site.

Columbus Ohio food allergy support

Our awesome founder Dena organizes this every year--and this years hunt was also sponsored by Midwest Allergy. There was no food at the hunt at all for the safety and comfort of the kids. Who needs food to have fun anyways? Not these kids!

The girls loved the bean bag races. I know it was one of Hannah's favorite part of the day!

The kids thought it was funny to "toss the ring" with Dena. Who (as always) is a great sport!

Each kid got 14 eggs to find! (At H's age group)

After finding their eggs, they could open them and keep what they got OR trade it in at one of the baskets.

This year H saw something that she didn't see before or wasn't old enough to really think about. Some of the older kids were helping out with the games and they had on epi pen carriers. H was really excited about it. She talked about them the whole time and even wanted me to take a picture so she can remember what they look like when she can self carry.

The girls had no idea that they were being such an awesome role-model for Hannah...but they really were! She is excited about having her own case now and taking it EVERYWHERE she goes. Which is so important. I am trying to drill it in her head, you take it everywhere you go. Even if you aren't eating a bite.

Another amazing food allergy egg hunt goes by and we can't wait till next year! Even H thinks that maybe next year she can help with games...like the older girls :)

This is our yearly pic with Dena and Hannah!!

I love My food allergy support group. I also love my online twitter #foodallergymomarmy that is also my sanity when it comes to living with food allergies. Please consider looking for a local support group if you don't belong to one. You will love it--check out FARE's page on how to find local groups!

FARE--find YOUR local group

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Easter (safe) Fun part 1

I love Easter--it's the time of year that always amazes me. It's amazing what Jesus did for me...and for you. So yes I love Easter!

But on the flip side of that, I am scared of Easter. It just around Easter that Hannah had her first reaction around 4 years ago. That always weighs on the back of my mind. But I don't want her to focus on that and "ruin" the holiday. I want her to have a happy and safe holiday. So I try not to let my anxiety show.

We have two Easter celebrations that we attend every year. Our church has a yearly Easter celebration that includes an egg hunt, games, and of course the Easter Bunny that is open to the public. Of course there are cupcakes, cake walk, chocolate, and candy galore. But there is more...there is understanding and love for those with food allergies.

When we walked in the door, this sign greeted us. I can't tell you how excited Hannah was. Of course, I had a ziplock bag of candy in my purse but its not the same when you are 6 years old.

Hannah was so excited to find the nut free candy--and picked out what she was comfortable with(tootsie rolls, dots)

At each game--there was a bucket with peanut free candy as well. But many of the prizes of the games, were NOT food. It was great!

An event where we felt pretty comfortable and everyone had a great time.

Enjoy the pictures--I hope to get Easter part 2 up by Friday!!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Fear and Anxiety

Thank you all for your patience over my blogging break. I hope you are all still here with me :)

Honestly a lot of the reason I didn't blog was because I felt I had nothing new and important to say to all of you. Nothing that you haven't heard before--I didn't think that my feelings/anxieties/fears were pertinent enough to post. I do now.

Maybe I am alone in my fears, maybe my anxiety mid day at work about Hannah having a reaction makes me different than others. But maybe someone else has the same fears, same alone feeling and just maybe we can help each other :)

I am going to be re-doing my whole blog over the next month as I have grown since we got our diagnosis, it only makes sense that my blog does too.

Thank you all!! Can't wait to get back into the groove of things! I am seriously so excited!!

Hope all you and your families had a safe Easter!!

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