Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blogger Bash Coffee Talk


This post is dedicated to getting know the awesome people I'm going to meet in person and spend an amazing time on Thursday and Friday at Blogger Bash on Thursday!

1. Name
Call me Hali! :)

2. Where are you from?
New York City

3. How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging for a few years, but with many breaks in between.  Lots of changes in my life, couldn't think straight enough for my writing to make sense.  Now a full time food allergy and homeschool mom and getting back to blogging fulltime.  

4. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
Self explanatory.  day to day MOMents

5. What are you most looking forward to at Blogger Bash?
I am excited about it all, hard to choose just one thing! 

6. What three words describe you the best?
Uhm..I'm never good at any of these "describe yourself" stuff!
Here it goes...
Loyal because if you're good to me I'll always be good to you.
Passionate because I get really passionate about anything I really like. 
And I think the third word should be "mom," it's what I am 24/7! 
7. Got kids? How many?
Yes, they are my everything! My adventurous 6 year old boy and my curious little 1 year old daughter who follows after him.

8. We all have a pet peeve. What is your #1?
Fake people.  Mean people.  People who generally think they are better than everyone else. 

9. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
My mom who passed away back when I was in high school.

10. Show me your face!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cherrybrook Kitchen Sugar Cookie Mix #Review #GlutenFree #FoodAllergy

These would have to be my favorite allergy friendly cookie yet!  All I had to do was add in melted shortening, vanilla extract (which I didn't have and put orange oil extract), mix, and bake.  Cannot get any simpler than that when you are cooking without all the top allergens. 
It is crunchy and a bit chewy but not at all in a bad way.  I've made cookies from scratch, and due to my lack of following measurements precisely every time it comes out different and therefore harming the result every time!  When it comes to allergy friendly baking, it is like a science project with all the mixing and measuring but not with the Cherrybrook Kitchen Sugar Cookie Mix.

Why I love it:
It's simple ingredients.
It's simple instructions.
It is allergy friendly and doesn't call for eggs in the instructions. (Way too often it does, defeating the purpose of "egg free")
It tastes really good.
The ingredients are as follows:
White rice flour, evaporated cane juice, potato starch, tapioca flour, non-alluminated baking powder, xantham gum, sea salt.
Unfortunately my son had a reaction to something in them or the Earth Balance dairy free margarine we used.  Not sure which ingredient he reacted to, but I don't think it was a cross contamination since Cherrybrook Kitchen seems to be so good with labeling and awareness.  We will be looking into it further on our end. 
If your allergies aren't as many or as severe as ours, see if you can have these and give them a try.  If you have friends and family with allergies, these are a great alternative for parties or school that's safe for many.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Antioxidant Full Smoothie featuring the Good Cook ProFreshionals Fresh Cut Fruit Bowl #FreshFruitBowl #BBBproduct #GoodCook

*I received product for the purpose of this post, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
I received the Good Cook ProFreshionals Fresh Cut Fruit Bowl to try out and it inspired me to make a smoothie and use the big 3 piece bowl to hold the watermelon I didn't use right away.  I usually use a combination of fresh and frozen fruit, and I'm happy to share one of my go-to recipes that I have been enjoying everyday.  I love the bowl, and needed it more than I anticipated, check them out at your nearest Bed, Bath & Beyond.

You'll need a handful of the following:
Fresh Kale
Fresh Spinach
Fruits of your choice (I used frozen organic mix of blueberries, rasberries, strawberries, and cherries).
A fresh banana
And a cup full of freshly cut watermelon.
(optional and dependant on your blender) 1/2 cup of dairy free organic coconut milk.
  I blend all the fruits first.
 A handful of spinach and kale
 I add the spinach and kale on top and blend until I don't see it anymore. (other than slight change in color - depending on how much greens you put in)
My blender isn't that great compared to the higher quality blenders like Vitamix, and Blendtec so I end up having to shake or stir to get it all blended.  If you are in the same situation and but don't like your smoothies really frozen and thick like I prefer, feel free to add 1/2 a cup of coconut milk or more watermelon.
Sometimes having a whole plate for lunch weighs me down and leaves me with no energy so I turn to quick healthy smoothies like this to replace my breakfast or lunch.  I love the ProFreshionals Fresh Cut Fruit Bowl so much, more than I thought I would.  I bought a huge watermelon and was able to cut up a whole half of it and place it in the bowl without worrying about it spoiling overnight.  It has a top layer with holes that drains out the liquid that drips out of the watermelon overtime to the bottom bowl, and has a lid to help with keeping any fruit you store in the bowl fresher longer.  The kids and I love snacking on watermelon throughout the day and we all seem to like how convenient it is.  We finished a huge watermelon in 2 days, that has never happened before!  It totally had to do with fresh cut watermelon ready to eat, and none of it was soggy or had the flavor of the whole fridge - which happens without the bowl.  

Even thought there are a handful of greens in the smoothie, it doesn't taste like it at all!  Give it a try, and adjust it as you prefer.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Allergic Reaction After Feeding Dolphins

This is a picture from our vacation a few years back when I was pregnant with my baby girl, she is now 19 months old.  It represents a beautiful family vacation we had, but also reminds us of how we are never safe with food allergies.  That's my sons little hand on the right, feeding the dolphin at Sea World, moments after this picture was taken, he broke out in hives.  We had to wash him up and give him Benadryl.  Luckily nothing was ingested so he got passed the reaction from touching the fish, we assume it was the fish he pinched to feed the dolphins.  I think he was 3 years old, and he still remembers feeding the dolphins, and getting an allergic reaction.  Everyday we learn something new, and this was one of those moments.  We knew how serious his allergies were, and were cautious of him touching the fish, but we didn't think he would break out from hives from touching it with the tip of his fingers.  I don't know what kind of fish that was, and we really don't know if he reacted to the fish or everything surrounding us there but it's just to show us - an allergic reaction can happen anytime, anywhere.  We made sure he didn't dip his hands into any other water to feed, pet any swimming creature at Sea World to prevent further incidents during our visit.      
Since I did mention going to Sea World, I will note that they were very helpful and friendly when we needed a place to heat up my sons food.  We bring our food everywhere we go, so unfortunately I won't be able to tell you if they are accommodating with preparing food for order if you have a simpler restricted diet than us.
If you have food allergies that are life threatening, always be cautious.  If you know someone with a serious allergy, please be kind and understanding.  It's a hard disability to live with, but also very easy to accommodate if you just give a little extra care.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just Another Day for Us #foodallergies

This weekend we went downtown to take a boat ride on the Fireboat John J Harvey.  It was a beautiful day, and we were able to enjoy a part of it out on the water viewing Manhattan from a different angle.  I planned our meals the night before, woke up early to make breakfast and lunch for everyone.  When you have severe multiple food allergies you have to bring all your food from home.  The only food we've eaten out as a family has been chicken from Whole Foods Market that offers organic and has the ingredients listed, which incredibly is only salt and pepper.  It is a life savior when we are out and in the need of something quick to eat.  We had breakfast at home, and took the rest to go in a cooler.  Keeping safe is easy and extremely difficult at the same time.  It seems simple enough when you say; bring your own food and don't eat anything that you didn't cook.  But like I said, as with everything to do with food allergies, it is also not that simple.

After the very fun boat ride we took, we decided to let the kids play at the playground by the pier.  We spent about 2 hours there, I enjoyed people watching (even spotted some stars), and had a blast seeing the joy in the kids faces.  At one point my son was deciding if he wanted to play in the sand box or the water area.  It was like a mini water park where kids come with their swim suits and play.  We didn't plan for water play so he just had a normal shirt and shorts.  Considering our allergies, sand play was out of the question, so we agreed on water play.  Took his shoes and shirt off, and went off to play.  He was cautious about getting wet at first, and then let loose having a blast in the sun.  After he was done splashing around, we patted him dry and he was pretty dry in no time.  But right away we noticed he had hives all over his chest, then slowly started appearing around his neck.  I panicked, but knowing he didn't not consume anything I held off on the Epi-pen.  Gave him a dose of Benadryl, and wiped him down some more.  Luckily, it started to clear up right away.  He reflects from how we act, so we are always sure to be calm and relaxed when anything happens, so he was fine. 

But unfortunately soon after we left the playground, the side effects of the Benadryl started to set in, he got really tired.  And not sure if related or not but he started getting cramps on his legs - it was not a good time walking for my little guy.  He fell asleep right away in the car, and was drowsy all night after.  It's just another day for us, worrying about every meal and snack no matter where we go.  And it's just another day for us, worrying about every single food (allergen) that we may come in contact with.  We don't only worry about him missing a step and falling or simply catching a cold like other parents might but we worry about the fear of something somewhere or really anywhere causing him to get an allergic reaction.  Imagine every crumble of something on the street, playground, table, chair, bench, doctors office..virtually everywhere is most likely harmful to us.  It isn't just one food, it's sever multiple food allergies.  However, we don't let it stop us from living our lives but in the end it is just another day for us.  We choose to live it and enjoy it.   


Monday, June 23, 2014

Obsessed with Family Vacations!

The beautiful view from our room at the Westin La Cantera Resort 

If you've talked to me at all recently you already know all I can think about is getting away with my family.  My two little kids are starting to really play around and bond with each other since my youngest is getting older, and everything as a family is just getting more exciting.  It was about years ago when we took our first family vacation when it was just us three, and ever since then we have been hooked to everything that defines getting away with your family.  We enjoy the learning experience it provides us all, the obvious memories created, the downtime away from it all, and the complete adventure of it all.  Over the past few years we have made it a point to go on a handful of trips whenever we can, and now it's been about a year since our last getaway - I feel the travel bug ~ bugging, and I'm afraid the only cure is to get away! 

When I was young my family and I didn't take many family vacations.  I remember road trips to see family and friends, and how much I loved stopping at "service area" stops along the road where my dad would treat us to junk food and ice cream.  I always had to place a quarter or two into the games that pulled out a toy (if you were lucky) and the rubber ball machines.  Another memory I recall was visiting Atlantic City as a family, I loved the hotel rooms and buffet food as a kid.  Funny looking  and back!  I never knew the potential of a real family getaway until I grew up and had one of my own with my family.  But you know what they say "what you don't know can't hurt you" or is it "you don't miss something you don't know"?  You get the point, it was one of the best times of my childhood and it was the family time that made it what it was. 

I like to think I don't have an addictive personality, but I am addicted to getaways with my family.  We most recently did a camping trip where we spent 3 nights out in beautiful Virginia after a 7 hour road trip - not at all luxurious but all fun.  If you think you're not into traveling (I have met people who say that) or have yet to treat yourselves to a getaway - don't wait, book now.  It doesn't have to an expensive all.  All that matters is that you have your family, and you go visit somewhere you haven't been.  It isn't always easy, I know, but try to make it happen - you will not regret it.  I hope you get away somewhere and enjoy an incredible time, I personally am trying to cure the travel bug that's been bugging me too.  In the meantime I've been doing weekly trips to various semi-local state parks with my family, which is a super affordable and possible way to create memories as well.