REVIEW: Imagine Toys - Mighty World Playsets

The Mighty World toy sets are hours are fun!  I'd recommend it for any little one that is over three years old, only because of the many little pieces (note: says 4+ years on box).  Initially I wasn't ecstatic because I didn't want my son losing all the pieces, but once we opened it all up, it was so fun and we placed it all in a little plastic bag and he has played with it tons in the past few days since we received it.
The Mighty World Fire Brigade, the Light & Sound Fire Truck, and a Hazardous Materials Unit all come with the little figures, and little accessories to set up the scene for any emergency rescue fun.
The Fire truck has more than 17 parts, a firefighter, many compartments that open up, has a ladder that pulls out, and more including an easy press  button to get lights flashing and sirens going.  Its steering wheel really steers, the wheels come off, and you can adjust the suspension height.
The Fire Brigade has three firefighter figures, many little parts including extinguishers, axes, mega phone, hand-held stop sign, rescue saw, fire hydrant, safety cones and barricades, grappling hook, walkie-talkie and a stretcher.
All the parts are very detailed in all the sets.
The Hazardous Materials unit comes with two figures ready for a rescue in full uniform, with many parts including a fire extinguisher, safety cones, axes, and shovels.  All the sets are compatible with one another, and lots of fun with the more you have to set the scene and have tons of fun.  I admit it was fun for me to see all the pieces and really great to see my son enjoying the toy.
It is educational as our little ones can learn what all the pieces are for as well as what the little figures "responsibilities" are, and besides the light and sound on the fire truck, it is all left to your imagination.  They are all impressively detailed which makes it so fun.  My son had a little play date and they played with it for a very long time, sitting still setting up different rescue missions.  They are very small parts, as you can see the size for reference on the picture below, a figure with a walkie-talkie and an axe.  I love toys that promote imaginative play and these certainly do.  
I have recently found myself frequenting the Imagine Toys site, where you can find a great assortment of toys for every little one in your life, including the Mighty World play sets.  You can see another one of our favorites here, the Deluxe Build A Road Set.  The selections are unique, the site is easy to navigate, not to mention you can also tweet Imagine Toys and get an answer for all your concerns.  Also be sure to become a fan on Facebook to keep yourself posted to the latest promotions and more!  Right now they are having an "end of year Sale-abration" where  you can save up to 65% off select toys, offer ends January 3rd, 11:59E.T. go find your favorites here.
*I received these items to review, but all opinions are a 100% my own, and my toddler. ♥

The Answer to Your Gift Buying Problems

Are you done with all your holiday shopping?  Christmas is just a few days away and if you are like me, you might still be stuck with that one person that's hard to shop for.  They might have it all, might just be picky, or you might want the perfect gift so you keep holding out and searching.  You also might find out that some friends are coming from far, last-minute to your family party.  So many different times when you find the need to get a gift you are puzzled about.

You are in a need to still go shopping, stores are all crowded with so many people scrambling through what's left, you still have to wrap the gifts you already have, you need to clean up before family arrives, and you still have to send out holiday cards..not to mention your daily list of "to-do's."  The perfect solution that solves my problem every time, is gift cards!

Gift cards are sure to please anyone!  That friend that's coming over last-minute, get him/her a gift card!  That one person that's hard to please, get him/her a gift card too.  That way no matter how picky they can treat themselves to what they want, and are sure to be pleased.  I have gotten gift cards for family and friends many times before, and love that call when they tell me what they used it for.  So not only are you giving a gift, you are also giving an experience..a shopping experience, or a dining experience, depending on what kind of gift card you choose to gift.

I personally love gift cards because I still remember every time I have received one as a gift.  I once received a Gap gift card from a friend who came to my job and surprised me, I still remember what I bought and that was years ago.  The surprise also doubled as really memorable, which brings me to saying, make it special!  Don't just hand over a gift card in an envelope, wrap it up in a box and bow!  I once gave my sister a gift card in a huge box, I mean huge!  With help from my brother, we put the gift card in a small box, and then inside a huge one, placed some bottles of water in it to weigh it.  It was really heavy, as I needed help handing it over to her.  That was for her birthday, and really that idea never gets old.  Another great idea if you aren't into wrapping, buy a little teddy bear or stuffed toy, and place it with the gift card in envelope.  Give some of these ideas a try, and tell me all about it. :)

I hope you have found this post useful, and appreciate gift cards as much as I do! ;) Gift cards are great to give and receive, and the solution to all your gift buying problems..specially last minute ones!

Happy Holidays!
*I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here 

PARTY CITY - New Years Party Supplies!!!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Party City. All opinions are 100% mine.
Can you believe Christmas is this Sunday?  Because I cannot believe it.  It was July yesterday and I blinked as October came and it was already snowing here in New York.  Well this means New Year's is right around the corner as well and it's time to get ready to greet 2012!  New Years has always been a "holiday" greatly celebrated in our home.  In our home we celebrate it as much as everyone celebrates Christmas.
Now is the perfect time to get your party supplies for New Years, and if you ask me, you don't have to be having a party to  celebrate.  My family has always gotten together and rung in the New Year together, celebrating the past year and the new one ahead.  Party City has all that you need to celebrate with yours.  I'm all set for the countdown with the New Year's Block Party Deluxe Kit, it brings all that you need for about sixteen guests.
The New Year's Block Party Deluxe Kit includes the following:
  • 16 New Years Block Party Dinner Plates
  • 16 New Years Block Party Lunch Napkins
  • 16 New Years Block Party Paper Cups
  • 2 New Years Block Party Table Covers 54 x 102
  • 16 Plastic Black Spoons, Knives & Forks 
  • 1 Black, Silver & Gold New Years Confetti 1 1/8 oz
  • 30 Black, Silver & Gold New Years Cutouts
  • 1 Midnight Marquee New Years Letter Banner 9 1/2 ft.
  • 2 Gold & Silver Spray New Years Centerpieces 15 in.
  • 10 Black Latex Balloons
  • 1 White Curling Ribbons 66 ft.
  • 1 Black & White Crepe Streamer each. (81 ft.)
  • 2 Black Square Premium Plastic Bowls 128 oz
You won't need to go get a long list of items and have your bill add up before you know it, you will have everything you need all in one kit, many available with under $100, this one only $49.99.  I really liked this kit not only because it has all the necessities but it also has all that I need to spruce up a get together.  With the 30 cut outs, balloons, streamers, and table covers alone you can change a space instantly to get everyone feeling festive.  The 2 black square premium plastic bowls were a great addition to a table to put some snacks in.
I think New Year's is always worth a celebration, and everyone can relate to celebrating the past and the future!  You can check out all the variety of New Year's Theme Kits to see which one you like most.  Another thing you can always do is pick and choose your favorites to make your ideal kit, I added the Gold and Silver Countdown 63 pc New Years Party Kit for 25 to the already awesome Block Party Deluxe Kit.  The countdown kit includes:
  • 13 Cone Hats
  • 12 Festive Tiaras
  • 13 Whistles
  • 13 Squawkers
  • 12 Beaded necklaces
I love the countdown kits, because it goes perfectly with everything else and brings more fun to the party for everyone.  My son couldn't get enough of the squawkers and whistles, he walked around with one of the cone hats on as well as bead necklaces saying "happy New York!" all evening when I set up to show you how great these supplies are.  Can't wait to see all the kids in the family enjoying the countdown kit.
I really recommend it, I'm so happy to have found out about these convenient kits, I recommend it, and so do my friends who have ordered from them.  If you have a birthday you need to celebrate this season check out the supplies, and party kits they offer.  Look at the great kit I used for my son's third birthday this past summer from Party City as well for more inspiration.
I wish everyone happy holidays, and hope you found this review helpful, hope your New Year's is fun-filled. :)  Go see the what Party City has to offer you, click here for New Year's Theme Kits now, time is flying by!
Follow Party City on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.

Toddlers Top Picks - The Deluxe Build A Road Set

Are you done with holiday shopping for the little ones in your life yet?  I have been looking and finding so many great items for my little boy this year.  Most of "our" picks are for him, but also just as fun for little girls as well.  We have many little ones in our family that we need gifts for as well, but they are the best to shop for.  :)
Our latest pick is from the Imagine Toys  website.  They have a great variety of really cute toys.
We spent a long time on their site because as I mentioned such a great variety, and loved this Deluxe-Build-A-Road-Set.  It comes with 400 hundred pieces that includes the flexible track and two cars.  Looks like they all snap on from what I can see, and is recommended for ages 3 and up, perfect for my little boy.
Says no tools are required, and I believe the two toy cars are battery operated.  There's a video of the toy in action on the site as well, looks like hours of fun.  Looks like a toy that takes up lots of space as it says the tracks make 20 feet, but don't we all wish we had one of these growing up?

Family Meals During the Holidays

So as our little boy gets older, it seems to get harder to just feed on the go.  For some of you that don't know, he has severe multiple food allergies, find a full list of his allergies here. When he was an infant, no problem, I breast-fed.  When he was a little older, still no problem, he ate very little of whatever I made him.  Now he is three, with so many preferences and opinions when it comes to his food.  One year I made the family turkey (allergy friendly) and brought it over to my dads house, we aren't very traditional so it worked out just fine!  The year after that I made my boy a collection of his favorites and brought it to my sister in-laws home, still worked out just fine.  As long as his plate was full of good food, he ate it.  So as you can see the only way that it really works is if I make him food and bring it along with us, where ever we are headed.

This year proves to be more difficult because we will be sitting around a table far from home and having a "traditional" family meal at another sister in-laws home.  I'm nervous because I like to make him a version of everything that might be on the table.  I'm thinking of making a whole chicken, and some sides to take with me for him to enjoy.  Sides will include all the vegetables he likes, mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, pickles, I mean anything I can think of so he can have a feast.  :)  I always look like I'm moving in whenever I go visit friends or family for a day, or for a meal.  I carry all the food, drinks if needed, plates, his silverware..I carry so much because I just don't want my boy to be left out.  Happy boy makes happy mommy.  :)

Many of the little kids in my family aren't even into food like my son is, which is so ironic.  They can have it all, but pay no mind to what's on the table and what people eat during this or that holiday.  While my son is very aware, and wants a piece and taste of it all.  I say he loves food and appreciates it because he knows he can't have so much, so when he can, he appreciates.

Also have to figure out what I'll make for dessert for him as well.  A busy day awaits, but in the end all worth it when I see my little boy eating away.

I'm thankful to proudly say I have successfully made sure my son is not left out during the holiday meals these past few years, what are you most thankful for?

~Happy Thanksgiving!~

Toddlers Top Picks - Matchbox Smokey The Fire Truck

I'm no pro in the toy department, but I do love toys, and I happen to have a toddler that does too. ;)  With that, I want to share another pick that caught my little boys eye and has been on his mind.  Ever since he saw Matchbox Smokey The Fire Truck, he wants it and asks for it every time we mention anything to do with toys or buying anything.
He doesn't ask for toys often, but this truck that talks and shoots balls out, seems to be special.
It really does look fun, I will admit and agree.  Retailing at $60, can be found on amazon for about $45 with free shipping, if you hurry and catch the deals going!!  Here's a direct link for you: click to see Smokey on
Guess which little boy who has been so very good is getting one?  But ssshhh!  Don't go telling him...  Santa is watching you! :)
Feel free to share any suggestions with me, we still have room under our tree.

Toddlers Top Picks - The Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer

As we all know our little ones love the iPad as much as we all do.  So Leapfrog has come out with the LeapPad Explorer for kids, which I see as the kids version of the iPad.  It sounds fun, with different educational apps and more without costing as much as an iPad, and made durable for a toddler.

So that's one of the items on our "wish list" this season.  I know for sure my son would love it, because he loves playing on his grandpa's iPad.

Only reason I am questioning our purchase a bit would be because of the apps and books that need to be purchased separately.  I'm horrible with anything that you spend so much money on and still need to spend overtime to enjoy it.  It just becomes a new expense added instead of a new toy or item just purchased.  I'd want my little boy to enjoy the LeapPad to the fullest, so I have to decide if I'm willing to continue to make more purchases.

It's a given with any gadget that you need to purchase more to enjoy it, so I really am liking what I see despite all that I just said.  Really seems like the new must have for little ones this season.  Wish I owned it already for our vacation coming up, sounds perfect for the long flights and waits in between.

Do you have it already?  What are your thoughts?

Simple Joys of My Life

I have so much on my mind, I just couldn't sleep.  Ever have those nights?

Well, I turned on my laptop, went on the Twitter, and read some tweets.  Went on Facebook, and read some status updates.  And..some time later..still can't sleep..the longer I stayed up and online the more I had on my mind, and I just couldn't shut down.

Quite obviously I'm still up, but my mind has stopped evaluating my life to the extreme, and planning my "to do" list for tomorrow.  Instead I see this amazing little boy asleep next to me.  I smile at all he has to say, all that he thinks of, all that he does..everything that makes him who he is.  Only three years old, and just an amazing little boy.  A little boy who will make a walk across the street to buy groceries an adventure, a little subway ride an "adventure through the tunnels" as he calls it, a boy that makes anything and everything fun and sweet.

And so tonight, despite all my worries, all that I have to do tomorrow, I sleep, a short few hours, but I sleep with a smile on my face because I have my little boy by me.

The simple joys of life, the real joys of life. <3

Wordless Wednesday - Puss In Boots

Since we saw Puss In Boots, my son has become a real fan of the character. It is so sweet to see the things little toddlers notice, and fascinating to see how much they know.

When we came home from the movies that day, he wanted to dress up as "shoe in boots" as he kept calling him. This is what he gathered up to become the character that night, although he did mention he needed the feather, gloves, a cape, a real sword, and real cool boots. :)

We loved the movie, have you seen it yet?

Brookstone - Veterans Day Special

I just received a notice in my email from Brookstone about their Veterans Day special.

I shop there often, specially for the men in my life.  If you have a special someone in your life that you need a gift for, or want to treat yourself for that cool item you've been eyeing, today is a good day.  This is only valid in stores, and ends on Sunday. You can get a $20 gift card for a purchase of $100 or more.

You can get free shipping on qualifying purchases when you order online and spend $100 or more with promo code SHIP99, if you don't have a chance to make it to the store but still need to get that item.

Really cool variety of items there.  Check out the sales section to get the most out of your money, and get some gifts ready for the holidays.  Happy shopping!

Food Allergy Scares

One of the many things I fear as a parent of a food allergic child, is curiosity getting my baby in serious trouble.  I have always feared that even though he knows all the facts, and as much as he understands, that when left on his "own" he will give certain foods a try.  I fear that he will get together with friends, and just try.  I stress it so much, that will harm him if he even touches certain foods.

Well, that fear came very real the other day!  We went to the farmers market earlier in the day, had bought some fresh local vegetables, fruits, and we got tempted to buying organic whole grain bread that our son is allergic to.  Not the first time we had brought food our boy is allergic into our home.  He knows what he can and can't have, and we usually put it out of his reach and if we eat it, it is when he is asleep or totally out of his reach.  We are very careful with it, as it is basically "poison" to our son.  We had just came in, and I had dropped on counter.

It wasn't long after we had returned back home, my son went to wash his hands after me, I exited to the bedroom to change.  No big deal, normal, usual activity.  I hear crumbling of paper in the other room, as I finished changing, I come into the kitchen to see my little boy with the long french bread in his hands out of the paper bag it was his hands!!! My heart must have stopped right then and there for atleast a few seconds, I totally panicked.  Ran, grabbed him, frantically washing his hands, checking him all over.  Luckily he wasn't harmed, and not even a hive appeared.  He didn't eat any of it, what I saw was what he had done.  Pulled the bread out of its bag, and held it out of curiosity.

I gave him a long speech, telling him how serious it was that he never do that again.  He even told me he touched the "allergy bread," which worries me more too.  What if he now thinks that nothing will happen, because look how nothing happened.

It was total panic mode for a while, so to make up for it, we made apple pie together that evening.  I wanted to make him that "exact" same bread that he can have, but unfortunately still haven't found a good bread recipe, and have never made "real" bread before.  I have made many versions of bread myself.  It was our first time baking apple pie, and his first time ever having.  Unfortunately we had no patience, and didn't let the pie cool enough before picking at it, which made my son decide that he doesn't like apple pie because it is too crumbly!  Once it was cooled completely, it was really very good, but he didn't want to try it.  We will try again soon.

So it is very real, and scary when what he needs to stay away from will always be available and around him.  Everywhere we go, anyone we spend time with, eventually eats something they are raving about, that he can't have.  Saddens me that my son can't have it all, and scares me that it can harm him.

In the meantime, I am keeping a close eye on everything near him, telling him more about his allergies, and creating all that I can to make sure he doesn't feel left out.

The Red Fruity Drink that Lead to My First...

It has been too long since I last really posted!  Have been so busy, and usually get posts done at night but have been too tired to stay up.  Nothing too eventful has happened lately.

Although!  Totally unrelated to my usual posts, in non parenting news; I experienced my first hangover.  I don't get out much being a full-time mom.  But this time the party came to me.  Our neighbor was having a party for their two-year old boy, and invited us.  You might already be wondering how I ended up having a hangover at a toddlers birthday?!  Well for starters the party started at around eight, and was full of drinks and music.  What can I say?  Every culture does it differently.  And I don't judge! :)  Never met our neighbors before until that night, and they were very nice people.  Have shared the elevator plenty of times, and might've had "weather talk" but nothing more.

It was a last-minute invite while my husband was on the elevator with them, probably when they were talking about the know how those conversations go.  At first we were thinking of not walking over five steps to their apartment, but then they came knocking on our door.  They have parties very often, and the music is loud enough to fill up half of our apartment, so it was interesting to see the other side of the wall.  My sister in-law was over with her son, and we had already had some wine with dinner already.  When we entered next door, we were handed drinks right away, and they didn't take "no" for an answer.  So we thought, why not, and drank it!  It was a fruity red drink, that was secretly realllllly strong.

Lucky for me, my sister in-law stayed next door with the kids after we put them to sleep.  So I danced, I drank another one of those fruity drinks!  Before I knew it, I was feeling so drunk!  I don't drink, I mean it is safe to say I don't.  I don't even go out, and it is hard to remember the last time I really went out.  Again, lucky for me, home was five steps away.  So I nicely walked away from the party once I felt a little waddle in my step, and blur in my vision.  Made sure all was well, went to bed as it was very late at the time.

Woke up in the morning feeling wonderful! I thought.  Lied in bed talking to my husband for about five minutes, talking about how great I felt, until I got up and my world spun!  I felt worse than the night before.  I felt dizzy, my head hurt SO bad, felt a heart burn feeling coming over me, felt like I could taste the alcohol, I was so thirsty, I mean "what was that red drink!?" I said frantically with a frown on my face.  So that was the day, the day I experienced my first ever hang over!

Happy to report my day went by fine despite what I apparently put my body through, and after I had some hot soup as I was directed to have, I felt better.  My little boy didn't know a thing, and I still made him yummy pancakes that morning with a side of hemp milk!  That was definitely a moment I wont forget, dealing with a hangover while making sure I'm mommy first, because the headache can wait.

One thing to be learned from this post is; don't drink the foreign fruity red drink, not after you have had wine, and definitely don't agree to a second. 

When did you experience your first hangover?  Do you have any ways of "curing" the hangover?

Wordless Wednesday - Our New Car!

Made a new car with my son! :P
We didn't put too much thought or planning into it, and we have made better ones.  But this has always been one of our favorite things to do together.
Lots you can create..what do you do with old boxes?

Go Away Allergies and Asthma!~continued

So since last Thursday, we have had another appointment this past Monday.  It was to draw blood to test some of the allergens to cross reference and to get more answers.  Oh and there again, my son made me SO proud.  I know there are kids out there that are just as amazing as he is and more, but my son just makes me so proud.  They drew out five tubes of blood from his tiny toddler body.  So there he was again, biting his teeth tight, saying "~..ok..mommyy..~."  He teared up again and said "ok that's it, ok that's it" as he said with the skin testing as well.  All as an intern stood by watching with no reaction, and the nurse holding my sons arm down with a tight grasp.  Tears dripped down, and I felt helpless holding my son tight on my lap.  Once he was done, he wiped his tears as I told him how awesome he was..I truly think he is one amazing child.  It could be the mom in me talking, but it is how I feel. :)

It wasn't such a big deal some might say..but he goes through too much for a little three-year old.  And his patience has been tested many times.  I grew up with very few doctor visits, and very few issues as a child, so to see my son to deal with so much..simply breaks my heart.  Asthma and food allergies.  We don't want to, but we work for asthma and food allergies, we raise awareness with every person we talk to, and every new place we visit.

Sadly our next appointment is in another two to three weeks, so we won't be getting answers soon.  Once we compare results with the skin test results, and if we have anything that looks like he might be okay with, we would have to set up another appointment for a food challenge.  This will be a long process.  And to think, I first made the appointment to discuss immunizations for my son.

We ended our Monday with a sweet treat for our little boy.  He couldn't make mommy any more proud.  Just wish all his allergies and asthma would go away!

Go Away Allergies and Asthma!

Appointment with my sons allergist last Thursday went well.  My little boy did amazing, he made me very proud!

He had over thirty skin pricks to test his reaction to allergens.  Done on both arms and both legs.  We have never done so many at one time before but went along with it.  He was incredibly patient and understanding.  I don't think even some adults could have the patience for what he did.  They aren't just bunch of skin pricks, but skin pricks that make him itch!  We blew on it together, sang some songs, and played "doctor" ourselves to help him get through it.

They turned into red dots right away, and some into bigger hives..some not!  We blew on it to help with the itching.  He said "ok mommy.." biting his teeth tight with a little shaky voice as I explained to him, why and what we were doing.  It was a long day for sure, from the waiting room to waiting on the doctor, and to the skin testing itself.  We brought in some fresh food to test, like onions, a banana, garlic, oats, and a couple more items that we were curious to get answers about.

In the end, I'm not sure if we got any real answers.  We saw the results and the doctor concluded, my baby boy looks allergic to dogs, mold, tuna, string beans, salmon..etc.  And might be showing improvement with some like wheat.  But like I said, no real answers.  As accurate as they say the skin testing is versus other ways of testing even blood. I didn't feel the excitement come over me.  I wanted more.  It was hard to even think of because it was the foods that he had an anaphylactic reaction to at six months.

And, no I really don't think I'm being negative about it, just really cautious of even thinking or getting excited too soon.  I used to think and pray of the day that my baby boy would outgrow something, to hear he is getting better, but it has always been the other way.  So my way of dealing with it is, just let it be what it is today.  He has food allergies, asthma..and that's that.  No maybe plans in the future, of course always hopeful, but focusing on today, learning to live with!

Also didn't help that this wasn't the first time my boy has had skin testing for allergies, and I couldn't help but notice the difference.  This time, this doctor "pricked" him like twelve at a time, and usually it is done one by one.  Something about this "new way" as he called it, didn't seem like much of a prick, more like a press on.  So let it be, I am not celebrating anything yet.  Instead thinking about how much we want to move because of his new strong allergy to mold. :(..and as always dreaming of a day my son can be safe around all foods and breathe well at all times.

REVIEW: Shian Naturals - Just... Organic Body Wash

A little review of Shian Naturals Body Wash from Canada. :)
I recently got a chance to try the Shian Naturals Just... Organic Body Wash, it is over 80% organic.  It is made of all natural, unscented, hypoallergenic ingredients, and with that information I was already a fan.  It's hard to find real anymore with so many scents and things in our products.
I have really sensitive skin so I really enjoyed using this body wash.  It didn't leave a soapy residue, didn't dry out my skin, it only has a light natural smell from the ingredients as it isn't scented, and it left my skin feeling smooth and a body wash should.
The packaging is simple, and the ingredients are as follows:
"Ingredients: Water, Potassium Cocoate (organic coconut oil), Potassium Oleate (organic sunflower oil), Lauryl Betaine (derived from a common constituent of vegetable fats especially coconut oil), Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Potassium Palm Kernelate (potassium salt of Palm Kernel), Palm Kernel Acid (fatty acid of palm kernel oil used as a opacifier, surfactants and emulsifier), Decyl Glucoside (cosmetic filler and soothes skin), Potassium Citrate (regulates acidity pH)."
Shian Naturals also carries a variety of products for skin, hair, and body care..they also offer a trial size of everything.  This is a Canadian company, and available in Canada.  I got the unique opportunity to try it by chance, thanks to @MultiTestingMom from, and Shian Naturals were nice enough to go through the trouble of sending it over.  Connect with Shian Naturals on twitter here.
*I received this product at no cost to me, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Activeaide - Bushmates Medical Holders

As many of you know already my son has severe multiple food allergies, you can see a full list of his allergies on my About page.  This means he has to have emergency medications on him at all times.  These medicines would include Asthma meds, Benadryl, and an EpiPen in case of an emergency.  As he is getting older, he will need to learn to carry and have his meds on him at all times.  At the moment we always have it on us, as he is always with us.

I always wondered how he would carry all this on him, in a little bag, on a pouch...  Then I stumbled upon the Bushmates Series Medical Holders; the Monkey asthma/anaphylaxis case from Activeaide.

It has a clear red medical sign on them.  So they are fun enough for young kids to want to carry them, but recognizable as meds.

My son wanted to carry it around right away.  It is very cute and is lined with four protective layers, that are thermal silver inner layer, air pocket core, another silver thermal layer, and the plush outer skin.  It has a soft outer layer much like a plush toy.  Has a key ring right at the neck of the monkey to attach ID tags or to hang.  I explained to him what it was and he understood it.

It fits exactly one EpiPen and my sons Inhaler medicine for asthma perfectly.  I was concerned by how to clean the monkey as it is like a plush toy on the outside and lined so well, I think the option would be to wipe clean?  It has a little key ring on its neck so you can possibly attach it to something, but I wished it had a strap so kids can carry it over shoulder for a hands free option, because I would want my little guy to have his meds with him at all time.  With our test run, my son carried it around but put it down often, until I ended up carrying it for him as would be the case with any toy a child carries around.  Despite my small concerns, I think it is a great way to get little ones used to understanding the need to carry their emergency medications in a fun cute way.  Perfect for toddlers that are still with their parents/guardian at all times.  Lots of a our children's childhood is lost with so many warnings and scares, this is a way to bring fun with the reality that brings responsibility.

It is absolutely great, a great fun way for little kids to carry their life saving medicines in!  Fits his asthma medicine and an EpiPen perfectly as I mentioned, and my son already referred to the monkey medicine holder as his "life saver friend," in reference to my explanation of what it was.

Activeaide is an Australian based company that sells only allergy and asthma products.  A company inspired and motivated by their daughter Melina who had food allergies at a young age they offer great products and have an extensive links section to help others with information related to food allergies.

*I received the item to review, but all opinions are a 100% my own.

PARTY CITY - Be Afraid Ultimate Party Kit - Get Ready For Halloween!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Party City. All opinions are 100%mine.
Ready for some Halloween themed drinks!
The summer has flown by!  And it's already time to get ready for Halloween!  Did you know Party City is America's largest specialty party goods chain and the country's premiere Halloween specialty retailer?  I always turn to them for my party needs.  It's time you get your Halloween Costumes, and all you party supplies/decorations together, because all the stores will be sold out soon, and you'll find yourself scrambling to find something good for your little ones, and scraps of decorations last-minute.
We are planning to throw a Halloween costume party at our home this year!  Halloween is also my husbands birthday so it works out perfectly!  Besides wearing costumes, decorating is one of our favorite things about Halloween.  We turned to Party City, for their variety of Halloween Party Themes to create memories with.  They have great party kits available like the Cars Party Supplies Ultimate Kit we used for my son's birthday.
I love the Be Afraid Ultimate Kit for Halloween.  It includes everything you will need to throw a party for about sixteen guests. With a few clicks you can be done with all your party needs, and still have the option to add-on if you want to.  Here's the very long list of what's included:
  • 18 Be Afraid Lunch Plates  
  • 36 Be Afraid Lunch Napkins
  • 18 Be Afraid Paper Cups
  • 2 Plastic Table Covers 54 x 102
  • 16 Plastic Orange Forks
  • 16 Plastic Orange Spoons
  • 16 Plastic Orange Knives
  • 20 Be Afraid Invitations
  • 2 Midnight Dreary Plastic Platters
  • 2 Shocktails Glitter Table Decorating Kits
  • 1 Black Star Mini Confetti 1/4oz
  • 1 Be Afraid Halloween Letter Banner
  • 1 Orange crepe streamer 81ft
  • 1 Black Crepe Streamer 81ft
  • 20 Orange & Black Halloween Latex Balloons
  • 1 White Curling Ribbon 66ft
  • 1 Margarita Drink Mix Bucket 22.5oz
  • 24 Assorted Candy Stripe Birthday Candles
  • 1 Clear Plastic Skull Pitcher 48oz
  • 1 Margarita Rim Salt 8oz
  • 2 Skulls & Bones Ice Trays
Planning for a party can be time consuming but with this party kit, you are set!  Just make your selection from the Halloween Party Themes and if you decide to choose an ultimate kit you are seriously well prepared.  It includes everything from the invitations, to balloons (the string for the balloons), table decor, streamers, plates, and more as you can see!  Now that's pretty easy!  Be sure to check out the Halloween Costumes for the great selection of costumes for boyscostumes for girls, and for adults, now before costumes sell out.
Hope you got an idea of how fun this party kit is with the many photos all over this page, of some of the items in the Be Afraid Ultimate kit.  We are very excited and can't wait to set it all up.  A kit that includes the drink mix, cool skull & bone ice trays, and the pitcher to serve them!  I chose the "Be Afraid" kit one because I know the kids will enjoy any party and it was a way to make it fun for the adults too.
Parties are fun, but nothing beats being well prepared, so don't forget to go to Party City or the website by clicking here Party City for your next fun party!  And get to Halloween shopping!!
Oh and please feel free to share any ideas or tips you may have for me about throwing a Halloween party, it'll be my first! :)

Cough Cough Cough!

So the other day, we had a great calm day up until about eight in the evening.  The day had passed eventless, we went to the playground, cooked together, and the day was almost over.  Then, I was catching up on the web, when my little boy right next to me started coughing.  Didn't think anything of it, he was right next to me, and I knew he hadn't eaten anything he wasn't alright with.  But then the one cough turned into two..until he couldn't stop.  He literally couldn't stop coughing.  He threw up as a result of it too.  I responded by giving him Benadryl, and Albuterol pump for asthma.  When it didn't get better, my husband and I ran out to drive to hospital.  Only to find out something was wrong with our car!?!  So right outside we called 911, and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Strangest part was he would stop coughing for seconds at a time and tell me a word or two with a smile on his face.  He wasn't in pain, but at the same time could not stop coughing.  He was completely fine until that first cough, and then the cough didn't go away.  It was so scary, and I felt helpless as he did say "help me mommy."  Thankfully the ambulance came and took us to the hospital.  When we got there, they gave him asthma treatments.  And when it didn't improve as much as they'd wanted, gave him Prednisolone to help him even more.

So that was it, we spent hours there getting treatment after treatment, and waiting in between as they would come and check to see how he was doing.  He improved enough to fortunately return home, tired, hyper and hungry.  We have been taking the meds as prescribed and getting Albuterol treatments with the nebulizer for now.  He sounds really congested and still coughing here and there.  Hoping he improves and gets all better soon.

I'm proud of him for being able to deal with it all so well, taking his medicine even if they taste horrible, sitting still getting his asthma treatments.  It breaks my heart to hear my little boy know how to say "nebulizer," "asthma," and so much's bitter sweet.  Everyone in the ER that came to hear his lungs were all shocked at how he knew what to do, breathe in and out, and the whole routine so well.  I'm so sorry he has to deal with it all, but just very proud of him.  First 911 emergency call..not fun, and of course we never want to go through that again...

Our Experience: Imagin Ocean The Musical

We went to see the Imagin Ocean The Musical show at New World Stages in New York City.
It was the second to last show in New York City.  It was such a cute little show.  Long enough to make every viewer happy, and ends before all the little audience members gets too tired.  We took the train aka the subway, and my son loved it, as we don't take the train often.
While everyone was settling in, someone came around and sold snacks to everyone.  Which I am only bringing up because it bothered me.  Understandable, but still bothered me.  As a parent to a child that has so many food allergies, I don't enjoy seeing many, almost everyone around us purchasing candy and snacks that my son is severely allergic to.  So that was my nervous, uneasy moment of the day.  But thankfully, nothing bad happened.  Just one of the things we deal with, having food allergies.
Back to the show, it was a cute little story about three little fish friends that go on an adventure after finding a treasure map.  All through the way encouraging imagination, and engaging the audience by having the characters talk and ask questions as a part of the story line.  Performed by puppeteers wearing all black in the dark with the black lights on, it was very well choreographed.  The voices were all pre-recorded.  If you tried hard enough, or like my husband had a strange angle, you could see the people moving the characters, but for the most part you only see the characters.  In the beginning and in the end they use bubbles coming down on the audience, which seemed to get everyone really excited..specially in the beginning.  It wasn't pitch black which was good thing when you have many little ones because the black light makes everything glow.
We really enjoyed the show, and everyone in the audience seemed to have as well.  The show was definitely for little kids though, although enjoyable for adults..most of our joy came from seeing our son enjoy the show.
 *I was not compensated for this post in any way, simply sharing our experience with you all. :) And taking the chance to thank my friend Amy for forwarding the tickets to us.  Thank you!!

REVIEW: Ancient Harvest Quinoa - Pasta Products

 Because my son has so many food allergies, we are always on the search to find products that he can have.  One of the brands we depend on, and are so thankful have added to our diet is Ancient Harvest Quinoa.
First, they are really good.  Easy to cook, they cook in just six to nine minutes once the water is boiled.  And there's a great variety of selections.  And did I mention that they are really good? ;)
Second, my son who has to stay away from so many, Ancient Harvest Quinoa products are a blessing because they are gluten and wheat free.
Third, they are good for you!  Even if you don't have to carry a gluten free or allergy friendly diet, you really could benefit from the addition of quinoa to your diet.  Non GMO, organic, and gluten free.  The ingredients couldn't get any simpler, "organic corn flour, and organic quinoa flour."  On the box you can find facts about quinoa, it states "Quinoa stands alone as a complete protein grain.  It supplies all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern." followed by a nutritional analysis of quinoa compared with other grains, and an amino acid breakdown of quinoa.
My son who cannot have wheat, rye, oat, gluten, millet, and buckwheat CAN enjoy these great pasta products that are as good as the "regular" pastas.  I was able to create different variety of dishes for my son recently.  I made him the "Linguini" pasta with mixed veggies and the "Linguini" with "Chicken Parmesan," and the "Veggie Curls" as a cold salad from Ancient Harvest Quinoa.  I also made him the "Elbows" pasta with some veggies for dinner one night.  All he asks for is noodles now.  We barely ever go out to eat, but these past two weeks, we've had many dinner invites, and were able to enjoy it, because I was able to make the dishes for him that was easy to make, take to go, and of course something he loved.
The salad I tossed together for my boy with the "Veggie Curls" pasta, that he loved.  Colorful veggie curls.  Ingredients: organic corn flour, organic quinoa flour, dried organic red bell peppers and dried organic Spinach.
The pasta dinner made with the "Linguini" pasta.
The "Elbows" pasta with veggies.
Meatballs..Linguini..and chicken "parmesan." Taken by camera phone.

I just love all the products, and there's still a few I haven't tried.  Here's a full list of all the products.  It means so much for me, to be able to share Ancient Harvest Quinoa products with you guys.  It has seriously meant so much to us after testing out so many different brands and gluten-free pastas, to have found Ancient Harvest Quinoa.  I hope you guys go try it and love it.  And if you have any dietary restrictions like we do, that it makes a difference in your lives as well. ;)
Find out more about Ancient Harvest Quinoa on their site, follow them on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook.  More importantly go out and try some!  You can also shop on their online store.  :)

*I received these items to review, but all opinions are a 100% my own.

Quick Visit to the Zoo

Earlier this week, we went to the zoo for a quick visit.  Had been so busy all day, but still wanted our little boy to have something fun before the day ended.
We literally made it to the last few minutes of the zoo before they closed.  We went to the Bronx Zoo, so if you have ever been there, you know that it is huge.  In fact it is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising 265 acres of park lands and naturalistic habitats, where the Bronx River flows through.  So we didn't cover much ground, for fifteen minutes of "zoo" time.  I have went there a handful of times for a few years now, and still yet to see the whole zoo.
My son was so excited about "the jungle" as he likes to call the zoo, that I felt bad that we went there with most of everything closed.  We ran to the Bug Carousal that they have, and made it to the last group going on.  He was thrilled!
Even though he wanted to stay much longer, and was so excited for his visit, he was fine with leaving because he understood it was late and told me the animals needed to sleep.  So proud of him! :)  Such a simple thing, and such a short amount of time, yet such a great moment.

Thanks Irene

So with the news of hurricane Irene coming our way, we were all very shook up by all the "warnings."  With a few days of not taking it all so seriously, we finally did go and get prepared two days before.  My husband and I went and gathered up all the necessities in the case of an emergency.  I made sure I had enough ready to eat food for my son, and all his medications.  It was a scary feeling.  After speaking to my family that also live in New York City, we all decided that if things were to get really bad, the safest place was our apartment.

Our windows face the back of the building, we are on the fifth floor, and our neighborhood is on higher ground.  Everyone came over Friday night, with the unknown future but we all were determined to make the best of it.  We had enough food, and drinks to last us a good while if we needed it.  Once everyone was settled, we all enjoyed a huge dinner that I had prepared for everyone, reminded me of a good old family get together.  We had three toddlers running around, the men just relaxing watching t.v., us women playing cards.  Then, we opened up a bottle of wine, and played Pictionary as a family.  It was so fun to laugh, and play with each other we almost forgot why we had all had gathered.

The night passed by fast, our parents were asleep, and so were the kids.  But my husband, siblings, and I stayed up as we listened to every loud sound of wind and rain hitting the windows.  We were so relieved to see the outcome of the hurricane turned tropical storm.  We had some rain coming in through the sides of one of our windows from the strength and amount of rain, but glad to report that as the only "damage."  In the end we had very little sleep, but a night we won't forget.  By Sunday afternoon, everyone had headed back home, and I was at the toy store with my little family.  The winds were still stronger than usual, but nothing unbearable.

So thankful to have been fortunate, just a reminder of who's in control.  Mother Nature.  Be kind to her people.  I joked that Irene is her daughter sent out to deliver a message to us, but..really!

Hope everyone that wasn't as fortunate is doing well, and will recover soon from everything.

And oh..thanks Irene for being kind to us, as many of us know it could have been worse...