B Toys - Alpha B Tical - Puzzle Board Review

I received a free sample, all opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.
My daughter loves to sing the alphabet song, and is showing so much interest in learning the alphabet lately.  I love items to help motivate her interest in learning, and the B. Alphabet puzzle plank is definitely one of them.  I have always loved the colorful B. line of products for my kids, and happy to have learned more about them.  She copies her brother while he reads, and scribbles so I had been wanting to get her some fun items to start teaching her the alphabet, this is one of them.
My daughter asks for her puzzle board right after nap time, and her brother helps her.
If you look on the B toys website, you will get a great glimpse of how inviting the items are, and why we are huge fans.  I recently learned that they had so many more items than I knew of, so my little ones get more added on the list of toys I want to get them.  The alphabet puzzle features 26 colorful chunky letters that has kept both my children interested while playing with them.     

I was scrolling though the B. Toys website, when I read the B. story and wanted to share this bit from it:
"We want to be a voice to children that says it’s okay to be curious, to be pensive, to be loud, to be happy and sad all at the same time, to be generous, to be afraid, to be quiet, to be wild, to be fun, to be open, to be scientific, to be poetic, to be giddy, to be serious, to be smart, to be free, to be you.
Just B. Just you. B. you."

I think that says allot about the brand.  Check out the alphabet board and the rest of the great items this holiday for the unique awesome little ones in your life. 



Your Kids will Love the Wubble Bubble Ball!

*I received the item for the purpose of review.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.
I first saw a good glimpse of the Wubble Ball at Blogger Bash this past summer, and then was later reminded by my kids interest when they saw a commercial.  I planned on surprising them with it under the tree, but then I got the chance to review it.  It is as fun as everyone thought.  My kids cannot get enough.  It has been a good week since we first opened it up, and they still play with it everyday. 
When you can find a toy that your kids continue to play with, you know you've got a winner.  It comes with it's own battery operated pump, which will transform the flabby soft stuff to a ball that's 3 feet tall in about 2 minutes.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, if you want to see a video on how to, check out their video on YouTube here.  You can kick it, squeeze it, play catch, and so much more.  I am always skeptical at "As Seen on TV" products to see how amazing they really are, but this one like many have been a hit with us.  You don't have to blow it up to 3 feet tall, you can have a smaller wubble ball - like I did with my kids when we were indoors. 
You do have to keep your Wubble Ball away from sharp and pointy objects as it can get ruined, but what's nice is that the package comes with a mail in slip to get a replacement, and you only have to pay 6.99 to get a new one under the lifetime replacement gaurantee

All in all, we loved the Wubble Ball, which we all call Wubble Bubble Ball around here.  My 6 year old and almost 2 year old can't get enough of it.  Add it as a possible fun item for the little ones in your lives this holiday season.  It isn't just a favorite in our home, Target has chosen the Wubble Ball as a 2014 Top Toy for the Holiday Season.  Wubble Ball is available at Target, Toys R US and online at www.wubbleball.com, and you can also follow them on twitter @WubbleBall and on Facebook.

More fun facts about the Wubble Bubble Ball:
"~Wubble Bubble Ball is a Family Fun Toy Of The Year Award Winner. The 25 winners are featured in the November 2014 issue of Family Fun Magazine. 
~Inspired by his children's wish for a real bubble to play with, NSI President Frank Landi developed the Wubble™ Bubble Ball to keep children's love for fun, active play alive.
~Wubble has won numerous toy awards, including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, a Mr. Dad Approved Award, a Parent's Choice Award and the  Dr. Toy Best 100 Picks Award and more! "







     

Gift the Perfect Case with SPECK Protective Cases this Holiday Season

*I received items for the purpose of this post, all opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.  Photos are from http://speckproducts.com

I don't always have the latest devices as it is hard to keep up these days, but for the ones I do have I like to have the best protection for them - which is why I'm glad I go to try Speck cases.  I personally tried the Venture Folio, Shift Folio, and my absolute favorite the Show Folio for my iPad mini.  I have tried and gone through other cases before, not satisfied and feeling hopeless when it comes to a proper case for my iPad mini until I tried the Speck cases.
 
Speck is the leading designer of award winning, protective cases and covers for smartphones, tablets, and laptops.  If you check out SpeckProducts online you will find just how much they offer, and I am pretty sure you will find the perfect case for you or someone on your holiday gift list this year. 
 
Quick information on the three cases:
ShowFolio is the first in-car case from Speck made for on-the-road entertainment.  I've gotten the opportunity to try this out on the go with my children in the backseat, it hooks right onto the headrest of the front seat, and hooks right off for on the go.  It is fully functional slim and protective of the iPad mini.  By far my favorite case for the iPad mini. 
 
VentureFolio is a carefully styled case for the frequent traveler. It’s a fully functioning folio case that features magnetic storage pockets perfectly sized for credit cards, cash, and travel documents.  I like this case for when I'm on my own and not with the kids, so I can fully utilize the added convenient storage pockets. 
 
ShiftFolio is a slim, classically styled folio case that delivers the dual-layer protection that only comes with a Speck case. A magnetic cover secures the case shut and automatically triggers the sleep/wake function on your iPad (which all these cases do btw.) Multiple viewing and typing positions make it comfortable to use your iPad while leaning back and relaxing or upright and working.
 
"ShowFolio and ShiftFolio are each $59.95 for the complete system including the Shift Frame and Shift Cover. VentureFolio is $69.95 for the frame and storage pocket cover. Separately, the Shift Covers for each can be purchased for $44.95. The Shift Frame is also available individually for $29.95 - but needs to be combined with any Shift Cover for proper functionality."
 
Get to know more about SPECK at speckproducts.com or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  They have so much more to offer, all quality cases they stand behind with a 1 year warranty, and 30 day unconditional guarantee.  You will be sure to find a case for you, and the perfect case for that special someone in your life this holiday season.  This technology driven world we live in, we all care about the devices we use, and nothing beats finding the perfect case - be the one to gift an item that will be valued  by the recipient on your holiday list for a long time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

DECK Speakers by SOL REPUBLIC x MOTOROLA {giveaway}

Received the item/s for the purpose of this post.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided. Giveaway is sponsored. 
DECK Speakers by SOL REPUBLIC x Motorola.  This is the first speaker system that I have used that lets you sync up to five friends, which makes for added fun when you have company or when you take it outside for a gathering.  I personally have used it carrying it around from room to room playing nursery rhymes for my little one, to using it to read out sight words for my son to listen to and spell out, and of course my husband and I have had our share of music playing on it already.
With the feature that lets you sync up to five friends, you can battle, or simply take turns playing DJ.  I got to test it out, and it really is fun to all be synced.  Everyone gets a choice in music during any family gatherings.  You can choose Heist mode on the device itself.  You have volume controls on top of the DECK, and the device lights up to indicate connection.  Multifunction buttons on the device makes for easier usage.  You can also use the device as a speaker phone, the results for me worked great - clear sound on both ends. 
It has a nice nonslip bottom that I found useful when carrying it around and of course keeps it from moving around while playing music.  It has up to 10 hours of battery life, and like other SOL REPUBLIC devices I've used charges really fast and lasts a long time.  Every time you turn on the device it tells you how many hours of battery life you have left, as well as letting you know when charge is complete. 
The carrying pouch and size makes it convenient to toss in my bag to take anywhere.
"Powered by 360° full sound, DECK sounds great from anywhere in the room. And the super-power wireless feature gives you up to 300 feet of freedom to stay connected and play DJ while roaming the party."
One of it's greatest features has to be it's ability to stay connected wirelessly up to 300 feet, which is one of the reasons why I love taking it outside with me and it makes it easier to control it from the other room when I'm at home as well. 
Here are some other features that make the DECK speakers so great.
Labor day weekend is coming up, if you are going camping or having a get together this will be a great accessory to add to the fun.  We will be taking it camping with us this weekend and I'm sure we'll use it throughout our time.  It is also back to school season and this would be a great for any students or teachers in your life, you'd like to treat with something they'll be sure to use.

Enter below using the Rafflecopter to win one!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/17ff612435/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway





 

How to Train a Dragon 2 BEWILDERBEAST - Final Battle Set Toy #Review

*Item was received for the purpose of this post, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
From DreamWorks How to Train a Dragon 2 BEWILDERBEAST Final Battle Set is so much fun.  I have a 6 year old and a toddler, they both love it.  My daughter goes around saying "rooarr" and is able to play with the toy just as much as her older brother.  My son is a fan of DreamWorks How to Train a Dragon, so he is aware of what the toy represents.  Details, sound, size and action are all that make this toy a hit with the kids.  The simplicity in making it work, makes me happy.      
It has sound which kids love, and it has "action," which obviously adds to the fun.  You press on the back of Bewilderbeast and it "fires out icy missiles." 
It is quite large in size, which my kids seem to really like.  The arms, head and even tail move which also activates the "roar" sound.  I don't mind that it is bigger in size, my kids love taking toys out to play and this one can't get lost.  They enjoyed playing with the whole set at the park. 

Our favorite dragon Toothless is much smaller in comparison to Bewilderbeast, but makes for great role playing as kids create their own final battle from How to Train a Dragon 2. 







Kidz Vuz Back to School Bash #BBNYC #KidzVuzBTS

All photos used in this post are thanks to Josh Strauss Studios.
The Kidz Vuz event was the last event of the two day Blogger Bash conference.  They really made so much happen in two days, it is amazing!  The Kidz Vuz event was a huge space full of fun.  Excited kids running around with their parents by their side, and amazing sponsors.  Sponsors were Microsoft, Land's End, Speck, Unikey, WWE, Hasbro, School Specialty, Lifelock, Netgear, Disney Films, Make My Cake, Sweet Loren's, Becky's Bites and more!  My son and I joined in all that we can that wasn't a risk to us in terms of food allergies.  We made our way around fast, but made sure to get the most of all that we could.
Lands End Back to School Apparel
 Speck
Right away we met Natalya and Darren from WWE, my son was super shy and they were so nice as they took a picture and gave him an autograph.  Land's End had all their good looking, great quality back to school items that I had to check out, it was one of our personal favorites!  Speck which I was introduced to had amazing cases for your iPhone and iPad at their stations, which you can look for a review here real soon.  School Specialty had an awesome, popular corner for the kids getting a turn in the ticket catcher booth.  Kid playing video games, many of our family favorites, Guardians of the Galaxy photo opportunity, and so much more. 
I was a bit overwhelmed, and dealing with food allergies so didn't think I was as all over as I should have been.  But all in all an amazing time with amazing sponsors.  Unfortunately as I stated and even posted about, food allergies kept us from enjoying everything to the fullest but super fun.  Can't wait for future connections with the brands, and Kidz Vuz.  My son can't wait to put his first official video up.  Thanks for such a fun event, we're hoping to join in again in the future!









        









Marvel Universe LIVE Near You! #MULNYNJ

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
Marvel Universe Live was a great show.   Something really exciting about seeing all those characters live in front of you.  What had me in complete awe the whole time was all the time and effort that went into making the show possible.  I kept staring up and around to see all that goes into making it possible.  The talented men and women on the arena floor, the many people behind that we don't know about, it was incredible what they had achieved.  My son (6) seemed to enjoy the show and that's what mattered to me most of all.  If the show captures the attention of a boy who is a fan of all Marvel super heroes, then job well done.  And if you happen to get the parents excited and intrigued, then bravo! 

 2 of the incredibly talented performers from the show
It's another one of those shows that the poster doesn't say much, and it's almost left to your imagination - as to what you can expect.  But all the better I say, I love the surprise when it's good.  I don't like reading reviews and the whole review tells me the whole show in summary, so I won't do that.  I will instead tell you my thoughts, and tell you it was a great show and that it was nothing like we've ever seen before.  It was Marvel LIVE, it was all happening in front of you, so real, yet so fake - you almost forget it's live and not on a screen.  It is action packed with stunts, including motorcycles, and well used props to make scenes happen.  So yes, I recommend it, we loved it.  Here are the dates for yet another amazing production by Feld Entertainment, Marvel Universe Live in the New York Metro area:

IZOD Center July 31- August 10
Barclays Center August 13 - 17
Nassau Coliseum August 21 - 24

For ticket sales information visit ticketmaster.com
"Marvel Universe LIVE! launches new innovations in set design, aerial stunts, pyrotechnics and state-of-the-art show elements that bring movie style special effects to the live entertainment arena. Audiences will see the awe-inspiring world of Super Heroes come to life before their eyes with a dynamic cast comprised of some of the industry's most talented stunt performers. Utilizing their talents and aided by a unique combination of never before seen arena mechanics some of Marvel's mightiest will come to life with profound results. These true-to-comic creations will be supported by innovative lighting design and transformative 3D projection that will take the audience on a journey around the globe with these timeless characters. To support this massive undertaking, Marvel Universe LIVE! will not only utilize the entire arena floor, but also perform within a multilevel aerial space creating a unique experience that puts audiences right in the middle of the action in ways they could only dream about prior."



 

 

Mark Your Calendars for the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Movie - August 8th! #TMNTMovie

*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are a 100% my own 
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES to be released on August 8th!  The excitement is real in this house as my husband is a fan from when he was a child and got to enjoy it with his son by his side, only it was a better version!  In 3D, and the graphics were all very well done, usually my husband and I cringe at cheesy scenes that the kids wouldn't notice but with this movie - we didn't have any of those moments at all.  It is rated PG-13 with sci-fi violence and we took our son with us.  I was skeptical at first, since the characters on the ad look kind of mean, and I was wondering what they had done with the real characters but they are still the teenage mutant ninja turtles we all love. 

I've never have been particularly interested in the Ninja Turtles before, so I was nervous to see if I'd even be interested.  I left the movie asking my husband and son about the characters.  It isn't easy to find movies that will keep everyone interested for the duration of the whole movie these days, and #TMNTMovie kept us all entertained.  So to wrap up my thoughts on the movie I would have to say it is a must see movie for sure!  For me what made the movie such a success was not knowing what to expect when I sat in the theatre, so now I understand the ads, and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did.      

Follow the excitement on the official accounts here:
https://www.facebook.com/TMNT
https://twitter.com/TMNTMovie



Element Associates brought Makeovers, Unique Bubbles, Cake and so much more at #BBNYC #EAevents

Some photos and information was provided by EA for the purpose of this post.  All opinions are a 100% my own. No compensation was provided.
It has been a fun month for me and part of the excitement was due to Blogger Bash.  One of the many events I was able to attend during #BBNYC was #EAevents.  There was so much going on, sometimes at the same time.  I might of missed something here and there but I didn't miss #EAevents!  I made my way through everything really quick making sure to stop where there was space for me.  I unfortunately didn't make it to every sponsor, which included COVERGIRL, Smokey Bear, JosephNogucci.com Jewelry, Wubble Bubble, Alex's Lemonade Stand, Auto TexPink, and more!  Personally, the highlights of the event would have to be Cover Girl, and Wubble Bubble for me..only because that is where I stopped and talked.
I was in the room when there was lines for everything from the "meet & greet" line for NY Times best selling author Lauren Willig, all the way to a full circle to JosephNogucci.com Jewelry.  I stood on the line right before me as I entered and ended up picking up amazing lip gloss from COVERGIRL, and then enjoying a mini manicure with COVERGIRL XL Gel collection.  I tried the Colorlicious Lip Gloss right away, and loved it.  I haven't purchased lip gloss in so long, and the last time I did I hadn't found one I truly liked.  It wasn't sticky, went on smooth, no smell or taste, and it lasted.  It was unfortunately really crowded where they featured more beauty products while giving make overs, that I didn't get a look at.  I later learned that the makeup touch ups/mini makeovers featured COVERGIRL's new #instaGLAM Collection, which I have to check out!  I might just create a "Fashion & Beauty" section on the blog because I am starting to love makeup!
I'm sad I didn't get to see the new Miii jewelry collection by Joseph Nogucci.  They are bracelets crafted from semiprecious stone beads and gleaming rhodim-plated magnets designed to bring all the bracelets together in a perfect arm stack.  And it is like charm bracelets, Miii charms commemorates a specific milestone or memory.

As I made my way around the room, I stopped to check out the Wubble Bubble in person and have to say it looked like lots of fun.  Looks like a bubble, and plays like a ball.  As tempted as I was, I didn't get to throw myself on it and bounce (not sure if I can do that!) but was excited to get an up close look for my son who has been asking for it.
AutoTex Pink was there to share "Wipe Out Breast Cancer," where a donation is made with every purchase of AutoTex Pink wiper blades to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  They are available for purchase in pink or black with a pink ribbon online at www.thecequentstore.com.
Smokey Bear is celebrating his 70th birthday this year, and posed for photos and shared cake with everyone at the event.  Smokey Bear plays a key role in educating the public tha "Only YOU can prevent wildfires."  A startling fact I learned, nine out of ten wildfires are started by humans!
My only regret about the event was that I did not make my way to every sponsor, and did not take much pictures throughout.  Wait, that's not my only regret, I also should've had a piece of the Smokey Bear cake pictured above!  There was so much going on, but I am happy I took the time to get nail polish on my nails for the first time in forever! (Great..now I'm singing the "Frozen" song in my head!☺)  The nail polish had such a nice glossy, gel finish, and since it was a mini manicure, clear nail polish wasn't even applied and it looked great.  Hopefully I'll be able to connect with some of the sponsors to connect better.




A New Video Game for the LEGO Fan - LEGO NINJAGO NINDROIDS Available July 29, 2014! -Plus Enter to Win a Copy! #Giveaway

*Images, and information were provided.  Giveaway will be fulfilled by sponsor.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
LEGO Ninjago Nindroids, a new game geared for all ages is coming out today, July 29th!  Exclusively available to Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita, retailing for $29.99.  Are your kids familiar with LEGO's popular animated TV series "LEGO Ninjago Rebooted?"  Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games are releasing this game, perfect timing to help parents keep their kids entertained all summer long.  It is great for the LEGO fan in your home, but looks like a fun family game for everyone.    
 

My son has always been into playing video games, but now that he is 6, ,it seems to be the perfect age to start letting him play the appropriate games.  He is a huge fan of LEGO, and says anything that is LEGO - he is a fan of.  His first video game I bought for him has been the LEGO Super Marvel Heroes game that he can't get enough of. 
I know he will be excited to give this game a try, but I am even more excited to share the news with him since he is a fan of Ninjago - the show and of course the LEGO sets.  I am always happy to see any fun video games with great graphics that are geared for everyone. 
 
Here's a quick trailer of the game!
Are you as  excited as I am?  How about a chance to win a copy of the game for yourself, or your child - of course!  Enter below using the Rafflecopter.  Good luck!


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/17ff612434/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Big Toy Book Baby Palooza Event at Blogger Bash NYC #BTBbaby #BBNYC

I'm clearly not that cool, but I'm also honest and that makes me pretty cool in most peoples eyes..right?  What am I talking about?  I'm talking about Anne Geddes, I did not know who she was before the Baby Palooza event during the Blogger Bash conference.  I have seen her work before, and love it, but did not know who she was.  But none of these facts held me back from being an instant fan of hers as she walked in gracefully.  She was clearly very talented, humble, and so classy.  Having her walking in with her family, and seeing her family sit behind her during the interview was beautiful in ways words can't describe.  The proud look on both her husband and daughters face, just made you smile on as she spoke so elegantly about her success and unique work.  I don't have a long list of people I look up to, but I admire people who have managed to stay humble and true through their success, she is one of them now.  Simple, talented, unique, and confident are just some of the words I could describe her from the short time she talked during the event.     

Although she was the main guest during Baby Palooza, there many other wonderful representatives with great products at the event as well.  Here are just a few of my favorites that I had the opportunity to take a close look at, and can see my self using.  
The JOOVY Caboose Vary Light.  It is everything I wanted when my daughter was born, and if I choose to have another addition to our family, I will be looking for this stroller or the latest version from them when the time comes.  There are many strollers out on the market that are designed for 2 kids, but this stroller takes the space of one stroller but fits both children comfortably.  It is customizable in many ways, I just fell in love with the amazing features!  They did a great job, I highly recommend checking it out if you are in the search of a new stroller.  It was a popular item to check out, well every item was hot, so I unfortunately did not get great shots of all the products.
A collapsible baby to toddler bathtub.  Need I say more?  As parents, we always could use more space, specially living in a NYC apartment, and this is a product that is catering to our needs.  The last bathtub I had for my kids were so big, and took up so much space.  This little bathtub is actually pretty small in comparison even without collapsing flat.
The Boon Inc. bath toys.  Ever look inside those squeaky bath toys that squirt water out?  I did a very long time ago, and realized it never dries out inside, and eventually grows mold inside.  That was the last time I purchased any bath toys with holes in it.  These are the perfect bath toys, colorful and anti mold!

There were sweets from Sprinkles cupcakes, No Chips Tips Jamberry nails, Britax with their amazing strollers, JJCole, and not to mention Baby Safety Alert, TOMY, Delta Children, and Intimacy which helps you find your right size for bra, lingeree, swim and more.  Lots of fun and amazing products packed into an amazing intimate space.  I hope to connect with these brands in the future to offer all of you more details on their latest products.  But all in all..it was an great event!







Real Food Allergy Stories #1- Small Victories #d2dFoodAllergies #RealFAstories

Check out the Introduction to day to day with Food Allergies for a better understanding of what this post is about. 
I kick off #d2dFoodAllergies (#RealFAstories) with a post from a mom who is feeling genuinely happy about something so many probably don't even think about as a victory. 

July 13, 2014 10PM
My daughter had her swim team banquet tonight and even though I had to take her dinner and her safe cupcake it made me so happy that she was able to have fun and participate safely on a team. I don't even think she was phased about bringing her own food. Hoping we can all enjoy the small victories we win as allergy moms and dads!

I don't know what her daughter is allergic to however I know that feeling of winning when your child with food allergies is able to have a good day, a normal day.  It takes lots of planning, baking and cooking ahead of time just to make sure our children are safe from allergic reactions and also because we don't want them to be harmed socially we will try our best to include them in everything they'd be if they didn't have food allergies.  I'm excited for her and her daughter! 

This is post #1 and is the beginning of many real food allergy stories shared as a part of day to day with food allergies, click on the tab "
day to day with Food Allergies" to see them all as I add more.  Don't forget to subscribe to get email updates.

What's one thing you forget to appreciate daily? 

Disney's Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast DVD Available August 5

*I received promotional item/s for the purpose of this post.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.
Sofia the First, such an adorable character, the little girl in me was automatically drawn to wanting to be her.  I loved her name, and how she looked, I was like a little girl all over again when I first saw this character by Disney.  I was glad to find out her character was as adorable as the image portrayed.  As expected from Disney Junior "The Enchanted Feast" was full of tid bits of educational, motivational stories.  Both my children seem to approve and enjoy the DVD, even my little boy.    

DVD will be released August 5, 2014

"Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast DVD
There's more than meets the eye when you join Sofia the First for this royally scrumptious adventure! All the monarchs from Enchancia's neighboring kingdoms have come to watch a dazzling display of magic: First, Cedric will conjure up a fabulous feast. Next, he'll transform the banquet room into a hall of amazing ''morpho-mirrors.'' But before the fun begins, wicked Miss Nettle (disguised as ''Sascha the Sorceress'') crashes the party with a scheme to steal Sofia's magical amulet. Can Sofia foil the bad fairy's plan before it's too late? Perhaps . . . with help from Snow White, who reminds her it's important to trust your instincts."


 

 

Easy "Beef and Brocolli" Recipe

This dish is top 7 allergen free.  (wheat, dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, fish)      
I've learned to cook as simple as possible over the past few years of my life because of food allergies.  Surprisingly it makes for tastier dishes where you actually taste what you are eating instead of added seasonings.  Less is more when it comes to cooking in the kitchen for me.  It also helps make shopping, and cooking easier.  I see so many people struggle with cooking allergy friendly, and I can't help but think it really isn't that difficult unless of course your list of allergens are unique and long.  I understand ours is always changing and difficult.  We don't eat out as a family, and we definitely don't order out Chinese food, so I created our own version of "Beef and Broccoli" for the whole family. 

All you need is:
Thinly sliced beef (or chicken) - about 2 cup fulls
Tons of broccoli rinsed and separated - twice or three times as much meat you use
1 onion cut up
Garlic - minced (we are allergic to garlic, so don't use it but if you can have it, it will add great flavor to this dish)
About 3 carrots - cut into strips
1/2 cup of olive oil
Half a teaspoon of sugar
1/4 a cup of soy sauce
(optional) add vegetables like mushrooms, or colorful bell peppers for added crunch, flavor, and vitamins

I don't measure when I cook, so hopefully my estimates here are good enough to help you out.  If you are comfortable in the kitchen, feel free to adjust accordingly to your instincts.  Also feel free to contact me, I'd be more than happy to help.

Place the oil, onions, *garlic, sugar, and soy sauce into the pot you will be cooking in.  Stir it all around until it is all mixed up.  Add your meat choice.  Let it marinade from 10 minutes to an hour in the fridge. -marinating is optional

Once done marinating, place it on the stove on high.  Let it heat up thoroughly, it will be well done fast so right before you see the beef turning completely brown (well done) add the vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms.  Place the stove medium heat, cover for about 5 to 10 minutes.  The meat should be full of flavor, the vegetables perfectly coated with flavor but still with the crunch. 

Prepare your choice of plain rice/grain for the side to serve.  And enjoy. 



Laughter, Toys, Fun and DANGER?! #foodallergies #d2dFoodAllergies

I always want to refrain from making everything in my life about food allergies, but then I realize that I don't really have a choice.  Recently I went to a blogger conference, where I took a much needed break from my usual responsibilities and enjoyed myself.  I met blogger in person, I met many wonderful people representing many of our favorite brands.  There was food, and drinks everywhere during the 2 day conference filled with many amazing events.  Throughout my time there, I couldn't help but think about my kids, and think how would they be able to attend an event similar to this as adults and be safe.  I tried not to let it get to me, but it was on my mind the whole time.  The last day of the conference, there was an event that I was able to bring my son with me.  We were so excited about it, it was all he talked about for days.  He counted the days, and brought it up daily.  Finally, it was the day of the event where he could join me for some fun.  I knew it was announced that there wont be food served, but I also knew there would be snacks around for sure.  I just didn't really know what I was getting into, until I was standing there holding both his hands close and tight surrounded by..what in translation is poison...

The event was great, lots of things to do, and overall amazing.  Just not if you have food allergies.  I grew up without even knowing what food allergies were, so now I can't help but wonder what peoples opinions are...  Does a child with severe multiple food allergies just not go to events or parties?  What can be changed so everyone can be safe and have a great time?  Are people willing to make slight, small changes? Wash hands?  Eat, whatever foods at somewhat designated areas?  I mean is that just a dream or something possible without making a fuss about it.  Will awareness of food allergies, make that possible?  Or is everyone pretty much going to look my way and not want to deal with me/us?  Is there some people reading this thinking I need to just stay home if everywhere else is unsafe?  After all it is a disability.  A blind disability that gets overlooked.  We are talking about a child in this case, but people with food allergies being left out because they have a medical condition.  Unable to join in because of airborne and contact allergies to foods.  This isn't about not being able to eat what others are eating, but not being able to take part in non food related fun because of food allergies.

It was a party with lots of fun happenings in every corner.  There were snack tables set up, we stayed far away from that.  But there were many people walking around snacking, enjoying themselves like they should be, and but then touching everything, which made the toys and other areas to be enjoyed unsafe for us.  Even an area with playdoh fun was unsafe for us because of wheat.  I quickly changed from worry free standing alone to holding on tight to my child barely moving, making sure he doesn't touch anything, making sure nothing touches him, and rushing to wash his hands when he did have the chance to.  I am now an experienced food allergy mom (that's always learning), so I know how to not let any of my worries get to him.  I wasn't stressing him out or harming the fun he could enjoy, just in case anyone reading is concerned.  I didn't let my son know my worries, I simply kept him away from where I saw was unsafe.  I knew..he was obviously left out from how much fun other kids were having, but he wasn't bothered and didn't feel like he was left out at all.

But again, my question and frustration with food allergies never ends.  What are our "rights?"  Not by law, but by common courtesy.  Most people are all about giving, helping the disabled, or sick child, how about when it comes to food allergies?  I don't expect there to be no food at events, especially when food companies are sponsoring an event or have paid for their spot but what..what can be done to keep children like mine safe and be a part of the fun at events like this one.  And even an interesting question for me is, how about as adults?  I have no answers, and I don't even have requests regarding this matter - I'm mostly sad.  Not at people, but at food allergies.  It is more and more common to meet someone with food allergies these days, so I think many of us need to learn more and respect it as the medical disability that it is. 

If anyone is wondering, if I get the opportunity to go to an event like this again with my children, I still will.  We can't let food allergies keep us from enjoying the fun parts of life, and we have to learn stay safe somehow, even if it means being left out.  I much rather be there for my children while they see how unsafe the world is for them, then them figure it out when they start to venture out on their own as young adults.  I'm sharing this post only because I welcome you and everyone into a moment in my life with food allergies, and because with awareness I hope for it to be safer for everyone with food allergies one day.  Everyday is difficult, events are even more so with food allergies.  Food, food can kill with food allergies. 

Thank you for reading, please comment below as I am interested in everyone's opinions.   


Blogger Bash Coffee Talk

Blogger

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!