Allergy- Free Halloween is Attainable

I’m loving the idea of the Teal Pumpkin this Halloween geared toward the little ones with allergies to be able to enjoy the festivities without being worried ability their allergies.

But, if you’d like to do a little more, or are having a little party and need some tips; I’d like to share an article from a fellow blogger:

Popular TV contributor Carolina King has green, allergy-free tips for trick-or-treaters and Halloween parties.

“When did Halloween get so complicated? The days of just buying oversized bags of individually wrapped candy are disappearing. Today, there are concerns about everything from food allergies to how Halloween festivities affect our planet. Carolina King is helping take the anxiety out of Halloween for parents. “You can have a healthy and sustainable Halloween without taking any fun away from the holiday,” states King, founder of Mama Instincts and The Mama Instincts Podcast. 

For example, the candy industry is starting to do the right thing. “One common candy ingredient that no longer needs to spark concern is palm oil,” she points out. “We can finally enjoy chocolate that is not tied to rainforest destruction. Today, major candy manufacturers including Mars and Nestlé are using only certified sustainable palm oil. Much of that palm oil comes from Malaysia, which is a world leader in progressive environmental policies. The Malaysian palm oil industry is a huge contributor to wildlife conservation.”

King’s ideas for keeping the little goblins and our planet healthier while trick-or-treating 

King hears from parents who choose to use Halloween as a time to teach their kids about responsible choices. For those families, she offers the following tips and ideas: 

  • Conventional, budget-friendly treats: “While candy will probably never be considered healthy, it can be more earth-friendly by choosing brands made with Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil, such as Kit Kats.”

  • Organic treats: GoOrganic Fruit Chews are Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Certified Organic. The chews are made with Fair Trade-Certified sugar, and the bulk candy comes in home-compostable, cellophane bags.”

  • Allergy-safe treats: “Dots, Skittles and Starburst are all free of the top 8 allergens. For healthier options, consider these Enjoy Life Seed and Fruit individual packets, or MySuperCookies which are organic and nut-free. 

  • Low-sugar candies: “Candies made with xylitol help to fight cavities. Tasty, individually wrapped options include Xyloburst Lollipops and Dr. John’s Xylitol Sunkissed Fruit Candy.” 

  • Novelty Toys: “These are very popular today as parents move away from giving out candy. Kids love such things as

  • Glow Stick bracelets and scary Eyeball erasers. You can also get 48 Halloween-themed Slinkys for less than $15.”

Creative, sustainable food ideas for Halloween parties  

King says friends and families can have a frighteningly good time with these Halloween treats. 

  • Do-it-yourself popcorn bar. “Start with freshly popped Malaysian popcorn (recipe below) or try some Tiny but Mighty popcorn which has really cute tiny kernels without the annoying husks that get stuck in your teeth. Set out a seasoning station with different toppings. In keeping with the Halloween theme, include these Surf Sweets Gummy Worms which are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified. They are also free of the 10 most-common allergens.”  

  • Instead of punch, prepare flavored fruit-infused water enhanced with Regular Girl. “Some kids eat more junk food than usual and are probably not so regular this time of year. Regular Girl is a good source of fiber plus probiotics. This is so easy to make! Press fresh fruit at the bottom of a jar to release the flavor. Top with water. Add one scoop of Regular Girl for every 8 ounces of water. It blends invisibly without changing the taste, aroma or appearance of the water.”   

  • Make a platter of cheese ghost sticks or ghost bananas.Use a permanent marker to draw a ghost face on an unpeeled banana or on cheese sticks. This is a fun activity to do with the kiddos and a fun way to turn a healthy snack into a Halloween snack.” 

  • Serve witch finger carrots sticks. “Turn baby carrots into creepy fingers by using a paring knife to give the carrot a finger shape. Shave one end of the baby carrot to make a fingernail bed and cut some grooves where a knuckle would be. Cut a small triangle piece of red pepper to use as nail. Dip one side of the pepper in honey and place on the carrot. Serve the fingers on a platter and watch your guests’ amazement!”

Hope you got some great ideas from the article!

Have a fun and safe Halloween!!

Time Will Fly When You DIY

I love to craft and DIY projects, though I wish I had more time for it. Now, I’ve got many friends that aren’t into the crafting DIY world. Then , there are those that aren’t sure how to begin or don’t want to invest in a bunch of supplies that they may only use once. I get ya!

Where do you find that “something for everyone ” place? Have you tried AR Workshop?

It is your one stop shop for all different DIY projects!

I was fortunate to have been able to attend my local AR Workshop first year anniversary!

And what fun we had!

The makes and take’ was a great way to sample what the projects they offer would be like.

Now, just because it’s called DIY doesn’t mean that they’re just going to put the supplies in front of you and walk away. No! They take you step by step through the project!

Check your local areas of an AR Workshop near you! You’re going to have a blast, and bring your gal pals for a girls night out . Or maybe your sweetie for a fun date night!

Bat Those Lashes

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Tried all the mascaras? Swiped on every serum? Can’t crimp with the curler anymore? Me,too! So I tried the new style for creating “bat-able” a HEATED eyelash curler!!

Hmmm….. not too intimidating. And you can charge it via USB.

It is ready to go as soon as the charge is full. Is it easy to use?

Yup, it’s just like using a mascara wand!

It takes some practice, but there’s hope!

Where did I find this handy tool?

I found mine at : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XP115MH

Check it out if your looking to try the latest lash curling trend!

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The “Fun” in Fundamental

So many snacks wherever you turn, and all their bright colored wrappings parading on television. As a parent we know of a better snack for our kiddos. One that also has colorful wrappings, but the kids find boring. Yes, you guessed it- fruit!!

So how do you spark interest? Along comes HuePets!! And wow are they cute!!

Through the courtesy of Tryazon, I was accepted to hold a “HuePets Party”. Isn’t that little guy super cute? And best of all, he’s interactive! With the kiddos of today so tech connected HuePets has an interactive app. I love the scavenger hunt that helps kids get familiar with fruit.

Lo and behold they are learning and not even realizing it! Sneaky? Maybe, but when they learn and reach for Nature’s best snacks around it’s worth it!

As you can see form these happy faces, the kids can’t wait to get all set up!

Simplicity and rewarding, HuePets sure make a difference!

A Gummy for Prevention

You’ve always heard, “an ounce of prevention “. But with so many various supplements to choose from which one do you get.

Fortunately, being a Tryazon member, I was accepted to try Sambucol Gummies.

Right away- the flavor is pleasing to everyone in the family!

Not only do they have gummies, they also offer a liquid form for those that aren’t the “gummy” kind of person.

How good? So good I had to share it with my monthly mom group event.

And at our Labor Day Bbq

As proactive as we prends try to be, sometimes those sniffles and colds still show up.

Sambucol has your back! Because they have help for that too!!

Would you like to find out more? Just go to:

http://www.sambucolusa.com

Check out Tryazon too: http://www.tryazon.com

When You Gotta Go.. But Won’t

Schools are in full swing! And the kiddos are getting into their routines and “grooves”. But, are they completely settled in? There’s one “issue” that tends to be unspoken, probably due it it’s nature…

It can be uncomfortable for our little ones when it comes to going to the bathroom. Not so much when it’s a quick stop, but when it’s the dreaded “no.2”!!!

The anxiety of not being in the comfort of your own home is real. Adults feel it and just deal with it. Not so easy with the kiddos, there are factors that we as adults don’t think of. How they feel in an unfamiliar bathroom, self conscious of the length of time it takes, or how they think the other kids will look or say to them.

I’ve got a great article from Dr. William Sears to share on how to help overcome these feelings:

Coping with bathroom anxiety and
other back-to-school health issues  

By William “Dr. Bill” Sears, M.D.

We’ve encountered and survived many back-to-school health issues in my over 50 years as a pediatrician, 52 years as a parent of eight children, and now 15 grandchildren. Now, I’m sharing some of my family’s best tips for three of the most common issues your children are likely to face this time of year.  

  • Bathroom anxiety and belly aches. Parents are sometimes surprised when their children won’t use a school bathroom, and they’re often just as perplexed about how to solve the problem.

When my kids were in school, bathroom anxiety and belly aches from irregularity were an occasional problem. But with grandchildren, these are intensified with increased amount of processed, constipating foods available to them. Regularity is such a huge issue that my wife Martha Sears, R.N. and I wrote “Dr. Poo: The Scoop on Comfortable Poop.” It provides the same tips and resources I give to our own children and grandchildren for how to poo better.

Admittedly, “So, how is your poop…” is probably never going to become a favorite topic of dinner conversation. But one reason why kids won’t go number 2 at school is they would rather play than spend any extra time sitting on the potty.  

Today we have some great hacks such as “invisible” fiber to put into what they are already eating and drinking so going to the bathroom is much more comfortable. Our family prefers kid-friendly fibers, such as Sunfiber or Regular Girl, that don’t cause extra gas or bloating. The great thing about one of these is if they have to go number 2, they are more likely to go right away. They won’t be straining to try to hurry the process.

  • Back-to-school stress. The stress my children experienced in school was nothing like our grandchildren face today. Now there’s more media time and less play time. Competition is more intense. Children begin feeling stressed at younger ages. And after a summer of play, sleeping in and no homework, suddenly children, like some adults returning from a long vacation, suffer stress overload.

Remember, both parenting and schooling are basically giving your children the tools to succeed in life.  One of the top tools to teach them early on is stress-reduction, especially with the “attitude of gratitude.” No matter how much “life sucks,” and sometimes it does, everyone has a few things to be thankful for.  

The top stress-reliever we have taught our children is what we call “preloading” the calming center of your brain by how you drift off to sleep and how you wake up each school day. These were considered novel when my kids were small but are more accepted now.

First, have them tape a list on their bathroom mirror entitled “Five things I like about me,” such as “I like my smile,” “I like that I’m a good soccer player,” and “I like that I’m honest.”

Next, as they drift off to sleep, sometimes with “stress-therapist” Dr. Mom or Dr. Dad as a facilitator, have them think about five things that they really are, which we call the “I am” technique – a technique taught to me by several patients in my pediatric practice: “I am smart,” “I am pretty,” and so on.  We call these stress-reduction exercises preloading the brain, which sets the child up for a good night’s sleep, and a good night’s sleep sets them up for a good day of learning.

Upon awakening, they then go back to their bathroom mirror and say five things they are thankful for – the “attitude of gratitude”: “I am thankful for my friends at school …”  

  • Preventing back-to-school coughs and sniffles. When my kids were small, we taught them to wash their hands frequently to help kill the viruses and bacteria they may have collected. According to the CDC, hand washing is still the most effective way to stay healthy. We taught them use regular soap and warm water to scrub their hands including the back of their hands, in between fingers and under nails for 20 seconds. Today, the grandchildren use antibacterial gel or wipes if soap and water are not available.

Martha and I also showed our children how to properly cover their nose and mouth when they cough. Many people only put their fist in front of their mouth, but many germs also come through the nose. Instead, children should put a whole hand over their nose and mouth so that the fingers are over the nose and the palm of their hand covers their mouth.

My kids also ate brainy breakfasts, filled with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that supported their immune health. Now, with our grab-and-go society, breakfast may not always be as nutritious.

While good nutrition is considered essential in the Sears extended family, our grandchildren, ages 4 and up, can also take black elderberry supplements such as Sambucol, a highly researched form of black elderberry available as great-tasting chewies for natural immune support during cough and cold season. The label says “Gummies” but I prefer to call them “suckies.” I love them that way!

Bonus tip: Teach kids to drink up when you wake up. The young student’s brain doesn’t like to start the day dehydrated from all the water they breathed out during the night. Soon after awakening, have your child down a couple glasses of water.  

William Sears, M.D.

William Sears, M.D., has been advising parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years.  He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto.  He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. A father of 8 children, he and his wife Martha have written more than 45 books and hundreds articles on parenting, childcare, nutrition, and healthy aging. He is the co-founder of the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute for training health coaches, and he runs the health and parenting website AskDrSears.com.  Dr. Sears and his contribution to family health were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012.  He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.

Please feel free to share this helpful and insightful article with other parents that may need a tip or two!!

Community Togetherness

It’s such a great feeling when members of the community come together and share a piece of themselves with the rest of the community.

Which is exactly what happened one afternoon when our local Capital One Café offered a small Kids Cooking Class presented by Maggiano’s.

What a set-up! Intimate and fun!

Here are our hosts and instructor for the afternoon; Mgr. Gerald and Chef Hughey

What are the little chefs making? Maggiano’s classic lasagna of course!

Each mini chef’s station is complete with all they need. Up to the Chef’s table they go to watch as Chef Hughey sautés the meat sauce and shows step by step assembly.

Layer by layer the masterpieces are completed.

All contained in a take home packaging, final instructions on at home Cooking is given. But that’s not all, don’t go yet…..

Because when Maggiano’s is your host, you can’t leave in an empty stomach. They brought some “snacks” to share. Their well known baked ziti and penne chicken Alfredo! Complete of course with a few sweets!!

Fun filled summer afternoon!

Big shout out to Capital One Cafe for the class! Who knew? Now we know, and it’s not just cooking classes!

Contact your local Capital One Cafés, because ours are offering free classes like this one on various topics for everyone in the community to par take in!