If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been working hard to update our house the last few (okay 9) months. Jason bought our house about six months before we met and didn’t put much time or effort into decorating since he knew at some point I might want to be a part of that equation. 🙂
About six months after we married, I started working with my friend Michelle who is an interior designer (Chelle Interior Design) to begin transforming our main level into a functional space that reflected our family and felt like home. We planned through the fall and started the hard work right before the holidays. We’re not quite finished yet – we still need to add drapes and electrical outlets and more decor pieces… but I’m excited to share some of the progress we’ve made.
Are you familiar with WEGO Health? It’s a network which connects more than 100,000 health activists who advocate, educate and share their health stories with their online communities. Many of them have illnesses themselves, while others are caregivers.
I was honored to be asked to lead a seminar for the WEGO Health Activist Awards week. I shared some inspirational stories of how blogging can make a difference and 10 content ideas to help inspire the writers themselves to keep going. The session was recorded and I’m excited to share it with you here if you’d like to watch.
Thank you to the WEGO Health team for inviting me to share.
By now you’ve likely heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project – a food allergy mom came up with the idea to help be inclusive of kiddos with food allergies. A teal pumpkin on a doorstep signifies the homeowner has either non-food treats or allergy-friendly treats. It’s a great idea and we’ve been keeping a teal pumpkin on our doorstep for the last three years.
This year our local food allergy group held an allergy-friendly trunk-or-treat event. A member of our group found a church parking lot who was willing to let us use their space. All of the participants agreed to only give out candy that was free of the top 8 allergens or non-food items.
I had never been a part of a trunk-or-treat before and needed to figure out how to decorate the trunk of my car. I had seen an example of a teal-pumpkin themed car on Oriental Trading website and was inspired. So I ordered supplies from them and the car turned out really great. I also used some of the FARE posters explaining the Teal Pumpkin Project.
The week before the event, I actually heard from the folks at Oriental Trading company about their Halloween toy packages, which are perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters. They offered to send some my way to use on Halloween or donate to our food allergy group. I loved that they had so many options and chose the Mega Deluxe Toy Assortment and Halloween bracelets. We used these to give out at the trunk-or-treat event and donated some to school for the kid’s Halloween party. Thank you to Oriental Trading for helping make it easy to support kids with food allergies and for being generous to share with our family and community.
Disclosure: I paid for all the vehicle decorations from Oriental Trading. The giveaway toys were provided for free in exchange for sharing information about them on my blog. My opinions, as always, are my own.
I have a story to share, but I want to be clear about something first. My goal here is not to shame my child publicly. I will not name names… or even use pronouns. Because every child makes mistakes, and hopefully learns from them… and in no way deserves to be shamed online. So that’s not what this is about. Instead, it’s about my role as a parent – and how I found a creative solution in a difficult situation. One that turned out better than I expected, and by sharing, might help someone else.
I was at a complete loss. A call from the principal telling me my child caused pain to another child by using very unkind words. I was speechless. It was one of those parenting moments where I didn’t have a single, freaking clue how to handle the situation. A situation that broke my heart and made me question my effectiveness as a parent.
Luckily, I had some time to think it over before I got home from work. I told a couple of close coworkers what happened and watched their faces drop. I called my husband to talk it through and he, too, was speechless. We were both struggling to know what to do. The usual “go-to” punishments didn’t seem at all adequate – taking away screen time, or allowance or foregoing other privileges. No, taking something away didn’t seem right at all. It wouldn’t fix anything and it couldn’t transform the heart of a child who said hurtful words.
We had a REALLY big event in our family last week – my eight year old Avery who has severe food allergies passed a baked milk challenge! Woot!
Avery has had food allergies since she was a baby, diagnosed at 12 months. Each year she has IgE blood testing to see if her allergy sensitivity increases or decreases. It’s one way to monitor if she will be able to outgrow any of her allergies. Her allergists have suggested that she may, someday, outgrow her milk and egg allergies – although the allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish will likely be lifelong.
The milk numbers have continued to drop each year and this year her allergist said he was comfortable with us performing a baked milk challenge.
It’s not uncommon for children with a milk allergy to be able to eat milk baked into food at a high heat. “Recent evidence suggests that 70–80% of children with IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy will tolerate baked milk products.5 Furthermore, children with milk allergy who tolerate baked milk products may outgrow their milk allergies faster than those who cannot tolerate baked milk,1” according to a published study, Predicting Food Challenge Outcomes for Baked Milk: Role of Specific IgE and Skin Prick Testing.