Spring Tulip and Wisteria Mantle

Your mantle and fireplace are often the focal point of the room. If your home has an open concept like mine, your mantle may be the focal point of your entire house. Just like your front door, it has the ability to set the tone for your entire house. You want it to make a great first impression.

I designed this mantle to be very eye-catching with different textures and colors that really scream “spring!” There a few different layers here but the look is easy to recreate.

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Spring Hanging Basket

It’s finally spring, even though it doesn’t feel like it here in Ohio! Though the weather may not be getting you in the spring mood, I hope that this spring basket will!

It is quick to put together and adds a lot of interest to your front door or back patio. I love putting together these baskets when I don’t have a wreath in mind for my door or I’m short on time to create something. They serve as a beautiful and quick placeholder until you find that perfect wreath.

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Get this Look: Spring Tiered Tray

Hello lovelies! I recently restyled my tray for spring and wanted to share it with you! I love this little tiered tray because it fits perfectly on my counter top and below the cabinets. Most tiered trays I have found are too tall to fit comfortably in this space.

If you would like to recreate this look in your space, keep reading. I’ll share with you my supplies and how I styled it.

Spring Gold Hoop Wreath Tutorial: Eucalyptus, Roses, and Hydrangeas

Hello friends! Spring is definitely in the air! Just another week until it’s officially here! I am so excited! Many of you were interested in the tutorial for the gold hoop wreath I made for my back door. Well, I am happy to announce that it is here!

Hoop wreaths are pretty simple to make, quicker than most other types of wreaths, and very light-weight. I needed something light and airy since this wreath was going to be hanging on a glass door.

These hoop wreaths are so versatile. You can make one for any place in your home. Just follow the steps below.

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5 Ways to Empower Tweens and Teens to Manage Food Allergies

The tween and teen years are a time generally marked by greater independence and responsibility in each adolescent’s life. By the time your child has reached middle school, he or she should be accustomed to carrying their own epinephrine. They should know how to read labels independently, be able to recognize symptoms of an allergic reaction, and know how to administer their epinephrine.

While your child is becoming more independent and increasingly more responsible for managing their own food allergy, this time, just like many of the other stages of development, comes with its own set of challenges.

Severe and even fatal allergic reactions are more common among adolescents and young adults. Pressure to fit in and a sense of invincibility that teenagers commonly exhibit contribute to risk-taking behaviors in regards to managing their food allergies. It is not uncommon for adolescents and young adults to not always carry their epinephrine. They may even intentionally eat food that may not be safe.

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4 Ways to Limit Your Exposure to Environmental Toxicants and Pollutants

When looking at possible irritants that might play a role in contributing to the rise of food allergy, and modern chronic illness in general, we cannot overlook the role of environmental toxicants and pollutants. As you may know, cigarette smoke is associated with increased risk of asthma and a number of chronic illnesses. Inhaled pollutants, such as car exhaust, are also associated with asthma. Exposure to diesel exhaust in pregnancy has been shown to affect fetal gene expression, as does cigarette smoke. This shows that environmental pollutants can modify development through epigenetic changes. (1)

There are thousands of other pollutants that we don’t know much about. In the 2006 EPA Inventory Update Review Program, chemical manufacturers reported producing or importing 6,200 chemicals weighingin at 27 trillion pounds in 2005 and that’s not even including fuels, pesticides, medications, or food additives. (2)  Industrialization has led to many new environmental chemicals that did not exist in traditional societies. Common sources of pollution and toxicants are skin care ingredients, pesticides, food additives, preservatives, heavy metals, air pollution, etc. These persistent organic pollutants (POPs) contaminate our air, food, and water. Some common toxicants include polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, dioxins and phthalates.99 These pollutants accumulate in our body fat over time and can increase with each generation. Many POPs have been detected in breast milk. In regards to chemical management the American Academy of Pediatrics issued the following statement:

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7 Ways for Moms to Practice Self-Care

The need for consistent vigilance in order to prevent exposure to allergens coupled with the never-ending fear of anaphylaxis places a significant amount of stress on the parents of children with food allergies. Parents and mothers in particular, have the added stress of communicating the risks to others who are involved in caring for the child.¹

Communicating to others about your child’s food allergy can be very stressful and frustrating sometimes. Unfortunately, poor quality of life is significantly more likely among parents who have more knowledge about food allergies.² I guess the old saying that ignorance is bliss applies in this situation; however ignorance does not help you effectively manage your child’s food allergies. Parents whose children who had been to the emergency room for a food-allergy-related issue in the past year, had multiple food allergies, or where allergic to milk, eggs, or wheat also reported having a lower quality of life.³

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How to Make Nutrition a Top Priority with Food Allergies

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is the term used to refer to the pattern of foods that most people eat in the United States and other westernized countries. This diet is high in processed, pre-packaged foods that are often loaded with sugar, salt, fat, preservatives, emulsifiers and other additives, chemicals, pesticides, etc. It is also relatively low in fruit, vegetables, and fiber, and lacks a diversity of nutrients, while being high in unhealthy types of fat, meats, and refined carbohydrates. The SAD is associated with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and almost every other modern chronic illness.

One of the silver linings of food allergies is that it forces us to read ingredients and see what is actually in our food. This can really be eye-opening. We consume a lot of food in this country that is detrimental to our health. Most people choose convenience and taste over health and nutrition. We are now paying the price with higher rates of chronic disease and whole generations of children who are dealing with a multitude of chronic conditions. One day we are going to look back on the foods that we are eating today the same way that we look at cigarettes and we are going to wonder how anyone ever thought it was a good idea.

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3 Ways to Keep the Spark Alive in Your Marriage When Allergies Are Leaving You Feeling Burnt Out

 

Keeping the spark alive in a marriage is a challenge in itself; doing so with children is an even bigger challenge. When you add in special needs or a chronic illness like food allergies, it may seem nearly impossible to pull yourself out of the realm of overwhelm into the romantic world.

If you are like most moms I know who have children with food allergies, you are an extremely busy woman. Not only are you busy with everyday life, but you are probably a bit preoccupied with managing your child’s life-threatening condition. With cooking everything from scratch, making sure your child has her meds, becoming a private investigator just to track down foods your child can safely consume, managing co-occurring conditions, etc, it doesn’t always give you a lot of free time or mental space to relax, unwind, and snuggle up with your significant other.

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Tips for a Safe, Happy, and Inclusive Halloween

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It’s almost Halloween, which means trick -or-treating will be coming to your neighborhood soon. For kids with food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes or epilepsy, Halloween, can be a bit scary, and not just because of the witches, ghosts, and goblins.

My goal is to make trick-or-treating a little less “tricky” and a lot more “treaty.”

I’ve compiled my top tips for a safe, happy, and inclusive Halloween below.

Choose allergy-friendly items, if you hand out candy.

I was shopping at Target a few weeks ago when I came across their 2016 Halloween Allergen Guide. You can find it in the Halloween candy section at Target or click here. You can also find the full list by searching “Halloween Candy Allergen Info” at Target.com. This guide allows you to see which allergens are found in which candies so you have an idea of what might be safe and which ones to avoid. Target has confirmed this information with their manufacturers but you will still need to remember to read ingredient labels, as always.

If you’re looking for a slightly healthier alternative to conventional Halloween candy, Target also has a section of organic allergy-friendly candy, like YumEarth® Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms.

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