Five Allergy Free Valentines

Five Allergy Free Valentines

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and we all know what that means! Chocolate hearts, cookies, candy, and allergy filled treats. Heading to the local grocery store to fulfill your child’s classroom holiday-themed needs, can still be easy even if you’re not the DIY kind of parent. I’ve complied a few ideas that can accommodate everyone’s child, allergies or not, and will still be filled with Valentine’s Day love.

When thinking of your child’s classroom, try to remember that involvement of everyone is the perfect way to show others you care.

Here are five ways to accomplish an Allergy Free Valentine’s Day:


  1. You’re All Write: Pencils and a clever note. If you aren’t crafty, instead of creating this heart shaped holder, you can attach your child’s store bought Valentine to a pencil. Pencils are a classroom staple so it makes sense to pass them out. Make sure the pencil is unsharpened to keep small hands safe from lead.


2. Loving crossword: Keeping with a pencil theme, it’s easy enough to print a small crossword to spell out a message of love. Cutting paper into a heart around that message is just as easy!

3. Bubbles: Always a fan favorite! You can buy bubbles in bulk for an inexpensive price at most grocery stores and even at the 99 cent store. It’s simple enough to attach a message with your child’s name attached. The children will be “blow away” at your effort to make their Valentine’s Day special.


4. Paperclips: For the more experienced DIY parent, this little project is slightly more involved. Paperclips are an easy purchase and small felt hearts aren’t rare during the month of February. All you need is a little glue and your child’s valentine to slip the paperclip on to. Done!


5. Bookmarks: All you’ll need is a little string! This project is easy. Head to your local hardware store and find a Valentine themed color palate paint sample. Grab a heart shaped hole punch and a little sting. DONE and ADORABLE!

Have a safe and happy Valentine’s Day!

Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Having food allergies is tough! My son, at 3 years old, is already understanding that his body is different. For people who don’t know where to begin or people who are just curious, here is some information to get you started.

Let’s Talk about Food Allergies…

Some interesting facts:

  • Eczema, allergies and asthma are all related. They are all caused by overactive immune systems
  • Once every 6 minutes, someone has a life-threatening allergic reaction to foods which is known as anaphylaxis
  • Food allergies make someone go to the emergency room once every 3 minutes
  • As many as 15 million people in the US have food allergies.
  • Up to 6% of children have true food allergies.
  • Many children outgrow their food allergies
  • Most adults do not outgrow their food allergies
  • People die of anaphylaxis
  • If there is a history of asthma, a person with food allergies is much more likely to have a severe allergic reaction

What are food allergies?

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system.

When your body is exposed to certain proteins in food, it thinks that it is being threatened by something that is actually harmless. An allergic reaction to food occurs when your body overreacts to otherwise harmless proteins in the food that you have eaten. The body overreacts by triggering an immune response to the food. Specific antibodies are then released into the blood stream which causes the release of a chemical called histamine. Histamine makes blood vessels very leaky. In severe situations, it can even make breathing airways constrict. These reactions usually occur within a few minutes to a few hours of eating the offending food.

The most common allergic reactions to foods that people have are:

Skin problems:

  • Hives – itchy red welts that often come and go
  • Eczema – itchy bumpy skin rash that can appear over time.
  • Other reactions include:

Stomach problems:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach aches
  • Weight loss (mostly in children)

*Stomach problems can be also be caused by a food intolerance rather than an allergy.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis are:

Breathing problems:

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Throat swelling or tightness
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue

Circulation problems:

  • Low blood pressure – lightheadedness or feeling faint.
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness

*This type of an allergic reaction can be deadly and requires immediate medical attention.

There are several important components to diagnosing a food allergy:

  1. Food History – your doctor will ask for detailed information about your potential allergic reaction.
  • When was the food eaten?
  • How long after the food was eaten did the reaction happen?
  • What kind of reaction did you have?
  • How long did it last?
  • What made it go away?
  • Did anyone else get sick?
  • Were there any other foods or medicines that were eaten or taken around the same time?
  1. Keep a food diary –sometimes your doctor will ask you to put together a diary of what you eat and your reactions to it. This should include answers to the questions above. A food diary is especially helpful when multiple foods could be causing the allergic reaction.
  2. Elimination diet – some doctors will ask you to exclude the food that may be causing the allergic reaction for some period of time. If the symptoms go away, this might be a sign of a food allergy. Under your doctor’s supervision, you may be asked to try the food again to see if in fact a reaction occurs. This is only used under certain safe circumstances like mild or moderate reactions (not severe reactions).
  3. Blood tests –these tests used to be called RAST (RadioAllergoSorbentTest). Most doctors now use a test called ImmunoCap Specific IG E which is more accurate. These tests measure the level of antibodies your body has to certain substances. These tests may come back positive even if you do not have an allergy to a specific food. This is why your history is really important. If there is a positive history and a positive ImmunocCap test then it is much more likely that there is a true food allergy.
  4. Skin tests – these tests measure whether or not your skin will actually react to the suspected food. It is also called a scratch test because the food is actually scratched into your skin. A positive test means that your skin does have a reaction to the food. This does not mean that you definitely have an allergy to that food. This is why your history is really important. If there is a positive history and a positive skin test then it is much more likely that there is a true food allergy.

The main treatment for food allergy is avoiding food that cause you allergies.

If you are diagnosed with food allergies, they will recommend that you eliminate those foods in your diet. Doctors may recommend carrying an epi pen with you depending on the severity of your reaction as well.

There are new treatments on the horizon, including oral immunotherapy for desensitization. This does not mean allergies are cured, basically, your body is exposed to very small amounts of the food protein until your body eventually gets used to it. In small trials, it has worked for peanut allergies and milk allergies.  There is a skin patch that is being studied for peanut allergy desensitization. There have also been studies on placing a small amount of the protein under the tongue as well as swallowing a small amount of the protein.

Allergies are a scary thing but knowledge is power! Allergy parents everywhere are doing their best to educate not only their kids, and people who take care of their kids throughout the day, but also other parents who can help make this awarness more prevalent. By teaching others we help to keep people safe.


Old Wives Tale – Dylan, Out

Old Wives Tale – Dylan, Out

You know those times when your son is 3 and decides he doesn’t need a nap? Yeah well here is the result of one of those times.

Being 3, in my opinion, is pretty awesome. I love this “stage”. I feel like I’ve said that about every stage  past year one. As my son grows up though, I just like him more and more. I see that little personality develop and realize that he is the perfect mixture between myself and my husband. Strong willed, sassy, super loving, and opinionated.

I just love this photo because it captures his resistance to nap time so perfectly. This kid, head hanging down, drooling, and so incredibly in a deep sleep. Then me, Mom, having to wait in the car because the thought of “waking the beast” would never even cross my mind. That’s one of those “wives tales” that I’ve never wavered on, NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY! I’ve never ever done it, at least not on purpose, and I’d rather be late to work, miss an appointment, or not show up for girls night then wake this kid up!

What “wives tale” have you never waiver on?

Little Peeps

Little Peeps

Starting up yoga wasn’t easy. It’s hard to slip away for 5 minutes to use the bathroom let alone go to and 1.5 hour Hot Yoga class. My husband is super helpful and hands on, but doesn’t he get to have a moment too?

Well I started take Yoga classes on Saturday Mornings at ‘Radiant Hot Yoga’. The first class I cried most of the time because the teacher was talking about being grateful and about being healthy from the inside out, needless to say I was a mess! (I don’t get out much, obviously)

I felt amazing after the class even though it was extremely hard! I used to go to yoga 1-2 times a day 5 days a week… it’s been 6 years!

So after this class I noticed little toddler people with their mommies running out to their cars. I thought to myself ‘Where were those babies during yoga? Not waiting in the car I hope!” I went back inside and found 2 women in a small studio cleaning up what looking like a yoga/art class. I found out that this company called ‘Little Peeps Yoga” conducts a toddler class on Saturday Mornings while their Mommy’s take yoga!

After some explaining about Dylan’s allergies, crying a little more, and asking the teacher more questions about their teaching background, I was over the moon at the thought that maybe Hubby could get a break, Mom could enjoy a class, and baby could learn a new skill!

It took me 2 weeks but I did it! I took a yoga class while Dylan took “Little Peeps”. He came out with a big smile and an art project! I am so grateful he had a good time, he was safe, and that I could take a class without worry!!

It was an amazing feeling! It’s the little things in life!

Little Peeps: Little Peeps Yoga

The Grand Scheme

The Grand Scheme

So I’m one of those Mom’s that got a wild hair up her ass and thought she was going to make millions of dollars “starting her own business”. It’s funny actually because I used to be one of those people who sat at home, annoyed that another one of my friends was doing a pyramid scheme. I wasn’t upset that they were posting on social media, but that they were drawn into this sad, “pretend business”.

Then I found Arbonne, a Network Marketing company. No longer called a pyramid scheme or MLM. I know, I know, it’s crazy to think that someone who is working full time, owns a house, and is doing just fine, would want to do something like this. Right? This kind of crap is for those stay at home Mom’s! (Only joking)

Well, these businesses are not bull shit, they are real, they are fun, and they are totally lucrative. These businesses are changing our day to day and making tons of family’s lives easier. Whether it’s starting their own business, or just finding the right product that works for their family.

Arbonne came into my life because I had a need for it. Arbonne is certified Gluten free and Vegan and is safe for my family to use. I never knew it before but I needed Arbonne in my life. So I started a business with this company.

I am so proud to be among the women (and men) in Arbonne. The companies motto is  “pure, safe, and beneficial”. Arbonne’s products have made my life so much easier. My family uses these products daily not only on their skin, but we use Arbonne nutrition products as well.

In the grand scheme of things, (no pun intended) I found what works for me, but I wanted to touch on Network Marketing companies across the board. Let’s talk about why you’re so annoyed with your friends for doing these businesses.

These products that your friends are selling are most likely products you already use. If you bought them from your friends, you would be deciding to buy these products to benefit their families instead of bigger companies like Walmart, Target, and CVS. But, don’t lie, you just don’t want to give these products a chance.

But, why not?

We understand that these businesses are NOT for everyone. We get it. It’s not going to stop us from asking you, but you CAN say “no”. We’ll be just fine with it. Stop being afraid! Try to listen.

What is so wrong with rooting for us to win? Does it offend you in some way? We are excited for you when things happen in your life.

Whether you like it or not, Network Marketing is part of our daily lives. You may not see it this way, but when you ask about a good restaurant, or if a movie was good, and your friends give you suggestions, that’s Network Marketing. That person is a walking advertisement! You might comment on a top your friend is wearing, or on a lip gloss that you think is beautiful. Instead of going to Target, Nordstrom, or MAC, you could decide to buy it through your trusted friend. Is that so hard?

Now here’s the thing, Disney/Pixar didn’t put money in my pocket for saying how much I loved ‘Finding Dory’, but I still told everyone I knew that they had to see it. (Yeah, that’s the only movie I’ve seen in 3 years – LOL) Network marketing companies will pay people to talk about/sell products they are already using and get people to love them too. They save on millions of advertising dollars and put that cash right into the commission structures for people like me. Easy!

Network Marketing is everywhere. Let’s talk about Realtors, Insurance Agents, Loan Officers… These are some examples of jobs that are commissioned only businesses and word of mouth advertisement for the most part! Same thing. Right?

You see, we are only trying to make your lives easier and better. So stop the bashing! Stop getting upset! Doing this business shows that we have a big goal we are trying to reach and we haven’t quit! You should be proud that we are chasing our dreams and putting in the effort.

We, the women and men of Network marketing companies, want our lives to not only be better and easier, but we want them to be fuller. We want to give back where we can, and we want to save. Is that such a bad thing?

We sometimes can make things more possible for others. Weather that’s jumping on board in our business to generate an income of your own, or this business allowing us to have enough money to buy tickets for a raffle you’re having for your child’s school. We want to give back to you too.

We are making an impact. We are showing our children we can work hard and still have time for them. We are showing them that we will chase our dreams and reach our goals no matter how impossible they might seem. We are teaching compassion when other people are seeking a need like I once had.

This community is growing and we should be helping lift each other up. Give your friends a chance! They are excited, motivated, and it would be so much easier to be kinder to one another. There is room at the top for everyone!

Cooking with Friends

Cooking with Friends

There is a reason the quote reads “friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life” because nothing, not a conversation, not a handshake, or even a hug establishes friendship so perfectly then eating together!

Cooking and sharing a meal establishes good conversation, laughter, and happiness. Look at it from the perspective that everyone gets to take part. Weather its making the meal by helping chop vegetables, add ingredients into a bowl, setting the table, enjoying the meal, and helping clean up afterwards. Even if you believe that you “can’t cook” you can take part in the sharing!

My son loves to cook! It can absolutely be difficult with a toddler in the kitchen, but having him take part teaches him valuable lessons. Cooking remember is not only sharing, its patience, mathematics (measuring), cleaning (your hands and dishes), it’s satisfaction, and of course promotes confidence.

My son has a special stool that he calls his “Jay Jay Stool”. This stool represents my brother (Uncle Jay Jay / Jason) who used to use it when he would help my Mom cook in our kitchen growing up. AND Yup, I stole it form my Mom (thanks Mom)!

Dylan uses it every. single. day. We pull it out of the pantry to make Gluten Free Toast, he makes my coffee, perfectly might I add, and to chop vegetables with his plastic knife during dinner prep.

When friends are over we measure out ingredients and everyone gets to combined and stir. Not only do I want my son to love to cook, but I want him to take control of what ingredients are safe for him. Being allergic to so many things can make it feel impossible, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. It’s amazing the things you learn when you have a challenge ahead of you. We make amazing food that is safe to consume, and of course we get to share these meals with our friends!


The Mom behind the Madness

The Mom behind the Madness

I woke up in the morning from a long, full night of sleep. There was screaming in the other room and I knew it wasn’t just my son in his crib calling for me. This was different. He was 10 months old and this was the first time he slept through the night. Why was his screaming so frightening?

I ran into the room and there he was, eyes swollen shut, arms reaching out for help, and of course I KNEW! This was my first real life experience with anaphylaxis.

Later that day after his first blood test, which he took like a champ, we found out the results. Allergens: Nuts, Wheat, Eggs, Oats, and corn.

Life changed.


“Bye bye pretty much every food in our pantry! Since Dylan has allergies to it all! Family life style change in full effect @bl2own #thedavisproject#thedylandavisdiet #dylandavis #dylanjason#littledavisbaby #davislifestylechange #thedavistrio”

For those of you who have not experienced this before, will hopefully NEVER know what it’s like. I’m thankful to have my son grow up in a time where allergies are more of a reality, not because I would wish this fear on any person in the world, but because there is so much more allergy awareness. But here’s the thing about most awareness…

You think you understand, but you really don’t. 

To be frank, parents of kids with food allergies lead very different lives then you know. It’s hard to even put into words let alone bring you to the places our minds go. Things become a lot more tolerable for us when you, the “other” parent, make the effort to understand what this life brings. It makes an impact when you help guide your children on the path of understanding this life and how important it is to be mindful. The problem is, with this “awareness” we think we live in, there is so much misunderstanding.

There are a lot of blogs out there and they all have the same similar undertone about allergy life. I could see that it’s annoying and frustrating to have things show up on your feed or to get an email from the administration at school about a child in class with allergies.

You are just trying to be the best parent you can to your child and you have A LOT going on. Making peanut butter and jelly is just easy and you have a picky eater any way.

I understand, I really do. The truth however is, this isn’t something we choose, we don’t have that luxury. This is real life and when I mean “real life” I mean, it gets real…


“You’ll never know how hard it is to answer the operator on the line to “911 what’s your emergency” until you have to do it for your baby || Feeling pretty overwhelmed today and sad for our little guy || allergies and hospitals are not fun || he’s such a trooper || #overwhelmed “

I think what is so difficult about this life is, allergy parents sometimes don’t take enough time to help others understand. Many allergy parents don’t put themselves in other parents shoes but they are asking others to do the same for them.

In case you know an allergy parent and you don’t quite understand, here are some small things we, the allergy parents, want you to know.

  1. We appreciate it when you ask questions, we appreciate it when we receive emails from parents in the class room saying

“You have our full support in caring for Dylan and your family. We have known about Dylan’s sensitivities and do appreciate the clear reminder.”

“First, I admire your bravery – both for sending Dylan to the school he loves with such a tricky and scary thing to navigate…”

“Being part of a school community means caring and feeling compassion for our friends and those around us. And to treat others how you would hope to be treated. These are basic values I want my kids to learn. I would hate for Dylan or any other child to feel left out or excluded especially when there are easy ways to avoid it. That’s not something I want to be a part of. So if there is anything we can do, please let me know.”

  1. We also want you to know that you think that everyone is so sensitive to this “situation”, but I promise they really aren’t. This is not a choice we’ve made and it terrifies us to receive emails from parents no matter how politely saying that they believe their child shouldn’t have to accommodate mine. Even at two years old…

“Unfortunately, part of the lifestyle of someone with severe allergies is they will have to learn that they may have different environments than other children and/or might not be able to participate in everything.”

“I will say, just to be honest, that in the past when my daughter brought home gluten-free treats she did not like them and threw them away. I do think that Dylan should be able to participate and have his own treats but I also think the other children should be able to have the treats that make sense for them.” 

3. We want you to know that just because you know someone, even a family member with food allergies, I promise you, it’s not the same thing as if it were your own child.

“I was thinking about how I would react if I were in your shoes, given what I’ve witnessed watching my brother grow up with allergies and how my family handled it, and I honestly think the best thing to do is provide a safe individual environment for the child to participate in activities with food/product that won’t endanger them, but measures put in place for that one child should not affect other children.”

(But it’s okay that it affects my child’s health. We are talking about life threating allergies here not whether your child can use left handed scissors or right)

The love you have for your child is very different than that of any other human on the planet. You know it’s not the same.

4. We want you to know, we aren’t trying to be rude when excluding ourselves from birthday parties, events, parks, playgrounds, or any other social gatherings. We also aren’t trying to ruin these events for you.

Here’s the thing, we can’t eat what you’ve provided at the party, we act like helicopter parents following our kids around with eyes like hawks, we have long winded conversations with our babies before we arrive about not eating other peoples food, and we hold our breath at every move they make. It sucks!

On top of that when another parent isn’t so sensitive to this allergy life, we are excluded anyway. Parents are passing around the brownies and we have to say “No thank you”,  then we have to turn to our two year old and explain why every other child gets a treat but they don’t.

Trying doing it

How about when we pack up our entire “picnic” at the park because a parent doesn’t think before packing their lunch when they know we’ll be there. Then their child that just slathered peanut butter and jelly all over their face, hands, and clothes decides that they want to play with our child. NOPE, BYE.

Yes, we have our Epi-pen, but no, we don’t want to use it! By the way, they are for emergencies only. I hope that we never have to use one!

5. We don’t want our children left out just as much as you don’t. It’s so heartbreaking to watch my son explain that he has brownies at home that his mom made, or special Popsicle’s just for him when kids at the community park are all indulging while playing at the weekly Friday block party. Kids are cruel and I dread the day children say terrible things to him.


“After yesterday’s drama Dylan got an early present! Allergies are a scary thing and I’m not excited about having to fill an epi pen prescription! This little guy is a trooper! Took a needle like nobody’s business and I’m so proud of my tough monkey! @bl2own#dylandavis #dylanjason #littledavisbaby#littlepicklebaby #10monthsold #earlypresent#cuteness “

  1. We want you to know, we appreciate the questions, but please try to retain the information. Like I said, we live in a world that is more sensitive than ever to food allergies, but Peanut Butter isn’t the only allergy there is. The schools “nut free environment” doesn’t cover my son’s wheat, eggs, oats, and corn; AND no, I don’t know if he’ll grow out of them, and no, it’s not common to grow out of all the allergies he has. If I had a crystal ball I’d love to see the answer just as much as you ask me.

7. We want you to know, it IS possible to make meals without allergens, so don’t insult our intelligence by saying you won’t be able to feed your children if you can’t make them egg salad sandwiches.

Be honest, you don’t want to. This implies you have a CHOICE.

My son doesn’t have a choice, and as his Mom, I don’t either.

8. Just know, everything is hard. Play dates, eating out, traveling, packing, making appointments, and anything else you can do normally is very hard for us.

We can’t just pick up and go with a few snacks. We plan everything around when we eat because there are not options for us. We have to pack a cooler everywhere we go, remember the Epi-pens, Benadryl, Cortisone, and phone chargers. It’s not easy to drive thru, or “grab a bite”.

9. Living an allergy free life is madness, and I’m one of the Mom’s behind it all. Please be kind. Please try. If we’re truly “all in this together”, we need you to be on our side, not just for us, but for our kids too!


“With your loving, There ain’t nothing, That I can’t adore #dylanjason #dylandavis #thedavistrio #fambam#thankful #blessed #grateful #toddlerlife #mommylife#momlife #sweetestdevotion #happiness#honestmotherhood #happyliving #love #adore “