Welcome to Mothernova, a parenting website created by a journalist-mama with two energetic kiddos, a constantly curious mind, and a long list of questions about food allergies, vaccines, breastfeeding, creative play, and several other hot-button parenting issues. When my first child was born over four years ago, I came face-to-face with food allergies and sleep apnea. I truly got a crash course in motherhood and quickly learned how to be my child’s best advocate. I love interviewing, researching, and really getting to the bottom of things. In this spirit, Mothernova will deliver practical tips, special interviews, feature reports, and short blasts of information from those “in the know” straight to you!

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Do you like to doodle? Have you ever had a doodle workbook? Are school, after-school and weekend activities pulling your kids in all different directions and leaving them with some very big feelings? If so, Elise Gravel’s new workbook, How Do You Doodle?, may be just what your family needs. She provides over 40 fun, thought-provoking and creative “doodle games” in a 96-page workbook that inspire doodling, writing and working through what can feel like very big thoughts and feelings.

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Valentine’s Day, like most holidays, can be a cringe-worthy event for food allergy mamas like me. With boxes of allergen-laden candy taking center stage in our commercially-inspired celebrations, we must plan ahead to ensure our kiddos are safe and included, ideally with some food-free fun. This year, I found a cool, fun, allergen-friendly Valentine idea that is sure to be a hit with the kids: the tie-dyed Valentine’s Day card!

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While cooking and making new recipes doesn’t exactly come naturally to me, managing food allergies and coming up with allergen-free recipe substitutions has slowly transformed me into a better cook and baker. Now, on any given weekend, you can probably find me in the kitchen transforming a cookie, cake or bread recipe into something that is yummy and safe for my family. (I love coming up with my own desserts now!) My husband, on the other hand, is a natural in the kitchen. He often whips up soups, chili and pretty much every homemade dinner we eat. They are simple, safe and delicious. For Christmas, we enjoyed a big old ham for dinner and saved the bone with some of the meat. On New Year’s Day, […]

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My top five most popular posts of 2014 shared helpful parenting tips as well as my vulnerabilities and thoughts about being a mama managing food allergies. My second year in the blogging arena has been educational and rewarding. From forming supportive relationships with members of the parenting and food allergy communities to staying up-to-date on the latest studies and legal issues, it has been an exciting year! My focus on the blog continues to be one of sharing my journey as a mama managing food allergies while engaging in mindful parenting. I invite you to take another look at the posts and share your thoughts!

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Halloween. All Hallows’ Eve. All Saints’ Eve. It has many names and many meanings. But what about Halloween with food allergies? For some families, with all of the candy, traditions and celebrations inherent in the holiday, Halloween is the hardest to manage. Last year, I started crafting a plan months before Halloween’s arrival. And it was one of our best holiday celebrations ever!

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Is my parenting preparing my son for school? As my son navigates his first year in school, it will be so important for him to feel confident on his own in this new environment. Am I instilling the values and skills he will need for his new independence? Will he be happy, comfortable and confident as he embarks on this new and important stage in his life? Am I providing the tools to feel capable and ready for this big transition? I believe my answers reside in what I think of as the “Three C’s of Parenting”…

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Are you looking for vegan, sugar-free, allergen-free treats that are delicious in both name and taste? Look no further. Debbie Adler has a new cookbook that has your name on it. To start, I would categorize Debbie Adler as a food-allergy baking powerhouse. Not only does she run a bakery that serves safe treats for those with the top food allergies, celiac disease and diabetes, but her writing is wildly humorous, fun and more eloquent than any other cookbook I have met.

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As we get ready for school to begin, the anxieties inevitably surface–especially if you have food allergies or other health concerns. I can’t help but share two great back-to-school books that we’re already putting to good use: Kari Dunn Buron’s When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live With Anxiety and School Made Easier: A Kid’s Guide to Study Strategies and Anxiety-Busting Tools, by Wendy L. Moss and Robin A. Deluca-Acconi.

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Do you find yourself weeding through your inbox to find that important e-mail you were saving? Or perhaps it takes you forever to find something to wear with the clothes piled high in your closet? With the days of summer dwindling down and back-to-school organization a must, I’m getting myself and my things in order and ready for a busy and exciting fall schedule. To put it simply, we need to clear out the clutter. Here are my top five tips for clearing out the clutter.

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So there’s a charming historic home that dates back to the 1800s and is for sale down the road. Oh, how I’d love to turn it into my family’s dream home and potentially a B&B. As the parent of a child with food allergies, staying at home and freelancing has been the best option for my family. In addition to writing, I also love historic homes and can’t help but think about the one just around the corner. But would running a B&B be realistic? Could we stay afloat? Would it really be the dream home and lifestyle for my family? The reality is that running a B&B takes a lot of elbow grease, sweat and smarts.
For those of us who have what I call “the Four P’s”–the personality, patience, place and price, inn-keeping could be the answer to having the home and job of our dreams. I’ve also discovered another “P” that could be the secret ingredient to success.

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