On the shelves Archive

With back-to-school season upon us, food allergy mamas like me are in full swing getting supplies but also safe snacks for our kiddos. Many schools are now nut-free, which means the snacks we send in must be nut-free too. So when Snyder’s of Hanover reached out to me to review their pretzels, their MADE IN A PEANUT-FREE FACILITY absolutely caught my eye! I just love when companies recognize a call being made by their patrons and follow through with flying colors.

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Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 8 to May 14, is just around the corner. I believe one of the most effective ways to bring food allergy awareness to children–to help our kids really “get” it–is through books. In this spirit, for today and tomorrow only, I’m offering a “Buy One Get One” giveaway of my children’s picture book, HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy, to anyone who orders a copy from me on my website today or tomorrow! As a food allergy mama, I always look forward to Food Allergy Awareness Week. In past years it has meant having access to new resources, cool posters, fun stickers and spreading awareness about food allergies. It’s also a wonderful time to reconnect with my supportive food allergy friends, to thank my friends and family who help keep us […]

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The end of 2015 saw a lot of action on the food allergy news front with regard to advocating for better disclosure of food allergens on the part of manufacturers. One issue for food allergy parents is keeping track of FDA food recalls due to the presence of undeclared allergens, because the FDA is finding food allergens “where they shouldn’t be,” according to a SnackSafely.com report. Just weeks before Congress introduced a bill designed to improve food labels, a father from Chambersburg, Pa., whose family has been managing life-threatening food allergies for several years, released with the help of Cross & Crown an app they created entitled “AllertMe” — to notify food allergy parents like me about undeclared allergens and other safety issues that may exist in our products.

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Children today face so many different pressures that can cause anxiety. Juggling everything from learning how to cope with inner emotional tensions to handling outside stressors like academics and cyberbullying, our kids are processing a lot. As a mama managing food allergies, I’m used to navigating many different levels of anxiety in my family’s life. So when I received Sherianna Boyle’s book, The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Childhood Anxiety, I dove right in. The cover describes Boyle’s book as “a mindful approach for helping your child become calm, resilient, and secure” and it definitely hits the mark.

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Do you like doing budget-friendly craft projects with the kids that are easy and fun? If so, do I have a cool book for you…. Just before our first major snow storm of the new year, I received crafting guru Jamie Dorobek’s awesome book, “Creating Really Awesome Free Things,” to review. While other mamas and papas were going stir crazy with a week off from school, my kids and I were having fun making everything from toilet paper reindeer to cereal box puzzles. This crafty mama totally saved us during Virginia’s big dig out!

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I have to admit that the writing and production process for my new book, HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy, was much more fun than marketing and sales. I have one small problem: I just want to give everyone a free copy! I’m so excited to share HumFree’s messages of hope, empowerment, inclusion, awareness and friendship with everyone. I want to reach children who feel alone and help them feel and know they aren’t. I want them to feel empowered. I want them to feel included. I want all of our children to find a way to do what they love–while staying safe and happy! So I’ve been wrestling with how to share HumFree in a way that feels comfortable to me. And then I got it: have a giveaway!

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I came up with the story HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy one lunch break when I was feeling emotional about our journey managing food allergies. I always had a vision of what HumFree would look like. My husband and I literally looked through a few hundred portfolios to find Brian. Once I saw his other adorable illustrations, I knew we had found the one. Many of you have asked about the artist behind these beautiful illustrations, so I put together an interview with Brian to share more about him!

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HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy is a story about hope, empowerment, awareness, inclusion and being able to do what we love while staying safe. It’s a tale about a cute little bee with a very big message. As we continue HumFree’s launch countdown, I’d like to share additional elements of the book that I hope will kick-start our important conversations about food allergy awareness and education. In particular, I’ve included an illustrated Q&A at the end of the story so the connection, dialogue and learning continues.

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What a fun and rewarding few weeks I’ve had as friends, fellow food allergy mamas and bloggers have reached out to talk about my new children’s book, HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy! One mama in particular asked some questions that really got me thinking about how the inspiration for HumFree began and what his message of inclusion means to my family–and hopefully will mean to you. What will HumFree’s message mean to you? You can find out now, because HumFree is available on my website!

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