Author: Joelle

Expert Advice: 15 Doctor Recommended “To Do’s” to Fight the Flu

I’m happy to share this guest post from Dr. Christopher Calapai As we head into flu season there are many things we can do to “flu proof” ourselves. Regardless of whether you choose to get a flu vaccine or not, there are things we can do to heighten our chances of not getting sick this winter. Dr. Christopher Calapai, a New York based Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine provided us with a comprehensive list of 15 to do’s to fight the flu. Keep your surroundings clean, wipe surfaces at work, keep your cell phone clean. According to the CDC viruses can survive on a surface for up to 8 hours Wash your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer. Remember the workplace and public spaces are a hotbed for germs. This is where the hand washing comes into play. Increase intake of vitamin D, C, E and A. Include foods such as red bell peppers (add to salads), sweet potatoes, chicken soup, salmon and garlic. Research shows that keeping vitamin D levels at 80 ng/ml or …

Playroom Decor You’ll Adore

I was searching on Amazon for a new playmat and came across the INCX playmat rug that can pull together and double as a storage organizer. It met all my requirements: 1. Big enough for both kids (It’s 58×58). 2. Adorable and photo opp worthy. 3. Affordable. It’s just $24.99, which is a steal. Other mats this size are going for at least $75 on Amazon. I purchased it and my kids and I love it. My husband actually complemented it too instead of yelling at me for shopping online again. My daughter even likes to use it as a blanket. I didn’t add the string for the storage function because we don’t plan on folding up. I love that it gives my kids a fun and clean space to play, especially one that is free of dog fur and dirty paws, which any pet owner can relate to! I’ll buy this for all friends as they have babies. There are so many cute styles! I basically want another! Great holiday gift, too!

Care Bear Family Halloween Costumes

Our family dressed as Care Bears for Halloween. It was adorable and warm, which is important for NJ in October. It started with Grumpy Bear. I saw the onesie for my husband and had to get it cause he actually likes to dress up and our daughter loves Grumpy Bear. Like a good dad, he did it for her. Except the costume was too small so he had to squeeze into it! Opps! Hahah Then I got Genevieve Wonderheart and I wanted the baby and G to have a theme, so this became a family affair! Luca was Bedtime Bear and I was Cheer Bear. I had to hunt for the costumes and buy them months ahead online for the kids. The adult costumes came from Wal-Mart and Target and were much cheaper. But it was well worth it! How cute are we?!

Halloween Treat: Nutramigen

Moms of babies with formula allergies will appreciate this. We got a real treat last night when we met a family down the street from us. They have a girl a little younger than Genevieve and a boy a few months younger than Luca. We trick or treated together and found out their son has a milk allergy just like Luca. Luca is on Nutramigen, which costs hundreds of dollars a month and insurance doesn’t cover because it’s sold over the counter. (I can write a whole blog post about what we went through with that issue!) Their baby tried Nutramigen and it didn’t work, so he’s on something else even more expensive but their insurance covers. So they gave us six cans of Nutramigen! There are good people in the world. We’re paying it back and giving them clothes Luca outgrew. Score for us both. And we all get new friends. Happy Halloween, indeed!

Must Have App: Shutterfly

I Just found some really cool black and white pics from circa 2009 thanks to the Shutterfly app on my phone. Everyone needs this app!! Here’s why: It automatically backs up every photo you take with your phone. Goodbye, Dropbox out-of-space messages! You can access all the photos you take with a real camera and upload to Shutterfly from your computer– on your phone. The best part, though? FREE 100 prints FOREVER when you order through the app. Just pay shipping. There are pretty neat deals for free 8×10, magnets and more. I always want physical copies on my photos. And I am OCD about backing them up on apps and external hard drives. Plus, it’s always fun to look back at your hairstyles!

We’re All Mad Here: Halloween Tea Party Tips Inspired by Sage Goldnik

Full disclosure: I’m a full-time publicist and Good Earth Tea is my client. I’m pitching these Halloween Mad Hatter Tea Party tips inspired by Sage Goldnik to other bloggers and thought I should share with my audience as well, since it’s so fun and I wrote them!  Photos from Sage Goldnik’s Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sagegoldnik/). You might be too old for trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but in Wonderland, it’s never too late to celebrate the date. This Halloween, host a Mad Hatter-themed tea party filled with fun, fantasy and flavor. Here’s how: We’re All Mad Here: Halloween Tea Party Planning Tips Invitation: As the Cheshire Cat says, “Every adventure requires a first step.” Choose a paper invitation shaped as a playing card, teapot or teacup. Use Alice in Wonderland-inspired phrases like, “Don’t be late for a very important date.” Food: Present indulgent finger foods such as mini sandwiches, cupcakes, frosted pumpkin cookies, petit fours and macaroons on white-tiered dessert stands. Insert toothpick flags with the wording, “Eat Me,” into a few of the treats. Beverage: Brew Good …

Expert Advice: Doctor’s Tips to Make Halloween Healthier for You and Your Children

I’m happy to share this expert guest column from Dr. Mayrene Hernandez. Halloween can be scary. Ghosts, ghouls and goblins abound, but the most frightening part of Halloween might be how many calories our children bring home in their trick-or-treat bags. The candy in an average trick-or-treat bag can contain as much as 7,000 calories* and all that candy can lead to tooth decay and a lot of extra pounds for the entire family. Dr. Mayrene Hernandez of UnitedHealthcare (www.uhc.com) has a few ideas so health-conscious parents can avoid ruining one of the most kid-friendly celebrations of the year? Instead of candy, opt for healthier or non-food alternatives. Candy is fun, but healthy food can be as well. Making small oranges, popcorn balls or fruit cups with pumpkin faces drawn on them can encourage healthier eating while still getting into the Halloween spirit. Give trick-or-treaters dried fruit, fruit leathers, crackers or trail mix. Trick or Toys? Or, if you want to avoid giving out candy or snack foods altogether, give small toys, stickers, temporary tattoos, pencils, Halloween erasers …