Author: Joelle

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 …

Unicorn Playground Party

We gave our daughter a playground party for her third birthday. It’s fun for the kids and doesn’t cost a fortune!  I wanted to personalize it a little but had to stick to guidelines from the town for park decor. Because I couldn’t hang anything, I decided to get a life-size cardboard cutout of a unicorn ($40, Amazon). It made a great photo prop! With a unicorn theme set, I of course had to make sure every kid had a unicorn horn in their goodie bag. We had bubbles and sidewalk chalk for more playtime elements. The kids had a blast! Here are a few photos.

Holiday Toy Shopping at Ikea

Don’t overlook Ikea when doing your holiday toy shopping this year. There are really great deals on items your kids will love. My favorite thing about shopping online at Ikea is that I can add items to my list and then email my list to my husband to go pick everything up! I save on shipping and he saves time. Here’s what I love for my kids: This table and chair set is compact for small spaces and the price can’t be beat! This activity mat is great for my toddler to do yoga and my infant to crawl around. You’ve seen that cozy infant elephant plush all over the Internet. Here’s Ikea’s huggable version- much cheaper! This roll of drawing paper will bring new excitement to arts and crafts time. You can even trace your toddler and have them decorate the outline. The itemized shopping list even tells you what products are available in your local store.

My Rainbow Baby

October 15th is a day to acknowledge the loss of a pregnancy, but near this time, I choose to instead celebrate my rainbow baby, who brought sunshine after those dark days. Here’s my little Luca. He’s already 5 months old! My husband was obsessed with the name Luca for a boy. When I found out the name means “bringer of light,” I knew there wasn’t a better name!