Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Food Allergies are Contagious

NutriSon will be 14 this year- gasp!!! Dabbing eyes, feeling short and old(er). I am so very proud that he takes everything in stride and although he chooses to stay on the quieter side of how he deals with his food allergies, I feel that this entire journey has been a new opportunity for us to speak out. I can truly say that food allergies have changed out family's life for the better- a blessing in disguise. And although many people may not agree, I know this entire process has taught all of us how to examine our foods on so many levels that we never would have.

What I find comical is sitting back, listening to some of the situations that come up in every day conversation with myself or my children. This is true for any family but I often catch myself giggling so I wanted to share some of it with all of you. After all- laughter is a necessity so if our family can stir up one giggle for you, we have helped in some way. So, in no particular order, I share with all of you how food allergies can be contagious (in a good way):

  • Your children have a 20 minute conversation about a movie scene, debating if they washed their hands before they began making a pie
  • Your favorite aisle in the food store is the kitchen gadgets aisle
  • You get excited when you see one of those same, expensive kitchen gadgets at the dollar store
  • Your daughter instinctively finishes the Subway commercials that say "Eat fresh" with a prompt "yoga mats"
  • Your children won't speak to you because they found out once upon a time, you ate McDonald's chicken nuggets as a child (hey, go yell at Grandma for that one)
  • Your family watched an episode of Master Chef Jr. and asks why they don't have an allergy-friendly version of the show
  • Your daughter asks why the open barrel of peanuts has to be next to all of the produce
  • Your non-allergic child can explain what "carmine" is
  • If you already know what "carmine" is (how many of you are Googling it right now? Comment)  :)
  • When discovering there is a chocolate shortage, your children immediately ask if it will effect any of the Enjoy Life Foods products
  • The discovery of the chocolate shortage leads to a new conversation about whether or not it's dairy free chocolate or all chocolate
  • Your children walk down the cereal aisle and when they see the new and improved sugary cereals, their response is "How many GMO's do you think are in that?!"
  • Your child refuses to allow her friend to use a certain type of SunButter because it's not her favorite variety 
  • When Grandma gets mad because her grandchildren will only use Vegenaise
  • Your child comes home in a bad mood and explains that her friend had no protein in her lunch and why can't she just understand that it's so important to eat it
  • An allergy-free expo is now a mini family vacation
  • The kids are reminding the teachers at school that there is a zero copay card for the EpiPen refills

How many of these do you identify with? Share your family's allergy funnies below- Nutrimom loves a good family share <3 

Have YOU visited a Pure Room yet?
Click  here to watch my video review
This article was sponsored by my friends at PureRoom.com - certified pure air solutions for your home and beyond~ 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Epi App Has Upped it's Game

Last March, I was excited to share the news about the free app called My EpiPlan and all of the wonderful details that the app provides. (click here to read) I mean, what could be better than a free app that not only keeps track of your EpiPen information but also has a step-by-step training video and multiple other learning benefits right at the touch of your finger? Obviously, as helpful as the app was when it was new last year, the peeps at Mylan (marketer/distributor of EpiPen) have shown me that even great things can be improved. Ladies and gentleman, I share with all of you, the new and improved My EpiPlan app.

So What's all The APPiness about? In addition to the original app benefits, My EpiPlan app also has:
- The ability to digitally sync profiles between epipen.com and the My EpiPlan app
- The ability to create unlimited custom Allergen Profiles and Device (EpiPen) Profiles
- Access to the latest copay Savings Card offer right from your phone (hey, does this mean it might be continued?! That would be uber-awesome, just saying..nudge, nudge)
- Custom reminder settings that let users choose in-app, push and/or email notifications
- A new library of concise, actionable tips to help tweens, teen and young adults with food allergies navigate tricky situations, including school cafeterias and dining halls, class trips and extended travel as well as living away from home for the first time
- Recipes! I do admit, this is selfishly my favorite because my recipe for Pretzel Hummus Chicken can be found among a bunch of other delicious, allergy-friendly recipes.
Need the recipe? Just click! 

APParently, it's Great for Everyone Just a reminder (because all of us have brain fog sometimes and just cannot think of everything) this app is useful for everyone, not just those with food allergies. My EpiPlan app can be a great resource for parents, caretakers, babysitters, school staff- basically anyone whose lives are touched by food allergies in some way.

Ready to get the app? My EpiPlan app can be downloaded/updated by visiting the iTunes/Google Play app stores. You can also get more information about it by visiting epipen.com.

In the world of food allergies, time is of the essence, always. It's been said over and over again but truly, moments can be crucial- what better safety than to have (both) two EpiPens at all times and the My EpiPlan app to help you navigate through the rest of what you may need exactly when you need it.

As always, our family appreciates Mylan for continuing to help our food allergy community out <3

Photos (other than my recipe) courtesy of Mylan

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Enjoy Life Foods Mix Up

Since I began blogging in 2008, I have had the enjoyable added bonus of being approached to post product reviews. This means a company asks me to try their product, I do and I get to play with their foods, literally. And, I am always honest because my word is an extension of what I do and I fully stand up to that. The fun part is that writing these reviews will often make my blogger brain turn on and instantly go crazed to try to find something, anything that I can do with allergy-friendly products that the average consumer may not even think of doing. This is important since so many of us already feel limited by our foods when dealing with the journey of food allergies. I am here to tell you that mixing up your foods can be fun, easy and still be allergy-friendly. What do I consider the positives? There are a few:

I get to try new products, sometimes before they are available in stores (yay!) This time around, I was sent a box of Enjoy Life Foods newest baking mixes (and they also included a #KitchenGeek gift for me too). And not just 1 but all 5! Brownie Mix, Pancake & Waffle MixMuffin MixPizza Crust Mix and All-Purpose Flour. Now, these may all look innocent and you may be wondering why these are any different from other brands on the market. Not only are they still free of the eight most common allergens but they also contain (drum roll please.....) shelf-stable probiotics. You know- probiotics. The stuff that everyone has been talking about but doesn't really understand why we truly need it or how to incorporate it into our diets to stay healthier. Ok, so probiotics are basically like your digestive systems buddy. More and more research is proving that our bodies react to the foods that we eat so it makes sense that keeping your gut healthy will also keep the rest of your body functioning properly. By adding the probiotics directly into these mixes, Enjoy Life Foods has now taken away the fears of "How will I know which probiotics are safe to use?"* or "I can't get my kids to use those!". Bravo E.L.F. peeps- this is a winner for NutriFamily.

I get to compare my older recipes (here) to my newer recipes and continue to be inspired When I began posting product reviews, I (tried) to showcase the products well...my beginning pictures are a bit scary. Then I began to consult and tell my clients about how to look at the foods that they can have, to rethink how they are using them and I began to incorporate these ideas into my product review recipes as well. Why not? If I can share a recipe and make someone feel good about the products they are using, it's worth it. So, of course, I felt compelled to see what I could do with these baking mixes too!

Brownie Power Bars
A no-bake recipe that I tweaked from my lovely friend Michelle

1 Cup SunButter
3 Tablespoons raw honey
1 1/4 Cups Enjoy Life Foods Brownie Mix
2 Cups Enjoy Life Foods Crunchy Rice Cereal(for added benefits, use their Crunchy Flax, Crunchy Flax with Chia or a combination)
1/2 Tablespoon Oil (I recommend Winona Pure) OR True Solution Protein Shakes

Using a large pot, combine the SunButter and honey on low heat until blended and smooth. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Press into a 9x13 parchment-lined pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (especially if you add dairy as they will mold without proper cool storage and that is not healthy for your gut!)

Serving sizes vary

Bitty Buffets
You have leftovers, you have places to go & people to see so multi-task your foods

2 Cups Enjoy Life Foods Pancake & Waffle Mix
3 Tablespoons of oil
2 Cups water
1 Cup cooked, ground sausage (or other meat)
2 Cups cooked, diced potatoes (I used Alexia Foods Oven Fries)
1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon sea salt
Optional add-ins: pureed greens, cheese

Preheat an electric griddle to 325 degrees OR medium heat for stove top pan (do not grease it).

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Spoon preferred size onto the griddle and cook until bubbly, flipping once. Cook until golden brown. Store in an airtight refrigerator or freeze for future fast meals.

Serving sizes vary.

Party Bread
A delicious way to have more bread options

Enjoy Life Foods Muffin Mix
Optional: leftover pureed fruit, chocolate chips

Blueberry & SunButter, Strawberry/Pineapple &
So Delicious Coco Whip and Chocolate chip/SunButter & Banana
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the muffin mix as directed on the box.

Line a muffin tin with parchment baking cups (I use IfYouCare because they work very well with allergy-friendly items and don't require any spraying).  Spoon ONLY 1 tablespoon of prepared batter into each cup. If adding pureed fruit, add 1 teaspoon onto the top of each filled cup and swirl with a toothpick.

Bake at 350 degrees as directed on the box approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and store in the refrigerator. Eat alone or use them for small sandwiches.

Pizza Roll Ups
When is pizza not a pizza? When it's rolled up!

Enjoy Life Foods Pizza Crust Mix
Winona Pure spray oil (utilize different oils!)
Waxed Paper
Tin Foil

Optional (Dinner): Sauce, cheese, Applegate pepperoni, taco meat, garlic powder & spices
Optional (Dessert): So Delicious Coco Whip, fruit, chocolate chips, cinnamon & sugar mixture, sprinkles or my dairy free cream filling (here).

I am a visual learner. If you are too, simply click below to watch my tutorial

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare the mix as directed.

  • Cut a piece of paper the length of the roll up that you would like to have. 
  • Cut a piece of tin foil that is double that length and a bit shorter on the sides. 
  • Place the paper onto the tin foil, then fold the foil in half. 
  • Roll into a small tube, leaving the width of your pinky on the ends. 
  • Make two cuts on each end, folding the foil inward (use caution as foil can be sharp)
  • Spray generously with oil to prevent the dough from sticking. This is a step that I realized I forgot to mention until later in the video and I wasn't about to redo the entire video (hey, a blogger gets tired too!)
  • Take prepared dough (a bit larger than golf ball size) and flatten it on a piece of waxed paper
  • Roll flattened dough around the oil-coated foil tube, making sure the ends of the foil tube are exposed
  • Spray with oil, add spices (or other options for dessert variety) 
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 10 minutes
  • Allow to cool before removing the foil gently
  • Fill with desired ingredients. 
Store remaining pizza roll ups in an airtight container or freeze and thaw for later use.
(Hey Nutrimom, how do I fill the dessert roll ups?! Easy! Fill (either) a pastry bag or an empty large- mouthed condiment bottle with your choice of whipped filling).  

Edible Photo Frames
Perfect for party favors, back-to-school lunch surprises or just to let your family know that you love them
1 (4 oz) Applesauce
1 Cup raw honey
2 Teaspoons Ener-G Powdered Egg Replacer 
1/2 Cup shortening (I used Spectrum)
1 Box Enjoy Life Foods All-Purpose Baking Mix
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder (I used Hains Gluten Free)
1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla
Optional: Sugar, sprinkles, colored sugar
Chocolate & Oil (for melting)
Frame Stacking Options: half of a mini marshmallow, Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms (cut lengthwise), Glutino pretzels or Enjoy Life Foods Chewy Bars or Decadent Bars.

Make the Frame In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients with an electric blender. Slowly add the baking mix, little by little, and stirring gently. Add the baking soda, baking powder and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the dough up.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place some of the prepared dough directly onto the lined baking sheet (This dough is too soft to shape and transfer), flatten and cut into a square. You will want to make sure you pair up two squares approximately the same size to make the frame. Using a knife, cut away the inside of one of the square (for the top frame). Sprinkle with optional toppings on cut out square. Bake until browned (about 10 minutes). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Assemble the Frame Precut your choice of stacking options before assembling as the chocolate will harden too fast. You want to choose items that will allow enough room to insert a picture between the cookies but not so much that it will slide out easily.

Once the cookie frame pieces are cool, melt chocolate chips and add a squirt of spray oil. Coat the flat side of the complete square with melted chocolate. Line 3 of the 4 side with stacking options. Use more melted chocolate on the bottom side of the open square as a "glue" and place on top of the bottom square to complete the photo frame. Make sure you leave the top open to insert a photo. Cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

I get to see how our foods transform right in front of us I have to say that this is one of the exciting parts of what I do. Over the years, I have used a lot of different allergy-friendly products and I am happy to report that manufacturers are listening to what we are asking for. The Enjoy Life Foods baking mixes are a step up from others and as a mom who doesn't always have the time to tweak every single recipe, I appreciate the fact that the mixes require minimal ingredients to prepare (especially with multiple food allergies), they work well with dairy free substitutions and the end result is light, fluffy and moist.

Ready to Get Some & Try it? The baking mixes are just now beginning to hit the stores so be patient and ask if your local store will carry them for you (I have a personal preference of being able to go get it as needed). In the meantime, you can also order online at http://enjoylifefoods.com/. Please be sure and check their Facebook and Twitter pages for promotions, coupons, events and news (hey, saving is saving and you all know this blogger loves coupons!).

As always, special thanks to Enjoy Life Foods for sending me the products to try out. I am honored to be included as one of your Preferred Bloggers

*Because anyone can be allergic to anything and everyone's allergies are different, please check the ingredients and research prior to use to ensure these products will be safe for you to use.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fairytales Come True, An Event Can Happen to You

Food allergies, budgets, options, safe packaging- does this all sound familiar? These are all part of any allergic family's life. The feeling of not ever being able to just enjoy your foods or always worrying that there is no way you would be able to not only try a bunch of allergy-friendly goodies let along having anything remotely similar to a stock pile. It's all a pipe dream, a fairy tale....or is it a dream come true?

This was my second year attending the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh* and also the third event attending as well as being one of their bloggers. I am a self-professed event geek because I love meeting new people, reuniting with people I have already met but the biggest reason I love going to these expos are the products. Tons and tons and tons of allergy-friendly products that I can taste, bring home, share, hoard- all my choice. It's like Halloween for people with food allergies.

This event had a little bit of an added twist....let me explain it as easily as I can to all of you. I will give you the fast version so ready to be amazed. Now, in order for this to be effective, you must read it as if I am telling it to you all in one, fast sentence, like those announcers on tv. (Deep breath, ready??) The evil blogger GF Mom Certified challenged my cooking abilities! We both love gfJules products, we both cook with them and somehow, a king got into the mix (King Gluten Free). And so I was in a flurry of activity, seeking an allergy-friendly eclair recipe to prove my cooking skills. There was dough flying, cream filling everywhere, video upon video of her taunting me and then, there were the royal Prince and Princess that made a surprise appearance at the pre-event dinner at Primal Food & Spirits (because this is where all of the royals go and, well, just because it's downright delicious!). Here's a zooming fast photo recap of that night's events:

On the way to the restaurant
Can a Princess be any luckier?!

Before the gluten attack (do you see how she was sneaky?!)

Luckily, the Princess was well prepared with her EpiPen!

In all honesty, GF Mom Certified & I get along very well- love her and her beautiful family! But we still had bunches of fun even before the event began. Wondering about the eclairs? Recipe links can be located at the end of this post :)

STILL not sure why you should go? Let me give you a few examples:

Celiac Disease Support Group &
NC State Food Allergy Support Group
SUPPORT! There are also great support groups that you find and meet at the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Events. Because, as you know, everyone also needs some extra support now and again. I'm also glad to see that there is so much support in the area, especially for students who are away from home which can often be frightening and doubly scary with food allergies.

If you would like information for yourself or someone else, please visit the Celiac Disease Support Group which is through the WakeMed Cary Hospital as well as the NC State Food Allergy Support Group.

FAMILY! Since I go to multiple events, I feel as if many of the sponsors and even some of the attendees are part of my family now (how awesome is that?!) My last event, I got a surprise visit from the Harris Family and I was lucky enough to see all of them again this time around. Again, I have never seen such a supportive food allergy father and mother ever or (dare I say) cuter children. They are just good-hearted people who happen to love SunButter as much as I do (so, maybe I am a bit biased). I also got to meet Jena- the winner of my Giveaway and a page member :)

Then, there are my other families as well- my Glutino peeps (I couldn't help but try to sneak the entire table into my bag. Kayce from Enjoy Life Foods that I see often (the girl is always, always in a great mood!!). And, just in case you were like What the heck, Nutrimom- what's with all of the sunflowers?! I was supporting another extension of my family, SunButter who also were my event sponsors (thanks guys- you know you are awesome but I like to remind you!). And there's GF Mom Certified (Tiffany Hinton) again!

SWAG PLEASE! I know I have said it before but I cannot help but reshare the amount of swag that you get both as an attendee and as part of the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event Blogger Team. It may seem a bit selfish but come on, look at all of the great products that I got from so many of the vendors!

Yes, it's good to be a Blogger! Check out my goodies-

Event swag & a sweet
after-event surprise from Our House GF

I did say it's like Halloween but now looking back, it may actually be more like Christmas.

(Click for the Recipe & a Special Deal!)
gfJules Eclair Bake-Off This was just a fun, added bonus that happened to intertwine into the event. It was silly, it was challenging and I loved every minute of it! GF Mom Certified made absolutely delicious gluten free eclairs using gfJules flour and they were perfect! If you would like to try her recipe, it can be found in one of her cookbooks. (Please note it does use butter and duck eggs). Last time, we made muffins and this time somebody (eh hem, King Gluten Free) decided it would be eclairs....yeah, thanks for that.

I wound up having a before and after recipe. My before was my Eclair Doughnut recipe which was free of egg, dairy, gluten and nut. They were good but not similar enough to an eclair (curse you, GF Mom Certified, yours were too good!) but I didn't know I could use egg and butter, gosh!!! I did get to use my favorite oil Winona Pure Oil so it's all good was still bunches of fun.

When I got back, I got an idea for another, much easier recipe. STILL not very eclair-like but definitely easy and delicious! May I share my Eclair Bon-Bons which are free of the top eight allergens. The filling is just three simple ingredients and can also be used in many other desserts and toppings. I even have a short video tutorial here (please feel free to watch & share here). I am also honored to say that this recipe and video are featured on the GoVeggie website (thanks GoVeggie!!!).

(Recipe Here)
'Til Next Time As always, I am exhausted but overjoyed to be a part of this event again and I cannot wait to go to the next one. If you missed this event or you are unsure of which events are closest to you, feel free to go to the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event website and see the complete list of events, dates, locations and event schedules. Please share with a friend (as sharing is nice, unless it's food) and please let them know that Nutrimom sent you (hey, a blogger just likes to know all of you are out there listening).

*Feeling left out because you didn't hear about last year's event? No worries, click here to get up to speed.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Let's Hang Out THIS Saturday!

Just a reminder that THIS Saturday is the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh, NC. I am proud to be an event blogger and I am inviting all of you to join us. What, you've never been?!

Here are some reasons that you need to go:

Admission to the event includes FREE
~ Product sampling and sales from many gluten and allergen free vendors
~ Lectures from well known members of the gluten-free community about gluten and allergen-free living
~ Cooking demonstrations that invite you to explore the world of gluten-free cooking
~ Gift bag to tote around samples and purchases (I do recommend that you also bring an extra bag, there's TONS of samples!)
~ I will be there and I love meeting all of you! Find me in the crowd, say hello, get some SunButter samples & coupons (I'll be the one with sunflowers on)

Are your kids fresh?
Stay in a Pure Room next time! Click to book now
Where to Go (Please bring a friend, bring the family or stop by alone but go!)

Saturday, August 15th
10 AM - 4 PM
North Carolina State University
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606

Can't wait to see everyone there!

*Special thanks to SunButter for sponsoring me for this event 

Additional thank you to the wonderful companies that donated for my event giveaway basket - SunButter, Winona Pure Oils, GF Mom Certified, Pure Room and gfJules

#GFAFEvent #Raleigh

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Are You Sweet, Savory & Sippable?

If you haven't noticed, I love a recipe challenge. Better yet, I like to create recipes that are fast, easy and simple as well as allergy-friendly. So of course, as soon as I saw the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Snackable Recipe Contest, my mind went into overdrive.  I mean, creating recipes using So Delicious is awesome (NutriFamily loves their products!) but what truly caught my attention (no reason to lie) are the possible prizes that are being offered. Sharing my recipes is absolutely appreciated but with school beginning soon and more demands of my recipes coming up, let's face it- even Nutrimom could use a little extra help to get all of these demands filled.

Prizes Let's just cut to the chase- we all know that this is the first thing that we look at anyway so here goes. As seen on GoDairyFree here is what's what-

Grand Prize Winners: $1000 Each (3 Winners!)
We want to see those treasured "snackable" dairy-free recipes (up to 2 recipes per category per entrant!), so we're awarding grand prizes to our favorite in each category:
  • Sweet - One $1,000 Grand Prize Category Winner (gift card or check)
  • Savory - One $1,000 Grand Prize Category Winner (gift card or check)
  • Sippable - One $1,000 Grand Prize Category Winner (gift card or check) 
Runner Up Prizes: $250 Each (3 Winners!)
Whether for summer or school time, your office stash or afternoon treat, we're rewarding three additional delicious dairy-free snack recipe entrants with runner-up prizes:
For complete contest information
 & rules, please click 
  • Sweet - One $250 Runner-Up Category Winner (gift card or check)
  • Savory - One $250 Runner-Up Category Winner (gift card or check)
  • Sippable - One $250 Runner-Up Category Winner (gift card or check)

Not a Blogger? Great news- this contest is open to BOTH bloggers and non-bloggers so grab your kitchen gear and get to work! 

Sharing Time! And now, for the moment that you have all been waiting for (well, not as good as Hey, you won! but still exciting I think) - I present the recipes that I would like to officially submit for this contest.

Sweet Category:  
Short Strawberry Cakes 
A simple, dairy-free dessert that is so delicious! Get it, so delicious ;)

Strawberries (cleaned & halved)
Your choice of graham crackers (crumbled)

Using a melon baller, gently scoop out a small amount of the strawberries center, leaving the bottom of the strawberry intact. Fill with desired amount of Cocoa Whip and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers.

Bonus Sweet Category:
Eclair Bon Bons
So easy you won't want to share but please do

Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Mini Chips
Winona Pure Coconut Spray Oil (or other flavor of choice)

Prepare the Filling:
In a large bowl, mix the dairy free cream cheese and the cultured coconut milk with an electric beater. Add the whip topping, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure complete mixing.

Assemble the Treats:
Place baking cups in large muffin tins and set aside*. Using waxed paper, flatten the double brownie cookies but making sure they are still intact. Set aside.

Heat the chocolate chips and a squirt of coconut oil until melted. Gently place one flattened cookie into a baking cup, leaving an equal number of cookies for the top. Fill with a dollop of the prepared filling and place another flattened cookie on top. Cover with melted chocolate, gently lifting the baking cup to allow the melted chocolate to reach the bottom of the cup. Cool in the refrigerator until firm.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Makes approximately 6 bon bons with additional filling. 

Need some help? Feel free to view a fast tutorial here and  download a recipe copy as well to share.
*I recommend IfYouCare baking cups

Special thank you to Go Veggie for featuring this recipe on the website :) 

Savory Category
Kim Chi Slaw 
A dairy-free twist on a great probiotic-packed side

1/2 Cup your choice of Kim chi

Using a mini chopper, chop Kim chi. Add unsweetened cultured coconut milk and mix well. Add to burgers, wraps or wherever your taste buds desire.

Sippable Category: 
Creamer Cubes
Don't water down your cold beverages when you can enhance them!

Optional- cinnamon, cloves, cocoa or other spices
Prepared beverage of your choice (iced coffee pictured)

Shake the coconut creamer well and pour evenly into an ice cube tray. Sprinkle with your choice of spice and gently swirl with a toothpick. Freeze completely. 

To remove, use a sharp knife to gently run along the edges of the cubes, then remove. The creamer will still be a bit on the soft side 

Ready to Enter? Better get to it- the contest deadline is midnight August 31st, 2015! Special thank yous to So Delicious and Go Dairy Free for inspiring me to keep inventing! Wishing everyone good luck, great recipes and delicious ideas~

Sunday, August 9, 2015

When 40 Lashes Are a Good Thing

For years, I have used your typical mascara with a primer. Is it horrible for your lashes- yup. Does it make my eyelashes sticky and clumpy- yup. Do I feel like I am ripping my eyeballs off every night when I remove said mascara- yup. So of course, when I received a message from the Red Apple Lipstick peeps who offered to pick my brain about their products, I was excited.

Why the Excitement? For those of you who aren't familiar with this line of products, Red Apple Lipstick is gluten free (among other things, read here). Yes- gluten can hide anywhere, even in your makeup! Although I do not have Celiac Disease, I do choose to be as gluten free as possible. Everyone has a different tolerance to allergens and who's to say that my purdy little lashes didn't make me feel a tad better (yes, purdy, just seemed right so just keep reading). The Red Apple Lipstick folks also sent me some of their lip gloss samples too (YES! They have other things, not just lipstick!) Brand name is deceiving...sneaky Red Apple just a tad sneaky! You lure us into your world of gluten free mascara only to have us looking like a kid in a candy store once we open up your site. Lipsticks, glosses, lip pencils, Rallye balm, exfoliate, eye shadows, mascara, eyeliner, samples!!!!! And I totally didn't spend like 5 hours clicking on everything (wink, nudge).

The Lash Project Mascara Ok, so I will be the first to admit that I didn't realize what the name meant and why it was relevant to the product. I began using the mascara about two weeks ago and had planned on writing the review but then other things come up, you continue using the mascara, life goes on. Today, as I am getting out of the shower, I looked in the mirror and wondered why some of the mascara was still on. Then I realized that it was my plain lashes....what? Just a subtle difference but they are definitely a bit more long and thick. Then I read the box & took a closer peek at their website-
  • BECAUSE it gives you an amazing mascara and powerful lash conditioner all in 1
  • BECAUSE it reverses and prevents your lash damage from years of toxic mascara use
  • BECAUSE it ends your embarrassing mid-day smudge problem and watery runoff
  • BECAUSE it ends clumping and flaking forever
  • BECAUSE it won't cause itchy, scratchy, puffy eyes
  • BECAUSE it stops your lashes from falling out pre-maturely
  • BECAUSE it doesn't dry out in the tube... when you know there's more left
  • BECAUSE it feels as fresh on the 30th day as it did on the 1st day you used it
  • BECAUSE it was literally made a week before you receive it
  • BECAUSE you can always get a discount through our free VIP Club
  • BECAUSE it works amazingly well

GASP! NOW it makes sense (doi!) - yes! The Lash Project, gotcha...I'm slow but it's summer and my kids have been home and non-stop eating so let my brain catch up here.

Lip Gloss Sample As I mentioned, I also got one of their adorable little lip gloss samples. Look at it- it's a little lipstick pod. It looks tiny but I actually got several applications out of it. It has the consistency of Vaseline, you only need a smidge and it made my lips look shiny but not goopy. I did have a bit of a time opening the package (I guess it's so delicate that it's like a company secret on how to open it!) or perhaps (and most likely) it's still the kids home for the summer thing. Even so, I am feeling a little more soft, a little more natural. Who else gets to have new lips and new lashes? ME! Love it! I can see it now- NutriKids go back to school and a teacher asks "What did your family do all summer?" "Well, my mom got some packages in the mail and then she just stared at the mirror all the time." Totally true and I'm not too proud to say that's what I do now. Now, my crazy curly blogger hair and some other issues, can Red Apple Lipstick help me out with those??

The Ultimate Test We went to the beach for a short getaway so I decided to see how my new mascara held up. I went swimming in the pool (chemical, chlorine, other unknown don't wanna know things), I played in the ocean (luckily, no sharks but I would have just batted my new lashes at them) and a few days with some terrible gusty winds and rain (no worries, I still went outside in it). My old mascara would have run down my face, given me raccoon eyes, melted off in sporadic weird clumps (because of the primer) so I would have been a mess. Instead, the Lash Project version of my lashes were very different. Did it come off- yes but not half as badly as it would have the way my usual mascara did. And even after a full two days of wearing the same mascara, it was still on just a tiny bit. What I did notice was even after day two, my lashes were still soft and natural feeling- this is why I didn't have to remove it. Nice! So, technically, I could also save time and money because now I am applying it less often. Double nice!

I also found a random picture taken by NutriDaughter and I immediately noticed that my lashes do look longer. Like I am wearing primer but I'm not. Can you see what I mean? (ignore the wind-blown curls and roots)

The Difficult Decision Because I am always honest in my product reviews, I do need to whine just a bit about the dilemma I am having with these. (Deep breath) Ok, keep in mind that I am a blogger but also a mom on a budget. So you are looking at a woman who digs through discount bins, stalks dollar stores for brand name cosmetics for a buck and very, very rarely purchases anything beauty-related without a coupon and a store sale. SO you can imagine the back and forth inside of my head looking at the price for this mascara. Price for one is $37......I can hear many of you saying "What?!" just as I did. BUT I do love my lashes. They DO feel softer and look longer. BUT $37!!!! But they offer coupons on their website (COUPONS!) BUT it's still like $20 more than what I would pay. BUT they have a 60 day money back guarantee....sigh...what's a girl with pretty lashes to do now?! I love the products but the price is killing me.

Help Me Decide Take a moment, browse their links and leave me a comment to tell me your thoughts as well (good or bad, you should be honest too!). Please remember to tag and/or reference me (Nutrimom) and them (Red Apple Lipstick). Should I? Shouldn't I? I'm willing to bet that if we can get enough feedback we may just be able to get some type of giveaway going on too (you all know I love sharing and giving back). For your convenience, feel free to click on the links below (mine & theirs)



 <3 Thank you Red Apple Lipstick for reaching out & giving me the opportunity to try your products! Please feel free to ask me again, I'd love too <3