Smart Noggin Stik

smart noggin stik

We recently received an awesome toy as a gift for my four month old called the SmartNoggin Noggin Stik. This toy is adorable! Not only does it shake like a rattle, but it is really easy for him to grasp. The face changes color when you tap the rattle so it is great for tummy time. The bottom of the rattle is a mirror, something all babies love. The rattle holds my son’s attention and is easy enough to use that my older son can use it to entertain the baby. What a great gift!

Jewelry Display Organizer

I am a sucker for creative life hacks, and finding unique and easy ways to store my large collection of jewelry ranks high on the list of things that make my life more organized.  Sure, a jewelry box is a necessity, but why not hang this beautiful Jewelry Display Organizer by Etsy shop Freshly Framed over your dresser to keep your overflow of most used necklaces and earrings organized and accessible?

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This is a sure-fire way to avoid tangled chains and lost earrings.  Plus the unique pattern of this handmade item will kick up your decor.  Stylish and functional!

Toddler Vitamins

nutristars

I am pretty particular about the food my toddler eats. We stick to as much homemade, healthy food as possible. When it came to switching him from the liquid vitamin prescribed by his pediatrician to an over the counter chewable vitamin, I was stumped. I went to the local pharmacy and found a plethora of gummy type vitamins. I grabbed a bottle in a hurry, thinking, “how much harm could one gummy per day do?” The first time I let him try it? He had an allergic reaction to something in the ingredients. Apparently, gummy vitamins can cause more harm than I imagined.

I realize that our experience is not the norm, but it got me thinking about what must be in the gummy vitamins. Although we haven’t been able to pinpoint why he had a reaction, we did discover that there is a crazy amount of sugar in the gummy vitamins, including the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. In essence, the gummy vitamins are like candy, with some vitamins added in. So, back to the drawing board.

I did some research, spoke to some friends and came up with a short list of vitamins to run past my pediatrician. In the end, we chose Rainbow Light Nutristars Multivitamins. They are free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and additives and contained all of the vitamins that my son needs. He happily eats them and we haven’t had any issues at all.

Celiac Disease

Many of you know my father suffers from Celiac disease – some of you may not know exactly what that is and what it means.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, in which the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley) damages the villi in the small intestines and causes a whole host of negative reactions to the body, including malnutrition, vitamin K deficiency, diarrhea and bowel issues, nausea, abdominal bloating, rashes, joint pain, and fatigue.  Jon Stewart did a great segment recently with actress Jennifer Esposito on her struggle with Celiac disease.

gluten free cooking tips

My parents attend an incredible Celiac Support Group at St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston, NJ run by Nicole Cerillo, RD, and I encourage anyone with a family member who suffers from the disease to attend.  At the most recent meeting, the following gluten-free cooking tips were shared:

  • Replace flour with almond meal: Nut flours are a great way to replace wheat and increase fiber and protein.
  • Grate raw cauliflower in place of couscous, tabouli or rice
  • Zucchini your noodles: roast finely sliced zucchini and serve with sauce!  This is a great way to encourage veggies in your family’s diet
  • Use lettuce wraps instead of bread: wrap your favorite fillings in iceberg or butter lettuce.
  • Use a grilled portabella mushroom instead of a bun with your hamburgers.

The ladies in my family have made it their mission to turn their favorite recipes gluten-free so my father can continue to enjoy his favorite meals.  I will continue to share some of our favorite gluten-free recipes with you!

Links We Love

The weekend is here, at last!  Here are some of our favorite articles from the week… Enjoy them during all your downtime.  Or, read them on your iPhone while you chase your little one around the playground.  Same thing.

 

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