END OF YEAR GIFT IDEAS FOR TEACHERS

Last week was my younger son’s graduation. His teachers worked so hard, year around that I really wanted to give them something special as a token of thanks. And so began my internet search for gifts ideas.

The most important thing when planning farewell/ graduation/ appreciation gifts, is to have a budget or else you might end up over spending. Also adding a little note or a hand drawn card by your kid works like magic dust and makes things unforgettable.

The internet is loaded with ideas. Some are pretty simple while others tend to be too elaborate. Here are a few ideas. Click on the pictures and it will take you directly to the concerned website.

 

SUCCULENTS/POTTED PLANTS WITH OR WITHOUT GIFT CARDS:

This is something which I personally did. It is simple yet adds  kind of a pleasant personal touch.  You can add a gift card or just add a sweet personal note for the teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

This is what our gift looked like. Succulents in a beautiful pot with a gift card and a hand written note from my son.

 

TEA/COFFEE GIFT CARD WITH A CUTE MUG:

When in doubt, choose tea or coffee. Get a cute mug or tumbler. Add a gift card or some teabags/coffee sachets and wrap it all up with a personalized note. Voila! You have a perfect gift.

 

 

 

 

HAND SOAP/LOTION/BODYWASH/SPA CARD WITH CUTE TAGS:

Who doesn’t get mesmerized by the indulgent hand lotions, body wash smells. Dress them up, add a handmade card and you have a clean gift 🙂

 

 

 

SCARFS/ JEWLLERY:

Scarfs and small trinkets are always welcomed by the teachers as you can never have many scarfs. Discreetly ask the teacher her favorite color or jewelry item and surprise her all  boxed up in a beautiful wrap.

 

 

 

COLLECTIVE GIFT FROM THE CLASS:

Instead of giving individual gifts, all parents can pool in money and give one big gift card bouquet from the entire class. We did this last year and it was a biiiig hit.

 

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THE AUTISM DIET

autism diet asd

First of all why a special diet?

 There is a very famous quote by Hippocrates which says:

“LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE AND MEDICINE BE THY FOOD”

It’s a no brainer that how we feel depends a lot on what we put in our mouths.  When there is a special health condition, it is plain common sense to avoid foods which aggravate the condition and instead, give the body healthy nutrients for it to thrive. It does not mean that you are depriving the body, instead you are helping it to heal from inside and function like it is meant to.

When it comes to Autism, there is no fixed diet. In fact, there is nothing approved which will have a sure shot affect on the overall health of the child.

 However, that being said, there are a couple of diets to try, which many parents (including myself) swear by. The benefits of these diets include but are not limited to :

-Improved speech

-Refined social skills

-Better eye contact

-Good focus

-Reduced hyper activity etc.

Like I said in the previous Autism related posts, since it is a spectrum, the progress varies from kid to kid.

A general rule of thumb is to try the diet for good 3 months and if you see no improvement that means that it is not working for your child. Also make sure during the three months, that there is no cross contamination.

Keep a notepad handy to take notes on your child’s mood, health, sleep etc. so you know the reaction to certain foods. Do not however, expect to see overnight progress. Healing with food is a slow process with loads of trial and error.

Let us now discuss the diets in detail.

 

GLUTEN FREE/ DAIRY FREE/ SOY FREE DIET(GFCFSF)

This is perhaps the most popular and the most tried diet when it comes to ASD.  It includes removal of gluten and dairy and soy products from the diet.

Gluten is a protein found in many grains including Wheat, Barley, Spelt, Rye etc. Unless the Oats are grown in a gluten-free manner, they too come under the gluten umbrella.

Casein is a protein found in all mammals milk.

Most of the Soy Crops in America are highly genetically modified therefore it is best to avoid them.

Kids with ASD and ADHD generally have elevated levels of Gluten, Gliadin and Casein and have gastrointestinal problems. Eliminating these proteins helps in reducing the gut inflammation and help lift off the foggy effect off the brains.

 SCD GAPS

SPECIFIC CARBOHYDRATE DIET (SCD) AND GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME (GAPS) DIET

SCD was created by Elaine Gloria Gottschall who based her research on the findings of Sidney Haas, M.D. More details on SCD and her research can be read in her book  Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet.

This diet severely limits the carbohydrates. The model is based on the theory that most carbs convert to sugar and are difficult to digest so by allowing only specific carbs which require minimal digestion, gut inflammation can be reduced.

GAPS diet is derived from SCD diet and is created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. More details on her research and GAPS can be read in her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia.

The  GAPS diet focuses on removing foods which are difficult to digest and replace them with nutrient rich foods which gives the body a chance to heal.

People usually combine the SCD and GAPS diet and find a good medium which fits their need. One concern about this diet is that it is very restrictive and must be supplemented with vitamins and minerals to make up for the nutrition lost.

 

 

FEINGOLD DIET

 

THE FEINGOLD DIET

 

This diet has been said to work wonders for kids with ADHD.

Feingold Diet is an elimination diet created by Benjamin Feingold M.D. The theory behind this diet is that food additives can cause hyperactivity in children and by elimination of those additives one can figure out which food acts like a trigger for their hyperactivity.

Sheri Davis’s book All Natural Mom’s Guide to the Feingold Diet: A Natural Approach to ADHD and Other Related Disorders is an excellent resource for trying out this diet. She writes in detail how to do this diet, what to include and what to eliminate and also how to reintroduce things back to the diet.

Other notable mentions are

A very good read by Julie Mattews , Nourishing Hope for Autism: Nutrition and Diet Guide for Healing Our Children [Perfect Paperback] talks in detail how nutrition affects children with ASD and the different types of diets to try. If you are unsure which diet is right for your child, this book will give you a good idea firstly on how different foods can cause certain behaviors and secondly, a guideline on how to carry out the diet.

My kid has been following the GFCFSF and mostly low sugar diet for the past 4 years. It works for us.

How you ask?

The day my kid has a regular muffin or dairy, he is bouncing off the walls, inappropriate laughter kicks in and he has a hard time falling asleep.

Since I can safely call myself a pro at the GFCFSF diet, I will do a detailed review and help you do this diet, step by step, if you want to try it with your kiddo too.

Feel free to contact me via email if you want any kind of help regarding your kid’s diet.

(DISCLAIMER: These are my views and should be taken for information and education purposes only. Not two on kids on the spectrum are alike. If you think someone you know needs help, please talk to the concerned Pediatrician today.)

 

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15 LESSONS LEARNED IN LIFE

lessons learned in life

My life has soo many rich, vibrant, eye-popping, nose opening, jaw dropping lessons that it was honestly hard to choose which one should make the list. But since I am suffering from short-term memory loss these were all I could remember. Maybe more later.

Without further ado and in no particular order here are the valuable lessons learnt:

1.  Elves are not real. I leave my house upside down every other night but they never show up. Maybe the shoemaker is seriously keeping them busy.

 

 

2. Low quality canned Beets taste like old sweater tucked at the bottom of a tote/trunk laden with Moth Balls.

 

3. On a 16 hour-long flight if your seat is next to a bathroom you will have an aromatic journey.

 

4. On the same note, wearing headphones do not conceal your farts. Unfortunately people travel with their nose and ears.

 

 

5. Life was giving me lemons until my neighbor chopped off their lemon tree. Now I have to buy them like everyone else.

 

6. First it was the parents now its my kids. Why can’t I ever find the remote when I seriously need it and how come they know the exact scene to make an entry?

 

 

7.  Why does my GPS think that by now I can tell the difference  in 1 mile and 200 ft. I am still learning distance so it needs to take it slow.

 

 

 

 8. Everything brown is not chocolate. Especially if you have kids.

 

9. Miracles happen. You can happily recover the cake, you trashed a while ago from the bottom of the bin and just by removing a thin-film of coating eat it too.

 

 

10. Clothes do not walk out of the dryer into the closets on their own. They need assistance.

11. You are never first. So don’t rejoice. There is always someone who has already done what you thought you would be the first one to achieve in the entire human race.

 

 

12. Disney should have a ” Patience Award” for watching the same movie over and over again without complaining.

 

13. A bad joke is still a joke.

 

 

14. Buying cleaning products does not guarantee a clean house.

 

15. You can join the green bandwagon by turning your chicken curry into Biryani or using cookie tin to store sewing stuff.

 

That’s it folks….

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A CHILD OF BOOKS

a child of books

A Child of Books is the story about a girl with no name, who sails her raft on a sea of words and arrives at the house of a boy who is lonely. Since he doesn’t like to read, he feels forgotten and bored. She then invites him to join her on an adventure.

A CHILD OF BOOKS

Together, they go on an adventure climbing mountains of Peter Pan typography, playing hide and seek in the forests where the tree trunks are books and the branches are made up of classic fairy tales, escape monsters and much much more.

A CHILD OF BOOKS

In the beginning of the book there are bland colors depicting lack of imagination but as their creativity grows we start seeing a pop of color here and there until there is a Big-Bang-Bloom of colors.

A CHILD OF BOOKS

In the end the boy returns to a much colorful home, happy with a book tugged under his arms and an army of words trailing behind him.

Throughout the book, the images are made up of words. The water is words, the path is words, the clouds are words, even the shout is words. The best part is that these are not just any random words but each image depicts a classic fairytale.

The true message of the book is that you are never alone if you get in the habit of reading. As you open a book, you enter a new realm and since imagination and fantasy has no bound you will never be bored.

I love that there is a key on the last page with a tag reading “FOR IMAGINATION IS FREE”…… .

So true! All you have to do its open the lock of your mind and flow with the flow.

a child of books

To buy the book vis Amazon click the link  A Child of Books.

The prose style poetry and the illustrations by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston are charming and enchanting.  The kids will enjoy this book due to the illustrations but the adults will love it for the message it brings.

Perfect bedtime book for both adults and kids, one which you will want to look/read over and over again.

Till then,

Happy Reading 🙂

 

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Book Review: THE LAND OF STORIES

If you or your kids love fairytales, action and fantasy then Land of Stories is just for you.

Written by the Glee actor, Chris Colfer, this is one series which will keep you coming back for more.

LAnd of stories chris colfer

This modern day fairy tale follows the adventures of twins Alex and Conner Bailey.

When the twins find out that the fairy tale book given to them as a birthday gift by their Grandmother is actually a portal between the real and fantasy world they jump right in. What follows is an action packed adventure and a series of encounters with Evil Witches, Trolls, Goblins, Wolves and much much more.

All the fairytale characters like Red Riding Hood, Prince Charming, Mother Goose, the Snow Queen are presented in an astounding way and there are some evil villains to fight too as the series develops over the course of 5 books:

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories)

The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey

The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning

The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms

The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey

The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide (Pre-Order, Releasing in July 2017)

 

Colfer also introduces some new fairytale characters which adds more pizzaz to the story. To make it more interesting there are maps and timelines in each book which give the reader an idea of how the story will progress.

 

Map “The Wishing Spell”

 

I enjoyed the books and so did my 10 year old, so I can safely say that this series is a fun read for both boys and girls of all ages. My web search revealed the age range for this series is from 9 years to 49 years 🙂

As an adult I will say that I found the writing to be a wee bit childish and it seemed that the editing wasn’t that good either but for my 10 year old it was “Just Perfect”.

 

Story Timeline in Grimm Warning

 

Get your kid the first book and if they like it, order the rest of the series. To order the whole set off Amazon click the link below:

The Land of Stories Hardcover Gift Set

 Embark on a thrilling fairytale journey where every adventure is more exciting than the previous one…trust me you won’t be disappointed 🙂

 

 

 

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DISCOVERY CUBE LOS ANGELES

If you are looking to do some quality, educational activities with your kids which are super fun too, then Discovery Cube is just for you.

 

discovery-cube-banne

 

 

There are two locations of the Discovery Cube. One in Santa Ana and the other in Los Angeles. Since we live closer to the San Fernando valley, we went to the LA one.

 

Discovery Cube next to Hansen Dam
Next to Hansen Dam

 

sign to discovery cube
Take FootHill Blvd off 210 Freeway

 

 

DISCOVERY CUBE, Los Angeles is a 71,000-square-foot interactive museum at the Hansen Dam Recreation Area in the Lake View Terrace neighborhood.

 

Entrance Gate
Entrance Gate

 

 

Parking is free and there is an ongoing deal on the ticket these days where both the adults and kids get in for the same price.  As you enter you get the feeling as if you are in big warehouse and its fun seeing kids of all ages running here and there.

 

Front Entrance
Front Entrance

 

Ticket & Membership Details
Ticket & Membership Details

 

Welcome
Welcome

It is the place to be for science-based learning and hands-on discovery.  Discovery Cube is modeled around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and also incorporates early learning and health awareness. There are two levels of hands-on exhibits, displays, programs and learning spaces.

 

Inside
Inside

 

Skeleton on a Bike
Skeleton on a Bike

 

weighing

GingerBread Exhibit
Gingerbread Exhibit

 

 

Sound Waves
Sound Waves

 

 

Here is a detail of some of the interesting exhibits:

 

LEGO: TRAVEL ADVENTURE

There are a lot of interesting exhibits and the choice will depends solely depends on the interest of the kids. The toddlers and younger kids will definitely enjoy the Lego:  Travel Adventure which is on the second floor. Don’t get me wrong, the older kids will love this huge exhibit equally. To be honest, anyone who loves Lego, will love it. You get to make interesting Lego vehicles and then race with friends.

 

 

Lego Travel
Lego Travel

 

Lego Train
Lego Train

 

Lego Racing Car (Kids can sit in it)
Lego Racing Car (Kids can sit in it)

 

 

HELICOPTER TOUR

The helicopter tour is actually a Helicopter Simulator Ride which takes you way above the skies of LA then deep into water system under the city.

 

Helicopter Tours
Helicopter Tours

 

Screen inside the helicopter simulator
Screen inside the helicopter simulator

 

 

INSPECTOR TRAINING COURSE

A tablet based scavenger hunt where the kids get to be inspectors and make sure the house is safe and sound. The interactive tablet makes the inspection super fun and if all he answers are correct you get your picture taken which is displayed on the wall.

 

Inspector Station
Inspector Station

 

 

Inspector Tablet
Inspector Tablet

 

Bedroom Inspection
Bedroom Inspection

 

Bathroom Inspection
Bathroom Inspection

 

Backyard Inspection
Backyard Inspection

 

Teaching kids about insulation
Teaching kids about insulation

 

 

 

Thermostat Reading
Thermostat Reading

 

 

 

RACE TO ZERO WASTE

Race against other kids or your friends to see who sorts the recyclable and other items first.

 

Trash Truck
Trash Truck

 

 

Trash coming out of the truck
Trash coming out of the truck

 

 

Trash Belt
Trash Belt

 

 

DISCOVERY MARKET

Grab a cart, choose your shopping list, aim the scanner at the right products and earn a picture on the Wall. Kids learn the importance of choosing healthy foods and also reading labels.

Discovery Market Entrance
Discovery Market Entrance

 

Carts Lined Up
Carts Lined Up

 

Cart with Screen & Scanner
Cart with Screen & Scanner

 

Checkout Stands
Checkout Stands

 

Checkout
Checkout

 

 

Bakery Section
Bakery Section

 

Grocery Aisles
Grocery Aisles

 

Dairy Aisle
Dairy Aisle

 

Scanning the products
Scanning the products

 

 

 

AQUAVATOR

Dive deep into the earth’s core via an elevator to see the geological layers. Seeing the Megalodon was sheer fun.

 

AquaVator Entrance
AquaVator Entrance

 

Inside the cool AquaVator Room
Inside the cool AquaVator Room

 

 

4D THEATRE

Watch a sweet short movie in the awesome 4D Theatre.

 

glasses

 

 

SANTA ANA WINDS CAPSULE

Stand inside a capsule and enjoy the 70mph Santa Ana Winds.

 

 

Santa Ana Winds Capsule
Santa Ana Winds Capsule

 

Santa Ana Winds Exhibit
Santa Ana Winds Exhibit

 

 

PLANETARY RESEARCH STATION

Observe weather patterns, historic storms, earthquakes on a suspended earth globe.

 

Mercury
Mercury

 

 

Planets
Planets

 

ROCK WALL

Climb the rock wall using only the highlighted rocks.

 

Rock Wall
Rock Wall

 

 

SCINCE OF HOCKEY (LA KING)

 

Looking up towards the Hockey Exhibit Upstairs
Looking up towards the Hockey Exhibit Upstairs

 

Enjoy a virtual hockey game. Be a goalie, or climb aboard the Zamboni Machine and get a picture taken.

Zamboni Truck
Zamboni Truck

 

Be a Goalie
Be a Goalie

 

 

 An indoor cafeteria “BEAN SPROUTS” offers a variety of healthy options which can be enjoyed by both the adults and the kids.

 

Bean Sprouts Cafe
Bean Sprouts Café

 

Don’t forget to stop at the “ELEMENTS” gift shop for a take home memory.

 

Elements Gift Shop
Elements Gift Shop

 

 

Overall I think its a nice, educational fun activity place for the kids. Do bring them at least once and let them decide on their own which exhibit is their favorite and with the ongoing ticket deal and the winter wonderland exhibit opening on 17th where the kids can enjoy snow sledding, snow tubing and other snow activities, this is one fun place to be this winter.

Winter Wonderfest

 

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GREAT WOLF LODGE WATER PARK

It was my son’s birthday recently and being a water lover we decided to do some fun water-activities with him.  The weather of Southern California is soo beautiful year-long that the concept of an indoor water park is rather alien to the residents. That is why when my good friend mentioned this park I didn’t know a great deal about it. After an online search, we decided to surprise my son by celebrating his birthday at the Great Wolf Lodge.

 

great-wolf

 

 

Water Park Drone View (From their website)
Water Park Drone View (From their website)

 

Great Wolf Lodge is Southern California’s first and only indoor water park. It is part of a chain of 15- water resorts spread all over the country.The 603-suite hotel and 105,000-square-foot water park opened its doors earlier this year and since then has been the talk of the town. It is located at 12681 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840 just 5 miles from Disneyland and 17 miles from Knott’s Berry Farm.

 

 

Street named "Great Wolf "
Street named “Great Wolf “

 

The only way to enjoy the water park is to book a room in the hotel or if someone you know is already checked-in, you can go to the park as their guest after paying and getting a day pass.

 

Front of Hotel
Front of Hotel

 

Entrance Door
Entrance Doors

 

The best part is that even if you plan to stay for one night, you can enjoy the water park after you check out too.

 

Giant Spider Web
Giant Spider Web

 

 

Giant Spider on the ceiling
Giant Spider on the ceiling

 

Upon arrival we headed for the hotel lobby which was decorated with the Halloween Theme. A giant spider-web and ultra giant spider adorned the lobby. The front desk staff was super friendly and we all got wolf headbands as a welcome gesture. The birthday boy got a special birthday headband.

 

Headbands....Orange for everyone and grey one birthday guests
Headbands….Orange for everyone and grey one for birthday guests

 

 

Trick or Treat Horror HOuse
Trick or Treat Horror House

 

 

Spiders Everywhere
Spiders Everywhere

 

Bear in the lobby Area
Bear in the lobby Area

 

Great Wolf Lodge water park wristbands are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device).  No need to carry cash or room keys. The wristband is used to open your suite door as well as charge food and beverages on your account. How cool is that? No more kids fighting that its my turn to use the card to open the door 🙂

 

RFID bands
RFID bands

 

 

You can choose between standard rooms and themed rooms. The themed rooms have bunk beds and a separate TV just for the kids.

 

Hallways
Hallways

 

Standard Room
Standard Room

 

 

Sweet Toiletries
Sweet Toiletries

 

 

Coffee & Haribo Gummies
Coffee & Haribo Gummies

 

 

Themed Room
Themed Room

 

Throughout the hotel there are interactive stations which are triggered by wands (need to be bought separately from MagiQuest Shop). You can become a Master Magi by playing three levels of this interactive game. The kids can keep the wands as souvenir when they check out and can always bring them back with them if they revisit.

 

 

 

Interactive Magic Quest Screens
Interactive MagiQuest Screens

 

 

interactive-screen-throughout
Another Quest interactive Screen

 

 

Club House Crew
Club House Crew

 

 

The water park is located on the lower level. Besides the water park there a lot of activities on the dry land too like Howly Wood XD Theatre which is a 4-D thrill ride, Ten-Paw Bowling Alley with half-length lanes for young kids, a full-fledged gaming arcade and loads of other fun activities. There is a cute Scoops kids Spa for mommy-daughter bonding time where they can enjoy manicure and pedicures. Kids can enjoy storytime and other fun activities with special appearance by the Great Wolf Kids characters like Wiley or Violet.

 

 

Arcade
Arcade

 

 

MagiQuest
MagiQuest

 

Story Area
Story Area

 

 

Scoops Spa
Scoops Spa

 

 

There are a lot of dining options including Lodge Wood Fire Grill, Hungry as a Wolf Pizza, Loose Moose Buffet Style Family Kitchen and to go eateries like Dunkin Donuts and Bear Paw Sweets & Eats. Buckets is the only restaurant located inside the water park serving burgers, sandwiches, salads and other goodies if you want to eat without leaving the water area.

 

 

Wood Fired Grill
Lodge Wood Fired Grill

 

 

Bears Paw Sweets
Bears Paw Sweets

 

 

Dunkin Dpnutd
Dunkin Donuts

 

 

And there are lovely shops like Buckthorn Exchange and Bear Essential Swim Shop to get awesome swim gear or lodge-themed clothing and accessories, jewelry, totes, books, kitchen ware, frames and toys as memories when you leave.

 

Buckthorn Exchange Gift Shop
Buckthorn Exchange Gift Shop

 

 

Lovely Merchandise
Lovely Merchandise

 

 

Clothes
Clothes

 

 

There are loads of attractions within the water park which will cater to all ages. From slides like howling tornado, coyote canyon, river run canyon, to floating lily pads to check out your balance while walking on water, to lazy river where all you need is a tube to chill in, to wave pool where artificial waves are made every 5 minutes, to flow boarding. There are soo many water activities to choose from. There is towel area where you can get fresh towels so there is no need to bring your own towels. Lockers are available for rent to store your valuables. There are showers and restrooms inside the park.

 

 

Entrance to the Water Park
Entrance to the Water Park

 

 

Exit
Looking towards the exit from inside the park

 

 

Rules
Rules

 

 

Cub-Paw Pool
Cub-Paw Pool

 

 

Tubes going up for Coyote Canyon
Tubes going up for Coyote Canyon

 

 

Flowboarding
Flow boarding

 

 

Fort Mackenzie
Fort Mackenzie

 

 

Side View of Fort Mackenzie
Side View of Fort Mackenzie

 

 

Chinook Cove
Chinook Cove

 

 

Slap Tail Pond
Slap Tail Pond

 

 

Water Park View
Water Park View

 

 

Crooked Creek
Crooked Creek

 

 

Buckets....The only inside restaurant
Buckets….The only inside restaurant

 

 

Lockers
Lockers

 

 

 

Not in a mood to go on the slides? No problem. Chill in the Cool Rental Cabanas or head outside to the Racoon Lagoon for a zero-depth-entry paradise offering a four-foot deep end, geysers, fountains with plenty of poolside seating for soaking up the sun.

 

Racoon Lagoon
Racoon Lagoon

 

I highly suggest getting their Breakfast package. Breakfast is served 7-11 am on the weekends and is buffet style in the Loose Moose Lodge Dining Area. There is a large variety of food options to choose from. You can get an omelets made fresh according to your own liking or enjoy oatmeal and other delicacies.

 

Loose Moose Dining
Loose Moose Dining Area

 

 

breakfast-buffet
Buffet Style Breakfast

 

 

bagels-and-muffins
Bagels and Muffin Corner

 

 

Fruits Corner
Fruits Corner

 

 

breakfast-stuff
Eggs, Sausage, French toast, waffles and much more

 

 

So if you haven’t already put Great Wolf Lodge on your “Must Do” list, now is the time to do it. A great indoor water experience where the whole family will have fun. Be it for a celebratory reasons or just for a relaxing family weekend getaway, Great Wolf Lodge is one fun place to try.

 

Till next time
Till next time….

 

 

 

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9 Allergy-Free Halloween Candy Brands

Halloween is just around the corner and every year around this time I start freaking out. With so much candy flowing in and out of the house, and a sneaky kid with food allergies, it’s just hard to keep track of what he puts in their mouth.

I have read articles which say to keep safe by having  some non-candy options like pretzels or stickers etc., but lets be honest who are we kidding. Put a bright red Skittles pack on one side and a mini Halloween pretzel pack on the other, and honestly tell me which one will your kid choose….which one will you choose?

Every year I see addition of more brightly colored candies to the Halloween bowls which scares me more. Why are the companies adding so much artificial dyes to the candy? By now we all know the side effects of these dyes and the problems they cause but that my friends is a topic to be discussed later. Let’s get back to what the kids can safely have on Halloween.

Kudos to these companies for coming up with products which give parents like me the peace of mind and let the kids with food allergies enjoy some Hallowwen candies like typical kids. Best part is, that most products from these companies are:

 

GLUTEN FREE
-DAIRY FREE
-PEANUT FREE
-DYE FREE
-CORN SYRUP FREE

 

yumearth-logo

1. YUMEARTH ORGANICS

No artificial ingredients and with yummy flavors, this is a must try brand. If your kids love lollipops then this brand is for you. They also have Organic Drops, Organic Fruit Snacks, Organic Sour Beans.

 

yumearth-organics

 

 

 

 

 

 

lovely-candy-logo

2. LOVELY CANDY Co.

A premium candy company with vegan fruit chews and gluten free licorice. The caramels are not dairy free so if your kid is sensitive to dairy, try their dark chocolate mint truffles instead.

 

lovely candy co samplerjuicy-chews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 logo-surfsweets

3. SURF SWEETS

Surf Sweets have a whole range of gummy treats from rings to jelly beans. They are made with organic fruit juice. Most of the products have no gelatin so if you are looking for halal options for jelly beans….rejoice.

 

surf-sweet-treats

 

 

 

gleegumlogo

4. GLEE GUM

Glee Gum is natural chewing gum made without preservatives, artificial flavorings, colorings, or sweeteners (no aspartame). It is the only Non-GMO Project Verified gum on the market, with 6 classic flavors that are also the only Fair Trade gum. It is not corn- free but is vegetarian.

 

glee-gum-pops glee-gum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

enjoy-life-logo5. ENJOY LIFE

Enjoy Life Foods offers 46 different allergy-friendly products, including cookies, snack bars, seed and fruit mixes, baking chocolate, chocolate bars and snack chips so you have plenty of options to choose from.

enjoy-life-chocolate enjoylife-mini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

trujoy

6. TRUJOY SWEETS

TruJoy Sweets candies are made with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients without corn syrup or artificial colors and flavors. Organic sweeteners are used to create a healthier and better tasting product which is vegan and kosher.

 

trujoyfruitchewslg trujoy_candycanes trujoychocochews

 

 

 

 

 

 

torie-howard_logo

7. TORIE & HOWARD 

With all natural ingredients, Kosher certified, free of any preservatives, additives,
artificial flavoring, chemicals or dyes, allergy friendly, these organic candies are to die for.

 

torie-hard-candu torie-soft-chews

 

 

 

 

8. NO WHEY! FOODSno-whey-logo

Allergen free Vegan Chocolate products without the compromise in quality. Great Halloween collection including but not limited to chocolate coffins, spiders etc.

 

halloweenfigures no-whey-no-nos peanotcups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

littlesecrets_logo9. LITTLE SECRETS

There are my kids latest favorite. They are perfect replacement for M&Ms. The candies are not certified gluten free but do not contain any gluten. They use turmeric to make yellow, beet juice for red, spirulina for blue, pumpkin, carrot, and radish for orange, and red cabbage juice for purple. Some of their products do contain dairy so make sure to read the label. The ones below do not contain dairy.

 

 

classic-dark little-secrets-llc-premium-chocolate-candies-dark-chocolate-raspberry sea-salt-little-secret

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Water Balloons-Fun Activity for the Whole Family

Yes…I know…I know. You will be saying that summer is almost gone and fall is just around the corner and now I am talking about Water Activity?? In my defense, we were soo busy enjoying and playing with these water balloons that I had to wait for my clothes to dry up so I could share the fun with you  🙂

We got these water balloons over the summer break for my kids. Filling the balloons and tying them with hand was getting really challenging because you can imagine, kids don’t ask you to tie one…its at least 30 if not more and the truth is half of them pop while tying and you have to start from scratch.

Who ever came up with this “Balloons that tie themselves” idea was pure genius and then decided to sell it to parents like us, makes them Super Heroes.

These are fairly simple to use. The kids can attach them to the end of the hose themselves, turn the water on and then the magic happens. Its better to have a container to collect them once they fall of the straws, we were too lazy so we omitted this step. (To be honest I can never find anything in my house when I need it….I think we have a ghost problem!)

This activity is soo much fun that I am the biggest kid standing around the hose, watching with with my mouth open, waiting for the magical moment to happen when the balloons fall off the straws “TIED”.  WOW!!!!

Unfortunately the ones we got are no longer available. Here is the link to a similar one…..  WATER BALLOONS.

 

Sneak peak at the fun:

 

 

 

 

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THE AUTISM REVOLUTION

The Autism Revolution Book Cover The Autism Revolution
Martha Herbert, Martha R. Herbert, Karen Weintraub,
Health & Fitness
Ballantine Books
March 12, 2013
320

I first came across this book in 2014 while reading an article on a website, but for some reason I forgot about it. A few months ago I was listening to a podcast on Dr. Mercola's website when it was again mentioned and without wasting a moment I ordered it.

The book is written by Martha Herbert an M.D from Harvard Medical School. I was pleasantly surprised that she doesn't take the typical route of nothing much can be done about autism, instead delves deep inside and tries to explain what is going on inside. The book is written in a very positive manner which speaks hope and is very informative in explaining what happens in an autistic body. The passion of the author can be felt in the words which show that she cares deeply about this topic.

The book is very well researched and contains many valid points. Dr. Herbert's main focus is on the diet and it makes complete sense to me. Like the saying goes Garbage in...Garbage Out, food plays a vital role in helping these kids which generally holds true for anyone, even us. She further goes on and tries to explain why removing toxins can help reduce the stress on the body.

The book contains personal stories of kids on the spectrum. It is the most sensible book on biomedical intervention. How, by tweaking a bit here and there, were the parents able to see some wonderful results. It is not a book which can be read in a hurry. Rather one where you will constantly be making side notes and scribbling things which you either did not know and want to try, or something you knew but had slipped your mind.

I really think this a must read if you have a kid on the spectrum or you know someone and wish to understand them better. My only negative remark is that I was wishing that the author would dig deep into other aspects besides nutrition and toxins too and give some practical strategies about how to deal with issues like sleep or major behaviors. That being said, these things should not stop you from buying this book, because it truly is very informative.

The appendices is full of useful tips and data tracking charts. All I will say in the end, is that it is one of those books which should be a part of your personal library because you will actually gain a lot from it, and if correctly applied you will definitely see some results, and for parents of autistic kids, we all know that even a small improvement means a huge victory.

 

 

 

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