A guide to recognizing food allergies, for moms (+ FREE egg allergy guide)

| Monday, 5 October 2015

A guide to recognizing food allergies for mom (+ FREE egg allergy guide). When I found out my son is severely allergic to eggs, it quite literally changed our life around, food wise. From cooking, baking and grocery shopping, a lot of habits had to change. Here are few tips and advice for new moms introducing food for the first time to their baby.

As a mother, introducing solid foods to our baby can be quite stressful.

There's literally a bazillion questions we're faced with every single day. When should I start introducing solids? What food should I start with? Why isn't he opening his mouth? Am I giving him too much? Too little? Should he still be drinking milk?

Today, I'll be addressing one question in particular, which happens to be very close to my heart: "How do I know if my child has a food allergy and what should I do?"

I've mentioned quite a few times that my son is allergic to eggs but I don't think I've ever explained exactly how I found out.

Before I get started, I wanted to share a guide I created for you. It explains how to replace eggs in cooking and baking. There's also a section about how to shop for packaged foods with an egg allergy.

Em was 13 months old when we found out. We were having breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants. I hadn't finished introducing all the different foods so I brought his lunch from home. At restaurants, you have no way of knowing what food has been in contact with. So I didn't want to take any chances. I guess on some level, I must have already known he was allergic to something.

Anyway, I started feeding him the meal I brought from home. Looking around, I saw another mom giving her baby (which was much younger then mine) food from her plate. Meanwhile, my son was sitting there, curious, watching us eat our restaurant food with his big brown eyes. In a moment of weakness, I figured what's the harm? So I gave him some of the things I knew he'd already eaten; fruits, bread, potatoes... Nothing happened. So, I followed with crepes, waffles and muffin. We left none the wiser and headed shopping.

We arrived at the store about 20 minutes after we left the restaurant. Em (that's my son's secret code name) had fallen asleep in the car so my husband decided to let him sleep and stayed in the car with him. I went ahead to buy some clothes.

I hadn't been in the store for 5 minutes that my husband called me in panic: "Something's wrong! Quick! Come back! Come back right now!" My heart literally stopped and imploded. I dropped everything on the floor and ran back to the car.

There was vomit everywhere. Literally. On the back car seat, on the baby seat, on my son, on my husband, on the door, on the ground outside the car. I was amazed at how much food there had been in his little stomach.

Naturally, I undressed him and was about to wipe the car a bit when I noticed rashes and swelling in red patches all over his chest, neck, and .... FACE! I could barely see his eyes anymore.

Then I heard it. That sound no mother wants to hear. Wheezing. The kind you get when you have an asthma attack and you feel like someone is crushing your neck. Thankfully, he was coughing, it means your body is still fighting.

I strapped him into his car seat naked and we rushed to the nearest hospital (note: if this happens to you, call the ambulance, don't take your car). Even though the hospital was about 10 minutes away, it was the longest car ride in my life.

As we approached the hospital, his face was so swollen he was unrecognizable. It wasn't long that he stopped coughing and he was changing color. You should have seen me jump out of the car and rush into the emergency.

I didn't even have to say anything, the guard took him and called resuscitation staff stat. Within 1 minute he had 3 pediatrician around him, a shot of epipen, a dose of benadryl and a puff of ventolin.

It was close. VERY close. But our little baby boy was safe.

That story still gives me goose bumps to this day, and it's not something I wish on anyone. Ever. Which is why I'd like to help you identify food allergies.

So, how do you know if your child has a food allergy?

First, it's important to understand that there are different levels of food allergies. Some are very mild, and others are life threatening in a very scary way. Either way, they should be taken very seriously.

1. Introduce foods one at a time

The easiest way to recognize a food allergy for the first time in babies is to introduce foods one at a time.

The first time you introduce a food, there will be no reaction because the body doesn't know the food and doesn't know how to react.

The second time around (I suggest the next day), if there is an allergic reaction, it will be mild, and you'll notice a rash or swelling on his stomach/chest. This could take anywhere from a few minutes to about 2 hours after he ate the food. It's important to check because it'll give you an indication on what to expect the third time you give the food.

The third time is when you can get a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which is life threatening since you can literally stop breathing. If you notice any reaction other than a skin rash, call the emergency. Don't wait!

I suggest introducing the known allergens last, like cow's milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy and fish.

2. Learn how to recognize food allergy symptoms

Since your child may not be able to speak to express how he's feeling, I'm only going to give you the symptoms you can see and hear.

  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Vomit
  • Breathing difficulties, wheezing and coughing
  • Loss of consciousness

3. Know what to do in case of an allergic reaction

If an allergic reaction isn't something you're already aware of and have an epipen for, or if you suspect anything, call a health information line (ours in Quebec is 811). On the other hand, if you see a rapid evolution of the symptoms stated above, call the emergency ambulance service (911 in Canada). You will have enough time to recognize the symptoms and call so don't panic, but don't wait either if you're not sure. Minutes count! In either situation, I suggest notifying your child's pediatrician as soon as possible and meet with him to ask all your questions.

Here are some egg free dessert recipes I've shared in the past that I think you might like:
Egg free vanilla cupcake recipe
Egg free apple upside-down cake
Egg free gingerbread cookie recipe
5 minute homemade chocolate pudding (eggless)
Maple buckwheat crepe recipe (no eggs)

Like I mentioned above, I wrote a 4 page guide for you about replacing eggs in cooking and baking. It also includes a list of synonyms of eggs to look out for when shopping packaged foods.

Do you have any questions about food allergies you'd like me to address? Egg in particular? I'd love to help and answer any questions you might have! Have you ever witnessed a severe allergic reaction?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am simply a mom sharing her experience. If you have any doubts, please contact your medical professional or 911 in case of an emergency.

6 simple ways to get serious about blogging

| Monday, 28 September 2015

Recently, I've been rethinking my whole approach to blogging and I really want to get serious. Things tend to be a bit unpredictable in my part of the woods, but if there's something I know, it's that this little blog of mine is definitely here to stay and I want to start making it meaningful and profitable.

I've come up with 6 simple ways to get serious about blogging and I'd love to share them with you. Let me know if you use any other ways!

1. Make a business plan

Making a business plan is probably the first thing you should do when you're ready to get serious about blogging. It'll help you gain focus and clarity on your goal, purpose, ideal reader and brand. Once I complete mine, I'll share it with you guys so you can see the different aspects it contains.

For now though, if I can suggest one thing, figure out why you blog and who you're doing it for, then create a few associated categories for your articles. That should be plenty to start getting serious about your blog instead of just writing random, unrelated articles.

I have been working on mine for ever and I'm starting to feel like it will never be done. I keep trying to niche myself, but doing it that way just doesn't work for me because my ideal audience and purpose cover a variety of topics.

I want to write about motherhood. Not the usual kind of parenting blog you see around, I want this place to be a hip happening hub for young busy moms, you know, the place where it's cool to hang out and you don't feel like your life is on hold. A place where you go to find quick makeup tutorials, practical style tips, cute DIY decor ideas, easy and delicious recipes, parenting stories and tricks, fun activities you should try, and info on starting your own small blog/business on the side. Anyway, the more I think about it, the clearer it gets, but for now, I'm still experimenting.

2. Brand yourself

A brand is not a blog and it's not a business. It's what makes people think: "Hey, that's -your name here-!"

It's a mix of the fonts you use, the colors you chose, your profile picture, your logo, your tone of voice and many other things.

Are you funny or serious? Do you use vivid or neutral colors? Do you use serif or hand lettered fonts? Are your pictures dark or bright? Are you a story teller or are you more of a "get to the point" editor? All of these things will help you stand out from the crowd and is how your audience will identify you.

I encourage you to explore and experiment, but when you've figured out what works for you, don't forget to adjust your social media platforms accordingly so that they reflect your brand. Don't forget that your brand evolves over time and it's totally OK to re-brand, just make sure you let your readers know.

At first, considering the name I chose for my blog, I wanted a banner that was a bit cartoon-ish with stars and a moon. Now I want something a bit more bright and happy in color, something that conveys trust, womanhood and happiness (I'm still planning on adding stars though, lol). I'm slowly transitioning to a blue, mint and bright pink brand with hand lettering and sans-serif fonts. I want my profile photo to look inviting, trust worthy and fun. Just like my business plan, I'm still figuring everything out, but I like the direction it's taking.

I also suggest getting your own domain, it makes your brand look a lot more professional and official. I personally use Namecheap* and I'm quite happy with their service.

3. Schedule and batch your tasks

Oh my god you guys. I just can't believe I haven't done this from the start. The best investment I have ever made for my blog was pay $10 for Buffer. It allows you to schedule social media posts. The free one only allows for 10 scheduled posts per social account but for $10/month you get 100, plus, you can schedule Pinterest pins too!

There are plenty of other ways you can schedule social media posts around so do some research and find the one that is best for you. I've been hearing good things about Boardbooster* and I'm excited to start using it because it can loop already pinned pins and automatically delete duplicates.

Have you tried it Boardbooster*? Do you like it?

As for writing posts, taking pictures, doing administrative tasks and investing in my ongoing education, I try to batch those as well. I've been trying to post once a week, on Mondays at 10AM. I suggest starting small, 1 a week or every 2 weeks, and working your way up, otherwise you risk getting burned out. When I sit down to write, on that day, I'll write and write and write until I no longer can. That way, I get a rhythm going and I am a lot more efficient.

On another night, I'll schedule as many social media posts as I can; articles from fellow bloggers, my articles, my products, affiliate links, and all that jazz. I used to post 1-10 times a week very sporadically, and now I post every single day about 10 times. Big difference in engagement.

 For taking pictures, it's the same thing. The night I choose to turn my house into a disaster zone and take out all my props and lighting equipment is the night I do it all. Fantastic and again, super efficient.

I try not to be too strict about it though because I like to have a life outside of my 9-5, mommy-hood and blog.  

4. Extend your reach and build community

This is just as important as any of the above mentioned tips. How do you expect people to know you exist if you don't put yourself out there and talk with people. I mean, it's pretty much the same in real life right? If you never leave your house and meet people, no one will know you're there. On the other hand, if you go out, even if it's just to the store, and you greet strangers warmly, eventually someone will remember you and you might even make a friend. It's the same for blogging.

Get out there and comment on other blogs. Share other people's articles and mention them (@name) on social media. Sent them a short email telling them how much you love their work. If you don't already have an email list (Mailchimp* is a great choice), you should make one. It can be a fun way to connect with your readers by asking them question and even sending them free exclusive gifts!

I'm still working on this one but I'm getting a whole lot better. The reason I find it a bit more difficult than the rest is because it's the only thing I can't batch. I kind of have to be present everywhere at all times.

Do you have any tricks you could share about building community?

5. Explore ways to monetize your blog

Isn't this the big million dollar question everyone wants to know the answer to? How can I make money with my blog?

Seriously though, there are so many ways, it's crazy. There's even ways no one has thought about yet. There's the obvious affiliate links, sponsored posts and banner ads but every since I opened up my Etsy shop, I've been wondering if there's more. Sure, I like to promote other people's products and services, and I still plan on doing so, but wouldn't it be more fun to sell and advertise your own?

I've been exploring the idea of creating eCourses and offering consultation services. I just don't know exactly about what yet. My egg free vanilla cupcake recipe is super popular so I was thinking I could start by doing an eCourse about egg allergies as a trial. Let me know what you think or if there's other courses you'd like to see me teach!

How are you monetizing your blog?

6. Invest in your education

I think this is super important. Very few people ever got anywhere without proper education. Think about your current job. You went to highschool right? Maybe you got a certification or went to college? University? That's cool. Well, it's the same for blogging. If you plan on making some money, be it a full time salary or passive income, you'll need to invest in your education.

It could be by reading articles from other well respected bloggers or eCourses. Maybe you need to book some consultations with a professional blogger or small biz owner. Regardless of how you do this, remember that there is always more to learn and the more you learn, the more you grow.

Personally, I invested $50 in the A Beautiful Mess "Blog Life" eCourse and I love it. There are a few other ones I'd love to take, mainly "Pinfinite Growth" by Melyssa Griffin of The Nectar Collective.

So! How about you? What are you going to do to get serious about blogging?

Disclaimer: Links marked with a * are affiliate links. I only promote products I love and use. Thank you for supporting xfallenmoon and it's affiliates. 

DIY: Basic shea coconut lip balm

| Monday, 21 September 2015

Easy and natural, homemade shea and coconut lip balm recipe.

Ever since I made my homemade + natural moisturizing lotion recipe, I've been on a quest to eliminate as many chemicals from my home as possible. Some of it involves making my own products like these homemade baby wipes. I've also been trying out a few cleaning and body care products from different brands.

It's been quite an intense journey to be honest, mainly because my life has been on overload recently, but also because I never realized just how many chemicals are around us on a daily basis, it's actually kind of scary! Anything from our skin care routine, to bathing, to cleaning our home, in our food, even our mattress and our car contains harmful chemicals, can you imagine?

With that being said, I have no intention of turning into a full on Green Holistic Naturalist (or whatever you call people that are 100% natural living) but I do hope to find some kind of balance and be more intentional in my everyday life without compromising my happiness and that of my family. Life is just to short to not enjoy everything you love.

Today I want to share with you a super easy basic shea coconut lip balm recipe. I'm using raw, pure and fair trade Shea butter from Kariderm. It's my absolute favorite product from their company. The texture is super light, it absorbs quickly and has intense moisturizing action. I use it in practically all of my homemade body care products.

Ingredients to make shea coconut lip balm at home. Only 3 ingredients.


1 tsp Shea butter
1 tsp Coconut oil
2 tsp Beeswax (grated)


Glass bowl
Lip balm tube


Heat all ingredients in a glass bowl over a hot pot of water, on low heat. If you have a double boiler, you can use that too. When I'm in a hurry, I do it in small increments in the microwave, but I really don't like using the microwave too much so the stove top is my favorite way. Once everything is melted, mix it a bit, then transfer the mixture to the lip balm tube using the pipette (the recipe is enough for 2 tubes). Wait until it cools and enjoy!

Super quick and easy homemade and natural shea coconut lip balm DIY recipe using shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax. This would make a great last minute homemade gift idea for friends and family.

This is super quick and easy to make and it's surprisingly moisturizing. It's been my go-to natural lip balm for quite some time now and although I keep trying different brands once in a while, I always return to my homemade one. It's also a super fun, thoughtful and intentional gift to make for your friends and family.

What kind of skin care products have you tried making at home?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kariderm. The Shea butter was sent to me at no cost. All thoughts expressed in this post are my own.

Apple upside-down cake recipe (egg free)

| Monday, 14 September 2015

A delicious egg free apple upside-down cake recipe by Julie Claveau or xfallenmoon.

Can you believe the fall season is already here? Where has the summer gone? Time flies so fast around here it's crazy!

We've got so many wonderful things to look forward to this fall I can barely wait for it all. Jumping in gigantic piles of fallen leaves with the kids, decorating pumpkins, layering clothes and of course, visits at the local orchard.

For the past couple of years, at around this time, one of our emerging family traditions is to have a day at the farm, pick apples, eat some freshly picked corn on the cob, and then return home for some canning and baking. It's a lovely day filled with tractor rides, muddy feet and barn animals. Sometimes, the kids even get a pony ride. 

Get your FREE egg allergy cheat sheet
(+ BONUS access to our exclusive resource page
for bloggers and supermoms)

We always come home with a ton of apples and we'll spend the afternoon preparing lots of apple goodies together; apple pies, apple crumbles, apple sauce, and just enjoying apples raw.

I've already shared my go-to apple pie recipe with you and today, I'm going to share our apple upside-down cake recipe, and this one is egg free for those of you with an egg allergy. All you need is my egg free white cake recipe, some apples and spices, and you're ready to go!

What kind of fall activities are you looking forward to this year?

A delicious egg free apple upside-down cake recipe by Julie Claveau or xfallenmoon. A yummy way to use up all those apples you picked from the local orchard.


6 apples
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of brown sugar
Vanilla cake recipe (no eggs)

Apples for an apple upside-down cake recipe.


1. Line a pot with a baking sheet so that your apples don't stick to the bottom of the container.
2. Peal & cut your apples in slices, and put them at the bottom of your pot.
3. Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
4. Prepare the eggless white cake batter and pour over the apples.
5. Bake at 350 degrees Celsius for about 50 minutes.
6. Flip the cake over a plate, remove baking sheet and enjoy! 

home | about | advertise | contact

copyright © 2015 xfallenmoon all rights reserved | designed and coded by julie claveau | best viewed in firefox @ 1280x1024 | hosted by blogger
shoot for the moon, if you miss, you still land in the stars (: