a look into our battle...

For the past 3 years we have had a bit of a battle in our household. I'm now ready to take our experience public, in hopes of helping at least one of you...

Rewind to when Beau was a little over 1 year old, and had the WORST case of eczema. We tried nearly every prescription steroid cream and wash. It provided topical relief, but we could never quite figure out what the actual CAUSE was. He never had that "soft" baby skin...it was always rough & patchy. After the last steroid cream prescription that our pediatrician called in was over $200, I threw my hands up and said THIS IS IT.

Enter the allergist.

I was referred to our current allergist by a friend on Facebook (one of those times that Facebook does good!), and we started our next uphill climb. Allergy testing.

We went into this with a basic blood panel - which tested all the common allergies, for which he was diagnosed with the following: egg, peanut, and dog. 

My brother has a service dog, and given that Beau spends 2 days a week under the care of my mom, I started connecting the dots. Perhaps his eczema WAS related to allergies?!?

Our first allergist appointment was when Beau was 3 years old. Our plan of attack was another blood panel (the first one was done when he was 1 year). The blood panel still was positive for dog & peanut, but no longer egg.

Peanut we can avoid.
Dog we can not.

The allergist put Beau on a regimen of Singulair and children's Zyrtec.

Beau's eczema cleared up almost immediately. 

We have kept him on this regimen every single day since that initial appointment, and his skin is 1000 times better.

We had no reason to test for allergies, until the unthinkable happened. I had taken Beau & Brooks to a friend's house, who also has a young son. The boys were all playing together while us moms talked & I did a little shopping. When it was time to leave, I was buckling Beau in his car seat and he said "mommy, I did not like his snack". I didn't think much of it, and then in the car, Beau said "mommy, my mouth feels weird". Again, didn't think ANYTHING of it, we get home, I put Brooks down for his nap...and Beau comes to tell me "mommy, my belly itches". I finally stopped and listened. I lifted up his shirt & his poor belly was COVERED in hives. His back was covered, his bottom was covered...he was having an allergic reaction. I grabbed Brooks from his bed & we raced to the pediatrician's office which is literally 5 miles away.

At this point, Beau had only 1 twin pack of the EpiPen Jr. (more on this later), but I was not educated in ALL of the warning signs for anaphylaxis. We got right in to the pediatrician, and ultimately, that was THE most expensive dose of Benadryl. When I finally had time to breathe, I texted my friend to find out what her son was eating....CASHEWS.

Hives on his neck

He was breathing fine, which was where I was wrong with warning signs! Hives are normally a first indicator! I had no idea.

We had no reason to test for other nuts....and the allergist does not do random testing "just to see".

I immediately got on the phone with the allergist office, they ordered a blood test to be run. We had those results in a few days: NEGATIVE for cashews.

HOW CAN THAT BE? Beau had head to toe hives. CLEARLY there is an allergy there. The doctor was on the same page as me, the rest of our family thought that I was off my rocker, and that Beau clearly got in to something else.

2 weeks later we found ourselves back at the allergist for Beau's first skin prick test. After a LOT of tears, from both Beau & myself, we walked away with the results: POSITIVE for cashews. The reaction was immediate on his poor back. (More on this later: in regards to prepping for a skin prick test).

First skin prick test, just testing cashews

It was immediate relief, yet also a gut wrenching "oh no". More items that we have to avoid.

The allergist ordered another skin prick test for when Beau turned 5...we recently had that done, along with another blood panel test. He still has ALL of these allergies. Many people ask us "Will he grow out of the peanut allergy?" - - > NO. Chances are good he WILL NOT.

The skin prick test also covered airborne allergens, which we found out Beau is also allergic to such things as ragweed & pig-weed, along with oak tree & Australian pine tree.

He was not excited about this...tears started FLOWING

The start of the test - Beau has to lay flat for ALL of this or the results get skewed. 

About half way through the test - results are becoming more apparent

Final results

I'm not crazy about putting these pictures of Beau out there, but I feel like it's absolutely necessary to drive this home. Allergies are severe & not to be taken lightly. 

I'd love to hear from you! Do you or someone you love face allergies? Our bodies react in different ways - perhaps what you don't think is an "allergy" or something to be concerned about, does require attention! 

disney race: star wars dark side

Well, the running bug is back. A little....

My dad & I recently ran the WDW Star Wars Darkside 5K. We were actually hoping for a 10K race, but per usual with RunDisney at WDW, that race sold out super fast.

Luckily, things have changed and the 5K's are no longer timed races! With this being my first race since 2015, I was very excited to not have it forever on my racing history!

I had 2 main goals with this race:
1. to run / jog the entire time
2. to finish sub 34 minutes

Happy to say, I accomplished both!

My little man also completed the Kids Dash for his age bracket.

Disney gives out the best race medals, hands down....which makes the crowds far more tolerable.

Star Wars drew in a huge crowd, naturally. It was pretty clear that people may have fudged a bit on their "projected finish times" because our corral had a LOT of walkers in it. To the point that my FitBit said I did over 3.5 miles by the time I finished. We did a lot of weaving in & out of people!

The corrals were spaced well. We finished just as the last corral was being released (kinda crazy!).

If you haven't done a Disney race, you should definitely add one to your bucket list!

fitness & motherhood

Catch my latest post on 'Fitness & Motherhood' over at The Mommy Spot Tampa blog!

You can check it out HERE

jeepers it's january - blog hop

Hosted By: The Kids Did It http://thekidsdidit.com
& The Mommy Island http://themommyisland.blogspot.com

Thanks for 'hopping over'!

One winner will receive a Stella & Dot  jewelry travel pouch!

(Jewelry not included)

This fun ikat print makes any day brighter! The jewelry pouch is perfect for any tote you have. It can safely hold all of your jewelry, and is the perfect size for travel. You can see all of its details HERE

Enter below to win:

January Blog Hop

Don't forget to HOP on over to the other blogs for all of the other giveaways!

jewelry gift round up

These are stylist links, it will link back to my stylist website. If you already have a stylist that you love to work with, please take note of the names of the pieces & use your stylist's link. 

I have some gift ideas for you for the ladies in your life! Know their style? Use these handy guides to pick out a Stella & Dot piece that is sure to delight!

Here's the good news! Shop TODAY (December 20th) and you are guaranteed delivery by Christmas with no added cost! (Tomorrow begins the need for expediting!)

Happy Shopping!

techie gift idea + huge savings + a giveaway!

First thing - - in no way am I a "techie"....but I have a few ideas for those of you that are looking for something to gift this holiday season from the Microsoft Store!

I work from home the majority of my week, with my 2 young boys (who are 4 & 2). I need portability. I can not be tied to a desk for all 8 hours of my work day. So for me, laptops & tablets are the way to go. 

Microsoft Store recently launched their new Microsoft Surface Pro - - and in my opinion, really brings the portability that I need. 

I especially love that they have a portable docking system to really turn your tablet into a desktop!

I have been wanting to take my scripting up a notch & do some digital works. The Microsoft Store has a Surface Pen to let me do this! 

It comes with 4 different tips to take you from fine point to bold. 

And check out the Surface Dial! Put this directly on the tablet to adjust volume, change color, or turn your entire drawing! How cool is that? 

Until December 24th, you're able to save $150 on the Microsoft Surface Pro! Fellow bloggers, this may be right up your alley with blogging on the go! I know that my fellow WAHM's would love this....plus my fellow working moms who travel. 

Microsoft offers free shipping & returns. Plus there is an extended holiday return & exchange, for purchases made from November 11th thru December 31st. 

Even if Santa doesn't leave this for you under the tree....you can get your own! Enter the giveaway below to win a $500 Microsoft Store gift card!

(Giveaway open to US ONLY, 18 years and older, Giveaway runs from 12-9, 2016 to 1-6, 2017 11:59 PM EST.  Giveaway will be one $500 Microsoft Store gift card)  

 This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are 

i'm going "there" - - - > bra-blems!

Sorry, this one's for the girls....

Ladies, we have ALL had "bra-blems". You know, those bra problems. Too loose, to gappy, too tight, not enough support....which one do you loathe the MOST?

For me? It's the bra lines. I hate seeing any kind of lines through clothing! What's the point of wearing a bra that digs in to your back fat? Yuck.

Third Love has the remedy, and is not keeping it a secret. In fact, they have this handy guide, that I think you should print out & keep for reference!

Ladies, it is time we make sure those under garments are properly fitting! "Quad boob"??? No thanks!

If you're ready to up your game, take advantage of this exclusive offer from ThirdLove....
all of my readers get 15% off with promo code TLBBOCT16
You can use that promo code on any of their bras!
Check them out: https://www.thirdlove.com/collections/bras

I would love to hear form you! Sound off in the comments....what's your biggest bra-blem? 

beth moore's new study: entrusted

A little back story...before I tell you about this launch team I'm on....when I had my first son, (who is now 4), my world was rocked. As I'm sure every other woman has experienced with their first child! I was working full time, trying to be a mom, and still trying to be a loving wife! Needless to say, it felt like efforts were getting nowhere, the baby blues had beyond set in...and I was just done with life.

It was then the love of God helped my mind refocus. I have been a Christian for many years, but the importance of daily time with God, in His Word, had not been a priority. I shifted my priorities, and realized making Him number one on my "to do" list will cause the other things in life to fall in to place. I started doing Beth Moore studies, on my own. I did jump in to a few studies with my church's women ministry as well. But I spent more time studying on my own.

Fast forward to today....and 2 kids. I now have such a passion for women's ministry - specifically young moms & working moms of preschoolers. Life is tough. Raising toddlers is no joke. But putting yourself on the backburner is not the remedy to "getting through" everything. If you're not healthy, how can you raise healthy kids? If you're not focused on your relationship with God, how can you teach your children to be? Questions I battle every day.

So when the opportunity came up to help launch Beth Moore's new Bible study, Entrusted, I jumped on board!

Here is a video with some teaching snippets, and Beth explaining the study & what it is about.

Here is a quick video on the study, and how it will be formatted....with different options to suit you.

I can not wait to jump in to this study. I'm currently walking through the Armor Of God study by Priscilla Shirer, and facilitating a discussion group with some fellow women whom I love, at my church. I plan on jumping in to the Entrusted study once we break.

So tell me, are you going through a Bible study? Looking to start one? 

stella & dot: fall launch

*Please note, this post contains links which will direct you to my Stella & Dot boutique. If you already have a stylist you work with, consult with him / her for as how to change your stylist setting back to them.*

The fall line from Stella & Dot just launched....here are my top picks for updating your accessories wardrobe!

3 in 1 versatility
"Semi-precious amethyst, sun stone, rose agate, and grey agate beads create a beautiful stationary strand. This versatile piece mixes the movement of a vintage gold tassel with a beaded strand. Wear all together or each strand separately." - Stella & Dot

If you don't own ear climbers, you need to get a pair stat!
They have become such a "go to" piece for me. 

"Our Gilded Path Ear Climber lines the earlobe with vintage gold and a pop of jet black pave." 
- Stella & Dot 

3 in 1 versatility

"Semi-precious amazonite pendant hangs from a shiny silver delicate chain. Wear alone as a feminine pendant or together as a set." - Stella & Dot

If the idea of stacking bracelets causes you stress, mainly in having to figure out what to stack, how to stack, and what piece to get....this bracelet is for you! It's the layered look, but only 1 bracelet!

"Semi-precious hematite, metallic, and shiny silver beads or shiny gold coil wrap bracelet with alternating beads add dimension and interest to this coil wrap bracelet. Finished with delicate mini tassels." - Stella & Dot

What do you find yourself in need of when it comes to your accessories? Gold earrings? Rings? Bracelets? Black bag? Sound off in the comments!

beat the heat: style roundup

Florida is not know for it's "four season" weather. We have hot, hotter, and hell. In July, there is no point in wearing make up...unless you like it melting off.

Since the heat is so bad, the a/c units are kickin' it over time trying to cool us sweaty pigs off. But, we all know what happens when you're dripping with sweat, and you go into a building that is 70 degrees, or under.

You end up freezing!

So, here is my round up for how to beat the heat via your accessories....

Evy's Tree Hoodies

These have become my FAVORITE hoodie. I retired my PINK hoodies....at least wearing them in public...and have now been rocking the Evy's Tree brand. Yes, the price point is higher, but the quality is TOP NOTCH. Store one of these in your work bag / car / backpack, for those days when you will be inside after battling the heat. They are SUPER light weight, and come in such fun colors & designs!

You have a dress code everywhere you go - - so while you want to be naked because you can not fathom wearing any clothing in this 110 degree weather, it's pretty much frowned upon everywhere. (Well, with the exception of certain zip codes that have the "free spirit" developments....you'll have to find those on your own.)

Here's where Kaiya Designs comes in. They have the most comfortable clothing. The pants are my favorite. They look like you bought them at a high end store, but they feel like yoga pants! The material is very light weight & breathable. (I even wore a pair to Disney World!)

The clothes can literally be for casual or dressy occasions!

And the best part? You can customize your inseam on the pants, length on blouses, and sizing on jumpsuits/rompers!!! (Tell Marcy - the designer, I sent you!)

I wear these for Pure Barre, but I LOVE these for layering outside of working out, as well! They are light weight & breathable. A MUST for Florida heat!

You need a dressy, non-flip-flop, shoe. Sorry, welcome to the real world. Luckily, these sandals are dressy enough for work, but also easily dressed down for play. (And they are on sale!!!)

Okay - now here are my 2 cents for the guys. My guys LOVE their Under Armour gear. 
Here are their top picks:
1. For my "big guy", he loves his UA pants
2. The 2 littles LOVE their tshirts
3. The 2 littles also wear the UA shorts a TON!
4. The 'big guy' swears by UA underwear....
    but I was recently told by ESPN radio to check out 
Tommy John the men's underwear company...found them on sale HERE
(if you miss the sale, you can receive 15% off your first order by signing up for emails on the TJ website)

What is "your go to piece" for tackling the heat? 

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