Lindsay Gill

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

10 Nut Free snacks when you're on-the-go featuring Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks

This post was sponsored by Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

From our usual 6 am or earlier wake up call from Luke ("Moooooooooooom, Daaaaaaaaaaaad, Mooooooooooooom, Daaaaaaaaaaaaaad, Mooooooooooom, Daaaaaaaaaaaaaad," in a monotone repetitive alarm-like noise) to the start of our bedtime routine 12 hours later, we are on-the-go. Whether it is to work, to preschool, to visiting family and friends, to swim lessons, to music class, or to the grocery store, we seem to be in constant motion.  

The key to healthy eating while on-the-go is preparation. We try to get our grocery shopping done before Monday begins and have an idea of what we will eat each day.  With Sophie's new peanut allergy diagnosis, meal and snack preparation has been especially important. 

I have learned that having snacks in the stroller when on a walk, in the diaper bag when grocery shopping or at lessons, and in the car on trips, is necessary in keeping our balance between the simple and healthy lifestyle we want with the things that we want and need to do. Having a nut free snack ready for Sophie on the car trip to Buffalo, for example, would have been such a victory compared to the hectic search for something at the crowded rest stop. 

Here are some nut free snacks that are kid-approved in our house (check the particular brand to ensure that they are peanut free):

1.  Cucumbers cut into "sticks."

2. Chips made from vegetables. There are some in stick form, some in character form. 

3.  Clementines. These are such a hit. 

4. Cheese stick or wrapped cheese slices.

5. Raisins.

6. Yogurt. 

7. Popcorn for older kids.

8. Dried fruit sticks. 

9. Pretzels.

10.  All Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks. 

Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks were introduced to us in perfect timing since the brand is 100% nut free. It is so nice to know that we can trust the brand, have four different flavor options (Sea Salt, Salt & Pepper, Cinnamon, and Dutch Cocoa), and still give the kids a snack that is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and healthy fats. 

The main ingredient is sunflower seeds which are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The company is non-GMO verified which isn't as common as we'd like to think nowadays. These snacks are certified vegan (though not gluten-free, paleo, or organic). John Paul and I both pack them for snacks or lunches on workdays, too. The snack size option helps us with portioning, too.  Per serving, Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks contain 150 calories, 5-6 grams of natural plan-based protein, and less than 3 grams of sugar! There are two sizes: 6 oz. and 1 oz.. 

Luke and Sophie each have multiple friends with multiple allergies, so I like having Somersaults Crunchy Bites as a safe and school friendly snack on hand. I have had to decline play date invitations when the kids are hungry but I'm not prepared with a nut free snack for them to bring. Having extra Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks in the car is a huge convenience for us!

Personally, I am loving the cinnamon flavor. They go really well with my morning coffee on the way to drop Luke at school! (The Dutch Cocoa is a close runner up!)

Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks are available online and in-store at select Target and Whole Foods Market retailers. Here's the store locator to find them near you.  Learn more about Somersaults Sunflower Seed Snacks on their website, Facebook page, and Instagram

Monday, December 5, 2016

Guest post by Erin: Work-at-home Mom with LuLaRoe and a GIVEAWAY!

I asked Erin to do a guest post because I'm so interested to hear how life is as a work-at-home mom! I met Erin years ago when we worked at the same dental practice. We crossed paths again when we each started a blog around the same time. We have crossed paths again now that she is my LuLaRoe consultant! I now have two pairs of leggings, a Sarah cardigan, and a Mae dress for Sophie! Without further ado, here's Erin!
Have you heard of the LuLaRoe craze? Those buttery soft leggings? The comfy Carly dress that women are swooning over? The Cassie, aka, the perfectly fitting AND comfortable pencil skirt? (Did you know there was such a thing)?! If you have tried on or own any LuLaRoe items, you know exactly what I mean about how amazing the clothing line is…if you haven’t, you have no idea what you are missing!  
I fell in love so hard that amongst a busy life with two toddlers, a part time marketing/management position, a home to take care of and dabbling in some other #momlife things like blogging, working out, play dates and kids activities to name a few, I decided to take a chance and jump aboard the LuLa train and start my own business….at the SAME time as having my third baby. Ok, it was two weeks after she was born, but still! Crazy I know but it’s been an amazing experience! With a three week old strapped to my body, UPS dropped off a delivery of 400+ clothing items!  I spent 8 hours photographing and getting ready to launch my business and now I’m full blown in it! Four months later I now am a Mom of three and work 100% from home running my own business (helping women feel confident and beautiful - it's actually my job - pinch me!) and helping other women with the same desires to work at home launch their businesses and it’s nothing short of AMAZING! I can’t even believe this is real life.

Here are some things about LuLaRoe and why I love it.  It's more than just the amazing clothes!  The mission is “where through fashion we create freedom, serve others and strengthen families. A place where lives are being blessed and dreams achieved through love, confidence, purpose and growth.”  This mission totally struck a cord with me because I have been searching for an opportunity where I can work from home making an actual income (not just extra cash) to help support my family while being with my children and work on MY time but also be able to do something positive and spread positivity! It’s been amazing because LuLaRoe has met all those goals!  One of their missions is to bless others and this business has allowed me to give back to multiple charities already and give away free clothes to bless others which makes my heart happy! :)
Another thing I love is that women feel so comfortable in the clothing. As a woman and having gone through 3 pregnancies, I know first hand the insecurities that women have and how amazing it is to find clothing lines and styles that flatter every body type and this line achieves that. There is something for everyone and sizes range from XXS – 3XL! The company is also very fashion forward!  At New York Fashion Week this year, women were seen wearing a pleated knee length skirt (specifically Victoria Beckham) which is identical to our Jill skirt and has been in production for over a year now!  LuLaRoe is staying ahead of trends!
The items are also “one of a kind” or known as “unicorns.” This is because LuLaRoe makes only 2,500-5,000 of each print, spreads it across all styles, is shipped to consultants across the United States and then never creates an item with that print again.  So, if you see something you love, you better claim it because the chance you will see it ("your unicorn") again in your size are slim to none!  This almost guarantees that you will not have the same item as someone else you know!

This has been a great business for my family and a way to teach my 4 and 5 year old basic work skills.  Specifically my daughter loves being my “business partner” in this. (She is asking me if she can do a live sale with the kids clothes soon! Stay tuned for that)!  I will give them tasks and give them $1 to save.  Believe it or not, it’s actually very helpful. Everything from sorting new inventory and counting the piles to compare to the original order, opening items, folding items, hanging items, handing me hangers. All these tasks are ways that my kids can be involved in my work day and they actually enjoy being my little helpers and I can be WITH them! Win Win!  And of course, being a Mom of three I also have to mention that the kids clothes are adorable! ;) My daughter who only wears leggings calls her LuLaRoe leggings her "comfy leggings."

I have met so many amazing women and grown relationships with other consultants and customers which has been so fun! I even met a 2nd cousin who happened to be added to my online shopping group by her friend! How ironic is that?! I am loving this business and the opportunity it brings to my family and is absolutely perfect for me at this phase of life!

My suggestion to you is if you have a goal, a dream or a desire, to jump in without doubting yourself.  Take a chance because it may be the best decision of your life!  If it doesn't work out, a lesson will be learned and you will be a more knowledgeable person.  If I had doubted myself too much, second guessed my decision, quit when things felt crazy (remember, I did have a 3 week old when that shipment came!!) or I didn't think outside of the box, I would be in a much different place right now.  But now, Monday mornings I can wake up and make my kids pancakes because I have the time, I can be at the bus stop before AND after school...every single day.  My husband and I get more time together because I'm home and can decide when I work.  I am so very thankful that I took a chance and I encourage you to take a chance on something too! It might just best the best decision of your life! ~Erin Leigh
If you would like to join my shopping group to see what this is really all about, you can join my Facebook group, follow on Instagram, or contact me via email at
And now for your chance to win $25 to spend during one of Erin's pop-up shopping on her Facebook page! See @lindsaykgill on Instagram for details! Be sure to "like" Erin's LuLaRoe page as she will often has free shipping, sales, and giveaways, too! Giveaway will run until 12:00 am EST Sunday December 11, 2016. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

(Easy) Gift Guide for Men and Women

Need a gift for someone who a man or woman in your life who is tough to buy for? Here are some ideas! This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support.

1. An Audible subscription: Perfect for the friend with a long commute.

2. Beer of the Month Subscription: A great way to try new drinks, and great for someone who doesn't need any more things.

3. Stitch Fix gift certificate: Now offering men's clothes as well! Let Stitchfix pick out the perfect present for your special someone! I've kept a unique blouse and some great jeans from Stitch Fix so far.

4. Present Over Perfect: I am loving this book! We are in a time when racing to the next activity and being busy is so glamorized. This book is about slowing down and saying "no" to busy.

5. Name Ring: The artist is a friend, and I wear mine every single day. If you don't have their ring size, she offers a gift card to her store!

6. Stanley coffee thermos: This has been one of John Paul's favorite gifts! He loves hot coffee and this thermos keeps it that way!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A gift guide for children 3-5 years old

I find that once my children pass a certain age, I can't remember anything about that age. Their likes, their toys, their milestones... Here's to hoping that is normal "mommy brain." But I wanted to document all of the items that have been great for Luke especially at this age. He is almost 4. Here are ten things that I would recommend getting as a gift for children age 3-5. There are affiliate links in this post, thank you for your support. 

1.  Growums: I got the Fruit Cup Garden for our niece and I just love the concept! This is a gift that can be enjoyed even after the thrill of the holidays has passed! There are such cute options like grow your own pizza or stir fry. This is also available as a school fundraiser!

2.  Mix and Match Vehicles: This is one of Luke's favorites. You can interchange the parts to create different vehicles, and there are multiple sets. It can entertain him for a while!

3.  Plasma Car: This was recommended by lots of mom friends as one of the coolest toys and seems to stay "cool" and appropriate even as they get older (and bigger.)

4. National Geographic Kids Subscription: There are so many "why" questions at this age, these are filled with such interesting topics.

5.  MagnetiBook: A portable and fun activity that also helps with fine motor skills.

6.  Water Wow! Activity Books: These are perfect for church or the doctor's office. Keeps the kids busy, reusable, and educational. There are many themes to choose from!

7.  Magna-Tiles: These are all the rage at home and at school. Kids of all ages love these. Though there are other cheaper brands, these seem to have the strongest magnets, and are said to be worth the price!

8.  Little People Play House: Santa is bringing this for Sophie this year! Can't wait to see what she thinks.

9.  Tegu Blocks: Pricey but supposedly worth it. Just look at the reviews! Santa is bringing these for Luke this year.

10.  ALEX color changing markers Luke is so interested in colors and mixing colors right now (and selfishly, I have wonderful memories of these types of markers from childhood!)

10 things to know once your child is diagnosed with a peanut allergy

Sophie was recently diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I had read that early peanut exposure is now recommended, as opposed to waiting as recommended with Luke. We gave her a bite of Bamba, an Israeli peanut butter snack. She developed 2 small bumps under her chin. I was in denial and wrote it off as heat rash, and even hoped for a quick second that we didn't have bed bugs (???). Then, she had a bite of toast with peanut butter on it, and developed a full body rash. My mom quickly gave her a bath and gave her Benedryl, which luckily took care of her symptoms.

We told the Pediatrican who referred us to an allergist. For those in the area, we saw Dr. Bayuk who came highly recommended by a close friend. When we arrived, they took a quick history and then set her up for a skin test to confirm the allergy. She had to have her shirt off, and could not touch her back for 15 minutes, even though it may feel itchy. The nurse took the small piece of plastic with 6 different allergens and pushed it into her back. She barely noticed. She did seem to get uncomfortable by the end of 15 minutes. The peanut test was visibly positive, but luckily negative for the other 5 allergens.

Dr. Bayuk sent us home with an EpiPen. I wasn't armed with questions, mostly because I was in denial and expected different news. I did not feel like I was qualified to be driving home with a girl with a peanut allergy.

I reached out to some fellow moms and the pediatrician and learned so much in the next few hours.  I wanted to share their experience and advice, because it can be an overwhelming diagnosis. (I am not not a doctor and am not qualified to give peanut allergy advice.)

1.  It is possible they will outgrow this. 20% of kids will outgrow it. This is a scary allergy because it is in the most likely to be anaphylactic.

2.  All packaged food sold in the USA is required to label for the top 8 allergens including peanuts. But the law doesn't require that they label for all cross contamination (made in a factory or made on same equipment with). For example, Dunkin Hines don't say "contains peanut" but when you speak to the company, they cannot guarantee this because they are made on the same equipment.  Pillsbury and Betty Crocker are said to be safe, though.

3.  Some allergists are doing treatment called OIT to slowly desensitize patients. The process usually takes about a year. The child gets a daily dose of peanuts and is observed for two hours, no running around or hot baths during that time.  Our allergist did not mention this to us yet, he told us to return for a recheck in two years.

4. Sophie is only one, so I just ordered her a medical alert bracelet. This is the one I got her (in pink of course), but there are so many choices, even on Etsy.

5.  There are many support groups on Facebook and blogs to help. They can be frightening, but good resources. Here are a few: Peanut Allergy MomPeanut Free GaryNo Nuts Moms Group, and Dining Out with Food Allergies. There is also an app (I haven't used it yet) called Allergy Eats which seems to be useful when eating out.

6. There is an EpiPen which can be about $600 or an off-brand kind that is closer to $200 (depending on insurance.) If you register the EpiPen, you receive a free carrying case. Ours is bright yellow which helps to see it in the diaper bag. There is a Savings Card on their website which can also be helpful depending on insurance. I was told to keep the EpiPens as a pair because it is possible that the child would need a second dose in some cases, but I also heard that the second dose should only be given by a medical professional. Be aware that EpiPens do expire. My friend has an EpiPen in every room which seems ideal!

7.  There are many peanut free options like SunButter. There are companies that specialize in peanut free snacks! Also PNot Box and Skeeter Nut Free and Don't Go Nuts (we haven't tried these yet). There is also a company in Canada, I'll update this when I remember the name!

8. Travel with extra safe food always. I don't like trusting that people have read labels for me. Some family members have been bringing the package labels which was so thoughtful. We stopped at a rest stop on our trip to Buffalo and I felt so unprepared. Sophie was starving and I had to have her wait while I searched for a safe option. Next time I'll have prepacked food ready for her.

9. Our allergist told us to use Zyrtec rather than Benedryl due to Sophie's age. We keep it in our car and home.

10. You have to be a good advocate for your child! I've had to ask people to put food away, to not go near Sophie, and to leave their things outside of my house. It is awkward, but it has to be done. Good friends and family want to do what's best for your child and will do whatever they can to make things safe and comfortable. The allergies are so common that most schools are very aware and trained about allergies. I'm surprised that even Luke is very aware about Sophie's allergy and asks questions to try and keep her safe. Remember to train your babysitters and family on how to use an EpiPen, where they are located, and have a plan in place.

Please let me know if you have anything to add to this!