Tag Archives: Tips

Makeup & Allergies

When my son’s multiple allergies were first discovered, I also realized that much of my makeup contained these allergens.   One of the common components in some of my products was oat.  Therefore, I looked for alternatives and was extra careful that it did not touch my son’s skin with them.  If I am home with my son, I do not use any makeup as I find it is best for both of us.

The following article by Allergic Living discusses this topic.   Check it out and smile on with us…

Safe Makeup Tips for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

Makeup & Allergies

Back to the Crucial Basics: How to Use an EpiPen

Whether you have a food allergy or not, it is crucial to understand the basics.   The following link contains valuable information, guidelines, tips, and even a video about food allergies, anaphylaxis, and EpiPens.   Helping in being prepared, we smile on…


Source: https://www.epipen.com/en/

tj cartoon

Survival Guide to Car Rides

During the past year, car rides with my son have been some of the most stressful times.  Right from the start, TJ was never the baby who would sleep in the car.  (I envy you Mamas and Dadas who have that situation!) I use to plan car rides around when he should be napping so that he would have a better chance of sleeping instead of his usual….SCREAMING!!!


Now, I know that I am not alone when I say that one of the most stressful experiences is trying to drive when your baby or toddler will not stop crying.  (Thank you God for protecting us and helping us avoid getting into any accidents.) Even before we knew of his allergies, car rides were not a favorite pastime for TJ.   In fact, I cringed with the thought of even just running a “quick errand.”

Then, November 2014 came and I went back to work after being off for six months of maternity leave. Our morning and afternoon commutes to work and daycare became 40-60 minutes long EACH WAY! Now, TJ wasn’t the only one screaming! It honestly brought out my crazy…


After TJ’s anaphylactic reaction to yogurt, I definitely experienced some post traumatic stress.  I was fearful of EVERYTHING! Every time he cried, fussed, or was not himself, I worried that he was having another allergic reaction even when no food was involved.  Even though I knew my fears were irrational, I could not stop them.

The problem with car rides was that he fussed 99% of time already even before food allergies entered the scene…(okay, maybe 85% of the time.)  Now, I was even more crazed on these daily rides.

Then, it happened! He had a minor reaction due to his skin sensitivities in the car in January 2015. (Read that story here.) Thus, I became even more overwhelmed…

Car rides became rides of great anxiety for me, for us.   I was constantly checking on him and he was now getting himself so aggravated that he was scratching his eczema and making himself bleed.

I needed to change it and bring back my sanity. So that is just what we did.  Together, TJ and I worked to create our very own “bag of tricks” for commutes.   What works one day may not work the next.  However, for the most part, we can find a “trick” or two or TEN each day.



  1. TALKING: I always start the commutes with talking about the events of the day.   Some days it is just my voice (if I remain calm) that will calm my son.
  2. PRAYING: After debriefing, we pray.   We pray for all of our family, friends, for each other, for TJ’s health and safety at day care, for guidance on all of life’s decisions, and for a safe and calm car ride.
  3. RADIO:  Some days we listen and sing along to the Christian radio station in our area.   Regardless, I keep this station on just to calm my nerves. Ha! Either way our local station has truly saved many car rides.
  4. DISNEY CD: A friend gave us this amazing music CD back when TJ was first born and honestly, I don’t know what I would do without it.   Sometimes, after I drop him off at day care, I forget that the CD is still on and find myself singing the lyrics to myself. Ha!CD 1CD 2
  5. LITTLE PEOPLE TOYS/ MINI ELMO: These little people are amazing! Because TJ keeps one or two in his hands, he very rarely scratches at his eczema anymore.   Sure they get thrown and cause some drama sometimes; however, their benefits outweigh those other moments. Fisher-Price’s Little People
  6. SNACKS/SIPPY CUPS: While it does not always work, sometimes leaving his sippy cup or a favorite snack like puffs for the car rides works wonders.   Other times, it causes the need for a huge clean up afterwards.
  7. BUDDY AND PALS: It is no longer just my son and I on car rides.   Buddy and about two of his other pals that TJ picks out before getting into the car usually join us.   By allowing him to chose them, he is less fussy when being put into the car initially.
  8. WORD AND LEARNING GAME: Now that my son is 18 months old, he likes to play games like “pointing to body parts” or “repeat the word or sound after me.”  We have always sang the ABCs on all car rides adding an additional part with words beginning with each letter.
  9. SEARCH FOR AIRPLANES, TREES AND THE SKY: Since he loves to look at airplanes, it is a perfect game to play when it is sunny and clear out.
  10. REMAIN CALM: Trust me I am living proof that it is easier said than done.   However, I have found that even if it is a horrible, horrible day in the car, remaining as calm as possible is best for all of us.   (Of course, I then vent or rather lose it to my husband afterwards. Thanks Hun!)

Don’t get me wrong…we still have fussy days in the car.  However, we both have learned what works for us.   Because of that, we drive and smile on…

tj cartoon

What was/is your experience with your baby or toddler in the car? What strategies or “tricks” do you have?

tipsy tuesdays(2)

Weekly Smiles (Events)

Here is a list of Smiling Away Allergies’ weekly events:

TIPSy Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, I plan to post tips that we have found helpful or something that we have learned during this journey so far. I call it “TIPS”y TUESDAYS not only because I must admit to being a bit corny at times, but mainly because I want to help others be prepared.  Therefore, once a week we will CHEERS to being prepared so we can smile on…

Worry-Free Wednesdays

Each Wednesday I will try to post a quote or lyrics to a song that I find inspirational.  Words that help me see past fear and worry, enabling us to continue to smile on…

Tbt (Throw Back Thursdays)

On some Thursdays, we will throw it back to some of the earlier signs and experiences with food allergies/eczema as well as what we have learned through it. Regardless of what should have or could have happened, we smile on together in trying to educate others about the world of allergies…

Favorite Finds Fridays

I plan to post a “favorite find” on Fridays.  It may not always be directly relate to food allergies and eczema.   However, it will always be something that has helped us a lot with TJ’s experience, allowing us all to smile on in faith…


(Source: http://www.firstcovers.com/userquotes/39076/let+your+smile.html)

Tbt- Dining Out with Food Allergies

Dining out with food allergies has to do with your own comfort level based on individual allergies plus being prepared. With that being said, it’s been over a year since we went out to eat with TJ, (minus one time after the beach when he was napping in his stroller with us.)We simply aren’t ready yet and feel as though he isn’t either being only 16 months and still having many food allergies.

Looking back to before we knew about his allergies, there were a few times we took him with us to eat. We always planned it for a time when he would be taking a late afternoon nap or right before his bedtime. While we would start each dining experience with him in his stroller, usually as we were eating our main course one of us would have to hold him as he started to fuss. Once again, we would continue eating our food while holding him. This is obviously no longer feasible since he is a toddler who is on the move and also has several confirmed allergies.   While we look forward to the day that we all do indeed eat out as a family, we are simply waiting for when it is safest for TJ.

However, just because we aren’t ready yet to hit up a restaurant with our little guy,  doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for when we are. Here are excellent resources that I have found and wanted to share.   We look forward to the days ahead when we will be using these resources too so we have faith and smile on…

Get prepared:

Managing Food Allergies – Dining Out

(Source: http://www.foodallergy.org/)

Test your knowledge: Take the Ingredient Quiz

Ingredient Quiz

Answer Key

(Source: http://www.foodallergy.org/)

This is an awesome guide to allergy-friendly restaurants throughout the United States. (There is also an app for your phone!)

Allergy Eats Website