NYC Allergy Mamma

Best NYC soda, beverages, food allergies, Halloween, mom, New York City, NYC, Pumpkin Picking, Uncategorized

Last weekend was quite the “Allergy Mamma” experience. I had the joy of seeing kids get together to support food allergy kids and then later we had a complete restaurant fail.

teal

A Teal Pumpkin? What is that? Well, I’ll happily tell you 🙂

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way to help kids with life threatening food allergies (1 in 13 kids have them) be safe and enjoy Halloween.  The idea is, instead of offering just candy at Halloween you can also have a stash of non-food treats available for kids with food allergies. They’ll know you have them available because you have a teal pumpkin (and maybe a little sign too) out on display.   This year I’ll have 156 Piece Mega Halloween Toy Novelty Assortment; 12 Halloween Ducks, 12 Halloween Pencils, 12 Halloween Sticker Sheets; 48 Halloween Erasers; 72 Halloween Glitter Tattoos!! and 8″ LumiStick Brand Glowsticks Glow Stick Bracelets Mixed Colors (Tube of 100) available, plus candy. Don’t worry non-food allergy friends, no one is trying to take candy out of Halloween, The Teal Pumpkin Project just wants to help more kids be able to safely participate in the holiday just like “all the other kids”.

When visiting Hank’s Pumpkintown (you can read about it here) we bought a bunch of extra mini pumpkins and got together with friends to paint them teal! We went to the Food Allergy Research & Education website and downloaded these coloring pages and signs for the kids to work on too.  You can check out their website and get the downloads too at: DOWNLOADS

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Here are the finished products!

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Still working on what to write with the black glitter paint on the tombstone ;)
Still working on what to write with the black glitter paint on the tombstone 😉

The kids used these materials to paint their mini pumpkins (you can click each material and order from amazon.com if you’re interested):
Crayola Turquoise Washable Paint  mixed with Crayola Green Washable Paint

ALEX Toys Artist Studio 15 Colorful Brushes

Teal Glitter

And for the “Crafty” pieces, I used these materials (or similar ones) so that hopefully we can use the pumpkin and sign year after year:

Halloween Decoration Tombstone

The Plump Pumpkin Keepsake

Teal Acrylic Paint

White Nylon Brushes

Black Glitter 3d Paint

I have to keep in mind how great it is that so many people are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, because this next part of our weekend sadly seems to be the norm.

We went to a family lunch at Antonio’s Trattoria. As soon as we sat down the waiter came over. I explained to him that our child has life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame, so while we brought safe food for him to eat, we would like to know if those allergens are in the food we want to order.  If so we would order something else. We also asked that while handling his beverage (water cup and straw) please be sure no one who was handling those allergens touches his cup without washing their hands first or putting on fresh gloves.

The waiter assures me that they don’t serve anything with those ingredients.  I could have just left it at that, but it was an Italian Restaurant and my experience is that they usually have sesame present. So I asked about the sesame specifically again, he said “No – oh except for all the hero rolls.”   – Oh.

Then at that exact moment I happen to look around and notice this:

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Yes, you are correct- those are 6 TUBS of Nutella – a chocolate hazelnut spread.  So I point to them and ask “What about that?”

He tells me that “those just sit there.”

“So you don’t cook with them?”

“Well, we have a Nutella pizza.”

Right. So basically when I first tell him about my child’s LIFE THREATENING allergies, he says they don’t even have those items in the restaurant. Thankfully I kept asking. I have no problem bringing food for my child so that he’s safe everywhere he goes. I do not expect restaurants to stop serving the things they want to serve – but please be knowledgeable about what you’re selling and about the severity of food allergies!

Besides the scary interaction I had with the waiter, I simply can’t recommend this restaurant. The highlight of the meal for me was the bread basket and olive oil. For my entrée I ordered the gnocchi caprese.

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When it arrived my kids asked me what kind of soup I ordered. Umm, I didn’t order soup. I ordered a simple pasta dish and  instead received an inedible vat of slop. The soda was a watered down Diet Pepsi.  My husband had pumpkin rice balls for an appetizer which he said were delicious, but beyond that one dish I say AVOID this place if you happen to be in the Bronx!

Oh what a weekend!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Antonio’s Trattoria

2370 Belmont Ave., Bronx, NY

Fountain Diet Pepsi

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Dazed and Confused Soda Surprises

Best NYC soda, beverages, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

It’s not just kids who get first week of school jitters – moms do too.  At least that’s what I’m going to blame this week’s bout of insomnia on.  It hasn’t been pretty. I’ve been staying up until 4am every night only to wake up 3 or 4 hours later, pretending I’m equipped to face the day.  After a week of this, I am a zombie.  I basically have been doing the bare minimum to get myself ready in the morning, then I actually get all 3 kids (2 preschoolers and a toddler) fully ready and then I sleep walk through the day.

Thursday and Friday I’m not sure how we all made it out the door.

Thankfully we all did and Thursday I was even able to meet up with a friend for a snack (you know, what most people call “let’s get coffee” but I don’t drink coffee).  I wound up ordering this…

panera

…only to realize later that I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch and just mindlessly ordered this as my first meal of the day. (I will say, the vanilla cupcake was delicious. Icing was just sweet enough and the cake was moist and tasty.  The pumpkin cookie was just too cute to pass up, but truthfully didn’t taste as good as it looked.)

I know, I know…who cares?

Well, my new zombie state led me to make a very important soda discovery.  You see, I am a diehard Diet Coke drinker – like take a blood sample from me and you will see that Diet Coke runs through my veins.  For me nothing else compares. Panera only sells Pepsi.  Truth be told, I tend to select eateries that sell Coke products over those that sell Pepsi products, but Panera was close by and I stumbled into it with my good friend.  As I mindlessly took my first sip of the Diet Pepsi, my mind lit up. Could this be? The perfectly chilled, sparkling gush of goodness that I just sipped was Diet Pepsi?  I was expecting this soda experience to be just the hydrating of my body – but no – this was good!  Each sip that followed was too!  I never thought I’d be able to say it – but I found a fountain that makes a very satisfying Pepsi product!

The next day I had another soda surprise…well maybe more like a soda “what the…?”  I was picking the kids up from a class…still sleep walking…searching for a Diet Coke.  In the distance I saw a vending machine.  “Oh thank God!” I thought.  The kids and I raced over only to find this:

what the?

What on Earth type of vending machine selection is this?? Confused, we all just walked away.  I was too tired to use any energy trying to decide which of these 3 soda choices would do.  I’ll go back another time and try one out and report back…but really??

So there you have it. Insomnia brought me 2 new soda surprises…and truthfully all my extra time awake did help me get this blog off the ground.  So CHEERS to insomnia!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Panera Bread

10 Union Sq. East, NYC

Large Diet Pepsi with ice, $2.49

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Other available options at this fountain: Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Tropicana Fruit Punch, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Mug Root Beer, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew & Raspberry Brisk Iced Tea.

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