Friday, February 11, 2011

Navigating Food Allergies: Class Recap

I wrote last week that I was a proud co-host of an online class about cooking for food allergies, and if you didn't attend the class, you missed a lively and interesting discussion covering all kinds of topics, from eating out, to preparing an allergy-friendly kitchen, and even how to handle birthday parties if your child is allergic to something being offered at the party.

However, even if you weren't able to attend, you can still benefit from the information that was shared. A class recap has been posted on and the entire discussion from the class is there as well. If you have a family member with a food allergy, this class is a must-read!

Thanks to, ConAgra and Lori for a fantastic session!

And finally, I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite recipes. My daughter can't tolerate cinnamon, and this french toast recipe is still a favorite of ours, showing that a simple substitution can make a forbidden food OK again. (Courtesy of Stop, Drop and Blog.)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Safer Scented Candles With Scentsy! (Giveaway)

When I was young and childless, I loved candles. I had candles all over my apartment and enjoyed spending evenings surrounded by the warm glow and soft scent of the candles. When I got married, we registered for a frightening number of candle holders and candelabras.

Now that I have pets and kids, candles have become somewhat impractical. I still love the warm glow, still love the way the house smells when scented candles burn, but fire doesn't mix well with young children and small animals. My candles collected dust on the tables, unused except for decoration.

I've missed that sensory experience, but I've found the next best thing with Scentsy. Scentsy is a collection of flameless, scented candles and decorative burners that are perfect for anyone who worries about open flames or hot wax in their homes.

How does it work? The wickless candle, called a Scentsy Bar or a Scentsy Brick, is a highly fragrant wax bar that is warmed to release fragrance into the air. Because the wax is gently warmed rather than burned, it can hold more fragrance oil than a traditional candle. And, because there is no flame, there is no smoke, soot, or lead.

The Scentsy bar is warmed using a low-watt light bulb in a Scentsy ceramic warmer. These warmers come in full-size, mid-size and plug-in models, in designs and colors that would fit just about any interior. Some allow more light out than others, giving you the ability to select the warmer just right for your home.

I selected the Torino full size warmer along with three Scentsy bars: Welcome Home, Christmas Cottage, and Black Raspberry Vanilla. Honestly, there are so many scents to choose from that it's almost overwhelming!

I love scents that are fruity or have hints of vanilla in them, and all three of these scents fit perfectly. Welcome Home is a warm scent that reminds me of being wrapped up in a blanket at grandma's house. Christmas Cottage is like a cloven orange in scent: spicy and fruity at the same time. And Black Raspberry Vanilla is exactly like it sounds, with a very natural, non-artificial smell to it. Even my husband - who often finds scented candles overpowering - likes these scents!

Another feature I love? I was pouring out some wax so that I could add a different scent to the warmer, and I accidentally bumped my arm and spilled some of the wax onto my hand. I instinctively tensed up, waiting for the horrible burn of hot wax, but it didn't burn. It was warm on my hand, but not hot enough to burn because the wax melts at such a low temperature. It didn't even leave a red spot and was easy to wipe off. Wow! Having small kids around, I'm far more likely to use the Scentsy system around them, knowing they can't burn themselves with the wax.

Try it for yourself!

Scentsy is a product that is sold by independent consultants, giving many women and men the chance to work from home, creating an income while working for themselves. My products were provided by, a certified independent Scentsy consultant, and they are giving away a full-size Scentsy system to one lucky reader as well!

One reader will win his or her choice of a full-size warmer and three Scentsy bars. You can pick any combination you like to create the perfect system. 

To enter, visit their site and then leave a comment below telling me which full-size ceramic warmer is your favorite. (Mandatory entry.) Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you are the winner.

For an additional entry, browse the selection of Scentsy bars and leave a separate comment listing the scents you'd most like to try. (1 additional entry)

For a third entry, click the "Recommend" Facebook button at the top of the Scentsified website and leave a separate comment telling me you did so with your Facebook name. (1 additional entry)

Entries will be accepted until Monday, February 14, 2011 at 11:59pm ET. One winner be selected by random drawing after that date and contacted by e-mail. Winner will have three days to respond or another winner will be selected. US shipping addresses only, please.

Good luck!

Full disclosure: I was provided with a full-size warmer and three Scentsy bars by Scentsified to facilitate this review. Scentsified is also an advertiser on this blog, but no compensation beyond what has been mentioned was received in exchange for this review. All opinions on this product are my own, and as always, your experience may vary.