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Hello and welcome!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I love candy!!!

I have and always will love candy.  As a kid, I couldnt understand why other kids would waste their money on cigarettes or drugs...when you can use it to buy candy!!!  To this day I still suffer from this affliction.  To be honest, I would probably weigh 20 lbs less if I could give up the stuff! 

Whenever I travel, I scout out the local drug stores, supermarkets, and discount department stores hunting for new and exotic candies.  I will bring back bags full of my loot and share it with my appreciative family and friends.  Now that I have a child with peanut/treenut anaphylaxis, I avoid anything containing nuts or traces of nuts.  So this really has cramped my candy style.

Lately however, candying has lost a lot of its appeal.  It seems that many of the regional/local candy manufacturers have either gone under, closed shop or been bought out by larger companies.  These small companies where the spice of my candy life!  Last summer on our trip to Orlando, I was unable to find anything new or exciting.  Imagine!  The Targets in Florida had the exact same candy/confectionary stock as the closest Buffalo Target.  I was left feeling a wee bit sour (hee hee). 

So imagine my exuberance and utter joy when I went to visit my 20 something yr old daughter in San Francisco (who also suffers from the same genetic affliction) and on a trip to the local Wmart, we found these gorgeous candies:

They are so beautiful!!!   Lovely lovely little gourmet jelly beans!!  And look at the right hand corner of the bag...PEANUT FREE to boot!!!!!

Not only Peanut/nut free my friends, but trans fat free, gelatin free, gluten free, dairy free, and egg free!!!  We can all do the happy happy dance!!!

Look at how yummy they look out of the bag:  Yummy, n'est pas?  Excuse my faux french, its the sugar rush I'm getting just thinking about them!!  Believe me, they taste even better than they look.  If you are ever in the States (I try to go every few months just to restock) give these a try.  Gimbals is a San Francisco area company, but even our Buffalo Wmart sells them.  Bon appetite my gourmet jelly bean lovers!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gnome party here I come!!

Elizabeth at Creative Breathing is having a gnome party!!  I've found that many people find gnomes creepy and dont understand how I can think they're so cute!  Its great to see that there is so much Gnome Lovin' going on!!   My gnome was having a caffeine fix.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Its blistery cold in Toronto!  Its so cold that I dont even want to leave the house in the evenings!  I'll just hibernate for a few more months.  That will give me more time to finish my blanket.    Last night I started blocking my granny squares. 

Here's a picture of the first batch...Its gonna take weeks to block all 234 blocks for my blanket.  It will be worth it, as you can see the difference between the 'blocked' square and the 'not yet blocked' one.  My 6 year old daughter keeps urging me on (as its going to be for her, and she's so impatient for it!).  Wish me luck!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Peanuts may be cute, but not funny

Vacations usually inspire joy and feelings of jubilation in most.  For our family, the thought of vacations are stressfull.  How will we get there?  Do we have to fly?  If so, how do we handle the nut issue? I wont even get on food during the vacation, I'm just focusing on the flight.

My 9 year old son has a severe, life and death allergy to peanuts, treenuts and most legumes.  Many people who dont know anyone with such an allergy, innocently offer you the advice 'so, just avoid nuts'.  Sounds so simple...What people dont realize is the peanuts and treenuts leave deadly residue, and oil traces.  They have minute particles which get circulated in the aircraft oxygen, and are breathed in.   Even 1/2000 of a peanut can cause death in the anaphylactic.  Imagine that. 

Last year we decided to do a family trip to Disney world, quite a distance from my Toronto area home.  We decided the drive the 30 or so hours rather than risk the 3-4 hour flight.  The prior year we flew to Ireland from Buffalo via NYC, and while both airlines we took were quite helpful (Air Lingus and Jet Blue), it wasnt their policies, but their people which were wonderful.  We had chosen this route/airlines after phoning numerous airlines and researching who would be the most accommodating.   Regardless, it was still stressful.  Numerous times they had to announce that a little boy had a life/death allergy to nuts, and to please refrain from opening/eating nuts in the flight, but it was still quite stressful.  A lot of people actually resent their 'civil liberties' being harnessed.  The woman next to my son on the Buffalo/NYC arm of our trip (Jet Blue) actually was on the phone during all the notifications, and only heard the last one after she hung up.  She looked at me (not realizing that the kid next to her was THE BOY they were refering to) and said she was surprised that they didnt announce it sooner because she was about to open a bag of peanuts she had in her purse.  She was wonderful and didnt open her nuts, but not all passengers are that considerate.  You meet all kinds of people, and when your childs life is at stake, you get quite emotional and edgy.  Its very difficult to remain calm when dealing with people who think its more important to eat a bag of nuts on a plane than for your child to keep breathing.

Anyway, yesterday there was a court order for Air Canada to create a nut free buffer zone for its passengers.  The courts acknowledged that peanut/treenut allergies are a disability (believe me, its not as simple as it sounds) and that AC had to accommodate its passengers so that they could take a flight without having to lock themselves into a washroom just to breath (as was the case which brought this issue to the Canadian courts).   Whippeeee!!!!  I'm sorry for all you people who love nuts, because before my sons allergy, but eating nuts on a plane is a conditioned habit.  The airlines started handing out nuts as a cheap alternative to meals.  Please eat your nuts at home or when you land, or before you take off.  My family thanks you, and my son thanks you with his life! Yippeee!!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Well its so hard to write the very first post on a blog.  I feel that to write a blog, you would have to be contributing something to someone, or providing inspiration, humour or information which people find useful...thats a lot of pressure! 

If I can figure it out, I'll be posting a picture of my latest project.  I made a union jack cushion which looks smashin Guvna!  My husband who's British just loves my fake cockney accent.  I dont know why, but I've loved union flags for a very long time, but have recently started making union jack paintings, and now this cushion.  I know their trendy now, but my love of them has preceded the trend.  My Hub thinks I married him for his accent...

Anyway the cushion is now finished, but it is incomplete in the photo.  Let me know what you think.