Allergy Free Valentine's Day Ideas for the Kiddos

Hello, hello! It's been awhile, but I wanted to drop by, say hi and wish all of my sweet online friends a happy Valentine's Day week. As I've mentioned before, David and I aren't much for V-day celebrations but with kids... well, every holiday is an excuse to celebrate!

But if you're like me and you've got a kiddo with food allergies [our 2.5 year old son has a severe dairy allergy- even simple contact with someone who has touched dairy can (and has) send him into anaphylactic shock much like a peanut allergy), holidays aren't always the most fun time. In fact, they can be kind of stressful. Birthday parties, family gatherings and holiday times cause the most anxiety for me in terms of HDawg's dairy allergy just because he's around different food and more people who don't understand the severity of his allergy. Side note: we purchased H this kids allergy bracelet and he loves it. We let him wear it when we're in new places like birthday parties- he thinks it's cool and I feel just a tad bit better knowing he's got some sort of notice about his allergy on him at all times.

I get lots of emails from readers asking for more posts on how we handle H's food allergy. We cook completely dairy free and mostly gluten and soy free on a pretty solid "whole foods" diet. Would you guys be interested to hear more about that here on the blog? Let me know!

Today, I want to help alleviate some of y'alls fears about Valentine's Day and share some allergy free (mostly non-food but at least free of the main food allergies) V-Day ideas for the little ones. Just like last year, I am using my "main squeeze" printable to send fruit pouches for the toddlers and infants in both kids classrooms. You can download your free printable HERE.

Here's a few more allergy-free ideas I love!

army Valentine from Armelle

dinosaur Valentine from Sweet C's Designs

"you're so sharp!" Valentine from Or So She Says

"blow me a kiss!" Valentine card from At Second Street

And of course you can always search Pinterest for more amazing allergy friendly holiday ideas.

I'm always pinning dairy-free, gluten-free and other allergy friendly foods over on Pinterest, so come follow me! And feel free to share any great allergy friendly ideas you've got.

Crafting with Freezer Paper: A DIY Burlap Sign

Maybe I've been living under a crafting rock, but did you know that freezer paper is sort of like, an amazing trick of the crafting trade? Yes, freezer paper. The kind you can buy in the grocery store paper aisle next to it's BFF aluminum foil. Or you can buy it here. For those of us who don't have a fancy cutting machine, freezer paper is the perfect stencil. Let me explain.

For Christmas, I wanted to make David's aunt (who we call "Nornie") a special gift. HDawg looooves going to his Nornie's house (she really does have an amazing home!) and asks at least every other day to do so. So I wanted to whip up a sign that showed our love for both Nornie and her house.

I grabbed a blank canvas (actually this was an old photo canvas, so I painted over the photo with off-white paint) and simply glued burlap around the canvas frame. Make sure to pull that burlap tight. To make my stencil, I cut pieces of the freezer paper into 8.5"x11" strips and used Word to print out the saying I wanted to paint- "welcome to Nornie's house!" The awesome part about freezer paper is that it has a flat side and a shiny side, so you can print onto the flat side like regular paper. Next, cut the letters out with an X-acto knife, leaving the perfect little stencil behind. Don't forget to save the middles of your "O's" and "R's" and "P's" : )

Here's my favorite part about the freezer paper- you can iron it on temporarily to whatever you are painting so that it stays still while you paint the stenciled letters. Boom. Crafty mind blown. I was apprehensive that the paper would iron on to the burlap, but it held tight perfectly. Iron the shiny side facing down towards the fabric. I used off-white craft paint to paint the stenciled letters and then simply peeled up the freezer paper (no residue! easy to peel off! a crafting miracle!) before the paint dried. My letters were crisp and perfecto. Okay, and the top line is a little crooked, but who's counting. Not Nornie! 

Now all of you can say- duh, Michelle! We've been crafting with freezer paper since 1999! Welcome to the crafting world! Or you can be a novice like me and search on Pinterest for all of the other amazing projects you can do with freezer paper.
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