Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How To Make Money Online

Money Cash
By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The internet is one of my favorite modern amenities. It has the potential to be massively entertaining, of course, but did you know it can also be an income source?

If you've been down the 'make money online' route before and found that the promises were way too good to be true, I sympathize. Different websites rope you in with big promises, and before you know it you're sucked into the cycle of making pennies for an hour's work. I've been down that road myself -- a lot. The good news is, through trial and error, I've found a few ways to make a small side income that aren't an enormous suck on your time with little to no reward.

  1. InboxDollars is a survey site, for the most part. I don't love survey mills, because they take up a lot of time for very little reward. InboxDollars, however, has a few saving graces. First of all, you get paid to read emails. It's only $.02 per email, but it adds up fairly quickly. I usually receive between one and three emails on any given day, and it takes me less than ten seconds to scroll and click 'confirm' on each one. Another nice attribute is their coupon feature. If you print coupons through InboxDollars, you receive a $.10 account credit for each coupon you end up using. A few of their surveys are worth checking out (I've often filled one out while I'm laying down with the toddler to get him to go to sleep), but even the better paying ones usually wind up averaging out to less than $6/hour of work. The best money you can make through this site is actually through their cash offers -- I bought my friend a dress for Christmas that was originally around $43 and paid $.59 between the discount I got on the site and the $15 that were credited to my InboxDollars account for using their link. In my opinion, it's definitely a site worth checking out. Bonus: they have an app that makes it easy to read emails, complete offers, and fill out surveys from your phone.
  2. Swagbucks is another survey site with better ways to make money. The most lucrative is again going to be shopping through their site. You can wind up paying pennies on the dollar for a lot of things you might've bought anyway after the account credit that you get. You can also search the web through Swagbucks (they have a convenient button you can add to your browser) and accumulate points that way. Some of their surveys are higher-paying than InboxDollars, but for the most part they're not going to pay you back for the time you pay in, just like most survey mills. It's still worth it to sign up in my opinion, if only to take advantage of the search-to-earn feature.
  3. Bing Rewards is the incentive program that Bing has in place to search through them. There's also a few daily activities you can accumulate points through. It's not a 'quick money' option, but points rack up pretty quickly when you're on the web as much as I am.
To be clear, none of the above sites will get you enough money to replace your day job. They are, however, convenient ways to supplement your income in a way that doesn't take up much time at all. I've inserted my referral links into the above post, by the way -- I wasn't recruited to write this post, and everything I've said has been my honest opinion. But if you do decide to sign up for any of the above, using my referral links will share some of the wealth with me.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Why I'm Grateful For My Insomnia

Awake Title


It's 6:27 a.m., and I'm wide awake. I've been awake since 11:00 p.m. or so after falling asleep at 8, and if my normal pattern holds true I'll be awake all day. I've been this way for as long as I can remember; I run on three to five hours of sleep for weeks at a time, then crash hard for half a day or so. I used to hate it, but that's starting to change.

The day is filled with obligations and schedules. Breakfast is at ten, naptime is at one. Naptime is over at three, and lunch has to be ready by then. Dinner must be ready by eight and bedtime is at nine. In between there's work, bills, baths, calls to make, deadlines to meet...

The night is different. I can exist for the sake of existence; I can think about all the things I didn't have time to ponder while the world was awake. I can stare into my newborn's face while I feed him and we can bond without the demands of a toddler and a career in its infancy pressing in on us.

My inability to sleep affords me something priceless: more time. And time is the most valuable resource I have.

Rather than wasting that time wishing for rest like I used to, I'm starting to savor every moment.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Should I Pay Off My Credit Cards Before Saving Money?

Credit-cards
By Lotus Head from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa (sxc.hu) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


There's a lot of financial advice out there. Some is contradictory, some is common sense, and a few pieces of it are honestly kind of useless (hint:  if your advice is to drop my $5 a day latte habit so I have more money, you obviously think I'm less broke than I actually am). Personal finance tips are just like any other piece of advice, in that you have to pick and choose what works best for you. Here's my two cents.

A big question if you're in debt is whether to start paying your credit cards down first, or to put back emergency savings before anything else. Conventional advice is to do the latter, but in my opinion, it depends on the situation.

Situation A:  you are beyond the credit limit for the card, and will not be able to make any new charges in the foreseeable future.
In this situation, I would definitely recommend going with conventional advice and building up your emergency savings while paying the minimum payment. You need to have a backup plan in case things go south, and an emergency savings account is the best way to do it. Once you have at least three to six months of living expenses saved, then go ahead and start focusing on your debts.

Situation B:  you have the majority of your debt on store credit cards.
This is another situation where convention holds true in most cases. If you focus on paying off your Kohl's card, that's great, but when you need to pay the light bill a cute cardigan won't save you.

Situation C: you are at or below the limit on a conventional credit card.
In this situation, I would recommend throwing convention out the window, and here's why. If you're truly broke -- not 'can't afford the second car/bigger house/giant t.v. that I want' broke -- you need as much money as possible available as quickly as possible. An emergency fund would be ideal, but while you're building that, more interest accrues on your debts. Better to pay down those credit cards and take the risk that you may have to fill them back up than to spend an extended period of time building an emergency fund while accruing possibly hundreds of dollars in interest while you're paying the minimum balances. Keep in mind, however, that once your conventional cards are paid off, it's better to leave the store credit cards for after you've got a few thousand dollars cushion built up.

Every financial situation is unique, and in the end you have to make the final judgment on your own budget; hopefully, however, you can employ this and other strategies to build a plan that will take you from hardship to success.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Getting Over Mom Guilt

There's this thing that happens when you have a kid. I've heard about it from friends, family, and the internet (and since it's on the internet, we all know it must be true). It's called mom guilt, and it sucks.

Symptoms of mom guilt include blaming yourself for things that aren't your fault (like the common cold choosing your kid as an incubator), crying because your child is mad at you and so you're obviously the WORST MOM EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MOMS, and feeling terrible for ever being frustrated with your children, ever.

At this point, I'm two kids deep into the mom guilt game (both under two, by the way -- what is this thing you call sleep?), and I have to say I'm pretty much a pro. Guilt for not having a job? Check. Guilt for having a job when the oldest was less than a year old? Check. Guilt for working from home and not cherishing every slimy, poop-smelling moment? Check. Guilt for not working from home more so I can afford the latest educational toys and nicer clothes? Check.

Recently though, I've had an epiphany.

Being a parent doesn't make you perfect -- and that's a good thing.

Everyone makes mistakes as a parent, and as a person in general. Everyone wonders if they're doing it right. Everyone thinks that there's another parent out there somewhere who has all their ducks in a row and is doing the whole parenting thing perfectly, but there isn't.

So I'm working on letting go of my mom guilt. My kids are alive. My toddler has a regular sleep schedule, loves hugs and kisses, and he's the smartest kid I know. My youngest is gaining weight and learning about the world around him. They eat enough, even if it's not kale and cauliflower rice. And the fact that I'm not perfect makes me a better mom than I could be otherwise, because I know what it's like to make a mess of things and I don't hold my kids to a standard I can't uphold myself.

So next time the house is a mess, we're having junk for dinner (again), and the toddler is running around in a diaper because clothes were just too much to bother with, I won't beat myself up about it. I'll let it go, and pour a glass of wine to wash down my mac and cheese.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Online Consignment Isn't Worth It (Usually)

I wrote a post several months ago about online consignment. After months of experimentation, the verdict is in -- it's definitely not worth your time. (Specifically, it's not worth your time as a source of regular income. If you have clothes laying around already, go ahead and give it a shot.)

The biggest issue that I've noticed is how specific the market is. If you don't have the capital to invest in high-end designer clothing and accessories, you don't seem to make much. Over the course of months, I only managed to sell some comfy worn-out clothes to a few grandmothers for $1-2 per item, and one dress for about a third of retail (after Poshmark took their cut, it was more like a fourth).

Another issue is the fact that people just don't expect to pay a fair price to an individual. Unless your entire inventory fell off the back of a truck, you're likely going to take a loss.

At the end of several months of trialing different platforms, I spent over $60 on inventory and made less than $40 back. Of that $40, most of what I sold was clothing that I already had -- the majority of my inventory has been given away or packed in storage at this point.

If you have the capital and access to get designer clothing at deep discounts, you may have better success than I did. I definitely saw some items sell for pretty large amounts, but the capital needed to acquire that kind of inventory is more than a little intimidating.

All in all, it seems that you'd be better off looking for a different avenue of income if you were looking for a lucrative side hustle.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Learning to Manage Money All Over Again (When You Suddenly Have More)

Have you ever gotten a raise or finally paid off a debt, felt a wave of relief, but then suddenly all that extra money is just... gone?

I can relate. It's actually a pretty common phenomenon, especially when you've been living in fear for a long time because things are so tight. I'm definitely not perfect, and when we recently had our financial situation change for the better, the first thing I did was order a pizza after living on potatoes, beans, and rice for eight months.

It isn't necessarily a bad thing to enjoy your extra money, but you still want to maintain control of your finances and not spend it all in one place. I don't advocate for living like you didn't get a raise and saving everything or throwing it all at debts (although I've seen this advice a lot). The reason is because I know that I personally feel a lot better about my finances when I have the option to splurge occasionally. The key is to find a good balance between fiscal responsibility and quality of life. Below are a few ways to do that.

  • Make a whole new budget. (You do have a budget, right? Those are important.) You can work it off of your old budget, but you need to make an entirely new one instead of doing the easy thing and adding all of your extra money in one or two categories. Take a look at how much you have, how much your obligations are, and where money has felt tight lately. If you find yourself running low on gas at the end of the month, it's probably a good idea to allocate at least enough for a tank or two. Is your emergency savings lower than you'd like it to be? Designate a specific dollar amount to beefing it up. Do you still have credit card bills or a car payment? Consider putting a reasonable amount towards paying those down more quickly -- once those obligations are gone, it's almost like you're giving yourself a raise.
  • Plan for your impulse purchases instead of letting them blindside you. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your money is assuming that you will not slip. You will, okay? And that's totally normal and fine. The best way to make sure it doesn't eat up all of the new money coming in is to designate a certain amount for impulse purchases and splurges -- by budgeting for them, you will almost definitely spend less on them in the long run.
  • Look for ways to make the money work for you. If you have, say, an extra $300 a month coming in, and you have a $500 credit card balance, consider allocating a large portion of your extra money for a short time period instead of a smaller amount for a long time period. On top of your minimum payment, you could pay that credit card off easily in two months; you would then have the extra balance as well as your minimum payment in your pocket rather than carrying the stress of that debt for even longer. You may also consider starting to save for retirement so that you can accrue more interest now rather than less later. This option has fewer immediate benefits, but in the long term will make your financial situation much better.
  • Find one thing you haven't been able to afford to do for yourself that you really want. Commit to doing it at least monthly. For me, that would be dyeing my hair. For my husband, it's buying books. Think of something that brings you joy that you haven't been able to manage, amd make sure you start doing it. It doesn't have to be expensive, but make it something that you longed to do before but couldn't justify. I've found that this brings me a lot of satisfaction and curbs my impulse spending tremendously.
The question of whether to enjoy your money or use it responsibly can be a hard decision, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you've got an extra $50 in your pocket or an extra $5000, you can find the happy medium between doing the boring but important thing with it and doing what makes you happy right then and there.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pride, pain, and learning to suck it up and deal with it.

If you've read previous posts, you know that I have chronic pain.

If you know me as a person, you know I'm extremely proud.

I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that those two things can't coexist.

I'd always had minor aches and pains, but everything went downhill when I was pregnant with my son. They didn't get better like I had expected them to, and It took a very long time for me to admit that. One of my biggest struggles was admitting I needed to use the electric carts when grocery shopping. It took A LOT of pressure from my husband, but I finally gave in and started using them. I've been doing that for about a year and a half, and it has made shopping a lot easier on me. But my pain is only getting worse, because I have a toddler and I don't get enough physical rest. Tyler's latest project has been convincing me that I need a wheelchair, or at least a walker or cane. And my first response was, of course, hell no. I'm twenty years old. I don't want to be crippled. I don't want to admit that I can walk for half an hour on a GOOD day. I don't want to admit that I'm physically not well enough to live a normal life right now.

The thing is... that's all true.

Whether I like it or not, this is becoming my reality. And denying it hurts me, and hurts my family. Rather than finding excuses to stay home, I should be looking for ways to get out. I owe that to my son, who's been stuck in the house five or six days a week for the majority of his life.

So I'm getting a wheelchair, and a new set of goals.

I'm going to accept this, and learn to thrive in spite of it -- rather than pretending it doesn't exist.

I'm going to do everything I can to get stronger -- without denying that I'm weak.

I'm going to shrug off the stares and the self-consciousness -- rather than letting other peoples' expectations affect my quality of life.

I'm going to find a new way to define myself that isn't limited by my disabilities -- rather than trying to force myself into a mold I don't fit.

Because you know what? I'm a pretty decent mom, and a good cook. I'm a loving wife. A decent writer. I dream bigger than anyone I know, and I have the gift of optimism in the darkest of situations.

I'm going to suck it up and deal with this, because I'm going to be okay -- even on the days that I'm not.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

On Fear and Poverty

Fear. It's an emotion we all experience at some point. Usually, it's an isolated experience; lately, that hasn't been the case for me. Fear has been breathing down my neck, wrapping around me like a blanket, and tainting every waking moment and restless night with its presence for months now. We talk about fear, and we talk about poverty -- what we don't talk about is how they're inextricably intertwined.

Maybe we made bad choices, maybe we're at the mercy of a broken system. It doesn't really matter at this point, because me family is doing everything RIGHT. We coupon, we budget exhaustively, we account for every penny -- and still, we live with the fear of losing everything looming over our heads. This month, we're going to be $68 short. Sixty-eight measly dollars are what stands between us and security. Pocket change for some, but the difference between making it and not for us.

So that fear, it becomes a driving force. I'm driven to work harder and longer, to find new ways to pinch pennies, to blatantly self-promote when I'm able. I stop sleeping, get dehydrated, forget to eat -- all over that $68 standing between having what we need, and losing something essential.

It's not something that's easy for me to talk about, and maybe I'm only putting it out there because it's become so all-consuming I can't think of anything else to bring to the table right now. But at the end of the day, I'm more than just scared. I'm bone-deep exhausted from carrying this burden. I'm tired of spending my nights wide-eyed, frantically searching for a miracle when I don't even believe in them. This dread, this terror, this realization that it all rests on me is something I crave release from.

Maybe someday this will all be a distant memory; hope for that day is what keeps me going, what keeps me running on fumes when I've slept twelve hours in ten days. But right now, the tunnel I'm in is long and dark, and I don't see a light at the end.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cleaning With Chronic Pain

If you have chronic pain (and especially if you're a parent with chronic pain) it can be extremely hard to keep your home clean. Messes pile up, and it gets overwhelming. I've dealt with this issue in my own home. I'm a work-at-home mom, so I have the time to clean most days, but I'm often in so much pain (or have no energy because of that pain) that even simple tasks seem impossible. I've come up with a few strategies that help me get the urgent tasks done, and I'll share those below. I'm lucky that I have a great husband who understands my limitations and helps as much as he can. But for the days where he doesn't have the time or ability and I have to choose between cleaning through the pain or living with a huge mess, these tips have helped a lot.
  1. Try to do as much as possible sitting down. It takes a little creativity, but I've found ways to do a lot of chores from my bed or a comfy chair, which keeps my joints from screaming at me for the rest of the day. A high stool to wash dishes from is a must-have for me -- otherwise my husband is stuck doing them every night when he gets home. To fold laundry, I sit on the bed with a pile of clean laundry in front of me and a basket beside me. As I fold each item, it goes in the laundry basket to be put away later. I sit at the table to prep dinner instead of standing at a counter chopping. I sort my laundry before washing it by piling it all on one surface, sitting down next to it, and tossing each load into a separate pile.
  2. Work in bursts. What I've found helps me the most is if I don't do the overly physical tasks all at once. I try to do ten minutes of hard physical chores -- scrubbing countertops, picking up clutter, putting away dishes -- and then rest for at least twenty minutes. To keep from wasting time, I'll do sitting-down chores in between hard chores. For instance, in ten minutes I can unload and reload the washing machine, then hang clothes to dry and gather clean clothes off the line to fold. I then take twenty minutes to fold laundry and possibly sort out a couple more loads. My next ten-minute blitz is putting up that basket of folded laundry. In this way, I can be productive without straining myself too badly.
  3. Take preventative measures. In order to make it easier to clean the house, I try to keep it from getting as messy in the first place. When I'm making dinner, I have a trash bowl on the counter to toss everything into so there aren't packages and vegetable scraps sitting around after dinner and I don't have to run to the trashcan every ten seconds. I try to keep a trashcan in almost every room, and I love clutter baskets. It's where we dump all of our clutter instead of leaving it laying around -- it's much easier to carry a small basket through the house putting things away than it is to pick up clutter from every surface and place it individually.
  4. Take days off. Listen to your body -- when your pain level gets to be unmanageable, it's time to let the chores slide for a day. When I refuse to take down-time when I know I need it, one day of overworking myself often leads to three days in a row of barely being able to stand. I much prefer to take a day off when I need it -- which is usually every two or three days for me if I'm being careful the rest of the time -- than to ignore those cues and become physically unable to do what needs doing. In the long run, your house is going to be messier if you run yourself into the ground because the recovery period can be so long. So don't take out the trash, use paper plates, and toss something in the microwave. It helps a lot.
At the end of the day, this isn't just about taking care of the house. It's also about taking care of yourself. If you have chronic pain, there WILL be days when you can't even manage ten minutes of cleaning. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. Don't let those days make you feel useless or hopeless, and definitely don't push yourself beyond your limits. Love yourself and realize it isn't your fault. But on the days when you have just a little bit of energy, a few modifications to your routine can go a long way.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Being a parent without letting go of my dreams

When I was younger, I had high aspirations. I wanted to be an engineer or an entrepreneur. After I got married, that vision changed a little bit, but never went away. When my son was born, everything changed. I was consumed by Parenthood with a capital P. Being a mom was my full time job. I lived and breathed it. Dreaming of my future turned into plans and hopes to give him a good life by any means necessary. Now that he's a little older and I'm getting some sense of myself back, my dreams are starting to return to me, and I've been thinking about the balancing act between Jodi the person, and Jodi the mom.

My ultimate goal is to have a boutique, online and possibly with a physical location. That, and I want to keep writing. Eventually I want to settle into a couple of niches with that, namely parenthood/finances/entrepreneurship. I don't have a hard business plan, but I want to be successful enough that my husband and I can work from home together until the kids are grown (at which point we might open a physical location).

That looks a lot different from what my plan looked like a few years ago. I wanted to get rich off of some wildly successful business that also helped the environment. I wanted to travel, and be important. I wanted to be queen of my world.

So things have changed a lot. But honestly, what's most important to me is that I'm still dreaming. I'm reclaiming my identity from Jodi the Mommy, and realizing that I can and will be a person all my own, with dreams and hopes and aspirations that fill my soul with happiness. When Colton was born, I lost that person for a while. I just know it's really great to have her back.

If I could give any parent out there one piece of advice, it would be not to stop dreaming just because there are kids in the picture now. Don't let your identity as a person be devoured by your responsibilities as a parent. When you are whole and fulfilled, that's when you can be the best parent. A parent that exemplifies confidence, drive, self-love, and working for your goals is the best kind of parent I can think of.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Is online consignment worth it?

My family is a little bit strapped for cash at the moment. Stuff happens. It would be more trouble than the money was worth for me to get a job outside of the home, so I'm investigating several avenues and testing a few to see how much income I can pull in on my own.

My latest experiment is online consignment - reselling items, in my case mostly clothing, from a variety of platforms. So far, I've stocked up on some nice clothes on clearance (paid ten to twenty percent of retail) and I'm attempting to flip them. I've also cleared a few items out of my own closet.

So far, I've used buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook, Poshmark, and EBay. My old clothes sold pretty quickly on FB, mostly because I was selling them extremely cheaply. I've sold one dress on Poshmark for just under a third of its retail value. Nothing from my recently purchased inventory has sold so far, but I'm hopeful since it's only been a couple of days.

Here's what I've observed so far, as a total newbie to the business.
  • It takes a lot of time. You have to put in the man-hours hunting for deals (if you're buying clothes to flip, that is). You need to get good pictures of every item, write a brief but thought-out description, and then jump through several hoops to get each item posted on every platform you're working with. Once it actually sells, you have to handle shipping if you're not selling locally.
  • Lowballer alert! People are going to ask for discounts. Some of them are going to be certifiably insane with the prices they expect. Oh, you have a $50 dress new with tags? Five bucks is totally reasonable!
  • Selling locally is kind of a pain. Sure, you'll have great people who will meet you anywhere anytime and actually show up. But there's also the folks who want you to deliver to their doorstep, or set a meetup time, change it six times, and then don't show up.
  • Some platforms will totally cash in at your expense. Poshmark takes a twenty percent cut of your sale price, for instance. That said, you're going to reach more people much faster through that kind of platform, as they make it really easy to promote your stuff. I still haven't decided if the exposure is worth the price you pay for it. EBay is easier on your wallet, but it's more complicated what with you being more involved in the shipping options, and it's also way less exposure.
Honestly, I could see myself making a lot of money this way. The catch is that you have to have time and seed money to invest in order to get to that point. So far, patience is the name of the game.

If any of you have experiences with online consignment, I'd love to hear from you! Drop me a comment or shoot me an email at jodi.gm.humes@gmail.com.

Monday, April 27, 2015

How To Feed a Kid Who's Allergic to Everything

Diverse Eisspatel
By Lampshade (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


My son is literally allergic to everything.

Okay, not literally. But that’s what it feels like sometimes.

He has eczema, so wheat, milk, and eggs are automatically out of the equation. We’ve also discovered some food sensitivities that lead to pretty painful and/or messy consequences. Bananas give him stomach aches. Strawberries give him diarrhea. Citrus gives him rashes. Gassy vegetables… well, that one is self-explanatory.

So, what’s a mom to do when basically everything healthy and convenient is off the table?

Drink a lot of wine.

Just kidding (although…). I’ve actually got things pretty much figured out at this point. It took a while to find a good balance, but we have. Below are a few tips that have basically become my feed-the-baby bible.

·        Substitute.

It’s a lot easier to swap a few things out of the menu altogether and find replacements than it is to make an entirely separate meal. When I want to make spaghetti, I buy gluten-free pasta. When I bake (which is approximately once a year), I swap in flax seed for eggs. Coconut milk works well in place of dairy for sweets. A quick Google search will pretty much always turn up a good list of subs for any given ingredient.

·        Assembly line.

If you have a kid that can’t eat dairy or some other completely delicious food group, I get it. It totally sucks. But you can still get your cheese fix. Assembly-line style meals are a great option, because every topping is optional. Think a taco bar or a basic lettuce salad with different toppings available to choose from. Just because one kiddo can’t eat it doesn’t mean the rest of the family has to go without all the time.

·        Get creative.

If your child has allergies or sensitivities to ingredients that are common in most of the food for your region, look for recipes outside of your comfort zone. International cuisine has a lot to offer. I’ve personally found that Thai food works well for our needs. Bonus? It’s delicious.

·        Make it homemade.

There are a lot of delicious recipes that call for ‘banned’ ingredients. See if you can find a way to make them within your diet requirements. Condensed cream of chicken is a breeze to make with gluten-free flour, for instance, and it beats the heck out of the canned stuff.

·        Finger food is your friend.

Food allergies and sensitivities can make it hard to find convenient quick foods for when you’re on the go, but a lot of finger foods have simple ingredients suited to most diets. Vegetables cut into sticks or chunks, dried fruit, granola clusters, and snack mixes (like mixed nuts, or nut-free trail mix if nuts aren’t an option) have proven to be lifesavers for us.

Having a kid with allergies and food sensitivities isn’t easy. It can definitely be a downright bummer. But with a little bit of extra planning, it doesn’t have to be quite so overwhelming.