Having a child with food allergies keeps a parent on their toes. I am thankful that Clover only has to avoid two things (peanuts and honey) as there are some children who have a list as tall as they are. That said, we are in a particular pickle with the honey allergy as even the smallest amount could trigger Clover’s metabolic issue and land her in the hospital again. Unless Doc McStuffins herself is there, Clover is not interested in going. And honey? Well, honey is the new hipster ingredient. I guess because it is natural and from bees and bees are good and endangered and hip, so there is honey in your chia seed muffin! I have to be very careful at every cafe to ask what is in their baked sweets. I bring out my reading glasses and scan every single line of ingredients on every cookie Clover eats. I warn her about birthday party treats, deny her bites of my granola bar and am that mom* double checking with the playdate hosts. I have to be vigilant because honey is a not a common allergen, but the danger is the same. The irony of having a child called Clover who is allergic to honey is not lost on me, by the way.
This morning, as I ate another grocery store granola bar in front of my daughter, I thought, I bet I can make this without honey. Better yet, I bet Clover and I can make it together!
Here is the super easy recipe!
Nut-free and HONEY-free Homemade Sweet Treat Bars.
For the kids allergic to honey and peanuts, here is a yummy granola bar they can eat! Not low in calories nor fat, this is a real dessert.
Author: Sesame Ellis
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: A bunch of bars depending on the size you cut!
You can add all sorts of different bits to these bars like dark chocolate chips or raisins depending on your taste! If you want really decadent dessert bars, use chocolate condensed milk instead of the plain sweetened condensed milk. For less fat, use the skim version of the condensed milk. Prep time will vary...it depends on whether your kitchen helper is 6 years old or not! Cook time can be reduced as 30 mins really results in crunchy bars.
*Those moms are just protecting their kids. Food allergies can be a life or death situation for some children and while my daughter will not stop breathing from honey, some other child might after touching peanut remnants. Also, it isn’t an intolerance and she isn’t just fussy. My friends and her friends’ parents have all been amazing. Only once have I had someone get snarky with me, but it is a frustrating and isolating medical issue for many.
The other day when I was doing some spring cleaning, I found a bag of tiny newborn clothing that I had been saving to turn into doll clothes or something. I have lot’s of ideas with great intentions, but unfortunately, very poor sewing skills. Hence, the bag of clothes has been sitting in a closet untouched for nearly six years! Looking at the items again with fresh eyes, I had a great idea! I could make hospital gowns to fit our growing family of accident prone 18″dolls (between Clover and Gemma, there are six) from the newborn sized onesies!
Here is what we came up with. So easy with no pattern and very minimal sewing required!
You will need one newborn (size 0-3 months or 000 depending on your country) for each gown that you want to make.* All of the sewing can be done by hand, but I did use a sewing machine (not very neatly) for the hems just to save some time. There is no pattern necessary since you are basically deconstructing the gown from the already made onesie!
Here is the process with photos of the steps!
1) Check the size against the doll you are going to use. Here we have an 18″ doll and a 000 onesie (0-3 months) so the final gown will be the perfect length with 9″ of material to work with.
2) Cut straight across the bottom of the onesie right at the top of the leg holes. Don’t discard the bottom bit, as you will be using it later.
3) This was a long sleeved onesie so I decided 2 and 1/2 inches from the shoulder seam was where I would cut the arms. Keep those remnants as well. Short sleeved onesies do not need this alteration.
4) When you have done those cuts, trim off the leg hem keeping the snaps together. Leave a bit of hem on either side as these will become the gown closure in the back. You can make gown ties from the hems instead, but I just like the ease of snaps for kids. I keep all the material offcuts as well so that in the end we have bandages for the little doctor’s medical kit.
5) This onesie had a tag, so I removed it with my seam ripper. After you remove the tag (or if there is only a printed label inside), cut the back of the onesie down the middle. While these garments can easily fit over most dolls’ heads, I thought the extra detail of a back opening looked more authentic.
6) While I did not hem the tiny sleeves, I suggest running the back and bottom edges through a sewing machine or hand hemming to keep the jersey material from fraying.
No sewing machine? Just fold them over and stitch them up by hand. These gowns are small, so it should not take long.
7) Now make the closure. Just sew the snaps you kept at the top of the back opening. Since kids tend to pull hard on snaps, I went over and over again, binding the edges.
8) Done! Put it on the doll. The back opening is just too cute! And see, the extra bits of fabric from the sleeves and bottom are perfect bandages!
Here is Doc McClover in her clinic checking on little patients… Luckily Alice-Rosie only broke one leg in her gymnastics accident.
Hanging onto some of the old baby blankets and muslins has come in handy as well. They are living new lives as doll bedding!
*While we made three different ones, the process shown here is for the long sleeved white onesie. The only difference is that we ended up using the extra bits of cloth from the arms that we did not have from the already short sleeved onesies.
An important message brought to you by TAC and Nuffnang.
Even as someone with an affinity for red wine and hot sake, my “work lunches” can’t ever be boozy. I must admit that on occasion working from home as a photoblogger, I have day dreamed about the idea of Madmen era brainstorming sessions with like-minded creatives and a nice bottle of something hard in gorgeous cut crystal glasses. I mean some of my best ideas have come to life around a sushi bar with other photographers, bloggers and a few tiny cups of rice wine. The issue is that at 3PM, my “day” job is over and my important role of mother is back on. I would not risk being even a little bit over when I get in the car to drive.
Why do I tell you all this? Because I was absolutely floored by some statistics shared with me by the TAC.
There are approximately 13,000 drink drivers detected each year in Victoria with an illegal BAC.
IN ONE STATE.
What about the ones who get away with it? That is a lot of drink drivers on the road in my state each year. And of those, 20% are repeat offenders. Clearly the laws were not tough enough a deterrent. So October 1st, new legislation went into effect in Victoria to help crack down on people who take that risk. A risk of not only their lives, but the lives of everyone else on the road at the same time. It is legislation that I am happy to get out there in the hopes that even one person who might have taken a chance will stop and reconsider. (Other Australian states have different laws. Please check out your State Government website for details on what applies to you.)
Now, in Victoria, alcohol interlocks will be extended to become mandatory for:
•All repeat offenders with a BAC under 0.07
•First-time offenders with a BAC of 0.07 to 0.15
•First-time offenders with a BAC under 0.07 whose licenses are cancelled
•All probationary and learner first-time offenders at all BAC levels
•All first-time serious offences involving alcohol under the Sentencing Act 1991 (e.g. culpable driving under the influence of alcohol.
An alcohol interlock is a device that when attached to your car, requires the driver to confirm their sobriety by blowing into it before starting (and at random intervals during driving, meaning you have to pull over) the ignition. If the driver fails the blood alcohol test, the car will be disabled and the violation recorded on the machine. There are cameras activated each time the alcohol interlock is activated so that drivers can’t cheat the system. On top of the embarrassment and inconvenience, there is the cost, as the offender is responsible for footing the bill of installation. That can be up to $1410.00 on top of the fines.
If you think that having an alcohol interlock on your car would be no big deal, I encourage you to watch the video and share the message. Let’s keep our roads safe.
Brought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior
Earlier this year, our family took a holiday back to the states. It was in the hotels of Hawaii, with their free cable access, where my little Clover was introduced to some of her favourite characters via the Disney Junior channel. We don’t have cable at our home in Australia, so somehow we had not really been privy to all the new programming yet. Well, with one click of the remote, it was love for Clover. On the screen was a little cartoon girl the same age as her whose stuffed animal toys come to life when no one else is around. Clover had found her cartoon soulmate. Doc McStuffins takes care of her animals in a little pretend medical clinic because she wants to grow up and be a doctor like her mother. Even I was in love. Because we were not going to get cable when we got home, Clover was sad to leave her new favourite show on the TVs in America. She was able to get some DVDs to watch and storybooks to read and re-read, but I was pretty sure that would be all we could do for our little Doc fan.
Then I got the news that Disney Junior in Australia has declared it “Doc-Tober” this month with new games on the Disney Junior website (www.DisneyJunior.com.au) and even brand new episodes of Doc McStuffins (and Sofia The First, another favourite!) coming to our FTA (Free To Air) TV Ch7, Sunday mornings 6-7am and on 7mate, Tues – Fri mornings 7-9am! We have decided to set our DVR so that Clover can watch the episode after school as a treat since we do not do TV in the morning on a school day. She can help herself to that early airing on Sunday morning!
All the kids were excited to dive into the games online. Since the content is limited on mobile platforms, I pulled it up on my laptop for them to see. I grew up on Disney shows and have such fond memories of Gemma’s early days with Disney programs in Los Angeles! Since I trust Gemma (who is now nearly TEN!) with my MacBook Pro, she helped explain to the twins how the Doc-Mobile (Doc’s mobile clinic) game worked. They all took turns playing…even the nearly ten year old.
I think the best part of having this love for the Doc McStuffins character reinvigorated in Australia is that Clover is now home and surrounded by her own dolls and stuffed animals whom she loves so much. When the TV goes off, she is inspired to set up her own doctor’s office and concentrate her playtime around the healthy living messages she has gleaned from the show. Her dolls now “wash their hands” A LOT.
If you have a Doc McStuffins fan in your home, I have a prize to giveaway that will make their day!*
* Australian residents only. Full Terms & Conditions can be found here.
What you have a chance to win:
1 x Magic Talking Doc and Friends (RRP $59.99)
1 x Doc McStuffins ‘A little cuddle goes a long way’ DVD (RRP $14.99)
I want to see a photo of your little Doc McStuffins fan and their best cuddle buddy! Who is their little stuffed sidekick and why is it so very special to your child? Post a link to your photo in the comments here and use the hashtag #SElovesDoctober on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to be in with a chance!
Don’t forget to tag me (@sesameellis) too so I can see all these beautiful kids and their Lovies. Clover will be helping me pick the winner!