Friday, March 26, 2010

A Store with a Cause...and Peanut-Free Ice Cream!

Last night I visited PricePro for the first time, and it was AWESOME.

It's kind of a mix between a grocery store, a Costco and a furniture store. They sell lots of great stuff, like furniture, warehouse-pack sized foods, bakery items, fruit & veggies, clothes, shoes, DVDs, regular groceries, frozen foods, etc, etc. Everything you need!

But the best part is that they are part of a non-profit program called Welcome Home, which is a long-term residential treatment program for men who struggle with substance abuse. The purpose of the PricePro store is "to provide Welcome Home participants with the opportunity to acquire proper life skills, social skills, and job skills. They learn how to become valuable employees or how to successfully manage their own business." Very cool!

OK, here's the second best part: they have the most amazing selection of Chapman's peanut/nut-free ice cream that I have ever seen. The ice cream comes in 2L and 4L sizes, and in at least 9 or 10 different flavours. On top of that, they also have peanut/nut-free ice cream novelties, like ice cream sandwiches, ice cream bars, popsicles, cones, etc. And they even have peanut/nut-free sugar-free treats (although I'm not sure why you would want sugar-free ice cream, but to each his own). I got the butterscotch ripple.
I will definitely go back to PricePro. I think you should, too! It's in Surrey at 6911 King George Hwy, open 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Training is Key

I recently received an EpiPen trainer, and once I had it, I wondered why I didn't get one sooner. (As in, right when Ella was first diagnosed. In fact, I often wonder why they don't give you one right after the allergy test is done.) For those of you who don't know what a "trainer" is, it's an EpiPen that contains no needle or drug, but works just the same as a "real" EpiPen. So it allows you to practice using an EpiPen, so that if an emergency arrises, you'll be ready.

Aside from being able to practice myself, I have found the trainer SO useful for teaching other people how to use it. When I first showed it to people, most of them didn't know how to use it - including those I had previously showed the real EpiPen to, and who I leave Ella with on a regular basis. Scary! But having the trainer available has allowed me to give them a much more hands-on training, so that now I am assured that they will be able to use the real thing if they ever need to. I actually carry it around in my purse, and I'm surprised at how often people are interested in checking it out.

So, perhaps you're wondering where to get one. If you have a kid with an allergy, or if you are a caretaker of a kid with an allergy, or if you are an organization which cares for kids (like a church or a preschool), you NEED and EpiPen trainer. The best place to get one is the EpiPen website - all you have to do is sign up for the "EpiPen Resource Centre" and you can order training materials totally FREE! In fact, you can order one Patient Starter Kit every year if you want. The kit includes a training DVD, a quick reference guide, and an EpiPen trainer. If you are an organization, you can get a bigger kit which also includes posters.

Just as an extra note, the EpiPen website also offers some other great stuff. You can set up a reminder service for up to six EpiPens, so you will get an email when they are about to expire. There's also a recipe centre, for allergen-free meals and treats.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Easter Candy!

I must admit that I was not looking forward to Easter this year. Not because I don't want to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, but because I didn't think I'd be able to find any safe candy. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised.

On a recent trip to Wal-Mart, I thought I would wander through the Easter section, just to see what was there. I didn't expect to find anything that Ella could eat. But to my delight, they had almost a whole aisle filled with "no peanut" chocolate! Chocolate bunnies, chocolate kittens, chocolate wiener dogs, chocolate chickens, chocolate princesses, chocolate monster name it, they had it! I was in heaven! The only problem was choosing what to buy.

I ended up picking a chocolate bunny, a box of small caramel filled bunnies, some rabbit shaped ju jubes, some jelly beans and a chocolate Iron Man (nothing says "Happy Easter" like biting into the head of a chocolate robot-man).

So, thank you Wal-Mart. Now if only you could do the same at Valentine's Day and Christmas.