FLONASE®: Living Life Beyond Allergies


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FLONASE® compensated me in connection with statements made in this post.
We are now moving into fall and as the weather starts to cool down a bit, we try to get ready for our allergy season. In October, the leaves begin to fall. Our driveway turns yellow with pollen produced by nearby pine trees. Without fail, my whole family begins to look like we've been watching marathon sessions of sad movies! All of our eyes get watery and itchy. Seasonal allergies affect all of us in a big way. My sons and daughter sport perpetually runny noses and my husband gets nasal congestion.
soccer
I wish we could just all stay indoors and hide -- but my kids bike to school, I walk to work, and my sons practice soccer 3 times a week. On the weekends, they play in tournaments and we all go out to cheer them on... but it's kind of hard to celebrate a goal when you're sneezing throughout the game! Obviously we can't let allergies stop us from going outdoors and doing the things we need to do. We're way too busy, and life is too short! We've figured out ways to manage our allergy symptoms so we can seize the moment and live our lives. Here are five things that have worked for us:

Take a shower. We all take frequent showers to wash away pollen that might have settled on our hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, or skin.

Wash your clothes. Pollen can settle on clothes, so during allergy season we never wear anything, not even jeans, more than once without washing. I also launder throw pillows, blankets, bed sheets and pillowcases more often than usual to wash away any stray pollen.

Use a hepa air filter. We have hepa air filters in all of our rooms, and our vacuum cleaner has a hepa filter to keep the air in our house as allergen-free as possible.

Use allergy-resistant pillow covers and mattress covers. If you or your kids are allergic to dust mites, invest in allergen pillow covers and mattress covers, which feature tightly woven fabric so that dust mites cannot survive in the pillows or mattresses.

Use a nasal allergy spray. Before they started using a nasal allergy spray, my boys would absolutely dread playing soccer on grass. Once their doctor prescribed a nasal allergy spray, the problem went away -- but I've found that I prefer the convenience of over-the-counter sprays like FLONASE® Allergy Relief, because it is full prescription strength and I can get it at our local pharmacy, without a prescription first. It is the first and only OTC nasal spray indicated to relive both nasal congestion & itchy watery eyes. FLONASE® has really helped relieve the worst of our allergy symptoms -- the runny nose, nasal congestion, and watery, itchy eyes. While most over the counter allergy pills only act on histamine, FLONASE® helps act on 6 different inflammatory substances, not just the one.*

*Mechanism vs. most OTC allergy pills. FLONASE® acts on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.

My boys use the Children's FLONASE® Allergy Relief for kids ages 4+ so they can stop focusing on their allergies and start focusing on their game. And out on the sidelines, my husband, daughter and I can stop focusing on our allergies and start focusing on supporting our soccer players!

Just follow the label and remember that consistent usage is key. For adults and children 12 years of age and older, ask your doctor if you can keep using after 6 months of daily use .
For Children’s FLONASE® Allergy Relief, consistent usage is key.  For children 4-11 years of age, talk to your child's doctor if your child needs to use for longer than 2 months a year.
soccer

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How do you help your family manage seasonal allergies? Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Les Signes de Toilettes de Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris restroom signs

If you want evidence of Disney's attention to detail, look no further than their theme park restroom signs. Their restroom signs are always clever and witty, and they always match the theme or decor of their surroundings. It has been a while since I've posted photos of Disney restroom signs, because I think I've posted all of the ones around the Disneyland Resort, and I haven't been to any other Disney Park in a while.

We recently visited Disneyland Paris for the first time, so I got to experience the pleasure of finding and photographing new restroom signs all over the park (much to the chagrin of my family, and to the confusion of the other park visitors!). We only had 1 day in each of DLP's 2 theme parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park), and I wanted to spend most of it on rides, not on finding restrooms, so this list is by no means complete. However, I think I've got enough samples to convince me that the tradition of beautiful and clever restroom signs is alive and well at Disneyland Paris. Check out the photos below and see if you agree with me!


Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate: UK vs US


One of the things we enjoy most about visiting England is eating chocolate! While I do love an occasional (okay, frequent) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Kiss or and M&M's, they pale in comparison to a Galaxy, Aero, or Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. British chocolates are just so much creamier and chocolaty-er than US chocolate! It's not just my imagination; the minimum percentage of cocoa content required in the US to be labeled as "chocolate" is 10%, while in the UK and Ireland the minimum percentage is 20%. While our true chocolate loyalties lie with Belgian chocolate (minimum 35% cocoa content), as far as chocolate candy bars are concerned we are diehard Cadbury fans.

However, if you live in the US, don't be fooled by the Cadbury bars you see being sold in drugstores and grocery stores. Those aren't made by the UK-based Cadbury company; they are actually manufactured by The Hershey Company in Hershey, PA! Hershey won the rights to manufacture and sell Cadbury chocolate to the US market in 1988. They import the Cadbury chocolate "base" -- a mixture of powdered cocoa, milk, and sugar known as "crumb" -- from the UK, but the end formulation is slightly different. Can you taste the difference? The answer is a resounding YES.

Trading pins at Disneyland Paris


One of my favorite things to do at a Disney park is trade pins. They're the perfect souvenir because they're small, inexpensive, and long-lasting. They're a lot of fun to trade, even for casual traders like me. My pins would be of no interest to the serious pin trader who owns dozens of binders of rare pins worth thousands of dollars, but many Disney park cast members wear lanyards filled with pins, and they are happy to trade any pin you want with them, up to two pins per day. Most of the pins sold in the parks are sold in all parks, but there are some pins that are exclusive to each park. So when we planned our first-ever visit to Disneyland Paris, I was determined to carve out some time to browse, buy, and trade pins.

12 ways Disneyland Paris differs from Disneyland California

Disneyland Paris

Disney has six theme parks around the world -- Florida, California, Japan, Paris, Hong Kong, and now Shanghai. Disney parks are not a "once-you've-seen-one-you've-seen-them-all" kind of thing. All parks stay true to the Disney brand, and many experiences will be the same. The Disney characters are the same, many of the rides are the same, even whole areas are the same. In all parks, you'll enjoy immaculate surroundings, friendly cast members, an immersive experience, and attention to detail. But each park has quite a few things unique to the park, and to the culture of the host country, so each park will give visitors a unique experience. That's why I want to visit all the Disney Parks around the world before I die!

Getting to Hogwarts: Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station


Every Harry Potter fan longs to attend Hogwarts, the most magical school in the world. But before you can board the Hogwarts Express, you have to get on to Platform 9 3/4. Do you have what it takes to cross the magical barrier and enter the wizarding world? We visited Platform 9 3/4 to find out! Platform 9 3/4 is located at King's Cross Station in London. King's Cross is both a railway station and a London Underground (Tube) stop, so if you are taking the Tube to King's Cross, you will have to exit the Tube to get to the railway station portion.

Boot Sale Bargains


Whether you live in Marlborough, UK or Menlo Park, CA, summer is the season for garage sales. The only difference between the garage sales in the US and the ones in England is that the sun doesn't shine on the ones in England, and they're called car boot sales. Instead of holding the sales on their front yards, people pack their stuff up in a car and gather at a common ground.

Pupusas with lettuce and beef (aka Pupusalad)


I very rarely buy frozen foods, and when I do, it's usually only one of five dishes: quiche, chicken curry, teriyaki meatballs, Filipino lumpia, or chicken tamales. All but the lumpia come from Costco (the lumpia comes Goldilocks!). The chicken tamales were the result of a blogger partnership with Del Real Foods; they sent us some of their prepared Mexican dishes, and we've loved them ever since. Whenever I see Del Real's chicken tamales at Costco, I can't help stocking up on a pack or two to stash in the freezer!

Easy veggie lasagna


Pasta dishes are a dinner staple at our house, but one item that hardly ever makes it onto our menu is lasagna. I think it's because I always associate making lasagna with a lot of WORK. I have to make the meat sauce, make the white sauce, cook the noodles, then layer everything, then bake. That's a lot of pans and a lot of time, especially for someone who usually starts thinking about what to make for dinner 30 minutes before dinnertime!

A few weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and make a lasagna. When planning the ingredients, I decided to use Trader Joe's canned marinara sauce, and that turned out to be the shortcut that turned lasagna into a dreaded time-suck into a dish that I can make as easily as a stir-fry. What I've come to realize is that lasagna is as labor-intensive as you want it to be. You can easily substitute prepared foods for some or all of the ingredients like the white sauce and the red sauce, so all you really have to do is layer the dish.

Celebrating Philippine Independence Day

Today marks the 118th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day. On June 12, 1898, the revolutionary armies of the Philippines, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the armies and first president of the Philippines, declared the Philippine's independence from Spain.

Northern California has such a large Filipino community, so it's a given that there would be Independence Day celebrations in the area. It has been a while since I've been to one of them, so I decided to take the family up to San Francisco to participate. Other than occasional trips to Goldilocks and Asian groceries for Filipino meals and snacks, I don't live the Filipino lifestyle that much. The kids are always eager for a chance to chow down on lumpia and pork barbecue, so they happily came along.