Re-Designing American Education: thoughts from a teacher for parents who are becoming teachers overnight

Re-Designing American Education: thoughts from a teacher for parents who are becoming teachers overnight

HOW TO TEACH FROM HOME IN A WORLD OF VIRTUAL LEARNING…

Food for thought as we re-design education in the midst of a pandemic not only for the virtual space but also thinking ahead: how can we re-shape education when we do return to schools?

A classic example directly correlated with our current situation – “smaller class sizes”, says the CDC. But we can’t have smaller classes without having more teachers (and more classrooms). And we can’t have more teachers if we can’t keep the teachers we have. Our education system has needed to change for a long time. Perhaps the silver lining in all of this is time. Time to think and time to re-imagine.

How do we keep our teachers? How can we create career teachers, supporting teacher retention? How do we create a system where our teachers ARE valued not only by their students but by their communities, by their country? Now that parents and grandparents have had to experience the challenges of teaching, can we as a community more readily see the value of teaching as a profession? Are we more able to understand the challenges and limitations, particularly when we feel unsupported as the educator? Can we multiply the experience of having to teach a couple of kids by 30 or 40 kids, and then again by five classes a day (secondary), or 30 kids and five subjects all day long (elementary)?

Are we all starting to understand the value in planning time to bolster teaching time? Can we reflect on the amount of work that goes into it? Why do our teachers barely earn a living while society relies on them to make their own livings? And how can we diversify our teacher base to give our kids teachers (and school leaders) that look like them, so they themselves might one day WANT to become teachers? My kids look at me like I am crazy when I suggest they consider teaching one day. They say, “no way.”

What they do want to be are Youtubers (or doctors, or video game designers). You may wonder why. But it’s not hard to explain. Our kids want to be valued, they want to be paid well, they want to own homes and have cars. They want all the things we want for them – when they look at teachers they see the reality of the job because they spend their days with us. When they look at Youtubers they see people being valued and making a comfortable living doing what they love. What if we could teach them that they can do what they love by teaching what they love? Youtubers are teachers. They are the teachers of the 21st century. Tik Tokers are teachers, just look at how many people are trying to duplicate what they see on these platforms – myself included. How can we use this to strengthen our schools and inspire our kids?

When you need to know how to do something, where do you look? I used to go to books or search the web for information. We don’t have the attention spans we once did. I believe Youtube and Tik Tok are owning the virtual space because not only do we learn about what we were searching but we get to see it in action with are very eyes. Perhaps it is a tutorial on dog grooming, a dance we want to learn, or presently how to use the learning management systems our schools are opening with and depending on this year. Have you noticed how much more often videos have become promoted in Google search? They appear right at the top. Whether you learn visually or by listening or by doing, videos seem to work. They feel personal in a disconnected world. They allow the user to do with the content what they’d like.

If our kids love Youtube and Tik Tok, can we as teachers find a way to bring that into our virtual classrooms? If you aren’t comfortable with video, or you want a way to provide more collaborative and interactive lessons, there are other tools. One of the best tools I found at the very end of last year, after being forced into virtual teaching without notice, was Nearpod.

We need to share what’s working. Perhaps that was my point all along in starting this essay… we as teachers and parents and students, as schools and districts and states, we as a nation need to collaborate.

The first time you learn to write your name it is messy, sometimes you forget some of the letters, it’s hard to hold the crayon but with practice, with trial and error, you eventually get it. We may fail at first and that is okay. Teachers work with this idea all year long. Have faith in the process of learning. It is a process. Making mistakes and failing are the parts of learning that make it feel so good when we finally get it right. Sometimes trying is good enough. We won’t learn anything if we don’t.

We are resilient. Our kids are especially resilient. Be gentle with yourself as parents and remember we are all in this together.

There is no greater advocate for your child’s education than the teachers that step up and show up year after year, despite how they are paid or valued or supported. We didn’t sign up to teach online. But we teach because we love learning. We will learn how to do this.

I can’t speak to every teacher, but I can speak for myself. So from one high school teacher to you as a parent, please know: when it is safe to return to schools I will work my butt off to make sure your kids get caught up if they fall behind because of remote learning – and I’m confident most of the teachers I know feel the same.

What really matters when it comes to virtual learning?

While I trust we can catch them up in math, you should also know, I see your child’s mental health as the most important part of my job at this time. I will do everything I can to build a community with them, to give them space to interact with their peers, to have a safe place to come when things feel hard.

My virtual classes last year felt like group therapy sessions. I sat with your kids as they told me their fears and asked me hard questions. “My mom works in a hospital is she going to die?… My dad lost his job… My grandmother died from the virus… My parents have to work so I am taking care of my four younger siblings.” As a woman who grew up most of my life with a single parent, I can picture and feel what these kids (and you as parents) are working with. I tried to be strong and found somedays that was impossible to maintain. But that’s okay. I’m human (good news!). It was an emotionally challenging experience. I expect this year will be even more so. This is hard work.

Be gentle with your teachers, this type of teaching is intense.

I know not every teacher will show up and give it 100% but look for the ones who are and be patient while others get comfortable with the technology. Right now we are all learners.

On the left (under Sunday) I create main weekly objectives when planning what I will teach, we don’t always meet them so I plan a unit at a time and change it up with whiteout as needed. This is what my plan looked like in the last weeks of the 2019-2020 school year, while students learning remotely and I was teaching 100% virtually.

Create a routine, have a flexible yet predictable plan

I encourage you as parents to create “learning pods” to give your children the opportunity to interact with other kids – this is perhaps the most valuable part of in-school learning. They need time with friends and human connection outside of the home. Be thoughtful and strategic about it, but don’t let your fear prevent them completely from experiencing in-person relationships. Schools are closed because we can’t safely socially distance the sheer volume of kids we have, in the spaces we have without putting the entire community at risk. You have the opportunity to create a teeny-tiny-mini-schools. And I bet your teachers would be ready to give you activity ideas – jump to the bottom for a ton of mine.

If you are taking on the massive role of teaching your kid this year DO NOT try to plan out the whole year! Get the first couple weeks planned out the best you can. Kids learn at different paces and that’s okay! It’s also why planning out a year is impossible. Things will naturally begin to flow. Just meet them where they are and go from there. What you can plan is their schedule. Set-up a routine. Kids thrive when they know what the plan is and what is coming next.

Maybe you wake up, have breakfast, do school from then until lunch, then have an independent play, maybe on Tuesdays and Thursdays they see their pod from 2-4. Perhaps you teach your kids to cook (science, math) and help you with dinner. Perhaps you send them outside with a notebook to sketch out the trees. Trust yourself. You know more about teaching than you think you do. The best advice I can provide is setting the schedule, especially for the littles. Post it up large. Use stickers, create incentives over time or competitions, let them earn things. Consider the space in which they work. Perhaps science is outside and reading is on the couch.

What will your school day / week look like?

Make a list of questions after you make your schedule. Give your teachers a chance to show you their plan and then if you still have questions, reach out to them. Talk to other parents too. Find out what works and report back to the teachers. Help us help you.

I know you are anxious about how to do this, how it is going to work. And I will admit, I am too.

I don’t have all the answers to any of these questions. Neither do you. Collectively though, there is hope. Collaboration is integral to education. As most of us begin this year remotely, parents and teachers working together, we have a real opportunity to learn what works for our kids. We have an opportunity to make real changes in education when we do return to school in person.

Project ideas + learning tools for virtual learning at home

A few years ago I created a binder of “Making” projects for grades K-12. The file is large so you will have click here to download it. Making is about using your hands to create, it is about design-thinking, it is about engaging the mind and body to engineer ideas. It can be anything from programming to sewing.

HIGH TECH

If you want to invest in a tool for elementary school students, I highly recommend Lego We-Do and would be happy to talk you through ways to use it that do not come in the box! If you have a middle schooler, Lego Mindstorm is an excellent choice. I realize these are expensive but if say, you had a learning pod going, you could combine forces and go in on a kit together. Groups of two work very well for these but you can improvise with groups of four too. These kits help teach kids the basics of programming, engineering, design, and fluency in technology.

Keep in mind the kids will need a computer for these tools AND the best ways to teach with them are not necessarily “following the instructions,” for example, with Lego-WeDo we simply gave the kids motors and computers and opened the software and asked them to make it move – good luck – ready, set, go! Once they figured that out we asked them to design something that moves on paper. Then they build it (and learn about gears and motors), then they figure out how to program it to make it move the way they’d hoped. This way of using the kits, as opposed to building the step-by-step designs included in the kit creates an excellent, high-quality learning experience. Then they can do the pre-built designs and they will understand how they could have improved their original design, learning how to properly place gears, etc. Being able to make connections is very important. They need the first experience to make the later powerful.

LOW TECH

Have them build a catapult. Popsicle sticks and low-temp hot glue guns will teach many of the same ideas on a dime. Plus the first time they get burned, they learn about the importance of safety 😉 Challenge them: build a bridge using only paper and masking tape strong enough to hold this gallon of milk!

Don’t do things for them. Try to guide them with your words to do it themselves. That being said, do step in before they get too discouraged and want to quit. Sometimes we all need help threading a needle. Give your kids the chance to do things themselves.

Here are a others few off the top of my head:

These ideas and lots of pictures are all in this forever free, downloadable Making Binder PDF, or if you are a Pinterest lover like myself, many of them are pinned in my “Making with Miss. Jess” board for easy access. There are lots of other ideas on my “After School Making Project Ideas” board. Shout out to Lighthouse Charter where I learned the magic of teaching making in schools as a Maker Ed AmeriCorps VISTA.

600

I believe in you. And I believe we can make virtual learning work if we do it together. If you want to follow along on my virtual journey, I’ll be here, on Youtube, sharing my resources and trying to build a community.

xo,

Ms. Jess

Covid19 Face Masks For Food Allergy Collectors & The People Who Love Them

Covid19 Face Masks For Food Allergy Collectors & The People Who Love Them

This is one thing I CAN do. So I am sewing and shipping, one batch at a time for the people I love.

#AllergicToEverything Covid19 Face Masks | Mommy & Me Set
Pleated Front Covid19 Face Masks
Filter Pocket, 4 Layers of Fabric, Fabric Ties Covid19 Face Masks
Soft and breathable Covid19 Face Masks
View this post on Instagram

Groceries shopping look from yesterday. Been trying out many styles of masks: N95, the ones I am sewing, N95 under the one I am sewing, coffee filter in the one I am sewing, a ski mask, scarfs. My thoughts are this: like shoes, I choose my mask for the occasion. 🤍MASKS BY ACTIVITY •For groceries and errands I feel safest in my home sewn mask with a coffee filter inserted. I can breathe easier than combing it with the N95. It fits flush to my skin. It stay on my head and doesn’t budge until I untie it. When driving to errands I keep the bottom strapped ties in place and before getting out of my car I tie to top strap. I keep it on until I get home. •For exercise, I like my ski mask – I can keep it around my neck and pull it up when I see a person ahead. I make sure i pinch from the middle so I get at least two layers of fabric over my nose and mouth. •Scarfs, unless you really try to tie them to your head they shift a lot. I do not think a falling mask or a mask you constantly have to adjust is smart (too much fidgeting and touching when in germy areas = germs on your mask from your hands). •In high risk situations or around high risk people, I wear the N95 under my home sewn mask. If I did not have an N95, I would increase the # of coffee filters and possibly add another homemade mask atop the first one. And wear glasses. 🤍 MASK ORDERS I am still making masks and taking orders. I’m now using four layers of fabric and each mask has a slot for inserting filters. If I can accommodate special requests, I will. Elastic options coming soon. But in all honesty in my experience, the ties are more comfortable to wear for errands. Will be posting closeups of my last batch of masks shortly (if you are seeing this on IG, see my @boaatt account for the closeups). If you need a mask, DM me. I’m shipping batches weekly. We are all in this together. #allergictoeverything #flattenthecurve

A post shared by #AllergicToEverythingⓇ (@hashtagallergic) on

Customizable Adult and Kid sizes | Covid19 Face Masks
Schipping Kit Covid19 Face Masks for Food Allergy Collectors and the people who love them! #AllergicToEverything (@hashtagallergic) (@boaatt)
View this post on Instagram

Before I left school I decided to look inside my “go bag” for emergencies. I found one N95. If you know me, you know I am #allergictoeverything and have an immune system built from shit due to years of steroid use to control my asthma and allergies. It’s hard to breathe using the N95, let alone under the fabric. But hard to breathe has been my life. And now I just think of our frontline, struggling to breathe as they lean over patients they are trying to help breathe. We are all fighting to breathe. May we all get through this with as few losses as humanly possible. I am doing my part. I #stayathome. When I must get food, I will wear my masks not only to protect me, but to protect you. #flattenthecurve and keep it fucking flat. 🌕 And regardless of what the President is willing to mandate – we should all wear masks, scarfs, bandanas, anything in the hopes to slow this thing down. A barrier is better than nothing. To all the nurses in my life, god bless you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 🙏🏻 • • Want to MAKE YOUR OWN? My pattern and tips are all listed below. I am not a professional but I did do extensive research and tried multiple styles. This one is beginner friendly and backed by doctors and hospitals. • MASK PATTERN I USED Suggested by Kaiser for health facilities if the shortage comes down to homemade masks on the frontline. FABRIC USE 100% cotton. I used pillow cases, almost everyone I owned was 100% cotton- check the labels. FILTERS If you do not have an N95 to wear, you can add filters (or a pocket for filters). Suggested filters include vacuum bags, even coffee filters will add *some* protection. MASK CARE **IMPORTANT** Make multiple masks. You must wash / sanitize them thoroughly after EVERY use. MASK WEARING Should be skin tight, flush against your face. You can add wire or pipe cleaners to the top. PATTERN How to make a face mask/ Using just 1 piece of fabric!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aMCFnK5bHk (Kaiser mask VIDEO) https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/content/dam/internet/kp/comms/import/uploads/2020/03/02_COVID_Mask-Instructions_v9.pdf (kaiser mask step by step) • • • #covidfacemask #facemaskhomemade #diyfacemask #covid19

A post shared by Jessica Gray Schipp (@boaatt) on

Home-sewn Covid19 Face Masks for Food Allergy Collectors and the people who love them! #AllergicToEverything (@hashtagallergic) (@boaatt)
All-In-One Puppy Spray

All-In-One Puppy Spray

It sure has been a while… I drove out to Modesto and left with a puppy in my tote bag.  I was terrified driving away.  She’s my first puppy.  All I knew is that we belonged together.  And now all I want is to take THE BEST care of her – like having homemade All-In-One Puppy Spray on hand when she gets itchy or stinky or matted.

Her name is Kate.  She is a tiny little thing and just about full grown at 4.4lbs.  When I brought her home I noticed she was biting at her front paws and scratching her ears a lot at night, the vet said it was probably allergies – go figure, she’s just like her mama!  They said I could give her 1mg of Benadryl per pound of weight as needed, which meant about 5mgs, which in terms of Benadryl is somewhat complicated to dose.  After scouring Amazon for natural remedies, I got to thinking and decided to try and make her a puppy friendly itch relief spray.  And then I decided it should also be a calming spray.  And a puppy perfume.  And deodorizing. And detangling.  And conditioning.

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

And voila! My first #AllergicToEverything allergen-free pet recipe: All-In-One Puppy Spray.  A DIY recipe to stop itching, deodorize, detangle, condition, and calm your pup.

All you need to make this easy all-in-one puppy spray recipe are a couple of products you may just have around the house already.  Lucky for me, all I had to do was run by Dollar Tree for mini spray bottles.

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free   All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Not only does it smell great but it works for Katie.  She is barely itching anymore.  It took her a few weeks to get used to the process of being sprayed but now she sits and lets me spray her, rub her down, and brush her.  Dets on the brush I use are in the puppy spray recipe notes below!

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

#AllergicToEverything All-In-One Puppy Spray

All-In-One Puppy Spray
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A DIY leave-in puppy spray recipe to stop itching, deodorize, detangle, condition, and calm your pup. It even works to freshen up their clothes and bed!

Course: Home, Life, Pets
Cuisine: Beauty, Pet Beauty
Servings: 1 bottle
Author: Jessica Gray Schipp | #AllergicToEverything
Ingredients
  • 2 oz Spray bottle (or whatever size you have)
Add To Your Spray Bottle
  • 2 oz Water (spring or distilled if possible)
  • 1 tbsp Pure witch hazel
  • 2 tsp Almond oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp Glycerine
  • 1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil
Add Essential Oils
  • 6 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops Sweet orange essential oil
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3 drops Peppermint essential oil (optional, I omitted this but I hear good things!)
  • 3 drops Chamomile essential oil (optional, I omitted this but I hear good things!)
Instructions
  1. In a 2-ounce spray bottle combine the water, witch hazel, almond oil, glycerine, and vitamin E oil.  

  2. Add in essential oils.  You can switch them up and use less or more depending on you and your pups preference - BUT please note: some essential oils are toxic to pups so do your research first!

  3. Shake well!

  4. Spray on your puppies back and tummy and use your hands to scrunch it through their hair, making sure to cover any itchy spots like their paws and ears. I like to brush my pup after - see the notes for the brush I use.  You can even spray their clothes (before or after wearing), on their bedding to freshen them up!

Recipe Notes
  • Please do your researching when using essential oils on your animals - they can be toxic.  The ones I have listed in the recipe are dog-friendly. When it comes to buying essential oils I stick to brands I trust like Aura Cacia and NOW.
  • I use the Conair PRODog Pet-It for Dog Slicker Brush and we love it!  It's easy to hold in your palm and I can tell it's like a massage for Katie. 
  • Feel free to get a larger spray bottle and make up a big batch.  I ended up at the Dollar Tree and found a pack of travel bottles (one spray and two with tops), which worked perfectly.  I stored the other two for when the spray bottle runs out.  Also a great gift idea!

I also use it to freshen her bedding and her clothes (before and after she wears them).  As a first-time dog mommy, puppy smell wasn’t my favorite thing so it was a win-win.

No Benadryl necessary.  Just natural allergy relief at its best.

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free  All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

The Relaunch

If you’ve been following my Kickstarter journey, you know I failed at 96%.  I raised over $30K and got zilch.  Heartbreaking.

Seriously heartbreaking. It kind of crushed me in the end. Not kind of, it really devastated me. Simultaneously my personal life imploded and it seemed like I’d lost just about everything that mattered to me.  During the campaign, I entirely threw myself into #AllergicToEverything, a pseudo distraction from my personal life.  In the end, I lost it all. I had to dig deep to see the lessons and find the gifts in the failure and loss.  I was beyond burnt out.

I had to look at my part in all of it, both personal and in the campaign.  For the first time in my life, I allowed myself to just be.  I took things really slowly.  First I slept a lot.  And ate my feelings. I stopped going on social media and checking my email. For a while, the most I could seem to do was go to my shrink once a week and watch reality shows about people’s lives (particularly challenging lives), trying to find a way to feel less alone, I suppose.

And then one day I started going to Al-anon (a 12-step program for family members and friends of alcoholics).  I went almost every day for the first month.  Those rooms have changed me.  I started doing yoga again and cooking and praying about what was next for me.  I even prayed about wanting a dog and no-joke, as I was about to spend $1K on a hypoallergenic dog, Katie was posted on Petfinder. I didn’t pay a dime for her.  We came into each other’s lives at the exact moment we were supposed to.

Not to get religious on you but I know now that God only gives us what we can handle.  I’ve had to learn to trust that there is a bigger plan for me.  That all of these losses were part of the path meant for me.

All the while, you’ve been asking for the relaunch and you’ve stayed by my side.  You’ve been beyond supportive.  And I suppose I just want to give you a window into why it’s taken so long to get back on my feet and relaunch.  I don’t know how I would have made it through all the failure without all the love from you.

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

It took a lot of soul-searching to bounce back.

But now that I have survived the failure – I am preparing the relaunch.  This time around things will be different.  I’m pacing myself.  I’m putting myself first.  My guess is that it will happen early spring.

In the meantime, it is my most favorite time of year.  The holidays are here and I’m going to embrace them with family and friends and my Katie Kat!

I’m jazzing up my resume – yes I need a job again.

I’m applying to Berkeley for another Master’s, this time an MFA in Art Practice, which along with making the world a better place- has always truly been the root of my passion.

I’m back in the kitchen.

I’m doing my yoga.

I’m going to meetings.

I’m walking with my pup.  Or trying to.  She’s learning 😉

And I’m saying to myself, “Jessica, I know you want to put the Christmas tree up but you have to at least wait until Halloween!”

Speaking of Christmas, I’m pretty sure this all-in-one puppy spray would be an amazing DIY gift for the pet lovers in your life!

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free All In One Puppy Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

 

 

Snag your copy!

BUY THE BOOK #AllergicToEverything – the lifestyle guide and cookbook for food allergy collectors & the people who love them

Meet Jess

Jess is a high school teacher, food allergy collector, writer, artist, and entrepreneur living in Alexandria, VA.

Mailing List

#AllergicToEverything?

#AllergicToEverything?

A Book For Food Allergy Collectors

I’ve been a risk taker my whole life.

I wasn’t taking a risk when I wrote #AllergicToEverything.  It started out as a little journal of recipes that were working for me.  It was a notebook I kept in my Kitchen.

Jessica Gray Schipp, Food Allergy Collector: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeJessica Gray Schipp, Food Allergy Collector: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

This is my friend Phil on his 30th birthday (along with a few of the best people ever).  He saw my journal and said I should publish it. It was in that moment that I began to see #AllergicToEverything as a book.

Phil Gratitude: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

A long, long time ago. At least it feels that way. Circa 2011.

This is the original cookbook – with “recipes” misspelled and all.  This is also an illustration of why an editor is important to this project.  I am dyslexic and tend to spell phonetically.

The Original Cookbook: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Yes, I did spell “recipes,” “reciPIES”

I sat down that summer and typed up the recipes.  The next summer I sat down and decided I should Kickstart it.  Then the summer after that I rented a cabin in Willits to finish the recipes.  And once I’d finished the recipes, I dreamt of a little more and the guide was born.  From shopping to symptoms, to where allergens like corn hide, one-third of the book became a bible of sorts. To write the intellectual stuff I needed a change of scenery so this past summer I sat down and wrote the lifestyle guide, from hotels in London and Germany with my boyfriend.   And here we are, in this new summer of 2018, the summer that I finally launched the Kickstarter to fund the first print run.

The book is written.  The backers are backing.

#AllergicToEverything is my book-baby.  It took me nine months to plan for this Kickstarter and six years to write.

It is over 200 pages long and includes 115+ recipes (from food to beauty to cleaning supplies).

Allergic To Everything Kickstarter Campaign: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

A glimpse inside the original cookbook.

At first, the book was recipes that would work for me, and then it became recipes that would work for anyone avoiding the “top 8.”  I grew to have an appreciation for the bold indicators on the labels of our food (required by the FDA to indicate the top 8).  I will note that I believe corn should be included on the list and that one day (in our near future) I believe it will be.  At the rate at which we pump it into our diets (even feeding it to our cattle), it’ll be no surprise.  Perhaps there is a correlation to the way we introduced wheat into our diets with the rates of gluten intolerance, allergy, and sensitivity.

In the end, each recipe will be tailored to be friendly to all of the top 8 food allergens (milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy).  The book is now 90% complete, I am still working on the top 8 modifications.  My recipes are also free of oats, corn, sesame, and gluten.

I am a Food Allergy Collector, a real live human living with multiple food allergies. I am #AllergicToEverything. #AllergicToEverything was once upon a time something I made for me, and now my dream is to bring it to life for you.

The Recipes: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Intro to the Recipe Section

 

What if I am allergic to…?

If you are allergic to the foods in these two charts, this book is for you.

THE TOP 8: Milk, Eggs, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Shellfish, Fish, Wheat, Soy 

The Top 8: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

AND MORE: Corn, Gluten, Sesame, Oats, Chemical Additives, Preservatives, Artificial Flavoring

The Top 8 and more : #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

What are the recipes like?

Food makes memories.  It connects us.  My food is made to bring us together, not separate us.  I was inspired to make food my friends wouldn’t know was missing allergens.  I wanted to share dinner without discussing how we’d managed to share a meal.

Let’s take a look at the Pizza SECTION. 

Pizza is (maybe) my all-time-favorite-food.

What else is in the book?

Beyond the Pizza section, there is so much more! 

This is the overview of what is in the entire cookbook –

But what are the recipes?

And here, because I want to prove that I have a project worth backing, are the recipes (minus a few that I am planning to add that have recently developed) –

What is the lifestyle guide?

 

Three Little Bits of Advice

  1. 10 ingredients or less. When I read a label, if there are more than ten ingredients, I put it right back.  If there are less I read it, if I can pronounce the ingredients, it is probably made out of real food.  If not, I put it back.  I don’t like additives, preservatives, and chemicals in my food. See the video here!The Kickstarter Book Campaign: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free
  2. Don’t trust anyone with your allergens. Unless you know they know.  Even my very best friends poison me by using shredded cheese, unknowingly coated in cornstarch to preserve it.  Ask all the questions.  Ask to see the cheese.  I know the brands that don’t use cornstarch, it pisses me off to pay more, but I do, every time.  This goes for restaurants too.
  3. Be prepared. Carry Epi-Pens if you are anaphylactic.  Bring along the Benadryl, prednisone, steroid creams if you need it.  Learn to sense the reactions as they come on by tuning into how your body reacts and take care of your body when it does react.  I am not condoning or prescribing here, just speaking from the experience that I have had.  Which is this:  I regret it when I don’t have what I need.  You can see my food allergy purse here, haha.

How Does Kickstarter Work?

The Allergic To Everything Kickstarter Book Campaign: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeFor the price of takeout for two or just a cup of coffee, you can be part of bringing #AllergicToEverything to life.  There is no pledge too small, and no pledge to large- the sky is the limit.  www.HashtagAllergic.com will take you directly to the Kickstarter page.

If I do not reach my goal, your money will be returned in full.  If I do reach my goal, you will get the book in return for your pledge.  You do need to use a credit card but I have been backing projects on Kickstarter and I can vouch that they are trustworthy.  The money goes directly to the project creator (myself) or right back to you if I don’t hit my goal.

What’s been the hardest part?

I’ve been struggling to share #AllergicToEverything with the online food allergy community.  Groups won’t allow me to post about it and most organizations have policies against endorsing “fundraising efforts.”  While the media is interested, they say to get back to them when the book is published. I’m contacting new bloggers every day reaching out for help.

I am doing everything I can think of.  I have never worked so hard at anything in my life and I am naturally a hard worker.

I’ve tried finding other places to share it, like Nextdoor.  That went pretty poorly as well.  But every day I get up and I face it.  I am strong.  I believe in my book.  And I want to help people.  And I want to be honest about this experience.

Misconceptions have been challenging as well, so I want to take a moment to clear a few things up:

  1. This project is a passion project, not a financial pursuit. All the money raised goes to the book and to the backers, in the form of a book.  A good percentage of the funding goal is based on shipping costs.  The other major cost is printing.
  2. Every recipe will be friendly to all “top 8” food allergens, this includes Milk, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat, and Soy. Additionally, I do not use Oats or Corn in any of the recipes.  I am personally allergic to Wheat, Gluten, Corn, Soy, Oats, Eggs, and Shellfish. You can be sure none of these will ever be in any of the recipes.  Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Milk, and Fish are included in some (very few) of my original recipes, when published they will be modified to include substitutions (for every top 8 allergens).  This is ambitious but I am dedicated and my seven food allergens have taught me a lot.  I know I can do this.  And I know I have the experience I need to do this. The book is written, and the substitutions are in progress.
  3. Funded or not, I put everything I have ever worked for on the line for #AllergicToEverything because I believe in it.  I don’t like being doubted for having allergies and it happens more often than you’d think.  I also don’t like hives, constipation, anaphylaxis, and exhaustion- all symptoms I fight to varying degrees when I consume my food allergens.

The Book Mockup: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

One day I will open a box, and there it will be.  White, gold embossing, my younger self, looking back up at me from the cover.  I’ll open the book to whatever page it chooses and there it will be.  A professional collection, woven from comfort and all my love.

Gratitude Makes the World Go ’round

Joaquin Correa Gratitude: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeThis is Joaquin. He pushed me to move forward with #AllergicToEverything when I lost faith in it.  I was tired of trying to find an agent and he believed in me.  I wouldn’t have gotten here without him.  If it was not for his faith in me, his encouragement every step of the way, and his eye for editing photos, I’m not sure I could have come so far.  The people in our lives that love us, believe in us, and push us to be our best are a gift from the universe.  Joaquin, you have been a gift in my universe.

I am endlessly grateful to the bloggers, newspapers, and podcasters out there who jumped in and have rallied behind me.  Tracy, Kathleen, Red Shoes for Oakley, Landy’s List, Eat Allergy Safe, KALX Berkeley’s Method To The Madness, East Bay Express, The Epoch Times.

I am beyond words to express my gratitude to the backers who believe in #AllergicToEverything.

These are my handwritten thank you notes for the 165 backers to date.

A Letter to the Food Allergy Community

Dear Food Allergy Collectors & Community,

Over the last few months, I have had the pleasure of realizing what a strong food allergy community there is online.  During my years of research, I was mostly searching for recipes and food, not realizing that groups and forums existed.  Call me nieve but it wasn’t until I started learning about how to market myself online that I got recommendations to look for groups to join.  I fell in love with many of your blogs and brands through these groups and forums, which I’ve linked to on my resources page and talk about in my Food Allergy Resources post. Side note: if you don’t see yourself linked there, reach out to me, I’d love to share how you are making a difference in the food allergy community.

One thing I did not and could not plan for was this: the food allergy community that initially embraced me as one of their own, turned away from me.  By that I mean when it came time to ask for support from food allergy groups and organizations, the majority said, “no, we can’t [or don’t] endorse fundraisers.”

While I understand groups want to be free of people selling things to them, I hoped that by making it clear that #AllergicToEverything was my story, a resource, and not something that was making me money, I would be allowed to connect with the members.

I reached out to Admins, hoping to get permission to share #AllergicToEverything with Food Allergy Groups.  Groups that are meant to allow people to ask for help and exchange ideas.  Mainly my requests for permission to share #AllergicToEverything were ignored, a few politely declined or offered suggestions, and a couple (literally two) groups allowed me to share. I waited for responses and then I decided to post anyway.  What happened was a positive response from the group members!  And then most of the posts were removed.

I hoped that I could share my story, what worked for me.  This book is my experience, it is everything I know.  It is the result of my personal multiple food allergy journey.

You hold the keys to the community of which I am a grateful member. If you are reading this and you have a forum or group or newsletter that reaches the food allergy community, it would mean a great deal to me if you would share #AllergicToEverything.  The Kickstarter will be live until June 17th, this is the link: www.HashtagAllergic.com.

Thank you for the work you do to make life easier for people living with food allergies. It is important.  I believe in your mission and I share your vision for this community.

All my love,

Jess

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

My first food allergy card.

My name is Jess and I am a Food Allergy Collector.

#AllergicToEverything is my story, my experience, and most of all a tool for living life with multiple food allergies.

Jessica Gray Schipp, Food Allergy Collector: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

A Testimonial From The Woman Who Saved My Life (one last little bit of gratitude)

Jessica Gray Schipp, Food Allergy Collector: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeJessica Gray Schipp, Food Allergy Collector: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeJessica Gray Schipp, Food Allergy Collector: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Snag your copy!

BUY THE BOOK #AllergicToEverything – the lifestyle guide and cookbook for food allergy collectors & the people who love them

Meet Jess

Jess is a high school teacher, food allergy collector, writer, artist, and entrepreneur living in Alexandria, VA.

Mailing List

Food Allergy Resources

Food Allergy Resources

In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Month, I wanted to finally write a post focused on some of the life-based food allergy resources I use to manage my food allergies. I’ve tried tons of makeup, combed hundreds upon hundreds of blogs, and read thousands of labels.  It has truly been a process of trial and error- which is the key to managing food allergies.  Everyone is different, you have to find what works for you BUT you can start here, which is much better than nothing.  I have been living with multiple food allergies for about six and a half years now and over that time have found some really excellent products and relief staples that I keep on hand.

Let’s start here, not to gross you out, but rather to illustrate my experience and perhaps make you feel a little better, knowing someone else goes through this too.  You can see me at my worst if this isn’t enough.

Okay!  Let’s jump in.  Here are my food allergy resources and recipes in no particular order, yet the best particular order I could come up with.

Recipes for your Purse, Home, & Everyday Beauty

I wanted to break up my food allergy resources in a way that would make sense to you, no matter the stage you are in.  If you don’t want to go recipe by recipe or if you have an aversion to words and pictures, you can go straight to my Idea Lists on Amazon with the links below!  Trust me, some days I just want to go to the source too.

Quick List of Products & Resources:

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

#AllergicToEverything® Food Allergy Resources: In Your Purse

Food Allergy Resources: In Your Purse
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

What to keep in your purse for food allergy emergencies.  These are my go-to, have on hand food allergy resources that I never leave the house without!

Course: Home, Life
Cuisine: Food Allergy Resource
Servings: 1 Purse-full
Author: Jessica Gray Schipp | #AllergicToEverything
Ingredients
  • 1 medium Purse
  • 1 small Zipper Pouch (optional)
  • 1 small Mirror (for examining suspected reactions)
  • 1 bottle Artificial Tears (like Systane, see notes)
  • 1 bottle Allergy Eye Drops (like Alaway, see notes)
  • 1 container Assorted Allergy Meds (ex. Benadryl, Zyrtec, Prednisone)
  • 2 Epi Pens
  • 1 Inhaler (optional)
  • 1 bag Smooth Move Tea
  • 2 packets Antibacterial Wipes
  • 1 packet Tissues
  • 10 Food Allergy Cards (for remembering them all, dates, or eating out!)
  • 1 Medical ID (like mine from StickyJ)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in your purse & go!  TIP: To make it easy to transfer bags keep your supplies in a zipper pouch!

Recipe Notes

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

#AllergicToEverything® Food Allergy Resources: Everyday Beauty

Food Allergy Resources: Everyday Beauty
Prep Time
10 mins
 

These are the things I use every day in my beauty routine.  Step up your self-care with these food allergy-friendly essentials! 

Course: Home, Life
Cuisine: Food Allergy Resource
Servings: 1 person
Author: Jessica Gray Schipp | #AllergicToEverything
Ingredients
  • Good Skin Cream (like Cetaphil or Vanicream)
  • Good Body Lotion (like Vanicream' Lite Lotion)
  • Almond Oil (I use this as a primer & massage oil)
  • Conditioner (like BWC's leave-in)
  • Aluminum-free Deodorant (like Kiss My Face)
  • Allergen-free Makeup (like Almay, Bare Minerals, Physicians Formula)
  • Lip Moisturizer (like Aquaphor Lip Repair w/ or w/o sun screen)
  • Eye Lubricant Drops (like Systane Ultra)
  • Vitamins, allergen-free (like Raw One)
  • Tissues (that don't hurt your nose, please!)
Instructions
  1. Step up your self-care with these food allergy-friendly essentials!  See the notes to see the full list of products I use.

Recipe Notes

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

#AllergicToEverything® Food Allergy Resources: To Keep At Home

Food Allergy Resources: To Keep At Home
Prep Time
10 mins
 

These are the food allergy relief remedies I keep at home.  It is better to be safe than sorry, hopefully, this food allergy resource helps you to do just that!

Course: Home, Life
Cuisine: Food Allergy Resource
Servings: 1 home
Author: Jessica Gray Schipp | #AllergicToEverything
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle Allergy Medicine (daily use over the counter, like Zyrtec)
  • 1 bottle Allergy Medicine (fast acting over the counter, like Benadryl)
  • 1 bottle Steroid Medicine (like Prednisone, if prescribed)
  • 1 tube Steroid Cream (if prescribed)
  • 2 pack Extra Epi Pens (if prescribed)
  • 1 kit Sinus Rinse Kit (like NeilMed)
  • 1 bottle Allergy Eye Drops (like Alaway)
  • 1 bottle Eye Lubricant Drops (like Systane)
  • 1 jug Stool Softener (like Mirolax)
  • 1 box Digestive Support Tea (like Smooth Move)
  • 1 tub Vaseline (for chapped, irritated skin)
Instructions
  1. Keep these supplies on hand in bulk - you never know when you will need them and I think it is better to be safe than sorry (or having to call the on-call doc in the middle of the night).  See the notes for the full list of the products I keep at home (that aren't prescription based)!

  2. Please note - I do not condone or recommend the use of steroids.  They are awful on your body.  I use them only in emergencies. 

Recipe Notes
  • Allergy-friendly Pantry Staples - https://amzn.to/2HzrkQc
  • Allergy-friendly Home & Beauty Products - https://amzn.to/2KmS9cb
  • Please note - I do not condone or recommend the use of steroids.  They are awful on your body.  I use them only in emergencies. 

Food Allergy Resources: Making Your Own Allergen-free Supplies

Allergens are everywhere.  Chemicals are packed into everything these days.  Wellness Mama is my favorite resource for natural home-life- beauty recipes and remedies.  She covers it all!  Cleaning supplies, tinctures, lip gloss, you name it.

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Food Allergy Resources: Baking Gluten-free

Hands down, Karina is my go-to resource when it comes to baking gluten-free.  She is amazing, check out her blog, Gluten-Free Goddess.

Food Allergy Resources: My Medical ID Bracelet

Sticky J made this for me. While I do like it, it is too hard to put on by myself which sort of defeats the purpose.  I am planning to upcycle it into a necklace!  I do love a good DIY project.  This is the bracelet I chose; they have tons of options and styles.

Food Allergy Resources: My Go-To List

I started working on this a few months ago, the list continues to grow but here are a few blogs, apps, and services I want to especially highlight.  Or just see the full list by category!

  • Healthy Living App– The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) app for quickly identifying health and safety ratings for over 200,000 food, personal care, and cosmetic products.  All you have to do is scan the barcode (or search) to get a score for allergy, cancer, and developmental concerns.  I try to stay in the green, occasionally use yellow, but avoid completely the reds – once you try it you will understand.  My mom put me onto this and I have used it since. 
  • My everyday favorite products for beauty & home
  • My favorite allergen-free pantry staples

In the words of Oliver Sacks, “memory arises not only from direct experience but from the intercourse of many minds.” These are just a few ways many minds have influenced my food allergy journey.

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

The back of my cookbook – food journal. Please forgive the spelling, obviously the need for an editor is real for the final cookbook, hah.

These are some of the many minds (blogs) I frequent:

Food Allergy Resources: Collections to Build

Cookbooks were so important to me in the beginning. And honestly before the food allergy journey even started.  So are journals.

These are some of my favorite cookbooks, the journal I started keeping (which is being turned into a cookbook!), and how I DIYed a tool to hand out to potential dates.  Haha.  Just kidding, but no, really.  I have given my food allergy cards to dates.  And to friends who want to have me for dinner, and to restaurants, and I drop them in “win a…” bowls, and I carry them with me wherever I go.

Food Allergy Resources: Gratitude & Affirmations

One way to pick you up when you are feeling down.  My mother once sent me this little note, it simply read, “I am not this body, I am not my thoughts, I am not my feelings, I am not these situations.”  I keep it hung next to my desk.

Be grateful for everything that has been given to you, everything that has been taken away, and everything that has been left behind.

Food Allergy Resources: Instant Pot Giveaway (!!)

Instant Pot is supporting my Cookbook (launching on Kickstarter May 15th) by donating an Instant Pot Duo.  I am super excited to do this giveaway, I will be running it on my Instagram (@hashtagallergic) so be sure to follow if you want a chance to win!  They are pretty damn awesome.

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

This little guy – well not this one, but a new one – could be yours!

Practicing Gratitude

Thank you for letting me share my story & my food allergy resources.  I wish you a smoother journey than I had.  Please share what you have learned below.  We are all in this together.

If you are interested in helping me bring #AllergicToEverything, the cookbook & lifestyle guide, to life, please check out my Kickstarter page (this link will direct you to the Kickstarter as soon as the project goes live. It will be live May 15th and will run for only 30 days.

All my love,

Jess

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free  Food Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeFood Allergy Resources: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Recipe Source: AllergicToEverything.life.  All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you.

Snag your copy!

BUY THE BOOK #AllergicToEverything – the lifestyle guide and cookbook for food allergy collectors & the people who love them

Meet Jess

Jess is a high school teacher, food allergy collector, writer, artist, and entrepreneur living in Alexandria, VA.

Mailing List

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

Yoga mat cleaning spray is as simple as it gets. The first time I made this was with a group of my students.  We had a scent-off contest to see who could make the best concoction.  They loved it.  I loved it.  The room reeked!!

I may practice Yoga but I do not teach it and I was stepping in for the yoga teacher while she was in Europe.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the kids that was yoga related and this yoga mat cleaning spray was just the trick.

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray Recipe, DIY, Allergen free

 

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray Recipe, DIY

I like to make all my cleaning supplies in batches since most of the recipes call for the same ingredients.

It occurred to me today, while I was making a giveaway for the #AllergicToEverything Kickstarter campaign (a mini version of the cookbook with 7 recipes!), that I should write a quick blog post about my yoga mat cleaning spray recipe.  It had been a while since I had seen it.  Once I got to writing the recipe up, I started trying to find links to my favorite related supplies.  Like the spray bottles I use (they are linked in the recipe notes).  Anyway, I got carried away and created 2 idea lists on Amazon to share with you guys.

 

I know half the battle in the beginning of my journey was just figuring out the basics: brands to trust, ingredients to use, on the go snacks.  Please let me know in the comments if you have suggestions to add to the lists!  I will keep adding to them as I seem to always find a reason to be browsing Amazon.  Truth be told, I save a lot by purchasing allergy-friendly products from them, so for that I am grateful.  Health food stores do a great job marking some of this stuff up.  I also want to warn you Amazon marks some of it up (like flour), which you should just grab from the bulk section.

Here are the links to my lists (the yoga mat cleaning spray supplies are included in the first one):

  1. My favorite everyday allergy-friendly home & beauty products
  2. My allergen-free pantry staples

Now for the recipe!

#AllergicToEverything® Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray
Prep Time
3 mins
 

A natural and gentle cleaning spray you can make yourself!

Course: Home, Life
Cuisine: Beauty, Cleaning
Servings: 1 bottle
Author: Jessica Gray Schipp | #AllergicToEverything
Ingredients
  • 1 medium Spray bottle (see notes for my favorite ones)
  • 3/4 cup Distilled water
  • 1/4 cup Witch hazel (or distilled white vinegar)
  • 40 drops Essential oils (any scents you like, my favs are linked in the notes!)
Instructions
  1. Fill your spray bottle 3/4 of the way with distilled water. 

  2. Fill the remaining 1/4 of the spray bottle with witch hazel (or distilled white vinegar). 

  3. Add essential oils.  See my favorite scents in the recipe notes!

  4. Shake.

  5. Spray!

Recipe Notes
  • I buy my Spray Bottles on Amazon.  These ones are excellent quality and they aren't too big!  Occasionally I will also find them at the Dollar Tree but I find they don't hold up quite as well.  And yes (!) you can absolutely reuse an old spray bottle, just make sure you thoroughly clean it!
  • Distilled white vinegar is super cheap and can be found at the Dollar Store.  I tend to order it by the gallon when making big batches.  It is also great for laundry! 
  • If you are interested in the Witch Hazel version, I love Humphrey's.  It costs more but you cut down on the vinegar scent.  
  • Essential Oils are amazing but they can get pricey.  I suggest wandering the isles of Wholefoods to test the various scents and then purchasing them on Amazon to save money.  The brands I buy most often are NOW and Aura Cacia.  My favorite scents are:
  • If you want to learn more about the allergen-free beauty & home products I trust and use every day, here is a list to browse

 

 

There are so many DIY cleaning products you can make.  The awesome part is that you probably already have the ingredients for them in your Pantry.  Aside from the yoga mat cleaning spray, I have made fabric refresher, room refresher, veggie wash, and sewing spray (fabric starch).  I’ve also made tinctures and infused oils. One of these days I will sit down and write a long post on products you can make for your home and your life.  In the meantime, I just wanted to plant the seed.

If you get a chance to try out the yoga mat cleaning spray, let me know and leave a comment!  Happy stretching. xo

 

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray RecipeRecipe Source: https://AllergicToEverything.life. All images and content are Copyright © protected, all rights reserved. #AllergicToEverything® is a registered Trademark. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. To share on social media please link to and credit https://AllergicToEverything.life. Thank you.

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-freeDIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray: #AllergicToEverything® Allergen-free Recipe by Jessica Gray Schipp | For Food Allergy Collectors & People with Multiple Food Allergies | Free From Recipes | Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Corn-free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Shellfish-free, Soy-free, Sesame-free

Snag your copy!

BUY THE BOOK #AllergicToEverything – the lifestyle guide and cookbook for food allergy collectors & the people who love them

Meet Jess

Jess is a high school teacher, food allergy collector, writer, artist, and entrepreneur living in Alexandria, VA.

Mailing List