Fragrance Allergies

Have you heard of fragrance allergies? Do you think that the people that are subject to this are making this up to get attention or sympathy? It’s okay to say yes. My own brother, who is a registered nurse, thought I was a loon too til recently. Well, now you’ve “meet” someone with it.

So fragrance allergy, what is it? Well, it varies from person to person so here’s a link for WebMD.

Which reactions do you have, LilKaylie?

Personally, I have a mix of five different reactions. I can have them all at simultaneously, but not always.

  • Lightheadedness leads to dizzy spells.
  • Headaches that move on to unrelenting migraines.
  • Light sensitivity goes along with the migraines.
  • Asthma symptoms like tightness of the lungs result in the need for my rescue inhaler.
  • Then there’s the painful contact dermatitis which is a rash-like reaction. If it’s bad enough I can experience hives or skin can bubble like a third-degree burn (when they did my patch test for allergies my skin bubbled.)

In my case, my fragrance allergy is genetic, thanks, Dad! While my father has it, his case is significantly less severe than mine, and my brother was lucky enough to have been spared this condition. In some cases, women of childbearing age experience heightened sense of smell, which from what I’m told is a common occurrence in pregnant women as well.

You mentioned your brother recently clued in, what happened?

Within the last two months, my little brother got a sense of my sniffer power! In your mind fill this container up 2 inches of water and add about 25 or so different types of herb seedlings, they were about 3 inches tall from root to tip. Cilantro, Oregano, Thyme, whatever you want. Now add ONE mint seedling. This was something my in-law’s sister had given my brother for his greenhouse, so he had no idea what was in it. He was just going to put them into cups to keep under a heat lamp to help them grow before planting them in the greenhouse. OK back onto topic! I kept telling him I smelled mint, and he told me multiple times I was wrong before sticking his own nose into the mix. Once he’d unloaded about half the seedlings into their own cups he’d finally stuck his nose in again and found my single peppermint baby in there. From the look on his face, you’d have thought I stuck the seedling in there myself.

So how do I know if I have it?

Are you sensitive to smells? Does the thought of perfume, cologne, body wash, shampoo, or even hand soap make you pause out of concern about the reaction you’ll have to THIS product? You may want to check in with a specialist, an allergy specialist to be specific. A dermatologist can do a partial patch test, mine only offered me 10 different variations, while my allergy and asthma specialist offered me 40ish I think it was. Please bear with me, this was five or six years ago I had this test done.

Are you interested in Fragrance-Free products?

If you are interested, I’m going to have another page that will list off products that I have found, and even used some of them, that are fragrance-free! I’ve done the hard work in finding them, all you have to do is pick them up and use them, so long as you aren’t allergic to any of their other ingredients.

What about a cure? Is there one?

From what my allergy specialist told me there is no cure. I can’t take an allergy pill and expect to be able to go about like a normal individual. The only way to reduce negative reactions is avoidance. This can really suck for your social life, depending on how well your friends and family take the news.

My family’s reaction…

Mom thinks I can Google a way to cure myself, Google M.D. FTW!Dad understands because he suffers from a reduced version of the same thing.My brother, until just recently, thought I was off my rocker. Which depending on the day, I agree with him haha!

Thank God for my husband, who didn’t know what he was getting into when we got married but loves me all the same. He invites friends over to come visit, he takes the time to explain the situation in advance and tells them to please limit any cologne or perfume that they wear when they come over. They’ve already got an idea what happens to me when they come over, so when I excuse myself and make a run for my safe place (my office or bedroom, which both have air purifiers in them) they aren’t offended or mortified. There’s not much we can do about not asking them to use body wash, much less being concerned about laundry detergent smells. When his parents came to stay over from Canada a couple of years ago, he even had them using our laundry detergent and Dad stopped smoking for the duration of his stay. I didn’t know that Dad smoked, but Hubby mentioned how much of a sacrifice it was for him, that I was really fortunate for my in-laws to have that kind of patience.

What do you do when you leave the house?

I purchased awesome arm guards, well they are actually arm warmers, I got them from EitanyaDesigns on Etsy. They cover everything from my knuckles up to my upper arm, they even have a thumb hole, how awesome is that!

I don’t leave without my rescue inhaler (ProAir), generic Benadryl in case I come in contact with something my skin doesn’t appreciate. I also have migraine pills I take as soon as they get excessive. I have a good tolerance, just because I have to leave the house periodically, but it’s not recommended to use them while driving so I try to avoid places I know will trigger them like the mall or beauty stores.

I also take Cetaphil with me to use as a hand soap, a solid lotion (O’Keeffe’s Working Hands,) and I take a hand sanitizer as well. I can’t really find many fragrance-free sanitizers so I will either make my own or take the basic Purell.

Have more questions? Let me know, you can either comment below or you can contact me here.

*Note: FTW means For The Win.

DIY Dishwasher Tabs

Recipe adapted from Mom4Real
Recipe adapted from Mom4Real

Update 2 weeks later: I’ve made both a tester batch and a full one and I find my dishes aren’t AS clean as I want them to be. I’ve noticed that my kitchen utensils don’t always lose their stuck on food, even with soaking, and that the cutlery still has a residue leftover on them. I’m even using distilled white vinegar as a rinse aid. I’ll keep using the batch that I have now but when they are gone I’ll either swap to another DIY or stick with my Kirkland brand. I haven’t decided yet.

Ok, I did go back to the Kirkland brand. I use it only at night or when I’m upstairs so I’m not in the immediate vicinity of the kitchen. Right now it’s the holidays and I don’t have time to play around with detergent recipes.

I’ve used store bought dish tabs for years. I love my Cascade it works incredibly well, but at $20+ per box but is way overpriced so I swapped to the Kirkland and loved it’s affordable price of $10. My problem is that they changed their formula, the smell is different / stronger, and as a result, I started getting headaches every time I did dishes. I don’t consider the fair price worth the tradeoff so I swapped to the Finish Powerball tabs, but those are complete junk!! I have to pre-wash my dirty dishes before I can put them in the dishwasher, and that doesn’t guarantee a good clean. Several items had to be re-washed more than three times to get clean, and if you’re wondering… No, my dishwasher wasn’t over-packed.

Now it’s time to try the DIYs. I saw this recipe from Mom4Real and thought wow 3 ingredients, I can do that. All you need is Baking Soda, Citric Acid (or Lemi Shine) and liquid Dish Soap.

I have a tendency of going all-in when I do DIYs, then I come out disappointed with too much ‘product’ that doesn’t work out for me so this time I decided to reduce the original recipe before I created it. I also decided I wanted more of a blue color than was in the recipe so I added an extra 1 Tbsp of dish soap to the original recipe… so here’s my test version:

1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Citric Acid or Lemi Shine
1.5 Tsp Dawn*
Mixing Bowl
Glove or Spoon to stir with
Silicone Mold
Airtight Container

I added each to the bowl in order of ingredients and used a gloved hand to mix it up. Once it was nicely incorporated with the pretty light blue color I started to add it to the silicone mold. Now you’ll see a bunch of expanding, so I recommend only adding half the cavity of the mold due to expansion. Set a timer for ten minutes, when the timer is up then you can level off the expanded part and put it into a new cavity. Mine made 6 fully formed tabs.

The original post said to leave it to air dry between 4 hours to overnight, so I left mine on top of our cooled stove. The mixture did dry into hard tabs as promised, which I was excited for. The silicone molds made it super easy to pop them out. I recommend popping them out onto a folded paper towel or hand towel to avoid any breakage. I then put them straight into the airtight container to use as needed.

In my case, my dishwasher was already loaded and ready to be turned on so I tossed a tab at the bottom of the dishwasher, per the original poster’s directions and turned it on.

In this load, I did leave the dishes with stuck-on gravies and pasta on them to see what the result would be, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed! Out of an entire load of dishes, the only thing that didn’t come out clean was the plate that had pasta and gravy on it. I think we had that dinner two days ago and just didn’t have enough dishes to run a load.

I looked up about 20 different DIY dishwasher detergent/tabs yesterday, and as long as this keeps working I won’t be looking any further than the cupboard to get out the ingredients when I need to whip up a new batch.

I’m not sure how much it costs per batch as I already had all the ingredients on hand, but if I remember, I will try to price it out and come back to update later.

*I’ve seen many a recipe call for low-sudsing soaps like Castile, I used this with no problem in my dishwasher. Your needs may be different.

Beaumont Kitchenware: Grilling Gloves

I’m going to post my original review that I had on Amazon on the bottom and any updated feedback on top. I did these reviews back in June 2016 so it’s been close to five months as we’re just walking into November.

Beaumont Kitchenware Grilling Gloves

This one I think I gave a four-star review on. If you intend on using it on the grill these will be great. They are completely silicone so they may stick to your hands. If you intend on using this for the oven I’d pass it up and grab the Beaumont Kitchenware Oven Mitts specifically.

Yet another great Beaumont Kitchenware product!!

These grilling gloves would be a great addition to any home. It has the additional versatility of not being only used for grilling, but you could use it in the kitchen as well. You’ll never have a problem losing them either with the bright orange coloring.

I had no problem using this with a set of longer tongs on the grill, you could also use this to pull hot food out of the oven. The silicone grilling gloves is an excellent barrier to protect your hands. You can easily and comfortably use this for more than just a quick minute to pull food out of the oven without the dreaded moment where the gloves get a touch too warm and you feel the need to drop your baked masterpiece.

Cleanup of these gloves will be a breeze, you could either wash your “hands” with soap and water like you normally would, use a sponge/brush or just throw them in the dishwasher.

The non-slip design adds reassurance that you won’t drop what you’re holding. Don’t worry about that large heavy pan or brisket you just smoked, the steaks and asparagus will be just fine as you transfer them to the plan and use your gloves to get them to the table.

Make sure to get a set of these for your next outdoor party, grill comfortably and safely. Know someone who loves to grill, grab them a set for a housewarming present or as a gift for anyone, they’ll thank you for it.

This post includes contain affiliate links. Ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site. All opinions are 100% my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Beaumont Kitchenware: Waiter’s Corkscrew

I’m going to post my original review that I had on Amazon on the bottom and any updated feedback on top. I did these reviews back in June 2016 so it’s been close to five months as we’re just walking into November.

Beaumont Kitchenware Waiter’s Corkscrew

The wine that I drink normally has a screw top and a $7 price tag. With that being said my in-laws are a huge fan of a good bottle of wine. When they last came over they loved the look of this waiter’s corkscrew. Hubby opened the bottle like a pro and they loved everything about it. It’s such a simple item but it’s beautiful. Don’t buy something cheap from the store that works, buy yourself a mini-masterpiece that will last a lifetime.

Beautiful craftsmanship, an excellent product.

This beautifully crafted waiter’s corkscrew would be a statement piece to any home, even that of a wine aficionado. The rosewood and stainless steel look make it look both elegant and professional at the same time without sacrificing any functionality.

While it’s rare that we crack a bottle of wine, my husband and I opened a special bottle with this wonderful corkscrew. I hate calling it just a corkscrew, it feels more like a functional piece of art….

The foil came off cleanly with the serrated foil cutter. The corkscrew went in easily, like going through a softened butter. He engaged the top bottle opener portion  then closed the rosewood handle pulling it out slightly, then used the double hinged fulcrum to pull the cork out in a single clean motion. There was no cleanup involved once the cork was removed, just folding the corkscrew back together and putting it away for its next use.

This item is small in size but delivers everything you need. It comes in a beautifully packaged box and would make a great gift for anyone who loves a good glass of wine. I’m thinking about getting one for my in-laws, who enjoy wine on a weekly basis.

The price on this Beaumont Kitchenware Waiter’s Corkscrew is very reasonable considering the beauty and ease of use. It will be both a staple in your bar or kitchen, as well as conversation piece. Something that everyone at your next party will notice when you pop open a bottle of wine, they will be asking you where they can get their own, if not trying to convince you to park with yours. I strongly recommend you invest in this excellent product as it will last you a lifetime.

This post includes contain affiliate links. Ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site. All opinions are 100% my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Beaumont Kitchenware: Non-stick Baking Mat

I’m going to post my original review that I had on Amazon on the bottom and any updated feedback on top. I did these reviews back in June so it’s been close to five months as we’re just walking into November.

Beaumont Kitchenware Non-stick Baking Mat

First off please pardon the fact that I’m referencing a video below that you can’t see. I’m going to have to make a new one since my posts have been deleted by amazon (GRR!)

These non-stick baking mats are probably used twice a week to bake some sort of meat or fish. I use them for desserts as well but I’m trying to behave *COUGH* lose weight, knowing the holidays are coming and we tend to overindulge this time of year. When we bake meat we will put this in a baking pan and put this on top. If it’s especially juicy then the juice will run off into the pan, which isn’t a big deal for me but the meal will slide around on the baking mats saving a couple extra calories on baking oil/spray and making it so much easier to get off the pan. Since we got these I’ve stopped purchasing tin foil completely, so not only do I get a bargain two baking mats but I also saved myself from needing tin foil ever again.

Cleaning is a breeze. If I’m especially lazy I will throw these into the dishwasher, otherwise, I hand wash. I’ve never needed to soak and everything comes straight off. The hardest part of cleaning them is getting them to stand up long enough to air dry. I’ll take that anytime!

Buy these… save yourself time, money, and space with your beautifully baked creations!

I made my husband go to the store late last night with me, just so I could make cookies for this review. While he is not at all concerned about my review, he thanks you all for reading it because it resulted in him getting freshly baked cookies.

I’m going to say my only semi-negative thing, and the rest of the review will be glowing I promise. It was hard to take out of the box, I ended up having to tear it apart before I could get the baking mats out. I really didn’t care about the box anyway, who keeps that stuff around? It’s the contents that matter. The box is recyclable, another wonderful thing about Beaumont products!

I’ve used non-stick products in the past, and they’ve always disappointed me. I received this for review and I wanted to see how it worked so this afternoon I made cookies and I must say that the results blew me away…

As you can see in the video the cookies, even still hot and fresh from the oven, slide around the baking mat with little to no effort. The hardest part was getting them on what I kept calling a spatula but is apparently called a turner. The cookies came out perfectly cooked, and the pan underneath was completely clean and could easily be returned to its drawer for its next use.

These baking mats are perfect that they are flat and thin so they will easily store IN a cookie sheet or wherever else you’d like to put it. They are freezer safe, dishwasher safe – although it’s so easy to clean I don’t know why you’d bother. You no longer need to buy aluminum foil, parchment paper, or any cooking sprays so in the long term, you are saving yourself money by buying these amazingly functional products.

I’m debating on buying these for my family now or holding out to get them as a Christmas present. If I am willing to buy these wonderful Beaumont products for my own family, I hope you understand that you should be adding them to your cart or wish list for your own home.

This post includes contain affiliate links. Ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site. All opinions are 100% my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Reviews, Recipes, Ranting and more…