Why We Eliminated Red Dye #40

Have you heard about Red Dye #40?  Until recently the concept of dyes in our food was foreign to me.  Sure, we eat fairly healthy.  I try to buy organic from the dirty dozen produce and I also buy organic chicken.  But we are also guilty of being crunched for time and sliding in an EZ Mac or Lunchable on occasion as well.

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About 6 weeks ago I took Axton to a friend’s birthday party at the Science Museum, his absolute favorite place to go.  But instead of acting happy and excited he was acting strange.  He refused to participate in the birthday singing, the scientist demonstration of making ice cream, and then once he had cake he started acting extremely rude and acting out.  My best friend, who was at the party, called me later that week and asked me if I had ever considered eliminating Red Dye #40 from Axton’s diet.

Um, no.  What the heck does that even mean?  And am I a bad mom for not knowing about this?

She explained that she had a friend who’s son was acting out terribly and in a desperate attempt to find a source to the problem she eliminated Red Dye #40 from his diet and within 48 hours she had a brand new, well behaved child. Soon I started digging for information on Red Dye to find out more information.  Unfortunately I didn’t find much solid evidence when it comes to hyperactivity and Red Dyes.  Most of the studies show children with ADHD can be sensitive to Red Dye and many countries have banned it or require labeling that states “may cause hyperactivity in children.”

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I started looking at the labels of the food Axton had eaten the morning of the birthday party and I was shocked to realize every single thing I fed him had Red 40 in it!  The blueberry waffles, the strawberry yogurt, and then the cake icing at the birthday party.  I was convinced he was melting down from being fed a buffet of Red 40 all morning.

I decided to cut it out of his diet for a week just to see if there was a difference.  I was surprised to see how much of our food contains Red Dyes.

Blueberry Pancakes


Anything Strawberry Flavored – Including Yogurt.



Strawberry Lemonade

Tons of junk food – like M&M’s, gummy bears, and stuff we save for a special treat but still would allow him to have on occasion.

Even the Strawberry Flavored Yogurt at our favorite Fro-Yo shop has Red Dye in their “healty” yogurt!

Many chips like Cheetos and Doritos have Red Dye as well.

And after testing the waters  without Red Dye #40 I would have to say I am a believer that children can be sensitive to Red Dye.  Sure, all 3 & 4 year olds have their moments, but I can definitely see a difference in behavior.

Just last week we were able to sit through an entire movie at the Dollar Theatre together on a Mom & Son date.  Instead of a special snack of Gummy Worms & M&Ms we had white cheddar popcorn and a small chocolate bar as a treat.  The moving going experience was night and day difference.  In the past 6 weeks the meltdowns have been so few and far between and I completely contribute it to my awesome parenting.  Oh. And reading the labels and being more conscience of what dyes we are putting in our bodies.  It has made us eat even healthier and forces us to eliminate so much junk food from our diets.

I know this post isn’t DIY related but I wanted to write it in case you are considering eliminating Red Dye from your diet.  I would encourage you to try it and see.  It’s not that hard and so worth the results – even if it’s just an excuse to eat healthier for the whole family.

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Design {An Office Remade}

I’m love my job doing interior design.  I love getting to transform a blank slate into something beautiful and full of character.  Recently one of my clients moved into a new home; and was in need of an office for her husband who works from home.  So, we gave this new, track home a manly, industrial makeover.


Do you have a space in need of a makeover or a little sprucing up?  Visit my website and contact me, I’m ready to help!



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Latest Obsession: Uncommon Goods

Hi. My name is Allison and I totally failed  my husband this Father’s Day.  I made his favorite muffins for breakfast, had a few cards signed and ready for delivery in the morning, but the gift I gave him left a lot to be desired.  Are you ready for this lameness?  An As Seen On TV Car Scratch Removal Kit.  From CVS.  Womp womp.  I’m not proud of it and I didn’t really even want to tell you guys about it, but after today I am turning over a new leaf in gift giving.  Insert Uncommon Goods, the cure for the modern day gift giver.

Uncommon Goods has a gift for everyone on your list featuring unique and handcrafted  gifts from artists around the USA.    What is even cooler is many of their items are made from upcycled or recycled materials.  So you are scoring gift giving points and giving Mother Earth a high five at the same time. Uncommon Goods prints their catalogs on  recycled paper (30% post consumer waste) and all of their merchandise is produced without harm to animals.

Not only does Uncommon Goods care about giving totally rad gifts, supporting handmade artists, preserving our planet through recycling but they also have a Better to Give program where they donate a portion of your order to your choice of non-profit organizations: American Forests, Women for Women International, City Harvest, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

I have tons of special people I need to buy gifts for in the next few months and after brainstorming on their website I am ready to move on up in my gift giving skills.

uncommon goods gifts

1.  Anniversary Journal

2.  Heirloom Baby Journal – Never forget a milestone.

3.  Ticket Stub Diary

4.  My Family Cookbook – Document Granny’s casserole recipes for generations to come.

Check out the Gifts for Her section at Uncommon Goods here.

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1. Grow Old with You Terrarium

2.  Owl Eyeglass Holder – pretty sure every glasses wearer needs this.

3. Succulent Living Wall Planter

4. Set of 4 Agate Coasters – yes please!

Check out all of Uncommon Goods sweet selection of Home Décor here.

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1. Personalized Faux Bois Sweetheart Throw

2. Personalized Family Canoe Art – Adorable.

3.  Personalized Gold LP Record

4.  Custom Baby Clothes Pillow – Now I know what do to about all of those clothes I am hanging on to in the closet.

Uncommon Goods has a huge selection of unique and personalized gifts here.

Now I am pumped about all of the upcoming events I need to buy gifts for!  My bestie, sister, and even my husband will actually look forward to the day I give them a gift again! To be fair, we are going on a quick trip this weekend to Silver Dollar City and we are going to pick out Scott a new watch while we are on the road.  So that is technically his gift.  But I am sure he was less than thrilled when he opened up a box of unthoughtfulness a.k.a. the car scratch removal kit.

How did the Dads in your life fair this Father’s Day?  Better than my husband?

Disclosure:  I received compensation in exchange for writing this review.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.  I only talk about stuff I love and I think you will love too!

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Mad Men Inspired Decoupage Dresser

What do Decoupage, Isaac Mizrahi, and Mad Men have in common?  This beast of a FREE dresser, that’s what.  With some decoupage and paint it’s got a dapper new life ready for Don Draper to sip Old Fashioneds beside.


Nothing is better than F to the R to the double E but sometimes things are free for a reason.  I wish I had a picture of the full piece before I painted it, but my camera bit the dust and I had to send it back to Canon for repair work, losing lots of  photos including this one.  But you get the idea here.


The 1970’s wheat motif was hard to get inspired by.  But the dresser was heavy and sturdy so I couldn’t pass it up.  This thing sat in my garage for 5 months, with me looking at it daily, wondering how the heck I was gonna pull off a total transformation.  I started by filling in the engravings with Wood Putty and sanding it back smooth with an electric mouse sander.


I snagged this Isaac Mizrahi Shelf Liner on Ebay for less than $20.00.  I have never used shelf liner for decoupaging before but I was willing to give it a try.


All you do is remove the paper backing and apply.  You follow the same steps to decoupage your furniture in this tutorial but you get to skip the Modge Podge on the underneath side = getting to skip the step that causes so many people wrinkles and bubbles in their paper.


I bought the knobs at Hob Lob and spray painted them in Rust-Oleum Pure Gold Metallic Spray Paint.


I love how geometric and chunky the knobs are against  CeCe Caldwell’s Beckley Coal .


I sealed the entire piece with 2 coats of Endurance.


I was waiting for this piece of furniture to speak to me for months and I think it was worth the wait, don’t you?


When my husband moved it (for the 5th time!) I think he was actually a little sad to see it go now that it’s all masculine and ready to sell ads from the 1950’s.


We just took it to The Feathered Nest on Wednesday and it’s for sale in my space.  If you spot Jon Hamm hanging out there let me know. M’kay.


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