MoPa Holiday Guide 2012

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{from the editor} Hello MoPa’s, The holiday season is a favorite time of year for me, and I’m sure I share that sentiment with many of you. Our goal with MoPa’s mini magazine was to curate meaningful {sparkly} content to help inspire and kick-off this awesome time of year. One of MoPa’s signatures is our Modern Mom series. I adore the series, and what it brings to each mom we highlight. Inside, you’ll find our seasonal spin on it, captured by the talented Michelle Carr. It’s totally holiday, simply beautiful, and we are so pleased to share it. Rounding out our mini-mag, is a thoughtful collection of articles. Each brought forward with keeping your health and wellness top of mind through the festive frenzy. It would not be a Holiday Edition without some lofty gift ideas - so we’ve included those too. You’ll find some lovely illustrations inspired by some must-have gifts. We put a great amount of love and creativity into this Holiday Edition. We hope you enjoy it.

Modern Mom, Holiday Edition Photography: Michelle Carr Wardrobe: Contrary Boutique Styling: Bill Barr, Brittany Rock, Denell Pepin Hair: Amelia Ruvich

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays. Denell Pepin founder, MoPa

Make-up: Lauri Burke for Bloom Skin Care

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LESS & MORE

For Less Stress, Wrap your Holidays with More Meaning by Jennifer Downing Winter Salad: Roasted Squash, Spinach, and Goat Cheese by Nicole Merusi

Be Yoga be yoga is Jennifer Downing & Nicole Merusi, certified yoga instructors. be yoga brings private and group Hatha yoga classes to the community, your home or special event. They also have a small studio, The Nook, located in Acushnet. In addition to yoga classes, The Nook offers private and group reiki, the ‘be yoga’ book club, workshops and more.

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For Less Stress, Wrap Your Holidays with More Meaning

CELEBRATE TO CONTENTMENT With the holidays come parties, meals, and other activities that put us in the position to over-indulge.

Each year when the first days of crisp autumn weather arrive, like clockwork I

It’s no coincidence that I usually

begin to get that warm, fuzzy holiday feeling. As the days roll on though, and

get a spike in new yoga students

the whirlwind of parties, shopping, and entertaining kicks into high gear, that

right after the New Year. In yoga, we

warm, fuzzy feeling usually erupts into tension and fatigue. While many would

often talk about finding santosa or

agree what makes the holidays so special are the time-honored traditions and

contentment in all life experiences.

celebrations spent with loved ones, it seems more and more that the heart and

The holidays present a perfect

soul of the holidays are getting trampled by a frenzy of over-consumption,

opportunity to remember the

over-spending, and over-indulging. Instead of feeling a sense of renewal and

importance of santosa. This holiday

hope after the holidays pass, most of us are left feeling stressed out and

season ask yourself – have you

exhausted.

eaten to contentment or have you stuffed yourself? Have you shopped

As a working mom of two young children, I’m constantly trying to strike a

to contentment or have you burned

healthy balance between work and quality time with family. Maintaining that

a hole in your wallet? This holiday

healthy balance becomes even more challenging when the holidays arrive and

season celebrate to contentment.

you’re trying to protect your kids (and yourself) from getting swept up by the retail extravaganza that drives the season. If you’re like me and hope for a healthy holiday season full of more meaning and less ‘stuff’, consider this:

Winter Salad: Roasted Squash, Spinach, and Goat Cheese 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed 2 medium red onions, cut into thin wedges 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 tablespoons honey 1 small loaf (8 ounces) ciabatta, torn into bite-size pieces 5 cups baby spinach leaves 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, for garnish 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place squash and onions in a large roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast

SHIFT THE FOCUS & CREATE NEW TRADITIONS Achieving a more meaningful and joyful holiday season with your kids doesn’t mean you have to ban all gifts from the equation. It simply means shifting the focus and helping your kids understand that no matter what you celebrate or believe, the holidays are about coming together and making memories with the ones you love. It’s a time to slow down and reflect on the things we often forget, like having empathy and compassion for not only others, but also ourselves. The holidays provide an exciting time to hone this

20 minutes, turning occasionally, until THINK OUTSIDE THE GIFT’ BOX

onions are soft. Drizzle with honey.

While the holidays are certainly a

Scatter with torn ciabatta; return to

time to give and show the people

oven for about 5 minutes or until

you love just how much you

toasted.

appreciate them, gifts shouldn’t overwhelm your time, wallet, or the

2. Place spinach in a large bowl and

planet. Homemade gifts, gifts of time

top with roasted vegetables and

or experience, and gifts of charity

ciabatta.

can demonstrate just as much love and appreciation as a pricey mall

3. Whisk together remaining 2

purchase, and are often much more

tablespoons oil, lemon juice, and

memorable.

mustard; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss. 4. Top with cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.

message by getting creative with your kids and starting new family traditions that encourage more sharing, laughter, and down time. 4

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WinterizeYour Skin Care Regime by Flavia Thornson Flavia is co-owner of Avalon Medical Spa located in New Bedford, MA. As a registered nurse for over 13 years, Flavia combined her medical experience, and her passion for skin-care making Avalon Medical Spa a top destination for health and beauty.

The summer is over and so is the

To combat the effects of cold,

For those looking to remedy the

during treatment and there is less

risk of sun damage, right? Wrong.

dry weather we recommend

dry skin that so often comes with

temptation to sunbathe. Remember,

Just because the temperature has

SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair,

winter, SkinCeuticals Emollience is

an ounce of prevention is worth

dropped doesn’t mean the sun isn’t

which helps to create a barrier

a great daily moisturizer. Developed

a pound of cure and applying

out, and snow glare can actually be

to protect skin. This is great for

for dry or sensitive skin in cold and

sunscreen daily is the best prevention.

more damaging than lying out at the

anyone who’s outdoors during the

dry climates, this product is a winter

beach.

winter months, especially skiers and

wonder. Moisturized skin is healthy

While taking care of your outside, be

snowboarders, as well as those who

skin and it will look more youthful.

sure to take care of your inside too.

work outside.

Emollience won’t make you oily or

Make sure that you are eating well

greasy and works well even for those

and still drinking plenty of water even

prone to breakouts.

though it is cool out, it will reflect in

In the summer we notice UVB rays from the sun, because these are the ones that give us sunburn. Whether

To keep lips healthy and happy

summer or winter, UVB rays and

we like SkinCeuticals Antioxidant

UVA rays are always present, which

Lip Repair, because it repairs and

In our mid to late thirties, our skin

water you should be drinking is to

can cause unnoticeable damage and

protects while smoothing and

begins to show its accumulated sun

take half your weight in pounds and

aging. Everyone should be using a

softening. This great product acts

damage. Don’t fret, this is also the

drink that many ounces. For example,

topical vitamin C serum and a broad-

as a shield for your lips and helps

ideal time to reverse it and prevent

if you weigh 140 pounds, you would

spectrum sunscreen with a physical

to heal dryness and cracking while

further damage. The fall and winter

need about 70 ounces of water per

blocker, such as zinc oxide or titanium

improving the appearance of fine

months are the perfect time to treat

day. Be sure to get an adequate

dioxide, every day. Remember to

lines.

and heal skin. Laser treatments

amount of sleep. The average adult

re-apply every 2 hours even when

can help to correct and repair this

needs about 8 hours of sleep each

driving or sitting by a window.

damage. The cooler months are

night. A good night’s sleep will

the perfect time to start, since you

reduce puffiness in the eye area and

shouldn’t have exposure to sun

skin will look brighter.

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your skin. A good guide to how much

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Here are some ways you can give back during the holidays:

{Holiday Giving Back} By Michelle Neves Hantman, President of United Way of Greater New Bedford We all want our kids to become good people. We want them to be kindhearted, compassionate and giving. From a very young age, we teach them the importance of sharing. The holiday season is a great way to lead by example and show your child how important it is to give to others and not just in the traditional gift giving sense.

The United Way of Greater New Bedford serves as a conduit to raise funds, awareness and recruit volunteers to meet the needs of the community through the LIVE UNITED Movement. The United Way of Greater New Bedford operates direct programs such as the Hunger Commission, the Community Building Mini-Grants Program and Summer Fund. In addition, United Way partners with 24 nonprofit agencies in Greater New Bedford to provide funding in the areas of Basic Human Needs, Children & Youth, Health and People with Disabilities. Its service area includes; Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester and Wareham. To give, advocate, or volunteer, please visit www.unitedwayofgnb.org.

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MAKE A DONATION - Have someone on your list who has everything? Avoid the lines at the mall and give a charitable contribution in his or her honor to their favorite charity or cause. VOLUNTEER! - There are tons of opportunities to volunteer during the holidays. You could serve at a soup kitchen or you could even wrap gifts for a holiday toy drive. Check out www.unitedwayofgnb.org and click on volunteer for a local listing of organizations needing volunteers. REPURPOSE - The holidays are a great time to clean out your closets. What do you own but never use? Bring these items to a local shelter, the Salvation Army or Immigrants Assistance Center, particularly winter clothes & coats. SHOP WITH A PURPOSE - Take a moment & give some thought to where & how you shop. Patronize stores and websites that donate a portion of their profits to charities. You’ll be helping other people while supporting businesses that do the right thing. Check out: www.goodshop.com FEED THE HUNGRY - If you’re organizing or attending office parties or holiday gatherings, anticipate whether you might have leftovers. If so, arrange ahead of time to deliver the excess food to local shelters. Or ask guests to bring nonperishable items to donate. Organize a food drive in your workplace. The United Way’s Hunger Commission is always in need and willing to pick up. MAKE A CHILD SMILE - Buy, collect & deliver toys to local charities or firehouses. Every holiday season, United Way partners with the New Bedford Firefighters’ Union on a holiday toy drive. All toys are welcome, but gifts for kids 13-18 are the most in need. Pick up an extra gift card or movie tickets and donate to the drive. REGIFT - Before, the holidays, tell your children they need to make room for the new toys Santa is bringing. Have them pick some toys to give to a child in need. Donate to Gifts to Give. GIVE TIME - If you’re the boss, make it part of your company’s goals to have employees volunteer and contribute. If possible, give your employees time off to volunteer or participate as a team building experience during the work day.

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How do describe your holiday decor ? My personal taste consists of white lights and objects found in nature: pinecones, moss, pine boughs, and the like. I love twigs and boughs woven through the light fixtures and over doorways. I enjoy unexpected color palettes like pear green and deep highly pigmented yellows; pinks, turquois, silver, and gold are pretty. I keep a tree, several actually, where I can display heirloom ornaments, both homemade and collected.’ While I indulge in colored lights, my trees are otherwise themed with a strong color story.

What are some of your favorite seasonal traditions?

{Let’s Holiday} By Bill Barr

While I always look forward to going out and picking a tree, my favorite tradition is wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. I like to enjoy it with a fire in the fireplace, my honey near by, and dogs at my feet, and if I’m lucky... snow outside. I spend a good deal of time thinking about and executing my giftwrap; all the presents I give are wrapped similarly. I also love to cook; so preparing food - especially baking - is always a highlight through the holidays.

New Years Resolutions: Yay or Nay? Nay! Cut yourself some slack. I say take the New Year as a time to reflect, and think about what your goals are for the coming year. Set a goal and stick with it. You might slip up - so what? Keep moving forward and work towards a goal instead of deciding because the year is changing that all will be different when you wake up the next morning.

Easy entertaining tip? Signature cocktail! Mix ahead of time so you won’t have to play bartender all night. A signature cocktail sets a tone and mood, and you can pair it with

California native Bill Barr is a professional designer and curator, with a broad range of interests and a focus on residential design. His personal style is best described as “fresh traditional meets contemporary luxe.” An artistic background supports his talent for mixing colors and use of texture. Design is his passion. When he is not at work Bill enjoys gardening, South Coast beaches, and spending time at home.

the bites you are offering. Make sure to offer both an alternative and a nonalcoholic beverage option. Picking the right libations can also help to keep expenses in check.

Always greet your host/hostess with? Besides a happy and festive state of mind, bring a baked treat, a bottle of wine, a scented candle, or flowers. The secret is that what a hostess really appreciates is a guest who is interesting and interested, one who enjoys the social pollination and celebratory occasion. Do your hostess and yourself a favor and try to meet everyone at the affair; it’s fun, and when you put the effort in, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. California native Bill Barr is a professional designer and curator, with a broad range of interests and a focus on residential design. His personal style is best described as “fresh traditional meets contemporary luxe.” An artistic background supports his talent for mixing colors and use of texture. Design is his passion. When he is not at work Bill enjoys gardening, South Coast beaches, and spending time at home.

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{Gift Guide}

If You’re Going to Gift, Gift like This: by Bill Barr and Denell Pepin


{Bill’s Picks}

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Illustrations by: Meagan Borges

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Let the guy on your list design his very own sneakers this Holiday. At the gym, or on the street, help the guy your shopping for make a statement in a pair of Nike Free Run 3.0’s they are feather light and so comfortable.

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Treat your guy to a day or weekend of adventure. Camping, skiing, or simply a fishing trip always win big. If your guy already lives an active lifestyle, maybe a massage is his perfect retreat.

Shopping for the guy who has everything? Make him something, and I don’t mean a dream catcher. Find his sweet spot (chocolate, peppermint, almonds, coconut) and bake from scratch. Short on time? Find the best local baker.

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I know what you’re thinking - cliché? Not really. Don’t judge a book by its cover, a well-dressed guy who loves cufflinks and pocket squares will also love a cordless drill.

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Perfect as a stocking stuffer or a gift for the guy on your list, bracelets are showing up on the wrists of guys everywhere. Sault on Tremont Street, Boston carries these Sailormade bracelets.

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Perfect for overnight trips, hiking, camping and going to the beach. I guess it’s the men’s version of a handbag; just don’t tell your man that. This pack is Filson.

A watch is classic, and every guy needs one. Timex for J.Crew.

Every guy needs gadgets: headphones for his iPod, a phone cover for his iPhone, or a dock and speaker system.

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What’s big right now in men’s fashion? Socks! Argyle, polkadots, and stripes. If the man you’re shopping for is all about the details, he’ll love this gift.

Last, but not least, for the guy who has everything - cufflinks. I’ll take a pair of Vintage links from Uncommon Goods, please.

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{Denell’s Picks}

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Illustrations by: Meagan Borges

It’s function and fashion, and they’re great to have in each room. It’s the perfect gift for almost anyone on your list. Throw by Horchow

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I have a love affair with stationary, but it’s not something I shop for often. Make this gift even more thoughtful with personalization. Stationary by LePapierStudio

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The designer behind Sophie and Lili is also an FIT alumni, but that’s not why I love her dolls. They’re simply adorable. I love the playfulness achieved by mixing colors, prints, and patterns.

Buying gifts for a new baby? Keep it simple with a must-have pair of Freshly Picked moccasins - go with a neutral, which works for both baby boy or girl.

I’m all about an #armparty. Raise the bar with this bracelet by The Ropes. I love the oversized hardware and smart color combinations. She’ll love you.

Everyone (especially busy moms) can benefit from a change of scenery with or without the kids. Think weekend away with lift tickets, or a spa experience for two.

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I love to cook, and more times than not, we’re team cooking as a family. Cookbooks are awesome because they’ll be used time, and time again. We adore Thomas Keller, and his book “Ad Hoc at Home”

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Let’s be honest, every mom wants to be connected. Help keep her utilities protected and stylish. iPad sleeve from Kate Spade, New York.

Wrap her up in a seasonal knit - a tradition I share with my mom. Shop the talented designers of Etsy who offer up creations that are equal parts hand-made and polished.

The investment gift - think quality leather pieces and fine jewelry. Select something classic that will go appreciated for many years to come. Morgan Double Handle Satchel by Brahmin.

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{Modern Mom, Holiday Edition} We decided to spike the punch for this edition of our Modern Mom series. It’s all Holiday and totally beautiful. Photography by Michelle Carr

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Photography: Michelle Carr

Modern Mom Angela Angela is mom to two boys; Eli, 7 and Finn, 3. Her favorite Holiday traditions are some of our favorites too, “Decorating the tree. I am a complete geek about ornaments; my mom has given me one every year since I was born. I also love Christmas Eve with my big, crazy family. We eat delicious food, drink too much and just enjoy being together.” Angela describes her personal style as, “utilitarian, quirky and clean.”

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Photography: Michelle Carr

Modern Mom Tracy Tracy is a proud mom of 2 children; Zoe, age 3, and Charlie, 6 months. Her favorite holiday tradition is, “picking a fresh Christmas tree as a family and decorating it together by a fire at night.” Tracy describes her personal style as, “casual, sporty, girl next door.” 19

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{6 Tips to Survive the Holidays and Still Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans} by Kristen Boucher Kristen Boucher is a registered nurse, healthy living junkie, health & wellness coach, full-time working wife & mama, and Founder of MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life (WWW. MIXWELLNES.COM). She inspires busy moms to eliminate the overwhelm and cook healthy, delicious, family-friendly meals so they can lose weight, save money, and have happy, healthy kids, without deprivation, emptying their bank account, or quitting their day job. She is also the fiber and real food enthusiast behind For The Love Of

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Fiber (WWW.FORTHELOVEOFFIBER. COM), a fun-loving and spunky food blog dedicated to all things fiber – recipes, fun facts, and products that made our hearts (& colons) sing with glee.

time outdoors with her two loves in her favorite little paradise by the sea, Mattapoisett, MA, where she is a bornagain “Townie” after living in Sin City (Las Vegas) for 10+ years.

When she’s not coaching, blogging, multi-tasking, or in the kitchen concocting healthy eats for her adoring hubby and aspiring 3-year old foodie, she can be found doing yoga, running, walking, biking, sipping wine, laughing with friends, and spending quality

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Avoid the Holiday Bulge: 6 Tips to Survive the Holidays & STILL Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans

3. PASS THE RED. Instead of mega-calorie and sugar infused mixed drinks,

It’s that time of year again. The slow and steady decline into crappy eating habits, overdoing it on the holiday cheer, and the inevitable extra poundage that settles in around our waistline. Then what happens? We resolve to “get back on track” come January 1st - hitting the gym and starving ourselves, right?

better, skip the booze altogether and enjoy a refreshing sparkling water with

On average, Americans gain about one pound of body weight per year during the holidays, not the 5-10 pounds that some sources claim (and can’t back up). This is where the good news ends (buzz kill alert!). Unfortunately, most individuals don’t lose that weight in the post gorge-fest period, also known as the New Year, so one pound here and one pound there compounds to 10 pounds over the course of a decade, resulting in the “inevitable” fate of aging weight gain (another myth, in my humble opinion). If you don’t want to succumb to the fate of the aforementioned “Average American”, there are things you can do without feeling deprived or that you’re missing out on some serious awesomeness. Here are my top tips to survive the holiday season, have fun, and still fit into your skinny jeans come January 1st:

or worse, egg nog, opt for a glass of red wine. You’ll sip slower and get your dose of polyphenols, which has been linked to healthy hearts. If you’re not a red person, opt for a refreshing white wine spritzer or a glass of bubbly. Even a twist of lime. You may look like a rock star, downing a G & T, but you’re not. Your secret is safe with me. 4. INDULGE A LITTLE. I like to indulge as much as the next gal (I am human), but the way I feel shortly after (or the next day), always has me second guessing that decision. Rather than completely depriving yourself of the holiday “goodies” that you may look forward to, set a limit on how much, when, and what your indulgence de jour will be. For example, dessert. If that’s your Achilles heel, allow one dessert item at a party, savor it slowly, and then move on. If you’re super popular and hitting multiple parties during the week, set a limit to how many desserts you’ll allow yourself (i.e., 1-2 per week), and pat yourself on the back for sticking to your guns.

For The Love Of Fiber www.fortheloveoffiber.com

a prime opportunity to inject a bit of health into the menu. Plus if the rest of the menu is a complete food bomb,

your healthy eating goals, eat a nutritious snack before you go so you don’t

rest-assured you can eat your

arrive famished. This will allow you to display some super self-control and enjoy

contribution and feel good

the conversation with guests rather than foraging for your next meal. Some prea light salad, or fruit. This strategy also goes for the mall. The food courts are the last place you want to get your nourishment. Eat ahead or pack some healthy snacks to keep you fueled while you exhibit even more self control with that credit card. Right? 2. SMART SNACKING. The hor d’ourves table at holiday parties are a cruel trap, especially if you go there on an empty stomach. If you do not following the advice in tip #1, and arrive ravenous, skip the taquitos and look for: shrimp cocktail, raw veggies and hummus, devilled eggs (good source of protein, but only one since they likely contain mayo), mixed nuts, bruschetta (the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and basil are an antioxidant power house), smoked salmon (rich in brain-boosting omega-3’s), salsa and guacamole (a rich source of healthy fats), chicken kabobs (usually grilled), fruit, or cheese. 

OWN FOOD). If you’re going to a party or potluck, this is

1. EAT AHEAD OF TIME. If you know the party will be serving food that will kill

party ideas include: an apple with almond butter, a hard boiled egg, a smoothie,

5. B.Y.O.F. (BRING YOUR

about it. Need some ideas? OMEGA-3 CRANBERRY APPLE & CRISP

Check out my blog For The

Love Of Fiber (www.fortheloveoffiber.com) for some healthy inspiration. I’d start with this Omega-3 Cranberry Apple Crisp, but that’s just me. 6. KEEP MOVING! The holidays are notorious for being super busy and stressed, but not exercising during this time is counterproductive. Why? You don’t get to burn off the stress of your in-laws staying with you for 3 weeks and you don’t get your heart pumping and calorie burn on (which leads to more weight gain). Don’t have time? Spare the excuses and break out your routine into 10 or 15 minute spurts throughout the day or do some high intensity interval training (HIIT) to get your workout over within 20 – 30 minutes. I’ve got a sample 30 minute HIIT routine on my website, www.mixwellness.com, designed with you, the busy mama in mind. It will have you blasting more fat than if you were to spend an hour on the treadmill. Yes, really. Make this your year to steer clear of the holiday bulge so January 1st is merely a page turn of the calendar, not another resolution that may or may not stick.

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{Who You Gonna Love?} by Melanie McCarthy

Recently, I was away with extended family and we were forced to two coffee

According to Dunkindonuts.com, a small cappuccino is only 80 calories, but a

pots: one with Dunkin Donuts, and one with Starbucks. For me, a working

“dunkaccino” is 240 calories and 11 grams of fat. I know a cappuccino is about

mother of two and Ph.D. candidate, there is no contest - the stronger the better.

1 oz of espresso, half steamed milk, and half foamed milk. Although, it doesn’t

However, many moms don’t know which one is better. Fortunately, I spent many

state the type of milk used in the cappuccino, 80 calories is not a bad choice.

years studying coffee from some of the best, albeit biased, but the info I learned

Starbucks.com lists it at the same. The one advantage to the Starbucks website

is priceless.

is the option of changing cup size and milk type.

Eight years of my youth was tarnished by the coffee giants from Seattle. Stock

My next question is what, pray tell, is in a “dunkaccino”? Hot chocolate and

options, thousands of free pounds of coffee, and a latte or two later I left the

coffee? My favorite. However, this is where diets die. 240 calories and 11 grams

company in order to complete my Masters degree. What did I leave with?

of fat for a small, 8oz, “dunkaccino” and that’s when you leave off the whipped

Several oversized city mugs, a decent jazz collection, as well as an idea about

cream. Disclaimer: the nutritional facts did not list what it would be with

selecting and making the best cup of coffee possible.

whipped cream. The Starbucks equivalent may be the Café Mocha (mocha syrup, espresso, steamed 2% milk, and whipped cream). The 8oz café mocha

When we talk about coffee there are four immediate qualities that should be

with whipped cream is 180 calories and 9 grams of fat.

honored: grind, water, temperature, and freshness. When those four qualities are recognized, whether you prefer the light tickle of a mild roast, or the robust lash

My recommendation: stuff your pockets with your kids Swiss miss packets, buy

of the dark - the best cup of coffee is sure to ensue.

a black coffee, ask for a spoon and stir in your own 90 calories and 2 grams of fat. The best part is that when mixed with black coffee, it tastes creamy so you

Often it is mistakenly whispered that the dark roast has higher caffeine content.

can skip the added dairy. Not to mention your pocketbook gets a break.

To that I say, “not true!” The darker the roast; the less caffeine in the bean. So, if another nine hours of alertness is your goal, try a light roast. Beware, if

When faced with these tough decisions at the coffee counter, just check the

consumed too late in the day your slumber may suffer.

facts and get creative.

Now back to the battle of the coffee pots… To me, as long as a hot, freshly ground, and brewed handful of flavor comes across that counter I say, “Who needs to choose?!” But when we discuss caloric content then we need to put both companies under a big ol’ microscope.

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{Eating Out: Big & Little} Have Kids, Will Tip; A Dad’s Guide to Eating Local by Henry White For me, there’s a certain pomp and circumstance associated with dining out. It doesn’t matter if I’ m eating at a roadside hot dog stand or the hip new casual fine dining spot featuring a James Beard nominated chef. Eating out is a treat that should not be taken lightly, especially when you’re a parent. Dining with kids presents a unique set of challenges that the typical diner probably doesn’t care about. We’re talking activities, food and drink suitable for the youngins, and an environment where the kids can be easily wrangled. We’ve weighed the options, counted the calories, and added extra tip money to cover for the grimy floors and tables left behind. Here are some of our favorite spots to eat with kids in town.

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Matt’s Blackboard

565 Rounseville Rd, Rochester, MA 02770 www.mattsblackboard.com Matt’s Blackboard, located at Plum Corner in Rochester, is a small town spot big on flavor. Featuring one of the best thin crust pizzas in the area, Matt’s is a great option for kids. The pizza is thin and when cooked well done has the perfect crunch. The sauce is sweet, but not overpowering. The cheese isn’t overly greasy and the toppings are plentiful. Our favorite pies are the BBQ Pulled Pork pizza (Pulled Pork, Roasted Corn, Peppers, Cheese, and drizzled BBQ Sauce) and the plain cheese. While the pizza is great, there are some other notable entrees on the menu for both kids and adults. For adults, in addition to daily specials - Matt’s has an amazing Meat Loaf dinner, great Guinness Roast Pork, and a sultry Scallop plate. Matt’s also has beer on draft and a small, but ample wine selection. For kids you’ve got the basics: chicken fingers, pasta, and a kid sized cheese pizza. Drink options include milk, real juice (orange, apple, cranberry), and water. We like Matt’s because the food is good, the environment is clean and friendly. A big plus is that they have a small number of booth seating. We find it’s easier to have the kids sit on the inside in a booth than at a table with chairs, because they’re less prone to run around. The waitstaff is friendly and is accommodating when it comes to the little ones. Crayons and coloring books are offered, as well as the option to bring the kids food out first. It’s worth the drive out to the country.

No Problemo

813 Purchase St, New Bedford, MA 02740 www.noproblemotaqueria.com No Problemo is not your average taqueria. Located in downtown New Bedford, these skate kids turned restauranteurs are putting out great Mexican food, but with their own twist and to their own soundtrack. We’re talking about fourteen different burritos on the menu, a dozen different types of quesadillas, tacos, salads and a side of Johnny Cash. We like it all. The burritos are monstrous and full of fresh ingredients. The Zapata, chock full of rice, black beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and roasted red peppers is a crowd pleaser. If you want an east coast take on a west coast burrito, try the California burrito (rice, black beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, cucumbers, and fresh avocado).

is grilled in a flour tortilla and served with salsa, sour cream, and jalapeños on the side. Add a side of guacamole and some of the house made hot sauces and you’ve got yourself an even bigger bite. If you’re in the mood for light-ish fare, we recommend he Tostada Salad. We like No Problemo because the environment is eclectic, casual and hip. They do have some quasi-booth seating but it fills up fast. High chairs are available, and there are some solid food and drink options for the little ones. You’re not going to get crayons and coloring books here, so be sure to pack something to keep the kids busy.The music ranges between Johnny Cash, hip-hop, reggae, punk, and rock. The bar serves beer and wine but is well appointed. Parking can be tight downtown. The best option is to meter, be sure to bring quarters. Beware, No Problemo is cash only but there is an ATM across William Street.

Turk’s

83 Marion Rd, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 www.turksseafood.com In an area known for it’s seafood, Turk’s is a tried and true gem. With a philosophy for purchasing top of the catch, Turk’s serves some of the freshest seafood you can find in the Southcoast. Whether raw and rolled or breaded and fried, Turk’s has something for everyone in the family. The sushi maki ranges between traditional and modern. Yes, Turk’s offers up a good and traditional Spicy Tuna Maki Roll or California Maki Roll, but they also present the modern Rocket Roll - lobster, mango, cucumber, scallions with tempura crunch finish and extra spicy sauce. Turk’s also offers fresh sushi and sashimi for the traditionalist sushi lover in the family. The bar is fully stocked and offers and array of beer, wine, and custom cocktails. If sushi isn’t your thing, Turk’s offers up a great clam cake, scallops, haddock, shrimp, and swordfish. For the land lover in your party, there is steak, chicken, or pasta. Kids are well represented with pasta, hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches. Drink options include milk, juice, and water. Turk’s is a great place to visit with kids. There is bench style seating on the sushi side and traditional table seating on the restaurant side. If you want to order sushi and traditional seafood, visit the sushi side. The waitstaff is very polite and accommodating with little ones. Crayons and paper are offered, but you may want to bring extra goodies for the kids as the wait for sushi is longer in the summer season. Turk’s is a great option for the entire family.

No Problemo’s quesadillas rule the roost. The Miss America is anything but a lightweight. Full of spinach, black beans, and feta cheese - the Miss America 32

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