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october 2015 | volume 4 | issue 10 | like us on facebook

letter from the editor


ask the doctor

alternatives to cancer


mom to mom feature

stranger danger mothers & more of porter county mom you should know: jenna elder changing colors, changing spaces

8 16 18 24

mom to mom eats

mindy’s menu - stews & witches brews


trina’s picks

vampirina ballerina miss peregrine’s home for peculiar children

26 28

fun & games

coloring page contest


mom to mom health

emma’s footprints


community calendar


PUBLISHER/Managing Editor Stephanie Vega Edwards Sales Team Eva Williams Nichole Odijk DeMario Contributing Writers Dr. Sandee Clark Nichole Odijk DeMario Mindy Gear Judy Miller Amber Neace Trina Bobrowski Debra Krieg-Lewis

Advertising & Submissions Mom to Mom NWI LLC 103 E. Indiana Ave | Suite B Valparaiso IN 46383 Layout Design Mark Halliar Cover & Table of Contents Photography Amanda Rose Photography Printing Home Mountain Printing 3602 Enterprise Ave. Valparaiso, IN 46383

Mom to Mom NWI is a monthly publication by Mom to Mom NWI LLC. All rights reserved. Production without permission is strictly prohibited. All photographs & articles submitted become the sole property of Mom to Mom NWI Magazine. ©2015 Mom to Mom NWI LLC


letter from the editor stephanie vega edwards


fall in love

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, fall is my absolute favorite time of year. There’s just something about the crisp cool air, the colors of the leaves changing, and all my favorite places serving up my favorites in pumpkin flavor. Nowadays, it seems like fall is also an extremely busy time of year. Between all the kids’ activities, birthday parties, and festivities, our calendar is constantly booked. I find myself craving some down time – so I can stop and smell the roses (more like apples and pumpkins). One thing I love to do when I have some downtime is decorate my home!! My love of the fall season comes out in full force as I pull out all my favorite decorations – and head to the store to buy some more! In this month’s issue of Mom to Mom, NWI we have introduced a new fun design element written by mom Debra Krieg-Lewis. She will take us on a fun journey of seasonal decorating and other fun and trendy design elements we can easily do in our home. And while we are talking about fun things to do at home, our Mindy Gear takes us into her kitchen and gets us ready for Halloween. She shares with us some fun holiday recipes like a caramel corn snack mix and a witch’s brew. And of course she has a savory stew that will have your kitchen smelling hearty – and your belly will love it even more!! In keeping with the Halloween theme, you’ll find a great article on Stranger Danger and how to better prepare yourself when heading out to trick-or-treat. We also have included another fun coloring page for our littlest of fans – we got some great pictures back in September – keep them coming! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month so we have inspiring articles touching upon both topics. I hope you enjoy all the wonderful content in this month’s issue and as always I enjoy hearing your feedback so please don’t forget to email me and let me know what you think. Take Care,


mtm: ask the doc dr. sandee clark


alternatives to cancer

It is often asked from those dealing with cancer if there

massage. Maybe they are seeking respite, a relaxing

are any other options in health care to help cope with

experience in the midst of everything that is going on

the side effects from cancer. Typically a person re-

in their life or maybe it is to relieve nausea or pain

ceives chemotherapy and/or radiation when they

or maybe it is to just get them through the remainder

start cancer treatment followed with or in conjunction

of their cancer treatments. Whatever the reason, the

with rounds of medication but are there any other

massage therapist will provide a peaceful massage to

treatments that can go along with this traditional med-

comfort you.

ical route to reduce pain and provide physical and emotional well-being?


Cancer can be explained as a disruption to the natu-

While yoga is not a cure for cancer it can enhance

ral process of cells growing and dividing to form new

the physical and spiritual well-being and bring peace

healthy cells thus eliminating unhealthy cells. Cancer

to many that lost hope. Some report yoga just makes

cells have a disorderly process. They are old, dam-

them feel good because it lifts their mood while others

aged and abnormal cells that should have died off

say it is a natural way to help relax and cope with the

but are replicating to form new abnormal cells result-

stress, anxiety and depression that often goes hand

ing in many of them forming growths called tumors.

in hand with cancer. Overall, yoga is great for bal-

Because cancer cells can invade the immune system,

ancing mood disturbances, minimizing the distress of

tumors can stay alive and grow. This can cause an

a cancer experience, help one to move around more

immune response to attack our own immune system

quickly and easily especially after a surgery or treat-

cells therefore weakening one’s immune system.

ment and improve quality of life.

Alternative health care is popping up everywhere for just about every condition known including cancer.

Tai Chi

Here are some health care options for those dealing

Often described as “meditation in motion�, Tai Chi

with a cancer diagnosis.

has been around for many years originating in China as a martial art. There is no age or health related

Oncology Massage

restrictions to practice Tai Chi which makes this ther-

Professionally trained licensed massage therapists can

apy a must. It is a low-impact, slow- moving exercise

help meet people where they are in their experienc-

that flows into a series of motions without pause as

es with cancer and offer a specialized massage that

you focus your attention, breathe deeply and in some

is highly individualized to the clients comfort level.

way meditate on your bodily sensations. The move-

The massage therapist will nurture and offer support

ments are usually circular and never forced, the mus-

when providing this specific massage and try to reach

cles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not

personal goals for the client for receiving oncology

fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not

mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 6

stretched. Tai Chi can be easily adapted for anyone,


from the most fit person to people confined to wheel-

Chiropractic adjustments are also an effective tool

chairs or recovering from surgery.

to help cancer patients cope with the side effects of treatment or discomfort due to musculoskeletal issues.

Reiki Reiki practitioners believe that human energy flows through meridians (or pathways) in the body that can be sensed by trained individuals. A disturbance to this energy flow may be caused by physical illness or negative emotions. Reiki is performed by the practitioner systematically placing their hands on the body in 12 to 15 varying positions holding these positions for a few seconds to minutes depending on where the person’s energy flow is sensed as being disrupted. Reiki is about channeling life energy to these problem areas

Very often just the stress alone af-

What Cancer Cannot Do Cancer is so limited It cannot corrode Faith, It cannot shatter Hope, It cannot cripple Love, It cannot destroy Peace, It cannot kill Friendship, It cannot suppress Memories, It cannot silence Courage,

ter finding out about a diagnosis of cancer is powerful enough to cause muscle tightness that creates pain and subluxations. Side effects from chemotherapy such as neuropathy, headaches, nausea, joint stiffness, muscle aches and painful changes in muscle tissue from radiation therapy can be managed by chiropractic care. Doctors of Chiropractic don’t treat cancer we help patients bodies be

It cannot conquer the Spirit,

as strong as they can be as they

It cannot invade the Soul,

respond to specific oncology treat-

It cannot steal Eternal Life.

resulting in reduced perception of

ments. Chiropractors help reduce pain and improve function so the entire body can respond that much

pain, improved quality of life and reduced fatigue in

stronger to the demands of this disease. Chiropractors

cancer patients.

have a reputation for putting patients’ needs first, for listening to the patient and spending time with them


and for that reason, chiropractic is an ideal compo-

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine similar

nent of an integrated, whole-person approach to can-

to Acupuncture but does not use needles. It involves

cer treatment. - mtm

applying pressure using hands, thumbs, fingers or devices to specific points on the body along pathways or meridians. These meridians correspond to specific organs, emotions or sensory feelings. Particularly acupressure can reduce nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment specifically with chemotherapy.


mom to mom nwi | september 2015 | page 8

mtm: feature kimberly blaker

stranger dangers - keep kids safe on halloween & throughout the year


Parents have heeded warnings for decades of the dangers of

suspect the possibility of this occurring, take every precaution,

trick-or-treating. Wives tales and gross exaggerations about

while abiding by child visitation requirements. If you have

apples containing razor blades and poison filled candy worry

serious concern, seek legal advice on how to protect your child

countless parents each Halloween. Experts, however, have de-

when a court order requires that you allow unsupervised visita-

bunked these mistaken notions and hoaxes.

tion with the potential perpetrator.

Other forms of crime vary on Halloween, and spikes are seen in some cities while others see no real increase in crime rates.

Sexual Predators

Still, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploit-

As your child grows, new risks develop. Pedophiles and other

ed Children, approximately one hundred fifteen children are

sexual predators are found anywhere. Although your child

abducted by strangers each year in the United States. Stranger

could be sexually abused at any age, most pedophiles prefer

dangers come in many forms, and different concerns are more

children nearing puberty. According to Child Lures, a child-

prevalent at each stage of development. For this reason, it is

abuse prevention program, pedophiles “prey on a child’s sex-

good time of year to review how to keep our kids safe, keeping

ual ignorance and curiosity.”

in mind that strangers are not always the culprits.

Though not exclusively, sexual abuse is most often committed by males and of all socio and economic backgrounds. Pedo-

Abduction – easy prey

philes often look for access to children by taking a job working

During the infant and early years, children can be kidnapped

with or near them, chaperoning or leading activities and clubs,

quickly with no need for coaxing. Leaving a little one unattend-

coaching sports programs, or befriending an adult to gain

ed in a stroller or locked car for just moments is long enough

access to a child. While not all men who take involvement

for an abduction to occur.

with children are molesters, parents should remain alert to the

When shopping, keep your child in sight at all times. For diffi-


cult outings, leave your child with a sitter or use a child safety

Teach your child what areas of the body are off limits to others

harness with toddlers. This gadget prevents small children from

and how to say ‘no’ to someone who touches in a way that is

wandering off and reduces potential danger should parents

uncomfortable. In addition, make sure your child understands

become distracted.

that if something does happen, your child is not to blame and

As soon as your child is old enough to understand, read stories

should tell an adult.

and discuss stranger dangers to reduce the risk of kidnapping.

Changes in your child’s behavior that might indicate something

At home or away, young children should be supervised when

has gone wrong, according to the North American Missing

they play outdoors. As children grow, keep close tabs on their

Children’s Association, include withdrawal, unusual anger,

whereabouts, and never allow them to play unattended in

acting out, fear of being alone or with a particular person, or

parks, wooded lots, or secluded areas.

decreased interest in activities, especially those in which the

Abduction by an ex-spouse, estranged grandparents, or other

molester is involved. If you notice unexplained changes in your

family member is even more prevalent. More than 200,000

child’s behavior, talk with your child to determine the problem

children are abducted by family members each year. If you

or seek professional help.

stranger danger cont....

Internet Dangers It would seem stranger dangers should lessen as children grow. Nevertheless, strangers and acquaintances begin to pose risks by different means. It has been found that nineteen percent of children aged 10 to 17 who use the Internet have been sexually propositioned according to a study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center of the University of New Hampshire. Although none of the children in the study had been physically victimized, approximately one quarter of the children were distraught over the incidences. To keep your kids safe on the Internet, purchase filtering software. Although filters are imperfect and don’t screen every inappropriate site, they significantly reduce access to danger sites. In addition, insist that your child or adolescent only use chat rooms designed for your child’s age group. This reduces risk of involvement in adult discussions. It is also good to know some kid’s chat sites are overseen to insure no inappropriate or potentially dangerous discussion takes place. Make sure your child understands the importance of never giving out his name, address, phone number or other personal or family information to strangers on the Internet, no matter how young or friendly the acquaintance may seem. Finally, keep a close eye on kids when they use the Internet. While teens need their privacy, monitor the situation if an abundance of time is being spent on the Internet. Pedophiles often look for access to children by taking a job working with or near them, chaperoning or leading activities and clubs, coaching sports programs, or befriending an adult to gain access to a child.

stranger danger cont....

Peer Dangers

What to do if your child is missing:

During the teen years, growing independence makes your

Be prepared in the unlikely event your child disappears.

teen vulnerable to the risk of rape, and is committed by peers

Keep an updated record that includes your child’s hair and

and strangers alike. When alcohol and drugs become part

eye color, height, weight, blood type, phone numbers and

of a teen’s social habits, the potential increases.

addresses of friends, and a recent photo.

Teach your teen about the risk and how to be safe, discuss

Be sure to include several strands of your child’s hair with the

date rape drugs that are used and the risks they pose, and

roots and follicles attached for a DNA sample, and create

know the details of your teen’s whereabouts. In addition, en-

an impression of your child’s teeth in a piece of sterilized

roll your daughter in a self-defense workshop to learn how to


defend herself.

According to federal law, a waiting period cannot be required for reporting missing children. If your child comes

Teach your child what areas of her body are off limits to oth-

up missing, contact your local police department, and make

ers and how to say ‘no’ to someone who touches her in a way

every effort to search for your child while using caution not to

that makes her uncomfortable.

disrupt evidence. - mtm

Kimberly Blaker is an author and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 200 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications throughout the U.S.

mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 12

mtm: health nichole odijk demario



emma’s footprints

Nearly a year ago, the Kowalisyn family of Valparaiso

Kowalisyn says she and her husband have been astound-

was celebrating the birth of their twins Alexander and

ed by the continued interest in their organization. What

Emma. The celebration, however, was bittersweet. Both

began as a one time drive for care packages led to the as-

children were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Porter

sembling of upwards of 250 care packages monthly with

Memorial Hospital; Emma had a severe stroke in utero.

the assistance of numerous volunteers.

A week later, Emma was airlifted to Riley Children’s Hos-

This month on October 15 at Taltree Arboretum and Gar-

pital and on November 5 passed away from her compli-

dens in Valparaiso, Emma’s Footprints has planned a bal-

cations. Overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they

loon release for infant and pregnancy loss awareness. The

received and looking for a way to channel their grief, they

free event will feature keynote speakers including Amelia

asked in lieu of flowers, mourners send care package sup-

and an open microphone opportunity for anyone who

plies so they could attempt to bring solace to other local

would like to share their story. Each attendee will receive

families. A day after Amelia and Joe laid their daughter to

a biodegradable latex balloon tied with a biodegradable

rest, they brought their son home.

cotton string that they can write a note directly on. Pre-reg-

As the days passed, the Kowalisyn’s determination to me-

istration is required to prepare materials. Registration can

morialize Emma and help others experiencing the stresses

be done through the organization’s Facebook page or via

of having a child in NICU or similar losses only grew. That

email at

led to the creation of the local, non-profit organization,

“Taltree will provide the privacy moments like this de-

Emma’s Footprints.

serves. It’s a serene place to be,” Kowalisyn explains.

“Her little life has made an impact on so many families…

Kowalisyn stresses the healing process is a unique expe-

it’s very helpful, but it’s very hard too. I have to hold back

rience for every individual. She encourages grieving fam-

the tears,” Amelia Kowalisyn says.

ilies take the time they need. For her and her husband mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 14

getting away was therapeutic. The first good day she had she says she felt extremely guilty, but reminded herself she would find joy again and it was okay.

“There is no footprint so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world” – Author Unknown & Emma’s Footprints tagline

“Don’t let anyone rush you…you don’t ever get over losing a child, but your heart will start to heal,” she adds.

Emma’s Footprints Balloon Release for

The Kowalisyns have also emphasized sharing Emma

Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness

with Alex in an understandable way while making sure he

October 15, 2015

knows how happy they are he is here. His second word

Registration begins at 5 pm | Balloon release at 6 pm

was Emma. They include a photo of Emma in family pho-

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

tos and travel with a toy lamb that has the sound of Em-

450 W 100 N

ma’s heartbeat inside they received during an ultrasound

Valparaiso, IN 46385

appointment. “We try to stay positive. He has seen me cry multiple times

To support the organization find Emma’s Footprints on

though,” she says.

Facebook or contact

For those looking to bring comfort to a family with a child in the NICU or who has lost a child, Kowalisyn encourag-

Monetary donations may be mailed to

es showcasing any support is helpful and to not be afraid

537 Chicory Lane

to reach out and let the family know you’re thinking of

Valparaiso, IN 46385


and made payable to Emma’s Footprints

“For me, I want to hear her name. Nothing compares to someone saying her name,” she says.











mtm: feature nichole odijk demario

mothers & more of porter county


Mothers seeking a network and support system look no further

Rowe adds, “We’re a really good group of women. You’re not

than Mothers & More of Porter County. The local chapter is

alone [in motherhood]. You get to share your experiences.”

one of more than 30 local chapters throughout the country.

Their children have also reaped the benefits of regularly being

Mothers & More has been in existence since 1987 in an effort

in group settings that include the opportunity to make new

to provide programming and a national community for moms

friends, take part in regular play dates, learn socialization

through all stages, phases and transitions of motherhood.

skills and when they became school age already knew some

The local chapter co-chairs Tara Boyanski and Lisa Rowe

of their classmates making the transition to school that much

came to the organization for different reasons. Boyanski and


her husband had recently relocated to the area from New

To learn more visit Mothers & More of Porter County’s Face-

York with their two daughters.

book page. Those interested in joining may do so by visiting

“I didn’t know anyone, but my Realtor. I began searching To get a glimpse into the organization

online to find a group to meet other moms and in hopes of

Boyanski and Rowe invite any interested mother to attend

learning more about the area…when a leadership role be-

their free upcoming open house. See the sidebar and their ad

came available I wanted to become more involved because

for further details. - mtm

they had done so much for me,” Boyanski says. Rowe, the mother of two boys, attended the group’s annual


open house and opted to immediately join that very evening.

Mothers & More Fall Open House

Boyanski and Rowe became fast friends through the group.

October 8, 2015 | 7:30 pm

The group currently has 35 members. Members pay an an-

Dish Restaurant, 3907 Calumet Avenue, Valparaiso

nual fee of $45. Open enrollment is available throughout the

Includes free appetizers

year. The flat rate includes a variety of activities for both chil-

RSVP by October 5 via Facebook or mothersandmoreinfopor-

dren and mothers such as outings, a book club, workshops,

classes, social events, philanthropic drives and more. Volunteers work to ensure they plan various activities and events

Mothers & More Kids Closet Sale

that are conducive to the schedules of stay at home mothers,

October 17, 2015 | 8 am to 12 pm

work from home mothers, working mothers and everyone’s

Butterfield Pavilion at the Old Fairgrounds Park,

schedule’s in between.

Calumet & Evans Avenue, Valparaiso

The co-leaders each had jitters surrounding joining a new

$2 per person 8am to 10am | $1 per person 10am to 12pm

group, however in looking back they said not only was it a

Children free admission

fabulous decision for their children, but for themselves as well. “I was afraid not being from the area. Everyone was really welcoming. Sometimes you just have to take the jump and try something new,” Boyanski says. “…We’re all feeling the same things. It’s nice to have that support. There’s something for everybody.”

1 - Mani Pedi Party

2 - Wine & Canvas

6 - Bison Farm Outing

3 - Diaper Drive 7 - Kid’s Closet

4 - Spring Social

8 - Boyanski Family

5 - Outing at Chesterton G & F 9 - Rowe Family


mtm: feature nichole odijk demario

mom you should know: jenna elder


Jenna Elder and her husband had steadfastly focused on the

In another twist, a good friend of Elder who has since passed

health of their son Jaxson who was born with kidney failure.

away from ovarian cancer, gave her a sign with the quote

In 2013, Elder was in the process of becoming a live kidney

that to this day she says influences her, “You never know how

donor for Jaxson when her life took a dramatic turn in another

strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

direction. For years she had been doing self breast exams

Now two years post surgery, Elder’s next step is reconstructive

due to her awareness of her family history of breast cancer.

surgery. She has postponed the reconstruction until after her

In May of that year, she found a lump on her left breast. She

son’s transplant surgery, which will be conducted at the Chil-

knew right then and there her genetic predisposition to breast

dren’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

cancer had reared its ugly head.

“His health and well being comes before mine. The reconstruc-

Elder of Valparaiso, Ind. immediately scheduled the necessary

tion is important to me, but making sure he has what needs

doctor’s appointments and tests and soon found herself pre-

and I can take care of him takes precedence,” she says.

paring for a bilateral mastectomy rather than a kidney donor

For Elder, her healing process was more than accepting the

operation. Chemotherapy followed.

fact she would not be able to donate a kidney to her son or

In the year Elder was diagnosed, the American Cancer Soci-

the physical battle she faced, but also the emotional aspects of

ety estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer

having a mastectomy. She had to learn to love her new phys-

were expected to be diagnosed among US women. Approx-

icality and reminds herself and others true beauty isn’t about

imately 64,000 additional cases of in situ breast cancer was

what’s on the outside.

anticipated with nearly 40,000 dying from breast cancer.

She advises, “You have to love yourself for who you are now.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) reports one

Truly love yourself again when you see what you see.”

in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her

Elder found immense comfort in a support group and highly


recommends breast cancer patients and survivors seek out a

The day she received her diagnosis Elder’s husband was at

support group for themselves.

work and her son was sleeping. When the phone call came

“Even when you think you don’t need it, you do. The bond

through Elder says she fell to her knees, tears streaming down

between breast cancer survivors is one that can never be bro-

her face she called out to God asking, “What do you want

ken. If you’re feeling strong, go anyway as you may be able

from me?” She says clear as day she heard God’s response

to help someone else,” she says.

as “trust me.”

NBCF reports in its Early Detection Plan, when breast cancer

“I knew from that moment everything was going to be okay,”

is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year relative

Elder says. “I know many would not see cancer as a blessing,

survival rate is 100 percent.

but I feel like this was a blessing in disguise. I feel like every-

Elder can’t stress enough the importance of self breast exams

thing happens for a reason.”

and familiarizing oneself with family history. She says to even

She says the diagnosis and treatment was difficult, however in

go as far as setting reminders to ensure one is conducting a

moments of weakness she drew strength from Jaxson knowing

breast exam on a consistent basis, a routine she is convinced

how many health-related struggles he had endured in his short

saved her life.


To learn more about breast cancer awareness month in Oc-

“As a mother you’re suppose to fix everything for your child. I

tober and NBCF’s various plans and resources visit nation-

was helpless. Jaxson was my hero through all of it. I told my- Further questions about your personal

self if Jaxson can go through this, I can too,” she says.

breast health? Contact your doctor. - mtm

mindy’s menu mindy gear



stews and witches brews

Fall is my favorite time of year! There are so many wonderful things to enjoy. A visit to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard, watching the leaves change, getting out my sweaters AND most importantly‌cooking! While I thoroughly enjoy grilling and eating a lighter fare in the summer, I do love thick stews and coming home to the wonderful smells of dinner in the crockpot. One largely requested

meal at our house is Beef Stew. A hearty meat and potatoes dinner is pretty popular at our house. Taking a few extra minutes to make homemade biscuits and dinner is complete. The fresh biscuits are extra fantastic with the homemade strawberry jam we have left from summer.

mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 20

Rosemary Beef Stew

This is a very basic stew. Add additional veggies or seasoning as your family prefers.

Directions Place the carrots, celery, onion and potatoes into slow cooker. Place stew meat in large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the


¼ cup flour and toss to coat the meat. Set aside.

4 large carrots, peeled and cut

1-2 lbs stew meat

Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add floured meat

2 stalks celery, chopped

¼ cup flour

and all the flour from bowl into hot skillet. Let the beef cook for a few

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups beef broth

minutes to brown on one side. Stir and brown on remaining sides. Add

2 lbs red potatoes, washed and cut into 1” pieces

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

browned beef to slow cooker. Return skillet to heat and add minced gar-

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

lic. Stir for a minute. Turn heat to low and add beef broth, Dijon, Worces-

½ Tbsp dried rosemary (or 1 Tbsp fresh)

tershire sauce, rosemary and thyme. Stir to combine ingredients and loos-

½ tsp thyme

slow cooker ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8. Serve

4 cloves garlic, minced

en bits from bottom of pan. Once ingredients are combined, pour over as is or over rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.

Homemade Buttermilk biscuits These are also a very basic biscuit. Simple and yummy!


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp baking soda 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled in freezer and cut into ½ Tbsp slices ¾ cup cold buttermilk 2 Tbsp additional buttermilk to brush over biscuits

Directions Preheat oven to 425°. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

into a rectangle. Fold dough into thirds and press dough into rectan-

Whisk or sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together

gle (repeat this step 2 more times). Sprinkle with additional flour and

in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or

roll on floured surface until dough is about ½” thick. Using a 2-1/2”

fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (it will take a few minutes).

circle (biscuit cutter or cup), cut into 12 biscuits. Transfer biscuits to the

Make a well in center of crumb mixture and pour ¾ cup cold butter-

baking sheet and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Bake

milk. Stir until just combined. Turn dough onto a floured surface, pat

in preheated oven about 15 minutes or until golden.

Witches brew

How would you like a simple 2 ingredient punch? We use this often as a fun treat. Double, triple or however many times you want to make it.

Ingredients 1 container lime sherbet | 2 liter Sprite

Directions Scoop sherbet into punch bowl (or hallowed out pumpkin). Pour Sprite over the sherbet.

Fall Blondies Ingredients


2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. In

2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

mixer bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Slowly

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp vanilla

beat in flour mixture until all combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and ½

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup white chocolate chips

cup of M & M’s. Spread batter evenly in greased 9 x 13 pan (or line pan with

1 cup Candy Corn M & M’s

parchment paper). Sprinkle remaining half cup M & M’s over top of batter. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool and serve. Store remaining bars (if there are any)…in an airtight container.

Caramel Corn

Caramel corn is easy to make and so delicious. It can be cooked alone or you can add nuts, pretzels, cereal pieces to make it more like a snack mix. Bag it up for favors or it looks great on a party buffet. Buying the holiday-themed M and M’s or other theme-specific candy adds great color to your snack mix too.

Ingredients 1 cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar 1 tsp salt ½ cup light corn syrup 1 tsp baking soda

Directions Preheat oven to 250°. Prepare popcorn according to preference (on stovetop or air-popped). Pour in large roaster pan. Add additional snack mix ingredients, if desired. Do not mix in candy until after caramel corn is complete and cooled. Over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Stir well. Pour over the popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Bake in a large roaster pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry. Store in airtight container, adding candy right before serving (if you are adding). mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 22

8 cups popped popcorn

(optional: swap out 1 cup popcorn for 2 cups corn chex)

2 cups cashews

(or your favorite nut)

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mtm: feature

changing colors, c

debra kreig-lewis


Once the cooler weather begins we all change our wardrobes

each season. For Halloween think plastic spiders, eyeballs,

from shorts and t-shirts to jeans and sweaters right? Why

anything glittery along with your pumpkins you already had

wouldn’t we also make some changes to our homes as well? I

out earlier! At Thanksgiving time those Halloween add-ins

know I get bored easily with my décor & enjoy changing it up

can be removed and the fall touches can remain! Your kitchen

for the seasons and holidays! Think minor changes that add

and/or dining room tables can be spruced up with a fall run-

some fall colors to your everyday spaces and even changes

ner or simply a color change of a candle. Small changes like

that can bring you into Halloween & Thanksgiving and save

switching the soaps and home fragrances in your bathrooms/

you money!

living spaces, changing the kitchen towels, and throw rugs in

Pick a room or two to start and add to or put away some every-

your home can make it new and inviting!

day decorations that could take away from the cozy fall vibe.

This year I focused on adding pieces to my fireplace mantel in

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on new décor either.

my family room. My mirror is a stationary piece that I like to

For instance…adding small pumpkins, acorns, pinecones &

work around. I love the look of lanterns and many times use

leaves to glass containers or bowls can easily be changed for

flameless candles in them for safety reasons. You can even

mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 24

changing spaces! find scented ones! I spent $40 this year on new décor for my

bad by the end of fall or get eaten up by the squirrels!

living room that can be kept up till Christmas! In October I

I always find the best deals and cutest decorations at stores

plan to add some more pumpkins and Halloween touches and

like TjMaxx, Marshalls, Gordmans, Hobby Lobby and Mi-

in November change those out with a “Be Thankful” banner

chaels. Many of these retailers have weekly coupons on their

and “turkey touches.” Over the years I’ve purchased extra dec-

websites and/or coupons on the app site RetailMeNot. Out-

orative pillows in fall colors and a throw blanket that I keep in

door decorations like mums and hay bails can be found at any

a basket nearby for cuddling on the couch.

of the hardware stores like Home Depot and Menards.

Don’t forget about the outside of your house! Once the weath-

Lastly have fun with it!

er cools down the fall colored mums add an excellent touch

leaves and acorns! Reds, oranges, browns and yellows are

to your porch and can even be planted outside to bloom the

all around us this time of year! Incorporating them into our

following year! I usually purchase a large hay bail and sev-

homes can be done easily and inexpensively to make your

eral pumpkins as well to set up next to my front door. Fake

home fresh and inviting! As the air gets chillier outside make

pumpkins are a great alternative to real ones that tend to go

your home more cozy inside! - mtm

Get the kids involved collecting

mtm: trina’s picks trina bobrowski

Book Review of Anne Marie Pace’s

Vampirina Ballerina


Halloween has always been a favorite time of year for me. As a child, Halloween candy was great and dressing up was fun too, but I loved all of the spooky stories told during that time of year. Just thinking about what was hiding in my closet or lurking under my bed gave me goose bumps and made my heart race. Having children of my own now, I’m always on the lookout for spooky stories to read them, but not too spooky, I don’t want them jumping in bed with me at night! Vampirina has wanted to be a dancer all her life, she’s been dreaming of the day she can put on her ballet shoes and become a real ballerina. Becoming a ballerina is a little difficult when you’re a young vampire who can’t even see her reflection in the dance mirror! She joins a ballet class full of human girls and tries her best, but Vampirina is just making one mistake after another. The ballet instructor Madame tells Vampirina to keep practicing, get some sleep, and eat well and many other encouraging words; which eventually turn Vampirina into the ballerina she always aspired to be. Not only does she have support from Madame but her entire family is there for her too. Vampirina Ballerina is such an adorable story about perseverance and courage, not to mention it’s totally adorable as well. Anne Marie Pace show us that being different isn’t always a bad thing, and having the right attitude and drive can overcome many obstacles in life, even being a vampire. Leuyen Pham’s illustrations are so cute; I just love how she depicted Vampirina’s entire family and the spooky mansion they live in. You will especially love the style of Vampirina’s ballet outfit compared to the pretty pink outfits of her peers. mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 26

With school officially in full swing, we thought we’d bring back a

will choose our favorite, and the winner will receive 4 passes to

favorite amongst our littlest of fans – the coloring page!! This month

Bellaboo’s Children’s Play and Discovery Center. The deadline to

we are sticking with the back to school theme and asking our little

get your artwork to us is Wednesday, September 31. The winner

artists age 3-9 to color this picture and mail it to us at Mom to

will be announced on our Facebook page – GOOD LUCK!!!!

Mom, NWI 103 E. Indiana Avenue, Valparaiso, IN 46383. We

Child’s Name Age Address City State Zip Parent Phone Number

Email Address

Happy Halloween

mtm: trina’s picks trina bobrowski

Book Review of Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children


As I was perusing books on the New York Times Best Seller list, one cover caught my attention. On the cover there was a little girl from the early nineteen hundreds, dressed normally for that time period, what was not so normal or peculiar about her was, her body was floating a few inches off the ground. Immediately I knew this would be a great book to review for October - the spookiest month of the year! Jacob thinks his Grandfather is the greatest adventurer that ever lived. His Grandfather has been telling Jacob stories about his life for years now. These amazing stories entail: a European island, a children’s home and a plethora of peculiar children to fill it. When Jacob was a young boy he loved to hear his Grandfather’s recollections of Olive, the girl who could levitate or Millard the boy who was invisible, he even had photos of his childhood pals. As Jacob became a teenager these stories became more fantasy than a reality for him. He thought, sure my Grandfather lived through WWII he must have seen some horrific things, and is probably making these stories up to soften his reality of what really happened. Unfortunately, a family tragedy plunges Jacob into this supposed fantasy world his Grandfather has spoken about all these year and Jacob realizes his Grandfather was telling the truth. Ransom Riggs is a one of the cleverest writers I have ever read. His book is full of old black and white photos that coincide with the story itself, not that you would need a visual, Riggs is so descriptive in his writing style the photos are just an added bonus. Your imagination will be stretched to its limits while diving into a fanciful world of magic, time travel and monsters, perfect for Halloween. Jacob’s story continues in Ransom Riggs book Hollow City and Library of Souls the second and third novel in the Miss Peregrine series. mom to mom nwi | october 2015 | page 28


community calendar BARKER BIRTHDAY BASH Saturday, October 10 | 1pm to 4pm Join Barker Mansion as they celebrate 40 years of being on the National Register of Historic places! This family- friendly event features old- fashioned games, crafts for kids, cake and more. Cost is $2 per person. Reservations not needed. This event is sponsored by The Friends of Barker Civic Center. The Barker Mansion is located at 631 Washington Street in Michigan City. BUCKLEY FALL FESTIVAL Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 The Buckley Homestead is proud to present its fall festival, “Lasting Traditions”. Old Time Traditions include family fun, great food, wonderful entertainment and traditional arts and crafts! Along the trail to the pioneer cabin reenactors portray military, civilians and artisans of various time periods. Taste freshly baked cornbread hot from the wood-burning stove then purchase Deep River stone ground cornmeal to take home and bake your own.  The farm is bustling with activities. Entertainment for all includes Dr. and Mrs. Quackenbush who return with their quick wit and slight-of- hand, Coles County Regulators Cowboys who roam the countryside looking for bad guys and host the Pony Express riders, Susan and Gary Brown entertaining with old-fashioned music and dancing at the pioneer farm, “Liars Bench” in the barnyard and storytellers and music in the schoolhouse. Fee is $5 per person, children 7 and younger are free.   COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR Saturday, October 17 | 9am to noon Take Charge of Your Health! Come out and enjoy a free Community Health Fair at St. Paul Catholic Church Social Hall, located at 1855 W. Harrison Blvd in Valparaiso. The St. Paul Catholic Church Health Fair encourages and promotes a healthy lifestyle for women and men of all ages.  With over 30 community vendors, all aspects of wellness will be offered through free health screenings (blood pressure screening, blood glucose screening - fasting is recommended), massages, nutrition guidance, foot care, hearing, chiropractic, senior care, dental & health information, fire truck, and police department.  Take advantage of getting your flu shot at the event- - free with Medicare ID ($25 for non-Medicare).  This health fair, sponsored by the Nursing and Health Ministry, is free and open to the community. Light food provided and chances to win a variety of prizes.  Mothers, come and socialize and improve your health! STAR PLAZA PRINCESS BRUNCH Sunday, October 18 | 9:30am to 2:30pm You don’t need to travel far to have eat with a princess! Come out to the Star Plaza in Merrillville for a princess brunch. Cost is $25 per person. The brunch will consist of a Carving station; made-to-order omelets; breakfast pastries; crispy chicken tenderloins; sweets and a spectacular chocolate fountain will highlight the royal meal.  

BOO AT THE ZOO Saturday, October 24 | 12pm to 7:30pm Scared that you don’t have any plans for Halloween this year? Fly your broomstick on down to the Washington Park Zoo and spend a kid-friendly, merry, and not so scary afternoon with the animals. Young goblins, ghosts, princesses and zooperheros will experience child-friendly trick or treating from local business sponsored booths while having wild animal encounters along the decorated zoo paths. Due to the large crowds that traditionally attend Boo at the Zoo, this year we will be offering two sessions to avoid long lines and keep everyone safe. The Zoo staff is strongly recommending purchasing tickets in advance since there will be a cut-off of ticket sales once the maximum occupancy is reached. Tickets will be on sale daily at the zoo office on a first come bases to be able to pick your preferred session times, but once the tickets are gone they are gone. It is not anticipated that there will be tickets available for sale on the day of the event. THE BLACK CAT’S MEOW: GLOW WILD! Thursday, October 29 | 5:30pm to 8pm Grab your costumes & come set the night a-glow – it’s a kids costume party and afterhours glow show taking center stage at Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center! This truly sparkle-acular afterhours show will feature Glow Bowling, Neon Splatter Paint, Black Light Bucket Toss, and Flashlight Fun.  Glow Play then stay to Dance the Night Away!  Doors open at 5:00pm and the show starts at 6:00pm.  Tickets are free for Kittens (12 months and under).  For Playful Cats (1 to 9 yrs.) tickets are $10 for the first child and $7.50 for each additional child in same family.  Anyone over age 10 including adults are $5. Space is limited so reserve your tickets at or by phone at 219.963.2070. Professional Portraits will also be available. Make the most of your costumes this season – quality time spent with your family is the BEST reason! 

MOTHER’S AND MORE BOOK CLUB Thursday, October 29 | 7pm to 9pm Come on out and join the women of Mother’s and More of Porter county at Parea, located at 69 Franklin Street in Valparaiso to discuss, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Set during WWII , this heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women will bring you to tears. Leave your man at home with his latest Vin Diesel movie and lets talk chick lit!

Do you have an event you’d like to add to our community calendar? Send an email to by the 15 of the month.

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Mom to Mom, NWI -- October 2015  
Mom to Mom, NWI -- October 2015  

October 2015 issue of Mom to Mom, NWI