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volume 4 · issue 11

NOVEMBER 2013

Sassy Housewife stop accusing, start suggesting.

plus

ht for a Hold on tig Omaha’s ride down g hills. best sleddin

BUNDLE UP! Cold weather has never looked so cute.

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1


momaha

FROM our MOMAHA. COM editor

where moms connect editorial director CHRIS CHRISTEN chris.christen@owh.com 402-444-1094

assistant editor AMy LaMAR

content coordinator, designer HEIDI H O FFMAN hhoffman@owh.com 402-444-1351

momaha.com editor

Let it snow!

J O S I E LOZ A josie.loza@owh.com 402-444-1075

production coordinator PAT R I C I A “ M U R PH y ” B E N O I T

on the cover PH OTO: HEIDI H O FFMAN

content contributors AMy GR ACE, DANIELLE HER ZO G, AMy TOkOS, DE v HANUMAR A, k A R E N B L A N C , H E AT H E R W I N k E L , JEFFREy BEBEE

to advertise, contact kRISTINE BUHMAN kristine.buhman@owh.com 402-444-1442 MARCIA OSTRANSk y marcia.ostransky@owh.com 402-444-1489

OK, maybe not yet. But we’re ready just the same.

C

runch, crunch, crunch. We love crunchy leaves underfoot. It’s a great time of year to be a fan of the outdoors. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to heat up the chilly autumn months. And November lends itself to just that – from taking a brisk walk in your neighborhood to jumping in piles of leaves. Soon enough, we’ll have our first snowfall. And that, friends, is when the real fun begins. In this issue, readers share their favorite Omaha area sledding hills (including toboggan runs down a snowy hill on school grounds). You’ll also find a list of age-appropriate sled styles, plus a summary of the thrill quotient with each design. And, of course, we went on the hunt for the cutest scarves, hats, mittens and boots to wear while you’re sledding – or keeping warm on the sidelines. You will also find a salted brownie recipe and a fun take on place cards for the holiday season.

Momaha Magazine is a monthly publication of the Omaha World-Herald, 1314 Douglas St., Suite 600, Omaha, NE 68102. Momaha is a registered trademark, and all content is copyright 2013 by the Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved. The opinions and perspectives published herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as those of Momaha Magazine.

Enjoy!

Chat with Josie each Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on momaha.com Facebook.com/josie.loza @LozaFina Pinterest.com/momahaowh

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Forget the apple-shaped knickknacks! These teacher gift ideas will earn an A+

I

t’s that gift-giving time of year again. And if you have kids, your list just got a little longer. Unless they are home-schooled, they have teachers – probably a few. While you would love to spoil the person who keeps your child engaged, in line and safe every day, she is usually just one more person on a long list. I have noticed that moms are discussing appropriate gifts and gift amounts on social networking sites. I decided to Amy come up GrAce with some ideas of my own, and to share some of their ideas as well. Gift cards seem to be the most popular choice for teacher gifts. many schools compile lists of teachers’ preferences for restaurants or stores. I tend to give coffee gift cards, not just to teachers, but to friends or as thank-you gifts. After all, $5 cups

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of coffee are something that most everyone can go without when money is tight. However, it’s sure nice to have a coffeehouse gift card tucked away in your wallet when a craving strikes. One mom posted that another mom in her child’s class took up a $10 donation from each child. She then bought generous gift cards to local area malls from all of the kids in the class. When my oldest son was in preschool, he had 10 preschool teachers. If I had spent $20 to $30 per teacher, it would’ve cost me $200 to $300. I visited www.mommywisdom.net, which sells adorable stationary that you can personalize with teachers’ names. each card is $1, so you can easily put a nice package together for as little as $10. each set comes in a cute clear bag with holiday ribbon. Never underestimate the impact of a homemade, from-the-heart gift. I found a cute idea, and decided to enlist my sons in making some homemade ornaments for their teachers. (This is also a great way to teach your kids the value of recycling!) Using old

cDs, colored paper, ribbon and mod Podge, we created “vintage” christmas decorations. Another idea is to give cookies in a jar. most teachers are probably busy right up until the holidays, and have little time to make holiday treats for their own friends and families. It’s a thoughtful and inexpensive way to ease that burden. How about a holiday bouquet for your child’s teacher to take home? most people love beautiful blooms, and a floral centerpiece can be a lovely addition to their holiday table or entryway. choose Thanksgiving, christmas, Hanukkah or other winter holiday color schemes. you now have some ideas for what to give your child’s teacher this year. The amount you spend is entirely up to you and your budget, but most teachers are appreciative of even the smallest sentiment. Have other great ideas? Let us know how you thank your children’s teachers for the holidays on momaha.com. Amy Grace writes on Fridays on momaha.com.


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H

Get OrGanized

Old Things, New Uses Storage tricks for thrifty households

TexT by Amy Tokos PhoTos by heidi hoffmAn

ome storage products are part of a multibillion-dollar industry, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Whether you are environmentally conscious or just on a tight budget, repurposing items in your home to help you organize might be the way to go. Here are a few ideas to get your mind churning. Shoe boxes, either as-is or cut in half, make great drawer dividers. The boxes can also be covered in fabric or self-adhesive wallpaper to make nice-looking containers for cabinets or shelves. Tissue boxes and tea boxes can be used as well. Just cut off the top and you have a drawer divider. Kid’s hangers can be used to hang flip-flops. This will keep your floor clean, keep pairs of flip-flops together and make them more visible. Shower curtain hooks or rings can be used along with curtain rods, hangers or over-the-door towel racks to hold accessories. The hooks work great for jewelry, hats and handbags. The rings work well for tights and scarves. Ice cube trays keep earrings organized. If you have space and need bigger cubbies, try a muffin tin. Mason jars can be used to contain anything from Q-tips to buttons. Old rakes can be put on a wall to hang jewelry, scarves or hats.

Empty mint containers can be repurposed to hold bobby pins. Another great solution for bobby pins is a magnetic strip on the side of a drawer. Hair spray caps work as drawer dividers, and can contain bobby pins, hair clips and other small items. Milk crates can be turned on their sides for a shelf under your sink. This will help you use up all of that empty vertical space. Baskets substitute for drawers in closets with shelves. Use them for undergarments and socks. Baskets can also be used as pretty under-the-bed storage. Over-the-door shoe holders can be repurposed for scarves or tights. You can even cut them down to fit inside cabinets under the sink. Crown molding in rows on a wall is a great spot to hang your heels. Two-by-fours can be used to make risers for your cabinets. If you have a large collection of nail polish or perfume, a few two-by-fours stacked to make risers may be just the solution. A little paint can help make them pretty. PVC pipe can be used to hang your curling iron, flat iron or blow-dryer. Not everyone has PVC pipe lying around their house, but if you do, here is a chance to put it to good use.

Use magnets to give your muffin tin added decorative flair.

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Homespiration

Sweet & Simple Easy touches cozy up girls’ bedroom in a flash TexT by Karen blanc PhoTos by Jeffrey bebee

I

recently surveyed my daughters’ room and filled in a few blank spots that had been bothering me for months.

1 A tall white dresser sat with nothing on it. I wanted to add some “sparkle,” but how? Then I remembered a wonderful collection of classic literature that my daughter, Emily (now grown), had given to her younger sisters years ago. I arranged the book collection, along with two bookends from Pottery Barn Kids, atop the dresser. It was exactly the touch I wanted for this bright but understated room.

2 I enlivened the top of a low chest of drawers with a set of playful jars created by daughter, Abby (a print designer for children’s clothing for Target). The jars add merriment without clutter. To make your own: 1. Glue a plastic farm animal to a jar lid. 2. Paint the lid and the toy in a bright color. 3. Fill the jar with crayons, colored pencils, chalk – anything a young child might enjoy.

3 Three twin beds in a single room screamed for some element of personalization. I solved the dilemma with white bedspreads and coordinating pillow shams.

Karen Blanc is a wife, mom and grandmother who loves everything related to home and family. She blogs at motherrabbitsays.blogspot.com.

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WINTER FUN

The Daisy Baby pearl flower knit hat, $28, Posh Princess

Children’s Place girl’s snow boots (new), $8.99, Couture Kids, a kid’s consignment shop

Bundle Up! Cute yes, but warm, too

Written + Styled by Amy lamAr PhotoS by heidi hoffmAn

W

inter just got easier with this adorable collection of winter gear for kids. Easier? Because they won’t argue about wearing it, and their little ears, fingers and toes will be cozy and warm.

The Daisy Baby hat, $28, Posh Princess

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Striped mittens (new), $1.99, Couture Kids


WINTER FUN

Elysiumland tiger hat and matching gloves, $17.99, Laurel Tree

Frog mittens (new), $1.99, Couture Kids

Koala Kids dinosaur hat, 99 cents, Couture Kids

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Winter Fun

Hills forThrills Sledding days aren’t far away; here are some of our favorite slopes By Josie Loza MoMaha.coM editor

W

hen school-age children in Nebraska and Iowa are freed from the rigors of school because of snow days, where do they head? To school, of course. It turns out that a number of Omaha area schools have fine sledding hills.

Millard’s Black Elk Elementary Where: Near 160th and Harrison Streets; a steep slope sits behind the school.

Millard’s Holling Heights Where: Near 138th and Harrison Streets; a popular sledding stop.

St. Robert  Bellarmine School Where: Near 120th and Pacific Streets; a sled-able slope sits west of the school.

Papillion-La Vista South High Where: Near 108th Street and Highway 370; a great snowscape layout.

Sources: sports.yahoo.com; kidshealth.org; snowsleds.net

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Portal Elementary

Turner Boulevard

Where: Near South 96th Street and Giles Road in La Vista; a great hill.

Where: South of Leavenworth Street where Turner Boulevard starts heading uphill to Woolworth Avenue.

Ralston Middle School

Walnut Hill

Where: Near South 84th and L Streets in Ralston; a great slope near the school.

Where: West of 38th Street at Lafayette Avenue, just northwest of 40th and Cuming Streets.

Laura Dodge Elementary

Memorial Park

Where: Near Maple and North 90th Streets; the snow mound attracts lots of children.

Where: North of Dodge Street just west of Happy Hollow Boulevard. Some parking is available near the park driveway off Underwood Avenue.

Near Catlin Elementary School Spring Lake Park Where: At 126th and Shirley Streets between West Center Road and Pacific Street near the Tri-Faith campus.

Bryan High School Where: Near 48th Street and Giles Road; there is a massive hill behind the school.

Bellevue East High School Where: Near South Harvell Drive and Lincoln Road behind (south) of the school.

Where: The preferred hill is off Spring Lake Drive just west of 13th Street, about a block south of L Street.

Zorinsky Lake Where: Off 156th Street on the east side of the park near the F Street entrance that leads to soccer fields.


Winter Fun

Toboggan or saucer?

F

irst you need a goodsized hill. Then you need hard-packed snow so you don’t get stuck and you can build up speed. Hold on. Wait a minute. We forgot to talk about sleds. There’s no way you can hit Omaha’s best slopes without having the perfect toboggan, saucer or dog sled – if that’s your thing. There are many different sled styles available depending on your age, skill level and available terrain. Here’s a glance at some that you might want to check out this winter.

Toboggans

Steerable Sleds

Vintage Sleds

toboggans are long, wooden sleds with a curved front and a rope for towing. they’re good for deep snow, and they can be loaded full of kids, adults or objects.

those who want to have some control by maneuvering the front of the sled – often with little skis leading the way – should check out these bad boys.

We’ve all seen those oldfashioned sleds in Norman rockwell paintings. if you find one of them in an attic or at a garage sale, you can fix it up and make it like new.

Take a look:

Hammerhead Sport VLD Sled with Sport Runners available at hammerheadsleds.com for $189.

Take a look: You can find toboggans at local department stores, but if you want to step it up for a quality one, check out Mountain Boggan’s 72-inch multi-person toboggan at cozydays.com for $199.99.

Take a look: For a modern-day version, try the Flexible Flyer 60-inch sled, available on Amazon for $115.90.

Saucers

Inflatable Sleds

Plastic Sleds

Toddler Sleds

round sleds that give you little or no control and a wild and crazy ride are part of their appeal.

a cross between traditional sleds and snow tubes, inflatable sleds are one of the newest kinds of snow sleds on the market.

Plastic sleds come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the kind of sledding that you want to do.

even little ones can enjoy sledding. sleds come in a variety of sizes and styles for the smaller crowd, giving them a chance to try it out. Prices range from $25 to $50.

Take a look: Lucky Bums Snow Foam Sled for $20.

Take a look:

Take a look: 

Dick’s Sporting Goods has the Aqua Leisure Air Penguin sled for $29.99.

Walmart has the Deer Drag Sled for $35.

Take a look: Target has the Pelican Baby DLX Sled for $49.99.

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Winter Fun

Keep Safety in Mind When Sledding By Josie Loza MoMaha.coM editor

r

amping up the speed and maneuverability of your kids’ sleds also means ramping up the opportunity for something to go wrong. Like anything else, sledding safely requires the right gear and a dose of common sense. First of all, dress properly. Sledding is so much fun that you, and especially your children, might not notice how cold it is. Frostbite is a concern. Sledding combines aerobic activity (climbing the hill) with an

adrenaline rush (sliding down), so you want to be able to adjust your clothing. Unzip while you are climbing, and button up before your descent. Good mittens or gloves are necessary not only for warmth, but also to protect your hands from impact. Getting your fingers pinched between a sled and hard snow can hurt. Modern sleds let you go places where sleds have never gone before. If you are sledding in a wooded area, on narrow trails, around obstacles (includ-

for your

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14

ing other people sledding) or on hard snow, wear a ski helmet and goggles to protect your head and eyes. You can get snow in your face on these sleds, and goggles will help you see where you are going. Being able to steer doesn’t do much good if you can’t see. Finally, eep in mind that sleds you can steer let you control your speed to some degree, but it’s easier to maintain a safe speed than to slow down if you are going too fast.


Thermolite mittens, $1.99, Couture Kids

Hand-knitted scarf, $20, The Chevron Owl

Snow Foam sled, $49.99, Lucky Bums

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Fashion

Fashionably Warm

Y

ou may be building snowmen this winter, but you don’t have to look like one. These sweaters keep you toasty and stylish without the bulk!

TexT by Amy LamAr ArT DirecTion by HeiDi HoffmAn STyLing by corA coppock HAir + mAkeup by konTempo moDeLing by mArcy kerkHoff pHoTogrApHeD by iwen expoSureS AT THe DownTown Home of mArk ScHmeLzer.

Maison sweater, $88, Piper; R.J. Graziano necklace, $88, and earrings, $58, both from Caché, Village Pointe.

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Left on Houston sweater, $214, three-tiered necklace, $78, both from Gramercy; top, $68, Garment District; Statement wire wrapped ring, $24, Me & Me

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D.I.Y. Project

Cookies for the Road Seat your guests with a convenient treat for the road and safe travels home. WHAT YOU NEED Waxed paper Tape Decorative paper Chocolate chip cookies Chalkboard contact paper Chalk WHAT YOU DO 1. Make an envelope out of waxed paper. Start with a square piece of waxed paper, and fold each end over, hotdog-style. Turn over and fold two bottom corners up, creating a flap. Fold the flap up and tape it. Turn back over and cut off the excess waxed paper. 2. Cut decorative paper to fit inside envelope, and insert it with the pretty side up. 3. Add cookies. 4. Roll down top portion of waxed paper twice. 5. Cut out a rectangle of chalkboard contact paper. Write guests’ names in chalk, and use the contact paper to fasten envelope closed.

20


D.I.Y. Project

How to fold a waxed paper envelope:

The 2013 Milagro Dinner & Silent Auction November 14, 2013

Livestock Exchange Ballroom

Featuring Richard Montañez, Executive VP of Multicultural Sales & Community Activation for PepsiCo North America. Richard started his PepsiCo career at Frito-Lay in 1976 as a janitor in its Rancho Cucamonga plant. He is recognized as the creator of the “Flamin’ Hot” line of products including “Flamin’ Hot Cheetos,” which influenced future ethnic products and the first Frito-Lay Hispanic marketing team. A benefit for OneWorld Community Health Centers. For more information, please contact Pam Monsky, 402-619-5302 or pmonsky@oneworldomaha.org

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RECIPE

Sweet

Victory This recipe will be the talk of your cookie exchange.

TexT By HeaTHer Winkel PHoTo By Dev Hanumara

W

hen you need a sweet treat for a holiday cookie exchange, we come to the rescue with an easy crowd-pleaser. These Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars will win the prize and have everyone asking you for the recipe.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars WHaT you neeD 1 batch of chocolate chip cookie dough (homemade or store-bought) 14-ounce bag of caramels 3 tablespoons heavy cream Sea salt to taste WHaT you Do

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. Make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough (or buy it pre-made!) 3. Grease a cake pan and spread half of the dough in a thin layer. 4. Unwrap a bag of caramels, and melt them with 3 tablespoons heavy cream in the microwave. 5. Spread caramel sauce on top of the cookie layer and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. 6. Add another layer of cookie dough using the remaining half of the dough. (It works best to take small pieces and press it into an even layer with your fingers.) 7. Sprinkle the top with sea salt and bake for 30 minutes.

22


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23


Advice

Key to Co-Parenting Drop the accusations; offer suggestions instead

Dear Sassy Housewife, I’m a single mom to my 4-year-old daughter, who just started preschool. Her father and I were never married. We broke up when my daughter was 2, and have been living separately since then. He has partial custody, and he sees her two times a week and every other weekend. He’s a good guy, and I appreciate that he’s involved. The problem is that he doesn’t have any rules at his house. When my daughter is there, she stays up late and eats a lot of junk. How can I get the two of us on the same page? Signed, The Parent Who Isn’t Fun Dear Fun-less, First of all, hats off to you two for having such an amicable parenting situa-

tion. It takes two people who understand the importance of putting the child first to co-parent effectively. Secondly, I seriously have no idea how you or any single parent does it. I applaud you for balancing all the tasks of parenting and home management by yourself. Plus, I know there are only so many times when I could feed my kids macaroni and cheese. It would be torturous to have to learn how to cook like my husband does. As for your problem, the first question to ask is if his actions are affecting the child. Is she losing so much sleep that she’s not able to stay awake at school? Is she getting sick more often? If the answer is yes, then it might be time to have a calm and nonconfrontational conversation with her daddy. I find it better to talk about

your actions before criticizing his. Something like, “I’ve noticed that our daughter is having trouble staying awake at school, so I’m trying to put her to bed earlier to help with that. Would you mind trying that at your house so we can see if it helps?” That’s very different from saying, “Are you letting her stay up too late again?” Drop the accusations, and instead offer suggestions. If that doesn’t work and your daughter is still as tired as usual, I’m a big believer in picking your battles. She’s only there twice a week and every other weekend. Is staying up a bit later and eating a few snacks really going to change things? You are the primary parent. Unfortunately, that means that you can’t always be the fun parent all the time. But what it does mean is that

your daughter will always know who took care of her, fed her, took her to school and watched over her during all the moments of her life. She will appreciate your rules and ways of the house when she is older. Then, when it is her turn, you’ll get to be the fun grandparent who lets the kids stay up late and feeds them junk food! It’s funny how life comes full-circle that way, isn’t it? Sassy Housewife Danielle Herzog is a married mother of two. She is a former middle and high school teacher, and she served as a student counseling advisor in the Washington, D.C., area prior to moving to Omaha. She currently is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling.

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Momaha Magazine - November 2013