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May+June 2016






Are You Raising a Leader?

Encouraging Kids to Become Motivated and Confident Self-starters

9 Time Out for Mom 10

Family Chatter..................................................................... 26 That’s Good to Know!....................................................... 28 Show Her You Care, Show Him You Care........ 29-30 Teach Your Kids Something New..................................32 Snacks—Recipes for tasty get-togethers................. 37 Crafts—Get creative with your kids.............................40

10 Little Luxuries to Give Yourself So You Always Feel Celebrated


Dear Stepdad—You’re Important Too


Inspiration for stepdads everywhere hoping to make a difference

Cool Party Themes for Teens 15 Six and Tweens

How to get your teens and tweens moving, laughing and making memories

42 Teen Talk

Helpful Advice from One Teen to Another

Spark up some lively conversation with your kids. Take the FamilyChatter Challenge.

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Living life to its fullest begins with staying healthy, fit and safe. A.C.T. to Prevent Heat-Related Car Deaths............21 What You Should Know About Acne............................ 22



Get to know the people, places and things that make this coast special!

Seasonal Events..................................................................44 The Arts...................................................................................44 Sounds Fun............................................................................44 Runs, Walks & Golf..............................................................45 Recurring Local................................................................... 46 Volunteer................................................................................ 46

26 FamilyChatter 4/29/16 10:05 AM

parent Emerald Coast It’s Your MagazineTM

Welcome to Emerald Coast Parent magazine. We like to consider this your magazine. We look forward to hearing from local readers like you on a regular basis. Let us know how we might be able to participate in the continued improvement of this beautiful area where we all live and work. As busy parents ourselves, we place a high value on spending quality time with our children and are always looking for fun crafts, recipes, events and outing opportunities to add to our family calendars. If you have fun, easy and cost-effective ideas that you'd like to share with our community of readers, please feel free to email them to us at Your ideas might just end up being featured in an upcoming issue! Here's a list of things we'd love to receive from you: • Personal stories and pictures of you and your family out and about, enjoying a favorite local attraction, restaurant or event • Recommendations and endorsements of local stores, services and restaurants • Ideas for fun crafts • Your family’s favorite recipes Let’s make this a great local magazine, together! Thanks, The EC Parent Team

To advertise in Emerald Coast Parent, contact Nathan Wilson: Phone: 503-710-1720

Publisher  Nathan Wilson Creative Director  Rob Williams Snacks & Crafts Editor  Tasha Williams © 2015 It’s Your Magazine. All rights reserved. Emerald Coast Parent content may not be used or reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopy, without the express written permission of the publisher. Emerald Coast Parent is not responsible for the loss of or damage to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork or any other unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned. It’s Your Magazine and its affiliates, contributors, writers, editors and publisher accept no responsibility for errors or omissions with information and/or advertisements contained herein. It’s Your Magazine’s liability in the event of an error is limited to a printed correction. It’s Your Magazine does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein and assumes no responsibility for claims made by the advertisers.

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By Myrna Beth Haskell



Many years ago, I used to help out in my daughter’s kindergarten class. I remember one female student who always seemed to be in charge. When the class would break up into groups, this little one would embrace her teacher persona, immediately directing those around her. On the playground, she was always surrounded by her peers, who were invariably hanging on her every word. Some children seem to effortlessly fall into the role of leader, no matter what the environment. However, there are those children who are late bloomers. These are the ones who blend in early on, but blossom with maturity and become presidents of their high school class or captains of a varsity team. What does this tell us about the development of leadership qualities in our youth? Why do some young people take charge of school projects and playground activities with ease, while others are happy to take the proverbial back seat? Are leaders born or nurtured?

N U RT U R E O R N AT U R E? “Talent for leadership is a combination of nurture and nature. Leadership requires the building of a strong central core,” says Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., a nationally recognized family and child development expert, author, and educator. 6 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, LLC (letsgrowleaders. com), adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, and prominent keynote speaker, explains, “Important leadership skills can be nurtured in all children. Of course, some personalities will be more drawn to leadership roles, but the truth is that every one of us will face situations in our lives where strong leadership skills are necessary to accomplish something we believe in.”

Every one of us will face situations in our lives where strong leadership skills are necessary. If nurture is a substantial influence, how can parents encourage their children to embrace those qualities that successful leaders possess? “Parents can be as deliberate in developing leadership as they are in exposing children to reading music and excelling in sports,” Hurt reports. She helped her son in this capacity. “My son was shy as a small child. I don’t think anyone would have said at that point that he was a ‘natural born leader.’ We worked on developing leadership skills every single day, but we didn’t talk about it as such. Today, he has significant leadership roles in college and in the community. I’m inclined to think he leads well because he led early and often, and he was exposed to a wide range of experiences.”

The following key leadership qualities can be nurtured in children from a very young age.

studies will help secure a spot on the debate team that he hopes to join, he will be inclined to study harder. Hurt warns parents about rewarding expected behaviors. “External incentives, such as candy to finish homework, can actually decrease intrinsic motivation, and children will be less likely to develop an interest in pursuing these tasks without being reminded.”

Leaders are confident with their vision and decisions—simultaneously listening to others’ opinions Realistic Goal-setting without feeling threatened. Goal-setting can sometimes be overwhelming and frustrating, espeConfidence Confidence and self-esteem are inherently linked. “Bonding is everything, and parents who build security and selfesteem through positive interaction with their child—from birth throughout childhood—have it right,” Gross contends. “A wellbonded child has less stress, processes information better, sticks to problem-solving longer, and ultimately, has good self-esteem.” Capable leaders are confident with their vision and decisions, while simultaneously listening to others’ opinions without feeling threatened. Gross continues, “A child who is secure in his own shoes can listen to his own inner voice, as well as the opinions of others, without the need to dominate.” Gross also advises parents to allow their children to be take part in decision-making. “You are building that secure central core which is so important for good self-esteem.”

Self-advocacy Children need to learn to fend for themselves and to fight their own battles. Therefore, parents shouldn’t constantly rescue their kids when a mistake has been made, such as delivering a forgotten textbook to school or explaining to a child’s teacher why a project wasn’t completed on time. You are helping your child to learn to be a self-starter when you teach him to take responsibility for his actions. Gross asserts, “Teaching your child how to tactfully and clearly explain his position and feelings to others allows him to be selfadvocating. Through your own authentic, social interactions, you are teaching your child to respect the opinions of others, to evaluate them, and to follow her own voice.” Gross also points out that by teaching a strong sense of values and integrity, you are strengthening your child’s ability to be assertive.

Motivation Does your child run for the hills when you ask him to take out the garbage or walk the dog? Does she protest when asked to finish homework before dinner? What motivates young people to complete tasks, even when it’s the last thing they want to do? “Intrinsic motivation is one of the key qualities of leadership,” Hurt explains. “Human beings of all ages are more motivated to invest time and energy when they feel they are an important part of something bigger than themselves.” Therefore, it’s important for children to understand why they are asked to do something. If a child knows that a good grade in social

cially if the goals are too far-reaching. Parents should help children set goals that are attainable. “An important part of goal-setting is making them realistic and incremental,” Hurt points out. “Setting them too high at first can be demotivating, and a child may feel like the goal is impossible to achieve. Helping children break big goals down into smaller milestones can really help.” For instance, if she is determined to break the school record in the back stroke, setting goals to improve her time by one second per meet is a realistic benchmark and will keep her motivated as she strives for her ultimate goal.

Decisiveness In order to be decisive, a person needs to feel secure with his own decision-making and problem-solving abilities. Parents should allow their kids to make small decisions from an early age, such as what to have for a snack after school. “Helping your child make age-appropriate decisions will guide him towards the principles of responsibility and commitment,” Gross clarifies. “One of the most important parts of learning to be decisive is understanding that choosing between two good alternatives is not right or wrong. Deciding whether to take ballet classes or play soccer is not a life or death decision, and it is reversible,” Hurt describes. Hurt recommends that parents teach children to write down the pros and cons of choices. “This is a good way to help them develop critical thinking skills,” she adds.

Communication Some children are comfortable presenting reports to their class, while others break out in a cold sweat. Public speaking is sometimes the most difficult communication skill to teach, because some children are petrified to speak in front of a group. Gross describes practicing communication in everyday life as a key component in teaching good communication skills. “Sharing stories, taking turns with the dinner blessing, and making toasts in celebration are all easy ways to help your child gain confidence and competence in speaking in front of others.”

Continued on page 8 • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 7

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Gross also suggests encouraging children to put on little performances for the family, such as reading poetry, singing, or sharing an experience. “Such performances give your child the opportunity to practice and rehearse public speaking in front of a loving audience,” she says.

Courage Children need to learn to take risks and to fearlessly follow dreams, even when peers don’t get it. “The ‘No risk, no reward’ mantra is practiced by leaders who have mastered good core values, strong inner vision, and self-control,” Gross claims. It’s imperative to teach your children that it is okay to fail because you always learn something from the process. Therefore, parents should share past mistakes and what they learned from them. Hurt explains that modeling is critical when teaching children about risk-taking. “If you freak out when you make a mistake, your kids will pick up on that. When adults say ‘I can’t do that,’ children hear ‘Don’t try unless you know you will be successful.’ Instead, encouraging experimentation is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children.”

Humility Humble leaders understand their own shortcomings as well as others’ strengths. They also accept that they can’t do everything themselves and know when to seek help from others.

Good leaders value their team and listen to the ideas of others. “Life is about relationships, and this requires being able to get along with all people from all walks of life. Good leaders value their team and listen to the ideas of others,” Gross points out. Hurt suggests exposing children to lots of people in different environments and circumstances. She advises parents to talk to their children about what they learned from the people they met. “Humility and empathy are two of the most vital leadership skills to learn.” Even if a child is not destined to be a governor or CEO of a Fortune 500 company, leadership qualities help young people reach goals and become successful adults, no matter what their future holds. v Myrna Beth Haskell is an award-winning author, columnist, and feature writer. Her work has appeared in national and regional publications across the U.S., as well as internationally. For more information, please visit her website at

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES FOR BUDDING LEADERS Studies have shown that early experiences in life impact future leadership potential. Youth who experience the following activities and programs will gain valuable leadership skills and overall confidence.

Activities for Children 7 to 12 In school: Student council Project leader Intramural sports teams Student buddy program (e.g. kindergarten buddy)

In the community: Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts 4 H Club Boys and Girls Clubs of America – “Torch Club” Youth ministry programs at local churches Conferences and Programs (some have selection/nomination process) Global Young Leaders Conference (http://www. global-young-leaders-conference#what-to-expect)

Activities for Teens In school: Student government Captain of a sports team Class officer National Honor Society Student Mentor/Ambassador program

In the community: Camp counselor-in-training (CIT programs) Boys and Girls Clubs of America – “Keystone Teen Program” CYO Volunteer organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity youth programs Conferences and Programs (some have selection/nomination process) Student Exchange Programs Global Young Leaders Conference (http://www. global-young-leaders-conference#what-to-expect) National Student Leadership Conference (http://www. Youth Action Net (

8 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

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Mom 10 Little Luxuries to Give Yourself So You Always Feel Celebrated By Christina Katz

One of the pitfalls of having holidays that focus on giving gifts to others is that we become a society of scorecard keepers. How did I do? Did I get more gifts than last year? Were the gifts given with genuine sincerity or did I sense feelings of obligation? Do I measure how others treat me as proof of how worthy I am? Here’s a little secret about gift giving and receiving on any occasion, moms. It’s not a competition. You are not the best mom ever if you get the most presents. You are the best mom ever if you let Continued on page 12

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By Ga yl a Gr ac e


My husband, Randy, will be the first to tell you he has done a lot of things wrong as a stepfather. He has been a stepparent to my two daughters for 20 years. His stepdaughters love him dearly.

But it hasn’t always been that way.

My youngest daughter, Jodi, was almost three when we married and Jamie was five. Randy had a difficult time with Jamie from the beginning. She didn’t want another dad in her life and she made that clear to him. He overheard a conversation between the two girls one night in the bathtub during our first year of marriage. “I hate him too. I can’t believe Mom married him,” Jamie told Jodi. There was little love, or even like, between Randy and the girls in the beginning. Continued on page 13 10 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •


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yourself feel good about the job you are doing every day, even on the most challenging days. And if you want a gift, whether you feel you deserve something special or simply because you think you should always feel treasured, go ahead and give yourself one. Be generous with yourself every time of year and others will follow suit during special times.

Other people can’t let you down if you don’t let yourself down. Being a great mom means putting your needs first, instead of delegating that job to others and feeling resentful if they let you down. Here’s a little secret: other people can’t let you down if you don’t let yourself down. So pick yourself up during the mom-gifting time of year with a little reward for yourself. You always deserve something special just for being you.

Foofy drinks. For her birthday lunch my daughter wanted a tropical drink with a tiny umbella in it. And you deserve a tiny umbrella too, mom. Or maybe a dollop of whipped dream with a chocolate swirl or a little heart design atop your coffee foam. Exposure to nature. The civilized world gallops at a breakneck pace. But nature helps us slow down to the incremental speed of life. The seeds we plant don’t sprout overnight. And we can regain our patience and our pacing by frequent exposure to the earth, air, sun, and stars. Your favorite books and magazines. F  ew things make me cheerier than a glossy new seasonal magazine. Books inspire movies in our minds. Even the Internet with all of its diverse content cannot replace my insatiable thirst for hunkering down, one spread at a time, and escaping into artfully photographed and delightfully designed magazine pages. Don’t ever deprive yourself of your daily allotment of mental escape. Belly laughs. I was on the phone with an old friend the other day and the laughs just came cascading out. Nothing like chuckling over old antics or sharing a giggle with someone who has known

you forever. Get your kicks in whatever way works for you and the cascading endorphins are an extra, feel-good bonus. Streaming sitcoms or reading comics also works well in a pinch. Delicious food. Keep at-home copies of your favorite take-out menus. Sometimes mom needs someone else to do the meal prep, cooking, and serving. Besides, sitting down to be waited on every once in a while is a great way to power up your inner chef. Bon appétit! Self-care. A quick nap. A long bath with bath salts and bubbles. Saying no to everything that does not feel like a yes. Asking for hugs. I’d be willing to bet that moms who practice self-care live longer. For sure, they live happier. Fresh flowers. Flowers are love. Love grows in the yard and I’m always expanding that repertoire of choices. Others come from small bouquets at the market I can mix and match. If you are feeling cynical about the gift of flowers, try a more playful approach. Scents you love. J asmine. Lemon. Rose. Cinnamon. Juniper. Cookies fresh from the oven! You control your environment, so make it smell wonderful to you.

Self-expression. If you are holding your breath, biting your tongue, biding your time, or practicing any other delay tactics that prevent you from living your life with the volume cranked up, seek assistance. Get around folks who lure you out of your shell and validate all the gifts you have to offer the world.

Delight yourself with little impulsive decisions that make you happy. Surprises. D  on’t wait for others to catch you off guard. Delight yourself with little impulsive decisions that make you happy now. A surprise isn’t just a big, painstakingly planned party. It’s at least twenty opportunities a day to be sweeter to yourself. Go ahead, choose differently. v Christina Katz—author, journalist, and writing coach—definitely deserves more treats in her life. Luckily she never feels deprived because she gives herself enough to keep herself feeling fortunate.

12 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

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During our second year of marriage, Randy left the house one evening and called from a nearby hotel. “I’m not coming home tonight. I’m not sure I’m coming home again. I can’t cope with the ongoing conflict between me and you and the kids.” It was a tough season. Randy brought two children to the marriage also and attempting to blend our four kids, ages 3-10, while learning how to stepparent and parent together proved harder than we anticipated. But neither of us wanted to endure

another divorce. Randy and I began counseling that year to work through the bumps. During her teen-age years, Jamie challenged us on every turn. If Randy punished her in the slightest, she threatened to call Child Protective Services. She ran away more times than I can remember (but thankfully never went far). After one particularly difficult day with defiant behavior, Randy took Jamie’s cell phone and threw it to the ground. As it busted into several pieces, Jamie began yelling at us both. The night didn’t end well. And I wasn’t sure the sun would come up the next day.

But it did. And Randy didn’t give up on his stepparenting journey with Jamie.

“HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DAD. I LOVE YOU. I MISS YOU.” When she came into driving age, Randy wanted to teach her to drive. She tested every ounce of his patience. They would come in from a driving session hardly talking to one another—Jamie’s anger brewing over. But the next day, they were at it again. During her high school years, Jamie participated in competitive cheerleading. Randy would jokingly say, “Do you call cheerleading a sport?” The ongoing drama with other cheerleaders, out-of-town competitions, and continuous suction cup to his wallet threw Randy into stress overdrive. His grumpiness overshadowed his joy at times. But he didn’t quit supporting Jamie and the things that made her tick. As Jamie left for college, I’ll never forget her words to him. With a wrap-around hug and a smile on her face she said, “Thank you

for being such a great dad to me. I love you!”

Jamie travelled to Mozambique, Africa, for an eight-month journey after graduating from college. She left in early summer and we knew it would be difficult to communicate with her while she was gone. As I suspected, however, she made sure to call on Father’s Day, despite the seven-hour time difference between us. When Randy answered the phone, I saw tears in his eyes as he listened to Jamie recount life-changing experiences, knowing he had contributed to her stability and maturity that enabled her young life to now make a difference with others. She closed with the words every stepfather loves to hear, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you. I miss you.” Do you have to be a perfect stepdad to have a meaningful relationship with your stepchildren? No! Continued on page 14 • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 13

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Randy’s stepdaughters, Jodi, now 23, and Jamie, now 25, love their imperfect stepdad. Why? How did that happen? Randy never quit. He got up when he fell down. He sought help when he needed answers. He cried. He struggled. He fought. He apologized. He forgave. He smiled with gritted teeth. But he never quit. Is it a cycle? Yes. You take one step forward and two steps backward. You celebrate a season of growth and then start a season of despair. You gain the insider status one day and feel like

an outcast the next.

Does that mean you failed?


Stepparenting is tough. Mistakes are made. Misunderstandings happen. And variables outside our control influence stepfamily relationships. But there are new tomorrows. A fresh start to work through differences. Hope for harmony.


As a stepdad, you’ve been given an opportunity to influence a young child’s life like no one else can. In

an imperfect way.

Are you up for the challenge? I hope so.

Because my husband will tell you: your efforts count! And there are rewards to stepparenting, even when you’re not perfect...but oftentimes they’re at the end of the journey. v Gayla Grace is a freelance writer, wife, mom to three and stepmom to two. She supports and encourages stepparents through her website at www. 14 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

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Six Cool

Party Themes

for Teens and Tweens By Pam Molnar • EC Parent Magazine • March+April 2016 • 15

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As my teenage daughter’s birthday was approaching, I asked her if she wanted to have a party with some friends. “I guess,” she answered in her typical noncommittal way. While she thought she could have a killer party by just inviting friends, ordering pizza and plugging her phone into a speaker, I knew they would spend much of the party concentrating on their phones instead of each other. Instead, I offered her a few teen party ideas that I hoped would serve as the “warm up band” and get her friends moving, laughing and making memories at the killer party my daughter envisioned. Here are the six ideas that we came up with.

Night at the Club – Turn your basement into a Night Club or Sports Bar (minus the alcohol, of course). Teens love to Karaoke via your Wii, Playstation or Xbox and dance games like Just Dance get the party going fast. Consider asking your guests to wear neon or white and set the room in black light. Games like Darts, Pool, Foosball or Air Hockey are usually found in

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the basement of a family with teens. You can also bring in Cornhole boards and bean bags for a friendly, competitive game. Instead of pizza, try serving nachos, cheese sticks and chicken wings.

Murder Mystery – Not only is a Murder Mystery Party a theme within a theme, it is also a fun way to release your inner-actor. Some themes include the Wild

An 80’s Party – My kids know all the 80s songs from Bon Jovi to ZZ Top because they grew up listening to them. At an 80s themed party guests can dress up as their parents

West, a night at the theatre, glamorous millionaires, medieval times, prom or even the holidays. You can find downloadable games online that will include character descriptions, a storyline and directions. Inform your guests ahead of time so they can dress for their role, or offer costumes when they arrive. Your meal should revolve around your murder mystery setting.

did back in the day. Offer a variety of 80s games for the kids to play including Simon, Uno, Rubik’s Cube and Atari Flashback (available on Amazon). Keep the party going with “Who Wants to be an 80’s Star,” which is a spinoff of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. Create 80s trivia questions with a life line to parents or poll the audience. Serve popular 80s foods like pizza rolls, jello pudding pops, sloppy joes, and of course, Tab.

Amazing Race – An Amazing Race party requires the guests to break up into teams, read and decipher clues, and perform challenges in the shortest amount of time. The game can easily be set up in your neighborhood. Set Continued on page 18

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challenges at the park, a neighbor’s backyard or a local business. Game printables can be found on Etsy. Incorporate food in your challenges so everyone is fed, but offer appetizers and desserts before and after the race. Challenge food games may include making a Froot Loop necklace with a certain pattern of colors and then eating it before moving on to the next challenge.

Minute to Win It – This is a fun party for all ages and a simple set up for the party-planning challenged. The guests are given one minute to do a variety of simple challenges, like picking up four dry penne pastas with a dry spaghetti noodle. Players can be individual or broken into teams of 2 or more. Have everyone do the same challenges and keep record of everyone’s times. For game ideas, check out the Minute to Win It website and head to the dollar store for supplies. Food ideas include quick and easy make-it-yourself bars like tacos, pasta or baked potatoes.

Social Media Party – Ok, if you can’t beat them, join them. This is as close as it comes to just hanging out. Set up a photo booth with props for fun party posts. Play “Find a Post” where players receive points for having posted a particular item on social media—a team logo, their pet, a picture of a Starbucks cup. You can also play “Best of” where all players take a preplanned photo and post it. The person with the most likes in one minute is the winner. Serve food that only requires one hand to eat so the teens can continue to eat and tweet. Try foods you can stick with a toothpick like cheese cubes, cocktail meatballs or cut up fruits and veggies. v Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three teenagers. She is the author of a party game series on Amazon and creator of Pam’s Party Printables on Etsy..

L E T ’ S P L AY A G A M E Photo Scavenger Hunt: Players have to find pictures of items that spell out the birthday girl’s name. Example, C=Cookie, A=Abercrombie logo Local Apples to Apples: Add cards to your Apples to Apples game to include local information like teachers’ names, favorite stores or restaurants, etc. Friendly Feud: This is a spin-off on the game show Family Feud. Split group into teams and ask questions to get points for your team. Create your own questions or find online. Name that Food: Select foods to be served in a blind taste test. Alter the smell of the food by having the tasters wear fruit roll-up mustaches. Carnival Games: This is easy to set up and fun to play. Balloon darts, ping pong balls in fish bowls, three-legged race, or knock down the cups with a ball. Truth or Task: The players are given a question that they have to answer truthfully; if they don’t answer, they must perform a task like say the alphabet backwards or sing “Let It Go” from Frozen.

18 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

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Live li

fe its fullest evteo ry day! Stay hea lt fit and safhey, .

People who are both physically and mentally fit are less prone to medical conditions and are more likely to enjoy life and all it has to offer.

Celebrate life daily—live it!

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Walk-ins welcome. Now open until 7 p.m. on Mondays.

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5:39 PM


A.C.T. TO PREVENT HEAT-RELATED CAR DEATHS Each year in the U.S., an average of 38 children and hundreds of dogs die from hyperthermia (heatstroke) in hot cars. While our first thought may be that these are cases of blatant cruelty or negligence, the truth is that many are due to tragic error on the part of otherwise loving, competent caregivers. The point is, this could happen to you. Misconceptions contribute to these tragic episodes. First, there’s the assumption that if it’s cool outside, it can’t get very hot inside, and this is not accurate. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, a car can reach 100 degrees within 15 minutes. The perception that ‘cracking the windows’ will somehow keep the temperature in a safe range is another dangerous myth – open windows have little effect on internal car temperatures on a sunny day. Body temperatures for children and dogs rise three to five times faster than an adult’s, and brain damage or death can occur in a matter of minutes. It’s true that some children and pets are knowingly and negligently left inside hot vehicles. But in most cases, hot-car deaths are a result of an adult’s disastrous lapse in memory. Working parents are often tired, stressed and running on ‘auto-pilot’ on their way to and from work or errands. The risk is particularly high when the child is sleeping in the back seat, or when the adult is traveling a path outside their normal routine. Experts suggest you can reduce the risk by remembering to A.C.T.:

A = AVOID. Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Be sure to keep your car locked when you are not in it, so kids don’t climb in on their own. C = CREATE. Create a reminder by putting something in the back of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine. T = TAKE ACTION. If you see a child or dog alone in a car, call 911 and stay with the victim. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations, and one call could save a life. If help does not arrive quickly and you note signs of immediate distress such as lethargy, poor coloring or heavy breathing, engage witnesses and do what is necessary to ensure the victim’s safety. In the event you or someone you know experiences signs of heatstroke, remember NOT to attempt to bring down the temperature too quickly. Don’t use ice or ice water. Attempt to bring down the temperature gradually with cool spray or mild air conditioning, and dial 911 or proceed immediately to the nearest ER. v

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with puberty. As you grow up and your body begins to develop, these hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum, and the glands can become overactive. When there is too much sebum, that oil clogs the pores and leads to acne.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ACNE If you’re almost a teen, chances are pretty good that you have some acne. About 8 in 10 preteens and teens have acne, along with many adults. In fact, about 17 million people in the United States have acne. Acne is so common that it’s considered a normal part of growing from a kid to an adult. But knowing that doesn’t make it easier when you look in the mirror and see a big pimple on your chin! The good news is that learning about acne and taking some simple steps can help you feel better about your face. Acne is a skin condition that shows up as different types of bumps. They include whiteheads, blackheads, red bumps (pimples), and bumps that are filled with pus (called pustules). What causes these annoying bumps? Well, your skin is covered with tiny holes called hair follicles, or pores. Pores contain sebaceous (say: suh-BAY-shus) glands (also called oil glands) that make sebum (say: SEE-bum), an oil that moistens your hair and skin. Most of the time, the glands make the right amount of sebum and the pores are fine. But sometimes a pore gets clogged up with too much sebum, dead skin cells, and germs called bacteria. This can cause acne. If a pore gets clogged up, closes, and bulges out from the skin, that’s a whitehead. If a pore clogs up but stays open, the top surface can get dark and you’re left with a blackhead. Sometimes the walls of the pore are broken, allowing sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells to get under the skin. This causes a small, red infection called a pimple. Clogged-up pores that open up deep in the skin can lead to bigger infections known as cysts.

Why Do So Many Kids Get Acne? A lot of kids and teens get a type of acne called acne vulgaris. It usually appears on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back, and chest. Teens and kids get acne because of the hormone changes that come

If your parent had acne as a teen, it’s likely that you will, too. Stress may make acne worse, because when you’re stressed, your pores may make more sebum. Luckily, for most people acne gets better by the time they’re in their twenties.

What Can I Do About Acne? If you’re worried about acne, here are some ways to keep pimples away: • To help prevent the oil buildup that can lead to acne, wash your face once or twice a day with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser. • Don’t scrub your face. Scrubbing can actually make acne worse by irritating the skin. Wash gently, using your hands instead of a washcloth. • If you wear makeup, moisturizer, or sunscreen, make sure they are “oil-free,” “noncomedogenic,” or “nonacnegenic.” • When you wash your face, take the time to remove all of your makeup. • If you use hair sprays or gels, try to keep them away from your face because they can clog pores. • If you have long hair, keep it away from your face and wash it regularly to reduce oil. • Baseball caps and other hats can cause pimples along the hairline. Avoid them if you think they are making your acne worse. • Wash your face after you’ve been exercising and sweating a lot. • Try not to touch your face. • Don’t pick, squeeze, or pop pimples.

Many lotions and creams are sold at drugstores to help prevent acne and clear it up. You can try different ones to see which helps.

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Products with benzoyl peroxide (say: BEN-zoil peh-ROK-side) or salicylic (say: sal-uh-SIL-ick) acid in them are usually pretty helpful for treating acne. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria that can lead to acne and it also can reduce swelling (puffiness) of pimples. Salicylic acid is another acne-fighting ingredient. It causes skin to dry out and peel, which can help get rid of pimples, too. When you use a product for acne, be sure to follow the directions exactly. Don’t use more than you’re supposed to because this can make your skin very red and very dry. It’s also good to try just a little bit at first to be sure that you’re not allergic to the product. Don’t give up if you don’t see results the next day. Acne medicine can take weeks or months to work.

What If I Get Pimples Anyway? Some kids will rarely get a pimple — those lucky ducks! But many kids will get some pimples, even if they take steps to prevent acne. It’s totally normal. In fact, some girls who have a handle on their acne may find that it comes out a few days before they get their periods. This is a common problem called premenstrual acne and is caused by hormonal changes in the body. Boys undergo hormonal changes, too, and may be more likely to suffer from severe forms of acne.

Even if you get acne, you don’t want to make it worse. That’s why it’s important to keep your hands off your pimples. Try not to touch, squeeze, or pick at a pimple. When you play around with pimples, you can cause even more inflammation by poking at them or opening them up. Plus, the oil from your hands can’t help! The worst part, though, is that picking at pimples may lead to scars on your face. Some people will tell you that sitting out in the sun helps acne. But this isn’t true. A suntan can make acne look less severe by hiding pimples, but it won’t help them go away. And too much sun isn’t a good idea anyway because it can give you a sunburn today and wrinkles and skin cancer later in life. Kids who have serious acne can get help from their doctor or a dermatologist (a doctor who treats skin problems). Doctors can prescribe stronger medicine than you can buy at the store. Acne prescriptions can include stronger creams that prevent pimples from forming or antibiotics that decrease swelling (puffiness) and kill bacteria that cause pimples. If you have acne, now you know some ways to improve your skin. And remember that you’re not alone. Look around at your friends and you’ll see that most kids and teens are in it together! v © 1995-2016 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.



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Strong Family Relationships Don’t Just Happen.

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What’s your favorite season: winter, spring, summer or fall? Why?

What is your favorite thing to do on New Year’s Eve?


What’s 1 social issue that affects you? Discuss how.


What type of movie do you prefer: action, romantic, comedy or drama?


What would be your dream job?

Who is your favorite artist and what did he paint?


If you had to move out of state, which state would you be interested in moving to? What do you find interesting about that state?


What’s your favorite pizza topping? What’s your least favorite topping?

Which one of your relatives do you wish you could talk to one more time?

Would you prefer a day at the beach or a day on the slopes?

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What is the best book you’ve ever read? Do books with a large page count scare you?


Chatter Rules: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Youngest player goes first. Roll one die, and move that many spaces. Read each question out loud and answer it. If you land on a photo square, jump to the next question. First player to reach the winner’s space wins.

The more you play, the more you discover about each other and yourself!

Chatter Tips: Here are a number of places you can use these questions to spur on great conversations! At the Kitchen Table In the Family Room During Commercials In the Back Yard

Do you feel your parents are strict or laid back when it comes to rules?

On Road Trips in the Car

What is your favorite farm animal?

What food do you eat too often that you should probably limit to special occasions?

Yell them out loud—out of the blue—just for fun!

How often do you exercise and what is your favorite way to exercise?


What is your favorite subject in school? Which one is the hardest?


Favorite food at the fair?

Kids are so cute! What is your favorite age?

How many people would be in your perfect family?

Would you eat a gummy bear off the ground? For a dollar?

What do you think is your strongest personal attribute?

What is your favorite ride at the fair? Do any rides scare you?

What’s your favorite and least favorite outdoor activity? Explain why.

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That’s Good to Know!

InformationYou Can Use!

Pomp and e c n a t s m u c r i C ll B e th H a s ke B y M y rn a

Creative ways to celebrate your teen’s high school graduation


With my daughter’s graduation day looming, I can’t impatiently at the entrance to an almost empty parking lot. Even help but reminisce about my son’s big day almost though I thought we had everything under control, the inevitable chaos of the occasion had caught up with us. two years ago. We were so excited. Our first born child was about to begin a new chapter in his life, and we were prepared to celebrate in style. The big party would take place at our home a few hours after the ceremony’s conclusion. We were extremely organized and prepared. We set up the backyard the day before, and we decided to cater the event to save time and to avoid unnecessary stress. After the ceremony, our proud family members and close friends packed into a half-dozen cars to head back home. I was chatting with my daughter’s godmother when she casually asked who took my daughter. Panic quickly set in because I had no idea. Fifteen minutes later, we found an exasperated, sixteen-year-old waiting

Whether you intend to plan a big bash or celebrate in another way, take in every detail of this special day that symbolizes the infinite possibilities the future holds for your graduate.

PARTY TIME TIPS Parties can send the calmest of parents into a tailspin, so preparation is key. Timing: If your party will be on graduation day, it is probably best to plan the party for several hours after the ceremony. You will have time to regroup or change your clothing. Options: Plan the party on a different weekend or host a “graduation eve” or “open house” get-together. Continued on page 31

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10 WAYS to sh w Let’s face it, most of us could use a little jump-start now and then when it comes to relationships. That’s why we’ve included this section. Simple acts of kindness are a great way to say “I care about you.” Date nights are great, but when life gets busy, sometimes all that’s necessary are little reminders!

R E H y u care Sit on the couch with her or outside on a warm day and just talk. Try not to make sudden changes without discussing them with her first. Allow your wife to share her opinons without being defensive. Try not to argue—be sure to let go of the small stuff. Be sympathetic when she’s sick or has had a long day. Go out for a fun adventure—without the kids. Share the responsibilities around the house. Value and inspire her individuality.

Challenge yourself to complete all 10 ideas each issue. Don’t just focus on the easy ones!

Express your love by choosing her over hobbies and buddies. Don’t refuse to say sorry or ask for forgiveness—don’t let the little issues turn into big problems—talk. • EC Parent Magazine • 29

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10 WAYS to sh w Let’s face it, most of us could use a little jump-start now and then when it comes to relationships. That’s why we’ve included this section. Simple acts of kindness are a great way to say “I care about you.” Date nights are great, but when life gets busy, sometimes all that’s necessary are little reminders!

M I H y u care Allow for quiet time. Just sitting next to each other is enough. Enjoy the time together. . o not be critical about your D partner’s habits, especially in front of others.

Challenge yourself to complete all 10 ideas each issue. Don’t just focus on the easy ones!

Brag to your mother about something he’s achieved recently. Encourage him to spend some time enjoying his favorite book or hobby. Look at him when he is talking. Give him undivided attention. Tell him you love him AND like spending time with him. Find meaningful ways to show him you need him. Give advice in a loving way—not in a nagging or belittling way. Try not to argue over money. Encourage him to spend time having fun with his children.

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Continued from page 28

Food: Unless you have relatives willing to prepare casseroles ahead of time, a catered event will ease the stress. Be sure to order at least a week in advance. Finger desserts served buffet style (in lieu of cutting a large cake) is a simple alternative. New trend: Party-size pizzas – simple and inexpensive. Service: Consider hiring one or two servers, so you can enjoy the celebration. Sometimes restaurants will provide servers at a reasonable cost for customers with large orders. Money saver: Young teens in your neighborhood might be willing to work for a “tip.” Party Photos: Photo booths provide instant fun and party favors (take-home snapshots) for your guests. Other options: Purchase a few instant cameras and leave them out on tables for guests to capture special moments. Solicit help from your younger kids who will likely enjoy taking random photos. Create a poster-size collage of the best party photos for her dorm room wall. Activities: Outdoor options might include volleyball, badminton, KanJam (a Frisbee game), your own miniature golf game, water balloon toss, or tug of war. If it rains, don’t fret. Plan activities that can be enjoyed indoors as well. Guess the teacher: Put teachers’ names on cards and tape them on graduates’ backs. Other guests offer clues until the graduates guess correctly. Jar of M&Ms: Ask graduates to guess the number of M&Ms in their school color/ colors. Winner takes home the jar.


Dual hosting: Share costs with another family. Print your own invitations. Skip the rentals: Borrow extra tables/chairs from neighbors. Borrow decorations from last year’s graduates. Bake cupcakes in lieu of ordering a cake: Decorate with tiny grad hats on toothpicks. • Skip the DJ: Play party selections from an iPod hooked up to wireless speakers.

IN LIEU OF A BASH A party isn’t for everyone. Some folks plan a special activity or trip to commemorate the occasion. Think out of the box: • For girls: Day at the spa • For guys: Several tickets (he’ll want to bring friends) to his favorite sporting event • Road trip to the graduate’s place of birth • If available at your teen’s school, purchase a commemorative paver or plaque to be displayed for years to come

the moment and enjoying the day’s events together,” she suggests. Jeffrey Guterman, PhD, a Florida-based licensed mental health counselor and author of the best-selling book Mastering the Art of Solution-Focused Counseling, Second Edition (American Counseling Association, 2013), points out, “If parents are excessively stressed, it can help to encourage them to tap into their own natural effective coping skills. I encourage parents to think about what has worked effectively for them in the past when dealing with stressful situations.” If you plan well, accept help when it’s offered, and focus on your teen, graduation day will garner a lifetime of precious memories. Just don’t forget the Kleenex! v


“We had a taco food truck come for my daughter’s graduation party. Everyone loved it, and it was an easy cleanup!” J oan L arkin B ullock – H opkinton , MA “We plan a graduation brunch.” D ebbie C iccone -Y aeger – S augerties , NY “Set up a ‘photo booth’. You can rent a set-up but it would be pretty easy to DIY. All you need is a plain backdrop, a camera on a tripod, consistent lighting under a tent, and lots of props/dress-ups.” V ictoria E rtman K ane – H yde P ark , NY “We had a backyard picnic in August when the June flurry of parties was well past. I made a massive quantity of pesto - easy to serve at room temperature. We kept it simple: salads and made-ahead desserts.” W endy U rban M eade – H yde P ark , NY “We went on a trip with a few of his friends.” E ileen H eller S arter – K ennett S quare , PA “I had parties for my kids in August. It gave me time to get ready over the summer, and it gave the kids an opportunity to get together before heading in different directions. Tip: Buy graduation party decorations in June since you can’t find them anymore in August.” L ynne G reenberg S chiffer – H yde P ark , NY

WEBSITES FOR CHECK OUT THESE EAS: MORE CREATIVE ID party-ideas/ graduation-parties duation/ideas/ as/ graduation-party-ide / taining-ideas/parties graduation/

LOSE THE STRESS You want your teen to remember that you were all smiles on her graduation day, so be sure you address potential stress triggers. “Graduation day marks a major life passage,” says Jean Fitzpatrick, LP, a marriage and individual therapist based in New York City. “It’s natural for parents to feel the pang of knowing that their child is growing up and becoming more independent. Focus on staying in

Myrna Beth Haskell is an award-winning author, columnist, and feature writer. Her work has appeared in national and regional publications across the U.S. as well as internationally. For information about her book LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you (Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2012) and other works visit: • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 31

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Teach Your Kids Something New!

ERS G I T d n a S LION and TEENS ll B e th H a s ke B y M y rn a

Encouraging Teen Interest and Involvement in Government Words are everywhere, so of course we take them for granted. But words are powerful tools that help kids grow up to become capable students, communicators, and conversationalists. Most teens are quite savvy with their cell phones, checking out the latest posts on Instagram, sending Snapchats, texting at lightning speed, or using GPS to find a friend’s house. They are completely in tune with the latest apps and online trends, tapping into the most obscure social networking sites before the rest of the population catches on. What if teens were just as interested and up to date with the latest in political news? Could you imagine a world where teens cared more about their state senator’s position on education reform than their friend’s Instagram collage? In the 1960s, millions of young people across America became involved in politics due to their opposition to the Vietnam War. Since then, teens don’t seem to be as universally involved in politics. How can parents and educators encourage teens to become involved and passionate about the political and economic issues affecting our country?


Most experts agree that a knowledge of civic responsibility, U.S. political history and issues, as well as registering to vote as soon

as one turns 18 all contribute to a lifelong interest in government and politics. However, the youth vote and youth registration rates (voters ages 18 to 29) still lag far behind other age groups. According to CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University), 45% of registered youth aged 18 to 29 voted in the 2012 presidential election, while all other age groups voted at turnout rates of 60% and higher. In New York, the youth turnout vote was 42.4% as compared to 63.4% of registered voters over 30 years of age (2012 Election: According to, “Despite widespread reports of overwhelming youth engagement in the 2008 election, young voters only made up about 19 percent of the electorate.” What keeps young people from the polls? “Young people don’t vote right away because they don’t see the importance,” explains Mary Ellen Balchunis, PhD, assistant professor of political science at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. “Once they get their first paycheck, see the taxes taken out, have car payments, pay health insurance premiums, and have families with children in day care, they begin to realize that it is important who is in government.” Mary A. Evins, PhD, campus coordinator of the American Democracy Project and associate professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University, points out, “Some eighteen-year-olds express that they aren’t ready to vote yet, and some see voting as a chore and an inconvenience.”

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WHAT EDUCATORS CAN DO “As a college professor, I know how to get young people involved in politics,” says Balchunis. She reports that having discussions about issues that directly affect teens is key, such as staying on their parents’ health insurance or lowering interest rates on student loans. Balchunis regularly invites political figures to visit her classroom or to speak on campus. As a candidate for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, Balchunis has also worked with teens on the

campaign trail and understands that teens will want to get involved if they can do something they are good at. “Have teens volunteer at a campaign and help with the social media,” she suggests. “They are better at it than most of the adults in the campaign!” My daughter’s US government teacher helped her students get registered to vote. She passed out registration forms and handdelivered them to the county board of elections office. Many of these students were then eligible to vote for the school budget in May. “Finding a connection to political education in every course and every subject and preparing our students for political competence are tasks for all educators,” Evins advises. “Programs for civic learning must be embedded in every level of education,” she continues.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO Young people should develop an interest in government and politics before they turn eighteen so that voting is something to look forward to. I used to take my kids to the polls with me at a young age so they could experience the democratic process firsthand. They also knew that their father and I valued and regularly exercised our right to vote in all types of elections—school, local, and national. Evins instructs parents to have thoughtful dialogues about community, state, national, and global issues on a regular basis. She also advocates visiting sites of local and state governance and planning family vacations to the state capital or to Washington D.C. to experience the legislative process and to see important monuments. “Parents who include civics education as part of regular family activities will help children grow naturally into understanding what their responsibilities are as good citizens,” she adds. Balchunis recommends, “Share the newspaper with them and watch the news with them.” v Myrna Beth Haskell is a feature writer, columnist, and author of LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you (Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2012): For details: www. Book also available at: • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 33

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SNACKS & CRAFTS This year, during summer, set aside a little time for some good, old-fashioned family fun.

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Rainbow Popsicles

Compliments of

INGREDIENTS (ALL fruit should be frozen) • Red—1 banana, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup strawberries, water or liquid for blending • Orange—1 banana, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup peaches, 1 small orange, 1/4 cup mango, water or liquid for blending • Yellow—2 bananas,1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup pineapple, water or liquid for blending • Green—2 bananas, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 handful (or more) spinach, 1 cup pineapple, water or liquid for blending • Blue—pineapple, small amount of blue food coloring, water or liquid for blending • Purple—1 banana, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup mixed berries, water or liquid for blending • Magenta —1 banana, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup sliced beets, 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries

DIRECTIONS (Step One) SMOOTHIE • Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid to help it blend if it’s too thick. • Transfer the smoothie to a bowl or container, rinse the blender and prep the next smoothie.

DIRECTIONS (Step Two) POPSICLE • Using a spoon, layer each color smoothie into popsicle molds in rainbow order. (It’s natural for the layers to blend a bit, but I have noticed that spooning the smoothies into the mold versus pouring the smoothie in from a glass leaves better results.) • Once the molds are filled, add the sticks and freeze the popsicles overnight. • To get the popsicles to release from the mold, fill your kitchen sink with room temperature water. Place the mold in the water, making sure the water does not go above the top of the mold. • Allow the mold to sit in the water for a few seconds. • Begin to wiggle a popsicle free. If it feels tough, allow them to sit in the water a few more seconds. • Once all of the popsicles are removed from the mold, enjoy or wrap the extras in plastic wrap and return to the freezer.

Banana Split Kabobs Compliments of

INGREDIENTS • 12 strawberries • 12 small pineapple pieces • 12 small brownie pieces • 2 bananas, cut into pieces

• whipped cream • chopped peanuts • 6 wooden skewers

DIRECTIONS • Assemble each skewer using 2 strawberries, 2 pineapple pieces, 2 banana pieces, and 2 brownie pieces. • Sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional) and dip in whipped cream.

Banana split kabobs – all the flavors of a banana split, on a stick! • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 37

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Octopus Cupcakes

BUTTERCREAM • 1 & 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening OCTOPUS • Blue/teal food coloring • Orange food coloring • Large marshmallows • Candy eyes

• • • •

2 eggs 1 stick butter, melted 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup sour cream Compliments of

INGREDIENTS CUPCAKE • 1 & 1/2 cups flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1/4 tsp salt • 3/4 cup sugar

• 3-4 cups powdered sugar • 1/2 tsp vanilla • dash of milk, if frosting becomes too thick • Orange candy melts, plus small amount of vegetable shortening

DIRECTIONS CUPCAKE • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. • In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk and set aside. • In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and sour cream until combined. • Slowly add half of the flour mixture to the liquid, stirring to combine. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture. • Divide the batter among a muffin pan lined with muffin liners; fill the muffin cups to a little more than 1/2 full. • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. BUTTERCREAM • In a mixing bowl, combine the room temperature butter and shortening; beat using an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. • Begin to add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Slowly beat the mixture until the powered sugar is incorporated. Continue this process, adding enough powdered sugar to make sure the frosting isn’t too wet. • Add in the vanilla and beat until just combined. • Divide the frosting into 2 bowls – about 2/3 of the frosting in one bowl to make the blue frosting and 1/3 in another bowl to make the orange frosting for the legs of the octopus. • Dye each bowl the appropriate color using food coloring and mix both bowls until they are well combined. • Transfer a portion of the blue frosting to a large piping bag with a large piping tip (I used wilton 2D tip). Push or squeeze the frosting down, getting rid of any air pockets. • Begin to pipe the frosting onto a cupcake, starting with the outside edge and working your way into the center of the cupcake, progressively stacking the frosting as you go around in circles. Refill the piping bag as needed.

These octopus cupcakes are the perfect treat for any under-the-sea themed party! • Transfer a portion of the orange frosting to a large piping bag with a small round piping tip. Push or squeeze the frosting down, getting rid of any air pockets. Begin to add octopus legs, 4 on each side. Once you have the legs drawn, add the octopus body on top. OCTOPUS BODIES • Melt half of the orange candy melts with about 1/2 tbsp of vegetable shortening in a small pot over the stove on low heat; stir occasionally. It may take the candy melts up to 10 minutes to melt completely, but keep the heat on low. Once the melted candy is melted, place one marshmallow in the pot at a time. Spoon melted candy over the marshmallow, making sure it gets completely covered. Remove the marshmallow with a fork, gently tap off any excess melted candy and place the dipped marshmallows on a silicone baking mat or wax paper to set. Once the melted candy is set, add two candy eyes to each octopus. Use the leftover orange candy melts as “glue” to attach the eyes to the marshmallows. To do this I simply used a toothpick to dab a small amount of melted candy onto the marshmallow, held the eye for a few seconds and then repeated with the other eye.

38 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

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Where Learning Meets Imagination!

Join WSRE each Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9 a.m.–noon for hands-on fun, discovery and exploration! Located at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, 351 West Cedar Street.

Discover the world of PBS KIDS, WSRE & Pensacola State College with hands-on learning, technology, smiles, friends and fun! Share stories with friends...



Explore touch-screen technology and PBS KIDS resources!

Have fun with PBS pals!

Engage in professional development, college classes, career training and parent workshops.

Enjoy books, games, puzzles and much more! 4260-0614 WSRE EC AugSept FP ad.indd 1 EC_Parent_May+June_2016.indd 39 • (850) 484-1200 6/2/14 2:46 PM 4/29/16 10:07 AM

Polka Dot Chalkboard Flower Pots M AT E R I A L S Compliments of

• 2 oz. FolkArt® Acrylic Colors - Parisian Pink, Chalkboard Paint, Purple Lilac, Violet Pansy, Soft Apple, Baby Pink, Fresh Foliage • Three terra cotta flower pots • Medium paint brush DIRECTIONS

• Paint base of each pot with Black Chalkboard paint. Let dry. • Paint the top border in colors shown. Allow to dry. • Add polka dots to each pot. • Let cure for 24 hours before using. Lightly rub chalk over board to condition. • Write anything you want using white chalk on the chalkboard paint.

These adorable pots help organize all those little items in a girl’s room.

Dad’s Best BBQ Sauce Jar M AT E R I A L S

• Sauce brush with wood handle • Painter’s tape • #10 Flat brush • #4 Flat brush • Small liner brush Compliments of

• 2 oz. FolkArt® Multi-Surface Acrylic Paint - Black Chalkboard, Wicker White, Cardinal Red • Small Mason jar with lid • 1 yd of jute cord • White chalk

easily this craft can be The materials for less d en Sp . ordered at Plaid supplies ft cra for g kin und loo time driving aro fting! and more time cra


• Apply a strip of painter’s tape 1 1/2 inches below the rim of the mason jar and 1 1/2 inches above the bottom of the jar. • Paint the area between the two strips of tape using chalkboard paint and a #10 flat brush. Allow to dry. Remove the tape. • Apply white paint to the handle of the sauce brush and allow to dry. • Apply red paint to a #4 flat brush. Starting at the top of the handle, make a checkerboard pattern with your red paint and the white paint underneath. Allow to dry. • Freehand paint black ants over the checkerboard pattern. • With white chalk, write “Dad’s Best Bar-B-Q” on the chalkboard paint. • Fill the jar with Dad’s favorite barbeque sauce. • Tie the sauce brush to the rim of the Mason jar using jute cord.

For the perfectionist-In pencil, make light markings vertically and horizontally on the brush handle. Then fill in every other square with red paint.

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Hanging Colander Planter M AT E R I A L S

• 5 quart metal colander • 1/4 cup white vinegar • sponge • 5 coffee filters • small bag potting soil • your favorite flowers • flower pot hanging kit • Rustoleum Ultra Cover primer • Rustoleum paint in the color of your choice • Rustoleum Ultra Cover Matte Clear Cover DIRECTIONS

If you’d like to scuff the surface of the colander prior to cleaning and painting, we recommend using a heavy duty scour pad.

• Using a sponge, wipe the entire surface of colandar with white vinegar to remove grease and residue and allow the paint to stick. Allow to dry completely. • Spray the entire colander with primer and allow a full 2 hours to dry. • Spray the colander again, this time with your favorite color of paint. Allow to dry. Seal with clear coat. • Line the inside of the colander with coffee filters. • Add 1 inch of soil and then add your flowers. Fill in extra spaces with additional soil. • Attach flower pot hanging kit.

Painted Rock Cactus M AT E R I A L S

Compliments of

• Approximately 9 flat rocks in a variety of sizes • Large pot • Smaller rocks or gravel

• Green paint in 3 colors • Paint brush • White paint pen


• Paint each rock green. Paint the next rock a slightly different color green. Continue until all larger rocks are painted. Allow to dry. • Using the white paint pen, decorate each rock to look like a cactus. This can include dots, stars, dots with lines, stars with lines, etc. • Place smaller rocks or gravel in the pot. • Choose the largest rock and push it securely into the rear of the pot. Continue placing rocks firmly in the gravel until desired arrangement is reached.

This would make an excellent Father’s Day gift for a plant-loving dad or grandpa. • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 41

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Y oung TEEN Helpful Advice from One Teen to Another!


The process of evolving from a young adult to an adult seems to be more challenging now than at any other time in history. The sheer magnitude of information, and ease of access to that information, is incomparable to any other generation; this world we were born into has been gifted as well as cursed with more opportunities, choices, and advances in nearly every field. We are pressured and impacted by this culture; the emotional roller-coaster ride can pull us in every direction and drain us emotionally and physically. When we become teenagers, we aren’t usually made aware of the difficulties we will face, but somehow we are expected to prepare ourselves for them. We aren’t taught how to cope with falling in love, or with the pain of a broken heart. We aren’t taught how to be comfortable with who we are, or how to react when insecurities and sadness become too heavy a weight to bear. At school, we aren’t taught how to act in the “real world” but just how to memorize information for standardized tests. We accumulate knowledge on core

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subjects but we don’t learn the skills we will need to succeed as adults. Teenagers are full of emotion, along with the desire to experience everything we can, regardless of the boundaries that were set for us. We can be judged harshly for our actions and loud opinions. We are impulsive, spontaneous, rebellious, and we make ridiculous decisions, but we are still human with a unique mindset. Being a teenager isn’t just about surviving high school and the college application

process. This is such a sensitive point in our lives. We will experience happiness. We will experience heartbreak. We will go through chaotic times, and times when we will feel alone. But no matter what, we are loved. I cannot stress that enough: We are loved. v

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Making the Most of Life on the Coast! We live on a beautiful coast that has so much to offer, and we’re here to make sure you know what’s going on in your own backyard. Enjoy!

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the backbone of the recording industry since their inception in 1953. On May 28th join them in a family-friendly concert under the stars in the Amphitheater. For tickets and more information, please call 850-729-6000.

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Shrek, Jr. – The Musical

Wed, June 29–Thurs, June 30 – Mattie Kelly Arts Center The Northwest Florida State College Summer Dramatic Workshop presents the mini-musical Shrek, Jr. This summer mini-musical normally sells out, so advance purchase is strongly recommended. For more information, please call 850-729-6000.

© Anton Ivanov /

The Arts Northwest Fest

Thurs, May 12 – Niceville (6:00p.m.) Northwest Florida State College is hosting its first ever Northwest Fest! The live concert event features popular locally based bands Heritage, The Rips and Okaloosa Sound. Tickets are only $10. For more information, call 850-729-6000.

Stars of Tomorrow Meet Beethoven

Fri, May 13 – Mattie Kelly Arts Center (7:30p.m.)

Seasonal Armed Forces Day

Sat, May 21 – Crestview (11:00a.m.) Head to Spanish Trail Park for Armed Forces Day, which is a military recognition celebration. For more information, visit

Memorial Day Concert Celebration

Sat, May 28–Sun, May 29 – Destin (7:00p.m.) It’s time for flip-flops, suntans and summer! Kick off summer with live music all weekend long (Saturday, 7:00 PM Rumours ATL: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute and Sunday, 5:00 PM Flash Flood, 7:00 PM: DEPARTURE: The Journey Tribute Band, 9:00 PM: Fireworks over the Destin Harbor), and enjoy fireworks over the Destin Harbor! For more information, visit

Memorial Day Celebration

Sat, May 28–Mon, May 30 – Baytowne (7:00p.m.) Enjoy 3 evenings of patriotic festivities including LIVE music on the Events Plaza Stage kicking off the festival Saturday evening at 7pm. Then enjoy kids games, face painting, and live music from 6-9pm, followed by a breathtaking fireworks display over the Baytowne lagoon at 9:15pm. On Monday, May 30th we will have a Memorial Day program presented by the Sandestin Veterans starting at 7pm in honor of our veterans. For more information, visit www.

The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra concludes its 29th year as the region’s premier professional orchestra with its popular annual “Stars of Tomorrow” Concert. This family-friendly concert features the winners of the prestigious NFSO Guildsponsored Concerto Competition along with two masterpieces of Beethoven. For more information, call 850-729-6000.

Guest Artist Recital – Michael Lewin Sat, May 21 – Mattie Kelly Arts Center

The distinguished American pianist Michael Lewin is taking over Tyler Recital Hall. Lewin is internationally applauded as one of America’s most gifted concert pianists, performing to acclaim in over 30 countries. For tickets and more information, call 850-729-6000.

Art Exhibit: Unshackled Vision: Salvador Dali Mon, May 23–Sat, July 23 – Mattie Kelly Arts Center

Over 100 works by Salvador Dali will be on display in the McIlroy Gallery. Dali’s surrealism changed the course of 20th century art. Highlights of this exhibition include a complete suite of woodblock prints depicting Dante’s Divine Comedy, which are part of the college’s permanent collection, and the public exhibition debut of a marvelous new addition to the NWF State College Permanent Collection. For more information, please call 850-729-6044.

The Drifters

Sat, May 28 – Mattie Kelly Arts Center (7:00p.m.) The Drifters, known for their soulful mix of Doo Wop and Rhythm and Blues, have been

Sounds Fun An Evening with Chris Janson

Thurs, May 12 – Fort Walton Beach (6:30p.m.) Chris Janson rose to fame when his independently released single “Buy Me a Boat” hit Number One on the iTunes country music charts in 2015. The Emerald Coast Convention Center announces Chris Janson live in concert, with special guest LOCASH! Tickets are now available at www.

Destin Community Yard Sale Sat, May 14 – Destin (8:00a.m.)

The Destin Community Center will be hosting a community yard sale from 8:00a.m. until noon. Parking will be at Destin Assembly of God. For more information, call the Community Center at 850-654-5184.

ABWA Emerald Coast Boat Poker Run Challenge Sat, May 14 – Shalimar (9:00a.m.)

Ahoy! Grab your friends and register for the 23rd Annual ABWA Billy Bowlegs Boat Poker Run Challenge! The fun begins and ends at the Shalimar Yacht Basin. Boats, cars, motorcycles and more will visit ports on the map and play their hand for thousands of dollars in prizes. Proceeds provide scholarships for local youth and professional development programs for members. For more information, visit

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ADSO’s Second Annual Starving Artists Sale Sat, May 14 – Fort Walton Beach (9:00a.m.)

The Arts and Design Society’s Second Annual Starving Artists Sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, from 9:00a.m. until 3:00p.m. Artists will be selling their art and/or new or gently used artists materials or books that they no longer need. For more information, call 850-244-1271.

Gala in Paradise Gardens

Sat, May 14 – Valparaiso (2:00p.m.) The Valparaiso Garden Club will host a “Gala in Paradise Gardens” at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Come to the Gala to learn about pollinators and how we, as gardeners and citizens, can help protect them. For more information, visit

community during their Open House and Fly-In. See, touch, and ride in aircraft and helicopters throughout the day! For more information, call 850-777-9552.

Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo

Fri, June 10–Sun, June 12 – Pensacola (10:00a.m.) The Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo is back in town! Accompanying the tournament will be a three-day beach party and awards that will include daily weigh-ins with fish viewing areas, live music and great food. For more information, call 850-483-6272.

Rock the Docks Concert

Sat, June 11 – Destin (7:00p.m.) Make this summer a hit! Enjoy a free concert and jam out with Gypsy Riot on the Destin Harbor. For more information, visit

ADSO Kids’ Summer Art Camp

Mon, June 20–Fri, June 24 – Fort Walton Beach (10:30a.m.) The Arts and Design Society again offers the opportunity for children to participate in creating visual arts in its summer Kids’ Art Camp. For more information or to register, call 850-244-1271.

Seaside Writers Conference

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County announces the 3rd Annual Seaside Writers Conference—taking place as part of Art Week South Walton. This coference includes a full week of intensive writing workshops, one-day seminars, agent consultations, school outreach programs, and social events. For more information, visit

The Fort Walton Beach Landing is hosting the annual Okaloosa Arts & Cultural Fest. This family event features dozens of local artisans, craft vendors, food and beverages, live music and art performances. There will be free family activities, a silent auction will help raise funds for OAA, and the Okaloosa County School. For more information, email Amy at

5th Annual Ferguson Airport Open House/Fly-In Sat, June 4 – Pensacola (9:00a.m.)

Join Ferguson Airport and Wrong Brothers Aviation as they share aviation with the

Each year, more than four million people in over 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay for Life movement. This is a 12-hour, overnight event where participants and survivors celebrate, remember and fight back against a disease that has taken too much, and it’s coming to Destin. For more information, visit

Beach Bash Wiffle Ball Tournament Sat, May 21 – Santa Rosa Beach The first ever Beach Bash Wiffle Ball Tournament is here! The entry fee is $20 and proceeds will benefit Food for Thought. For more information, visit

2016 Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament Sat, May 28 – Crestview (8:30a.m.) The Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament is back in Crestview with an 8:30a.m. shotgun start. There will be door prizes, hole-in-one prizes, and great sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 850-682-3212..

Every Monday of each month – Baytowne Wharf Baytowne Wharf will take you sky-high as you set your eyes on a water show that is truly out of this world. Enjoy three performances by fly board extraordinaire Ben Merrell. For a list of dates and show times, visit www.

Sat, May 18 – Crestview (2:00p.m.)

Sat, May 21 – Fort Walton Beach (10:00a.m.)

Fri, May 20–Sat, May 21 – Destin

Hydroflight Monday

Crestview May Day

Okaloosa Arts & Cultural Fest

Emerald Coast Relay for Life 2016

Reoccurring Local

Sat, May 14–Sat, May 21 – Seaside

E4E Productions presents live at the Crestview May Day R&B, Southern and Soul artists! The gates open at 2:00p.m. and the show starts at 5:00p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Caring Hearts Program. For more information, call Kim at 850-390-1242.

located at John B. McMahon Environmental Center in Crestview. For more information, contact Karen Donaldson at 850-826-2630.

Monthly Movie Night Every 3rd Tuesday each month – Destin (4:00p.m.)

Runs, Walks & Golf 13th Annual Bob Hope Memorial Charity Classic Fri, May 13 – Niceville (10:30a.m.)

Emerald Coast’s premier two-day golf tournament held at Eglin Golf Course. Golfers will enjoy two days of golf, including green fees, cart, range tokens, boxed lunch, awards lunch, continental breakfast, on course refreshments, goody bags and a 2016 commemorative coin! For more information, visit

Kiwanis Charity Sporting Clay Shoot Sat, May 14 – Crestview (8:00a.m.)

The first ever Kiwanis Charity Sporting Clay Shoot is making its debut in Crestview! Proceeds will help revitalize a local park,

The Friends Guild of the Destin Library, Inc. will sponsor a monthly movie night featuring independent films and documentaries. The goal is to provide residents with the opportunity to view films that are in limited release and/or unlikely to be presented in local theaters. For more information, visit

Don’t See Your Event? Send calendar events to us at​ • EC Parent Magazine • May+June 2016 • 45

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Wednesday Night Concert Series

Every Wednesday of each month – Baytowne Wharf (7:00p.m.) Enjoy a free concert from 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. at the Events Plaza Stage in Baytowne Wharf. For more information, visit

Planetarium Nights

Every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month – Fort Walton Beach (5:00p.m.) Head on over to the Emerald Coast Science Center for Planetarium nights. Shows are approximately 45 minutes long, and booking tickets in advance is recommended. For more information, visit

Thursday Concerts in the Village

Every Thursday of each month – Destin (7:00p.m.) Bring a chair, wine and a picnic dinner to the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village Dugas Pavilion and Village Green and enjoy live music. Tickets are only $12. For more information, visit www.

Magical Thursdays

Every Thursday of each month – Baytowne Wharf (7:00p.m.)

Poetry & Music Jam

Every second Tuesday of each month – Crestview (6:00p.m.) Poets and musicians are invited to bring their work and instruments to a free-form, openmic poetry reading and jam session. For more information, call 850-682-4432.

Boomin’ Tuesday

Every Tuesday of each month – Baytowne Wharf (7:00p.m.) Baytowne Wharf will light up the night sky with their Boomin’ Tuesday extravaganza! Bring the kids for activities, inflatables and music starting at 7:00p.m. Later, enjoy the spectacular firework show at 9:00p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Fat Tuesday Parade

Every Tuesday of each month – Destin (7:00p.m.) Head to HarborWalk Village and watch the harbor transform into the Big Easy! Enjoy dazzling floats, beads and lots of swag during their free parade through HarborWalk Village. Laissez les bons temps rouler! For more information, visit

GulfWind Paddle & Surf Wednesday Night BOTE Board Demo Event Every Wednesday of each month – Santa Rosa Beach (6:00p.m.)

Socialize with other paddleboard enthusiasts every Wednesday evening and demo ride the entire fleet of BOTE Boards. For more information, call Steve with GulfWind Paddle & Surf at 850-200-8375.

Baytowne Wharf has a few tricks up their sleeve for you on Magical Thursday! Enjoy an extraordinary magic show by their featured pirate, Captain Davy. For more information, visit

Red, White and Blue Celebration

Every Thursday of each month – Destin (7:00p.m.) The Red, White and Blue Celebration happens every Thursday on the Destin Harbor. Pay tribute to our military heritage with an official presentation of the colors by the Eglin Air Force Honor Guard. Then our WWII vintage North American T-6 Texan stunt team takes to the sky to perform an air show over the HarborWalk Village. There will be live music, fireworks and a thrilling fire dancing show! For more information, visit

Downtown FWB Farmers’ Market

Every 2nd Saturday of each month – Fort Walton Beach (8:00a.m.) The Downtown FWB Farmers’ Market is now open every second Saturday of the month from now until October. The market will be held at the Fort Walton Beach Landing Park and will offer an array of vendors. For more information, visit

Volunteer Opportunity Place

Contact CC Fearson at 850-659-3190.


Contact Nikole Wood at 850-863-8999.


Contact Alicia Sikes at 850-243-1525.

Salvation Army

Contact Lisa Martinez at 850-243-4531.

Habitat for Humanity

Contact Mark McEnaney at 850-685-0686.

Florosa Fire Department

Contact Tom Peele at 850-581-2900.


Contact Harvey Eckoff at 850-244-3834.


Contact John at 850-837-8516.

Destin Community Center

Contact Lisa Firth at 850-654-5184.

Waterfront Rescue Mission

Contact Tina or Sharron at 850-244-2726.

Destin History & Fishing Museum Contact Kathy Blue at 850-837-6611.

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

Contact Susan Leivelle at 850-650-1880.

Boys & Girls Club

Contact Rita Cummins at 850-862-1332.

Sunday Cinema

Every Sunday of each month – Baytowne Wharf (8:00p.m.) Take your family out for a movie night under the stars at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy a kid-friendly movie on the big-screen. For more information and a movie listing, visit www.

Don’t See Your Event? Send calendar events to us at​

46 • May+June 2016 • EC Parent Magazine •

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Profile for Rob Williams

Emerald Coast Parent Magazine May+June 2016  

Emerald Coast residents truly enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the rest of our country. Our beautiful, clean and uncluttered beaches ar...

Emerald Coast Parent Magazine May+June 2016  

Emerald Coast residents truly enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the rest of our country. Our beautiful, clean and uncluttered beaches ar...