SaratogaMama Summer 2015

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A Saratoga TODAY Publication

Summer 2015


Park & Playground Guide



Kids Play Tent






Winning GA ZI

Kids Fashion Look For Less Family Hikes + Packing Tips

SUMMER unplugged

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Welcome Summer We’ve had a great school year and managed stricter schedules and increasing workloads well. Now that summer is approaching, we’re all ready to kick back and relax for a couple months! The focus of this summer issue was all about getting unplugged and reconnecting; with our families, friends, with nature, a good book or a project. Our house is probably very similar to yours, we have a love/hate relationship with technology. We can’t seem to function without it, yet we get frustrated and annoyed with its overuse and over-dependency. We’ll be trying to consciously ‘unplug’ this summer and I think with the help of this magazine, you’ll find lots of ideas and ways to do that too! My son Robby loves playing Minecraft on his Kindle but he enjoyed equally painting a Minecraft character at Creative Corks! Check out our awesome birthday party on page 16.

The return of bathing suit season can be a bit stressful. We’ve provided lots of options for summer swim fashion on page 50. And don’t miss our always popular Look for Less kids fashion section, page 46. Finding a park, playground, or local hike has never been easier! Our Park and Playground Guide is on page 20 and a huge list of family-friendly hiking spots plus tips and tricks is on page 29. Don’t miss our brand new horoscope column on page 60! Find out what the stars have to say about your child this summer. The thing I love most about SaratogaMama magazine is that being a print magazine, you can take it to the park on a sunny day, dog-ear pages to read later, participate in a coloring contest (see page 67), or cut out the packing list for family hikes on page 32. Technology won’t ever replace that and I’m grateful for this magazine in its printed form for all to pick up, read and enjoy. Wishing you all a fantastic summer!


Our Cover

Congress Park comes alive this time of year and we couldn’t think of a better place to shoot our summer cover. Our gorgeous cover models and sisters Isabella and Sophia had some fun in the sun while we entertained the ducks. Behind the lens was our fantastic photographer Keira Lemonis. 4 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015



Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre General Manager Robin Mitchell Managing Editor Jan Snedaker Creative Director Alyssa Jackson Advertising Chris Bushee Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic Design Amy Gifford Alyssa Jackson Shawn Lockwood Photography Keira Lemonis Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 SaratogaMama is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2015, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

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Table of

Contents Seek 10 38 46

Summertime Wish List Northshire's Books & Activities Summer Style: Look For Less


Find 20 29 50


Park and Playground Guide Hiking with kids Summer Fashion Essentials

Learn 26 42 55

7 Ways to Take a 'Vacation' from Tech DIY Play Tent Kids Cooking


Play 16 40 67

Crafty, Cool & Colorful Birthday Party Backyard Camping Coloring Contest

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Our Contributors.. Jenna Burger

Jenna Burger is a local Interior Designer, Bloggers, Bargain Hunter, and avid DIYer who strives to inspire and empower others with her highend look for less design approach. She shares daily inspiration and DIY projects on her blog, and delivers smart, stylish, and sophisticated design solutions to fit the needs and visions for each client's space. Visit Jenna at

Dr. Dean J. Limeri

Dr. Dean Limeri is a board certified family medicine physician, who practices at Ellis Primary Care in Glenville. Dr. Limeri attended medical school at Albany Medical College and completed his residency at Albany Medical Center. Dr. Limeri has more than twenty years’ experience as a primary care physician and is currently the medical director of Ellis Primary Care.

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Kristen Corbisiero

Kristen Corbisiero is a Freelance Editor, writer, and project manager in upstate NY. She is wife to a wonderful husband, and proud mother to two boys, ages three and two (and is expecting a new addition to the family in November). Learn more about Kristen on her LinkedIn page at:

Alan R. Rudnick

Alan R. Rudnick is a husband and father of three children. He is an author, writer, speaker, and the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. You can find him on the web

Jane Fairchild

Jane is a locally based Astrologer. She started studying astrology at the age of 13 but took a detour by way of corporate America for 25+ years and to raise her sons, always keeping up her "star studies." Outside of guiding people of all ages on the virtues of their birth chart you'll find her setting up her telescope on her 8 acre rural home in Rensselaer County. You can catch up with her at

Dr. Inesa Salei

Dr. Inesa Salei a board certified family medicine physician, who practices at Ellis Primary Care in Clifton Park. Dr. Salei attended medical school at Belarusian State Medical University, Minsk, Republic of Belarus and completed her residency at Ellis Medicine. Ellis Primary Care offers comprehensive care through every stage of life from regular check-ups and immunizations to sick visits and education for healthy living. For more information, visit or call 844-518-DOCS.

Jodie Fitz

Jodie Fitz is the creator and personality of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club and currently travels in a six-state region cooking with children to encourage taste testing fun through a hands-on cooking experience. She is a wife, mother of three and currently authors several monthly columns. You can always find what she’s up to in her kitchen at

Dr. Jennifer Keefer

Dr. Jennifer Keefer is a board certified internal medicine physician, who practices at Ellis Primary Care in Malta. Dr. Keefer attended medical school at Saint George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies and completed her residency at Albany Medical Center. Ellis Primary Care offers comprehensive care through every stage of life from regular check-ups and immunizations to sick visits and education for healthy living. For more information, visit or call 844-518-DOCS.

Jan Snedaker

Jan Snedaker received a communication degree from Ithaca College and after switching gears for a while to become a special education teacher, she is following her passion; returning to her roots as a freelance writer and the creative director at SaratogaMama. Jan resides in Clifton Park with her husband and two adorable children.

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Wish List

Summer Essentials

{ } 1

I wish there was something entertaining for me to do that does not involve staring at a screen while traveling, relaxing on the beach, or watching my children at the park.

We found it with coloring books for grown-ups. This new generation of coloring books include intricate designs that are waiting to be filled in with beautiful colors and some of the drawings are incomplete allowing you to use your wildest imagination to finish the designs. Northshire Bookstore carries a variety of these interactive activity books that are also wonderful for teenagers.

{} 2

I wish there was a way to make traveling with beach toys easier.

We found it with the Collapse-A-Pail, a silicone bucket that collapses to be less than two inches thick, making it the perfect fit in any beach bag or suitcase. The Collapse-A-Pail was created by a mom who was tired of lugging bulky beach toys on vacation. These unique pails come in an array of colors and can be used on every family outing including a hike in the woods, splashing at the pool, and your next family vacation. The Collapse-A-Pail can be purchased locally at G. Willikers in Saratoga. 10 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015

{ } 3

I wish I could find a pair of goggles that fit my child’s narrow face and are easy for him to adjust on his own.

{ } 4

We found them with the TYR Kid’s Swimples Goggles. Constructed with durable, hypoallergenic silicone gaskets, these are TYR’s most comfortable children’s goggles. Swimples offer UVA/UVB protection, come in an array of fun colors, and are so easy to adjust (simply press a button on the side), your kids will be able to get the perfect fit all by themselves. Order them online at

I wish I could find towels that are not bulky, dry quickly, and can be used at the beach, park, pool, or anywhere else our day takes us.

The Hacienda Signature Towel is woven from cotton made in Turkey and results in a thinner, softer, alternative to a terry towel. It rolls up so you can easily fit multiple towels in your bag and dries in no time. This towel can be used as anything from a beach towel to a throw for your couch and comes in a wide range of colors. Order online at

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{ } 5

I wish I could find a way to feel refreshed, pamper my skin, and keep my face from melting while playing in the hot sun all day with my children.

We found the perfect facial mist that can do all of that and more! GloMinerals Moist Hydration Mist is a versatile, nourishing skin treatment that penetrates the skin with moisture, provides essential nutrients, and protects the skin from environmental damage. With green tea extract, vitamin A, and vitamin E, this refreshing spray not only provides an instant pick-me-up it also improves skin’s resilience, provides antiaging benefits, and helps to reduce discoloration. Throw a bottle in your beach bag and spray as needed (or desired)! Can be purchased locally at Bella Rouge Cosmetic and Skincare Boutique in Clifton Park Center.

{ } 6

I wish I could find some fun, portable games for my kids to play this summer that will keep them ‘unplugged’!

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We re-discovered some retro games that are still super fun for kids and adults, easy to travel with, and will be fun to play at the pool, park, or back patio, when everyone needs a break from running around and swimming. Dominoes, mah-jongg, UNO, and even a basic pack of playing cards to play gold fish with are still as appealing to kids as they were long ago. You can pick up some fun games at G. Willikers in Saratoga.

{ } 7

I wish there was a convenient place to pick up a unique gift and cool off with an iced beverage.

We found it at Saratoga Tea & Honey Company, a retail shop offering a unique tea and honey tasting bar. Their knowledgeable staff can assist you in picking out the perfect gift for the tea fanatic in your life, and you can sample and sip some delicious herbal infused iced teas while you shop. Stop in and check out their beautiful store at 348 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. We highly recommend their iced teas!

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{ } 8

I wish there was a more structured way to help my child continue to increase his reading skills without enrolling him in a full blown summer school program.

We found a way by hiring a certified tutor from Nourishing Minds Tutoring. With flexible appointments built around your schedule and reasonable rates, you can keep your child from losing all that he gained during the school year. Working with your own children can be challenging, especially during the summer when all you want to do is have fun. Your summer can be memorable AND productive! Visit for more information.

{ } 9

I wish I could find the perfect layering piece for summer travel. Airplanes and air conditioning can be cold but we don’t want bulky layers anymore.

We found it with the Convertible Wrap from GTS. This casual and chic wardrobe essential takes the place of several items in your closet. With soft, stretchy and super lightweight fabric, this wrap is a cinch to wear and can convert to multiple looks by draping or wrapping. The wrap comes in gray or eggplant is manufactured right here in Saratoga Springs, and can be purchased at

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Save $10 off your GTS purchase over $40 using code ‘madeintoga’!

{ } 10

I wish there was a way to get my body beach ready that did not involve having to find a babysitter for my little one.

We found it at Baby Boot Camp, a fitness class that actually involves bringing your baby in a stroller. Baby Boot Camp stroller fitness classes are designed specifically to help moms get fit. It takes the place of a personal trainer at a time in your life when you need one the most by combining strength-training exercises with cardio drills all while your baby is close by. Visit for locations.

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A Crafty, Cool & Colorful Birthday at Creative Corks Photos by Keira Lemonis

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Creative Corks is a new instructional art studio in Malta that offers classes for kids and adults as well as hosts private parties and birthday parties. Their gorgeous space, located in Ellsworth Commons in Malta features a bright and open studio/ painting area and a bar with wine, draft beer and cider as well as other non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. All classes are led by an instructor that will walk you step-by-step through a project. You’ll leave the studio with a finished work of art, no experience necessary and all skill levels are welcome. For a birthday or private party, you can choose exactly what print or project you want to create with your guests. Our birthday boy selected a Minecraft painting.

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When all of our guests arrived, materials and paints were set up for each child. Instructor Scott led the group step-by-step through the painting and the kids did an excellent job following along and creating their own unique masterpieces! They paid close attention and even the boys and our littlest guests (age 4) kept up well. While letting their paintings dry, the kids enjoyed pizza and had cupcakes from Leah’s Cakery in Round Lake.

Creative Corks is spacious, comfortable and welcoming.

It is an ideal birthday party location with plenty of space for parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings. Parents can relax and enjoy a draft beer or wine while watching the artists at work.

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The proud painters showed off their artwork and each guest got to leave with their finished work of art.

1107 Ellsworth Blvd., Malta (518) 450-9020

Creative Corks offers evening classes for adults, weekly kids classes for ages 6 and up, family paint, teen nights and will be adding more options to their calendar as needed! Visit to check out what’s coming up!

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Park & Playground Guide

Photo by Keira Lemonis

There’s lots of outdoor fun to be had in the Saratoga area! Our Park & Playground Guide will help you choose your next outdoor adventure spot. Play on!

Ballston Spa Burgess-Kimball Park Kelley Park/ Kids Creekside Village

Malta Shenantaha Creek Park Malta Community Park Malta Ecological Park

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Moreau Moreau Lake State Park

Schuylerville Hudson Crossing Park


Saratoga Congress Park Spa State Park East Side Rec West Side Rec Veteran’s Memorial Park

Wilton Wildlife Preserve Gavin Park

Congress Park Downtown Saratoga Springs Congress Park is a gorgeous and historic park in the middle of downtown Saratoga. I love having a park like this in the middle of downtown because it’s fun to grab food or ice cream and head to the park for some people-watching on a nice day. With duck ponds, grassy meadows, historic landmarks and a wooden carousel (which opens for the season in mid May), Congress Park is a great meeting place, picnic spot, or people-watching destination. In July and August, Congress Park is home to live music concerts, arts and crafts festivals, and other special events. Plan it! Pack a picnic blanket from home and pick up lunch at one of you favorite downtown Saratoga lunch spots. Enjoy an afternoon picnicking in the park!

At-a-Glance dly? Stroller-frien s? g Infant Swin s? m o Bathro

☑ ☐ ☑

Moreau Lake State Park 605 Old Saratoga Road, Gansevoort

Located just minutes off of Northway exit 17S is Moreau Lake State Park. The main attraction here on those hot summer days is the beach, but that’s not all this park has to offer. With wonderful picnic areas, a playground, hiking trails, camp sites, boating, fishing and more, Moreau Lake State Park is well worth a visit. Admission to the Stroller-frie ndly? ☑ park (during summer months) Infant Swin gs? ☐ is $8 per vehicle. Best bet is Bathrooms? to carpool with friends if ☑ you can.



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Hudson Crossing Park

Malta Community Park

126 US-4, Schuylerville

236 Plains Road, Malta

Hudson Crossing Park is located just outside Schuylerville on NY Historic Scenic Byway, Route 4. This park is a nice change of pace from a traditional playground. The area for kids is called the ‘Play Garden’. Many of the ‘play’ items are built into nature and include stumps to jump, a rock maze/labyrinth to navigate, tunnels to crawl through, sand and dirt ‘drums’ for playing, a couple slides built into the landscape and a boat to explore. The play garden area has a nice pavilion for lunch and a generouslysized porta potty. The park itself also has some hiking trails and the Champlain Canal Lock is kind of an attraction in itself. It’s a bit of a drive to get there, about 20 minutes outside of Saratoga, but it is worth a visit. dly? ☑ Stroller-frien s? ☐ g in Infant Sw ☑ s? m o ro Bath


Saratoga Spa State Park

At-a-Glance Stroller-friendly? Infant Swings?


☑ ☑

The Malta Community Park is located in Luther Forest on Plains Road in Malta. This park offers quite a bit; tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, fields, wooded walking trails, bathrooms, two pavilions, ample parking, and a nicely wooded but rather small playground. This is a great park to hit on a hot or humid day because it is very shady.

Kelley Park/Kids’ Creekside Village Ralph Street, Ballston Spa

19 Roosevelt Dr. , Saratoga Saratoga Spa State Park is a park to enjoy during all four seasons. The State Park offers a wide variety of walking and hiking trails, streams, a geyser, picnic pavilions, two pool complexes, a golf course, biking trails, snowshoe/cross-country ski trails, ice skating, and lots more. There is an $8 vehicle fee to enter the actual park during the summer, but it’s always free to get into the entrance at the Avenue of the Pines. Trail maps are available at the Park Office. Dogs are allowed on trails on leash only. You can also purchase an Empire Passport which gets you into just about any NYS park including Saratoga Spa State Park for free. The pass costs $65 and is good until March 31, 2016.


Stroller-fr ien Infant Swin dly? gs? Bathroom s?


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Stroller-fr ien Infant Swin dly? gs? Bathroom s?


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Kelley Park playground, called ‘Kids’ Creekside Village’ in Ballston Spa is a mecca for the playground enthusiast. This huge playground was completed in 2008, replacing a very old wooden playground. The playground has some standard features like twirling slides, swings and climbing contraptions, but it has some very unique things too, like giant xylophones with big mallets for kids to play, a large sandbox, and a special area for just for toddlers. It’s located on the Kaydeross Creek but the actual playground is fenced in. Visibility isn’t great here, so be prepared for a higher maintenance playground experience, especially if you have little kids.

Burgess-Kimball Memorial Park

Shenantaha Creek Park 369 Eastline Road, Malta

Ralph Street, Ballston Spa

Shenantaha Creek Park is one of our favorite area parks. In addition to very nice playground, you’ll find tennis courts, basketball courts, two large pavilions, open fields, a fantastic paved bike path (the 8.9 mile Zim Smith Trail), some unpaved hiking trails and bathrooms to boot! There’s always ample parking and while it does get busy, it never seems unbearably so.



Plan it! Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of the shady pavilions. Pack the bikes and helmets and if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can venture to Stewart’s for some ice cream via the Zim Smith bike path.

The Burgess-Kimball Memorial Park is located in Milton on Rowland Street just south of Geyser Road. There’s a large (and very high!) playground for bigger kids and a smaller playground for little one’s. Visibility is nice at the BK Memorial Park and it is fenced in so the kids can’t stray too far. There are two swing sets with infant, handicapped, and traditional swings. Burgess-Kimball also has basketball and tennis courts, baseball, two pavilions, bathrooms, a vending machine, and plenty ☑ of parking. Stroller-friendly? ☑ Infant Swings? ☑ Bathrooms?



Malta Ecological Park 476 Malta Avenue, Ballston Spa

Gavin Park

10 Lewis Rd., Wilton


Stroller-fr ien Infant Swin dly? gs? Bathroom s?

ce ☐

☐ Playgrounds are great, but ☐ sometimes it’s nice to get out and just enjoy nature. A great spot for this is the Town of Malta Ecological Park. It’s located on Malta Ave about two miles off of Route 9 heading toward downtown Ballston Spa. The Malta Ecological Park has a couple miles of wooded trails with a few bridges and a little pond. There’s a big field you can walk to, which would be great for a picnic lunch. Along the trails are nice descriptive nature signs to add an educational element. Stroller mama’s, it’s best to use a jogger or all-terrain here because the trails aren’t paved. Plan ahead, no bathrooms here!

Gavin Park is a huge complex with well-maintained fields, courts, pavilions, a gymnasium and a nice playground. There’s tons of parking, bathrooms, and the pavilion right near the playground has vending machines for soft drinks. The playground equipment is very nice and fairly new, there are swings, a sandbox, and a few different playground options for kids of all ages. Gavin Park offers a wide variety of sports and activities for kids throughout the year. Check out townofwilton. com/gavin-park for details on the programs offered. Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 23

East Side Recreation On the corner of Lake Ave and Granger Ave, Saratoga Springs Located on the corner of Lake Ave (Route 29) and Granger Ave in Saratoga is East Side Rec. East Side Rec has a skate park, several tennis courts, baseball fields and public bathrooms. It’s a nice park for a hot summer day because it is one of three Saratoga fountain playgrounds. The fountain is nice and usually quite busy in the summertime. There is a playground at East Side Rec but it is a bit of a walk Stroller-frien dly? ☑ from the fountain. Infant Swing s? ☑ Bathrooms? ☑ Sprinkler Park ? ☑


West Side Recreation 152 Beekman Street, Saratoga Springs


West Side Rec is one of our top playground picks because in addition to many shaded areas and a decent playground, this park has water! A large interactive fountain sits in the middle of the grass, a refreshing invitation for hot, sticky kids. The splash fountain opens around Memorial Day. This park is a good size, and has plenty of shaded areas, some benches and picnic tables. The playground equipment is basic and there is a good sized sand box. There are bathrooms here but they are a bit of a walk from the playground. West Side Rec is a nice spot and well worth a visit.


☑ ☑ ☑ ☑


dly? Stroller-frien s? g in Sw nt Infa Bathrooms? ? Sprinkler Park

Veterans Memorial Park 10 Adams Road, Saratoga Springs

Geyser Park, or its official name Veterans Memorial Park is one of three Saratoga playgrounds with an interactive fountain. (East Side Rec and West Side Rec are the others). The playground is basic and small, but the fountain is the main attraction here. Not a ton of shade, but Geyser Park has nice bathrooms that are very close by. It tends to be less busy than East Side or West Side Rec and a great location for Ballston Spa, Malta, or Milton mama’s.

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Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park 80 Scout Road, Gansevoort Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve ecological systems and natural settings while providing opportunities for environmental education and recreational experiences. The park boasts more than 12 miles of trails that you and your family can enjoy. You can visit and explore on your own time, at your own pace, or take part in a scheduled event.

At-a-Glance Stroller-friendly? Infant Swings? Bathrooms?

☐ ☐ ☑

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7 ‘vacation’ ways to take a

from tech

By Alan R. Rudnick


everal years ago I realized that because of the endless flow of information and jokes from Conan O’Brien on Twitter, I had become too attached to technology. I knew I needed a break from tech. For two weeks, I did not use my phone or computer to check into Foursquare, check Facebook, update my Twitter feed, or post pictures on social media. I thought I was going to die but instead I remembered what life used to be like before the influx of technology took over our lives. On average, Americans spend just as much time on the Internet (13 hours a week) as they do watching television. That adds up to 26 hours, a little more than one full day spent every week in front of a screen. That is a lot of screen time and according

to the American Optometric Association, between 50% and 90% of screen users suffer from some type of vision problem connected with Computer Vision Syndrome. Aside from the damage all this screen time does to our vision, it is also damaging our personal relationships. When you are constantly ‘plugged in’ you are also tuning out the many wonderful things going on around you. As families take vacations this summer, most will bring their phones, tablets, and laptops. Some parents will even bring work with them on vacation. Just as we need a vacation or break from work and school, we also need a break from technology and a chance to truly connect with our loved ones.

Here are some tips on how families can unplug and take ‘vacations’ or breaks from technology: 1. Make a “tech vacation box”

type of arrangement is a bribe. It is only considered a bribe when an injustice is involved (think of offering a cop $100 to rip up a speeding ticket up). Reward children for good work and behavior by allowing them use of the family’s technology. You might even find yourself disciplining children less because you reward them for good behavior!

During meal times, certain times of the day, or even for several days, have the family put all their mobile devices, game controllers, and cell phones into a box and label it “Tech on Vacation”. Be creative. Use a shoe box and have the family decorate it. See who can come up with the most create idea or decoration for your vacation tech box.

2. Yard games galore Growing up, my family had an array of yard games in our backyard during the summer. We played badminton, horseshoes, croquet, frisbee, and bocce ball. Our family would invite friends and family over for a cookout and have tournaments. If you are going on vacation bring some kid friendly games.

4. Collect that tech at night 3. Use a system of reward Use of fun mobile technology is a privilege, not a right for children, especially for younger children. When on vacation or during the summer months, have children do chores, yard work, read books, or clean the house. Many parents feel that this

Whether on vacation or at home, make it a habit to collect cell phones, iPads, mobile games, and other technology 30 minutes before going to bed. For teenagers, this ensures that they will not be up all night texting friends. Use the “tech vacation box” at night and place it in the parent’s room.

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5. Bring back those board games When my wife and I wanted to get our children away from screens, we brought out some board games. At first they were a little grumpy about it, but when we started playing their competitive nature came out (in a good way). Take the kids to a toy store and let them pick out games for the family for summer evenings or for vacation. You’ll find they will get into it quickly when they have the opportunity to choose.

6. Establish no tech zones Many families are on the run and quality time is scarce. When friends and families are over, create a “no tech zone” for kids and adults – especially during dinner. Use specific rooms and times of the day technology or screen time is allowed (including the television). In a town nearby, there was a coffee shop that had a “no tech” policy. No laptops, phones, or e-readers. The coffee shop’s mission was to encourage human-to-human contact. Why not have your own designated rooms at home as well?

7. Create a surprise adventure When my family went on vacation with extended family, we decided to do something different for the kids. We created “Pirate Day”. We found some pirate clothes for the kids to wear, made a “treasure” map, adults played in character, we played games,

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ate “Pirate’s Booty” (I was concerned about this “booty” until I found out that it is a snack), and concluded with a treasure hunt. Every year, the kids beg us for another “Pirate Day” and now it is a family tradition. A surprise adventure can be done with family or friends in the neighborhood with any theme or idea.

Taking a ‘vacation’ or break from technology helps us to realize that meaningful connections are made through relationships, not electronic devices. In the same way our bodies need rest, our minds do too. True family connectedness and bonding are found with time spent together, and not through technology. Walking, reading, playing board games, or going to a movie are all things that help us refocus, especially on vacation!

hiking with kids By Kristen Corbisiero, photos provided

Growing up on a small family farm, my love of nature and the great outdoors was instilled at a young age. Our family vacations consisted of hiking, camping, fishing, and winding down our days stargazing while roasting marshmallows over roaring fires at campgrounds within the Adirondack Park. These are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. When I became a mom, it was no surprise I wanted nothing more than for my own children to love nature as much as I do. Hiking with children is fun - it shouldn’t be overwhelming or intimidating, but sometimes it can feel that way. In this article, I’ll discuss some of my own strategies I’ve developed while hiking with my kids. I’ve included a packing list and my itemized kid-friendly first aid kit. I hope this helps you plan a wonderful, long-lasting family experience.

planning and choosing a hike When planning your first family hikes, especially with young children, pick hikes that are local, short, and preferably have interesting destination/sights in mind. Kids enjoy exploring and interacting with the world around them. I have two boys, so we really enjoy hiking where there is water, streambeds filled with rocks, lots of sand/dirt/mud, or large hollow trees they can stand inside. Think like a child – what would they enjoy and what is going to grab their attention while hiking? Be prepared to stop a lot and try not to think of getting in a workout, because you may find yourself exploring a small radius at the beginning of the trail for two hours. And that’s OK, it’s all part of the fun.

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here is a list of easy/kid-friendly hikes located throughout the capital region 1. Saratoga National Historic Park: Wilkinson National Recreation Trail, Saratoga 2. Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, Cropseyville 3. W. Powell Bird Sanctuary, Old Chatham 4. Hadley Mountain, Hadley 5. Albany Pine Bush Preserve: Karner Barrens East, Albany 6. John Boyd Thacher State Park, Voorheesville 7. Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway: Rexford Aqueduct to Lock 7, Rexford 8. Great Flats Nature Trail, Schenectady 9. Sanders Preserve, Glenville


10. Roemers High Point, Voorheesville (located within JB Thacher Park)

Have your kids help in the adventure. Pick out the clothes you will wear, choose your favorite snacks – or make a special trip to the market just for hiking snacks, and let your kids help choose a hike. (We often narrow our possibilities two choices, pull up pictures on the internet, and ask our boys where they would like to go. There’s something thrilling about visiting a place that you’ve seen in a picture.)

11. Schenectady County Forest Preserve, Duanesburg 12. Plotter Kill Preserve, Schenectady 13. Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, Knox 14. Grafton Lakes State Park: Long Pond Trail, Grafton 15. Christman Sanctuary, Delanson 16. Woodlawn Preserve, Schenectady 17. Lisha Kill Preserve, Niskayuna 18. Taconic Crest Trail to the Snow Hole, Petersburg 19. Peebles Island State Park, Waterford 20. Vroman’s Nose, Fulton 21. Schodack Island State Park, Schodack Landing 22. Partridge Run, Berne 23. Five Rivers Environmental Education Center: North Loop Trail, Delmar 24. Indian Kill Nature Preserve, Schenectady 25. Mine Kill State Park, North Blenheim

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When choosing clothing, you don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on fancy, name brand gear. Just choose comfortable, loose fitting, breathable clothes. In the fall, we dress in layers that can be removed to ensure comfort throughout a long hike. Hats and mittens can be easily taken off and placed inside your pack when kiddos heat up. Wear properly fitting sneakers with a good grip. Bring an extra set of clothes (don’t forget socks) in case your kids get muddy or wet. If your kids can wear a pack, don’t weigh them down with too much gear or food. A light jacket can be placed inside their pack, and you carry the rest. Conversely, if your kiddos are small enough to be carried, be sure to have a good fitting child-carrier backpack and take the time to ensure they are comfortable. Pants creep up, exposing skin on the ankles and calves; and soiled diapers can aggravate a little one – stop and change when needed, and adjust clothing to ensure comfort.

Speaking of diapers, pack a few extra diapers, wipes, plastic bags, and small shovel in your pack. If you have a small, lightweight changing pad that can easily be packed, bring that along. (Most diaper bags come with these, along with a small wipes holder.) But don’t worry if you don’t have one. Be creative: use your sweatshirt, jacket, or pack a small towel. Got a stinky number two? Dig a small hole with the shovel, scrape off any solids, and bury it before you pack away the dirty diaper. Remember, never bury diapers or wipes. Leave no trace.

toddler tips Kids like to wander and explore their surroundings rather than hike, so be prepared, and everyone will have a great time. You may cover little to no distance at all, and spend all your time examining rocks, dirt, bushes, and sticks. Remember, early exploration of nature helps build a love and respect for it later in life. Did I mention snacks? It’s such an important point, so I’m repeating myself: have lots of snacks and water for your kids. Hiking uses a lot of energy, and children need to refuel more frequently than adults. Pack healthy, filling snacks and plenty of water. My kids love to bring along nuts, cheese, apple wedges, grapes, raisins, carrots, and graham crackers. Stop often and let your kids chow down and hydrate. Let your kids set the pace for hikes and make frequent stops. Be prepared to bail – don’t push it, or you’ll turn your kids off. Remember they have little legs!

quick tips for hiking with todlers • Snack • Start with short distances and travel at a child’s pace • Let kids help plan the hike • Look for ways to have fun (games, treasures, geocaching) • Did I mention snacks? Stop often and let kids chow down. • Carry a kid-friendly first aid kit (See the website for my itemized list!)

the future Life is full of moments – enjoy them. It may be years before you spend the night in a tent or go on a long hike to a monumental destination, but remember, you are planting the seed for a future outdoor enthusiast. The moments you spend tossing rocks in the stream at the base of a mountain you would someday like to hike may be just the ticket to get you up there with your kids in a few years.

Turn page for packing list! Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 31

packing list Kid-friendly first aid kit Kid bandages Antiseptic wipes Antibiotic ointment Lavender oil Instant cold pack Travel size hand sanitizer Tweezers Ace bandage Athletic tape/moleskin Kid-friendly stickers (a good distraction) Phone/camera Packable bag for garbage (a grocery bag works great) Light jacket, hat, mittens, if needed Tissues Lip balm Sunscreen Snacks Water Change of clothes (don’t forget socks) Diapers, wipes, small shovel, portable changing pad

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Stay Healthy This Summer By Dr. Jennifer Keefer, Dr. Dean Limeri and Dr. Inesa Salei of Ellis Primary Care


ne of the first steps to having a fun summer is having a healthy summer. Drs. Jennifer Keefer, Dean Limeri and Inesa Salei of Ellis Primary Care share some important advice to keep you and your family healthy this summer. Whether you are doing work outside, going for a hike, playing sports or sitting outside, here are a few quick and easy tips to make sure you stay healthy.

AVOIDING/TREATING POISON IVY A nice day spent outside can be quickly ruined if it includes an encounter with poison ivy. Poison ivy contains oil called urushiol, an allergen that causes dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. Urushiol is found in other plants to include poison oak and poison sumac as well. The first sign you have come in contact with a plant you should have avoided? “You’ll develop a red, itchy rash and skin swelling followed by blister formation,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Keefer of Ellis Primary Care in Malta. Symptoms of poison ivy may appear as soon as four hours after initial contact, or as late as four days explains Dr. Keefer. “Different parts of the body react differently. For example, blisters may appear very quickly on the hands, but be more delayed on the arms.” This is not a sign the rash is spreading. Fluid from blisters will not spread the rash. It’s important

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to note that poison ivy is not contagious explains Dr. Keefer. “Poison ivy can’t be spread from person to person. An individual must come in contact with the oil by touching a poison ivy plant or an object with plant oil on it such as clothing, garden tools or sporting equipment."

and beneath your fingernails with soap and water. Scrubbing to the point of irritation is not necessary and can exacerbate the rash. Dr. Keefer offers the following advice, “If you are unsure (a plant is poison ivy), I suggest going by the old adage, leaves of three, let them be.”

If you suspect you have poison ivy, the first step is to avoid scratching it. The next thing you can do is take an oatmeal bath, apply a cool compress or utilize Calamine lotion. The rash will typically go away on its own within one to three weeks. If traditional treatment isn't working, if the rash covers much of the body or if you have signs of infection, it is important to be evaluated by your doctor. Also, if you are unsure if your rash is in fact poison ivy, it is important to be evaluated by your doctor. “A doctor can prescribe steroids if over-the-counter remedies aren't working. Steroids will relieve the itching and discomfort,” said Dr. Keefer.


Stay safe when walking in wooded areas this summer. If you suspect poison ivy in an area, wear long pants and sleeves to avoid contact and wash your clothes immediately upon returning home. Also, remember to immediately cleanse your skin

as football, where athletes are wearing multiple layers and pads. You do not have to be an athlete or playing a sport to become dehydrated. Whether you are working outside or going for a walk, it is important to make sure you drink enough fluids. “If you are thirsty, then you’ve already waited too long to start drinking,” said Dr. Limeri. “You need to start drinking before you even feel thirsty to prevent dehydration.” The first signs that you are dehydrated are cramps and fatigue. The best thing to drink to stay hydrated? “Water,” says Dr. Limeri. “There isn’t a need for sports drinks unless you are participating in a very high intensity activity and electrolytes need to be replaced. For the majority of people, the best thing they can drink is simply water.”

AVOIDING SUNBURN When you feel the heat beating down on you this summer, remember to stay hydrated throughout the day and when participating in strenuous activity. The summer heat causes danger for people of all ages explains Dr. Dean Limeri, of Ellis Primary Care in Glenville. “Studies have shown that children ages 9-12 need at least 3-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes to stay hydrated. Teenagers don’t need to drink as frequently, but should drink 34-50 ounces of water every hour when participating in activities.” Water is released from the body mainly through sweat and breathing. Children can lose up to one liter of water an hour through sweat and as much as 2.5 liters in more intense activities such

The sun can be very dangerous during the summer and taking the right steps to prevent sunburn will reduce discomfort in the shortterm and reduce your risk for long-term, serious conditions such as skin cancer.

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 35

Sunscreen is recommended for everyone over the age of six months. Dr. Inesa Salei of Ellis Primary Care in Clifton Park says, “I recommend patients to use SPF 15 or higher and to cover as much of the exposed skin as possible.”

SAFE SWIMMING Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death explains Dr. Salei. “The first step to staying safe in the water is knowing how to swim. Children should take lessons at local community centers to learn how to swim properly.” Dr. Salei also recommends that parents be trained in CPR to be prepared to help their child in an emergency.

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INSECT BITES Insects feed on exposed skin during the summer. “People should use repellent to prevent insects from attacking the skin,” said Dr. Salei. “It’s predicted that this summer will be very bad for ticks, so it’s important to stay aware and watch for signs of tick bites.”

A Summer Full of Fun AND Learning

Summer is all about having fun but it is also important to set aside some educational time so children do not lose any valuable skills they gained during the school year. Whether you choose to send your child to a summer academic program or take on the task yourself, it is important to make summertime learning more fun than what your child may expect in an actual classroom. Kathy Johnson, MS ED, president of Pyramid Potential offers the following advice, “If your child struggles in school with reading, writing, or math, anything that looks too much like school will turn your child off. The very most important thing to remember when helping your child this summer is to have fun! If it is boring because it is too easy or frustrating because it is too hard, your child’s brain will not improve. You know your child best and you will be able to determine just the right level of difficulty. So make this a summer to “remember” and enjoy."

Here are a few engaging activities from some of our favorite local teachers to ensure your child builds upon his academic gains this summer instead of losing them! Keep a vacation journal from the perspective of a stuffed animal, figurine, or doll. Take pictures of your ‘friend’ doing activities and journal about it. Write a short skit or play about a major event in a summer book you are reading. Perform the skit or play for others. Invite others to be in your skit or play. Using the Scientific Method, conduct fun science experiments about certain animals or insects. Think of a question you have, come up with a hypothesis, make observations, and come up with a conclusion for your wondering. Imagine you are taking a summer vacation to the setting of a book you are reading. Design a set of postcards from the trip illustrating and explaining what you and your family would do on this summer vacation. Go on a nature walk and write about your observations. Younger children can draw what they saw and older children could illustrate their observations. Cook or bake in the kitchen using fractions. Discuss the fractions and make up math story problems that would go along with your cooking/baking experience. Write a personal narrative about a fun summer experience or vacation. Plan a summer party or get together. Decide on a theme and budget for the party. Pick out items for the party that you will need, adding them up and making sure to stay within your budget. Write a song or play about your summer vacation. Write short poems about summer topics. Write a letter to a pen pal, friend, or family member. Tell about your summer and ask about their summer. You may even compare/contrast the summer months where they live and you live.

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Outside Inspiration Books & Activities from Northshire Bookstore There's no better way to ‘unplug’ this summer than to get outside and explore nature. Here are some of our suggestions for how to open that door in your child’s imagination and let in some fresh air.

Baby/ Toddler

Eric Carle's How Things Grow

is a simple flap book showing the "before and after" of an egg, a seed, a pine cone, a tadpole, and of course, a hungry caterpillar! Carle's signature style is a friendly introduction for the littlest naturalists.

Caterina and the Lemonade Stand by Erin Eitter Kono

is a cheerful toddler-targeted exploration of the concept of enterprise. Got an idea? Need some cash? Follow in the footsteps of countless lemonade sellers before!

The Nature Explorer's Handbook

Early Elemen tar

is a an easy-to-use activity book full of lists, tips, and plenty of information about what your child will find out the back door.


The Get Growing Greenhouse

is a 19-piece kit for growing three different types of plant in a little greenhouse with drip irrigation system. Add a bug jar or magnifying glass and you've got a whole summer's worth of outdoor fun.

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Fuel your fourth or fifth grader's spirit of adventure with two brilliant novels about survival... Twee

Nature Girl, by Jane Kelley


is 11-year-old Megan's unexpected trip along the Appalachian Trail with her dog. She's a fish out of water, but quickly learns to swim.

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen is the story of Brian's summer stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash, armed with nothing more than a hatchet and the will to survive.

For middle school and high school students who will be earning their spending money by babysitting this summer, here are some awesome resources for them to keep their charges happy while unplugged...


The Stick Book is loaded with interesting things you can make or do with a stick - from making nests to measuring the earth, this is truly the one book you need for having fun outside.

Recipes for Play includes dozens of recipes and projects for indoor and outdoor play with little kids.

424 Broadway Saratoga Springs 518.682.4200

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 39

D R A Y K C A B nedaker

By Jan S

For many families, summer would not be summer without a tent, s’mores and ghost stories. One of the best things about camping is you can do it in your own backyard and not give up the simple luxuries in life; showers and working toilets. Also there is no need to pack which makes this idea even more appealing because honestly, who enjoys packing? If you do not already own a tent you may be able to borrow one from a friend or family member, or better yet, check out page 40 for a cool play tent tutorial from Jenna Burger. Do not spend a lot on a tent unless you plan to travel beyond your yard in the future. If you can't get a tent, you can still enjoy all the activities of a backyard camping adventure and then head inside to sleep, or sleep directly under the stars in a cozy sleeping bag.

To make a backyard camping trip a memorable one, try some or all of the following: • If age appropriate, allow each child to invite a friend or two (this will make the games more fun). • Have a cook out and eat outside. • Plan a scavenger hunt and hide the ingredients to make s’mores, including finding good sticks for melting the marshmallows. • Make and eat the s’mores. Roast marshmallows over a small fire or grill. • Once the sun goes down play some fun night time games including Ghost in the Graveyard and Flashlight Tag. Hide and Go Seek is also fun to play in the dark. • Go back inside briefly to brush teeth and change into pajamas or bring it all outside for the true camping experience. • Stargaze – look for constellations or just find pictures in the sky. • If you can, build a small fire and gather around to tell ghost stories. If it is not possible to have a fire, just gather together in the tent with as few flashlights on as possible. • Have doughnuts or bagels ready to enjoy for breakfast in the morning and eat them outside.

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How to play Flashlight Tag: Pick one or two people to be "it". Pick an area in your yard to be home base. The people who are it stand somewhere near home base with flashlights. Everyone else runs and hides with the goal of sneaking back onto home base without getting ‘flashed’ on. If you get flashed on you are out until the next game. The first people caught are ‘it’ the next game. The game ends when everyone gets caught or the last people make it back to home base. Hint: Dress in all dark colors so you are more difficult to see.

Ghost story suggestions: The goal of these stories are to be fun and a little spooky but not scary. Choose age-appropriate books or make up your own stories.

For younger campers try the following: • A Vampire is Coming to Dinner!: 10 Rules to Follow by Pamela Jane, Pedro Rodriguez (Illustrator) • My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck, Mark Buehner (Illustrator) • The Teeny Tiny Ghost by Kay Winters, Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator) • Woo! The Not So Scary Ghost by Ana m. Larranga

How to play Ghost in the Graveyard: You will need a home base (a tree, swing, deck, etc). One person, or two when playing with small children, will be picked as the ghost. Everyone but the ghost stays on home base and the ghost(s) go and hide. The players count slowly, out loud, 1 ‘o’clock, 2 o’clock, etc. Once they reach midnight they shout, “Midnight, I hope I do not see a ghost tonight!” Then the players run around the yard and the ghost(s) try to sneak up and tag people. Once the ghost(s) is spotted the player yells, “ghost in the graveyard”, which signals all the other players to run back to home base. Once there, the players are safe and whoever was caught by the ghost(s) now becomes a ghost too. Keep playing until the last person is caught.

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 41

DIY Kids Play Tent

Summer is just around the corner and soon the time will come when the kids will be out of school looking for activities and outings to fill those long, hot days. As the inevitable homebound quiet afternoons approach, having a plan to fill those creeping hours of boredom is important to have an enjoyable summer soaking up the sun.

Something fun and easy-to-create that the kids will love are these kids play tents. Not only will the tents provide shade from the intense sun, but they are the perfect playful “hideout” and a fun spot to “camp” once the sun sets and the stars peak.

Photos & Story by Jenna Burger of 42 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015

Supplies for (1) Tent : •(4) 1 x 2 pieces of wood at 42″ long •3/4″ diameter dowel at 48″ long •2.5 total yards of fa bric •1.25 total yards of ribbon •Drill + 3/4″ Drill Bit


Tutorial for the Tent Frame

To start off, drill a 3/4″ hole at each end of the (4) 1 x 2 pieces of wood.


One hole of each piece will be for the peak of the tent, while the other hole will be for the ribbon to tie through.

Feed one end of the 3/4” diameter dowel through two of the 1 x 2’s, then fed the other end of the dowel through the other two 1 x 2’s. (Use the same size dowel and drill bit to create a snug fit for the dowel and the hole at the ends of the 1 x 2)

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 43

Tutorial for the Fabric Cover

3. Drape fabric over the tent frame and trim the fabric at the bottom of the legs. 4. To create a finished edge, hem the fabric 1/2” around each side. 5. To secure the fabric to the frame, cut (4) 12” long pieces of ribbon. 6. Stitch the center of the ribbon to the 4 corners of the fabric. 7. Drape the fabric over the dowel and attach the 4 ribbons through the 4 bottom holes to secure.

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This play tent is simple to make and just as easy to assemble with each use and disassemble to store away.

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Summer Style: Dress for Less! $30

Crazy 8

$130 J. Crew






J. Crew

Total: $243 46 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015

$25 Gap

Total: $79

FROM BEACH TO BARBECUE, DRESSING FOR SUMMER OFTEN REQUIRES MULTIPLE WARDROBE CHANGES! Here are some fun summer looks that are lightweight and light on the wallet! Skip the splurge and get the look for less!

$64 en


ur Ralph La


Ralph Lauren

$35 Vans

Old Navy

$20 y

Old Nav


Old Navy

Total: $171

Total: $47 Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 47


J. Crew


Children's Place

$30 Justice


1 Forever2



Children's Place



Total: $89 48 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015

Total: $28


J. Crew

$13 H&M



J. Crew

Old Navy



J. Crew

Total: $118


Total: $41 Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 49

By Jan Snedaker

It’s finally time to shed those bulky puffers allowing the sun to keep us warm, and dip our toes in the cool water. We have waited long enough for this stubborn winter to admit defeat and move on allowing warmer, sunnier days to lift our spirits and remind of us how much better it feels to be outside rather than cooped up indoors. Of course with less clothing necessary, what we wear becomes even more important because it is that much more noticeable. We no longer have layers of shirts, sweaters, and jackets to rely on covering us up; we need to choose our clothing wisely based on where we want the most coverage and what we are willing to put on display. When you have kids, summer becomes synonymous with days spent at the pool or beach. Your warm weather wardrobe most likely consists of bathing suits and cover-ups which can be a bit intimidating no matter how fabulous you may look to others. We all have hang-ups about our bodies and nothing can make one feel better or worse about themselves than the dreaded bathing suit ‘try on’. Fortunately there are a myriad of choices when it comes to bathing suits and cover-ups that are sure to make every mom make a splash this summer. 50 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015

No longer are we confined to boring one pieces or revealing string bikinis, there is now everything in between from the sportier, fuller coverage bikini to the body slimming tankini made from more flattering materials designed to stay in place no matter how we twist and turn. Cover ups are also getting a fashion facelift becoming much cooler and ready to take you from the pool to the grocery store without the need for a changing room. Board shorts are always a fun, youthful way to cover up without a hassle while rash guard shirts have become a fashion statement on their own. Not only do they provide extra sun protection they also look brilliant when paired with shorts or long skirts. The classic button down shirt has gained some length making it the perfect throw on when chasing the ice-cream man down the street and simple sun dresses offer a casual, yet put together option when thrown over a bathing suit. With so many fashionable, flattering styles to choose from, this summer could end up being the brightest one yet!


Blousson One-piece Swimsuit J. Crew

Chevron Print Bag Noonday Collection

Gladiator Sandals

ILIA Bronzer Bella Rouge Cosmetic and Skincare Boutique Clifton Park Center

Lucy Love Pool Party Dress

Sunglasses Piper Boutique 441 Broadway Saratoga Springs

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 51

Casual Straw Pom Pom Hat Vineyard Vines

Tankini LOFT

Linen Tassel Beach Tunic J. Crew

Classic Aviators Ray-Ban

Drawstring Beach Cover-up Short Victoria's Secret

Classic Slim-Fit Oxford Old Navy

Metallic Flip-flop Havaianas

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Classic Striped Canvas & Straw Tote Kohl's

Gauze Kaftan Vineyard Vines

Red Suit


Sperry Top-Sider

American Diabetes Tour De Cure Bracelet

Mad Mod

Jamberry Nails

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 53


Striped Board Short J. Crew

Kailua Rashguard Athleta

Sanuk Selene Sandals

Medium Travel Tote LeSportsac

Wick-it Hoodie Coverup Athleta

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Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company Locations in Saratoga Springs & Old Forge

Crafty Summertime Snacks:

In the Kitchen with Jodie Fitz

Ready for summer fun in the kitchen? You can make these easy ‘cool-down’ snacks for the kids or let them help! These snacks are delicious and healthy and the recipes provide a fun way to craft with your food - making time spent together in the kitchen double fun, and double YUM!

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 55

Melon Monsters Watermelon


Fresh cherries


1 golden delicious apple

Craft Sticks

Directions: You will need a triangular slice of watermelon per monster that is cut approximately 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick. Remove the rind and cut the bottom to create a flat edge. Then cut the right and left side slightly to create your monster shape. Insert a craft stick in the bottom so that it looks like a melon pop. Wash the blueberries and cherries. Pit the cherries and slice them. You will need 1 cherry and 1 blueberry per monster. Using a toothpick, simply carve a circle the size of your cherry in the watermelon to insert the cherry slice as a Cyclops eye. Add the blueberry into the center. Cut another slice of cherry in half to create a semi-circle as the mouth. Using the toothpick again, carve a shape to fit the mouth of the monster and insert the piece of cherry. Cut a slice of apple into strips. Place the strips into a snap and seal lunch-sized or snack sized bag, add cinnamon and shake. Insert two strips into the top of the watermelon to serve as horns. 56 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2015

Robby and Angie had a great time in the kitchen making Melon Monsters with Jodie! They helped cut the watermelon pieces, assisted with shaping the monster’s eye socket with a toothpick, sprinkled cinnamon into bags to create the ‘horns’, and carefully placed the monster on popsicle sticks for easier eating. The Melon Monsters were so delicious they were gone in a flash!

Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 57

Salad Sailboats 1 red bell pepper*

1/8 cup raisins

2 cups chopped romaine

1 large cucumber


2 - 4 tablespoons of Marie’s

1/2 cup baby carrots

yogurt ranch dressing

1/8 cup sunflower seeds

2 long skewers

*Look for an elongated red bell pepper in selecting your boat base.

Directions: Create the Boat Base: Cut the red bell pepper in half lengthwise. Clean out the center and rinse. To create the boat base, shave a slight edge with a sharp knife on the exterior/bottom of the red bell pepper so that it has a flat edge to rest on. Create the Sails: Clip 1/4¼of the skewer off and discard it. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Cut two thin, long strips of cucumber. Place a raisin on to the skewer approximately 3/4 of a way down the skewer and then skew one end of the cucumber for the bottom of the cucumber sail to rest on. Skew another raisin towards the top of the skewer and then skew the other end of the cucumber to create an edible sail. Repeat so that you have two sails. Cut one chunk of cucumber from the remaining cucumber to fit tightly into one end of each of the red bell pepper boat bases. Insert the sails you have created. Fill the Boats: In a mini chipper or food processor, chop the lettuce, baby carrots, sunflower seeds, remaining raisins & remaining cucumbers. Stir in the dressing. Fill the boats for a fun veggie serve.

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Summer 2015 | SaratogaMama | 59


What do the signs say about your child this summer?

By Jane Fairchild,

Woman in the Moon Astrology

The ARIES Child - March 21 - April 19:

Accident prone! Yes, this little first sign of the zodiac wants to get to wherever he's going - FAST! A diamond birthstone and your child’s fierce determination are a perfect match. Aries loves a challenge! This child’s amazing generosity will be seen through sharing toys with friends and animals alike. Your Aries child is as dreamy and sentimental as a storybook. He/she can be both gentle at times and pushy at other times. Instilling confidence is as important as air to your child. Books about brave heroes who conquered new worlds, endless jumping on the trampoline and frolicking in the ocean are all his/her ideas of a good time. Don't leave the Aries child idle for too long, that could be courting trouble!

The TAURUS Child - April 20 - May 21:

These sturdy and dependable children can be brought to the market and demonstrate little to no show-off tendencies. As Taurus children are used to a routine, they may have to put their foot down if you try to switch out their Chobani yogurt for the less expensive generic one. They delight in colors and sounds, but loud discordant noises offend this little bull. They’ll hold their ears all the way through the big city you're visiting. All the while, these natural leaders would love a day at a farm corralling animals. Build your Taurus child a tree house (they will help!) and watch your little one delight for hours on end.

The GEMINI Child - May 22 - June 21:

These clever and charming children are never satisfied doing just one thing. Variety is the spice of their life. If you ask, what are you looking for? Their reply is likely to be, "I'm looking for everything." These excellent imitators will delight you with sounds of every animal they saw at the zoo. Learning to juggle three balls is a snap for a Gemini, and they’ll entertain themselves for hours learning magic card tricks.

The CANCER Child - June 22 - July 22:

The Cancer child records everything they see and hear and will never forget it. His/her emotions are rich, colorful and varied. Quiet and slow to action, you may have to coax them out of pajamas this summer. But, they will be content to play by themselves for hours. Schedule some time at the ocean and introduce you Cancer child to her namesake, the Crab. They will be fascinated.

The LEO Child - July 23 - August 22:

If you look at any playground of children there is always one leader and it is the Leo child. If another child swoops in (probably another Leo or Aries) to take the reigns of his or her group, you will see your Leo child over in the corner dramatically acting wounded. They are royalty, you know! Going to the movies and attending local live theater will thrill your little cub.

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The VIRGO Child - August 23 - September 21:

Even though they are an earth sign, these little ones do not enjoy the head-to-toe sand and dirtfest that their Taurus friends do. They are intellectually earthy. The phrase "down to earth", fits them perfectly; practical with NO drama! Put your Virgo in front of a stack of books about animals, the building of intricate objects, or show them a picture of "Where's Waldo" and their detail catching intellects will shine.

The LIBRA Child - September 22 - October 22:

You may want to rethink any plans for a summer camping trip with your little Libra in tow. Public showers and tent sleeping on a cold air mattress is not this child's idea of pleasant surroundings. After all, your Venus ruled son or daughter is probably destined to be the next Oscar de la Renta or Vera Wang. You’re getting the picture, it is the Ritz Carlton or nothing. These little gems want to be surrounded by all things beautiful and intelligent. Clear a closet and fill it with costumes for dress up, make several trips to the library or start them in music classes.

The SCORPIO Child - October 23 - November 21:

These little investigators love to dig deep to uncover the mysteries of their world. Catching lightening bugs to watch how they light up, coming face to face with the Stegosaurus at the museum and delighting in the power of the ocean waves all appeal to their deeply spiritual nature. Don't promise them something you can't follow through on, or you'll receive a steely cold gaze that will bore a hole through you. The Scorpio’s idea of a good time is being in the grown up world too. Bring him or her to your next business meeting as your "human lie detector".

The SAGITTARIUS Child - November 22 - December 21:

Take your little "archer" on any adventure, the farther from home the better. They delight in seeing and learning about other cultures. Their optimistic and rich imaginations need to be fed. They are a fire sign (like their Aries cousin) and they enjoy running on the beach and engaging in competitive sports. Keep them on softer surfaces because they are risk takers who will dive headlong for the ball to assure a win for the team.

The CAPRICORN Child - December 22 - January 20:

These little captains of enterprise love to be in charge. You'll soon be switching out the piggy bank Aunt Suzie got her at birth for the "grande" size they make at the US Mint. Let the other children dream of fairy tales, your little J.Paul Getty/Martha Stewart will love receiving a desk, phone and cash register as a birthday present. They can build something from nothing. As they get older you'll see that serious, wise intellect will give way to a dry sense of humor that will have you and Grandma rolling in the aisles.

The AQUARIUS Child - January 21 - February 19:

Your little tyke will be inventing from a young age. There is something brilliant and unique about their thoughts. The Smithsonian will thrill the Aquarius child and they may want to keep him overnight after they get a load of his ideas on how man can fly with the help of a little apparatus he's dreamed up. Clubs and organizations is where they flourish. Sign him or her up for summer camp, but don't feel bad when they don’t want to come back home. You’ll notice an independent spirit from a young age. Plant the seeds and water his/her dreams of eliminating world hunger and you'll be right by their side when they are awarded with a Nobel Prize.

The PISCES Child - February 20 - March 20:

This water sign has an imagination and a soul as deep as any ocean. Fantasy is his/her favorite! Introduce him/her to the world of make believe and your tiny dancer will skip and sing their way through the summer. Educate your Pisces child about the stars and planets and how great grandma Joan who is in heaven lives up there. Just don't be surprised when your sensitive Pisces comes to the breakfast table with a message from her to you about how she loves living next to the Big Dipper!

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Congratulations Saratoga County

Teachers of The Year!

to help select It was truly an honor to be part of the team Teacher of the Saratoga TODAY’s first annual ‘Saratoga County’s from students and Year’! We read through countless nominations of amazing parents and one thing was clear, there are TONS teachers in this area! caring teachers, of We were touched by stories of kindhearted and etic and humorous imaginative and creative teachers, and of energ ble online at teachers. All of the nomination letters are availa out! so be sure to check them ise our three winning Being able to actually visit the schools to surpr teachers are teachers was an unforgettable experience! These and staff and that admired, respected, and loved by their students rous donations, we was immediately apparent. Because of some gene with an engraved were able to award our three winning teachers t gift card, $50 glass apple, a framed certificate, a $25 Targe DBA gift card from Northshire Bookstore gift card, and a $250 Adirondack Trust Company. and for all of the Congratulations again to our winning teachers, making a difference, other teachers who are out there every day I sincerely thank you.

~ Colleen P ierre

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St. Clements Regional Catholic School

Mrs. Stauffer Galway Central School District

Mr. Barrow Schuylerville Central School District

Mr. Hayes

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CANTINA KIDS FUN RUN Congress Park near the Carousel 8 – 10:30 a.m. The annual Cantina Kids Fun Run brings families together to support emergency medical services at Saratoga Hospital and increase awareness of the importance of pediatric emergency care. This event is for kids up to age 12. For more information call (518) 583-8340.

SARATOGA BALLOON AND CRAFT FESTIVAL Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 162 Prospect Street, Ballston Spa The 2nd Annual Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival marries local artisans with the magic of hot air balloons. This family-friendly three-day event features hands-on craft activities and events for kids of all ages. Admission is $10 for adults and kids 3 – 17 is $5. For more information call (518) 798-0858.

CIRCUS SMIRKUS Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Outdoor Polo Field, 1 & 7 p.m. each day Families can gather under the “Big Top Tent” as the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs proudly presents the Circus Smirkus 2015 ‘Big Top Tour’. Come see the non-profit award-winning, international traveling youth circus! Kids – ages 10 to 18 – are stars, on highwire and trapeze, as clowns, jugglers, acrobats and more. There will be freshly baked fun, spiced with excitement; sautéed in silliness, with a pinch of whimsy as Circus Smirkus proudly presents the 2015 Big Top Tour: BON APPÉTIT! For more information call 1-877-SMIRKUS.

SATURDAY, JUNE 13 ARTSFEST CELEBRATES THE SARATOGA SPRINGS CENTENNIAL 1915-2015 Various Locations in Downtown Saratoga Springs A celebration of the arts in many forms including Visual Artist Painting “Plein Air” on Broadway, Children’s Old Time Arts Workshops, Flag Day Parade (Saturday), Visual Art Galleries, Film Forum, Opera Saratoga, Saratoga Springs High School Winning Short Story Writers, Pecha Kucha Slide presentations, 100 Years of Dance at the National Dance Museum (Sunday), Community Band, Fiddlers, Clowns and much more. For more information visit,

SATURDAY, JUNE 13 AND SUNDAY JUNE 14 BALLSTON SPA VILLAGE WIDE GARAGE SALE In a tradition that goes back well over 20 years, residents and community groups hold sales throughout the village and the surrounding area. Hours may vary by location.

TUESDAY, JUNE 16 SARATOGA CLASSIC HORSE SHOW: SKIDMORE EQUITATION SHOW Skidmore College, Hunter Rings I & II 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 8:30 a.m. The Saratoga Classic shows, inaugurated in 1927 and brought back to life in 1998, are a highlight of the early summer season in Saratoga Springs. This top-level historic competition attracts many of the country's best horses and riders, and benefits scholarships to Skidmore College students. For more information call (518) 580-5632

SATURDAY, JUNE 27 – SUNDAY, JUNE 28 FREE FISHING DAYS IN NEW YORK STATE Anyone can fish New York State waters, and no fishing license is required. Verify all regulations for fishing ponds, lakes, rivers, streams. For more information call (518) 897-1333.

SATURDAY, JULY 4 FIRECRACKER4 ROAD RACE Saratoga Springs City Center 9 a.m. – Noon Start the 4th with an invigorating run through the beautiful streets of Saratoga Springs. Course is USATF certified 4 mile with B-tag timing. Race features live entertainment along the course, awards, prizes, refreshments, large vendor courtyard, goody bags and awesome race shirts. Register early to get your personalized Firecracker4 race bib. Grab your friends and family and create a "Running In Colors" race team. For more information call (518) 744-5646. SARATOGA’S ALL-AMERICAN CELEBRATION Downtown Saratoga Springs Saratoga's All-American Celebration, Inc. is an independent non-profit 501(c)3, organized entirely by volunteers and funded entirely by sponsors' donations, to bring family fun and patriotic pride to the residents and visitors of Saratoga Springs. This year’s event will feature a parade, BBQ & Dessert Fest, Classic Car Show, Historic City Tours, Patriotic Pooches, Live Music, Family Day, Kids Games, Face Painting, Carousel Rides and much more. For more information visit www.

st For a complete li vi ti ties, of events and ac .com visit SaratogaMama

FRIDAY, JULY 10 2015 SARATOGA POLO TOURNAMENT SEASON BEGINS 5:30 p.m. Starting the season Saratoga WarHorse Foundation presents the Adirondack Trust Celebrate Saratoga Cup. Gate opens at 4 p.m. Visit for the season schedule.

TUESDAY, JULY 21 – SUNDAY, JULY 26 174TH SARATOGA COUNTY FAIR Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa, 9 a.m. Classic carnival fun is just around the bend in Saratoga County! The 174th Saratoga County Fair is sure to be a hit with every member of your family. Enjoy one of the country's oldest fairs, right in Ballston Spa. The Fair is open 9 a.m. to midnight daily; the midway is open Tues 2 p.m to midnight, Wed - Sat 12 p.m. to midnight, and Sun 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Live Music Pavilion is open 12 p.m. to midnight. Concessions are open every day 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for more information call (518)885-9701.

FRIDAY, JULY 24 OPENING DAY AT SARATOGA RACE TRACK 11 a.m. Get ready for another thrilling season of racing in Saratoga Springs. For more information visit

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SUMMER CROSSWORD ACROSS 4. It’s yellow and you might put this on your hamburger or hot dog. 5. You sit under this to block the sun. 6. It’s red and you might put this on your hamburger or hot dog. DOWN 1. You wear this on your head to block the sun. 2. A yellow vegetable that you might eat at a barbecue. 3. You wear this on your skin so you don’t get a sunburn.

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Kids Coloring Contest

Color this page and then have mom or dad help you snap a photo! Email your photo to for a chance to WIN a spot in a Kids Cooking Class of your choice at Healthy Living Market! Winner will be chosen at random.

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