Saratoga Mama - Fall 2013

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find play

Fall 2013

2013 Back to School Edition!

Top 5

Learning Adventures Easy Allergy-Free Eating! A BERRYLICIOUS



Compliments of

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Welcome to our

Back to school


After another long and fabulous Saratoga summer, the kids are finally headed back to school! Routines, structure, and a sense of normal will once again be restored, hooray! In our back to school issue of SaratogaMama Magazine, we focus on the things necessary to create a great foundation for success this school year! Whether “school” means taking a mommy-and-me class with your baby, embarking on a new homeschool curriculum, or sending your big kid off to middle school, there’s something for you in this issue. ⁕ Our “mission: makeover” section on page 19 will inspire you to organize and rethink a space in your home! ⁕ Looking to take a fall day trip? We’ve got five awesome ideas that use favorite books to create the ultimate learning adventure. Plan your getaway on page 28!

⁕ For parents of children with food allergies, the commencement of the school season might bring more dread than relief. “Hey, I Can Eat That” on page 44 has some advice and ideas for allergy-free eating. Speaking of food, Jodie Fitz is back with some quick and easy dinners on page 51. ⁕ We crashed a tween birthday party and discovered a fabulous new party option, on page 40! ⁕ Our Crafternoon projects are perfect for back to school and are fun and functional! See page 60. We’ve packed a lot into this issue and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Best wishes for a fantastic fall! Colleen

Our Cover Our little models Gabe and Gracie loved playing in this cool new kids corner designed by Jenna Burger from SAS Interiors! Thanks to Leah Parillo, a consultant with Kelly’s Kids for providing the clothes for Gabe and Gracie. You can find out more about Kelly’s Kids and how to earn free clothes at Thanks to Ilissa from Binx for providing some props for our kids corner and to Mark Bolles for capturing the moment. 4 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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find play

Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre General Manager Robin Mitchell Managing Editor Jennifer Bloomingdale Editor Amy Jenkins Production Director Richard Hale Creative Director Jessica Kane Advertising Chris Bushee, Jim Daley, Cindy Durfey, Dianna Firth Graphic Design Eric Havens, Jessica Kane, Photographers Mark Bolles Angela Thomas Printing DigitalX-Press 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 (c) 2013, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

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51 19


40 16

28 44 33


TableSaratogaMama of Contents Fall 2013 Seek

54 56 58

Northshire’s top picks for back-to-school Ask a Dad with Dr. Phillip Drum Ask a Doctor with Shelley Justa, M.D.

Find 10 33 28

What We’re Loving Now Virtual Field Trip Learning Adventures with Sandra Foyt

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19 37 51

Mission Makeover Back to School Stress Relief Kid-Friendly Cooking

Play 40 Berrylicious Birthday Party 60 Crafternoon 66 Kids Games

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Our SaratogaMama Contributors

Sheree Adams

Sheree is a loving wife and busy mom to three amazing and energetic kids. She is a work-at-home mom, nurse, blogger and speaker who loves all things related to health. When she’s not traveling or blogging, this self-proclaimed foodie is always plotting her next 30 minute meal to cook and post on her blog, Smart & Sassy Mom.

Beth Payer

Beth Payer blogs at Olliebop. com, a go-to resource for busy families with tweens and teens. Beth speaks from experience, as Mom to 12-year-old daughter Ella, and 14-year-old son, Hudson. Beth’s philosophy on blogging and parenting rapidly-growing kids is to keep an eye out for the good, amidst the challenges that accompany this fleeting time in life.

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Jodie Fitz

Jenna Burger

Dr. Philip Drum

Dawn Fiorillo

Angela Thomas R.N. Trina Lucas

Jenna Burger is a local Interior Designer, Home Decor Blogger, bargain hunter, and avid DIYer. She shares daily inspiration on her Design Blog,, and strives to inspire through do-ityourself projects and simpleto-implement decorating tips. She delivers smart, stylish, and sophisticated design solutions.

Dawn Fiorillo is a professional organizer, motivational speaker and consultant with Clever Container. Dawn works with people in their homes and business settings helping them with the process of getting organized. You can contact her via email at EverCleverDawn@gmail. com.

Dr. Drum specializes in the treatment of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, and also works with couples. Dr. Drum resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Joette. Together they have five children, all now adults, and three beautiful grandchildren.

Angela Thomas is an Integrative Nurse Coach and a board certified Holistic Nurse. She specializes in health and wellness promotion and has a special interest in stress management and chronic illness. Angela is a mother of five as well as a grandmother of two adorable infants.

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 handson 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

Trina Lucas moved to Saratoga Springs in 1995; met her husband here in 2000; and after a 6-year stint in the Washington, DC, area, returned ‘home’ in 2010 with a lil’ Southern Belle. Trina is principal of sofiEvents, PTO president, and Saratoga TODAY’s social columnist. But the title she loves most is “Mom” - the job that required her to develop her family’s allergy-safe lifestyle.

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Ilissa Goman

Ilissa has been a life-long Capital District resident. In 2010, after being a nanny and babysitter for over 10 years, she decided to start a business, Binx. Binx brings the parents of the Capital Region the awesome baby products and baby planning services that can’t be found locally. Ilissa is an expert on all things baby. Her husband and her are expecting their first child in the early Fall.

Shelley Justa, MD

Dr. Justa has special interest in women’s and adolescent health. She specializes in Family Medicine, and cares for patients of all ages, including pediatrics and adults.

John Lefner

John Lefner is the Director of Operations at the Saratoga Independent School and provides leadership to the marketing, development, finance and facilities efforts of the school. John is a native of Saratoga County and he resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Jennifer, daughters Sasha and Olivia, and bulldog Georgia.

Kate Towne Sherwin

Kate Towne Sherwin grew up in Saratoga Springs and is so grateful to be able to raise her children here. She and her husband have five boys (ages 1 to 8), and when they’re playing/reading/ sleeping she writes, so she’ll always remember these precious days.

Jessica Kane

Jessica Kane is a Graphic Designer/Photographer from Saratoga Springs. She obtained a Fine Arts degree from SUNY Oswego in 2010 and has since then followed her dream of photographing, designing and creating. With an attention to detail and a heightened creative background, SaratogaMama was the perfect project to be a part of!

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Karna Fitness & Baby Boot Camp

The fall is the time of year for rethinking routines and refocusing priorities! Our fall picks include some healthy and fun things to get you in the mode for back to school and autumn renewal! - Dianna Firth, Colleen Pierre & JenniferBloomingdale

Fall means back to school and back to a more structured routine! It’s the perfect time to start a new fitness program and our friend Britta Hogue has just launched a new women’s-only class called Karna Fitness. Working out with kids in tow? Baby Boot Camp classes are your best bet. If you’re able to get out alone, you’ll love Karna Fitness!

What We’re Loving for Fall SaratogaMama PICKS

Photos courtesy of, others provided

Isabella’s Shoe Studio Local mama and children’s book illustrator Violet Lemay has just released a fabulous new Doodle Storybook called Isabella’s Shoe Studio published by duopress. Isabella invites young artists not only to read the story, but also to doodle tons of fun stuff and create their own art. Violet Lemay has illustrated 19 books for kids and we just adore her style. Isabella’s Shoe Studio will soon be available at Northshire Bookstore along with some of her other titles!

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9/11 Heroe’s Run in Saratoga Two awesome local mama’s, Allison Clower and Liz Lerner are organizing the very first 9/11 Heroes Run in Saratoga Springs to take place on September 8th, 2013 at High Rock Park. Proceeds will benefit both the Travis Mannion Foundation and local nonprofit Patriot Hills, Inc., two organizations that support the military. The 9/11 Heroes Run unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices made by heroes. We love mama’s like Allison and Liz who are doing awesome things for our community. We’ll see you at the run! Register for the 5K or Family Fun Run at

Liz and Allison

Personalized Note Cards from PaperDolls As you begin back to school shopping for your kids, don’t forget yourself! We love these personalized note cards from PaperDolls in Saratoga. They were easy to order, cost $12.00 for a set of 12, and they are ready in 24 hours! You can choose your font color, font style, border color and envelope color. If you see a different stationary in the store that you like better, they can personalize that too!

Go Kids Go Kids is the best preschool fitness program option in our area. We love that our kids get a solid 45 minutes of sports action each week. Class size is small and every two weeks a new sport is introduced. Go Kids is a great way for kids to develop an appreciation for sports at an early age. Fall classes for ages 2-6 are booking fast! Register online,

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Healthy Lunches for Daycare & School! has a new cookbook coming out September 3rd with all kinds of yummy and healthy lunch ideas! The homemade granola bars look amazing! $29.99,

When I think of fall, I think of warmth, family, and the fresh crisp air. Upstate New York is such a wonderful place to be in the fall, and offers plenty of opportunities for fun. I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of my first baby as many of you are sending kids off to school! This fall will certainly bring excitement and change for many.

What We’re Loving for Fall SaratogaMama PICKS

- Ilissa Goman

Warm Fall Babywearing So who hasn’t tried to zip their coat over their baby in the carrier? It usually gets just to their bottom and then you’re trying to wrangle a blanket over their top, which constantly falls off. Problem solved! The Kowalli is a baby carrier cover that goes over the baby, the carrier and you. Super convenient and just toasty enough to not over heat the both of you. $69 at Binx

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Apple Picking Made Easy A favorite fall activity of mine is to go apple and pumpkin picking! With so many great local orchards this is an easy day activity. It can be challenging though with a newborn or toddler. Try using a Boba Carrier 3G. They work from newborn/7lbs (without an extra insert) on up to 45lbs. $120/$125, Binx. Also check out the Pick It Guide on for local apple orchard locations.

Car Seat Safety As a child passenger safety tech, car seat safety is extremely important to me! Did you know 90% of car seats are incorrectly installed?! Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15-21, with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21. Look for car seat checks all around the Capital Region this day, or call Binx to make your free appointment any day.

Literary Classics for Babies I am a huge reader and I can’t wait to introduce my baby girl to the classics, and BabyLit books are designed just for them. New titles coming out in September include Anna Karenina, Jabberwocky, & Sherlock Holmes. $9.99, at Binx, 74 Beekman St, Saratoga Springs.

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Chalkboard Paint This is a great solution for any surface area that needs a message. From “I love you” to “Tonight’s Dinner Menu”. Chalkboard paint transforms the traditional into the fun and practical. We use it in our house to display the dinner menu. Spray painting a bargainpriced mirror turns it into a chalkboard, and of course keeps kids busy! Wal-Mart, $9 To us, back to school means organization, structure and a lot of times... rewards! Our kids know that in order to succeed, you have to work hard. So, during the school year we have lots of important items that help us navigate the road to success. Check out more of what my family and I are loving on my blog: Smart & Sassy Mom

- Sheree Adams



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What We’re Loving for Fall SHEREE’S PICKS

Dry-Erase Board We like to call this our Destination Station. With so many extracurricular activities, lessons and games, it’s hard knowing where people need to be and when. We love this dry erase calendar. The magnetic surface is also awesome for displaying the kids’ artwork too. Staples, $29

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Kids Lunch Bento Box This cute lunch box helps us drive home the importance of being green. It teaches portion control and also offers an awesome presentation for lunch. What’s not to love? Pottery Barn Kids, $16.50

Kids Coupon Book I am truly a believer in rewarding kids for good behavior, good grades and just for being great! There are lots of fun coupons for the kids to enjoy. Some are silly, some are sweet, but all are guaranteed to make them smile., $7

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HyperJuice Micro With all of the running around in fall, nothing can ruin the family communication plan more than a phone with no charge. Meet the Hyperjuice Micro; the portable battery that can recharge an iPhone three times. Compatible with iPad, iPhone, Androids, and anything with a USB. Ready to go, in ten bold colors., $63

On my blog,, I’m all about making life easier and more fun for busy families with tweens and teens. The backto-school picks featured here combine the need for organization with the excitement of new gear and fresh beginnings.

What We’re Loving for Fall BETH’S PICKS

- Beth Payer

The Paper Pot No longer is it uncivilized to fetch a roll of toilet paper when the tissues run out. Skip buying tissues altogether, thanks to The Paper Pot which holds and dispenses a standard toilet paper roll with style. How about two? One for the desk and the other for the bedside table? From

Vera Bradley All In One Wristlet Anything Vera Bradley is at the top of many girls’ backto-school wish lists -- backpacks, tote bags, and lunch boxes. I also like this wristlet, which keeps a phone, iPod, school ID, or money all in one place. Pictured in “Va Va Bloom.” For Vera right here in town, stop by the Clothes Horse (396 Broadway).

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Oh-So-Cool Shoes Who can forget that feeling of back-to-school sneakers? Tween and teen boys in-the-know say that the “it” shoe this fall is any in these three categories: Nike Free Runs, Jordans, or Lebrons. Shoes and socks are where it’s at for boys!

Emergency Googly Eyes Hey, you never know when some googly eyes might be just the thing to improve a mood. To snag this much-needed item or other lighthearted essentials, visit

Dakine Backpack Go big with the Dakine Campus 33L (pictured here in “palapa”). We love Dakine packs; comfortable, durable, with many features. This one has a laptop sleeve, fleecelined sunglass pouch, and insulated cooler pocket. Maybe our high schooler will use his locker this year, but we’re hedging our bets with this great big pack. Found at retailers like Zappos, eBags, and Amazon in a wide variety of solid and patterned colors.

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mission: makeover

3 spaces go from drab to fab! By Jenna Burger and Colleen Pierre, Photos by


e all have spots in our homes that simply get neglected. They don’t function the way we desire them to, they don’t serve a purpose that suits our family’s needs, they are lacking inspiration, or they simply just need some TLC. We scouted three spots just like this and had Jenna Burger, Interior Designer and Blogger of SAS Interiors help make them beautiful, purposeful, and most of all functional! This was not an easy job, but Jenna was the absolute perfect person for it. As an Interior Designer and mama of two, Jenna understands what a family needs and has the eye and talent to bring it all together. With Jenna’s guidance and expertise, we transformed three spaces that were odd, ugly, unusable and unloved to fabulous and functional!

Jenna Burge r

Clothes provided by Kelly’s Kids.

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is a local Inte rior Designer, Ho me Decor Blogger, barg ain hunter, an d avid DIYer. S he shares dai ly inspiration o n her Design Blog, SASinteriors .net, and stri ve s to inspire throu gh do-it-yours elf projects and simple-toimplement d ecorating tips SaratogaMama | Fall 2013 | 19

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Space 1 Central Command Center What we needed

Every home, kids or not, needs a spot for the stuff. A place for everything – the keys, papers, etc. –

and an organizational command center helps the

Where we started

The hub of the home, the kitchen! There was nothing but an empty wall to work with, so we started from scratch.

family know where they are going at what time!

What Jenna recommended

Relocate existing window treatments so they

sit higher on the wall. Add a dry erase calendar,


clipboards, file holders, and some personalization.

What we bought

Between Hobby Lobby and

Homegoods, we outfitted this space easily. The red file holders and


Create your own personalized calendar.

calendar frame were from Hobby

Lobby, the corkboard was actually

supposed to be hung horizontal, but

we changed the knobs to hooks and hung it vertically.

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What we did

After raising the window treatments and

shopping the house for personalized wall accessories, we hung the calendar, the

corkboard, and a few other needed accessories.

before Designer Tip: Grab any size picture frame to easily make it into a

calendar. Create and print a calendar, frame it as you

would with any picture, and

hang. You can write directly

on the glass with a dry-erase marker and at the end of the month, simply wipe it off to start fresh.

Why we love it

The hub of this home, the kitchen is now

outfitted with everything needed so this family can function on a daily basis. There’s a spot for keys, school papers, invitations, a family

calendar, a grocery or chore list and a spot for the kids to put their to-do items. It’s simple, neat, and will be a huge help for this busy family as they enter the school year!

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Space 2

Mom Cave/Home Office

What we needed

A pleasant place for mom to work with good

organization, great lighting, stylish chair, and some added pizazz!

Where we started

This space, which was located at the top of a landing was already nice, but needed some TLC.

The lighting was too harsh, the

chair was too office-like, and the organization wasn’t quite right.

What Jenna recommended

Transform the space by adding a splash of

color on the back wall. Create a small sitting area by repurposing a chair from the master bedroom. Add some pretty accessories, lighting, and a new desk chair.


What we bought We found the perfect desk

accessories and chair at Homegoods, a lamp and a new lamp shade from

Target and some colorful knobs for the desk drawers at Hobby Lobby.

Designer Tip: Shop your home first! It’s amazing how something looks

new again once it’s

rearranged or moved to another ‘spot’... and it’s all FREE.

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What we did

We centered the desk, painted the back

wall a pretty rhubarb color, removed the wall shelves, added a sitting area and created a picture frame wall to make the space more personal and intimate.


after Why we love it

The space was working fine before the makeover, but now it’s got the extra pizazz and prettiness it needs

for mama Christine to work and feel happy! The sitting area is a great place to take a conference call or a

break from the computer screen. The bright splash of color on the back wall just makes us smile!

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Space 3

Kids Corner

What we needed

A place to store kids craft and art supplies, a small working desk, places to display artwork, plenty of storage for other miscellaneous items.

Where we started

Once upon a time, there was a corner of a living

See our ‘Crafternoon’ section (60) to make your own art caddy!

room which was underutilized and lacking in

inspiration. The space had a cabinet, which housed unorganized clutter, and above that an upper shelf area that was too deep and tall to function well. This space added no value to the living room.

What Jenna recommended

Transform the space by removing the

cabinet doors, adding color, shelving, a desk and other fun yet functional accessories.

What we bought

We found an inexpensive desk for $59 at

Homegoods, a stool, four awesome storage bins, several clear plastic bins for supplies, a funky

bookshelf, some fun accessories, and a lamp.

Jenna stocking up at 24 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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before What we did

After removing the cabinet doors and

clearing out and organizing the contents of the cabinet, the interior was painted

a sea blue color. Four shelves were cut from lumber at Lowe’s; two very deep

shelves for the bottom cabinet and two

thicker bookshelves for the upper level. The shelves were sanded and painted

the sea blue color as well. The desk and accessories were placed and the kids ‘moved in’ right away!

Why we love it

Not only does this Kids Corner look amazing, it functions perfectly!

By removing the doors

and adding shelves, the entire room feels larger

and more open. Adding a splash of color to the interior of the shelves

draws the eye in, and is a

great accent for the room.

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after Designer Tip Think outside the

box! A desk doesn’t

have to actually be a

desk. For this project, we found a nesting table that was part

of a larger set, yet it

worked perfectly as a kids table.

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Organize it!

Tips from Professional Organizer Dawn Fiorillo on how to best plan for and organize your office, kids area or central command center.

Central Command Center Mom Cave / Home Office

Kids Desk Area


1. Sometimes cabinet doors or

A couple of hooks in your

command center area provide a

simple system for storing your keys.

Get everyone in the habit of hanging their keys there each and every time they walk in the door.


As you sit at your desk, the area

within your arms reach is considered your "hot zone". Reserve this

space for the items you need most frequently and most readily.

2. Give some thought as to what

multiple drawers only encourage little people to throw stuff in and quick shut the door or drawer. Bins and cubbies work well and can easily

be taken off their shelf and brought

to a larger space when you need to

limits you have on the things kept in

spread out.

of your books? Or just certain ones?

2. If the size of your space is

this space. Is this where you store all Do you keep that huge bag of rubber

limited, keep the must-have items

a handful? Establish boundaries for

toys, books and art supplies, keeping

the space.

3. Give kids a space to display

bands in the drawer? Or perhaps just

available - and rotate in and out some

all the things that tend to "take over"

it all fresh and fun!

some of their own artwork. Get them involved in selecting which things

2. Encourage kids to get used

should be kept for posterity. If they'd

to the concept of planning and

like to keep all of their handiwork

and calendars accessible to them!

digital scrapbook.

- take photos and let them keep a

organizing their time by making lists

3. Color-code calendar entries

either by person or by theme. Use

colors that make sense for you and your family!

3. Create a collection of "hands

off!" desk accessories. Mark these

items with a matching piece of colorful tape or ribbon and then let your family members know that these items are not to be used or removed!

Dawn Fiorillo is a professional organizer, motivational speaker and consultant with Clever Container. Dawn works with people in their homes and business settings helping them with the process of getting organized. You can contact her via email at 26 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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For 1-Howes Cave, NY (1 hour by car)

The Book: Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac. Setting his story of sibling rivalry in a 1400s Mohawk village, Saratoga Springs native Joseph Bruchac weaves Iroquois culture and traditions into a gripping work of historical fiction.

Fun Family Trips By Sandra Foyt

324 Caverns Road Howes Cave, NY 12092 (518) 296-8949 Howes Cavern Undiscovered until the 1840s when Lester Howe’s cow, Millicent, found the entrance, Howes Caverns were around long before the Mohawks. In addition to the one hour cavern tour, allot time for the gemstone mine, zipline and ropes course, rock wall, air jumper, and the newest attraction—giant H2OGO ball. 255 Discovery Dr Howes Cave, NY 12092 (518) 296-8900

DINING: The Carrot Barn Just-picked fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods, and a full deli counter make this a great place to stock up on snacks or picnic ingredients. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on spring’s strawberries and biscuits or autumn’s cider donuts!

VISIT: Iroquois Indian Museum Learn about local Mohawk heritage at the Iroquois Museum, housed in a modern building shaped like a longhouse. Children’s exhibits introduce storytelling, beadwork, cornhusk work, pottery, and the Iroquois relationship to the natural world. Kids love the live turtle pond, and the 45-acre nature park setting offers trails and room to play. Tip: Check the calendar for festival days and artisan workshops. 28  |  SaratogaMama  |  Fall 2013

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Get kids excited about reading: explore children’s books beyond the covers. Day trip itineraries—all within 3 hours of Saratoga— open up a world of imagination.

2-Hunter, NY

(1:45 minutes by car)

The Book: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. First published in 1819, the short story of a Dutch farmer who falls asleep for twenty years in the Catskill Mountains has been adapted into a number of colorful children’s books.

RR 30 Schoharie, NY 12157 (518) 295-7139 The George Mann Tory Tavern A restaurant with a long history—in 1777 the tavern’s namesake allowed Tories and Indians to meet there to plan raids—this is a fine dining establishment. Call ahead for reservations, and ensure children are up for the challenge. 104 Vrooman Cross Rd Schoharie, NY 12157 (518) 295-7128

VISIT Hunter Mountain Rip Van Winkle sits perched at the summit of Hunter Mountain ski area,

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or at least a larger-than-life blue sandstone sculpture by Kevin Van Hentenryck does. Take the scenic Skyride and get a bird’s eye view of not just the Catskill Mountains, but also Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains and Vermont’s Green Mountains. Tip: Limited chair lift schedule after Labor Day, check ahead for availability. Summit is also accessible via a four mile NYS DEC hiking trail from a fire tower. See Hunter Mountain site for hiking information. 64 Klein Ave Hunter, NY 12442 (518) 263-4223 Kaaterskill Falls Truly enchanting, at 260 feet this two-tiered fall is the highest cascading waterfall in New York State. Accessible via a moderate 1.4 mile hike, this is an easy and pleasant way to experience the beauty of the Catskill Mountains. Such was the captivating magic of the falls that it inspired an art movement. Both Kaaterskill Falls and nearby Kaaterskill Clove are featured stops on the Hudson River School Art Trail. See for selfguided tour.

Power up on inventive pancakes— think mango filling with sunflower and flax topping; featured pancake changes daily—and juice bar concoctions in a restaurant described as “a time machine to the hippie days of the 60s.” 6000 Main St Tannersville, NY 12485 (518) 589-6101

3-Amherst, MA (2:15 minutes by car)

The Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. One of the most popular board books

of all time—30 million copies sold worldwide—the vividly illustrated story of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly pulls at the heartstrings.

VISIT: Eric Carle Museum Survey the art of the picture book at the one-of-a-kind museum founded by author Eric Carle and wife Barbara in 2002. Revolving exhibits feature the work of Eric Carle as well as other beloved children’s book authors such as Mo Willems, Maurice Sendak, and Leo Lionni. Plan on a brief visit—one to two hours max—to peruse three galleries, with stops for art projects, storytelling, and short film. Beneski Museum of Natural History (Amherst College) Foster an interest in the natural world at this small gem filled with fossils and rocks. Modern new facility on a lovely college campus setting offers educational programs at the museum and planetarium.

Tip: Limited space in parking lot; be aware that you will have to walk across a busy road to access trailhead. 27 Kaaterskill Ave Palenville, NY 12463

DINING: Last Chance Cheese Antiques Cafe With 100+ artisanal cheeses, 300+ beers from around the world, and a candy shop stocked with nostalgic favorites; there’s something to satisfy every member of the family. Not to mention that the restaurant has perfected its comfort food menu over the 39 years that it’s been in business. 6009 Main St Tannersville, NY 12485 (518) 589-6424 Maggie’s Krooked Café

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oks By bringing bo ll we to life you may able ench inspire an unqu nothing ; if love of learning rtaining te else, it’s an en the thing to do with ones you love.

The Book: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. A Caldecott Medal winner that has sold over two million copies since publication in 1941, the beloved picture book tells the tale of a pair of mallard ducks who start a family in a Boston Public Garden pond.

Amherst College 11 Barrett Hill Rd Amherst, MA 01002 (413) 542-2165

Tip: Looking for more things to do? Hop on the Trolley/Duck Tour, walk the Freedom Trail, or purchase halfprice tickets to Boston shows.


31 N Pleasant St Amherst, MA 01002 (413) 253-0808 Judie’s Home of the Popover, a traditional New England bread, you can even get a sandwich on. Kids with a gourmet palate will appreciate the “Littles” menu, four-ounce servings of chicken, steak, lobster, salmon, or burger. 51 N Pleasant St Amherst, MA 01002 (413) 253-3491


(3 hours by car, bus, or train)

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361 Boylston St Boston, MA 02116 (617) 247-4777 Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall Marketplace A destination in itself, with more than a dozen restaurants and over 40 food court stops, there’s something to please every palate. Introduce kids to clam chowder and lobster mac n’ cheese, if you can tear them away from the “penny” candy lining the walls.

Tip: Free admission but parking is limited, consider walking from town.

Antonio’s Pizza Nearly 50 kinds of gourmet pizza combinations such as “Bacon Potato” or “Spinach Portabella” and even more made to order from a long list of available ingredients; available by the slice, Antonio’s is an “Amherst icon.”

Parish Café Pick up legendary sandwiches inspired by area chefs and take a picnic to the park. Portions are huge, plan on sharing.

VISIT: Public Garden & Boston Common Explore the formal Public Garden where the book is set, and adjacent 48-acre Boston Common--established in 1634, this was America’s first public park. Both are delightful in all seasons. Trees dazzle in fall foliage; spring brings the Duckling Parade; the ice rink sparkles in winter; and summer sees the return of the famous Swan Boats and old-fashioned carousel.

254 Faneuil Hall Market Place Boston, MA 02109 (617) 723-3635

5-New York, NY

(3 hours by car, bus, or train) The Book: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. First in a popular series of young adult fantasyadventure novels by Rick Riordan,

Tip: Enter through the Charles Street Gate of the Public Garden to find Nancy Schon’s playful bronze sculpture of Mama duck and her eight ducklings. Then head to the central pond where you may just encounter the real thing. Public Garden 69 Beacon St. Boston, MA 02108 (617) 635-4505


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it’s been made into a blockbuster film recently followed by the sequel, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

VISIT: The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Lightening Thief opens in the Mets’ Greek and Roman Art collection where mention is made of the “Marble Capital and Finial in The Form of a Sphinx.” Pick up a copy of the museum’s free family guide, “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Explore Greek Mythology at the Met!” and follow the hero’s adventures.

Serendipity 3 Dessert first! Get the infamous Frozen Hot Chocolate, and ask for extra straws. This mammoth concoction is too big for any one person, or saucereyed kid. Then if you’re still hungry, consider the expansive “Serious Food” menu. 225 E 60th St New York, NY 10022 (212) 838-3531

Dylan’s Candy Bar Although the onsite café serves pizza, you don’t go to Dylan’s for the food. It’s all about candy here; three floors devoted to every conceivable kind of sweetness. Since Percy’s mom worked in a candy store, doesn’t it make sense to visit the biggest and the best? 1011 3rd Ave New York, NY 10065 (646) 735-0078

Tip: While at the Met, don’t miss two other kid pleasers: the Temple of Dendur and Egyptian mummies; and the Arms and Armor collection. 1000 5th Ave New York, NY 10028 (212) 535-7710 (Family guides and much more available to download at metmuseum. org/learn/for-kids.) The Empire State Building Unlike Percy Jackson, you might not gain access to Mount Olympus from the Empire State Building’s 600th floor. When the wind blows though, the 102nd Floor Observatory is exciting enough and the photo-worthy view of the Manhattan can’t be beat. 350 5th Ave New York, NY 10118 (212) 736-3100

DINING Dining at the Met You don’t have to leave The Metropolitan Museum to eat well. The seasonal rooftop café offers light fare and an incomparable view of the city; the basement cafeteria provides a staggering array of menu options; and they’re not the only restaurants on the premises. However, there are a couple of NYC treats that should be on every child’s bucket list: Serendipity 3 and Dylan’s Candy Bar.

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l a u t r Vi : p i r T Field s ot T r o f s r u To at the n o i t c e l l o C Hyde

By Colleen Pierre & Jennifer Bloomingdale Photos by Angela Thomas

The Hyde Collection 161 Warren Street Glens Falls, NY 12801 Ryan, Angie and Robby recently had the opportunity to participate in The Hyde Collection’s Tours for Tots. This program runs every Thursday, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and admission is free! In the fall, Tours for Tots will meet two times on Thursdays, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and again from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The tour starts in either the Hyde House or the current museum exhibit. Museum educator, Evi Fisher guides the children through the exhibit and asks questions that encourages them to make connections to the art.

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Check out the eeffe ’K O a i g r o Ge ntil Exhibit u 15! er Septemb

On the day of our tour, we went through the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit that will be at The Hyde until September 15th. Evi talked to the kids about the trees and what they liked about some of the paintings. She asked them questions about the artwork to inspire them.

After a brief exhibit tour, we went downstairs to the Art Studio where Angie and Robby completed an art project based on the Georgia O’Keeffe paintings they saw. Evi guided them step by step through the painting session and introduced them to a new painting technique using a straw.

± Our artist-inspired paintings!

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When the kids finished creating their works of art, we visited a small interactive play area called The Artist’s Studio. The kids enjoyed playing with dress up clothes, easels and chalk, and other props to inspire their imagination.

Our favorite part of this program: The kids used genuine art to inspire their own creativity and learned about an artist and some history too. The Tours for Tots program is best suited for ages 2-5, although younger children are welcome.



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Back to School: By Angela Thomas, R.N.

The new school year is right around the corner and for many children it can be a stressful time. A new grade, a new classroom, a new teacher, and maybe even a new school. Small stressors are needed for challenge and growth, but problems arise when the stress becomes chronic and begins to overwhelm the child’s ability to cope. Each child may exhibit signs of stress differently. These signs may include not wanting to go to school, physical

ailments like headaches or stomachaches, sleep disturbances and worry or concern about the future. The two biggest red flags for childhood stress are change and regression of behavior. A study of 600 students by the Nemours Foundation, (a nonprofit children’s health organization) found that while academic success was a concern for many, kids were also worried about fitting in, physical appearance, having friends and being teased.

A consistent meal and bedtime can form a solid base to help children meet daily challenges. A family mealtime shouldn’t only be a source of nutrition, but also a place where children can safely voice their experiences. A good night’s sleep will help them recharge physically and mentally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 1-3 year old child needs 12-14 hours of sleep per night, a 3-5 year old needs 11-13 hours of sleep, and a 5-10 year old needs 10-11 hours of sleep. Let’s not forget parents, who need 7-9 hours of sleep.

Make a healthy start a priority. A mix of a complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal or whole grain toast and healthy protein such as eggs, yogurt, or almond butter can help keep energy and attention levels steady. Skip the sugary cereals as they can lead to a mid-morning slump. Look for whole-grain cereals with less than five grams of sugar per serving. Add some fruit for extra sweetness and nutrition!

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Moving their bodies is a wonderful, fun way for kids to stay healthy and de-stress. Exercise helps promote mental well-being by regulating the stress hormone response to stressors. Check out the SaratogaMama events calendar for fun events and activities to get the whole family moving! It is so easy to fill our calendars with the abundance of fun activities in our area. A slow pace, with lots of time to relax is one of the best stress management tools available. Family downtime gives children another safe place to share their concerns. A funny, family movie can also help release stress.

pause and time-out is very important because children’s neuropeptides (neurons that send signals in the brain) fire much faster than adults and go from one extreme to another quite rapidly and repeatedly. One of the best ways to help children better manage stress is to model it ourselves. Sometimes this is easier said than done as life has its struggles and challenges. Date nights and girls’ nights, are wonderful ways for mom to get a much-needed break. Another great local resource for parents is the 8-week Saratoga Stress Reduction Program offered at One Roof. For more information on the program call (518) 581-3180.

Yes, your mom was right! One very helpful tool from Pierre Zimmerman, MS, Director of One Big Roof and Faculty for Saratoga Stress Reduction Program, is to teach children the STOP acronym: This tool is helpful for parents as well as children. Pierre also shared that this

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Back to School

Here are some back to school book recommendations from Jessica Wood & Whitney Kaaz from Northshire Bookstore.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

This book remains one of my favorites for children who tend to worry. Wemberly worries about everything including the first day of school... until she meets Jewel and a wonderful and worry-free friendship emerges.

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5 by ML Nichols

This is a great book to help parents navigate the early school years. Packed with ideas on how to be involved in your child’s education, navigate social situations and help your child develop a true love of learning.

Chronic stress can affect a child’s emotion and physical well-being. If you have any concerns, please seek the support of a trusted school counselor or a health professional.

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Pete the Cat, Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean & Eric Litwin

A wonderfully exuberant, rhyming account of Pete the Cat’s first day at school. This tale is filled with new discoveries and a positive attitude... because in Pete’s words... ‘its all good”. Exactly how a first day of school should be.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

A beautifully told and illustrated story that will help a child through the important transition of going to school. A kiss in the hand reminds Chester throughout the day that his mother’s love is always with him.

Mom, It’s My First Day Of Kindergarten by Hyewon Yum

A unique picture book approach to the nervousness a mother and her son alternately experience on the first day of school. With a sweet narrative this mother and child cheer each other on during their bouts of apprehension. SaratogaMama | Fall 2013 | 39

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A Super Sweet

Birthday Party! By Colleen Pierre, Photos by

Planning a birthday party whic includes entertainin h a group of tweens g be challenging. Lucan for us, there’s a swecky new party alternativet in our area and I g e to experience it ot first-hand.

Balloons courtesy of Creative Sparks & Balloonatics

Shannon Allitt is a local mama and owner of Berrylicious Bouquets. She specializes in creating sweet treats including hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries, and premium chocolate dipped pretzels, Oreos, graham crackers, Twizzlers and other yummy things. Shannon saw a need in this area for a birthday party option that catered to a slightly older crowd.

My older kids were getting bored with other birthday party spots in the area and there was nothing to offer the tween age group that was in-home, Allitt said. With this need in mind Shannon created Berrylicious Birthday Parties!

As a chocolate lover myself, I wanted to see first-hand what this party was all about, so I crashed a tween birthday party! Shannon came with all the supplies needed and required only a bit of counter space in a kitchen, an outlet, some refrigerator space and about 20 minutes of setup time. Our party was all girls, but Shannon can tailor a birthday party for boys, girls or a mix.

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1: After putting their aprons on, the first task was to design their own chef hat. Our girls got super creative and loved wearing their aprons and hats.

2: Each girl selected a lollipop mold from an assortment of about 50 options ranging from hearts, ice cream and cupcakes to motorcycles, dinosaurs and basketballs. They poured melted white or milk chocolate into molds, which were left to cool.

3 4 3: The girls got to dip two strawberries each in either white or brown chocolate and decorate them with sprinkles.

4: A snack of chocolate fondue with four dippers (selected from 12 options) was served to each guest while the girls watched Shannon assemble a Berrylicious Bouquet! After a chocolate-themed game was played, the girls enjoyed a fabulous Cakes by Angelina birthday cake! The girls loved this hands-on party and the experience was definitely unique and fun for all.

Berrylicious Birthday Party Details

• The Berrylicious Party lasts about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

• Parent gets to choose their theme color (red, blue, orange, pink, purple, or lime green).

• Each child wears a Berrylicious Bouquet apron for the party, the birthday boy or girl gets to keep theirs, but for a small additional fee each child could keep theirs.

• Each child will go home with two chocolate lollipops, two chocolate berries and the chef hat they decorated. • Parties are best suited for ages 6-16.

• The cost for eight kids plus the birthday boy or girl is $229. Additional children are $12.99 per person.

• A Cakes by Angelina cake (matching the theme color) can be added for an additional fee to any party package. • Visit for all the details!

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Family Friendly Fall Events Saturday, August 17

Birthday Bash presented by Saratoga County Mommies & Bounce Around

SaratogaCountyMommies and Bounce Around are teaming up to celebrate our 4th Birthdays Together! We’ll have cake, promotional items from our Sponsors, giveaways, some special guests and more! In lieu of admission, We’re asking each child to bring a toy donation valued at $5-$10 or more to donate to our Community Outreach. The toys will be donated to a local charity benefiting children. For more information call 518-892-0566.

Wednesday, August 21 Stewart’s Shops Ice Cream Eating Contest Saratoga Race Course, Noon

The coolest way to beat the heat, racing fans will come to the Spa, spoon in hand as they prepart to compete in the chilly contests. Contestants will be divided into three groups, kids, teens and adults as they battle to see who can down a pint of ice cream the fastest. The winner will receive gift certificates for free ice cream. For more information call 518-584-7064.

Wednesday, August 21

Family Flicks at Clifton Commons: An American Tale. Clifton Commons, 7 p. m. Grab your blankets

Saturday, August 24 Shalom Festival Congress Park, Downtown Saratoga Springs, 2 – 7 p.m.

A jewish celebration of art, music and entertainment featuring activities and performances for young and old. Fun for the entire family. Sponsored by Saratoga Chabad. Free admission. For more information call 518-526-0773.

Sunday & Monday, September 1 & 2 Family Fun Fest Saratoga Race Course, Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 12:30 p.m.

Families will enjoy an afternoon of kidfriendly activities in the back yard at the Family Fun Fest which will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.

Sunday, September 8

9/11 Heroes Run – 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk High Rock Park, Saratoga Springs, 8 a.m.

The 9/11 Heroes Run unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices of all the heros of September 11 and in the wars since: veteran, first-responder, civilian and military. Cost $20. For more information call 716-923-3334.

Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Walk/Run and Kids Fun Run. Saratoga Spa State Park, Warming Hut, 7 a.m.

Thursday, August 22

Saturday, September 14

Children’s Show – for more information call 518-885-2772. 42 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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Saturday & Sunday, September 21 & 22 Saratoga Horse Expo Saratoga Race Course, Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Activities for the whole family. Featuring Guy McLean 2013 Road to the Horse Champion, J.D. Winslow Bare Back Riding, The Adirondack Drill Team and more. Equestrian events, demonstrations, clinics, seminars and vendors. Pony rides, petting zoo and bouncy houses for the kids. Cost $8 / $20 for family, under 6 free. For more information call 518-490-1214.

Saturday, October 19 13th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge Saratoga Spa State Park, Columbia Pavillion, 9:30 a.m.

To benefit Saratoga Bridges, this event features a 5K Run/ Walk and a 10 K Run through the beautiful and historic Saratoga Spa State Park. The day also includes a fun run for kids 12 and under. Pre-registration by October 1. For more information call 518-587-0723.

Saturday, September 14

and chairs and bring the family for an evening filled with fun and games. Family Flicks in the park hosted by Radio Disney AM 1460. Movie starts at sundown. Come early for fun and games. Free popcorn courtesy of County Waste and Recycling. Rain Date August 26. Free admission.

Zucchini Brothers Wiswall Park, Front Street, Ballston Spa, 6 – 8 p.m.

year’s event will include live music, great food and Kidz Art Zone. Free admission. For more information call 518-584-4132.

Raise funds for colon cancer awareness and screening. All participants receive shirts. Enjoy food, beverages and more at the event. Cost $12 - $30. For more information call 518-390-7471.

Art in the Park: Celebrating 15 Years Congress Park, Saratoga Springs Two days of fine art featuring over seventy artists from the greater Saratoga and Capital Regions. This

This is just a sample of the many fun family friendly events in our region. For a comple te list of even ts and activities , visit SaratogaMa

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I can eat that! By Trina Lucas

If you have a child with a food allergy, back to school can mean back to worrying, because you know that what looks like an innocent cookie to anyone else could be incredibly dangerous to your child. If your children do not have food allergies, you may be frustrated by the nut-free classroom, or resent not being able to pack your child’s favorite sandwich for lunch each day. But just like you fasten a seat belt around your children to avoid injury or death, moms of children with allergies avoid certain foods for the very same reason, and we really appreciate the inconveniences you experience on behalf of our children. But for so many families allergy-safe meals aren’t makebelieve. Here are some real-life tips and recipes:

Rise and Shine There are countless glutenfree, soy-free cold cereals that make for a quick, healthy breakfast when served with fresh berries or sliced banana, and coconut, almond or rice milk. To avoid cross-contamination though, many moms will need to start meals from scratch. Busy moms know you can prepare weeknight dinners in advance. Do the same for breakfast. Frozen waffles are available for gluten-free and even dairy-free kids, but they still contain soy. Instead, make a large homemade batch on the weekend. Stick them in the freezer, or keep them in the fridge for a week. In the 44 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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morning, just pop one in the toaster and enjoy! Muffins made with oat flour are filling and delicious. Add a piece of fruit and a glass of your child’s enriched milk of choice, and you have a healthy grab-and-go breakfast. Granola bars are another convenient option, but can present a host of allergens with little protein or health benefit. Try making your own with sunflower butter. It’s higher in protein and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals including E, folic acid and iron.

Packing a Lunchbox Yes, you can make a classic sandwich with safe bread and cold cuts, but these fun foods might bring a smile, and an empty lunchbox, home.

• Inside-out Tacos

Start with seasoned ground beef, turkey or chicken, and add shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, and if not an allergen, shredded cheese. Serve with allergy-safe tortilla chips (in a separate bag or container to stay crispy), a small container of salsa and sliced avocado (sprinkle with lime juice to avoid browning).

• Pasta Salad

Mix chilled, cooked noodles (corn, rice or wheat) with crunchy broccoli florets, shredded carrots, and an Italian vinaigrette of choice. For added protein, throw in cheese or cold, diced chicken. Alternatively, diced ham and peas mix well with noodles too. One large pot of rotini boiled on Sunday can provide a week’s worth of lunch bases! Other delicious possibilities are homemade soup, or yogurt with fruit and granola.

Classroom Treats All kids can benefit from safe snacks like magic fruit wands. Simply assemble skewers of grapes and strawberries, and cap each with a star cut from melon or pineapple. Miniature cookie cutters also create fun vegetable platters to be served with hummus or dressing. And frozen fruit bars are another great choice if you have access to a freezer at school.

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Shopping List

Sunshine Bars

Bisquick® Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix – available at grocery stores, this mix contains wheat,

2 cups rolled oats 1 cup raw sunflower seeds 1 cup raisins ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. cinnamon 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup oil 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup 1 tbsp. hot water 1 tsp. vanilla extract

but is free of other common allergens. To keep waffles and pancakes safe, substitute rice milk instead of

cow’s milk, and canola or corn oil for the vegetable oil.

Namaste Baking Mixes – made in a facility free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn, potato, peanuts, tree nuts,

dairy and casein. Sold locally at Hannaford and Healthy Living Market.

SunButter® Creamy Sunflower Spread – available at Hannaford and Target

Heidelberg Bread – this New York State sandwich

staple comes in varieties like whole wheat, peasant,

pumpernickel, country white, rye and sunflower seed. They even make a thinly sliced Italian under the

Biaggio Asti label. Find the soy-free, dairy-free line at Hannaford, Healthy Living Market, Price-Chopper and Walmart.

Kitchen Basics® Unsalted Chicken Stock – free

of milk, eggs, peanuts, gluten, soy, tree nuts, fish,

shellfish, corn and MSG. Excellent for homemade soup. It’s available at most local grocery stores.

KIND Healthy Grains Cinnamon Oat Clusters– ®

mixed with flax seeds, this granola is gluten-free and packed with whole grains, fiber and Omega-3. It’s

delicious with yogurt and can be found at Hannaford and Healthy Living Market.

NOTE – Always, always…always read ingredients and food labels before buying or serving. Manufacturers are constantly changing recipes and what may have once been safe, may not be now.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8’ x 8’ baking dish. Cut a piece of parchment paper or non-stick foil to fit the bottom of the pan and extend up and over two of the sides so you can easily pull the baked granola bars out of the pan.

Put oats into a blender and pulse about a dozen times: some of the oats should be

ground to flour, some still whole, and the rest in between. Pour into a large bowl and stir in sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut,

salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, sunflower seed butter, honey or syrup, hot water and vanilla. Fold into oat mixture, stirring until evenly moistened.

Spoon mixture into the pan and press down very firmly to form a compact layer.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until edges are

browned. Cool on counter for 15-20 minutes, then chill in refrigerator. (They will crumble if cut warm.) Using the parchment paper overhang, lift from pan and place on

a cutting board. Cut into 2” squares; wrap each in wax paper or individual snack bags and store in a tightly sealed container.

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s n i f f u M i n i h c c u Chocolate Z redded 1 ½ cup zucchini, sh ½ cup sugar ¼ cup oil 1 tsp. vanilla r vinegar 1 ½ tsp. apple cide ¼ cup rice milk 2 cup oat flour* der 1/3 cup cocoa pow r 1 tsp. baking powde ½ tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 2 tbsp. cinnamon

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0 degrees.

Preheat oven to 35

and rice milk. oil, vanilla, vinegar r, ga su , ni hi cc zu Mix powder, baking a powder, baking Add oat flour, coco namon. soda, salt and cin d. Mix until combine r-lined muffin tin. Spoon into a pape inutes. Bake for 20-25 m muffins. Makes one dozen own! Put whole flour or make your * You can buy oat l are ground into r and pulse until al oats in the blende y other flour. t container like an gh rti ai an in e or flour. St

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Is Homeschooling the right option for you? One Local Homeschooler Shares Her Story By John Lefner, photos provided

If you’re considering homeschooling your children you have several decisions to make, and surely, many questions too. A great place to start is with other parents who are homeschooling their children or adults who were homeschooled themselves. To help you get started, we’re introducing you to Samantha Bossalini.

To round out her curriculum, Samantha participated in crew with the Saratoga Rowing Association, participated in choir, learned to play the piano, skied at West Mountain in Glens Falls, and played golf. Saratoga Springs, being an artforward city, offers several artistic outlets, such as paint your own pottery, the National Museum of Dance, the Saratoga Children’s Museum, and others. Field trips with groups of homeschooled children provided an excellent opportunity for Samantha to socialize with peers while enjoying trips to the Erie Canal, Saratoga Battlefield, and Cooperstown.

Samantha is the Office Manager at the Saratoga Independent School. She was homeschooled from age 4 to 17 and shares her educational journey with us. Samantha’s family wanted a comprehensive learning environment, complete with world As a student progresses views and religion as a central through the primary homeschool theme in the curriculum. Unable to years, parents must consider find the perfect fit, homeschooling opportunities to enhance the became a viable option to academic experience. When accomplish this goal. With her Samantha Bossalini at Saratoga Independent School Samantha turned 14, the Bossalinis mother as her primary instructor, chose the “Classical Coop” Samantha’s studies were based on approach developed by Horace the offerings of Loving Education At Mann, consisting of lessons in Greek, Latin, American Home of Schenectady (LEAH). LEAH is a 501(c)(3), that History, Rhetoric, Debate, Literature and Public Speaking. provides best practices, curriculum access, conferences Throughout her studies, Samantha felt a strong connection and resources for parents and students interested in a to languages encouraging her to travel and immerse homeschool environment that includes religious study. herself into the culture of the countries she visited. The homeschool experience generally comes with certain challenges regarding access to typical extra-curricular activities. Fortunately, Saratoga Springs offers a variety of creative, athletic and recreational endeavors to kids of all ages. 48 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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Navigating Saratoga’s academic landscape can be challenging for first time parents, or those looking for an alternative. The options in Saratoga are plentiful, and it is important to take your time to determine which one works best for you and your child.

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Check out these online homeschool resources! These are great places to meet others who are choosing to homeschool, hear their experiences and ask questions.


88 is an internet forum and a great way to initiate questions and start getting connected. 88 At you can join an area group or start one of your own. 88 Join the yahoo group just for Saratoga area homeschoolers. 88 88 Homeschool Creations is a blog with lots printable resources for homeschooling. 88 Itsy Bitsy Learners is another online resource with curriculum ideas, printables, and encouragement for homeschoolers.

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Here are just some of the extracur ricular act ivi t ies found in the Saratoga Springs area! The Children’s Museum at Saratoga 69 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs (518) 584-5540 Creative Sparks Ceramics 42 Phila St, Saratoga Springs (518) 583-2030 National Museum of Dance School of the Arts 99 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs (518) 584-2225 Saratoga Rowing Association 543 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs (518) 587-6697

A full list of indoor recreation spots including area museums and attractions can be found on

Saratoga Springs Public Library 49 Henry St, Saratoga Springs (518) 584-7860 Saratoga Regional YMCA 290 West Ave, Saratoga Springs (518) 583-9622 Saratoga Independent School 459 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs (518) 583-0841 The Wonder Room 896 Saratoga Road, Ballston Lake (518) 602-0237 Tiny Tots Tea Room 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park NY (518) 348-1050

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Time saving solution: eals in One! Kid-Friendly Cooking with Jodie Fitz

Three M

Here are three ways that we have incorporated boneless, skinless chicken into our meal planning along with tips on freezing and using it at different times.

Start with approximately six pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Slice the chicken in half lengthwise. Pound the chicken. Season the pieces with salt and pepper and either grill it or broil it until it is fully cooked. I then divide it into three equal portions and here is what happens next;

As a busy working mama of three, I’m always looking to simplify the dinner process. One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years is to triple the meat production. What does that mean? It means that if I’m at the stove, grill or oven, it doesn’t really take me more time to triplicate the process and then eliminate one of the longest parts of the dinner prep, which is waiting for the meat to cook properly on busy evenings. I know that sounds silly, but with lacrosse, indoor track, dance, piano and clubs, time is of the essence and I’ve had to throw some of my best laid meal plans out the window and trade them for something we can make in 20 minutes and eat on the run.

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Homemade Chicken Pesto • 2 lb. chicken, cooked • 1 lb. bowtie pasta • 6 oz. pesto, pre-made or store bought • ¼ cup light olive oil • 1 pint grape tomatoes • 16 oz. mozzarella, part-skim Using approximately two pounds of the cooked chicken, cut it into cubes and set it aside. Boil the pasta as directed on the box and drain the water once it is finished cooking.

Rinse and cut the grape tomatoes in half; set them aside. Cut the mozzarella into small cubes.

Toss the pasta, olive oil, pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella together with the chicken until the pesto is evenly distributed, and serve.

Freeze it up: If you want to save this meal for future use, simply cube and freeze the meat. Thaw it and heat it up before adding it to the pesto.

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• 2 lb. chicken, cooked • 4 – 5 bell peppers, assorted colors • 1 sweet onion, small • ¼ cup canola oil • 8 oz. shredded jalapeno cheese • ½ teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon onion powder • ½ teaspoon cumin • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper • tortilla wraps/shells • diced tomatoes & lettuce

Chicken Fajitas / Tacos Using approximately two pounds of the cooked chicken, cut it into strips and set it aside. Mix the salt, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder and white pepper together. Toss the spices with the cut stripped chicken. Heat the meat. Rinse the peppers, remove the seeds and cut them into long strips. Remove the outer layer of the onion and cut it into long strips as well.

Sautee the peppers and onions in the canola oil until they are crisp. Serve the fajitas with a layer of chicken, sautéed peppers, diced tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. You can also serve it with non-fat sour cream and taco sauce, but they are optional.

Freeze it up: If you want to save this meal for future use, simply prepare the meat, peppers and onions. Freeze them together and when you are ready to serve, thaw, warm and add in fresh cheese and tortilla wraps.

Salad Bar Night The final two pounds of chicken can be frozen or used in the same week and turned into a delicious salad creation. We use many combinations, but I thought I’d share a dressing created from Saratoga Olive Oil’s own Cara-Cara Orange Balsamic Vinegar. When we serve salads, we often create a salad bar. I have found that it’s easier to store the ingredients later. This specific salad has included spring greens, walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, fresh clementine orange pieces or mandarin oranges depending on the season. I serve this mix with a simple Cara-Cara Orange Salad Dressing.

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Cara-Cara Orange Salad Dressing 1/4 cup Cara-Cara Orange Vinegar 3 tablespoons water 1 small clove fresh garlic (use a garlic press to add it to the mix) 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 1/2 cup olive oil

Simply add everything together and shake if you have a salad dressing shaker or whisk it together before using a ladle to add it to the top of your salad. Freeze it up: If you want to save this meal for future use, simply freeze the meat. Thaw it and heat it up before serving with your salad.

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Matilda & Hans by Yokococo, $16.99 A funny book with a surprising twist!

Matilda is a perfectly good child. Hans is a total

terror. These two couldn’t be more different. When Hans

releases all the animals from the zoo, Matilda does what

any good citizen would and turns him in. How did Matilda know who did this deed? When Hans pulls off his mask, all will be revealed! Delightful fun from beginning to

surprising end, kids will be clamoring for you to “read it again!” ~ Marika McCoola

Lower Elementary

Kelsey Green Reading Queen (Franklin School Friends # 1) by Claudia Mills, $15.99 When Franklin School Principal Boone challenges his

students to read 2000 books in one month, champion reader, 3rd grader Kelsey Green, is determined to lead her class

and schoolmates in achieving this goal - and to watch their

principal keep his promise to shave his famous beard. ~ Gail King

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Don’t Pigeonhole Me! by Mo Willems, $40.00 An adult look at the origins of Mo Willems’ picture books.

You’ve read the pigeon books too many times to count and you know what

a Knuffle Bunny is, but how much do you know about the man who wrote

these children’s books? Look inside Mo Willems’ sketchbooks and learn how

these popular titles came to be. ~ Marika McCoola


Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley, $9.99 In a small rural town, senior Cullen Winters weathers tragedy after tragedy while sardonically observing

life lessons in this award-winning book. His tale is literary and entertaining. ~ Bonnie Naumann

TOP PICKS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, $17.99 Acclaimed writer Kate DiCamillo manages to show the value

inherent in all people, and all genres of literature, with one quirky book. In this great read aloud, a run-in with a vacuum cleaner

grants Ulysses the squirrel the powers of super-strength, flight,

and poetry. Flora witnesses Ulysses’ transformation and vows to help him fight evil, using knowledge acquired from her favorite comics. Every superhero has an arch-nemesis, and Ulysses’

is Flora’s mother. Add a host of quirky characters, the neverending search for love, and illustrations by K.G. Campbell and you’ve got a surprising, romping


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adventure certain to wow readers of all ages. ~ Marika McCoola

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Askr. Drum D

Dr. Philip Drum has practiced as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist for over 30 years. He is affiliated with Saratoga Psychological Associates, and has offices in Latham and Saratoga Springs.

Question 1 I love that my husband is so involved in my son’s schoolwork, but I disagree with his tough-love style. In my opinion he pushes my son too far and expects too much from him. I’m so worried he’s crushing his spirit! Please help me make it through this school year! Very often, when I meet with couples in the course of marital therapy, I notice that, though they are having conflicts that seem difficult to reconcile, they actually agree on most of the important aspects of the issue. The solution to many parenting problems requires a blend of what can appear to be contrary approaches. Many 56 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2013

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parenting dilemmas require strategies that somehow combine both a clear setting of limits - i.e., “tough-love” - and a more supportive and nurturing approach. One way to think about the issue of your son’s schoolwork is that you and your husband are both right - your son

needs both the clear boundaries and expectations that your husband advocates, and the more nurturing approach you feel is needed. The tricky part, of course, is getting the right blend of both - that will be helped if you and your husband can agree to approach the discussion, not as opposing parties, but as members of the same team, both of whom are needed for your son to have the best possible outcome. Agree to have a discussion where you both take turns saying your piece while the other listens. Then try to find common ground in what you agree on, and middle ground where you disagree. Maintain regular communication to try to keep the tough-love and nurturance you provide your son in balance. It may sound tricky - because it is - but it does not have to be a perfect balance, just one that reflects mutual respect and love for each other and your son.

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a church or volunteer agency where you share interests and values with others. Another thing to consider is that, perhaps there are things you are doing in your friendships that are distancing, or creating difficulties in connecting with others.

Question 2 I’m having trouble making and keeping friends. For some reason people seem to come in and out of my life and I’m not sure why. Am I doing something wrong? It is hard to say, based on the

question, what you may be doing wrong, if anything. You may need to get feedback from someone you trust, or perhaps address the issue with a psychotherapist in order to get a more objective perspective. There are any number of potential reasons for your difficulty making enduring friendships, and it may be helpful to identify some things you could try to change. These might include changes in the people you choose for friendship - you may be choosing people, for whatever reasons, who themselves have difficulty maintaining stable relationships. It may also help to change the settings in which you make friends - just by way of example, more enduring friendships can be made in a setting such as

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In any case, don’t be too hard on yourself, but instead be open to finding new ways of making connections and building possible friendships.

Question 3 I recently had a baby and I’m feeling a little out of sorts. I couldn’t be happier with my new bundle of joy, but my life is anything but joyous. I cry at the drop of a hat, and often feel overwhelmed. Other mothers make it look so easy, so why am I struggling?

the depression even worse is the guilt often felt by mothers who feel somehow that they are not enjoying, or connecting with their baby as they should. Keep in mind that depression, whatever the cause, is not something to blame yourself for, though it is something that can and should be treated. I would also add, particularly if you are a first-time mother, that parenting is not easy, especially in the early months of little sleep, much work, and a sometimes steep learning curve. It may look like other mothers are having a grand time, but middle-of-the-night feedings and such are hard for all parents, including the mothers who seem to have it all together. Parenting is wonderful, and it is difficult - make sure you get support, including treatment if needed, to help you both enjoy and endure!

You sound like you could be having some postpartum depression, which is something experienced to some degree by many mothers of young infants. To determine if this is the case, consult with a clinician, perhaps your Primary Care or Ob-Gyn practitioner, to evaluate if medication and/ or psychotherapy may be indicated. Postpartum depression is often caused in part by the hormonal changes that follow childbirth. What can make SaratogaMama | Fall 2013 | 57

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Asktriation a i d e P

Dr. Justa, Kimberly Montelone, and Dr. Kim all specialize in Family Medicine at Clifton Park Family Medicine, 1735 Route 9, Clifton Park. L-R Shelley Justa, M.D., Kim Montelone, FNP and Regina Kim, M.D.

Question 1 I have a suspicion that my child is allergic or sensitive to food dye. Every time he eats something containing food coloring he gets really hyper, his mood changes, it affects his sleep, and has other adverse reactions. Is there any way to test for food dye allergies? Is this common among kids? The influence of diet on attention, hyperactivity, and behavior is controversial. Food additives were first suggested as a possible cause of hyperactive behavior in the 1970s, but studies that followed, where food

additives were restricted in children’s diets then added back, showed only a very small effect on parent reported symptoms of hyperactivity and that the same symptoms were not seen by teachers. In March 2011, the Food Advisory Committee of the United States Food and Drug Administration determined that “existing data does not support a causal link between consumption of color additives and hyperactivity or other problematic behaviors in children.” Therefore, we generally do not recommend elimination diets except in rare instances. That being said, if a clear link between behavior and a food additive seems apparent; as in your case, a short trial of eliminating the offending substance under medical supervision; or a nutrition consult may be warranted. A scant few food additives have been shown to cause allergic or anaphylactic symptoms such as hives, flushing, shortness of breath

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and wheezing in a small number of people, mainly people with asthma. These additives include sulfites, sodium benzoate, some plant based additives, and some mint flavorings, with several case reports to suggest others. Allergic reactions to specific foods, such as tree nuts or shellfish are much more common than reactions to food additives. Testing for food or food additive allergies consists of skin prick testing or challenging the individual with a dose of the substance in question. Both must be done under the strict supervision of an allergist. Answered By Shelley Justa, M.D., Clifton Park Family Medicine

Question 2 My 19th month old is not really talking a lot. He communicates non-verbally, but just doesn’t use a lot of words yet. Should I be concerned? Typical language development for a child of 18 months includes a vocabulary of roughly 12 words that are easily understood, the child should be able to follow simple

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commands (“get your shoes”) and answer simple questions (“where is the doggy?”), and point at something when it is named (in a book – points to the ball when asked). That being said, children develop at different paces. Some children take longer to develop their speech skills when they are not finding they need them. If someone gets them something when they point or if an older sibling is speaking for them, they are not frustrated enough to work on being able to pronounce a word. One way to work on this is by talking through your day together; “Mommy is getting the plates for lunch”, or “would you like a banana (while pointing to the banana)?” Also encourage any attempts they make at trying to vocalize. However, if you have concerns it would be worthwhile to have your child assessed. There has been plenty of research to support the theory that the earlier a child can have intervention services, the better chance they have of improving so that it is less of a problem later in life. Having your child’s hearing assessed would be a good idea, as well as discussing your concerns with your pediatrician. Most school districts have free speech assessment

programs. In Saratoga Springs School District a parent, medical caregiver, or community agency can refer a child. The starting age in Saratoga is three years old but they will often at least do an assessment if there are specific concerns and if the pediatrician refers. Answered By Kim Montelone, NP, Clifton Park Family Medicine

Question 3 Our summer schedule was insane! A lot of skipped naps, late nights, and lack of schedule. Now that school is right around the corner, I need some help trying to get my kids back on track. About how much sleep does the average elementary aged child need and what are some ways to ensure a successful transition back to our school routine? Summers are always a challenging time to keep kids on a schedule due to the exciting activities and opportunities that arise during those special summer months. However, a stable number of sleep hours per night is still vital for the optimal brain development of an elementary-school aged child, which can vary by age and activity. The pre-k to kindergartener will typically need 10-12 hours of sleep per night, which may or may not include nap hours. For the first through sixth grader, 9-11 hours of

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sleep are recommended, which varies from child to child. One way to transition your child back to earlier bedtimes prior to the start of school is to monitor how many hours of sleep your child needs. Begin by allowing your child to wake up on his/ her own, without being wakened by a parent or alarm clock. Then for about one to two weeks before school starts, start the bedtime routine a half hour earlier each evening until your child self-awakens at the appropriate morning hour to be prepared to catch the school bus. Other tips for transitioning are: using room-darkening shades to block out the late evening summer sun, as well as using white noise, such as an air purifier/humidifier, to optimize sleep quality. Good luck transitioning and enjoy the rest of these lazy summer days! Answered by Dr. Regina Y. Kim, MD, Clifton Park Family Medicine

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in love with these back to school crafts! Join us for...


By Colleen Pierre & Jennifer Bloomingdale Photos by

We chose two terrific back-to school crafts tha- t are both sim le ye t functional. Oup r Ti n C Art Caddy keeps th an supplies neat and ose art our Easy Artwork Dtidy and is the perfect wayisplay showcase each to masterpiece.

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Materials Needed:

Project 1:

• 5 empty cans, rinsed out with the labels off • A round tray (preferably with handles) •Scrapbook paper

Tin Can Art Caddy

Organized art supplies cuts down on clutter and makes it easier for your pint-sized Picasso

•Ruler •Scissors •Mod Podge & paintbrush to apply •Magnets •Super Glue

to create her next masterpiece. This Tin Can Art Caddy is a perfect solution for those runaway pencils, crayons, markers and paint brushes. Start collecting empty cans now! You’ll need five clean cans for this project. I chose to use three different sized cans, but you can use whatever you have. For the round tray, I got lucky and found these metal trays on sale at Michael’s in Clifton Park, but any round tray will work. A tray with handles is ideal.

Step 1: Measure the side of the can in between the top and bottom rim.

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Step 2:Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to exaclty the

height of the can, allowing enough length to create a small seam for the paper to overlap slightly.

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Step 3: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the inside of

the scrapbook paper and then wrap it snuggly around the can smoothing it out as you go.

Step 4: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge on the outside of the can over the scrapbook paper. This will help seal the paper to the can and also gives it a nice polished finish.

Step 5: Using Super Glue, carefully glue magnets to the bottom

of the tray. If you have enough magnets, a cluster of three works very well and will keep the cans in place.


There’s a lot o f different formulas of M o on the market. d Podge the standard We used project. Youg’llloss for this using it again also be second Craft in our ernoon project!

Step 5: Fill the cans with art supplies and

place on the tray for storage. The magnets will hold the cans secure and make it easy to carry your tray to another location without a colorful mess on the floor!

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Frame it! Easy Artwork Display

Project 2:

Who doesn’t want to showcase their child’s latest creation on display for all to see? You can do so but still keep it classy with our Easy Artwork Display!

Materials Needed: • An 11x14” picture frame • Wrapping or scrapbook paper • Scissors • Mod Podge & paintbrush to apply • A round magnet • Super Glue • A metal clip

Involve the kids!

Step 1: Select your paper!

We used standard wrapping paper for one of the frames and then went to PaperDolls of Saratoga and chose some of their gorgeous paper which is a much thicker paper stock and a little easier to work with.

You can ha ve help pick ou the kids t the paper. Older kids c an help measure, cu t and glue.

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Step 2: Disassemble the frame and use

scissors to cut around the mat or glass of your frame.

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Step 3: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge and glue the

paper to the glass. Spray adhesive would also work well. Smooth it out to avoid any bubbles or creases.


Step 4: Put the frame back together with the paper side out.

Using Super Glue, glue a small round magnet to the top middle of the frame.

You anotherctahn apply Mod Podgin layer of front of th e on the you prefee paper if ra shiny finishmore .

Step 5: Place the metal clip on the magnet and voila!

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Up andTimeat ‘em: for School! By Kate Towne Sherwin

It’s no exaggeration to say a peaceful, efficient get-readyfor-school morning starts with me getting out of bed at the right time. I read somewhere once that getting out of bed each morning is an act of heroism—I think of that every single school morning. This is what our morning should look like:

6:15 a.m. I get up, take a shower, get dressed. 6:55 a.m. I go downstairs to fix sippy cups for the little boys and start making breakfast for the big boys. 7:00 a.m. I bring the baby downstairs for a few-minute Mom-and-baby snuggle while I catch a few minutes of the news and the weather.

7:10 a.m. My husband sends the schoolboys down; they watch PBS for five minutes (it’s amazing how much more cheerful everyone is if they can just have this five minutes cozy on the couch before eating breakfast).

7:15 a.m. The boys eat breakfast while I lay out their clothes and make their lunches. 7:25 a.m. The boys get themselves dressed while I put their lunches in their backpacks and make sure their homework and any other necessaries are in there. 7:35 a.m. I make sure everyone has teeth brushed, hands and face washed, hair combed, collars folded, shoes tied. 7:45 a.m. The boys get their coats and backpacks on, and say goodbye to their dad and brothers.

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7:47 a.m. The schoolboys and I leave for school (my husband watches the two little boys while he gets ready for work). 7:55 a.m. The boys have been delivered to school, and I want to collapse on the couch—but there’s breakfast to make for the little boys and me, and coffee! If it’s a nursery-school day, then we have to hurry to be finished eating, and I have to get the little boys ready to drop off the three-year-old at 9:00. If, however, I don’t get up on time—maybe I forgot to set the alarm, or I hit snooze too many times without realizing it—then our day looks like this:

Late o’clock a.m. I fly out of bed in a panic when I realize the time. There’s no time for a shower, maybe even no time to make lunches (thank goodness for Hot Lunch!). I poke impatiently at the boys until they get out of bed, and they stumble downstairs cranky and annoyed. There’s no time for PBS, but lots of time for complaining: I’m cold! I’m tired! I don’t like this breakfast! He’s looking at me! You didn’t sign my homework! There’s non-stop agitation among all of us until I finally drop the boys off at school. On those days, collars might get overlooked, permission slips forgotten to be signed, and even the baby might get his couple minutes of snuggle time short changed. So the secret to a successful school morning, at least in this house? Get Mom up on time, and all else will go smoothly. SaratogaMama  |  Fall 2013  |  65

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BACK TO SCHOOL Crossword Puzzle

Across 1. Person who helps your learn at school. 3. You use this to write on paper. 5. You use this to color. 7. You ride this to school with other kids. 8. You carry things back and forth from school in this. 9. Work you do at home after school.

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Down 2. Usually before or after lunch you get to play with your friends. 4. You will find a lot of books here and you can borrow them. 6. Subject where you learn to add and subtract.

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8/12/13 8:51 AM

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