Page 1

A Saratoga TODAY Publication




Fall 2015




Guide lO things to do

For Moms + Kids

under $10



Winnin A






Back to School 2015

2 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015


Fall / Back to School



Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre General Manager Robin Mitchell

As sad as I am to see the summer coming to a close, I love the fresh start that September brings. I enjoy the first stroke of a new marker, a glossy folder eager to be filled, freshly sharpened pencils awaiting assignment, and backpacks that are ready for takeoff. I love seeing my social media news feeds full of pictureperfect “first day” outfits and nervous smiles by the front door. Back to school can conjure up just about every emotion under the sun from excitement and hopefulness, to anxiety and trepidation. Whether you are sending your little buddy to preschool for the first time or are no longer allowed to take photos of your too-cool tween at the bus stop, I hope your fall is full of fresh starts.

- Jodie Fitz offers three favorite recipes for fall on page 55 - Don’t miss our ever-popular ‘Dress for Less’ on page 46 and our mom fashion spread on page 50 - Our guide to fall has all the spots for pick-yourown apples, pumpkins and more! Page 58 - Need some easy things to do in Saratoga without breaking the bank? We offer 10 ideas all under $10 on page 21 - At the back of this issue is a special back to school horoscope by Jane Fairchild on page 60 and don’t miss our kids games and coloring contest on page 67

I hope you and your family enjoy all that fall has to offer.

- How is your central command center? Functioning great or nonexistent? Jenna Burger offers some tips and suggestions on creating a perfect go-to spot for all your stuff on page 42

Our Cover


The newly renovated Malta Ave Elementary School in Ballston Spa was the ideal setting for our fall / back to school magazine cover. Our three models, Ava, Hayden, and Griffin perfectly posed for our photographer Keira Lemonis. 4 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Managing Editor Jan Snedaker Creative Director Alyssa Jackson Advertising Chris Bushee Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic Design Alyssa Jackson Shawn Lockwood Morgan Rook 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 40 46

Wish List Northshire's Books & Activities Back to School Style: Look For Less

Find 20 38 50


Take Back September 10 Back to School Tips for Parents Fall Fashion Essentials


Learn 31 42 55

Healthy Meal Planning on a Budget Creating a Central Command Center Creative Cuisine for Back to School


Play 21 58 67

10 Things to Do under $10 Family Fun in the Fall Coloring Contest

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Our Contributors... Lauren Agius

Lauren Agius graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 where she studied Anthropology and Sociology. Raised in Saratoga Springs, she and her family owned and operated Brown’s Beach on Saratoga Lake from 1993 until 2004. She has returned to the shores of Saratoga Lake to raise her son Jack who will turn four this October. Since she was a child, Lauren has been an avid writer of poetry, short stories, essays and songs. Lauren can be reached via email at

Chris Leuzinger

Chris Leuzinger has been an Elementary School Teacher for 11 years. The last three years were spent as an administrator where he was in charge of teacher development, raising standards in the classroom, and curriculum development. He has been an educational consultant for schools in Norway, Spain, and Trinidad and Tobago, and he has taught in both private and public schools all around the world. He is the owner of Nourishing Minds Tutoring Saratoga and has a wonderful wife and a 15 month old son that keeps him very busy. To see how Chris can help your child visit or 518-415-2423. 8 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Jenna Burger

Jenna Burger is a local Interior Designer, Bloggers, Bargain Hunter, and avid DIYer who strives to inspire and empower others with her high-end 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

Robin Morgan

An avid reader and technology enthusiast. Robin is an entrepreneur with nearly 20 years’ experience in communications and marketing. After being diagnosed with Celiac in 2003, she began her journey to became a certified Holistic Health Coach and now dedicates her life to helping others reach their potential through gluten free and all natural food choices.

Kristen Corbisiero

Kristen Corbisiero is a Freelance Editor, writer, and project manager. This Mama plans her meals, shops sales and fliers, uses coupons, buys local and organic, and feeds her family of four (soon to be five in November) for $150 or less per week. She is available for per-hour, contract, or long-term commitment projects, and can be reached at: Kristen.Corbisiero@gmail. com or 518-635-0375. Learn more about Kristen on her LinkedIn page at:

Theresa St.John

Theresa is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Saratoga Springs, New York. Even though history was not on her radar while in high school, she has a deep interest in all things historical now. She has been on assignment for several magazines and is published in both print and on-line venues. Last year she traveled to Ireland on assignment, which, she states " was a trip of a lifetime." She is the proud mom to two young men and Nonnie to 6 rescued dogs, 2 Chinchillas and a bird. Life is good, she says.

Christina Dombkiewicz

A black belt and Connecticut native, Christina Dombkiewicz began martial arts in 1997 and has extensive mixed martial arts (MMA) and weaponry training. She has seen it help transform timid youngsters into powerhouses, out of shape adults into athletes, and ADHD/ADD individuals into focused and disciplined students. Christina has taught MMA to a wide variety of ages and abilities. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Southern Connecticut State University.

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

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

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.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 9

Fall Wish List

{ } 1

I wish there was a place to take the kids where they can play AND eat with a menu that suits both my diet and my child’s picky palate.

We found it at Saratoga’s Kids Castle, the areas newest indoor play cafe located in Congress Plaza in Saratoga. Kids can explore and live out their fantasies in a play castle or pirate ship, create something to take home at a craft table, and choose delicious and healthy food from a fantastic food menu. Mom can relax with a latte, order a salad or savor a hearty meal and for once not have to worry about the kids playing in the restaurant! Saratoga’s Kids Castle also offers birthday parties as well as monthly events and activities. Visit for more info.

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{ } 2

I wish there was an easier way to pack a portion-controlled kids lunch without using tons of plastic bags or loose containers.

We found it with the Yumbox bento-style lunch box. This totally leak-proof lunch system comes with either 4 or 6 compartments and is available in a wide variety of colors. Yumbox eliminates the need for baggies, multiple containers or snack packs and is totally food-safe, BPA-free and phthalates-free. Order online at

{ } 3

I wish there was a one-stop-shop for information on having and caring for a baby.

We’ll find it at the Petite Retreat on November 15th. The Petite Retreat offers an intimate opportunity to interact with national and local baby experts. Attendees can brush up on health tips, attend workshops, speak with birth experts, participate in demo classes, enjoy a cravings bar, learn about modern baby products and go home with some valuable swag. We loved attending this event last year and will be there again this year. Tickets are on sale now at

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 11

{ } 4

I wish I could find a workout that will challenge me physically but also a place where I can feel comfortable and not intimidated.

I found it at Crossfit Soulshine, the newest Crossfit gym in the Saratoga area. I’ve been a member of Crossfit Soulshine since they opened in October 2014. I was nervous to try Crossfit and I wasn’t sure it was going to be my kind of place or my kind of workout. What I discovered was a community of supportive and encouraging people of all shapes, sizes and abilities who are all on a path to get stronger, faster, leaner, and healthier. I adore the coaches and people at Crossfit Soulshine and feel like I found my niche. I’m probably in the best shape of my life and feel great being able to model a healthy lifestyle to my children. Crossfit workouts are very difficult, but there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Check out and schedule your free trial class.

{ } 5

I wish I could find a way to keep my whole family's schedule, invitations to events, coupons, and any other important memos, notes or ideas in one portable spot.

We found it with 'do it all' daily planners by Plum Paper and Erin Condren. These are both pretty amazing planners that make scheduling your life a little more enjoyable. With customizable options to fit your needs, pretty covers and colors to choose from, pockets to keep invitations or coupons and room for notes and lists, these planners are sure to make you want to keep track of every day. Stay tuned to for a side by side comparison of each one so you can decide if you are a Plum girl or a Condren girl on the go!

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{ } 6

I wish there was a local store where I could find unique and thoughtful gifts for friends and family.

We found the place! The Vischer Ferry General Store, set to open this fall, is owned and operated by two local mamas. The store will offer customers unique finds including jewelry from Alex Monroe, bath and body products from The Library of Flowers, and an assortment of baby treasures and children's gifts. You are sure to find something for that special someone as well as a little trinket for yourself as well.

{ } 7

I wish I could find a makeup that would help me transition from my warm summer glow to a fresh fall flush.

We found it with Holistic Science Company's Rose Flower Crimson Rouge for Cheeks and Lips. This all-natural lip and cheek stain is made with shea butter, rose wax, and botanical oils. It provide the perfect 'I have just been jumping in the leaves with my kids' natural flush and beautiful red tint to the lips that moisturizes and protects while giving you an undeniable healthy, radiant glow perfect for the fall.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 13

{ } 8

I wish I could find comfortable bottoms that I could lounge around in but also run last-minute errands, including picking up my child at school.

We found it with Punjammies by Sudara. Inspired by the beauty, textures and colors found in India and crafted by the brave women in the community that escaped the horrors of slavery and sex trafficking, which sadly is still very prevalent in India. Wearing a beautiful, comfortable pair of Punjammies not only looks great it is also supporting a great cause. Find out more at and order your first or fourth pair of Punjammies!

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{ } 9

I wish I could find a family-friendly 5K race this fall.

We love the Malta Business and Professional Association 5K. This annual road race is familyfriendly with a great course through the Luther Forest Technology Campus and Saratoga Technology and Energy Park. This year, all finishers 12 and under will receive a free Treepaad Fort Ballocity pass and a finisher medal. Run with us on Saturday, September 12th! Register online at

{ } 10

I wish I could find a skin care product that would help moisturize and calm my skin after spending so many fun filled days in the sun.

We found it with Palmetto Derma Intensive Hydration and Firming Serum. A lightweight formula containing hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E and works magic as it calms the skin, brightens and freshens your complexion while firming and hydrating your skin. This formula is also vegan, noncomedogenic, paraben, sulfate, and alcohol free!

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g n i n r u t e R n Agius e r u a L y b y a s s e An

st significant year of ite possibly been the mo qu s ha It er. ev n tha ar ye this mother. I am ed memories for me more d more poignantly, of my an ys da “Back to School” has evok l oo sch of ns tio hes - recollec memories as fall approac enter this new phase of enged and inspired as I my life. I am flooded with all ch am d an r, the mo d dedicate d encouragement of my reminded of the love an onship with the world. l for him, but most my son’s life and our relati Not exactly back to schoo a. og rat Sa in s nt’ me Cle at St. sister. Fifteen ll begin Pre-Kindergarten th my older brother and wi ng alo This fall, my son Jack, wi de gra th six gh rgarten throu d St. Clement’s from Kinde that I had chosen the k. If I needed validation definitely for me. I attende Jac l rol en to er mm su s ed thi attended the ough those doors, I return woman whose children I a by d ce years since I had been thr bra em y tel dia ing, I was imme , after entering the build right school, it came when l now. involved with the schoo man school with, and who is all those years ago, the wo as e sam the s wa e) lan lk down memory hello, our necessary me a tour (mostly for a wa every turn and with each at The secretary who gave d an lls ha the d lke many). I wa uld be my dy notes (and there were the day I toured what wo y idl viv who collected all my tar ing all rec m oo kindergarten classr and tells me that ed. I stood in my former gh as she takes my hand lau homecoming was affirm r he see I r. the mo bye to my waving the children, waving good d felt like that little girl an e, nc se class, and sat down with pre r’s the mo ool, I sensed my Every moment in that sch I wasn’t starting that day. ry idea goodbye to her. e we could process the ve for Be er. nc ca lon co th wi re six week battle lity comes in waves, bruary 7, 2015 after a me . The sadness of that rea old My mother passed on Fe ars ye 59 ly on s wa e l world. Sh s gone from the physica that she was sick, she wa ers of her absence. d and often rude remind r. We spent so deepening with unexpecte l connection to my mothe rfu we po a t fel I d an , pty r. It was em ssed in her ment’s gym after my tou ren as school let out, dre ild ch r he for I stood alone in the St. Cle g itin wa standing at the doors e was always so together. I could see her m roo t tha in ars fashionable Ray Bans. Sh ye er ny ev r ma he d an s ort sh i ak -length kh ther or eveless blue t-shirt, knee beautiful feeling, for mo re mo a re the standard spring outfit - sle Is s. arm r lk into he ing there smiling as I wa as that memory beautiful. I see her stand e together again? I ache u’r yo en wh ce bra em y -da more, I child, than that end-of-the gs shared with her. Even hu re mo no be ll wi re reminds me the able to be the out whether I will be avail ab ty xie an of e ns se a l fee . double doors for my child mother waiting at those able balance, for a seemingly unattain ive str I t, ren pa gle sin a As ed with hands-on mother. I am fac the d an er nn wi ad bre where I am the ch path has its choose one direction. Ea to ve ha ll wi I t tha lity the rea re waiting opportunity to stand the the e los I r, ree ca se oo sacrifices. If I ch d hopefully well I choose the part-time an If y. da his of d en the at for Jack and pick am able to drop Jack off I n the by, us t ge t jus ll paying job that wi most warm and t breaks my heart in the tha ion vis a l oo sch m Jack him up fro

and his Grandm a Suzu

welcoming way.

16 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

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“I have no idea where your life w you do does ill lead you. not concern What me. Who yo to become u will continu is the only e challenge of Don’t forge y o u r c hanging life… t to always reach out t are not as f o help others ortunate as who y o u – it goodness ba will always ck to you.” bring - Susan Be rnhardt 06.2 4.06

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Help us Select the 2016 Winners!

The past two years, we've awarded some awesome local businesses with our Kid Picks stamp of approval! You gave us your opinion on the best options for families in Saratoga County including childcare, preschools, restaurants, shops, attractions and more! We’re getting ready to announce the voting for the 2016 Kid Picks and we’ll be asking for your help again.

The 2016 Kid Picks winners will be announced in the December SaratogaMama magazine. Stay tuned for voting information!

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10 Things to Do under $10 in Saratoga

Photos and Story by Theresa St.John


Who do esn' to do wit t s h the fam omething emptyin ily witho g the ba nk accou ut nts at the same time? Saratoga is to do wit chock - full of th ings h the kid s or even by yours , as a couple, elf. A lot can take of them up a mo r n in g or an afternoo n, all for und


Spending time in Congress Park:

Lovingly carved in 1910 by world-renowned Marcus Charles Illions, these 28 horses made their way to Congress Park in 1987 from nearby Saratoga Lake. Since then, the wood carousel, with the intricate details of each horse's head and genuine horsehair tails, brings delight to children and adults alike. Believe me, it will be your best $1 spent, taking a ride on the historic carousel. This year, the much-loved attraction is open through Halloween. So, if you happen to be in the area, don't miss the chance to make some memories with the family.

er 10 buc



Sunnyside Gardens

Opening in 1982 and still maintained by family, this is a delightful place to come spend some free time with the kids. The gardens support 'grow local, buy local' beliefs and Sunnyside created the area's first pumpkin patch in 1988. It draws hundreds, if not thousands to the area during peak seasons. Come spend some time picking out flowers, plants, pumpkins and your perfect Christmas tree, right here at Sunnyside.


Saratoga's Walking Tours

It's Saratoga's centennial year. Celebrate the city by taking a walking tour through notable areas that helped shape her history. The East Side high-lights spectacular architectural styles of the past. The West Side has a story of it's own; it's the first residential area in the Spa City. North Broadway showcases Gideon Putnam's dream of expanding the flourishing area of the 1800's. Mineral Waters gives a glimpse into the healing waters Native Americans were privy to. Guided tours run through the end of August for $5. Or, just grab a free self-guide map at the Visitor Center. 22 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015


Grant Cottage

Not many people know that our 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant, spent his last days here on the picturesque slopes of Mount McGregor. For $5, you can walk through the rooms where he worked on his memoires. Passing away from throat cancer in July of 1885, the rooms are set essentially the same as he left them. The clock on the mantel was stopped the moment of his death. You can also make your way over to the Eastern Outlook, where Grant often sat in his wheelchair, surveying the majestic views of The Hudson Valley.

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New York State Military Museum & Veteran's Research

It's a wonderful place to come, by yourself or with family. You can go during the day, wandering through rooms marked with timelines that follow the shaping of America. There's no admission fee and you're allowed to take pictures. Oftentimes, I learn something new when I visit. The museum has just added an entire section covering the Vietnam War. It's very moving. You'll see families walking through the exhibits when you visit. I'm grateful that generations are learning about our rich history in such a comprehensive, visual way.


National Museum of Dance

Established in 1986, the museum is the only one in the country that's dedicated entirely to the love and history of dance. Exhibits change throughout the year, so it is worth more than the $6 to come for a visit any time you are in town. The museum also includes a school of art and often supports the community with cultural events and performances. It resides in the original Washington Bathhouse, allowing visitors a view of this permanent display, as well.

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Canfield Museum

Built as a gambling casino by John Morrissey in the late 1880's, the Canfield Museum is one of Saratoga's most iconic landmarks. Displays change all the time and help tell the history of Saratoga's colorful past. Presently, there is a display on the city's darker side, with prostitution, mobsters and prohibition's rum running high-lighted in one of the main rooms. Rumored to be haunted, the $5 you pay to get in may see you finding a ghost of your own.

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Saratoga Automobile Museum

The exhibits change all the time. There are three amazing galleries at the museum. For $5, you can view exotic cars, race cars and even some owned by famous people, while walking through this maze of thirty or so vehicles. There's a great hands-on area for kids and the staff's informative talks covering how automobiles from the past, present and even the future impact us, is pretty interesting. Occasionally, there are car shows outside on the lawns, where more automobiles on display allow collectors and admirers of beautiful things to 'ooooh' and 'aaaahhhhhh' over.


Saratoga Apple

It's not just about apple picking here at Saratoga Apple. You can spend a lazy weekend afternoon listening to bluegrass/ reggae music. For $6 you can take a tractor ride all along the property, looking out over our scenic Hudson Valley, while munching your way through your bag of apples. You'll learn about this orchard and the variety of fruit they grow here. Cider doughnuts and fresh garden vegetables wait for you back in the main building. A great way to spend time with the family.

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Saratoga Battlefield

I had no idea that so many battles for America's freedom happened in and around Saratoga. This historic park is dotted with heavy artillery and placards throughout the landscape, explaining the Battle Of Saratoga to visitors. The park has 10 miles of well-kept roads you can drive, bike or walk along, while learning about The American Revolution. The natural landscape and views over the Hudson River are stunning and well worth the $5 that gives you access to this piece of American history.

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Take Back

SEPTEMBER By Robin Morgan

That perennial Staples' commercial really captures a moment that parents may be feeling right about now, that back to school truly is the "most wonderful time of the year”. A time for some of us to get back on track, create new schedules and take a cue to shift a little focus back onto ourselves. During the summer, we are reminded of just how difficult it can be to balance family and work. September offers us that welcomed moment of relief and perhaps a little less guilt for focusing on work again. It's time to take a breath, know that you did your best to give your family those moments in the sun, and now you can dive back into your work routine between the waves and hugs at the bus stop. If your home is your office, or you are a stay-athome parent, this time of year gives you a big breather and a chance to get back into a routine with the kiddos at home and the ones who are off to school. With this in mind, I have a few ideas about making September a time for YOU by creating some new habits.

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Plum We lovelanners Paper p Erin or the Life n Condre er! Plann


Go back to school shopping for yourself. I always loved shopping for school supplies as a kid and still love the potential of a clean notebook, new pen and new planner. The good news is that many date books follow school schedules, so it is the PERFECT time to get yourself organized with a shiny new (and pretty) planner to inspire you to make room for all of your good habits and self-care.


Take a breath. Many of us try to cram everything into summer vacation. The truth of the matter is that it’s only two full months here in NY and that’s not a ton of time for travel, family visits, day trips and play dates. You’ve been busy. Take the first day of school off for yourself - and don’t clean the house YET! I suggest a Netflix marathon or at-home mani/ pedi for you on their first day back. You deserve this and you need the relaxation. Mark one day each month into your pretty new planner just for doing nothing.


Clean out the pantry and fridge. You may have stocked up on school lunch supplies, but what are you going to eat? Toss old and expired food and take a trip to the market (without the kids if possible) and purchase pantry essentials that will ensure you have a great lunch for yourself too. Remember the meal plans you used to do? Bring those back into action and you’ll be more efficient at shopping and avoiding the last minute lunch or dinner drive through.

Look fo rt on heal ips meal pl thy ann on page ing 31!


Set some goals for yourself. Your kids will be learning what their expectations are for the school year, so take a moment and plan what you would like to accomplish in the last four months of the year. We often make promises to ourselves in January that get forgotten. Now is the time to take a look at what you’ve achieved and where you fell off track. Make sure you make these goals measurable and attainable by the end of the year, and take the time to decide now how you will celebrate your success.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 29


Reconnect with your friends or start a new habit to meet up for coffee or a cocktail once a month. We tend to get lost in the activity of our children and forget that we need play dates too. As moms, we know how tough the days can be, and it is great to share our challenges and triumphs with friends who love us no matter what. As they say, make sure you put your oxygen mask on first. Self-care is always important, because we all know the crazy days that the school year can bring. If you take time to schedule relaxation, play and work in a way that allows you to accomplish your goals, nourish your health and be more present for your family, you’ve done one of the hardest and rewarding jobs of being a mama! And for that, I give you an A++

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FROM OTHER MOMS: Back to school is the perfect time to focus on mom and start a new routine of scheduling workouts while the kids are in school. Try to schedule 30-60 minutes a day with walks, biking, fitness classes, yoga, Pilates or weight lifting. Once you get into a routine it will be easier to maintain. Workout with a friend too for great support and fun! Amy Nelson Personal trainer & fitness instructor Vent Fitness/ YMCA

Healthy Meal Planning

on a Budget

By Kristen Corbisiero


f the many things that changed financially when I left my full-time career to be a stay at home mama, our grocery habits and meal planning ranked among the top five. Gone were the days of willy-nilly grocery shopping, buying whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Fast forward to three years later, I successfully launched my own part-time writing and project management business, and along the way developed, and for the most part, stuck with a mission to plan healthy meals on a budget of $150 per week or less. Here are some of my secrets to success and some of my family’s favorite recipes!


I don’t know about you, but I can’t see the cans or boxes on the back shelf of my pantry and things get lost in my deep freezer. Sometimes I buy ingredients and meals change last minute, leaving unused items to get buried and lost. It’s important to know what’s in there. Before I plan for the week, I start by taking inventory of things I already have that could be used as a meal or part of a meal during the week. List everything in your cabinets and freezer that could be used to plan a meal, for

example: egg noodles, frozen chicken breasts, pasta, and chicken broth. You may end up finding things you didn’t know you had and be able to make a meal or two. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average American family throws away $2,275 in food annually. If money is tight, you’ll want to avoid this as much as possible. Here are some tips to avoid food waste: • Organize your refrigerator and pantry • Freeze your food: this can be items you’ve purchased or meals you’ve made in bulk; be sure to label, date, and freeze effectively (use tight sealing containers or a vacuum sealer, allow hot food to cool before freezing, freeze foods in a single layer and stack after frozen, organize with older food in the front) • Know freezer storage times »» Bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats or sausage: »» 1-2 months »» Casseroles, cooked meat, gravy, poultry, soups, stews: 2-3 months »» Uncooked ground meat: 3-4 months »» Chops, steaks, uncooked roasts: 4-12 months »» Uncooked poultry parts: 9 months Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 31

»» Uncooked wild game: 8-12 months »» Egg substitutes or egg whites, uncooked whole poultry: 12 months • Start a garden or contribute to a community garden. Even a small herb garden can be a healthy and useful addition to your meal planning.



Every week, I scour market fliers for good deals and plan my meals based on sales and trends. Typically, markets have patterns when things go on sale, and seasonal produce carries lower price tags. If you have room to store canned or freezer-safe items, combine these seasonal sales with coupons to buy in bulk. Visiting local farms and picking your own in-season fruits and vegetables is fun for the family. Canning or freezing your favorite summertime yields are a great way to enjoy a taste of summer in the cold of winter. In September, for example, there are back to school sales through Labor Day. September seasonal produce includes apples, artichokes, beans, bell peppers, chili peppers, cucumber, eggplant, grapes, onion, pears, squash, and tomatoes. October typically marks the beginning of the baking sales, where you’ll find items like canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, and baking chips on sale – along with promotions marking the end of daylight savings time, like batteries. Seasonal produce in October includes almonds, apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, chestnuts, cranberries, lemons, pears, potatoes (and sweet), pumpkin, spinach, squash, and yams. By November, baking sales are in full swing and you can find good deals on nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut,

and cake mixes. Seasonal produce in November includes pears, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cranberries, kiwi, lemons, oranges, potato, and squash. Don’t forget after-Halloween sales!



There are some inexpensive, healthy ingredients that can be spruced up to make tasty meals and help stretch your budget. Some of these items are: • Beans • Sweet Potatoes • Eggs • Squash • Brown Rice • Peanut Butter Look for versatile ingredients that can be used a number of ways, such as: • Chicken and turkey (ground versions are great substitutes for red meat which is high in cholesterol)


Once you have an idea of your home inventory, reviewed sales fliers, and picked out recipes, you can make a list of your meals for the week and build your shopping list. If you use a meal planning app, it might automatically create your shopping list. If not, I like to organize my list by aisle in the market to avoid second and third trips to the same aisle – a real time killer. What works really well for me is an old envelope from junk mail. I write down the following column headings: deli/ produce, canned/dry, frozen/dairy, and meat; fill it in as I plan, and stuff it with my coupons and a pen to cross off items as I shop. I can be in and out of the market in about 45 minutes (I am toting two toddlers and I am pregnant, so anyone who is not in a similar position can probably do it faster than me!). Some people shop at multiple locations to get the best deals at each store. Consider whether the savings outweighs the time and gas spent doing this – driving across town to save a few cents on a can of soup is not worth your time. If you are short on time, most markets offer an online shopping service where you can have your groceries delivered to your home or elect to pick them up yourself. Be careful of the surcharge for this service – it might not be worth it if you don’t meet minimum spending guidelines.

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Most markets have membership cards and joining is usually free. There are many financial advantages to being a member, namely: eligibility for store sales and discounts, points/rewards, and loadable e-coupons. I’ve also become a subscriber to coupon apps on my android phone, including: • Checkout51: take a photo of the receipt to earn cash back • SavingStar: link your store card or scan receipt to get cash back • ibotta: unlock rewards by completing tasks (survey, short vid clip), scan product barcode, and take a photo of the receipt to earn cash back • Snap: take a photo of the receipt to earn cash back

Couponing isn’t for everyone, but if you become efficient, you can make a significant dent in your overall bill; I typically save $35-60 with coupons. It is thrilling to watch the total of my bill drop with every scanned coupon.



My cooking caters to two boys, ages 3 ½ and 2 ½ (and luckily my husband is not a picky eater!). When my boys first started eating solid foods, I introduced a wide array of healthy foods like pureed beans and sweet potatoes flavoring with subtle spices instead of fats. Juice, candy, and overall unhealthy and/or processed foods are off limits. The result? Toddlers who are not picky eaters and enjoy a wide variety of tastes, flavors, and raw, unprocessed fruits and veggies. I hope these recipes find their way to your dinner table, and your family enjoys them as much as we do.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 33


• 1 ½ cups herb stuffing mix (not the stovetop variety) • 2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half

• About ½ cup plain yogurt • 2 large ripe peaches, halved • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Recipe from SuperFoods by Delores Riccio Stone fruits like peaches have been shown to ward off obesity related diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.


• 8 skinned chicken thighs • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 green peppers, seeded and chunked • 1 large onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 13-ounce can chicken broth (choose low-salt variety) or homemade stock • ½ cup chopped canned tomatoes

• 1 19- to 20-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper • 1 ½ cups uncooked wholewheat or veggie elbow macaroni • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


Recipe from SuperFoods by Delores Riccio

Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a food processor or blender, reduce the stuffing mix to coarse crumbs. Pour them in a wide shallow bowl.

Chickpeas are known for their high fiber content and are packed with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B-6, magnesium, vitamin K, folate, and manganese.

Coat one piece of chicken breast with yogurt as thickly as possible, then dip it into the crumbs to coat. Lay the chicken in an oiled baking dish large enough to hold the chicken and peaches in one layer. Repeat with the remaining chicken Surround the chicken with peach halves, cut side down. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the breasts are cooked through but not dry.

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Directions: In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, brown the chicken pieces in oil a few at a time. Add the green pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except the macaroni and parsley. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the elbows according to package directions. Add the elbows and parsley to the stew, stir well, and serve.




By Jan Snedaker and Christina Dombkiewicz

any of us have had the great fortune of being the ones to drop our children off at preschool or daycare, walking our children into a safe environment with people we know and trust with our most precious gifts until we return to bring them safely home. Then they turn five and everything changes. I remember the first time I sent my son off to kindergarten and the uneasy feeling it left me with as he boarded the bus to take a five minute ride up the street to his new school. I knew it was safe, or at least should be safe, but still doubt and fear crept into my mind. It was not until I saw his smiling face, the same as he had been when I first sent him off in the morning, that I could truly breathe again. It is a huge leap of faith to send your child off with someone who is essentially a stranger and then know he will be walking into a building filled with strangers and

for the first time you are not the one holding his hand as he walks through that classroom door. And while most often school is a very safe place for children to be, we are all aware of how times have changed and the very real dangers that exist right outside our doors. Even once they are safe and sound at home there are still dangers lurking in the form of social media which has become a huge part of almost every pre-teen and teenager’s daily routine. While we cannot live our lives in fear and we need to let our kids grow and mature into the adults they were meant to be, we can offer them ways to stay safer in a world that no longer feels very safe. Christina Dombkiewicz, a black belt with extensive Mixed Martial Arts training and experience teaching children as young as three years old to defend themselves, feels you are never too young or old to learn to protect yourself.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 35

"THE NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE I CAN GIVE TO KEEP KIDS SAFE, Christina offers the following very helpful information and advice to help keep our kids (and ourselves) safe from the potential threats of social media and other forms of online communication:

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:

Be aware that if “Location Services” are on the camera of your mobile devices, perpetrators can track down the coordinates of that photo. If you snap a picture of your child at the park, at their school or in your house and then post it online, anyone can pinpoint EXACTLY where that photo was taken. Never allow your camera to know your exact location. “The number one piece of advice I can give to keep kids safe, is to learn how to avoid potentially dangerous situations,” Christina says and offers the following advice:

• Encourage your children to play in groups in well-lit and well populated areas. • Teach them not to talk to strangers or accept anything from anyone they do not know. It is no longer only candy that can lure children in, now a days predators offer up more tantalizing treats such as iPods or even puppies. A simple question such as, “Hey, kid, I found an iPod! Is it yours?”, “Is this your $20 I found”, or “Can you hold my puppy for a second?” can attract a lot of children. Teach your kids never to fall for these tactics. They should run away, yelling “HELP! STRANGER! I DON’T KNOW YOU!” and get away as quickly as possible. • Christina does not recommend mace as it can hurt the person dispatching it or other innocent bystanders. Instead she suggests a small can of fluorescent spray paint. It won’t hurt any surrounding people, but getting it right in the perpetrator’s eyes not only will stop him/her, but will mark him/her for identification purposes. • A whistle is useful to call attention to yourself if you are in danger

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Social Stalking:

One of the easiest way for someone to stalk your children is using social media. Many children post pictures of themselves in their sports uniforms. Plenty of proud parents post pictures of their children in their cheerleading outfits, boy/girl scout uniforms, etc. In reality, you’ve just advertised where your children go to school, what activities they do, and where and when they can be found.

The Seductive Selfie:

More and more of today’s youth are seeking attention from anyone who seems to notice. Many teens take suggestive pictures of themselves, aka “Selfies,” and post them on social media. I’ve seen a fair amount of young men flexing their muscles and young ladies in their bikinis online, and there really is no need or justification for this. To be in a bathing suit at the beach is normal. To be in one in your bathroom, while taking a picture of yourself in the mirror, making horrid expressions with your mouth is not normal. This is much more of a problem when your kid is friends with hundreds or thousands of people, some of which they don’t even know. Teach your child not to post any pictures of themselves when they are not fully dressed and NEVER to accept friend requests from people they do not know personally.

False Perks:

The newest trend used to target children is when a person claims to represent (or are friends with) a celebrity, band, actor or other famous personality and want to give you exclusive access to special perks. They promise your children anything from backstage passes,

IS TO LEARN HOW TO AVOID POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SITUATIONS" greets, merchandise and access to special events. It is very important that everyone on their friend list are actual friends!

Call to Confirm:

Are your children making plans through text and/ or online? Teach them to always confirm through a phone call. It is easy to steal someone’s online identity or hijack a cell phone. You never know who is on the other side of the screen, so be smart and double check. As we enter into a new school year let’s make sure it is one filled with laughter, wonderful memories, and happiness by doing everything we can to teach our children to be safe. Christina’s advice is simple to remember and to teach our children. These are things that should be spoken about frequently to make sure our children remember and it is okay to make them ‘rules’ and hold consequences if they break the rules. Our children’s safety is more important than a bruised ego.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 37




By Chris Leuzinger, Nourishing Minds Tutoring Saratoga

Summer is coming to a close and memories of bike rides, ice cream cones, vacations, camp, and swimming pools will soon become a distant memory. A new school year is apon us and many families are faced with the daunting task of transitioning children from summertime fun to the rigors of going back to school. Here are some easy tips to help make this transition a successful one!

1. Encourage Reading

Reading is the foundation of all learning, and will assist development in every subject. Model reading and help develop good reading habits by providing your child with new and exciting books, reading aloud to your children, and making reading a part of your everyday routine. If your child sees that you value reading, then they are more likely to read themselves. Be sure to discuss what your child is reading, and ask questions to develop comprehension skills.

2. Talk With Your Children

Speaking and listening plays an important role in school success. Hearing parents talk and responding to talk helps build crucial language skills children need to do well. Make dinner time a TV-free, computer and tablet, cell phone, and technology-free time. Life is getting busier and busier so 38 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

take this time to sit down at the dinner table and talk about your day. Encourage everyone to contribute one interesting aspect of his or her day. The outcome of this simple activity can have astounding results on a child’s speaking and listening skills.

3. Daily Math Practice

Cooking, gardening, paying bills, shopping, etc. are all good ways to practice math and make it fun. Teach children about the value of math and point out all of the ways it is used in the world. One big aspect of the Common Core is to make math practical. For example, next time you are at the store ask your children how much change you will get if you purchase your items with a $20 bill or if appropriate give them the money and ask them to pay the bill. Have them count the change to ensure it is correct.

4. Monitor TV and Computer Use

Technology can be a very valuable resource for learning. However, too much can be a detriment. Encourage your children to read, play outside, play a game, etc. and they will learn valuable language skills and social skills. Most importantly, set boundaries and always monitor your child’s technology usage to ensure safe, high quality content that will foster learning, rather than hinder it.

10. Have Patience and Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help

At times learning can be confusing, frustrating, and complicated. All children learn differently, at different rates, and in different ways. Having a positive, patient attitude will go further to support your child’s learning than getting frustrated yourself. If necessary, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are thousands of other parents in exactly the same position as you! Common questions include: How can I help? What do I do? How will I know if I am helping in the right way? How much is enough? Your child’s school or teacher can be a tremendous help for parents looking to supplement their child’s learning at home. Other valuable sources may be hiring a private tutor, asking at the local library, and keeping up-to-date on local educational activities taking place in the community. Just remember, you are not alone.

5. Encourage Independence

Whenever possible, let your child figure things out for themselves. Let them know that making mistakes is ok! Mistakes are how we learn. Have them think problems through carefully before asking for/receiving help. The ability to become independent learners is a skill that will serve your children well for their entire lives.

The beginning of a new school year can be stressful for parents and children alike. Consistency and developing routines are paramount in making the transition as painless and as smooth as possible. By following these simple strategies you can ensure you have set your children up for success and reinforce healthy habits and a positive attitude toward school.

6. High Expectations

Always set high expectations for your children, and never falter from them. Parental expectations play a very important role in the academic success of your child. Expect your child to do well and your expectations will be met!

7. Learning Environment

Homework and schoolwork can be a stressful and challenging time for any family. Provide your child with a suitable learning environment to complete schoolwork. This includes school supplies (pens, pencils, paper, ruler, calculator, etc.) and most importantly, a quiet place to work, which is free from distractions.

8. Consistency and Routine

Children thrive when they know what to expect. Try setting a schedule or time aside every day (it is often best if it is the same time) to practice schoolwork. Keep it brief; 15 to 20 minutes works best. Perhaps try 15 minutes of math practice before dinner and 15 minutes of silent reading before bed. This can be an especially important strategy when fighting the homework battle. Try to develop routines for completing homework and stick to them.

9. Praise and Compliment

Constantly look for ways that you can tell your child how well they are doing, how impressed you are with their work, etc. This will build their self-esteem, make them feel great about themselves, and translate into an even better effort into their schoolwork. The only caveat, make sure the work is truly good quality. You want your children to take pride in completing their work to the best of their ability and have a sense of pride in a job well done.

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Ready, Set , School! Books from Northshire Bookstore

Here are some great titles to handle back to school nerves for the young ones and to get your older kids in the mood.

Rosie Goes to Preschool Pre Sch ool

by Karen Katz

What is preschool like? Let Rosie tell your first-time-ever student. Here's where we hang up our jackets, here's where we do art, here's where we take a rest. A friendly, multicultural set of classmates and little sidebar "Rosie's Tips" are a cheerful way to take some of the fear of the unknown out of what lies ahead.

Dad's First Day

by Mike Wohnoutka

Oliver and his dad have had so much fun all summer playing, reading, and doing everything together, that when the school bus rolls around, Dad is JUST NOT READY! He hides. He drags his feet. He has a tummy ache. Charming role reversal puts your new kindergarten student in the driver's seat with this hardcover picture book.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator To School, Don't! by Elise Parsley

Early y r enta m e l E

This book is a hoot, explaining all the possible things that can go wrong if you bring an alligator to school. The very grumpy narrator apparently learned the hard way that this is NOT A GOOD IDEA! Perfect for first and second graders who need some comic relief to settle their nerves.

Bad Kitty: School Daze by Nick Bruel

The popular Bad Kitty series for second graders is the perfect way to ease your young reader back into school, especially if they haven't done a lot of reading over the summer. There are lots of pictures to break up the text, and more than enough humor to soften the transition from vacation to school.

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The World According to Humphrey, by Betty Birney

Everybody's favorite class pet knows you can learn a lot from observing another species. Humphrey is not your average hamster, but an acute observer of the classroom - plus, he gets to go home with a different kid each weekend. Sure to inspire some nostalgia for first and second grade for your old hand of a third grader and whip up some back-to-school eagerness.

The Terrible Two

by Jory John and Mac Barnett

Starting the school year at a new school is the WORST, but when you have a plan to impress your new classmates by pulling awesome pranks - and you get pranked yourself before you ever get to the front door - you know you're in trouble. What follows is a hysterical prank war between two worthy adversaries. First of a series, The Terrible Two may possibly get your fourth grader into trouble, but it will definitely get him reading.

-5 Grades 3

The School for Good and Evil

by Soman Chainaniis

Is there a school where the heroes and villains of fairy tales go to learn their trade? Yes, there is - but it is so not what Sophie was expecting. First of all, she thought for sure she would be trained as a heroine, but it turns out somewhat differently... Fifth graders have been enjoying this trilogy for a couple of years now. It works as a fun fantasy escape for the summer, and as an appetizer for returning to school.

This is just a small sampling of the many great titles we have to share with kids. We can't wait to show you what else we have! 424 Broadway Saratoga Springs 518.682.4200

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CREATING A CENTRAL COMMAND CENTER What’s a Central Command Center?

Photos & Story by Jenna Burger of

It’s the go-to place for everything. A central spot in the home where all the daily details are laid out, where papers are organized, and where there’s a detailed calendar of events to keep you on track with what is happening and who is going where and when. A must-need for any home - don’t you agree?! As the busy school days start up again, now is a great time to create a designated place that houses all the important daily details. Let’s break down how to create a central command center for your home…

1. The smaller the better.

More space typically equals more stuff! Often smaller is better rather than a large space that can be overwhelming, cluttered, and non-functional. When you have a smaller space to work within, you’re left with only the true necessities. The perfect hub for the central command center in my home ended up being a 30” wide wall. Small, yet it’s extremely functional filled with elements that suit our family needs – a customized calendar, storage space, kids charts, pencil holder, and framed inspirational art. Each element is used. Each element serves a purpose

> Small storage boxes like these are perfect for holding keys, eye glasses, notepads, etc. They are the ideal size for all those small items that need a home. 42 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

2. Location. Location. Location. Choosing a central location in the home is important for making the most use out of a central command center. This small, but uber-functional wall in my home is located near the foyer and close to the kitchen. It’s a spot that is in the ‘hub of the home’ and can easily be seen / accessed.

> Looking for a spot for a command center in your home? A panel on the side of the refrigerator can be an ideal place since the kitchen is often where so much action takes place throughout the day.


3. Change it up often.

I created my first command center over four years ago and it’s been changed or updated many times. Why? Because our family has grown and our needs and routines have changed. We still have the 2-month calendar (that’s a must to keep us on track), but other elements of the wall have been updated. Being open to making adjustments either seasonally or yearly is important. By simply making a few needed changes, it keeps the space fresh, new, and always functional 24/7.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 43

4. Make it fun.

Anything that has a sense of whimsy, color, and/or a bit of personalization is sure to be fun and usable. The most important part of creating a command center is to use it. And as with anything, it takes time to get used to. When creating a central spot, make it a must to look at and use every day. After a few weeks / months you will see how much you depend on the space to keep your family on track so you know where you are going when! > Here is a family command center we featured in SaratogaMama magazine a few years back. Located in the hub of this home, the kitchen, we outfitted an empty wall with everything needed so the family could function on a daily basis - file folders, a calendar, corkboard, pencil holders, and personalized, unique décor. The result was a neat and functional ‘spot’ for this busy family!

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Dress for Less! $13 H&M





ce Children's Pla

$75 ns


te Dr. Mar



Lily Pulitzer

Total: $215 46 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Total: $78






Tea Collection

$30 H&M


Old Navy

$35 Vans


Old Navy

$40 GAP

Total: $160

Total: $85 Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 47



Children's Place


$25 y

Old Nav


Potter y




J. Crew



Crazy 8

Hanna Anderson

Total: $170 48 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Total: $73


Tea Collect io







J. Crew

Old Navy


J. Crew



Total: $180

$30 Etsy



Total: $90 Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 49

Fall Fashion By Jan Snedaker

Winter in upstate New York is never ending while summers feel like they get shorter every year. We try to squeeze in every moment under the sun, filling our days with outdoor activities that tan our skin, warm our hearts, and fill our ears with joyful, laughing children, allowing us to forget that the freezing days we endured just a short time ago will be reappearing in the all too near future. I embrace the warm sun and love the feel of the dewy air refreshing my skin that has been kept under cover for so long. Sundresses and flowing skirts, fitted tanks and loose cotton ones feel so freeing after being bundled up in layers of thermal shirts and sweaters. But alas, summer draws to an end all too soon and my beautiful, bright and cheery summer wardrobe will be stuffed in the back of my closet for another long, painfully cold winter. How bored I get half way through winter’s dreary days putting on the same old outfits! If only I 50 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

could change it up a bit by continuing to wear some of my favorite summer pieces paired with my beloved cold weather basics, I could find a way to brighten my day and my wardrobe. Then to my pleasant surprise I started seeing images of flowing maxi dresses topped with leather and denim, glorious knee high boots paired with shorts and not too short mini skirts, and chunky, comforting cardigans providing coverage down to bared knees, layered over strappy sundresses. My heart beat a little faster as I began to consider the endless possibilities these pictures inspired. Excited by the prospect of wearing my leather jacket over my new maxi length sundress and being able to continue to wear my favorite tanks and tees while staying warm underneath my trusty old cardigan I began to view the colder weather in a whole new light! Find inspiration in the looks we pulled together and as the weather turns brisk this fall you may want to reconsider packing away your summer delights!


Quilted Leather Jacket Express

Floppy Hat

Zip Wedge Boots J. Crew

Medium-wash Flare Jeans Express

Bucket Bag

Maxi Dress

Jenny Bird August Moon Earrings Lucia Boutique 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

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Travel Tote LeSportsac

Long and Lean Tank Target

Fringe Open Cardigan

American Eagle Outfitters

Multi Stick in Maui NARS

Relaxed Skinny Jean Mini Bailey in Redwood



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Classic Poppy Boot UGG

Multi Dot Wristlet Tory Burch

Fitted Tunic Dress

Encounter Boutique 482 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Organica Rope Necklace Noonday Collection

Cream Lip Stain in Mandarin Muse Sephora

Navy Leather Jacket J. Crew

GiGi New York Gates Satchel

Lola Accessory Boutique 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 53


Summer Lovin' Tote Lululemon

Activity Tracker

Chuck Taylor All Stars Converse

Double Headband Prana

City Limits Jacket Athleta

Freestyle Earbuds Bose

Tear It Up Tights

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Creative Cuisine

for Back to School

By Jodie Fitz

The meals served at our household reflect the seasons and I am happily pulling out a few ‘back to school’ favorites as we prep for the fall. This issue, we are serving up a breakfast pizza that can be made ahead for those evenings when everyone has to grab-and-go, some easy banana split dip for a lunchbox dessert alternative, and our strawberry and chocolate milk 'swap-and-trade' recipes for after school that eliminates high fructose corn syrups.

Chocolate Milk Swap & Trade • 1 cup ice

• 1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder • ¼ cup honey • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

NOTE: You may have to stop halfway through the blending process and scrape cocoa powder and honey from the sides with a spatula and then continue to blend the rest of the way. HONEY: You can decrease the honey if you decrease the cocoa powder, this will depend on your family’s taste buds.

Add the ice, milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and honey into a blender. Blend the ingredients ALMOND MILK: Give this blend a try with almond until the ice is fully crushed and the ingredients are milk; it’s one of our favorite ways to make it. well mixed.

Strawberry Milk Swap & Trade

• 1 cup frozen fresh strawberries (no syrup added) • 1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk • 3 tablespoons honey • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the ice, strawberries, milk, vanilla extract and honey into a blender. Blend the ingredients until the strawberries are fully crushed and mixed thoroughly into the recipe. NOTE: Occasionally you may have to stop the blending process mid-way through to scrape the honey from the sides and then continue blending.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 55

Breakfast Pizza • 1 pizza dough, whole wheat • 1 cup spinach, baby leaf • 1 cup cooked ham diced • 5 eggs • 4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded* • 1 tablespoon light olive oil • ¼ teaspoon onion powder • black pepper • sea salt Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured pizza round. Stir the onion powder, a dash of sea salt and a dash of pepper into the eggs for flavor and whisk them together. Cook the eggs in a scrambled fashion over medium heat in a pan that has been coated with the non-stick cooking spray.

Stir the chopped spinach and olive oil together. Baste the pizza dough with the spinach and oil. Add a layer of ham and eggs evenly distributed over the top of the dough. Top the pizza with the cheese. Bake the pizza for 20 – 25 minutes; until the dough is fully cooked and golden brown and the cheese is fully melted. This recipe yields approximately 8 slices. COOKING THE EGGS BY MICROWAVE: Whip the eggs together. Place them in a butter coated glass dish and microwave on high for one minute. Remove the dish with an oven mitt and stir. Continue to cook the eggs at one-minute intervals, stirring in between, until the eggs are fully cooked. ON THE RUN: Either prep the pizza the night before and bake it fresh in the morning or bake the entire pizza the night before, slice and heat in the morning. *Cabot makes a 50% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese that is delicious in this recipe.

Alternatives: Turkey bacon, breakfast sausage and/or mozzarella can be substituted depending on taste buds. 56 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Optional: You can also add in finely chopped walnuts if there aren’t any nut allergies when serving at home.

Banana Split Dip (One Serving)

• 2 tablespoons vanilla low-fat yogurt • 1 tablespoon Greek vanilla yogurt • 4 fresh cherries • 1 medium banana Chop the cherries either in a mini chopper or with a knife. Stir the yogurts and cherries together. Send it to school in a small container with a banana so the kids can peel, dip and eat.

CHERRIES: Use fresh cherries if they're in season, or frozen pitted cherries thawed if not in season. SERVING IT TO GUESTS: If you want to make the dip for a crowd, modify the recipe as follows: ½ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, ¼ cup Greek vanilla yogurt and 16 cherries. Combine the ingredients as directed above.

For after school, slice the banana and use pretzel sticks as edible skewers to serve.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 57

Family Fun in the fall

Pick-your-own pumpkins and apples, get lost in a corn maze, take a hay ride, and fill up on some delicious cider donuts. There’s plenty of fun to be had this fall!

Saratoga Springs Sunnyside Gardens

Corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin patch, train ride, cider donuts and more. 345A Church Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-584-1034

20-30 Minutes From Saratoga Bowman Orchards

Pick your own and picked apples, raspberries, blackberries, pumpkins (seasonally) cider, donuts and farm animals, too! 141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford NY, 12148. 518-371-2042,

Devoe’s Rainbow Orchards

10-20 Minutes from Saratoga

Apple picking, baked goods, and gift baskets. Rainbow Delights, their ice cream shop, is open April-October. 1569 Rt. 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065 518-371-8397

Double M Hayrides & Corn Maze

Daytime hayride, corn maze, petting zoo and children’s activities Haunted hayride at night! 678 Route 67, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 518-884-9122,

Lakeside Farms

Apples, Indian corn, gourds, pumpkins, apple cider, cider donuts, and a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. 336 Schauber Rd. Ballston Lake NY, 12019 518-399-8359.

Ellms Family Farm

Pumpkin patch, hay rides, corn maze and more! 468 Charlton Road Ballston Spa, NY 12020 518-884-8168

Fo' Castle Farm

Apple picking at their orchard and fall treats including cider donuts, pies, breads at the country store. 166 Kingsley Road, Burnt Hills, NY 12027 (518) 399-8322,

Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchard

Saratoga Apple

Apples, cider, fresh baked goods, and produce. Also an assortment of local, natural, and healthy food and gifts. Apple cider donuts are made daily all year round. 1174 Route 29, Schuylerville NY 12871, 518-695-3131

Schuyler Farms

Corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin patch, other fall fun! 1124 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY 12871 518-695-5308, 58 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Apple picking, cider, cider donuts, gourmet muffins. 267 Sugar Hill Rd Rexford, NY 12148, 518-371-5785

Malta Ridge Orchard & Gardens

Apples, other fruits, vegetables, farm fresh meats, produce, canned goods. 107 Van Aernem rd., Malta, NY 12020

30-40 Minutes from Saratoga

50-60 Minutes from Saratoga

Liberty Ridge Farm

Hicks Orchard

One of the area’s largest corn mazes, barnyard adventure, pumpkin picking, trolley ride, cow train and more family fun. 29 Bevis Road, Schaghticoke, NY 12154, 518-664-1515

Apple picking, wagon rides, hard cider tasting room, cider donuts, and apple wood fired pizza. Plus many family fun activities through the fall! 18 Hicks Road, Granville, NY 518-642-1788,

Indian Ladder Farms

Eagle Mills

Watch cider being pressed in an antique cider press, take a train ride, participate in a dino dig, and explore the family fun park. Visit the bakery for pies, cider donuts and other treats. 383 County Hwy 138 (Off Rt. 29), Broadalbin, NY 12025 518-883-8700,

Pick-your-own apples, berries and other produce. Visit the farm store and gift shop for a wide variety of decorative and unique items. 342 Altamont Road, Altamont NY, 12009, 518-765-2956

Riverview Orchard

Apples, bakery, donuts, hayrides are free on weekends. 660 Riverview Road, Rexford, NY 12148-1433, 518-371-2174

Engelke Farm


Pumpkin picking, corn maze, haunted hayride, zip line, and animals. Be sure to call ahead for zip line reservations, they fill up quickly! 463 Garfield Rd, Troy, NY 12180 518-478-4939

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 59


By Jane Fairchild,

Woman in the Moon Astrology

Back to School Edition

The ARIES Child - March 21 - April 19: Even brave little Aries gets the jitters about going back to school! Their courageous nature leads them to

taking care of other class members who are missing home far worse than they ever could. They take pride in being the first kindergartener in their class to lose the homesick blues. Your little Aries, the Ram likes to be first in everything they do. First in line at gym class, the cafeteria, and the bus stop. These born leaders don't enjoy following anyone. To nurture their spirit of cooperation, appeal to their sense of pride by telling them that every good leader has to set a good example. Praise and reward go a long way with them.

The TAURUS Child - April 20 - May 21:

Calm, practical Taurus probably won't show signs of nervousness immediately. These secure little souls will usually embrace their first day of a new school or classroom experience readily. If you see them looking unsure of themselves, appeal to their pragmatic side by telling your child that it is normal to be nervous and excited at the same time. They have a keen ear for music and many are blessed with a strong, melodic voice - enroll them in music lessons outside of school. Taureans, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, and Bono started young.

The GEMINI Child - May 22 - June 21: Your little Gemini is curious and somewhat anxious by nature. Anticipating the first days of school can keep

them up at night wondering and thinking. Is it any surprise that your little one who was talking a blue streak by age two, now has a thousand questions about what school life is going to be like? These quick-minded kids are information gatherers. Even after all the questions are answered, it’s a good idea to re-direct attention away from any worries, and turn the questions back to them, "What are three things that you are most excited about on your first day of school?" Most kids can think of something good, even if it's just eating a special snack and your Gemini child can come up with a list as long as his Christmas list. By 1st grade this ambidextrous child will be making that list by writing with his left hand and drawing with his right.

The CANCER Child - June 22 - July 22:

Both boys and girls of this sun sign have a strong nurturing spirit and a bit of a Mother Hen quality about them. Cancer's hold two things close to their heart: Mom and good food. Leaving the comforts of home for a classroom is not their idea of fun. A way to ease their worried minds might be to ask your Cancer child to help plan school lunches for the first week. Your Cancer the Crab keeps every sentimental memento and for those who are nervous about separating, suggest taking a special object to school that reminds them of home.

The LEO Child - July 23 - August 22: Your Leo, the Lion is a proud, happy child who brings sunshine into any room. So pointing out the positive

aspects of starting school: “It will be fun, you will see old friends and meet new ones” is all they need to hear. Your cub loves running with other kids and with the September sun is still shining bright, it can serve as a natural elixir to anxiety. Any place your Leo goes there’s a stage for him or her -they are born actors. So if the anxiety of being away from home becomes dramatic, role-play your way through it. Sometimes role-playing a certain situation with your child can help him or her make a plan, and feel more confident that he or she will be able to handle the situation. Let your child play the part of the teacher and you be the student. Then, model appropriate responses and coping techniques for your child to help them become more relaxed.

The VIRGO Child - August 23 - September 21:

The Virgo child is a carefully detailed learner. Their kind, aim-to-please disposition makes them a “shoe-in” as the teacher’s pet. So what could be wrong with this picture? Many of them are a shy bundle of nerves when they are in unfamiliar territory. Remind your child that she is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. For young children taking the school bus, describe and draw out the bus route, including where the bus goes and how long it takes to get to school. Talk about bus safety. An informed Virgo is a peaceful Virgo. 60 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

The LIBRA Child - September 22 - October 22:

If you aren’t asking your Libra child to make a lot of choices about going back to school, the anxiety in your house should be at a minimum. Worse than getting a Libra to decide between A or B is trying to get them to decide quickly. These fair minded, justice-seeking little souls can see both sides to every issue, idea and choice that was ever made. Over time there is one area of life where these Venus-ruled Librans enjoy making choices – it’s in fashion. Ask your child to help choose the outfits for the first week of school. Both boys and girls have a strong fashion sense. Make sure their clothes are a comfortable fit – soft tagless items will help. They also enjoy choosing books – again, just don’t narrow their choice down to two books. Libra in latin means “book”. These children love a library of books to choose from. Keep it well stocked so they can dream beautiful dreams.

The SCORPIO Child - October 23 - November 21:

These direct, forthright children have a need for privacy. They can hide their separation anxiety for days and then – Bam! The flood gates of emotion open. Keep the communication lines open and flowing with them. Your perceptive, almost psychic little Scorpio picks up on everything. They admire strength, so pay attention to your own behavior. If you are uncertain and anxious they will take their cues from you. Raising a Scorpio is like managing a nuclear power plant, you are harnessing a great energy. These bright, willful children can get fixed on an idea, making it hard for you to hold back the reigns. Be supportive yet firm. After all, you ARE raising the next valedictorian of 2027!

The SAGITTARIUS Child - November 22 - December 21: Keep your Sagittarius child mentally and physically active. They are independent, honest archers and they need a wide open space to shoot their arrows. Exercise is good for the body and helps to get rid of restless energy. A week or two before school, start getting the whole family involved in an exercise regimen and make it fun. The Archer has a zest for learning and traveling and their minds need to be fed. Boredom and restlessness can set in quickly.

The CAPRICORN Child - December 22 - January 20: These earth sign children are patient, serious and quick to learn. They are slow to mix in socially and shy

away from many mainstream school activities. Give them a leg up on this situation by having your child meet a classmate before the first day so they can get acquainted and play together, and so your child will have a friendly face to look for when school begins. Your Capricorn is a plodder, problem solver and planner and someday he will thank you for lending this helping hand. Reassurance is nice but it's no substitute for a solid plan that your little goat can count on. There will probably come a day when your child will come in the door and announce he/she was just voted class president - it will bowl you over because it was never mentioned before. Hard to imagine now but in time it will be apparent that respect and authority is what he/she seeks in their world outside the home.

The AQUARIUS Child - January 21 - February 19:

Your Aquarian child is an unpredictable, original inventor who enjoys not being ordinary. Aquarius does not limit their inventor-ship to just the laboratory or factory room floor. Your daughter could be heralded as the next prima ballerina with exquisite movements that have never been seen before. Your Aquarian son could decide that living half his life in a mini-sub delving the ocean depths as an oceanographer or being known as the best tree surgeon is a satisfying profession. If your pet peeve is a child's messy bedroom and playroom, now is not the time to nag or punish your little absent-minded professor for not being neat. Heading to a new school or classroom is very unnerving, so cut your child some slack. Spic-and-span personal space can be addressed at another time when school is established and the stress has lessened. You'll enjoy your front seat some day at the Kennedy Center Awards!

The PISCES Child - February 20 - March 20: Your little Pisces the Fish is a gentle dreamer. Routine and schedules don't normally jive with their biorhythms.

But no fear, Pisces always finds a place to fit in mainstream America. Start with a big personal alarm clock in your child's room that they are in charge of. If possible, put the whole family on the same or similar time schedule. Once they see that everyone else has a schedule to adhere to your free flowing fish will step up too. You and your child can make a progress board together that tracks the progress being made - i.e., setting the alarm clock, getting papers and clothes ready the night before, chores, etc. Little rewards for a job well done work wonders for this creative and magical thinker. And so do little fun surprises like writing a reassuring note and placing it in your child's lunchbox.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 61

Toothbrush Storage: Fact or Myth? air dry or cover? The 5 Second Rule: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, when your child’s coveted gummy bear hits the ground, the potential microbial damage is done no matter how fast your retrieval reflexes may be— regardless of whether you’re talking 2 seconds or 20.


According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after brushing, it’s best to rinse toothbrushes with water to clean off remaining toothpaste and small pieces of food. Then the toothbrushes should be stored in an upright position to air dry.

Facts, Tidbits, & Trivia Test your Eye-Q! - Although newborn babies cry (sometimes a lot!), they don’t actually make enough fluid to produce visible teardrops until 1-3 months of age. - An eyeball weighs about as much as 11 pennies, just under one ounce. - Eyes stay the same size our entire lives, unlike our noses and ears which continuously grow.

Is skipping breakfast really all that bad? Breakfast is the first (and often the worst!) nutritional hurdle parents face each and every day. Before you opt to skip, just know that breakfast has been associated with everything from better memory and test scores, increased attention span, to healthier body weights and improved overall nutrition. Keep it quick and simple, but don’t skip!

62 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2015

Are carrots really good for your eyes? Some foods can truly benefit a child’s eye health and vision especially those containing lutein and zeaxanthin; vitamins A, C and E, fatty acids, omega-3 and beta-carotene which specifically boss night vision. Such foods include: Broccoli Peas Avocados Eggs Grapes

Spinach and kale Berries Carrots Squash Nuts

Five Fun Facts About Apples from

- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider. - More than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America. - Apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a good source of fiber. - Thanks to their high levels of boron, apples can help improve your memory, mental alertness, and electrical activity of the brain. - The average person eats 65 apples a year.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 63

Fall Family Fun THURSDAY, AUGUST 20


CAMPFIRE STORIES AND SONGS Saratoga Springs Public Library, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Gather round the campfire for stories & songs and enjoy s'mores and crafts. Our Paws4Reading Pals will also be tenting with us. For children ages 4-12. Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. No registration required. For more information visit

RUN FOR THE HORSES 5K WALK/RUN Saratoga Spa State Park, Orenda Pavilion, 7 – 11 a.m. 6th Annual Run For The Horses 5K. Run or walk, it is up to you, but be sure to join us for a family friendly 5K. There will be refreshments, and prizes in all race/walk divisions. Pre-race registration for the event is $20. Race day registration is $25. All proceeds to benefit Thoroughbred rescue groups. For more information please call: (518) 226-0028.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 THE PUPPET PEOPLE PRESENT “THE WIZARD OF OZ" Saratoga Springs Public Library, Three shows: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Join The Puppet People as they follow the yellow brick road to The Emerald City and beyond! This puppet fantasy features marionettes, shadow puppets, rod puppets, a large parade puppet and more! For ages 5 and up. Free tickets available in the Children's Room beginning August 1, 2015. For more information visit

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 FREE FAMILY CONCERT: SETH & THE MOODY MELIX AT THE CAFFE Caffe’ Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 2 p.m. This toe-tapping trio plays lyrically rich music for kids that parents can appreciate, too. With guitar (Seth), fiddle (Doug Moody) and percussion (Brian Mellick), along with sweet harmony vocals, their songs impart good values and educational tidbits in an upbeat, organic style. Relax with snacks and sweets and great tunes on a summer afternoon at Caffe’ Lena.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26 STEWART'S SHOPS ICE CREAM EATING CONTEST Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Pavilion, All day event The coolest way to beat the summer heat, racing fans will come to the Spa spoon-in-hand as they prepare to compete in the ultimate in chilly contests – the Stewart’s ice cream eating contest. Contestants will be divided into three age groups - kids, teens and adults - as they battle to see who can down a pint of ice cream the fastest.

FINAL STRETCH MUSIC FESTIVAL Downtown Saratoga Springs, Saturday and Sunday, 7 – 11 p.m. Labor Day weekend brings the 2015 Saratoga Springs racing meet to a close. But don't worry, there's plenty of fun planned for Final Stretch Weekend to keep your spirits up! Check out great live music throughout downtown Saratoga. Check back soon for more live music details! The event is open and free to the public so make sure to stop by for Final Stretch Weekend for great live music and fun! Please leave your pets at home!

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 TUGBOAT ROUNDUP Waterford Waterfront, Tugboat Alley, September 11 – 13 Throughout the weekend visit food and craft vendors, souvenir stands and shore displays. All events are free, although boat rides do have a nominal charge. Watch a puppet show, take a ride on a pony or jump in the bouncy bounce. Tugboats will face-off on Saturday and Sunday, competing with raw strength and piloting skills. Deckhands will toss heavy lines and "show you how it's done." Saturday night there will be fireworks. For more information, visit

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 ADIRONDACK BALLOON FESTIVAL Glens Falls and Queensbury Up to one hundred hot air balloons take to the sky at the 43rd Annual Adirondack Balloon Festival, taking place September 17 - 20, 2015. There will be balloons of all shapes and sizes. Watch from the ground as they take off into the sky or go for a ride and see a view you won't soon forget! The Opening ceremony is held Thursday, September 17th in Crandall Park, Glens Falls NY. Spectators can gather to watch up to 20 balloons take off into the sky, as they kick off the festival.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 SOUTHERN ADIRONDACK FIBER FESTIVAL Washington County Fairgrounds 392 Old Schuylerville Rd., Greenwich, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bringing the natural animal fiber arts to you, this event is great for experienced and beginners. Knit, crochet, weave, felt... over 120 vendors from throughout New York and New England. The event includes festival foods and children's activities. Admission is $5 adults, kids under 13 free.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11 THE WAY WE WERE CAR SHOW Wiswall Park, Front Street, Downtown Ballston Spa, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association will once again be hosting the 12th Annual "The Way We Were" Car Show. Front Street will be closed to traffic in order to showcase hundreds of classic and specialty cars and trucks. There will be food, music and vendors and downtown shops will be open as well. This event is free to spectators.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17 15TH ANNUAL GREAT PUMPKIN CHALLENGE Saratoga Spa State Park, 9:30 a.m. MVP Health Care presents The 15th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge to benefit Saratoga Bridges. This event features 5K (walk or run) and 10K (run) through the beautiful and historic Saratoga Spa State Park. The day also includes a Fun Run for kids 12 and under. Costumes are welcome! Pre-Registered participants (by 10/1) receive longsleeved moisture wicking t-shirts (men's sizes). Registration fee is $25.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK RUNDEAD 5K Saratoga Spa State Park, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This 5K trail run in Saratoga Springs State Park supports Special Olympics New York. The obstacles on this run...zombies! Will You Survive? Make Yourself a Meal! Join The Mob! The cost to participate as a zombie is $25 pre-registered or $30 day of. All ages welcome! For more information visit

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26 THE 14TH ANNUAL CHRISTOPHER DAILEY TURKEY TROT Saratoga City Hall, Saratoga, 8:30 a.m. Each year, on Thanksgiving morning, thousands of runners (and walkers) congregate in Saratoga Springs NY to race in the annual 5K Turkey Trot race, which benefits the Christopher Dailey Foundation. For more information, visit

st plete li s, m o c For a ivitie nd act a s t n e .com of ev Mama a g o t a r visit Sa

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FALL CROSSWORD ACROSS 3. The person in charge of your class 5. Something you write with that has an eraser 6. Class involving numbers and equations 7. Use these to color a pretty picture DOWN 1. Helps you if you are sick or hurt 2. Time of day where you get to play 4. A place with lots of books 8. Something you measure with

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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.

Fall 2015 | SaratogaMama | 67

Saratoga MAMA Fall 2015  
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