A Saratoga TODAY Publication
Winter 2015/2016 play
Kid Picks Winners
Happy Holidays my friend!
I’m glad (and honored) that you’re taking a moment to read this magazine because that means you’re probably sitting down, not shopping, not at a tree lighting, Nutcracker performance, dining with Santa, making cookies, riding on the Polar Express, or shoveling snow! It’s not easy this time of year to sit and relax so I hope you can take a few minutes to enjoy a well-deserved break. If this is your first holiday season in Saratoga, you may be surprised how much there is to do and how many ‘family traditions in the making’ there are. I was at an event recently and I asked attendees what their favorite Saratoga holiday traditions are and I heard such a variety of answers from riding the Polar Express, attending the Victorian Streetwalk, ringing in the New Year at First Night, attending the Frost Faire at Saratoga National Historic Park and many more. I hope your holiday season is full of wonderful family traditions, old and new. One of my favorite traditions is to honor our favorite local businesses with a Kid Picks award. A record number of you voted this year and we’ve profiled all the winners starting on page 20.
Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre General Manager Robin Mitchell
Our holiday gift guide starts on page 10 and includes lots of unique ideas for just about anyone on your list. Hosting a winter birthday party? You need to check out pages 49-53! We had a blast with our winter birthday party photo shoot and you’ll see why. Dr. Jennifer Smitten answers some tough questions on page 44 about holiday family pressure so you can have a stress-LESS holiday! Our fashion section offers lots of ways to accessorize a basic white t-shirt and jeans to fit your personal style on pages 58-62. I wish you and your family the absolute best this holiday and winter season.
See you around!
This photo of gorgeous little Viviana was taken at Grafton Lakes State Park by her mama and our magazine photographer Keira Lemonis. The day was drizzly but Vivi is carefree and ready for adventure. Her floral crown was made locally by Flower Scout out of Troy, NY.
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Managing Editor Jan Snedaker Creative Director Alyssa Jackson Advertising Chris Bushee Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic Design Alyssa Jackson Morgan Rook Photography Keira Lemonis Thinkstock.com Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 SaratogaTODAYNewspaper.com 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 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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10 44 64
Wish List Ask Doctor Jen - Stress Less This Season Holiday Horoscope
Find 16 34 58
2016 Kid Picks Winners Being Less Than Perfect Is Just Right Winter Fashion Essentials
Learn 36 41 54
Preschool Directory Creative Cuisine with Jodie Fitz Northshire's Book Recommendations
Play 38 63 67
Family Fun in the Winter Winter Events Coloring Contest
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Our Contributors... Kristen Corbisiero
Kristen Corbisiero is a Freelance Editor, writer, and project manager. This Mama doesn’t hibernate in the winter – she celebrates! You can find Kristen and her family outside enjoying skiing – both downhill and cross country, and sledding. This year, Kristen hopes to try snowshoeing and ice skating with her two eldest sons while her husband snuggles with their newborn inside by a cozy fire. Learn more about Kristen on her LinkedIn page at: www.linkedin.com/in/kcorbisiero.
Image Maven, Findyourmoxie.net Brandon works with men and women to help them feel comfortable and confident in their personal and professional attire. She believes there is great value in wearing items that make you feel smashing. Just the smallest addition can add so much for wherever your day leads you, this supports you standing a little taller, feeling a bit more confident and enjoying life that much more.
Doctor Jennifer Smitkin
Dr. Jennifer Smitkin is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified School Psychologist, and owner of Psychology Wellness Practice, PLLC in Latham, NY. Dr. Smitkin provides evaluations, therapy, and consultations for children, adolescents, adults and families. Her practice is unique in its focus on health and wellness.
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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.
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 womaninthemoonastrology.com
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. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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 jodiefitz.com.
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WISH LIST Holiday Edition ur o y r o F ’S
E B ESTI BY BA NE W
Handmade by a local mama, Everbellem Kids baby products are vibrant, durable, fun and comfortable! We love their ‘drool bandanas’ which protect those adorable new baby outfits. Their baby booties come in a rainbow of colors and fabrics and are perfect for little feet. Visit everbellemkids.com to order.
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he t r o F TI V E
G. Willikers has tons of clever gift ideas for kids of all ages. We love this indoor snowball fight set for when the temperatures fall too low to be outside, and this adorable make your own lip balm set. Both are under $30! Shop local at G. Willikers, 461 Broadway in Saratoga.
CR E A O S K ID D
K ID AT HE ART (YO UR HU S B A ND !)
A flashback to the days before tablets and iphones, the Mini Arcade Machine from NanoArcade allows you to download classic games such as PacMan, Frogger, and Pole Position. Our suggestion, rent the movie Pixels and then present this gift and get ready for the fun to begin! NanoArcade.net $60.
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H O STES S W ITH THE M O STEST
Grab any wicker basket and head to Healthy Living Market to fill it with a delicious assortment of their fresh baked goods and gourmet goodies. Throw in a bottle of wine from Divine Wines and it’s the perfect way to say 'thank you' during the holiday season and beyond.
e For th W
SN O Y B UNN
Ski passes at West Mountain with something warm and cozy from Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company will make the perfect present. Be one of the first to take a spin on the brand new chair lift at West Mountain, opening for the 2015/16 ski season! Shop local at Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company, 490 Broadway in Saratoga. 12 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
H O RS E - LOV K IDS
These super cute kids slippers have warm, fuzzy fleece lining on the inside and a stylish faux suede on the outside. We love this sterling silver horseshoe necklace too, perfect for any teen or tween on your list. Find them both locally at Impressions of Saratoga, 368 Broadway.
YO UR OW N MAMA We adore The Quiet Woods artisan jewelry. The designs are delicate and combine natural design elements with modern art. The pieces are unique and hand made locally by a mother and daughter duo. We especially love these half moon earrings. To order, visit thequietwoods.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. SaratogaMama.com
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Coupon page 12!
For the kid (or grown up!) who always wanted to try Tai Kwan Do but has a busy schedule, North Park Tai Kwan Do offers a flexible schedule with multiple classes through out the week and no contract to sign! Owner/ teacher Adam Barrett has over 25 years of martial arts experience and is truly passionate about teaching the art of martial arts.
TH AT K EEP S G IV IN G
Coupon page 31!
For the little one’s, Kindermusik classes are perfect for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Saratoga Sings offers Kindermusik as well as continuing music and voice lessons in Saratoga Springs.
T FA SHIO NIS F R IEND
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You absolutely can’t go wrong with jewelry from Piper Boutique. Gorgeous pieces that make a statement will brighten up her already fabulous holiday style! Shop local at Piper Boutique, 441 Broadway in Saratoga.
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Christmas. Photos and story by Theresa St.John
Just saying the word makes me happy. I think of home and family, instantly brought back to the Charlie Brown tree we'd get from the back woods every year. My father would have to nail it into the floor of the living room so it wouldn't tip over. We'd decorate it with ornaments that told a story. Whether they were hand-made or storebought, they all had meaning. Gaily wrapped gifts would suddenly appear under the tree Christmas morning. The sight would take our breath away, when we finally got to come out of the bedroom and shout "Merry Christmas!" to each other. I remember the first time I wandered the streets of Saratoga with hundreds of others, during the holiday season. I was awe-struck and a little bit weepy as we all enjoyed the simplicity and true meaning of the holidays here. The town's annual celebrations during the month of December have the same effect on me today, as when I was one of five children waiting excitedly for Santa and his reindeer to arrive.. Last year, I posted my own letter to the North Pole. I told Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus that I'd love to meet them when they next visited Saratoga. I'd heard whispers that, sometimes, they snuck down early and I wanted to thank them in person for all of the memories they'd given me as a child. I wrote that I still believed in the magic of Christmas, even at 55 years young. Months later, I opened a letter from Santa's Village, Mrs. Santa Claus had accepted my invitation. She'd meet me for coffee at a little shop in Saratoga called "The Spot". I was ecstatic; the child in me jumped up and down in excitement. How lucky was I, having coffee with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world! "You're making me remember things that I haven't thought of in years! " She exclaimed, as we sat down in the corner. And so it started; Mrs. Santa and I, sharing two cups of steaming coffee, leaning over to talk about the magic of Christmas. The first thing she remembered about her visit to Saratoga, twenty nine years ago, was how quaint and Victorian the town was. She recalled how she and Santa had been personally invited to come and celebrate the holidays with the folks in town. Usually she stayed behind at the North Pole, working behind the scenes, so this was all new to her. This particular year, Mrs. Claus wanted a very special gift for Santa. She chuckled as she drank her coffee. "I couldn't send the elves to get it, they are horrible at keeping secrets! I knew I'd have to go myself.” She decided that Saratoga might be the perfect place to get his present. When stepping out of the sleigh, gazing at the old-fashioned streets for the very first time, her skirt got caught on the runner and she remembered hearing the tear of her bustle. "Oh my goodness," she thought. "I don't have my sewing machine, not even a needle and thread, how on earth will I mend this?" A passerby told them of a young woman who was busy making her name as the best seamstress in town. Michelle Erceg was the proprietor of "Best Dressed Windows In Town". Although she met with people by appointment only, when she heard of Mrs. Claus's dilemma she opened the shop doors and graciously mended her bustle. They'd chatted over coffee and became fast friends. "I felt the magic of Christmas right away in Saratoga, in the hope of children's hearts, to sit on Santa's lap and in adult's determination to help make that happen.” SaratogaMama.com
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e magic I felt th s right st m a of Chri Saratoga" a wa y i n
"The cottage there was not impressive," she recalled. "Actually, I was saddened by it. There were no cheerful red and green colors on the doors and it seemed like some of the roof shingles were falling off." She closed her eyes and shuddered. "Santa should never sit in a place like that, it was depressing! "
Shortly after their first visit to Saratoga, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were invited to come to the Victorian Streetwalk every year to help celebrate the holidays with the people of the town. Mrs. Claus had something to say about it. Actually, she had a lot to say about it. "If we're going to do this, Santa, the cottage has to change."She put her foot down. "Our cottage will have to be a bit bigger, a lot nicer, and it will need to remind me of home."Santa nodded to each of her demands. He knew she was a neat-nick and a stickler for detail. "The cottage ended up an exact replica of the playhouse my father had made for me when I was a little girl. All of the building supplies were donated by local businesses and even though I'd supplied a photograph of the cottage, I cried like a baby when it was finished. It was perfect! I felt like my father had surprised me with it all over again! Even the furniture and curtains matched the original. I was in awe, the magic of Christmas hugged me when I stepped inside." "There used to be a shop here in town. It was called Saratoga Beadwork. One day I walked in to see a young girl working with her mother, making necklaces in cheerful colors and patterns of little beads. Her jaw dropped when she saw me and we talked for a few minutes. She gave me a message to take back to Santa, giving me a big hug when I got ready to leave with my purchases.”Mrs. Claus took a sip of her coffee, sighing deeply before she began to talk again. "Her mom told me, much later, that her daughter had smiled brightly when the shop door closed behind me, instantly declaring that she'd make a special necklace, that she'd present it to me the next time I came to Saratoga.” "You have to understand, there were a lot less people back then, coming to celebrate the holidays in Saratoga. Several hundred, sometimes a few thousand, would wander around downtown during December, enjoying a cup of cocoa while window shopping or enjoying dinner with family, somewhere on Broadway,” she remembered. "Crowds would listen to carolers on street corners, or enjoy tree-lighting ceremonies while visiting. There was always something special to do in December!” Mrs. Claus exclaimed.
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“Once, I was standing in the street, talking to a wonderful young family about Christmas. I was asking what the holiday meant to them. All of a sudden, I heard someone yelling at the top of their lungs! They were screeching my name!" Mrs. Claus paused a moment to wipe her eyes. I was touched that she was crying. I didn't say anything, wanting her to finish this memory of that special moment. "I looked in that direction and saw the little girl from the bead shop! She was running, full-throttle, at me! The crowd opened up around her, so she had a clear path. She hit me like a ton of bricks, arms hugging me tightly, her face buried in my cape." My own eyes were watering now, spilling over with the emotion I was feeling. I let the tears run down my cheeks, brushing them away with the back of my hand. "This little one reached up, holding out a package. It was wrapped and tied with ribbon. She said it was for me, that she'd made me something extra special. I opened my most precious gift ever. It was a necklace. Made of red and green patterned beads, put together with little hands and a great deal of love." Mrs. Claus looked at me. "She's all grown up now, but I wear it every year under my sweater. I call it my 'Allison Necklace’."We both cried a little, laughing through our tears, drinking the last of our coffee. There is no better time than Christmas in Saratoga, no better feeling than embracing the hope and belief in the holiday season. The joy of giving, the belief in something bigger than ourselves and the promise of a better tomorrow for families everywhere, abounds here. It's like a warm blanket that covers all of us. Celebrating Christmas in The Spa City, sharing the magic of Santa's visit, alongside thousands of other people who also believe - well, there's nothing better than that, either.
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2016 SaratogaMama Kid Picks!
You gave us your opinion on the best options for families in Saratoga County including childcare, preschools, restaurants, shops, attractions and more! The businesses that received the most votes are awarded a 2016 Kid Picks stamp of approval. On the following pages you’ll get a glimpse of each business and learn more about what makes it special or unique.
Favorite Childcare Facility, Preschool and Private School
Favorite Indoor Recreation and Birthday Party Spot
Favorite Music and Sports Programs
Favorite Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch/Dinner and Dessert Spot
Favorite Playground, Park and Family Photographer
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Preschool Saratoga Independent School
The Saratoga Independent School is proud to be honored with a 2016 SaratogaMama Kid Picks award for best Preschool and best Private School! At the Saratoga Independent School, located on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, we offer a challenging multi-age curriculum to students in Pre-K through 6th grade. Our mission is to empower our students to become confident learners who are capable of critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Our school strives to build a sense of community and due to our low student to teacher ratio, our students and teachers build strong connections. The Saratoga Independent School also offers before and aftercare programs, full day options for Pre-K students, and summer camp and after school enrichment classes that are open to the public. To learn more, visit www.siskids.org or call (518) 583-0841.
Church Mouse Nursery School
We are excited and honored to receive the SaratogaMama Kid Picks award for Favorite Preschool! Christian values are emphasized throughout our program. We offer structured classes which are designed for both social and academic development. Our goal is to cultivate individual personalities while preparing children for the kindergarten experience. Classrooms are bright, clean and spacious, allowing our staff to give your child a quality preschool education in a warm, nurturing atmosphere. Thank you parents and friends for voting us Favorite Preschool!
Favorite Childcare Facility Maple Leaf Childcare Center
Since 1988, Maple Leaf Childcare has been family-owned and operated, giving children aged six weeks through twelve years the foundation they need to become lifelong learners. Maple Leaf’s core values are safety, family, nature, discovery and play. Linda and John, owners of Maple Leaf, began in Guilderland and expanded to Malta (two locations), Glenville and Rotterdam. They play an active role in the day-to-day operation of each childcare center. Linda shares her passion for early childhood education with her daughter Katie who works at their newest location on Route 9 in Malta. MLCC employs over 150 staff and cares for more than 600 children.
Learning to Know
We are so honored to have been chosen as a SaratogaMama Kid Pick three years in a row! Thank you to all who voted and to our wonderful staff! We take pride in focusing on both quality care along with an enhanced learning atmosphere. We feel each child is unique and we enjoy establishing lessons that will allow each child to learn within a secure, comfortable and nurturing environment. Learning To Know is a full-service educational facility, licensed by New York State offering infant through kindergarten wrap care, at two convenient locations. Please call us to tour one of our beautiful facilities, Clifton Park (518) 371-3722 or Saratoga (518) 226-0222. www.learningtoknow.net
Favorite Private School Waldorf School Inspiring a lifelong love of learning in students since 1981, the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, New York, offers a progressive curriculum, from birth to grade 12 that successfully integrates arts and academics to cultivate a genuine enthusiasm for learning.
Saratoga Independent School The Saratoga Independent School is proud to be honored with a 2016 Kid Picks Award for best Preschool and best Private School! See their full description above.
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Indoor Recreation Children’s Museum at Saratoga
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga is dedicated to creating an interactive environment for children that inspires curiosity, sparks imagination, and nurtures discovery. With two floors of imaginary play exhibits, children can explore and discover through hands-on activities. Schedule a fun and exciting birthday party, book a school outreach program, or stop by the museum and enjoy one of our many special or weekly programs! From our Busy Bees: Baby & Toddler Program to our Making Connections: Autism Program, the museum is proud to be a resource to the community for children and caretakers throughout the Saratoga County, the Capital Region, and beyond.
TreePaad Fun Center is a family-owned, family run business, where we understand the concept of family fun! Join us at Malta’s premiere Family Fun and Entertainment Spot, featuring age-appropriate games, rides, prizes that children of all ages from toddlers to big kids will appreciate. A place with great food for the family including freshly baked pizzas and snacks. TreePaad is a great place to take the kids for everyday fun or for special occasions such as birthdays, play groups and school fundraising events.
Favorite Birthday Party Spot Children’s Museum at Saratoga
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga is proud to be honored with a 2016 Kid Picks Award for favorite indoor recreation spot and favorite Birthday Party spotbest Preschool and best Private School! See their full description above.
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Saratoga Strike Zone
Located in Saratoga Springs New York, Saratoga Strike Zone is the Northeast's premier family entertainment center. Saratoga Strike Zone has something for everyone. Bowling, Ballocity, Bumper Cars, great food and more. If you’re looking for a location for your next group gathering or party, look no further than Saratoga Strike Zone!
• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Music Program/Instruction Allegro Music Studios
At Allegro Music Studios, our professional teachers provide the highest quality music instruction. Our student-centered approach to education is appropriate and effective for students of all ages and abilities, in any discipline from preschool group lessons to private vocal or instrumental. We host recitals and free classes regularly to supplement learning and to promote a caring and supportive environment within our school community. Our goal is to ensure that our students gain the most from their time with us, and we offer a free trial lesson to new students! We are so honored to be voted a family favorite in SaratogaMama’s Kid Picks!
Kindermusik with Saratoga Sings
Kindermusik offers music and movement classes for children ages newborn to 7 years. The program uses high-quality recordings, instruments, and award-winning literature books along with traditional nursery rhymes, fingerplays and songs to build a strong foundation of not only music education, but other areas of development, including cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and language development. Come join in the fun!
Favorite Kids Sports Program Amazing Athletes
Amazing Athletes is proud to have over 6 years of experience teaching children (ages 2-8) the basic fundamentals of 9 different sports and improving 7 key areas of motor development! Amazing Athletes enhances your child's learning experience through movement in a fun, educational and action-packed class! We strive to help your child meet and exceed their motor development milestones at their own comfort level while emphasizing patience, teamwork, and self-confidence. By exposing children to healthy choices and active living at an early age, the link between movement and improved brain development is strengthened.
Go Kids sports and exercise activities teach preschoolers the fundamentals of 7 different sports in a social, team based, non-competitive environment. Go Kids seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle, help develop a lifelong passion for physical activity, increase confidence and prepare children for participation in school and the broader community.
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Toy/Specialty Store Northshire Bookstore
G.Willikers Distinctive Toys is a long lasting tradition in Saratoga Springs NY. Our local families and friends anxiously look for gifts on all occasions packaged in one of our signature purple bags. For 23 years the elves at G. Willikers have been providing the community with specialty toys, games, puzzle and happy faces! We want all our customers to have FUN! G.Willikers is a happy place because we take having fun with children seriously. We love being able to provide you and your child with all they need to learn and grow.
Northshire Bookstore is a family-owned, independent, full service bookstore. Our expert booksellers can help find the perfect gift from our wide and deep selection of books and gifts. With a whole floor devoted to children, Northshire Bookstore specializes in getting kids excited about reading and being around books. In addition, we have toys, games, puzzles, educational activities and fun stuff for all ages. Our author event series brings world-class authors to you, so please check our web site – www.northshire. com – and sign up for our email newsletter. Books can change lives!
Favorite Spot for Kids Clothes Cuddle Bugs Consignment Boutique
We are a local, mom-owned business specializing in children's and maternity items with locations in Saratoga and Queensbury. We offer brand name, highquality children's and maternity clothing, accessories, toys, baby gear, and nursery furniture. Not only do we have an amazing selection of gently pre-owned items, we also offer many new items from local crafters and large manufacturers such as Charlie Banana, Amber Teething Necklaces and Melissa & Doug. We are very selective in what we accept so we can offer you the best! Discover what your friends with exceptionally well-dressed kids already know! We are currently accepting new consignors.
We’re so honored to have been chosen as Saratoga Mama’s favorite children's clothing store! MiMiBands specializes in personalized apparel. My inspiration came about in 2012 when my daughter, Mia (or as we like to call her, MiMi), was born. I was constantly searching for cute and unique clothing for her, but could never find what I pictured in my head. That’s when I decided to make my ideas come to life! Do you have an idea in your head that you’re unable to find? Shoot me an email and I can make YOUR ideas come to life too!
Favorite Boutique for Mom Piper Boutique
Piper Boutique is a fresh and fashion forward AFFORDABLE clothing boutique where you will feel inspired to try the latest trends in apparel and accessories at amazing price points. Everything is under $100. More than just a place to buy the latest trends, Piper is a place where women of all ages can come see the newest pieces each week and get some personal one-on-one styling. At Piper, it’s all about the personal attention you receive from the stylists who are listening to your needs and helping you find the right outfit for every occasion.
Violet’s of Saratoga
Violet's is a lifestyle boutique located in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs. We offer women an assortment of clothing that includes casual wear, denim, work wear and cocktail dresses as well as handbags, shoes, jewelry and gifts. We are devoted to bringing you a tightly edited selection of unique, wearable and affordable clothing and accessories by contemporary designers. The girls at Violet’s are here to help you reinvent your wardrobe, find you that perfect piece for a special event and can help with any fashion emergency. Some of the brands we carry include: BCBG Max Azria and Generation, Free People, French Connection, Muse, Paige, Hudson, 7 For All Mankind, The Frye Company, Sam Edelman, Vince Camuto and Seychelles.
Favorite Fitness Program Saratoga Regional YMCA
Thank you for voting the Saratoga Regional YMCA as your Favorite Fitness Program! The Y offers activities for the whole family with locations in Saratoga, Wilton, Malta, Greenwich, and Corinth. Facilities include top of the line cardio and weight lifting equipment, an indoor pool, field house, indoor track, gymnastics center and eight indoor tennis courts! Enjoy FREE group fitness classes, such as Zumba, cycling, bootcamps, warm yoga & more! New year, new you – sign up at the Saratoga Regional YMCA today! WWW.SRYMCA.ORG SaratogaMama.com
Baby Boot Camp
Baby Boot Camp offers stroller fitness classes for moms that want to get in shape. Suitable for any level of fitness or motherhood, Baby Boot Camp’s 60-minute classes will help kick start your weight loss while still allowing you to spend quality time with your baby. All class are taught and led by fully qualified and certified trainers. Visit www.BePositiveFitness.com for class locations and information.
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Dance Program Creative Dance Arts
Creative Dance Arts is a non-competitive school providing quality dance education to the Clifton Park area for the past 40 years. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is ideal for the beginning student as well as the accomplished dancer. We have many charitable dance performance opportunities throughout the year as well as a year end performance. Take a closer look to see what Creative Dance Arts is all about!
School of the Arts at the National Museum of Dance
More than just a dance studio, the School of the Arts is a cutting edge center of talent and inspiration. Incorporating a wide range of dance genres and levels, the SOA has grown into a wonderfully supportive community of students of all ages and backgrounds. The SOA shares great pride in the professional quality technique that is endowed upon all students by providing top-notch instructors and an encouraging atmosphere. It is a truly welcoming community of talent and creativity that continues to grow and expand in many different directions. The SOA continues to provide new and exciting classes/workshops and welcomes new students to the SOA family.
Favorite Gymnastics Program World Class Gymnastics
World Class Gymnastics is one of the Northeast’s premier gymnastics training facilities. We pride ourselves on our fully featured programs that contain everything from high level Junior Olympic national champions to classes for your just walking toddlers. Gymnastics is a exceptionally fun way to learn body awareness, strength and flexibility. Our two facilities located in Latham and Clifton Park offer learning opportunities available no where else in the Capital District. Fully featured gym areas, with equipment specifically designed for different size and level athletes, makes sure your gymnasts is learning in the best possible environment.
Cartwheels Gymnastics Center
Cartwheels Gymnastics Center is committed to enhance the learning, personal growth, and self confidence of every child that walks through our doors. These core values are taught through the basic principles of gymnastics and movement. Our emphasis aside from the obvious (gymnastics of course!) is to foster a fun, safe, and loving environment where each child feels special in what they learn and accomplish. Our passion is to help children feel good about themselves while helping them to appreciate the importance of physical activity. 26 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Kid-Friendly Breakfast/Brunch Iron Roost
Since April 2012 Iron Roost has been joyfully serving up unique breakfast and lunch creations six days a week. Our concept stems simply from the desire to be different. From our name, to the space, and the menu, we’ve sparked a level a curiosity that has served us quite well. So many people have asked,”Why waffles?”. We say, “Why not?!”. Waffles are delicious, they are unique, and most importantly, they are so versatile that we were able to build an entire menu based around them. From sweet to savory, we can almost guarantee you’ll find something to satisfy your craving! Even for the dairy- and gluten-free seekers, we have something for you too!
In the heart of Ballston Lake is our famous country store - Lakeside Farms. We are well-known for our great breakfasts and superb lunches as well as being the home of the original apple cider donut. In our country store you will find a large variety of baked goods and fresh home baked pies. We carry the freshest produce and seasonal favorites through December. The Farmhouse Gift Shoppe is brimming with wonderful gifts and decorative items for everyone to enjoy. We welcome you to come in, slow down and relax at Lakeside Farms.
Kid-Friendly Lunch/Dinner Circus Cafe
Thank you for voting Circus Cafe your Favorite Kid-Friendly Lunch/Dinner Restaurant again! Enjoy festive American cuisine at the #1 destination for food and fun in Saratoga Springs! Circus Cafe is the home of Saratoga’s Award Winning Burger, Best Family Dining, Amazing Homemade Cotton Candy and inspired menu options. Expect supreme service and fine fare while experiencing an "over the top" fun yet sophisticated vision of the circus. The Circus Cafe menu offers something for everyone, including a great kids menu, delightful dessert menu, colorful bar menu, as well as a separate gluten-free menu. Circus Cafe is open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner, and late night dining. Call us to reserve your birthday, holiday, corporate and milestone events. Off site catering also available.
At CANTINA, we are committed to serving fresh, delicious Mexican cuisine and festive drinks in a relaxing atmosphere. Our dedicated staff takes pride in our authentic Mexican dishes made from the freshest local ingredients. Stop by for our famous margaritas or bring the whole family for dinner— We look forward to seeing you!
Favorite Dessert Spot Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk
Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk is a modern cookie bakery and milk bar in downtown Saratoga Springs. Cookies & Milk is locally owned and operated by the family behind Plum Dandy Frozen Yogurt & Toppings. All of their baked goods are made daily from scratch in our bakery.
Mrs. London's is owned and operated by Wendy and Michael London. Mrs. London's is a bakery - cafe in the heart of Saratoga Spring. Mrs. London is, in fact, Wendy London, my wife and Muse. Mrs. London's, however, is larger than both of us and represents an ideal of baking to which we aspire. We're convinced that no matter how good something may seem to us today, there is always room for improvement and that as long as we continue to grow and evolve, our bread and confections will improve accordingly.
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Pediatric Practice Community Care Pediatrics
Community Care Physicians is a physician-owned, physician-run multi-specialty medical group with more than 180 doctors and other clinicians practicing out of 35 offices throughout the New York Capital District. True to its name, Community Care Physicians is an organization dedicated to ensuring that physicians oversee and manage all aspects of patient care. Over the past 20 years Community Care has grown because both doctors and patients recognize the special value created when the physician is free to focus on the practice of medicine.
Pediatric Associates of Saratoga
we have been providing quality medical care for children and adolescents for over forty years. Our board certified pediatricians and mid level practitioners work together alongside our clinical staff to provide a professional, caring, nurturing healthcare environment for your family. Our providers are members of the Medical Staff at both Glens Falls and Saratoga Hospital available for inpatient care should the need arise. We are open seven days a week with extended hours, with a provider on call 24/7 so we are available when you need us.
Favorite OB/GYN Myrtle Street Obstetrics & Gynecology
The mission of Myrtle Street Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C. is to provide quality obstetrical and gynecologic care to women of all ages, from puberty through menopause. Our pledge is to treat women with respect, to take their health concerns seriously and to recognize that each individual is unique. Our goal is to provide this care in a timely fashion, with the utmost confidentiality within a safe and clean environment.
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Capital Region Midwifery
Capital Region Midwifery offers full scope midwifery and gynecology services and serves women throughout the Capital Region, including Troy, Schenectady, Albany, Clifton Park, Latham, Kingston, Saratoga Springs and Cohoes. We have over 60 years of combined experience caring for women and have delivered over 1,500 babies.
• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Pediatric Eye Care Vaughn Vision Family Eyecare
Our goal at Vaughn Vision is to help you get the most out of your vision. We provide our patients with the highest quality professional eye care. For us, comprehensive eye care is not just about providing eye exams - it’s about learning about you - how you work, play, and use your sight on a daily basis, and creating a customized solution just for you!
Favorite Pediatric Dentist The Smile Lodge Pediatric Dentistry
At The Smile Lodge Pediatric Dentistry, we proudly provide pediatric dental services to infants, children and teens from throughout the Capital Region. It is our mission to exceed the expectations of every parent who entrusts us to care for their child’s oral health. For unsurpassed excellence of clinical care, all of our doctors are specialty trained and licensed pediatric dentists. We work together as a team to provide an exceptional healthcare experience in a friendly, cheerful and relaxed environment. Through early intervention, education and prevention we strive to treat dental disease before it becomes dental decay.
Nicole Byrne Pediatric Dentistry
“Dr. Nikki” and our staff provide exceptional specialized pediatric dental care for the children in our community using the most current dental technologies. Our staff is specially trained to foster trust and confidence in each child to help ensure pediatric dental care is a positive experience for all!
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Place for a Moms Night Out Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio
All you need to bring is YOURSELF! At Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, a local artist will instruct you step by step through an original piece of art. You get to take home your one-of-a-kind painting—and hopefully a new found talent! Whether its girls night out, date night, or a fun outing with your little one, we paint, sip, and party with you! Kids are welcome to our public classes and we host a monthly kids only Pint Sized Picasso Night for your little artists! We're also available for birthday parties and private events. Check out SaratogaPaintandSip.com for our calendar, info on private parties, and to register for classes!
The Saratoga Winery
Your experience at The Saratoga Winery & Tasting Room will be just that, an experience. Come enjoy a wide variety of our exceptional wines only 4 miles west of downtown Saratoga Springs, New York. The atmosphere is warm, comfortable and inviting to all. We offer wine tasting during all business hours!
Favorite Specialty Practice Schuyler Creek Chiropractic Center
Schuyler Creek Chiropractic is a holistic healthcare facility for the entire family. We specialize in prenatal and pediatric care, but we care for everyone in every stage of life. We incorporate the entire person as they are and listen to their needs. The atmosphere of the office is kid friendly, warm and inviting. Throughout the year we hold talks and meetings for families to come learn and be a part of a holistic community.
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• 2016 KID PICKS • Favorite Playground Shenantaha Creek Park, Malta
Gavin Park, Wilton
Favorite Park, Trail or Nature Preserve Congress Park, Saratoga
Saratoga Spa State Park
Favorite Family Photographer
Jennifer Pondillo Photography Jennifer Pondillo Photography is three year recipient of a Saratoga Mama Kid Picks award for Favorite Family Photographer. She specializes in maternity, newborn, child and family custom portraits serving the Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Albany and surrounding areas. Jennifer is a mom of 4 little girls herself, so she aims to capture who your child is in her artwork. Your child's pout, smile and giggles are all part of what makes their unique personality so special. She will capture not only the beauty of who they are but also your family's love so that you can cherish these moments forever.
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Ashley Wilbur Photography
Ashley Wilbur Photography is a boutique studio, specializing in posed and lifestyle photography. Ashley captures natural, organic photographs of happy families and beautiful babies. She excels at capturing the magic of everyday moments with a soft, classic touch. She is particularly passionate about photographing the sweet, tiny, intoxicating miracles of newborn babies. She provides newborn packages, arriving at the new parents’ house with everything necessary to capture the essence of the miracle of life. Ashley’s friendly, professional demeanor is matched by her attention to detail, striving to deliver the best possible images and photography experiences for her families and babies. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
• 2016 KID PICKS •
Editor's Picks Favorite Specialty Grocer Healthy Living Market and Cafe located in the Wilton is a natural foods market that specializes in natural, organic and local products. We adore Healthy Living Market because in addition to buying our healthy pantry staples, produce, meats, and bath and body care items, we can shop easily with the kids entertaining them with a delicious and healthy muffin, scone, smoothie or other delicious prepared-food item. Did we mention they have an amazing beer and wine selection too? So conveniently located in Wilton Mall it’s now impossible to walk by Healthy Living Market and not stop in for something!
Favorite Family Auto Dealer With reputation being the key foundation to sales and service at Mangino Buick and Mangino Chevrolet, "Sales and service, the Mangino Family way" is the basis for every car or truck that leaves our dealership. Reputation is what sets us apart as a family-run business. Whether it's a New Buick or Chevrolet, Previously Owned vehicle or a vehicle in for service; the Mangino name goes with every vehicle.
Favorite New Business Creative Corks is an instructional art studio located in Ellsworth Commons in Malta. They offer art classes for kids, birthday parties and special events, evening classes for adults, family paint, and teen nights. Relax with a drink from the bar and be guided through a painting or art project in their hip studio space. Creative Corks - 1107 Ellsworth Blvd. in Malta. www.creativecorksmalta.com
on pon Cou 14! page
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Being Less Than Perfect is Just By Jan Snedaker
ilton Berle said it best when he asked, "If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”. I also want to know why there are only 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. Honestly, I could use about double the time and double the hands. Trying to figure out how to 'do it all' has brought on more than one migraine lately. Time is slipping away and my little ones get bigger each day reminding me of the moments that passed too quickly that I can never get back. I know there will be many more moments to cherish but to do so I need to learn to let go of the idea of perfection as a mother. Guilt and stress come along when one feels they are not doing what they 'should' be doing but as a mother who determines what one should do? In the end it is ourselves that bring this feeling of inadequacy which leads to the aforementioned guilt and stress, lessening the enjoyment of being a mother. Rethinking what we ‘think’ moms should do, may actually show us we are doing a pretty good job after all:
It is okay to do other things while your kids play. I cannot help but feel a pang of guilt when I hear my kids playing happily while I am distracted by doing something 34 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
else. That pang is telling me I should be with them, sitting on the floor laughing and having fun. But the truth is these are the perfect times for me to be doing something else, or nothing at all. It is not only okay to let kids play on their own, it is actually healthy for them. I have seen them overcome disagreements and turn boredom into excitement without my guidance. Giving children time to play together without you dictating everything forces them to solve problems, learn appropriate social interactions, and use their imagination.
Eating dinner together every night is not necessary. Yes, studies have shown that children who have regular family dinners are less likely to use alcohol and drugs but it is not the eating part that makes a difference, it is the time spent together that matters. Any quality time with your children, talking to them and listening to them, helps keep the family bond strong. Children just need to experience a time each day where they are reminded of how much you care about them. This could be in the car on the way to or from an activity, snuggled up on the couch or in bed at the end of the day, or in the morning while enjoying the sunrise. Whatever time works for your family will work just as well as dinnertime. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
Parenting books are not as good as talking to another parent. The best advice and support I have ever received has come from another mom not some PhD who wrote a generic book about parenting. It does not take a higher degree to understand and support someone who has been up for three weeks with a toddler who refuses to sleep through the night or to be empathetic to a mom who has been home all day with her two kids who continually fight with each other. As moms we have all been there and done that. We have all experienced the difficulties and the triumphs of motherhood. We have all done and said the wrong thing and learned that it did not really matter in the end because our kids love us no matter what and we love our kids more than anything. Most times just hearing you are not alone is all that is needed to make everything feel better.
Party pressure is a real thing but it does not have to be (This one has two parts) Throughout the school year and especially during the holidays, parties can become a source of stress. It might sound great to think of every weekend being filled with parties, but after a few fun-filled weekends you may start to feel overbooked. Going to parties is a choice, not an obligation and it is okay to say ‘no thank you’ if it makes your schedule more manageable. Being one of a large number of guests is not important and if you truly feel bad about not making it to a party try to set up another,
more convenient time to get together where your time will be more appreciated. If you choose to throw a party it does not have to look like a Pinterest post or cost a fortune. A few years ago I invited a bunch of my children’s friends from preschool and their siblings for an end of the year party in our backyard. An hour before everyone arrived, I panicked. I had no games planned, no decorations, and no main attraction. I had thought just having the freedom to play together and run around in our backyard would be enough, but what if it was not? Turns out it was more than enough. The kids had a ton of fun and so did the parents. All children and adults need is good company, decent food, and maybe a few drinks to have a good time. The extras you put into your party may make the party look pretty and party goers will appreciate the effort, but if your time and budget do not allow for more, no one will think any different and a good time will still be had by all. As moms, we need to learn to give ourselves a pat on the back more often and instead of thinking about all the things we should be doing, remind ourselves of all we have been doing. We might find the guilt melts away, happiness prevails, and being a mom becomes less about being perfect and more about enjoying life just the way it is.
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Preschool Directory * Denotes schools represented at the Saratoga Springs Preschool Fair
ABC Nursery School
Katrina Trask Nursery Co-operative Nursery School *
(518) 373-8ABC • TheABCNurserySchool.com 13 Old Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065
(518) 584-8968 • email@example.com 24 Circular Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Open Houses for 2, 3, 4 year old programs... Thursday, January 28th 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Friday, January 29th 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Academy Nursery School (518) 664-7440 • helpinghands.org 4 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Apple-A-Day Nursery School * (518) 260-1821 • Visit us on Facebook 45 Washington St. Saratoga Springs NY, 12866 OPEN HOUSE: Wednesday, December 17th 9:30 – Noon
Apple Blossom Bunch * (518) 527-3105 • appleblossombunch.com 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
The Beagle School * (518) 587-7507 • beagleschool.com 115 Regent St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: 115 Regent Street 3 & 4 year old programs: Monday, January 12th 10:30-12:30 107 Circular Street 2 year old program: Tuesday, January 13th 10:00-11:30 We will be attending the Preschool Fair on the 24th and on those days both locations will be open from 10-1.
Burnt Hills United Methodist Christian (518) 399-6133 • bhpreschool.com 816 Route 50, Burnt Hills, NY 12027
Church Mouse Nursery School (518) 885-8362 • churchmousepreschool.com 202 Milton Ave. Ballston Spa, NY 12020 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 7th, 10 – 12 noon.
Children’s Academy of Malta (518) 289-5485 • childrensacademyny.com 2381 Route 9 Building 5, Mechanicville, NY 12118
Learning to Know learningtoknow.net 1536 Crescent Rd., Clifton Park - (518) 371-3722 60 Weibel Ave., Saratoga Springs - (518) 226-0222
Little Angels Nursery School (518) 885-5583 • littleangelsns.com 22 West High Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Malta Montessori School * (518) 633-1971 • maltamontessori.com 100 Saratoga Village Blvd. Suite 34 A, Malta, NY 12020
Newmeadow * (518) 899-9235 • newmeadow.org 100 Saratoga Village Blvd. Suite 35, Malta, NY 12020
North Country Academy * (518) 746-7133 • northcountryacademy.com 7 Care Lane, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
The Sara Marie School (518) 280-3982 • thesaramarieschool.org 942 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065 OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, January 11, 2015 1-3pm
Saratoga Abundant Life Pre-School * (518) 885-5456 salchurch.org/preschool 2325 Route 50 South, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Saratoga EOC Head Start & Early Head Start
G.L.O.B.E. Chinese Immersion Pre-School *
(518) 583-2584 • SaratogaEOC.org Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Sites throughout Saratoga County
(518) 290-0454 • globeschool.org 112 Spring St. suite 105 • Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Saratoga Hansel & Gretel
(518) 584-0934 66 Seward St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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Saratoga Independent School * (518) 583-0841 www.siskids.org 459 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Open Houses: Friday, January 29th at 9 AM and Saturday, March 19th at 10 AM Call today to RSVP or to schedule a personal visit
Saratoga Regional YMCA *
St. Mary’s School
(518) 885-7300 • smsbspa.org 40 Thompson Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
St. Paul’s Lutheran Christian Childhood Center * (518) 584-0904 ext. 3 • spelcss.com 149 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Storybook Academy *
518-583-9622, ext. 114 www.srymca.org 290 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-583-4342 100 Saratoga Blvd, Malta, NY 12866 Open House at Saratoga Springs Branch: Wednesday, January 28, 2015; 7:00-8:00 pm
Sunrise Children Learning Center
Shooting Stars Childcare
(518) 373-1280 • sunrisechildren.com 200 Technology Park, Clifton Park, NY 12065
(518) 371-2306 • shootingstarschildcareinc.com 609 Route 146 A, Suite 104, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Time 2 Learn Pre-School *
Skidmore Early Childhood Center *
(518) 225-0294 • (518) 363-0058 231 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Held in the Parish Center of St. Clements Church
(518) 580-5473 • skidmore.edu/ecc 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Small Wonders Christian Pre-School * (518) 584-3720 ext. 114 • smallwondersps.org 175 5th Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Call today for a personal tour
(518) 587-0707 • storybookacademy.net 421 Geyser Rd. Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Teddy Bear Day Care Center (518) 584-2273 • teddybeardaycarecenter.net 4 Mountain Ledge Drive Wilton, NY 12831
Tiny Tots Early Learning Center
(518) 371-2034 • tinytotsearlylearningcenter.com 1536 Crescent Rd., Clifton Park 12065
(518) 290-7607 • smartearly.com 39 Old Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065
The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs *
Spa Christian Pre-School * (518) 885-0508 • spachristian.com 206 Greenfield Ave., Ballston Spa, NY 12020 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 7, 10am - 12pm. DISCOVERY DAY: Wednesday, February 25, 9am-11am. WELCOME THURSDAYS! From 8am-2pm.
St. Clements Catholic School * (518) 584-7350 • stclementsschool.org 231 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Call today to schedule your personal tour.
St. George School (518) 371-6351 • stgeorgeschoolcp.org 912 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065
(518) 584-7643 ext. 16 • waldorfsaratoga.org 122 Regent St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Open House: Saturday, January 23, 2016 All School Open House from 10:00-1:00 pm. All locations will be open touring.
8th Annual Saratoga Springs Preschool Fair January 23, 2016 10 a.m. – Noon This is a wonderful opportunity to explore area preschools with over a dozen preschools represented!. For more information please contact Anne Maguire at the Waldorf School at (518) 584-7643 ext. 14 or The Children’s Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library at (518) 5847860 press 3. www.sspl.org This program will take place at the Saratoga Springs Public Library in the H. Dutcher Community Room.
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FAMILY FUN in the Winter By Kristen Corbisiero
When the cold weather rolls in and you feel like hibernating, don’t! There are lots of fun wintertime activities to do right here in the Capitol Region. From taking a quiet hike in a beautiful state park, skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondacks and Catskills, and lots of sledding and ice skating adventures, there are plenty of fun activities to return the rosy glow to your children’s faces and ignite their spirits.
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Winter is a great time to hit the trails for more reason than one: not only are the crowds gone, but many parks display their true beauty after a fresh snowfall. Even though it may feel cold, your body starts to generate heat just after 10 to 15 minutes of walking, especially if it’s a strenuous trail. Still, layering is an important aspect of winter hiking that can’t be overlooked. When layering, remember: • A base layer wicks away moisture • A fleece jacket provides insulation and warmth • A shell helps keeps you dry and prevents wind penetration Always remember: avoid cotton. Once it’s wet, it no longer provides insulation. It wicks heat away from your body and puts you at risk for hypothermia.
Additional important winter hiking apparel includes: • Hat • Gloves • Extra socks • Scarf Here are a few great winter hiking locations in the Capital District: • Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton NY: Not only is this State Park easy to get to, their winter festival (usually held in January) is an annual event locals and out-of-staters look forward to every year. • Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Albany, NY: Rolling sandy terrain packed with numerous hiking trails yields a wealth of all-season possibilities. This year’s featured event series, Wildlife in the Winter, occurs inside and outside from December 27-30 and explores winter wildlife habitats, hibernation, saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
and science investigations for a small fee. • Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar, NY: This park features outdoor educational programs in addition to miles of scenic trails. • Adirondack Park • Catskill Mountains
Skiing & Snowshoeing
Skiing can be downhill or cross country. Downhill skiing is thrilling, it is fast, it is fun, and it can also cost a bundle between the price of lift tickets, gear, lessons, and if you decide to partake in the food faire at the mountain or BYO. Cross country skiing is a great way to explore the woods and take in the beauty of winter all while enjoying some great exercise. Snowshoeing is easy to learn, much less expensive than downhill skiing, poses little risk to injury, and is also a great form of exercise in the winter. If you’ve never tried it, there are many local places that offer gear rental for as little as $10. Regardless of skiing or snowshoeing, clothing type as well as food and supplies are two important factors when heading out for an adventure. Here are some helpful words of advice: • Dress in layers of wind and waterproof clothes. • Wear gloves that cover your wrist or strap under your jacket. If you fall, snow that reaches your skin will instantly cause a chill and you may get wet. • Cover your head. • Winds at the top of the mountain SaratogaMama.com
can make it feel significantly colder than the actual temperature. In my personal experience, wind is worse than the cold. Dress in layers that are windproof; if you have too many layers, you can always take them off. • Never wear jeans! Jeans are composed of cotton and feel like lead when cold. Jeans get wet and you will freeze. There are lots of fancy pants out there, but regardless of brand and price, you want something that will keep you warm and dry. • High energy food keeps you going the whole day. It is both energy and warmth to keep your stamina up and gives you a reason to stop along the way. Looking for a local ski area or snowshoeing location? Here are some great local spots: • Saratoga Spa State Park is a beautiful place to enjoy a walk on a brisk winter day and they also rent gear in the warming hut. • Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park also offers rentals and trails along with lots of guided group walks • Saratoga National Historical Park/Saratoga Battlefield offers crosscountry ski and snowshoe trails – selfguided • Moreau Lake State Park offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing – self-guided
• Bog Meadow Nature Trail – open all year and great trail for snowshoeing. • Woods Hollow Nature Preserve in Milton – 130 acres of marked trails great for snowshoeing. Access on Rowland Street and Northline Road, Ballston Spa Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, Northville, NY Head to your local golf course for (usually) free and fabulous terrain to cross country ski or snowshoe. Downhill Ski Locations within 50 miles of Saratoga: • Maple Ski Ridge, Schenectady, NY • Hickory Ski Center, Warrensburg, NY • Willard Mountain, Greenwich, NY • West Mountain, Glens Falls NY • Gore Mountain, North Creek, NY • Jiminy Peak, Hancock, MA TIP: The Alpine Sports Shop in Saratoga offers a great rental program for downhill skis, cross country skis and snowshoes.
Whether indoors or out, this is always a popular event among the old and young at heart. There are plenty of local places to go including: • Saratoga Springs Ice Rink, Saratoga Springs, NY • Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga, NY • Gavin Park, Wilton, NY • Knickerbacker Recreational Facility, Troy, NY • Nearby lakes offer great ice skating potential, but be sure the ice is solid before your adventure. Potential locations include: Lake George, Great Sacandaga Lake, Saratoga Lake, and Ballston Lake.
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Sledding with family and friends has been a rite of passage for generations. Anywhere there’s snow and a hillside, you can find people sledding. You probably went sledding as a kid and want to share this experience with your children. While fun, sledding can also be dangerous, so be sure to follow a few ground rules: • Choose the right hill. Not all hills are safe, and some may be too steep for little ones. Look for hills that: have a flat area at the bottom to stop; don’t end near a street or parking lot; don’t end near ponds, trees, fences, or other hazards; are free of obstacles; are snowy and not icy. • Sled during the daylight hours. Visibility is better. • Dress for the cold. Wear sensible clothing: hat, gloves, mittens/
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gloves, snowpants, winter jacket, boots. Bring extra clothes in case you get wet. • Don’t wear scarves or any other clothing type that could get caught on something and cause strangulation. • Wear a helmet, especially if your child is 12 or younger. • Use a sled that is safe: brakes slow down a rider – avoid those that can’t be steered and don’t use a substitute sled like a lunch tray or cardboard box. • Be sled-smart: supervise your child, children under 5 should ride with an adult, children should face forward and be seated, go one at a time, keep arms and legs inside the sled, and walk up the side of the hill. In upstate NY, you will find many terrific locations to enjoy sledding: • Capital Hills Golf Course, Albany, NY
• Washington Park, Albany, NY • Frear Park, Troy, NY • McGregor Links Country Club, Wilton, NY • Kinns Road Park, Clifton Park, NY • Saratoga Battlefield, Saratoga, NY • River Road Park, Schenectady, NY • Collins Park, Scotia, NY • Indian Meadows, Glenville, NY • East Greenbush Town Park, East Greenbush, NY • Tawasentha Park, Guilderland, NY • Elm Ave. Park, Bethlehem, NY Even if skiing is not your cup of tea, there are lots of fun things to do this winter in and around the Capital Region. Don’t dread the upcoming snow and cold, get out there and celebrate the beauty of the season – and the fun to be had – this winter with your family!
Creative Cuisine that's out of this world
By Jodie Fitz
Blast into the new year with some fun outer space-themed recipes that are sure to delight your little stars!
Flying Saucers for Breakfast • 1 honey wheat pita
Heat a griddle-style pan over low heat.
• 2 -3 tablespoons shredded sharp cheese
Using a round cookie cutter, cut out the center of the pita.
• 1 egg
• Black pepper
Butter both sides and place one side onto the pan and begin to toast it for a minute or two.
• Onion powder
Add a little bit of butter to the center opening and crack an egg into the center.
• Sea salt
• Garlic powder
Break the yoke with a spatula. Season the egg with a dash of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Let the egg cook until it looks almost done. Flip the flying saucer in one complete piece. Season the egg with a dash of the spices on the next side. Add the shredded cheese and cook the egg the rest of the way, melting the cheese. Serve with a side of fresh fruit.
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Roll slices of honey wheat bread flat with a rolling pin. Using a large circle cookie cutter cut a circle into the bread. You will need two slices per UFO. Use any of the three combinations below for the filling. Start by spreading either the peanut butter or the cream cheese mixture on the bottom of one round slice leaving approximately a ¼ inch from the edge plain. Add the other slice to the top. Using a fork, go around the two edges pressing them together to seal the sandwich pocket.
3 UFO Fillings: • 2 tablespoons peanut butter • 1 tablespoon honey • Banana slices, thin • Cinnamon
Mix the peanut butter and honey together to use as a spread. Sprinkle cinnamon on to the banana slices. You will use approximately 3 slices per UFO. This peanut butter mixture should make three UFO sandwiches.
• 2 tablespoons peanut butter • 1 tablespoon honey
• Apple thinly sliced and diced • Cinnamon
Mix the peanut butter and honey together to use as a spread. Sprinkle cinnamon on to the apple pieces. This peanut butter mixture should make three UFO sandwiches.
• 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese • 1-tablespoon yogurt based ranch dressing
• 1 tablespoon finely shredded or chopped carrots • Cucumber, sliced thin
Mix the whipped cream cheese, ranch dressing and chopped carrots together to create the spread. Spread it onto the bread & top with 1 – 3 cucumbers depending on the thickness.
f An "out o " this world ! lunch idea
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Ask Dr. Jen
Stress Less This Holiday Season
Dr. Jennifer Smitkin is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified School Psychologist, and owner of Psychology Wellness Practice, PLLC in Latham, NY.
My husband does not have a relationship with his father and as our kids get older they are beginning to notice his absence, especially around the holidays. What is the best way to explain this to our children?
As parents, it can be tempting to “have all the answers” for your children. In some cases, though, children are not looking for you to solve a problem or even answer a question. What they really need is someone to listen. And this type of listening is very different from what you might think. It is listening to understand rather than listening to respond. In the latter, a parent listens to their children and, while doing so, is formulating a response, often times to “make it better.” In the former, you as a parent can take the pressure off by listening to understand your children and not to provide any unique response or solution. So if your children say, “It’s weird that we don’t see Grandpa anymore, not even for the holidays,” you might say, “How do you feel about not seeing him?”
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If your children ask you a question, again, no need to rush in to provide the answer. If your children say, “Why does everyone else get to see their Grandpa for the holidays but we don’t?” you might say, “Wow, that’s a great question. Why do you think that you don’t see Grandpa for the holidays?” Their answer will give you an opportunity to better know their perspective. If clarification is needed, a simple response could be, “Grandpa spends the holidays out of state and we celebrate here.” Give as much information as necessary to answer the question, but do not feel the need to go in-depth or respond beyond the question. Again, children often want their feelings to be heard more than anything.
There is a member of our extended family who always chooses to speak about inappropriate topics in front of our children. How can we let this person know, while his presence is more than welcome at our house, some of his conversation is not?
My child’s wish list is a mile long and I’m worried he will be sad that many of the gifts he hoped for will not be received. How do I handle the financial stress?
Financial pressures around the holidays can be an undesired by-product of the season. On the one hand, there is nothing quite like seeing the look on your child’s face when he/she opens the gift that is “…just what I wanted!” On the other hand, maintaining an appropriate budget for the holiday season is important and a fantastic way of teaching children early on about the importance of saving and spending. What’s more? Credit card debt is not the answer. That will guarantee financial stress year after year. To reduce financial stress around the holidays, begin saving early, for example, $1.00 per day at a certain point during the year. If you are wondering where you are going to come up with that $1.00 a day, I have four words for you: Sweat the small stuff. For most, it’s those $5.00 purchases that add up to be savings killers. One less $5.00 coffee a week
Sometimes the name of the game around the holiday season is “keeping the peace.” But when this idea is contrary to protecting young ears, it can be quite the dilemma. As soon as children are able to talk, they are listening to what is being said around them. Not to mention that children can sometimes sound like little echoes of what they are hearing. Managing the world of language around your children is important so they do not become young minds involved in adult conversations. In this case, prevention is key! You already know this particular family member has a tendency toward adult topics. No need to wait for something inappropriate to pop up again in order to intervene. Find an opportunity to speak with the family member near the beginning of the gathering. Pulling the family member aside alone may make he/she feel singled out, which could create unwanted tension. Rather, join in a group conversation with the identified family member, and nonchalantly mention that you have noticed your children listening intently and absorbing everything they are hearing. Then enter in a request that everyone be aware of their conversation when little ears are in the room. If an inappropriate topic is still raised despite your best efforts to prevent it, simply change the subject or suddenly remember something fun your children can engage in while in another room. Then you can address this directly with the family member before the end of your gathering.
and you just saved $260.00 over a year - and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to cut out things you love (for me it is ice cream!). I am asking you to prioritize. Spend less on what you don’t need to make sure you have enough for what you do need. Sometimes it helps to model spending limits for children by structuring gift giving. For example, your child receives three gifts for the holiday: 1. A clothing item, or something to wear, 2. A toy/”gadget,” or something for fun, and 3. An “experience,” like a day out somewhere he/she has been hoping to visit. For more about practical strategies for saving and spending, and also a great stocking-stuffer for your teenager, see I Want More Pizza: Real World Money Skills for High School, College, and Beyond by Steve Burkholder.
Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 45
Clothes Talk what your wardrobe says about you
By Brandon Dewyea Image Maven, findyourmoxie.net
e have all done itrolled out of bed, and hit the ground running with full intentions of returning to "get dressed." Now, somehow it’s noon, and we still are not really put together for how we intended. Sure, you never anticipated having to go on three different errands, yet, it happens. Perhaps you had to dash to the school to drop off your child's project, which was left behind. Or swing into the post office to mail an order to a client. And then of course, there is the practical added errand like getting milk to save a later trip. As luck would have it you run into three people you know along the way… How do you feel when you engage with these people? Are you happy to see them? Are you comfortable? Do you feel prepared to answer a question about your business? Or, are you just hoping they don’t notice the toothpaste markings on your sweatshirt? I am not advocating for perfection. Perfection is not realistic, and it’s not genuine. I am a believer of feeling comfortable. That can mean many things to different people. I know for me when I feel disheveled or drab, I don’t feel my best. This in turn can influence how I interact with others.
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How we present ourselves in every area of our lives sets the tone. Whether we are aware of this or not, we ARE our personal image; this influences how others perceive us. While it would be nice to think we are not so impressionable, we as humans simply are. What we wear is a huge piece of how we present ourselves to the world.
"Dress poorly and people will notice your clothes. Dress well and people will notice you." - Coco Chanel Defining your personal or business brand is one of the most special gifts you give to yourself and the world. It is your time to shine! My wish as an image maven is that every woman shine in her own miraculous and unique way! There are many facets that go into a successful brand. Like any task it can be more manageable when taken in steps. Your attire is one piece but it’s also an important one. The beauty of exploring your style is also knowing that it will evolve and change over time. So be patient. Remember, this isn’t about being perfect. Everyone starts somewhere and like anything new it can feel awkward before it feels elegant. This is an invitation to hone in on your unique style which will compliment and attract more positive experiences.
Everything we do affects our personal and professional brand. It is up to us to determine whether our brand is affected positively or negatively.
What exactly is Branding?
Simply put, Branding is the process of influencing perception. Branding helps people perceive us and our company in the way WE CHOOSE.. notice the words "we choose", because if we don’t shape our brand, other people will shape it for us... In their minds, they will make assumptions quickly based on their impressions of us. Attire is an instant language. Branding is what helps you stand out in the marketplace. When you step into the glorious person you are and present your unique self, that is the best kind of confidence and positive marketing. Why? Because it’s genuine and it’s relatable. With such a fast-paced society today, people are craving personable relationships which are authentic. When you are being truly you, this ensures trust and supportive attention. This trust is just as valuable if you are forming relationships with other parents or meeting with a client. It’s all related for you’re always presenting yourself in every area of your life. From picking up your “to go” food to walking into a meeting.
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Your clothing is a tool. It can work for you or against you. The key is knowing how to dress your body and honoring your style.
Where to begin?
Following are a few steps to get you started on the path of exploring your personal brand.
just make sure you keep moving forward. Refreshing and defining your style really takes very little effort and it can be so very fun! Women have gotten away from dressing up. Many of us didn’t think twice about it when we were younger - clomping around in our Mother’s shoes and pearls and loving it for we were supporting our imagination and self expression. We need to give to ourselves as we often are doing for others. For when we do, we shine both personally and professionally.
Be Unforgettable - Aside from your wisdom and sunny demeanor, what sets you apart? What do you want people to remember about you? Now this doesn’t mean you grab an over the top fluffy jacket fit for show tunes. It means there is something that you add which is noticeable. Perhaps it’s a savvy accent color, a necklace which is unique, or a flattering hat. Having a piece that draws the eye in can not only be a way to be memorable it also can be a great conversation starter. Be Authentic - Do not try to mold yourself to what others think you should be. If you are not dressing in a style that is comfortable not only will you suffer but it can affect the integrity of the relationship as well. Be the best version of yourself. Bring In The Troops - It is valuable to reach out
to those trusted individuals for feedback who will be honest with you because they care. Choose wisely. Gathering some friends for a night in to sift through your clothes can be a blast! If you do not have the right type of support then you may want to consider retaining a professional. We all need a trusted confidant to provide honest feedback, be kind, loving and support our individuality.
Get Inspired And Excited! - When you look at your closet you should get excited by the items that fill them for they ideally make you feel beautiful and happy! If they do not, then that is a place to start. Many times we can get in the habit of throwing on whatever and just getting by. Perhaps it’s because we don’t feel worthy, perhaps it’s we don’t want the attention. Or perhaps we have no idea how to dress our bodies. Remember, if you don’t feel truly magnificent and confident then you will send this message on some level. Whether you are working with a professional or making some changes on your own it does not need to be expensive or labor intensive. Phew! It really can be very easy… you just have to start!
If you are not sure what you like for a style then the best thing to do is to explore. Set aside some you time, pull up a chair and pick a place. It could be magazines, Pinterest etc. Pay attention and note what you are drawn to. Don’t think about the cost, where you’d wear it or if you could pull it off. Just notice what draws you in and how it makes you feel.
Be Proactive - This is no time to be overly modest
or shy. It’s important to move at your own pace but 48 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
Photographer, Lindsay Rae D'Ottavio photographybylindsayrae.com Hair and Make up, Katie Burns Stilletto Salon of Albany Featured Clothing, Styled by Brandon Dewyea Selected pieces by Spoken Boutique of Saratoga Selected design and creation by Shelley McKinnon of McKinnon services
A Simply Sweet Winter Birthday Party Photos by Keira Lemonis
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Winter birthday parties can be challenging here in upstate NY, especially if you want to have the party in your home.
We hired two experts to help us create the perfect at-home winter party!
Decor/Activity: Balloon Gal Jenny
Food/Catering: Airstream Catering
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We’ve known and loved Balloon Gal Jenny for years; admiring her work at the Spa City Farmers Market and various Saratoga events. Her balloon creations are exceptional and our kids adore her work. We had a couple conversations with her about doing our winter party and she was totally on board and excited. She handled all of the wintery decor and did an amazing job. The room looked so festive and pretty with balloon columns, an archway and a frame for our “photo booth”. During the party she made each child several elaborate balloon creations and they were over-the-moon excited!
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We met Ashley and Nick from Airstream Catering at another event where we thoroughly enjoyed their creative and yummy food! We knew they would be the perfect pair to tackle the party food. One quick meeting and our entire menu was planned. The food exceeded all of my expectations and was not only festive but delicious. We started with appetizers of fruit kabobs and mini grilled cheese and tomato soup cups. The large snowman pizza was accompanied by miniature make-your-own pizzas that the kids playfully decorated with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, peppers, and olives.
For dessert, the hot cocoa bar provided interactive fun, & the snowman cupcakes were both adorable & delicious.
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The balloons were awesome and the food was yummy. We loved the hot cocoa and cupcakes especially. It was fun taking home the balloons!
The party was easy! Planning was simple and low stress. Outsourcing the food and activity was so worth it. The kids got a memorable event, and we were able to sit back and enjoy every moment.
Our Recommended Party Experts: Airstream Catering (518) 587-0905 airstreamcateringco.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Balloon Gal Jenny (518) 285-0837 balloongaljenny.com email@example.com
Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 53
WARM UP with a good book
Book Recommendations from Northshire Bookstore
r Lowetar y n e Elem
Snow, written and illustrated by Sam Usher
This book perfectly captures the excitement of first snow, and the frustration of waiting to get outside. The text is simple enough for a newly independent reader to manage, and the illustrations give tantalizing glimpses of the "friends" waiting for the narrator to join the fun.
The Toymaker's Apprentice, by Sherri L. Smith
Inspired by The Nutcracker! This novel follows Stefan, nephew of the mysterious eye-patched Drosselmeyer we all know from the classic ballet, on a perilous quest for a mythical nut with magical properties. Thousands of warriors from the mad Mouse Queen's army are headed for Nuremberg to take their revenge on the Drosselmeyer family, and Stefan must stop time itself on Christmas Eve to win the battle.
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Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin and Betty Lewin
The latest installment of the popular Click, Clack, Moo! series has Farmer Brown and his eccentric animals on a Christmas rooftop romp. When ALL the animals get stuck in the chimney, there's only one person who can get them out - and it's not Farmer Brown.
The Last of the Spirits, by Chris Priestley A haunting retelling of A Christmas Carol just right for teens who like a little Halloween mixed with their Christmas. This short novel has a bone-chilling London setting and beautiful prose.
The Snowball, written and illustrated by Giuliano Ferri
is a sweet board book with a snowball-sized hole for little fingers to poke. As the snowball grows, so does the hole! Help your little one guess how this story will end!
The Smallest Gift of Christmas, written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
This little (4"x5") book is the perfect spur-of-the-moment gift to keep in your bag. Greedy Roland insists on ever bigger presents, until he finally discovers the most important gift isn't the biggest one at all. Buy several, wrap them in pretty paper, and give them to your stressed mama friends when you meet for drinks after shopping! Includes a photo-frame ornament.
Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 55
Three Simple Words, One Powerful Message
By Jan Snedaker with Walter Boldish
bout six months ago I started seeing I GOT U written on social media and seeing people wearing tee shirts and bracelets with the same words. There was something about the phrase that was catchy and inspiring even without knowing exactly what it represented. Upon further research I found I GOT U was not just a phrase, but an actual mission to make the world a better place. In a time where people see the bad in others before the good, I GOT U urges us to choose kindness over hatred and to be brave enough to trust in the inner good that exists in all people. Walter Boldish, the founder of the I GOT U mission further explains what I GOT U truly means and why its message is so important.
Briefly describe what the I GOT U brand represents?
The world needs a new message; a unified one that can be empowered by and withstand interpretation. I GOT U represents a message filled with an unconditional feeling of support, respected by everyone and forces the will for us all to be good. This is a message easily identified by people all over the world. I GOT U represents all of us and reminds us to be brave and kind and to always look out for one another.
How/why did I come up with the idea? While coaching my
son’s youth lacrosse team I would constantly hear them say “I got you” to each other as a term of sportsmanship and camaraderie. I started to hear it off the field too; when holding the door for a stranger, if someone
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dropped something another would pick it up, any form of consideration and kindness, I started to hear ‘I got you’. That is when it clicked and started to resonate within me. Then one day I witnessed the ultimate, ‘I got you’ experience. I was at Crossgates Mall in an almost empty food court when I saw an elderly man wearing a WWII baseball hat, sitting at a table by himself. A couple of young men walked in, they were of a different look and generation than the elderly man; they wore baggy pants, straight brimmed hats, and had tattoos. The old man sort of sneered at them as he went to stand up. He began to struggle as he stood and his cane fell to the ground. Before he could pick it up, one of the young men reached for it, handed it to him and said, “I got you”. The elderly man did not say a word, but a huge smile of appreciation came across his face. This small ‘I GOT U’ gesture by the young man demonstrated that you can not judge people based on how they look. What really matters is what is on the inside. In that moment I knew it was time to let the world know ‘I GOT U’.
What is it meant to wear or be represented by I GOT U?
I always love being asked ‘what message does wearing I GOT U tell the world?’ A friend recently said it best when she described what she felt when seeing someone wear the I GOT U brand, “it is an immediate connection with the person wearing it, (you know anyone wearing the brand believes in and) represents something good/positive”.
What specific things are you doing in our local community, specifically with kids, to share and spread this message?
I GOT U is so universal and can be applicable to almost anything good. However, in local schools, I am talking about how I GOT U can be applied by students in a few different situations. For example: 1. Demonstrating sportsmanship- playing fair in gym, recess, at home, and on their local teams. I explain that they need to respect their coaches, teammates, opponents, and most importantly the rules of the game and the officials. 2. Compassion/understanding- I am asking that students represent I GOT U by being considerate of students that might be different from them by getting to know those students, sitting with them at lunch, including them in class activities and showing them some compassion/ understanding. 3. The most important I GOT U message to kids right now is the anti-bullying message. There is no antibullying campaign that resonates with our children. I have been using I GOT U as a platform to talk with kids in our local schools about anti-bullying and how bullying will not be tolerated. I explain to kids that if they see someone being bullied, they need to step in and say, “I got you,” and don’t allow the bullying to continue. If they are not confident enough to step in (and I do not know if I would have been when I was a kid) or, are the one being bullied, then they need to be vocal by telling a teacher, a counselor, bus driver, or their parent. I GOT U will allow kids to be more confident in who they are and appreciate that there is a support system in place that allows and encourages them to be vocal.
How can children and teenagers help spread the I GOT U mission? Children and teenagers can spread the mission
by DOING the right thing at the appropriate time. This is not a ‘Random Act of Kindness’ or ‘Pay It Forward’. The difference here is consistency. The I GOT U movement represents a way of life for children and teenagers to embrace. They can spread the I GOT U mission with action by showing or demonstrating the right thing to do at the appropriate time. I am a firm believer we can make this a better world for all of us, one person at a time.
What is I GOT U doing differently than other anti-bullying movements in schools? We are connecting with students on a different level. The term I GOT U itself is something that kids already use and relate to easily. I GOT U is something that is felt when others demonstrate it; it clicks, just as it did for me and makes one want to be a part of the movement. I GOT U is a way to do what is right without fear of backlash for using a term that may cause a negative response. That is what makes I GOT U different. It is not only the message that is great, but it sounds cool too. I use the acronym ‘IGU’ all the time when texting family and friends. The movement is already spreading. Let’s spread it some more!
Where can someone learn more about I GOT U and where can they purchase merchandise to support the movement?
They can learn more about I GOT U and buy clothing to support the movement on my website: www.I-GOT-U.com. If anyone would like to bring the I GOT U movement to their school or community, they can email me directly at: WalterB@I-GOT-U.com.
Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 57
By Jan Snedaker
t is hard to believe it has been almost eight years since Carrie Bradshaw married Mr. Big in a simple City Hall ceremony wearing a label-less vintage suit and one spectacular pair of cobalt blue Manola Blahniks. This one moment in fashion history proved what a pivotal role accessories play when individualizing an outfit. Accessories truly make the ordinary, extraordinary; the most basic white tee shirt and jeans turn into show stoppers and the sometimes too boring, little black dress becomes refreshed and fabulous. There is no better time than now to dig out your beloved basics and spice them up with some new accessories. Between the endless holiday parties and family gatherings there will surely be an occasion to show off your individual style and make something old seem new again. Plaid is huge this season but there is no need to trade in what is
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already in your closet in order to wear this trend. Wrap a plaid blanket scarf around you while wearing a fisherman sweater and skinny jeans with a great pair of warm, winter boots and you will look oh so au courant! Transform your casual attire by throwing on a faux fur vest over a basic tee and leggings and give your tall boots a break by going even higher with over the knee boots or bring it way down with a pair of ankle boots paired with your favorite holiday dress. As the infamous CoCo Chanel once said, “It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” This season, let the following ideas inspire you to use your accessories to create the outfits you will want to be remembered in.
Mixed Knit Cardigan Ralph Lauren
Nirvanna Designs Hat Lucia Boutique 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Blush in Dolce Vita NARS
Studded Blake Mini Cuff Violets of Saratoga 494 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Rustic Leather Tote Noonday Collection
Wrap Bracelet Chan Luu
Boho Jeans True Religion
TOMS Leslie Bootie Zappos.com Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 59
Casual Chateau Parka
White T-Shirt Joe Fresh
Chevron Cardigan Miss Scarlett Boutique 19 Phila St, Saratoga Springs
Bobbi Brown Lip Balm
SOREL Wedge Boots
MarEle Boutique 427 River St, Troy
Coupon ! page 15
Skinny Jeans Citizens of Humanity 60 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
Lip Stain in Always Red Sephora
White T-Shirt Joe Fresh
Classic Leather Moto Texting Gloves Banana Republic
Faux Fur Vest Banana Republic
Cable Turtleneck Sweater J.Crew
Riding Boots Frye
Skinny Jeans Paige SaratogaMama.com
Green Tartan Betty Case Miss Scarlett 19 Phila St, Saratoga Springs Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 61
White T-Shirt Joe Fresh
Sporty Sunglasses Dolce and Gabbana
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sephora
Thermal Running Gloves Nike
Northface Down Jacket Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company 490 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Leena Scarf Prana
Moon Boots Zappos.com
Skinny Jeans Seven for All Mankind 62 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11
15TH ANNUAL SANTA'S PLAYLAND OPEN HOUSE
Quick Response Restoration, 2077 Route 9, Round Lake, 5:30 – 9 p.m. Quick Response is celebrating 15 Years of Holiday Magic. This free event is open to the public and offers spectacular LED lighted displays. Children can visit with Santa and other winter Characters, enjoy rides on The Quick Express Train, Horse and Wagon rides and free refreshments. Shuttle service is offered from offsite parking areas.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 11 AND SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET Home Made Theater, Spa Little Theatre, 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs. Sometimes we all need a reminder of how wonderful it is to believe! Just when a weary world needs it most, a white-whiskered, kindly old man calling himself Kris Kringle appears to remind a little girl and her skeptical mother that the holidays are still a magical time of humor, generosity, and faith in the goodness of others. Join us for this uplifting yuletide classic! Adapted by Mountain Community Theater from the novel by Valentine Davies. Based upon the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture and presented by Cost is $18 for Adults and $12 Children 12 and under. Friday’s performance is at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. For additional performances, visit http:// homemadetheater.org/.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 AND SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13 NUTCRACKER National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs 1 and 6 p.m. Join us for the 2015 School of the Arts Nutcracker performance. Tickets are available in the School of the Arts office or by calling (518)584-2225 x3008. All performances will sell out, so be sure to get your tickets soon! Performances will be at 1 and 6 p.m.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23
UGLY SWEATER PARTY
SARATOGA AREA PRECHOOL FAIR Saratoga Springs Public Library, H. Dutcher Community Room, 10 a.m. – Noon The Saratoga Area Preschool Fair will include more than 20 area preschools. Information about the schools and programs will be available, as will school representatives to answer questions. Sponsored by: The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Saratoga Music Hall (3rd Floor), 474 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 3 – 6 p.m. You are invited to Saratoga Children's Theater's Ugly Christmas Sweater Party in your ugliest Christmas sweater for food, drinks, a silent auction, and holiday fun! Santa will be stopping by to say hello, and we will be debuting our Christmas CD and announcing our summer season! $10 Adults, $5 Kids 13 and under, FREE kids 5 and under.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14 PRE-K DISCOVERY DAY AT CAMP SARATOGA
Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, 80 Scout Road, Gansevoort, 10:30 a.m. This monthly program is for our youngest explorers (ages 3-6 years old) where we use children’s love of nature to teach simple concepts. Adults are expected to attend. This is an outdoor program so please come dressed for the weather. We will be taking a short walk, do a simple nature craft, and have a healthy snack! Preregistration is required. Call (518) 450-0321 or email info@wiltonpreserve. org for more information or to register.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30 THE PUPPET PEOPLE PRESENT CHARLES DICKENS, “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”
Saratoga Springs Public Library, H. Dutcher Community Room, Shows at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. A Charles Dickens holiday classic, this show features beautiful handcrafted marionettes, shadow puppets, gorgeous masks, lavish costumes, vivid sets, a professional soundtrack that includes many holiday favorites, and a giant 9-foot parade puppet. This program is for ages five and older. Please pick up your tickets at the library.
21ST ANNUAL FROST FAIRE Saratoga Battlefield, Saratoga National Historical Park, 648 Route 42, Stillwater, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. It's a Frosty Affair! Snow, or no snow…come enjoy the 21st annual Frost Faire. If there’s snow, bring your snow tube or plastic sled for spectacular rides on the “Big Hill.” If there’s no snow, you can still enjoy wagon rides, winter nature trek, guided snow shoeing, winter tracking, Native American storytelling, games, plus hot chocolate and cookies by the bonfire. The event is free.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 CHOWDERFEST This annual favorite is coming back to Saratoga for the 18th year. Part of Winterfest, Chowderfest is the perfect activity for a cold winter's day. Stroll through downtown Saratoga from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and purchase a $1 cup (3 oz. serving) of chowder from as many participating establishments as you'd like! Some restaurants will be offering classic varieities, while some may be serving original, unique concoctions! After you've enjoyed sample after sample of delicious, warm chowders, vote for your favorite! Prizes will be awarded in many categories, including People's Choice, Best On Broadway, Best Newcomer, and Most Chowder Served. When you turn your completed ballot in at the Saratoga Springs City Center or the Saratoga Springs Visitor's Center, you'll have the opportunity to purchase a commemorative long-sleeved t-shirt for $10!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31 FIRST NIGHT SARATOGA 2016
Downtown Saratoga Springs 6 p.m. to Midnight Cost is $15, Children Under 12 Are FREE. This year’s highlights include 70 live musical and performing acts, over 30 venues throughout downtown Saratoga Springs, and new this year: CDTA will provide shuttle service from Wilton Mall to Saratoga Arts at 5:30 p.m. & 8:45 p.m. and from Saratoga Arts to the Wilton Mall at 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. after the fireworks.
st of plete li m o c isit For a vities, v ti c a d an m events ma.co
By Jane Fairchild, Woman in the Moon Astrology
The holidays are upon us and the hunt is on to find gifts for your child that elicit sounds of “ooh and ahh” as presents are being opened. Astrology can give you that added help you need. The age-old study of sun signs make gift giving fun!
Nothing delights the Aries child more than activities that show their sense of bravery and courage. Aries, the Ram, is a pioneer that blazes the trail to new frontiers for those that follow. Adding dress-up costumes and action figures to your list will bring out their keen sense of fantasy. A bicycle, roller blades, a race car track all appeal to the April born child’s need for speed. Just ask Aries, Danica Patrick.
Your little “down to earth” bull enjoys all the things ruled by Venus - romance, beauty, music and art. If you give a gift that plays music or appeals to their creative side, they are happy. Musical instruments, paints with an easel, sketch pad, music CD’s with a song book, dolls with fashionable clothes. Adele and Barbra Streisand started singing at a young age.
The sign of the twins - dual natured. A closer look at their Christmas wish list will tell you just how varied their interests are. A telescope, a bubble machine, a watch and a microphone have one thing in common; your Gemini! Variety is the spice of their life so find a gift that expands their brain. Board games that make use of all five senses, like Pictionary and Apples to Apples keep them engaged.
March 21 - April 19:
April 20 - May 21:
May 22 - June 21:
June 22 - July 22:
July 23 - August 22:
August 23 - September 21:
These home bodies love staying in their PJ’s all morning baking cookies with Mom and then spending the afternoon rolling quarters with Dad to bring to the bank. They would enjoy an Easy-Bake oven just as much as they would a cash register. Both boy and girl Cancerian’s have a lifelong knack of growing quarters into dollars. There is a strong nurturing side to their personality and they love family game night. Give them a camera and a scrapbook and they’ll preserve the family history for years to come.
These fun-loving kids have one wish, they want to be on stage! Start them young with a hand puppet theater and watch them grow into their dress-up costume, the director’s chair or become a 1st rate camera person. They are good at taking charge so supply them with a black board and chalk, as well as a computer and PowerPoint software. They’ll need it for when they become a teacher or the CEO of their own company.
Your Virgo child is good at whatever they put their mind to. Detail is their middle name. An art set with paints, colored pencils and drawing paper will bring out their natural talent for capturing what they see. Whether constructing a bird house, a Lego castle or a crocheted hat, they will do so with precision and dexterity. They are health conscious at a young age, so running shoes, cross country skis or a tennis racquet hold possibility. The little ones always enjoy a Doc McStuffin’s medical bag.
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SCORPIO Child October 23 - November 21:
November 22 - December 21:
A good place to start with gift-giving for your child is with the name, Libra, which means book in Latin. Since Libra’s possess a fair-minded intellect that is creative and romantic, any book that has a general theme of people coming together with a happy ending is a must-read. They are capable of using their Lego building blocks to build a structure of balance and scale. A musical jewelry box is a lasting gift. The wonderful world of Disney items hold their attention for hours on end.
The “detectives of the zodiac” never miss anything going on under their nose. A microscope, stethoscope or a telescope satisfies the curiosity of this deep thinking soul. An underwater camera will keep them busy all summer. A subscription to the kid’s magazine, Highlights has great appeal, especially the hidden picture page. Science fiction and ghost stories come naturally to them.
This sign is aptly named, “the archer.” They love the wild outdoors, so be sure to include camping gear and hiking equipment on the gift list. This child is definitely the one who wants a puppy under the Christmas tree to go with the fishing pole. Don’t you know that a kid can’t go fishin’ without a dog!! Freedom is their middle name and by the time they are three you will know that. Money doesn’t interest them much, they are only interested in it if they don’t have enough of it to buy a comic book. They have many questions about life so start checking those science and philosophy books out of the library.
September 22 - October 22:
December 22 - January 20:
January 21 - February 19:
February 20 - March 20:
Routine and system keeps this child happy, so keeping a calendar yourself and showing them is a must. The subject of money will come up more often with each passing year. A big piggy bank at home and a personal savings account at the bank make them feel secure. There is also something aristocratic about them so a monogrammed sweater, shirt or backpack appeals to them. They are business-minded from a young age and can take something small and build it into something big whether it’s Legos or Lionel Trains. Monopoly is their game of choice.
Aquarius children enjoy toys of the future – the latest gizmo or gadget that is on the cutting edge. They are the inventors of the zodiac too. Lego’s Jurassic Park World, the latest robotic arm that attaches as a third arm, and anything Star Wars will please the boys. The girls are just as interested in that too. A drone is dream come true gift. There is a very strong humanitarian streak that runs through them. The young ones will come to the aid of their fourlegged friends with a Doc McStuffin’s Veterinarian Center. They will have plenty of two-legged friends too. Both kinds of friends have an open invitation to dinner at their house.
Did you know that your Pisces child is a gentle dreamer? Fantasy is their middle name. Singing Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Dolls with odd names appeal to their offbeat nature. If a toy has the name mythical or magical, get it, they will love it. The land of make believe is where they wish they could live. Supply them with a healthy dose of pixie dust and they will love you forever and sing you a song they made up that tells the world all about it.
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66 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2015
Kids Coloring Contest
Color this page and then have mom or dad help you snap a photo! Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org 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. SaratogaMama.com
Winter 2015 | SaratogaMama | 67