Page 1

Fall 2017

Fashion For Moms & Kids


(for adults!)

Fall Fun


Back to School 2017

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©Keira L

Back to


“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer.” - Helen Hunt Jackson With summer memories fresh on the mind, we dive head-first into the month of many transitions: September. Carefree summer days fade fast into the schedule-crazed fall. From the first round of preschool drop-off tears, to the final high school years, each September brings forth a fresh start. Whether you’re still in the thick of parenting babies or ready to send your baby to high school, there’s something for you in these pages. Here’s a peak at what’s inside: - Our easy guide to babywearing on page 29 is packed with helpful tips. - Looking for pumpkins, apples, or other fall fun? Page 62 has you covered. - We’re getting personal in this issue! Learn about sex education, proper bra fitting, and more, starting on page 45. - Kids’ Fashion: Look for Less begins on page 32, and we didn’t forget the moms! We’re comparing LuLaRoe and Agnes & Dora on page 59. - What if your child IS the bully? Dr. Cale offers some advice for parents on page 56. Make yourself some coffee or tea (our personal favorite is on page 10), and flip through the pages of our back-to-school magazine. We hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed writing!

Happy fall ya'll!

- Colleen P.S. I love hearing from you, so drop me a line anytime at!




Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre Managing Editor Rachel Spensieri General Manager Robin Mitchell Graphic Designer Samantha Simek Advertising Design Morgan Rook Advertising Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Photography Keira Lemonis Theresa St. John Published by: Saratoga TODAY Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 SaratogaMama is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY, 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. © 2017, Saratoga TODAY


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Contents Seek

10 #AdoreAlert 56 When Your Child is the Bully 59 LuLaRoe vs. Agnes & Dora

Find 21 Haunted Mini-Vacations 32 Look For Less - Fashion for Kids 38 Back-to-School Reading List




29 The Easy Guide to Babywearing 41 After School Snacks with Jodie Fitz 45 Health Class (for adults!)

Play 26 Twisting the Day Away 62 Family Fun in the Fall 67 Puzzles & Games

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18 10

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Our Contributors... Lauren Agius

Dr. Randy Cale

Madeline Daley

Lauren Agius is the Recruitment Specialist at AIM Services, Inc. She is also one of the agency’s major grant writers. AIM Services, Inc., located in Saratoga Springs, is an organization dedicated to supporting the “power of potential” in people of diverse abilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries. Since she was a child, Lauren has been an avid writer of poetry, short stories, essays and songs. Her five year old son, Jack Dillon, will begin Kindergarten at Schuylerville Elementary this fall. Lauren can be reached via email at

Dr. Cale is a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker, and licensed psychologist who offers practical, nononsense parenting advice for all ages. His website,, features hundreds of articles and dozens of parenting products that will help you achieve your goal of happier children and a peaceful home. Additionally, Dr. Cale works with couples and provides individual counseling. Submit questions to and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Madeline Daley RN, MS, is the Family Life Educator for the Saratoga Springs City School District. The best part of her job is being with students and sharing her knowledge and love of books, especially children’s books. Madeline previously worked at Saratoga Hospital for 19 years in nursing and administration, but her biggest accomplishment is her family, as a wife, mom of three, and grandmother of four.

Brandon Dewyea

Jodie Fitz

Image Maven Brandon Dewyea, the owner of Moxie, works with men, women, and teens to help them find their own unique, individual style through their apparel for their personal and professional life. Brandon’s services include closet edits, shopping sessions, personal “LookBooks,” special occasion styling, workshops for adults and teens, and more. To learn about Brandon, her variety of services, and upcoming events, visit

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 tastetesting 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

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Ilissa Goman

Theresa St. John

Shannon Regner

Ilissa Goman is a certified pediatric sleep coach and baby gear guru. She works with families who are struggling to get their babies/toddlers/kids to sleep but are totally ready for a change. She gives parents the tools to make easy changes to bring sleep back into the home for everyone and restore the peace that once was. Ilissa lives with her husband and sassy two-year-old daughter in the Saratoga Springs area.

Theresa is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Saratoga Springs. 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 online 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 six rescued dogs, two chinchillas, and a bird. Life is good, she says.

Shannon Regner, PT, owns Innova Physical Therapy in Queensbury, NY which specializes in pelvic health. Shannon holds a certificate of achievement in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association. Shannon works with not only women, but men and children too, with all bladder, bowel, or sexual dysfunction. If Shannon isn't at her office, you will find her spending time with her family and playing outdoors.

Rachel Spensieri Rachel is a freelance writer and editor with 18 years of experience in the marketing arena. A Southern girl who loves her sweet tea and grits, Rachel is a recent transplant to Saratoga Springs, where she lives with her husband and two young'uns.

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B y C olleen P ier re P hoto s by Keira Lemonis


There's lots to adore about fall! We wanted to show love to some exceptional local products and businesses. #AdoreAlert

Ada's Artisan Loose Leaf Organic Tea


e first enjoyed Ada’s Artisan teas at The Giggle Lounge in Clifton Park and simply had to find out more about this local company. We took a visit to the Route 67 Cafe in Ballston Spa and met with owners Eva Lamiano and Eran Wasserman to learn more about Ada’s Artisan. While there, we were fortunate to sample several more of their delicious teas including iced Raspberry Ripple, Rooibos Orange Creamsicle, and an iced Chai. Ada’s Artisan is a certified organic line of loose leaf teas using high quality ingredients that are hand-blended and hand-packed in small batches. I’m a sucker for nice packaging, and these pretty tins look great in your kitchen or make an easy gift.

Ada’s Artisan currently offers 56 different varieties of tea. Many are caffeine-free and are an excellent drink alternative to high-sugar fruit juices and drinks. My kids love drinking iced teas and many of the teas are loaded with antioxidants and other healthy ingredients. Caffeine-loving mamas (myself included!) will enjoy some of Ada’s Artisan black teas or chai.


Buy the entire variety of teas at Route 67 Cafe in Ballston Spa, The Savory Pantry in Saratoga, or The Giggle Lounge in Clifton Park.

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Jenn Hogan Watercolors - Fine Art, Illustrations, Custom Portraits


enn Hogan is a Saratoga-area mama of two, and a freelance watercolor artist and illustrator. Her work spans genres and styles and includes custom home portraits, landscapes, decorative wall hangings, pet/animal portraits, and of course child and family portraits. Jenn is truly a gifted artist and loves to capture the true meaning behind a particular photo. This family selfie (pictured to the right) that Jenn recreated in watercolor is the perfect keepsake for a family vacation we took to Bermuda this past May. “Whether you’d like me to adhere to a specific style or other criteria, or you’d like me to surprise you with my own artistic interpretation, I can adapt the process and product to you,” Jenn said. Jenn is able to craft a one-of-a-kind custom painting that can depict something meaningful and special to you and your family. In addition to custom work, Jenn offers illustration services for books, notecards, posters, and more.


If you are interested in a custom piece, email to get started.

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Family portrait in progress!

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Photo courtesy of Two Peas in a Prada

BoandRoo - Locally Made Wooden Baby Toys


e love the soft colors, textures, and simplicity of these BoandRoo wooden and silicone baby toys and teethers. Made with reclaimed raw pine and beech wood that has been meticulously cleaned and sanded down, BoandRoo baby toys are sustainable, modern, and unique. The silicone beads are 100 percent non-toxic, BPA-free, and free from lead, PVC, phthalates, and anything harmful. The hanging toys and teethers are perfect for sensory stimulation, reaching, and grasping, and the soft silicone soothes teething baby gums. Babies (and mamas) rejoice!

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Jillian's Apothecary Handcrafted Herbal Skincare


wner and mother Jillian Ehrenberg has been fascinated with learning about nature and how herbs work since she was a child. As a mom, Jillian experimented with herb blends, balms, and salves to heal her own children’s diaper rashes and eczema and soon began sharing the products with family and friends.

Have an item y ou think we should featu re in the next







Jillian launched Jillian’s Apothecary in 2015 with a quest to help as many people as possible solve their skin issues using herbs. All the products are plant-based and made with organic oils, butters, botanical extracts, and essential oils. There are no parabens, phthalates, petroleum-based ingredients, or artificial fragrances. We adore that Jillian’s Apothecary products are safe for all members of the family. The product line includes essentials like facial toners, moisturizers, herbal bug repellent, and natural deodorant. The Mama + Baby line includes diaper balm, nipple cream, lavender herbal “sleep well” spray, and more. There’s lots to love for all members of the family!

SHOP! or

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The Update!

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ast spring, SaratogaMama partnered with Julie Maleski from JMP Interiors to launch an exciting Dream Bedroom Makeover contest. We received tons of entries from kids all around the Capital Region who were all pining for a new bedroom. We narrowed our selection down to one super-deserving young woman…

Meet Maggie!

Maggie P. is 14 years old and about to enter her freshmen year at Shenendehowa. Maggie is a super athlete (soccer is her sport), and an A student. She volunteers at Double H Ranch, with the Encourage Kids Foundation, and at a local soup kitchen, and she is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. Maggie even earned a Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her work serving the community!

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Why a new room?

“It was way overdue!” Maggie exclaimed. “My room hadn’t changed since kindergarten and didn’t fit my personality anymore,” she said. “Maggie deserves a cool space with a more mature style,” said Julie from JMP Interiors. “Her room hadn't been touched in over a decade, so it was due for a fresh new look and function.”


The design process

First, we talked with Maggie about her goals for her new room, which included a better use of her small space, and creating a “hang out” area for friends and for her dog, Scruffy. Working with Julie Maleski at JMP Interiors, Maggie decided on a pink and grey color scheme. Together they picked out some furniture pieces at Ruby & Quiri in Johnstown.

Putting in the work

Furniture was selected, paint colors were chosen, and Maggie and her mom and sister went wild selecting the finishing touches at Homegoods, Marshall’s, and Pier 1 Imports. !

for more Stay tuned am out our Dre updates ab for d akeover an Bedroom M al in our the full reve azine! winter mag

This project would not have been possible without some really terrific local vendors that lent their services: I

Furniture was offered by Rubi & Quiri 307 N. Comrie Ave., Johnstown, NY | | (518) 762-7829


Design services were donated by JMP Interiors | (570) 401-4402

Paint was donated by Colorize: 1750 U.S. 9, Clifton Park, NY | (518) 557-2658

Painting services were donated by CertaPro Painters of Albany | (518) 631-4116

Construction services were donated by Boggan & Sons Construction | | (518) 490-6553

Light fixture was donated by Curtis Lumber: 885 State Route 67, Ballston Spa, NY | | (518) 885-5311

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Mini-Vacas: Ease into Fall, School & Cooler Weather WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY THERESA ST. JOHN


ummer was great here in Saratoga. Now, another page turns in the Spa City. Our school year will soon begin, bringing with it structure, homework, and the cool air of fall. Yet, chances are it won't be long before everyone's dreaming of another family vacation. Or two.

Because sometimes life can translate into a series of mini-vacations throughout the year rather than one long stretch of days. Oftentimes, work schedules are hectic, or we struggle to coordinate days off during study time. And trouble with either one can lead to disaster, no matter how hard we've worked on our well-laid vacation plans. No need to fret, though. Studies show that sneaking away here and there, even for a few days throughout the year, can benefit the health and wellness of our family unit. If you can manage two days, you can fit in a good deal of fun–even throw in some education, to boot. (They'll never know they're learning outside of the classroom…promise!) Here are three amazing places you can take the kids on one of your minivacas, and they're only an hour or so from home.

TOP: New York State Capitol Grand Staircase CENTER: Shutters outside of Glen Sanders Mansion BOTTOM: Fireplace inside of Knox Mansion

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New York State Capitol Building

Take a Friday off and start a mini-vacation by touring the New York State Capitol building in Albany. Here, you'll have a choice: enjoy a self-guided tour or become part of a group tour. Both entrance to the building and tours are free.

tune of $1.5 million. The sight is beyond spectacular, and I bet you lose count of the reported 444 steps, as you'll need to concentrate on breathing! It is made mainly of things like medina sandstone, limestone, granite, and Corsehill freestone.

First of all, the building itself is amazing! Although the exterior architecture is certainly something to write home about, the interior design will absolutely take your breath away! It's imposing, impressive, and overwhelming, all at the same time. Completed in 1899, it took over a quarter of a century to build, with five architects working on its unique layout. It was admired by many as a truly beautiful building, but scoffed at by others, who declared the cost–over $25 million– exorbitant. (That’s over $720 million in today’s dollars!)

Under the direction of Isaac Perry, an architect called out of retirement in order to get the job done, over 500 stone carvers worked on ornamental carvings that adorn this awe-inspiring staircase. Although they did have a specific list of notable people who had to be carved along the steps–77 faces in all–the men were also allowed to carve a design of their own afterwards. Some carved the sweet face of their wife or daughter, making them immortal, in a sense. And one cheeky craftsman carved the face of a devil, maybe the size of a dollar coin, tucking it into the folds of intricate scrollwork along one of the lower hallways.

The so-called “Million Dollar Staircase” took nearly 14 years to complete, to the

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Glen Sanders Mansion

The first thing you might want to know about this sprawling inn in Scotia across the Mohawk River from Schenectady: Who was Glen Sanders anyway, and what part did he play in history? If you've never heard of him before, you might be more than a little curious. Imagine the surprise when you learn there was no such person! The property actually was named after two families that settled in the area, one of them years before Schenectady was even founded. Alexander Lindsey Glen was born in Scotland and planted his feet on the northern side of the Mohawk River in 1658. He named his family home “Nova Scotia,” which translated to “New Scotland.”

family entertained many important historical figures. General George Washington was a guest of the mansion, and even Louis Philippe of France stayed with them during exile. In 1739, Glen's great-granddaughter, Deborah, married John Sanders of nearby Albany. In 1765, they became the sole proprietors of the Glen Estate and renamed it Glen Sanders Mansion shortly after. It stayed in the family, moving through each generation, until 1961.

The stone house originally stood nearer the river but suffered extensive damage during devastating floods one year. Mr. Glen was forced to save what he could and build a one-room dwelling, farther away from the river. That dwelling is the present-day kitchen of the Glen Sanders Mansion. The roof, a Dutch gambrel, is also original.

If you inquire at the inn’s front desk, you might be invited to wander through many of its stately rooms while visiting. You also can go for dinner and drinks, choosing not to stay overnight. The menu is extensive, and they also offer specials that are to die for. Maybe a lobster bisque with lump crab meat to start? Sea scallops, steak, dessert? You want it, they have it. Besides that, the entire dining area will cater to both couples and families with small children. It's refreshing to see everyone enjoying each other's company as they relax over a meal.

In 1713, Alexander Lindsey Glen’s son added the east wing, and the Glen

The food, ambiance, and service will not disappoint!

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Knox Mansion

This stately mansion is located in Johnstown, New York, and stands out like a sore thumb. In a good way. You won't miss it. In fact, I bet you'll probably stand, silent and still, for more than a few minutes while staring at the beauty of it. Built in 1889 by the gelatin magnate and philanthropist Charles Knox, the mansion boasts 42 elaborately decorated rooms. There are many pianos, Victorian-style couches, even a fireplace made from volcanic ash. This came from a castle in Italy and was shipped, block by block, back to the U.S. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Knox hang on the wall at the foot of a long, sweeping staircase that leads visitors to the rooms above. An expansive library sits to the left with innumerable books, photo albums,

and magazines, many opened to pages of yesteryear when the Knox family was alive, entertaining the rich and famous. When Charles Knox passed away in 1908, he owned the largest unflavored gelatin manufacturing company in the world. His wife, Rose, proved to be a smart businesswoman. She ran the company for more than 40 years, and under her direction, the business expanded tremendously. Touring the mansion is quite interesting, as there are layers of history begging to be told while there. They are a most unique bed and breakfast and have been in business for more than 20 years. It's imperative to call ahead, as sometimes the mansion hosts interns from around the world, meaning all rooms are taken.

Looking for a fun fright?

Oh, did I mention? In the spirit of fall and the upcoming Halloween season, all three of these properties are registered with the Haunted History Trail of New York State (! If you have any interest in ghosts or hauntings, you should definitely get in touch with them. The trail has 65 designated locations spanning 31 counties, with 400-plus miles to explore. I'm already planning my next mini-vaca with them… I can't wait!

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the Day Away

with Balloon Gal Jenny

WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY THERESA ST. JOHN “Let's be serious. Adults are always the biggest kids!” She turns to me, chuckling. It's summertime in Saratoga, and I'm sitting on a stool inside Broadway's trend-setting Saratoga Tea and Honey Company, sipping my way through a blood orange iced tea, mixed with a shot of lavender and hibiscus honey. It's refreshingly divine. So is the company: Meet Balloon Jenny, a master at twisting. Born in California, Jenny moved to the Saratoga area in 2000. A grad student with a strong background in sculpting, she worked steadily for a number of years, eventually suffering a lay-off, which left her in somewhat of a quandary. “Believe it or not, I saw an ad on Craigslist!” Jenny reveals, when asked how on earth she ended up choosing a career in balloon twisting. She says she decided to learn this unique art of making people happy in the early months of 2012 and hasn't looked back since.

It didn't take long for Balloon Jenny to venture out into her own business, either. She even dresses the part of a character that makes a living twisting balloons into the wonderful shapes of animals, birds, flowers, and even other amazing objects. Like, say, a life-size Harley, for a larger-than-life kid. (Say, what?) When we meet, she's dragging a contraption behind her, into the tea shop. “It blows up my balloons,” she explains. She's also carrying an apron filled with limp balloons in every color of the rainbow. “Folks need choices,” quips Jenny. Wearing what looks like bobby socks, saddle shoes, a black-and-white checkered skirt, bright red sweater and belt, she's an attention-getter. A conversation-starter. The crowning touch? A huge fabric flower, tucked into her dark, curly hair. Balloon Jenny entertains at events and has clients from all over the Capitol Region. She's twisted her way through several kidthemed occasions, Chowderfest, The Victorian Stroll in Troy, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, bar mitzvah celebrations, farmers’ markets, grand openings,

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birthday parties, bridal shows, and kick-off summer programs…just to name a few. Wait, she's also entertained at YMCA camps, takes part in women's workshops, Girl Scouts, and 4-H Clubs. She's one busy lady! When I mention that I'd like to take some pictures outside, she quickly twists a flower bracelet and slaps it on the wrist of a barista at Saratoga Tea and Honey. We wander outside, only to find a mother and child, waiting for the traffic light to change. “Hey, want me to make you something with my balloons?” is all she has to say. First that child, then another, and another crowd around her. It's an amazing thing to watch. Jenny makes a flamingo, to match the first little girl's shirt. It stands, taller than the child, whose smiles are beyond precious. Twisting balloons for another few minutes, she creates a horse. Attaching it to a headband for the second little girl; we watch her skip down the street afterwards, wearing it proudly. A third child walks with her grandparents into Congress Park. They explain that she's a big sister to a new baby now. They drove to Saratoga today, hoping she could ride the carousel in celebration, but it's closed. Jenny pats her on the shoulder, then gets busy twisting an extra special magic wand and matching crown, for this big sister princess. “Oh, my gosh!” Jenny exclaims at the end of our visit. “I get to make people happy all day long! What I wish most is that parents could stand behind me while I'm working, just to see the look in their child's eyes. If only they could see what I see, it'd be amazing!” !

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rapping? Buckling? What baby stage for what carrier? Facing in, facing out? How do I place the carrier on me? Then the baby has to go in, too? There are so many questions surrounding babywearing that can make it seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some super-easy steps and tips to make your babywearing experience safe and enjoyable!

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Always make sure your baby’s airway is visible with their chin off their chest, and that the top of their head is kissable by you and that there is fresh air circulating around their face.


Make sure their body is situated so that it supports their natural positioning. Ideally, their knees should be higher than their bum with their weight being supported into their bottom, so they’re in a squatted position. Feet should be out of the carrier. Neck and trunk should be supported so that the baby feels secure and snug.


You should feel comfortable wearing the carrier and confident in using the carrier. And baby should feel comfy being in there. Remember, crying while being in the carrier doesn’t always signal that they don’t like the carrier. It can mean a variety of things: need to be fed, sleepy, diaper change needed, etc.

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So why should you try babywearing? Did you know that statistics have shown that babies who are worn cry 50 percent less compared to other babies, especially during the peak crying newborn stage of 6 weeks old? There’s also been shown to be benefits that are similar to skin-to-skin contact, such that it can increase your milk supply, aid in reflux issues/ digestion, steady their heart rate, and put them into a calm state. It also can make doing things so much easier! Imagine your grocery cart not being taken up by a big car seat and your hands being free to work or chase your older child. Don’t forget: Babywearing isn’t just for moms; it’s great for dads and grandparents, too! There are a variety of types of carriers available, too. A ring sling or buckle carrier can be great options for those who are new to babywearing, while a woven wrap might be a more advanced option. The best thing you can do is find a way you can try on a variety of them to see what works best for you. Luckily, in the Capital Region, we have some great options to do that, like visiting The Bundle Store in Clifton Park or attending a SlingBabies meeting. MAIN GOALS: Bond with your baby. Have

confidence in yourself. Ask for help when needed.

All the carriers that are pictured are available for purchase at The Bundle Store. You can stop by The Bundle Store ( or The Petite Retreat event ( to have a custom consult with Amber or take a babywearing class. Amber is certified as a babywearing educator by the Babywearing Institute and is also a pediatric occupational therapist.

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Dress for



Old Navy

a Ivivv

So C ute!




Osh Kosh


Lilly Pulitzer

Total: $152


High Sierra

Total: $50

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Old Navy


J. Crew


Old Navy

Style without bank breaking the



Total: $165

$30 H&M

Total: $65 Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 33

$29 e

e Gymbor

$40 Gap


a Ralph L

up g n i Dress nim! de

$68 J. Crew


Potter y Barn

Total: $188

$40 Gap

Total: $109

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Abercrombie Kids



$35 our rm

Under A


$15 H&M



ab t r o f Com cool &



Under Armour


J. Crew

Total: $280

Total: $146 Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 35

Venture into modern parenting. November 19 th 10am-3pm Tickets + Info TPRTOGA.COM Brought To You By: 36 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017


Did you recently find out you have a bun in the oven? No, not the glorious doughy kind, the tiny human kind that has you running to the bathroom every 5 seconds and longing to nap on any flat surface you see? Do you know how you're going to have this baby? Have you seen all the options that are out there locally in the baby realm? Are you connected to parenting experts and other expecting mama’s? If not, it’s all good, we got you!

The Petite Retreat is not one of those crazy expo shows where you collect a bunch of free junk and people stand behind tables like zombies selling a pitch. This is an event we plan and organize all year long with the best in the birth and baby world both locally AND nationally. And we are going to hook you up with some REAL quality workshops with REAL information and REALLY good baby products. So put down your What To Expect When You're Expecting Book, get off of Baby Center's website, and step into a REAL space of local experts who know how to birth babies, how to support new parents, and how to make you feel so incredibly empowered and prepared that your Aunt Sally's parenting critiques will roll off you like water off a duck's back. • Workshops on infant sleep, baby wearing, safety, fitness, easy meal prep and more! • Stroller Terrain Track full of the latest and greatest strollers to test out! • Meet and learn from experts in all the parenting related fields!

Base camp tickets are just $25 and admit 2 people.

Want it ALL? Check out our awesome VIP upgrade tickets. We have both baby and toddler upgrade options available.

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Recommendations from

Nor thshire Bookstore



MY FRIEND MOE By Jennifer Sattler Going to daycare or preschool means making new friends. Here's a lovely board book by Saratoga author Jennifer Sattler that celebrates friendship.

Baby & Toddler


Written and illustrated by Refe and Susan Tuma

Preschool/ Kindergar ten

Dispel those first-day jitters! Lively scenes of dinosaur destruction and devastation throughout the school building make it seem like a place to have fun and let your imagination run wild.


By Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish

Lower Elementar y

The latest from the team that gave us How to Babysit a Grandpa and How to Raise a Mom. Operating on the assumption that the teacher will be very nervous and in need of reassurance, this fun picture book turns the tables on typical first-day nerves. 38 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017


Upper Elementar y

By Megan Frazer Blakemore For mystery-lovers who like the idea of a library-themed puzzle; sometimes the biggest mystery is how to navigate friendships.

Tweens & Teens


By John David Anderson

When cell phones are banned in their middle school, Frost and his friends come up with a Post-it note system. What starts as a quick and quirky way to communicate takes a dark turn and starts to fray some uncertain relationships. Lots to think about.

Adults I'M OK! BUILDING RESILIENCE THROUGH PHYSICAL PLAY By Jarrod Green Great insights from a veteran early childhood educator about what happens on the playground and why you should let kids play!

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After School

By Jodie Fitz

Quick, Easy & Tasty!

It's back-to-school time again, and with the addition of a new schedule and new routines comes the added task of after-school snacks. Here are three quick, easy, and tasty bites to make for your hungry crew, with or without their help! Each one is designed to be easy, healthy, delicious, and allow for some taste-testing and experimentation.

Follow along with Jodie for more recipe bites at

Chocolate Waffle Breakfast Sandwich 1 large egg 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour 1 cup white whole wheat flour ¼ cup cocoa powder 4 oz. cinnamon applesauce 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cup low-fat milk ½ cup brown sugar Peanut butter Cinnamon Banana Honey (optional)


Using a whisk, mix the egg, flours, cocoa powder, cinnamon applesauce, baking powder, vanilla extract, low-fat milk, and brown sugar together. Cook the batter in a waffle maker. Cut each waffle into four parts. Spread peanut butter onto one quarter, add banan a slices, sprinkle cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey (optional). Add another waffle part on top, and serve as a breakfast sandwich. Makes 4-5 waffles.

Leftover waffles? Let the extra waffles cool. Wrap each waffle individually in waxed or parchment paper, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze. Simply toast on busy mornings. Double the batch! Whenever we make waffles or pancakes, we double the batch and freeze them so that we have breakf ast ready in the freezer for an “on the run” morning.

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 41

Corn Salsa s r e p ip D f a e L t la F &

th g snack to share wi licious Thanksgivin de a for d om ea ro ah at de ed ack, or it can be ma sing made and stor great after-school sn ocado. Have the dres a av s ainer or sealable e ke nt th co t ma ou e ht ve tig cip re lea air is d an an Th in e ed for or be t st gh be ni n e ca rn salsa th de a day ahead and ests. guests. Make the co pers can also be ma dip before serving to gu f ht lea rig ad o re ad tb oc fla av e e th Th d e. ad ur d at an er g mp sin te e dres e corn salsa with th storage bag. Mix th

Corn Salsa

rn, thawed 1 lb. fresh frozen co 1 red bell pepper 1 avocado rinsed beans, drained and 1 -14.5 oz. can black , finely chopped 2 tablespoons onion fresh cilantro 2 – 4 tablespoons of ½ cup olive oil

¼ cup white vinegar r 3 tablespoons wate ce, fresh-squeezed jui e 1 tablespoon lim wder 1 teaspoon onion po lt sa ½ teaspoon sea wder ¼ teaspoon garlic po pper pe ¹⁄₈ teaspoon black

d cilantro together. red pepper, onion, an s, an be the olive ck bla , rn co ure. Whisk together xt pper. Stir the mi pe d rn re co e e th th e to dic it d e Add nter, an the mixture over th it into small pieces. Wash, remove the ce d black pepper. Pour thick skin and dice an , its lsa er sa m wd rn fro po o c co e ad rli th oc ga e av rv Remove the powder, sea salt, avocado dressing. Se ter, lime juice, onion ocado to create an av e th n ow kd ea oil, white vinegar, wa br will ly stir. The vinegar corn salsa and gent . rs f dippe with the flatbread lea


ippers Flatbread LearflooD ound k for a flatbread ar reads (o Garden spinach flatb e flavors) ving for each of thes 90-110 calories/ser tbreads Sun-dried tomato fla tbreads Whole grain white fla

ray Non-stick cooking sp Canola oil Sea salt

t the flatbreads f cookie cutter to cu lea a e Us y. ra sp g k cookin light layer of g sheet with non-stic e leaves with a very th kin e ba st a Ba at t. Co ee F. sh g 5° 37 tbreads are ed bakin Preheat the oven to minutes until the fla leaves onto the coat 0 ad 8-1 re for tb s fla ve t cu lea e ad th ace salt. Bake the flatbre into leaf shapes. Pl ry light layer of sea ve a th wi th the corn salsa. p to d an canola oil ol and serve them wi co t Le s. ge ed e th nd lightly browned arou


42 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017

Dinosaur Lunch Packing Fun

Herbivore Sandwich Yum Honey wheat bread 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese 1 tablespoon finely shredded or chopped carrots

1 tablespoon finely chopped bell pepper ½ teaspoon dry ranch dressing Sliced cucumber (optional)


Cut two slices of wheat bread into dinosaur shapes by using dinosaur-shaped cookie cutte rs. Mix the whipped cream cheese, ranch dressing, carro ts, and peppers together. Spread the mixture onto one slice of the bread. Add thin-sliced cucumber s, if desired. Top with the other piece of brea d to create a delicious herbivore sandwich.

Dino Bones Snacks

Another Dino Snack Option:

Cheese can easily be cut into dinosaur bone shapes and added to the mix!

Fruit (such as honeydew melon, apples, wate

rmelon, cantaloupe, etc.) Simply cut the fruit into long pieces and use a mini bone-shaped cookie cutter to create dinos aur bones for a yummy, but healthy lunch bite.

Dino Eggs

Eggs, large

Place the eggs in a saucepan. Cover the eggs with cold water. Bring the eggs to a boil over high heat. Cover and let the eggs boil in a rapid boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat; leave the eggs cover ed and on the hot burner to let them set for an additional 7 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water to shoc k the cooking process. Peel and serve dinosaur eggs for protein in the lunchbox. Salt and pepper is optional.

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 43

44 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017

Let s Get Personal '


"The Talk"


Bra 411


5 secrets


Safer period

How to prepare for kids' questions about sex & sexuality

Big or small, we love them all!

to keeping your pelvic floor happy & healthy

Natural feminine hygiene products

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 45



he conversation about sex is one most parents dread and others put off for as long as possible. Sex is a natural part of life, and talking to children about sex is an opportunity to share family values and beliefs. But teaching children about sex also can be challenging–it’s not one-size-fits all. It’s a process that begins early in life and continues until adulthood.

As a parent, you are the most influential person in your child’s life, and it is both your right and responsibility to be the first person to talk to your child about sex. Sex education needs to be age appropriate, medically accurate, and taught as a child grows and develops. One thing to keep in mind is children are literal and can’t discern sarcasm or innuendos. If we are comfortable talking to our children about sex, they will feel comfortable sharing their questions or concerns.

How to Prepare x Kids’ Questions About Sex & Sexuality

Setting the stage early Children are naturally curious about their bodies from an early age. The first time to initiate an age-appropriate discussion is during the bath or when changing a diaper, by naming the body parts. It is important to use the correct anatomical words–penis, vagina, scrotum, breasts, vulva, and buttocks–when teaching your child. Saying these words implies you are comfortable and that it’s okay to talk about them. Using nicknames or silly words can be confusing or cause shame and embarrassment. If a child perceives messages that sex is shameful and not to be discussed, it can lead to children keeping secrets about inappropriate sexual touching. The next milestone for a child is learning how to go to the bathroom independently. This is an ideal time to discuss privacy and implement consistent boundaries when

bathing, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, or touching private parts. Keep in mind that children grow and learn at their own pace. What works for one child might not work for another. When a child is 3 or 4, it is time to talk about good touch and bad touch and to stress the importance of telling a trusted adult if another adult or child touches their private parts, emphasizing that “it’s not your fault,” and they should never keep secrets from mom or dad. The more children know about their body, the less likely that others can take advantage of them.

Imparting your knowledge & principles

How we talk about and embrace sex is how our children will too; children learn what they live. Sharing your values and beliefs is a benefit of teaching your own child about sex; it is an honor to be the first person to

46 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017

talk with them about this topic. If we give up that responsibility, we lose an opportunity to impart our own values and beliefs. Learning begins when your child asks you a question. When a child asks you something, they need an answer. It’s a chance to provide guidance and to be the go-to person in their life. Answers should be short and simple; if a child needs or wants more information, they will ask additional questions…"less is more” is usually the best approach. Your communication should be non-judgmental with special attention to tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and demeanor.

The “P” word: Puberty Puberty begins between the ages of 8 and 14. It is an exciting time filled with physical, social, and emotional changes that can challenge both parents and children. It’s important to know that middle school has the highest rate of bullying, and this can be devastating for children. Tweens need parental guidance and support, which can be provided when parents share their own experiences about growing up and express an understanding of what the child is experiencing.

for life. Living in a culture where we are all exposed to confusing and misleading sexual imagery and information makes this a particularly important time for discussion.

No time like the present! One thought that guided me as a parent in teaching my own children is not wanting them to be embarrassed about their bodies or think sex is dirty. Open, honest, nonthreatening communication can foster positive discussion. Talking to your kids about sexuality when they’re still small will be way-easier then when you eventually have to talk to them about actually having sex, so it’s wise to lay

the foundation for honest conversation and information early. Finally, if you’re still nervous about talking to your child about sex, think about what will happen if you don’t. Would you let your 16-year-old get behind the wheel of a car without learning about the rules of the road, the importance of seatbelts, or how much a broken taillight costs? Probably not. Imagine the possible negative outcomes. Now consider how much more complicated sex is than driving! The earlier you start “the talk,” the easier it gets, and as the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” !

Technology, social media, pornography, uncensored music, and TV have influenced and changed the sexual culture in our society today. Many teenagers perceive sexting as an acceptable form of communication, and participating in sexual activity is perceived as a rite of passage. These factors specifically impact the need for parents to begin discussing self-respect, healthy relationships, and sexuality at an early age and through the puberty years. Research indicates the earlier and more frequently we discuss these issues, the easier it becomes.

Teen talk When talking to your teenager, I advise avoiding the direct, head-on approach– after all, if you ask your teen if they want to talk about sex or sexuality, they'll probably say, “NO!" It’s easier and much less threatening for teens if you talk to them while driving. They don’t have to look you in the eye, and the lack of direct eye contact is more comfortable for them. Talking openly about sex can help parents ease into discussing topics that become more complicated as their children grow older. You can show your teen that they can rely on you for accurate information by holding honest and respectful discussions about sexual issues. It gives you the opportunity to impart your values and beliefs, which will be their foundation

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 47

THE BRA 411: Big


Small, We Love Them All


s with many things in life, most women were not given a how-to manual about their breast and bra needs. Personally, I very vividly remember getting my first training bra in fifth grade, and after that, I can’t recall much more direction about the topic. Fast-forward into my early 20s, and I have several memories of guessing on my size. I usually grabbed what I thought looked pretty, covered my chest, and I was done.

My experience is not uncommon. Thankfully, we now live in a time in which we have some amazing resources available to us, and it’s becoming more common to talk about such topics as these. That being said, there are several women walking around avoiding the subject altogether, and many are unaware that a well-fitted bra makes that much of a difference. Being an apparel stylist, I am exposed front and center to clients and their issues around clothing. Whether we are shopping for clothes or standing at their closet, the topic of undergarments always comes up. Why? Because it’s a huge part of one’s wardrobe looking the best it can on one’s form. As an example, I found a gorgeous dress for a client last week, and when she put it on, it lay crooked, pulled her down, and actually added visual weight to her frame. This was due to the fact that she was wearing a bra that did not properly fit her.


While it can be considered a delicate topic, most women are thankful that I approach this subject because often, they simply did not know it was a problem for them. Or they have been internalizing the issue before they met me and think something is wrong with them. Maybe they’ve been avoiding certain clothes all together such as button-down tops or certain necklines. And of course, it can dramatically affect their confidence. Time and time again, I hear from clients how they loathe shopping because it’s just too discouraging and overwhelming to not find clothes in which they feel good. It’s sad to think that if I had not been present with this client, she most likely would have walked out without that beautiful dress. Yet showing her how much different the dress fell on her when we made an adjustment to her bra enabled her to see for herself: The dress went from frumpish to phenomenal, and she was excited! This advice on finding a proper bra is paramount because we toooften are discouraged by what we see in the mirror and internalize, feeling like something is wrong with us. The internal dialogue may go like this, “Does this look good on me? My breasts are uneven. I wish my breasts were smaller. It would probably be better if I weighed less. Ugh. I need to start eating better. I was excited to get something new and thought this was pretty. I’m just going to wear my bigger shirts because at least that will hide my body and breasts more.”

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It is unfortunate that so many women are thinking there is something wrong with them. In reality, we are all built uniquely, and it’s of value to realize that not all clothing is uniform in sizing. Taking the time to understand how to dress for your body, at its current size, can make daily dressing so much more fun and far less stressful. In addition, understanding what tools are available to you when needed can be invaluable.

So, let’s get to the As, Bs, and Cs of bras! There are several wonderful shops available to us in the Capital Region for this need and we wish to highlight one location that has been on our radar in the Saratoga area, Chic Underneath. Chic Underneath was started by two lifelong friends, Lauren Plasencia and Kaitlyn Fazio, back in 2011. They have succeeded in fulfilling their vision of providing an atmosphere where women feel comfortable and unintimidated. They even support mothers shopping with their children when needed because as mothers themselves, they know firsthand the value of being a family-friendly shop. In the spirit of spreading awareness and addressing some common questions and misconceptions about breasts and bras, I reached out to the owners to hear their thoughts:

given, and all your bra-fitting woes magically disappear. This is why the fitting is a crucial starting point in finding the special bra you do not dread putting on [it does exist!]. Each body type is different, and we have to go through a process of trial and error. One might be a different size in every brand or style. This process can be overwhelming, but that is why we are here to help you navigate. If one brand doesn't offer the right fit for your body type, it is nice to be able to rely on another. Sometimes trying on bras can feel like a nuisance, therefore it is important to find an environment where you feel comfortable, non-judged, and able to ask questions.

you carry or have access to bras that would be suitable Q: Do for women who have undergone reconstructive surgery? Providing this resource was very important to us. A: Yes. We have front closure and wire-free bra options that are

comfortable for any post-surgery need.

education/training is available to a professional Q: What bra fitter, and what do you each possess, if any? the years we have had the opportunity to receive A: Over education from different brands and companies. We train our

employees on how each brand fits, as well as how to find a bra that is appropriate for every woman depending on her age, size, and needs.

are some tell-tale signs a woman may be wearing Q: What the wrong bra? first sign would, of course, be comfort. Although A: The some find it hard to believe, a proper fitting bra is actually

comfortable. Other signs would be problems like spillage or gapping in the cups, straps falling down, band too high/low, underwire digging in breast tissue, etc.

is it that a woman may take the time to have a Q: Why fitting, experience a bra feeling great in the dressing

room, and then a week later, the bra feels “off ” or “not right”?

on the time of month, women can experience A: Depending changes in their breasts. We recommend having some great

everyday bras, as well as a couple to wear when your breasts may be a little larger due to hormonal changes.

someone is new to bra shopping, what would you Q: Ifsuggest they purchase first? We always recommend a great-fitting, nude, contoured bra A: to be a staple in every woman's wardrobe. We refer to this as a t-shirt bra. A nude can be worn under most colors, and the cups of a t-shirt bra have no texture (i.e., lace or frills) and can be worn under any material.

do you feel are the three best types of bras for Q: What women to own? mentioned, the contoured nude t-shirt bra is number A: Asone.weSecond is a convertible bra [that can be worn many ways

including: cross-back, halter, and strapless]. While you may not wear it every day or even every week, this is a staple to every wardrobe. And number three is a bralette for those days that you just want the extra comfort, but need more support than going bra-free.

are so many locations and options when it Q: There comes to bra fittings. How does one know what to look for in a location?

to find a place that has experience in fittings A: It'sandimportant that sells more than one brand. We always say that

bras are like jeans–often one is not a specific size across the board. Unfortunately, there is not always a magic bra-size which one is

Inside the store, Chic Underneath

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 49

you suggest a certain time of day or time in a Q: Do women’s cycle that is best for bra-fitting? changes do play a role with some woman, while A: Hormonal others do not notice any changes. Many women have one

breast that is larger than the other, some have more dense breast tissue, some experience changing breast tissue due to breastfeeding. Due to all of these factors, we suggest scheduling a time for a bra fitting when you are not in a rush and you can focus on you. This is a process, and if you feel rushed, it is likely you may get easily frustrated. Instead, we want to create an experience that is enjoyable. Remember that you are not a specific size across the board and bras #1 and #2 may not fit, but bra #3 could be the winner. Coming when you have the time to invest in yourself will only benefit you.

Q: What range of sizes do you carry in bras? carry bra sizes A to K, and band sizes from 32” to 48”. We A: We also carry panties ranging from a size 0 to 16. We carry many sizes in store, but we have the ability to special order if need be. Q: What is the average price point for your bras? bras range from $30 to $70, depending on style A: Our and brand. Q: How often do you suggest a woman gets a fitting? feel it is important to get a bra fitting at least once a year A: We and sooner if there is any significant weight gain/loss or

change in the breast tissue. As we age, our bodies go through slight changes from year to year. The number of bras you have in your weekly rotation also plays a factor in how often you need to buy new bras. We recommend updating your bras every six months. Our

fittings are complimentary, and we are happy to update the fitting and the wardrobe together.

Q: What is the best way to care for your bras? extend the wearable life of your bra investment, we A: Torecommend handwashing your bras in a gentle detergent and

laying flat to dry. If this method is not an option for you, the gentle cycle will also work, but you may see signs of wear sooner. Keep in mind, every washer is different, and some are gentler than others. We do not recommend putting your bras in the dryer.

average, how long can one expect a bra to last if it is Q: On cared for properly? on the wear of the bra, they can last you upwards A: Depending to a year, but we do recommend switching them out every six

months if possible. We recommend having at least four bras in your weekly rotation. Wearing the same bra day after day will shorten the lifespan of the undergarment. Has this left you curious yet still not ready to call and set up a brafitting appointment? I completely get it! This can feel overwhelming and a tad scary to undertake on your own. It’s one of the many reasons I often accompany clients for their appointment. You may also enjoy taking part in one of the events at Chic Underneath; visit for details. It’s a great place to start and be among other ladies who are curious and seeking to connect with personable people, just like you! Chic Underneath provides professional bra fittings by appointment, as well as waxing services. To learn more, please visit !

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5< Secrets

Keeping Your Pelvic Floor Happy & Healthy


Are you familiar with the pelvic floor?

No, it’s not some hip new home design trend. It’s an essential cluster of muscles that cradle the pelvic organs. Perhaps you’ve at least heard of kegels, those squeezes performed “down there”? They can strengthen this region, but there is more to pelvic health than just contracting your pelvic floor muscles. But, before I share my tips and tricks on how–and why– you should strive to strengthen your pelvic floor, a quick anatomy and physiology lesson.

The muscles of the pelvic floor attach to the front of your pelvis, the pubic symphysis, around the sides to the hips and along the back of the pelvis including the tailbone. They form a bowl or base to the trunk and are a huge contributor to core stabilization. The purpose of these muscles is really threefold. For one, they aid in continence, which is controlling your bladder and bowels (strength and relaxation). Two, they provide sexual function and the passage of our precious babies (relaxation and opening). And three, they provide muscular support to the trunk (strength). As with any muscle in the body, these muscles need strength, but they also need to relax well. Let’s learn some helpful secrets to keep your pelvic floor happy and healthy!

Secret #1: Make sure you can relax your pelvic floor.

Many women who are seen with pelvic issues–especially pain–are unable to relax this muscle group. No muscle in your body is designed to be tight all the time. Pelvic floor tightness not only can cause pain, but also an inability to enjoy sex. Constant constraint also may make it difficult for you to properly empty your bladder or bowels. The best way to relax your pelvic floor is with your breath. As you inhale, allow your belly to expand and try to allow your pelvic floor to expand as well. You may feel just a small amount of pressure at first, but as you practice, you should start to feel the muscles lengthen on the inhale.

Secret #2: Kegels are a great exercise in the absence of pain.

If you are dealing with any kind of pelvic pain, please do not do kegels. First, see your doctor and get a referral to a pelvic floor physical therapist (PT) who can help you to alleviate your pain. If all is well otherwise, kegels are a great exercise to do to keep this base of your trunk strong. My favorite tip? Start kegels while exhaling (remember above we relaxed on the inhale?). Then progress to quick contractions (kegels) of one-second holds and repeat. Finally long holds. Strive to hold up to 10 seconds and repeat as many repetitions as you comfortably can. The quick contractions help with fast movement, such as jumping and coughing. The long holds will help give you

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 51

that extra support–strength to stay dry–when walking to the bathroom.

Secret #3: Use the bathroom when you need to.

Going to the bathroom “just in case” too frequently can aggravate a bladder issue. Do you find yourself popping into any bathroom you pass by in an effort to lower your risk of leaking later on? The problem is, going to the bathroom regularly–before you even get the urge to go– can train your bladder to want to empty before it fills. This creates urgency and frequency issues. Listen to your body. If you see a bathroom and you just voided recently, wait. Train your bladder to send you the signal that it’s time to go once it’s filled up.

Secret #4: Avoid constipation.

Holding on to stool in the colon and rectum force pelvic floor muscles to work overtime. Then, when you try to go and have to bear down significantly to empty, your pelvic floor gets strained and a great amount of pressure is placed on your bladder and uterus. The goal is to have soft, easyto-move stool that you empty regularly. Your pelvic organs and muscles will appreciate it. If this is an issue for you, aid your digestion by incorporating more water, fiber, and exercise into your life.

Secret #5: Good alignment is key.

We all know we should stand up straight (and yes, I anticipate people will roll their eyes at me whenever I remind them). Yet, posture plays a significant role in how our muscles function, and this goes for the pelvic floor as well. Try sitting really slouched with your bottom tucked under and do a kegel. You should feel it more near the back side, around the anus. Next, try sitting up extra tall, almost sticking out your chest and arching your back. Repeat the kegel. This time you should feel it more in the front around the urethra. Many people are slouched and have their bottom tucked under. This can cause urinary incontinence since your muscles are supporting your backside instead of your bladder. Just one simple reason to sit and stand tall! Let’s not keep these a secret! Please share these tips with others around you–even the men and children in your lives… they have a pelvic floor too! If you are dealing with any type of bladder, bowel, sexual, or pelvic organ prolapse issue, find a pelvic floor physical therapist. Physical therapy is a conservative, holistic approach to helping you return to your normal, active lifestyle. !

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Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 53

Safer period.

Natural Feminine Hygiene Products Natracare ORGANIC & NATURAL ULTRA PADS (REGULAR) $5.49 for 14 pads at Healthy Living

Seventh Generation FREE & CLEAR CHLORINE-FREE PADS (SUPER LONG) $3.99 for 16 pads at Target

Completely plastic-, chlorine-, and perfumefree, Naturacare pads are made from biobased, sustainable materials like certified organic cotton. Ninety percent biodegradable and compostable under the correct conditions, they are even Vegetarian Society-approved! OUR TEST USER SAYS: “I really like

that the wrapper is paper instead of the standard plastic. This is definitely a pad for a lighter flow-kind-of-day.”

Not made with perfumes or chlorine, Seventh Generation’s super long pads with wings offer extended length to guard against unwanted leakage. Individually wrapped for convenience on the go and easy disposal, the “PureFit” design conforms to your body for reliable protection and comfort. OUR TEST USER SAYS: “Extremely

soft and the length was good for nighttime, but the wings were a little too small to get a good wrap-around.”

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When it comes to the sensitive skin “down there,” more and more women are looking for feminine hygiene products that are gentle and natural, while still getting the job done. Many of the mainstream products are loaded with chlorine-bleached materials, as well as synthetics and superabsorbents made from petrochemicals, and it’s hotly debated as to whether these substances are harmful. But for those who prefer to keep their lady parts as chemical-free as possible, we test drove several of the natural maxi pads available in our local stores.

The Honest Company ULTRA THIN PADS MADE WITH ORGANIC COTTON (REGULAR) $8.99 for 10 pads at Healthy Living

L. Eco-Friendly ORGANIC COTTON ULTRA THIN PADS (REGULAR) $6.99 for 42 pads at Target L. pads are made with organic cotton and are free of harmful chemicals like chlorine, rayon, pesticides, fragrances, or dyes. Pads are individually wrapped and made with breathable, absorbent, hypoallergenic organic cotton. For every pad purchased, L. provides a pad to a girl in need in a developing country.

Made without fragrances, deodorants, or rayon, these pads from The Honest Company have a naturally soft and absorbent organic cotton topsheet. But they are also kind to the environment, using a plant-based backing for leak protection, as well as a plant-based wrapper. OUR TEST USER SAYS: “I love the

cute green plaid wrapper! Good wing design provides great protection on the sides.”


comfy, and with good coverage by the wings. Plus I love the company’s ‘give back’ mission!”

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 55


Dr. Randy Cale

Much is written and reported about the victims of bullying and how to help, but we tend to think little of the “bully” and how they, too, need help. These bullies are suffering their own pain and tend to be socially isolated, poorer students, and have strong tendencies toward alcohol and substance use in their teenage years. So, what happens when parents are told their son or daughter is bullying others? While I find parents are often in denial of such feedback, there are many others seeking help to bring their tyrannizing child under control. They are often surprised and alarmed by such behavior. When seeking help, many show up with this fundamental question: “How did my child learn to bully?”


Dr. Cale is a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker, and licensed psychologist who offers practical, no-nonsense parenting advice for all ages. His website,, features hundreds of articles and dozens of parenting products that will help you achieve your goal of happier children and a peaceful home.

Without a doubt, the most common finding is that bullies have been bullied, either at home, at school, or on the playground. Such behavior rarely unfolds in a vacuum. Yet, while an alarming 70 percent of middle school and high school students report that they have been bullied during their lives, most never become bullies. It takes more than a few moments of namecalling or being pushed out of line to turn into a bully. It is the repeated experience of being bullied at home or in school that instills the underlying shame, guilt, and anger that produces a future bully. It is important to appreciate the impact of such experiences on these children. As soon as we put the label of “bully” on the child, it’s easy to lose sight of their struggle and the painful path they have walked in their lives.

THE APPLE DOES NOT FALL FAR FROM THE TREE (USUALLY) Unfortunately, much bullying behavior can be traced to parent behavior. Children follow their primary role models, which cannot be avoided. Nature is wired that way. Thus, it is essential to tune into the modeled behavior that a child is following. For many parents, this is a tough pill to swallow, but the proof is usually obvious after spending time observing and discussing family dynamics.

Sibling interactions also play a role in teaching young children to bully. Boys, inclined to be more physical, often end up wrestling and fighting. In some circumstances, one sibling seems to enjoy being physical much more than the other and will “torture” the other sibling with physical pushing, jabbing, etc. The more unprovoked these moments appear, and the more that intimidation and fear are the apparent outcomes, the more these sibling exchanges fall into the category of bullying.

THE SOCIAL WORLD TEACHES As children engage in outside playdates, sports, school, and other activities, there is the opportunity for other children to bully and to model bullying. While dramatic improvements have been made in schools to reduce bullying, the reality is that it still happens. The weak, the small, the odd, and the disadvantaged are often the focus of the neighborhood bully. Again, a moment or two will not mold a future bully. However, repeated exposure to fear and intimidation will likely produce a future bully.

MODELING VARIOUS FORMS OF BULLYING: EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL & CYBER-BULLYING Most of us are aware of the line that is crossed when there is physical bullying. An example at home is when a parent uses their body to trap another member of the family in a room or area of the home. There is also the more abusive form, when there is pushing or physical force used to demand compliance with the actions sought from another adult or child. When a larger-bodied adult hovers over a spouse or child, with finger pointed in their face, this physical intimidation is an unhealthy mistreatment of family and falls into the physical category. However, the more frequent and less acknowledged form of bullying is that of emotional or mental bullying. This involves using demanding and controlling words and doing so in personal ways that torment, embarrass, and demean the victim. It’s also a way to get control and compliance, generated out of fear or desire to avoid embarrassment

56 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017

or shame. Here are some examples of emotional bullying: •

Threats of violence or harm, or telling others false information

Intentionally frightening others to gain power or control

Inciting fear in a child that they will not receive love, food, or care from a parent

Demeaning a spouse or child because of some trait or characteristic (e.g., weight, speech, hair, dress, IQ, athletic performance, etc.)

Excessively criticizing, pointing out mistakes, or relentlessly relating how to do it better

Yelling and using forceful language to get attention and compliance

Ordering a child or spouse around; treating them like a servant

Finding pleasure in the pain or fear incited in others

And now, in recent years, we have cyber-bullying to add to the list. Many times, parents are not the role models for cyber-bullying. This can unfold in all sorts of social media apps as children get older. Certain apps offer a way to bully others where your identity is hidden, making it easy for the bully to demean, ridicule, and harass without consequence. These various patterns of coercion are mentioned to make clear that there are many ways to model being a bully. Each is recognizable because the core impact is that the victim feels helpless, afraid, weak, and disempowered. Ultimately, the victim complies out of fear…not out of respect.


Look in th e mirror

If your son or daughter has turned into a bully, the first step to help them is to take a long, hard, personal look in the mirror. How often do they see me bully? How often do I threaten, coerce, or use words to make them feel bad over their actions? How often am I controlling them or demanding that they listen? How often do I want them to feel bad in order to try to end up with better behavior? Do I ever use physical intimidation to get my way, at home or in public?

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Any of these tendencies can play a key role in a child’s bullying patterns, and it is essential to stop these behaviors yourself if you want to help your child to stop bullying. By looking at the expression on your child’s face, you can see the impact of your behavior. Tune in to that expression, as this is the measure of the impact your reaction is having. Often, it is creating powerful, negative emotions in your child and has zero impact on changing a negative behavior pattern.


Stop sibling bullying

If one sibling is unilaterally pushing, fighting, or name-calling and demeaning another sibling, it is essential to bring this to a stop. It’s important to distinguish between sibling conflict and sibling bullying, as sibling conflict is unavoidable. Trying to get a bully to appreciate the impact of such moments on a younger sibling is futile. It seems like a promising idea to teach them how it feels, but it doesn’t work. Do not require apologies, as these are insincere. Do not try to talk it out between them. Instead, get between the two children. Support the child who was bullied. Give an immediate time-out to the bully. Once complete, have the bully do something for the victim to improve the child’s life, such as cleaning their room or taking on their chores for the day. Require an “over-correction” model that does more than just stop the moment. Finally, abandon efforts to lecture or teach in these moments, as again, this also is futile.

or in other social settings. In other words, if an adult is not around, bullies are quickly disempowered when peers step in to say “stop” as a small group. They can then walk away with the victimized child. This approach has a proven record of success. Now, if your child is the bully in such situations, it would be essential to remove them, if you have no ability to monitor the situation. If you can monitor, then of course, step in immediately when there is a moment of bullying. Support the intimidated child. Then, create a consequence that your child will feel, by removing them from the setting for the day. Again, no lecture or yelling. Simply take them to the car, complete a time out, and then go home. Perhaps an extra chore or two at home as well. All this is done without emotional drama and reaction on your part, and this is key. Repeat this as often as needed. You can also add the previously mentioned over-correction approach by having the bully do something to improve or enhance the life of the victim. Finally, it’s a difficult situation if you’re getting feedback from the school that your child is the bully. Your goal is to empower the school to take action, ensure you accept no excuses from your “bully” about why they bullied another child, and make certain you have addressed everything you can from the above game plan. It is also critical to examine whether your child is being bullied in another setting, and have the school appreciate the impact this could be having on your son or daughter.



If there are games, movies, or TV shows where intimidation, fear, and physical force prevail, get rid of these. Don’t let a bullying child have exposure to violent media in any form.

Rarely is professional help required, if you can accomplish the steps above. However, if you happen to be divorced and the other parent is the bully who will not change their ways, then you may need professional guidance. Likewise, if you find you cannot stop your own reactive tendencies, and you end up yelling and using emotional upsets to get your children to listen, this is a form of emotional bullying that must stop if you want to help your child. Sometimes sibling disharmony requires professional help. In short, focus first on steps one through three. If you do not see change, either in your home or in your child’s bullying behavior, then reach out for help. !

In ter vene in social settings

If your child plays with another child who tends to bully, don’t let them play with that child again. Get them out of a situation where a bully runs free. Another option is to teach them to be strong and stand up for themselves. Often, this can be accomplished (if adults are nearby) by simply having your child scream, “STOP!” This effectively gets attention drawn to the situation, and it’s rarely what the bully expects. Research now strongly supports the power of teaching other children to stand up for the victim on the playground

Professional h elp

58 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017

Brand Showdown: LuLaRoe vs.

Agnes & Dora The comfy-cute apparel craze does not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, and for good reason! Who wouldn’t want to leave the house wearing something soft, comfortable, non-constricting, and often one-of-a-kind? Fans of LuLaRoe and Agnes & Dora know exactly what I’m talking about. These two companies have managed to rise to the top of both the clothing industry and Facebook newsfeeds everywhere! I personally own clothing from both LuLaRoe and Agnes & Dora, and I can’t say that I prefer one over the other. I appreciate the quirkiness of LuLaRoe, and I love the dress I own (the Amelia). I think Agnes & Dora offers a more sophisticated style, and I could live in my A&D tunic top and often rock my Austen dress. So, which do you prefer? We spoke with LuLaRoe rep Nicole Stokes and Agnes & Dora rep Rochelle Dinallo to find out just what makes the two lines similar and different. Whichever you prefer, you truly can’t go wrong since both lines consider comfort to be a key component!

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 59

Nicole's TopSelling Item!

How many different styles do you carry? 36 What is the size range? 2T through 3XL What is the price range? $23-$70 What is your top-selling item? A high-low tunic called the Irma

How do most people purchase from you? In person and online

In your opinion, what makes LuLaRoe great? Our clothes are made to fit every shape and size in a flattering way. It's amazing how a correctly fitting dress or top can change somebody's self-esteem. I also love the company and their message, "To bless lives and strengthen families." It certainly has mine. I have more time with my kids now, and I can work from home. I have satisfaction in my work, and I am so happy. I've made so many great friends because of LuLaRoe. We've worked hard and have earned several incentive cruises with the business, which was something I never imagined doing. I personally strive to provide the best customer service possible, and I think that has helped my personal business flourish.

Meet Nicole!

What customers are saying… Kelly M.: “I love LuLaRoe because I know I am supporting a local, family-owned business when I shop with Nicole. She gives back to the community by holding fundraisers that support families, and she welcomes all her customers like friends.” TO CONTACT NICOLE…

Facebook: Email:

60 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017

Meet Rochelle!

How many different styles do you carry? 30 What is the size range? XXS through 3XL What is the price range? $18 for kids’ leggings up to $68 for a dress

What is your top-selling item? I do well with the Dolman top and the Curie dress.

How do most people purchase from you? In person and online

In your opinion, what makes A&D great? I love the tried and true staple pieces that are timeless and wearable for all women. The clothing is of great quality, on-trend, and in season because of the styles and patterns that our in-house designers create. As a rep, it’s great to be able to choose which styles AND prints I want to carry to customize my inventory based on my customers’ likes. I love the community of woman that I work with. We constantly inspire and empower each other–it’s a true sisterhood.

The Dolman Top!

What customers are saying… Crystal: “I like A&D because the material and styles are flattering yet cool in warm weather and comfortable! It's definitely awesome having so many different styles to choose from, and the quality is worth every penny!”


Facebook: Agnes&Dora independent rep Rochelle D Text or call: (518) 852-2436 Email:

Holly: “I'm addicted to Agnes & Dora because their clothes are so comfortable with beautiful prints, and they make you feel confident about yourself!”

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 61

Family Fun

in the fall

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

Saratoga Springs Sunnyside Gardens

Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin patch, train ride, cider donuts, and more. 345A Church Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518.584.1034

10-20 Minutes from Saratoga Double M Hayrides & Corn Maze

Schuyler Farms

Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin patch, and other fall fun! 1124 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY 12871 518.695.5308 |

20-30 Minutes From Saratoga Bowman Orchards

Pick-your-own and picked apples, raspberries, blackberries, pumpkins (seasonally), cider, donuts, and farm animals too! 141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford, NY 12148 518.371.2042 |

Devoe’s Rainbow Orchards

Daytime hayride, corn maze, petting zoo, and children’s activities. Haunted hayride at night! 678 Route 67, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 518.884.9122 |

Apple-picking, baked goods, and gift baskets. Rainbow Delights, their ice cream shop, is open April-October. 1569 Rt. 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065 518.371.8397 |

Lakeside Farms

Apples, Indian corn, gourds, pumpkins, apple cider, cider donuts, and a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. 336 Schauber Road Ballston Lake, NY 12019 518.399.8359

Malta Ridge Orchard & Gardens

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

Saratoga Apple

Apples, cider, fresh baked goods, and produce. Also an assortment of local, natural, and healthy food and gifts. Apple cider donuts are made daily all year round. 1174 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY 12871 518.695.3131

Ellms Family Farm

Pumpkin patch, hayrides, corn maze, and more! 468 Charlton Road Ballston Spa, NY 12020 518.884.8168

Fo' Castle Farm

Apple-picking at their orchard and fall treats including cider donuts, pies, and breads at the country store. 166 Kingsley Road, Burnt Hills, NY 12027 518.399.8322 |

Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchard Apple-picking, cider, cider donuts, and gourmet muffins. 267 Sugar Hill Road Rexford, NY 12148 | 518.371.5785

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30-40 Minutes from Saratoga Eagle Mills

Watch cider being pressed in an antique cider press, take a train ride, participate in a dino dig, and explore the family fun park. Visit the bakery for pies, cider donuts, and other treats. 383 County Hwy. 138 (Off Rt. 29), Broadalbin, NY 12025 518.883.8700 |

Engelke Farm

Pumpkin-picking, corn maze, haunted hayride, zip line, and animals. Be sure to call ahead for zip line reservations; they fill up quickly! 463 Garfield Road, Troy, NY 12180 518.478.4939 |


Liberty Ridge Farm

One of the area’s largest corn mazes, barnyard adventure, pumpkin picking, trolley ride, cow train, and more family fun. 29 Bevis Road, Schaghticoke, NY 12154 518.664.1515

Riverview Orchard

Apples, bakery, donuts; hayrides are free on weekends. 660 Riverview Road, Rexford, NY 12148 518.371.2174

50-60 Minutes from Saratoga Hicks Orchard

Apple-picking, wagon rides, hard cider tasting room, cider donuts, and applewood fired pizza. Plus many family fun activities through the fall! 18 Hicks Road, Granville, NY 12832 518.642.1788 |

Indian Ladder Farms

Pick-your-own apples, berries, and other produce. Visit the farm store and gift shop for a wide variety of decorative and unique items. 342 Altamont Road, Altamont, NY 12009 | 518.765.2956

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 63

of te list isit e l p com s, v For a d activitie n ts a even Mam

toga Sara







The third oldest fair in New York State returns this year bringing rides, exhibits, shows, entertainment, and more to Rensselaer County! Adults are $11; children 13 and under are free. Rides are $1 each. Parking is free. No pets allowed. Visit for the full schedule of events.

Brought to you by the Ndakinna Education Center, this popular kid-friendly festival is returning to the Saratoga State Park along with several changes! For one day only and now located at the National Museum of Dance, festivities will be held indoors, rain or shine, from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Authentic northeastern Native American drumming and dance, storytelling, music, crafts, and food will be offered. The Saratoga Native American Festival is part of a regional effort to educate people about the history, cultural traditions, and continued active presence of the Native peoples of the northeast.



This festival invites racing fans to downtown Saratoga Springs to enjoy a variety of great live music for Labor Day weekend, presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the New York Racing Association. The event is free to the public. For more information, call the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce at (518) 584-3255.


DOUBLE H RANCH CAMP CHALLENGE RIDE & RUN Cycle through the beautiful Adirondacks on a 30-mile route or run/walk the 5k Trail Run while helping raise money to send children living with serious illnesses to the Double H Ranch, completely free of charge! New this year is a 1-mile Family Fun Walk on an accessible, paved pathway. Whether you are a casual rider or a seasoned cyclist, walker, or runner – all levels are welcome! 5K or 30-mile race: $30 advance registration; $35 day of event. 1-mile walk: $10 per person/$40 per family. To register, visit

INSANE INFLATABLE 5K RUN Get “pumped up” for the most fun, wild, and insane obstacle run in the world, hosted by Ellms Family Farm, 468 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa. Register as a team and get your family, friends, and co-workers involved! Pick from 12 waves, the first beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the last at 11:30 p.m. Registration is $49 to $100. Visit to register, or for more information, call Ellms Family Farm at (518) 884-8168.

MALTA COMMUNITY DAY Come out and show your hometown pride and enjoy the festivities and fun! This year's Scarecrow Decorating Contest theme is "Myths and Monsters Scarecrow"; families, groups, individuals, organizations, and businesses are invited to challenge last year's winner! Entry forms and contest rules are available at the Malta Community Center; entry forms are due by Thursday, Sept. 7. Free admission. For more information, call (518) 899-4411.



A one-day art show in Saratoga Springs' Congress Park, curated and presented by Saratoga Arts. Artists from the Capital Region will display, discuss, and sell their drawings, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, photography, print-making, and work in other media from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year's event will include prizes, local music, great food, and a Kidz Art Zone! For additional information or questions, please contact Saratoga Arts at (518) 584-4132.

2017 IRISH 2000 FESTIVAL The 21st annual Irish 2000 Festival offers a unique line up of Irish music including everything from Celtic punk and jam music to traditional and everything in between. There will be a Celtic Kids area featuring rides and games from Green Mountain Amusements, Celtic Critters, and a variety of other fun for the youngest members of your family. $15 in advance, $20 at the gate; kids 12 and under are free. For more information, call (888) 414-3378.



Area farms open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a celebration of farming. It is a day of fun for the whole family, including farm tours, apple-picking, hayrides, demos, animals, horse rides, country food, festive music, and more! This is a drive-it-yourself fall tour where you and the kids will love visiting Clifton Park’s local farms and orchards, getting an inside look at the animals and farm equipment. Some activities have an extra charge, but many are free. For more information, call (518) 371-6667. Participating locations: Bowman Orchards, Riverview Orchards, Predel's Ranch, Double B Farms, and Shepherd's Hey Farm. Other locations with activities: Amity Reformed Church, Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, Historic Grooms Tavern, Clifton Park Senior Community Center, and Vischer Ferry Fire Station.

64 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017



Looking to build, renovate, or design? Find ideas and inspiration during this self-guided tour of 17 newly constructed homes in Saratoga County from 14 of our region’s award-winning builders. Each home features the newest construction techniques, latest products, highquality furnishings, and fixtures from some of the area's top designers and suppliers. $20 for adults with proceeds benefitting Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and Habitat for Humanity; children under 12 are free. Homes are open over the three weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit for more details.


Hundreds of hot air balloons take to the sky at the 45th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival. There will be balloons of all shapes and sizes at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury. Watch from the ground as they take off into the sky or go for a ride and see a view you won't soon forget! All events are weatherpermitting. No dogs, drones, or remote-control aircrafts are allowed. Free admission. For more information, call (518) 222-4593 or visit


SPECIAL OLYMPICS SARATOGA RUNDEAD This year we are going on a competitive treasure hunt/geocache event sponsored by Death Wish Coffee to see if humans can cure the zombie infection or if the zombie infection will consume the planet! Registration opens at 12:30 p.m. at the Orenda Pavilion in Saratoga Spa State Park, and the race begins at 2:30 p.m. with awards at 3:45 p.m. As part of Team Human or Team Zombie, you will have one hour to locate three geocaching containers in the park, following a treasure map, to be entered to win the grand prizes. Online registration: $35 for adult human/zombie; $25 for junior human/zombie. For more information or to register, visit


2017 SARATOGA DBA FALL FESTIVAL Bring the whole family to celebrate the fall season in beautiful downtown Saratoga Springs with fun and games from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.! All entertainment and activities are free and open to the public. For further information, contact the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association at (518) 587-8635.



One of the greatest antique truck shows in the northeast featuring over 300 antique trucks of all sizes and from original condition to restored. There are also antique tractors, engines, and a flea market. Only $1 per adult, and children under 12 are free; no vehicle registration cost. Rain or shine at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. Free parking. Gates open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No pets allowed.


17TH ANNUAL GREAT PUMPKIN CHALLENGE TO BENEFIT SARATOGA BRIDGES This event features a 5K (walk or run) and 10K (run) through the beautiful and historic Saratoga Spa State Park. The day also includes a fun run for kids 12 and under. Costumes are welcome! 5K and 10K: $25 (by Oct. 1) or $28 (by Oct. 11; online registration ends on Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.); $30 (in-person only after 10 a.m. on Oct. 11 and before 6 p.m. on Oct. 13). Kids Fun Run: $5. To register online, visit

Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 65

A final thought on the first day of kindergarten Dear Jack,


I have written you many letters in my head, and it is time to start putting them to paper to be safely kept for you. We have learned countless lessons in our life together, and it is my job to interpret them for you as we grow in this world. My mother deciphered life moments and lessons for me, and it is now my chance to do this for you. I stumble sometimes upon the notes and messages my mother has left me, and they bring me great comfort and surprise me in the moments that I happen to be seeking guidance. Jack, you are about to enter kindergarten. A new journey will soon begin. I have so many words to give you, but really just a few that matter right now. First, change. Familiarize yourself with this fact of life. Expect it always in order to enrich your life with the present. Today is all that matters. I have wished away so much time, waiting for the next thing, and have missed out on experiences that have now passed. Very few things are constant in this world; events pass, leaving you with the tools to champion the next piece of your life. You will find friends come and go. We may move houses or change jobs. We may grow and discover changes both inside and outside of ourselves. No matter what happens, one thing is for certain, my beautiful Jack: You are not alone, and I will guide you through all the different pieces of your life. My next word is love. Perhaps the greatest gift I will give you is the ability to fall deeply in love with yourself. I am ever-learning how to love myself more deeply each day, and as I do, I find happiness. Jack, I must tell you, you will confront a saddening amount of hate in the world. Your weapon against this is your love. It will shine upon this negativity and muffle, even sometimes silence, such pain. In doing so, you will be a teacher to others who were not as loved as you. Within those instances of change, that I told you would ultimately come, love yourself and others as I love you, and discover the peace and acceptance that is left with you. My last word is acceptance. Accept the world as it is, and do not anguish over that which cannot be altered. First, accept yourself as you are. Remember my words of self-love. Love yourself totally, and do not seek to change anything. A gift I ask you to give to others is to accept them as they are. Allow whatever it is they need to do in order to get through their day to find their own happiness. This acceptance, I promise you Jack, will draw you closer to others. I have faced people who wish to impose their own ideas of how my life should go, and it has only separated me from them. For those who have allowed me to be me, I find they are my dearest friends. My beautiful Jack, all that I have said to you, you have already encountered. I watch others in awe as you navigate your world. You do it with love and acceptance in this ever-changing world. In doing so, you challenge others so much older than you, to be better. You are this little boy turning people’s heads. I love you deeply, my Jack, and accept all that you are. Please do not change.

I love you forever, Mama 66 | SaratogaMama | Fall 2017


Fall 2017 | SaratogaMama | 67

Saratoga Mama Fall 2017  

From mini-vacations and fun fall activities, to fall fashion for moms and kids, to health class 101, we've got all your back-to-school mama...

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