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Summer 2017

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s p i r T y Da

Party Time: Kitchen Edition

Swimsui t Survival Guide

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Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty



he glorious summer months are the best time to try something new, make memories, and dive into that bucket list full of adventures! Check out some ideas for a summer day trip on page 50, and find some close-to-home and at-home ideas for kids on page 58 (rainy day fun)… Two helpful resources for turning any average summer day into an amazing one!


One bummer of summer is bathing suit shopping. Let’s just be honest: No matter how comfortable you are in your skin, bathing suits don’t leave much to the imagination. This year, let’s not teach our little ones to dislike their bodies by disliking our own. Our bathing suit survival guide on page 34 offers lots of suggestions for all body types. Confidence looks great on you—wear it proudly! Kiddos who love to cook will love our birthday party feature on page 27 and learning about a female entrepreneur who started a sweet treat business on page 20.

Nature-lovers: Check out the feature on letterboxing (page 42), and keep your knowledge sharp about ticks and Lyme disease on page 46. Summer skin essentials (page 16) has you covered from head to toe with the season’s trending skin, hair, nails, and makeup products, including some of our favorite kidfriendly finds. There’s a lot to love in this issue, and I’m grateful that you are taking the time to read it.

enjoy the summer, friends!

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

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 Kate Fitzpatrick 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 32 Baby & Toddler Picks for Summer 34 Secrets to Swimsuit Success

Find 16

Summer Skin, Hair & Body Essentials


Summer Reading List from Northshire Bookstore

Learn 20 42 46

A Small Treat with a Great Big Heart Learn About Letterboxing Being Lyme Smart

Play 27 50 64 66

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The Perfect At-Home Cooking Party 15 Fabulous Day Trips Save the Date Puzzles & Games

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Rachel Spensieri

Kimberly Dellis

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.

Kimberly Dellis is a Saratoga PLAN and Saratoga Mentoring volunteer, speechlanguage pathologist and assistive technology specialist for the Saratoga Springs City Schools. She enjoys exploring and sharing information about our local natural resources with kids and is currently working on visiting all of the national parks.

Theresa St. John

Ilissa Goman

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.

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.

John Kettlewell John Kettlewell is the constituent engagement director for Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature). He previously worked for Informz and the Adirondack Mountain Club, and he’s the author of The Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook and other boating publications.

Dr. Randy Cale 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. Additionally, Dr. Cale also works with couples and provides individual counseling. Submit questions to and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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


There's lots to adore about summertime! We wanted to show love to some exceptional local events, activities, and businesses. #AdoreAlert

Adventure + Exercise = Happy Kids


he Saratoga Regional YMCA’s new Adventure Course is open and available for birthday party and play packages. The Adventure Course is suitable for the adventurous 7-year-old up to the daring senior between 65 and 250 pounds. This outdoor aerial adventure features 35 feet of climbing challenges and 300 feet of high-flying zipping fun. It’s a unique way to spend time with friends and family right here in Saratoga. Challenge yourself each time!


To book a play package, contact Paige Minear at 518-583-9622, ext. 116, or to book a birthday party, contact Kristi Savage at 518-583-9622, ext. 116.

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The Perfect Present


ittle Black Box is a gift box business created by photographer Keira Lemonis. These beautifully packaged boxes contain a collection of curated products perfect for your best friend, mom, work bestie, bridesmaid, new mama, or any special woman in your life. I love the fact that a portion of every sale is donated to the Global Fund for Women. Shop online and select from 11 clever boxes with names like “Good Vibes,” “Pretty AF,” “Goddess,” or “Black Beauty.” Your recipient (or you!) would adore any Little Black Box delivery!


Visit for the full line of Little Black Box options.

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Tailgating for the Win!


ne Saratoga experience that is absolutely worthwhile is enjoying a polo match at the historic Whitney Fields, located five minutes from downtown Saratoga. Matches are held every Friday and Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. starting Friday, July 7 and ending on Sunday, September 3. Plan to carpool with some friends and pack an epic picnic. The tailgating experience is amazing and something our family looks forward to doing every year. You can purchase tickets in advance online, or get them at the gate the day of the match.

A Memorable Experience


unique Saratoga experience that I highly recommend is making your own soap at Lather Bar on Broadway. You’ll be led through the process of soap-making including what oils go into the soap and why caustic ingredients are required (handled safely of course!). You’ll end up creating your very own two-pound block of soap. Choose colors, scents, and extra-special additives such as salts, oatmeal, coffee grounds, dried botanicals, and/or glitter. Once your soap is completed, it will spend the night at the Lather Bar studio to cool down, and your freshly sliced seven soap bars will be ready for pickup the next day! You can reserve your own private party for up to 10 people or join in on an existing class.


Email or call 518-584-1450 for more information or to reserve a spot.

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Visit for more information or to reserve tickets.

Have an item you think we should feature in the ne xt


Two Hours of Kid-Friendly Relaxation




he Summer Movie Express starts on June 27 and runs for nine consecutive weeks during the summer. Enjoy $1 family-friendly movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Each week, two different kids’ movies will be showing, and both movies play on both days. So on a particularly rainy week, you can go two days and catch them both! A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute, which provides funding for medical research of cardiopulmonary diseases.


Visit movies/summer-movie-express or check the events calendar for all the movie listings.

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g n i d n e r What s T '

Let your sun-kissed skin and beach-wave hair take center stage this summer! Add a few of our favorite multi-tasking products for low-fuss perfection.







Essie's Treat Love & Color is a new category of nail polish that repairs and strengthens nails while providing a sheer color result.

Embellish your look with fun summer hair accessories from Capelli New York. Add a playful touch to your sun-drenched summer locks.

Coola's water-resistant Mineral Liplux with SPF 30 adds a hint of natural color while protecting, nourishing, and conditioning your lips.

4 SOL DE JANEIRO BRAZILIAN CRUSH BODY FRAGRANCE MIST Brazilian Crush is a delightfully sunny fragrance mist with notes of pistachio and salted caramel to spritz on body, hair, and lingerie.

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Summer Skin, Hair & Body Essentials





This matte powder bronzer provides a fresh-from-the-sun glow.

An eco-certified, organic sunless tan face serum that offers a potent blend of argan oil, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and plant stem cell cultures for smooth, glowing skin.







This 100 percent mineral, sweatresistant formula sets your makeup, reduces shine, and allows you to refresh your UV and environmental protection.

Keep your man well-groomed and smooth all summer long. P.S., this stuff is awesome for mama-skin too!

This summersmelling soap bar contains ground pumice powder in the bottom layer for gentle exfoliation. Bring a bit of the beach to the shower!

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g n i d n e r What s T '

Summer Skin, Hair & Body Essentials

10 IT COSMETICS CELEBRATION FOUNDATION Great for even the most sensitive skin types, Celebration Foundation with SPF 50+ diffuses the look of imperfections and provides sun protection.

11 LANCÔME BELLE DE TEINT The gorgeous Belle de Teint palette combines the perfect balance of blush and bronzer hues for the perfect summer glow.

12 BUTTER LONDON PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR EYESHADOW PALETTE Inspired by Greenery, the Pantone Color of the Year, this oh-so-alive color collection celebrates the essence of natural beauty.





Ouidad's Advanced Climate Control Detangling Heat Spray primes curls to resist frizz. The result is defined, shiny, controlled curls in any climate.

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner is vegan, cruelty-free, and an all-natural tanning lotion that transforms even the palest skin from "meh" to "marvelous."

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g n i d n e r T What s '

kids' skin Essentials





Pop this convenient PABA-free, mineralbased, fragrancefree sunscreen stick into your pocket, purse, or diaper bag for easy sun protection on-the-go!

This waterresistant, broadspectrum SPF 50 sunscreen is quick and easy to apply, goes on clear, and has a light, tropical scent.

17 CAPRICE BABY BALM Ultra-gentle enough for infants and everyday use for the entire family. This nutrient-rich balm is perfect for sunburns, bug bites, rashes, or any other summer skin woes.



JILLIAN’S APOTHECARY BUG BITE ITCH RELIEF Made with locally-grown organic calendula, plantain, yarrow, comfrey, mint, and catnip, this Bug Bite Itch Relief calms the itch of mosquito bites. Perfect for kids, and adults too!

RAD INSECT REPELLENT Keep bugs at bay with Rad’s Insect Repellant. Crafted with their proprietary blend of essential oils, this repellant wards off bugs without drying the skin.

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t was war time in Brazil in the 1940s: Imagine how hard it must have been to get your hands on fresh fruits or decadent sweets… Nearly impossible.

Enter a few creative women from Rio de Janeiro who helped dream up the brigadeiro.

They knew they'd have to make something awesome, using the few ingredients women almost always had on-hand in their kitchens: unsalted butter, rich-flavored cocoa powder, and condensed milk. It was about as simple as a cook could get, but mixing these items yielded a marvelous candy that caught on like wildfire. They were an instant hit with everyone who tried them. There are a few different stories surrounding the origin of the brigadeiro, a sweet treat otherwise known as a bon-bon. I loved the romantic version I heard when talking to confectioner Tais Masala, owner of Bon Bon Brazil NY. It went something like this: The candy was named after a very handsome man, Brigadeiro Edward Gomes. He was a Brazilian revolutionary and a highranking member of his country's air force: a brigadier general.

In 1945, Brigadeiro Gomes ran for the Brazilian presidency. During the campaign in São Paulo, the creamy confection was created, rolled in sprinkles, and then handed out to Brigadeiro Gomes’ supporters in the crowd. It was the first year women were allowed to vote in Brazil, and the fact that Brigadeiro Gomes was so good looking did not hurt his cause, but in the end, he lost to Eurico Gaspar Dutra. A NEW HOME FOR A DELICIOUS TRADITION In speaking with Tais, I learned more about her life in Brazil and her passion in sharing brigadeiros with folks here in America. When you're busy making your brigadeiros, how do you feel? What memories run through your mind while in the kitchen? Tais: I remember these decadent sweets from my childhood – I loved them! They were popular at birthday parties and other family celebrations. The brigadeiro was a symbol of love, happiness, and togetherness. When I turned 11, my family had a big birthday party for me. Of course, the bon-bon would be part of my special day, but I was

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surprised when my mother handed me the recipe and gave me the responsibility to make some of the treats for my guests. I was up for the challenge and made 250! I still laugh over the fact that they were all my favorite flavor: strawberry! My mother took care of making 600 chocolate candies for my friends and family. Usually, you could find two or three kids and five or six adults, working together in the kitchen, making the treat for a special gathering. We would chat the entire time, catching up on each other's lives, laughing about everyday occurrences. We'd always meet the day before the party. And it always proved to be a very busy day! Besides the brigadeiros, we would make cakes, candies, and other snacks for the party, working far into the night. We wanted everything to be perfect. When I make my candies today, I am homesick, but in a good way. I am brought back to a time of joy in my childhood. I always cook in a commercial kitchen, with Brazilian music playing in the background. I talk every Friday to at least four family members while creating new flavors of the brigadeiro. And, when I sell my bon-bons, watching customers take their first bite, I'm filled with happiness. I just love sharing my traditions with my new country. Saratoga has made me and my husband feel welcome. I feel

as if my business has been embraced and love the positive reaction people have to my candies. I see the possibility of growth here and am very grateful for that. Tell me a little bit about fair trade and why you are so passionate about their principles. Tais: It's very important to me to use certified fair-trade products when I cook. I come from a third-world country where child labor and slavery are very real problems. In Brazil, we have made great strides in fighting this horror, but, still, there are more than four million youth between the ages of 5 and 17 working. Nearly every district in Brazil now has a council. Their job is to make certain children's rights are protected. Children should not be working, they should be playing. They should be outside in the fresh air, laughing in the sunshine, not slaving in the cocoa fields. Fair-trade products are made with respect to the people, the land, and especially the children. This is why I promote the use of them in my cooking. I choose to use as many local vendors as possible when purchasing ingredients for my brigadeiro. I buy fresh cream,

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butter, fruits, and vegetables from wonderful farms in this area. My chocolate is fair-trade Callebaut, and it is delicious! I use 100 percent cocoa powder, and white, milk, and dark chocolate callets in my recipes. I buy some of my packaging from Brazil, like my floral wrappers. This makes me think of home while I put my candies together for a customer. THE SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS Tais has been in the U.S. for over three years now; we're so lucky she brought this traditional confection with her! She and Bon Bon Brazil NY focus on events that include weddings, birthdays, and bridal showers; you can also find her online:; Social: @BonBonBrazilNY. She is currently working with Saratoga Tea and Honey and The Adirondack Winery of Lake George. Her candies are gluten-free (yippee!), and although she starts with tradition, Tais has since put her own delightful spin on at least 39 flavors. Lucky us! R

Here are just a few of Tais' flavors of brigadeiro candy... Classic flavors:

White Lemon Vanilla Banana Cinnamon Traditional (milk chocolate) Coconut Noir Cranberry

Black and White Pineapple and Coconut Neapolitan Prune Delight Samba Apricot Delight Espresso Coffee Cappuccino

Nuts & specialties:

Walnuts Creme Brulé Toasted Almonds Guava Cheesecake (Romeo & Juliet) Pistachio Cherry Cheesecake

Passion Fruit S’mores Oreo Cookies Carrot Pumpkin Spice Sweet Potato

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Recommendations from

Nor thshire Bookstore


EVERYONE IS YAWNING By Anita Bijsterbosch This simple flap book (where everyone is yawning!) has plenty of cues for making your toddler sleepy. When you're on the road this summer and little ones find it hard to go to sleep in a new bed, this interactive cutie can be your best friend.

Baby & Toddler


By Akiko Miyakoshi

There's a special magic about being out late on a summer night, catching glimpses through lighted windows of other people at their evening routines. The quiet, dreamlike illustrations of this book perfectly capture the invitation to wonder about other people. A lovely book for encouraging empathy and celebrating the end of the day.

Lower Elemen tar

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Pr esc hoo

The ever-popular Brain Quest brand has a boxed set of 1,100 questions on all subjects from culture to customs, natural wonders to notable Americans, state capitals to movie stars. Keep the kids busy on a long car trip, and you might all learn something in the process!


THE SOMEDAY BIRDS By Sally J. Pla A road-trip novel with a twist, perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Wonder. Charlie and his sister have been living with their grandma in California during their dad's deployment to Afghanistan. Now dad is home and needs medical treatment in Virginia, prompting a journey filled with chicken nuggets, OCD challenges, and maybe some special birds. Already drawing award buzz.

Upper Elementar y


Part sci-fi, part historical fiction, this is the story of three girls connected over many years by a strange coincidence – and a very ancient tortoise. Intriguing and thought-provoking, this book asks the question: What does it mean to live forever, and is there more than one meaning to that question? A great read for fans of Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea) or Laura Ruby (Bone Gap).

Tweens & Teens

Adults I FOUND YOU By Lisa Jewell Fans of British mysteries will find themselves quickly drawn into this novel – not a who-dunnit, but a who-izzit? A confused man suffering from memory loss turns up on the beach in a seaside resort and is taken in by a single mom with a soft spot for strays of all kinds. Meanwhile, a young Ukrainian bride stranded alone in her apartment waits in growing alarm for her husband to come home. Woven between is a deadly story from 20 years earlier of a family on holiday at the same beach resort. As the three stories converge, you will find yourself turning the pages faster and faster. The perfect beach or pool read!

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The Petite Retreat Returning to Saratoga Springs Sunday, November 19 National Museum of Dance

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All the Ingredients

for a Perfect At-Home Cooking Party! PHOTOS BY KEIRA LEMONIS


ne of the biggest hurdles when it comes to hosting kids’ parties at your home is what the heck are you going to do with those wide-eyed party kids? What’s the activity? How will you execute it? Will they even enjoy it?

My friend and SaratogaMama contributor Jodie Fitz has come to our rescue and created this amazing Birthday Party E-Book that includes fool-proof party instructions. Just add some ingredients and kids (don’t go overboard with the kids though…), and you’ve got yourself a party! Summer 2017 | SaratogaMama | 27

This party pack is designed to make your birthday planning as easy as possible. The kit includes tons of materials for you to download and print including party invites, apron logos, chef hat badges, recipe booklet materials, a party banner, cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, and a 25-page e-book with kid-friendly recipes and instructions to pull off the perfect cooking party. We decided to give it a test run and invited a few discerning kids to provide some feedback.

Take a look… 1. The kids made their own chef hats, and decorated their aprons.

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2. We fired up some healthy Monster Pizza!


The kids all enjoyed making Melon Monsters.

4. Monster Cupcakes were a huge hit!

Our party-goers loved the activities, enjoyed the food, and experienced a memorable party with minimal mom-effort!

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To get your Birthday Party Pack E-Book, visit Use code BIRTHDAYFUN to save $2!

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HOT Baby & Toddler Written by ILISSA GOMAN

Summertime means fun in the sun and in the water. Whether you are enjoying a day at the park, pool, or beach – on vacation or just relaxing at home – here are the top 10 must-have gear and gadgets for your little one!

TRANQUILO MAT, $99.99 A soft mat for your newborn to relax on. It has five different calming vibration settings, two of which mimic the heartbeat that was heard in-utero.

SILISKIN TOPS AND SILICONE STRAWS, $8.95 (INCLUDES 3 TOPS AND 1 STRAW) If you’re like me, you have a collection of sippy cups but can never find the matching lids. Problem solved. This brilliant gadget turns any cup or glass into a sippy cup!

OOLY, $99 As an infant and child sleep coach, I love that this sleep training tool has non-blue light options to help your child sleep – big win! It also connects to your phone via an app and Bluetooth so that you can change the light settings.

ITZY RITZY TRAVEL HAPPENS™ SEALED WET BAG WITH ADJUSTABLE HANDLE, $17.99 Great for stashing wet bathing suits and sunscreen… or your used cloth diapers!

NATIVE SHOES JEFFERSON KIDS SLIP-ON SHOES, STARTING AT $46 We have lived in these shoes the past few weeks and will be buying them every year. Come in tons of cute colors, and great for every day… playground, park, street, bike-riding, etc.

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Picks for Summer! TRENDY TIMBER CUSTOM NAME SIGN, PRICING DEPENDS ON SIZE AND LETTERS Gorgeous, heirloom-quality, handcrafted name signs from a mom in Oregon. They certainly add a beautiful touch to any nursery.

MICUNA OVO MAX HIGHCHAIR, STARTING AT $429.99 A highchair that transforms into a toddler chair, too. Made to seamlessly blend in with your existing home décor.

BABY HOME DREAM AIR BASSINET, $299.99 A safe bassinet that has side mesh windows for increased ventilation (great for summer babies), plus it folds flat for travel.

BABIATORS SUNGLASSES, $20 Babiators is the only children’s sunglasses brand to offer a Lost & Found Guarantee: If a child’s Babiators are lost or broken within one year of purchase, Babiators replaces them.

BABY JACK AND CO. AMERICAN FLAG LOVEY, $29.95 The perfect summer lovey! The “Homeland Security Blanket” was created in partnership with The Carrying on Project, a non-profit organization that brings baby-wearing carriers to military families, creating a special bonding opportunity for those returning from deployment.

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Swimsuit Success

Bathing suit season. For some people, it’s a

phrase that brings an instant smile to their face, foreshadowing long, sunny days poolside or sinking their toes in the warm sand at the beach. For others, it may create a sinking feeling as they dread searching for a suit that both fits and flatters.

But there’s no need to hide under an umbrella this summer! Every body is a beach body when you use our handy-dandy bathing suit guide to help choose the perfect suit to match your body type.

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Look for suits that have: • A supportive top • An underwire • Wider straps



Title Nine Athleta

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Title Nine




Look for suits that accentuate your top such as: • A patterned top with a solid bottom • Ruffled tops

Garnet Hill

Athleta Old Navy 36 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2017




Look for suits that: • Define your waist • Add visual curves • Have color blocks to add definition

Body Glove Boden


Old Navy


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Look for curve-flattering suits with: • A high waist • A deep V-neck • Cut outs • Vertical stripes

Title Nine

Lands' End

La Blanca Swim Target

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other swimsuit scenarios... MATERNITY

You may not feel swimsuit-ready, but trust us: Everyone thinks you look adorable! Comfort is key; also look for: • A supportive top • Flowy tops or ruching to accommodate tummy growth • Boy shorts Target


JoJo Maman Bébé


Lily Pulitzer Gymboree

Children’s suits need to be both comfortable and cute in order to hold up to long days at the pool or beach. Look for: • Wide, no-slip shoulder straps or a racer back for girls • Built-in SPF and/or sleeves for sun protection • Fun, colorful patterns or favorite characters

Sea Folly



Gap Summer 2017 | SaratogaMama | 39

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WRITTEN BY KIMBERLY DELLIS, MS, CCC/SLP, SARATOGA PLAN VOLUNTEER PHOTOS BY KATE FITZPATRICK I grew up in Saratoga Springs in the 1960s and ‘70s. The neighborhood kids spent their days outside, investigating under rocks, climbing trees, building forts and snowmen, and catching tadpoles. There were no video games, and cartoons were only available on Saturday mornings! I graduated from Saratoga High School and went on to become a speech/language pathologist, spending 23 years at the middle school level. I currently work as the assistive technologist for the Saratoga Springs City School District, working with kids from kindergarten through grade 12. Over the years, it’s always been natural to greet children on Monday morning with the question, “What did you do over the weekend?” The students I work with today rarely tell me that they spent much time outside playing or had any direct experiences with nature. 42 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2017

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, maintains that this disconnect from the natural world is producing ill effects in both mind and body. In support of his claim, as an educator in the Saratoga Springs School District over the past 25 years, I’ve noted a dramatic increase in depression, anxiety, obesity, and attention deficit disorder in kids. Research has shown that these maladies can be directly associated with alienation from nature. When a child is outside, his or her brain has a chance to rejuvenate, increasing creativity, concentration, a sense of wonder, and the ability to regulate emotions. Even in kids without the specific problems mentioned above, exposure to nature has been shown to reduce stress, and increase attention span and the ability to focus while in school. Children's experiences in the natural world are proven to have a positive effect on their attitudes, behaviors, and environmental awareness. My interest in volunteering for Saratoga PLAN is a direct result of my own love of nature and concern for kids in our community, with the hope that the letterboxing program will encourage families to get outside and explore the natural resources available in the Saratoga area. My role as a volunteer has been to write clues for the letterboxing program that are “kid-friendly.” There are PLAN trails that are ideal for explorers of all ages and abilities and who have time ranging from an hour to a half-day to get outside, relax, and enjoy nature. For families with very young children, I recommend the Saratoga Siege Trail, Rowland’s Hollow Creek Preserve, Lake Lonely Trail, and the Round Lake Preserve as letterboxing adventures that include short, flat trails with natural features that are sure to interest young explorers. The Zim Smith, Spring Run, and Railroad Run Trails are paved, so they are perfect for bikes and strollers.

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reward should try Spruce Mountain in Corinth. The hike is short but fairly steep in sections, with the reward of a fire tower on top that provides expansive views of the areas to the north, east, and west of Saratoga. When exploring outside with kids, I’ve found families get the most out of the experience by allowing kids to stop whenever they like along the way and by encouraging them to use all of their senses to explore by touching, listening, and smelling. Giving kids their own disposable camera and allowing them to take photos of whatever they like is a great way to keep them engaged along the trail as well.

Finding the letterbox is roughly a half-mile adventure when starting the Zim Smith Trail in the village of Round Lake. Families feeling a bit more adventurous are sure to enjoy the

LeVine, Ballston Creek, Galway, Hennig, and Coldbrook Preserves, which involve slightly longer drives and hikes. Kids and their families who are up for a more challenging hike with a tremendous

I hope you and your children will enjoy the many trails and preserves that Saratoga PLAN has to offer. Immersing ourselves in nature is good for the mind, body, and soul, as well as a wonderful bonding opportunity for you and your family! R

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Saratoga PLAN Launches Letterboxing & Passport Program



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Provided by



Like clockwork, every spring brings the same advisory from health departments reminding us that it’s “tick season,” and to be aware of your risk of getting Lyme disease. Wear a hat, they advise, tuck your pant legs into your socks, use a repellent. Check yourself, your children, and pets after coming in from outdoors. And if you think you have been bitten, see your doctor immediately. And there the advice ends and the confusion and controversy begins. For starters, there really is no “tick season,” as ticks that transmit Lyme disease are actively seeking blood meals almost year-round. Questions about tick attachment times, when and whether to see a doctor, diagnostic options, treatments, and dozens of other queries abound, but clear answers are scarce. Since being identified in 1976 and confirmed as a bacterial infection in 1982, Lyme disease has become a creeping menace. Originally believed to be prevalent only in the northeast, the disease is now found in all states of the U.S. In some cases, it is believed that victims acquired the disease in other areas while traveling, and brought the disease with them, which, in a mobile society, is a real issue to consider in diagnosing this illness. Not only do people move around – animals do as well. The migratory patterns of animals, including birds, is one of the factors responsible for the ever-expanding territory of the Ixodes scapularis, or black-legged tick. These ticks carry the causative bacterial agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, and a host of other dangerous pathogens that are transmitted to humans and animals with a single, painless tick bite.

number of cases reported by county by public health officials every May represents only a fraction of the actual extent of the disease. While it is generally accepted that Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics in the very early stage of infection, the illness is much more difficult to treat as the infection spreads throughout the body. It has been scientifically established that the bacteria may resist destruction by the immune system, and finds places in the body to build protected “colonies,” called “biofilms.” Once this occurs, the disease becomes much more difficult to treat. Unfortunately, many victims of Lyme disease do not get diagnosed early in the course of the illness. The “signature” bull's-eye rash does not occur in a majority of cases, and other symptoms are often attributed to the flu or other conditions. Most cases start with non-specific symptoms – body aches, fatigue, brain fog, maybe a fever, maybe not. Lyme disease is noted for causing migrating symptoms – for example – one day your knee aches and the next you have a headache, and two days later you may have digestive problems. (See partial list of symptoms in Symptoms box.)

The incidence of Lyme disease in the U.S. is now estimated to be nearly 400,000 new cases per year. Lyme disease is not only the fastest growing vector-borne disease, but it is the second most common infectious disease in the U.S., overall. The 46 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2017

Partial List of Lyme Disease Symptoms Headache Burning or stabbing sensations; shooting pains Joint pain, swelling; stiffness of joints or back Muscle pain or cramps Neck stiffness, pain; neck creaks or cracks Chest pain; rib soreness Sore throat; swollen glands Upset stomach or abdominal pain Shortness of breath; cough Change in bowel function Bladder dysfuction; irritable bladder Testicular pain; pelvic pain Unexplained breast pain Unexplained milk production Numbness; tingling; tremor

Physicians who suspect Lyme disease may order a blood test called an ELISA, which detects antibodies against the bacteria. This test is highly inaccurate, delivering a correct result only about 50 percent of the time. (False negatives are very prevalent. False positives are very rare.) Unfortunately, too many physicians assume this test is reliable, and your insurance company may take the results as confirmation that you don’t have Lyme disease. A subsequent test often ordered, the Western blot, is also highly inaccurate, though somewhat better than the ELISA. Physicians must make a clinical diagnosis by reviewing all the symptoms and patient history to make an educated judgment, with or without blood tests. Because symptoms can be so varied, Lyme disease is misdiagnosed as other diseases at an alarming rate. (See Misdiagnoses box.) Patients who are misdiagnosed are often put on powerful medicines they don’t need for conditions they don’t have while their Lyme disease goes untreated and gets progressively worse. It is important for physicians to fully understand the broad range of possible Lyme symptoms and consider Lyme disease early in the differential diagnosis process. The good news is that better tests are on the horizon. A more accurate urine test by Ceres Nanoscience is now available (ceresnano. com/nanotrap-lyme-test), but few physicians seem to be aware of it. Insurance companies may not directly cover this test, but reimbursement may be requested after the fact. An even more accurate genomic-based test is expected to be available in 2018.

Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy) Twitching of the face or other muscles Skin hypersensitivity Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina Unavoidable need to sit or lie down Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing Unexplained menstrual irregularity Unexplained weight loss or gain Unexplained hair loss Eyes: double, blurry, vision loss, floaters, light sensitivity Ears: hearing loss, buzzing, ringing, pain, sound sensitivity Pulse skips; cardiac impairment Heart block; heart murmur Heart palpitations; heart valve prolapse Sleep: disturbed, too much, too little, frequent or early waking

The absence of accurate diagnostic tests, paired with strongly held medical misconceptions about what Lyme disease is and is not, has resulted in an epic bifurcation of medical philosophies and a dangerous landscape for patients. Enough has been written elsewhere about this topic to provide anyone who’s interested with fascinating and welldocumented historical insights (starting with Cure Unknown by Pamela Weintraub, Macmillan Press), but for most people, the critical issue at hand is simple: What should you do to prevent tick bites, and what should you do (and not do) if you get bitten?

Check out the actual size of a deer tick!

Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido Mood swings; depression; irritability Forgetfulness; poor short-term memory Difficulty thinking; confusion; poor attention Problem absorbing new information Difficulty with speech, writing Difficulty with concentration and reading Difficulty finding words; name blocking Disorientation; getting lost, going to wrong places Light-headedness; poor balance Vertigo, wooziness Increased motion sickness Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

Important tips to remember that can help you to better care for yourself and your family include: 1. Lyme disease isn’t the only illness you can get from a tick bite. With a single bite, ticks can transmit a variety of serious illnesses. In the northeast U.S., ticks also transmit Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Powhassan virus, and other types of Borrelia that can cause symptoms that are “Lyme-like” in their presentation. Be aware that the ELISA test for Lyme disease does not detect any of these other infections. There are at least 21 recognized pathogens passed through tick bites. Additional tick-borne pathogens are discovered annually. This is an evolving and dynamic science. 2. Ticks can transmit diseases in minutes. It is not safe to assume that you are not at risk if a tick was attached for fewer than 24 hours. Unfortunately, this misinformation is routinely repeated by many health departments and amplified by the media. If a

Common Misdiagnoses Autism Chronic fatigue syndrome Colitis Crohn’s disease Early ALS Early Alzheimer's disease Encephalitis Fibromyalgia Fifth disease Gastro-esophageal reflux disease

Infectious arthritis Interstitial cystitis Irritable bowel syndrome Juvenile arthritis Lupus Méniéres syndrome Multiple sclerosis Osteoarthritis Prostatitis Psoriatic arthritis

Psychiatric disorders (bipolar, depression, etc.) Raynaud’s syndrome Reactive arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Scleroderma Sjogren’s syndrome Sleep disorders Thyroid disease & Various other illnesses

Summer 2017 | SaratogaMama | 47

tick has been attached for any length of time, you are at risk of contracting a disease.

3. If you find a tick attached to your skin, REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY, AND SAVE IT! You can put the tick in a zip-top bag, and send it for analysis. In a short time, you will have a report indicating which pathogens were carried in the tick, and what infections you may have contracted. The tick will be used for research to track ticks and the diseases they carry. For a FREE analysis, download the submission information from:

For a fee-based test form:

4. To remove the tick, use a “Tick-Twister” to “twirl” the tick out or fine-tip tweezers (or similar device) to pull the tick straight up. Do not squeeze the tick, as you risk squeezing the contents of the tick into your skin. Do not stress the tick by burning it or coating it with Vaseline, alcohol, or any other substance, as this will cause the tick to regurgitate the contents of its gut into your skin. 5. If your tick is confirmed positive for Lyme disease or any of the co-infections, bring your report to your doctor and request to be treated in accordance with the Treatment Guidelines posted on the National Guideline Clearinghouse, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( 6. If you develop a bull's-eye rash (called erythema migrans or EM), this is an established indicator confirming Lyme disease, according to CDC standards. Even if you are confirmed for Lyme disease due to the presence of the rash, you should still send the tick to the testing facility to determine if the tick carried any other pathogens. 7. If you are unable to send the tick for

analysis, the big question is whether to

treat the patient with an antibiotic or not. It is important for you to know that as a patient, you have the RIGHT to participate in decisions pertaining to your (or your children’s) medical care. Here are two circumstances that might confront you:   a) One standard of care says to “wait and watch” to see if a bull's-eye appears. Since the majority of people who contract Lyme disease DO NOT develop the signature rash, this may not be the best approach.   b) Some doctors recommend a single dose of doxycycline at the time of a tick bite believing it to be an effective “prophylactic” treatment to prevent Lyme disease. There is no scientific evidence to support this practice. There is evidence, however, that suggests this approach simply prevents the hallmark rash from occurring, further diminishing the probability that you would get an accurate diagnosis.

8. If you or your child has been bitten, ask for

the Ceres urine test to help confirm infection and discuss the risks and benefits of starting a full course of antibiotics with your doctor (

Remember, as a patient, you have the RIGHT TO INFORMED CONSENT. You and your doctor should be fully informed about all available treatment options. You have the right to participate in the decisions regarding how you want to approach your treatment. R For more extensive information, please refer to

Prevention Tips

• • • •

9. If you have not seen a tick, but have symptoms listed on the symptom list, you will need to work with your doctor or find a doctor who is willing to work with you. Ask for the Ceres Nanotrap urine test in place of or as an adjunct to the routine ELISA/ Western blot tests. Ask to be tested for the possible co-infections: Babesia microtii and Babesia duncanii, Anaplasma, Erlichia, and Bartonella. Labs that are CLIA-certified and licensed in New York State include Igenex and Clongen. You may have to pay up front for testing from these labs, but you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement of your out-of-pocket costs.

10. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, you should know there is more than one standard of care for treatment of the disease.

Camp Chingachgook on Lake George Join us for an unforgettable summer and memories that will last a lifetime! • • • •

Your physician may not be aware that updated evidence-based, peer-reviewed and published guidelines are available. You can personally access the publication online, print it, and take it with you to your doctor. Access the guidelines at this link:

• •

Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see ticks. Wear long sleeves. Tuck pant legs into socks. Spray your outdoor clothing with permetherin, which kills ticks on contract. Never spray it on skin. Store these clothes in plastic bags in the garage for your next outing. Use insect repellent. Spray it on outdoors. Wash off when you come in. Repellents with at least 20 percent DEET seem to be the most effective. Use according to directions. Natural repellents, like rose geranium oil and citrus oil, can also be effective, but not as effective as DEET. Do frequent “tick checks” for adults, children, and pets. Throw your clothing into the dryer for 5-10 minutes when coming indoors. Heat kills ticks.

the Lyme Action Network’s “Learn the Facts” flyer: For more extensive information, please refer to the Lyme Action Network’s “Learn the Facts” flyer:

Adventure Trips Sleep-Away Camp Day Camp Counselor-in-Training Program S.M.5.17 • 518.656.9462 48 | SaratogaMama | Summer 2017

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Fun, Family-Friendly & Close to Home

The longer, school-free days of summer are upon us. What better time to celebrate a more relaxed schedule and appease your wanderlust than by planning a fun day trip for you and the kiddos? So, gather some snacks for the car, and load up the fam for a fun-filled day of exploring with these 15 great day trip destinations – all within 2 hours of Saratoga Springs!



110 miles from Saratoga Springs 87 Haviland Road Highland, NY 12528 Open daily, 7 a.m. to sunset.

Admission is free, however there is a $5 parking fee. At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, the Walkway Over the Hudson is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Bicycles and strollers are permitted on this network of trails along the Hudson River, the capstone of which is the walkway itself. Pack a picnic for a day of fun and adventure!



26 miles from Saratoga Springs 57 Beach Road Lake George, NY 12845

Visit the website for boat schedules. 1-hour cruise: Adults: $16; children 3-11: $7.50


Check out beautiful Lake George from the decks of the Minne-Ha-Ha, an authentic steamship! As a special treat, on Friday evenings in the summer, the Minne-Ha-Ha even hosts “Pirate Cruises” where children receive a "treasure bag" and are asked to join in a "treasure quest." Other boats and tour options are also available.


54 miles from Saratoga Springs 5052 Delaware Turnpike Rensselaerville, NY 12147 Open daily, dawn to dusk. Admission and parking are free. Enjoy 12 miles of trails through picturesque forests, fields, and wetlands. The preserve is open year-round, so pack your picnic basket for a day of hiking the trails, fishing, or boating (non-motorized) on Lake Myosotis. Note that no bicycles are allowed, and dogs must be leashed at all times.

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NATURAL STONE BRIDGE AND CAVES 53 miles from Saratoga Springs


70 miles from Saratoga Springs 6440 Route 30 Indian Lake, NY 12842

4. 535 Stone Bridge Road Pottersville, NY 12860 Open daily over the summer, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adults: $14.95; children 5-12: $8.50; 4 and under: Free Wear good walking shoes with rubber soles to climb up and down uneven steps on the self-guided ¾ mile tour of the largest marble cave entrance in the east. Experience unique rock features in the marble gorge such as potholes, grottos, and waterfalls, then descend into lighted surface caves with raging waterfalls or tranquil dark pools.

Summer schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday with trips launching at 9 a.m. $89 per person; minimum age is 8, and children must be accompanied by an adult. This family-owned company leads whitewater rafting trips down the Hudson River Gorge, rated one of the top rafting spots in the United States. Enjoy 16 miles of whitewater through the largest protected wilderness area in New York State. Trips last about 4 ½ hours with a riverside lunch break.



105 miles from Saratoga Springs 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway Wilmington, NY 12997

Summer hours (June 27 – Sept. 3): Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $22.95; children under 2 are free. Geared toward children 48 inches and SMALLER, The North Pole lets children enjoy the wonders of Christmas even when it’s warm outside! With a variety of pint-sized park rides, the traditional story of Santa lives in this storybook village complete with Santa’s barn, where you can feed his reindeer!

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66 miles from Saratoga Springs 102 Fort Ti Road Ticonderoga, New York 12883

Open daily over the summer, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Adults: $23; children 5-12: $10; 4 and under: Free Since 1755, Fort Ticonderoga has stood at the center of two wars and five battles. Explore museum exhibitions, interact with historic tradespeople, and participate in lively daily programs and special events and reenactments. Ticket also includes admission to park trails, the King’s Garden, and Mount Defiance, which offers a birds-eye view of the historic landscape.



86 miles from Saratoga Springs Located at Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl Route 23A, Hunter, NY 12442

Visit their website for rates, height and weight requirements, and to book your adventure. Looking for heart-pounding fun? You found it, from the family-oriented Adventure Tower ropes course, to the wildly adventurous 3,200-foot-long and 600-foot-high SkyRider zipline, and everything in between. Most activities are not recommended for children under 10, but anyone who meets the height/weight requirements may participate.



113 miles from Saratoga Springs 2144 Route 9 Ausable Chasm, NY 12911

Basic admission (trails only): Adult (13 and up): $17.95; children 5-12: $9.95; under 5: Free Raft or tube float tour (price in addition to cost of basic admission): Adult (13 and up): $12; children 5-12: $10; under 5: $5 At the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks,” enjoy a breathtaking hike through the upper chasm followed by a scenic float – via raft or tube – through the lower chasm on the legendary waters of the Ausable River. Visit their website for additional activities and pricing.


88 miles from Saratoga Springs

10. 1 Utica Zoo Way Utica, NY 13501 Open daily over the summer, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Adults 13-61: $8; children 3-12: $4.75; 2 and under: Free Located on 80 acres of land, the Utica Zoo cares for over 200 individual animals representing 99 species from African lions to ostriches, red pandas, camels, Gila monsters, spider monkeys, zebras, pythons, and more! Bring extra quarters to feed the goats, sheep, alpaca, and chickens in the Children’s Zoo.


ADIRONDACK SADDLE TOURS 106 miles from Saratoga Springs 4 Uncas Road Eagle Bay, NY 13331 Rides start at $40 per person for 1 hour; visit their website for schedules and to book a ride. Enjoy the Adirondack wilderness on horseback… no experience needed! Adirondack Saddle Tours offers many different trail rides from 1 hour to 5 ½ hour rides. Take in Cascade Lake, Cascade Falls, Moss Lake, or the Adirondack woods. Young children will ride on the guide’s lap, while older children can have a lead line attached to the guide’s horse for security.

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12. BASH BISH FALLS STATE PARK 84 miles from Saratoga Springs hikes/bash_bish.html Mt. Everett State Reservation Falls Road Mt. Washington, MA 01258 Open daily, dawn to dusk. Admission and parking are free. The highest single-drop waterfall in Massachusetts, Bash Bish Falls is located between New York's 5,000-acre Taconic State Park and the 4,169-acre Mount Washington State Forest, which offers 30 miles of trails. Cascading water tumbles through a series of gorges and a hemlock-hardwood ravine forest, and then drops about 60 feet into a sparkling pool below.

CATSKILL MOUNTAIN RAILROAD 89 miles from Saratoga Springs Westbrook Lane Station 149 Aaron Court Kingston, NY 12401 Saturdays during the summer, departing at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.


Adults: $14; children up to 13: $8; under 2: Free

The Catskill Mountain Railroad has been carrying travelers through the Catskill Mountain gateway for more than 150 years. Enjoy a fun round-trip vintage train ride departing from the historic Hudson Valley city of Kingston, riding across the Hurley Flats, and then climbing up Hurley Mountain before returning to the station.

Flip the page for more day trips!

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55 miles from Saratoga Springs


THE ADIRONDACK EXPERIENCE (formerly the Adirondack Museum) 81 miles from Saratoga Springs 9097 NY 30 Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812 671 Caverns Road Howes Cave, New York 12092


Open daily in June and July, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and in August, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Adults: $18; children 6-12: $8; 5 and under: Free The 1-hour guided underground walk through prehistoric passageways includes natural wonders like stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone. The tour culminates with the 100-foot underground waterfall. The caverns maintain a year-round temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so bring a jacket! R

Open daily over the summer, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including holidays. Adults: $20; children 6-17: $12; 5 and under: Free With 121 sprawling acres and over two dozen buildings and exhibition spaces to explore, enjoy an experience that’s action-packed, entertaining, educational, and fun for the entire family. From feeding trout, to bird watching, to interacting with craftsmen as they ply their trades, to strolling gallery after gallery of Adirondack art, photography, furniture, tools, cabins, boats and more, the Adirondack Experience has something for everyone.

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If you think something is wrong with this picture, you should see what’s happening in stores. That’s where tobacco companies are spending billions on promotions where kids can see them. And the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It’s time to draw the line.

Stores located near schools contain nearly



Take action now at

of tobacco advertisements.


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3 Paren ting Mistakes

THAT WILL CRUSH THE JOY OUT OF YOUR VACATION In my parenting work with families, I often hear stories of horrific vacations that unfold with repeated battles with children, endless whining and complaining, and exhausting negotiations to try to keep everyone happy. At times, driving home in the middle of the night is the only solution to bring the nightmare to an end…and one that I hear more often than you can imagine. Horrible vacation experiences are usually the result of several critical mistakes. The bad news is that it’s tough to bounce back from these mistakes when you’re in the middle of vacation. The good news is that you can easily make some adjustments before you leave to ensure a joyful and pleasant family experience.

Mistake #1 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.

Working harder at your children’s happiness than they do

This might sound a bit unusual, but it’s a common mistake. And the problem is most often accentuated on vacation because we spend so much time, energy, and resources devoted to creating a great experience. “Working harder at their happiness” is the feeling you get in your gut when you are caught in a hopeless and futile discussion or argument with your children. The feeling is there because you are trying to get them to discover how to be happy with what they have right now by helping them find happiness in this bountiful and beautiful life that sits before them. And what is your son or daughter doing in that moment? What are they fighting for? They are fighting for misery. They are fighting for a life that is lacking in some way. They are fighting for how life must change or bend or transform so their repeated preferences are met. Now, for many of you, the entire summer, and certainly the family vacation, is geared toward creating special times with much available to enjoy, and most of you will do

a fantastic job at that. The problem emerges when you leave your job as mom/ dad and get confused by jumping into your child’s “job.” Your job: setting up optimal conditions for enjoyment and happiness that step over into your child’s world. Their job: finding ways to accept those conditions and discover happiness. If you start working too hard to “fix” every statement of complaint or boredom, you will start to feel that horrible sensation in your gut, thinking something is wrong and that it’s your job as the parent to fix it. That is not your job. It’s their job to fix their misery in the moment. If you start to work harder at their happiness than they do, you will discover that nothing is ever enough. You will end up arguing about how to find happiness, and there they are, fighting for their misery while on a beautiful vacation. So, when your children are experiencing moments of boredom or when things don’t work out exactly the way they want, you’ll find that it is a disservice to “rescue” them from that moment. Instead, allow them to have their moment of whining or

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complaining. Allow them to be unhappy with the restaurant you selected for dinner. Allow them to be mad at you because you decided to sit out a day at Disney. In essence, allow disappointment without fixing it. Bottom line: Start well-before vacation, and stay disciplined while you’re away. Don’t rescue them from their unhappiness in these moments; they must learn how to do it themselves. It will pass, and only then can they discover their own path to happiness.

Mistake #2

Favoring going easy and abandoning structure

Your kids are used to structure and routine. While they may complain or resist it at times, the research overwhelmingly supports the value of continued structure and routine. So, in advance of a vacation, set the basic schedule. Know when you’ll get up and have breakfast, and roughly when you’ll leave to go to pre-determined activities. Try to have the activities planned in advance, while leaving some room for free time. While on the vacation, stick to your planned schedule. While you can leave some room for flexibility, the secret to keeping the vacation on track is to make no accommodations for whining, complaining, or ugliness. And, equally important, don’t even give the complaint or whine a response. Don’t talk or negotiate or remind them of what you expect. Don’t engage in these misery-making moments! Finally, require some responsibilities, even on vacation. I guarantee there will still be work to do – cleaning up a rental house, doing laundry, clearing dishes, etc. Make sure, to some degree, that your kids are continuing with some responsibilities. If they refuse to do a chore or two, just wait them out. Remember, you’re on vacation. They will eventually want to leave and go have fun. The structure will ultimately lead to more satisfaction and fewer complaints along the way. It is the path to more fulfillment.

Mistake #3

Getting weak on consequences and long on words How so, you ask? If you get hooked on the idea that you want your kids to enjoy every moment of their vacation, you inevitably start protecting them from the consequences of poor choices. When this happens, you can easily start talking to and lecturing them…with an endless parade of words and discussion.

Your kids will learn to honor the limits that you set on their behavior–not by the lectures and discussions that you offer them, but by the consequences that come as a result of their choices. Let’s go over a simple example: You’re traveling in the car, and the boys are bickering in the backseat. You can remind them. You can threaten them. You can yell at them. And you notice that it just keeps getting worse and worse as the trip goes on. It’s driving you crazy. What’s needed is a clear consequence, not another lecture or discussion. Here’s how you do it: Let the boys know that whenever they start bickering or fighting, you’ll pull the car over and just sit there until there’s five minutes of silence. If you are clear about where the limit is, and they know what the consequence is for their hitting, bickering, yelling, or screaming in the car, you’ll find they quickly learn to honor that limit. Few words. Precise, immediate action. This is an amazingly simple strategy that works every time!

Remember: To enjoy your family vacation, make sure

that you don’t try to rescue your kids every time they have a moment of unhappiness or disappointment. Establish a structure in advance, and stick to it. Finally, be firm on your limits, and teach those limits using consequences. Don’t get into negotiations, or you’ll just find yourself negotiating more and more. I have a complete “Vacation in Peace” game plan on my website, Check it out for more details. R

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ON A RAINY DAY Creative Ways to Bring the Fun Indoors

Written By A New England Nanny

One of the things many people love about the Capital Region is the wide diversity of seasonal activities that can be found both locally and within short driving distances. There are lots of places for children of various ages to have fun during the summer months, but what about when the weather limits your options? We’ve been in the childcare business for over 25 years, so we have ample experience with keeping kids entertained when schools are closed. The list of places and activities that follows was partially compiled from our experiences with our own children, but we also spoke with some of our caregivers about what they like to do with their “nanny kids” during those rainy summer days.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE Here are some great places around the area to take kids when you want to stay indoors, just not at home.

NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM – ALBANY With exhibits about the earliest life forms in the area, the bones of the Cohoes Mastadon, dioramas about the native peoples of the region, a real New York City subway car, part of Sesame Street’s set, and a 9/11 exhibit, there is literally something for everyone at this museum. “The kids in my family always love the NYS Museum,” says Nanny Ginny. And it’s free! There is also a discovery center with hands-on activities for the little ones and an historic carousel on the fourth floor ($1 per ride).

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CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (CMOST) | CMOST’s mission is to “instill a sense of wonder and discovery in young minds, inspiring a lifelong exploration of science and technology,” and they live up to it! A wide variety of hands-on exhibits, live reptiles and other animals, and craft areas offer fun and educational experiences for toddlers up to 8- or 9-year-olds.


CHILDREN’S MUSEUM AT SARATOGA If you have little ones, you must visit this museum. Their imaginations will run wild as they dress up in different uniforms and play inside detailed recreations of a grocery store, bank, classroom, post office, and a ‘50s diner. They can try on real firefighter boots and jackets and slide down a fire pole, or put on a hard hat and build with construction toys. And that’s just the upstairs! Downstairs they can make human-sized bubbles, ride a trolley car, or put on a theatrical show with lots of costumes. Located just a few blocks off Broadway, it’s sure to bring a smile to the kids’ faces.

MUSEUM OF INNOVATION AND SCIENCE Located near downtown Schenectady, this museum has an amazing planetarium – the kids are always fascinated by the night sky in front of their faces! Plus, MiSci features exhibits on things like the human body, weather, and building construction. They also have rotating exhibits from the famous San Francisco Exploratorium, and GE provides a variety of exhibits to engage kids with technology.

Nanny Courtney says, “Giggle Lounge is a fun place for those looking for some indoor sensory play experiences.” Located in Clifton Park, Giggle Lounge is deal for ages 8 and under; kids can play at cooking up their favorite meal, heading to the doctor, or going on an adventure in the camping center. Or they can grab a book and sit down for a little quiet time.


Not only do these places offer huge padded fortresses filled with climbing, fast slides, and soft balls to shoot at others, but grownups will have a lot of fun too (if not more)! They also feature video games and bouncy things to keep everyone occupied. Billy Beez is in Albany’s Crossgates Mall, and TreePaad is in Malta.

VIA AQUARIUM One of the Capital Region’s newest attractions, the Via Aquarium in Rotterdam has become very popular. Fish, jellyfish, stingrays, and sharks are just some of the creatures you’ll see. Plan on going early, as you may have to wait a little while in line before getting into the aquarium.

Flip the page for fun in the house!

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STAY IN THE HOUSE For those days where you just don’t want to make the effort to get everyone dressed and in the car, here are some creative ways to keep the kids entertained without leaving the house.

BUILD A FORT: If your kids are anything like ours, they’ll

relish any chance they get to rearrange furniture, cushions, pillows, etc. Have them build their own individual forts,

or see how large you can make one as a group. This gives the kids a chance to be creative, learn a little about gravity and architecture, and do something they probably aren’t normally allowed to do. And if you’re so inclined, use those forts for an epic Nerf gun battle!

INDOOR PICNIC: Here’s another way the kids can get to

do something they might not be permitted to do – eat in a normally non-eating area! Grab a tablecloth (or two) and spread them out on the floor. Have the kids help make lunch

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– if you have a picnic basket or cooler, pack the lunch in there and then take a “nature walk” to your newly-created picnic area, and enjoy the meal.

BAKE COOKIES: Not only does

making cookies work as an incentive for good behavior, but the process helps kill some time and gets the kids involved in something fun. Use the opportunity to teach grade-school kids about the science of cooking – what does each ingredient contribute to the recipe? What exactly is “vanilla extract”? Come up with some creative ways to change your usual cookie recipe by letting the kids add other ingredients. Having a variety of food coloring bottles always helps. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

So, the next time you’re wondering what to do with the kids this summer when the weather isn’t cooperating, you now have a few ideas for kids of any age! Wondering what to do about childcare? We can help with that too! Call us at 518-348-0400 or visit and see what we have to offer.

SCAVENGER HUNT: We’ve done a few of these for Christmas or birthday gifts, but they can be fun any time. Come up with creative hiding spots and clues with some kind of “treasure” at the end (maybe one of those cookies you baked). Then have the kids make a scavenger hunt for you! They’ll spend a lot of time writing the clues and finding hiding spots, and it encourages them to be imaginative. Just try not to find their clues too quickly! MAKE-YOUR-OWN BOARD GAME: We love board games, but

sometimes we get “board” with the ones we have. Time to make a new one! Kids can use regular paper, but ideally some poster board or anything larger than 8.5”x11” would work well. The kids can make their own squares on the board, and come up with creative ideas for what happens when you land on each space. They can find random objects around the house to use as player tokens or make their own. The time will pass quickly while they make the board and while you play. R

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FIND A FARMERS' MARKET Saratoga Farmers’ Market

Clifton Park Farmers’ Market

Outdoor market runs from May through October Wednesdays, 3 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. High Rock Park Pavilions 105 High Rock Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

July through October Thursdays, 2 to 5 p.m. St. George’s Church parking lot 912 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Ballston Spa Farmers’ Market June 15 to September 30 Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon Wiswall Park Corner of Front St. and Low St. Ballston Spa, NY 12020

Greenfield Farmers’ Market June 23 to September 8 Fridays, 4 to 7 p.m. Middle Grove Park Corner of Middle Grove Rd. and North Creek Rd. Middle Grove, NY 12850

Spa City Farmers’ Market

Outdoor market runs from May through October Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lincoln Baths 65 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Glens Falls Farmers’ Market

Outdoor market runs from May through October Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon South Street Pavilion 25 South St., Glens Falls, NY 12801

Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market

Outdoor market runs from May through October Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monument Square Corner of River St. and Broadway Troy, NY 12180

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the Date


Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Saratoga Springs with shopping and dining specials at participating businesses.


Organized by American Legion Post 234 and VFW Post 358, the parade proceeds down Milton Avenue to Front Street. There will be a wreath ceremony at Kayaderosseras Creek, plus speakers and presentations at the War Memorial Park on Low Street following the parade.


Starting at the Saratoga Casino Hotel (342 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs), this 5K run, 30K bike, then another 5K run can be done as an individual or 2- or 3-person team. Benefits the Saratoga Lions Club Foundation. Visit for more information or to register.


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Beginning in Congress Park in Saratoga Springs, kids can choose between the ¼-mile or 1-mile course in this fundraiser for pediatric care at Saratoga Hospital’s Emergency Department. Participants receive a medal, and the top three boys and top three girls on each course receive trophies. Strollers are welcome, so families are able to run together! (Parents running with children also must register.) The local school with the highest participation (by percentage) wins the Healthiest School Contest. Before and after the run, families can enjoy face-painting, healthy snacks, and live music. For more information, call 518-583-8340 or visit


The 50th Annual Saratoga Springs Flag Day Parade, sponsored by the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge #161, steps off from North Broadway and continues to Congress Park. In addition, the 109th Unit of the Air Force will perform a flyover in a C-130 during the parade.



A fundraiser to benefit the Adult & Senior Center of Saratoga held at the Saratoga Polo Field (2 Bloomfield Rd., Greenfield Center), this exciting evening features an open bar, gourmet food, cigar tastings, live music by Grand Central Station, tarot card readings, a silent auction, and a live auction with packages from the New York Giants and Alfa Romeo of Albany. For tickets, visit

A highlight of the early summer season in Saratoga Springs, this top-level historic competition attracts many of the country's best horses and riders, and benefits scholarships for Skidmore College students. Held at a new venue for 2017: the 103-acre White Hollow Farm (28 Brickhouse Road, Stillwater). Visit for details.




Thousands of women of all ages (and running abilities) will compete in this year’s 5K event, with the start and finish line located on Washington Ave, adjacent to the New York State Capitol and directly in front of City Hall. Children can run in the Freihofer's Junior 3K Run or in one of the many Kids' Runs taking place throughout the day. Visit for details or to register.

SARATOGA BALLOON & CRAFT FESTIVAL This annual event at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa will include over 20 hot air balloons with four liftoffs, more than 100 artists and artisans, live entertainment and music, and numerous kids’ activities. Adults: $10; kids 3 to 15: $5; under 2: free. Free parking; no pets allowed. Visit or call 518-480-7651 for event schedule.

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Fun and educational for the entire family, this free event at KingsRansom Farm (311 Kings Road, Schuylerville) includes tours of the farm, children’s activities, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, agricultural exhibits, demonstrations by area chefs using local farm products, and of course, ice cream! For more information, call 518-885-8995 or visit


SATURDAY, JUNE 24 – SUNDAY, JUNE 25, STARTING DAILY AT NOON One of the most celebrated and longest running jazz events in the world will be at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This year’s performers include Chaka Khan, Gipsy Kings, and more. For complete details and schedule of performers, call 518-584-9330 or visit


Free concerts in Wiswall Park are held on Thursday evenings directly following the Thursday afternoon Farmers’ Market. A great family-friendly event, so bring your blanket and chairs to the park for a great evening of live music in the village!


This free annual event takes place at Gavin Park and features food, music, a petting zoo and exotic animal display, a magic show, comedy and juggling shows, pig races, a custom and classic car show, rock climbing wall, pony rides, amusement rides, dog agility show, and more! Visit for details.


The Soroptimist International of Saratoga County organize this self-guided tour of 11 outstanding private gardens in and around Saratoga Springs as a fundraiser to support local and global initiatives that support women and girls. The featured gardens are a mix of styles and sizes, in both sun and shade, sure to inspire garden-lovers of every level. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 day of tour (if still available). For details or to purchase tickets, visit or email

courageous clowns, and wily wire-walkers. Children 2 to 12: $20; 13 and older: $25; under 2: free on an adult's lap. Tickets can be purchased locally at The Children's Museum at Saratoga and G. Willikers or online at Call 518-365-3459 for group sales and for more information.


SATURDAY, JULY 15, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M. Salty? Spicy? Cheesy? Thick-cut? Razor-thin? No matter how you slice or flavor them, people love their chips! Join us for The Chip Festival, in the birthplace of the potato chip–Saratoga Springs – at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Adults: $5; kids 12 and under: free. Visit for details.


Have fun for the whole family with exciting rides, vendors, shows, competitions, and of course, food! For more information including ticket pricing, visit


Get ready for another thrilling season of horseracing in Saratoga Springs! Visit for more information on the 2017 Saratoga racing season, or visit


Benefiting Special Olympics New York, this race begins at Fasig-Tipton (415 East Ave.) and takes runners on a tour of beautiful Saratoga Springs. Register in advance ($25) or on race day ($30). Visit for more information or to register.


The area’s premier international short film festival! Enjoy free short films from around the world...and around the neighborhood…created by established, emerging, and unknown filmmakers. Early slates are shown in the Ballston Spa High School auditorium; later slates are all familyfriendly and are presented under the stars at the Old Iron Spring Park in downtown Ballston Spa and include children's activities, refreshments, movie trivia, and more! For details, visit


TUESDAY, JULY 11 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, SHOWS AT 1 P.M. OR 6 P.M. Join Circus Smirkus at the Saratoga Casino Hotel grounds as they celebrate their 30th Anniversary Big Top Tour with “Midnight at the Museum” — a wild and wonderful adventure through the hallowed halls of a magical museum! Embark on an enchanted journey with Jurassic jugglers, astonishing aerialists,

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Find 5 Differences

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Kids' Coloring Contest

Color this page and then have mom or dad help you snap a photo! Email your photo to for a chance to WIN a $50 gift card to Healthy Living Market! Winner will be chosen at random. Congrats to our Spring Contest WINNER - Vivienne!

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Saratoga Mama Summer 2017  

From summer day trips and rainy day activities, to swimsuit fashion, we got all your summer mama needs, wants, and advice.

Saratoga Mama Summer 2017  

From summer day trips and rainy day activities, to swimsuit fashion, we got all your summer mama needs, wants, and advice.