Page 1

Winter 2017/2018



A 'GREENER' 2018




Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 1

2 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 3



It is often hard this time of year to find peace among the holiday hustle and bustle. We work hard to ensure every memory, moment, and milestone is magical, but too often our own happiness takes a back seat.

2017 has taught me many things about finding true happiness and contentment, and I’d like to share two of them with you. 1. Relationships matter. It goes without saying that family relationships (kids, spouses) are important, but of equal importance is the ability to create deep and meaningful relationships with others. Be honest, be vulnerable, and break down the walls that we build out of pride and insecurity. 2. Express gratitude. Gratitude allows us to stop and celebrate the present, not just the presents! Cultivating gratitude means recognizing the good in our lives. Being grateful leads to more joy and happiness, and who wouldn’t want that this time of year!? Flipping through the pages of this issue will certainly help cultivate some holiday joy! Starting with our fabulous gift guide on page 11 and ending with some hilarious {un}Happy Holiday photos on page 64. Also inside…. - A winter guide for where to ski and snowboard on page 27. - Tips on how to determine if your child is ready for preschool on page 32. - 10 ways to boost your immune system this winter on page 30. And so much more! As you’ll see below, 2018 will bring some changes to this magazine, which has been so near and dear to my heart for the past four years. I’ve enjoyed every single moment, but it is time for me to move on. I want to express my deepest gratitude to you for your readership and support of SaratogaMama magazine. It’s been an unforgettable journey. I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a rewarding 2018. With some sadness but TONS of gratitude,

Our Cover

-Colleen Pierre

This adorable photo was shot by Dania Bagyi from Kidography by Dania at Ellms Family Farm. Our handsome model Jack posed perfectly and captures the spirit of the season.

New Year... New Look... New Name




Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre Managing Editor Rachel Spensieri General Manager Robin Mitchell Graphic Designer Samantha Nock Advertising Design Morgan Rook Advertising Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Photography Dania Bagyi Keira Lemonis Theresa St. John Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 SaratogaMama is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2017, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

After years of great success publishing SaratogaMama magazine, the growth of the region and the diversity of our readership have pointed us in an exciting new direction. Beginning with the spring edition, SaratogaMama magazine will transition to Saratoga Family. Providing the same exceptional quality, Saratoga Family will cover the ins and outs of raising a family in the Saratoga Springs region: from toddler to teen and everything in between…and we haven’t forgotten the furry family members! As always, you can still visit 24/7 for up-to-date family events, regional activities, and parenting resources. Happy Holidays from Saratoga TODAY! 4 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 5

Contents Seek

11 Holiday Gift Guide 34 2018 Preschool Directory 46 When Every Day is About Giving

Find 40 43 60

Winter Reading List from Northshire Bookstore Places to Bring Your Donations Finding Holiday Peace Amidst the Insanity

Learn 30 49 53

10 Ways to Strengthen your Immune System Goals for a Greener 2018 Quick & Easy Winter Recipes with Jodie Fitz


27 23

Play 27 Learn to Ski 62 Save the Date for these Winter Events 66 Snowy Puzzles & Games 6 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017


Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 7

Our Contributors...

Dr. Randy Cale

Theresa St. John

Dr. Carolyn Driscoll

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.

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.

Dr. Carolyn owns Tiny Sprouts Chiropractic, specializing in pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatric care. Following the completion of her doctorate degree, she also completed a master’s degree in sports medicine as well as post-doctoral training in pediatrics, prenatal, and craniosacral therapy. Dr. Carolyn and her family relocated to Saratoga Springs from Portland, Oregon, and she is excited to share her expertise in family chiropractic care with the Capital Region. Dr. Carolyn believes that “moms run the world” and is an advocate for healthy and happy moms and their families.

Jodie Fitz

Madeline Daley

Dr. Anna Laloë

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

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.

Anna Laloë, PhD, received her doctorate in Glacial Geology from Cambridge University (UK) and spent eight years conducting climate change research in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. She is the mother of two amazing girls and rides and races mountain bikes in her spare time. Anna is the founder of ecoFête (, a Saratoga-based eco-friendly party supply rental company.

8 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Megin Potter Megin is an expressive writer and artist with work published in books, newspapers, corporate communications, and online. A resident of the region for over 20 years, she continues to discover anew the interesting people, places, and products it has to offer. As a mother to her active young son, she is inspired to explore even more.

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.

Kim Hickok Kim Hickok is a marketing consultant and lifestyle blogger. She loves to entertain, cook and travel. She lives in Malta with her husband and their dog Izzy.

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 9

10 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

The Ultimate Holiday

GIFT GUIDE 12 13 14 15 16

Baby Toddler Preschool Elementary Tween / Teen

17 18 19 20 21

Best Friend Mom / Grandma Dad / Grandpa Service Providers Furry Friends


Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 11


WOOL BONNET – Mountain Honey Clothier



– Bo and Roo

– The Bundle Store 12 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Toddler EVERGREEN TREE CRAYONS – The Bundle Store






Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 13

Preschool MAILEG MOUSE – Lex & Cleo






14 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017



MAGIC TRICKS – G. Willikers

GHOST STORY BOX – Northshire Bookstore

SQUISHABLES – G. Willikers

SCIENCE ACADEMY SOAP LAB – Northshire Bookstore

TWO BROS BOWS – G. Willikers

MY COMIC BOOK KID – Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 15


– Lather Bar

– G. Willikers



– Northshire Bookstore

– Lucia Boutique






MANUAL TO MANHOOD – Northshire Bookstore 16 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

BestFriend BAUBLEBAR TASSEL EARRINGS – Lola Accessory Boutique

MOM MUGS – Seeing Stars Shop

RING DISH – Silverwood Home & Gallery

ROSE POM BEANIE – Love Your Melon



Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 17

Mom / Grandma PATAGONIA BETTER SWEATER JACKET – Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co.



LIFETIME CANDLES – Silverwood Home & Gallery


PLAID INFINITY SCARF – Yellow Boutique 18 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Dad / Grandpa FJÄLLRÄVEN MEN'S FLEECE VEST – Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co.

PATAGONIA DUFFEL – Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co.

RYEN'S RYE – Upstate Distilling Co.

3 QUART ICE BUCKET – Toga Heritage

MULTIPURPOSE BAR TOOL – Silverwood Home & Gallery



Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 19

ServiceProviders Teacher, Mail Carrier, Hairstylist, etc.


RIFLE PAPER CO. FLIP CALENDARS – Paper Dolls of Saratoga



TEA & HONEY GIFTS – Saratoga Tea & Honey

– Saratoga Olive Oil


SCRABBLE TILE COASTERS – Sweet Frivolity on Etsy 20 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Furry Friends HUXLEY & KENT HOLIDAY NECKWARE – Sloppy Kisses of Saratoga

PUMPKIN PIE – Lazy Dog Cookie Co.



CHEWY VUITTON TOY – Sloppy Kisses of Saratoga


BOCCE'S BAKERY GINGERBREAD – Bella & Lindy Saratoga's Pet Boutique

– Bella & Lindy Saratoga's Pet Boutique

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 21

Where to Buy Bella & Lindy Saratoga's Pet Boutique 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 306-1121 |

Upstate Distilling Co. 41 Geyser Rd, Saratoga Springs | (518) 290-8800 |

The Bundle Store 1789 Route 9, Clifton Park | (518) 557-8809 |

Silverwood Home & Gallery 398 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 583-3600 |

Caroline and Main 38 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 450-7350 |

Sloppy Kisses of Saratoga 425 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-2207 |

G. Willikers 461 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-2143 |

Spoken Boutique 27 Church St, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-2772 |

Impressions of Saratoga 368 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-0666 |

Yellow Boutique 491 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 581-1700 |

Lather Bar 487 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 584-1450 |

Online Stores:

Lex & Cleo 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-0809 |

Beekman 1802 Mercantile |

Lola Accessory Boutique 372 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 306-5250 | Lucia Boutique 454 Broadway #8, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-7890 | Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company 490 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 584-3500 |
 Northshire Bookstore 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 682-4200 | Paper Dolls of Saratoga 454 Broadway #4, Saratoga Springs | (518) 583-4084 | Pink Paddock 358 Broadway #101, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-4344 | Piper Boutique 441 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 450-1152 | Saratoga Tea & Honey 348 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 871-1419 | The Savory Pantry 486 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 450-1130 |

Betsy Olmstead | Big Belly Banks | BoandRoo | GTS Clothing | Lazy Dog Cookie Co. | Love Your Melon | Mother Made Me | Mountain Honey Clothier | Quite Unique Boutique | Razimus | Seeing Stars Shop | SweetFrivolity | Uncommon Goods | Toga Heritage |

22 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017




ast spring, SaratogaMama partnered with Julie Maleski from JMP Interiors for an exciting Dream Bedroom Makeover contest. In our fall issue, we introduced you to Maggie, the contest winner, and showed you her bedroom "before," and now we are excited to show you the "after"!

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 23




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


Design services and all Christmas decor 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

Furniture was offered by Rubi & Quiri. 307 N. Comrie Ave., Johnstown, NY | | (518) 762-7829 Construction services were donated by: Stephen from The Carpenter's Hands | | (518) 889-9025 Boggan & Sons Construction: | (518) 490-6553

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

24 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 25

26 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017




IT’S A LONG WINTER IF YOU DON’T GET OUT AND ENJOY THE SNOW. New York State is home to the most ski areas in the country. Offering a variety of terrain and experiences, many are just about an hour drive away from Saratoga Springs. With so many options, introducing kids to the joys of outdoor recreation can be an easy and affordable family outing. Whether you want a certified instructor or the opportunity to teach them yourself, enjoy crosscountry skiing, snowboarding, or want to give downhill a try, there’s a ski area near you gearing up for another season of fun.

Downhill Skiing GORE MOUNTAIN

793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek 518.251.2411 | Gore Mountain is a family ski resort with 108 trails, 14 lifts, and six on-mountain dining options. Full-day, two-hour, season-long, six-week, holiday, adaptive, adult, and private lessons are available. Their first-timers learnto-ski one-day package includes a 90-minute lesson, rentals, and lift ticket for $79.

So, bundle up and get ready to feel the exhilaration of gliding through the crisp air—winter is here!

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 27


Cross-Country Skiing

Maple Ski Ridge is a family-owned ski area, designed for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. With 54 years of experience, their Snow Sports School professional instructors, and an official Burton Snowboards "Learn to Ride Center," they’ve been rated a top spot to learn in this area. Afterschool lesson packages start at $70, or it’s $29 per day for lessons only. Adult evening lessons, walk-in lessons, and private lessons also are available.

1 Town Hall Plaza, Clifton Park 518.371.6667 |

2725 Mariaville Road, Schenectady 518.381.4700 |


3072 State Highway 10, Caroga Lake 518.835.6445 | Offering 30 acres of skiable terrain, Royal Mountain has a newly expanded rustic ski lodge, additional snow-making capabilities, and more this year. Learn to ski or board group lesson, rentals, and an all-day ticket for the beginners’ area is $50. No appointment necessary.


59 West Mountain Road, Queensbury 518.636.3699 |


The Town of Clifton Park, in cooperation with the Shenendehowa Nordic Club, offers a beginner crosscountry ski lessons program. Classes are offered evenings on select dates as snow conditions allow at the Clifton Park Senior Community Center. All ages and families are welcome. Pre-registration is required. Class fee is $12 per person per session. Bring your own cross-country skis.

FRIENDS OF COLE'S WOODS, in conjunction with the GLENS FALLS BILL KOCH LEAGUE, once again will be holding a learn-to-ski

program for kids at Cole's Woods in Glens Falls on Monday evenings at 6 p.m., starting January 8 and running through February. There also will be an adult learn-to-ski program on the same evenings. For more information, follow Friends of Cole's Woods on Facebook or go to their website:


On more than 126 skiable acres, the terrain ranges from easy, gentle learning slopes to expert-level challenges. The lodge includes a restaurant and bar with excellent views of skiing and tubing. The West Mountain Snow Sports team of instructors offers daily, multi-week, private, and group lessons, in addition to hosting many local schools and group programs. Lessons begin at $40.


77 Intervale Road, Greenwich 518.692.7337 | Tube, ski, or snowboard on 50 acres of skiable terrain in a family-friendly rural landscape, then relax in the lodge and restaurant. The Learn-to-Ski $49 package includes rental equipment, learning center lift ticket, and up to three 1.5-hour lessons per visit. Available only on weekends and holiday weeks, ages 8+ years. Additional weekday lessons and packages are also available.

139 Lapland Lake Road, Northville 518.863.4974 |

Founded by former Olympian Olavi Hirvonena, this facility is a touch of Finland in the Adirondacks. There’s a lodge, dining, miles of trails, tubing, skating, and cross-country skiing. At Professional Ski Instructors of America ski school, beginners learn on terrain composed of flat, gentle trails. Beginner group lessons for adults are taught daily; for kids, on the weekends. The "Ski-Like-a-Finn" lesson package includes an hour lesson, rentals, and a full-day facility use pass. Prices are $57 for adults, $50 for youth (ages 12-17), and $38 for juniors (ages 5-11).

Maple Ski Ridge West Mountain

28 | 

Lapland Lake

West Mountain Willard Mountain


80 Scout Road, Gansevoort 518.450.0321 | The groomed trails have set tracks for classic skiing and a rolled area for skate skiing and snowshoeing. The Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park has a nice selection of snowshoes and cross-country skis donated by Alpine Sport Center available for rental use at the park. Rentals are available on weekends beginning in January. The rental fee for non-members is $5; members can use snowshoes at no charge. Lessons are not currently available.

I SKY NY | I SKI NY is once again offering their award-winning "Free for Kids Passport" program for third and fourth graders. The program allows a child to learn to ski or board for free at all participating ski areas and/or ski for free when an adult ticket is purchased. The program is free, but there is a small processing fee to enroll. Discounted lift ticket vouchers are also available. T  SaratogaMama | 29

10 T

Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System This Winter

he temperature has dropped in the Capital District, and we are breaking out our heavy coats, hats, and gloves in preparation for the winter months. While we look forward to sledding, sipping fireside hot cocoa, ice skating, caroling, and the other joys of the season that lie ahead, as parents, we dread another inevitable aspect of winter: cold and flu season.

Luckily, our bodies are armed with a powerful, natural defense to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances. The immune system is an interactive network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect the body, and when working properly, keeps our bodies functioning at their optimal potential. Low immunity, however, sets the stage for sickness as the severity and longevity of illness is highly dependent on the strength of your immune system. Making healthy lifestyle choices will help build defenses in your body so you are not as susceptible to illness. Here are 10 simple, all-natural steps you can take to strengthen your immune system and protect your family against winter colds and flu.


I can’t stress this point enough to my patients. If you only do one thing when you’re feeling sick, avoiding sugar at all costs will have the biggest impact. Refined sugar (sweets, fruit juices, soda, lattes, some breakfast cereals, ketchup, some salad dressings, and other processed foods) dramatically decreases immune function. Be mindful of reading nutrition labels for added sugar content and avoid artificial sweeteners like Equal or Splenda, using honey in moderation instead.

2. Eat plenty of good food

The body requires calories/energy to fight off unwanted invaders such as viruses and bacteria. If you aren’t consuming enough calories, your body prioritizes its energy to other systems, and your immune system will be operating on a near-empty tank. Provide your body with the nutrients it needs by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, flaxseed, nut and seed butters, olives and olive oil, salmon, and tuna). Incorporate mushrooms into your diet as they are packed with immune-boosting polysaccharides called beta-glucans.


3. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight Just like a healthy diet, exercise contributes to overall good health and a healthy immune system. Regular exercise helps control body weight, lowers blood pressure, improves cardiovascular health, and protects against a variety of diseases. Exercise also promotes circulation, allowing cells and substances of the immune system to move freely throughout the body and function efficiently.

4. Promote probiotics

Approximately 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. Our intestines house beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, that help digest and absorb nutrients and support the immune system. Replenish this population by adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles. Studies indicate probiotic supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, and supplementation in infancy could help prevent immune-mediated diseases in childhood. Fermented milk products also have been known to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids.

5. Go for the glutamine

Your immune cells rely on glutamine, an amino acid that comes from protein foods. Broths and stocks made from grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken are a great source of natural glutamine. Add a cup a day to your diet to boost your immune health.

6. Increase sleep and decrease stress

Prolonged elevation of the hormone cortisol suppresses immune function. Insufficient sleep and excess stress increase cortisol, so take whatever steps are necessary to control stress levels and

30 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

get sufficient sleep each night. Monitor your caffeine intake in the afternoon and early evening so as not to prevent yourself from getting a good night’s rest.

7. Get plenty of vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes immune function, calcium absorption in the gut, bone growth and remodeling, and reduces inflammation. Inadequate vitamin D levels are associated with a greater risk of respiratory infection. While sunlight naturally triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D, sunlight is sparse in the winter months, so we need to rely on other sources. Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D. The best food sources are fatty fish like salmon and tuna and fish liver oils. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in grass-fed beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Vitamin D is also available as a supplement: 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of influenza A in kids.

10. Visit your chiropractor

Regular visits to your chiropractor promote a healthy spine and nervous system, ultimately strengthening your immune system. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments influence the biological immune response and enhance immune system function. A pilot study showed that children who went to the chiropractor more than seven times per year had an increased resistance (immunity) to many common childhood diseases. From newborns to the elderly, chiropractic care is a safe, gentle, and effective way to address nerve dysfunction and promote overall wellness at any age. T

8. Grab the garlic

Garlic is an antiviral and antifungal agent as well as an immune booster. Garlic can strengthen your immune system by increasing the production rate of your body’s natural killer cells, which ward off all invaders. Because heat deactivates a key active ingredient of garlic, add it to foods just before serving.

9. Drink less alcohol

Your immune system has two defensive systems: the innate and the adaptive. The innate system is present in your body before you are exposed to any foreign substances like viruses, parasites, fungi, or bacteria. The adaptive system kicks in after you are exposed to an infection for the first time. Alcohol suppresses both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Minimize the burden on your immune system by decreasing alcohol consumption, particularly if you are fighting off an infection.

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 31


d l i h c r u o y Is ready for ? l o o h c s e r p Especially for those summer babies, it can be tough to make the call. Here are a few questions to help you decide if your child is ready to start a preschool program:




• Is your child healthy?

If your little one is plagued by ear infections or gets every cold they are exposed to, you may want to keep them out of the Petri dish that is preschool for a little longer. On the other hand, you may prefer your child be exposed to some germs before starting kindergarten when taking a few sick days can have more of an educational impact.

32 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

• How’s potty training going?

If your preschooler-to-be hasn’t quite mastered the potty, be sure to ask about the school’s toileting policies (i.e., if diapers/disposable training pants are permissible in the classroom or if children must be daytime toilet-trained in order to enroll). The good news is that many children who are still working on this skill will be motivated by seeing classmates who have already gotten the hang of using the toilet.

• Does your child separate well?

Children who are still clingers–in tears, arms and legs wrapped around your calf as you try to leave the house for a quick errand–may not yet be ready for a half-day of school. On the flip-side, preschool is a good way to learn to cope with being away from mommy and daddy. After all, it’s a life-skill they must eventually master.

• Can your child sit still for a few minutes?

Child psychologists generally say that a toddler should be able to sit still and focus on a task like coloring or building with blocks for the same number of minutes as their age (e.g., 3 minutes for a 3-year-old). But if your little one has ants in their pants, fear not; the varied activities of preschool may be able to help them learn to concentrate.

• How does your child do with other children?

Learning to communicate, share, and cooperate with other children are among the most important lessons your child will learn in preschool. Take note of how your little one interacts with peers at the playground, library, or on playdates to see if they are beginning to get a grasp of these social skills.

• Does your child still take a nap?

Most full-day preschool programs will still have one naptime for 3- and 4-year-olds, usually after lunch. If your child does still take a mid-day nap, you’re set. However, if they have ditched the nap, they should be willing and able to observe “quiet time” while their friends snooze.

• Are YOU ready for them to start? Are you still basking in the glow of full-time parenthood or could you use a break during the work-week? Or, perhaps you think your child is getting stir-crazy being home with just you for entertainment. Preschool, even a half-day program, may be the perfect solution for both of you. Also, if your child will be in a full-day kindergarten, it is a good idea to find a preschool program so they can begin to adjust to the schedule and routine of school. T

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 33

Saratoga County

Preschool Directory * Denotes schools represented at the Saratoga Springs Area Preschool Fair ABC Nursery School

G.L.O.B.E. Chinese Immersion Pre-School

(518) 373-8ABC • 13 Old Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065

(518) 290-0454 • 112 Spring Street, Suite 105, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Academy Nursery School

Katrina Trask Nursery School *

(518) 664-7440 • 4 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park, NY 12065

(518) 584-8968 • 24 Circular Sreet, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 email: OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, January 25, 10 a.m.–noon

Apple Blossom Bunch * (518) 527-3105 • 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

The Beagle School * (518) 587-7507 • 115 Regent Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: 115 Regent Street 3 & 4-year-old programs: Monday, January 8, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 107 Circular Street 2-year-old program: Tuesday, January 9, 10–11:30 a.m. Registration for New Families for All Programs (including 2-year-old program) on Monday, January 8, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Burnt Hills United Methodist Christian (518) 399-6133 • 816 Route 50, Burnt Hills, NY 12027

Church Mouse Nursery School (518) 885-8362 • 202 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 3, 10 a.m.–noon

Community Roots School * (518) 306-6829 • 48 Beekman Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Call today to schedule your personal tour.

Saratoga EOC Head Start & Early Head Start * (518) 288-3206 • 39 Bath Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 email: Head Start is a FREE preschool program for low-income children, with classrooms located throughout Saratoga County. Home-based programs for pregnant women and children birth to age 5.

Kids First * (518) 309-3540 • 12 Church Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

Learning to Know 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park: (518) 371-3722 3 Hampstead Place, Saratoga Springs: (518) 226-0222

Malta Montessori School * (518) 633-1971 • 100 Saratoga Village Blvd., Suite 34 A, Malta, NY 12020

Maple Leaf Childcare Center 3 Hemphill Place, Malta, NY 12020: (518) 899-4159 10 Hemphill Place, Malta, NY 12020: (518) 899-4159 2737 Route 9, Malta, NY 12020: (518) 889-5045

Newmeadow * (518) 899-9235 • 23 Sitterly Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065 OPEN HOUSE: EVERY Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

The Sara Marie School (518) 280-3982 • 942 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065 OPEN HOUSE: January 7 and February 11, 1–3 p.m.

34 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Saratoga Hansel & Gretel

St. Mary’s School *

(518) 584-0934 66 Seward Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

(518) 885-7300 • 40 Thompson Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 Half-Day programs for 3-and 4-year-olds Full-Day Pre-K for 4-and 5-year-olds Call today to schedule your personal tour.

Saratoga Independent School * (518) 583-0841 • 459 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: Friday, January 18 at 9 a.m. & Saturday, March 10 at 10 a.m.

Saratoga Regional YMCA * 290 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866: (518) 583-9622, ext. 114 100 Saratoga Blvd, Malta, NY 12866: (518) 583-4342 OPEN HOUSE: Saratoga Springs Branch: Wednesday, January 24, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Wilton Branch: Wednesday, January 31, 6:15–7:15 p.m.

Shooting Stars Childcare (518) 371-2306 • 609 Route 146 A, Suite 104, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Skidmore Early Childhood Center * (518) 580-5473 • 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Small Wonders Christian Pre-School * (518) 584-3720, ext. 114 • 175 5th Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Call today for a personal tour.

Smart Early (518) 290-7607 • 39 Old Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Spa Christian Pre-School * (518) 885-0508 • 206 Greenfield Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 3, 10 a.m.–noon DISCOVERY DAY: Wednesday, February 7, 9–10:30 a.m.

St. Clement's Catholic School * (518) 584-7350 • 231 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Half-Day programs for 3-and 4-year-olds Full-Day Pre-K for 4-and 5-year-olds Full-Day Jr.-K 5-year-olds Call today to schedule your personal tour.

St. George School (518) 280-7196 • 912 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065

St. Paul’s Lutheran Christian Childhood Center * (518) 584-0904, ext. 105 • 149 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Storybook Academy * (518) 587-0707 • 421 Geyser Road, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

Sunrise Children Learning Center (518) 373-1280 • 200 Technology Park, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Sweet Chickadee School * (518) 567-9527 • 337 Daniels Road, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Time 2 Learn Pre-School * (518) 225-0294 202 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 Held in the First Baptist Church

Teddy Bear Day Care Center (518) 584-2273 • 4 Mountain Ledge Drive, Wilton, NY 12831

Tiny Tots Early Learning Center (518) 371-2034 • 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065

The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs * (518) 587-2224 • 122 Regent Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, January 20, Early Childhood Locations (212 Lake Avenue & 45 Kaydeross Avenue West) from 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

2018 Saratoga Springs Area Preschool Fair January 20, 10 a.m. – Noon This is a wonderful opportunity to explore area preschools with over 20 preschools represented! For more information, please contact Elisabeth Garofalo at The Waldorf School at (518) 587-2224 or The Children’s Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library at (518) 584-7860, ext. 305 WWW.SSPL.ORG This event will take place at the Saratoga Springs Public Library in the H. Dutcher Community Room. Proudly Sponsored by: SARATOGA SPRINGS PUBLIC LIBRARY Your Source for Information, Inspiration, and Entertainment

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 35

36 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017


SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED Local Mom Takes on Hollywood


e’ve all been there: Your little one has finally earned the privilege of watching something on your iPad. You hand it over and walk away. A few minutes later, you notice that the kid’s show you thought was appropriate for your child isn’t.


With a background in film production and 20 years of experience as a Hollywood screenwriter, Coady, who has lived in upstate New York for the past 10 years, decided to develop her own take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red.

Nicole Coady knows just how you feel and set out to do something about it. “I was really tired of having limited entertainment options for my daughter,” Coady explains. “As a child, I enjoyed classic fairy tales, and I wanted my daughter to experience them too. I’m concerned that we’re losing our folklore and that children aren’t reading as much as they used to.”

The next hurdle Coady faced was figuring out the best way to get this show in front of viewers. She partnered with Katie Spass and Andrew Balog to form the production company Trident Fantasy Films. Balog just so happens to be the founder of Balog Digital, a local distribution company.

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 37

“With the dramatic shift in distribution options and streaming platforms, projects like ours can be developed, filmed, and produced outside of Hollywood,” said Balog. Balog Digital will distribute the show. Trident’s version of Snow White and Rose Red features two sisters, Snow and Rose, living in the forest with their parents. It’s not long before the sisters discover the forest is enchanted, and they begin encountering characters they’ve only read about: Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Rapunzel, to name a few. Each episode has a positive message with strong underlying themes of sisterhood, friendship, and magic. “This was really fun for the writing staff,” said Coady. “All of our writers are female, and we got to pick our favorite fairy tale characters and create stories around them, Snow, and Rose. It was a really magical experience watching the scripts come to life.” “Andrew, Katie, and I really wanted this show to feature actual people, not cartoons,” Coady continued. “And after seeing Disney’s success with live action films like Beauty and The Beast and Cinderella, we knew we were on the right track.” But how do you bring a story like this to life outside of Hollywood? Auditions were held at the Dance Museum in Saratoga Springs this past March. “To be honest, we really weren’t sure what kind of response we would get when we put out a casting call looking for actors,” said Katie Spass. “We were shocked! Hundreds of people came out to audition. The amount of acting talent in the area is amazing.” The pieces were all falling into place. The episodes were written, the cast and crew selected, and a plan made for distributing the show. The team was ready to begin production. “Katie, Andrew, and I are executive producers, and we filmed the entire season–six episodes– in three weeks,” said Coady. “It was crazy. We had record-breaking heat in June, then rain. Because the story is about two sisters and their adventures in the forest, many of the scenes were shot outside, so we had to work around the weather. Our cast and crew were really troopers!”

Having fun, riding around on set!

38 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

The show was shot at various locations in and around Saratoga. “We invited the media to come on set one of the days we shot at Skidmore College. Everyone came! The amount of interest in this project shows us that people are really looking for this type of content,” commented Andrew Balog. Snow White and Rose Red are played by real-life sisters Callista and Demetra Zorbas. Some of you might recognize them. The Zorbas sisters often make appearances at local birthday parties dressed as princesses, and children just love them. “When Callista and Demetra showed up at the auditions, we just knew they would be the right fit for this project. They are a dream to work with, and the fact that they really are sisters is an extra bonus.” The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red will be debuting on Amazon in February of 2018. The trailer for the show is available now for viewing. We hope you’ll take a peek. Maybe you’ll even recognize some of the locations as you watch. To see the trailer, visit T Watch the trailer here!

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 39

Recommendations from

Nor thshire Bookstore

ntelistr Wireading Baby & Toddler


Another twist on the ever-popular "Old lady who swallowed a fly" song, full of snowy fun.

WINTER DANCE By Marion Dane Bauer (picture book) Everybody in the forest is getting ready for winter, but what will fox do? He isn't the least bit sleepy, and he definitely does not want to hibernate!



IF PICASSO PAINTED A SNOWMAN By Amy and Greg Newbold (picture book)

This is a fun and playful introduction to some of the greatest world artists—as if they had all painted snowmen. A great way to inspire your young artist this winter.

Lower Elementary

40 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017


Upper Elementar y

By Terry Lynn Johnson (fiction) Eleven-year-old Matt is struggling in school, and he has to set up his own business to save his failing math grade. But what is he even good at? The only thing he truly loves is his team of dogs, and so Matt's Sled Dog School is born. Teaching dogsledding should be easy—right?


By Allison Britz (nonfiction)

Tweens & Teens

A 15-year-old recounts her struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which came on in high school and almost ruined her life. A perfect cabin fever read.

THE PARTY By Robyn Harding (fiction) In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet 16 birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies. Mothers of daughters will find this un-put-downable!


Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 41

42 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Donations Accepted “PUT YOUR THINGS AWAY,” we’re always teaching children. As adults,

we know putting things where they belong is the best way to respectfully live together. And clearing away unused items puts the mind at ease and makes room for the new. Churches, non-profit organizations, and thrift stores all around the region are accepting donations of new and gently used items. These resources are an environmentally conscious way to ensure your things will continue to help neighbors in need. Whether you’re looking to donate, or you want to drop-and-shop, there’s an organization nearby where items won’t go to waste. Strengthen the resilience of the community while enjoying a feeling of contentment!

(Please be aware, laws often prohibit thrift shops from reselling baby furniture, car seats, strollers, or toys.)



Thrift shop operated by Captain Youth and Family Services, an organization providing family programs and services that address issues of homelessness, poverty, bullying, hunger, academic life, family dynamics, and human trafficking. Accepts: Gently used clothing, housewares, and furniture Where & When: Donations accepted at 1705 Route 9, Clifton Park, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Thursday until 7 p.m.) and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (518) 383-1788 or go to what-we-do/captains-treasures.html for more information.

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 43



A non-profit agency that provides services and support to families in crisis or in an emergency situation. Accepts: Women’s and men’s clothing Looking For: Coats & business casual attire Where & When: Office located at 150 Warren Street, Glens Falls. Please call (518) 793-0797 to schedule a drop-off time. For more information, go to


Thrift shop and outreach center of Christ Episcopal Church. “I’m just happy to help people,” said director Wanda Closson. Accepts: Household items and seasonal family clothing Where & When: Donations accepted during shop hours at 10 West High Street, Ballston Spa, Tuesday and Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call (518) 885-9455 or go to for more information.

Through the provision of housing, services, referrals, information, and advocacy, strives to ensure that those in the greater Saratoga region who are homeless or at risk of homelessness have safe, affordable, and secure places to live. Accepts: Blankets, twin sheets, and NEW toiletry items Looking For: In desperate need of adult seasonal clothing, especially winter coats Where & When: Drop off donations anytime at 14 Walworth Street, Saratoga Springs; open 24/7. Call (518) 581-1097 or go to for more information.


Operates a food pantry and donation distribution center; provides affordable housing options, advocacy, and referral information to help improve the lives of low-income Saratoga County residents. Accepts: Household items and clothing. In need of household items more than clothing (which is limited to two bags of in-season clothing). Please call for donations of large furniture items. Looking For: Kitchen items such as pots, pans, dishes, glasses, silverware, linens including bedding and towels, lamps, and other small household items. Where & When: Distribution Center located at 101 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs; donations accepted on Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call (518) 587-9826 or go to for more information.


Supporting service personnel by providing care packages to soldiers. Accepts: Gently used books, magazines, movies, electronic video and gaming devices, board games and puzzles, and sporting equipment Looking For: NEW bedding and socks Where & When: Donate at 4281 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, or at one of their many drop-off boxes around the region. For a complete list of items needed and donation drop-off locations, call (518) 260-9922 or go to

Thrift shop where proceeds from the sale of donated items are used to provide home repairs for low-income veterans, seniors, and disabled individuals. Accepts: Artwork, mirrors, furniture, collectibles, decorative items, lamps, small kitchen appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, doors, windows, lighting, molding, plumbing supplies, tools, etc. Where & When: Drop-off at 132 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (518) 587-3315 or go to for more information.


The Southern Adirondack Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a thrift shop where proceeds from sales of donated items go toward building and maintaining affordable homes in our community. Accepts: Anything that can be used to build or furnish a house Where & When: Donations accepted during store hours at 1373 Route 9, Moreau, Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (518) 793-7484 or go to for more information.


Donated items are sold in thrift stores and recycled with proceeds used to help fund an adult drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation center located in Albany. Accepts: Any type of donation that can be resold or recycled Where & When: Donations accepted during store hours, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1757 Route 9, Clifton Park: (518) 373-5880, or at 376 Quaker Road, Queensbury: (518) 792-7730, or go to for more information.

44 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017



Run by the Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild, donations help the Saratoga Hospital and local non-profit organizations in need. Accepts: Adult clothing on consignment and by donation Looking For: Gently used maternity clothing. Regretfully, cannot accept many baby and children’s items. (Please call with any questions.) Where & When: Donations accepted at 60 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (518) 580-4200 or go to other-locations/treasures-boutique for more information.

Organization helping those affected by domestic violence. “Donations are extremely vital to our clients; they rely on them to help supplement their needs,” said program director Elizabeth Bliss. “They’re experiencing a shift in financial standing and need to rebuild. It’s helping them create a home.” Accepts: Gently used kitchenware; NEW linens and personal care items

Looking For: Pots and pans Where & When: Donations accepted during office hours at 480 Broadway LL 20, Saratoga Springs, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (518) 583-0280 or go to T


Thrift store run by volunteers from the Schuylerville and Quaker Springs United Methodist Churches as a way to repurpose clothing and give back to the community. Any clothing that can’t be sold is redistributed worldwide through St. Pauly Textile, Inc. Accepts: Women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing Looking For: Men’s and children’s clothing Where & When: Donate at the shop, 17 Ferry Street, Schuylerville, during store hours: Friday, 1 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations can be dropped off anytime at the tan shed by the church at 51 Church Street, Schuylerville. For more information, call the Schuylerville United Methodist Church at (518) 695-3101 or go to

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 45

When Every Day is About


While we try to teach our children all about life,our children teach us what life is all about.” – Angela Schwindt, home school mom

Children. I really think we underestimate them, don't you? Their hearts are so big, and they truly hate to see anyone suffer. I'd like to bring attention to just how wonderful the kids in our lives are by introducing you to one I know myself. We're sitting across the table from one another at a neighborhood diner. Eating out for breakfast on an early Sunday morning is one of our favorite things to do. Tristan looks me straight in the eye, all business. He's a boy, just 9 years old, but so much wiser than I'll ever be.


“Why do you feel it's so important to help those in need?” I ask him. He takes a long sip of chocolate milk before he's ready to answer. “I went to San Francisco with my dad this summer.” He sighs deeply. “We saw two big tents on the sidewalk next to an old building. I asked him why they were there. You know what? My dad told me people were actually living in them. “So, I got to thinking: What's it like – not having a house, not having any food, never having any fun? I've never once gone to bed hungry. I've always had a home. And I have fun lots of times. It made me really sad. I decided I wanted to do something to try and change things.” When he got back from California, Tristan talked with his mom. He suggested they try and raise money to help the hungry. His goal wasn't even that big, although he thought it was a fortune. They agreed it was a good idea to start with his dream: try to raise $50 for a local food bank. And then, like anyone else trying to raise money, Tristan rolled up his sleeves and went to work.

46 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

On his mom's Facebook page, he put out a “call to action.” He used her phone, texting people in her contact list, explaining what he wanted to do. He even went on the intercom at school and announced that he was trying to raise money for kids to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. He told his friends that he wanted to do a bottle drive. He made posters and got permission to hang them up in different places. “Kids should not go hungry. People shouldn't have to live in a tent.” Before he knew it, Tristan had raised $100, then $300, then $500 for his cause. He was a guest on Froggy 100.3, interviewed by radio show host Kate Sullivan every day for a week. “I couldn't believe it!” he tells me, waving his hands in the air. In the end, nearly $1,000 was in his piggy bank. Tristan and his mom, Amanda, decided to donate the money to The Open Door Mission ( “It felt really good to help,” Tristan says, drinking more of his chocolate milk. “Really, really good.” One thing I love about children is how unassuming they can be sometimes, hating to draw attention to themselves. So, it's Amanda who tells me about the year Tristan took all of the money his dad would normally spend on toys for his Christmas and bought presents for charity instead. Tristan shrugs when I look at him. “There are so many other kids that have nothing during the holidays, I mean nothing. I've been very lucky.” When I ask what's next on his agenda, Tristan explains that his best friend, Daniel, who he's known forever, has type 1 diabetes.

“I hate that he has to watch everything he eats and that he has to prick his fingers all day long. His mom wakes him up every night at 2 a.m. I mean, they never, ever get a good night's sleep!” He informs me that he'll be taking part in October's Walk for Diabetes. The event is happening in Saratoga Spa State Park, and he'll be one of “Harrigan's Dream Team.” “If we can raise money, we can get closer to a cure for Daniel.” I hear the little boy's voice break then, as he almost starts to cry. Almost. “So, that's exactly what we need to do.” As an adult, I'm amazed. I quietly drink my coffee and listen to this young child talk. He tells me he wants to raise money for animal rescues and also plans on helping out in the Code Blue Shelter for the homeless this winter. “It's supposed to be cold, and they say we're getting a ton of snow. It's going to be cold outside. “I just want to make things better.” Tristan stares me down. “I think things like this can help; I think it all adds up.” Unfortunately, when October came around, Tristan's appendix ruptured and he underwent emergency surgery. There were other complications as well, which kept him bed-ridden during the diabetes walk for his friend. “Of course, I was upset I couldn't be there,” he tells me over the phone, when I call to check in on him. “But the walk went great. Harrigan's Dream Team raised a lot of money for the cause, and I did what I could from the hospital.” I laugh and ask what that might be. “Well, I was really sick, but mom let me go on Facebook. I was able to raise $100. It's much better than nothing, right?” I nod and smile through the phone. Yes, Tristan, much, much better than nothing. T

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 47

48 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Sustainable Resolutions: Goals for a Greener Household & Lifestyle in 2018 WRITTEN BY: ANNA LALOË


he holidays are approaching and with them comes the opportunity to make resolutions. These days, it’s more important than ever to do our little part to make a difference, but that concept can be intimidating! What can we do to change the world? How can we FIX things?

Having been a climate scientist at some of the top universities and research institutes in the world, I could go on and on about the science, the gloom and doom of the current climate, and how much damage we have done to our lovely Earth, but let’s focus on the positives and how we can move forward in simple ways in our own individual homes in Saratoga County. Let’s focus on some short-term and longer-term goals to make that little bit of difference. The great thing about resolving to take steps to “green” your household in 2018? It’s not just about feeling good that you’re helping our Earth; you are also typically going to save some cash and change the look of various corners of your home, especially your pantry and kitchen! As a bonus, it’s a chance to simplify things and declutter a bit.  SaratogaMama | 49

Saves the Earth Looks Nicer Saves Money


It’s one of the easiest things we can do these days. Singlestream recycling makes our lives very easy: Just toss all of your paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and cans into your recycling bins. Plastic bags can’t be recycled in SingleStream, so take them with you to the store and pop them in the plastic bag recycling bin (lots of grocery and big box stores have these designated bins). Bonus recycling idea: Bring unwanted clothes to Franklin Community Center (they take clothes donations on Tuesdays) or drop them in various donation bins around town.

Cloth bags for grocery shopping:

Most grocery stores sell their own cute versions of a reusable bag for your groceries. They are fun, and they will also even save you money in some shops (for example, Healthy Living charges you to use their single-use bags in order to encourage you to bring your own; other stores deduct 5 cents from your bill for every bag you bring). I recommend keeping a bag full of cloth bags in your trunk to dip into when you shop. Want to do away with disposable plastic bags forever? Go to to find out how to take action in our area.

Buy organic and/or local:

You’ve seen the labels on your produce from the grocery store: Much of our food comes from faraway places! If we focus on supporting our local farmers by buying locally and organically, we are supporting them by putting money into our local economy, and we also are reducing our carbon “footprint” (the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we cause as individual consumers) by eating produce that

50 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

hasn’t been shipped or driven across the world or country. Additionally, we are able to teach our children about growing seasons and help them realize that food comes from the earth, not from the grocery store. We can answer their questions about why they don’t see bananas and pineapples at our farmers’ market. We get to introduce them to the growers there too–people who are able to tell children about the cows and pigs and goats at their farms and how to grow food in greenhouses when there is snow on the ground. After all, part of the fun of greening our household is educating our littles.

Use biodegradable cleaning products:

Once you have finished your dishwasher and laundry detergent, dish soap, and other cleaning products, consider switching to an eco-friendly product. There are quite a few out there. Healthy Living Market, Fresh Market, Hannaford, and Target all carry Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation products. These products exclusively use ingredients that you will recognize and be able to pronounce, are composed of renewable plant-based ingredients (as opposed to the petroleum-based ingredients that most cleaning products are composed of), and often are packaged in material that has already been recycled and can be recycled again.

Go reusable!:

Purchase a cute reusable insulated coffee mug from your favorite coffee shop on Broadway, a glass (I love LifeFactory which Target and Healthy Living sell) or stainless steel (like Klean Kanteen sold at Target) water bottle, and lunch boxes or bags filled with reusable containers for your children. Healthy Living and Target sell fabric lunch bags/boxes, and you can use Pyrex glass containers for lunches; we also like LunchBots ( and Pottery Barn for their cute stainless-steel lunchbox fillers. They even have large Bento containers with multiple compartments that will fit nicely into your child’s lunchbox. No plastic baggies, twist ties, or paper bags! And your children will have fun helping you fill those cute little compartments. Bonus go reusable idea: Dunkin Donuts charges you 99 cents for a coffee refill if you have a reusable mug, and Starbucks gives you 10 cents off every drink in a reusable container. So that cute travel coffee mug will quickly pay for itself!

Produce and bulk food shopping:

Green your party:

For this resolution, you will need to purchase a couple of How fun would it be to host a big party and have only a muslin cloth bags of various sizes and a case of wide-mouth tiny bag of garbage afterwards? I routinely host parties large mason jars or set of cute clasped glass containers; where the only trash I have are bottle tops. I have a set Healthy Living Market sells all of these items in their bulk of 40 reusable plates, cups, silverware sets, and cloth food section. There is little that satisfies me more than napkins that I bring out for my parties to use, wash, and unloading my groceries at home and not using plastic bags put back into a crate for my next party. I use a couple of for any of my groceries, produce, or bulk foods. Bring a large drink dispensers filled with water and lemonade so handful of muslin cloth bags to Healthy Living or Hannaford, I don’t have to buy juice boxes. I compost the food scraps head to the bulk section, and go crazy. Grains, pasta, nuts, on everyone’s plates. I recycle the cans and bottles from spices…fill those bags! And when you get home, either “adult beverages.” The reusable tableware looks much store them in those cute muslin bags, or pour them into classier than the disposable paper and plastic plates and your lovely glass jars! How much classier are three clasped cups so commonly used, and voila—no waste! glass jars of almonds, walnuts, and cashews than a plastic Bonus green your party idea: You bag with a cut-open top full of mixed nuts?? can order a party kit from ecoFête

LONGER-TERM GOALS: Make a compost:

Instead of all that food waste going into your trash bags and filling up the landfills, either purchase or make a basic compost bin. You can throw all of your food scraps and your grass clippings right in, and you’ll be able to use the compost for planting projects in the future.

Swap paper for cloth:

I know this may sound odd to some people, but I have never had a paper towel or paper napkin in my house. Ever. Just a little tip: You don’t need them. Buy a couple sets of dish towels, tea towels, and cloth napkins, then wash and reuse them. Cloth looks so much nicer than paper, and they don’t take up space in the trash.

Grow your own food:

Scout out a sunny spot in your yard, and till ‘er up! You can start seeds early indoors in peet pots or plant them right in the ground in the spring as soon as the danger of a freeze is past. This is a great project to take on with your children. Let them help choose which fruits, veggies, and herbs to grow, and give them an active role in tending to the crop. Not only will you have produce at the peak of freshness, children will learn about the growing cycle and the hard work that farmers do to help put food on our tables.

( to do the work for you! ecoFête (fête means “party” in French) is an eco-friendly party supply rental company that delivers a kit of reusable plates, cups, cutlery, cloth napkins, tablecloths, drink dispensers, and glassware to your venue to use during your party. When the party is over, you simply place everything into the big bin provided (uncleaned and unsorted, as you would toss all your used disposable plates and cups in the trash), and ecoFête picks it up to wash and reuse for the next party! You too can host a zero-waste, hassle-free kids or family party in your home or Saratoga party venue! T

Green goals for 2018: • Produce less disposable waste in your household • Use/buy sustainably sourced and organic products

• Support eco-friendly companies

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 51

52 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter Recipes

By Jodie Fitz

Quick, Easy & Tasty! Escape the cold and enjoy some time in the kitchen with a couple of our most-loved winter recipes!

Follow along with Jodie for more recipe bites at

Taco Surprise Traditional FlatOut® Fold-its® 1 pound ground turkey 2 cups fresh spinach 1 pint grape tomatoes ½ cup onions, finely chopped 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon cumin 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon onion powder ¾ teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon white pepper Traditional taco toppings: shredded sharp cheese, romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, taco sauce, black beans, corn, etc.


Cook the ground turkey in a frying pan, draining off any excess juices. Add the onions and a clove of fresh garlic to the meat and cook until tender, stirring frequently.

Finely chop the spinach in a food processor. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the spinach, pureed tomatoes, and spices to the meat mixture. Stir and cook until the spices and other ingredient s are evenly distributed and the mixture is hot.

Cut the Fold-its® in half and use each half like a soft taco shell. Fill the center with meat and add your favorite toppin gs. Enjoy a dinner with fresh vegetables in the mix that the kids won’t even taste!

Freeze ahead: Double or triple this meat mixture, let it cool, divide it, and freeze in plastic freezer bags or other airtight containers. Then on busy nights, let it thaw, warm, and serve = easy yum!

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 53

s u o i c i l y r r Be e k a B t s a f Break en berries, froz 1 cup mixed tbread a l FlatOut® fl 1 traditiona cooked n u ns tapioca, 1 ½ teaspoo cinnamon ½ teaspoon

eam cheese

ed cr poons whipp 1 to 2 tables honey 1 tablespoon oking spray Non-stick co

gether. and honey to se ee ch m ixture e crea the berry m en to ther. Stir th d ov d ge e A . to th d t a on ea re m h a tb a Pre ca, and cinn half of the fl berries, tapio ixture onto m en ey oz fr on h e d th n a Stir ing spray. cream cheese on-stick cook n layer of the e in th th h a it . d w d a Spre se sprea sheet coated e cream chee -stick baking on n a on top of th to on . Place it (below). read in half ogurt glaze Fold the flatb 0 minutes. Serve with y to 2 Bake for 15


. 375 degrees

ze Yogurt Gla urt vanilla yog 3 oz. low-fat low-fat milk 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon

yogurt Drizzle the Directions:, honey, and milk together. se . rve warm d urt flatbread an Stir the yog -licious-filled ry er B e th over


ortion with

-taco p : r e the flatbread si e a k a e the entire m e r, O tl lit a orning. en freezing h m g W e g. th in in n in n r or ze o pproximately em e gla freezer for a e glaze in th a d top with th th Make the m n in h a it w en em p ov th to er and ast d pop to bake paper an warm in a to e entire taco t lined with parchment th Bake ahead; ze g. ee fr d n a freezer ba g shee rries a and place in s on a bakin the frozen be co er p ta a e p t th en ce ke, pla lly in parchm breakfast ba co individua ta ch ea p ra an hour. W

54 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Breakfast Tacos 2 – 8” tortilla rounds 4 eggs ⅛ cup low-fat milk

2 tablespoons salsa, mild or medium 2 to 4 tablespoons jalapeno cheese, shredded Non-stick cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whip the eggs and milk together in a bowl with

a whisk or fork. In a pan that has been coated with the non-s tick cooking spray, cook the eggs in a scram bled fashion over medium heat. Stir in the salsa once the eggs are fully cooked and let it warm through. Fold a tortilla round in half and fill with the eggs/ salsa mixture. Top the eggs with the shredded cheese. On a baking sheet that has been coated with the non-stick cooking spray, bake the tortillas for approximately 5 to 7 minutes (until the wrap is crispy around the edges and the cheese is melted). This recipe yields two Breakfast Tacos.

Cooking the

eggs by microwave: Whip the eggs together. Place them in a butter-coated glass dish and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remo ve the dish with an oven mitt and stir. Continue to cook the eggs at 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until the eggs are fully cooked.

A little taco fun : Fold one taco shell in half. Usin g clean kitchen scissors, cut the tortilla semi-circle into the shape of a half heart. Repe at the process with a second tortilla wrap. Double the above recipe, and fill the taco halves. Bake as directed above. Put the two halves toget her to make one heart-filled breakfast.

Make a "heart"-fille d breakfast! Note "A little taco fun" above

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 55

Sexual Abuse: The



56 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017



very second, every minute, every hour of every day—a child is abused. Sexual abuse is a silent, insidious epidemic that crosses all boundaries and doesn’t discriminate against race, age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Child sexual abuse is a serious problem that plagues our society and happens more than we know. It affects the child, the family, and the community, creating an environment of fear, anger, distrust, and isolation.

Startling numbers

The statistics are prodigious: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before the age 18, with children being most vulnerable between the ages of 7 and 13. Ninety percent of those victims are abused by someone the child knows, loves, or has a trusting relationship with. The predator uses that relationship to manipulate and gain power over the child. Individuals from all walks of life abuse children, but one common trait is that they need to blend in and not attract attention. They hide in plain sight and look for certain traits when choosing a victim: children who are lonely, lack self-esteem, come from a single-parent home, and/or who are frequently unsupervised. In fact, children from a single-parent home are 10 times more likely to be abused.

Educating children about sex abuse

Teaching children about sexual abuse is the key to prevention. When children are given the necessary tools and knowledge to stay safe, they are harder to dupe, and they believe in their ability to be assertive and stick up for themselves. Education empowers children with awareness and confidence to make the right choices. A sex offender once said that “it’s harder to abuse or trick a child that has been educated about sexual abuse.” Children who are taught about sexual abuse prevention are less likely to be a target.

When a child is abused, the predator wants the child to feel guilty and to think that no one will believe them if they tell. The offender doesn’t want to get caught and will use any measure to maintain the secrecy. Predators are notorious for getting victims to keep the abuse a secret, which is why they get away with abusing children for long periods of time. This is why it is vitally important that a child knows it is NEVER their fault, they didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s okay to tell a trusted adult.

The perpetrators

Parents can protect their children by being involved in their child’s daily activities and asking open-ended questions about their day. If parents are open about things and listen, they are considered approachable adults, and children are more likely to go to them when something is amiss.

Typically, predators will abuse as many children as they can for as long as they can. They lure and manipulate their victim by using a technique called “grooming.” Grooming is a slow, methodical process meant to put the victim and their family at ease and is usually done over a long period of time.

It’s important for parents to talk with their children about feelings; they should explain to the child that when someone or something makes them feel uncomfortable or they get a funny feeling inside, that’s called “instinct,” and the child should pay attention to it because it will never lead them astray.

Most abuse begins with the violation of a boundary, using tricks, threats, or bribes to get the victim to keep the abuse a secret. Silence is golden when it comes to child

What if it happens to my child?

Sexual abusers have several commonalities: They are notoriously friendly, likeable, and engaging when trying to gain the trust of their victim. They are patient, calculating, and believe that once they are accepted, they will have unrestricted access to the child.

sexual abuse, for it allows the predator to continue the mistreatment, especially since the only way the abuse stops is if the child tells.

If a child discloses to you that they have been sexually abused, it is best to stay calm

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 57

and reassure the child that they didn’t do anything wrong. It’s essential to listen without judgment and keep in mind that sometimes less is more—the fewer questions asked, the better. Understand that each time a victim is asked a question or tells what happened, they are reliving the abuse all over again. Listening to and believing your child is imperative because predators are master manipulators, and children do not make up stories about sexual abuse.

Cultivate an environment of openness, and encourage questions and conversations. No subject should be taboo, especially when it is about their body.

The goal is to elicit just enough information from the victim to make a call to a trained professional from child protective services (CPS) or law enforcement to interview the child. The interview should be done at a child advocacy center (CAC), as it is the best place to interview children.

Teach children to use the correct anatomical names for their body parts: penis, vagina, breasts, vulva, scrotum, testicles, and buttocks. Nicknames can be misunderstood and convey the message that it is embarrassing to use the proper terms.

Monitor all use of electronic devices, video games, and online activities. Predators view the internet as their playground.

Allow only approved, age-rated video games, websites, and television shows. Age-appropriate ratings can be validated on the website

Children should know their name, address, phone number, and how to call 911 by age 5.

Identify a list of trusted adults your child can go to if they need to talk.

Keeping your children safe

Protecting and keeping children safe is one of the most difficult and challenging parental responsibilities; it takes time, patience, trust, and discipline. There are several things that can be done to keep your children safe from sexual predators:

Teaching children about sexual abuse is the key to prevention. When children know they are loved and cherished, it gives them a sense of value and self-worth, which can foster their resiliency to get through the difficult times. Children who are encouraged to talk about their feelings are more likely to tell if they are being abused, since the only way to end the abuse is if the child confides in a trusted adult. If we fail to report the abuse to the proper authorities, the silent epidemic of sexual abuse continues and more children will be harmed. Teaching children how to say no, to go to a safe place, and to tell a grown-up who they trust (and to keep on telling until someone believes them) can help protect your child from this horrific act. Knowledge is power and is the best defense to prevent this crime against humanity. T

58 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 59

Finding Holiday Peace


Dr. Randy Cale

Reading the title, some of you might think I am about to suggest a radical decision, such as a vacation in a tropical paradise, leaving the crazy relatives to their own devices… or perhaps even the purchase of an extra special couple bottles of wine. Nope. Nothing of the sort. All such escape tactics will leave us weaker as we run from our stress. Instead, let’s consider ways to strengthen ourselves WHILE we enjoy the holidays. Too good to be true? I say no. Let’s explore how we can all do this!


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.

Over and over, I hear friends, family, and clients complain about the stress of the holidays. We all experience this in some form. Our attention gets focused (disproportionately) on fear-based thoughts and worries. These worries involve things like planning for parties, getting the gifts, making others happy, finding time to get it all done, kids’ behavior, cooking tasty food, not forgetting someone, weather, money, how much some folks may imbibe, and so on. The good news is that most of these worries hamper our enjoyment before the big events, such as a party or the time of gift opening. In the moment of these planned and major events, most of us report that we do find love and happiness…despite our worries ahead of time. We do, overall, find more pleasure and enjoyment when all is said and done.

THESE MOMENTS MATTER TOO. However, most of the holiday season is now— in the weeks ahead of the actual celebratory moments. These moments matter! And these are the moments most at risk, as we live in a worried and pressured state of

mind, often losing out on opportunities to show love, compassion, and kindness to those we meet. We can be short with family and friends, all because we are stressed out. Let’s look at a few simple ways to avoid this.




For most of us, we have a busy life even before the holidays. It’s just reality. We are often stressed even without any additional demands. Then along come the holidays, and we try to fit everything in. We add parties, shopping, planning, wrapping, and decorating. Again, we simply can’t do it all.

Yet, somehow, we try. And this is where many of us go a bit crazy. We live with the constant pressure of thinking that we should get it all done. Want less stress? Two solutions start you on the right track… First, write down the following mantra and put it in front of you so you see it every day. The mantra is...

"I don't have to do i t all, and i t will still be okay."

Make this your truth, and keep surrendering to the reality of limits on time and resources. Any thought that suggests a “should” will often bring you more stress, so be wary of these thoughts. Instead, I strongly suggest that we all join reality and acknowledge that we can’t do it all, and yet, everything will be okay.

60 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Second, develop a plan worthy of your aspirations. When I find my clients worried sick over their holiday commitments, I often ask to see their plan for the month. Guess what? They don’t have one. They don’t have a precise map that helps them to see reality and where things fit. There are events, gifts, and moments that are more important than others—this is for certain. Once we get real and understand we can’t do it all, then the doorway opens to start planning based upon what you value most. An effective holiday plan will account for things not going perfectly and most things taking more time than you imagine. It also will account for the need to bring in some extra help so that you have free time to shop and prep for events. It may have a budget that everyone has agreed upon so there are no surprises that cause friction. When we become honest with ourselves, we can then develop a plan that works. Be comfortable writing all this into a precise weekly and daily game plan where you can begin the process of letting go of the less critical…and more enjoyably tackling the more valued. This alone relieves a huge part of the holiday tension.



Intentions are magical, in a sense, when maximized to their full potential. They are not like goals. Intentions have more immediate power than a goal. They impact your life today, if you set them today.

What is an intention? Let’s define it as a determination or resolve to act or be a certain way. Those charmed words—determination and resolve—they are the pointers to why intention has so much power. Intention is about a determination, in advance of the moment, to choose your actions according to your values. If we set an intention, our actions move us toward honoring that intention. Our behavior is shaped dramatically by setting positive, loving intentions. However, most of us never consider the life-changing power of intentions. We simply go through our day, reacting to moments as they arise. Unfortunately, most of these “reactive” moments are fear-based and lead us to be frustrated, angry, or resentful. We get stressed over time because we didn’t set strong intentions to organize our lives around our values and the constraints of reality. Bring awareness to your daily choices this holiday season, and realize that you can enhance every day by waking up and reaffirming a strong, positive intention. If you seek a more peaceful, loving holiday season, that can start right now by setting and honoring your highest intention. Taken seriously, an intention will stay present in your daily life and keep you on track. However, the magic here is that you must choose this intention and then commit to giving it your “attention” every day. Now, just casually thinking about this as you read this article, write it down. Keep it in front of you. Mentally rehearse situations where you can bring this intention to your life through actions reflecting that intention. As I close, I am wishing you all a season of joy and happiness with ample opportunities to share love and kindness with everyone you meet. T

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 61


THE NUTCRACKER: SWEET & SWINGIN’ Saratoga Springs High School, 1 Blue Streak Blvd., Saratoga Springs, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Celebrate the holidays with the whole family and join Saratoga City Ballet for a rhythm-filled evening. The first production of its kind in the Capital Region, The Nutcracker: Sweet & Swingin’ is a fusion of jazz, tap, traditional African dance, and ballet, featuring live music by The Chuck Lamb/ Ria Curley Quintet along with dancers Johnny Martinez and Diane Lachtrupp of Tango Fusion. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students, and children 5 and under are free. For tickets, visit



Home Made Theater at The Spa Little Theater, 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m. Home Made Theater continues its tradition of hosting Christmas shows with Kevin McKrell and his merry musicians. Join HMT for an evening of Christmas favorites, Kevin’s trademark sound, and their popular rendition of A Visit from St. Nick (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas). Tickets are $15 per person. Seating is general admission.

plete m o c For a vents and e list of ities, visit activ .com

Mama a g o t a Sar



Skidmore College Athletic Complex, Saratoga Springs, 5:30 p.m.

Begin the First Night celebration right by joining the run before the huge New Year's event! Start and finish on the beautiful Skidmore campus. The first 3/4 mile is a gradual uphill on the perimeter road. The course exits the campus at Clinton Avenue and continues to Greenfield Avenue, continuing up North Broadway and back to campus. This is a moderately challenging course, including both hills and downgrades. Registration is $30. Entry fees are nonrefundable and non-transferable. For more information, visit


Downtown Saratoga Springs, various locations, 5:30 p.m. – Midnight As one of the oldest First Night celebrations in the country, First Night Saratoga is the most affordable, accessible, familyfriendly, safe, and exciting way to spend New Year's Eve in the region. Join over 15,000 revelers as Saratoga Arts hosts dozens of regional and touring performing groups in 30 venues throughout historic downtown Saratoga Springs. Starting with the 5K road race at Skidmore College, culminating with fireworks in Congress Park at midnight, and packed full of live music, dance, comedy, and magic in between, this event will be a highlight of your outgoing year!

62 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017


2OTH ANNUAL SARATOGA CHOWDERFEST Participating restaurants in Saratoga Springs, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Come enjoy samples of chowder from local restaurants in Saratoga Springs at the 20th Annual Saratoga Chowderfest. Part of Winterfest, Chowderfest is the perfect activity for a cold winter's day. Stroll through downtown Saratoga and purchase a $1 cup (3 oz. serving) of chowder from as many participating establishments as you'd like! Some restaurants will be offering classic varieties, while some may be serving original, unique concoctions! After you've enjoyed sample after sample of delicious, warm chowder, vote for your favorite! Join us for a day of live music, family-friendly activities, and, of course, a wide variety of chowders.


TOWN OF CLIFTON PARK WINTERFEST Various locations around Clifton Park

Join your friends and neighbors during this day of fun and excitement in and out of the cold. There will be local competitions, winter activities, family fun, and more. Events include: Taste of Clifton Park Best Soup Contest, Clifton Park Idol singing competition, Clifton Park Community Chorus performance, horse-drawn sleigh rides and lunch on the farm at Riverview Orchards, a winter nature tour at the local town park, and face painting. The 12th annual Clifton Park Idol singing competition will be held in the morning. Registration will start in December; visit for more information.


Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs: Friday, February 16, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Saturday, February 17, 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sunday, February 18, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Shake off the winter blues! It's time to dance, sing, jam, and more at The Flurry Festival! The Flurry is well-known as a great winter weekend for dancers and music lovers of all ages! Featuring dances, workshops, singing, concerts, jamming performances, family events, storytelling, vendors, and more!

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 63

64 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 65

Complete the Maze

Find 5 Differences

66 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Winter 2017 | SaratogaMama | 67

68 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2017

Profile for Saratoga TODAY

Saratoga Mama Winter 2017 / 2018  

For all your winter Mama needs! From the ultimate (battery-free) holiday gift guide, to our 2018 preschool guide, to winter activities and m...

Saratoga Mama Winter 2017 / 2018  

For all your winter Mama needs! From the ultimate (battery-free) holiday gift guide, to our 2018 preschool guide, to winter activities and m...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded