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BACK-TOSCHOOL EXPOS 7th Saturday, Sept 12pm-4pm Cherry Hill Mall 28th Saturday, Sept 12pm-4pm ll Moorestown Ma







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2 | September/October 2019

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EDITOR to do it all. My limits were maxed out with him and he needed a routine to thrive in. It’s hard to believe that same boy is heading back to college and he still requires a routine to thrive in; except the difference is he no longer depends on me to provide it. Now he’s on auto-pilot with school, work, and friends and whatever else gets thrown his way.


Photo credit JCPenney Portrait Studios

ummer has come to an end and now it’s time to get back into the school routine. My family had a fun-filled summer of traveling adventures and the beach. My kids are both older teens and it’s easier as they can fill their days with things they like to do and create their own fun. I remember when my son was 5, and I was a stay-at-home mom, the summer was coming to an end and I couldn’t take another moment of him. So, I put him in camp for the last two weeks of the summer. I felt like the worst mom ever! As a mom, we put so much pressure on ourselves that we have

This month we have a great issue packed with helpful information, check out the article written by a local mom, “10 Ways to Kick Start the School Year” (page 12). Do you know what to do if your car breaks down on the side of the road, should you stay in the vehicle or get out? Be sure to read, “What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down” (page 5). Did you know distracted driving has become an epidemic (page 18) take the pledge to pay attention and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road ahead. Joe Feldman’s daughter lost her life in Ocean City while crossing the street, he states “Distracted driving crashes are now believed to be responsible for nearly 60% of serious teen crashes, or about three times as many as for any other age group”. Take the pledge to keep your family safe and listen when your child tells you to put the phone down while driving.

LAROCHE-POSAY LIPIKAR LOTION For normal to dry skin this rich lotion replenishes skin’s essential lipids and provides all day hydration. Formulated with responsibly sourced, soothing shea butter. Lightweight, fast absorbing lotion that can be applied all over the body year-round.; $18

BOXED WATER IS BETTER Water is essential for good health. The process of bottling water isn’t. Packaging water in plastic bottles produces carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses, and clogs landfills. By using paper, a renewable resource, Boxed Water is more sustainable and better for the planet.; $60, case of 12 cartons 16.9 oz. each

Your friend & fellow MOM,

Karen Ognibene Executive Editor

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for great South Jersey MOM giveaways!

Isla is full of life and nonstop energy. Her imagination is indefinite and she can talk up a story for hours. Isla enjoys all types of adventures including swimming, catching bugs, going for train rides and enjoys flying with her grandpa most of all.


CLARISONIC GLOW GETTER BRUSH HEAD SET Start the spring season right with a customized skincare regimen with Clarisonic’s comforting brush heads and a luxurious cleanser that leaves skin more radiant. Brush head set includes 2 Radiance Brush Heads with plush bristles to comfortably cleanse skin while improving dullness. Let your beauty, ambition, and self-confidence glow this spring.; $80

Model: Isla Rae Dreher Photographer: Isabel Dreher

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South Jersey MOM

September /October 2019 CEO/Publisher Christopher Ognibene • (609) 670-1794 Executive Editor Karen Ognibene • (609) 230-6280 Marketing & Business Development Specialist Michelle Scianni • (856) 986-9606 For General Advertising Inquiries Marissa Josephick • (856) 537-7089

Karen Ognibene, MA, LPC Licensed Professional Counselor

Psychotherapy for Adults and Couples, Psychoanalysis and Trauma Treatment Specialties:

Depression • Anxiety Relationship Issues Eating Issues • Grief & Loss Low Self-Esteem PTSD and Trauma EMDR Psychodynamic Person Centered Therapy


44 Cooper Street • Woodbury, NJ 08096

4 | September/October 2019

Production Manager Lisa Celfo Editorial Assistant Julia Ognibene Cover Photographer Isabel Dreher Katelyn Shea • Web Designer • (215) 366-3316

Superior Graphics Print Management LLC publishes South Jersey MOM™ monthly and distributes it throughout the region. The publication is available free of charge at select locations. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without the authorization of the publisher. Superior Graphics Print Management, LLC, Publisher of South Jersey MOM P.O. BOX 268 • Wenonah, NJ 08090 Main: (609) 670-1794 Fax: (856) 210-1524 All materials and services provided in this magazine are for informational or educational purposes only

Enter Your Child’s Photo to Be On Our Next Cover Every issue South Jersey MOM features a local child on the cover. If you think you have the “Cutest Kid in Town”, send a 4x6 photo to South Jersey MOM. P.O. Box 268, Wenonah, NJ 08090. On back of photo write child’s name and age along with guardian contact info.



Chance to win prizes and more!

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what to do when your vehicle breaks down H

ow you fare when your vehicle fails is often a matter of how you respond. The decisions you make are important and can have positive or negative consequences. Fortunately, most problems are preventable.

w Register on and download our

PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS ARE KEY: w Get in the habit of conducting periodic safety checks to make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition. w A safety check includes tires, lights, belts, hoses, fluids, and windshield wipers. w Read your owner's manual to clearly understand which dash lights or signals indicate your vehicle is not operating properly and what to do in such situations. w Before a road trip, arrange for a free test of your vehicle's battery, starting, and charging system. This can help determine how much life is left in your battery and if any other components need repairs.

app for quick easy Roadside Assistance in just a few clicks. Or, program your cell phone with emergency numbers, including AAA, and keep a backup written list in your glove compartment. w Always carry a well-stocked emergency kit and familiarize yourself with the use of safety flares, warning triangles and other emergency equipment. IF YOUR VEHICLE DOES BREAK DOWN: w Pull off the road as far away from traffic as possible. Remain with your vehicle. w If you get out of your vehicle, watch carefully for traffic. w Never stand behind or directly in front of your vehicle. w If you CANNOT pull off the road switch on safety/emergency flashers. If you could get struck from behind, do not stay in the vehicle.

w Make sure your car is visible to other

motorists; turn on emergency flashers, raise the hood, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or hold it in place with a closed window, place flares or warning triangles to direct cars around your vehicle. w If you smell fuel or see a fuel leak, do NOT light flare and extinguish any lit cigarette. w Communicate your situation. We're here 24/7/365 to provide fuel, change tires, jump your battery, and tow your vehicle if we can't get it running on the spot. If you feel you are in an unsafe situation make sure the dispatcher is aware of your concern. w With our app you can track your truck, identify the driver, and get updates on the truck's ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). Article Credit AAA Midatlantic Visit

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HOW DETERMINATION & DANCING HELPED JUDY THROUGH BREAST CANCER THE IMPORTANCE OF A TEAM Judy is six years cancer free this October. She credits her doctors and oncology team for helping her survive each twist and turn. She lauds her Virtua nurses as “phenomenal,” describing them as compassionate, knowledgeable and encouraging. An oncology social worker was also an important part of Judy’s team to provide education and support for not only Judy, but also her husband and children – the youngest was 9 at the time.

“Take control of your own health. If you’re concerned that you may have cancer, but don’t receive a definitive answer, keep pursuing a diagnosis until it’s ruled out.“ Judy with her husband Cliff and children from L to R Julia, Gabrielle and Sam


udy Stokes advises every woman to check “the girls" and do it every month. Set a regular date, such as the day of your birthday, and make it your monthly breast self-exam day. Judy knows what she’s talking about—a breast self-exam saved her life. Judy discovered a lump during a breast self-exam. She was young, healthy, a non-smoker, and had breastfed three children. In other words, Judy was an unlikely candidate, yet she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The lump didn’t show up on a diagnostic mammogram, which is more detailed than a standard mammogram, but a biopsy confirmed that Judy had breast cancer. When she and her husband learned the results, her doctor told her, “you saved your own life." The next year was a series of ups and downs. Initially, Judy opted for a lumpectomy, but further testing showed that she had

6 | September/October 2019

invasive ductal carcinoma, a common cancer that spreads beyond the breast ducts and into the surrounding tissue. She underwent two rounds of chemotherapy and after many discussions, decided to undergo a double mastectomy (surgical removal of both breasts) followed by four weeks of radiation. Through the stress of what Judy calls her cancer roller coaster, she persevered. DANCING THROUGH IT ALL As a dancer, Judy was concerned about maintaining her fitness and was determined to continue exercising throughout her treatments. Her cancer team at Virtua helped her find appropriate exercises and gave her techniques to manage the chemotherapy side effects. Near the end of her second course of chemotherapy, Judy performed in a dance recital.

JUDY’S ADVICE FOR FACING CANCER “Take control of your own health. If you’re concerned that you may have cancer, but don’t receive a definitive answer, keep pursuing a diagnosis until it’s ruled out,” says Judy. “If you are diagnosed with cancer, get a second opinion. For me, it confirmed that I was getting the right treatment at Virtua.” “Don’t do it alone. Reach out to your loved ones. And, reach out to other survivors because their experience is invaluable,” advises Judy. “Also, make sure you have the best medical team on your side. I made it through because I had wonderful doctors, the constant support of my husband and children, and my faith.” Most importantly, “check the girls every month and make your annual mammogram a priority!” The Penn Medicine | Virtua Cancer Program offers advanced treatments and personalized support for those with suspected or diagnosed breast cancer. Offices are located in Moorestown, Voorhees and Washington Township. To speak with a Virtua Women’s Navigator, call 844-VWOMEN-7 (844-896-6367).

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Survival Guide



ack-to-school, already?!? You can almost hear the whining that summer’s over and excited squeals that school is about to begin! Time to buy school supplies, set your alarm clocks for early mornings at the bus stop and polish apples for the new teacher. And time to peruse South Jersey MOM’s special Back-toSchool section for after school programs, educational support services and healthy lifestyle activities. Learn where to go and who to contact to make your child’s education effortless and extracurricular activities easy. Find programs to help your family have a smart, healthy, and stress-free school year.

Now Registering for September 2019!

Our mission: To share the love of Jesus with children, through the Word of God and by providing a safe, nurturing environment in which children can grow and learn. Accepting students 3 and 4 years old by Oct. 1, 2019*

Serving South Jersey families for over 50 years St. John’s Christian Nursery School 149 Ganttown Road • Turnersville, NJ Visit to request an info packet or call 856-227-3722 for more details *Students must be potty-trained to attend.

8 | September/October 2019

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Discover your capable, confident Montessori child.

Now enrolling!

Discover your capable, confident Montessori child. At Guidepost, your child will enter a wonderful world of activities, tools, and learning materials, designed to captivate her interest and inspire her budding intelligence in remarkable ways. Early childhood is a brief moment in time when your child’s mind develops rapidly, and she establishes foundational character traits. Take advantage of this critical age!

Visit us online today to RSVP for an event or schedule a tour.

Visit us online to RSVP for an event or schedule a tour today! Guidepost Montessori at Laurel Oak

GP090719 1004 Laurel Oak Voorhees Township, NJ 08043 (848) 999-9456 Spanish Immersion available.

Toddler • Preschool Kindergarten

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It’s easy to tell when our students feel a sense of accomplishment!

Private Special Education … an Option You Should Know About! Sometimes, it starts with a twinkle in the eye. Just a little spark of curiosity that soon blossoms into a journey of discovery, learning and achievement. That’s because at our private special education schools, we see beyond a child’s disability, and awaken the joy and creative expression within. Our schools are welcoming places where students feel at home and are able to enjoy a rich and rewarding social life. Our students feel cherished, well cared for and respected for a very good reason—it is part of our mission and our commitment. Students at our special education schools experience a school day as it should be—filled with discovery, achievement, learning and friendship. Here, they have people they know they can count on—outstanding teachers, therapists, counselors, psychologists and job coaches who constantly encourage and support them.

With individualized attention, on-site therapies and vocational training, our schools deliver unparalleled services for students with special needs. Our New Jersey Department of Education certified special education teachers, licensed therapists and counselors provide expert, advanced instruction and support … along with plenty of smiles.

These unique services are provided at NO COST for families. Find out if private special education is the right fit for your child. Our staff can help answer your questions. To find out more about what programs may be right for your child, call us at 1-800-697-8555 or visit

HollyDELL School | Garfield Park Academy | Larc School | St. John of God Community Services Copyright ©2019 Coalition of Special Education Schools

10 | September/October 2019

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Cherry Hill Robotics Club Summer Camps • Evening & Saturday Sessions

Our Robotics Club is geared for grade school and middle school boys and girls. We bring “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to your child in a fun camp type atmosphere.

• LEGO,VIRTUAL and VEX Robotics • Coding JAVA & Blocky • New Young Engineers for 6-8 year olds • Competition Teams now forming

The camp is run by NJ Certified teachers

3815 Church Road • Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

856.424.2777 •

Keller Williams Roach, REALTORS®

381 Egg Harbor Road, Suite 2, Sewell, NJ 08090


Cell: 609 .670.1794 Office: 856.582.1200

The SIMILA Group

Each office is independently owned and operated

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10 Ways to KICK START the School Year By Lisa Figueiredo


hile the summer months are filled with carefree days, swimming, pool parties and lazy days, the new school year seems to start as quickly as it ended. With back to school ads starting in July, preparation for the first day comes well before the eve of the big day. It can be a daunting task; buying supplies, regaining the knowledge from the prior year; getting back on schedule and figuring out meals and after school activities. There are many ways to ensure the first day of school goes out without a hitch, well at least to make it go smoother. ➨ PLAN BEFORE YOU SHOP Come armed with a list of required school supplies. Many schools sent them out at the end of the school year with your child’s reports card. Some schools will even include that list on their website. Asses your child’s clothing needs. Take a day to donate old clothes. It’s a good idea to shop early to avoid stress of not being able to find things. Also, be sure to discuss budget with your child to avoid drama in the store. There is always a certain thrill that comes with putting together that super special new first day of school outfit, a great way to create excitement for a fresh year. ➨ GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP Your child would be at their best without a full night of sleep. Maintaining regular bedtimes and wake-up routines before school starts is a crucial step to prepare your child for class and a practical way to cut down on first-day stress. It is also a good way to ensure they are at maximum capacity for learning all school year long.

12 | September/October 2019

➨ CREATE A FAMILY CALENDAR A dry erase board works great. You can keep track of practices, games, meetings, parties and family events. This will help in scheduling and meal preparation. Posting the schedule in a central location will keep everyone on track in the hustle and bustle of life. ➨ FUEL THEIR MIND While it may not be practical to set aside time for a family breakfast every day, start the year off with high protein nutritious breakfast and set your children up for success. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables, milk and yogurt in their school lunches. Younger children will find cut out shapes and animal shaped sandwiches a cool way to start the year. ➨ TAKE A PRACTICE RUN If your child is starting a new school, they may have orientation. If not, take a trip to the school. Walk to the bus stop or time the trip from the parking lot to the front door of the school. Be sure to get to the bus stop early to avoid stress of rushing. Post bus schedules in an area where everyone can find it. Take a drive to the school to see how long it will take, during rush hour. ➨ TALK ABOUT IT It may help to discuss with children just starting school or changing schools any concerns they may have about the new school year. Avoiding some uncertainty may ease some of their stress. It’s also a good way to get them excited about new experiences. ➨ CREATE EXCITEMENT According to mother of three Kelly Citrone, a preschooler, kindergartner, and 6 month-old

baby, “I let them choose their favorite back pack and pick out special clothes. We do their hair and talk about the fun they are going to have and why it is so important to listen and learn new things.” ➨ CAPTURE THE MOMENT Get your child excited about the big day, by setting up a photo shoot. You can use a chalk board or card board apple to display name and grade or even what they want to be when they grow up. You can chronicle the years for a memory that will endure. ➨ DEVELOP A PARTNERSHIP WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHERS If possible try to set up a meeting beforehand. It’s a good idea to stay actively involved in your child’s learning throughout the school year. Attend parent teach conferences. This will help you get to know your child’s teachers, their schedule and academic expectations. You can establish communication with your child’s teacher to monitor their performance throughout the school year via email or phone. Get involved in your child’s education by attending PTA meetings. ➨ PLAN AHEAD With a bit of preparation you can avoid the stress and rush on the big day. Make meals ahead of time, pack book bags, set the alarms, and plan week night meals around activities. While even with lots of preparation there will be first day drama, by following a few key steps you can ensure your child will have a successful first day and school year.

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to host

Free Face Painting Demonstrations Character Appearances

Lots of vendor tables with info for all your back to school needs.

Call Chris Ognibene • 609.670.1794 Cherry Hill Mall Saturday, Sept 7, 2019 12pm-4pm

Moorestown Mall Saturday, Sept 28, 2019 12pm-4pm W ACCEPT ING NO

wha t u yo would do? OCT 19, 2019 thru APR 19, 2020

H Hip Hop H Tap H Jazz H Ballet H Lyrical/Contemporary H Ages 3-Adult






Tumbletyme Fitness

(ages 2-5) and Acrobatics (ages 6-18)

Family owned and operated for 30 years!

230 Maple Avenue • Marlton, NJ 08053

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ESSENTIALS By Dr. Vivian Vega, Chair of the Department of OB-GYN at Inspira Medical Center Woodbury


s your delivery date approaching? If yes, expecting mothers should have their bags ready to go! In fact, it’s never too early to pack your bag, but we suggest doing this no later than 36 weeks. Not only because things can happen earlier than expected but also because it’s just easier to plan what you’ll need ahead of all the excitement right before your due date. At Inspira Health, we’ve helped thousands of moms with a seamless and comfortable delivery. To help you prep for your birth experience before you even arrive at the hospital, here’s our essential hospital bag packing guide.

FOR DELIVERY It’s important to remember key items that help hospitals to begin the delivery process. Expecting mothers should always bring their purses and wallets – it’s important to have an ID, medical insurance card, and list of your medications. You’ll want to have these items handy for a quick and easy check-in at the hospital so you can focus on what matters – your soon-to-be newborn. While some may be deterred over safety concerns, newer hospitals such as Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill (opening late 2019) are installing personal safes in hospital rooms, allowing mothers to secure their personal belongings. Welcoming your baby is an exciting new chapter you’ll want to treasure for years to come. Families should pack a baby book to capture some birth mementos. Upon delivery, an Inspira Health nurse can help gather baby’s first hair, footprints, weight, and other memorable keepsakes.

Is your delivery date approaching? If yes, expecting mothers should have their bags ready to go! In fact, it’s never too early to pack your bag, but we suggest doing this no later than 36 weeks. FOR MOM We want you to feel comfortable throughout your stay. At Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill, we will offer state-of-the-art amenities in private labor-delivery-recovery-postpartum rooms including wireless fetal monitoring capabilities, personal refrigerator for breast milk storage, and a jetted tub to soothe and assist mothers. Beyond in-hospital amenities, we encourage mothers to bring personal toiletries and garments – such as a hair brush, lip balm, and even a favorite tooth-

14 | September/October 2019

paste – for optimal comfort. Consider packing flip flops for the shower and slippers to walk around. We also recommend bringing your own robe to comfortably roam around the Maternity center – you’ll want to move around a bit. If you are planning to breastfeed, we strongly encourage bringing a breastfeeding bra – it’ll make you feel confident and at ease for those moments when you have to breastfeed with family and friends in the room. FOR YOUR BIRTH PARTNER We don’t want to forget about your partner! While most hospitals provide comfortable overnight accommodations for partners to participate in the birthing experience, we always suggest bringing your own pillows and blankets for a more relaxed stay. We also encourage partners to pack some extra change and small bills for the gift shop and to satisfy their midnight food cravings – you’ll become best friends with the vending machines. And if there is one thing we’ve learned over the years – partners are always hungry – so if the vending machine won’t be enough be sure to pack some of your favorite snacks. FOR HOMECOMING DAY Don’t delay your homecoming! Make sure to have baby’s car seat secured for the ride home. Purchase and install / practice installing your car seat well in advance of your due date. If you have never purchased and installed a car seat – ensuring you’re doing it right might be harder than you think. Your midwife, obstetrician and pediatrician can be helpful in the process and connect you with additional online and local resources. This is one of many reasons why it’s best to plan your pediatric care while you’re pregnant. In addition to your car seat, you’ll want to have a comfortable and weather-appropriate outfit for baby’s first trip. And for mom, we recommend you bring loose, comfortable clothes for your travel home. Your birthing experience and first moments with your newborn should be stress-free. Get ready for the big day with our essential hospital bag for a memorable experience from your admittance to homecoming day. Inspira currently offers maternity services at medical centers in Elmer, Vineland and Woodbury. Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill opens late 2019. For more information on maternity and pediatric services, please call 888-312-4784.

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recipe corner


all is here, and with it, the harvest season of two favorite superfoods, apple and pumpkin. Many know the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do you know just how “good for you” apples and pumpkin are? Both contain an impressive list of antioxidants, fiber, minerals such as calcium, potassium, and numerous vitamins and other essential nutrients required for good health. Pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, and it’s chock full of healthy nutrients that you can feel pleased about serving to your family. So happy fall ya’ll, hope you enjoy these recipes, especially the pumpkin soup which is a recipe I came up with for my husband who loves soup, and pumpkin, so it’s the perfect match!


• 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin • 1 cup heavy cream • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional • 1 - 2 tbs. pure maple syrup • Sea salt, to taste • Black pepper, to taste

Add broth to a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add pumpkin, mix well and reduce to simmer. Add heavy cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, salt and pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes. Note: Top with croutons, cooked crumbled turkey bacon, pumpkin seeds or an additional dash of cinnamon before serving if desired.


• 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
 • 2 tbs. raw sugar or brown sugar
 • 2 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
 • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
 • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
 • 1 cup milk or almond milk
 • 1/2 cup applesauce • 1 egg
2 tbs. melted butter • 1 apple, peeled and chopped fine
 In a bowl; whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl; whisk together milk, applesauce, egg and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in the chopped apples. Heat skillet over low-medium heat, melt a tablespoon of butter on heated skillet. Once butter has melted, add about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake to the pan. Let cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface and bottom is lightly browned. Carefully flip pancakes with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans, if desired. As always, Bon Appetit! Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio is the author of “Seasoned With Love, Treasured Recipes” & “Lisa Ann’s Seasoned With Love II”, and the children’s book, “Snicker Learns An Important Lesson.” Visit her blog or Facebook page

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September/October 2019 | 15

Tips for Maintaining an ORGANIZED Home


his time of year, family life can get a little messy. School schedules and sports activities mix with work commitments, and before long the house is as cluttered as the calendar. Fall is the perfect time of year to recommit to an organized household so you can keep the chaos contained. With these tips, you can make small changes to help you get organized and stay that way. Embrace routines. The idea of dedicating large chunks of time to organizing and tidying the house can be overwhelming. However, making time to clean as you progress through the day can help control clutter and keep the time commitment more manageable. Commit to cleaning up the kitchen after dinner each night. Set expectations for kids to pick up their rooms before bed. Before long, routines become productive habits that make a visible difference. Purge the excess. Over time, nearly everyone collects too much stuff, and clutter is often more an indication of too much volume than poor organization. Items are purchased to replace outdated things, but

16 | September/October 2019

the old pieces sometimes don’t actually get discarded. Getting control of your clutter starts with eliminating the things you no longer want or need. A good strategy is to create piles of items: keep, sell, donate and discard. Create a drop zone. In most homes, the entryway is a catchall for family belongings that get shed with each pass through the door. It’s convenient to have shoes, coats, backpacks and other essentials ready to grab as you head out, so instead of fighting the inevitable jumble, find a way to organize it. A stylish drop zone using ClosetMaid’s Space Creations organizers is a solution that attractively contains all those essentials. The line includes a range shelving kits, complementing drawers, baskets, rods and more so you can customize the storage unit to your exact space and needs. Avoid junk piles. Nearly every home has at least one junk pile, drawer or even room. In most cases, the reason is that the contents are a mish-mash of items that don’t really have any place else to go. Make a point to identify ways to create order, whether it’s adding drawer inserts to contain all the odds and ends or buying a standing file to capture bills and mail. Be mindful about use. When you’re on a mission to eliminate excess clutter, it can be tempting to go overboard putting things away. It’s important to be realistic about where you store the things you need and err on the side of keeping the things you use regularly within reach. This may mean getting creative about how you organize or even adding new storage containers or furniture, but remember being organized is only helpful if it’s also practical. (Family Features) Find more ideas for better home organization this busy season at

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ACT, DANCE, SING and Everything in Between

Performing Arts Academy • Class for Pre-K through Adult • Programs for Homeschoolers

OPEN HOUSE Sept 5th 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Register at the open house and get your

REGISTRATION FEE WAIVED Please present this ad.

27 S. Black Horse Pike • Blackwood, NJ • 856.302.6485

School of Dance


Sept 4th & 5th • 6pm-8pm

Classes include: Musical Theatre, Ballet, Contemporary/Modern, Hip Hop, Tap, & Acro, Teen classes, Creative Dance & Dance 1 Register at any open house and get your

REGISTRATION FEE WAIVED Please present this ad.

Cherry Tree Crossing Center • 475 Hurffville Cross Keys Road • Sewell, NJ • 856.582.4422

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Distracted Driving

What Have You Been Teaching Your Children?


istracted driving has rightfully been called an epidemic. It is ubiquitous. Just about every time we drive we see drivers using their phones and engaging in other activities that take their eyes off the road. Studies now show that the vast majority of us are more concerned that we, or someone we love, will be in a crash caused by a distracted driver than a drunk driver. When it comes to our children, unfortunately we have justification for being worried about car crashes. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for our children until they reach age 24. Distracted driving crashes are now believed to be responsible for nearly 60% of serious teen crashes, or about three times as many as for any other age group. Ask any parent if they would do anything to keep their children safe and they, like me, would of course emphatically say “yes.” Yet, I frequently drove distracted with my children in the car. I would check texts and e-mails and have meals while driving. Looking back it’s hard to believe I would take chances driving with passengers who were the most important people in the world to me. I was never in a crash while driving distracted but that doesn’t make it right. I no longer drive distracted. I stopped driving distracted after my daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver. She was walking across a street in an intersection on her way to her summer job on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk. A 58-year old man was reaching for his GPS, took his eyes off the road, rolled through a stop sign and hit Casey. Despite it being a beautiful summer day, he said he never saw her. After Casey’s death, I established (End Distracted Driving), a nonprofit that provides educational resources about distracted driving prevention and makes distracted driving presentations available upon request. Since 2010 I have given more than 700 talks to middle, high school and college students and at a wide variety

”Teens whose parents drive distracted are more than twice as likely to also drive distracted“

18 | September/October 2019

of businesses and conferences. More than 70% of students I speak with tell me that their moms and dads regularly drive them distracted. So, in addition to unnecessarily exposing our children to traffic crash risk, many of us are setting a bad example for our children. Teens whose parents drive distracted are more than twice as likely to also drive distracted. “My mom and dad are such hypocrites when it comes to distracted driving.” Parents constantly warn their children not to drive distracted, yet will text, e-mail, access social media or watch videos while driving. As parents why do we believe that critical safety messages from us to our children will be effective if tainted with hypocrisy? I am encouraged when I hear teens telling me that they can’t drive distracted like mom and dad because they have to set a good example for safe driving for their little brothers and sisters. Given the lack of good role modeling of safe driving by many parents, we are developing alternative ways to keep kids safe from distracted driving. Working with experts from across the country, we will release elementary school health class distracted driv-

ing lesson plans in early 2020. Our EndDD. org lesson plans will teach children about distractions, including recognizing when mom, or dad, or an older sibling, a bus driver, or another parent in a car pool is looking at their phone and not at the road. Children will be taught an effective and respectful way to ask their drivers to drive safer. Would you put down your phone if your child said the following? “Mom I Love You But I Don’t Feel Safe When You Drive Me and Look at Your Phone.” Our goals are to give children the tools to speak up for their safety, as well as to create a generation who will view distracted driving like drunk driving- totally unacceptable. However, we need not wait until our children learn about distracted driving in the classroom to begin teaching them about safe driving. Our children, as young as 6 or 7 years-old, are learning how to drive by watching us. Experts all agree that the best way to teach our children to be safe drivers is to be the driver we want our children to be, modeling safe driving every time we drive. Aren’t our children worth it? Joel Feldman is an attorney in Philadelphia with the law firm of Anapol Weiss. He has given more than 700 distracted driving presentations at schools, businesses, traffic safety, medical and legal conferences. He can be reached at

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When calling advertisers, please say you saw it in SJMOM! September/October 2019 | 19

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