Keep that Kids Table Busy {EASY printable crafts}

happyturkeyAh, the kids table. A no man’s land of uneaten food, spilled milk, and restless little ones. Before you park them in their seats with an iPad each and pray that you can finish your stuffing and one glass of wine before chaos ensues, read on for some easy craft ideas (I mean EASY) that might just keep them entertained long enough to have two glasses of wine and some actually still warm turkey.

indexFirst up, dress the part. These pilgrim’s bonnets are too cute, and they will love wearing them. Levy came home from school with one last year and I scoured the internet (okay did a quick google search) to find the template because I am honestly SO BAD AT CRAFTS that I need a template for a pilgrim’s hat. If you do as well, you can thank Martha.

Next, cover the entire table with craft paper. If you don’t have any on hand flatten out some paper bags and tape ‘em down. Make that entire area a spill friendly, crayon friendly zone. To make it pleasing to the eye (and to settle any “he’s drawing on my area” disputes that might come up) draw in “place mats” for each child like Sweet Paul did here.

Print out some reinforcements, because we ALL know that drawing on the table, while a thrill for little ones, is a short lived thrill at best. Made By Joel has some adorable printables (free!) like this Thanksgiving place mat, and when that gets old break out the big guns like this printable Camping Scene. So cute you’ll want to keep one for the grown up table.

Finally, bribe them with pie. Works like a charm.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Sending out love and happy thoughts to all of you, how thankful I am to have you read my stuff, much love! xoxo

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My Must Haves: Everyday

meNatural Calm Anti Stress Drink is key for me, with magnesium and calcium I mix it with lemon seltzer and it helps smooth out any rough edges {find it at Healthy Living Market and Cafe}

My sister in law from CA turned me on to Weleda Salt Toothpaste, and while it isn’t for everyone, I am addicted to the natural grittiness and will never use “normal” toothpaste again {find it at Healthy Living Market and Cafe}

I bought this Beautycounter shampoo for the kids and got hooked on the sweet tangerine scent, now the whole family uses it. It makes my hair super shiny and soft, I love it.

PG Tips tea. If I don’t have it, it’s best to not talk to me. Probably average about 4-6+ cups a day with vanilla coconut milk, one Stevia. No exceptions. Have been known to keep it in my bag and use it at restaurants.

I’ve been using Crabtree and Evelyn Aloe Vera lotion since I was little, and it is one of my favorite scents year round. It’s hard to come by though, so when I find it I hoard it.

When it’s been too long between hair cuts and my ends are just ick, Moroccan Oil makes it all okay again.

I LOVE THESE WIPES HOLDERS! Well done, Huggies. I have one in every bag.

I try to get some turmeric in every single day, and this Fire Cider is quite the wake up call every morning. Totally addicted thanks to my sister in law from MA. {find it at Healthy Living Market and Cafe}

I’m not a makeup person, but when I want to go from day to night Nars smudgy eyeshadow helps me make the transition and I’ve been using this one for years. Just a little swipe and you’re ready.

My iphone and sunglasses are the only things I will turn the car around for and go back home to get, and monogrammed sunglasses are a must have for me in a classic tortoiseshell. It’s a timeless look that goes with literally any outfit, any time of year. {moon and lola}

This bordeaux polish from Essie is a winter manicure must. Somehow subtle and bold at the same time.

I consider myself a coconut water connoisseur, and Unoco is my new fave, the pinker the better.

outfit

Pearls and a scarf are an everyday necessity for me. For night I try a little more sparkle, these earrings from J.Crew are so chic, plus 30% right off right now.

Simple button downs are a closet staple, and are perfect for nursing moms like me. Ralph Lauren’s oxford shirts are great quality with the most flattering cut.

I have taken riding pants to every day wear sort of by accident. Partly because I wear them a lot to begin with, partly because since I just had a baby they are stretchy and the only things that fit, and partly because they are comfortable and 1,000 times more chic than yoga pants. My favorites are in a subdued navy or classic black. Go try some on at Cheshire Horse, you’ll see what I mean.

This Hermes bangle is one of my favorite gifts to have received, and it goes with absolutely everything. Plus you can take it off and let a baby chew on it without worry.

Driving mocs for day, every day. Hunter boots for rainy days or snow. Buy them once and wear them always till they wear out.

 

 

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Why I’m Thankful for Small Businesses

2014_SBSThis Saturday, November 29th is “Small Business Saturday”, where people are encouraged to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. This year, the big day is Nov 29th, but why should you “Shop Small”?

First, shopping at small, local businesses can have a significant impact on the local economy. Businesses pay sales tax to the city and county where the business is located. When patrons make the choice to leave the area to do their shopping, they are supporting areas outside of their own. The money paid to local governments by small, local businesses is used for many things, including the financing of roads, public schools, sidewalks and parks. In addition, those tax dollars help to fund additional public service workers such as police officers and firefighters. Many cities subsidize youth sports leagues that are sponsored by the parks department. The money used to fund such activities comes from taxes, which are paid in part by small local businesses as sales tax revenue.

Small local businesses provide job opportunities for local residents. This can be in the way of part-time help, or full-time management. Local jobs keep the residents in town during their shift, so the advantages extrapolate outward as the employee spends money at the local restaurant during meal breaks, gasses up at the local station to get to work and stops at the local grocery store on the way home at night. The advantage of a small local business employing local residents creates a domino effect that helps the community as a whole.

In addition, small local businesses typically provide better customer service than their large, corporate counterparts. The small business owner often lives in the community, worships, plays sports and socializes with community members, and cares about the individuals who patronize his business. Because of his personal involvement with the community, he will strive to provide the best service possible to customers.

I, myself, am a Small Business. Through those sidebar ads you see to the right of this post and the ads people place in Mamatoga Magazine I am able to keep this website going. If it wasn’t for those local small businesses I wouldn’t be in business, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity they give me to keep doing what I love doing, and to keep up this site. I shop at their businesses as well, I like to keep the circle of support going (plus I just really, really like all of them). So when you look at those ads, know that those local small businesses also are supporting OTHER small businesses, and that is pretty amazing. So if you like Mamatoga, please consider supporting these businesses as well, and keeping that local support going. It might seem like a “small” decision to “shop small”, but it has a huge impact on our community.

shopsmall

 

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On Breasts

talley7

me and Talley, post nursing

I spent a great deal of my teenage years and early twenties thinking about breasts. Specifically, my breasts, and their size. It didn’t help things that the majority of my peers seemed focus on breast size as well. My last name, Witte (pronounced like “witty”) was paired up with a really cool nickname in middle school, where some of the boys would call me “Titty Witte”. SO GREAT, right? Adolescent boys can be so sweet. This nickname wasn’t bestowed upon me because I had large breasts and these teenage boys thought that was awesome, no. It was the opposite. It was made to poke fun at the fact that I had small breasts, I was “flat-chested”, one of the most undesirable physical characteristics for teenage girls, right up there with acne. I spent so much time crying about it, humiliated, wishing that I looked different, wishing that I looked “better”, wishing that I fit in more according to the extremely skewed 8th grade boy idea of beauty. I can still remember walking home alone from middle school after a particularly humiliating day, pulling my backpack straps up over my shoulders tightly, actually covering my breasts with these straps almost accidentally in an effort to hide myself, angry with myself for caring so much, just wishing I could disappear.

Even after I became a little bit more mature and actually wore a bra in high school, the nickname still stuck, based solely on the fact that the mean kids had been using it for so long, and it stung, just like any mean spirited nickname would. It stung because it was a joke about my appearance, and it was something I couldn’t hide. Even if I wore baggy tops or something to camouflage the fact that I wasn’t some busty goddess at the age of 15, I felt somehow inadequate, and I carried that feeling with me, unshakable.

I was self conscious about it, embarrassed about it, and I hate to admit that it took me so long to finally just get over it. My mom helped. She explained to me that of course everyone comes in all shapes and sizes, and that although middle school can be a minefield of mean nicknames and awkwardness, it eventually (mercifully) ends and you can choose to hang out with people that aren’t focused on what your bra size is. And I did get over it. Now when I think about the teenaged torment “Titty Witte” caused I mainly feel bad for the kids that felt the need to humiliate someone else based on their appearance. There must have been something going on in their lives to make them take it upon themselves to put others down, and I only hope they’ve gotten over it too.

After having my first child 8 years ago, once I was done breastfeeding him, things in that department didn’t quite go back the way they were. At all. I went from having these really fantastic pregnancy and nursing boobs to literally going back down to the size I was as a teenager. I went back to Titty Witte size. As an almost 30 year old. I was crushed, and felt that self-consciousness about my appearance rush back even though I tried to tell myself how silly it was. But I was a grown woman, I wanted to look like one. I thought that having big breasts was what “looking like a woman” meant. At least I thought that having breasts bigger than an AA cup meant that. It didn’t help things that I had to find bras in the kids section. The ones meant for teenagers, “training bras”. The ones in the same aisle where they sold underwear with My Little Pony on them.

Thankfully as I got older, I also accepted my appearance and really started to appreciate it. Clothes actually fit easier when you have small breasts, my flat-chested friends will all agree with me on that one. You also don’t get that “My eyes are up here guys” thing that can be really embarrassing. Jogging? No problem. My back didn’t hurt because of large breasts. I could buy super cute bras with teeny thin little straps and didn’t have to deal with thick straps cutting into my skin because of the weight of my breasts. Bathing suits were great, I could buy ones with little tops that didn’t make me feel exposed or like I was showing too much, because I didn’t have much to show. Strapless dresses were my friend, and I could wear a low neckline while still being pretty modest and conservative in my style.

Three more kids later, my mind is once again focused on breasts on a daily basis like it was in middle school, partly because I’m breastfeeding my daughter, but mainly because my mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Coincidentally enough it was during Breast Cancer Awareness Month that my mom became aware of her own breast cancer, and she started out on the very scary and sometimes very confusing path of surgeries, treatments, doctors appointments, and difficult decisions that have come with the diagnosis. She faces a long road, one that might have to include a double mastectomy. It’s a road I now have to consider myself, it might be one my daughters have to consider as well.

And of course, I cried. I cried because of the unfairness of it, I just cried because I was scared. I cried and I laughed a little bit, because of how much attention I paid to my breasts and their “shortcomings” when I was younger. How important they were, how much focus I put on them, when they were perfect all along. How much I let small minded people make me feel small. And when my mom first told me about the cancer, my knee jerk reaction was “Get rid of them”.

I sat there in the waiting room at the hospital a couple weeks ago, waiting for my mother to get out of surgery. I had the baby with me, since it was a long day of tests and surgery and I wanted to be there for the whole time, and I needed to nurse her. I had one of those light bamboo swaddles with me as a cover, a pretty dusty rose colored one, light enough to let the air come through but heavy enough that you couldn’t see through it. Talley though is a noisy nurser, she burps and snorts and makes it completely clear that there is a baby breastfeeding under this cover even though you can’t actually see it. The man next to me was bothered, I could tell, and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat, looking around the room to see if anyone else was bothered by me. He leaned over the three (three!) seats separating us and asked me in a low voice, “Isn’t there somewhere for you to do that? I mean, do you have to do it right here?”.

I was embarrassed at first, my face flushed, and I felt like everyone in the waiting room was looking at us. Part of me wanted to scream at this guy. Are you serious?! I wanted to yell at him, pointing out that all of us were there waiting for someone we presumably cared about to get out of surgery and he could be a little more sensitive. I wanted to tell him to mind his own business, to tell him to piss off, to tell him to shut his stupid mouth because he couldn’t even see what I was doing in the first place. I was angry. So angry that this guy was telling me not to feed my baby, under a cover, in a hospital waiting room, while I waited for my mother to get out of breast cancer surgery. All of these things were pinging angrily around in my brain for about fifteen seconds simultaneously before I responded with, “Yes, I do need to do this here.” He shot me a nasty look, got up, moved closer to the door, and avoided looking at me for the rest of the time he was there. When the nurse came to get him to tell him his wife was out of surgery and led him away, I felt a weird and unwelcome rush of sympathy for him, glad that his wait was over.

There’s nothing like a sudden serious illness of a loved one to make you get your priorities right where they need to be. At this point I really could not possibly care less about my breasts, my appearance, or what anyone else thinks of it. I also don’t care if anyone has a problem with me feeding my baby using my breasts in public. This is what breasts are actually here for people, so you can get the hell over it. Women who nurse in public are not exposing themselves to you, they have no desire for you to see their breasts, they aren’t “showing off” or making everyone “uncomfortable”, they are feeding their child.

I’ve been trying to find the right way to wrap this piece up, but it’s hard because there’s still so much going on. Feelings I can’t articulate and pin down. And I’m trying to remember why I started writing it. I started writing it because I feel like there is a constant lump in my throat, a constant pit in my stomach, a constant worry on my mind, and sometimes by writing about it, I can let some of it go. I know many of you have been through this already, and I wanted to write this as a way to send out support. Also as a way to tell you to not stress about the little stuff, not to worry about post-breastfeeding boobs or stretch marks, not to stress about breastfeeding or not breastfeeding, because none of it matters that much. We are all so incredibly beautiful, and it is such a shame that we often don’t let ourselves feel it until it is too late. Embrace your body, embrace yourself, and embrace those you love.

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Mamatoga Holiday Issue 2014

MamatogaHoliday2014CoverIt’s here! Many thanks to my graphic designer Jake Van Ness from Graphic Precision for making our first digital only magazine so fun to read! Every page is full of links designed to expand the experience beyond just this issue. Check out the full Winter Wonderland guide with links to all your outdoor family friendly local sports and activities, local gift guides, fun features and more. This issue has a focus on moms I love, from Markey Hutchinson from The Beaufort Bonnet Company to the incredibly talented Jennifer Maher of Your Toy Portrait, it also has gift guides from four of my favorite local moms featuring products from our local shops.

One of my favorite parts is the cover, created by the amazing people at TC Paris Bakery (home of the unbelievably good macarons). When the idea of a Santa’s Cottage Gingerbread House popped into my head, I reached out to them to see if they could do it and they enthusiastically jumped on board and somehow did it in record time. The Saratoga Downtown Business Association was so kind in finding me photos asap to help the whole thing come together, and you can find it on display at TC Paris and in Santa’s (actual) Cottage on Broadway during the Victorian Streetwalk!

Most of all, I hope that you all have a fantastic holiday season. I love doing Mamatoga because I love highlighting the people and businesses that make our area so special for families to live in. The local businesses that advertise in Mamatoga make it possible for me to bring you these Holiday Guides and info so we can all take part in our shared traditions like the Victorian Streetwalk and First Night, so many thanks to them for supporting me in this endeavor. Click through at the end of the Mamatoga Issue to check out the brand new Saratoga Social Magazine as well! Robin and I had so much fun putting it together and we are so excited to share it with you! xoxo

Click here to read the Holiday Issue!

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my weekend in photos

Sometimes in my working mom life, and in my “being my own boss” life, I have to make some trade offs, and that is always true when it comes to doing the magazine. I love working with Jake from Graphic Precision, not only is he a good friend but he is the best designer, and so we try to get our two crazy schedules together to have a few days to put the magazine together. These few days mean super long hours, morning to night, and all of my attention is devoted to getting it done in time. Sometimes things throw a wrench in those plans, like this week when first Levy got sick, then Jack, but you have to get things done, and so I put the baby in the front carrier, put the sick kids on the couch in front of some Muppets Take Manhattan and made the best of it. Needless to say, it’s a tad late BUT will be coming your way today (I promise). When you are done with the Holiday Issue of Mamatoga keep clicking through to see the Premiere Issue of The Saratoga Social Magazine. Robin and I are so excited to share it with you, and it was so fun to put together (I say that now that it’s done of course).

Now, back to my crazy weekend. Since we got a little derailed it meant work continued into the weekend, but we also had Finn’s birthday party planned and the Nutcracker Tea (one of my all time favorite holiday events). I made the cake in between doing edits and welcomed the break from work to watch him celebrate with his friends (and Talley with a party hat on was much needed comic relief). I furiously edited for another few hours till it was Nutcracker Tea time, and it was just as magical this year as it has been since we started going when Levy was two. The kids all sit along the stage and watch the dancers, oohing and ahhing over the costumes (the Sugar Plum Fairies and the Flowers are always a big hit). Levy’s ballet instructors from Myers Ballet School were in the performance and Levy practically swooned when “Miss Gabby” waved to her from the stage. This is one of my all time favorite holiday events each year, and bringing Tallis with us this year made it even more special, being able to be there with my Mom and my girls.

Some more weekend highlights included here: the 9 Miles East Farm Pizza (review coming soon on The Saratoga Social), I don’t want to give too much away but you MUST TRY this pizza for the family guys, it was amazing, made with local ingredients and actually good for you, plus the kids loved it. You can order it here, such a great idea and so Saratoga that we can get farm to pizza box delivery. I am obsessed.

Look for the Yoicks! feature in the Saratoga Social magazine too, at the very tippy top of my wish list for the holidays is one of their custom Shetland sweaters in the most gorgeous shade of a pinky lavender. It is heavenly. I might also have my eye on the dusty rose Barbour with a corduroy collar too, they were meant to be together, those two.

photo 31photo 21photo 11photophoto111photo 22photo 1photo 4photo 5photo 32photo 3

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My Nursing Mom Uniform

bfeedingmamaSo this is my fourth go at breastfeeding, and so far it’s going pretty well. I’ve learned from some issues I’ve had in the past and I have to admit I’m a whole lot more confident as far as nursing goes. It’s a combination of being less self-conscious and plain old necessity, with four kids you need to be able to do stuff on the go, and that includes feeding the baby. So far I’ve nursed her in Target about a thousand times, at a movie (for kids) the other night, multiple restaurants, a photo shoot, and pretty much every outing we’ve been on as a family as well. If you have seen me and Talley out and about and I have a cover over her carrier, I’m nursing her.

The other factor that has made it easier is a great bunch of products that have made me super comfortable, some are actual breastfeeding products, some are just regular necessities that make me feel like I’m slightly pulled together even when I feel like a sweatpants wearing zombie.

Jewelry: Sometimes the smallest details have the biggest impact, and these are my current favorites. The Lotus initial necklace from Silverwood has the daintiest gold chain that hits at just the right spot at your collarbone, and is affordable enough even for a mom like me that needs to buy four initial pendants.

Another line you can find soon at Silverwood is Moon and Lola (also just seen on Oprah’s Favorite Things). First, these earrings have just enough edge to update even the simplest outfit without making me feel like I’m trying too hard, and this cuff is actually even called the Saratoga Cuff. I’m in love. Finally, I guess four is my number now, find this one at J.Crew here, or a more affordable version here.

Boyfriend jeans are my newest favorite, as I leisurely take my time to lose all the “baby weight” (I hate that term) these are the most flattering, and the most comfortable. Not to mention high waisted is the way to go now.

I have fully embraced the floppy hat, partially because my hair is so long and out of control since I haven’t gotten it cut since before I was even pregnant, and partially because this gorgeous hat is hard to resist in beautiful navy.

Frye booties are the absolute best. Find them locally here, and also check out the Seychelles ones they have in stock. Might have to snap those up…

Now that Baby Talley is getting so big she is outgrowing her little newborn carrier and I am looking to upgrade. I want something bright for the dreary winter months and have my eye on a Sakura Bloom ring sling, it’s either this yellow one or this silk one from the Bundle Store. Help me decide!

I am ALL ABOUT the oversize plaid blanket scarf this season. Seriously the bigger the better. Plus it doubles as a baby blanket to wrap around the carrier and a nursing cover. This one from ASOS fits the bill perfectly (especially the price).

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter is a permanent fixture on my nightstand. It’s the best I’ve tried yet, super soothing, gets the job done, and doubles as a lip balm for me. My lip balm on the go is this EOS sweet mint one. OBSESSED.

I can’t believe how much better nursing clothing has gotten. I love this dress from the Bundle Store (there is also a top by the same designer that I just got) and this top is so cool you’ll wear it even after you’re done nursing. Plus it has a great silhouette flattering to those of us who just birthed a human baby and might not have miraculously snapped back into pre-baby shape over the course of two weeks. Plus did you notice the front panel also doubles as a nursing cover too? So great.

As far as nursing bras go, let me share with you the BEST ONE EVER (and trust me, I have tried a LOT of them). This one. You will love it. Buy two so you can wear it when the other one is in the wash, it is that good (even for nighttime nursing).

This puffer vest has nothing to do with nursing, I just love mine from Joules, it’s the shawl neck that makes it stand out.

Recently I’ve rekindled a love affair with a high school favorite of mine, Lancome Definicils mascara, and I can’t believe I’ve been away so long. When your beauty routine needs to be no longer than two minutes, include this old favorite to make that time count.

 

 

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are you on Instagram?

instamamaMe too! Click the photo above to find me there! xoxo

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November Autumn Bites: Homemade Zesty Cranberry Sauce

autumnbitesAre you a canned cranberry sauce person or a homemade person? According to Shannon, the Learning Center Instructor from Healthy Living Market and Café, this recipe is so delicious and so easy you will never buy another can of the store bought stuff again!

Zesty Cranberry Sauce with Orange

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
12 oz fresh cranberries
Zest of one range
Juice of 1 orange
1-2 inch cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (optional)

In a medium sauce pot, combine water, sugar, cranberries, salt, orange juice, zest and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for about 10 or 15 minutes, or until the cranberries have all burst and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the optional orange liqueur, transfer to a heat-proof plastic or glass bowl and chill completely before serving.

For more recipes from Shannon, click any of the links below:

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Mamatoga November Calendar

novcal1 The Saturday Club Balloon Rockets is today at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga from 10am to 12pm. Free with museum admission.

Today is the LAST DAY to enjoy Ellms Family Farm for the 2014 season, opening at 10am. Bring the kids and enjoy many of the fun activities while having their homemade apple cider donuts or fresh kettle corn!

The Tang’s series of nine Family Saturday programs accompany work in their exhibitions. Reservations can be made one week before each week’s program by calling the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080. Today’s activity is Tubular Art. After discussing Taylor Davis’s sculpture Da, can ye no tell and André Cadere’s sculpture Untitled in I was a double, kids will make sculptures using tubes as the base, then adding colors and textures.

2 A Concert of Hope is today from 3 to 5pm at Saratoga Springs High School. This one-of-a-kind concert, featuring the Music Company Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Club, and the Joytones, will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York. This show features music the entire family can enjoy – light classical, popular, and standards. Advance tickets are available on-line for only $15 for adults and $6 for students and children under age-18 ($18 & $8 at door). Call them at 518-280-2783 for more information.

3 Toddler Story Time is today at the Saratoga Springs Public Library from 9:30 to 9:50am. Incorporating elements of The Very Ready Reading Program, these storytimes are geared towards children ages 24-42 months old and will include stories, music, and participation. Children ages 24-42 months old may register. Children attend this with a parent or caregiver. Siblings are welcome.

Also at the Saratoga Springs Public Library is Common Core Explained, from 6:30 to 8pm. Join SSPL Librarian and professional consultant Mary Ratzer, author of “RX for the Common Core” and two new releases, “Think Tank Library: Brain-Based Learning Plans for the Common Core K-5″ and “6-12.” Mary explains, through slides and anecdotes, the rationale behind common core and illustrates how its principles can be applied to help children think rather than simply memorize. Call them at 584-7860 X305 for more information.

4 It’s Election Day! To find your polling location or check your voter registration status, click here.

Tickets go on sale today for the Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid author event at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs (which will be taking place on November 13th). Kids can meet bestselling author Jeff Kinney during a one-of-a-kind roadtrip and book signing for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the 9th book in the blockbuster series! This will be a ticketed event for up to 800 people. To make this a fun and safe event, everyone in line will be required to have a ticket (no exceptions!). Nobody will be admitted to the event without a ticket. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets will go “on sale” on November 4th, by phone (518-682-4200) or in their Saratoga store only. Sorry, no web sales. Click here for more info.

Tuesday for Tots is today at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga. This is a special time for the younger visitors to gain preschool readiness skills in a fun and social environment. Join them anytime between 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm for play-dough, crafts, games, and friends! Enjoy a different theme each week, this week’s theme is Veteran’s Day.

5 Lego Club is today at the Saratoga Springs Public Library from 6:30 to 8pm. Children in grades K-5 are welcome to participate. Parents and caregivers are also welcome to attend. Kids will use their imaginations to create buildings, creatures, and other objects. This program will not include Lego robotics. There is no registration for this program. Lego Club will meet the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Preschool Chefs: Cranberry Muffins at Healthy Living Market and Cafe from 10-11am.Thursday, November 6th · 10:00–11:00am  It’s time to go crazy for cranberries!  Join them for their latest installment of “Eat, Cook, Learn” and discover just how many ways there are to eat a cranberry.  Kids will enjoy reading Wendy and Harry Devlin’s Cranberry Thanksgiving and then they’ll do a taste-test between dried and fresh cranberries.  Your kids will then be cooking up some of the book’s scrumptious cranber-rific recipes, including homemade cranberry sauce and deliciously tart cranberry bread. This class is great for kids ages 3-5; all kids must be accompanied by an adult (adult admission free). $20/ child. Register here or call them at (518) 306 4900. ps There’s also a second session of this class from 1-2pm!

7 Kids story time today at Northshire Bookstore 10:30am, free and open to the public, on their Children’s Floor.

Movement and Dance with Lili Loveday is today from 4:30 to 5:15pm at the Saratoga Springs Public Library for children in grades K-3, this workshop gives participants the chance to dance and express themselves through creative movement and music. Call them at 584-7860 to register.

8 The Holiday Reindeer Open House is today from 2 to 4pm at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Kids can meet & greet Bob & Wendy Smith’s live reindeer and listen to author Bruce Hiscock read from his book “The Big Caribou Herd”, show slides of his Alaskan travels, draw reindeer and make reindeer antlers. For all ages. No registration required. Free and open to the public.

The Tang’s series of nine Family Saturday programs accompany work in their exhibitions. Reservations can be made one week before each week’s program by calling the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080. Today’s activity is Mirror Image Art. Kids will explore Sarah Cain’s two-part artwork Separated at Birth in I was a double, then by cutting one sheet of cardstock to use as a stencil for the other, they will make two images that are the mirror inverse of each other.

9 Puppet People is today at the National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Cost is $10-$15. Puppet People will be returning to the Dance Museum’s School of the Arts Studios performing, “The Wizard of Oz”, and a puppet-making workshop will follow at 12:30 pm. Cost is $10 for the show & $15 for the workshop. Bring a brown bag lunch to eat during the break from 12:00-12:30 pm, beverages will be provided.  Walk-ins are welcome – space is limited. For more information call them at 584-2225 ext 3001.

At Northshire Saratoga today there is Saratoga Teens: Pizza Party with the authors of the Futures & Fairy Tales Group at 5pm. This is a free event – but space is limited. Registration required at the store, by phone at 518-682-4200 or by email at rperson@northshire.com.   Join them for a pizza party with the authors of the Futures and Fairy Tales Group Tour.  Three authors of great fiction for young adults will join us for a pizza dinner and great conversation about writing and about their books.

10 Registration begins today for the Teen/Adult Gingerbread House Workshops at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. For teens in grades 7-12, teachers, parents and scout leaders. Saratoga Springs School District residents ONLY may register in the Children’s Room or by phoning 584-7860 X305.

11 Did you pre-order your turkey yet? Healthy Living Market and Cafe sources their turkeys from three local, family owned and operated farms from our region – Misty Knoll Farm, Stonewood Farm and Buckley Farm. These talented farmers grow with the most responsible practices and process their birds just days before the holiday so that your Thanksgiving turkey is fresh and never frozen.

12 Preschool Storytime it today at the Saratoga Springs Public Library from 10:15 to 10:45am. Incorporating elements of The Very Ready Reading Program, these preschool storytimes are geared towards children ages 42 months – 5 years old and will include stories, music, and participation. Children ages 42 months – 5 years old may register. Children attend this preschool program independent of a parent or caregiver.  Call them at 584-7860 for more information.

13 Tickets will be on sale November 4th for today’s Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid author event at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs from 4-6pm. Kids can meet bestselling author Jeff Kinney during a one-of-a-kind roadtrip and book signing for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the 9th book in the blockbuster series! This will be a ticketed event for up to 800 people. To make this a fun and safe event, everyone in line will be required to have a ticket (no exceptions!). Nobody will be admitted to the event without a ticket. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets will go “on sale” on November 4th, by phone (518-682-4200) or in their Saratoga store only. Sorry, no web sales. Click here for more info.

Corks, Forks & Brews is tonight from 6 to 10pm at Saratoga National Golf Club to benefit the Saratoga Center for the Family. Cost: $100; $75 if 35 years old or younger. Join them for a savory wine, beer & food event where you will sip and sample a variety of select wines, craft brews and culinary delights at Saratoga National, while enjoying music by Gravity. Absolutely loved this event last year and can’t wait to go again! Click here for tickets.

14 Shelters of Saratoga is holding an Open House and Donation Drive today from 4 to 7pm. Help Shelters of Saratoga kick off Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Tour the shelter, learn how they are working to end homelessness in the Greater Saratoga region and enjoy complimentary refreshments graciously donated by local establishments. Bring a food or in-kind donation or sign up to volunteer and be entered to win a $50 gift card from Henry Street Taproom.

15 Mamatoga Magazine’s Holiday Edition will be available today! Check back for all you need to do the holidays Saratoga Style! xoxo

The Polar Express is back! Click here for more info and for tickets, and click here for Finn and Levy’s Polar Express review!

The Tang’s series of nine Family Saturday programs accompany work in their exhibitions. Reservations can be made one week before each week’s program by calling the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080. Today’s activity is Glittering Geodes. Kids will look at and discuss Erika Verzutti’s geode-like sculptures in her solo exhibition Mineral, then make their own geodes out of Model Magic clay, beads, rhinestones, and more, inspired by her work.

Saratoga Reads is doing a Book Fair at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, November 15th from 10am – 3pm.  There will be a Thanksgiving Story Time and craft at 11am and an American Girl Tea and Craft at 1pm. They will be raffling off a full-sized “Isabelle” American Girl doll for anyone who attends the Book Fair between 10am – 3pm. They will also have Saratoga Reads signature drinks in the Café, a lollipop tree and a prize wheel throughout the entire event. This Book Fair is being held during Native American Heritage month as this year’s winning book, “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich, and its junior companion books have Native American themes.

16 The Nutcracker Tea is today at SPAC and this year there are three seatings! Click here to get tickets now, they are going fast!

The Petite Retreat is the Adirondack Region’s premier luxury baby experience! This exclusive, educational day at Longfellows in Saratoga Springs will be filled with interactive booths, speakers, demo classes, a stroller terrain track, a child drop off area, deluxe attendee totes and more! Grab your ticket here before they sell out!

17  Kids After School Kitchen: Authentic Thanksgiving is today at Healthy Living Market and Cafe from 4:30 to 5:30pm. Ever wonder what the Native Americans and Pilgrims really ate on the very first Thanksgiving feast? You may be surprised to find out turkey wasn’t on the menu! In this fantastic and informative class, your kids will be chopping, mixing, and cooking their way through some delicious authentic Thanksgiving dishes.  Students should come ready to learn, ready to cook, and definitely ready to eat!  This class is great for kids aged 6-12; all kids must be accompanied by an adult (adult admission free). $30/child. Register here or give them a call at (518) 306 4900.

18 The Parent/Child Bookclub is today at the Saratoga Springs Public Library from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Please join them as they partner with Northshire Bookstore to offer a Parent/Child Book Club. If your children are between the ages of 7-12 they can join you or a favorite adult to talk about some great books (classics and contemporary), please register with Rachel Person at rperson@northshire.com. The group will meet once a month at the library (usually the 3rd Tuesday of the month).

Tuesday for Tots is today at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga. This is a special time for the younger visitors to gain preschool readiness skills in a fun and social environment. Join them anytime between 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm for play-dough, crafts, games, and friends! Enjoy a different theme each week, this week’s theme is Native Americans.

19 Lunch and Learn: Thanksgiving Stuffing, Two Ways is at Healthy Living Market and Cafe today from 11:30am to 1pm.  Thanksgiving stuffing: so simple, so vital to the meal, and so many different ways to make it memorable! In this special mid-day class, Chef Instructor Shannon Beckwith will lead participants in creating two very different but equally delicious stuffing recipes. This Hands-on class is $20; pre-registration is required.  Register here or give them a call at (518) 306 4900.

20 Preschool Chefs: Flavored Popcorn Snacks is today from 10 to 11:30am. In this super corn-y class, kids will be learning all about popcorn! Kids will examine corn kernels and find out how they get from being corn on the cob to our very favorite movie snack. They’ll then pop some of the magical, versatile corn on the stove and flavor it with some honey, molasses, and just a touch of cinnamon to make a healthy version of caramel corn! While the popcorn finishes in the oven, they’ll go out to the atrium and have some fun with Go Kids, heading back to the classroom afterward to much their healthy and yummy snack!  This class is great for kids aged 3-5; all kids must be accompanied by an adult (adult admission free). $30/child. Register here or give them a call at (518) 306 4900.

21 Wiggle and Giggle is today at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga from 11:15am to 12pm. This is a special time for younger children to learn what they can do with their bodies through guided free play. Together, care takers and the museum foster the physical development of children in a social and creative environment. Kids can crawl through tunnels, walk the balance beam, roll balls, toss bean bags, and make music with all kinds of instruments. This week’s theme is basketball.

22 FREE  Yoga in the Atrium: Gentle Vinyasa Flow at Healthy Living Market and Cafe today from 8:30–9:30am.  Join Melissa for a gentle yoga class that’s appropriate for all ages and all experience levels; it’s a very easy and relaxing class, and a great stress reliever. This Yoga class is FREE, but pre-registration is required. Register here or give them a call at (518) 306 4900.

The Tang’s series of nine Family Saturday programs accompany work in their exhibitions. Reservations can be made one week before each week’s program by calling the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080. Today’s activity is the 12th Annual Potato Turkey Festival! Come to their 12th Annual Make-a-Turkey-Out-of-a-Potato Festival where kids will make holiday centerpieces out of potatoes, pipe-cleaners, feathers, and beads. Create a fantastic bird sculpture to decorate your table!

23 Little Folks Concert: Fiddlefire! is today from 2 to 4pm at Caffe Lena – 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs. This Little Folks Concert is Free thanks to generous support from Stewart’s Shops. Reaching more than one million children via numerous TV and radio performances in his native Canada, Parents’ Choice Award Winner Chris McKhool has been hailed as a “Children’s musical star” (National Post) and “Canada’s greatest eco-troubadour for young people” (Mississauga Living Arts Centre). A champion of environmental issues and inter-cultural exchange, Chris uses his fiddle & a collection of rarely seen instruments to lead young audiences on a journey through the rhythms and melodies of all the places he has travelled: the Canadian Arctic, Indonesia, France, England, Cuba, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Indian Himalayas. Presented in an interactive style to engage kids, FiddleFire! gets the audience clapping, laughing and singing songs in an energetic and eclectic mixture of world music. Call them at 1-800-838-3006 for more info.

24 Thanksgiving Pies Made Easy is today from 5:30 to 8pm.  Do you have a love-hate relationship with pie (as in love eating it, hate making it)?  Is it one of your favorite parts of the meal but feel mystified by its creation?  Chef-Instructor Shannon Beckwith has heard this sentiment before and she has good news for you: it’s WAY easier to bake pie than you’d think!  In this class, students will discover a fool-proof method for making pie crust that’s guaranteed to work time and time again and you’ll put the crusts you make to work by creating three surprisingly simple and crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving pies: Mile-High Apple, Velvety Smooth Pumpkin Pie, and sweet, crunchy Maple Pecan Tassies.  By the time you leave the class, the intricacies of pie will be totally demystified and you’ll have a love-love relationship with this culmination of the Thanksgiving dinner! This Hands-on Class costs $30. Register here or give them a call at (518) 306 4900.

25 Tuesday for Tots is today at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga. This is a special time for the younger visitors to gain preschool readiness skills in a fun and social environment. Join them anytime between 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm for play-dough, crafts, games, and friends! Enjoy a different theme each week, this week’s theme is corn.

26 Alphabet Soup is today at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga from 10:30 to 11am. At Alphabet Soup, each week kids will learn a new letter of the alphabet through crafts, games, stories, songs, and more. This multidimensional language experience is a fun way to reinforce early literacy skills in preschoolers !

27 The Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot is today, the race starts at 8:30am on Broadway in Saratoga Springs,  just a few blocks south of the Saratoga Hotel. Click here for registration info!

28 Busy Bees: Baby Toddler Open Play Group is today from 9:30 to 10:45am, free with admission at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga. MUST be birth – 24 months. This play group has been designed exclusively for their youngest visitors and their caregivers. They will provide the space and activities for you to create an environment that fosters early childhood development in a social setting. Meet new families, make new friends, and lasting memories!

29 Paws4Reading is today from 2 to 3pmat the Saratoga Springs Public Library. These pooch partners are certified therapy dogs who are happy to sit quietly and listen appreciatively to any story your child wishes to read. Dates are subject to change. Please call them at 584-7860 X305 on the day of the program to schedule a 10-minute appointment.

30 The yummiest cold weather drink recipe ever… xoxo

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