Archive | December, 2014

Right from the Gecko

31 Dec

By Carol Band Buying presents for preteens is tough. For my son’s 12th birthday, he said he wanted a dirt bike, a cell phone, an Xbox 360 or a gecko. Hmmm … Let me think. The dirt bike was totally out of the question. An XBox 360 costs $400 and would be another screen for Continue Reading

Ode to Winter Joy

27 Dec

By Megan Arivella I had just climbed into bed, exhausted after completing my nightly ritual of laundry, checking on my sleeping three and six year old multiple times, helping our Elf on the Shelf find a creative location to rest for the evening and deciding if tonight would be the night to skip the rejuvenating Continue Reading

Music Matters – and Not Just at the Holidays

20 Dec

By Christopher Williamson This is the time of year when music fills the halls of schools, when the final preparations for winter and/or holiday concerts are in full swing. Unfortunately, at too many schools, music – and the arts in general – are seen as extras and often marginalized. If provided at all, music is often Continue Reading

Decorate Cookies Sans Sugar

18 Dec

Quick Baking Tip! For a change of pace from cookie icing recipes calling for confectioner’s sugar, try an icing that just uses a quarter cup of evaporated milk mixed with a couple of drops of food coloring. Paint the dough after the cookies are cut out but before they are baked. The cookies will come Continue Reading

Cheers for Madeline

16 Dec

“Hip, hip, hourra” for Madeline, the beloved little French boarding-school girl brought to life 75 years ago by master artist/storyteller Ludwig Bemelmans. More than 90 of Bemelmans’ works are currently on display at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst through Feb. 22. Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the publishing of Madeline, the exhibition, Continue Reading

Sensible Holiday Eating

14 Dec

This time of year, sugar plums (not celery sticks) dance in our heads and willpower dashes off to the North Pole. We tend to sample every yummy treat we encounter and then wonder why we’re feeling sluggish. To prevent holiday overeating: • When asked to bring a dish to a party, bring something healthy you Continue Reading

Lessons in Giving Back

12 Dec

By Beth Chambers The importance of helping those who are less fortunate has always been a value I worked to instill in my family.  To me, it meant that our children started volunteering at the local food pantry at a young age.  While shopping at the grocery store, I would ask them to pick out Continue Reading

Hanukkah Latkes

10 Dec

Try this recipe for delicious, homemade Hanukkah latkes!   Enjoy this delicious recipe for latkes during the Festival of Lights. 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and shredded ½ small onion, finely chopped (optional) 2 eggs, beaten 3 tbsp. flour Vegetable oil for frying Preheat oven to 200 degrees. After shredding potatoes, combine onion, eggs and Continue Reading

For Family-Friendly Meals Just Click ‘N Cook

10 Dec

Harried parents, there is an answer to the age old question: What’s for dinner? Click ‘N Cook, a free online platform, provides simple, healthy recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand. With hundreds of recipes to choose from, Click ‘N Cook features tasty options for breakfast (French Toast Sticks), lunch (Tuna Melts), dinner Continue Reading

Asking for Help When Your Baby Arrives

6 Dec

By Heather Magill Having a baby is like moving to a foreign country. Basic functions, such as eating, sleeping and leaving the house, become challenges that require a new level of planning and effort. The joys of discovery and new life are intermixed with feelings of exhaustion and the stress of managing countless unfamiliar details. Continue Reading