Today's guest blogger is Stacy Jubert from The Children's Guide!  Stacy is a mother of two, a 5 year old son and a 2 year old daughter.  Like me, she's lived in this area for a while, but her world opened up when she had kids.  She created The Children's Guide to give parents a simple online resource to find what they need.  She hosts several children and family events throughout the year including an Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Party and many more.  She can be reached at stacyjubert@hotmail.com
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It’s almost summer…. Have you registered for any summer camps yet? I have had the terrific opportunity to meet some amazing area professionals in this industry and I am delighted to share some great summer camp ideas with you!

Afrim’s Sports- who doesn’t love all that Afrims has to offer! Soccer tots starts at 20 months, there are camps for kids of all ages, camps that are for a couple hours a day, or full day all week long!

Drama Kids is one of my personal favorites, Deanna the owner is just spectacular! She is so enthusiastic about her students it is really awesome to see, she has event teamed up with Kidz Art to offer Drama and Art camps- pretty cool!! Drama kids offers programs for kids starting at age 4.

For the little ones the staple place to bring your kids is Tumbling Tykes. Terrific for kids from 2-7 with themed week camps you are sure to find something that your kids will love!

Schauber Stables offers summer camps for children ages 5-14, they have full day and half day options available. Children will have riding lessons, learn about horses and much more! Mad Science offers children a hands-on learning experience for kids to explore the world of science! Full day and half day camp options available. Private Schools- summer camps are a great way to test out a private school if you are considering one, or to send your child to a terrific educational and fun summer camp such as The Albany Academies.

For more information on these Summer Camp options and many more, please visit www.thechildrensguide.com

 
 
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Need help finding a good babysitter?  Wish you could meet with a babysitter before making a commitment?  Now you can!  Binx is hosting a series of MommySitter Meetup's in the area where you can go and meet with sitters!  Think speed-dating.  If you meet a sitter and the connection is mutual, you'll get their contact info!  The best part is that you can sit face to face with potential (pre-qualified) sitters and find someone you'd love to hire!  As an added bonus, all attendees get a cool swag bag! 
Here are the details:

Saratoga area moms: Monday, June 6th at Jacob & Anthony’s Restaurant
Clifton Park area moms:  Tuesday, June 7th at Tiny Tots Tea Room
Albany area moms:  Thursday, June 9th at Spill’n The Beans coffee house (in Troy)

The cost is $50 to attend and you can register online.  register here


Want to go?  Enter here to win a chance to attend the MommySitter Meetup of your choice! 
Here's how to enter:

1 entry - Comment here about why you'd like to go
1 entry - 'Like' Binx and MaltaMama on Facebook and leave a second comment here


Enter by noon EST on Friday, June 3rd  - Good luck and see you back here on Tuesday! 

-Happy Memorial Day

 
 
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Schauber Stables
This Sunday, May 29th, head out of town to Schauber Stables for Sunday on the Farm!  Schauber is located just outside Burnt Hills on (wait for it...) Schauber Road!   Here's a link to directions if you need.  It's one mile past Lakeside Farms, 428 Schauber Road.
Sunday on the Farm is an event for all ages with tons of free activities and some paid items (see $ in the list below).  Event runs from 10am-3pm

During Sunday on the Farm you and your child can...
  • Take a tour of the farm
  • Feed a horse some treats
  • Enjoy the animals in our petting zoo
  • Perform a barn chore
  • Go for a pony ride ($)
  • Watch a grooming demonstration
  • Watch a jumping demonstration
  • Make a horse related craft ($)
  • Make horse treats ($) and more
Here's the breakdown of events:
                            Grooming demonstrations at 10:30 am; 12:30pm; 2:30pm.
                            Jumping demonstrations at 11:00 am; 1:00pm; 2:00pm.
                             Horse related craft - 10:45am; 12:45pm; 2:45pm
                             Make horse treats - 12:00pm; 1:30 pm; 3:00pm

Maybe we'll see you there!

 
 
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My bad for missing this!  Saratoga's Memorial Day parade is tonight, Wednesday, 5/25 at 6pm.  This one is hosted by the American Legion and takes a course down Broadway to Congress Park where a ceremony will take place.

Friday night there are two local parades, South Glens Falls at 6pm and Stillwater at 7pmSGF's parade starts at the corner of Main and William streets, down Main Street and then to the Village Triangle Park.  The Stillwater parade is at the library. 

Also on Friday night, it's Kids Night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta.  I've lived in Malta for nearly my whole life and have hearad the speedway from my house, but never been.  I don't know if this Kids Night will change my mind, but it does seem intriguing...
- Free Stock Car Rides for kids
- Bring your bicycle and race on the track!
- Special prizes for kids + fireworks!
- NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES
ADMISSION: Adults $10, Seniors 62+ $9, Students 13-16 $5, Kids 5-12 $3, Tots Free

If anyone goes to the speedway or has gone in the past, let me know!  Colleen@maltamama.com  I'm curious... kid-friendly?  What age is appropriate?  thanks!

 
 
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Do you believe it’s almost Memorial Day weekend?  I’m not sure what happened to May, other than that I turned 30 and my memory went down the tubes!  After Memorial Day the events calendars really start filling up.  While I can't always write about everything,  I'll always give you at least a few ideas for the week.  Here are a few highlights for the week to get you started!

Wednesdays throughout the summer from 3-6pm is the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.  This week there is even entertainment.  It’s kind of nice to be able to go on a weeknight, not just a busy summer Saturday.

Thursday is Interactive Art Night at DiDonna’s South Shore Restaurant.  This event happens the last Thursday of each month.  I took the kids last month and we had a great time!  The event goes from 6-9 pm and features artists and this week, True Elegance Boutique will bring models to display items from their shop.  When we went, in addition to enjoying dinner, we were entertained by the art and models.  The kids loved all the activity and the fun atmosphere. 

Saturday is Ballston Spa’s Memorial Day parade!  It kicks off at 9am and marches down Milton Ave.  Get there early and bring your wagons, lawn chairs, and blankets.  The downtown haunts; Coffee Planet, Whistling Kettle, etc. will be mobbed.  Try heading further down Front Street to Wheats & Sweets bakery after the parade for coffee and a snack.  In addition to excellent baked goods, they have a nice seating area.  This parade is a good one, so don't miss out!

 
 
I'm hopeful for a nice week so we can enjoy some parks!  Burgess-Kimball in Milton is getting some new equipment which should be ready for action this week.  In the event of rain, I wanted to repost my review of Tumbling Tykes from last May.  Admission is still $7 for kids over 1 and they also have an outdoor playground included in admission.  Their hours for some reason change every day and are: Monday 10-4, Tuesday 9:30-4:30, Wednesday 10-5, Thursday 9:30-4, Friday 9:30-3, Saturday 9:30-12 and Sunday 10-12.  I doubt anyone that works at TT can even remember what their hours are! 
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I've been very curious about Tumbling Tykes a long time and finally decided to go.  It's located in Latham on Route 7, about two miles down from where Babies R Us is.  The address is 1050 Troy-Schenectady Road and it's pretty easy to find.  From Malta it took me about 25 minutes.  Admission into the play area is $7 per child, over the age of one.  They offer memberships too, which turn out to be a good deal if you're planning on going frequently.  Annual memberships are $175/one child, $225 for a family.  A mid-level commitment would be to purchase a 10 visit pass for $60.  I opted for the day pass. 

If you've been to Tiny Tots Tearoom, Tykes is pretty similar in terms of the 'playground' gear.  Tykes is basically a large room with tons of climb on toys, ride on toys, play houses, tunnels, ball pit, trampolines, etc.  Adults and kids have to take their shoes off before entering the playground and also use hand sanitizer, which I think is a positive.  Definitely remember to wear socks or they will ask you to purchase a pair.  There were a few areas for parents to sit and watch the kids play, but you really have to stay in the playground area with your child the whole time, unlike the TT Tearoom where you can watch from afar.  Robby had a great time at Tykes, and really that's what matters the most to me.  I thought it was very nice, but not a place I would add to our regular activity roster, mainly because of the distance, partly because there's a lot of other great places!   They offer some snacks to purchase, but it's much easier to bring your own food and eat there, which they definitely allow for.  Would I go back?  Yes, but I don't have anything on the calendar yet.

 
 
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Name Bubbles Giveaway!
Did you have a nice week?  I didn't get quite as much accomplished as I had hoped, but I don't think I ever do!  Lots of you entered the Name Bubbles Giveaway and I'm so glad.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with your family and friends.  I'm looking forward to the Fun Run today and the opening of the Malta Drive-In Market on Sunday!  I'll leave you with on this sunny Friday with a recipe...

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Yummy homemade soft granola bars
It seems like anytime we leave the house, even for fifteen minutes, I have to bring an entire snack aisle with me.  Crackers, grapes, cereal, carrot sticks, pretzels, apples, and don't forget the granola bars!  I've been lately feeling like so much of my food budget is going toward convenience foods, I was eager to try out a recipe for homemade granola bars.  Some mom friends and I each took a different granola bar recipe to sample  and try out on the most distinguished of palates, our kids.   Here's the one I tried, and it was met with rave reviews!

Soft Granola Bars
Yields 16-20 good-sized bars

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts--I used almonds and walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar -- I lessened this to 1/4 cup
1/2 cup honey -- I used 1/2 cup of Agave Nectar
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 oz dried fruit--I used cranberries and golden raisins
1/4 cup natural peanut butter -- I used almond butter so Angie could eat them :-) 
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Line a 9x13 pan with waxed paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the oats, wheat germ, flax seeds and coconut together and spread them out on a baking sheet (and add your nuts if you are not using toasted nuts). Toast them for 10-12 minutes, stirring after every 2 minutes, until the oats are golden and smell toasted, but not burned.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped nuts, dried fruit, and toasted oats mixture.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, vanilla, salt, and peanut butter. Stirring constantly, allow the butter and sugar to melt, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Carefully pour the hot sugar syrup over the oat mixture in the bowl, and stir very well until the ingredients are well-combined. Scrape the hot granola into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with the miniature chocolate chips.

Take another piece of waxed paper, spray it with nonstick spray, and press it, sprayed side down, on top of the granola. You need to really compact the granola so that it will stick together. I placed another 9x13 pan on top of my granola. 

Allow the bars to cool completely, at least 2-3 hours. To serve, pull up on the waxed paper to remove them from the pan. Peel the paper off, and cut them into bars or squares. Wrap them individually in cling wrap to prevent them from sticking together.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you next week! 
-MM

 
 
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KIDS R.O.C. members
This Friday, two events are taking place that I wanted to pass along.  The first is an event organized by students at Malta Ave Elementary School.  This group of nine 3rd graders started a charitable organization called KIDS R.O.C. (Kids Reaching Out Club).  As far as I know, this is their first big event and it happens to benefit the children of Haiti, a country near and dear to my heart.  We are definitely going, and I will be running the 1.2 miles.  I ought to be able to do that seeing as I'm running the Freihofers 5K in a couple weeks! 
KIDS R.O.C. Fun Run for Haiti
This is a 1.2 mile fun run/walk to benefit the children of Haiti.
DATE:  Friday, May 20, 2011
TIME:  5:00 p.m. Registration/6:00 p.m. Run/Walk
LOCATION:  Malta Community Park, Dunning Street, Luther Forest, Malta
Adults:  $5.00  Children:  $2.00 
Raffles and refreshments will be available after the run. 

Don't feel much like running?  How about eating instead!  On Friday, May 20th from 4:30-7pm, head over to the Milton Community Center where the Miss Scotties Softball Team is having a pasta dinner fundraiser.  It's $7/adult, $5/child.  Show support for your local team! 

 
 
Malta Drive-In Market
I'm very excited about this new, open-air market coming to the grounds of the Malta Drive-In Theater on Route 9.  Slated to be more of an upscale flea market, shoppers can expect crafters and artisans selling their wares in addition to local farmers.   The market is open from 9am-3pm on Sunday's starting this week, 5/22! 
Admission is $3 per car with 100% of the proceeds going toward a local charity, different each week.

What: Malta Drive-In Market
Where: Grounds of the Malta Drive-In, Route 9, Malta
When: Sundays through September from 9am-3pm starting May 22nd


 
 
Name Bubbles
I'm pleased to announce the next MaltaMama Review & Giveaway from Name Bubbles
Name Bubbles is a baby and kids label company owned by a Saratoga mama Michelle Brandriss   Name Bubbles labels are vinyl and durable as heck!  They are created using  a non-toxic, eco-friendly ink and can be used in all conditions. 


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Name Bubbles labels are dishwasher, microwave, and laundry safe.  Ordering Name Bubbles labels is so easy and actually fun!  You can customize your labels by choosing your fave color scheme, icon, style, font, and so on.  There are literally hundreds of combination's.  As you can see, I went with the rocket and robot for Robby using a blue/green palette, but I had an extremely hard time choosing because there were so many cool styles!  So they look cool, but do they hold up?  OMG, yes!  I put my labels to the test; dishwasher, washer/dryer, rain boot, backpack, and so on.  I even put a label on my ski this winter and after a day on the slopes, the label was in perfect condition.  These labels have endless uses.  As you know, kids have so much gear and stuff, it's so hard to keep track of!  I know you'll love these labels and I'm excited to offer a chance to win. 

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Want to win a
Name Bubbles Camp Pack?
(Camp Pack: 108 labels in various shapes and sizes)
Here's how to enter!

1 Entry -  Visit Name Bubbles and comment here about one cool feature of the labels or what you'll use them for.

1 Entry - 'Like' BOTH MaltaMama and Name Bubbles on Facebook and leave an additional comment here that you do. 

1 Entry - Follow BOTH ColleenPierre and NameBubbles on Twitter and comment here that you do.


Enter by Tuesday, May 24th at 8pmEST.  Good luck!