Freelance lifestyle writer

Pennsylvania-based freelancer writing about food, agriculture, parenting, health/wellness, and home for Redbook, Women's Health, USA Today, Civil Eats, Electrolux, Bed Bath & Beyond & more.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Get This Party Started | Susquehanna Style

From my Mommy-logues blog on

My son is turning two in a few weeks.

Right now, it’s not the tantrums or the potty-training or the willfulness that’s got me feeling a little anxious - it’s his birthday party.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

No-Fail Family Dining

For lots of families, going out to eat becomes a rare treat once kids enter the picture—like seeing a movie in the theater or sleeping in past 7am.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Party Time! Excellent!

A kids' party–planning guide to Central PA, from tea parties to tumbling gyms

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Taking a trip with tykes in tow often sounds better in theory. There’s plenty that could go potentially wrong, from incessant choruses of “Are we there yet? Are we there yet NOW?” to (in my case) dealing with the fallout from disrupted naps or potty-training calamities.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

At The Table

If your family is anything like mine, you probably have a tradition (or ten) for most major holidays. When I was a kid, Easter meant a few things in our house: A new outfit for church, dye-stained fingertips from coloring eggs, an Easter egg hunt at my grandparents’ farm, and always, always ham-and-egg pie, a traditional recipe courtesy of the Italians in my family.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Fun in the Sun

Travel agent Amy McHugh of Dream Makers Vacation Services shares her favorite resorts for families, plus must-pack items for every vacation.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Say “Cheese” With Ease

Tips for planning family portrait sessions that reflect your personality

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Rooms to Grow

If there’s one thing every parent understands, it’s that having children also means having a lot more stuff—and figuring out how to store all of that stuff is a challenge, no matter how large or small your home may be. Some parents contentedly surrender their abodes to their offspring, allowing every corner of their homes to get “kid-i-fied” with books, toys and miscellaneous craft supplies. Other parents prefer to hide any trace of child behind a couple of closed doors.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Kids' Holiday Gift Guide

I really don’t enjoy shopping in stores at that time of year. At all. The parking, the crowds, the stressed-out cashiers—it’s become practically a phobia. I have never, not once, not ever done the whole Black Friday shopping bonanza. If I have to be in any store on that day, it’s only out of pure, no-way-around-it necessity, which in my house means we’re either out of milk or coffee.

Thank goodness for the Internet. What a truly marvelous invention for someone such as myself. Not only is it quick, easy and utterly devoid of shopping-mall madness, but I can also find some truly unusual and distinctive items.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Talkin' Turkey

In addition to all of its edible bounty, Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to teach little ones some important life lessons and instill in them the spirit of gratitude and generosity — and what better place to do this than in the kitchen or around the table?

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Susquehanna Style magazine

A-Tisket, A-Tasket, A Stylish Easter Basket

Easter and the emergence of the warmth and color of springtime offer welcome reprieves from winter’s chill, and there are lots of simple, stylish seasonal crafts, treats and activities that will brighten your home and make the holiday a memorable one. Best of all? They don’t require much time or money!

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Susquehanna Style magazine

The Great Outdoors

When the weather gets warm and the kids get out of school, pack a lunch, pack the car and head outside for some family fun. The Susquehanna Valley offers plenty of places for children to run, play, explore, learn and get some much-needed fresh air. Follow our guide this summer, and never hear the dreaded “I’m bored!” again.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Happy Hauntings

Fall is many people’s favorite season, with the picturesque, Rockwellian loveliness of vivid autumn leaves, orchards overflowing with apples and pumpkins, weekend football games and fingertips warmed by mugs of hot apple cider. But October doesn’t just usher in rosy cheeks and cardigan sweaters—something decidedly spookier is afoot, too, with Halloween on its way.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes

Encouraging healthy eating—or, as the case may be many times in my house, sitting still at dinner time long enough to eat anything at all—is a struggle for most of the parents I know. Many of us have likely enjoyed (brief) periods in which our kids will eat anything and everything we give them, when they readily choose broccoli and blueberries over Pop-Tarts and potato chips, only to have the blissful food reverie come to a screeching halt.

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Susquehanna Style magazine

Kid Tested, Mother Approved

Sadly, there’s no magic formula to guarantee gustatory success in the produce department. Kids are kids, and all of them are different from one another. But “kid-friendly” and “healthy” don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms. There are ways you can transition subtly into better-for-you foods.