Monday, September 30, 2013

Purely Pears Homemade Baby Food Delivered Right to Your Door

Purely Pears is a new delivery service offering homemade baby food using local and fresh ingredients whenever possible. Want to give your baby the freshest food, but don't have the extra time to make it yourself? Parent Talk member and volunteer, Cathy Memory, got the opportunity to test out the service and shares her review below.

We kicked off the experiment with Petit Peas (just peas) thinking that a green vegetable would be the toughest to impress, ie. it would HAVE to be good for my lil 9 month old to like it. AND she did. She definitely liked it more than my own homemade pureed peas - possibly because of the uniformly smoother texture? I use a Cuisinart, but it's still not as smooth as theirs or the jarred variety. The bright green color was much more appealing than the jarred, store-bought organic option.

My daughter loved Carrot and Apple, Squash and Carrot, and ALL the fruit and vegetable blends. Peas with Cinnamon is an interesting/different combo. When I make babyfood I never think to add a spice, although I know some of the Earth's Best offerings do.

I tasted the Squash and Carrot myself and thought it tasted very fresh and very good. I also tasted the Purely Pears myself (just pureed pears) and it was DELICIOUS - like a pear dessert. Tasting and serving the food for several days made me wonder how the heck they could make it so much better tasting than my homemade - smoother texture aside - considering our ingredients would be the same.

My 3 day supply cost $32 for 9 large jars. You are paying a little more for superior quality, freshness, and convenience than say buying the organic off the shelf baby food.

I thought the hotel package offered on the Website was a great idea. I might take advantage of it if I was traveling to Boston from somewhere else. {Get a package of baby food delivered right to your hotel, including bib, spoon and bowls! Great tip to share with friends who might be visiting Boston.}

The delivery service was friendly and on time - even kept me updated on anticipated arrival time due to traffic.

To learn more about Purely Pears and their homemade baby food delivery service, head over to their website and take a look at their seasonal menu. Cathy was lucky enough to test out the baby food and all opinions expressed here are her own. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Toy Storage Solutions that Work

Please welcome our guest blogger Dina, a fellow Parent Talk member, who shares some awesome tips on toy storage ideas and strategies.

Written by Dina Holland

One of the number one requests I get from parents I work with is around toy storage. Kids these days have SO MANY toys. Between holidays, birthdays, very generous grandparents and that darn dollar section at Target, every parents I work with is struggling with how to get toy collections under control. If this sounds familiar, read on!

STEP ONE: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT and then keep editing. If you have older kids (ages 6+), asking them to give up 2-3 larger toys and 5-7 smaller toys before their birthdays and the holiday season serves the dual purpose of making room for new additions and teaching a valuable lesson of charity. Many parents are apprehensive to even broach the subject but I find that once you get them going, they will surprise even you with what they're willing to part with! Children under 6 have a much harder time understanding the concept of “giving away their toys” so for them I recommend parents pull some lesser used toys out of the rotation. If they ask about a particular toy that you’ve pulled, that toy can magically reappear after a nap. But if after a week they don’t make any mention of a toy, I think it’s safe to donate. Start today! You'll still have time to donate to this fall's Parent Talk sale and make room before the holidays approach!

STEP TWO: SELECT A STORAGE SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOUR SPACE AND WITH YOUR KID'S TOYS My 2 go-to toy storage solutions are the IKEA EXPEDIT and ITSO bins from Target. I love the flexibility of these units! Most kids have a mix of small and large toys and I find the EXPEDIT perfect for holding both. LEGOS, toy cars, Little People, etc can be corralled in bins and baskets. I like mixing ITSO bins from Target with Land of Nod's Top Box Storage Collection.The ITSO bins fit the EXPEDIT cubbies so snuggly, it makes me giddy - zero wasted space. And the Land of Nod Top Box bins are colorful and transparent, making it easy for kids to find what they're looking for. Larger toys can sit in the EXPEDIT's open cubbies. Honey-and-Fitz-Expedit-Storage
 Here's this concept at work in my own home. Honey-and-Fitz-Toy-Storage2
If you don’t have room for a stand-alone storage unit just for toys, provide your child with a few dedicated baskets that you can lineup along a wall in your family room. Some of my favorites can be found here. Whichever storage solution you go with, I think it’s important to store like toys together and label bins (use pictures for younger kids). This helps empower kids to find what they want and facilitates easy cleanup.

STEP THREE: CREATE A SYSTEM FOR DEALING WITH BIG FLOOR SPACE EATERS If your playroom is overflowing with super large toys that no storage solution can tackle, try removing all but 2 (say a train table and an art table). Move everything else into storage and create a library like system for your kids where they "check-out" toys. I print out photos of these larger toys and have them laminated onto flashcard sized cards. Once a week (and no more) they are allowed to use their cards to request a toy. Once a toy comes out of storage is has to stay there until the following week. You'll find that the same toys get requested over and over and others never do. Those never requested toys should be on your donation hit list! I hope you find these tips helpful!

Ultimately, you have to find the right balance for your family. I don’t think you should let your kid’s stuff take over the house but I also don’t think you should try to erase all signs that they live there either. After all, it’s their house too! A home with young children has an energy all its own and with thoughtful planning and careful editing I think you create a beautiful, functional and safe environment for all to enjoy.

Start clearing out some of the toy clutter and send your donations to the Parent Talk Used Clothing, Toy and Gear Sale! Head over here for the details on donating, consigning, volunteering and shopping for the sale

About the Author
Dina Holland, mom of two young boys ages 3 and 8 months, Needham resident, fellow Parent Talk member and blogger and designer at Honey & Fitz. She works primarily with young families on creating comfortable, kid friendly homes that are sophisticated enough for the adults in the house but tough enough to withstand active little ones.

Disclosure: There are no affiliate links in this post. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Need preschool? You need the Preschool Fair!

Parent Talk Convenes Leading Area Preschools for Preschool Information Fair. The 9th Annual event simplifies parents' search for the right preschool.

Parent Talk, a nonprofit volunteer organization in Boston's Metrowest area that supports families with your children, will host its 9th Annual Preschool Information Fair, representatives from over 30 leading preschools and enrichment programs - located in Needham and surrounding towns - will be available to meet and provide information about their programs.

Parents with your children often have questions about when and where to send their children to preschool. As each preschool offers unique programs, utilizes different approaches to learning, and adheres to its own rules regarding the application process, the search and application process can feel overwhelming. The Parent Talk Preschool Information Fair helps families simplify the search for the right preschool. Beyond gaining insight into individual preschool programs, parents can learn more about the application process, meet preschool directors, and get answers to their preschool-related questions.

Attendees will leave the fair with a comprehensive directory of the participating preschools that offers a detailed description of each program, including schedule, tuition, and minimum age requirements.

Parent Talk Preschool Information Fair
Thursday, October 3, 2013
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Newman Elementary School
1155 Central Avenue, Needham
Free for Parent Talk members; Non-members $10
Advance registration is not required.

For more information, visit:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September's Parent Talk Featured Discounts!

By Caitlin Moran

Here are the latest featured Parent Talk Discounts! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE!!!!! You have paid your dues – now get the reward!

The Kid's Place is a drop-in art studio, and premier party place all in one! At The Kid's Place, children can mine for gems, paint plaster or ceramics, do mosaic projects, or make a tie dye T-Shirt!! Staff members are always on hand to help with a project, plan a party or answer any other questions you may have. Receive 15% off for all Parent Talk members!

European Wax Center - FREE eyebrow, underarm, or bikini line WAX for new female customers! Or upgrade to a bikini full or Brazilian and get 50% off! FREE eyebrow, ear, or nose wax for men! You MUST mention that you are a Parent Talk member. Located at 244 Needham Street, Newton, or call617.964.7400.

Dellaria Salon Needham - Receive 20% off children's cuts on Monday and Tuesdays with select stylists

Jennifer Deveraux Photography - 15% off discount for first portrait session and 10% off all prints and products 

If you visit the Member Discounts page by clicking here, you can view all of the discounts, or search by category (fitness, activities/classes, home, clothing, food, retail, sitters/au pairs, spa/hair, photography, tutoring, pets, and other). This should make it easier to find what you are looking for! Happy searching!

Caitlin Moran
Membership Chair

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Apple Fest at Needham Farmers Market

Join Parent Talk as we partner with the Needham Farmers Market this Sunday for the 2nd Annual Apple Fest! There will be events for the kids and lots of fresh produce to choose from. Stop by for crafts and some prizes!
Apple Stamping Project

DATESunday September 22, 2013 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (Market open from 1pm-5pm)
LOCATIONNeedham Farmer's Market
DESCRIPTIONVisit Parent Talk at the Needham Farmers Market Apple Fest.

Crafts and a children's game will be available at the Parent Talk table - come and join us for some apple-themed fun!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Welcome to the new Parent Talk Board!

Written by Wendy Todd

In June, Parent Talk welcomed seven new members to it's Board of Directors including:
Riley Hastings, Clerk
Deborah Dorman, Co-Chair of the Events Committee
Lauren Baum & Kristen Capodilupo, Co-Chairs of the Fundraising Committee
Caitlin Moran, Chair of the Membership Committee
Susan Koslow, Chair of the Playspace Committee
Maggie Shapiro, Chair of the Volunteer Committee
These new board members join seven returning board members:
Nar Lee, Treasurer
Katie Alwart, Chair of the Community Relations Committee
Nicola Dimauro, Co-Chair of Events
Julia Sappenfield, Chair of the Lecture Committee
Melissa Crowe, Chair of the Marketing Committee
Tricia Burch & Wendy Todd, Co-Presidents
Together these fourteen individuals make up the 2013-14 Board of Directors.  A group of volunteers who have committed to lead this volunteer-driven organization through another successful year building community in Needham and the surrounding cities and towns.
The current board thanks our outgoing board members for all the work they did for Parent Talk in these positions, wishes them well in their new endeavors, and looks forward to working with them in other capacities with Parent Talk.
Outgoing board members are:
Kate Owens & Mary Richman, Co-Presidents
Myrna Zakarian, Co-Chair of the Events Committee
Mary Beth Remerenko, Clerk
Betsy Miller, Co-Chair of the Community Relations Committee
Ann Lyons, Co-Chair of the Membership Committee
To learn more about Parent Talk's Board members, please visit the About Us section of our website at
About the Author
Wendy lives with her husband and three kids in Needham and is honored to be leading such a great group of women this year!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mama Beasts: Mom & Baby Fitness Class Discount!

Mama Beasts Fitness Class West Roxbury

Looking to get back into shape or rev up your regular fitness routine? Come join Mama Beasts – an outdoor boot camp class where babies & toddlers come along for the ride via stroller. Moms get a full-body work-out led by a nationally certified instructor and children are entertained with movement, music, and after-class play-dates.
Beginning Sept.9th, classes will be held at Hynes Field in West Roxbury on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays, 9:30-10:30am. Session runs until 10/31 and then we move indoors.
Parent Talk members are invited to try a free class during the fall session. If you decide to sign-up for future classes, receive $15 off the unlimited class option (regularly $110 for 24 classes). Note- that price is pro-rated, depending when you join.
Simply email and let us know when you would like to try a free class. See more at their Facebook page

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Congrats!! Parent Talk won!

Thanks for all your support! Parent Talk WON the Boston area's pick for best parenting support group for moms and dads! All of our great members make us the best. Thanks to everyone who voted!

See below for all the other winners. Full details here. 

Art Classes for Kids: Color*Full
Baby & Maternity Shops: Magic Beans
Camps for Kids: Camp Grossman
Childcare Agencies & Resources: Personally Paired
Cupcake, Bakery & Sweet Shops: Cupcake Mojo
Drop-Off Childcare Programs: Tiny World Childcare
Family & Pediatric Dentists: Chestnut Dental Associates
Family Camping Sites: Normandy Farms
Family Escapes & Getaways: The Wildflower Inn
Family Hiking Trails: Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Family Photographers: Willow Baby Studios
Family Restaurants & Cafes: La Famiglia Giorgio’s
Groups for Moms & Dads: Parent Talk
Ice-Cream & Froyo Shops: J.P. Licks
Indoor Playspaces: Jam Time
Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops: Espresso Love
Kids Birthday Party Spots: My Gym
Kids Clothing & Gear Stores: Tiny Hanger
Kids Consignment & Resale Shops: Itsy Bitsy Thrifty
Kids Dance & Theater Classes: Boston Percussive Dance
Kids Language Classes: Tiny Signs
Kids Music Classes: Children’s Music Center of Jamaica Plain
Kids Sports Classes: Petit Papillon Yoga
Midwives & Doulas: A Mom is Born
Mom Fitness Programs: B Yoga Center
Mom-Run Businesses: Hatched It
Museums: Waterworks Museum
Parent Education Programs: Boston Baby Beginnings
Parks & Playgrounds: Cambridge Common Playground
Schools & Preschool Programs: Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center
Toy & Book Stores: Barefoot Books

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