Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Is Your Favorite Ice Cream Shop in Needham the Same as Your Kids?

Written by Emily Roach

Recently I asked the question, "What is your favorite ice cream shop in Needham?" It was an unscientific poll and the funniest thing is how many moms said one place is their favorite, while another is their kids top choice. People are also very passionate about their favorite ice cream store.
"Junction, of course! Where else can you get a "kiddie cone" (which is actually really big) for $1.75? Oh, within walking distance AND watch the train while eating..." -Sari M.

Here are the results.

Kid's Favorite

  • Orange Leaf
  • Junction (watch the trains!)

Ice Cream from Volante Farms

Mom's Favorite

  • Lizzy's
  • Volante Farm Crescent Ridge (summer mention)

Honorable Mentions
  • Abbott's 
  • Pinkberry (Wellesley field trip required!)
So here's the next question for you?  Soft serve or regular ice cream?

photo credit: Darwin Bell via photopin cc

Monday, May 19, 2014

Join us for the 1st Spring Marketplace!

Swirl plate from Wicked Mud

There are so many great mom run businesses here in Needham. Parent Talk is bringing together a few of them to celebrate summer and make Monday a little more fun. On June 9th from 7:30-9:30, stop by the 3 Squares Restaurant to shop from the following retailers:

  • Rock Paper Scissors

  • Wicked Mud

  • Stella & Dot

  • Thirty One

  • Wildtree

  • Usborne

  • Madely Jewelry

  • Tupperware and more...

Did you know Stella & Dot now has bags?!

There will be light appetizers, cash bar and giveaways. Grab a group of your friends and head over for a fun night of shopping. The event is free! 3 Squares Restaurant is located at 669 Highland Ave.

Please RSVP here:

If you are interested in participating next year, please contact:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Post Sale…what happens?

By Katie Alwart, Community Relations Chair

Many of us are familiar with the Parent Talk biannual Used Clothing, Toy and Equipment sale (save the date for the next one - October 18!). Friday is typically a flurry of excitement, donations and scouting for amazing bargains by volunteers. Saturday starts early with dozens of people in line at 8:00 am drinking coffee and waiting for their chance to find amazing deals for their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. At noon on Saturday, the bag sale kicks off and people see just how many onesies a brown paper grocery bag can hold.

What many people don't know, however, is that the sale continues after the last bag sale shopper leaves. The final part of the weekend is when Parent Talk invites charities to come and collect items for the underserved populations that they work with. If you've been at the sale near the end, you know that there are often hundreds of items of clothing left, perfectly good books and a variety of great toys that just didn't sell.

It has been an honor to work with the charities through the last year and this past sale was no exception. We were able to provide Arm2Arm, Baby Bundles, Bagong Kulturang Pinoy, Inc., Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Circle of Hope, Department of Children and Families, Room to Grow and the YMCA with a ton of donations (often more than their vans could carry).

The messages that we receive back speak volumes about the good this is able to do in the community. DCF let us know that often kids arrive in foster care with only the clothes that they are wearing and the clothing they receive goes immediately to helping these kids. Circle of Hope shared that their stockpile of jackets and shoes was depleted and the sale ensured that their shelves are full again to provide to homeless children.

So, to all of you who donated to the sale or worked it, please know that your generosity of spirit and support of Parent Talk has extended far beyond the organization's borders. Thank you!

We are always looking for charities who we can support with donations following the Parent Talk sale. If you have suggestions on charities who could benefit from partnering with us, please email

Thank You from the Sale Team!

The sale could not happen were it not for our volunteers, consignors, and shoppers who spent countless hours setting up, running, shopping at, and then breaking down this event. We love seeing new faces as well as many repeat shoppers, consignors, and volunteers. Even if you are not a PT member, your continued participation in the sale makes you a part of our larger PT community! Thank you for feeling so passionately about the sale.

The amount of donated items for this sale was profound, so our sincere thanks to those who made the decision to donate their children’s clothes, toys, and equipment. We depend on your donations for the sale to be successful!  

Many local businesses also donate goods and services, which improve the sale’s flow. Copley Motors provided significant funds to help us pay for the supplies we needed to keep the sale running smoothly. Gentle Giant donated multiple trucks, and sent us exceptional movers who made sure all donated items, clothing racks, and supplies were moved in and out of the church efficiently and safely. We appreciated JC Timmerman’s donation of two large and incredibly useful dumpsters that simplified our set up and clean up activities. PODS donated a storage unit that was essential while we collected the generous local donations. Urbansitter defrayed marketing costs. In addition, each of the following businesses graciously donated food to keep our sale committee energized over the three days it takes to run the sale: 3 Squares, Comella’s, Hazel’s Bakery, Hint Water, New Garden, The Rice Barn, Roche Brothers, Starbucks, Stone Hearth Pizza, Sweet Corner, Treat Cupcake Bar, and Whole Foods Wellesley. 

Finally, a very special thank you goes out to everyone at Christ Episcopal Church. Your support is essential to our ability to execute the sale well, and we greatly appreciated the input of Julia Baker and Michael Beagan.

In all, we want to say a big THANK YOU to Needham volunteers and businesses for proving that there are truly amazing people out there and that our great community is one of a kind!

Parent Talk relies almost exclusively on volunteers, and this spring over 200 of them helped out throughout sale weekend. All proceeds benefit Parent Talk's community work and events, and all unsold items were donated directly to local charities that depend on these goods to fulfill their missions.

With gratitude,

Nikki Amara Myers, Joyce McCafferty, and Kathy Fritz                                                                      Parent Talk Sale Co-Chairs

Monday, May 12, 2014

Saving Time at Dinner with Healthy Habits

Written by Emily Roach

As the school year comes to a close, it should be a time of slowing down. The reality is there are tons of special events, banquets, graduations and more that keep us pretty busy in the month of May and June. Preparing a healthy dinner is still important, but wouldn't it be nice to have someone else make most of it? Healthy Habits in Wellesley offers a great solution for busy families. {and check out the end of the post for a discount for Parent Talk members!}

Easy to cook salmon burgers--kids loved them!
The selection of meals at Healthy Habits is pretty diverse, both for the picky eaters in your family and if you have special dietary needs. Wendy Todd and I got to test out a few dinners and share our experience with you. Overall we both found it was a huge time saver and the meals tasted good. We also got our meals delivered right to our door in an insulated cooler, which was super convenient. The other option is to swing by their storefront and pick up your dinners. A few other Parent Talk members often drive by Healthy Habits on Washington St in Wellesley and pick up their meals on the way home from work.

"Overall, I liked both meal kits, the convenience of having a whole meal (not just the main but the sides too!) already planned was great.  The food tasted really good and was kid friendly. I loved that the large was big enough to feed our family of 5 and have leftovers for a day or two of lunch at the office.
I specifically chose meals that took 20 minutes or less to cook since I usually get home from picking the kids up from daycare at 6pm and like to have dinner on the table by 6:30.  In both cases the cook-time was a bit longer than the directions said, but not so much so that we were eating later than planned." ~Wendy

The directions for each dinner are easy to follow and are clearly labelled on all items included for the meal. Our tip for making freezer meals a success is giving them two days to defrost. Some small items, like the salmon burgers defrost quickly but a lasagna tray took two full days.

"I would definitely purchase these again just to have something stashed in the freezer for a particularly busy week or when one parent is traveling.  They would also make really great gifts for new parents!" ~Wendy
Thank you to Healthy Habits Kitchen for providing us with meals to help facilitate writing this story. All opinions shared here are our own.

Healthy Habits Kitchen provides nutritious meal kits made from scratch, delivered straight to your door and ready to be cooked, so you can make a convenient, quick dinner at home for your family. Learn more at or Facebook. Parent Talk Matters members can take advantage of an exclusive offer to receive 15% off their first order, using discount code PARENTTALK through May 31st. Place your order today.

About the Author
Emily Roach is the writer/owner of Random Recycling, a blog focused on healthy living for modern families. She lives in Needham with her husband, three children, and is the incoming Vice President of Parent Talk. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Baby Shower? At the Parent Talk Sale?

Yes, there really was a baby shower at this spring's Parent Talk Sale. What a brilliant idea. Erin (ET) Taylor wanted to take an eco-friendly approach to her upcoming baby shower. She is expecting identical twin girls and when she realized how much stuff she was going to need, she decided to break the mold and have her friends and family find her "registry" items at the Parent Talk's Spring Sale.

Friends and family received color coded cards with a present to find. They set it up scavenger hunt style. Once they found the item on the card, they could get another card to find more items, like nursing pillows, sleep sacks and baby bath tubs.

One of her friends mentioned how much more she could buy Erin versus purchasing one new item from a baby registry because of the deals available at the Sale. The pink cards highlighted items they would need in abundance for twin girls!

Erin's husband came along for the scavenger hunt and was the heavy lifter to get everything into their cars, including a ZipCar. They even found an awesome changing table and dresser for $35!

At the end of the scavenger hunt, they continued the celebration with a brunch prepared by Erin's aunts. Good luck to Erin and the twins, due on October 2nd. Just in time for the next Parent Talk Sale on October 18th!

Did you make it to the Sale? What was your favorite item you found?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do I have a Special Needs Child?

Written by Shalini Broderick

My biggest fear as a mother is that I might not be doing enough to help my son to reach his potential. But how is a parent to know if he or she is helping or hindering, particularly when one’s child is consistently doing different things than the other kids at playgroup, or preschool, or in class? And then, there is the nagging sense that we might let our kids fall behind, unless we do something – but what?

As parents, we know that all kids learn and achieve in different ways, and at their own paces. Yet, it is only natural for each of us to wonder if our little ones do not have particularized needs. The question that immediately follows that one is: “And what can I do to help him be his best?” Join us on Thursday, May 15th, at 7pm at Walker in Needham, for a frank and practical discussion of what constitutes special needs, when they apply, and what services may be available for our children.

Eric Pegnam, LICSW and Senior Clinician at Walker, will be presenting a talk that will cover some of the biggest questions that families have about Special Needs. Among the topics he will touch upon are the following: Determining what is normative and what is exceptional behavior in kids; the types of assessment and evaluation tools that are available; strategies to help children with daily routines, mealtimes, and other life skills; and an overview of types services available for kids, both privately and through public resources. For those with older children, of particular note might be the practical guide to working with your child’s teachers, understanding Individualized Education Plans (or IEPs), and managing homework and social situations with other children. Following his prepared remarks, there will be time for parent questions.

To register to attend, please click here. This lecture is free for all Parent Talk members.

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