Posts Tagged ‘moms’
It’s been all over the news, I am referring to the Esthetician who gave her eight year old daughter injections of Botox to treat “wrinkles”. She was motivated to do this to help give her daughter an advantage in pageants. As a mother and an Esthetician myself, I wanted to share my thoughts on this crazy story. It has already been said that she is sending the wrong message to her daughter. Lets face it, that message began with putting an eight year old in a beauty pageant.
Why Does An Eight Year Old Want Botox?
There has been discussion about why an eight year old would ask for Botox in the first place. As an Esthetician I can tell you that at that same age my son knew about many of the things we offer in the beauty industry, just from hearing me talk about it. I even remember him telling me that his teacher needed a blue peel, but for the most part he had no interest in esthetic treatments. I am sure that girls would naturally have a little more interest in esthetic and cosmetic treatments than boys, but certainly not anti-aging treatments. Just to state the obvious… children don’t have wrinkles!
Mommy is an Esthetician????
The mother of the little girl is an Esthetician and claims it was her daughter that asked for Botox. As a mother and an Esthetician, I don’t see how that justifies her actually injecting her daughter with Botox. My son once asked me to remove his cow lick with laser hair removal. I obviously refused and explained to him that although it would permanently rid him of his cow-lick, he would be left with a bald spot on the back of his head. He said, he would rather have a bald spot than a cow-lick. I promised him that he would feel differently later, and then changed the discussion to the pain involved. Now that he is a teenager, I know he is glad I didn’t honor his request. My first point is that children don’t know what is best for them, thats why they have parents. My second point is, Estheticians have a professional responsibility, to educate clients about the benefits and risks of a treatment.
The Worst Esthetician Ever!!!
The little girl said she didn’t like wrinkles. Okay… that is fair, I don’t exactly like them either. I am going to be completely hypothetical for a moment, because I am obviously not in the business of treating or consulting children for cosmetic treatments. If I was consulting with this little girl, I would point out that she doesn’t have wrinkles and I would explain to her that children have a lot of collagen and elastin and that their skin cells turn over very fast. I would also explain that the facial muscles only become strong enough to create lines and wrinkles after many years and she could reconsider Botox in about 20 years. I would teach her that the best way to prevent wrinkles is to use a good sunblock every day. Other things she should do, is eat a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and exercise and never start smoking. I might even teach her how to properly cleanse her face, but thats about it. It is irresponsible as a skin professional to provide skin treatments that are unnecessary on anyone. I have to assume that either this esthetician doesn’t understand how the skin functions or has poor ethical and professional standards (or both). She is also working outside the scope of an Esthetic License, the only way she can inject Botox is under the direct supervision of a doctor, in which case the doctor can be held responsible for her actions. She stated that she does the injections her self, and purchases the Botox online. FYI- the internet is not a trusted source. After careful consideration, I am awarding this mom with the title of ” Worst Esthetician Ever”.
I am annoyed that this ridiculous story gives a bad reputation to Estheticians and Botox. The truth is there are “bad” Estheticians, which is why it is so important to find an Esthetician that excels in the field. I have to advocate for Botox, by saying that it is only intended for cosmetic use in consenting adults and in children to treat medical conditions, but not for cosmetic purpose. Botox is only sold to approved doctors, the woman in this case claims to have purchased it on line. As I have said many times before, just because you can buy something on the internet doesn’t mean you should.
Simply put, I had my old saline implants that were placed over the muscle removed and replaced with the Natrelle® Silicone Gel implants, under the muscle with a breast lift and removed the scar tissue that developed around my old implants. My procedure was performed by Dr. Daniel Shapiro, at the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center.
Why I am sharing my personal story.
I struggled with the decision to share my experience of having a breast augmentation. This is kind of a private issue, but I decided that I have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed that I had a breast augmentation. I know that there are plenty of people that are opposed to cosmetic procedures, and they are quick to pass judgment on those that choose to have surgery. I think some people have created a stereo type in their mind of what type of person would have cosmetic surgery. I have read some comments on other blogs sites, that are insulting, ignorant, cruel and even hateful toward people that have cosmetic procedure. Obviously, I work for a plastic surgeon so I have some insight to the type of person that has cosmetic surgery. First of all, most of the people that have surgery do not fit the high maintenance stereo type some people might imagine and they are certainly not all rich. The truth is, there is no “type” that has cosmetic surgery, however mom’s often desire to regain their pre-pregnancy body. That’s why the “mommy makeover” has become so popular. Society does not seem to have any problems excepting the changes that pregnancy can do to a woman’s body, so why should we feel guilty for wanting fix what we can. Maybe you were genetically blessed with naturally great breasts, that have not been affected by age, gravity or pregnancy, and you can be grateful for your assets. If pregnancy has caused your breast to droop, sag, or deflate and you have learned to love and embrace your body as it is, then that is simply what works for you. What ever the case is, it is not fair to pass judgement on those that choose to have a cosmetic procedure. If you are thinking of having cosmetic surgery, you should not feel embarrassed, it is natural to want to look good.
My First Breast Augmentation
Yes, I said my first breast augmentation. I had my first breast augmentation about 12 years ago. I was young when I had my first child and when you are in your 20′s your supposed to have perky, cute breasts, but pregnancy left me “deflated”. I knew that I might have more children in the future, but not for a long time, so I decided to go ahead and have a breast augmentation without a lift. I had a Transumbilical Breast Augmentation also known as (TUBA), because it didn’t leave any scars. This procedure seemed “trendy” at the time and I even paid about $1000. extra to have my implants put in this way. During a Transumbilical Breast Augmentation, the surgeon makes an incision in the belly button and the breast implants are put in empty with an endoscope and then filled with saline when they are in place. The endoscopic equipment creates two tunnels underneath your skin and the implants are placed, and then filled, through these tunnels. The advantage is you don’t get scars, but unfortunately you can only do this procedure with saline implants. The tissue along the tunnels rarely do, but can leave visible tracks and because the incision is far from where the implants are placed, there is a greater chance for error, especially in the placement of the implant.
My recovery wasn’t that bad except my entire abdomen was black and blue, swollen and very sore. It felt like I had done a million sit-ups. They also fill your abdomen up with a gas, so your abdomen is distended for a while. I had little to no pain in the chest area, probably because my implants were placed over the muscle and I didn’t have any incisions in that area.
For the most part I was happy with the results of my first surgery, except they were placed lower than my natural breasts were, so although I didn’t have saggy or deflated breasts, I did have large breasts that made my torso look shorter. I was willing to except this because I was going to have more children and I knew I would need another procedure in the future when I was done having children. I think a lot of women need a breast lift, but choose to have large implants put in instead, because it is less expensive and they don’t want the scars of a lift. Some women can get away with simply putting in implants without having a lift and still look good.
My Second Breast Augmentation
I know that I am done having children, so I feel like I can finally make an investment in my body. Working for a plastic surgeon gives me a unique advantage, I get to see the results of different surgery’s. A lot of my client’s have had breast augmentations with Dr. Shapiro and they are happy to show me the results and I am always impressed. (I also get to see the work of other surgeons too.) One client was on her third surgery, (the first two were with another surgeon) she had her first surgery before children. Her second surgery was after children, but that surgeon put in huge implants instead of a lift and she wasn’t happy with that look. Her final surgery was with Dr Shapiro and he put in smaller implants and did a lift. She showed me her results and they looked great and the scars had already started to fade. I can’t tell you how many people I have met that got large implants instead of a lift and then wish they had done a lift. So my advice is, if you need a lift, get one. I know it is more money for a lift, but the cheapest procedure is the one done right the first time. I also know that people hate scars, but the truth is they do fade with time. It takes about a year for scars to fade and there are also products and procedures you can do to improve scar reduction. Dr. Shapiro has a full staff of highly experienced medical estheticians and nurses that can work with you, to reduce your scars.
During my consultation with Dr. Shapiro, I explained that this time I wanted to have a lift, have my implants placed under the muscle and switch to the Natrelle® Silicone Gel implants. I had saline implants, and honestly they were fine, but I wanted to switch to the new silicone gel implants because they feel more natural and they are less likely to cause capsular contractor and rippling. I also told Dr Shapiro that I have a short torso and that my original implants were placed so low that it made my torso shorter, he agreed and said we could place them higher. We also discussed size, I was okay with my current size, but thought I would actually like to be a smaller. He assessed the size of my frame, and said we could go a little smaller, but suggested that I probably would look better if I didn’t go too small. He also explained that when you place implants under the muscle they look smaller anyway. I had one other concern, like many other women, pregnancy caused the areola to spread and I wanted to make them a little smaller. We discussed all my concerns and I felt confidant that Dr. Shapiro could create the look I wanted. I must add that a good plastic surgeon is like an artist, and I think Shapiro has a good eye for aesthetics and knows what looks good for each person. I don’t know if this comes from experience or is just a natural talent, I suspect it’s both. So, although I had an idea of what I wanted, I also wanted his opinion of what would look best for my body type. I’m kind of a control freak, but I respect and trust his opinion.
Day of Surgery
I arrived at the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center an hour early, so that I could be prepped for surgery. When we got to the surgery center I was impressed with how nice it was. The waiting room was warm and inviting, however my husband and I were quickly escorted to a private room, that was also very comfortable. A nurse came in to prep me and start my IV, then Dr Shapiro came in to go over any last minute questions and mark me for surgery. The entire ambiance made me feel relaxed, like I was at a nice hotel or spa. It is always cold in a surgery room but I was put on to this warm cushioned surgery table and covered with warm blankets. I remember thinking “wow, this is so nice” before slipping off to dream land.
During surgery Dr Shapiro discovered I had developed bilateral capsular contractor, which is scar tissue that can form around breast implants and may even cause the breasts to harden. This wasn’t visibly obvious, my breasts didn’t feel hard, and nothing showed up in my mammogram. I’m guessing it’s because I had a lot of dense natural breast tissue, but I am only guessing. Dr. Shapiro had to spend an extra hour to do a corrective bilateral capsulectomy. A Capsulectomy is the surgical removal of a Capsular contracture or the formation of tight scar tissue that can develop around the implants. I would like to apologize to whom ever was scheduled for surgery after me, but I am so grateful that Dr Shapiro took the time to do the job right. He obviously cares about his patients and takes pride in his work.
Capsular Contracture Around Breast Implant
Photo’s from www.implantforum.com
After surgery you are moved back into a private recovery room. I appreciate the special attention to privacy. I have had outpatient surgeries before in a hospital, and they only have little cloth curtains between patients and when you wake up and you can see and hear the nurses, other patients and their family’s in the recovery area, which means they can hear your conversations too. I remember having to go in to a hospital surgery center and I hated thinking that other patients could hear my conversation with the nurse about my post-op care. It was already a very difficult time and I had hoped that they would be more discrete.
I only took a week off work to recover. I am only two weeks post-op and am starting to feel much better, however having implants under the muscle is much more uncomfortable than over the muscle. The muscle feels tight and sore, like you did a strenuous work out, but worse. I seem to feel fine during the day, but first thing in the morning, when I am getting out of bed, my breast feel heavy, they are probably swollen. If I have pushed myself, trying to do to much, I find I am more uncomfortable at the end of the night. I have had all my stitches removed, and have to wear a sports bra for 6 weeks. Dr Shapiro’s nurse Pat has instructed me on how to massage my breasts to keep them soft. I must warn you there are instructional video’s online, for breast massage, however some techniques may not be appropriate for you. Always, follow your surgeons instructions.
I know you shouldn’t judge results until about 6-8 weeks post opp, because the breasts are healing and swollen. When the implants are placed under the muscle, the muscle pushes on the implant and the muscle will relax with time and the breast will look and feel softer. However, even at this point I can tell they look great. Dr Shapiro and I were joking that I owe him big, because they look so good.
(Plus he had to work so hard to reconstruct and correct the damage I had) It is a little strange that they are smaller, I even felt a little sad for a moment, because I was use to very large breasts. I had mixed feelings because my larger breast made me feel a little National Geographic, and matronly. I tried on one of my old bra’s and I am actually not much smaller, it just looks that way because they are firmer and lifted. I have noticed a lot more women coming in and switching out their large implants, and now I know why. It really looks better and believe it or not younger. I feel like although my breasts are a little smaller, they remind me of how I looked at 18 and I feel motivated to start working out so the rest of my body can match, soon as I am recovered. When I was about 25 I joked with my husband that I would look better at 50, than I did in my 20′s. Clearly I was crazy, but maybe Dr Shapiro will help get me close. I will not share my personal photo’s, but you can go to Dr Shapiro’s website and see a few before and after photo’s or schedule a consultation in the office.
Dr Shapiro has always had the reputation for doing great face lifts and specialized facial work. I know he really enjoys those procedures and people fly in from all over to have him work on their face. Based on my personal experience and what I have seen from his patients and the patients I have seen from other surgeons, I think he may be the go-to guy for breast augmentations.
Shapiro Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
5410 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste F-100
Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253
* Located on the South West corner of Scottsdale Rd and Jackrabbit.
Yuri’s Popcorn & More
I love when you accidentally discover something you love. Recently, I ran out to get my daily dose of caffeine at Starbucks, when I spotted Yuri’s Popcorn & More. Naturally, I had to go in and check it out, because I LOVE popcorn. Yuri’s Popcorn & More opened this October in Scottsdale, Arizona. They specialize in fresh gourmet popcorn in unique flavors using quality ingredients as well as chocolates, taffy, nostalgic candy, and more.
Talicia Ricahardson was vice president of operations for a hotel chain before she opened Yuri’s Popcorn & More. Opening a gourmet popcorn shop has been a long time dream for Phoenix mother, Talicia Richardson and it allows her more time with her family. Talicia even named the shop after her daughter Yuri.
This isn’t like the popcorn in the large tins at the drug store, it’s freshly made, delicious gourmet popcorn. I recommend trying samples of some of the more unique flavors. You can also choose from a variety of candies to have mixed into your popcorn. The day I was in they had a banana flavor that reminded me of banana Laffy Taffy. I purchased a large bag of the Crunchy Carmel Popcorn, and I can’t wait to go back in for another bag.
Gourmet popcorn is a unique gift, and Yuri’s can design a custom gift basket for any occasion. Gourmet popcorn is also a great treat for your party guests to snack on, or you can give your guests a popcorn party favor. Sales rep’s should also consider picking up some gourmet popcorn for their accounts, be original EVERYONE gives cookies.
Gourmet Popcorn Flavors
Cheesy Cheddar Popcorn
Crunchy Caramel Popcorn
Blanc Cheddar Popcorn
Spicy Pepper Popcorn
Strawberry Delight Popcorn
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn
Chili Cheese Popcorn
Blueberry Mojito Popcorn
Zesty Ranch Popcorn
Classic Butter Popcorn
Sunday and Monday Closed
Tuesday,Thursday & Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday & Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Spice, Wicked XXX, and K2 are popular brands of synthetic cannabis (marijuana), an herbal and chemical product that mimics the effects of cannabis. Synthetic cannabis has become very popular with teenagers, mainly due to the fact that is easy to get. Teens can get the products online, it is also sold in head shops as an incense or “herbal smoking blend”. It even comes in flavors like blueberry and strawberry. Synthetic cannabis does not produce positive results in drug tests for cannabis, it acts differently than THC. The labels don’t say what is in it, since the product is sold as incense, it’s not regulated like a food or drug, so manufacturer could put anything they want in it. It has never been tested in humans, however there are reports of people having heart rates around 150 and blood pressure shooting up to 200 over 100. The DEA is makeing products like K2 and Spice a Schedule I controlled substances (illegal drugs with no permitted medical use), the new regulation will be effective after a mandatory 30-day waiting period.
Salvia has become a popular drug among teenagers, parents should be aware that it is easily available over the counter. Salvia is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects, it is smoked by teens to induce hallucinations. Salvia also known as Divine Sage and Magic Mint is a legal, natural hallucinogen. Teens can easily access Salvia online or over the counter at health and spirituality stores. Some states have outlawed salvia. In Delaware, the law was pushed by a mother who believed salvia contributed to her son’s suicide.
Best of Both Worlds Az is introducing a “Teens” category dedicated to the special issues of raising a teenager. “Teens” will be a sub-catagory, of Family Affairs.
* Categories are found left side of page.
Teenagers have always had a language of their own, using slang words that leave parents clueless. Concerns about drugs, alcohol and sex are also nothing new, however today’s teenagers are much more tech savvy than their parents. Social networking and the development of cell phones with cameras and internet capabilities have changed the world of parenting. If a parent is to stand a chance raising a teen, they need to be “clued in” to the world of a teenager.
It truly does take a village to raise a child. This is a great opportunity for parents (and grandparent) to comment, ask questions, share advice and get informed. I encourage sharing these topics with any parent of a teen or tween.
Understanding Free Radicles
What is a free radical?
A free radical is any atom or molecule that is missing an electron from it’s outer shell, making it unstable. Free radicals float around until they stabilize. They stabilize by attacking an other molecule and steeling an electron. There are a wide variety of molecules from which they can steal an electron. The molecule that has been attacked by a free radicle, is now missing an electron and has become another free radical. This creates a chain reaction.
Free radicals are a necessary part of life.
Oxidation reactions are necessary part of life, unfortunately they can also be damaging. Our body produces free radicals almost constantly. Free radicals are by-products of a basic metabolic process called oxidation. Immune cells will also release free radicals in order to fight invading viruses and bacteria in, making them an important part of the body’s defenses.
Environmental sources of free radicals
The second source of free radicals is the environment. Free radicals from your environment can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed into the body. Air pollution, tobacco smoke, herbicides, and pesticides all form free radicals. UV rays, from sun exposure are also a cause of free radicals.
Whats the damage?
Damage caused by free radicals include aging, destruction of DNA and clogging of arteries. It is also believed that free radicles may play a role in cancer, strokes, and heart disease. Oxidative stress may also damage or kill cells. Free radicals cause damage to your skin’s structural support and decrease its elasticity, resilience, and suppleness.
Free Radical Theory of aging
The free-radical theory of aging (FRTA) states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. There is evidence that reducing oxidative damage can extend life span. Dr. Denham Harmon, M.D., Ph.D., first proposed a theory of aging in the 1950′s, it is now considered a major theory of aging. Dr. Harmon’s theory also implies that antioxidants will slow the aging process.
What is an antioxidant.
Antioxidants stop the chain reactions of free radical, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules.
Antioxidants have an extra electron, so they can their extra electron to a free radical. When antioxidants donate an electron to a free radical, they neutralize that free radical.
Exogenous and Endogenous
Endogenous antioxidants are made by the body, compared to Exogenous antioxidants which are obtained from our diet. Unfortunately, as we age the body produces less endogenous antioxidants. It is believed that the decrease in endogenous antioxidants leads to premature aging. The body is incapable of producing enough endogenous antioxidants to combat free radicals on their own, so it is essential to get additional antioxidants through diet.
The body makes five types of endogenous antioxidants:
superoxide dismatuse (SOD), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Catalase and glutathione peroxidase are important, because the body can produce more of them when certain free radicals are present.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities of food.However, because the ORAC method is derived only in test tube experiments it cannot be applied to human biology. Currently there aren’t any food compounds other than, antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C and E ) that have been proven with antioxidant efficacy in vivo. Antioxidant from non-nutrient compounds in foods, such as polyphenols, which have high antioxidant capacity in vitro can provide an artificial index of antioxidant strength with the ORAC measurement. Many of these ORAC values remain unconfirmed and are not scientifically credible, and may mislead consumers. The FDA has published guidance disallowing food product labels to claim an antioxidant benefit, when no evidence currently exists. Numerous health food and beverage companies have promoted products claimed to be “high in ORAC”.
Is more, better?
Researchers are still learning about the effects of an excessively high intake of antioxidants, some studies are showing that excessive amounts may have negative effects, like inhibiting key enzymes in the body.
You need a variety of antioxidants.
Any molecule that protects your cells against oxidation is technically an antioxidant, but not all antioxidants operate the same way. Antioxidants are not interchangeable, each has a unique set of chemical behaviors and biological properties. Antioxidants work together as part of a network, and no single antioxidant can do the work a group. Some antioxidants may excel at fighting certain types of free radicals, or only work in certain parts of a cell. There are even some that are only effective under the right conditions. Antioxidant diversity is important.
Sources of Antioxidants
All plants produce antioxidants. Even meat, dairy products, and eggs contain some antioxidants, which mainly come from the nutrient-rich plants the animals fed on. Plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases.
Antioxidant enzymes made by the body:
superoxide dismutase (SOD)
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and Glutathione
Vitamin A and Carotenoids
Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots (bright-colored fruits and vegetables)
Citrus fruits like oranges and lime etc, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes
Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil
Fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken and garlic
Flavonoids / polyphenols
soy, red wine, purple or Concord grapes, pomegranate, cranberries, tea
Tomato, tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon
dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprout and spinach
flax seed, oatmeal, barley, rye
My conclusion is simple:
- Eat a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t depend on any single “super” antioxidants, a variety of antioxidants are needed.
- Just because you read that red wine, tea or chocolate is high in antioxidants, you don’t want to depend on them as your main source of antioxidants. Remember currently only antioxidants from food compounds with vitamins (vitamins A, C and E ) have been proven with antioxidant efficacy in vivo.
- Avoid environmental factors that produce free radicals.
This is my favorite time of year since the weather is finally starting to cool down! I love getting into the fall spirit by doing family activities such a pumpkin patches, hay rides, horse back riding, and haunted houses.
Fall Pumpkin Celebration at Apple Annie’s Produce and Pumpkins in Wilcox, Az: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Now through Oct. 31st. Take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkins, fall vegetables and apples! Admission includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch and a childrens play area. The farm also features a corn maze with three difficulty levels, an “All-You-Can-Eat” pancake breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and a burger lunch served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. $3 admission, prices vary for pumpkins and vegetables. Apple Annie’s Produce and Pumpkins, 6405 W. Williams Road, Willcox. 520-384-4685. www.appleannies.com.
Pumpkin Festival at Freeman Farms in Chino Valley, Az: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Now through Oct. 31st. Pick your own pumpkin from the vine while enjoying the working farm. Visitors can also check out giant donkeys and other animals in the petting zoo. Other activities include hay rides and a mini-corn maze. $3 pumpkin patch, $10 all attractions, individual activity pricing available. Freeman Farms, Elemental Farms 1096 E. Road 3 South, Chino Valley. 520-850-3990. www.azpumpkins.com.
Pumpkin Patch at Mother Natures Farm in Gilbert : 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Now through Nov. 5 Purchase pumpkins and decorate them, plus inflatable bounce house, hay rides, a straw bounce, animal feeding and Alexander’s Adventure Maze created with bales of hay. Hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, drinks and snow cones, are available for purchase and dine at picnic tables or in the grassy field. Mother Nature’s Farm, 1663 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert. $7, $3 adults. 480-892-5874. www.mothernaturesfarm.com
Pumpkin and Chili Party at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Voted as one of the best family friendly experiences by Phoenix Magazine, this pumpkin patch festival offers something for everyone. Featured rides are hay wagon, roller coaster, carousels and trains. Try finding your way through a 4- or 10-acre cornfield maze or relax by a bonfire and roast marshmallows. A rock-climbing wall, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and grilled food are also featured. $15, $10 military, $7.50 for Queen Creek residents on Thursdays, $7.50 for age 60 and older Thursdays and Fridays, free age 2 and younger, $12 discount tickets available at Fry’s. Schnepf Farms, 24810 Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. 480-987-3100. www.schnepffarms.com.
Pumpkin Days and Fall Maze at Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale, Az: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Now through Nov. 21st. Find the perfect pumpkin for your family in the pumpkin patch, get lost in the 6-acre family corn maze or be daring and try to find your way through the haunted corn maze. Children’s activities include a petting zoo, train rides and a hay pyramid. Hours change in November; call for new times. Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale. $7, free age 1 or younger. 623-386-1301. www.tolmachoff-farms.com.
Fall Festival at Vertuccio Farms in Mesa, Az: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Now through Nov. 20th. Families can make their way through a 10-acre corn maze, jump in the bounce house, pick a pumpkin from the patch and ride on the barrel train. See turkeys, ducks, donkeys, pigs and cows. Hot dogs, barbecue, Icees, soda and kettle corn are available for purchase. Non-perishable food donations are accepted for St. Mary’s Food Bank for a $1 discount on admission.$6, free age 4 and younger. Closed Monday-Wednesday after Nov. 1. Vertuccio Farms, 4011 S. Power Road, Mesa. 480-650-6606 or 480-650-6611. www.vertucciofarms.com.
Fall Festival at Agua Linda Farm in Tucson, Az: 5-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. This annual festival lets families spend a day on a real, working farm, while enjoying a pumpkin patch, hayrides, petting zoo, pony rides, vegetable picking, a hay-bale maze, live music and movie nights Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also plenty to eat and games to play. $7 per car. Agua Linda Farm, 2643 E. Frontage Road, Amado. 520-398-3218. www.agualindafarm.net.
Farmers Market: Harvest and Halloween in Phoenix at City North: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday Oct. 17 ONLY This family friendly farmers market features a pumpkin patch, hay bales, a train and balloon animals. City North retailers offer specials, and fresh local produce, plants and holiday wreaths are available for purchase. Musical entertainment is provided, and kids’ activities include a “play factory,” face painting, pony rides and root-beer floats. Free admission. City North, 5515 E. Deer Valley Drive, Phoenix. 480-319-8700. www.facebook.com/ccofcitynorth.
The Great Pumpkin Festival in Phoenix at Desert Botanical Gardens: 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 21-22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 23-24. Take a hayride out to the garden’s pumpkin patch where children ages 12 and younger can choose their own pumpkin for free. A petting zoo, hay-bale maze and live country-Western entertainment are also featured. Activities included in garden’s admission. $15, $13.50 ages 60 and older, $7.50 students with ID, $5 children age 3-12, free for members and children 2 and younger. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 480-941-1225. www.dbg.org.
“Halo-Win” at Avalon Organic Gardens in Tubac, Az: Sunday Oct. 31st 3-5 p.m. This Halloween festival features face painting, games, kids’ activities and live music. Visitors can compete in a costume contest for a chance to win a free garden tour and lunch for the family at the Avalon Organic Gardens, Farm and Ranch near Tubac. Proceeds benefit nonprofit teen and young adult rehabilitation programs and the Avalon Gardens internships of Global Community Communications Alliance. Free, donations accepted. Tubac Music Plaza, 29 Tubac Plaza, Tubac. 520-398-2542. www.avalongardens.org
Pumpkin Patch at MacDonalds Ranch in Scottsdale, Az: Open 7 days a week 9am-6pm. Now through Oct. 30th. $7 per person entrance fee, Bring 1 or more cans food for $1 off. Pumpkins range from $3 – $12 depending on size. Hayride to Pumpkin Patch, Hay Maze, Petting Zoo, Free Pony rides (just tip the person leading the horse), Sack Races, Horse Shoe Games, and More! MacDonalds Ranch in North Scottsdale 26540 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale Az 85255 480-585-0239 www.macdonaldsranch.com
1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups milk ( I prefer vanilla soy milk)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
Whip cream (optional)
* you can add a scoop of icecream
Place the pumpkin puree in a freezer bag; store in freezer or until frozen.
You can heat the bag of pumpkin puree in the microwave, just enough to soften, about a minute.
Pour the milk into a blender. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin; blend until smooth. Garnish with a bit of whip cream.
I have made this for my family a few times, and even my kids like it. It has a strong pumpkin flavor, so if you prefer a more of a desert, you can reduce some of the pumpkin puree and add a scoop of icecream. It’s like pumpkin pie in a glass. Yum!