Weekend Wrap Up #11

Hmm, is it too late to say where on Earth did January go? How is it possibly the second weekend of February already? I started school on Monday, and this week has been a bit of a blur.

I truly feel for those on the East Coast right now. Snow storms are no fun, and I hope everyone out there stays safe! On the bright side it seems that with everyone trapped inside, there’s plenty of time to make Harlem Shake videos. [Read more...]

Weekend Wrap Up #10

If a wreath is left unattended, it will end up on Aiden’s head. No exceptions.

First week of 2013, what happened to you? The flu. That’s what happened. What started as a nasty cold a day or two before New Year’s Eve turned into Influenza B, and most of us (myself included, but Aiden and Sean were spared, thankfully) have been miserable since. Yes, we all got our flu shots, but those only immunize against a select few strains, and even then there’s the chance that you may get it. Hopefully, we’ll all be better in a few days.

So what have we been up to this past week? Well, besides lying in bed, eating chocolate and saltine crackers, and catching up on Downton Abbey (or maybe that’s just me?), we’ve spent a quiet week around the house. Clare and John went back to school on Thursday, and Tav and Mary will go back on Monday, when they’re feeling better.

Our New Year’s Eve was a happy one, since nobody had been hit by the full force of the flu yet. Dad organized a treasure hunt for Aiden, John, and Clare, complete with rhyming riddles. The final treasure was a new Lego set for them to share. This was the first time we’ve had a treasure hunt for New Year’s Eve, and I think it is a tradition we’ll be keeping around. I just have to share some of the clues: [Read more...]

Weekend Wrap Up #9

Happy Sunday! Can you believe Christmas Day came and went so quickly? Thank goodness for the 12 Days of Christmas; we’re still in the Christmas season until Epiphany on January 6th!

We put up our tree last Sunday. I can’t believe we made it that long! But just like we hoped, abstaining from Christmas things during Advent made it that much more special when we opened the candy cane and mistletoe flood gates of all things Christmas-y!

Breakfast at St. Clair Broiler

On Monday morning, we went out for breakfast at a favorite local spot, the St. Clair Broiler. It’s very close to our house, the service and food are always great, and the waitresses were all wearing Christmas sweaters. It definitely got us all in the Christmas spirit! Sean is still recovering from his jaw surgery (hence the swelling and bandages) but discovered he could eat pancakes if he cut them up into tiny bites and just swallowed them without chewing. Success! [Read more...]

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Weekend, everyone! In the past when we’ve done a Weekend Wrap Up, it’s been more of a link post, but we want to try something a little different. Due to requests from our family that reads the blog, we’ve decided to include some more personal details and updates about what’s been going on in our family during the week. Not only will this benefit our extended family that lives far away, it will benefit you, our dear readers! We can’t wait to share a little more about our daily lives with you. [Read more...]

Weekend Wrap Up

Pumping on the swing, all by himself.

 

  • Look, America, we need to talk. You’ve put your health on the back burner for far too long, and it shows. I know, I know, you’re working two jobs, you’re a full-time student, and you have 3 kids. I get it. I was right there with you for the past 45 years. But no more excuses. Your bad habits are rubbing off on your kids, and that’s just not ok. Only 1 in 4 kids are getting their recommended daily exercise, and only 12% of teens are getting theirs. What do you have to say for yourself? Well, if exercise for the sake of your health isn’t going to do it, what about for the sake of your brain? Don’t believe me? Check out Working Out Doesn’t Just Make You Stronger, It Makes You Smarter and the accompanying infographic for a dose of reality, and maybe the motivation you need. If you don’t care about diabetes, surely you’ll care about your child getting Ds, right? (Fast Co.Exist) – T

 

  • In a society that seems to value standardized test scores over the ability to write a sonnet, I think we all could use a little more creativity in our lives. Want a quick and easy plan for fostering that creativity in your son or daughter? Sorry, no such thing. But what you can do is read 5 Steps to Raising a Creative Child. You’ll come away with a better sense of what creativity is, how to promote it, and how to find it in yourself. Plus, I guarantee you won’t be able to read just one article on this blog – it’s so full of amazing content, you’ll find yourself saying ‘ok just this one, then I’m done’ at least five times. (Imagination Soup) – H

 

  • Shell’s PYHO feature is always a favorite of mine, but Pour Your Heart Out: Seeing a Difference really hit home. Both of my birth daughters have ADHD. One is medicated, and one is not. The struggle of whether to medicate a child or not is an incredibly personal one, and something that shouldn’t be judged lightly. The payoff of seeing a difference with medication can make you feel as though you made the right choice. The comments of other parents (and sometimes even family) can make you feel like you took ‘the easy way out.’ There is no easy way out with mental illness. I applaud Shell for doing what is right for her family, and not letting outside influences or opinions get her down. I am so glad to hear that she see a difference, but my heart goes out to her in those situations where people don’t realize what it is they’re saying. (Things I Can’t Say) – T

 

  • Sometimes you come across something so simple, and yet so informative, that you feel like you want to bring back chain emails, complete with “if you don’t watch this and then forward to 10 of your friends, a leprechaun will sneak into your home, turn on all the faucets, and leave them running.”  This Video Will Get You Off Plastic is one of those things. I’d really rather not turn to chain emails, so please, just watch the video. It’s less than 2 minutes, and I promise it isn’t too preachy. (Goodnet) – H

Weekend Wrap Up

No, we didn’t get a cat (my dad is allergic). It’s our neighbors’, but Aiden was completely smitten. Also, ignore the spotty and mostly dead grass (Midwest drought, dontcha know!) and focus on the cute toddler and kitten.

 
  •  I really loved this post by Jessica, and I think it is something we can all relate to. Their photo album isn’t about carrying around your DSLR at all times and making sure you get the lighting right, or even about whipping out your camera phone whenever you think they’re about to do something cute. It’s about making memories. What have you done lately to make a memory that you and your children can look back on and remember fondly? Keeping this in mind really helped me shift my thinking from just getting through the day to really trying to make each and every day count. (Four Plus an Angel)
  • Molly’s post about In Due Time really struck home for me. I feel like Sean & I are in such a transition stage – still in school, still living with my parents, still so far away from our ‘real’ careers – and sometimes I just wish things would hurry up so we can really start ‘living.’ Then a post like this comes along and I realize, we are living. Our lives are going on, right in front of us, each and every day. Our lives aren’t in transition, just a different chapter, and each chapter of our lives has its own value and memories. In due time, we’ll settle down a bit, but for now, I’m enjoying our current chapter. (Molly Makes Do)
  • I think the reason why I love Charlotte’s writing (besides the fact that she’s hilarious, and honest, and from Minnesota) is because she does such a great job presenting scientific results in an accessible way. I love statistics and research findings, and I could read scientific journals until my eyes start to blur (and you thought you were weird!), but that doesn’t mean I can always present them in a concise, articulate manner. With that being said, you probably are going to want to check our her latest post, The Sad Sad Case of Taylor Townsend: Why Everything You Know is Wrong About The Effects of Nutrition, Exercise and Weight on Longevity. (The Great Fitness Experiment)
  • So Sean and I are just getting over a nasty bug – sore throat, a wheezy cough, headache and sinus pain. He had it for a solid two weeks, went to the doctor, and they told him to wait it out. Thankfully, I only had it for 3 or 4 days, and am feeling better, but that cough is still lingering! I wish I would have read Nicole’s post, 6 easy ways to boost your immune system this fall, so much sooner! Packed with tons of great information! As cold and flu season is fast approaching, I think we could all use a refresher on how to stay our healthiest! (Simple Homemade)
Guess what! You can now follow our blog with Bloglovin!

Weekend Wrap Up

I’m a little obsessed with planners, and this year I finally broke down and got an Erin Condren. This quote was found on one of the inside pages. I’m in love! – H

 

  • So this post on Teaching to Fail is a long one, and you could probably just skim it, but honestly, the ideas are so excellent that maybe you should just read the whole thing. Making 5% of a student’s grade based on their ‘quality of failure?’ Genius! We’re often so wrapped up in test scores and getting the ‘right’ answer, that we fail (ha!) to remember how much we learn by being wrong! (Inside Higher Ed)
  • He didn’t make me fast, but I still run for His pleasure by Tsh is an excellent reminder that we all could use. Our bodies, particularly after we become mothers, just aren’t our own. They’re given to us as a gift, and we can either treasure that gift, or we can trash it. Besides the myriad of health benefits and longevity, why wouldn’t we want to be healthy? Why wouldn’t we want to be able to live life to its fullest and experience everything it has to offer, rather than being held back because we are self-conscious or physically unable to do something? This is the one body we’re given, and I for one, intend to make the most of it. ([in]Courage)
  • So the school year is in full swing, whether we’re ready or not, and Shell has a quick & easy list of 6 Back to School Organization Tips. I especially love the one about writing names on the back of the backpacks – easy to identify, but not so easy for creepers to learn their names! We also just started doing individual school snacks in a large tote, and it has definitely been a lifesaver for making sure everyone gets out the door on time! (Things I Can’t Say)
  •  Amanda was one of the first bloggers I ever started following (she may actually have been the first!). There’s just something about her gorgeous pictures, relaxed attitude, and natural lifestyle that appeals so much to be. Her words are always full of wisdom, and I honestly couldn’t agree more with her post on taking time to Convalesce in this busy world of ours. I can definitely relate after a summer of traveling, illness, and just general busyness. Sometimes you need time to just be. (SouleMama)

Weekend Wrap Up

 Now if only there was an article titled ’10 Way to Eat Jalapeños – Besides Salsa’!

 

  • Mark talks about The Rich and Measurable Benefits of Spending More Time in Nature and I think it’s a fantastic introduction if you’ve never heard about this kind of research before (or a refresher, if you’ve forgotten!). Raised by a scientist and a lawyer, I’ve always been told to think critically, ask questions, and look at sources. So while most of us probably know it’s good to get outside, Mark does a great job summarizing some of the current scientific literature on the real benefits of spending more time outside. With summer drawing to an end, and the school year before us, I think it’s important for all of us to remember to get outside, despite the weather, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. (Mark’s Daily Apple)

 

  • I love this article by Leo on My Fav Procrastination Hack – 30-10. I actually already do a version of this when I’m studying, but tailor it to how my attention span is feeling at the time. If I’m really having difficulty staying focused, I’ll do 15-5 to keep myself on task, but if the material is a little more interesting, I’ll do 45 or 60-10, just so I don’t get burnt out. While I’ll occasionally use the break period to do things I really like to do (read blogs, browse Instagram, etc.) I find that doing those types of things can make me less productive, as I tend to stay on my break for a lot longer than I should. To curb this, I’ll try to do something different, but still relatively productive, like a Sudoku puzzle, or organizing my planner or to-do list. I find staying in the ‘productive mindset’ makes the transition back to actually working a little easier. (Zen Habits)

 

  • We always seem to have an abundance of tomatoes in the summer. Usually way more than we know what to do with, so it’s nice to get some fresh ideas every now and then. 10 Ways to Eat Tomatoes is just that! Hello, Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Tomato and Basil! (Daily Spark)

 

  • I really love this article by Tsh on How (and why) our kids drink (almost) only water. Some of the people in our family are recovering pop and sugary drink addicts (but I won’t name names ;) ) and we’ve been working hard on incorporating more water into our daily routine. I like the idea of having the water available in the fridge for the kids to get themselves – fostering independence and delegating responsibilities? That’s a win in my book! (Simple Mom)

Weekend Wrap Up

The newest additions to the Mac-Lindy household . . . goldfish!

  • The public school parent’s guide to learning at home is written by a former public school teacher, and is an awesome starting point for how parents can supplement their children’s experience in  school – whether it’s in a public school, or private! After having kids attend both, we’re fairly certain that kids do best (regardless of environment) when their parents and family take an interest in their learning, and provide an environment at home that supports it! (Simple Mom)
  • Bookshelf Love, by Haley, is just the type of thing a bookworm like me (H) goes nuts over. A well organized bookshelf . . . salivating like Pavlov’s puppy! (Carrots for Michaelmas)
  • 10 Reasons To Never Eat Free Food, by Darya, should be required reading for all college students, as well as anyone that works in an environment where co-workers bring in food often . . . I happen to fall into both categories! (Summer Tomato)
  • The Unexpected Challenges of Law School: Speaking Up is written by a female law student who I can really identify with – the one who is constantly participating and raising her hand during undergrad classes! I may or may not have prompted a few professors to say, “Anyone else besides Hannah?” Any ways – after reading this, I definitely feel more aware of the fact that everyone in law school is going to be participating (especially the guys, who make up the vast majority of the classroom), and I need to get over that “But what if I’m wrong?” anxiety, and participate regardless! (Ms. JD)

Weekend Wrap Up

View from the balcony at the resort where we held our wedding ceremony & reception. - H

  • I love the ideas on how to Set up a snacking station and more tips for a (parent friendly) kids’ party by Aimee, of Simple Bites, but why wait for a kids’ party? A kid friendly snack station might just be a godsend for those busy afternoons around the house!
  • Some of the children in our house tend to be on the highly reactive side (or are just your typical toddler), and 8 Simple Ways to Make Transitions Easier for Kids by Toddler Approved has some great ideas. These would honestly work for kids of all ages, especially those that tend to get crabby or upset about a change in routine.
  • Local news, but great news nonetheless! Here in St. Paul, MN, a Healthier school lunch menu is passing its first taste test! With Tav, Mary, Clare, and John all attending public school this year (fingers crossed that it stays that way until June!), this couldn’t have come at a better time.
  • Speaking of healthier food, EWG (the group that puts together the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen every year to inform consumers on what produce items are really worth the organic price tag) has just released Good Food on a Tight Budget. The site is jam-packed with easy, accessible information for helping families make their food dollars go farther, greener, and healthier. Best of all, they’ve even consolidated most of the information found on the site into a nice little downloadable PDF.