Why we’ll be trying to read more this fall, a celebrity mom site we love, detecting concussions and why dads are the best—that’s what we’re talking about at the office this week.
Reading is Even Better for You than We Previously Thought
We always knew that devouring a good book was good for our mental health: it calms the mind, relaxes us, and often prepares us for sleep. But a recent article published on fastcompany.com has revealed that losing oneself in a good read is even better for you than we previously thought. Because reading gives you a broader and richer understanding of different perspectives and experiences, it leads to an increased ability to cope with difficult situations, explains Dr Josie Billington, deputy director of the Centre for Research into Reading at the University of Liverpool. ‘People who read find it easier to make decisions, plan, and prioritize, and this may be because they are more able to recognize that difficulty and setback are unavoidable aspects of human life,’ says Billington. We’re inspired—perhaps a little goal setting is in order.
Groknation Is Not Your Average ‘Celebrity Mom Site’
Did you know that Mayim Bialik, aka Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory and the title character from Blossom, is a real-life neuroscientist? (How’s that for art imitating life?) Turns out the Ph.D-carrying actor is also a totally kick-ass single mom of two, a vocal advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education, a vegan, a feminist, and a self-described ‘aspiring Modern Orthodox’ Jew. Mayim launched her own site, groknation.com, this month, and you don’t have to be on board with everything she says (among her more contentious beliefs: attachment parenting and very modest dress) to appreciate her level-headed approach to everything. She says, ‘I believe that there is a meaningful way to approach every issue’—and that shows. She’s definitely not Gwyneth or Blake, and we find her voice refreshing. She writes about everything from motherhood to Hollywood to current events. Check it out here.
A Concussion Handbook We Can All Understand
September draws near, which means the return of afterschool sports and gym class, and unfortunately, the occasional accident that come with them. It’s time to brush up on our first aid knowledge, so we were pleased to see Holland Bloorview Hospital in Toronto in the news last week because they have a new concussion handbook that can be downloaded from their website. The hospital did a study and found that if kids know the symptoms of concussions, they get reported sooner because, of course, kids are the ones who can best monitor how they really feel. We know that kids don’t always have the words to describe how they feel to us, so we love that this empowers them to know what’s going on with their bodies and enables them to get help sooner. It’s a handy resource written in plain language—so we’ll be going over it with our bigger kids before hockey season starts.
Dads Are Amazing
We passed this video around this office this week—and it reduced each and everyone one of us at Savvy to tears (and that’s saying something—we see a lot of parenting ads). Just give it a watch, you’ll see why there wasn’t a dry eye in our office.
It’s That Time Again….
It’s almost time. Time for them to go back. So that you can spend the last remaining days of summer actually enjoying them, we’ve done the legwork and found the best backpack, lunch ideas, and weekday morning hacks you need to start the school year on the right foot. You can thank us later—there are walks to be had and ice cream to be eaten now.
Have a great week.
Summer sports, surprising new products from Nike and lululemon, summer shortcuts we’re embracing and an Instagram takeover. That’s what got us talking this week.
1. Sport’s Great Ones Advocate for Variety in Kid’s Athletics
Attention, sport moms, we’ve come across a few different articles this week that have us mulling over the benefits of having our kids play more than one sport—as opposed to the same one all the time, no matter the season. We liked this article in USA Today, written just days before the World Cup women’s final, which noted that Abby Wambach, hailed by many as the greatest header of a ball in women’s soccer, learned her heading skills while playing basketball. Wambach says that as a tall child, when she played basketball it was always as power forward, where she learned the art of the rebound—timing your jump and learning about the trajectory of the ball off a rim—all things that would make her a heading powerhouse in her later soccer career. In fact, Wambach and her teammates collectively played more than14 different sports competitively (plus soccer) while growing up, and they all believe this helped, not hindered, their soccer careers through the development of different skills, muscles, and by preventing overuse injuries. If that wasn’t convincing enough, Wayne Gretzky has been quoted saying that one of the worst things to happen to hockey has been the increasing prevalence of year-round camps, in particular summer hockey. The Great One says that when he was young, all the best players mixed it up and played lacrosse avidly during the summer months, picking up new skills and moves. So, the secret to hockey superstardom is lacrosse, eh? Seems fitting to us, since lacrosse is officially the national summer sport of Canada!
2. Nike Makes Good on a Promise
In other sporty news, we loved this piece in the Good News Network about a very cool shoe release from Nike. The sportswear giant was petitioned by 16-year-old Matthew Walzer in 2012 to create a shoe for people with limited flexibility. Matthew, who has cerebral palsy—and a passion for sports—asked Nike to make a shoe that he could put on and take off himself. His letter got their attention, and Nike has been working with Matthew on a lace-free prototype that slides easily on and off a foot ever since. The final product, released last week, is called the ‘Zoom Soldier 8 FLYEASE’, and features a wrap-around enclosure that opens at the back and includes the same ankle support as Lebron James’s line. Nike proudly outfitted both Matthew and two Special Olympics World Summer Games basketball teams with the new shoe. As Tobie Hatfield, a Nike senior designer put it, ‘when we say, ‘If you have a body, you are an athlete’, that means everybody.
3. lululemon is Making Craft Beer Now
Things that are inevitable: death, taxes, and lululemon making headlines for absurd reasons. (See exhibits A, and B). Their latest nutty venture: craft beer. lulu will be producing a beer this summer, because, well, why not? Yogis like beer too. The beer, dubbed the ‘Curiosity Lager’, will be made by Vancouver’s Stanley Park Brewing company. The lager is a limited-edition run of only 88,000 cans—so don’t get too excited—and it will only be available at some stores in B.C., Alberta, and at the Sunset Festival, the after-party for lululemon’s half marathon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. While we think following up a light yoga session with a glass of cold suds sounds positively relaxing, we can’t help but think the yoga-wear chain might be diversifying too much.
4. Cooking Shortcuts to Try This Summer
A shortcut, especially the dinner-making kind, is a beautiful thing. Thanks to the hot weather, we’ve been seeing more than usual crop up amongst our Savvy Storytellers and Savvy staffers. Julie from Dinner with Julie was invited to a last minute backyard gathering, and with fresh blueberries on hand but absolutely zero time to bake them into something, came up with these ingenious tarts, which, we kid you not, are done in 15 minutes. Our food editor Jan found herself in a similar pinch when she realized she would need a birthday cake STAT—and invented this lightning-fast brownie cake to save the day. In our on-going quest to turn on the oven as little as possible this summer, we shared these four no-cook recipes in our most recent issue of EatSavvy. We think these shortcuts, hacks, and time-savers are ingenious—we’re for anything that gives us more time to enjoy the dog days of summer.
5. Speaking of Food…
Speaking of ingenious foodie friends, our resident food ninja and SavvyMom Food Editor Jan Scott will be taking over our Instagram account this Friday, July 31. We’ve handed over the reins, (er, login info) to our feed, and Jan will be ‘gramming away as she visits her Farmers’ Market, makes baby food, feeds her family, and records whatever else she gets up to that day. We can’t wait to see it. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram, and Jan, too.
Have a great week!