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Cooking with kids, a speech that brought us to tears, the myth (and magic) of quality time, Stevie Wonder, and top awards for great writing. That’s what we’re talking about this week.

1. Cooking With Kids: 5 Reasons You Should Be Doing It
We’ve seen plenty of articles about cooking with kids—and how important it is—over the years, but we appreciated that this one didn’t beat around the bush and flat-out acknowledged how daunting, intimidating, and plain hard cooking with kids actually is. Thank you, NYT. But we also loved that it didn’t let us off the hook, either. The article offers inspiration and gives us five reasons to make cooking with the kiddos a priority. It’s the right blend of practicality and motivation—and we loved it. Give it a read here.

the myth of quality time

2. The Myth of Quality Time
We loved this recent op-ed in the New York Times, ‘The Myth of Quality Time’, in which author Frank Bruni spoke with beautiful fondness of his family’s annual tradition of renting a cottage and spending seven days and nights as a family. Is that a lot of togetherness? Yes, which he acknowledges, and he also recognizes that such time is very hard to come by and hard to arrange. But he also tells us that this is when the magic happens, that physical presence means you’re more likely to be around when kids, with ‘unusual candor’, will spontaneously reveal gems about their thoughts, emotions, and lives—supplying generous answers to questions that had previously not amounted to much. Bruni says that, ‘…sustained proximity is the best route to the soul of someone; that unscripted gestures at unexpected junctures yield sweeter rewards than scripted ones…’. Food for thought.

The Beauty Pageant Contestant Who Brought Us to Tears

3. The Beauty Pageant Contestant Who Brought Us to Tears
We don’t normally pay much attention to the ins and outs of beauty pageants, but this video came across our radar this week and took us by surprise. For the talent portion of the show, Kelley Johnson, aka Miss Colorado, a registered nurse, unwaveringly recited a monologue about a patient who had touched her deeply. Her story touched us in turn, and we think it’s worth a watch. We’re rooting for Miss Colorado now—she’s obviously beautiful inside and out.

stevie wonder and james corden

4. James Corden Asks Stevie Wonder to Call His Wife, Stevie Makes Everyone’s Day
You may have seen James Corden’s (host of The Late Late Show) carpool karaoke series, in which he ostensibly ‘carpools’ with famous musicians. They inevitably end up singing along with the music James ‘happens’ to have cued up in his vehicle, always the singer’s own. It all makes for some very funny, very high-level karaoke. The latest musician to sing along with Corden is Stevie Wonder, and the episode went along as usual until Corden asked if Stevie wouldn’t mind calling Corden’s wife. When Stevie did, Corden’s composure cracked and he became a teary bundle of nerves and joy. We never see his wife on the other end of the phone line, but even Corden’s happiness is infectious. Clearly Stevie made everyone’s day—and together they’re making ours. Give it a watch—we promise you it will give you the warm fuzzies.

5. Our Savvy Storytellers Are Cleaning up This (Writing) Awards Season.
We were pleased as punch to learn that thenewfamily.com was nominated for best blog or column at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards for their series ‘The 1,000 Families Project’. The ‘1,000 Families Project’ aims to show that there are ‘1,000 different ways to be a family’—and so many of our Savvy writers, editors and Storytellers have been featured and have had a chance to share their family’s unique story. Thenewfamily.com is part of the Savvy family, and we’re pretty proud of this nom. Congrats, guys! Check out their series here.

Meanwhile, we eagerly await the news of the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards. Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food is nominated in the general cookbooks category, and the authors Julie and Jan are long-time writers and editors, respectively, for Savvy. We love Gatherings and can’t say enough about its refreshing approach to family meals. The awards are this Monday night, and in our minds Gatherings has already won by encouraging families to spend time together around the dinner table, relishing both each other’s company and simple, flavourful and fresh meals. Bravo to Jan and Julie and all their hard work—you’re winners already.

Have a great week.

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why reading is good for you
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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.

WELCOME TO GROKNATION!

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.

Concussion Handbook

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 awesome

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 time for back to school!

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.

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