Archive for the ‘
Q&A With Authors ’ Category
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
The Casserole Queens have taken over my blog! Best-selling authors and frequent TV guest chefs Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock tell you all about their new cookbook, getting kids to eat casseroles and even give you a super-easy and delicious recipe involving tater tots. Read on:
“Mealtime can become a battle between kids wanting their favorite foods and your desire to keep them healthy. We try to offer up menu items that can create some peace at the dinner table! For example, in our first book, The Casserole Queens Cookbook: Put Some Lovin’ in Your Oven, we took a kid favorite (Mac & Cheese) and gave it a unique twist. At first glance, our Lunch Lady Doris’ Spicy Mac and Cheese has all the things kids love, pasta and cheese – yet we sneak in some broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes to help balance out the dish. We Queens are sneaky like that!
We pull the same trick in our new book,The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook, with our Gluten Free Corn Dog Casserole! Just the smell alone will get the kids to the table in time for dinner. Maybe even the neighbor kids. Okay, forget the kids, who are we kidding? We love to eat it too! Casseroles are great for disguising vegetables, as they are layered with in the dish. You kids won’t even know you hit them with some vitamins!
Here are some other suggestions for kid-friendly meals from our Make-A-Meal Cookbook. And keep reading below for our Q&A with resident book reviewer and mom, Kristen Kemp. Then, below that, check out our recipe for Tater Tot Casserole! (more…)
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budget meals, casseroles, celebrity chef, Crystal Cook, kids meals, Sandy Pollock, tater tot casserole, The Casserole Queens, The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook | Categories:
Best Sellers, Cookbooks, Guest Blogs, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books, Q&A With Authors
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
Today, a new book comes out that pregnant women won’t want to miss. Prolific writer and Harvard-educated economist Emily Oster has released Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know. She’s such a brilliant researcher and wordsmith that I’m just going to let her explain it in her own words:
“Making the right decisions during pregnancy and birth isn’t easy. Like many pregnant women I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing, but I struggled to get good information about what that was. My doctor had a lot of rules about what I could and couldn’t do, but rarely was able to back those rules up with any evidence. In the end, I found I had to use my training in economics and statistics to sort through the data and find the real facts. Because you can’t make a good decision with bad information.
When I got the real facts, I found that sometimes I agreed with my doctor’s rules and recommendations, but not always. By getting the real facts – going back to the original medical studies and learning what the data really has to tell us – I was able to be more confident in my choices. And when friends came to ask about their own pregnancies, the data was able to help them be more confident, too.”
Thanks, Emily! Now read her thoughtful answers to my questions–including what she thinks is the most important advice for preggers people to take: (more…)
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alcohol during pregnancy, conventional wisdom, emily oster, expecting better, pregnancy, pregnancy myths | Categories:
Guest Blogs, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books, Q&A With Authors
Thursday, August 15th, 2013
As a longtime writer, I adore the famous creativity expert Julia Cameron and her seminal book, The Artist’s Way. I read it over and over in college as I tried to write colorful essays and stories. I still wake up a few minutes early to write three longhand (completely sloppy) pages of random stuff, an exercise Julia calls Morning Pages. Her tips, tricks and wisdom can add momentum and energy to your work and your life.
Finally, after years of requests, Julia has written The Artist’s Way for Parents. Use this great guide to increase creativity for your children–and for you, too. She says when adults get that vibrant energy flowing, inevitably kids will too. She also thinks we’re all too over-scheduled. So go ahead and do it: Just say no to that next activity, and use that time to stoke your creativity.
I was honored to interview Julia Cameron. Below, see what she has to say about playtime, boredom, technology and more.
KK: Do you think we over-schedule kids today? Do you think we often forget to give them the opportunity to be creative?
JC: Children today are often over-scheduled. In our desire for them to do well, we frequently demand that they do more. A violin lesson, a math tutor, a French class, a soccer match–all these and more are crammed into our children’s lives. Conspicuously missing is free time, time for the imagination to play.
KK: Why is creativity so important for children to cultivate and experience?
JC: Creativity brings happiness. Children experience the joy of living through developing their creativity.
KK: How is the Artist’s Way for Parents different than the original Artist’s Way?
JC: The original Artist’s Way focused on the nurturing of the self. The Artist’s Way for Parents focuses both on nurturing the self and nurturing the children in our care.
KK: If a busy new mom only has time for one creativity exercise for herself, which one would you suggest?
JC: Morning Pages–three pages of longhand morning writing that connects us to ourselves.
KK: Why is it important that she continues to explore her own interests?
JC: Continuing to explore her own interests keeps the new mother from feeling stymied and trapped.
KK: What’s a fast and easy creativity exercise for a mom and child to do right away?
JC: Mother and child can play the game of “Highlights”– each naming and describing the high point of the day.
KK: What are some of the ways that parents unknowingly limit their child’s creativity – and what are some ways that they can break this cycle and start encouraging their creativity?
JC: Over-scheduling their child’s time, far from improving their lives, actually damages them. Scheduling an hour of free time strengthens their imagination. When children are free to concoct their own diversions, they develop passionate pastimes. As they play with dolls or toy horses, they make up stories. These stories are often deeply imaginative.
KK: How can technology and our many digital devices (iPads, computers, TVs, etc.) be blocks to creativity?
JC: Technology teaches passivity. Absorbed in our devices — at any age– we are absorbed in someone else’s perspective.
KK: What are a few of the activities you did with you mother that really encouraged you to play and be creative?
JC: I would say crafts connected to holidays: Easter eggs, Halloween goblins, snowflakes, valentines.
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KK: You write that boredom is nothing more than a “call to action.” So when a child complains of boredom–how should parents respond?
JC: Setting out playthings and then leaving the child alone is the trick. Don’t try to “fix” the child’s boredom–rather, let the child find his or her inner resources.
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
Whenever two moms become friends, they inevitable share their birth stories. It’s just such a huge and ingrained moment in a woman’s life. Now health expert, Anne Drapkin Lyerly, M.D., has asked real mothers about our experiences and written a book about it. Currently expecting her fifth child, she knows what she’s talking about. In A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in Your Birth Experience, Dr. Lyerly discusses all the stuff we worry so much about. See what her angle is in our exclusive Q&A below.
KK: What is “A Good Birth”?
ADL: Indeed, that’s the question at the heart of my book. Broadly speaking, a good birth is a birth that a mom can look back at and feel good about – embrace, relish, value for what it was and what it meant – and means to her, on terms that make sense to her.
A Good Birth is also the title of my first book – definitely a labor of love, written in the first intense year of my fourth baby’s life, but conceived long before he was. For years I’d been frustrated by the contentious debates between midwifery and obstetrics, and by literature that was overly simplistic and dominated by the voices of practitioners and advocates rather than childbearing women themselves. It struck me that for decades society has taken seriously the notion of a “good death” but too many books on birth these days focus on birth plans or medical considerations, narrowly construed, without attending to the ways that birth is a serious life event, a bookend of life that deserves our attention and due regard. So I conducted a large study called The Good Birth Project, in which I asked a wide variety of women to talk about their births, what made them good, what made them bad. Their stories are the basis for A Good Birth – are gorgeous and full of wisdom and insight, and together point toward a better way of thinking and talking about birth than what we have now.
KK: Why is there so much controversy today about birth alternatives (midwives, home births, etc)?
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ADL: Part of it is that birth matters to us – it always has. Not just that it happens, but how. Memories of birth endure, stories of birth get told and retold. Birth is a major life event, we care how it happens, we care about that moment that we “meet” our child. And the stakes are high – birth involves bodily integrity, intimacy, private decisions, children. In those ways controversy it to be expected, perhaps welcomed. (more…)
A Good Birth, Anne Drapkin Lyerly, birth story, Dr. Anne Lyerly, home birth, homebirth, medical birth, natural birth | Categories:
Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Q&A With Authors
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Get ready for more Llama Llama! The seventh book in the bestselling series comes out today. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat promises kids the drama and fun they expect from this beloved, childlike character. Problems arise when school starts and Gilroy Goat teases Llama. What should he do? Fight back? Tell someone? Can the two animals ever become friends again?
Prolific author and illustrator Anna Dewdney answers these questions and more in ways that will delight parents and children–as usual. After all of these years doing her job, she knows what makes her readers happy. To celebrate today’s release, Anna wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process. Check out the images below to see how Llama llama and the Bully Goat came to fruition. Then go to your local bookstore. This book is great for kids ages 3 to 5, but my 7-year-olds are begging for a copy, too.
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