My new favorite YA author is Jenny Han
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
5d ago
This one is for my fellow book lovers. More specifically, it’s for my fellow lovers of young adult contemporary romances – I know you’re out there. I must have been living a sheltered life under a rock in a cave, because I was in my early 50s before I read the deliciously authentic and young love-infused joys known as Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy and The Summer I Turned Pretty series (also three books). I have Prime Video to thank for this later-in-life discovery because we first stumbled across The Summer I Turned Pretty TV series there. After one episode, I was intr ..read more
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Kids bands rock – and this one looks especially epic
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
2w ago
I’m not sure it will surprise anyone to learn that I love kids’ music. Especially live kids’ music performances. I’ve seen countless live shows for grownups – including five KISS shows, Guns n Roses at Madison Square Garden and even nine Phish shows back in the day – but none can hold a candle to a truly rockin’ children’s band. Take central Ohio’s own legendary kids’ music band, the Shazzbotts. Some of my fondest memories include rocking out at their live shows for kids back when Z was small enough to think that dancing in the space between the band and the crowd was the most fun thing eve ..read more
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The full-time grind is not good for our health
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
2w ago
I love my new job. It feels like the most like “me” out of every job I’ve ever had. I’m so glad I decided to return to full-time work in 2024. There are so many benefits! My work and our organizational mission inspire me This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of; my new boss and coworkers are amazing Plus, having a full-time income again is very nice – especially in these expensive times. Then there’s the fact that my little fam has stepped up in ways that are good for all of us. E and Z are helping me so much with this lifestyle adjustment. They also truly seem to appreciate me more n ..read more
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The three best Mexican restaurants in Lewis Center
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
For a long time, it felt like we only had one good Mexican option in Lewis Center. We love Mexican food! It’s always been one of our family’s favorites – partly because I love Mexico, period. For years, we’ve been regulars at Senor Antonio in the Walmart shopping center on 23. It’s a familiar, consistently good option for Mexican-American dining. My favorite dishes are Huevos Rancheros or Enchiladas con Mole. Honestly, there’s nothing like going to a restaurant you’ve frequented for years, where the staff knows you and the food is familiar and comforting. Senor Antonio was the first restauran ..read more
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A new way to comfort and bond with teens
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
Our kiddo came up with the best idea ever last month. It’s one I am fairly certain that other teens would also enjoy. Z had been stressed recently about school. I suspect it has something to do with the impending start of high school and the academic pressures that she knows will surely come with it. So, as a way of bringing herself some comfort and enjoyment, she decided to do things that remind her of a time when things were simpler and less stressful: early childhood. She decided to have a nostalgia day. For an entire day, we thought about her childhood and did things that evoked the feel ..read more
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I love supporting kids’ mental health every day
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
I feel fortunate to have a job I believe in so deeply. Day in and day out, I get to further the cause of championing kids’ mental health. I write and publish content that supports parents, teachers and other caregivers in helping kids achieve optimal mental wellness. It’s a literal dream come true! I’ve written about mental health, self care and mental well-being on this blog for years as a hobby, simply because I love to do it. Now, I get paid to write about those topics. I have always been a fan and advocate for the On Our Sleeves movement for kids’ mental health – and our amazing local chi ..read more
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I practiced Spanish every day for a year
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
I just hit my first anniversary with Duolingo, the free language learning app. One year ago, I downloaded Duolingo and started learning Spanish so I could help my kiddo with her first year of middle school Spanish. Z ended up dropping her language course after six weeks. It was optional, so she opted out after the novelty wore off and she realized that it required homework and studying. I was bummed because I was looking forward to us learning Spanish together – and because she had an A in the class! But, even though Z made the decision not to continue, I kept my own Spanish language learnin ..read more
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Amish country is for animal lovers
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
Blast from the past: A version of this post originally appeared on an old version of the Discovering Ohio blog in 2011 and has been edited to bring it up to date. Spring is coming and at our house, that means one thing: time for a drive up to Amish country. Even before we became parents, E and I always loved going on scenic drives to visit Ohio’s beautiful Amish country. The pastoral views, delicious local cheese and sweet fry pies are all big draws for us. Being a huge animal lover, though, I’d have to say my favorite thing about Amish country is seeing all the horses, cows, sheep and other ..read more
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A simple hack to reduce your phone use
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
As a gen Xer, I remember occasionally watching black-and-white TVs back in the day. B&W television always seemed boring to me. If the only available option was to watch TV in black and white, I’d usually opt to read a book instead. Losing the colors took away some of the excitement and appeal of watching TV. I’m happy to report that the same philosophy works with your mobile phone. I recently read about this cool trick on Instagram from a content creator I admire. Coach Will says that if you want to spend less time on your phone – or reduce mindless scrolling and impulsive clicking – the ..read more
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One of our family’s favorite conversation starters
Midlife Mama
by Lara K
1M ago
How do you get conversations started in your family? Getting kids to talk is one of the best things we can do for their mental health – and for ours. Yet starting meaningful conversations isn’t always easy. That’s why I love tools and tricks to help get conversations rolling. One of my favorites has always been “High-Low-Buffalo.” I didn’t come up with this – I read it on a mom blog and even wrote about it briefly years ago. It’s cute, fun and it works to get families talking. With High-Low-Buffalo, each family member takes a turn sharing a high moment from their day or week, followed by a lo ..read more
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