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Learning Lessons

One of the many rewards of freelance writing is an opportunity to educate the next generation. My quiz in the May 2016 issue of OWL magazine, “Finding Inspiration,” focuses on biomimicry – clever inventions that copy nature. Examples include an invisibility patch for soldiers, inspired by the camouflaging abilities of the jumbo squid, and a self-cooling high-rise building, inspired by termite mounds! I’ve also contributed to a new Scholastic Canada book about consumerism that’s aimed at students. My piece discusses the lives of child garment workers. The book, called The Best Buy, is part of a Scholastic Canada series on social justice issues.

As I write in my opening paragraph: “One in five Canadians will experience mental illness at some point, and chances are good they’ll be on the job when they do.” If you have a mental health condition, how do you tell your boss about it? And should you? For insights from experts, check out my article “Should I Tell My Boss about My Mental Illness?” on the Canadian Living website.

I’m very pleased to announce that my Today’s Parent story, “More Than Able,” has been reprinted in the new April issue of Reader’s Digest magazine. I was delighted to get to know these four Canadians with disabilities, who spoke candidly about the joys and challenges of their parenting experiences. Now their stories will be spread even more widely.  (Speaking of kids, if you happen to have one, and you catch her doing the “What’s Your Planet-Saving Personality?” quiz in the April issue of OWL magazine, be sure to look for my byline!)

Want to straighten your crooked teeth, but less than keen on flashing a mouthful of metal to the world? These days there’s more to braces than traditional train tracks. Check out the new March/April 2016 of Best Health magazine for “Brace Yourself,” my article on orthodontic treatment options for adults.

If you haven’t stopped by my 50 Good Deeds blog in a while, perhaps it’s worth a visit. Recent posts cover a cheeky character who shaved off his epic beard for charity, research on empathetic yawning, and a teenager-inspired Valentine’s Day surprise for an older lady who’s young at heart. Come and be inspired!

Family Circles

Need tips for parenting? How about tips for dealing with your parents-in-law? Two of my recent magazine stories will help you with your family connections. My article on what to do when your toddler tells lies is in the February/March issue of ParentsCanada magazine. (Comforting news: fibbing at a young age is a sign of strong cognitive skills!) My story on why you need your in-laws, and how you can improve your relationship with them, appears in the new March issue of Canadian Living magazine. Both these magazines are currently on newsstands.

Looking for some inspiration as you prepare to clean out your kitchen? I’m not referring to those dust bunnies under your fridge, but rather all that junk food in your pantry. You know what I’m talking about! If you could use some guidance as you clear away the bad foods and make space for the goodies, have a look at my story “Out with the Old, in with the Nourishing” in the new March issue of Zoomer magazine. It includes expert advice from family physician and blogger Yoni Freedhoff. Then flip the page to “Meat, Less” for some solid reasons to incorporate a bit less animal into your diet, and few more plant-based foods.

Also in this issue: I examine the future cost of senior care. Clearly, as our baby-boom generation approaches old age, we’re going to need more caregiver supports and policy changes. But will these seniors truly be a drain on society? Don’t be so sure. That’s discussed in “Paying the Price: Is Senior Care Really Driving Health-Care Costs?”, on page 54.

Parents with Abilities

It was a privilege recently to interview and write about four parents across Canada who have disabilities. These moms (and one dad!) generously opened up about their beautiful families, and how they manage in their day-to-day lives. All four of these parents demonstrated that their disabilities don’t hold them back when it comes to raising kids. In fact, their disabilities can often lead to experiences that deepen and enhance their family connections! You can find this feature in the new January issue of Today’s Parent magazine.

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