Articles by Erin Guerrieri


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Ah, springtime in Atlanta… when the number of awesome, fun, run-for-a-cause 5Ks can only be matched by the alarmingly high number in the pollen count. Seriously, if you’re looking to spend one – or all – of your Saturday mornings trucking 3.1 miles, chances are, you need look no farther than your neighborhood square. With so many races to choose from, the MamaBear 5K, 10K, and Cub Run caught my eye because… well, I’m a mama bear and I have cubs who like to run. (The race description also says “fast and flat” and I’m all about the “fast and flat” circuit.) I caught up with first-time race coordinator Beverly Sandel to find out a little more about what MamaBear means and why we should run this race.

Five questions with the organizer >>

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In case you missed the first part of this series, take a quick look to find out why the quality of the food we put in our kids’ lunches is important. Not only does what I pack in their lunches impact how they feel and learn at school, but it teaches them life lessons about healthy choices. WellATL’s favorite foodie, Landria Voight offered up some really helpful reminders that compelled me to forego convenience in favor of health. So, now what? What do we actually put in the lunches?

Freshen up that stale lunch routine >>

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Making lunches for my school-aged kids is the bane of my existence. After I’ve already prepared and cleaned up after three meals plus snacks and all I want to do is catch up on the ridiculousness of Scandal, the last thing I feel like doing is making a healthy, beautiful meal for the next day. Oh, and the meal has to fit in a container that doesn’t leach chemicals, leak, or spill and is easy enough for my chubby-handed pre-K boy to quickly and independently take on and off. Blech.
Part I: How important are the lunches we pack anyway? >>

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Now that the nitty gritty physical appointments have all been made and I’m flossing like a champ, my next goal is carve out time to recharge my emotional health. Being a parent is exhausting on many levels, so if I don’t get a break, I… well, break. I get grumpy, impatient, and generally very unpleasant. I love being a mom, but I don’t love when I’m snapping at everyone and feeling all “Woe is me! I have to unload the dishwasher AGAIN.” The fix for that is attention to mental and emotional health. How should you spend your ‘me time’? >>

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When it comes to holidays, I’m definitely in the “take it down a notch” camp, thinking that the overachieving parents should stop setting an impossible-to-reach bar for the rest of us by leaving bunny footprints on the sidewalk at Easter or hiding a naughty leprechaun around the house around St. Pat’s Day. Let’s just agree to wear green, yes? BUT…Valentine’s Day? It’s about LOVE! And while I think adults should avoid buying life-sized stuffed bears from the gas station on the corner of Memorial and Moreland on Friday afternoon, I do get quite a kick out of elementary school Valentine exchanges, and I think it’s sweet for the kids to show each other love. The best part is that these Valentines don’t have to be fancy, expensive, or sugar laden. 10 sweet cards without the sugar >>

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Alrighty, mamas. I’ll bet your kids are all up to date on their wellness checks, but when was the last time YOU had a physical? You know, that thing where you go to the doctor when you are completely healthy just to make sure you stay that way? What about the dentist? Eye doc? My guess is that there are not a lot of moms who take care of themselves with the same dedication they have for their children. (And if there are, could y’all help me out?) So many appointments, so little time >>

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Today is January 14. Wait… what!? I sat down to write a fancy post about developing family goals for 2015, but a rather obnoxious voice in my head kept saying, “How on earth are you going to talk about family goals when you don’t even have your own head on straight?” I was trying hard to ignore that voice, but when it called me out on nearly making Camilla’s PB&J with salsa instead of jelly, I had to concede. What to do with your shattered and/or unmade resolutions… >>

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Alrighty, people. Our kids are about to be home all day, every day for TWO weeks. Do you know how much eating that is? My precise calculations tell me it’s A LOT. I put nearly all of my “food energy” into planning healthy (or mostly healthy) meals, so snacks are usually where it falls apart for me. It’s not as if there aren’t a ton of great paleo sites that offer suggestions for kids, but the snack options are very often things like nuts and jerky. I don’t know about your toddlers, but my gummy babies aren’t about to Vitamix those foods in their mouths, and to be honest, my older kids aren’t that excited about eating jerky. So, by this time in the year, pre-packaged snacks find their way into our house far more often than I’d prefer. Landria’s recipes to the rescue! >>

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It seems like parents spend a lot of time thinking about gifts for each of their kids individually, but we have found a ton of value in giving at least one whole-family gift: something that promotes time together doing something we enjoy. Last year, we bundled some soccer balls, a soccer goal, a skateboard, baseball mitts and balls, and the slack line materials into the family gift, and we’ve been using the heck out of all of them. With time running out for holiday shopping, here are some great gifts to encourage your family to spend time together doing something fun! Thoughtful choices for the whole fam, this way! >>

Snowman
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The holidays are upon us, and if we’re not intentional about preserving our overall wellness, it’s easy to get caught up in gift buying, long lines, and obligatory gatherings that steal our joy. You can make a choice right now (said in my very best Oprah voice) to handle the holidays differently this year. Here are nine holiday hacks to make your season merry and bright: Save money, reduce stress, and keep your waistline in check. >>