Friday Round-up

The Case For Intensive Youth Athletics vs. The Case Against A debate about the state of sports in our kids’ lives right now. (For the moment, we are just trying to figure out how to curb the Nike habit.)

Ten Ways to Clean Your Kitchen Less. Confession: I don’t actually care about the tips. For me, it’s all about the color of the cabinets.

Cooking: Anti-Feminist Trap or Ultimate Expression of a Mother’s Love? The daughter of a feminist, who has lived both sides, weighs in.

Serena Williams, LeBron James, and Peyton Manning aren’t just leading the pack in their respective sports, they’re leading the pack in endorsement deals with junk food products.  (I mean, really, how hard would it be to just endorse the National Orange Growers Association?)

Oh my goodness, this might just be my Super Bowl.

Does ethical parenting exist? Even if this is the quintessential New York story, it’s still an irresistible read. (And as a soccer mom, the annotation all the way to the right of the opening image made me laugh out loud.)

Jimmy Kimmel’s genius solution to the iOS 7 “nausea” problem.

My ten-year-old is loving this.

My eleven-year-old is loving this.

I am pre-ordering this.

Best Parenting Tip Ever. My facebook followers will have seen this already, but it’s so good I need to make sure as many people as possible get the message.

The Weekly Conundrum: What movie do I show to a bunch of 10-year-old girls that they haven’t already seen ten thousand times? Suggestions welcome! (Old-school choices encouraged.)

I am delighted to be part of this healthy lifestyle panel next month. New Yorkers: Get your tickets and come say hello!

From Andy:

This song, which I just now discovered, and which immediately became my Fall Anthem.

Donna Tartt’s new book which I ordered and which, if the reviews can be trusted, is gonna make the next few weeks worth living.

This interview for publishing nerds out there.

What I’m going to drink tonight, courtesy of our pals in Portland, Maine. If you like gin, this stuff is off the hook.

Last night, Jenny agreed to watch The Wire, breaking a five-year stalemate, which is both thrilling (like sharing the best book ever with someone) and also scary (what if she hates it?). I’m gonna do the whole series again, right along with her. Join us!

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Since they can’t watch The Wire with you, what about Clue? Of course, there’s always Monster Squad, Stand by Me, Hocus Pocus, The Goonies, Gremlins, any of the Indiana Jones series…


Show them The Fantastic Mr. Fox! One of my favorites, and for some reason it seems like no one else has seen it. (Perk: you’ll love it too!)


I second the Adventures in Babysitting idea. Back to the Future. The Adventures of Natty Gann. Are they old enough for the Pretty in Pink and 16 Candles stuff? Princes Bride. You are soccer people, have you seen Bend it like Beckham? This might be hard to find… Shag. My sisters and I watched it when we were teens about a million times. Search for a clip on youtube.


I watched the original “Parent Trap” (Hayley Mills, not Lindsay Lohan) with my kids (9 and 5) this summer and they both LOVED it. I think we watched it three days in a row. But the suggestion of “Troop Beverly Hills” above is amazing. I will be watching that again very soon!


I love The Wire. I came to it late (i.e. 2 months ago) so making my way through the DVDs I borrow from the library. I think it gets better every season (on season 3 now).

I second the original Parent Trap. I remember watching the Sound of Music obsessively one year but I may have been a bit older.


The Adams Family or Hocus Pocus (if it’s autumny enough around where you live…) ?
The Secret Garden ? But Andy, you might cry watching this one… I know my dad did…


Thank you for the wonderful (as always) round up! I especially enjoyed the NYT piece about cooking and being a feminist!


Movie ideas: Candleshoe; Troop Beverly Hills (though there are 4-letter words randomly sprinkled throughout); Monster House is holiday-appropriate and actually legitimately spooky; and, if they haven’t already seen it, Gremlins is another Halloween-friendly flick.

Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

We recently began The Wire here as well, after seriously 4 yrs of arguing. 🙂 It’s kinda ok. HA HA HA! Makes my husband crazy when I say that.

DONNA TARTT has a new book???? Oh you made my life. The Secret History is in my alltime Top 10.


Movie choice: “Back to the Future”…the kids laugh at the stuff we thought was new and cool in the 1980’s. The stuff from the 50’s they think is retro and cool!!!

Lucy Mitchell

You are SO lucky to be starting the Wire – I still miss it and watched the last episode over a year ago. The National Lampoon movies? (some are 15’s but some not, I think.) They surprised me by not being awful at all.


Might I suggest The Witches? An English and Dahl classic, it’s just scary enough for the season. Or The Labyrinth with D. Bowie — so good.


Loving the movie choices! Brings me right back to childhood/early teen years.

It hasn’t been mentioned yet, so if they haven’t seen it already I vote for Splash. Loved that movie as a kid.

Let us know what you decide!


Ryan Bingham, be still my heart. I too loved Adventures in Babysitting, maybe more like 11 or 12 years old though? I can still dance through the opening sequence 🙂 And (it’s kind of terrible but was a slumber party favorite in my youth) – Can’t Buy Me Love …


I was going to say “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” but “Troop Beverly Hills” is the best idea! I loved that movie when I was young.


Parent Trap or Neverending Story are good…a lot of the movies others are suggesting are great but when you have other’s kids, you can have some of the language…Troop Beverly Hills, Breakfast Club, even Back to the Future. Same with Big… discouraging because they are great!


Sorry, meant to say “you can’t have some of the language that is in those films”. Good luck!


Pee Wee’s Big Adventure…both my kids absolutely love it, and so has every friend they have introduced it to!


I love the Friday roundups and kids book suggestions. Loving these movie ideas also. My girls are really into Radio Rebel on Netflix these days.


Thought you might like to know that my sister-in-law reported that there was a “Kale Stew Off” in Westport recently. Your version, pg. 250, WON! Best tasting AND Easiest to make.
(Guess what we’re having for dinner tomorrow?)

As for movies? What about ET? Although I am cracking myself up thinking about The Three Amigos, as suggested by Amy G. HI-larious!


Loved this roundup. Lots of good reads. My daughters loved Anne of Green Gables, not really a movie but, better, a series.


Movie suggestions — DEFINITELY a Hiyao Miyasaki movie. My children LOVE them. Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. They are amazing and great favorites in my house. He also did Ponyo and Secret World of Arrietty.


Loved the article about cooking and feminism. Also loved the parenting tip. As Rachel Macy Stafford said in her post in Huffington Post, it works well with kids — and other loved ones — of all ages.


Great roundup!

The Wire – LOVE. Then you can move onto Treme.

How about Kicking & Screaming for the girls. Soccer and Will Ferrell. What could be better?


My girls are the same age and into soccer as well and loved, Chak De! India. It’s a Bollywood film from 2007 about the national Indian women’s field hockey team. It’s a fun story that takes on some heavy issues that my girls could understand (and I think learned something). Netflix has it on demand.

Heidi Moore

LOVE the Wire. So sad it ended. Brilliant writing. We had to watch it with the subtitles on, though, to understand what they were saying. You are making me want to watch it again….


love this round up. thanks for taking the time to compile. As for movies, I echo the suggestion of Troop Beverly Hills (showed it at my dtr’s 11th bday). Also: Bend it Like Beckham, Princess Bride, Billy Elliott??

Regine Frank

– The Lovebug (tried and tested with my kids)
– Doris Day’s The Thrill of It All (I recently made my own ketchup and the Kids can’t wait to find out whether the process will be the same on film)
– And don’t miss Cathérine Deneuve as the Queen of England (!!):–French-actress-Catherine-Deneuve-looks-British-queen-new-Ast-rix-film.html
– Chitty-chitty-bang-bang (a firm favourite in our carless household)
– The Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
– Around the World in 80 Days (try to get the 1956 Version). For more Jules Verne see
– We don’t like Charlie Chaplin films, but …
– Sad, but good:
– War of the Buttons (La guerre des Boutons), do try and get the 1962 French Version with English subtitles (, scroll down for the 1962 blurb)
For more Inspiration, see


My kids (11, 9, 6) love the old Charlie Chaplain movies right now. In fact, my nine year old son has chosen to be Charlie Chaplain for Halloween! The bowler hat and mustache are ready to go.


I second Jessica’s choice of Anne of Green Gables and I’ll add (the completely different) Now & Then and Little Women (1994). I watched all three of those movies at that age until the VHS tapes wore out.


I’d really like to get the Hot Huez hair chalk for one of my nieces…. however the reviews for it are really mixed on Amazon – most of the negative ones seem bogus, with the possible exception of the warning that chalk transfers onto soft furnishings. Is this true? Will my SIL hate me if I bought it???


Ever After! I think I saw it at a birthday party when I was around that age. I’m also a fan of Gigi and the Sound of Music. The Sandlot is always a classic as well.


I see it’s already been suggested a few times, but I think Clue is great for this age group (…although I must admit, I think Clue is great for many ages!).


I’m a little late for the movie recommendation I know, but for next time what about A Monster in Paris or The Illusionist (which made my boys cry)?


Oh my goodness, I REALLY want to attend that Open House event on Healthy Lifestyles – it is my passion! I am think I will buy tickets and say hello in person 🙂

I have been reading your site for years and though I am vegan, I stalk your blog for recipe ideas (my favorite is the minestrone… without pancetta!)


My girls (ages 11 and 13) love the Brady Bunch. Start with the first episode when Carol and Mike get married and roll on from there.


Now and Then
Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain
The Man in the Moon (Reese Witherspoon’s first movie)
The Sound of Music
That Thing You Do
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory


I’m a little late to this party, but Better Off Dead and Field of Dreams were recent hits in our house.


After much deliberating (and after much youtube trailer watching) the ten-year-old has decided on CLUE. Thank you all for your help — I added many of these to the Netflix queue for future reference! xxx

Katie G

Just to add a few to the movie list, I loved the Haley Mills movie “Trouble with Angels.” I also loved Father Goose, which is Cary Grant trapped on an island during WWII with a group of schoolgirls and their teacher. Also, the old version of “Cheaper by the Dozen” is very cute.