3 Things I’ve Learned From Magazines This Year

eatingwell_december2010.jpgWe live in the age of information overload. At any time of the day, we can find details on the most obscure topic in just a few quick clicks. I read and hear things all day, every day, and a lot of it slips out of my brain before I have time to use it. But the wonderful thing about magazines is that they force us to slow down–to flip the pages, to enjoy the photography, to fold corners when we want to remember something.

There have been a few articles this year that have stuck with me after my magazine has gone to the recycling bin. I’ve continued to think about them, told others what I read, and incorporated some of what I learned into my daily routine. Here are my top three takeaways from magazines this year.

1. How to Make Homemade Pizza Crust: I love food magazines. I cook a lot and enjoy the fresh ideas and inspiration I get in my mailbox each month. We try to eat healthy (at least Monday through Thursday), but pizza has always been high on our list of favorite dinners. Fortunately Eating Well magazine gave me lots of ideas for yummy and healthy pizzas this year (including one to eat for breakfast!). One recipe that’s become a staple at our house is its whole-wheat pizza crust. It’s super easy, good for you and so much tastier than the store-bought kind.

parents_november2010.jpg2. Why Parents Should Avoid Stereotyping Their Children: My first child’s gorgeous red hair garners him lots of attention. Strangers comment on it regularly when we’re out running errands. And while I always appreciate their admiration, I’m quick to assure them that his temper matches his fiery red mane. But after reading an article in an issue of Parents magazine this fall, I’ve changed the way I talk about his gorgeous locks. In the article, child psychologists discuss the effects of stereotyping our kids. While it’s not the worst thing we can do as parents, stereotyping can shape the way our children see themselves well into their adult years. Since my redhead already has a strong will, why would I want to do anything to reinforce the idea in his mind? Now when strangers compliment his hair, I smile and say “thanks”–and nothing else.

3. Red Lipstick Doesn’t Make You Look Trashy: I’m a Chapstick kind of girl, but earlier this fall I vowed to update my makeup routine (which hasn’t changed since college). I’ve always been scared of red lipstick. It makes me think of beauty pageants or “street walkers” as my grandmother calls them. But after perusing several fashion magazines’ fall guides, I decided I needed to venture out with my choice of lip color. If chosen carefully, red lipstick can take you from carpool to glam in just a few swipes. I took the advice of a Lucky magazine column and found a shade that works great when I want to step out. Now if I only I could master those “smoky” eyes.

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Shannon McRae

About Shannon McRae

Shannon McRae is a work-at-home mom of three young children whose days are spent wiping mouths, playing Candyland, planning dinners and stealing time in between at the computer for her freelance writing. She's a stickler for healthy eating, with a slight exception for Oreos. She lives in Alabama with her precious children, loving husband and 13-year-old Australian Shepherd named Ricky Martin.