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Food & Wine

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists


Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Ghraybeh shortbread cookies use sweet-tasting ghee in lieu of butter.

 

When Americans think of the shortbread cookie, they often imagine the traditional Scottish cookies, shaped like oblong rectangles and ...

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Your Health

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen...

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Your Home

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art restorer Rho Brown performs delicate preservation work in her Los Altos studio, above. Once fully restored, below left, it’s difficult to tell which cherub was previously missing its head. Brown’s studio conta...

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On The Road

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S


Photo by Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier; Bottom Right Photo courtesy of Chrysler
The Andersons recently drove the new Chrysler 300S to Danville’s Blackhawk Museum, where they saw “The Spirit of the Old West” exhibition.

 

When you have a p...

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Senior Lifestyles

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life


RAMYA KRISHNA/TOWN CRIER
Doreta Strotman performs the classics with her signature jazz-style improvisations at Los Altos Grill Sunday evenings. The Mountain View resident has been playing since the age of 4.

Sunday evenings, Doreta Strotman’s job is to...

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Wedding To Remember

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox


 

With nine fine-jewelry retailers concentrated along the Main Street corridor, downtown Los Altos offers a wealth of options for engagement and wedding ring shoppers. From one end of Main to the other, the choices range from the traditional to t...

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Your Kids

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards


 

Providing local students with a tangible outdoor learning experience, the Living Classroom program aims to support a new generation of students who are excited about the environment.

The Living Classroom serves 9,000 students locally in the Los ...

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Back to School

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Beating the back-to-school blues

Many children go from a summer filled with sports camps where they run around all day to a classroom environment where they must sit for several hours in a row. Their daily steps, if tracked on a pedometer, could plummet from 30,000 to 7,000 in a matter of days, and that makes for a good deal of unused energy, which could translate into squirminess, boredom and/or unhappiness.

In honor of such students, I offer the following tips for a smooth transition to the school year.

• Sample breakfasts. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 14 percent of high school girls and 13 percent of high school boys don’t eat breakfast at all – and many more skip breakfast one or several days a week – which contributes to irritability, lack of focus and general annoyance.

Before school starts, collaborate with your children to develop three to five tasty breakfast options that include protein and complex carbohydrates. At least two should be grab-and-go options for those late mornings that they can take and eat during their morning break. Breakfast bars made with rolled oats, flaxseed and almond butter can be prepared ahead of time.

• Vigorous exercise. Several years ago, I worked with a high school sophomore who started jogging 15-20 minutes before getting ready for school. He quickly saw a marked difference in his ability to focus and concentrate during his morning classes.

Many students exercise or play sports after school, but for those who struggle to pay attention in class, a short burst of exercise before school may be helpful. If that is not an option, it can also prove effective for students to prioritize a short spurt of activity before sitting down to do homework in the afternoon.

• Collaborate on family guidelines. Perhaps your family has already done this, but each school year can be different – and it’s useful to initiate a proactive conversation before the school year begins, especially if your child is transitioning to junior high or high school. Sample topics: homework (when, where and how it will be completed), technology (rules for proper use/abuse), sleep, etc.

Last year, a high school freshman admitted to me that he wished his parents would take away his phone when he did his homework, because it was such a distraction and he couldn’t regulate himself. (I guarantee that student had never told his parents that!)

• Schedule playtime. Play is crucial for creativity, problem solving and stress relief. Too many children stop playing too soon – high school students still need playtime. Play is often confused with obligations like sports and extracurricular activities. As part of that family conversation, devote a few hours a week to play.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of the Los Altos-based Green Ivy Educational Consulting. She is the author of “That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life” (Perigee Trade, 2010) and the upcoming “The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Success and Happiness.” For more information, visit www.greenivyed.com.

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