The bulk of this weekend I spent with family and my family’s kids and I realized very quickly thanks to an outing at a soccer store that a crazy amount of energy is necessary to be a parent. Things get serious when you’re looking for cleats that fit and so is the rest of the neighborhood. So I learned about that and had a really great time catching up with people I don’t get to see every day, things were pretty special. Five things here:

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1. “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.” One of those really-good-to-know-storing-this-information-in-the-back-of-my-head type information of an article published in this month’s New York Times Magazine 10 years after this ‘Opt-Out Revolution’ article was published.

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2. Really good gluten-free pizza is possible. This will not come as news to those who eat gluten-free and have had really delicious thin crust pizza, but it was a first for me and I absolutely love this new place that recently opened up by my in laws and if you think options like these only exist for people with dietary restrictions in big cities, this one is in a fairly small-ish suburban town but is no less on the cutting edge of great food with great ingredients then elsewhere.

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3. Neon shoes can make you run faster. Probably, well not really, but in a lights-on-Star-Wars-sneakers type of way, it kind of felt like they could.

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4. Cookies behind the scenes. This is a picture I took of my cookie baking process that spanned a few days last week in preparation for my first ever ‘guest post’ featured here over at another blog, such a treat and a huge experience for a blogging geek like myself!

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5. You can’t go wrong with a bean free chicken chili. This is a chili my aunt made for a hearty brunch at a get together a few weekends back, and if you were hesitant about a chili without beans, this recipe from Ina Gaarten here will put any doubts that is less delicious than its bean counterparts or that it’s difficult to make something everybody will be talking about and taking seconds and most likely thirds. Well I did.

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