For the past several years, I have attended a conference in Dallas around the time of Mardi Gras.

Flying in and out of the city during Mardi Gras season is a pain. We have people flying in for the event and locals flying out to escape the madness. I guess I’m one of those escaping the madness. When we first moved to New Orleans, we enjoyed going to the parades. We lived in the city at the time and not far from the parade routes. Then, we moved to Slidell and discovered that driving into and out of New Orleans for Mardi Gras weekend was also a pain. It wasn’t too many years until I considered the Mardi Gras weekend as a four-day weekend and stayed home. Now that I travel away from New Orleans during Mardi Gras, I find it amusing that the rest of the U.S. has no idea it’s Mardi Gras. They carry on like it’s just a normal day. They don’t understand that everything in SE Louisiana revolves around Mardi Gras and it’s the first date we identify on our calendars each year.

Growth mindset, the idea that achievement is due to hard work and effort and not just natural ability, is a hot concept these days. With an abundance of research from Carol Dweck and Angela Duckworth, science has a lot to tell us about how children learn and why teaching the value of effort is the most essential tool parents can give their children to succeed. Follow these three tips to raise your children to adopt growth mindsets. H ow M indset S hapes Y oung F utures DOYOUR KIDS KNOWABOUT GRIT? The No. 1 predictor of whether a child will have a growth mindset is whether or not their parents have growth mindsets. So much of what we do is learned by example, and that includes how we perceive our own ability to learn. Duckworth helped popularize growth mindset by assigning it a catchy sobriquet in her book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” She also developed a “Grit Scale” that measures how well you embody the trait. If you want to test your own growth mindset, take the free self-assessment at Knowing whether you tend to value hard work and learn from failure or rely more on natural ability to achieve results, also called a fixed mindset, can guide how you model a growth mindset for your children. BE A ROLE MODEL.

-Bob Norton

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This information alone was enough to improve their grades, but students in the control group, who had no knowledge about neuron growth, experienced plummeting grades. Dweck even cites a kindergarten class in Harlem, where students entered the school year not knowing how to hold a pencil correctly but, after a full academic year in a growth mindset-centered classroom, tested in the 95th percentile on their national standardized test. What differentiates people who go on to achieve at high levels in all fields? It’s their willingness to work hard and exercise what Duckworth calls “grit” in sticking to their goals and dreams. Researchers like Dweck have the proof. To turn your home into a growth mindset hotbed, make sure you are modeling the characteristics of a growth mindset yourself. Praise your child for their efforts, strategy deployment, and perseverance. And if you see your child giving up too easily, remember this: Grittiness is a skill, and like any skill, it can be learned. Get “gritty” yourself, and don’t give up!

learning the material necessary to do the problems. Conversely, children with fixed mindsets were more likely to cheat if given a test on the hard material in the future because they only valued the right answer, not the learning process.


Children, like adults, need feedback and praise, but our instinct is often to focus on celebrating their successful completion of a task rather than their effort. That’s a dangerous trap. In her studies, Dweck found that when a computerized math game was tweaked to reward effort, strategy use, and perseverance more than simply giving the right answer, children played longer and went further in the game. In a different study, when first graders who demonstrated growth mindsets were given problems that were slightly too hard to complete, they expressed excitement about


The good news is that a growth mindset can be taught. While modeling and providing consistent reinforcement are essential, you should also teach your kids that obtaining skills through hard work and effort is crucial. In one study, students learned about new, stronger neural connections that formed every time they pushed beyond their comfort zone.

Leap Into 2020


speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super- birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.”The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.

Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.”The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational

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CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean

of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures.

One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.”This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own.


If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.


One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food.


While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home

Take a Break!

Inspired by The Blond Cook

Easy Shrimp Scampi


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1/2 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup lemon juice 8 oz cooked linguine

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4 tbsp butter 4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 tsp oregano


4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil.




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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Bob PAGE 1 HowMindset Shapes Your Child’s Future PAGE 1 Learn All About Leap Year PAGE 2 Your Epic Adventure Awaits PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Easy Shrimp Scampi PAGE 3 What’s Your Favorite Yogurt? PAGE 4 If you walk down the yogurt aisle of any store today, you’ll see more varieties than ever before: Greek, Australian, Icelandic, whipped, and probiotic-packed — not to mention yogurts made with soy, coconut, and almond milks. And, of course, you have all the classic yogurt brands and tons of flavors to choose from. But what’s the difference between all of these yogurt varieties? What sets Greek apart from Australian? What is unique about Icelandic (Skyr)? We’ve gone ahead and broken it down for you. GREEK YOGURT is one of the more common varieties on the market. It’s typically a thicker consistency with roughly double the protein of traditional, strained yogurts. Most brands of Greek yogurt have less sugar and fewer carbs, as well as fewer ingredients overall. A high- quality Greek yogurt will typically only have

AWORLD OF YOGURT A Look at 3 Types of Yogurt

to the whole milk. Honey and fruit mix in exceptionally well, and like Greek yogurt, this variety is packed with protein. SKYR , often referred to as Icelandic yogurt, has a lot in common with Greek yogurt in terms of consistency and protein content, but it’s actually not a yogurt at all. It’s a cultured dairy product classified as “fresh sour milk cheese.” But don’t let that put you off. It’s thick, smooth, packed with nutrients and probiotics, and lower in sugar than traditional yogurt. Skyr is most commonly made with skim or low-fat milk, but since it has gained global popularity, you can find varieties made with 2% and whole milk, too. Yogurt (dairy and nondairy) is a rich source of gut-healthy probiotics, and while there are some differences in terms of texture, flavor, and nutritional content, any of these three types are a great choice for your diet.

3–4 ingredients: milk, live active cultures, and any flavorings (vanilla, honey, fruit, etc.). If you see any fillers like corn starch or corn syrup listed on the ingredients label, it’s probably not the real deal. AUSTRALIAN YOGURT (or Aussie yoghurt) is newer to most stores, and one of the biggest brands in the U.S. is Noosa. Because it’s typically made with whole milk, it’s rich and creamy — you won’t be saving any calories here. It’s not quite as thick as Greek yogurt, but it’s not runny either. It’s often described as silky smooth and sweeter than other varieties of yogurt, thanks in part

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