Lindsay Ell’s ‘The Project’ Is a No. 1 Album

Lindsay Ell‘s much-anticipated debut album, The Project, had a big first week: The record debuted at No. 1 on the Neilsen Soundscan Current Country Albums chart.

Ell is only the second solo female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Current Country Albums chart in 2017. The Project also ranked in the Top 10 on the all-genre Top Current Albums chart, landing at No. 7 there.

“The Project is the record I’ve wanted to release since I was a little girl, but as an artist, sometimes it takes time to figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it,” Ell says in a press release. “I’m so grateful to my entire team for standing by my side throughout the whole process. Every single fan that has come to my shows, stood in meet-and-greet lines and sang songs that they’ve learned through YouTube videos is what keeps me working so hard.

“Having a No. 1-selling album is incredible, and I’m overwhelmed by the support,” she adds. “I’ve finally made a record that’s me, and I’m just happy fans are loving it as much as I do.”

The Project was produced by Kristian Bush; Ell’s latest single from the record is “Waiting on You.” Ell celebrated her No. 1 debut on social media as well, tweeting a thank you to her fans.

“This. Is. Crazy. I don’t even know what to say,” Ell writes. “I’m beyond humbled & grateful for every one of you. Thank you. We’re No. 1!!” Ell is currently out on tour with Brad Paisley.

The stunning transformation of Chelsea Clinton

Hillary Clinton becoming President of the United States would have given daughter Chelsea Clinton the unique honor of being the First Child for a second time. Alas, that opportunity never came to fruition, but if it did, she’d have been following in the serious style footsteps of Malia and Sasha Obama (unsurprising, considering they have Michelle as their fashion role model). Over the years, Clinton No. 3 slowly but surely came into her own fashion sense, blossoming from an early loungewear enthusiast, into a woman who makes pretty solid sartorial selections. Here’s the style transformation of Chelsea Clinton, from childhood until today.

Early on, it was all about keeping it casual
When her father, Bill Clinton, was first running for his eventual seat as the 42nd POTUS, the then-12-year-old Chelsea Clinton was regularly seen sporting her go-to garbs: a simple T-shirt and denim jeans. Here, when she joined her political parents on a trip to Arkansas to await the results of his inaugural election cycle in their home state that night, she stepped off the plane wearing a loose-fitted tee with boyfriend jeans, and her no-fuss, no-muss approach to curl management was on full display. The littlest Clinton did slip in a touch of her own ethical leanings in that moment, however, because the shirt she wore displayed her enthusiasm for endangered species protection, a cause for which she’s actively worked as an adult.

When official business was afoot, she did glam it up
After Bill Clinton was announced as winner of the nation’s biggest night, Chelsea ditched her low-key digs for something a little more stately as she joined her father in accepting his new role as Commander-in-Chief, and her own as First Daughter. Not only did she tame her mane into tighter tendrils, but she also donned a classic plaid coat and gloves to match the timelessness of her parents’ own ensembles.

Growing up and into her own
As time progressed, Clinton began to adopt her own style sense. Here, when she was still just 15, she attended Easter services with her parents at Washington’s Foundry Methodist Church and looked positively ready to enroll in law school, just like her folks once did, in her smart black dress suit with complimenting collar lines on the shirt beneath.

Even her low-key travel gear got an upgrade
Here, in 1996, Clinton joined her father on the runway to board Air Force One (with Buddy the dog!) for a family getaway at Martha’s Vineyard. Not only had she found an excellent stylist to give her locks a little color punch, but she also decked herself out in casual business style with a classic grey cashmere sweater and some snappy dress pants that made her look all grown up already.

Pretty soon, she started playing with pantsuits, too
On Twitter, Hillary Clinton’s bio declares her to be a “pantsuit aficionado,” among her many other distinctions, but the former FLOTUS-turned-presidential candidate isn’t the only member of the family who’s big on trotting around in trouser combos. Here, during a trip to New Zealand for the 1999 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, Chelsea stepped out in a blazer suit that was so akin to what her mother had been known to wear, it could’ve easily been borrowed from her closet.

She had a thing for embroidered cardigans
When Chelsea and Hillary Clinton headed to Jordan in 1999 for a meeting with its princess and to launch their lengthy European tour, Chelsea maintained her typically professional aesthetic, but her button-up sweater had just enough sewn-in ornamentation to make it just as appropriate for taking tea as it was for a meeting with royalty. Versatility is key when you’re on the move, right?

Eventually, she started to work a little more flare into her wear
In this shot from a tennis match at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Clinton was repping a lot more sass with her look than usual, including an arm-baring blouse and knee-length pencil skirt. The real kicker of the ensemble, though, was the rad pair of sunglasses she wore that made the then-student of Stanford University look like the cool college kid that she was at the time.

An Electromechanical Sound Machine That Makes Music With Rocks

A rolling stone gathers no moss as they say, but this collection of stones manipulated by electromechanical devices are capable of performing George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” thanks to artist Neil Mendoza. Titled Rock Band, this kinetic sound art installation is actually four different instruments including a xylophone, a buzzing base, two spinners, and a pair of slappers. Mendoza describes how each device works:

Xylophone: Inside each of the tubes is a small pebble. When the Teensy receives a note for this instrument, it triggers a solenoid (electromagnet), to launch the pebble up a tube and strike a key. For the design of this piece, I wrote a piece of software that calculated the size each key needed to be to produce the appropriate frequency and then cut them out using a water jet cutter.

Bass: This is the small marble circle in the front. When the Teensy receives a note for this one, it causes the plunger of a solenoid (electromagnet) to vibrate at the frequency of the appropriate musical note against the rock.

Spinners: These are the two large objects on either side and are percussive. Inside each of these, there are two magnets attached to each end of a shaft. On the outside, there are two magnetic rocks, Hematite, that are attracted to the magnets on the inside. When a note is received, the shaft spins and one of the rocks is guided away from its magnet and launched through the air. It lands on a piece of marble that has been cut to size to fit in the machine.

Slapper: These slap the rocks with pieces of fake leather and provide some light percussion.

All of the machines were built at Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco as part of their artist in residence program.

Best Resources For Teaching Your Child A Second Language

As you all know, my wife and I recently welcomed our son into the world (first child!) and I’m already talking with other polyglot parents to gain more insight into strategies for raising young kids to be bilingual.

Today Shannon Kennedy who blogs over at Eurolinguiste is sharing some of what she’s been doing and resources she’s using with her little guy (aka Little Linguist). Over to you, Shannon. 🙂

I had just turned down the lights in the room and placed my then 6-month-old in his crib. He was restless, fighting bedtime with an energy only a little one can muster. He sat up in his crib and laughed as I continued to prepare the room for the night before returning to the side of his crib. Seeing that he intended to stretch his waking hours to the limit, I decided to indulge him.

He stared at me, and then, in that uncoordinated, adorable way only babies can manage he clapped his hands together. Beaming, I grabbed my camera and requested the performance a few more times to capture the moment. It was the first time he responded to that particular request and I was as proud as any mamma could be.

This past year, much like Donovan, I welcomed my son into the world and we too decided to raise our sweet boy to speak more than one language.

We’re less than a year in and the journey it is a continual a whirlwind of excitement, exhaustion, overwhelm, euphoria and self-doubt. Especially since one of those languages is not the native language of either my husband or me. But every moment is well worth it.

In this post, I want to share some of the tools and methods we’re using to support Little Linguist’s language development.

It’s not one-size fits all approach – every family and situation is a little different – but I wanted to open up a discussion about what works for us in the hopes that it may help you if you’re interested in heading down a similar path.

Our Story
Before Little Linguist joined us, my husband and I spoke both French and English at home. But since the addition to our little family, the number of languages we speak has also expanded. We knew early on that Little Linguist would learn to speak both French and English. He would need them to be able to communicate with family. But we wanted to give him every advantage possible, so we agreed that I would speak to him in Mandarin Chinese as well. It was a tough decision. We’ve heard every argument against it you can imagine. Ultimately, the decision is ours to make (and once he’s old enough, Little Linguist’s), so we do the best we can for him to help him in every way. Including giving him the advantage of being multilingual and multicultural.

Our approach to teaching our child foreign languages
We currently are using the One Person, One Language (OPOL) approach, but we may blend it with other methods as needed in the future. I speak with Little Linguist in Chinese while my husband and his family speak to him in French. We aren’t focusing on English at the moment, because we know he’ll learn it later on at school. But he still gets exposure to the language whenever we venture outside the home and when he spends time with my family. It’s a little overwhelming being his sole source for Chinese, particularly because it’s not my native language.

I’ve used the opportunity, however, to not only focus on my Chinese learning but to become more specialized in my knowledge. No easy feat considering the fact that it’s hard to learn child-related vocabulary without the help of a tutor!

What dietitians are eating this summer

Summer is here, and I can already hear the ice cream truck rolling down the street. With treats like ice cream sandwiches, grilled hot dogs, and frozen margaritas calling our names, it can feel impossible to eat healthy. I’m always on the lookout for ways to indulge in seasonal treats without overdoing it. That’s why I asked some of the leading dietitians and health experts what they’re eating this summer to stay satisfied and fit.

Jicama slices

Summer is all about easy, no-bake dishes, so fresh fruits and vegetables are high on the list. “Although not a seasonal summer food, I love munching on jicama slices on hot days,” Meg Hagar, an author, registered dietitian, and the founder of No Diet Nutrition, told me.

“It’s cool, watery, and crisp to bite into, and a great source of fiber and micronutrients such as folate and vitamin C! It’s also low in sugar and fat.” Try dipping the slices in salsa or enjoying them on their own.

Frozen grapes

If you’re an ice cream junkie like me, try keeping some grapes in your freezer at all times. They’re the perfect sweet and frozen snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.

“If jicama is not available, another one of my favorite summer treats is frozen grapes,” shared Hagar. “Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, frozen grapes are a cooling snack to munch on during hot summer days!”

Fresh berries

It wouldn’t be summer without a big bowl of fresh berries in the refrigerator. “Berries are among the highest fiber fruits, and many Americans struggle to get enough fiber in their diets. They’re also packed with antioxidants and boast a high water content, which can help you feel refreshed on hot, humid days,” Dietitian Cara Harbstreet of Street Smart Nutrition told me.

“Try adding a few extra berries to your morning smoothie, layer into a yogurt parfait, or freeze for a simple addition to infused water. You can also get creative with berries by muddling them with fresh herbs for cocktails or mocktails or adding to a compote or marinade for grilled meats.”

Stock up at your local farmers market and start getting creative.

Smarter cocktails

You don’t only have to stick to fruit all summer. Even dietitians want to indulge sometimes! “There is nothing like a frosty margarita or ice cold beer on a hot day, but the fastest way to too many calories is through sugar-laden alcoholic drinks,” Jennifer Gibson, the head of Nutrition and Coaching at Vida Health, told me.

“Skip the sweet drinks such as margaritas, blended beverages, or mojitos, and go for a drink mixed with soda water instead. Save your beverages for optimal times, adding limits on your drinking hours, and avoid starting early in the day.”

If you do indulge in a little day drinking, we won’t judge you. Just be sure to drink plenty of water as well.

Chickpea salad

A great way to take advantage of warm summer days is to prepare meals and snacks over the weekend. This way you’ll be able to grab your healthy dishes and go.

“The last thing I want to do on hot summer days is cook, so my go-to summer dish is an easy chickpea salad,” Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the owner of Cultivate Healthy, Andrea Goergen, told me. “Just mix a can of chickpeas with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, squeeze some lemon juice on top or use a little balsamic vinaigrette, and that’s it!”

Not only is this salad delicious and easy, it’s loaded with nutrients for your bikini bod. “This crisp, fresh salad is low in fat and calories, and loaded with protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium,” explained Goergen. “Add avocado for a creamier version that boosts the vitamin C and fiber with a delicious dose of healthy fat.