Archive | June, 2014

Pro Parenting Moves

Five skills to practice to be a pro parent ::

This month, listening to all the talk about the World Cup games, I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between a pro soccer player and someone who just plays soccer.

A professional, by definition, gets paid, but let’s set that definition aside for the moment.

Pros have focus. They spend time improving their skills through practice, being coached, and getting mentoring. They also have certain things they do differently than players. Let’s call them pro moves. These are the skills that set them apart from someone who plays in their local community league. It might be a particular style or strength of kick. It might be a honed sense for knowing where the open shot is. It might be a kick that almost always tricks the goalie.

It occurred to me that some parents have these kinds of pro moves. These parents are the ones who tend to look less harried, less frustrated, more relaxed and happy. I started wondering what could be considered a pro parenting move and why more of us should practice them.


Here are five that I came up with:

Listen Hard

I live with a child who talks.…

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You Are Already Supermom

You Are Already Supermom :: nurturedmama.netOn those days when you are struggling, second-guessing yourself, not being the supermom you want to be, I want you to remember these five things.

1. You grew a baby in your body. Or you opened your heart and arms to one. Either way, you offered up your body and heart to this calling.

You Are Already Supermom :: nurturedmama.net2. You give up sleep, the best bites on your plate, the immediate pursuit of your personal dreams, and (more than) half of your pillow.
You Are Already Supermom :: nurturedmama.net3. When you reach the end of your rope you find more rope.

You Are Already Supermom :: nurturedmama.net4. You kiss boo boos, wipe bottoms and clean up vomit. You pick up toys, wear silly hats, and do all the voices for their favorite books.

You Are Already Supermom :: nurturedmama.net5. You make sure they know they are loved, even when they are throwing tantrums, talking back, being surly teenagers, and otherwise acting unlovable.

You don’t have to try to be a supermom. You already are.

You already are.

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Our Summer Manifesto

Make your own summer manifesto - free printable. ::

Last year I made a list of things I wanted to do over the summer months and it was so incredibly helpful to have a guide to refer to. It also help me know when to say no to invitations or plans, when they didn’t align with what I really wanted to do.

This year I wanted to make a list, but I also wanted to make it super simple. Because full disclosure here: That cute little photo book I made from Ali’s templates is still sitting on my desk, almost-but-not-quite-done.

Awesome, and done. And now stuck on the side of the fridge where we can all see it!

Want to make your own? You got it! Download the template here.

If you want even more summer support, ideas, and efficiency (really, who doesn’t want more efficiency?) I have a whole pack of summer-related printables available now. This manifesto sheet is in there, along with a menu planner, calendars, to-do list templates, summer-friendly recipe ideas and a ton of activity ideas for the kids. Also my favorite part: A full pace of life hacks for moms to create even more time and sanity for you in the next few months.  Click the button below to buy it now (just $5.99!) or go here to see more details.…

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A Lesson On Creative Abandon

What can you learn from a child about creativity? Everything. :: nurtured

Tonight I helped Bean put away the PlayDoh she’d been using after dinner while her dad and I cleaned up and lazed around waiting for bedtime.

She had opened five mini containers – three shades of green, one red and an orange. The greens were hopelessly mashed together. I spent a little time trying to separate them by shade and felt myself getting anxious and frustrated that she hadn’t kept the colors separated so we could put them away easily.

But then I realized she didn’t care at all that the colors were mixed up. She was happy to put them back in the containers all mixed up.

She liked mashing the colors together. She wasn’t playing with the stuff with the goal of putting it away easily, she was just playing with the stuff to explore it. The texture, the colors, the shapes we could make with it.

This is the child who will use only the purple pen from any set until it alone is dried up and the tip grows furry, and then maybe she’ll try some of the other colors.

This is the child who will paint a whole page, sometimes two, of the one color she loves best from a paint box until it is gone.…

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5 Homemade Gifts For Dad

Father’s Day gifts are always a struggle around here. June is BUSY. I want my daughter to be involved in any gifts for dad that are happening, but how to make time for that?

Also, my man is the least traditionally dude guy I’ve ever met. When I look through those lists of recommended gifts for dads, they are almost always a total miss for him. BBQ stuff? No, I do the barbecuing in this house. Golf? No, thanks. He’s not into sports or fishing or yard work.

He has interests, to be sure, but they are all kind of specialized. I’m not brave enough to try to buy any bits of climbing gear because I know I’d get that wrong!

5 handmade gifts for dad easy enough you can get the kids involved! ::

photo credit: peddhapati via photopin cc

I also hate to go for any gift that’s just going to end up in the donate pile in a few months. Why bother?

I love handmade gifts and these are always well received. With a small child, projects have to be simple enough for her to help.

Here are 5 handmade – but pretty simple – gifts for Dad that you can make with only basic crafting skills and also get little or big kids involved.…

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Story Stones: Pinned It. Did It.

Story stones are great for imaginative play - make your own! ::

Photo by Miss Bean, age 3.

Have you ever had a project that you thought about for a really long time, and then when you sat down to do it, it took almost no time at all?

That was this project for me. I’ve had a collection of story stones tutorials pinned for nearly a year because I wanted to make a set for Bean, but it wasn’t until the week this post was promised and due to Liz that I finally sat down to make them.

They took only a few minutes. And Bean has been playing with them ever since.

Read about how I made them and how we will be using them over on Liz’s blog in the Pinned It. Did It. series.

And then go start that project you’ve been putting off!

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Five Great Garden Ideas From Sunset Celebration Weekend

This past weekend we attended the Sunset Celebration Weekend show in Menlo Park and now I’m fired up with garden ideas for my home.

Five great gardening ideas from the Sunset Celebration Weekend ::

If you live in the West and are any kind of gardener, traveler, or food enthusiast, you are probably already familiar with Sunset Magazine. Focusing on travel, food, home and garden in the 13 Western states, the magazine has been in publication since 1898. I’ve been a subscriber for at least 10 years. It was the only magazine I subscribed for a while after I let all my other subscriptions go when I left my corporate job. I look forward to reading it every month and I have torn out and saved articles all over my house.

They describe their Celebration Weekend, held on the grounds of their Menlo Park headquarters, as “the West’s ultimate lifestyle event.” This is also the home of their test garden and huge test kitchen. The event draws 20,000 visitors a year to see the gardens, try local wines and beers, meet celebrity chefs and vendors of all kinds, and see demonstrations on entertaining, gardening and travel.

I’ve always wanted to go but this is the first year I’ve actually made it.…

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