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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Project Cookbook: Lemon Curd from The Art of Simple Food

Sweet and tangy Meyer Lemon Curd is delicious on scones, in thumbprint cookies, and in tiny tea-party tarts ::

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here

It was so hard to choose a dessert recipe to wrap up this month with The Art of Simple Food.

It is currently the season of abundant fruit and so many of the recipes in this particular cookbook are subtle enough to let fantastic ingredients shine. I considered strawberry ice cream, vanilla panne cotta with fresh berries, even an intriguing recipe for apple jellies, or pâte de fruitthat I thought about trying with some beautiful green gage plums I found at the market last week.

In the end I settled on a recipe that would use some ingredients overflowing from my own yard – eggs and Meyer lemons – to make lemon curd.

Sweet and tangy Meyer Lemon Curd is delicious on scones, in thumbprint cookies, and in tiny tea-party tarts ::

Oh, lemon curd. You are so delicious. It is closely related to egg custard, with the addition of the tart bite of lemon juice and zest. It is so good. Serve it as a spread on scones or toast, or a zingy surprise on top of thumbprint cookies, or put it in tiny little tarts (perfect for a tea party).…

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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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Project Cookbook: Poached Salmon and Risotto from The Art of Simple Food

Poached Salmon and Asparagus-Pea-Lemon risotto from Alice Waters' Art of Simple Food ::

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here.

I’m finding this cookbook hard to cook out of. Not because there’s anything wrong with it, but the opposite. Every time I open it I find something else I want to make!

Three weeks in, I’m really appreciating the straightforward recipes that include just enough details. For example, the risotto recipe included a range of cooking time estimates, but also a description of how to tell if the rice was done – “until the rice is tender, but still has a firm core.”

This week I attempted a dinner a bit fancier than I usually make. I love to cook and I love to learn new cooking skills. But with a 3-year-old in the house who loves to help, “fancy” meals don’t really go down well. If I’m going to try something new I either have to make sure she’s otherwise occupied (thank you Busy Town Mysteries!) or I make one new dish and let her work on a second dish that I can supervise on autopilot.…

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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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Project Cookbook: Pizza Dough from The Art of Simple Food

Project Cookbook: Pizza Dough from The Art Of Simple Food ::

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here

In 2003 I went on a trip to Europe. We spent a full week of our 3-week trip in Italy, between Florence, Rome and Siena, and I ate pizza every single day.

Ever since that trip, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make pizza like the pizza I ate in Italy, because I can’t find an equivalent back in the states. It had a thin crust, crispy with the dry heat of a wood-fired pizza oven. The thinnest layer of tomato sauce that tasted of summer and just one or two other ingredients. Figs and gorgonzola, maybe, or pancetta and an egg. None of this 5-cheese mix or 3 kinds of meat like on American pizzas. You could always see the crust through the toppings, though a thin glaze of sauce. If there was cheese it was subtle, never dripping off a slice in strings like you see in TV ads here.…

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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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Project Cookbook: The Art of Simple Food And A Poached Egg

Project Cookbook week 1: The Art of Simple Food. -- nurturedmama.netI have to be honest – I don’t actually own this cookbook – yet. I don’t even have room for it on my shelf.

This is the first post in a new series – Project Cookbook – and room on the cookbook shelf is what inspired it. That is, there is no room on the shelf. Books are stacked up both vertically and horizontally. I also have recipes that I’ve pulled out of magazines or printed off from the internet tucked in willy nilly. Honestly the whole thing makes me a little crazy. The shelf is right there in the middle of the kitchen where I look at it all the time. And it is messy. Messy is not what I want in the center of my house.

What I want in the center of my house is good food, good community, comfort, ease.

A few weeks ago I stood in front of that shelf, as I sometimes do, and tried to decide which books I could get rid of to make more room. I couldn’t decide, which is not unusual. This is how that shelf got that way.

So I decided I needed to explore the contents of the books in a more organized way.…

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