Archive | October, 2014

Coloring Books for Adults Are The New Way To Relax

Coloring books for adults are the new way to relax and unwind. :: www.nurturedmama.net

The first time I came across a coloring book designed especially for adults was in my local upscale stationary store. I was looking for a new coloring book for my daughter, but my eye was drawn to a display of large, beautiful books published by Usborne for grownups. Of course I had to get one. Since then I’ve been hooked.

I’ve seen mandala coloring bookscoloring patterns drawn by well-known illustrators and books with detailed designs in the style of Zendoodles.

Why so popular? Well, it turns out that coloring is good for adults in exactly the same way it is good for children. Focus on coloring a page stills our minds, while also stimulating the brain areas that control motor skills, creativity, and the senses (at least 3 of them, please don’t eat your crayons!).

Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, quoted in this article from Huffpost Spain,  describes how coloring activates both halves of the brain and promotes relaxation:

The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements].

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You Are Not A Dumbhead

You are not a dumbhead; how to handle being angry at the universe. :: www.nurturedmama.net

The other day, driving home from the store, Bean announced from the backseat, “Bella* called me a dumbhead.”

I looked up to the mirror sharply to see if she was laughing or hurt about this little bit of information. Bella is her best friend who she goes to daycare with and their friendship has being going through a rocky transition recently. Bean was looking out the side window, holding her water bottle loosely balanced on her thigh. Definitely hurt.

I bit down my initial mama bear response and tried to keep my voice even. “Why do you think she called you that?”

“We were fighting. She was wanted the toy and I wouldn’t let go.”

“That’s not a nice thing to call somebody, even when you are mad at them. How did it make you feel when she called you that?”

“Mad. I yelled at her.”

Poor Bella. My girl has a big voice. She’s yelled in my face a few times and it is kind of scary.

Sometimes I envy Bean being 3 and not having all the social filters for her emotions in place yet. On one hand, it makes being blindsided by your best friend calling you a mean name really painful.…

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Pinned It. Did It. Upcycled Girl’s Dress

Pinned it. Did It. Upcycled Girl's Dress

Do you have any clothes in your closet that you love, but don’t love to wear? That was the case with this one skit. I loved the fabric, and it reminded me of a trip to visit my grandparents when I was pregnant with my daughter. But honestly, this skirt looked terrible on me. I’d put it on, look in the mirror and take it off again. Still, I couldn’t get rid of it.

Finally it dawned on me that I could turn it into something else. So I upcycled it into a dress for Bean. And then she asked if it could be her wedding dress.

Read the whole story over on Liz’s blog!

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Workflow Wednesday: How I Use The Printable Charm Planner Pack

Workflow Wednesday: How I use the Printable Charm Planner Pack

I go back and forth with my planning and scheduling support. Mostly I like my planning systems to be digital and in the cloud, so that I can get to them whenever and from whatever device I have handy. But I have a weakness for pretty planners, too.

This year I put together a printed planner for my blog that has been a huge help for keeping me on track and organized. Also, when I’m overwhelmed, I move off the computer to paper. I don’t know why, but the simplicity of paper and pen seems to help me feel like everything is more concrete and achievable. Or maybe I just like being able to cross things off with a pen when they are done.

I’ve been following Sarah Bell of  Printable Charm on Instagram since before she launched her shop, and I love her designs and her philosophy toward life: “I want to feel good about spending quality time with my family, knowing we are focused on the things that will actually matter in 10 years!” So when she put out a call for bloggers interested in trying and reviewing one of her Printable Charm Planner Packs, I jumped at the opportunity.…

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Workflow Wednesday: How To Start A Painting

How To Start A Painting; A Guide for Mothers :: www.nuturedmama.net

I found this post on my old blog recently. Although I wrote it when Bean was just a baby, the struggle to extricate my attention from motherhood to focus on my creativity is no easier now. The details may look different for me now, or for you there, depending on your craft or the age or number of your children, but I’m guessing the struggle will feel familiar to many of you. 

How to start a painting:

Carefully break the sleeping baby’s latch on my breast.
Freeze until I am sure she’s asleep.
Slowly get out of bed, hoping the bed frame doesn’t creak and wake her.
Sneak down the hall, avoiding the squeeky board.
Turn on the baby monitor.
Check the time.
Empty the sink, wipe the counter.
Put away the mail.
Add a couple things to the running to-do list that I thought of while laying in bed.
Empty the litter box.
Peek in the bedroom to make sure she’s breathing.
Check the time.
Start a load of laundry.
Put on some music. Change my mind and leave the music off because it will wake the baby.
Go in the studio.
Go back to the kitchen for the baby monitor and a glass of water.…

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A Better Way To Ask, “How Are You Today?”

A Better Way To Ask "How Are You Today?" :: www.nurturedmama.net

I have a long-time friend who dislikes the question, “How are you today?” because he feels people answer out of habit, not really saying how they are. “Fine,” we say, or “Pretty busy,” But what he wants to know, when he asks someone how they are is how they really are.  Not the habitual answer, but how they really are in that moment. He wants to connect.

He asked me once what question he could ask to find out how I really am and I told him to ask me if I’d noticed the sky today.

On days when my mind is busy and the to do list is pressing and noticing the world around me is not a priority, I don’t notice the sky. It takes a certain amount of slowness, of presence, to look up and really notice. Sometimes a sunset will be so brilliant that it will wrest your attention no matter what, but a cotton candy puff of clouds, or a spinning length of contrail, I might not notice those. But if I’m not noticing the sky, I’m not noticing a lot of other things, either. Like if I’m hungry, or need a glass of water, or need to take a break.…

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