Author Archive | Doña

Six ways to savor the end of summer

Someone asked me this week, “Are you sick of summer yet?” and I surprised myself by answering a hearty, “No!” For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m holding on to the end of summer with joy.

Sure, my schedule is whack, my to-do list is stretching pretty long, and I don’t love the heat. But balancing that, I’m really enjoying the freedom to plan each day as it comes, long days, and going on adventures. We have almost four more weeks before my girl starts kindergarten, and I’m trying to pack in all the fun we can get in those days. We’re sleeping in, going swimming, having lots of art and reading time, and going on at least a few more adventures.


Summer isn't over yet! Six ways to savor the end of summer, whether you are sick of it, or holding on as long as you can. www.nurturedmama.net

Whether summer is wearing on you at this point or not, here are six ways you can savor the last little bit of the season.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Hit a farmer’s market

The markets are booming with amazing and delicious food right now. If you haven’t been to a market yet this summer, get to one now! Plan a meal or two around the best of the season: Corn, peaches, peppers, squash, and berries are all at their best at the end of summer.…

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5 Tips to Shop Smarter at the Farmers Market

Are you new to eating locally? Shopping at a farmers market is a great way to eat local and seasonal food, which is such a healthy and delicious way to eat. And at the height of summer there’s a good chance there’s a market running near you, wherever you are. But if you are new to market shopping, a bustling bursting market can be completely overwhelming. You might leave with an empty basket or one so over-filled that you won’t possibly finish everything before it goes bad. No need to be overwhelmed! Shop smarter at the farmers market by keeping just a few tips in mind.

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through a link I will earn few cents from the sale at no additional cost to you. This income helps to support this blog. Thank you!

Make a Plan

Shopping without a list is always dangerous, no matter where you are. You end up with things in your cart you weren’t planning to buy, and then you get home and realize you forgot the one thing you really need for dinner. Shopping without a list at a busy market is just as dangerous.…

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Get More Done With A Better To-Do List

“You’re the one who is slave to the to-do list,” he told me one afternoon. I don’t even remember what it was we were sparring about, just that he wasn’t doing something I thought he should be doing, something that was on my list but not on his. We both want to get more done, we just have different ways of getting there.

The fact is, he mostly doesn’t keep a list at all. I’m not actually advocating that practice, but mostly that’s because I have a bad memory and I’m easily overwhelmed, and having a list to refer to helps me with both of those things.

But do I want to be a slave to that list? No! I do not. And I’m sure you don’t want to be a slave to yours either. You want to feel like you are in charge of your own time. You want to get more done, but joyfully.

Get more done and feel better about it with a better to-do list. :: www.nurturedmama.net

Your list should feel like a friend, a supportive guide, a path along and toward the life you want to be living. Not something you compare yourself to, or fall short at, or beat yourself up about. That is not helpful in any way.

The truth is, my list did often feel more like a big stick that I was trying not to let hit me than a friendly guide.…

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How To Decide What To Let Go

The last few months have been a lonely time for me. I have people in my life, but I’m going too fast and feeling too busy to really see them. I want to feel deeply connected with someone but my partner and I haven’t talked in two days and I haven’t had a meaningful conversation with anyone over the age of six in a week.

In the last few months, my guy has been away from home a lot and I’ve been flying solo with the kid and the house and all of our animals. I finished radiation therapy at the end of January and it has been a long slow road back to feeling like myself. My stamina is still very low, I have to sleep a lot and my memory is terrible. I simply can’t keep on top all the things that are involved in keeping a household running solo, but how do I figure out what to let go? It often feels like I’m running in circles and things are still falling down all around me.

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Do you feel lonely when you are surrounded by people? Are you feeling disconnected? Are you feeling that crush of wanting to do more than you can do, or having many things on your plate taking up your time and energy and resenting them?…

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Get Your Summer Bag Ready

We live in Santa Cruz. That means that any day the sun is shining, on our way to or from anywhere, my daughter may call from the backseat, “Can we go to the beach?” After the second or third time I declined because we didn’t have any of our beach gear with us, she said, “Mommy, we never get to go to the beach.” I felt awful. I mean, it is right there! So I solved the problem by putting together what I call our summer bag and keeping it in the trunk of my car. Ours is for beach trips, but a bag like this is great for any summer destination – the park, a hike, even the farmer’s market.

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This has worked so well I wanted to tell you what I keep in our summer bag so you can make one, too.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Get Your Summer Bag Ready

First up, make sure you have a good bag. I use a large straw market bag my guy brought home as a souvenir from Madagascar (similar to this one), which stands up in the trunk of my car and is easy to carry. It is also big enough to hold extra clothes as they are shed.…

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5 Mantras for Mamas

We all have those moments, right? Our child talks back, or hits someone (maybe us). We fumble our coffee cup and it crashes to the floor, spraying that precious liquid everywhere. The cat throws up in the middle of the kitchen and then we step in it. Our child whines, “I’m bored,” or “Can I watch TV?” for the 11 millionth time since breakfast.

In those moments, it is so easy to lose it. It is those moments that cause me to yell, stomp, make threats. Those are the ones that crack me.

But when I catch myself just before the cracking happens and use a mama mantra to center myself, I can unwind myself and make a better choice of response. One I won’t regret in the next instant.

Sometimes we all need a reset button. Use these mama mantras for when you are struggling with a situation and need to calm down and focus.

How do I do that? First, I take a breath. Taking a breath always helps. Second, I find a mantra that will take me out of the moment and into a calmer place. Once I’m in that calmer place, I can choose how I want to respond, not just respond without thinking.

What’s a mantra?

Originally from spiritual traditions, a mantra is a series of words or sounds intended to align the practitioner with the divine.…

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5 ways to restart a healthy habit

Things that are good for you aren’t always fun. Sometimes they take a bit of effort. The goal might be worthwhile, but the path there isn’t so enticing. So even when you start with the best of intentions, you might fall off the wagon and then it is really hard to get back on. I know it, I’ve been there. But I’ve learned some ways to make it so much easier to get back on that good habit and make it stick.

Healthy habits are hard to keep, but that doesn't mean you should  quit when you fail. 5 tips for restarting a healthy habit when you've slipped up.

Last year I worked with a nutritionist while I was going through chemo to keep my body as strong and resilient as possible. Early on, she suggested I stop eating sugar, to which I said something like, “Not likely.” But I did reduce how much I was eating, and then after surgery and a couple rounds of winter viruses (thank you preschool kids), I went for a couple of weeks without it and I couldn’t believe how different I felt. I slept better. I didn’t have blood sugar highs and lows, and no energy dip in the late afternoon. My joints stopped aching. I got over the next cold amazingly fast. After the first week or so, I even stopped craving it.…

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Messy life management – 7 ways to cope

What have you done for yourself this week? Or is your messy life getting in the way?

Is it hard to even remember? Does the idea of doing something for yourself feel impossible? Laughable? Too selfish to even consider?

Is your life an overwhelming mess right now? Don't know what to do to dig out? Here are 7 things you can do - fast - to help you get back on top of that messy life. :: nurtured mama.net

 

I’ve had a week like that. Every time I turn around, it seems, I get a little more bad news. Some new complicated thing I need to manage. I can feel that I’m carrying all of my worries in the muscles of my shoulders and every time I move I hurt. And then that makes me worry about the link between stress and cancer reoccurrence. As if I need something else to worry about.

But it is weeks like this that I know how very important it is to take good care of myself. To do things that are just for me. They have to be tiny, mostly, but they have to be in there.

The week after I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I remember talking on the phone to a friend who asked, “What does your self-care look like right now?” I couldn’t think of anything, at first. And then I remembered that each morning for the last three days I had chosen to put the same tee-shirt back on.…

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One small moment of connection

When I want to connect with my child, one small moment can make all the difference. :: www.nurturedmama.netI want to remember that small moment last night when I rose above my frustration, exhaustion and distraction and said to her, “What will help? What will help you hear me? Because I’m feeling really frustrated right now.”

“You can say, ‘I love you, Stella,’” she said.

I know that won’t help the real problem, which is that it is the end of that hard year for our family, and I’ve been sick so much that I’ve lost some authority and she’s practicing being almost 5 by choosing to ignore me sometimes just to see what will happen. The real problem is that I’m tired and my attention is on healing and finding the threads of my life again. My attention is mostly not on the subtle nuances of parenting this small person who is learning to be independent. My attention is needed so many other places, so I’ve been letting it drift away from her until there’s a battle to fight, and then I come in stomping and laying down the law. I set consequences for failing to pick up the pink and green Legos from the living room floor at bedtime, or all of the tiny cut up pieces of paper strewn across the dining room table so we can sit down and have a meal as a family, because we missed so many meals together when I was laid up on the couch during chemo and this is important to me.…

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How To Get Through It: A brief guide for chemo patients

A brief guide for cancer patient on how to survive and thrive during chemo treatment. :: www.nurturedmama,net

Be brave. By which I mean feel terrified and resolve to move forward anyway.

Cancel your to do list.

Call in every favor, but not all at once.

Expect that it will be worse than you think. Know you will get through it anyway.

Get used to the discomfort of other people doing things you feel like you should be able to do yourself, but actually can’t do yourself right now.

Give yourself permission to be righteously furious. And then give yourself permission to speak that fury out loud (but don’t aim it at your immediate family).

Let yourself off all the hooks.

Get acupuncture. Often.

Get used to crying.

Conserve your energy for the things that matter most. Don’t let anyone else make that list for you.

Resign yourself to the many pharmaceutical medications all lined up in their little orange bottles.

Use marijuana medically and also when you just need a break from feeling everything.

Say thank you often to your significant other, or parent, or child, or whoever is carrying the brunt of your care.

Be really specific about helps you and what doesn’t.

Remember that every cycle is going to be a little different.

Get on YouTube and learn to wear a scarf from fabulously stylish women who have not actually lost their hair but wear scarves beautifully anyway.…

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