Archive | Miscellaneous

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.

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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What We Should Learn From The Dress Debate


Is the dress white or blue? Or maybe we could all agree that it is grey? What we should learn from the dress debate. ::

Photo by Hugo Kerr.

I have a secret indulgence: I like to lay in bed in the morning and read email and blog posts on my phone. So Friday morning, while indulging, I discovered that the internet had blown up overnight about a dress. Specifically, what color the dress was. Was it white or was it blue?

“Huh. Crazy internet,” I thought. “Clearly the dress is white.”

When I got up, I showed the photo to my man. “What color is this dress?” I asked.

“Its blue,” he said.

“That’s so weird,” I said. I read him the article I’d found about how the difference in perception was due to how our eyes receive color and how our brain analyses that information. And then we continued with our morning.

Later in the day, I scrolled through Facebook again and noticed that the debate was still raging, but what struck me most was how angry people were getting in defense of what color they believed the dress to be.

I saw people being dismissive of people who saw the dress in other colors than they did. I saw someone say it made her feel angry when someone told her they saw other colors than she did.…

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Summer Resources for the Southern Hemisphere

Tired of reading about winter when it is summer where you live? This round up of summer ideas is for you! :: www.nurturedmama.netI’ve been writing about winter stuff a lot this month because I’m all up in the middle of it. But I know some of you live in the opposite hemisphere, so I wanted to share a bunch of links to articles that are more relevant for you this month. Enjoy!

The Taste of Summer

Getting Outdoors

Self-Care in the Summertime

Crafts and Outdoor Play

Do you have other resources for summer fun?

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Grow Good Eaters: 5 Easy Garden Vegetables to Plant With Your Kids

Grow Good Eaters - 5 easy vegetables to plant with your kids ::

“Mama, do we have any carrots?” My 3-year old is standing not in the kitchen, but in the backyard. She’s peering into our raised garden bed, where I’ve been growing vegetables with her and for our family since she was a baby.

Together we’ve successfully grown peas, green beans, lettuce, kale, chard, basil, carrots, summer squash and parsley. We nurtured a volunteer pumpkin grow in our front yard that provided four perfect pumpkins for our jack-o-lanterns last fall.

We’ve also had a few flops, like the eggplant that never flowered, a tiny melon plant that keeled over shortly after being transplanted and a batch of broccoli that were devoured by aphids. This year we are experimenting with sweet Walla Walla onions and a purple cauliflower.

Cultivating young gardeners will reap benefits far beyond healthy eating habits, teaching patience and an understanding of cause and effect among other things.

The first time we grew carrots from seed, my daughter was 2. I drug my finger through the dirt near the edge of the bed where she could reach and showed her where to sprinkle the seeds.

As the seedlings popped up, I showed them to her. When she pulled a few before they were ready, we talked about what was happening under the soil, and why we needed to let the plant keep growing.…

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5 Easy Ways to Save Summer Memories

5 Easy Ways To Save Summer Memories |

Now that summer is winding to a close, kids are returning to school, and you (hopefully) have a little more time, you may be wondering what to do with all those photos and mementos from your summer adventures. Let’s talk about ways to save your summer memories!

I admit I often get swept up into fall and then holiday activities and never get anything done with summer photos. To help make sure that doesn’t happen to you, here are 5 QUICK ways to save summer memories while the details are still fresh.

Save Summer Memories – Quick and Easy!

  •  I recommended this summer manifesto printable fromAli Edwards at the beginning of the summer. If you didn’t use it that way, you can still use the template to record the highlights of your summer and get those photos printed and into a small book where you can enjoy them.
  • I love this tactile summer memory book. What a fun way to review your adventures with your kids and find out what really stood out for them. This would also be a great project to have them take into school if their class is doing a “what I did over the summer” kind of activity.
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Get Outside: 29 Things to Do With The Kids This Summer

Get Outside: 29 Things to Do With The Kids |

Water play

On a hot day there’s nothing better than getting outside and getting some nice cool water over your skin. I live in perennially drought-ridden California and this summer we would only be allowed to enjoy water play in the early evening, but for those of you in wetter places, some of these ideas will be great for the hottest parts of your summer days.

  •  I don’t think its going to happen this summer, but I’d love to build one of these water play walls for my Bean. She’d love it!
  • Just a step up from running a sprinkler on your lawn for the kids to run through, check out this homemade PVC shower arch.
  • Here’s an even simpler idea: Take a 2 liter soda bottle and poke holes in it in the lower half of it. Attach it to a garden hose via a male to male adapter (find these for a few dollars at the hardware store). Toss the hose over a tree branch and let it hang where the kids can run and play under it.
  • This one would be fun when you have a gaggle of school-age kids around at a BBQ or birthday party: Soap bar boat races.
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My daughter will only know same-sex marriage as normal

Welcome to the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they teach their children to embrace and respect the variety of people and cultures that surround us. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Santa Cruz Pride Parade La Cage Auz Folles dancers blog post title

On the morning of June 28 I woke up early and reached for my phone to catch up on social media before I started my day. The first eight posts in my Facebook feed celebrated the new gay marriage ruling. I switched over to the CNN app to confirm: The Supreme Court had just released two rulings, the first declaring DOMA unconstitutional and the second overruled Proposition 8 in California, which made gay marriage legal again here where I live.

I shifted in bed to gaze at my still-sleeping two-year old daughter and wondered: Will she grow up in a world, finally, where families made up of two mommies or two daddies is accepted as normal? Will she be largely unaware of the discrimination I experienced in my own life before she was born?…

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June Photo Hunt

Photo hunt title

At the beginning of June, I shared a short photo hunt printable for the month. As promised here are the photos I found this month.

This was a really nice way to stay in touch with my intentions for slow and fun in the month, and to remember to notice the moment I’m in, not be thinking so much about what I need to be doing next or forgot to do last.

Sunshine - June photo hunt -


Grandpa - - June Photo Hunt -

Grandpa (“Baba”)

Flowers - June Photo Hunt -


Bubbles - June Photo Hunt - Nurtured


Fresh from the Garden - June Photo Hunt -

Fresh from the garden

Bare feet - June Photo Hunt -

Bare feet (she thinks they are “bear feet”)

Relaxing - June Photo Hunt -

Relaxing (while she sleeps)

Laughter - June Photo Hunt -


Did you do a photo hunt of your own?  Please share a link in the comments below!

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What I Want to Do With My Summer Vacation: 398 Fun Things To Do This Summer

Today is my favorite day of the year: The first day of summer vacation!

When I was a kid I remember how exciting it was to get to the last day of school.  Summer vacation stretched out before me forever, it seemed. I could not imagine the end of summer from the beginning of it.

398 fun things to do this summer

Download your own Welcome To Summer resources and printables pack now!


I have a very different perspective on summer as an adult. Namely, that it is over way too soon, long before I get to do everything I want to do. I tend to cram way too many things into the warm months, and then I’m frazzled and disappointed by those first cool days in September.

Last year, as an antidote to that feeling, I made a short list of things I wanted to make sure I did over the summer months. I called it my Summer Do List. They were mostly small things, and all of them local. It was really helpful to have some kind of focus, but also a reminder to keep things small. When we had a little time on the weekend I’d look at the list and pick a fun activity that was the right size.…

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Book Group Grandmothers

Book Group grandmothersMy daughter has nine grandmothers.

Four are by blood and marriage, as a result of complicated blended families on both sides.  The other five are the Book Group Grandmothers.

I am the youngest in my book group by easily 15 years.  I am the only woman whose children are not grown. This group has been meeting for 16 years now, 14 of them with me. Together we have experienced births and deaths of children, new marriages, divorces, heart surgeries, cancer diagnoses and treatment, transitions into new careers, retirement, grandparenthood and stay-at-home-motherhood. We have attended funerals, birthday parties, weddings, movies, choir performances, blessing ceremonies and baby showers together.

Each month we gather around a table in one of our kitchens, the selected book read or partially read or not yet even cracked open, to eat together and to talk.

We do read in our book group, and are discriminating about our picks, but we are laughingly lax at discussing them at our meetings.  We regularly joke that we are only in it for the good food and the wine.  Except I don’t think that’s why we are in it at all.  I think we are in it for the community and because we each respect and admire each other so much.…

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