Google+ Authentic Parenting: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Homemade Modeling Clay Recipe

Welcome to the Mindful Play eBook Bundle sale.

Get your bundle today at 80% off and gain access to 9 play oriented eBooks plus bonus material geared towards kids ages one and up for only $14.95. This sale only lasts until the 3rd of October.

These products will never be sold together again at this drastically reduced price.


We just love modelling play at our family. It's the kind of activity where our whole family joins in, no wonder it's used in therapeutic treatment!!  
While we do buy play dough (the non toxic kind), we're also constantly on the lookout for homemade dough recipes, as we go through those cans of play dough FAST!! So I was extremely happy to see "Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough and Modelling Experiences for Kids" as a contribution to the Mindful Play eBook Bundle.
Mudworks, that's 152 pages of gooey, mouldable inspiration with lots and lots of recipes!

I'm very happy to be able to share this homemade modeling clay recipe with you, an excerpt from the book.


Get your copy of "Mudworks", paired with 8 other play-oriented eBooks and lots of bonus material as part of the Mindful Play eBook Bundle.

Buying this bundle through the affiliate links in this post supports this site. Thank you!

Mindful play eBundle Sale


What's in the bundle? The Mindful Play eBook Bundle features 9 whimsical play oriented resources and amazing bonus material for only $14.95:

  • MudWorks, MaryAnn Kohl, 152 pages. Mudworks offers a delightful range of over 100 hands-on creative modeling mixtures and recipes for children to explore and experience. 
  • Treasure Basket Play, Melitsa Avila. Treasure Basket Play shows you step by step how to effectively and safely set up and use a treasure basket in your home today that will engage and challenge your baby each time they use the basket.
  • How to Fool Your Kid into Having Fun So You Can, Freaky Rivet, 102 pages. Born out of 6 months of travel with our own 4 children, “How to Fool Your Kids Into Having Fun So You Can” is an eBook packed with over 100 games for travelling without gadgets.
  • Animal ABC's, Carisa, over 300 pages. Animal ABCs is a fun way to take your toddler or preschooler through the alphabet while learning about animals along the way.
  • Sensory Bins, Sharla Kostelyk. Sensory bins are a simple and inexpensive learning tool that can benefit all children. Whether you are interested in incorporating sensory bins into your home, classroom, preschool, Day Care, or homeschool, this guide will provide you the necessary knowledge and ideas to get started.
  • Mandala Doodles, Sara McGrath, 26 pages. Learn to draw mandala doodles. With something round to trace, pens, and an eye for discovering the patterns around you, you can draw round mandala doodles and non-circular doodle designs.
  • Alphabet Glue, Issue 9 and 14, Annie Riechmann, 68 pages. Alphabet Glue is a downloadable e-magazine for families who love books. Filled with activities, printables, projects, and plenty of inspiration, Alphabet Glue was created in hopes of helping more families to incorporate creativity, imagination and all things literary into their everyday routines.
  • Summer Fun Coloring Book, Joni Rae Latham, 15 pages.
  • Sophia's Jungle Adventure, Giselle Shardlow, 40 pages. A Fun and Educational Kids Yoga Story
  • BONUS: Coloring pages, Playful Rituals eBook + sample eCourses, audio track by an expert on treasure baskets.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

9 Resources for Play - Mindful Play eBundle

We've been very hard at work at Mindful Nurturing and I'm pleased to announce our newest bundle, in my opinion the best one so far.
The Mindful Play eBundle is entirely play oriented and holds 9 resources for kids ages 1 to 12, plus 3 phenomenal bonuses.

There's a little something for everyone: coloring pages, a story book, yoga, mandala drawing initiation, treasure baskets and sensory bins, modelling play and much more.

Get your bundle today for only $14,95 and gain access to these amazing resources, that's over 80% off a retail value of $74!


Buying this bundle supports this site! We are very grateful.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Hop: Parenting in The Light of Your Own Childhood

APBC - Authentic Parenting Keeping with this month's theme of switching things up, the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, co-hosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting, is hosting a blog hop this month on a very important topic: parenting in the light of your own childhood. 

Our experiences, good and bad, shape who we are. We can choose to continue something or to make changes. We want everyone to speak up about how you have chosen to parent based on how you were parented. Tell us about how you are consciously and authentically parenting in relation to your own childhood experiences. 
We know this can be a touchy subject, so if you have a new post you would like hosted on another site, please e-mail us and we would be happy to find a blog to host you, anonymously or otherwise. By addressing issues of the past, we can choose to make a bright future. Simply add your post, new or old, to the convenient linky tool below before October 25, 2013. 

We understand that many of these posts may touch on emotionally difficult subjects as we explore our own upbringing. However, as advocates of gentle and respectful parenting, we do ask that your posts not advocate in favor of violence toward others or non-gentle parenting practices.   

 Blog hops are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. 
Please join us as we embrace Authentic Parenting! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways to bring authenticity into our lives and our parenting.

Want to help host this blog hop on your own blog? Grab the code and share everyone’s posts with your readers!

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Return to Fertility, A Second Time Around

After I gave birth to my daughter, I could hardly wait to have another child. It was extremely frustrating

to me to wait for my fertility to return. I was eager,  anxious, waiting and the dreamt of second child seemed so far away.
I got my period after 20 months (but suspect I wasn't ovulating at first) and my children are 3,5 years apart.

After giving birth to my son, my immediate reaction was quite different. No. I was not putting myself through this again. Time passed and at 19 months post partum, I had my period. What a shocker.

I knew it was coming, I felt it, but it feels so sudden.
My daughter's reaction when she knew I had my period (and that I am fertile again): "What? At his age? But he's just a baby."

My feelings exactly. I am NOT ready to have another child. I don't even know if I want more. Sure, I want to give birth again, be pregnant again, but do I want another CHILD? I can hardly handle these two... Most of the time just living makes my head spin. I am constantly grasping for breath, a moment to myself...
I constantly wonder if I'm even cut out to be a mom, because I feel like all I do is fail.

No, nature, you seem to have gotten it wrong this time.

When did you return to fertility after giving birth? Do you feel it was different with a second child?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Paleo on a Budget

My family has been eating mostly paleo (or primal) for about five years now. We’re not exceedingly

strict, we allow cheese and when we go out, everyone can order and eat what they want. We do find that even out of the house, we look for the most paleo option, just because of the way other foods make us feel.

One of the main downsides to paleo eating I get people asking about is the price. Fresh fruit, vegetable, free range meat... it’s so expensive. But there are ways to cut the price of your food significantly, and still get the ‘good stuff’.

  1. Eat game. Seek out local hunters and negotiate on the price. If you buy your game directly from the hunter, you’re sure to get a good price, as often, they’re happy to get parts of their catch out of the way. 
  2. Connect to your local fishermen. Sports fishers and commercial fishers sell their catch at low price. I get some of my fish in Belgium at less than half the price, because I go straight to the fishermen. I buy a big order, with some for my family as well and freeze in meal sized stacks. 
  3. Cultivate your own vegetables and fruit. Even if you don’t have green fingers, there’s lots of plants that don’t need any or at least little attention. Small space or no garden isn’t even an argument because nowadays, there are so many ways to cultivate at home, vertically, in containers... It probably won’t cut out all of your vegetable and fruit costs, but it can significantly cut it down.
  4. Buy bulk. Even if you don’t have a big family, buying bulk and preserving (think soups, pickles, preserves, jam...)
  5. Buy less expensive parts of meat. Neck and shoulder are sold cheaper, but are just as delicious and contain lots of gelatine and other good stuff. I even get my soup bones for free, because they're offcuts that would otherwise get tossed, yet they still contain a fair amount of meat. 
  6. Befriend your local farmer. Maybe you can trade work in the harvest season for a small but steady flow of vegetables or fresh milk. Or you can bargain to get a tiny plot of land for your own crop.
  7. Reuse. Even in the kitchen, there's lots of stuff you can reuse. Roasted bones make a very hearty broth, and often there's still some meat attached which will detach easily when boiled. Vegetables scraps also go well to make broth. Make a new dish with your leftovers by adding an egg or some sauce. 
  8. Buy on sale. True, organic food and free range meat don't come on sale too often, but sometimes they are, so take advantage and get plenty. Keep an eye on the catalogues of the stores you frequent to see when sales are happening.
  9. Compare prices. Between stores, and even within the same store, there can be a HUGE difference in price for something that's nearly the same product.
  10. Haggle. When you frequent a market, wait until the last minute and then negotiate the price of what's left. If you come frequently and visit the same stall, you can also get a discount by saving baggies and egg boxes for them.

    Even following these rules, paleo still won't be the cheapest way of eating, but you'll be able to save a lot of money and have delicious food.
    Do you eat paleo? Follow my paleo board on pinterest to get recipe ideas and more

Image By Margaret A. McIntyre ("The cave boy of the age of stone"[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Money Matters!

To switch things up a bit this month, the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, and Joella at Fine and Fair is running a blog hop! Link up all of your old, or new, posts about money. This may be a post in which you talk about how you keep purchases in check to live a more simple life in tune with your goals, about your budgeting skills, how you talk about money with your children, or more. If it deals with money and finances, we want to hear about it. Simply add your link to the handy linky tool below before October 15, 2013.

 We want you to see your creativity and expression. To that end, you are welcome to add posts at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. Blog hops are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives. 

Want to help host this blog bop on your own blog? Grab the code and share everyone's posts with your readers!

photo credit: jDevaun via photopin cc


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

London with Kids: Thames River Cruise

The second day of our London trip, we started out with the Thames River Cruise. Perfect since it was rainy and windy and that way we'd get a cross section of the city while being shielded from the weather.
The cruise was surprisingly short. From Tower hill to Westminster in a little under half an hour (not counting the wait for the boat) and sadly the view wasn't that fantastic from the boat we were on.

You can take the boat further than tower hill and it goes in two directions. Compared to the 'bateau mouches' in Paris, this was a bit less exciting, but still worth the go as kids love boats and it gives you half an hour of calm where you don't need to walk and hull the kids around. I'd also certainly recommend it if you only have a short time in London as you get to see some of the main monuments in a short time.

adult 17£, child 8,50£
Free with London pass


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

London with Kids: Tower of London

On the first day of our London trip, we visited the Tower of London, which is actually more than one tower, and a couple of castle like buildings and some squares and then some...
We spend two hours walking around and ended our visit watching one of the live interactive plays they put on.

Lots of stairs and pretty hot outside, so we were exhausted after those two hours. Had I known, we might have picked a bit of a fresher day to visit, because after two hours, I think we didn't even see half of it. The tower has something for everyone: animals, torture devices, theatrical reenactments, historical settings, armour and cannons, several bars and shops and right now the crown jewels as a temporary exhibition.
The site is stunning, breathtaking, every turn of a corner is a new surprise.

Several thumbs up for the extreme cleanliness of the bathrooms and the drinking fountain!! We also got a very tasty ice cream on site after doing all those stair in the royal armoury!

The only downside to the visit was that the tour of the white tower ended in the gift shop and that resulted in some issues with our oldest. It goes to say that they o have really cool merchandise but sadly a bit too gendered!
Also not so stroller friendly (but there is a stroller 'parking' if you walked over and are looking for a safe spot to keep it).

Official site

Free under 5, between 10.75£ and 21.45£ over 16. They also have family rates
You get a small discount when buying tickets online
Free with the London Pass
Getting there:
tube: tower hill
other means of transport

Nearby attractions
Just next to the Tower of London is the Tower Bridge, one of London's most beautiful bridges
When getting out of the underground at Tower hill, take the steps to the right for an amazing view on the Tower and a beautiful sundial, explaining the history of London. Amazing little learning experience for the kids

Have you visited London with kids? Share some of your favourite spots in the comments below.


Monday, September 9, 2013

London with Kids: King Square Gardens

As we've embarked on London with the family, I thought I'd let you in on some of the spots we're visiting. I'll be writing one post per activity/attraction and will write a roundup about the trip and overall experience, linking up all activities.

So the first thing we did after arriving in London was hitting the nearest park as the kids were a bit frazzled after getting up early and lots of commuting. And what a hit!

With the extremely hot weather we were having, the creative water play at King Square Gardens offered a welcome refreshment. A couple of natural inspired playscapes, a huge sand area, lots of swings, green surroundings and super clean bathrooms with a baby changing area, this small park is a wonderful summer stop on your visit in London.

Talking to another mum, I found out that the park was recently redesigned. With all the sand and the water play unavailable, this spot is probably less interesting in wintertime.

Price: Free
Location: King Square EC1
Getting there:
Buses: 4, 56 to Goswell Road; 43, 205, 214, 394 to City Road
Tube: Old Street Station
Train: Old Street Station

Close family friendly eats:
The Old Ivy House
166 Goswell Road
A nice authentic looking pub, where you can eat a variety of dishes at lunchtime under 5£. Family style food with heart and certainly family friendly! Look out for the writing on the blackboard outside, we spotted some funny things on there during our stay.

PRET à Manger
1 Long lane
Deli Style. If you're looking for a quick organic bite, PRET makes nice fresh sandwiches and wraps. They also have a variety of organic hot and cold beverages and serve a babychino for free (just foamed milk with chocolate sprinkle, but my daughter loved it!). There are PRET branches everywhere in town.


Check out Freaky Rivet's family day out itineraries and support London kid's charities!


Have you visited London with kids? Share some of your favorite kid friendly locations in the comments below.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Portrait Drawing for Kids

written by Iyas, Freaky Rivet

You know how we're always reading about how children's attention spans are decreasing exponentially with the onslaught of computer games and apps? If like me you're in your late thirties to mid-forties, the same was said of us. We were the "MTV generation" needing the constant visual bling of music videos.
Well, we're not going to fight it here. We're going to do an intentionally limited attention-span art activity for fun. Michaelangelo took 4 years for his masterpiece on the Sistene Chapel. We're going to create masterpieces in 2 minutes! Then do it again, throwing a handicap in our way. Yup, it's fast and furious face draw.

Here's how it works:
  1. Get an even number of participants, ideally 4 or more.
  2. Sit sound a table or on the floor, making sure everyone's opposite someone else. Spread a big roll of paper (brown paper would be ideal and cheap) between you, or if you don't have a big roll, just give everyone the biggest piece (up to say A3 size).
  3. Get a clump or pens, colouring pencils, crayons, chalk or whatever drawing tools you like in the middle of the table.
  4. Set and start a timer for 60 seconds.
  5. In 60 seconds, everyone needs to draw a face portrait of whomever is sitting opposite them. Which means everyone is drawing and being drawn at the same time. Forget quality to start with - you need to be quick with only 60 seconds. If people are just taking too long thinking through the finer aesthetics of how to draw that left nostril perfectly, then set a rule that once your pen hits paper, you can't take it off again until you're done! That gets the creative juices flowing.
  6. Once the timer's done, set it again for 30 seconds. This time, colour in the picture. Go!
  7. Finally, do a last 30 seconds to draw a frame. Shapes, colours, sizes, whatever makes it stand out.
  8. All done. Admire each other's portraits of each other, and be prepared to take offence. Yes, they really do think your nose / forehead is that big…
You can make this more challenging by reducing the time, but there's not much scope there. So make it more fun or complex by drawing with your non-drawing hand. Or talking non-stop about something completely unrelated (describe dad's favourite dance moves for example) while doing it. Or covering up one eye with an eye patch. Or making a sculpture from modelling clay rather than a drawing. Or anything else to jazz it up even more.


Freaky Rivet was founded by Iyas, the author of this article and father of four, and Kevin, an ex-teacher of over a thousand children and who also runs activity days for schools. Iyas used to lead a business and technology consulting organisation of nearly 500 people, which he left for the bigger challenge of herding his four children with his wife around Latin America for 6 months. During this life-changing trip to recover from the corporate world, he discovered both the subtly addictive nature of gadgets and technology for children, and their ability to enjoy exploration, discovery and activity when peeled away from the technology. It was this eureka moment that led him with Kevin, an old friend from their time together at Oxford University, to come up with the Freaky Rivet concept - inviting children into a life of activity, of exploration and of discovery by using technology rather than fighting it. In his spare time (kidding, right?) he runs a charity for children living in disadvantaged and war-torn environments.


Buying a subscription to Freaky Rivet weekly activity emails to get kids moving supports this site. We are very grateful for the small income this generates. Many thanks!

Image source: Paperfacets


Monday, September 2, 2013

September Simply Living Carnival: Call For Submissions

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Money Matters 

Everyone seems to have a different financial system or ways to simplify their finances. Do you have great budget? Do you save money? Are you a thrifty spender? Do you outsource some things in order to simplify your life? We want to hear what money matters are important to you!

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by September 10. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on September 17.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.