Google+ Authentic Parenting: February 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Engage Kids With Art

Every child is an artist. They all like to scribble, doodle, play with paint and cut and glue basically anything. Most of them like the mess that goes along with it, some prefer coloring books or simple crafts. But all of the kids love to explore their own creativity when they have a chance.

The thing is - how can you make sure they are learning as well? How do you make sure you nurture their creativity, support their unique style and teach them something useful and meaningful in the process?

When I teach kids about art, I love to start by introducing a new famous artist. There is a lot they can gain from exploring the art of Picasso, Monet or Matisse. But we never copy their work. That would, in my mind, stop the creativity from flowing. Instead, I use the masterpieces to ‘set the scene’ and show kids a certain art element or techniques I want them to try.

Let’s say I want to introduce the father or Impressionism, Camille Pissarro. I start by showing several of his paintings, talking about his life, his love for French countryside and about the importance of colors, mood and light in Impressionism. If there is something fun about the artist I like to mention it. It usually sticks with the kids much more than some dry definitions. For example, when it comes to Pissarro you can tell them that one of his paintings sold for $4 million or that one critic said about his work that he hates it because it is impossible “to make Pissarro understand that trees are not violet and that sky is not the color of fresh butter!”

Then I choose one thing I want to teach the kids. For Pissarro, I decided to explore one-point perspective.

 I choose paintings that show it very clearly, explain the vanishing point (the dot in the distance where all things seem to vanish to), show them the horizon line and let them find it themselves in other paintings. Then we start the project. We will create a farm scene with oil pastels and watercolors that will be inspired by Pissarro’s love for French countryside (and harvest time) and the use of one-point perspective.

I help the kids to set up the scene – sketch the horizon line and the vanishing point. Then I show them how to make several lines that go from the bottom of the paper to the vanishing point (those are going to define the field). It sounds more complicated than it is and even Kindergarteners have no problems doing this. And the hard part is over. Now their creativity can take over.

Discuss with the kids what is going to be their vanishing point: the Sun, a farmhouse, a tree or a scarecrow? What is going to be growing in their field? Is it pumpkins, corn, peas, wheat or everything together? Is it at night or during the day? What colors do they want to use? Then let them create!

Try to stay out of their way as much as possible. Often, well-meaning parents try to help and instead they take over. My kids love it when I do the same project myself alongside them. Then, when they are stuck, they can ask me what I did and how and why. It works better than showing them how to do something on their piece of paper.

And when the kids do a really good job, do not say: ‘good job!’ It feels natural but research shows that statements like: good job, that is the best picture you did, or what a cute flower – actually hurt the creative process. When you praise kids for the results and not the creative process, it hurts their work in the long run. Why? Well, would you take bold risks when you knew that taking the safe route would guarantee you the reward? Kids can become less likely to experiment with art because they want to please us. And they may become more likely to feel pressured by our praise to always make the best painting possible, which is a rather impossible task. You should praise them! But try to choose your words carefully and constructively. Try saying: “Wow, I really like the way you combined your colors here! That is a really thin line. Can you tell me about that painting? I see that you decided to use yellow, red and other bold, bright colors; that really makes your work pop!”

And most importantly, whatever you do – have fun! Choose a project that is relevant to your kids. Choose a technique that you are comfortable with (some may be truly too messy for a short project with a lot of kids). And learn something new along with your kids. They will love to explore new artists, techniques and media with you! And you will feel like a child again, at least for couple of hours.

If you want to try this project, here is a link to a power point presentation you can use:

About the author:
My name is Eva Soukal and I am a mom of two little artists. I publish arTree, a digital art magazine for kids and I work hard on bringing art education back to schools through arTree program for art docents. I also teach after-school art as well as Little Artists art classes for preschoolers. I have always loved working with kids and I am very passionate about sharing my love for art with them.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Breastfeeding Twins - Newborns vs. Toddlers

Written by Mercedes R. Donis, contributor of The Essential Parenting Collection

When my twins were born, I couldn't know for certain if I would reach my goal of breastfeeding them for one year. Now that they are sixteen months, the idea of weaning them seems very strange. It just doesn't feel like our time is up, although nursing toddlers has its own challenges.

Here are the main differences between nursing twin newborns and nursing older twins, in my experience.

Newborn Twins:

  • Feed on-demand (aka constantly)
  • No schedule means (virtually) no sleep
  • Mama worries over babies' weight gain
  • Mama worries about making enough milk
  • Tandem feeding requires a lot of set-up and an extra set of hands
  • Babies are helpless and require physical support for proper positioning
  • Baby's wants and needs are the same, though not necessarily the same as the other baby's wants and needs!
  • Family members can give a bottle of expressed milk to make things easier
  • Nursing provides emotional and nutritional benefits

Toddler Twins:

  • If left up to them, they'd nurse more times a day than I'm comfortable with, as it stands they generally nurse 4 times a day and once at night.
  • Night weaning has been a necessary process, but they still wake up at night (night weaning does not equal magical sleeping dust)
  • Mama tries not to worry, but does, about balanced eating habits
  • Tandem feeds are more prevalent, thanks to nursing jealousy. 
  • Tandem feeds are much easier as nurslings get in and get the job done with little help from Mama
  • Toddlers enjoy gym-nurstics and a variety of positions
  • Toddlers' wants and needs are sometimes the same, but they can also WANT to feed when they don't necessarily NEED it (as in, they've just finished nursing and now it's brother's turn...WAIT I WASN'T DONE!)
  • Toddlers haven't taken a bottle in nine months or so, it's easier and faster to nurse them. 
  • Nursing provides emotional and nutritional benefits

Besides the overall confidence that comes with breastfeeding for one year or more, the main difference,
I believe, is that now we mostly tandem feed during the day. I try to get one-on-one time with each twin when they wake up in the morning and at bedtime. 

When giving advice on breastfeeding twins, I mainly call on my first three months of our journey. These were the most painful and emotional times. Once you get the hang of it, and your babies get the hang of it, and you all get pretty well acquainted, breastfeeding is awesome and I'm so glad I have shared that experience with my two. 

You don't have to resign from breastfeeding just because you're having twins. You can do it. You can survive. You can enjoy it. 

About the author  
Mercedes is a stay-at-home mom to toddler twins. American-born and globally-educated, she has lived in South Africa and Angola with her husband before settling in their current home of Aberdeen, Scotland. Mercedes believes that motherhood has saved her from the soul-robbing apathy of her twenties, and this eternal Michael Jackson fan has begun to do what she can to “Heal the World.” She writes about her journey as an expat-twin-mama at her blog, Project Procrastinot. Her writing has also appeared on The, Yahoo! Shine, and in Multiplicity Magazine.

Connect with the author on Facebook - Pinterest - Twitter


The Twin Manibreasto is part of the Early Years Essentials of my affiliate partner's Mindful Nurturing's Essential Parenting Collection. Read my review of the book here.
Mercedes' book
Get this lovely gem about breastfeeding multiples, paired with 5 other eBooks geared towards parenting the early years of your child's life. The Early Years Essentials are available for $19.97, giving you access to:
  • The Colic Solution, by Nicolette Roux
  • Twin Manibreasto, by Mercedes R. Donis
  • The Natural Parent's Guide to Babywearing, by Lauren Wayne
  • A one-year subscription to JUNO magazine
  • What Not to Say: Tools for Talking to Young Children, by Sarah Maclaughlin
  • Oxytocin Parenting: Womb through the Terrible Twos, by Susan Kuchinskas and Bryan Post

Alternatively, buy the full collection at $49.97, a real steal for the over $740 total retail value. Get more information here.


Monday, February 24, 2014

5 Ways to Use Empty Egg Shells

I'm all about trash reduction and finding new uses for old things. Now, egg shells are something I thought everyone reused, apparently I'm quite mistaken. Here are 5 ways to reuse your empty egg shells, plenty of reasons never to toss them again:

  1. Keep your eggshells in a pot and grind them up when you have many, then toss them in your garden soil, to enrich the soil and deter insects (more info on Attainable Sustainable)
  2. Keep the shells and grind them up really finely. Feed them to your chickens. They will serve as a calcium supplement which in turn will make for stronger eggs and healthier chickens.
  3. Cook your empty egg shells for a couple of minutes in boiling water. Allow to cool, then grind them up really really fine and sprinkle on your food or in your smoothies to use as the cheapest calcium supplement there is. Boiling them before grinding makes sure all pathogens are dead.
  4. Use them as platers for sprouting seeds. Your kids can even draw little men on them and watch as the 'hair' grows.
  5. Use them in crafts. There are numerous crafts with eggshells, one idea is to smash the egg, and use the fractions as mosaic pieces, then paint them or colour them with markers, but if you google a little or browse pinterest, you're sure to find myriads of empty eggshell crafts. (or take some inspiration from the picture that accompanies this post, isn't that lovely?)
Will you be tossing those eggshells again? 

photo credit: Ines Seidel via photopin cc


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bodily Autonomy?

I have been blogging a lot lately about physical authenticity, bodily autonomy and the general right of the individual to make choices for himself where s/he is concerned. I have been having a lot of discussions o the topic too, and this strange recurrence strikes me:
In the natural parenting/unschooling/peaceful community, the large majority is pro bodily autonomy and is willing to postpone bodily modifications and life choices until the child can make them for himself.

However, and here is the can of worms, even though most claim to adhere to bodily autonomy, when push comes to shove, a number of refutations are uttered: the child is too young, what about bullying, sometimes you just need to say no!

Isn't that a bit hypocrite? Saying your child must make a choice for himself and when they do want something, refusing? Not allowing a choice is a choice too. Bodily autonomy is not just about not doing stuff, it is also about helping your child make an informed decision when they do so.

Indeed, the parent is there to make sure the child is not just acting on impulse and that s/he understands the ramifications. Just saying no on account of age, bullying or any other artificial reason isn't supportive of bodily autonomy.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Guarding our Sleep - 8 Tips to Becoming a Well Rested Parent

Whenever I ask my Facebook fans if they could do anything right this moment, what would they do,
about 70% answer 'sleep'. I'm one of them. Ask me anytime, the thing I'm most lacking is sleep.
Parents of young children tend to walk the earth as zombies, in a twilight zone of constant lack of sleep. And lack of sleep affects parenting skills, making sleep so important.

What can we do to get more and better quality sleep? Here's a list of things that will greatly improve your sleep, when you do get the chance of getting some.

  1. Vent your room every single day. Even if it's freezing outside! Cut the heating and open those windows wide for at least fifteen minutes, preferable more. The best way to do this is right after you've gotten everything you need from your room in the morning. Just open up the windows and go about your other activities. Air quality greatly affects your sleep, and our bedrooms can be laden with toxic fumes from our mattresses, our furniture etc...
  2. Get quality organic bedding. Yes, these are very expensive, but you don't need to replace them every year and they are well worth the investment. Conventional mattresses use extremely toxic flame retardants and you're putting your face straight to it. If you're in a pinch for money, Ikea has natural latex mattresses and mattresses made of natural wool and horsehair etc... Nontoxic sleep will greatly improve your overall health and I can really recommend this.
  3. Make sure your pillow is adapted to your sleeping mode. Obviously for your pillow the above counts too. If you can't afford a new mattress, then at least get a decent, non toxic pillow. You don't need three or four pillows, just one good one that is adapted to your way of sleeping. If you're a back or belly sleeper, you will need a significantly thinner pillow than side sleepers like me. for a side sleeper, an ergonomic pillow (which has a bump to support the neck) is certainly worth recommending. 
  4. Get some exercise. Parenting is hard and tiring, but often we just linger around the house, mostly in a seated position. Lack of physical exercise will impair your sleep. You may find yourself mulling on things in the evening and being unable to catch a sleep, there you have it: overactive brain under active body. If there is balance between the two, sleep will be easier.
  5. Don't drink coffee (or at least cut down significantly). Don't get me wrong, I love coffee and it sure has its virtues, yet when you find yourself NEEDING that cup, because you feel like a zombie without it, it's time to cut back, or kick the habit entirely. Drinking coffee drains the adrenals and thus make you more tired and make you need coffee more. Only drink coffee if you love the taste and already feel fit and well rested. Get yourself a cup of green tea instead.
  6. No screens at night! Watching Tv right before bed makes your brain go awry. The brain needs a slow adaption to sleep, a gradual reduction of light, and if you watch TV to the last moment, you're confusing your brain. You'll have more trouble falling asleep and lesser quality of sleep. Instead: read a book, do some light exercise, spend some time talking to your loved ones.
  7. If you do find yourself with ruminating thoughts at night (which happens when you have worries, or in pregnancy), take flower essences to quiet down. Back's rescue remedy night is very effective, but you can also use single flower essences. 
  8. Whenever possible, take naps. Yes, your kids nap time could probably be well used in a thousand ways, but sufficient sleep is so important it should really be a priority and by all means tops dishes and cleaning. Also when your kids are out, why not take a rest. If you're not a natural napper (like me) then just put your feet up and close your eyes for a couple minutes.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cosleeping Safety Guide

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.

Are you a new parent? You want to cosleep with your baby, but you have heard it is dangerous, so you are hesitant. Or maybe you have been cosleeping but became doubtful after some criticism. (here are some responses if that happens again). Indeed, numerous campaigns have led us to believe to put a baby to sleep Alone, on his Back in a Crib. But for a breastfed baby, there is no better place in the world than close to his mother. If you respect these simple guidelines, cosleeping can be made perfectly safe.

General knowledge

  • Cosleeping mothers automatically adopt a protective position when sleeping with their infant, by bending a knee under the child and folding their hand under their head, thus creating a safe secluded sleeping space for the little one.
  • Cosleeping is extremely beneficial to the breastfeeding relationship, 
  • Both mother and baby get more sleep when cosleeping, since neither has to get out of the bed for feedings.
  • With your baby close to you, you will be able to detect the slightest change in temperature or breathing, and act quickly when he becomes ill.
Bedsharing or Cosleeping? General Guidelines

  • Air out your room for an extended period during the day.
  • Keep the room temperature moderate. Generally 16 degrees Celsius is recommended, but this is just not doable in some climats, so just assure a comfortable, fresh atmosphere.
  • Try to put your baby to sleep on his back.
If you have decided you will be bedsharing, you can put your baby either in between you and your partner, between you and the wall, discuss this with your partner and see if he is as aware of the baby as you are. If for some reason you decide to sleep alone with your child, you should always makes sure he cannot roll off the side you are not 'guarding' (a nursing pillow of the sausage kind may do the trick - this can also be very handy f you are flipping your baby from side to side to nurse at both breasts).
  • Reduce the bedding to a minimum: a small duvey (or sheet and blanket) and one pillow per adult. Your baby does not need his own pillow just yet (not recommended until the age of two, and even then, you'll see when your child is ready for a pillow).
  • Dress your baby lightly, go from what you are wearing and add no more than one piece of clothing to that. If you are sleeping in full length pyjama's, put your baby in a pyjama too. If however, you sleep in the nude, only put on his nappy, or maybe a light onesie (as cosleeping babies tend to be more on top of the duvey than underneath). Sleeping close to you, your baby will be warm enough and if he's feeling chilly, he'll just scoot over closer to you.
  • Check the bed for any splits the baby could roll into while he's sleeping and prop them up with sheets or towels. If you have a particularly hazardous bed, you could opt for a matress on the ground.
  • If you want your baby in bed with you, but are still a bit afraid, you could get a baby nest, which is a donut shaped semi soft matress for your baby. This puts your baby on a surface a little higher than you, and you can put him in between the pillows. You will have to be a little more awake to get him out for feeding though. 
Using a cosleeper
You can also opt for a cosleeper, if it makes you or your partner feel more secure. Also, when they learn to crawl, the cosleeper can act as a safe secluded space, as they tend to practice their acquisitions in their sleep.
You can get a special cosleeper that attaches to a side of your bed (they are usually quite small, so they won't last until your baby is two), or you can get a regular crib that has a removable side and put it next to the bed (preferrably in between the big bed and a wall, so it can not scoot away during the night), in this case, put a sheet or beach towel under both materesses, so your baby won't hurt himself on the wood when he comes over for a drink.
If you are using a cosleeper, it might be wise to put a thin blanket on your child (no duvey).

Cosleeping Don'ts

  • Do not smoke in a room where your child sleeps
  • Do not cosleep when you drank alcohol or have done drugs
  • Don't sleep with your infant on the couch
  • Do not sleep on a soft matress
  • It is not recommended for extremely obese people to cosleep, as obesity might induce sleep apnea.
  • It is not recommended for sitters or third parties to sleep with the baby, as their awareness is not the same as that of a mother.
  • Don't allow older siblings to sleep with an infant under nine months.

read on:
Sleeping In The Same Bed, The Breastfeeding Co-sleeping Connection

Image: Driki on Flickr


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saying YES to Life

photo credit: Camdiluv ♥ via photopin cc
At the start of this year, I told you that my only resolutions for this year were to strive for more balance in my life and invite joy. I'm not normally one for New Year's Resolutions, but this one seemed big and important enough.

The amount joy we feel in our lives is something we can control completely. We are the creators of our own happiness. The glass half full thing...

It can be hard though, since we live in a culture that urges us to be unhappy, to want more and better, to look outside instead of within.

One of the things that works really well to cultivate joy is to say yes more often. Saying yes when you feel like saying no means stepping out of your comfort zone, and it is mostly outside of your comfort zone that you find joy.

So when my daughter asked me if we could have dinner as a picnic when dad got home, I said yes. And we had an amazing time

When my husband asked to spend Sunday at the Ecolodge ( a hotel here in Liberia), even though I felt tired and queezy, I said yes. And we ended up winning third place in a sand sculpture contest.

I finally did the tie dye I had bought dye for months ago. We had an incredibly awesome afternoon and I really look forward to doing this again some day.

When my daughter asked me to do some art with her, I said yes, even though I still had a heap of other things to do. It only took an hour or so, then she was attracted by other things, but she made the most beautiful colorful artwork.

Saying yes has proved beneficial every single time. Yet I still struggle with it. I find myself saying no to things I know I would enjoy because I dread the work it involves, because I'm tired or cranky...


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

100+ Long Classical Baby Boy Names

I was discussing baby names on one of my online fora and one lady was looking for long, classical names. The list we came up with was so extensive and pretty amazing, so I had to share it with you. And then I adde some extra too. Enjoy!













































Monday, February 17, 2014

The Importance of Allowing Your Child to be Frustrated

I was listening to the audiobook for "Hold on To Your Kids" by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté and
heard him speak of frustration. Specifically the importance of not intervening in the frustration-acceptance cycle. A couple things clicked in my head. Things we're collectively doing wrong as a society and of which I am personally guilty.

Frustration is the reaction of mankind to reaching limits or boundaries (which Neufeld calls 'futility'), wether spiritual, intellectual or physical. In order to work through the frustration, the brain goes through a set of steps to reach acceptance of the limit: frustration - anger - sadness - acceptance

Often, when we expose our kids to a limit and face their - sometimes heartbreaking - sadness, we are prone to 'give in'. We feel like we are making them cry, we feel incapacitated and fear we've done something wrong. Thus, disallowing them to reach the stage of acceptance, when all the while they were so close.
Whereas, when a child has reached that acceptance, it is integrated. The limit becomes part of his frame.

A little example: My son saw the box of cookies we had received for his birthday and wanted one. I gave one, telling him he could have just the one, since it's not good for his teeth (I'm not one for food restrictions, but he does have pretty bad teeth, read here what we're doing about that). He happily toddled away with the cookie and munched on it for a couple of minutes. Low and behold, when the cookie was done, he came back to the kitchen?

"Cookie? One?"

No, I said, you already had the one.

His face turned to anger: "Cookie!" he said in a persistent tone.

I told him no.
He then fell to the ground and cried, stomping his feet and covering his cute little face.

"If he feels that strongly about the cookie," I thought to myself, "why don't I let him have one? It's pretty random to give him just the one." So I give in, and give the cookie.

Now one cookie isn't the end of the world. But it is important as a parent to know that we cannot save our children from frustration, and know, that frustration is an essential part of growth.

A little sidenote: Obviously, some limits can be reconsidered. Sometimes we set limits for our children without even knowing why, and it is ok to reevaluate. However, if we sense in ourselves that this is one we should stick to, we shouldn't be persuaded by their tears of grief. Instead, we should nurture those tears, and guide our children through. We will come out stronger - both the parent and the child.

Having been parented through fear, we often shy away from the hard stuff, fearing ourselves to do to our children what has been done to us. But sadness and frustration, the sense of futility, they are part of life, they are what inspires growth.


I have learned so much from "Hold on to Your Kids" (you can expect some more post sprouting from me listening to this book) and can certainly recommend this book to every parent, no matter how young or old the child. The audiobook (really handy because you can do other things while listening!!) is now part of The Essential Parenting Collection, organised by my affiliate partner Mindful Nurturing. You can get the full collection at $49.97, a fraction of the full retail value of over $750.

Alternatively, you can get the Child Development module, where you find 5 other eProducts alongside the audiobook of "Hold on to Your Kids" for only $19.97.

Check out the full collection here and make your choice.

 photo credit: rachel sian via photopin cc


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Surf: Food and Parenting

As usual, you can continue reading on Hobo Mama, or ad your own link below if you are Surfing. The linky will go live every Sunday and you can add your link at any time during the week.
If you have a great post that would look good in Sunday Surf, feel free to email a link to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.



If you're surfing, add your post to the linky at the bottom of this Sunday Surf. You can do that here or at Hobo Mama, your link will show up on both sites. Make sure to grab the new button either from the left sidebar or the Sunday Surf page, where you'll also find a little blurb about Sunday Surf you can copy for your post.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

6 Resources for a Natural Pregnancy and Birth

The Essential Parenting Collection Sale by my affiliate partner Mindful Nurturing is still going strong. I really don't want you to miss out on this lovely resource, which combines 35 top notch eProducts, including audiobooks and a virtual yoga class, for only $49.97 - with a whopping total retail value of $750.

Today I wanted to highlight it's first mini bundle. It's called "Pregnancy and Birth Essentials" and is on sale for $19.97, a real steal for the total retail value of $139

  • From Maiden to Motherhood. Stephanie Brandt Cornais
  • The Postpartum Herbal Guide. Laura Schuerwegen
  • The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try To Sell You, And How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line. Jennifer Margulis (audiobook)
  • Birth Relaxation Kit. Mavi Gupta and Jeremy Dyen (audio hypnosis set and booklet)
  • Simply Natural Pregnancy. Megan Kimmelshue
  • Stay at Home Yoga. (Three Month Premium Subscription) Jennifer Hoffman

I can definitely recommend each of these resources. I used the Birth Relaxation Kit myself when pregnant with my son and was amazed at the calming effect it had on me throughout my pregnancy. I also tried to do yoga daily, which you will certainly be able to with Jennifer's lovely online yoga studio.
This mini truly has everything a pregnant mama needs, including my eBook about postpartum herbs.

Here's what people are saying about The Postpartum Herbal Guide:

I'm reading your ebook on my iPhone, and it is AMAZING! I love every single page. I wish I had this book after my last HB. I DID A MODIFICATION OF THE SITZ bath but yours sound incredible. I feel rich!
Lisa Nelson, The Squishable Baby 

Get more information about the Essential parenting Collection and the different bundle options here
Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Essentials for only $19.97, click here


Friday, February 14, 2014

35 Healthy Homemade Snacks for Pregnancy - Special Diets Included

Snacking is important in pregnancy, you need the extra energy and - in order to keep morning sickness at bay - you need to keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating. But eating healthy can be a challenge, specifically if you don't have time or inspiration.

No worries! I've gathered 35 healthy, easy homemade snacks that well put that growing belly to rest.
Making your snacks from scratch will allow you to be in full control of the ingredients, ensuring healthy, junk free food.

Healthy Chewy Granola Bars from My Healthy Green Family
7 Snacks You Should Never Buy Again on My Healthy Green Family
Strawberry Cheesecake Bites on Hands on Learning 4 All
4 of My Favourite Healthy Afternoon Snacks on The Organic Kitchen

Special diets

Gluten Free

Easy Chocolate Dip on Raia's Recipes
Quick, Tasty Almond Joy Bites from Scratch Mommy
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on Raia's Recipes
Honey and Coconut Popcorn on Raia's Recipes
PB&J Apple Sandwiches on Raia's Recipes

Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars on Raia's Recipes
Honey Roasted Peanuts on Raia's Recipes
Chai Spiced Popcorn (sugar free) on Candida Free Candee
Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates on Oh, The Things We'll Make

Primal and Paleo

Brocoli, Cheese an Bacon Donuts from Scratch Mommy
5 Minute Guacamole on Scratch Mommy
Best Chocolate Avocado Mousse on Scratch Mommy
Pumpkin Pie Gummies on Raia's Recipes
Easy Strawberry Fruit Snacks on Raia's Recipes

Paleo Crackers on Health Extremist
Paleo Blueberry Muffins on Health Extremist
Orange Rosemary Scones on Happy Healthnut
Sesame Honey Almonds on Jaro Honey
Chewy Grain Free Nut Butter Breakfast Cookies on Raising Vintage Kids in a Modern World
Coconut Date Balls on Oh, The Things We'll Make

Raw Vegan

Spiced Apple Crisps on Jaro Honey
Cool Cucumber Ranch Dressing (paleo friendly) on Jaro Honey


If you want to read more about healthy pregnancy and birth, my affiliate partner Mindful Nurturing The Essential Parenting Collection, with 35 eProducts for only $49.97.
currently offers

One of the topical bundles included is the Pregnancy and Birth Module. This module includes 6 total value of about $139:
eProducts with a

  • From Maiden to Motherhood. Stephanie Brandt Cornais 
  • The Postpartum Herbal Guide. Laura Schuerwegen 
  • The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try To Sell You, And How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line. Jennifer Margulis (audiobook) 
  • Birth Relaxation Kit. Mavi Gupta and Jeremy Dyen (audio hypnosis set and booklet) 
  • Simply Natural Pregnancy. Megan Kimmelshue 
  • Stay at Home Yoga. (Three Month Premium Subscription) Jennifer Hoffman

Get the module - including my eBook about herbs for postpartum - for only $19.97,


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Written by Megan Kimmelshue

Pregnancy is an amazing but odd time in a woman's life. Sometimes it feels like a baby is happening "to" us instead of "in" us. It is, in a way. The body's knowledge of how to nourish and sustain life is nothing short of miraculous, but the growing of this little miracle can be uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful!

As the body shifts to accommodate your growing baby and softens with the influx of the hormone relaxin, joint, back, and sciatic pain can become a common complaint. Not only do our bodies loosen, but our center of balance shifts, too! Babies sitting high near the rib cage (or in my case, when you're short waisted and carrying twins) can cause ribs to ache or pop out of place. Ouch!

Fortunately, a qualified and experienced chiropractor can help! Nervous about getting cracked or popped? Chiropractors who have experience working with pregnant clients are specially trained and use gentle adjustments to keep the pelvis balanced and properly aligned, allowing the baby to properly engage when it's time. Studies have shown that regular chiropractic care during pregnancy reduced back pain in 84% of all cases and can even reduce back labor!   

Chiropractors who are trained and certified in the Webster Technique can also use specific manipulation to help turn a breech baby. A study of this manipulation found that the technique resolved the baby's breech position in 92% of cases. Considering the high rate of cesareans today (plus the unwillingness of more OBs to deliver a breech baby), the Webster technique should be an option for every eligible pregnant woman.

Another type of gentle bodywork that can be incredibly effective during pregnancy is Craniosacral Therapy (CST), which supports deep relaxation and healing by balancing the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.  According to therapist Carol Gray, "An important goal of a pregnancy CST session is to gently improve mobility in the mother's pelvis so her baby can more easily assume an ideal position for birth. This can promote a timely, easier birth for mom and baby."

The best place to find a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal care is the by searching the database on the American Pregnancy Association site. To find a craniosacral therapist, you can use the database on the Upledger Institute. Ideally, you'd be able to find both in one qualified practitioner.

Learn about more alternative health therapies that can enhance and complement your pregnancy in the Simply Natural Pregnancy eBook as part of the Mindful Nurturing's Essential Parenting Collection!


Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. J Chiro Med. 2007 Spring; 6(2): 70-74.

The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002 Jul-Aug; 25(6): E1-9.

Craniosacral Therapy for Pregnancy and Postpartum. 


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  • Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté (audiobook)
  • The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try To Sell You, And How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line. Jennifer Margulis (audiobook)
  • What Not to Say - Tools for Talking with Young Children. Sarah MacLaughlin
  • one year subscription to JUNO Magazine
  • Liberation Parenting Program. Teresa Graham Brett (eWorkbook and audio)
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Hug...

This was a comment on the post 10 Things not to Do to An Upset Child and I found it so beautiful that I had to share it with you!

photo credit: pipitdapo via photopin cc


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Twin Manibreasto Review

Over the years, and especially since I cofounded Mindful Nurturing, I've read more eBooks than I can remember. Aside from the content varying from great over mediocre to downright awful, the layout in eBooks deserves a chapter of its own.

Now there are many reasons why eBooks are often pretty ugly, which I won't go into for the sake of this review and it can be hard to use a pretty layout.

If anything, Twin Manibreasto has a stunning layout.

But aside from that merely superficial fact, the book is really well written. In fact, it reads like a good novel and draws you in right from the first page.

The Twin Manibreasto is an honest and personal account of breastfeeding twins with loads of practical lists, personal reviews, positioning advice. It is probably the most honest and down to earth how to guide for breastfeeding twins you'll ever find, and all this illustrated with lovely pictures of Mercedes and her twins.

I can certainly recommend this lovely eBook to any mom to be who is expecting twins. It will be an amazing resource and a source of hope and joy!


The Twin Manibreasto is part of the Essential Parenting Collection, offered by my affiliate partner, Mindful Nurturing. You can get this lovely eBook, paired with 34 other quality eProducts for only $49.97.

  • Alternatively, you can get the module Parenting the Early Years for $19.97, giving you access to: 
  • The Colic Solution by Nicolette Roux 
  • Twin Manibreasto by Mercedes R. Donis 
  • The Babywearing Handbook by Lauren Wayne 
  • a one year subscription to JUNO magazine 
  • What Not to Say: Tools for Talking to Young Children by Sarah Maclaughlin 
  • Oxytocin Parenting: Womb through the Terrible Twos by Susan Kuchinskas and Brian Post


Friday, February 7, 2014

Coming Shortly: The Essential Parenting Collection

I'm thrilled to announce the latest project I have been working on, this is MASSIVE!!!

Mindful Nurturing's Essential Parenting Collection harbours 35 eProducts on the topics of Pregnancy and Birth, Parenting the Early Years, Child Development and Resources for Parents. It includes coloring books, eCourses, eBooks, Audiobooks, Workshops, online yoga courses and more.

Response to this new take on the bundle concept has been massive and we've been able to get huge names to contribute, including Teresa Graham Brett, Brian Post, Jennifer Margulis, Gabor Maté, Gordon Neufeld, Lori Petro and many more.

Some of the titles in this collection will make your world shake: Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers, The Business of Baby, Birth Relaxation Kit, Gender Neutral Parenting... 

I have been soaking in these titles since I started collecting contributors and I've found myself grasping for air, making realisations about my family, my hard to parent daughter, getting a clearer view of where I want to be as a parent...  (more on this later) This collection truly has it all! (I'm allowed to boast, I put it all together, one must take some pride in one's work!)

The full collection will be available starting Monday February 10th for $49.97, a fraction of the over $740 total retail value.
Topical mini bundles will be available at $19.97 for those who're only looking for specific information.

Check out the full collection and set aside some dollars to buy on Monday!!