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simply natural summer
The Importance of Play making the case for creativity in a media-driven society
The Gifts of Summer Solstice celebrating the sun
Conscious Family Travel meaningful vacation spots
Yoga for Kids setting children up for success by balancing the mind, body and spirit
also: tuned in gratitude for water home, naturally organic on a budget practicing happy fathers & sons peaceful parenting bamboo redefining gender roles s u m m e r 2011
from the editors
notes We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the heartfelt responses we have received following our premier issue, focusing on conscious pregnancy. We thank you for sharing Bamboo with your friends, families and communities and for spending time perusing our pages. We will continue to bring you interesting and informative articles in the future on pregnancy and birthing, breastfeeding and alternative parenting choices.
photo: andrea taylor
In this issue we briefly switch gears, rejoicing in summer and all of its gifts. Learn of the beauty in celebrating the summer solstice, get creative, guide your children through meditation and yoga, and discover mindful vacation spots. Express your gratitude for water by volunteering to keep it clean with your children, find out how to find the safest swimming waters and get tips on safe summer skincare. Youâ€™ll also discover some more reasons to encourage your child to play â€“ by moving away from the Xbox and into the sandbox! Find tips on organic gardening and learn ways to save and make smart choices while shopping for organics. Sip on wonderfully fruity lemonade, make summer jam and delight your children with homemade ice pops. Plus, as in every issue, we have many other engaging articles to support, encourage and guide us all on the everevolving path of consciousness and natural parenting. We would love your feedback as well. Please donâ€™t hesitate to send us an email at email@example.com and give us your thoughts, suggestions and questions! So put your feet up, bask in the warmth of the summer sun and enjoy the second issue of Bamboo, Simply Natural Summer! In gratitude, Ashley & Anni
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summer bamboo features 6 The Importance of Play
making the case for creativity in a media-driven society
- Ashley Ess
18 Yoga for Kids
setting children up for a lifetime of success through balancing the mind, body and spirit
- Denise Woods
34 The Gifts of Summer Solstice
celebrating the fire within - Nanci Shandera, PhD
40 Conscious Family Travel
choosing meaningful vacation spots - Anni Daulter
83 Top Tips for Summer Skincare
also in this issue 112 good karma teens 118 repurpose this + that 120 bamboo book recommendations
bamboo magazine is released quarterly online at: www.bamboofamilymag.com
photo: jatawny m chatmon
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in every issue 15 hand-picked
let your child play with real stuff
22 bamboo baby
the team editors: ashley ess & anni daulter
26 konscious kids
Design & Layout: Christine Knudsen Design: ThoughtSquad Cover Photo: JaTawny M. Chatmon Advertising Coordinator: Rachel Myers
30 tuned in
summer editorial contributors:
is your baby teething? peace tent
gratitude for water, safe swimming
46 root + stem
playing with watercolors, summer gnomes
50 shoots + leaves
fun summer fashion for the kiddos
75 peaceful parenting
sugar, spice & snails
78 body + mind + spirit
becoming a clear mirror for your children, caring for the relationship
86 in anniâ€™s conscious kitchen
ice pops, lemonade, summer jam
97 home, naturally
organic on a budget, gardening tips, easy green laundry
show + tell hot summer picks, family faves, baby picks
practicing happy fathers + sons
eco beauty bar
home sweet spa
with christina dimari + shannon mcintyre
Kathy Arnos Micelle Barone, MA,LMFT, DCEP Annie Burnside, M.Ed Stephanie Brandt Cornais Asia Curry Anni Daulter Tim Daulter Lisa DeNardo Ashley Ess Heather Fontenot Joli Forbes Danelle Frisbie, Ph.D, MA Chrsity Funk Amanda Huye Shannon Kinney-Duh Avital Nathman Nanci Shandera, PhD Janelle Sorenson Lenka Vodicka Kim Walls, MS Kimberly Webb Denise Woods
bamboo photographers: Alexandra DeFurio Tnah Louise JaTawny Motchamon Gina Sabatella Jonas Seaman Andrea Taylor
For contributor info click here Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org s u m m e r 2011
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the importance of
Making the Case for Creativity in a Media-Driven Society by Ashley Ess Do you ever wonder what happened to free, unstructured play? When I was growing up, my favorite thing to do, like most children, was play. I explored our backyard, rode my bike, roller-skated and played with my dollhouse, dolls and toy cars. I loved all these activities, especially when I could include friends. When I was tired of those things I would create something else to play, like digging motes and rivers in the dirt for leaf boats to float upon. Television and video games were secondary, and never held a candle to play time. Sadly, these days, this scenario is becoming a rarity. What happened to carefree days in the sun climbing trees, chasing butterflies in a meadow, playing dress-up in the backyard, tea parties and tree houses? It can be easy to surrender to the trends
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and accepted practices of society, but unfortunately, today’s society does not favor a child’s inherent need for creative play. Alluring television programming, Facebook, iPhones, video games and other technological gadgetry seem to have a power over our children that is actually not too difficult to explain. Our kids simply have too much to do, and the use of these gadgets is a powerful distraction. They are a way to zone-out and become unresponsive … a kind of auto-hypnosis that may be interpreted as relaxation. Ironically, there is little relaxation in the constant bombardment on our children’s brains that staring at screens produces. These sorts of activities mesmerize a child’s attention, in some cases, even leading to attentional and cognitive damage, among other undesirable outcomes such as behavioral challenges. Children’s brains aren’t equipped
To Play or Not to Play? That Has Been the Question s u m m e r 2011
â€œIn childhood, play is a fundamental need, along with parental love, food, sleep, healthy social interaction and fulfillment of emotional needs.â€?
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to deal with fast-paced editing and flashing images that are thrown at them from a screen. As children are drawn into TV’s creativity-deadening influence, their tactile senses are not being engaged. Hands-on manipulation of age-appropriate objects, creatively inspired toys and activities, along with a good dose of healthy play can provide this much-needed engagement.
of every child. Researchers agree that the importance of play is being threatened by fast-paced lifestyles and the allure of media and that imaginative play must be viewed as vital to healthy child development. (See “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong ParentChild Bonds” at www.aap.org/pressroom/ play-public.htm).
Though it may be fun, interesting and appealing for children and adolescents to interact socially online or to make it to the next level of the latest computer game, we need to ask ourselves if we can moderate and modify these enticing activities. It is up to us as parents to provide them play, a most important stimulus of their development. Additionally, sports, dance or music classes, scouting and gymnastics can enhance our children’s weekly activities. School, homework, tutoring and chores fill many hours of each day. All of this leaves little room for play time, much-needed down time or important time spent with family.
In childhood, play is a fundamental need, along with parental love, food, sleep, healthy social interaction, and fulfillment of emotional needs. If we allow our children to play freely, their imaginations flourish. Sitting in front of a screen, whether it be watching television, surfing social networks online or playing video games, a child’s inner, creative, even brilliant world is diminished, eliminating the need for his developing brain to work and evolve. Play is essential to healthy development. Aside from unlocking a child’s imagination and thinking skills, it promotes a healthy sense of self and social interaction, and keeps him physically fit.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now echoing what holistic parents and doctors, educators, and child psychologists have been saying for years: play is essential -- in fact, imperative -- to the healthy development
Whether your child plays indoors with a dollhouse, toy cars or blocks, or outdoors in nature making mud pies, building forts or chasing friends in a wild game of tag, her tactile senses are employed and her hands
photo: jatawny m chatmon
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figure out how things work. Her brain learns what it could never learn from a video game or TV show. Through these media she is being told how to do something based on one particular writerâ€™s vision or perception. This prevents a child from thinking for herself or learning first-hand about important concepts such as cause and effect. By watching television or playing on a computer for hours, her brain is essentially being manipulated in ways we cannot even imagine at the time.
A child who relies on television to entertain him will get bored often and expect others to entertain him when the television is off. When a child spends most of his free time playing, especially with open-ended toys (building toys, playsilks, objects from nature, modeling clay, etc), and including physical activity, he rarely, if ever, gets bored. We must encourage our kids to use their imaginations, create, run and laugh. We must provide open-ended toys for our children as opposed to the oftentimes toxic hunks of plastic that light up and make loud sounds, providing no real creative challenge, and doing exactly what the television does in robbing them of their imaginations.
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photo: alexandra defurio 2011
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The Screen Time Dilemma Things to Consider about Television
• Remember that not all television is “bad,” nor is it something that needs to be cut out entirely, depending on age. (Although really, it wouldn’t be all that bad, don’t you think?) Experts from many different fields agree that the consumption and quality of programming for children should be watched very closely or, in some cases, eliminated entirely. • The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that no child under the age of two should watch television. Many experts contend that even three- and four-year-olds should not watch TV. The Academy also encourages that children should get no more than an hour of screen time per day, and that TVs, computers and all violent media be removed from a child’s bedroom. This is good, common sense! • There has been no proof that “educational” television shows and videos geared toward infants and toddlers actually teach them anything. In fact, the effects have been shown to be quite contrary. In
We must encourage our kids to use their imaginations, create, run and laugh.
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recent studies of baby DVDs, children were found to score lower in or even be delayed in language development. Verbal communication with parents was actually lessened. There is no reason to question the benefits of simply allowing a child to learn on his/her own without the crutches of electronic media. The developing brain needs to be fed by physical activity, problem solving and, of course, good old-fashioned parental love. â€˘ Remember that children are imitators. The violence prevalent in most media, including the internet, video games and television, has a profound affect on their current and future behaviors and attitudes about themselves and others, not to mention the dangerous desensitization that occurs after frequent exposure to this type of media.
Learn More: The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association American Psychological Association Psychology Today article on play
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hand-picked let your child play with real stuff by Anni Daulter What do I mean by playing with real stuff? Well, how about allowing your child to poke away at an old vintage typewriter? They are super sturdy and will allow them the ability to work along side mom and dad in the office.
Give them a real camera to take pictures. Yes, there is a potential for it to break, but take the time to teach them how to carefully use it and when you allow this space, you will be amazed at what they see through a camera lens. The way children see the world is fascinating. It’s so much fun to learn about my children from how they snap pictures. You can frame your child’s photos for wall decor or holiday gifts for grandparents! When we let our kids play with photography it’s amazing what they see through the lens.
If you decide to allow your children to shoot some pictures, please send them into us and we will post some on our blog and Facebook page!
These pictures are the vision of my six-year-old Lotus!
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Children create through what they see and experience. They move through their creative world with wonderment when we allow them the space to let their imaginations run wild. The reason so many big corporations make toys that “imitate” grown up stuff is because kids naturally want to do what we do. They want to cook and sew with us, paint and take pictures, build and explore. Rather than buying the plastic “kid versions” of things that ALWAYS break and don’t really work, consider letting them use the real deal, which will allow your children more freedom to really create and teach them reverence for nicer things.
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These pictures were taken by my thirteen-year-old Zoe!
Allow your children “real sewing needles” and teach them a few easy stitches. At age six my daughter can sew a top stitch and makes pillows and even designs dresses for her faerie dolls! The worst thing that will happen is she will get poked by the needle, which she does, and you know what? That is okay! It’s how she will learn to do it. You can also teach them how to use a
real sewing machine. A few seasons ago, my niece, who was eight at the time, received a “kid version” sewing machine for Christmas. We spent all night trying to get the plastic needle to sew something for her and she ended up feeling so frustrated. I mentioned that I thought she was old enough to try her hand at a real sewing machine, and for a little extra money, she would have a lasting piece of equipment that would allow her the freedom to really explore what she can do.
Cookware! My 3 year old Bodhi LOVES cooking! He has his own set of mini cast iron skillets that he goes to town playing with. You can buy a mini version from Lodge Cast Iron for $6.00 each! Have fun and remember that you are raising very capable human beings that, when trusted with responsibility and knowledge, can treasure items with as much care as we can. Allow them the space to use real things and just see what they come up with! You might be surprised.
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photo: andrea taylor
Yoga for Kids setting children up for a lifetime of success through balancing the mind, body and spirit
by Denise Woods Kids yoga has brought me closer to my inner child – reminding me to keep a light, open heart and find the joy in all that is.
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At six years old I began ballet lessons and instantly fell in love with movement. In those classes I connected with my confidence, ability and grace that paved my way of life as a professional dancer and instructor. I realized firsthand what a positive influence the art of dance could be for the development of a child’s life, I would soon learn how yoga could do the same. Remembering how movement influenced my childhood, when I saw a newsletter for a local yoga studio announcing a “Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Training” I immediately grew inspired and made it my priority to attend. During my training, I rekindled my love for movement on a whole other level. I could not wait to share the power of kids yoga. Now that I am teaching, I continue to discover the countless ways yoga can benefit the growth of a child.
With it’s roots in India, yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years. However, it was not until the 1990s that it became a popular practice for children. Yoga is known for its noncompetitive nature and serves as a compliment to children’s sports, athletics and artistic endeavors. Children learn to build a deep and balanced relationship to their body and breath. When children learn to breathe deeply, all systems of the body become toned and regulated and the body balances from the inside out. Maureen Crowley, owner of Yoga Dreams, says, “…through quiet meditations, games, breathing exercises and circle discussions, children are encouraged to be themselves and learn how to listen to their conscious, to their inner wisdom.” The results are a relaxed nervous system, ease of digestion, strengthening and lengthening of the muscles, a density of growing bones and a greater sense of self.
Children are the future, so how are we setting them up for success?
I have seen countless instances of kids wobbling and wiggling their bodies trying their hardest to balance their tree pose. It is so incredibly rewarding to see their focus increase, their muscles and bones grow stable and strong with a consistent practice. Then the day comes where they stick their tree pose and root it solid. Their grin from ear to ear is unmistakably pride and confidence in their sense of accomplishment.
As they grow older, kids begin learning who they are and what they love doing. Through the practice of yoga, kids learn how to calm themselves in tough situations. Yoga aids in their ability to relax through a tough test or a conflict between friends at recess. With stress and attention disorders at an all time high, it is essential that youngsters are provided with tools to combat these challenges.
photo: andrea taylor s u m m e r 2011
One of my very first yoga students, a four year old boy named Noah, had a lot of excessive energy, (as most young boys do) and not a lot of understanding of how to channel it. We would practice together every week and halfway through class he would exclaim, ”…is yoga over yet?” Oftentimes I wondered if he was actually benefiting from his experience. And then, one afternoon, after missing class the week prior, his mother shared a story that removed my doubts. When he learned that he wasn’t going to yoga that day, he firmly told her, “I have to go! It’s the only thing that settles my body.” What was not yet visible to my eyes was deeply felt by him, and at such a young age. What an awakening that was for me as a teacher. It was clear that Yoga had become his healing, a way of settling the restless body.
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I have had the opportunity to meet and teach lots of kids at many different studios and schools.
I feel truly
blessed to share this practice with the youth.
So what happens in a kids yoga class? Classes have similar elements to adult yoga classes, yet are quite different in structure. Where adult classes can take a somewhat linear approach, we take a more interactive and collaborative method with the kids using structure and nonstructured activities. When witnessing these non-structured activities, parents may doubt that their child is progressing from what looks like utter chaos. Those moments of chaos are the moments where the child truly gets to explore who they are. From teachers at school, to parents at home -- kids are constantly being told who to be and how to behave. The aim of yoga for kids is to find a balance between discipline, structure and limitless self-expression. Through the activities that may not have a clear linear path, children gain great freedom and release to have fun. Certain activities encourage them
to speak up and share what they feel and see, while other moments of class offer a chance to listen deeply. Kids classes are tailored to opening up their vivid imagination as we travel the world, one yoga pose at a time. Through the practice of yoga, they learn about ways to take
care of that world with recycling, honoring all of the animals and living creatures of the planet and find a deeper, more meaningful connection to the natural world. Most yoga poses have originated from animals and elements of the earth, and identifying with those elements can help kids to find greater love and appreciation for their environment. Through yoga, they learn kinetically and intuitively -- ultimately giving them a chance to find union with who they are and the world that surrounds them.
Denise teaches weekly kids yoga classes at The Jade Apple in North Hollywood, Ca. yor details, visit www.jadeappleyoga.com
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photo: andrea taylor
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is your baby
by Kathy Arnos
Kathy Arnos is the author of Bach Flowers For Children and The Complete Teething Guide: From Birth to Adolescence. The complete Teething Guide offers information on nutrition during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and for the newborn through adolescence; how breastfeeding and bottle-feeding affect tooth and jaw development; the fluoride controversy; hazards, cautions and emergency situations; hygiene; alternative orthodontic appliances; natural treatment options for teething-related symptoms and more. Arnos is also the editor of Eco Family News. For more information go to www.spiritdancepublishing.com or www. ecofamilynews.com.
We’ve all heard the scenarios. Your friend’s three-month-old is irritable and drools all the time. Your sister’s two-year-old is still unable to relax and go to sleep at 11:00 p.m. Whether you are a new parent or an experienced one, these accounts are enough to frazzle anyone’s nerves. There are many reasons why children experience different physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms as they grow. Believe it or not, teething is one of them. In fact, many problems of today’s youth may be related to the teething process.
The second phase is from 5 years through adolescence — beginning with the movement of the unseen permanent molars, continuing when a primary tooth becomes loose, losing the tooth, then cycling back to acquiring a new set of permanent teeth. While teething may precipitate a wide range of various symptoms, it is important to note that physical or emotional illness in an infant or child can be very serious and should not be ignored. Parents should always seek the advice of a trained medical professional to be sure the child is evaluated properly and treated responsibly.
There are many reasons why children experience different physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms as they grow. Believe it or not, teething is one of them.
Teething begins at birth and continues through adolescence. Some children are even born with a visible tooth or teeth — this is rare, but it does happen. The teething process takes place in two phases. The first phase lasts from birth to 3 years: the period of time (weeks or months) preceding the eruption of a primary tooth and the process of eruption, continuing until the tooth finishes growing into position. This sequence of events repeats until all the primary teeth are in place.
When the teething process begins, an infant experiences different symptoms at different stages. During the first stage, from birth to three years, the most common symptoms are fever, sleeplessness, drooling, a diaper or body rash, diarrhea, irritability, gas, loss of appetite, biting, tantrums, nightmares, earaches, runny or stuffy noses, persistent coughs, croup or signs of aggression. During the second phase, beginning around age five, some of the earlier symptoms may return, as well as some new ones such as
photo: gina sabatella s u m m e r 2011
depression, anxiety, headaches, restlessness, trouble concentrating and low self-esteem. Many children are even diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) at this time and prescribed prescription medication. Once the child has been properly evaluated and it is determined that the symptom or symptoms are not related to a more serious health problem, rest assured there are safe and natural remedies to help make your child more comfortable while teething.
by likes.” It is prepared by taking a minute dose of a substance — mineral, plant or animal — which, if taken in large quantities, would present a set of symptoms in the body. This substance is then diluted and made into a remedy that stimulates the immune system to correct the problem and help relieve the symptom. A flower essence is made from flower buds, clippings of wild bushes, plants and trees. Flower essences can neutralize a negative emotion and restore balance to the mental, physical or spiritual states of mind. Each essence is used to address a different emotion. The most famous flower essence formula is Rescue Remedy. This is a combination of five flower essences: Clematis — for a spacey or unconscious state; Cherry Plum — for a feeling of being out of control (mind or body); Impatients — for restoring patience; Rock Rose — for panicky fear; and Star of Bethlehem — for loss, sorrow or grief.
Homeopathic remedies and flower essences are two of the safest and most effective natural solutions. A homeopathic remedy is based upon the “law of similars” — “let likes be cured
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So if your infant is continuously drooling and uncomfortable, the homeopathic remedy Mercurius vivus might be the right remedy. If your toddler is prone to earaches and fussiness when teething, Chamomilla along with herbal eardrops and Rescue Remedy could be the answer. Sleeplessness and nightmares are also very common for a teething child. Again, there are several natural treatment options: the appropriate homeopathic remedy (of which there are many); aromatherapy oils, such as lavender and chamomile — a few drops applied to a handkerchief and placed in the bed; or a calcium/magnesium supplement given in the evening hours may be the key to soothe and calm a child to sleep.
photo: jonas seaman 2011
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Guiding Children in Creating Sacred Space, Discovering Calmness and Embracing the Power of Meditation By Danelle Frisbie The summer of 1998, as a single and carefree graduate student, I joined with fellow professors in a challenging canyon hike around the Colorado/ Utah/Arizona/New Mexico areas. Midway through our adventures, we stopped for the night at a local family’s adobe where they treated us to an amazing home-cooked dinner and inspirational evening discussion. This family had two young daughters around the ages of five and nine – girls who tugged at my curiosity in how they were parented simply because they were so incredibly bright, articulate, charming and grounded. A fellow backpacker and I commented to each other that if we were to ever have children, this is what we’d want to foster in our own kids. While there are likely many facets of life that went into the gentle, securely attached upbringing of these two young girls, one thing that stood out during our visit was the small tent they had set up in one corner of their wood-floored, plant-covered, open-windowed den. It was here that the girls went to sit and relax, to get away from the rest of the busy house filled with guests, to daydream, or gaze out the tent opening, through the window, into the stars in the night sky above.
This, they told me, was their “peace tent.” Their parents had set it up for them several years ago as a location all their own to escape to and use to calm down if something was bothering them. On occasion, they’d invite their parents in to sit by them in the peace tent, or talk, or sing, or meditate. Yes – even the five-year old could tell me what mediation
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was, and how she believed it helped her in her dayto-day activities. “It’s easy!” she assured me. “Lots of adults wish to be like children so they can meditate even better.” She continued, “All you do is listen to your heart. The happiest people are the ones who know themselves, and understand their heart, and listen to it. People who don’t are often confused and sad and angry.” My fellow backpacker and I looked at each other, an astonished glisten in our eyes – are we really learning all of this from a five-year old?
And so it was… She invited us into her peace tent and led us in a calming meditation exercise that I imagine was made specifically for her age, but one that was equally effective at bringing us back into a place of calm and collected reasoning. We felt invigorated, with cleared senses, ready to tackle the next challenge of the week’s hike ahead. We were empowered. We were breathing deeply, feeling blissfully content and connected. The girls told us this is “normal” – it is how we were supposed to feel – and told us we should create our own peace tents when we returned home. Through the use of the peace tent, my new nineyear-old friend said that she discovered her deep fascination with horses, and has dreamed up new ways to handle, raise, and care for the horses on her parent’s ranch. Vallely would agree that meditation allows children to become more aware of who they are, their gifts, interests, and the many facets of their multi-dimensional selves.
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According to Sarah Wood Vallely, author of Sensational Meditation for Children, the ways in which meditation benefits children are indeed powerful and too many to number. When children learn how to meditate, they are able to use their superhero, “fairy power,” or imaginary friend, to feel safe, focused, and happy. Children come into a place of better physical health through meditation, as well as obtaining a thorough understanding of themselves and their own feelings (all of which are valid). Coupled with these benefits is the parental realization that meditation with our children brings us closer understanding and peace with our little ones. Vallely asserts that the use of a peace tent for meditation empowers children to improve upon almost any skill they are trying to master. Be it academic, athletic, personal or public, cognitive or feeling, or simply being centered, meditation and the peace tent – a place to get away to calm oneself – offers the perfect forum for this to take place. Outside the peace tent, children who use one at home (or school!) have better relationships with siblings, parents and classmates. As a result of this calm centering, children become comfortable with their emotions, skilled in recognizing them, and as a result improve their relationships with themselves as well as their self-esteem.
Today, there are many locations for parents seeking to construct a peace tent and gently teach children the art of meditation. One such location is Meditation Australia, where parents can find several guided meditations to help children calm, center, and focus on feelings such as peace, love, and considering choices they will face, and discovering answers to the question,
“Who Am I?” Another site, Learning Meditation, has a children’s meditation section as well with exercises in relaxation, awareness, observation, feelings/ sensations, and validation. On Susan Kramer’s Guided Meditation for Children page she starts by suggesting to children that we “go on an adventure!” “But,” she continues, “instead of rushing out the front door, let’s go on an adventure
within, to a beautiful place inside, in our thoughts...” I am rather ashamed to admit that upon my return home from our backpacking venture I did not construct a peace tent of my own … although I thought of it often, and know it would have aided me in the rest of my graduate studies. Now, 13 years later, I wonder what has become of those two little girls… do they still use a peace tent? What new things could they teach me? And would they like to come for a visit to help me construct a peace tent with my own children? I have materials here in hand, and our construction is underway. I hope to give my own little ones all the benefits and joys and calm centered breathing space that comes from having a peace tent be part of our home.
Danelle Frisbie, Ph.D, M.A., is assistant professorturned mom. After conducting research and teaching at the university for several years, she left full time academia to pursue another passion – mothering. Frisbie founded the volunteer based organization, DrMomma.org, that provides babyfriendly health and advocacy resources, supplies, and information to new, growing, and expecting families in need throughout the U.S. and around the globe.
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P L AY I N G
Imagine the sweet pleasure of eating a pea right from the pod, reading an engaging book, or watching a child immersed in creative play. We encourage your family to create simple moments every day. Visit us for natural toys, craft supplies, and items for your home.
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tuned in with ashley ess
your family can help protect our most precious resource “Water has a memory
and carries within it our thoughts and prayers. As you yourself are
water, no matter where you are, your prayers
will be carried to the rest of the world.”
More than likely, your summer family activities will at some point revolve around water. Certainly you’ll be drinking plenty of fresh, cold water, swimming in your backyard or community pool, taking a day trip to the beach, running through sprinklers or vacationing on the lake.
reduce the severity of allergies, asthma and headaches and increase mental alertness. A study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology even found that negative ions have a positive effect on memory and attention of both mentally-challenged and normal children.
Being around water, especially waterfalls, rapids, sprayed water and ocean waves, can have a profound effect on our health. The negative ions produced by moving water help strengthen the immune system,
A significant portion of our bodies is made up of water. It is imperative that the water we drink, cook with, bathe in, exercise in and play in – as well as the water for all living things – be kept clean. It can be overwhelming to
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tuned in with ashley ess find that many of our water systems have become polluted, perhaps beyond what one small family can fix, but any effort that has a positive effect on the environment raises consciousness and indeed makes a difference. No effort is ever too small. Our water certainly needs our helpâ€Ś and what a great way to spend summer with your family,
by volunteering to help protect our most precious resource! Below are some ideas to get your family started, followed by some safe swimming tips from Janelle Sorensen of Healthy Child, Healthy World.
Take a Big Step: Start Small Research what types of environmental groups are active in your local area. Many organizations have volunteer water clean-up days during the summer. This is a great learning experience for children and can help build character and selfesteem as they become an integral part of something so important. A Community Affair Organize your own water clean-up picnic at a local beach or park with a water source with your children, relatives, friends and community members. Picking up trash and planting streamside vegetation to help prevent erosion help significantly. This is a fun way to connect and do something wonderful for the environment. H2O Foster Care Find out how you can adopt a body of water in your local area and help maintain it. A great resource to check out is Adopt a Stream. Be Part of the Solution Help Stop Pollution Water can become contaminated from the improper disposal of chemicals, plastics and other non-biodegradable and harmful items. Spend some time learning with your children about how you can prevent such things from reaching vital water ecosystems. The Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s website has some good information on local areas and is a great place to start. Also check out The Groundwater Foundation. Make an Ocean of a Difference Non-profits like The World Water Organization assist children in helping other children around the world to have clean water. By encouraging your child and his/her school to become involved in such a cause, not only will your child learn about the grace and necessity of being in service to others, but s/he will truly make a difference in the world by making clean water possible in areas that have been lacking.
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“We Love Water.
We Thank Water.
We Respect Water.
We Are All Water. We Are All One.”
How To Find The Cleanest Beaches & Purest Pools by Janelle Sorenson
Nothing goes better with summer than soft sand and cool water, but public beach waters can be polluted with chemicals, fecal matter, or other contaminants. And chlorinated pools can pose risks, too. Use these tips to make sure you’re swimming in safe waters.
Beaches • Look for the cleanest beaches. Pick a beach that is tested regularly for cleanliness and that notifies you when it is unsafe to go in the water. Contact your local or state environmental-protection office or public-health agency to find out about testing at local beaches. Often, you can search online using your favorite beach’s name with the words “water quality” to find information, as well. • Wait at least 24 hours after a heavy rainfall before swimming. Heavy rains can stir up polluted sediment and cause sewage systems to overflow into storm drains. • If possible, choose beaches that are away from urban areas and check out the surrounding environment. What’s adjacent to the water? Farmland or golf courses could mean that large amounts of pesticides are running off into the water. If there’s an industrial facility upstream, you could be swimming in their effluent. • Avoid swimming near storm drains. • Avoid swimming in beach water that is cloudy or smells bad.
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Pools Most public pools are kept clean through chlorination. But, an increasing amount of studies are showing that regular use of indoor or outdoor chlorinated pools can increase the risk of developing asthma. Also, when chlorinated water comes into contact with hair, body products, sweat, saliva, or urine (regular ingredients at the public pool) it creates certain volatile disinfection by-products like chloroform and bromodichloromethane. What should you do? • Select pools with strict rules about bathing before swimming (and do your part to help keep them clean). • Select less used pools or swim at times when there are fewer people there. • If you’re using an indoor pool. talk to management about the ventilation system, how often the pool is emptied (decreasing the organic materials that create the disinfection by-products), and options for safer maintenance. • If you have your own pool, maintain it chlorine-free (there are fabulous saltwater systems available these days).
Learn more at HealthyChild.org
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Summer Sol stice The Gifts of
by Nanci Shanderá, Ph.D.
Astronomically speaking, summer solstice is a
and wear only the briefest of clothing, which
time when the sun stands still - or appears to - for
celebrates our innate connection with the natural
a moment. It is a marker in time that announces
world and the joy of living.
the tilt of the Earth’s axis toward the sun. Solstice
We are experiencing a wondrous renaissance of
occurs in June in the northern hemispheres and
the natural rituals performed during seasonal
in December in the southern hemispheres. It
changes by ancient and indigenous cultures.
creates longer days and shorter nights, offering
There is a growing awareness of the importance
us opportunities to enjoy life in the open as we
of honoring the gifts of nature. In prehistoric
come face to face with the amazing star that gives
societies, summer solstice was a time of joyous
us life. It is an opportunity to bask in the heat of
celebration of the end of winter and the available
the sun, taking it into our very being, appreciating
abundance of fresh foods and medicinal herbs.
how it ignites various forms of creative expression
In agricultural societies, summer meant hearty
within us. The sun’s heat encourages us to disrobe
crops and was often consecrated by coupling or
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photo: jatawny m chatmon
Dr. Nanci Shanderá is a spiritual psychologist-teacher in northern California and author of Bridge to the Soul:Unconditional Self-Acceptance as a Path to Wholeness and Spiritual Awakening. Her background includes studying with Brugh Joy, M.D. for over 30 years, training seminary students as a minister of Religious Science, and teaching Mystery School courses that include dreams, transformational alchemy and art, and eldership training. Visit www.EarthSpiritCenter.com/wordpress for more info.
Summer gives us unique ways to
express and celebrate the fire within. s u m m e r 2011
marriages. In many societies, summer was seen
Stonehenge, on the Salisbury Plain in England,
as a time of the feminine, a softer, gentler time
propose that it was a winter solstice temple, and the
of abundance and growth. In ancient European
newly discovered Woodhenge, a few miles away,
groups, the solstice was celebrated with fire to
is thought to be where the ancient Celtic peoples
represent the sun’s life-giving qualities as couples
performed summer rituals. Ancient rituals and
would leap over bonfires to ensure fertility. Many
ceremonies that celebrated seasonal changes were
ancient cultures throughout the world built stone
not merely to acknowledge times for planting, but
circles, dolmens, medicine wheels, or temples
also, and more importantly, to honor the awesome
with openings perfectly aligned so that the first
influence and transformative powers of the sun.
light of the summer sun would enter. This event
Our sun is a powerful and life-giving being,
symbolized the blending of the masculine (sun) and
dancing with our Earth, and offering us
feminine (earth) energies. Current theories about
opportunities to bring its life force into our lives. It represents our hearts, our center of being, the essence of what keeps us going and growing. Just as in our homes, the fireplace is the center, or heart, of the home, our sun is our solar system’s fiery heart. Like the sun, our inner fire, that creative urge, that longing to give and receive love, resides in our heart waiting for us to recognize and express it fully. Summer gives us unique ways to express and celebrate that fire.
“Ancient rituals and ceremonies that celebrated seasonal changes were not merely to acknowledge times for planting, but also, and more importantly, to honor the awesome influence and transformative powers of the sun.”
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Heather Fontenot is the co-editor and publisher of Rhythm of The Home magazine. As a writer, doula and yoga teacher, Heather has a passion for natural and creative living, and spends as much of her time outdoors as possible. She loves to knit, sew, garden, photograph, read and homeschool her three sweet little ones. She writes the blog, Shivaya Naturals, where she chronicles her life as a mother, artist, and gluten-free baker.
A Summer Solstice Family Celebration by Heather Fontenot
The summer solstice is a time of communal joy and revelry, which is a marked difference from the solitude and silence of our winter solstice celebrations. As the dawn of summer arrives, our family greets the day with gratitude, and each of us takes a turn walking the labyrinth. The importance of the labyrinth is its reminder that there is always one direct line back to our inner selves, our place of truth, and we know that in the coming days ahead, as the light grows shorter, we must begin the journey inward until we once again come to that place of stillness.
lighting the bonfire, and burning the solstice wreath that was hung on our door the night of the winter solstice, just six months before. The wreath held our intentions over the past six months, and as it slowly burns with the last of the solstice sun, we circle up and share all that we have learned.
From there, the day is whatever we make of it. We join friends for a communal potluck, nature jewelry making, a hike through the hot summer day, swimming in the creeks, and dancing under the setting sun. There is no ritual for the day, only the idea that we are outdoors, bathed in the light, and grateful for all the sun brings.
As we put our little ones to bed, light the final candle, and say blessings for a good harvest at mid-season, we remind them that the days will now grow shorter, and the long journey towards the center of the soul, the quiet place that culminates in winter, will now begin.
As the sun begins to set on the longest day of the year, we always end our celebrations by
Children are especially affected by the change in seasons, and giving them the rhythm and ritual of a special day can help them to understand the changes that not only the earth is going through, but they as well.
As they awake, two oranges lay at the foot of their bed, a symbol that the sun was there, and always is, in all that we do, and all that we are. s u m m e r 2011
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Fall Issue Is Coming in September To contribute send queries to email@example.com To advertise contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Conscious Family Travel Choosing Meaningful Vacation Spots by Anni Daulter When you decide to take a summer vacation, how do you choose where to go? I always choose to go somewhere my whole family can enjoy and feel relaxed throughout the trip. I want to slow down, take deep breaths and enjoy the quality time with us all together and perhaps even bring a level of spiritual awareness to our travels. If you are looking for spaces that are naturally beautiful, fun, serve up organic food, and bring a sense of calm to your family then you might want to try the following sacred spots.
Tassajara Zen Center Nestled in the mountain tops of Carmel Valley, California, Tassajara is a gem of a place that is infamous for serving up delicious vegetarian food, a beautiful serene atmosphere, natural hot springs, mediation in a gorgeous Zendo, opportunities for spiritual growth and more recently they have added on a multitude of workshops to their long list of why you should visit these sacred grounds.
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tassajara photos: steven harper
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I could talk about Tassajara forever, but honestly words cannot adequately describe the peaceful feeling that comes over you as soon as you step foot on these grounds. Perhaps it is the many years of dedicated monks inhabiting the lands, spending time praying, tending to nature, gardening and cooking or the just the magic of the community of folks that are drawn to Tassajara every year, but whatever it is, it has become my very favorite vacation spot. I feel so blessed to have had so many moving experiences there, both alone and with my family, and if you are looking for quiet days, lovely hikes, GREAT food and soothing waters in a gorgeous bath house setting, this is the place to be! Tassajara is open for guest season from May to August.
Accommodations are simple cabins, stone cabins, yurts and dorms. It gets my highest rating of a super fantastic conscious family spiritual destination for your entire family! www.sfzc.org/tassajara
Along Californiaâ€™s Central Coast in Big Sur on 120 acres of fertile land carved out between mountain and ocean, blessed by hot mineral springs gushing out of a seaside cliff, lives the Esalen Institue. These gorgeous lands have seen the feet of hundreds of thousands of folks from all over the world who come to experience the workshops and natural beauty that make up this special place. What is great about Esalen for families is they have a series of amazing workshops that supports connecting together photos: esalen.org
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esalen photos courtesy esalen.org
...a convergence of mountains and sea, mind and body, East and West, meditation and action.
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while raising children to be strong, happy, healthy and creative individuals. There are gorgeous hot springs that overlook the ocean, an art barn and kids center and even that special Esalen massage (if you have had one, you know what I am talking about)! If you are interested in taking a vacation that also helps your family connect with each other in a mindful way, then check out the amazing workshops and family retreats that Esalen has to offer. They get my highest rating for the most mindful conscious family travel spot! www.esalen.org
Estancia La Jolla This gorgeous â€œgreenâ€? hotel and spa is lush with wild flowers, succulents, organic fare, and inspired by upcycled projects the employees create to reuse everything! My Bamboo partner, Ashley, and I, along
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with our families, had the amazing opportunity to stay at Estancia, and learn more about how serious they are about environmental consciousness all while providing a relaxing and beautiful experience for
their guests. We were treated to amazing spa treatments where organic products are used and ate pretty fantastic food too! Estancia also has battery stations placed throughout the employee areas for staff to recycle their home batteries!
We loved our experience there and appreciated the conscious effort with which they simplify without sacrificing quality for their guests. The kids had a great time too and loved swimming and hanging out in the gorgeous herbed gardens. So if you are ever in the San Diego area,
Estancia gets my highest rating for a green luxury conscious family experience! www.estancialajolla.com Have a peaceful, restful and conscious-filled summer with your family! Please write in and let me know if you visit any of these wonderful places and how it went!
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root + stem
Connect to Your Creativity and Your Children While Playing with Watercolors by Shannon Kinney-Duh I grew up in an artsy household but it wasn’t until I became an adult and after years of selfdiscovery and exploration that I started believing I was creative. One of the things that have helped me on my creative journey has been embracing the process of art making rather than focusing on the final outcome. So when I sit down to paint I set an intention to play with the paint, to let go of judgment and to have fun creating, without getting caught up with what it is I’m trying to paint. This practice reminds me that there really is no “right” or “wrong” way to paint, and that we are all artists in our own way. The art medium of watercolor is an inviting process that will encourage you to let down your guard and help you return to a freeing, playful place while creating, so that you can let go of “perfect” and become more open to the possibilities that come when you connect to your own creative heart. And I believe teaching your children the importance of exploring and expressing their own creativity is a great gift. Painting with watercolors with and alongside your children is a beautifully simple way to share creative space together. It’s incredibly nurturing
Shannon Kinney-Duh is an artist, yoga teacher and self-discovery life coach. She is also the mother of two imaginative boys that make her laugh every day. She loves getting her hands in the dirt, playing with paint and trying new things. When she’s not with her boys, she’s creating e-courses (like Mothering with heART) and blogging. Stop by for a visit at Free Spirit Knits.
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for your children when you take the time to sit with them, without distractions, and create together. Itâ€™s also very nurturing for your own creative spirit! Young children innately know the importance and pure joy that comes from play. They know how to paint without judgment. They know how to dive right in while creating. They are drawn to experimenting, to trying new things, to getting messy and to enjoying the process with little attachment to the outcome. So allow yourself to take their lead. Sit side-by-side with your children. Try painting the entire page with water first. Getting the paper wet will allow the paint to bleed and your children will enjoy watching the colors dance along the page. Flick the paint, try different strokes, try different sized brushes or forgo brushes altogether! (My 3-year-old starts with brushes but almost always ends up painting with his hands.) Lift the paper and watch the paint drip and blend. Show your children what happens when they mix different colors together. For older children they
may enjoy painting from life â€“ get out in nature and paint the colors, the details and the beauty all around. The medium of watercolor is fun and simple. And not only that, it invites you to experience quality, creative family time while you slow down and enjoy being in the present moment.
Here are a few suggestions when painting with watercolors with your children 1. Set up outside or in a space where you feel comfortable getting messy. 2. Likewise, wear paint shirts so you all feel uninhibited to splatter and play. 3. Get your supplies ready: watercolor paints, watercolor paper, bowl for water, and brushes 4. Be open to experimenting and have fun!
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root + stem
Lenka Vodicka with Asia Curry Forest Fairy Crafts
worked with our resident art teacher, Asia, to develop a handwork program for our school. We were already teaching students knitting and thought, “What if we taught our students how to make toys?” We would help them make their own little gnome family, we decided. And make their own game boards. As we cut capes for sixty gnomes, we looked at one another. “We’re crazy,” we said, “but we’ll see what happens.” We started with a gnomes. Then we backtracked to teach them how to use a sharp needle and how to sew a running stitch or a whip stitch. Magic happened. The expressions on their faces were precious. They rushed up to their mom or dad, “Look what I made. I made this!” And they treated their gnomes with a mixture of awe and disbelief. They didn’t have to buy toys. They could make toys.
Eight years ago, a little experiment changed my world. I grew up with toys made by strangers, toys that I bought, toys that I opened. When my own little girl was a baby I wondered, “Could I make her a toy?” I used wooden peg people from the local craft store and scraps of felt. A few stitches and a little glue later . . . and my daughter had her own set of seasonal gnomes, made by her own mom. I kept them on a shelf until she decided playing with toys was more fun than eating them. Now those gnomes are tokens for game boards that she draws herself, and pocket-friends, and family for little gardenhouses that she builds out of sticks and leaves. Those little gnomes opened up the world of handcrafted toys for me. I taught second grade at the time, at the Nevada City School of the Arts in Northern California. I
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The experience inspired Asia and I to continue building and developing crafts for children. We brought fairies, star-babies, owl treasure-pillows, and many more whimsical crafts to classes from kindergarten through second grade. Last year, parents convinced Asia and I to write down our patterns (we keep most of them memorized). Forest Fairy Crafts was born. We are now on Etsy with patterns and craft-kits for families. My girl is not a baby anymore. Now she rushes to me with her sketchbook in hand. “Look, Mom,” she says, “Let’s make this!” Yes, let’s make toys.
Summer Gnomes Tutorial by Lenka Vodicka with Asia Curry Forest Fairy Crafts
To learn how to make these sweet summer gnomes, click on the tutorial link or email ashley@ bamboofamilymag.com
Materials: Felt (light blue, dark blue, orange, yellow, green, pink) Embroidery thread Scissors Glue (craft glue works best)
Needle Wooden peg people (available at most craft stores in the unfinished wood department)
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shoots + leaves
Come down to the creek with silly summer splashing around in some of the sweetest clothes by Entertaining Elephants... photos by tnah louise 50 bamboo s u m m e r
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Visit the online store at: http://www.entertainingelephants.com
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Or if you are in Los Angeles, Ellen would love for you to stop by and say hello at: Entertaining Elephants 12053 s1/2 Ventura Place Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 766-9177 2011
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photos by tnah louise s u m m e r 2011 bamboo 67
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Chooze Shoes was inspired by founder Sharon Blumbergâ€™s daughter, who loves to wear different shoes as an expression of her individuality. The collection focuses on celebrating individuality and the power of choice. Inspiring kids to choose to be different, the left shoe is never the same as the right. CHOOZE kids think outside the shoebox!
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Confidence and creativity lead children to believe they have the power to change the world. CHOOZE kids choose to think for themselves and to make choices that matter.
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Chooze hopes to empower kids to use their creativity for good. At the end of each year, they take 100% of their profits and invest them in micro-finance loan programs. More powerful than offering a hand out, micro-finance loans provide seed capital that enables women to start businesses and permanently lift their families out of poverty.
In addition to using only vegan materials in manufacturing, Chooze Shoes are made with specific choices to reduce waste in packaging. Join our journey at choozeshoes.com. Our shoes wonâ€™t change the world. The kids who wear them will. s u m m e r 2011
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Sugar, Spice &
by Avital Norman Nathman
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Traditional nursery rhymes aside, I prefer to think that my son has a little sugar and spice included in his mixture of frogs, snails and puppy-dogs’ tails. Sure, he can get down and dirty with the best of them. Our house is littered with action figures, sports equipment, trucks, and enough building blocks of various kinds to build ourselves a guest house. However, it is also filled with a wooden play kitchen, baby dolls, toy strollers and enough princess accessories to make Cinderella jealous. While most people wouldn’t bat an eye at the first set of toys, for some it is a bit much to swallow when a young boy is interested in traditionally “girly” toys like dolls or princess paraphernalia. The call to celebrate diversity is a loud one, but there is still an undercurrent of
antiquated gender lines produces a fear that these children will somehow grow up confused. In fact, in recent months, much media attention has been raised over a seemingly harmless and adorable J. Crew ad that featured a young boy with his toe nails painted a bright pink. Those opposed to the ad suggested that allowing a little boy to wear nail polish would not only confuse him sexually, but would somehow contribute to the disintegration of the nuclear family as we know it. Some also feared that in allowing young boys to express themselves this way would be detrimental to their masculinity. I would argue that it only proves that they are comfortable and secure in their own masculinity that they see no problem with painting their nails pink or cuddling a cherished doll. In fact, I would go as far
Expressing fear and concern based on
antiquated gender roles only limits the ability for children’s imaginations and exploration.
attachment to traditional gender roles, especially in regards to children. Toy companies make it a specific goal to market towards particular genders, and one would be hard pressed to find a doll commercial with a young boy, despite the fact that many young boys enjoy playing with them. For many, however, blurring those
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as suggesting that perceived masculinity does not even register on the the radars of most young boys, the way it does for so many adults. In a time where people are persecuted and bullied for being different, we should celebrate and support our children when they find things that make them happy, whether or not it might seem to go outside
the box. While others may fear the consequences, I am not too worried that my son will actually turn into a princess because he dresses up like one, just as Iâ€™m quite certain that he will not turn into a dinosaur no many how many times he growls and acts like one. Childhood is a special time when anything seems possible. A child can look at a stack of blocks and see beyond the shaped wood to imagine a city, car, or robot. They can take a silk play scarf and turn it into a cape, skirt, eye patch and more. Expressing fear and concern based on antiquated gender roles only limits the ability for childrenâ€™s imagination and exploration. Just as the make up of the traditional family has grown and changed over time,
perhaps as a society we can change our own perspective regarding little kids and the imaginative choices that they make. When I look at my son cradling his doll while his nails are painted every color of the rainbow, I do not see an identity crisis in process. I see a young boy who is confident and secure in who he is, one that has a full spirit, joyful creativity and one who is building the roots to becoming a nurturing adult.
A former teacher and lifetime learner, Avital Norman Nathman is a play-at-home mama, freelance writer, wife and feminist (and not necessarily in that order). When not gardening, cooking or dancing around the house, you can catch her musing about motherhood and feminism at www.TheMamafesto.com
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are you a clear for your children?
by Annie Burnside, M.Ed. A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer specializing in parenting, conscious relationships and spiritual development. Her spiritual support practice created in 2005 assists others in balancing the exterior world with an interior focus. Annie teaches workshops, speaks publicly and writes a Soul to Soul Perspective blog for the Chicago Tribune and ModernMom, as well as the family column for Evolving Your Spirit Magazine. Her first book, Soul to Soul Parenting, won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award and the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award. She lives with her husband and three children in Wilmette, IL. www.annieburnside.com
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There is a missing piece (PEACE) in our world today that few desire to look at head-on. It is not a religious piece, an educational piece, a political piece, an economic piece or a healthcare piece. Itâ€™s a spiritual piece, and the acknowledgement and subsequent activation of that piece begins in the home. As parents, few of us understand who we really are as intuitive, creative, powerful, spiritual beings, and therefore, do not reflect the truth of our magnificent identity back to our children. In other words, despite well-meaning and loving intentions, instead of children observing, and more importantly, feeling wholeness, authenticity, self-love, truth, transparency and well-being reflected back to them from parents, they often see a diminished version of what is possible for the parent, and therefore, a diminished version of what is possible for them. The most important step in elevating the reality of any family is the parents consciously moving down a path toward self-realization to heal old wounds, uncover hidden beliefs, release denied emotions, and allow greater joy so that they can become a clear mirror for their children. As parents begin to become more comfortable within their own skin and follow the inner linings of their own heart more courageously, they simultaneously give their children permission to do the same. There is no greater gift that parents can
photo: jonas seaman
body + mind + spirit
offer their children. A deeper intimacy with our own soul—the largest perspective of who we are—will change our world. Rather than seeking to change behavior which is very difficult to do, we must encourage growth from the inside out through an expanded vantage point of our true identity. In other words, the mere band-aids that we continually attempt to apply to “fix” societal ills or individual dysfunction do not reach the root of the issue and often create temporary, disappointing results. This is front-end work rather than back-end that will make a huge
difference in the level of dysfunction, anxiety, stress, and despair found in so many families today. The call right now in 2011 is for parents from all religious, economic and cultural backgrounds to begin to consciously integrate a new perspective—a universal SOUL perspective— into their beloved family while simultaneously raising consciousness in our world. Below are ten suggestions for parents to consider as they seek to offer their children the fruits of their own spiritual journey.
• Utilize everyday life such • Encourage compassion, • Teach your children that as—friendships, nature, empathy and gratitude in they are intuitive, creative, mealtimes, music, movies, your children on a daily basis eternal spiritual beings— and much more—as the by making them the mostmuch larger than simply perfect curriculum and used words in your home. their physical form—and forum to teach your children filled with infinite possibility powerful, universal principles • Turn the JOY in family and the capacity for direct such as connectedness, life way up by singing, divine connection. self-love, presence, and dancing, smiling, humming, forgiveness. laughing, and relaxing rigid • Assist your children in perspectives as often as understanding that an • Teach your children to possible through openness appreciation for life in the allow multiple perspectives and gratitude. present moment, coupled in all life situations and with enthusiasm for their relationships by “flipping” • Model authenticity through future, plants the necessary challenges into positive, speaking and living your seeds for manifesting their learning opportunities. truth thereby giving your true heart’s desires. children permission to do the • Train your children to be same • Provide the space and more conscious of thoughts, opportunity for your children words, deeds, priorities, • Show your spirit daily so that to focus on their interior beliefs and choices so that your children can witness world as much as the they can assume greater multiple aspects of you, and exterior world, allowing responsibility for the creation in turn, see multiple aspects greater intimacy with the of their own reality. in themselves. voice of their own soul to feel what resonates as truth for them.
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Caring for the R a new parents’ guide to maintaining a healthy connection
Then the baby arrives. The love you feel for your new little one is overwhelming, but the exhaustion is indescribable. You are consumed every moment of the day. Your and your partner’s needs don’t hold a candle to the needs of this lovely little angel you hold in your arms.
photo: jonas seaman
But as the routine with baby settles and your life takes on the new normal, you realize that your relationship needs loving care! Nurturing your couple relationship helps to reduce the stress of parenting. Knowing that your connection with your partner is strong helps to keep you internally centered and keeps your heart open and clear.
by Michelle Barone, MA, LMFT, DCEP For nine months you take wonderful care of yourself, enjoying uninterrupted, relaxing time with your partner. The excitement as you anticipate the arrival of your baby fills every moment. The love you feel for each other is powerful.
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I have found that daily simple connections can keep the relationship strong and healthy. There are so many ways to connect … find that one that best fits your family.
Relationship • Share daily appreciations with each other and all that you are grateful for. This keeps your emotional bank filled.
you enjoyed as a couple. Even a few hours a month alone together can do wonders to keep and revive your intimacy.
• Create a transition ritual when • Support each other by encouraging coming back together at the end of time with friends and personal the day. If you work from home, have activities. Restoring your self outside a specific end time that you close the family brings fresh energy to the your office. Once you are home, turn relationship. off phones, computers, tv and spend time reconnecting with each other. • Be gentle with each other as you Make a loving connection with your grow into parenthood. You are both partner and the baby . Bring all your learning! Focus on what is working focus and energy to this moment. and get help finding solutions to Doing this for even just 15 minutes will persistent issues. set the tone for the whole evening. • Keep yourself healthy with good rest, • When everyone is ready for healthy food and exercise. Take time separation, begin to do activities that to heal any past wounds. Good read for postpartum couples, even if not suffering from depression: After the Stork: The Couple’s Guide to Preventing and Overcoming Postpartum Depression, by Sara Rosenquist, Ph.D.
Michelle Barone, MA, LMFT, DCEP
Energy psychology focused, Ms. Barone has worked with families for over 30 years. She advocates and supports attachment parenting, alternative and natural health, healing and education. She is also a certified Neuro Emotional Technique practitioner (mind body work for trauma resolution and stress). She maintains a private practice in the Los Angeles area and consults nationally/ internationally via phone and skype. www.michellebarone. com
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Kim Walls, M.S., is the CEO of Episencial® and chief formulator the company’s skincare products and philosophy. A secondgeneration skin care expert from the family that developed the world renowned Epicuren® anti-aging skin care products, she now combines her activism for health and environmentalism with expertise in clinical skin care and nutritional science to develop green, effective skin care for pregnant women and children. She is a sought after industry advisor to leading health advocacy organizations including Healthy Child, Healthy World, Infant Massage USA, the Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association and Pregnancy Awareness Month.
top tips for
summer skincare With summer right around the corner, we all look forward to more family time at the pool, beach and park. This means a lot more sun exposure and with that comes worry and questions around sun protection and care. Many parents know the most sun damage occurs before the age of 18 and that preventing sunburn with proper clothing, shade and sunscreen is essential for limiting ultra-violet induced skin damage, which can range from hyperpigmentation to melanoma. Many people don’t realize, however, that keeping the skin protected from the sun, also means keeping the whole body healthy. The skin is the largest organ and the body’s first line of defense when it comes to protection from environmental contaminants like chlorinated water, excess UVA coming through a depleted ozone, and harsh chemical pollutants in the air. In addition to creating a barrier against
by Kim Walls
the elements, the skin houses immune cells and produces antibodies to help ward off illness. When the skin is compromised through sunburn or dehydration, it is unable to develop and perform its many important jobs. Another thing to keep in mind is that 70% of what goes on your skin, also goes in the body. In fact, topically applied ingredients can hit your blood stream in under 30 seconds! Therefore choosing sunscreen and skincare that contains actively healthy immune-boosting ingredients is not only critical for the health and protection of your baby’s skin but for also for enhanced overall health. With that information in mind, let’s shed some (sun)light on some frequently asked sun care questions so you can have a safe and healthy summer!
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When should I use sunscreen on my baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends minimal sun exposure until at least 6 months of age. But, if your baby will be exposed to the sun the AAP recommends using sunscreen.
What kind of sunscreen should I choose? Good sunscreen doesn’t need to cost a fortune. As a mother and skincare expert, I recommend using only an all natural, mineral based sunscreen. It is a safe, healthy choice for your babies and the planet.
How much SFP is enough? A sunscreen with an SPF 35 (with the active ingredients of zinc and/or titanium) will protect from about 97% – 98% of the harmful wavelength of UV rays. It is perfect for newborn skin, and for an afternoon outside. (Remember to reapply every couple of hours or after your kids get out of the water!) All natural lip protection is important to apply, and reapply often, as it is quickly wiped or licked off.
How can I help my kids embrace safe sun care practices? The reality is, a lot of kids really don’t like applying sunscreen. I know. I have two boys and sometimes it is a frustrating process. Patience is key, as is a bit of understanding and good old-fashioned ingenuity.
Here are a couple recommended sunscreen products: • Episencial’s Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35 • Episencial’s Protective Face Balm SPF 6
Here are some tips that have worked for my family: “...keeping the skin protected from the sun, also means keeping the whole body healthy.”
The Gift Of Time: Don’t rush them through the application process – kids need more time to process information. Make sunscreen a fun, actively healthy ritual, not a rushed afterthought. The Sunscreen Place: Find a place in or around your house where clean up is easy or not an issue. You want to make children a part of the process from an early age to both feed their need for control and foster a sense of independence. But, this can get a little messy. Start with one body part: Let them choose it – and give them enough product to make it happen. It engages them, gives them a task and empowers them to be responsible for taking care of themselves. It also keeps them busy while you slather the rest of their body. I also let them “paint” my face or arms with sunscreen - why not? I can use all the help I can get and it keeps them entertained and engaged in the process. The Power of Choice: If your kids continue to object to sunscreen, give them the choice to not use it – with the choice being that they must stay in the shade. Kids like to make their own choices. If they sit on the sidelines at the beach long enough, they will eventually make their own choice to apply the sunscreen so they can go splash in the water. Don’t let the battle be about applying the product, make it about staying out of the sun.
Here’s to happy, safe summer fun in the sun.
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in Anni’s conscious kitchen Summertime means long hot days, swimming, playing, exploring and eating! What better way to celebrate the sunshine, than with super fun lemonades, ice pops and summer jam!
summer ice pops Anni Daulter: Author of ICE POP JOY Available in the Bamboo Bookshop
Bluebird Ingredients: • ½ cup blueberries • ½ cup blackberries or boysenberries • 1 cup pineapple, chopped • 2 teaspoons acai powder • 4 Tablespoons agave nectar • 1 cup purified water Preparation: 1. Put blueberries, blackberries and pineapple into your blender. 2. Add in acai powder, agave nectar, and water. 3. Blend all ingredients together into a smooth texture. 4. Pour mixture into chosen pop molds. 5. Freeze. Makes 8 4 oz. pops photos this page: alexandra defurio
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Sour Girl Ingredients: • 3 meyer lemons, juiced • 2 lemons, zested • ½ cup agave nectar • 2 cups purified water Preparation: 1. Squeeze in the juice of three lemons into your blender. 2. Add the lemon zest, agave and water. 3. Blend all ingredients together into a smooth texture. 4. Pour mixture into chosen pop molds. 5. Freeze. Makes 8 4 oz. pops
Pop – Culture Shopping Tip Meyer lemons are unique in that they are much sweeter than regular lemons. They have a smoother skin on the outside and also make amazing lemonade! Ask your local grocer if they carry them, and if they do not, check your farmers market!
Try these BPA free or stainless steel pop molds to make your summer ice pop treats!
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By Amanda Huye When I was a child there were three things I could count on every single day during the summer: being told to go play outside (you know, in that almost-to-the-verge-hysterical mom voice), lemonade made from a powdered mix, and mosquito bites. I spent my summers outside in whatever patch of shade I could find, nose in a book, drinking fake lemonade, and scratching mosquito bites.
lemonade is making a simple syrup. Simple syrup is simply sugar dissolved in hot water. When the warm weather hits, you will always find a jar of this in my fridge because it’s the perfect way to sweeten your lemonade or even iced coffee without having sugar that won’t dissolve in your drink and instead sinks to the bottom. Note: I make the simple syrup myself and have it cooled and ready in the refrigerator for the kids to use.
Now that I’m a mama, I made the decision that summer was going to be about relaxing and enjoying being with my kids, not something to be endured. Over the last few summers we’ve made some progress: early mornings at the park, swinging as high as little legs can pump, we’ve had our share of skinned knees, turned cartwheels in the backyard until we were dizzy, had popsicle stains on chins, enjoyed many a picnic on a blanket under the shade of the magnolia tree, we’ve run shrieking through sprinklers, and sighed every time we caught one of those rare summer breezes.
Once you have your simple syrup, making lemonade is as simple as remembering these proportions: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup lemon juice. I personally find this makes a pretty sweet lemonade so I add simple syrup
At the beginning of each summer we sit down and reminisce, remembering all those moments from summers past...
At the beginning of each summer we sit down and reminisce, remembering all those moments from summers past that still gleam and sparkle in our memories and we make our summer list. This summer learning to make lemonade made the list. Not a surprise here in the deep south, where we start getting summer-like temperatures in April and as soon as that first hot day hits, my kids start asking to me make lemonade. Only this year, my kids wanted to learn to make lemonade themselves so we spent a few afternoons in the kitchen, dreaming up flavor combinations and taste testing until we could drink no more. First things first, the secret to making great
to taste, depending upon the lemons it can be as little as ½ a cup and as much as 3/4 a cup. From here, there are any number of variations you can try. So many flavors pair beautifully with lemon; don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild! Think about what’s in season: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelon, pineapple, peaches, cucumbers. And don’t forget the herbs! Mint, basil, and cilantro are all amazing when paired with lemon. Like iced tea but want to switch it up a bit? How about mixing half iced tea and half lemonade? How about mixing flavors to create a strawberry basil lemonade? Or even a strawberry watermelon lemonade? Below you’ll find some of our favorite flavor combinations from our taste testing as well as the recipes so you (or your kids) can make them too! s u m m e r 2011
Have mint or basil growing in your garden? You can make a mint or basil simple syrup by adding ¼ cup fresh mint or basil leaves to your simple syrup mixture. Once you bring your sugar/water mixture to a boil and the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, let cool and discard the mint/basil sprigs. Now you have a mint or basil infused syrup!
Simple Syrup • 1 cup organic cane sugar • 1 cup water Heat sugar and water in a saucepan until it gently boils, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and store in the fridge. Note: When I make simple syrup, I use organic sugar that hasn’t been processed and bleached. This means my simple syrups are on the brownish side but still taste great! For the purpose of photographing the lemonades, I did use white granulated sugar. Variation: You can make flavored simple syrup as well! I make vanilla simple syrup to put in my morning coffee (yum!). Simply slice a Mexican vanilla bean down the middle, place it in a jar. Make a double batch of simple syrup. Let the mixture cool and then pour the hot mixture over the vanilla bean. Once it’s cooled, I cover the jar and store it in the fridge.
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Old Fashioned Lemonade • 1 cup lemon juice (usually 5-6 lemons) • 3-4 cups water • simple syrup to taste serve chilled or over ice Variation: When we have fresh blueberries on hand we always throw some in the pitcher of lemonade. Not only is it pretty, the combination of lemons and blueberries is amazing!
Cucumber Lemonade • simple syrup to taste • 1 cucumber, sliced • 1 cup lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons) Place cucumber slices in a blender, blend until mashed. Pour the cucumber pulp into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid.
Let sit for about 20 minutes, or until you have about 2/3 cup of liquid from the cucumber. In a pitcher, combine lemon juice, cucumber liquid, and simple syrup to taste. Serve chilled.
Pineapple Lemonade • 1 cup lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons) • 2 cups fresh pineapple • simple syrup to taste Puree pineapple in a blender. Combine pineapple puree and lemon juice in a pitcher. Add simple syrup to taste. Serve chilled.
Strawberry Lemonade • • • •
1 cup lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons) 1 pint strawberries simple syrup to taste 2 teaspoons sugar
Watermelon Lemonade • • • •
8 cups cubed, seeded watermelon 2 cups water ½ cup lemon juice (about 2-4 lemons) simple syrup to taste
Combine watermelon, lemon juice, water, simple syrup in blender. Blend until smooth. Variation: add 1 cup strawberries to the blender for a strawberry watermelon lemonade.
Puree strawberries and 2 teaspoons sugar in a blender. Combine strawberry puree, lemon juice in a pitcher. Add simple syrup to taste. Serve chilled. Variation: use basil flavored simple syrup for a strawberry basil lemonade.
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For me, it is all about learning as I go and finding my way in each step of the process.
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summer jam By Lisa DeNardo Summer just wouldn’t be summer without the accompaniment of fresh seasonal berries. Each and every year berry harvesting is an activity that my children and I look forward to, along with the introspection into what each batch could potentially become. Some berries are eaten straight off the bush in their sunwarmed state of bliss, while others are frozen for use later on throughout the year. There are berry pies that fill our bellies and of course there are always several batches of summer jam. As with most anything in life, processing and canning bits and pieces of our harvests is a process. It can be a process of learning what to do and what not to do, figuring out how to involve all my children and still get something accomplished, growing and evolving, stepping toward self-sustainability, as well as working on my inner self. There have been many frustrating times when various things have gone sorely wrong or road blockages have been met, forcing me to let go and surrender to the current disaster at hand. Yet there are also times when my canning endeavors turn out wonderful and extremely rewarding. For me, it is all about learning as I go and finding my way in each step of the process. What I discovered when it came to making summer jam was that most of the recipes required the use of pre-packaged powdered pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring substance found in varying amounts in different fruits. It is pectin that causes the fruit to gel, which is characteristic of jellies and jams. Recently I picked up a box of “100% Natural” Premium Fruit Pectin and read, “INGREDIENTS: dextrose, citric acid, fruit pectin”. Since I have four kids with gluten sensitivities I am a skilled label reader and dissector. Upon researching dextrose as an additive, I found out that dextrose is derived
from “all natural”, starchy food ingredients like rice, wheat, or potatoes. Well, since I didn’t really want rice, wheat, or potatoes in my summer jam, along with the fact that boxes of powdered pectin do not grow on trees, I knew that I needed to find out another way to naturally preserve our summer jams. In doing a little bit of research, I found a wealth of knowledge about pectin residing naturally in various fruits. Apples, especially tart varieties, have the highest pectin levels of all fruits. Apple pectin actually aids in intestinal health and regulation, as well as lowers cholesterol levels. Low in calories, apples also contain antioxidants that help protect the body from harm, including the damage caused by eating a high-fat diet. Citrus fruits ranked second in containing high pectin levels. As reported on the American Cancer Society’s website, several animal and uncontrolled human studies have demonstrated that ingesting citrus pectin may actually hinder the spread of certain cancers. So, now I felt like I was on to something, something more fruitful than powders in a box. I wondered if I could replace the powdered pectin with a mixture of apples and some citrus with my summer jam recipe and have it turn out okay. The answer is yes, that the boxed powdered pectin can be successfully replaced with real foods that naturally contain high levels of pectin. I did a little bit more research and very soon after a recipe was born right in my kitchen with the best jam making helpers I could ask for. The results yielded a new twist on things and an amazingly delicious summer jam. For more information on canning and preserving I highly suggest the Ball Blue Book: Guide to Preserving or the Ball Complete Book of Home Canning. May your summer be filled with health, happiness, and an abundance of berries. s u m m e r 2011
Homemade Blueberry-Raspberry Jam Ingredients: • 7 organic Granny Smith apples • 1 ½ organic lemons, unpeeled • 4 cups organic blueberries • 2 cups organic raspberries • 5 1/4 cups of organic sugar 1. Prepare all of your canning equipment, jars, and lids. 2. Coarsely chop all 7 Granny Smith apples, leaving the skin on and cores intact, but removing the stem and blossom ends as you go. Place the chucks along with the seeds, into a large Dutch oven. 3. Finely mince the 1 1/2 unpeeled lemon, rinds, seeds and all. Place it all into the Dutch over along with the chopped apple pieces. 4. Boil apples and lemons in enough water to prevent sticking, approximately 2-3 cups, for 20 minutes stirring consistently. The mixture will start to thicken. 5. Strain mixture through a wire mesh strainer or a fine sieve into a mixing bowl. You will need to force the mixture through a little bit at a time with the back of a spoon. This will slightly resemble baby applesauce. 6. Clean the Dutch oven and place the blueberries and raspberries into it. Mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork until combined well.
7. Measure out 3 cups of the apple lemon pectin mixture and add it to the mashed berries in the Dutch oven along with the sugar. 8. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until you can see it thickening around the edges of the pot and it sticks to a spoon after cooling slightly. 9. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. 10. Using a sterilized funnel, spoon jam into canning jars, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. If necessary, wipe rims, cover with prepared lids, and screw on bands tight. Make sure there is no air trapped anywhere in the jam. 11. Process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Then shut off heat on canner and remove lid, but let the jars sit 5 minutes more before taking them out. 12. Transfer jars to cooling rack or clean cutting board to let cool for 24 hours. Check that the jars sealed properly, if not refrigerate and use within three weeks. Store sealed jars for up to one year in a cool dark place.
Lisa DeNardo is a mama, with a camera, trying to capture the little things in life. It is in these moments, which hold an unsurpassable amount of beauty and peace, where she finds the strength to grow and thrive as the individual she is. Lisa and her wonderful husband, and their four children, reside in southeastern Pennsylvania. More of Lisa’s daily contemplations can be found on her blog Earth Mama 101, as well as some thoughts on mindfulness at Threading Light.
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Kitchen Fave Mystic Orb makes amazing hard carved spoons and I love them. Use these to mix your lemonade or dip your jam. Either way, support Mystic Orb for your next unique kitchen utensil! s u m m e r 2011
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home, naturally It’s Easy to be Green:
Five Easy Laundry Tips by Kimberly Webb
Kimberly Webb is the CEO and founder of Rockin’ Green, a clean-rinsing laundry detergent that is specifically formulated for cloth diapers and can be used on all fabrics. For more information or to contact Kimberly, please visit www.RockinGreenSoap.com.
When it comes to cleaning today’s cloth diapers, forget what you’ve been told about cloth diapers of year’s past. Don’t automatically think, “I’ll bleach it.” Doing so is bad for your cloth diapers, clothes, baby’s skin and the environment. Instead, try these green laundry tips for getting the stain (and stink) out of your modern cloth diapers: Use Warm Water: Switch the rinse and wash cycles on your machine to warm instead of cold. Stains are created at 98.5 degrees F, so the best way to prevent them from setting in is to rinse them at a similar, warm temperature. Pre-Treat: Be sure to use a pre-treater. Add a little water to your powered detergent to create a paste, and then apply it directly to the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before laundering. This will prevent you from having to wash and then re-wash your cloth diapers (not too green)! Lay/Hang Out in the Sun: For really stubborn stains, try laying them out in the sun to dry! It’s a time-old trick that truly just works and doesn’t cost a thing to do. In these hot summer months you may also want to consider giving your dryer a break by hanging your clothes on a line to dry. Hanging your clothes can be a meditative practice and will teach your children one more way mother nature can help us easily conserve energy.
Soften ‘Em: One way to naturally soften your cloth diaperes – and clothes – is by using a 100% wool dryer ball. These balls fluff your laundry, cut your dryer time in half (good for the electric bill), and last forever. Keep a few on hand so you can use a few in each wash (they work well when they bounce off each other in the dryer!) No need for a fabric softener sheet – so you’ll save money too! Consolidate: To save time and get your diapers truly clean, wash all your cloth diapers, reusable wipes and washable diaper pail together in one load. Another way to save energy when you don’t need your diapers immediately is to hang them to dry on a clothes line or over the shower rod and skip the dryer altogether.
If you cannot line dry, consider these felted dryer balls to make your clothes soft! 2011 bamboo 97
One Mamaâ€™s Adventure in Feeding Her Family Organic Food on a Budget
photo: alexandra defurio
by Joli Forbes Several (hundred) moons ago, I was a young college student in Northern California, which is an entirely different planet than my current home in Los Angeles, learning about food production and consumption from a fresh perspective. I learned about veganism, ecofeminism, organics, and how unscrupulous the meat, dairy and media propaganda machines (probably all the same machine) really are.
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Once educated, I came to understand one of my truths: organic is the only healthy way to go for the world, the people, and for me. While my mind understood these truths it would take me until now—some 15 years later—to turn thought into action on a regular basis. At the time, the organic movement had my steadfast mental support but I was not willing to prioritize the financial change. I simply couldn’t afford it—especially with all that beer I was buying on my pizza delivery job salary! Consciousness is a holistic practice, one that is constantly evolving, so we learn and we change
and we make mistakes and we learn some more. I have finally made the choice—both mentally and financially—to shop organically and have begun my trial-and-error process to learn about organic gardening. One day I will follow my dream to live as an organic farmer who feeds a café full of foodies … but that’s a whole other story! I am a wife, pregnant mother, the family grocery shopper and cook—I would have it no other way for these are honestly some of my favorite activities in life. There are 6 human mouths, two finicky canine palates and one adorable rat named CJ in our house. We buy a lot of food! I do not make a lot of money, so instead of denying my family the deliciously healthy benefits of organic foods, I have learned and developed some tricks for affording organics on a budget—and lucky for me, since my college days, shopping organically has become much more affordable.
Farmers’ Markets vs. Grocery Stores First and foremost, I try to buy produce that’s in season and shop locally—which used to mean shopping at farmer’s markets. Here in Los Angeles this is no longer the most cost-effective method of shopping organically. In my town, I’m finding that these days it’s actually cheaper to shop the organic section of grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes (and even Ralphs, the local conventional supermarket, in some parts of town) than to shop at farmer’s markets. Unless you develop some kind of personal relationship with the grower, seller, or both, farmers’ market produce is shockingly more expensive. After speaking with a farmers’ market vendor, John Givens Farms (in Ventura County, CA)—a 10-year veteran of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market—I’ve come to understand some reasons why this is currently true. Since the organic movement has gained so much recent gusto and the grocery stores have jumped on the organic band wagon, it is cheaper for organic farmers to fill a giant truck and deliver it to one grocery store than to fill that same giant truck and deliver to six different farmers’ markets on any given day. Never mind the petroleum and truck maintenance associated with all that commuting, but the farmers also have to pay the overhead costs of market booth fees (which pay for things like real estate and taxes) and shift fees for the veggie slingers at each stand. All in all, shopping organically has become easier and cheaper since the major supermarket chains have begun to carry organic produce. s u m m e r 2011 photo: alexandra defurio
Organic Gardening: Lessons and Rewards I am rarely convinced that packaging and store signs are telling me the truth, so I am leaning toward gardening organically and I’m coming to
find gardening can be a risky business (yet so worth it in the end)! My family and I have planted herb and veggie gardens around our rental property,
and we share the bounty of neighbors’ fruit trees. Gardening is a giant learning curve and takes years of accumulated wisdom to understand the symbiotic ways of weather and plants. Buying organic starts (sprouted, potted plants) is a less risky way to go than seeds, for someone else has taken on the gamble involved with the germination process. While starts are more hearty and probable to produce fruit than seeds they cost quite a bit more. If you buy seeds and wait with hope that they’ll germinate in the ground and sprout, this is a cheaper process than buying starts, however, you might find yourself six weeks into growing season with very little growth … much like what first happened to me! Being at the mercy of Mother Nature during global warming’s drastic weather changes has proven a very risky time for my gardening education! Every lesson is valuable, and I remain grateful for my ability to buy organic produce while I learn how to grow it.
Reduce and Renew: Utilize Every Ounce of Your Organic Produce Once you have your organic produce, it is the most cost-effective to use every bit of the bounty in as many recipes as it will stretch out to. I keep a large container with a lid in my fridge that houses veggie scraps and every few days I boil them down into soups and/or broths. The broths I use to cook with and the soups can be made out of boiled down everything … even asparagus butts and broccoli stems—both of which are full of vitamins and delicious when blended into a soup with potato, celery, and carrot.
photo: alexandra defurio
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Location, Location, Location: Buying Organic Dry Goods in Bulk Buying organic dry goods in bulk has also become more accessible than ever before. Mega stores like Costco carry numerous organic products. Unfortunately some of them come with mega packaging, but the cost effectiveness of buying in bulk can’t be beat as long as you’re diligent with recycling the plastics surrounding them. Bulk bin shopping, in theory, is more cost effective in part because this process eliminates the growers’ packaging costs. Most organic food companies place smaller packaging orders than the conventional producers and are therefore charged a higher cost per unit for their packaging … which is of course offset to us, the consumers. My family and I also bring jars and reusable bags to the bulk bins at local markets to keep costs down and to lessen the amount of trash that’s packed out of our house (I love Mason and Ball jars … it’s my little bit of country!). However, in the course of writing this article, I came to realize that—in Los Angeles anyway— it is not always cheaper to buy from bulk bins as I had thought. After some personal inquiries, it turns out that bulk bin shopping in my area is not very popular so shopping them is somewhat of a novelty. In smaller, more rural communities shopping in bulk bins can be a more cost-effective way to shop for dry goods because local producers can fill bins less expensively than packaging them and sending them to far-off lands.
You really have to do your local research to find out the cheapest ways to shop organically for your town. Perishable commodities are priced differently in many different ways and for each locale. My best advice as a mother, a chef, and a serious food lover, is to always buy inseason organic foods and waste none of them! Everything can be used for extreme deliciousness and to get the most out of your hard earned money. (P.S. We are going to begin feeding our dogs and our rat, CJ, our organic food scraps instead of serving them pre-packaged, store-bought “what-the-heckis-in there” dry foods. But that, too, is another story!) Bon Appetit!
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home, naturally organically speaking by Ashley Ess
• Organic farming practices: - help reduce pollution and conserve water - do not release harmful pesticides into the environment - preserve biodiversity • Organic diets reduce children’s exposure to pesticides like malathion, which may affect the central nervous system and chlorpyrifos, which may cause autoimmune disorders.
Source: Emory University Health Sciences Center (2006, February 21). Organic Diets Lower Children’s Exposure To Two Common Pesticides. ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2006/02/060221090538.htm
• Organic foods have been found to contain higher nutrient levels than their conventional counterparts, studies have
shown. See the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine’s research on vitamin and mineral levels in organic foods. Although one recent, albeit more narrow, study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that organic onions, potatoes and carrots may not contain higher levels of antioxidants than their conventional counterparts; the study does agree that there are many wide-reaching benefits to organic food production. • Reduce your exposure not only to chemical residues but to hormones, antibitoics and other medications given to conventionally-fed animals. • Organic farming respects the environment.* • Animals raised organically are treated more humanely.*
Organic vs. Conventional Conventionally-grown foods are farmed using chemical fertilizers and herbicides and pesticide sprays. Animals raised on conventional farms are given feed produced with these same chemicals and are administered hormones and antibiotics regularly. In many cases they are not allowed to roam and often live in confined spaces. Organically-grown foods are farmed using compost and manure as fertilizers and use natural repellants (such as insects and birds, among other safe methods) to control pests. Organically-raised animals eat organic feed and are never confined to small spaces, allowing them to live healthful lives.*
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photos: alexandra defurio
Reasons To Go Organic
* There is growing concern over the rise in popularity of organics. Due to high demand and the draw of large corporations motivated by profits, many large organic producers source their ingredients from farms in other countries like China, where regulation stands in question; often cows are kept on crowded industrial-sized feedlots to fulfill demand. An interesting Businessweek article from 2006 explores this in more detail. Whenever possible, purchase from noncorporate organic food companies who support fair, sustainable food practices (more info following).
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Shop Smart! Buy Organic! • Organic produce and products go on sale often. • Buy whole foods rather than processed, packaged foods and make them last. For example, a stew made out of a slew of organic vegetables and meat (if desired) can be used for at least a couple days’ worth of dinners and lunches. • Did you know that you are actually paying more for conventional foods than you may have thought? This is because most farms that use pesticides, chemical fertilizers and
have GM (genetically modified) crops like soy, corn, wheat, cotton and rice receive government subsidies, paid for by our tax money. • Some foods are more important to buy organic than others. If the cost of organic avocados puts a strain on your wallet, choosing conventional avocados may be the better option. Avocados are quite low on the list of pesticide residue. Conventional strawberries, on the other hand, have high concentrations of pesticide residue and should be avoided. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive guide on pesticides. • Opt for seasonal produce. Off-season fruits and vegetables tend to carry a higher cost because they need to be shipped from far away. • Avoid most processed foods, even those that tout they are organic. Not only can these products be more expensive than whole foods, they may not actually be as organic as they claim. Many organic food companies are owned by huge corporations that not only produce junk food, but their focus is on profit, not health and keeping organics pure. Critics have often questioned the sourcing of contents used in many processed organic foods, which may in fact include genetically modified ingredients. A great resource for choosing to buy from brands owned by corporate conglomerates or by independent producers is here. Remember that organic food is not just a “trend.” If anything, “conventional” food production is a trend, and a dangerous one at that. The food our grandparents and greatgrandparents consumed was far closer to the organic food of today than mainstream, chemical-laden conventional foods. photo: alexandra defurio
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4 Tips For Growing Your Own Organic Food by Janelle Sorensen The benefits of growing your own food are so gratifying: cheap, healthy food; eating the fruits of your own labor; the look of awe in your friends’ eyes when you bring homegrown culinary delights to the next potluck. Here are four tips for getting started. 1. Pick a pot and a place. You don’t need green acres or even a yard to have a healthy harvest. You can grow a variety of herbs, vegetables, and even fruits in containers (on your roof, fire escape, patio, or windowsill). R.J. Ruppenthal, author of Fresh Food from Small Spaces, even has tips for using closets and unused bathtubs. Your only limitation is your imagination. 2. Start simple. Begin with surefire winners like herbs, sprouts and lettuce. You can also find a list of specific cultivars of vegetables and fruits that do best in containers at Garden Guides. 3. Enjoy the experiment. Gardening is all about experimentation and even the most adept grower sometimes has a failed crop. Keep a journal of your successes and failures (including details like type of container, type of soil, lighting conditions, watering schedule, etc), so you won’t make the same mistake twice. 4. Get some help. Pick up some books from your library. Join the growing community of home gardeners online. Call your local extension services with questions.
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show + tell featured
hot summer products For summer BBQs… make taste not waste!
Keep the bugs away with clean burning, naturally scented soy candles.
Natural Scents Soy Citronella Cand
Grill c i n c Pi
This sustainable and durable table is so cute! Made from recycled milk jugs, it is available in many fun colors.
Anni’s faves! Nontoxic cast iron that comes in cute colors. Amazing quality!
Kids Eco F riendly Picnic Tab le
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It’s made out of fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices! Glob it on… it’s all natural and biodegradable.
aint Glob P
Stay actively healthy with this line of toprated skin products. Newborn-safe, too!
Now your kids will eat their veggies… and paint with them, too!
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ADORABLE! And they donate paper to needy kids!
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You can’t go wrong with Badger’s super-safe bug repellants, “true” baby soap, and chemical-free sunblocks!
n Care & Badger Su lants Bug Repel s u m m e r 2011
show + tell
picks Yay! Baby’s homemade, fresh, organic food is moments away. Steam, blend, warm and defrost… the Babycook does it all!
KinderGlo Night Lights
byco a B a Beab
Send your little one off into a night of sweet dreams with these safe and adorable LED lights. A perfect nighttime companion for little hands to hold onto as they drift off! Coupon code for $5 off:
Delectable, handcrafted organic products for mom, dad and baby! Baby Wipe Juice, Booty Balm, Sleeping Potion and Lotion Bars smell divine and work wondrously!
Hygeia Breast Pump
rganic LuSa O
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If you are pumping, this is the one to buy! It comes with a Total Compatibility Guarantee.
It’s made out of fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices! Glob it on… it’s all natural and
Simply put, this is the best newborn sling on the market!
Ahhhâ€Ś non-toxic with a soothing sound for baby (and the whole house)!
Wrap y b o M
Soothing Rattl e from A Toy Gar de
Elemental Handcrafts Wooden Baby Ball s u m m e r 2011 Personalized wooden balls for your baby! So sweet!
show + tell Perfect for trips to the farmers market or berry picking. Use for your kids’ lunch baskets as well!
ag Go B n e h t n de Art o Toy Gar A from
My Bolga Baskets
Your family will love these adorable kid-safe, earth-friendly dishes! The artinspired designs will surely make you smile.
Smiling Planet Plates + Bowls
Perfect for long car or plane trips! Includes modeling beeswax, natural crayons, quality drawing books, scissors and lots more.
Felted Bow ls by Timary Art
Finally! A hair dryer that saves 40% more electricity and emits 50 times less EMFs than a regular hair dryer!
These handmade felted bowls are the perfect décor for any room!
Think Insulated Sports Bottles
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These keep your drinks cold or hot literally for hours! LOVE them… plus they’re toxin-free!
00 Eco 80 ryer Barbar D dly Blow n e i r F Eco
These eco-friendly animal buddies are a huge hit and a great alternative to plastic toy animals. Sustainable, handmade and formaldehyde free!
A fun, cooperative game for the entire family! Easy enough for first-timers and challenging enough for family game masters!
Hoot Owl Hoo t Game
Herbal Play Bean Bags Perfect for little hands and filled with beans and organic herbs. sum m e r 2011 A great multi-sensory experience for your little one!
talkin’ with teens by Anni Daulter Ellie + Zoe (my son) were asked from a teen girl and teen boy perspective how they manage peer pressure, staying positive and to give tips for youngsters on becoming “green teens!” Here is what they said! What are the peer pressures young girls are dealing with these days and how would you suggest they handle them?
What are the peer pressures young boys are dealing with these days and how would you suggest they handle them?
Ellie: The hardest thing young girls deal with is the fact that we all have a need and desire to be accepted and unconditionally loved. Because of that we are driven to either fulfill it with the wrong things like male attention and friends that make us “cooler” or we numb the desire altogether with food, television, being a great athlete or being the perfect student. Ultimately none of those things fulfill us. Surrounding yourself with a community of people that show selfless, unconditional love is essential for surviving the pressures this world puts on young girls.
Zoe: In my opinion, many different boys go through different peer pressures judging on what their environment is like. The environment can differ between where you live, your age, or even the group of people you are around. You may consider the group of people you hang out with your friends, but if they try to force you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with or you just don’t want to do entirely, then they are not your friends. In my opinion, your friends should always be there for you and support you when you need them. Peer pressure has many forms and maybe not caring is the only solution to dealing with it. I think all you can really do is live your life, no one else’s, and just let everything fall into place.
photo: alexandra defurio
Who/what are the positive influences in your life? E: Some of the strongest most encouraging relationships in my life are with older girls and grown women that have gone before me that are willing to pour into my life. It is really powerful when someone older and wiser is willing to invest the time, effort, and energy to love and counsel me. My dad has strongly influenced me as well. He is a motivated and active person that goes after opportunity and does more than just dream and plan -- he executes. Z: I have three parents, and I look up to and love each of them very much. They all are very loving and caring and I know they will always be there for me. Sometimes I don’t treat them as well as I should, but they know I love them and will always be there for them as well. I am proud of my mom for all the books she’s written and the work she’s done
and for putting up with four crazy kids everyday. I am proud of my dad for him being there for me when I need him, cheering me up when I need it, and for working hard everyday to create a good life for us. Last, but not least, is my step dad, who is the super glue of us four crazy kids and my mom and dad. He always knows what do to in every situation, good or bad, and he can easily settle arguments or any issue really, and for that I am proud. I look up to all three of these people, and always will for the rest of my life. They all make me proud in their own way and I just want to say, “I love you guys.”
Are you concerned with environmental issues and would you consider yourself a “green teen”? E: I would consider myself to be green, for sure. The world is a precious gift and it is essential that we take care of it as best we can. I desire to see all people see the world and it’s resources as a precious gift and not a venture to be exploited for personal gain. Z: I am very concerned with environmental issues and I feel that people do not understand how the decisions they make everyday the impact the world. Personally, I consider myself in between a “green teen” and a “stuff happens teen,” and I just think it’s important for each of us to do our part to try to protect the Earth’s resources.
How can teens make a positive impact on helping green up the earth? E: A really fun and easy thing to do is to ride your bike places. As important as it is to take care of the earth, it is important to take care of your body and riding your bike instead of driving your car does both! Z: Recycle, A LOT! Many people don’t recycle enough and do not realize how that one act can make a huge impact.
What issues are important to you? E: I am really touched by the need for children to be shown unconditional love. There is a huge need for couples to reach out and adopt hurting children who do not know what it is like to be loved just for being themselves. My heart breaks for innocent children that do not know their value as humans.
Z: The most important world issues to me are the people in Africa not having enough resources to treat diseases and people all over the world not having enough food to eat. When we don’t get what we want, we think our lives are terrible, but in Africa many people don’t even have clean water to drink. They don’t play on their Xbox 360’s or text their friends. Their main objective is to just get through each day. This makes me sad and I want the world and the kids in it to be healthier.
What are your personal aspirations? What do you want to be when you grow up? E: I grew up riding horses and know the joy that these animals can bring to people. I would like to be a counselor to people who are hurting and minister them through horses. Z: My mom makes me gourmet food almost everyday, and just recently have I realized that I want to be a chef. I want to have my own restaurant in New York and feed people delicious food. The most important rule to me is to always be happy, no matter what happens in your life, just be happy for what you have and follow your heart.
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practicing happy with Tim Daulter Tim Daulter is a recovering chemical engineer and management consultant. Currently a father to four great kids, husband to an amazing spouse and Finance Director at Highland Hall Waldorf School, he is the author of the Practicing Happy Blog and offers talks and workshops about the Happiness Workout: www.wordpress.com/timdaulter
Fathers & Sons Ahhh, summertime – the time of year for sun, fun and, of course, Father’s Day. As a stepfather of a teenage boy, father of two preschool boys and, of course, a son myself, I know from firsthand experience how important the father-son relationship is to the development of a young man and how difficult it is to be a great dad. I first started to wake up to the importance of this relationship when I was a graduate student in business school. I was in an interview with a potential mentor who is a very financially successful guy. The first question that he asked me was, “So, how is your relationship with your father?” While this question caught me totally off guard, I figured that if a savvy, successful guy feels that the quality of this relationship can tell him so much about a person, then there must be something to it. The hardest part of “conscious family living” or “conscious parenting” is always the “conscious” part. That is, being able to step out of the ubiquitous cultural messages and use your own intellect and intuition to decide what is best for you and your children. Society is pretty clear to us men what our role is: to provide for our family. This concentration (and often stress) on being a
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successful provider often takes our focus so much toward our economic activities, that we become emotionally unavailable to our kids, even when we are spending time with them at home. I know in my own life that there are times when I just want the kids to be quiet or do something away from me, so that I can get back to work on my computer. If this type of behavior becomes the norm, it will frustrate our children who want us to be present with them in a real relationship, and likely teach our sons who look to us as role models, what they should focus on as they grow up. Another problem that we often run into as fathers is the desire to instill into our boys those traits that we have been taught in school and in the corporate world will lead to economic success – namely to follow the rules, do what we are told and don’t rock the boat or think outside the box. When our boys start causing a ruckus at school or in church or some other “inappropriate” place we roll out the consequences to try to force them back into line. When I get brutally honest with myself these situations often cause me more personal embarrassment, as I become afraid of being perceived as an unsuccessful parent who
can’t control his kids, rather than looking at the circumstances in a way that will create a happier and better life for my little guys. So now that we have identified some of the pit falls of being a dad in modern society (wounding our kids with lack of presence, modeling the behavior of focusing more on work than on relationships and living vicariously through them and then coming down hard with punishments when they aren’t toeing the line) what is a 21st century father to do? Well I have found that when I apply the principles of Practicing Happy to how I parent my boys, I have enjoyed much more success, than when I operate on autopilot. I start with the belief that the main purpose of life is to heal our deep emotional wounds, which will then allow us to live in a deep state of joy and inner peace. If I could give this and nothing more to my kids, then my life would be a success. With this view in mind, when one of my boys
acts out in a hurtful or detrimental way, I look at it as a cry for help or the natural result of some previous inner wounding. So instead of attacking him with a consequence to try to suppress the behavior (which I have found does not work at all with any of them) I approach them with love and compassion. While our standard “wisdom” tells us that taking a “soft” approach will not sufficiently prepare them for the real world, I have found that anger cannot eliminate anger, and that the only way to eliminate undesirable behaviors is to look deeply into them, and work to heal the underlying cause. Again, returning to the Practicing Happy continuum, I strive to maintain my thoughts and actions in compassion, love and healing and away from attack, judgment and punishment. When I am able to do this, I find that my relationship with my boys is better, the results of my parenting are far more effective and I heal myself in the process.
Be a warrior for happiness! (It’s your birthright, you know)
Habits are never changed easily so always remember to follow these steps: 1.
make the decision to act differently (intention)
learn new skills that you will need to succeed (act)
practice, practice, practice! Don’t forget that none of us is perfect, so be kind to yourself when you don’t live up to your ideal and constantly rededicate yourself to do better next time.
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eco beauty bar
home sweet spa: time for you! by Christy Funk eco-beauty expert for bamboo magazine
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Christy Funk is the owner of Belly Sprout, Orange County, CAâ€™s first natural parenting store and resource center. As a professional makeup artist for over 12 years, Christy has been researching natural options for the last 8 years and is helping women not only make the switch but continues her artistry work with her clients. She shares a home with her husband and two boys, aged 5 and 7.
A day at the spa may seem like a dream and something you can only do once the kids go on to college. I want to help you make your own spa day at home using simple and natural items from your home. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to try and make it perfect or even a full day. Even an hour using delicious recipes can rejuvenate you so that you can go back to being a wonderful mommy. For me beauty is beyond skin deep. It starts with our health and wellbeing. When designing your spa day, make sure to plan your healthful meals the day before. It is just as important what you put into your body as it is what you put onto your body.
Here are some suggestions: Meals: Start the day with warm lemon water. Heat some clean drinking water so that it is warm, not boiling hot. Add ½ of a squeezed lemon and drink this before you eat breakfast. You can also fill a thermos with warm lemon water to sip on all day long. This simple drink will detox your liver and jump start your digestion. For breakfast try making a fresh squeezed juice or smoothie using a combo of fruits and veggies. In my household we love our Champion juicer. My blend of apples, beets, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, parsley and lemon is a hit with the boys. For the rest of your meals use loads of greens, whether raw or sautéed, and add a protein like eggs, grass-fed beef, fish, etc. Try and keep your meals light using plenty of fresh and organic produce.
Hair: You will need: ½ of an avocado mixed with one egg and 2TBS of olive oil Massage it into your scalp and wrap your head with a hot towel or a shower cap. Rest for 30 minutes reading a book or while taking your spa bath.
Bath: Cleanse your face before getting into the bath. Use a couple drops of essential oils in hot water. Lavender is ideal as it is gentle and incredibly relaxing. Not all essential oils are created equal and I only use and recommend Young Living Oils or Doterra. Try and create a steam in the bath to really deep cleanse those pores and detox your system.
A lovely sugar scrub you can use to exfoliate your body can be made from: ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 cup grapeseed or olive oil and ½ cup of either grated lemon peel or a few drops of lemon essential oil Use the scrub all over your body, concentrating on elbows, knees and feet to slough off that tough skin. Rinse the hair mask and shampoo before you are done. When you get out of the bath, give yourself an Ayurvedic massage using sesame oil. Gently massage down your body from the head all the way down to your feet and away from your heart.
Skin: Try this scrumptious facial mask using spoiled or expired yogurt. What a wonderful way to use something that is normally tossed in the trash! ½ cup of yogurt, ¼ cup of honey and ½ cup blended cucumbers Place this blended mixture on your face and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing. Spritz your face with rose infused spring water using either fresh rose petals or a drop of rose essential oil. Moisturize your skin using coconut oil. We love using coconut oil on the kids after a bath and to massage mommy’s back when she’s had a long day. When you feel pampered enough slip into something comfortable and do something you love. Yoga, writing, reading, crafting… nurturing your creative spirit will allow you to feel completely renewed, which is the point of a spa day. With everything we do as mothers it is so important to tune in to our needs in order to truly nurture ourselves. s u m m e r 2011
this + that refurbish your fashions into Sweet Summer Pillowcase Dresses by Stephanie Brandt Cornais That’s my daughter Penelope below, modeling her newly refashioned pillowcase dress. It turned out to be a wee bit short and is actually a tunic on her. But still oh-so-cute. After I gave birth to her (at home, in water and into my own two hands, thank you very much!), my creativity sort of exploded and now with any spare moment I have, I want to create something. As a resourceful, eco-conscious mom, I decided to start upcycling my pre-pregnancy clothes into dresses for my daughter and the results have been adorable! Combining my creativity with being green makes me giddy to say the least, and seeing my sweetie in these refurbished fashions makes me
Click on the tutorial to learn
smile from ear to ear.
how to make a “pillowcase dress” for your little sweetie!
Pillowcase dresses are so easy. Once you start making them, you will want to kick yourself for not learning how to make them earlier,
Upcycled Dress Tutorial by Stephanie Brandt Cornais
especially if you have previously paid fortyplus dollars for someone to make one. You can use an adult-sized skirt,
Here is what my top looked like before I took scissors to it (I got too scissor happy and forgot to take a picture of the pink shirt, but this is what the pink shirt looked like whole). I cut the pink one up because Penelope actually ripped the top of it, as she was trying to grab my boob out so she could nurse. If you are nursing a toddler, you understand that when they want milk, they want it NOW! This blouse is a very light cotton, which makes for a light, airy and cool dress for summer.
Click here to download pdf tutorial
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blouse, or dress or even that old pillowcase that has no match!
babies rock. stains don’t. it takes a baby 3.6 seconds to ruin an outfit. put the gentle smackdown on stains, with natural ingredients and serious attitude!
-Dye Free -Naturally Scented -No fillers -Cleans and deodorizes -No enzymes or optical brighteners -Easy rinsing formula -Perfect for cloth diapers -Great for sensitive skin -Recyclable packaging -HE compatible -Great for all water types -100% Phosphate free -Great for kid’s clothes -Economical at pennies per load!
Use coupon code “Bamboo”sfor your first order! u m15% m e r off 2011 bamboo
book reviews Soul to Soul Parenting by Annie Burnside, M.Ed. Annie Burnside has written a beautiful book with heartfelt suggestions on how parents can communicate on a soul level with their children, thus helping the entire family to connect to their higher source to become the best they can be. More than just a fascinating read, Soul to Soul Parenting intertwines family activities with tips and ideas for implementing spirituality into family life. With wonderfully wise advice, Annie helps parents answer tough questions your children may have about difficult topics such as death; topics such as choice, cause and effect, integrity and forgiveness are explored from a level of higher consciousness. If you are intent on filling your family life with love, compassion, and authenticity, youâ€™ll want to keep Soul to Soul Parenting close at hand.
Once Upon a Bedtime: Audio Stories for Young Children by Natasha Edney These lovely little audio bedtime stories will enchant your child! Natasha Edney has created delightfully unique characters like a rascally munchkin, a courageous little leaf, and a mouse who befriends a scarecrow, taking the imagination to new heights. With tranquil narration, Natashaâ€™s tales are weaved with nature and the seasons in mind, and insight is always to be found in these magical adventures. You can even download them to your iPod or burn them onto a cd for car rides! Available at www.onceuponabedtime.com.
Fairy Houses and Beyond by Barry and Tracy Kane Fairy Houses and Beyond is the go-to book for inspiration when starting a fairy project with your children. Awaken your creative side with the ideas displayed within; gorgeous photos of every magical detail abound. After relishing the pages, go explore nature with your children, and then using found objects you can create a whimsical fairy home, too. Let Fairy Houses and Beyond help engage your imagination!
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The ABCs of Yoga for Kids Teresa Power This is a sweet book that makes yoga fun and easy for kids. It is illustrated with adoring images that children can relate to and helps them understand the connection between their bodies, minds and spirits. It’s a great gift and really fun for kids all ages.
From Seed To Skillet by Jimmy Williams and Susan Heeger This is Anni’s new favorite book on gardening and also has some delicious southern family recipes from Jimmy Williams, who is originally from South Carolina. Jimmy is a Los Angeles gardening legend who has beautiful organic seedlings that he sells, like his famous “goose-creek tomato” seeds that his great grandmother carried across the seas in her pocket. The seeds have been in his family for 400 years! This book is beautiful and is a must have for anyone who enjoys the process of growing foods that eventually end up on a plate for those you love.
These books are now available in the Bamboo Bookshop! www.bamboofamilymag.com/shop
Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels If you are considering cloth diapering your baby, then this book is a must have! Kelly Wels, the cloth diapering goddess of information, has created a book that explains the ins and outs of cloth diapering your baby, why it’s better for the planet and how much money it saves you! It’s a fun book that gives the reader tons of resources, helpful tips and valuable instructions on how to best implement cloth diapering into your family. Please pre-order your copy now at the Bamboo Bookshop.
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conscious close-up with Christina DiMari & Shannon McIntyre by Anni Daulter
I was fortunate enough to sit down with two amazing women, author and mentor Christina DeMari & prosurfer mama, Shannon McIntyre. Each are making a difference in the world by encouraging teen girls to find their full potential through their organization SHINE! I was inspired after this interview and encouraged by their deep commitment to their spiritual paths, creativity, love and reverence of nature and raising their own children.
What does being female surfers mean to the two of you? Christina: I am a nature girl at heart. Whether I’m in the ocean, hiking a snow peaked mountain trail or fly-fishing in a crystal clear mountain stream, that is where I find clarity. Everything about nature helps me find balance in all areas of my life. Being in the ocean and in nature, I feel connected to my Source of Life and thus, feel balanced. Shannon: I love being a woman and I love being a surfer. It means that I get to enjoy the beautiful ocean and wear a bikini… ha ha! I’ve been doing it for so long that surfing is just part of who I am. I am very comfortable and confident in the ocean.
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can once again become a whole star and find their way home to shining for other’s they way they were designed to. S: I believe that all people were designed for a special purpose in life. We are all given different talents and desires and dreams. And when we use our gifts to bless others or give praise to our creator we are like “shining stars.” What is your hope with You’re Designed to Shine? What do you hope to girls who join will accomplish?
What is “Shining Stars?” C: When I was a child my father made up this story and told it to me while we walked on the beach. “A long time ago the nighttime sky was filled with bright, shining stars. All we had to do was look up to their light to help us find our way. There were so many stars to look up to that no one ever got lost. Then one day, some of the stars forgot how to shine for each other. One by one, many of them broke and fell from the sky. They
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landed in the sea. Some people call them starfish, but they’re really ocean stars. They’re on a journey to learn how to get put back together again. Once they do, they turn back into a star, shining for others they way they were meant to. So if you ever find an ocean star, make sure to be kind and gentle. It’s trying to find its way home.” Shining Stars represents each girl we reach out to either in our events, workshops or materials. Each girl is on their own personal discovery of connecting to their Source of Life so they
C: My hope is that each girl will discover the seed of a DREAM that has been deposited in her heart. I hope to help them unwrap that dream and begin to take positive steps in bringing it to reality. My hope is that every girl will find a way to SHINE value and light into the life of another girl who is coming up the road behind her and find ways to make her community a better place.
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How has being a mother inspired your work? C: As a mom, I realize how important it is to a child to feel valued, loved, accepted and heard. You know, it’s just not that hard to offer those things. So besides raising my boys, I have always had a lot of extra energy and love to share with others. I started out actually thinking I would go back and really just work with inner city girls but as I got going I realized ALL GIRLS need pearls even if they have great moms and a supportive family. S: My children are most important to me. I’ve learned I have a crazy kind of love for them and that they inspire every facet of my life. Since becoming a mother, my paintings have become more light-hearted fun and almost child-like fantasy. I’ve learned to work on the computer with a toddler bouncing on my head, and most importantly, I try to see the world through their eyes.
Christina, what inspired your newest book, You’re Designed to Shine? C: My favorite thing about the new book is that girls of all ages can go through it on their own or in groups, after they read my first book, Ocean Star. Then I wrote a leaders guide so other girls and women could follow the very easy steps of learning how to form their own small groups. Once that was published, small groups starting springing up all over the world. We now hear from girls, who we call PEARLS, who are making a difference in unique and creative ways in their own communities as far away as Israel, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Europe, South Africa, Barbados, Peru, Panama and on and on letters continue to come.
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Christina’s Favorites My passion is…
My favorite place to rejuvenate myself is…
My favorite comfort foods are…
It’s a tie between the ocean and a crystal clear mountain stream overlooking snow peaked mountains.
All-natural Swedish-style ginger snap cookies by Mi-Del, yum yum!!!
To help my children and others live up to their full God-given potential and use their gifts to shine for others.
My favorite place to rejuvenate myself is…
My favorite comfort foods are…
Who is your hero or who inspires you?
The beaches and warm ocean of Puerto Rico.
Mexican food, jalapeno peppers, dark chocolate, tropical fruit acai smoothies.
My heroes are all types of people who are kind, humble and full of compassion for others. My parents Jay and Lydia Payne are my true heroes.
Please visit them at: Shine: http://www.christinadimari.com/Shining_for_Girls.html Shannon Surf: http://www.shannonsurf.com/servlet/StoreFront
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