M Magazine 2022 May Palo Alto

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may calendar

19 th-22 nd

Dance Series 02

April Highlights

The Edwardian Ball

This April, the Edwardian Ball returned to San Francisco for a most fabulous post-pandemic party! This annual event is a celebration of whimsy and the fantastic. Guests arrived in exquisite costumes and all were entertained by dancers, singers, acrobats, and musicians! The event took place at The Regency Ballroom where art installations, performances, and games galore were enjoyed by guests all dressed in the most incredible costumes. We thoroughly enjoyed sipping cocktails while playing skee-ball, and the shopping was divine. Highlights were the opera singer, dancing to live DJ music, and the life-sized game of Operation. And of course, the costumes! We can’t wait for next year’s ball! Learn more about the Edwardian Ball at edwardianball.com.

7th – 8th Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto Check for times The California Theater, San Jose

Symphony San Jose welcomes Jon Nakamatsu to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 5. Often considered the “most important piano concerto ever written,” the Emperor is filled with innovation, looking forward to 19th century pianos not yet conceived. It was to be Beethoven’s last. Tickets: $55 - $115. Box office: 408.286.2600 or www. symphonysanjose.org

7th – 15th Fiddler on the Roof JR.

Check for times Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts "Fiddler on the Roof JR." centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful

and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to marry off his daughters and instill in them a sense of tradition in the face of growing anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia. Tickets $20. Tickets & Information: 650.903.6000 or mvcpa.com.


th Pianist

Rachel Cheung

3:00 pm; Valley Christian High School, San Jose

Pianist Rachel Cheung has won over audiences and critics alike as a finalist at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. A Young Steinway Artist, she continues to build a reputation for an elegant stage presence, giving sensitive and refined performances in leading concert halls across three continents. Purchasers may choose to watch the event Live or Livestreamed. Ticket Prices: $42 to $65 for live performance. Streaming Tickets: $40 per household. Purchase Tickets: steinwaysociety.com/


th Socially Inept: Roast of Silicon Valley

8 pm; Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

Watch ex-tech rogue comics roast whimpering techies in front of a live crowd. This show sells out every time. We don’t even need you. But we’ll kindly allow you to be there because we know it’s your one chance to experience fun. This performance is 90 minutes long and is appropriate for ages 18+. Anyone under 18 will not be admitted into the auditorium. Tickets: $33 Adults, $28 Seniors (62 & Above), Students (21 & Under), $29 Groups of 6 or more. Tickets & Information: 650.903.6000 or mvcpa.com.

May 13th – June 15th Disaster! The Musical

and New York's best-dressed are queuing up to board The Barracuda, a new floating casino and discotheque. Disco fever soon turns to disaster as earthquakes, man-eating piranhas, tidal waves, and explosions threaten the lives of those aboard. Tickets: $19 $48. tabardtheatre.org or Call 408.679.2330.


th Eine Klein(e)

Evening of Music

7 pm; St Francis Episcopal Church, San Jose

This program presented by the San José Chamber Orchestra features cellist Jiaxun Yao, an up-and-coming artist and winner from the 2020 Irving M. Klein International String Competition. Founded in 1985, it is recognized as one of the world's leading competitions for young string musicians. Tickets: $15-$20 at sjco.org or 408.295.4416.

19th – 22nd Dance Series 02

Check for times Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts New and expanded works continue the dancemaker’s correspondence in love letters with audiences. Be moved by accessible, nonstop movement created by nationally known creators and two up-andcoming women choreographers who are also current Smuin Ballet Artists. Tickets: $69$75, $25 Students (21 & Under) limited to Silver and Balcony Sections. Tickets & Information: 650.903.6000 or mvcpa.com.

20th – 22nd Little Shop of Horrors

Check for times Tabard Theatre, San Jose

Check for times Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

Disaster! The Musical pays homage to the 70s, an era of bell-bottoms, platform shoes, boogie dancing and...disaster movies. It's 1979,

A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-

15th goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world. Tickets: $22 Adults, $17 Students (21 & Under), Children (12 & Under). Tickets & Information: 650.903.6000 or mvcpa.com.


th No Love


2:30 pm; Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts Passions run high in Palermo, until a newly appointed head-ofstate decrees that all pleasures – including love – are forbidden. This performance is 2 hours and 40 minutes long and is appropriate for ages 12 and above due to subject matter. Patrons under 12 will not be allowed in the auditorium. Tickets: $69 Adults, $62 Seniors (62 & Over), $25 Students (21 & Under) and 30 & Under. Tickets & Information: 650.903.6000 or mvcpa.com.






morgan hill

MUSHROOM mardi gras festival

Arts & Crafts, Wine Tasting, Gourmet Food Booths, Entertainment and much more await you at the 41st Annual Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival, May 28-29, 2022 with free admission.


his family fun, two-day festival includes live entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts with a special “Artists Section” for fine arts & quality craft, gourmet offerings, a mushroom educational exhibit, cooking demonstrations and contests, strolling musicians, street performers and over 200 vendor booths for shopping galore!

Enjoy our Premium Wine Tasting Event. For only $25 advance ticket or $30 at the door, you get 10 tastings of award winning, premium wines from 7 wineries and a souvenir wine glass while relaxing in a private, elegant setting at the Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center’s Rose Garden. Visit our Mushroom Exhibits sponsored by Sempera Organics and the Western Mushroom Growers Association who will be handing out mushroom samples. Also included are Chef Demonstrations by local and celebrity chefs creating mushroom inspired dishes Two food courts will have something to please everyone’s palate. The festival star – The Mushroom – can be tasted in soup, stuffed, sandwiched, deepfried, marinated, over rice and much more. Other food choices include a wide range of gourmet food choices from local bbq’s, Mexican & Cajun foods, BBQ Oysters, to cheesesteaks, ethnic foods, burgers and bacon wrapped hot dogs. There will also be a variety of desserts & beverages. Kick up your heels with a full schedule of entertainment including two stages of energetic bands. The line-up has something for everyone’s tastes. Experience headliners Puro Bandido on Saturday, Entourage the Band on Sunday. MunchkinLand has planned fun for kids of all ages. Youngsters will have rides, games, waterballs, Eurobungy and much more! Merchants in the Commercial Exhibit on Depot St. will offer special rates, deals and giveaways on their services.᯽

Hours are 10am - 7pm on Saturday and 10am – 6pm on Sunday. For information call (408) 778-1786. For more information, vendor lists and to purchase tickets for the Wine Tasting Event, go to www.mhmmg.org.


I love travel, and I love food, so I was happily surprised when a cookbook titled The Forest Feast Road Trip by best-selling author Erin Gleeson came across my desk. The book is a journey through California with glorious illustrations and photos of the places that inspired these creative and delicious vegetarian recipes. Join author, Erin, on her journey and try these dishes at home.



· For the Filling

Skillet Green Chile Polenta & Eggs

1 C (80 g) mushrooms, chopped 1 red onion, diced 1 C (90 g) unsalted walnuts, chopped 1 (15 oz/430 g) can black beans, drained

We had some incredible Mexican food while visiting San Diego—no wonder, given how close it is to Mexico. We stayed in Little Italy, which had an amazing farmers’ market right on our doorstep. Inspired by Mexican and Italian flavors, I came home and made this for breakfast.

Sauté the mushrooms & onion on med-low with olive oil & a pinch of salt for 8–10 min. Then stir in the walnuts & beans until warm.

Next You’ll Need

8 corn tortillas or small flour tortillas, heated in a pan or over an open burner flame 1 (16 oz/480 ml) jar red enchilada sauce 1 approx. 7 x 12-in (17 x 30-cm) casserole dish

serves 4-6

What You’ll Need

1 C (360 g) dry polenta 4 chopped scallions 3 T canned diced green chiles ½ t garlic powder ½ C (75g) crumbled feta Salt & pepper 6 eggs 3 T chopped cilantro 1 avocado sliced ½ C (120 ml) salsa verde

How to Make It

In a large skillet with a lid, boil 4 c (960 ml) water with a pinch of salt. Slowly add the polenta and stir. After 1 min, add half the scallions plus the green chiles, garlic powder, feta, salt & pepper. Stir often on med/ low until thickened a bit (about 3 min). Crack the 6 eggs in different spots over the surface then cover. Continue to cook covered for about 7 min on low just until the whites of the eggs set. Remove from the heat and top with cilantro, avocado, the remaining scallions, and salsa verde. Serve immediately, as the polenta will harden as it cools. Serve with additional salsa verde, salt & pepper.

Raw Zucchini Sandwiches With a nod to the incredible Vietnamese and Korean food around the Bay Area, I like to make these baguette sandwiches in the summer when we have an abundance of squash. They are bánh mì inspired, with the addition of kimchi and thin zucchini strips. They are great for a warm summer night’s dinner, and they also pack well for a picnic. One

Start Rolling!

baguette makes 2 large sandwiches or 3–4 smaller ones. Look for a vegan jar of kimchi without fish in it.

What You’ll Need

1 baguette, preferably seeded 1–2 zucchini, cut into long, thin strips using a mandolin or peeler 1 large carrot, grated a few spoonsful of kimchi 1/8 C (10 g) cilantro leaves lime salt

For the Spread (mix)

¼ C (60 ml) mayonnaise 2 cloves garlic, grated 1 t sriracha (or more) squeeze of lime

How to Make It

Halve the baguette lengthwise. Smear the spread on both sides of the bread then lay down strips of zucchini. Layer each of the other ingredients then add a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt. Cut into 2–4 sandwiches.

Walnut Enchiladas When I was little we had a walnut tree in the front yard, and we passed miles of them driving through the Central Valley. I love the protein and crunch they add here. Serves 4-6

Pour ½ c (120 ml) sauce into the bottom of the dish, then start rolling a few spoonsful of filling into each tortilla and place them seam side down in a row. Fit as many tortillas as you can, then sprinkle any leftover filling on top. Pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with 1 c (115 g) grated cheddar cheese. Serve with sour cream & avocado on the side

BBQ Corn Salad After a day of swimming in Lake Tahoe, we went back to the cabin we rented and made a simple BBQ dinner on the deck. Food cooked outdoors always tastes better to me and the charring of the corn adds so much flavor to this dish. If you don’t have a BBQ, try using a grill pan or broiling in the oven on high until the kernels are slightly charred. serves 4-6

What You’ll Need

4 ears corn, husks removed 1 red bell pepper, diced ¼ red onion, finely diced ⅓ C (15 g) chopped cilantro ½ C (75 g) crumbled feta juice from 1 lime 2 T olive oil 1 t Tajín seasoning

How to Make It

BBQ the corn, turning occasionally, for 3–5 min or until slightly charred. Cut the kernels off each cob and mix them in a bowl with the other ingredients.᯽

Ten years ago, Erin Gleeson left a food photography career in New York to move to a Northern California cabin with her husband. Erin’s fifth cookbook, The Forest Feast Road Trip, takes an extended road trip around California where she, her husband, and three kids stayed in unique dwellings (all types of fun cabins and even a yurt) shows readers the beauty and incredible food of the Golden State. From the Sonoma County vineyards and the redwood groves of Humboldt to the desert of Joshua Tree and the lavender fields in the Eastern Sierras, the book showcases 100 vegetarian recipes, all inspired by her family’s journey by car, depicted in her signature aesthetic of atmospheric photography and charming watercolor illustrations.




mom love BOIESS EAU DE COLOGNES The mission of boiess is to create highquality colognes for moms and children, inspired by the Mediterranean - where it’s believed scents trigger memories of happiness! They are hypoallergenic, gluten free, plant based, dermatologist & pediatrician tested and infused with prebiotics and vitamin B3. $27, boiess.com.

Show mom you love her! From practical to pretty, here are some gift ideas for any mama on your list. PURE DAILY CARE DIFFUSER This 2-in-1 wellness device delivers two natural healing therapies in one simple device. First, a heatless ultrasonic diffuser atomizes essential oils delivering powerful therapeutic effects. Then, a separate chamber includes raw Himalayan salt crystals mined from the mountains of Pakistan to provide natural air ionization and purification making it healthier to breathe. $69.95, amazon.com.

A LITTLE LESS OF A HOT MESS: THE MODERN MOM’S GUIDE TO GROWTH & EVOLUTION This book, written by licensed therapist Kaitlin Soule, helps moms navigate through motherhood. Through vulnerable and often humorous storytelling, Kaitlin offers practical, simple, and powerful invitations for real healing and growth. She recognizes the importance of mental and emotional wellness for mothers, who aren’t just parents but also leaders, teachers, nurturers, creators, and providers. $10, amazon and other book sellers.

LUNAESCENT For the mom who loves beauty products, the Lunaescent applicator is a great tool to add to her beauty kit. This smart tool provides a way to apply skincare while keeping fingers clean and preventing face creams from getting contaminated. The silicon applicator pads are reusable and can even be stored in the freezer to cool and depuff skin. No fingers, no germs, no mess! $49.50, lunaescent.com/shop-all.

POWER HUB PLUS This power hub can charge up to 7 devices using a single power outlet. What we love about it? It not only keeps devices charged, but it also keeps pads and phones organized! And the sleek design keeps workspace clutter-free and stylish. Everyone will want one, but this one is for mom. $65, greatusefulstuff.com.



MINI DIAMOND MAMA NECKLACE Whatever motherly role that special woman plays in your life, receiving a meaningful piece of jewelry makes Mother’s Day that much more special. A piece she can wear everyday will be a constant reminder of how much she means to you. This calls for something beautiful, transitional, incredibly well made and best yet, layerable. This gorgeous MAMA necklace checks all the boxes! $995.00, arianarabbani.com.


dirty little



● It’s been one of those days. I just ate a full pint of Häagen- Dazs, and when my three year old asked me what I was eating, I told her it was special medicine for mommies because I didn’t want to share. ● The real reason we can't go to your friend's house? The mommies don't get along. ● I caught myself telling my kids to please leave me alone so I could finish reading a book about being a better parent. ● I haven't taught my kids how to tell time yet. This way I can stay in bed as long as I want. ● I think there is a 'Terrible 7's' that no one ever talks about. This kid is getting so obnoxious… ● I think my best friend is a horrible mother. ● I flush the toilet in the guest bathroom when my husband is taking a shower because I resent the fact that he actually gets time without the kids. I know he gets a shot of cold water because he screams. I smile. ● Holding my baby with one arm while getting the cork out of the wine bottle with my teeth makes me realize what a class act I really am! ● I spend most of my time at home with my kid, but I work part-time in an office. Sometimes, 20



● I didn't have my son circumcised and I don't regret it one bit. ● I am just SO annoyed with my husband since we've had the baby...and I used to adore EVERYTHING about him. ● I need to get back into the workforce soon. I've lost all confidence in my abilities beyond the domestic grind. And it's been so long, who would employ me anyway?

True Confessions from Real Moms

O YOU EVER FEEL LIKE YOU’RE THE ONLY MOM STRUGGLING WITH THE DEMANDS OF MOTHERHOOD? Do you look around and wonder how other moms can be so happy and competent while you are just trying to make it through the day? Well, you are not alone. Even those moms who make motherhood look like a day at the park have days when they are not at their best. Read on as real moms share their deepest, darkest thoughts as they journey through the perils of motherhood.


● Yesterday I visited the home of an acquaintance that has two kids the same age as mine. She apologized profusely for how the house was utterly "destroyed." The only thing I saw out of place was a tiny stack of mail on the corner of the dining table. Other than that, it was Martha Stewart perfect. I consider myself a reasonably neat person, but my house has never looked that good.

when I go in to work, I feel like I'm going on vacation. ● I tell my friends I only let my kids use the computer and watch TV for a half hour a day....that is a big fat lie. ● Every time hubby makes me really mad I buy new shoes; I have a lot of shoes. He hasn't figured out the connection. ● I lean over my babies’ beds at night when they’re asleep and whisper, “I promise I’ll be a better mommy tomorrow.” There are just too many days I wish I’d done better. ● My son was so excited for his second birthday, but when the day rolled around I hadn’t pulled anything together to celebrate—so I told him that he had the day wrong and his birthday was actually the following week. (Yes…he believed me and I felt terrible!) ● I never weigh myself naked so I can take off an extra 5 lbs for clothes. ● I know my kids aren't perfect, but other people's whiney children really annoy me. ● I get so frustrated that my husband can't seem to help around the house. I mean come on—you’re not working right now. Why do I have to come home and cook dinner? ● One time I had to answer the door with a round brush stuck in my hair. I haven't touched a round brush since. ● I love my 17 year-old daughter; it's just that very often, I don't like her. ● Raising a teenage daughter is the hardest part about being a mom!!! Give me a newborn, terrible two's, whatever!!! I would do that any day over this!

● I am not the 'drop by anytime' type. My house is messy on a regular basis. I refuse to be a slave to dishes and floors and toilets and putting away laundry. You should call ahead of time. That way I can tell you not to come over. Otherwise, you can stand by the door and say what you came to say while you were 'in the neighborhood.' ● I wish I'd never signed the boys up for cub scouts. They love it. I HATE it, and I always manage to be the mom who's a day late and a dollar short for everything scout-related, even though I'm pretty pulled-together in other things. I work two part-time jobs, one being my own business, run a home and care for four kids, but around the scout moms I turn into an idiot. ● My 7 year-old daughter hates her dance class, but I make her take it because I think she looks adorable in her tutu. ● I would love nothing more than to check into a hotel (with room service) for the weekend with nothing but pajamas and a couple of books. ● You're 16. You are a minor. I damn well will snoop through your room, read your text messages, and take your phone if I have reason to suspect you are doing something inappropriate. Remember, it is my business to be in your business. It all stops once you turn 18. So, get used to it. ● I love that my son automatically feels better when I kiss his "boo-boo". I wish I could fix everything that easily! ● When the A/C repairman was here he asked my 7 year-old if he was mom's little buddy. My son said “No, she yells at me every day.” ● I don't miss the younger years with my kids one bit. Now that they are 12, 14 and 15, and are smart and self-sufficient, my life is sooo much easier. Yet they still confide in me. Love them!᯽

finding your FLOW By K E L L E Y W O L F author of FLOW-Finding Love Over Worry- a recipe for living joyfully


ou have done something incredible. You are much stronger than you thought. You have survived and thrived through one of the hardest moments in modern history. The last two years have increased anxiety and stress for most of the world, especially parents. The things we thought we knew are out the window and a new normal arrived like an unwanted cousin from your dad’s side of the family. Here we are, facing this next chapter with dusty knees and scratches on our knuckles. We did it. We made it through what is, hopefully, the worst of it. Then it comes, that unsettling feeling in the background. It is not quite dread, not exactly fear, no, it is worry. We are worried. I have seen the levels of worry rise ten-fold in my coaching business over the last six months. This makes sense to me because when you have an unexpected traumatic event like a pandemic or a car wreck, your mind will take some time to process the trauma. Recovering from a car wreck, you may find yourself hitting the brakes quicker, looking both ways like a frenetic squirrel, 22


hesitating and stopping and starting. This can feel like a tall order. Returning to the gentle glide of life can take time. We must train our brain to relax into the flow of life instead of the fear in life. We have learned over the last two years is life is unpredictable. If you are lucky to live long enough, life will come with all kinds of complicated twists and turns. Granted, this moment was an extralarge doozy, but it is still par for the course. Life can be hard, and life can be scary. Life can also be magical, exhilarating, comforting and beautiful. In fact, my life’s work is about the idea that we can choose the latter as our lens, while also accepting the reality of hardship. This is the path of my coaching technique, FLOW-Finding Love Over Worry. FLOW was born from a deep curiosity of the “flow state”. The flow state is defined by the positive psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi with the following characteristics:

● Intense and focused concentration on the present moment ● Merging of action and awareness ● A loss of reflective selfconsciousness ● A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity ● A distortion of temporal experience, as one's subjective experience of time is altered When I worked with clients one on one, they would often refer to moments when they felt a deep sense of flow. These clients would explain these moments as fleeting and as if they just randomly happened to them. They didn’t see any autonomy in the experience. They were just supposed to wait for flow to arrive and were lucky if it did. I started to map the conversations when flow was discussed and over time, a pattern emerged. If the individual chose love over worry, or gratitude over fear, or desire over lament, they often entered a flow state. Take the example of sky diving, we can all agree there is a level




We have learned over the last two years is life is unpredictable. If you are lucky to live long enough, life will come with all kinds of complicated twists and turns. Granted, this moment was an extra-large doozy, but it is still par for the course. Life can be hard, and life can be scary. Life can also be magical, exhilarating, comforting and beautiful. of fear involved in leaping out of a perfectly good airplane. However, most people who skydive say it is the epitome of flow. In order to take the leap, we must choose to overcome the fear and worry involved. We must choose the love of the experience over the worry of a possible negative outcome. The same can be true in a less dramatic setting. You are driving to a meeting, and you are late. Your mind starts to worry about the situation. You begin to berate yourself and get frustrated with other drivers. You ruminate over how you will explain this to the folks you are meeting. All of this is categorized as worry. The definition of worry is to “give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” I love this definition because the answer is clearly embedded in these words “allow one’s mind”. Allow means YOU have the power. “Give way to”, again, YOU have the power. You are the gatekeeper of your mind. You can allow worry to set in, or you can choose an alternate path. In the lateness example, you can accept that you are late. You can focus on the positive aspects of this moment. For instance, you have time to breath in the car. Maybe your meeting companion could use ten extra minutes to catch up on email. You can learn from the moment and make a better plan for the next meeting. Or simply, appreciate that you are grateful to be healthy and going to a meeting. You get my point, the perspective you have is up to you.

Choosing to focus on the worry accomplishes nothing and creates negativity. Choosing love-based thoughts creates possibility. In order to live in flow more often and to experience life in a more joyful way, we must have tools. These tools will be more crucial than ever before as we navigate the “new normal” of our lives. Using the FLOW technique as a parent has allowed me to feel excited about the world we are living in. It has given me a map to a new world. The technique is simple. When I find myself falling into worry, I begin to ‘notice'. I simply notice my thoughts. Worry thoughts tend to be on a loop. I often say that worry reminds me of scrolling social media, hours can pass and you have no idea what just happened but you feel a little crappy. Worry is of no benefit to us. We believe worry is doing something productive, but it is not. When you find yourself on one of your favorite worry rides, simply notice that you are worrying. I know it sounds too simple but try it. Notice you are worrying and offer the worry a little acknowledgment, “Ah, there you are again, you dear thing. I know you think you are helping but I am going ask you to take a break.” When you notice the worry, I call this becoming the observer, you can gently offer your mind an alternate path. This new perspective must be rooted in love and gratitude. Similar to the example I gave about being late for the meeting, choose to find something that feels like

love. For me, I often find myself turning the love toward myself. I tend to offer love to myself first, especially when I am chronically worried. I will say, “I love you. You are doing the best you can. You deserve to feel peace”. I say these things out loud and often. If you look back at the first two sentences of this article, you will see FLOW in practice. I started with love. I began with grace, forgiveness and space about what we have all been through with the pandemic. The key in the FLOW practice is the choice, you have a choice. You can choose love over worry. Obviously, this is a practice that takes time. The best way to begin is to begin. Start right now. Notice when you are falling into a worry trap and follow the FLOW recipe and see how you feel. These tools won’t magically make your life better but over time you will see a difference. You won’t stay so long in the worry room; you will eat more often at the love table and you will always remember you have a choice from the menu of life. ᯽ Kelley Wolf has worked with over hundreds of clients with her private coaching practice, such as Fortune 100 companies, C-level executives, but also small business owners, stay-at-home moms, and nonprofits, among others searching for peace in their life. Kelley is the founder and CEO of coaching methodology FLOW by Kelley Wolf ™ and has been coaching for over ten years. If you want to dive deeper into the FLOW method, check out the book: FLOWFinding Love Over Worry- A Recipe to Living Joyfully which is available now.







Hey, Let’s Get Away!


With summer upon us and the world a little more welcoming to travel, vacation calls! We love these new and exciting products to make trips a little easier and a lot of fun for both parents and kids.

MyBevi This stainless steel travel mug is ecofriendly and makes it easy to hold your keys and phone. Keeps drinks cold or hot and come in an assortment of super cute colors, designs and sizes. mybevi.com, $20.

Komuello Non-slip, breathable shoes make it easy to travel with toddlers by combining socks and shoes into cute and convenient footwear! Easy for onthe-go, just slip them on and your little one’s toes will enjoy air pockets for breathability – plus, they’re washable! komuellousa.com, $34.

Maui Vera Organic and chemical free, PLUS safe for the reefs. Maui Vera’s spa-quality sun protection includes Mineral Sunscreen, which applies as a transparent lotion, and Organic Sunburn Relief + After Sun Moisturizer, restoring damaged skin back to its healthy, balanced state. mauivera.com and amazon.com, $12.99.

Joolz Aer We’re bananas over this musthave lightweight, compact stroller. It folds into a convenient drawstring bag with one click (and one hand), weighs 13.4 pounds and steers like a dream. The extra-large sun hood is UPF50+, it easily reclines and includes a rain cover. Above all it’s beautiful and made from upcycled plastic bottles. Five stars! joolz.com, $449

Moonlite Story Projector An awesome way to take storytime on the road. A mini projector hooks onto your phone and uses its flashlight to project story images onto the ceiling or wall, while you read the story that’s displayed on your screen. The stories include background music and sound effects that play through your device, and there’s a huge selection of stories from Disney and Pixar to Ryan’s World and Eric Carle. Cool for camping too! mymoonlite.com, $45.

Lev Baby Lightweight pajamas for the win! Pack these soft and cozy jammies for your next overnighter – kids will love the fun and vibrant designs, and parents will love the breathable, high-quality fabric, plus different styles and accommodations for all ages. levbaby.com, $36.

Ayla Bag + Vacuum Just when you thought you’d seen everything, along comes Ayla with the “bag that has it all” – literally, including a mini vacuum. As moms, we know crumbs follow us everywhere. How convenient to have a little dustbuster to clean up quickly while on the go! Chic leather design and colors plus convenient backpack and long strap style options. aylabag.com, full size bag $199, vacuum $60.










circumstances when you yell and then commit to changing those scenarios in the future.

5. Give up your need to look perfect Hear me now: there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Embrace your imperfections. Laugh at yourself. The best parents are willing to always learn, change, and improve.

6. Give up worry Compulsive worrying doesn’t make your child any safer. It doesn’t make you any happier. And it teaches your children to live in fear. Release your worries and cultivate gratitude for your child’s safety in the present moment.

7. Give up one-size-fits-all rules

by CAROL TUTTLE, author of The Child Whisperer

Every child is unique. What works for one won’t always work for another. Certain standard rules apply across the board (for example, everyone needs to speak respectfully). But consider the possibility that being a fair parent doesn’t mean doing the exact same thing in the exact same way for every child.

8. Give up the food fight ou want to be a happy parent —

but your countless responsibilities make this goal challenging! Don’t lose hope just yet. Here is a list of 15 things that keep you from happy parenting. Read through them. Be honest with yourself. Then let them go. Allow yourself to be a happy parent for your child—and yourself! Here’s a list of 15 things you should give up—and then watch your happiness take off:

1. Give up “supposed to” We were conditioned by our own early family experiences to believe that parenthood or childhood are supposed to look a certain way. But if you hold onto the way things are “supposed” to be, you may miss enjoying how they actually are. Be willing to question what you prioritize as a parent and why.

2. Give up keeping score I saw a candidly humbled mama. I found the newborn phase easier than expected What does your mental score-card keep track of: which parent does more? Who’s most consistent? Which mom contributes most in your child’s class? Who’s most involved in your homeschool group? 28


Keeping score wastes energy. Just do what you feel inspired and able to do. Don’t feel obligated by others’ contributions. Don’t obligate them to live up to yours.

3. Give up force As a parent, you have a responsibility to set boundaries. But if a child consistently resists a certain boundary, don’t just force them to comply. Ask yourself and your child, “Why?” Think of yourself as your child’s trusted and effective guide, not their dictator. When they experience you as their guide, they’re more likely to listen, which means less struggle and frustration for both of you.

4. Give up yelling If you’re not a yeller, this one isn’t for you. But if you tend to yell when you’re feeling upset, consider this question: has yelling strengthened your relationship with your child— or not? Yelling usually happens in anger, and it often frightens and intimidates children. It destroys trust and a child’s feeling of safety. Pay attention to times and

If you demand a certain number of bites from your children, you set yourself up for struggle at the table— and you set your children up for struggles with food later in life. Guide, direct, encourage, and prepare healthy food. Let your child voice their preferences. Focus on healthy overall patterns, rather than forcing a certain regimen at a specific meal.

9. Give up your role as events coordinator If you feel like parenthood is a treadmill you can’t keep up with, you may be taking too much responsibility for your children’s time. Make plans that support your children’s development, but don’t map out every minute for them. Downtime is supportive for many children. Moments of boredom allow children to take responsibility for their own time. Make resources available, and then let your children create the experience they want. You’ll all be happier.

10. Give up unhealthy self-sacrifice As a parent, you generously give love, time, and attention. But you shouldn’t give up your core self just because you’re a parent. When you ignore your

basic needs, you teach your children that when they grow up, they shouldn’t take care of themselves.

11. Give up guilt Parents sometimes fall into the selfsacrifice trap because they feel unnecessary guilt. Guilt can be useful if you use it to recognize where you need to make changes. But overwhelming, paralyzing guilt that makes you feel worthless as a person or parent doesn’t accomplish anything. You are enough, just as you are.

12. Give up one-sided decisions As the parent, you often have the final say. But you and your child will both be happier if it’s not the only say. When it’s appropriate to do so, involve your child in decisions that will affect them. By enrolling children in the decision-making process, you’ll empower them to make their own good decisions in the future.

13. Give up negative messages So many messages are repeated to children: you’re too loud, you’re too

quiet, you ask too many questions, you’re exhausting, you’re demanding, you’re too talkative, you should make more friends, quit moving, speak up, settle down, smile more. Try this instead: comment on the exact same behavior in a positive way. For example, you can see the trait of, “You’re too talkative,” as “You really make friends easily.”

14. Give up your own childhood story What did you experience that you most want your children to avoid? Being teased at school? Lack of money? Feeling not-enough? Your fears may actually set up that same pattern to be re-created. Don’t trap your children now in your fears of the past. Let them go. Create what you want, not what you don’t want.

15. Give up on giving up I’ve heard from parents who worry that they’ve damaged their child, or that they’ve made a mistake that will last a lifetime. I’ve said this many times:

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It’s never too late to be a better, happier parent. Whether your children are 4 or 40, they respond to genuine love from their parents. The effects of mistakes may take a little longer to overcome if your child is older, but it’s never impossible to show up as the happy, supportive parent that you are meant to be. Don’t give up! You have everything you need to be a good parent. Ok, deep breath. It’s time to let go of whatever keeps you stuck and let the happiness in!᯽

Carol Tuttle is the CEO of Live Your Truth, LLC and author of the best-selling parenting book, The Child Whisperer: the Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children, which has sold over 75,000 copies worldwide. She also hosts an immensely popular parenting podcast, that hits weekly on important parenting issues commonly experienced by families of all backgrounds. For more information, please visit, www.thechildwhisperer.com.


(I am reaching my breaking point though.)

am looking around my bedroom and wondering how it got so messy. Didn’t I just clean this place up two days ago? I did! I did clean it up! I picked up the damp towels, dirty socks, homework papers and schoolbooks, made the bed, vacuumed. I even dusted the lampshades and the night tables. Besides the giant suitcase tucked away in the corner, this room was looking pretty fantastic.

I’m not absolved of guilt. The suitcase in the corner is mine. It’s sitting against the wall and still needs unpacking from a trip I took two weeks ago. But my train of thought is that I’m leaving for another trip pretty soon so why bother putting it away? I’m always going somewhere, so maybe I should just leave it out forever. The Husband, oblivious to the giant dresser in the hallway, has been trying to drag my unobtrusive and unassuming suitcase back to the garage. It’s in the way, he says. I don’t disagree, but after having stubbed my toe on his dresser on my way to the bathroom at least three times, I think that’s the pot calling the suitcase black.

Since then, a stepping stool has appeared out of nowhere and is sitting in the middle of the floor. There are two laundry baskets— one full of socks waiting to be sorted and put away and another full of clothes that need to be washed. Also, The Husband’s dresser, which usually resides in his closet has been dismantled and is now in the middle of the hallway partially blocking the entrance to the bathroom. He says he took it out of the closet so the no-show plumber (he’s canceled three times) can fix some pipes (in the closet?—I know nothing about plumbing so I’ll take his word for it, but last I checked there wasn’t a toilet, tub or sink to be found in his closet). I’m afraid that the dresser will remain there for at least three years. Whenever The Husband claims to be fixing something, (or in this case, having something fixed) tools, paint, ladders, etc. (and now furniture, it seems) will remain out of place… for at least two years. And then someone will trip, spill or step on something which will then remind 30


The Husband that it needs to be put away. Then another year will pass and then he’ll put it away. The stepping stool, T borrowed so he could put something away in his room. The fact that T was putting anything away is a bit of a minor miracle so I won’t begrudge him leaving the stepping stool out in the middle of my room. The laundry baskets belong to J. When clothes need folding, he drops the basket of clean clothes in my room. And when they need washing, he drops the basket of dirty clothes in my room. It’s a system he’s been trying to get me to buy into. I’m not sold, and so, the baskets remain thus far untouched.

Besides all of that mess, the dogs have eviscerated one of their stuffed toys and its cottony guts are distributed all over the bedroom and bathroom floors. I keep picking up the fluff and throwing it out but somehow it keeps reappearing all over the place. Later, I discovered the dogs were picking the stuffing out of the garbage can and daintily rescattering it about. I asked the boys why they can’t just keep their messes confined to their own rooms. “Because we like it here Mom.” J replied. “But why?” I asked. “You do have your own rooms, you know.” “Because you’re here.” T said. Anyway, the Mystery of the Messy Room is solved.᯽

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