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Friday Favorites: Off Week

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Welcome to Friday favorites: a weekly linky for your favorite blog posts from the week co-hosted by Maya of Musings of a Marfan Mom and me!

In addition to the linky, I’m taking this opportunity each week to write a little bit about a my favorite moments from the past week. I hope you’ll feel inspired to leave a comment telling me about your favorite thing(s) that happened this week, too!

These are a few of my favorite things:

While last week was a very busy week, this week has felt more like a week off. We had very few appointments and so we were able to spend more time at home just being. Days like that feel so welcome: when there’s no rush and all I have to make sure of is that we’re all fed and get enough sleep… then anything I do on top of that is bonus! I’ve really appreciated being able to have more idle moments like that this week.

The garden is booming and we’re nearly up to our ears in zucchini now. I bought a new little gadget that just arrived from Amazon today which cuts any vegetable into long julienne-style noodles. I like that it’s fairly compact compared to many of the others I looked at, and I’m excited to have even more texture variety in our zucchini-heavy meals next week. Please share your favorite zucchini recipes in the comments to help me branch out further!

Daniel and I had the pleasure of visiting a friend of mine this week who recently had her second baby. Frances’ older son, Lee, is the same age as Daniel, and little Emery is just four weeks old! Daniel took a while to warm up to the new situation, but he was soon enjoying playing with an RC truck and enjoying snacks with Lee. I really enjoyed getting to hold sweet Emery and revel in those new squishy baby snuggles.

What was one of your favorite moments from the week?

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Link up your favorite blog posts from the week using the linky below and Maya and I will comment on them! Remember to share the love by reading and commenting on a few other posts from the list after you enter your link in the list. The linky will stay open until Monday afternoon.

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Anger Is Just and Emotion

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Welcome to the July 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Anger 

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about anger. We hope you enjoy this month’s posts and consider joining us next month when we share about breastfeeding.


In Western Society, we fear strong emotions, especially the ones we deem negative. Fear, anger, sadness. We prefer to swiftly brush them under the carpet and keep them unseen instead of handling them adequately.
The result of this regard of negative emotions is that we are not equipped to deal with them. When they come about, we are at a loss. We push them inward or react to them, and lash out.

Yet even negative emotions are just emotions.

Accepting that you, as a human being, are allowed to have a vast range of emotions, that they are normal and natural, is the first step towards a mindful approach of emotions.

Let’s take anger.

As a child, most of us have been corrected swiftly and harshly when we portray this emotion. “Stop it right now”, we exclaim to the angered child. “If you continue like this I will…”
Most of us have been shamed when in anger: “If you would see how ugly you look when you’re angry.”
Or our feelings were brushed off, annihilated, diminished: “There’s no need to be angry. Smile.”

Parents have many many ways of dealing (or should I say undealing) with anger, most of them detrimental.

Children are urged to quickly get over their emotions, instead o encouraged to get through them. There’s no blame here, this is just the way most of us have been brought up.

But we can help our children get through their anger, deal with it instead of repress it or act upon it. So can we with our own anger.
As I mentioned before, the first step is acceptance. Telling your child that anger is normal, that she is ‘allowed’ to feel frustrated or angry if they voice that they aren’t. Hopefully, you shouldn’t even have to tell your child they are entitled to anger, but the chances are, they’ll quickly catch on that anger is unacceptable in Western Society.

The second step to working through your anger is to feel it but don’t act. Don’t talk, don’t lash out. Tell your child they can feel their anger. Encourage them to tell you how it feels, so they learn to recognize the emotion when it comes up. Tell them, it’s ok to be angry, but it’s not ok to scream or hit. Read these approaches to deal with anger to have some tools to avoid knee jerk reactions such as screaming or hitting.

It takes work, but we can reroute our brain to deal with anger, and just as importantly, we can help our children process anger in a healthy way.


Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month’s Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss breastfeeding!


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 27 with all the carnival links.)

August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting Call for Submissions: Sibling Revelry

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Calling for submissions for the August Carnival of Natural Parenting!

We continue to be delighted with the inspiration and wisdom our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants share, and we hope you’ll join us for the next carnival in August 2013! (Check out July, June, May, April, March, January, a summary of all our 2012 posts, and a summary of all our 2011 posts if you missed any.)

Your co-hosts are Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Lauren at Hobo Mama.

August 2013 CarNatPar Call: Sibling Revelry

Here are the submission details for August 2013:

Theme: Sibling Revelry: What are your thoughts and experiences when it comes to siblings? Tell us something about how your children interact with each other, how you parent each child differently or the same, your plans for child spacing, your intentions to have more than one child or not, or your recollections about your own upbringing with your brothers and sisters. Say whatever you want about the tumultuous and rewarding relationships with those most closely related to us.

Deadline: Tuesday, August 6. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: CarNatPar {at}

Carnival date: Tuesday, August 13. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on August 13 and email us the link if you haven’t done so already. Once everyone’s posts are published on August 13 by noon Eastern time, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants’ links to generate lots of link love for your site! We’ll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

Please submit your details into our web form: This will help us as we compile the links list. Please enter your information on the form embedded at the end of this post, or click here to enter it on a separate page: August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting participant form

Please do: Write well. Write on topic. Write a brand new post for the carnival. As always, our carnival themes aren’t meant to be exclusionary. If your experience doesn’t perfectly mesh with the carnival theme, please lend your own perspective. Please also feel free to be creative within the gentle confines of the carnival structure. If you’re feeling so inspired, you could write a poem, a photo essay, a scholarly article, or a book review instead of a regular blog post (though those are welcomed, too!), as long as what you write is respectful of the carnival’s intent. If you want help determining that ahead of time, please talk with us.

Please don’t: Please don’t use profanity of the sort that might be offensive to more sensitive readers or their children. Please don’t submit irrelevant or argumentative pieces contrary to the principles of natural parenting. You don’t have to agree with all our ideals — and certainly you don’t have to live up to them all perfectly! — but your submission does have to fit the theme and values of the carnival.

Editors’ rights: We reserve the right to edit your piece or suggest edits to you. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate for the carnival. Please also note that since there are two co-hosts on different schedules and conferring over email, our personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don’t be alarmed. We also reserve the right to impose consequences if the responsibilities of the carnival are not fulfilled by the participants.

If you don’t have a blog: Contact us (CarNatPar {at} about potentially finding you a host blog to guest post. Please write your piece well in advance of the deadline in that case, so we can match you up with someone suitable. But if you really have something amazing to write — why not start your own blog? If you want advice, we find Scribbit’s free Blogging in Pink ebook to be a very helpful and down-to-earth guide, for beginners on up.

If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us: CarNatPar {at}

Links to tutorials: Lauren, Dionna, and Dionna’s husband, Tom, have written several tutorials for our participants about how to schedule posts in advance, how to determine post URLs in advance, how to edit HTML — all for both WordPress and Blogger users. For these tutorials and more, please see this handy summary post at

Stay in touch:

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama

Show off: If you are a (former or current) participant or supporter and want our delightful button to put in your sidebar, grab this code and proclaim to the blogosphere that you are a natural parent!

Photo Credit: Dionna at Code Name: Mama


Thank you for subscribing to my RSS feed at Code Name: Mama! I would appreciate your comments and feedback on the entry you just read, August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting Call for Submissions: Sibling Revelry. If you write about similar topics, I would also like the opportunity to link to your blog or have you write a guest post. Contact me for details!

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Wordless Wednesday – Breastfeeding Pictures: 5 years in review

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breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to

For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is breastfeeding photos. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!






Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! 

Carnival of Natural Parenting 2012 Year in Review

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Code Name: Mama - Carnival of Natural Parenting — 2012 year in review

For the past three years, I have been proud to co-host the Carnival of Natural Parenting with Lauren of Hobo Mama. We created the Carnival in January 2010 to bring together the awesome community of parenting bloggers who identify as “attachment” or “natural” parents.

In 2012, our writers have shared how they interact respectfully with other parents, even when they disagree; they’ve made us think about children and personal care as well as children and self-image; and they’ve opened up about parenting amidst challenges and extended family. The compilations of posts are a rich resource – I hope you will look through 2012′s themes and articles and get to know some of the writers!

Anyone can write for the Carnival of Natural Parenting, and you can write as few or as many times as you’d like throughout the year. You can read more about how to write for the Carnival as well as details on upcoming topics at our main Carnival page. Here are the topics for the next few months: in August we’re discussing Sibling Revelry; in September we’re sharing tips on staying safe; in October we’re looking at Kids and Technology; in November we’ll dish about Feeding Your Family; in December we’ll write about The More Things Change; and in January we’ll reminisce about The More Things Stay the Same. Topics are posted through March 2014 – come read more details at our main Carnival page.

Whether you write for or enjoy reading the articles written for the Carnival of Natural Parenting, or whether you are simply interested in learning more about natural parenting practices, we want you to join our community at the site born out of the Carnival: Natural Parents Network (NPN). NPN is a community that connects, informs, empowers, and inspires parents and parents-to-be. We are thankful for the larger NP community we interact with on NPN’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter stream, and we’re doubly thankful for the close-knit family of NPN volunteers – we have found true friends.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for the joint newsletter of Natural Parents Network, Code Name: Mama, and Hobo Mama. And be on the lookout for upcoming Twitter parties, and our newest project, NPN Podcasts!

And for Carnival updates, be sure to look for the #CarNatPar hashtag on Twitter and follow the Twitter list of our #CarNatPar writers. On Facebook, you can get Carnival updates by “liking” the CarNatPar Fan Page.

We look forward to reading more from our writers – new and old – in 2013 and beyond.

I’d like to share with you a few highlights – and a few of my favorite things – from our 2012 Carnival posts.

Here are a few quick facts:

  • In the 11 months that we hosted CarNatPar in 2012 (we took September off), we had 156 different writers.
  • In addition to me and Lauren, we had 4 writers write all 11 months: Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama, Deb from Living Montessori Now, Jorje from Momma Jorje and Laura from Pug in the Kitchen. Our next most prolific writer was Luschka of Diary of a First Child, who wrote for 9 of the 11 months. Thank you, mamas!
  • Our most popular carnival topic was in June with 50 authors – Embracing Your Birth Experience. Our least popular topic was in November with 16 authors – Family Service Projects.
  • Our authors wrote a grand total of 403 posts.

Here are some of my favorite posts from 2012

*(click on each month for a complete list of posts; the monthly themes are in parentheses):

  • January (Experiments in Natural Family Living): Nope Nada Ixnay Negative Pass Decline — Zoie at TouchstoneZ finds out what shakes loose if she says, “YES!!” to anything anyone asks of her over the space of 10 days; and Cold Water Only — Brittany at The Pistachio Project talks about how you do not need hot water to wash laundry.
  • February (Respectful Interactions with Other Parents): Accentuate the Positive — Joella at Fine and Fair shares how she manages interactions with the parents she encounters in her work as a Parent Coach and Substance Abuse Counselor by building trusting relationships and affirming strengths; and Empathy and respect — Helen at zen mummy tries to find her zen in the midst of the Mummy Wars.
  • March (Parenting With Special Needs): Parenting the Perfectionist Child — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses that as parents of gifted children, we are in the unique position to help them develop the positive aspects of their perfectionism.
  • April (Kids and Personal Care): Encouraging Self-care Through Awareness . . . and Fun — Amy at Presence Parenting shares some tips on how to transform self-care from a struggle into an opportunity — for kids and adults; and Hairbrushing is a Safety IssueDulce de leche, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains that although tangles are not a safety issue, self-confidence and body boundaries are.
  • May (Parenting With or Without Extended Family): Dear Children — In an open letter to her children, Laura at Pug in the Kitchen promises to support them as needed in her early days of parenting; and Yearning for Tribal Times — Ever had one of those days where everything seems to keep going wrong? Amy at Anktangle recounts one such day and how it inspired her to think about what life must’ve been like when we lived together in large family units.
  • June (Embracing Your Birth Experience): Embracing Our Potential: Birth as a Metaphor — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Sheila from A Living Family guest posts at Natural Parents Network and expresses how birth has served as a metaphor to help her through other experiences in life; and Your Birth Was My FavoriteDulce de leche describes some of the highlights from each of her four births and explains why despite the differences, they are all her favorites; and What Story Will I Tell? — Rachael at The Variegated Life realizes that the way she tells the story of her second child’s birth matters — and could be exhilarating.
  • July (Family Creations): Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • August (Farmer’s Markets):10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer’s Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
  • October (Instilling a Healthy Self-Image): Beautiful — Tree at Mom Grooves writes about giving her daughter the wisdom to appreciate her body and how trying to be a role model taught Tree how to appreciate her own.
  • November (Family Service Projects): Community Service Through Everyday Compassion — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children calls us to Community Service Through Everyday Compassion; sometimes it is the small things we can do everyday that make the greater impacts.
  • December (Childhood Memories): Candlelight, fairylight, firelight — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud re-discovers the ingredients for bringing magic to life, especially at Christmas.

Obviously there were many months that I could not choose just one favorite, there were so many fabulous posts this year. To see which posts my cohost, Lauren of Hobo Mama, loved, check out her version of the 2012 Year in Review.

And here is a complete list of all of our participants, with Facebook and Twitter links where applicable:

Thank you for subscribing to my RSS feed at Code Name: Mama! I would appreciate your comments and feedback on the entry you just read, Carnival of Natural Parenting 2012 Year in Review. If you write about similar topics, I would also like the opportunity to link to your blog or have you write a guest post. Contact me for details!

Check Out My Book!

For My Children: A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes and Wisdom

Click the cover to order now!

25 Embarrasing Things Kids Say

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As it’s summer, we could do with some light and breezy content, can’t we! I asked my Facebook likers about the most embarrassing thing their kid has said, this is what they came up with:

  1. My daughter announced loudly when I returned from the bathroom at a nice restaurant: “YAY MOMMY YOU POOPED! GOOD JOB!” Clapping and all. I had only peed, for the record.
  2. My son asked a woman with a full blown mustache….are you a boy or a girl.
  3. Before she could pronounce her ‘L’s in certain words, we were a a restaurant and she started pointing at a clock on the wall above a booth full of men and very loudly and excitedly kept shouting, “Cock! Cock!”
  4. In a line at the supermarket my 4 year old says “look mum those ladies are all having babies like you” needless to say none of them were pregnant!!!
  5. Look at my new pants!!!!! As he whipped down his trousers in the playschool playground in front of ALL the parents!!!!
  6. I made eye contact with a barefoot baby held by the mother in a grocery store. I said to my 6 yr old son in a normal voice, “I could just eat up those toes”. He then yells out, “My mom wants to eat your baby!”.
  7. We were standing in the elevator and my daughter pointed to a lady and said: “mommy who is that crazy lady?”
  8. Mommy, you have a great big GIANT butt!
  9. One day I was getting a bottle of wine and my 3 year old shouted “I don’t like that kind” people heard, it was embarrassing, like I would ever have her drink alcohol!!
  10. My sons and I were at a local pool one day when my oldest who was 3 at the time joyfully yelled to a friend, “Mommy is going to have a baby come out of her big hairy butt!”. (I had been watching homebirth videos recently and apparently that was his takeaway.)
  11. Mama, your breath smells like rotten onions – at music together class.
  12. when my son was 3 he realized people come in all sorts of skin colors. So noticing this, he enjoyed pointing it out (kind of like naming off shapes and letters lol). One day we went into the post office and were alone on our row of mail boxes when a man walked by and startled my son, who then loudly exclaimed: “That brown man scared me!” I know he meant it harmlessly, his dad is rather brown (half Japanese) and his cousins and aunts/uncles are African American. But when a stranger hears that yelled randomly it can look really bad!
  13. After watching ‘Austin Powers’ one night, I took her out to dinner. She saw a short person and yelled out “Look Mama!! There’s a midget! They smell like cabbage!!” I hung my head to try to hide my laughter and get my composure then said to the crowd staring…”Sorry, we just watched ‘Austin Powers’” then asked for a booth…in the very back….
  14. My daughter informed the waitstaff at the restaurant that she had “nipples” all over her body. She had goose bumps. It wouldn’t have been so bad but I was just meeting my SO grandparents.
  15. Telling another parent that mommy was having “her bleed” (my period for the record)
  16. I had to get canastan off the doc, my son knows what bapathen is for his older brother. He went in to the bedroom and there was a wedding taking place just outside and shouted waving the cream “look mumms bum cream” he was 3.
  17. My eldest went through a phase of wildly pointing at buskers shouting ” look, a bum, BUM”. He meant “drum” which was what he was calling all instruments at the time.
  18. We have a pet named Ozzy and my 9 year old daughter heard a name on the news at a restaurant and realized she could rhyme Ozzy’s name with it. So in a restaurant she starts chanting “Ozzy’s from Benghazi, Ozzy’s from Benghazi.” I was like, “Nooooooooooo!”
  19. “Help!!” My then two year old, screamed it from the trolley in the supermarket…. You bet it got everyone’s attention!
  20. ‘We wipe front to back mama, because you don’t want to get poop in your bagina!’
  21. She yells, “DON’T HIT ME!” in public Mimicking my telling her, “Please don’t hit me. Gentle touches.” I have never and would never hit her!!!
  22. my 3 yr old son said “oh mom I love your hairy penis!!”
  23. My daughter yelled in a restaurant out of no where, “remember when mommy peed her pants” ( my husband had tickled me one day till I peed my pants because I already had to go) well that had been a couple months. But she announced it in a busy restaurant. 
  24. My then 3 year old asked loudly ‘do you think that lady is doing wees or poos?’
  25. He asked what tampax were for in his blazer beam voice at the check out! It was a young boy on the till!!!!! 
What’s the most embarrassing thing your child has said? Share it in the comments below. 
Join us on Facebook to read even more embarrassing kids outbursts!

This post was added to the Tuesday Baby Linkup

Friday Favorites: Three Rocks!

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Welcome to Friday favorites: a weekly linky for your favorite blog posts from the week co-hosted by Maya of Musings of a Marfan Mom and me!

In addition to the linky, I’m taking this opportunity each week to write a little bit about a my favorite moments from the past week. I hope you’ll feel inspired to leave a comment telling me about your favorite thing(s) that happened this week, too!

These are a few of my favorite things:

We had a very full week this week, with Daniel at home full-time on preschool vacation for the second week in a row.  

We had a fabulous trip to one of the local farmer’s markets on Sunday, where we bought a lot of blueberries and then tried our hardest to eat them all before we got home (thankfully, we were unsuccessful). It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I really enjoyed walking around and seeing all the delicious things available at the market. I also treated myself to a block of fresh spicy goat cheese, and I’m so glad I did. I only wish we had gotten there before our favorite berry growers ran out of strawberries… maybe we’ll get some this weekend!

I’ve noticed this week how much I’m reveling in this particular phase of Daniel’s development. I had heard some pretty rough personal stories about the challenges of parenting three-year-olds, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how each of those challenges seems to have an equally delightful counterpart just waiting to be experienced. Here are few highlights from “Three Rocks!” this week:

  • We took a trip to the hardware store this past weekend to buy several small things for various unfinished projects around the house. I wore Daniel on my back while we shopped since (here’s the downside) he hasn’t been sleeping very well at all lately and he was really too tired to cope without the snuggles. It’s been a while since I’ve worn him for any longer than 20 or 30 minutes, and he was just being so sweet to me! He ate a snack of peanut butter crackers while he was back there, and he was so polite and gentle when asking for more crackers. At one point, we encountered a display of feather dusters (for $1 apiece!) so I grabbed one and gave it to him to play with. That one little feather duster was enough to keep him happily “feathering” things for the rest of the shopping trip!
  • Jaymz and I have been having some of the most hilarious conversations with Daniel lately, like this one about learning a second language. He comes out and says the most random things sometimes, and it always catches me off-guard and I can’t help but laugh.
  • Daniel’s imaginative play has become really detailed and elaborate lately. Until very recently, he was still in the “watch me play” stage versus the “play with me” stage, so that shift has also been really fun for me. I’m really enjoying being a part of acting out his stories (we’re hungry dinosaurs!) and playing games with him (hide and seek is one of his favorites lately).

What was one of your favorite moments from the week?

Grab the Friday Favorites button to display on your site:

Friday Favorites with Musings of a Marfan Mom & Anktangle

Link up your favorite blog posts from the week using the linky below and Maya and I will comment on them! Remember to share the love by reading and commenting on a few other posts from the list after you enter your link in the list. The linky will stay open until Monday afternoon.

Helping Your Parents Plan for Retirement

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Content provided by Kira

Helping your parents plan for retirement

Planning for your later years can be daunting – there is so
much to think about and organise. However, the process can be made a whole lot less intimidating with a little support from close family members.

If your parents are approaching retirement, there are a number of things you can do to make them more comfortable and give them peace of mind. Take a look at these top three points to consider when helping your parents plan their future.

Check out savings and pensions 

It’s important for your parents to know exactly how much money they have saved away for their retirement. Whether they have been investing into a pension fund or stashing cash under their mattress – now is a good time to get a complete overview of their finances.

Annuity rates have been on the decline for many years, so your parent might not be able to get the great pension they’d hoped for. Don’t be afraid to turn down the first annuity offer and scour the market for something better. There are a number of options available when it comes to pensions, including drawdown or an enhanced annuity.

If their pension has been underperforming or they simply haven’t managed to save enough money – but they own their own home – you could always discuss the benefits of equity release.

Discuss retirement properties

You might hear your parents joke about putting them in a nursing home, but you can allay their fears by showing them some alternative accommodation, such as retirement apartments.

It is possible to achieve independent living whilst still being safe in the knowledge that your parents are not alone. Assisted living allows retirees to enjoy their later years without having to worry about household chores and general maintenance.

Your parents can still own their own property but benefit from additional support such as help looking after pets or getting in and out of bed. For more information on the living styles available throughout retirement, visit

Seek professional advice

Retirement involves a lot of major financial decisions, so don’t be afraid to suggest contacting an independent financial advisor. If you and your parents aren’t sure about what’s best, getting some unbiased advice from a financial expert can do no harm at all. In fact, obtaining independent advice can arm you and your parents with the knowledge you both need to make the right decisions and plan for their future together.

image source: Ernst Moeksis

Basil Walnut Pesto

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As the basil in my garden grows fuller this time of year, I start dreaming of pesto. Using walnuts in place of pine nuts makes it more affordable, and the walnuts add their own unique, pleasant flavor to the dish.

Pesto is simple and easy to make, yet it’s just bursting with flavor. You can even freeze extra pesto during the height of basil season to preserve a little taste of summer for the cold winter months.

To make your own delicious pesto, you will need:

1 cup fresh basil leaves (packed)
1-3 cloves of fresh garlic (We are garlic-lovers here; you might as well go with 3!)
¼ cup walnuts
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil (or your favorite liquid fat)
⅛ teaspoon salt (I prefer Real Salt)

Here’s how:

  • Add basil, garlic, walnuts, cheese, and salt to your blender or food processor. Pulse until well blended.
  • Incorporate the olive oil, blending as you pour it until the mixture forms a thick puree.
  • Mix into freshly cooked pasta and serve immediately! (This makes enough pesto for 12 to 16 ounces of pasta.) My favorite gluten-free pasta brands are Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta and Tinkyada rice pasta.

Other fun ways to use your fresh pesto:

  • Spread on crackers or chunks of bread for a delicious snack
  • Use in place of mayonnaise or mustard in your sandwich or wrap
  • Mix it in with mashed potatoes or cauliflower for a zesty side-dish
  • Stuff chicken breasts with pesto before baking

Pesto can also be made with any hearty leafy greens like kale, chard, or beet greens—yet another way to handle the abundance of greens this time of year! I like to keep at least ⅓ to ½ cup basil in the mix when subbing in greens for the rest, to keep some of that delicious basil flavor.. It’s totally up to you!

What’s your favorite way to eat pesto? I’d love to try your ideas!

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Top 10 Tips on Authentic Grandparenting (rerun)

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Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


The Shattuck Family, Aaron Draper Shattuck

Where parenting isn’t easy, in these days of information overload, grandparenting isn’t either. Your children seem to do things so very differently from what you did when you were a parent and you don’t know where you stand. You’re probably just trying to be helpful, but it seems as if your child isn’t happy with the advice you are giving. Here is a list of tips on how to be an Authentic Grandparent and how to keep the family relationships healthy and harmonious now that a new generation has been added to the genealogical tree.

  1. Respect your child’s parenting decisions. Your child may not have chosen the same path you did for parenting your grandchild. this may be difficult, maybe even hurtful. It might make you doubt about their feelings of how they were parented. However, it is important to respect their parenting choices. Times have changed, opportunities are different now. If you ignore their choices or keep going against them, you might be creating a breach that isn’t going to fix itself. A result may be that you get to see your grandchild less frequently. You are not the parent of your grandchild.
  2. Trust your child. Your child is now an adult and a parent, treat him or her as such. Even if you don’t agree with the choices they have made, trust in them. They are acting in the interest of your grandchild and are doing the best they can. They have learned from the way you parented them and are now making their choices based on that experience. Give them the freedom to do so.
  3. Support. Even if you don’t understand or agree with the way your child parents your grandchild, your support is needed and valuable. Chances are you are the closest and most trusted individual to your daughter or son. Their parenting can be stressful and insecure, there is more information out there then there ever was. Many things are very contradictory, so choices are ever so hard. Be there for them and follow their lead.
  4. Read. Take the time to find some information about parenting or grandparenting (such as this article). If you don’t know where to look, ask your child to point you in the right direction. Many things have changed since you were a parent, a lot of the directions that were given in your day are now found to be obsolete and have been replaced with other directives. Inform yourself about these topics instead of readily rehashing what you have been told when you were a parent. 
  5. Show you’re interested.  Don’t let your fascination with the little creature overrate your interest in your child. Show an interest in the way your son or daughter parents, ask them about it without judging. Be interactive and present.
  6. Ask before you buy. The first thing you want to do when your child is expecting is run out and buy something, and when the kid is there, you probably want to get some presents and spoil the kid a little. Before you do, ask the parents if they have any specific wishes. If there is anything they really want, respect these wishes. There is nothing more embarrassing then to get stuck with gifts nobody wants, that wind up in a dark closet never to be used. 
  7. Only give advice when asked. Even if you are dying to share all the little things you think you know better, don’t! You will only get your child worked up and this might put a strain on your relationship. If your child comes to you for advice, good, now’s your chance. But only give advice respectfully and without judgement. Give advice that is founded. Don’t pretend that you’re the oracle of parenting.
  8. Respect the child’s natural rhythm. You don’t get to see your grandchild all the time and you may be really excited when you do. However, take the time to listen to your grandchild. Follow their lead. Don’t engage them in the activities YOU want to do.
  9. Help out where needed. Your primary interest probably goes out to your grandchild, but make sure that you aren’t losing sight of your child. Maybe you can be more helpful doing other things than holding the baby. Cleaning up a little or having a good conversation with your child may be much more needed and valuable. Make sure your child knows you are there for him/her.
  10. Be open to dialogue. Don’t think you know everything about parenting because you have raised a child. Be open to talk about parenting. Offer an ear when needed and never judge. 


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