Things I Ought to Have Known
Before I was Rebecca Cofiño, I was Rebecca Harmon. You need to know that to understand this story. Ten years ago I drove across the country by myself, from New Orleans to Spokane, Washington. I made a few pit stops along the way: White Sands, the Grand Canyon and even Las Vegas. When I arrived in Las Vegas, the sun was setting. It’s a place I never had much interest in seeing, but it was on...
A Whole Hand
Dearest Max, This is the truth. This is the way things happened today. Throughout the morning I gave you the countdown from five years ago: You were still inside my body and Mommy and Daddy were in the tub. Finally it was time to push you out, and I roared like a lion. I had to get out of the tub, and the midwives helped me to the bed. At 11:11 you came out of my body and the...
Last month we stumbled upon an arbor with wishes at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Were they written for the new year? A special event? I don’t want to know. Keep mysteries alive. Keep wishes dangling from secret coves. That’s the world I want to live in.
Mother's Day Card
I just ordered the cutest customized photo card for my mom for Mother’s Day from Walgreens. I used a template with flowers growing and photos of myself and the kids. I wrote a personal message too. It was $1.99. But they have a special for 30% off, so with tax it was $1.50 . It’ll be ready in an hour. Aren’t regular cards $3.99 or more these days?
ATTN: Dads! How to Plan the PERFECT Mother's Day →
You know how men often complain about women expecting them to read their mind? Well, they’re right. That’s why I wrote this post which explains exactly what women really want on Mother’s Day. It’s not expensive or difficult. Here’s my annual advice to dads so they can make the mother of their children happy on Mother’s Day. Please share.
When Max was three days I old I took him on our first real walk together, around the park at the end of our block. He weighed 6 pounds and 8 ounces that day. No wrap or stroller, I cradled him in the crook of my neck. One teenage boy noticed us on his way to soccer practice. Look at the baby! His friend was uninterested and unimpressed. Look! I’ve never seen such a little baby before! ...
I Lost 10 Pounds This Month!
It had to happen. Day-after-day, year-after-year, the same problem weighed on my heart: I felt bad about the way my body looked. For every one pound of extra physical weight, I carried 100 pounds of spiritual weight. When I got dressed every morning, I never felt a lightness of spirit in getting ready for the day. It was an exercise in camouflage that never really worked. There was angst,...
Art of Storytelling Festival
Today is the 13th Annual Art of Storytelling Festival put on by Miami Dade Public Library (truly an excellent library system). Not only was it a free fun event in downtown Miami, but they also secured free parking for attendees. We had a blast! We met Alice in Wonderland, Don Quixote, a man on stilts, and a juggler. The kids got the usual swag: books, pens, beach balls and pamphlets...
Does Coffee Really Give You Energy?
The quick answer, of course, is yes. Everybody knows that. But popular wisdom wasn’t good enough for me. I hail from Washington State, the birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Tully’s and thoseands of other charming American coffee houses. When I return home for a visit I make the rounds, sharing a cup of joe or cappuccino with everyone I’ve ever known. Seriously. All we do is drink...
Ask Mamaguru: How to Stop Monsanto
: I just read your post on Monsanto and this really concerns me! What can we do to ensure that we are not eating Monsanto’s food? This is horrible. Sincerely, Jillian A.: It is horrible. This is a tough question to answer. Although I strive to be positive and proactive, when I think about the seemingly unlimited power and resources that Monsanto has, as well as their extensive track-record...
Fun Garden Facts →
Fun trivia for gardners. Did you know the Supreme Court actually ruled on whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable?
White Sands, New Mexico
Happy Earth Day! One of the very best ways to help our fragile planet is to simply fall in love with it. Exploring earth means developing a relationship to the land, water and air we all depend upon for life. Once you’re in love, doing right by her isn’t a sacrifice at all. It’s a pleasure. Here is one of my favorite spots on earth: White Sands, New Mexico. I had only a vague knowledge...
Earth Day Snack →
Chunky Monkey Granola →
Healthy and chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please.
Does anybody have an iPad app for preschool or kindergarten math that they love? Please share.
How to Make a Solar Oven →
This is a really easy, really fun project for Earth Day! Best yet, the first step is to order a pizza!
Biscayne National Park
Think of a national park in Florida and the Everglades springs to mind. It’s our state’s pride and joy, as it should be, but there are other national treasures to be found here as well. Yesterday my family visited one of our favorites: Biscayne National Park. Located in Homestead, Florida, it is a lovely park located right in the mangroves. In fact, it’s a rather unusual national park, because...
Sesame Sugar Snap Peas →
4 minutes to make!
A Matter of Faith
This is faith. I’m not talking about religion (though this also applies to that sense of faith). I’m talking about a general sense of eternal well-being. I used to think faith meant belief. I used to think it was a life-preserver or something to quell anxiety. I used to think it lived in one’s heart or mind. Lately, I’ve come to realize that true faith resides in feet. It’s learning to...
What the world sees: What I see: They grow so fast.
DIY: Lemon-Rosemary and Orange Delight Natural... →
Inexpensive, all-natural, easy-peasy recipes for green cleaners.
Fit Tip for Moms: Playground Orbits
Welcome to motherhood! Please take a seat. And sit and sit and sit. Who knew there was so much sitting involved in raising a kid? We sit to nurse, to watch an infant play, to drive them around town, to watch them play soccer, to read stories, to eat meals together, to let them play outside. Add that to the sitting that comes with computer usage or watching TV, and even a full-time mom can...
Beet Cous Cous →
A great, easy recipe for the it vegetable of 2013.
Anonymous asked: do you homeschool?
Hippity, Hoppity Easter!
Happy Easter, y’all!
Obama's Monsanto Legacy
Barack Obama will certainly be remembered as the first African American president of the United States, a laudable achievement. It will be the first sentence school children can recite about him in history lessons, but yesterday he signed into law the policy that will become his presidential legacy: the Monsanto Protection Act. For the past few days, facebook and news media have been rapt with...
Fairchild Tropical Gardens recently added an amazing indoor butterfly exhibit with 3,000 butterflies in the conservatory. Next door there is a chrysalis room where more beauties transform everyday. It is now a must see in Miami. Our friends invited us to marvel at the garden this morning. It was a bit chilly, which meant less flying, but it was easier to examine the butterflies. We were...
Home Sweet Preschool: Button Snake →
This is a fun, Montessori-inspired activity to teach children how to button with a playful activity: building a snake. Not only do they develop this skill with lots of practice, but they also work on strengthening that all-important pincer grasp needed for writing.
South Florida Tumblrs!
Only 2 more market days left in the Miami Springs Farmer’s Market season! Tomorrow mamaguru will have a massage therapist offering chair massages from 10 am-1 pm. Next Saturday is the final blow-out festival with a petting zoo, live music, poy rideas and more! If you’ve been meaning to come, you have two chances left. 1801 Ludlum Drive Miami SPrings, FL 33166 8 am-1pm
Home Sweet Preschool: Still Life Painting
Inspired by our Sistine Chapel project, I’ve given the boys more interesting and directed art projects. Sure, it fun to just go wild and be creative, but I sensed that my little ones needed a little direction to move beyond scribbles and splashes. We’ve started doing still life paintings, and they love them. How to Teach Still Life Painting to Preschoolers 1. Look at pictures of still life...
Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp on Grilled Bread →
Ridiculously easy. Ridiculously yummy.
Blink and you’ll miss it. The first time I heard that phrase I was five and we were in Montana. My family was headed to a ghost town that was so small you could miss seeing it as you drove through without wide, watchful eyes. As a young child, I had those eyes. As an adult, I am left wondering: Where did February go? And most of March for that matter? I blinked and I missed them. Life...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Here’s hoping you find your pot of gold. Love, mamaguru’s crazy Irish-Cuban family
Home Sweet Preschool: Painting the Sistine Chapel →
Here’s a fun lesson to connect kids to current events and art history. Best yet, it’s fun and engaing.
Peter Rabbit's Easter Brunch
Here’s a fun way to celebrate the spring harvest and one of children’s literature’s most beloved characters. Easter Brunch is one of my favorite holidays. I love to dress up the table and create a beautiful spread, but the tone of brunch is so relaxing. Because it happens early in the day, I don’t spend hours working. Sitting with loved ones around an elegant table enjoying mimosas and...
Tomato Basil Soup →
Green Tea and Coconut Latte →
Great Easter Book for Kids
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett Here is a lovely Easter-themed book for little ones courtesy of the wonderful Jan Brett. We stumbled across this gem at the library in January. Although it was a little early in the year to think about Easter for me, the boys were enchanted. We had just enjoyed reading Brett’s classic winter books, The Mitten and Gingerbread Baby, but this might be my favorite...
Tips to Reduce Your Food Waste
650 pounds of food waste per year can be attributed to most people living in Europe and North America. With all the talk about reducing our carbon footprint, we might want to give a little attention to the personal landfills we are leaving in our wake. Here are some practical ways you can reduce food waste in your family. 1. Write and keep your shopping list. Taking a few minutes to plan...
Food Isn't Garbage
Last week environmental leaders from all around the world gathered in London to feast upon perfectly good food that was deemed unfit for Western grocers because of its size and blemishes. It was destined for the garbage bin. Unlike most days, that food wasn’t thrown out to rot in landfills. Instead it was chopped, sauteed, roasted, and elevated by top chefs to demonstrate its intrinsic value. ...
Garden Diary 2013
Once again I am stepping out of my comfort zone and into the dirt. That’s right, folks. I’m taking my pink polished thumb and willing it to turn green. My mom is an avid gardener, and my grandmother was too. I am mostly a failure in this department, but every year since I got married I give it a whirl. Growing my own food is right in line with my parenting and food philosophies, but it takes...
mamaguru's Great Green Sauce →
Here’s a “go to” recipe that is super healthy and easy to prepare. Use it over seafood, as a salad dressing, a sandwich spread, a dipping sauce and more. I whip up a batch once a week and use it in a variety of ways. Also, it’s a great way to sneak veggies into a reluctant eater’s (children, husbands…) diet. Enjoy!
Recipe for Allo Sabzi (South Indian Potato-Tomato... →
Here’s a South Indian soup recipe straight from the kitchen of my own yoga teacher, M.S. Viswanath, or Master-ji as we called him. This one one of my favorite dishes and his wife, Lakshmi, dictated the recipe to me in her living room over afternoon chai. I furiously scribbled the ingredients in my red spiral notebook which contained all my thoughts and lessons from my time in Bangalore. ...
Valentine Memory Game
Here’s a fun little Valentine project you can make for toddlers and preschoolers using paint chips. 1. Cut two hearts out of each color of pastel paint chips (Martha Stewart paint at Home Depot has great options.) 2. Write matching 2-word messages on the pairs of hearts mimicking Conversation Hearts. For a more advanced preschooler, you can write messages on different colors of hearts, so...