Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in Shape After Baby

Lately I've been lamenting the body that I had pre-baby, and I've been looking into new ways of it back.  One really interesting trend I've been reading about is barefoot running.  I really love my pink and silver running shoes, but I tend to get some knee and back pain during or after running, and many have said that running barefoot can alleviate those things.  It seems to make sense, man was not created with shoes on, so he was probably not made to run in them.  The thinking is that shoes make running have more of an impact on the body by allowing us to land on our heels more heavily, while barefoot running puts more impact on the balls of our feet.

The trend seemed to spread when the book Born To Run was published and became popular, although I've heard that many indigenous cultures have been successful barefoot runners for generations.  I haven't read the book yet, but I plan to soon.  Another product that has been pushing the trend is the Vibram Five Finger shoe.  These shoes look very much like those toe-socks that were popular a few years ago, and are designed to feel like you're barefoot without exposing skin to the road.  I especially like these pink ones!

If you're into the idea but want something even more simplistic, you can check out Luna Sandals, really, really minimalistic running sandals.

I'm not sure if I'll try it yet.  We have some pretty nice streets, but I really prefer my nice soft feet to calluses.  I think I may try changing my form first and find some Five Fingers to try on.  Maybe if I become a true believer I'll try it au natural!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Favorites of Fall

I don't know where the last week went!  I must have been too caught up in our fall festivities to sit down and write!  While it might not be as bright and colorful here as fall in New England, I love fall, and I thought I would share one of my favorite things. 
Carving Pumpkins.
I have such great memories of carving pumpkins with my family as a child, and I can't wait to make new ones with my daughter.  My sister and I would pick out the biggest pumpkin we could carry and make sure that each had a clean, flat spot where the face would go.  Then we would help Dad clean them out and draw the kind of face we wanted on our own jack-o-lantern.  While he carved, we picked as many seeds from the guts as we could so that Mom could season and bake them.  When they were carved and lit, the whole family would stand in the street to see how they looked on the porch.
Even though my daughter isn't old enough to appreciate whats going on, my husband and I still carve pumpkins every year, making it our family tradition as well.  I always want my pumpkin to turn out like the pumpkin on the left, it usually ends up looking like the pumpkin on the right anyway.  I'm not sure I have the patience for a pumpkin as complicated as that!

I've also decided on a costume for my daughter!  We're going to use one of my old sun hats, paint it lots of colors, and then hang streamers from it, making the jelly fish costume I posted previously.  I'll just have to make sure to keep them short enough that she doesn't trip over them!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nurturing Nature

What a perfect day we had at the zoo today! The sun was out, the birds were singing, and someone even got to go home with a new stuffed lemur (which she absolutely adores). It's often hard to pass up a new toy when you are in the moment, but looking forward I am going to try and stick to some greener alternatives. Looking around I found Inhabitot, a site that sells 100% organic cotton stuffed animals. Not only that, but some proceeds go to conservation efforts. Perfect! Here is my favorite:

Aluana is still a little too young to really focus on all the big animals at the zoo, but seeing those animals myself made me feel like a kid again. It reminded me of all the zoo strolls with my mom, camping trips with the fam, and nature shows that made such an impression on me even at a young age to love and care for nature. I can't wait to share those experiences with my daughter....and as you can see I'm not waiting!

These absolutely adorable animal-insired alphabet posters seem like the perfect way to start learning about nature and the alphabet while you are at it! They are even made by a local artist. You can also get a custom name print done for your child - how fun!

I also used to adore animal coloring books, imagining purple zebras and polkadot lions. Here are some great animal alphabet coloring sheets that you can simply print out at home. I will of course be printing mine on recycled paper. I want my child to love animals but also understand the importance of protecting their homes by not cutting down too many trees.

Well for now I am just going to enjoy watching her all snuggled up to her new stuffed lemur. They make a great pair!