The Breastfeeding Debate – To Breastfeed or Not?

Life With The Swanks

Ask me several years ago if I would ever breastfeed my children and I would’ve told you “absolutely not!” I had heard so many horror stories from my family about how much it hurt if you didn’t pump on time and what happened if the baby didn’t latch on correctly that I was more scared to breastfeed than I was of giving birth!

In my mind, breastfeeding was no big deal. I didn’t see the benefits it outweighed formula fed babies…after all, myself and 15 of my 17 cousins had all been formula fed and we all turned out just great!

Breast is Best…Is it the Only Option Though?

17499300_1094823600664026_4345808364742699565_nWhen Tory and I first found out we were pregnant, we took into consideration both options- breastfeeding or formula feeding. Most people have looked at me oddly for even asking that, but like I said I was formula fed and…

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Vegan Curry with Cilantro Basmati Rice

Gina DeRoos

I love Curry! The balance of mildly sweet coconut and spicy curry flavors are so warming to my soul. We get fresh organic fruits and veggies delivered every other week, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate lots of vegetables into one dish. Curry is the perfect dish for that.

This dish incorporates the use of local vegetables as well as essential oils. I used doTERRA black pepper, cilantro and lemongrass essential oils for this recipe. Certain doTERRA oils are safe for internal applications. You can use these oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices. I was fascinated by the potency, fragrance and aroma in the oils. They transformed the dish, and I was immediately reminded that oils in such a pure and concentrated form is not only a practical option, but better for the environment.

I hope you enjoy this…

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Buckwheat Banana Pancakes Recipe

Olive + Wisteria

These last few weeks have been a complete and total whirlwind! With two portfolios due, a mass of school assignments, extracurricular activities and a vacation thrown right in the middle, I’ve had almost no time to myself. Fortunately, it’s starting to wind down (thank God!). 

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Proud Father Moment…Update (BLW Contributor)

souldaddy

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Back in January, I wrote the great news about my son who was invited to take the SAT as a seventh grader. This weekend, we received his scores. He was afraid to open the envelope because he kept saying he wasn’t confident about his performance. So I opened the envelope for him. This boy…this SEVENTH GRADER…earned a huge 1380 on the SAT. This placed him in the 96th percentile of the other seventh graders invited to take the test, and it placed him in the 93rd percentile of ALL students combined (middle school through twelfth grade).

The score report indicated he met the benchmark for college readiness, so I asked my son “What’s the point of even going to high school?” His answer was “Because of social norming.”

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7 Things To Know When Eating Sushi

Food & Fitness Girls

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I love sushi. I would hands down have this a staple diet and eat it every single day of my entire life. The combination of fresh ingredients, not to mention rice that’s been perfectly rolled forming beautifully shaped pieces of art.

Despite this masterpiece I actually found out that there are a lot of rules when it comes to eating sushi. I unfortunately was not brought up with this etiquette but I’m learning these rules slowly…

Handroll

So far I abide by these rules:

  1. Always dip the fish side into the soy sauce – reason, seems to be inconclusive but many believe it is because dipping rice into the soy sauce will cause the piece of sushi to become fragile, hence destroying the finely craft piece of food.
  2. Don’t rub your chopsticks together – I’ve been brought up in a Chinese environment, there’s literally so many rules regarding chopsticks, this apparently…

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What is Montessori? 5 Ways to Begin

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What is Montessori?

Montessori is a form of education that offers a broad vision of education as an “aid to life”. It draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Letting each individual child’s inner directives freely guide them toward wholesome growth. Here is a great place to learn more about Montessori.

 Montessori Beginnings

I first started hearing about Montessori when my friends started having babies. One enrolled her daughter in a Montessori preschool because she had trouble concentrating in a normal preschool environment. My other friend actually taught at a Montessori preschool where her child attended. It was this friend who truly introduced me to the world of Montessori.

She told me it was all about letting your little one learn at their own pace, make their own decisions and when you get the choice choose natural products and activities. Noting that “You’re probably already Montessori and don’t even know it”. She was right.

Now that I’ve been consciously practicing Montessori for awhile I hear a lot of talk about what toys are appropriate or doubt about making your environment perfect. We are all on our own journey here and there isn’t a standard we all need to meet in order to practice this lifestyle.

You don’t have to go to church every Sunday to be Christian, likely you don’t have to include Montessori in every part of your life to practice Montessori.

 I’d like to think Montessori is more about the interactions you have with your child on a day to day basis, the way you act when given a chance to educate your child and how your child learns with a hands-on approach.

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO GET STARTED

  1. Ditch the plastic. Donate all the flashy, noisy plastic toys. I know this is by far the hardest step to follow through with. Truth be told we still have a few flash toys hiding away here that I just couldn’t bring myself to give away.
  2.  Respect your child. Yes, you are the adult but you can still show your child respect. Talk to her like you would an equal. Talking to the child, not AT the child.
  3.  Allow your child to make decisions. This works best when given 2-3 choices as not to overwhelm your child. For example, ask them whether they would like to wear the blue coat or the red coat today. This helps them with confidence and independence.
  4.  Let your child help you. Children want to learn. They want to help. It is very hard to let your child make a mistake that you can foresee but it is very important for them to learn the consequences of their actions. Obviously, if your child is in danger you should intervene. Helping with laundry, cleaning, cooking and gardening are all great ways to incorporate your child in everyday tasks.
  5.  Try not to say “No”. This one can be difficult. Instead of saying “No” you can say “We don’t play with those Tommy. How about we read a book.” It is always best to tell them exactly what they shouldn’t be doing and then give them a new activity to focus on. Try to create more “yes” spaces in our house. This allows the child to explore worry free.

With Montessori, my daughter is a much more confident and independent child. I am so happy with her progress I want to share my success with everyone. People starting their journey should know you don’t have to do everything perfectly to consider yourself Montessori. There are several guidelines but at the end of the day, you need to find a parenting style that suits you. So if you have to change the guidelines a bit to meet your needs then don’t stress. The Montessori police won’t be knocking at your door.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe today to get the next 4 posts about Montessori delivered straight to your email. Send me a message letting me know what else you would like to know about.

Do you practice this lifestyle in your home? What benefits have you experienced from this form of education? Leave me a message in the comments I’d love to know how your journey is going!

Check out other great articles from This Toddler Life

Creamy Pesto Pasta Primavera With Shrimp (BLW Contributor)

winekindasseur

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On a recent Rachael Ray Show with guest Emeril Lagasse, they made a pasta primavera with saffron cream featuring one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus. Asparagus is in its seasonal prime right now and looking its glorious best; skinny smooth stalks and tight heads with no signs of flowering or wilting. And if the sight of gorgeous asparagus isn’t enough, Rachael gives it even more sex appeal by cutting it on a bias! The audience swoons…

When I attended public school back in the Jurassic Period, we had enough time in the day to take elective classes in art and music. During the ceramics chapter, my art teacher tasked us with making our favorite food out of clay. Amid an abundance of kiln-fired pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, and hamburgers on display at the end of the week was my realistically sculpted, painted green stalk of asparagus. It turns out I…

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Honey, Mustard and Marmalade Roast Ham Recipe

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spaulyseasonalservings

This was the first time I had made my own marmalade ham and it will be my go to recipe now. It was so delicious it was sticky and sweet with delicious mustard notes. The meat was so tender and the caramalisation on the outside is really addictive. The ham only lasted 2 days and I couldn’t help picking at the meat. If you are going to make a ham this easter please do try this recipe. It was a hairy biker recipe.

Ingredient’s

  • 1.5kg gammon joint (mine was smoked)
  • carton of orange juice
  • 16 cloves
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 bay leave’s

For the glaze

  • 120g soft brown sugar
  • 3 oranges, zest of 3, juice of 2
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 heaped tbsp marmalade
  • 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Directions

  1. For the gammon, place the gammon into a large, deep pan and cover with water. Bring to the…

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Nutella Stuffed Pancakes Recipe

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Lorna Robertson

Pancakes make up a large part of my diet. Whether they are thin crepes dusted with sugar and spritzed with lemon, small and squat scotch pancakes with fresh berries and syrup or big fat and American style filled with juicy blueberries – I’ll take the lot. Quite why you’d want to reserve pancakes for just one day is beyond me! These little beauties came about after the remains of a jar of Nutella called to me in a way that only Nutella can. While Nutella smothered on top of a pancake is a glorious thing – an oozing centre is the ultimate indulgence. I’ve flavoured mine with orange zest and vanilla but they work just as well plain.

Ingredients
Makes four large pancakes or eight small
400 self raising flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs
1 orange
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
150ml whole milk

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The Age of Heads Down

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Annie's Thoughts

In today’s society, it has been found that one in ten children are receiving their first cell phone by the age of 5. When a child is 5, they are only in kindergarten! However, the majority of children receive a cell phone by the age of 10. That is only grade 4 or 5, depending on when theirgrade-who-own-cell-phone birthday is. I find this to be unbelievable. I understand that parent’s want to be able to keep track of their children and be able to communicate with them at all times, but that’s only because parents these days are becoming helicopter parents. I didn’t receive my first cell phone until grade 8 graduation, even though most of my friends had cell phones by then. Parents appear to have a difficult time allowing their children to run free and saying no to their children’s whining.

This could be seen as Foucault’s moral…

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