10 Simple Tools from Parenting and Psychology Experts that will Make You a Better Parent

This is part of a two piece series I did for a Positive Parenting Conference. It is FREE from May 22nd until May 26th. All the speakers are amazing and have really learned a lot about how to help my children become successful, happy, and intelligent adults. It is well worth your time. 10 Simple … More 10 Simple Tools from Parenting and Psychology Experts that will Make You a Better Parent

Berkeley Episode 8: F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Crack Pixie

After Kristi had fled from various responsibilities and lies and we’d kicked out Goth Boy we needed another roommate. As it turns out Sarah Beth had one for us. Before she had lived in Berkeley and become a professional caffeine pusher, Sarah Beth lived in San Diego with her boyfriend Fitz. Theirs was a highly … More Berkeley Episode 8: F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Crack Pixie

6 Simple Perspective Shifts that Will Transform Your Parenting

One of my latest gigs was to help out Sumitha Bhandarkar, the editor of AFineParent.com summarize some interview she did. These weren’t just any interviews. These were interview with experts in the parenting field: Psychologists, Parentologists, Therapists, and Counselors. The talks were about everything from bullying to emotional intelligence to getting cooperation to how the … More 6 Simple Perspective Shifts that Will Transform Your Parenting


Things are crazy here. Spring break was a disaster. We were supposed to fly back to Iowa and Minnesota and got caught in that whole Delta Flight-Canceling Fiesta that was going on. We were there. Ready to go. Bag checked. Mickey-D’s food choked down. And then …. Flight canceled. We were alerted to this fact … More OY! My LIFE!

Russian Tea Cakes

The winter holidays are filled with traditions. Growing up a lot of those traditions included food. Tons of food. And when I say “food” I mean “dessert.” Cookies specifically. Sugar cookies, thumbprints, peanut butter stars, chocolate covered pretzels, pecan tassies, chocolate drops, chocolate crinkles, candy cane cookies, and – a huge favorite – Russian tea … More Russian Tea Cakes

Berkeley Episode 6: Dance of the Sugar Plum Ecstasy Fairies

The Berkeley of my twenties was an era of experimentation. My experimentation was pretty tame, though, and limited to food, sex, and pot. (They didn’t call me White Bread for nothing.) I wasn’t even much of a smoker. Back in college I had made an attempt at coolness that ended after a case of strep … More Berkeley Episode 6: Dance of the Sugar Plum Ecstasy Fairies

Parenting Bravely

I wrote this shortly after we’d arrived back to the US from Switzerland. Being here I realized how much parenting in the US is driven by fear. Fear of what could happen. Fear of what will happen. So I wrote How to Parent Bravely in a Culture of Fear. I hope it resonates with you, … More Parenting Bravely

6 Months Back

I can’t believe it, but we’ve been back for 6 months. In a lot of ways it seems like we just left. In other ways it seems like we’ve been here forever. Life is filled with the mundane right now. The boys need to go to school. The laundry needs to washed, folded, and put … More 6 Months Back

Healthy Carrot Soup

Quite a few years ago (so long ago it hurts to remember) I lived in Berkeley where everyone does yoga, experiments with veganism, and takes quick jaunts up to Napa for a bottle of wine that will go with dinner.  My coworkers and I were constantly sharing recipes back and forth. One that I still … More Healthy Carrot Soup

Kick Ass Women Award

Guys! I’ve been nominated for a Kick Ass Women Award by SynDolly.  The award serves to acknowledge the work of small-time, non-professional women bloggers like myself. “It’s about supporting women who make us smile, laugh, cry, think, feel.” I am incredibly flattered and I find myself in good company. My 4 co-finalists are: Becoming She … More Kick Ass Women Award

Banana Bread

My childhood is filled with memories of my mom making banana bread. I can still smell it baking when I remember going home after school. Mom made it so often not just because we loved it, but mostly because my brother and I would eat 4 of the 7 bananas in the bunch and leave … More Banana Bread

How to Make the Most of Visiting Grandparents who Love Spoiling Children

This article appears at A Fine Parent, the online parenting blogazine. ************** You know what they say about too much of a good thing? Yeah, that’s kind of what visiting grandparents is like for us. Every summer and winter holiday we go to the Midwest for a long visit with both sets of grandparents. My … More How to Make the Most of Visiting Grandparents who Love Spoiling Children

Save the Ta-Tas!

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but taking care of your health should just happen in October.  According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation there will be 246,660 new cases of breast cancer this year and 45,540 deaths due to breast cancer. The earlier you can catch breast cancer the easier it is to cure … More Save the Ta-Tas!

Pumpkin Bars

It’s October and, if you look on the shelves and in Starbucks, you will see that pumpkin and pumpkin spice season is upon us. I’m not as excited as some about pumpkin, but I do love me a good pumpkin bar.  I have a recipe that Mrs. Mabel Forsyth contributed to the Floyd County Cowbelle’s … More Pumpkin Bars

Journaling the Journey: Writing Makes Everything Better

Something I do as an Organization Development professional and a Life Coach is journaling. Not so much that I become a navel-gazing moron, but I write down enough so I can sort things out in my head. All OD pros do it. We’re taught to journal as part of the training. It becomes second nature … More Journaling the Journey: Writing Makes Everything Better

Hiking to be Swiss

Life has been moving at breakneck speed lately.  So much faster than when we lived in Switzerland.  So fast that I feel like I’m dropping my Swiss-life intentions behind me as I’m rocketed along. But I do try to keep all those life intentions clutched in my hands and tucked inside my head. One of … More Hiking to be Swiss

Culture Shock

We are officially back in DC. Actually we have been here for 2 weeks, but it doesn’t feel that long. My Mom and I drove across the country from the family farm in Iowa and pulled into the driveway at 7pm on the second day of driving. The first day of driving was filled with … More Culture Shock

How to Raise a Good Sport – especially when you have a competitive child.

This article was just published at AFineParent.com. I am thrilled to be a contributor to this web magazine and share my parenting experiences with all of you. How to Raise a Good Sport by Malinda Carlson. (This article is part of the Positive Parenting FAQ series. Get free article updates here.) Good game, high-5; Good … More How to Raise a Good Sport – especially when you have a competitive child.

“I Live Here.”

Basel gets its share of tourists. Not too many, but we get them. They are easy to spot as they come blinking into the sunshine from the inside of the dark train station, checking maps, and looking around with puzzled expressions. Usually I mind my own business. I keep my head down and go about … More “I Live Here.”