August — that month where we like to cram in one last vacation, one last get away, one last opportunity to enjoy some summer with the family.  Though we dream of the ideal trip and we do everything we think we need to to ensure a peaceful and fun vacation, it never fails, when traveling with children, all bets are off.  Whether you are taking a once in a lifetime vacation, heading to a family reunion or just taking a weekend away with the kids, here are a few tips to help ensure that your next vacation has fewer crankies and meltdowns and more fun for everyone.


1)   Really make peace with why you are taking the trip.  If it’s to unwind, get away, have peace and quiet, then, look into hotel babysitters, go with family who can help out or consider taking along a teenage family friend to babysit.  Traveling is stressful, kids create stressful moments and sometimes our children are not really behaving out of line, but we are too stressed out to deal with their issues effectively.  Enlist help!

2)  Consider the age of your child and their normal routine.  Though you may be looking forward to introducing your 3 year old to Disney for the first time, they still need naps, regular breaks for healthy food and a place to get away from the over-stimulation.  A child is much more in tune with their senses than most adults and we need to make sure that they are sticking pretty close to their routine — no matter how much you paid for the dolphin show that is right at nap-time.

3)  You are probably really excited about your trip, and your child is excited because you are, but most children do not really have a sense of what a vacation means — particularly if you are going to a new place, with new routines or even new cultures.  Your child may be a little antsy and not old enough to voice that or doesn’t know what they are feeling to tell you.  Before you leave for your trip show them photos online, talk about the things you will be doing and give them some reference points that are somewhat familiar.  ie. “We’ll be staying at a hotel just like when we went to see Aunt Sally.”

4)  Let them take something that is familiar.  Whether it’s a stuffed animal, action figure, blanket or favorite ratty t-shirt — let them bring at least one thing that gives them comfort.

5)  Get enough rest yourself.  Your kids will feed off of your energy. If you’re tired, frustrated, cranky or upset, your children will feel that and mimic something similar making your struggle all the more difficult.

6)  Eat well.  It’s so easy to indulge and eat lots of sugar, fast food and hamburgers on vacation.  Make sure you are getting in some nutritious options including whole grains and fruits and veggies.  This will help keep everyone’s energy levels at an optimum.


7)  Lastly, manage your own expectations.  Life in general unpredictable.  Life with kids even more so.  Life as a vacation with kids….all bets are off.  Take deep breaths and remember why you are on vacation and have fun!



The New Year is upon us and now is the perfect time to help your children think about how they would like 2011 to unfold.  Setting intentions is a way of life–even science has proven a link between conscious thought and the experiences we have.  Forming positive intentions it is something that children must be encouraged and show how to do.


Setting intentions is simply the act of formulating a clear list of feelings you would like to experience and goals you would like to accomplish; and then releasing your attachment to them.  Children are AMAZINGLY good at this!  For those who are too young to really formulate thoughts separate from mom and dad, let them watch you as you make your list or create your vision board, or talk to them about what you are hoping to feel and/or accomplish in 2011.  You will be modeling a habit that will serve them well as they get older.


Children age four and up should be encouraged to have fun, think outside the box and form intentions without a parent’s well-intentioned limitations.  To help the process, ask your child to draw a picture of what they will look like, feel like and/or experience in the coming year.  Let them cut pictures out and make a collage or vision board or give them a new journal to write their list in.  Let them make a crossword with their favorite feeling words or write a poem to express how they want to be seen in the coming months.


To help encourage your children here are some leading questions that you can ask:


1.   What is your favorite feeling in the whole world?  Describe how you are when you are feeling that feeling.

2.   What do you look like when you are your happiest, your most content, your most excited?

3.  Who are you with when you are the happiest, most loving or having the most fun?

4.  What color comes to mind when you are feeling happy, loving, excited?

5.  What sound makes you feel like all of your dreams are coming true?

6.  When you think about being in your heart, what music do you hear?

7.  Describe your favorite time that you can remember and use feeling words.


The most important thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong intentions.  The point of this exercise is to set conscious intentions and line them up with how we will feel when those goals are met.  Words and thoughts are powerful; help your child(ren) live with positive intentions by leading them to consciously choose what they want to experience in life.

As Einstein proved in his theory of relativity, everything is energy.  Including us. Not only are we made up of energy but we are directly effected by other people’s energy on a daily basis. You can often  times feel when someone is in a bad mood without them saying a word. This can easily affect our own mood. Our senses pick up on subtle  energetic cues and frequencies from everything that surrounds us.

As children, we are highly open and even more sensitive.  We are  sponges as we bring in new information and try and make sense of the world. We are not only taking in what people are saying, but we are  subconsciously picking up on their energy and reacting to it.  Since  we are so open, childhood is often the time when we begin to form  lasting energetic patterns.

Therefore, we want to make sure that the patterns being formed are healthy.  Kids pick up on energy at school, during  interactions with other children, from TV, but most  importantly from you!

As a Reiki master I do energy work on a lot of families and the  interesting thing I have noticed is that the energetic patterns/blocks  are in most cases identical between parents and their kids.  Children  subconsciously absorb /react to the energy the parents are putting  forth.  Therefore, by keeping yourself in a joyful space, this helps  children to model this same type of behavior.  Many parents forget to  take care of themselves and they begin to suffer energetically as they are continually giving to everyone but themselves.

A way to keep your own energy replenished and in a good space is by  making what I like to call a joy list.  List at least 30 things that  bring you joy.  This can be something little like eating a piece of  chocolate, buying yourself flowers, or taking a bath to something big  like going on a vacation.  Make sure that everyday you do at least one  of the little things off your list and once a year you do something big.  Take time to connect to the joy and appreciate the gift you are  giving yourself.  Reinforce that you are worth it. By reinforcing this  in yourself, you are reinforcing it your kids.

Each child comes into the world with his or her own special gifts. They have something unique to share with us that adds to the magnificence of the world. The greatest service we can do for children is to help them to “unwrap” their own special gift. By providing love, support, and encouragement, we provide a safe space to allow a child to stay connected to who they really are. True success and abundance comes from tapping into their passion, and sharing their gifts and light with the world.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we want to shine light on the incredible women who hold the most important job in the world. Thank you for nurturing, guiding, and loving the future of our country. Thank you for helping your child to find the treasures that reside within them.

Little Soul Productions operates with the philosophy that in order for kids to understand and be aware of different concepts, they need to experience them.  The more you can engage children in the learning process, the more empowered they are to discover the true magic of the world around them.  As we honor this world by celebrating Earth Day on April 22, let’s get our children involved so they can continue to develop a strong appreciation for their surroundings.  A great way to do this is to have them be conscious and understand where their food comes from.  We can teach them how the Earth is a sustainable eco system that provides for their well being.  In order to do this, we have asked guest blogger Lindsay Sloane to share an Earth friendly recipe that you can make with your children.  Kids are more likely to try new foods if they partake in the cooking process. Be sure to talk to your children about where the ingredients come from, so they can have a deeper appreciation for this amazing planet.

By Lindsay Sloane, guest blogger

I am first time blogger, long time cook, and even longer lover of food.  I distinctively remember getting to cook for the first time. I was in pre-school at The Magic Years Nursery School in Reseda, California.  The school really incorporated cooking into the curriculum and taught students how much fun and how easy it is to create delicious food.  In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share a nutritious recipe that kids can cook with their parents and the whole family is going to enjoy!  I wanted to share my joy of cooking and help teach children about some of the yummy foods that come from our Earth; foods that are free of chemicals, preservatives and ingredients you’ve never heard of.  This recipe is loosely based on one I learned from the Magic Years Nursery School when I was a kid.   I changed it to fit my tastes and I encourage you to do the same.

Lindsay’s Granola


5 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats (just dump a whole canister in a bowl)

1 Cup Raw Almonds Slices

1 Cup Sunflower Seeds (dehulled, unsalted)

1 Cup Raw Pepitas (these are the inside of pumpkin seeds – Available at Trader Joes)

1 Cup Unsweetened Dried Coconut

1 Cup Soy Flour

1 Cup Powdered Non-Fat Milk (if you buy the box with the individual packets, it’s one packet)

1 Cup Wheat Germ

1 Cup Safflower Oil

1 Full Honey Bear (one cup of honey if you are measuring)


The majority of this recipe kids can do with just a little adult supervision. Dump all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix.

Spread a thin layer onto two cookie sheets (it makes so much, you may have to do this twice)

Bake at 275 degrees until toasty and brown. Watch Closely so it doesn’t burn.

Wait for it to cool and then enjoy over yogurt or in a bowl with some milk…or even over ice-cream if you want a little treat!

Across the nation we are hearing reports of sunshine, warmer temperatures and flowers blooming.  We have been told by doctors, therapists and moms since the dawn of time to “Go outside.”  The benefits to all levels of your being are huge.

When children go outside they expand.  They experience a fullness of themselves that they cannot experience when indoors.  This is why moms everywhere lament foul weather — kids can only go so long without expanding before they start taking up all of the space around them — inside!

Next time you go for a walk with your child or even just outside to shoot some hoops or draw with chalk on the driveway, ask them how the sun feels on their body.  They are already soaking up the benefits of vitamin D which is so important for development and healthy living, and by tuning in to the sun they will also tune into their heart space.  They will feel the opening, the expansion.  Let them describe that to you.  Have them tell you how they feel.  Pay attention to how much more creative your child is when outside (or right after they come in). 

Put some sun screen on, grab a sweater and your sneakers, and go outside and feel better!

One of the biggest challenges parents, caregivers and teachers face is getting children to eat healthy.   As babies, my kids ate almost everything: peas, carrots, beats, strawberries, green beans, sweet potatoes…. Why then is feeding them nutritiously so difficult when they get a little older?

Think hotdogs, French fries, prepackaged cracker/cheese/meat lunches and fast food.  Truth is, children do what we do.  We eat on the run, we eat convenience foods and we eat for emotional needs more than hunger a lot of the time.  It’s not that any one of the food types mentioned is horrible….well, let’s just say not completely without merit, but we tend to make these the building blocks of our eating habits instead of once in awhile treats.

We are born with coding to know what our body needs.  And try as we might, we don’t ever obliterate that intuitive sense.   If you’ve ever just absolutely craved a salad or needed a hamburger you know what I’m talking about.  You body sends messages all the time about the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need.  We coat that system with preservatives and sugar creating a scenario where we think we need preservatives and sugar, but listen a little deeper and you will find that you really want an apple with peanut putter, a vibrant salad, pasta with veggies….even that protein and iron rich hamburger on occasion.

Help your children hold on to their internal menu guide by having them play a conscious role in food choices.  Let them help you pick out fruits and veggies at the supermarket.  Make a menu with food choices that are easy for you to prepare and have them check off a food from each group (bread, fruit/veggie, protein and beverage) for breakfast and lunch.  Lead them towards healthier snacks like nuts, dried fruit, crackers and cheese, a scoop of peanut butter, yogurt and granola etc. 

Tell us about your favorite healthy snack?

Sometimes all the nurturing in the world won’t calm an irrational, worked up or distraught child.  That’s when I encourage parents to get a little help from Mother Nature.  You see, all things nature help bring people to their heart space.  Ever find that you feel immeasurably better after a walk on the beach or through a park?  It’s because nature seeks balance and moves in to restore frantic or low energy creating equilibrium and harmony.

Of course, a child who is cranky because they’ve missed a nap simply needs sleep.  Or if they are falling to pieces because it’s past lunchtime, no amount of nature will quell the effects of low blood sugar.  But if your child is just having an off day, a little bit of time outside could work wonders.

Sending Johnny and Sally out to play together if they have been fighting might not work, but if you take them on a walk, or on a picnic and participate together, I believe you will find a change of attitude in the kids.  Chaos can exist outside, so again, going to a crowded park where there aren’t enough swings or the slide is stuffed with kids is not likely to help you or your child.  The chaotic energy of the people there will surely overrule the calming force of the grass, trees, sun and sky, but if you can play in a quieter park, walk through a botanical gardens, walk on the beach and collect shells, work in the garden at home or sit in your personal meditation garden the effects can be magical.

Too cold or yucky to go outside?  If you have a green thumb you can make sure there is a corner of your home with child safe plants all around.  Plop your child there with some relaxing music, coloring books and/or a story book and allow them to unwind and fill up.  Or, draw a warm bath and let your child soak while you read him a story.  Add a tablespoon of Epsom salts and a couple of drops of lavender and your child just may transform from angry and defiant to complacent and happy! 

Please share with us your favorite ways to employ nature in your quest to nurture your child!

Some up and coming business people promote Conscious Entrepreneurialism; there’s conscious living, conscious business, conscious eating, conscious parenting.  But what does it all mean?  What’s at the heart of living a conscious life?

Believe it or not, conscious living is not the opposite of unconscious living – not exactly anyway.  In western culture we are conditioned to make decisions on just about everything based on how logical or smart something is.  We are celebrated for our ability to reason out a problem and come up with a logical solution.  And we are commonly “poo-pooed” for making a decision based on our feelings or intuition.

When we live consciously, we don’t abandon logic for intuition, but we do combine them.  That means, sometimes our decisions don’t appear to make sense.  For example, when my kids were little and everyone else was teaching their kids about stranger danger, I was encouraging my kids to say, “Hello” to the elderly man in the grocery line AS LONG AS it felt appropriate.  We would enter all kinds of situations where I would ask them how the person or the situation felt.  When it felt good, safe and nurturing I would encourage them to say, “Hello.”  If it felt yucky, threatening, hateful or scary – we left and they were told that that is the kind of energy to run from.  Some parents got very upset that I wasn’t teaching what made sense to them in a frightening world, but my heart and mind were in alignment and now I have two children who don’t even go near a friend’s home if it feels “yucky.”  They also have not missed out on opportunities for making new friends because they were allowed to talk to people they didn’t know.

The essence of living consciously is living with intentions and with an open heart.  Your mind may come up with some grand ideas, but those who live consciously run that feeling through their heart to see how it feels.  Most successful people will tell you their fortune came on the wings of a faithful leap.  They took a chance because it felt right, not necessarily because it made sense.  Yes, we can make mistakes, but we make mistakes every day trying to follow a linear thought based path.

If you live consciously then you don’t just eat veggies because you’re supposed to, but you eat beets because you feel you need them.  You don’t just take on a business partner because they have the cash, you bring them on board because your personality melds with theirs creating a powerful feeling.  You don’t just issue any punishment to your child for hurting someone, you teach them with an appropriate response how to deal with the fear that made them act that way and then how to apologize and make it right. 

It’s easier than you may think to live consciously; you’re probably already doing it.  Take a moment right now and assess how this article made you feel.  How does your chair make you feel?  How is the temperature in the room where you are sitting?  Be conscious of how you are feeling in every moment and make decisions about your life from that place.  You’ll find it not only feels good, but it makes sense too!

Holidays produce some of the fondest memories we have with our children.  Valentine’s Day is no exception.  As you pick out Valentine’s for schoolmates, boxes of chocolate for mom and grandma and bake heart shaped cookies sprinkled with red sugar, you, like many conscious parents, may also be looking for more meaning or depth in this holiday to share with your children.  In fact, February 14th is a perfect time to introduce or reinforce with your children what it means to tune into your heart and your feelings.  More than a chocolate odyssey, Valentine’s Day reminds us to dig deep, remember to love ourselves and then express that love outward. The truth is, we can only love others to the degree that we love ourselves.

In addition to the crafts stamped with “I love you,” take this opportunity to help your child(ren) get in touch with the messages of their heart.  Consider adding one or more of these meaningful  Valentine activities to your memories.

1)       Spend a day using Feeling’s Language.  Instead of making statements like, “I am hungry,” or “I love you,” phrase everything with feeling language.  “I feel like it’s about time to eat.”  “My heart is full of positive emotions for you.”  “I feel like this is the perfect day for a family walk.”  “I’m overwhelmed with joy.”  “I’m blessed to have you in my life.”  You get the picture.

2)      Establish a Gratitude Jar.  Place a jar in a family common room along with slips of paper and colored pencils, crayons or pens.  Encourage every family member to mark down what they are grateful for at least once a day and put the paper in the jar.  At the end of the week take out the slips of paper and read everyone’s gratitudes.

3)      Have a Family Meeting and ask each person to state what they love about themselves (this can be things they think they are good at as well as qualities they like in themselves).  After the family member in the “hot seat” has expressed their self love, let all the other family members add the qualities they like about this same person.  Make sure every family member gets an opportunity to be in the “hot seat.”

4)      Download music that makes your heart sing and play it when you pick the kids up from school.

5)      Make a Commitment to only say, “I love you” when you are looking into each other’s eyes.  It has more meaning that way.