On Happiness: Myths Debunked

Ah, the pursuit of happiness.  Isn’t that an inherent right of all Americans?  Yet the majority of Americans seem to be searching for happiness in all the wrong places… striving for that next promotion at work, purchasing a larger home, buying a nicer car, thinking that marriage will provide lasting happiness, or planning the perfect vacation.  We seem to have it all backwards.  Here are … Continue reading On Happiness: Myths Debunked

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Want to be Happier? Take a Walk in Nature

Within moments of beginning my walk around the grounds of the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley this morning, I began to experience that wonderful feeling of peace and calmness that washes over me me when I’m out in nature.  Whenever I begin to feel stressed, overwhelmed, quick to anger, or anxious, I’ve learned the best thing for me to do is head outside.  It doesn’t … Continue reading Want to be Happier? Take a Walk in Nature

The Importance of Outdoor Time: Why I Blog

As I enter 2014, I feel the need to answer the question, “Why do I blog?”  When I created “A Nature Mom”, my vision was clear.  My goal was to inspire other families to get outside and play.  I already had created a real-life social Meetup group, Nature Time!  The Bay Area Outdoor Playgroup, a parenting club I envisioned would bring families together, playing outside … Continue reading The Importance of Outdoor Time: Why I Blog

The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

One of the great things about playing in nature is that bouts of exertion and excitement are often interspersed with quiet, contemplative time.  I don’t have to recommend these quiet moments… my five-year-old sits down and calms himself entirely on his own whenever he’s inspired by the beauty around him. I often wonder what he’s thinking, but I wouldn’t dare interrupt the magic of the … Continue reading The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature

This is the backyard of my childhood home.  These are the places I played as a child, building forts, climbing trees, scaling mountains, running from dinosaurs, becoming a world explorer, digging like an archaeologist, wading in the creek, catching crawdads, watching frogs lay eggs, and observing the development of pollywogs.  This was the play of a child falling in love with nature. Are you a … Continue reading My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature

Solo Hike, Rocky Ridge View Trail, Las Trampas, San Ramon

With summer only a couple months away, it’s time to begin training for summer hiking in the Sierras.    Also, after the social and kid-oriented Easter festivities yesterday, I really needed to regroup this morning with a little alone time.  I also felt the need for some exercise after the feast at my parent’s house yesterday.  For these reasons, I decided to head out for a … Continue reading Solo Hike, Rocky Ridge View Trail, Las Trampas, San Ramon


“Everyone needs to have some downtime in a quiet place where they’re not interrupted – even kids.  Or especially kids.  It’s healthy to provide your child with her own space to simply reflect, think, imagine, wonder, and be alone.  Quiet time, without television, video games, or other stimulation, promotes thinking and relaxation, and it allows children to sort through their thoughts and feel calm.” – … Continue reading Downtime

Outside Play, Every Day

Getting outside every day is a necessity for me, both for my physical and emotional health.  I begin to feel a  little, well, off when I’ve been inside too long, and I’ve noticed my son is the same way.  I can get sucked into staying in the house as easily as the next mom, letting my son play with his building toys for hours and … Continue reading Outside Play, Every Day