mama scout lab e-course

Friday, March 2, 2018

{poetry jam} every april

Every April I offer Poetry Jam in honor of National Poetry Month. It is the simplest but nicest of my labs, I think. Each day I send you a poem. These are curated from classics as well as the most contemporary poets. I spend the year reading, researching, attending readings and collecting in anticipation of sharing with you. The challenge for jammers is to simply read a poem every day for a month. 

In addition to the poems, I share simple crafts, ideas, and resources that will help you add a little more poetry to your days past the lab. This session, I am going to add more writing prompts as well. The idea is not to write poems necessarily, but to use writing to catch images and memories as they bubble into your mind. It will be painless, I promise. 

I have been writing a lot of poetry and experimental essays in the last year and although I usually do not feel like I have a firm grasp on what I am doing, I am always surprised and happy when I look back at the snapshots I am capturing of my life at this moment. 

It is a good practice. 

This lab, unlike my other ones, requires no social media presence. I will set up a FB group and Instagram hashtag, but they are completely optional. 

Sign up here

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Lab 2017 (+ a coupon)

Holiday Lab starts December 1st! It is 10 days of ideas, disruptions, and permissions to create the holiday season that works for you. No excuses. 

You want to make all sorts of handmade gifts? Great. 

Want to buy presents at big box stores? Awesome! 

Trees? Live, fake or a ficus? It is all perfect! 

There is no right way to "perform" the season other than the way that promotes the connections that you are seeking. 

I have partnered with Merrick Weaver in the new online platform (megaphone) called Binderful. Binderful is a collection of women who teach, lead, inspire on a variety of topics - including homemaking, healing with plants, cooking, creative living, sexual health and more. The idea is that Binderful is a one-stop shop for gaining access to diverse voices in affordable, easily digestible classes and experiences. 

Holiday Lab is the inaugural class being offered through this new platform. It is a start, a soft opening for what I hope will become a radical resource for better. If you want to join the lab and support this endeavor - just click on the photo above. Use the code mamascout for $15 off. 

xo, amy

Friday, May 5, 2017

{may challenge} read

There is a new challenge up in the FB group for May!

We are working on reading more (who doesn't want that?), reading harder/different/weirder stuff, and reading in public (a form of resistance + public art). We are sharing reading lists, resources, and encouragement. 

If you want to join us, just drop in to the group

Thursday, March 30, 2017

April Wellness Challenge :: #letshydrate

Hello! It has been a while since we have done a wellness challenge, so let's remedy that now! I propose we spend the month hydrating. Water consumption is difficult even for people who love it. And if you are not a fan, it is even a bigger challenge. 

We will spend the month sharing ideas, tricks, tips and resources to encourage and support each other in our quest for hydration. 

This challenge happens in my FB group Mama Scout Laboratory for Creative Living. You can join here.  See you in the bathroom queue!

poetry jam ---> last call, y'all

Last night, as we pulled into our driveway after a 12 hour day of co-ops, capture the flag, play rehearsal and birthday shopping, we caught glimpse of our fox. He was sitting in the backyard, illuminated by the back porch light looking perfect. Reddish brown, alert, fluffed out in the cool air. We caught eyes and then he sauntered off. He is a constant around here. In the spring and summer, he strolls through our yard each day at around the same time (he has a route and schedule). We have missed him the last few winter months, but it looks like the wheel has turned and he is back.

April is national poetry month and its return each spring is something I anticipate. We read poetry all year round, but the idea of a month devoted to it seems luxurious. To make the month easier for me (and you) I created Poetry Jam, a simple and direct lab. Each day for the entire month, poet jammers receive a poem, essay, or project. I want you to be able to lay in bed, check your email and read something gorgeous, poignant, empowering and even passionately angering each morning. I love collecting the poems as I slowly build my own familiarity with poets, new and old.

I hope you will join us and give this little practice a try.

Poetry Jam starts in a 2 days (the welcome letter goes out tomorrow).

You can join here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

is being online hampering your creative expression?

The NYT Magazine's On Technology essay by Jenna Wortham this week speaks to much of what I (and I suspect my friends) have been thinking about lately. How can wide freedom of creativity and connectedness happen online? And in what ways does the very fact of it being online limit the conversation?

“The internet should be a place with no rules, and freedom, but it’s not,” PiƱero said. “There is a certain pressure to conform to certain aesthetics.” It was something I had noticed myself. Each social-media platform tends to reward certain behaviors and styles of posting, all in the interest of building fans and followers who are invested in the performance of a persona (maybe even more so than the Geppetto-like person orchestrating it all). Instagram is a place for intimate-seeming photos, Twitter for clever quips and collaborative memes. Facebook demands an unmitigated rawness that can be terrifying at times. With all, the works are often made to fit the platform, not the other way around.

read the article here.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

{idea} minivan movie house

We spend a lot of time in the car. Driving from class to class, often 30-60 minutes in each direction. I don't mind because we have a very comfortable, safe car, I love watching the scenery change through the seasons and my kids are involved in some unique and amazing activities.

Many homeschool parents love the time they spend in the car with their kids and use it as time to chat. We do that, but to be honest, it is really hard for me to concentrate on the road and converse with three kids at the same time. Listening to music is good, but there tends to be too much DJ'ing and lively discussion over each song and which is next.

We have a DVD player that came installed in our car, something I never thought I would embrace. We use it to watch movies on our 20+ hour trips up and down the eastern seaboard (CT -> FL -> CT) but have tended not to use it in day to day life too much.

I recently did a time audit with Merrick Weaver as part of her online class "Leadership of Homemaking." From it, I decided to reclaim our time on the road and created the:

Minivan Movie House. 

On trips over 30 minutes on the interstate the movie house is open. We watch all the documentaries, foreign and classic films that I think are an internal part of a well rounded education but might not make it on to the roster for family movie night. We watch films that directly connect with the classes they are taking or nascent individual interests. The films are calm, sometimes deeply moving, and allow me to drive safely. The upside is that I get to listen too, which I enjoy.

Some recent favorites:

The Hobart Shakespeareans
Dancing Across Borders
The Tempest
various Basil Rathbone's  Sherlock Holmes films
The Eagle Huntress
Our Little Sister
Boy & the World
The complete Daria and Dilbert series
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Monkey Kingdom
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet 
Monsieur Huglot's Holiday
The French Chef with Julia Child
any American Experience 

How do you reclaim time spent in the car? Share in the comments or drop me a line.


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