Mama Smiles – Joyful Parenting features experiences, products, and activities that encourage parent-child bonding, create fun learning opportunities, inspire positive sibling relationships, and build happy, healthy, connected families. I started this site as a creative outlet five years ago. It has grown into a wonderful place to share ideas of ways to get the most out of parenting, and I gain valuable insights and inspiration from my readers.
I live in Silicon Valley (near San Francisco) and enjoy life as the mother of four young, playful, curious, craft-loving children, born in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2012. My passions include parenting, hands-on learning, sewing, crochet, and anything that encourages learning and creativity throughout life.
I have an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, where I studied organ and vocal performance. I also hold a master’s degree in education, also from Stanford University, with a foreign language teacher’s credential. I taught high school French before returning to graduate school for a PhD in medicine (from the University of Edinburgh), where I looked at programs that use music as therapy for children and to rebuild communities in post-war regions. I now use all three degrees on a daily basis (albeit in somewhat unusual ways) as the stay-at-home mother of four young children! Walk into my home on a random day and you will likely find me reading pictures books with my kids, crafting, playing with kids on the floor, or taking pictures.
As a survivor of pediatric cancer (30 years in May 2012!), I cherish each and every day of life.
Any patterns, templates, and recipes included on this site are my own original creations. Feel free to use them, but please give credit to this site – and share links to posts rather than copying instructions.
Do you have ideas for this blog, or are you interested in collaborating on a project? Check out my media kit! You can also read my disclosure and review policy here. You can reach me by email at mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com.
Here are a few posts that can help you get to know me a little better: