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Pardon our dust! (And, yay for changes!)

We’re doing a little spring cleaning here at The Happiest Home! Sarah’s been working hard behind the scenes to switch us to a new theme that will make it easier for you to navigate content and discover gems that have gotten buried over the years. We appreciate your patience while we roll out the new changes, and – whoops! – apologize if some older content somehow winds up in your inbox along the way. Want to stay up to date on what’s happening here amid all the changes? Fill out the box below and we’ll get in touch with you via email

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Looking for inspiration and real-life connection? Join me at the BEYOND Retreat next fall.

You know one of the biggest benefits of slowing down and doing less? When you step off of the merry-go-round of doing, doing, doing just because it seems like, well, the thing to do, you suddenly have all this “new” time and energy and brain space to pursue things that mean a lot to you. For years I’ve been dreaming of putting together an event bringing together awesome women in one place to dream, plan, recharge and get inspired. And now it’s time to make it happen. In October of 2015 I’ll be hosting a small but mighty group of women (is

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“Fun Parent” vs. “Boring Parent” – It’s Not Fair! But Is It True?

My husband made this lunch for my daughter last week. I know. I should have known it was coming when I caught him poring over Bento box tutorials on YouTube, watching a woman meticulously arrange smiley faces onto tiny rice-ball heads, then cap them off with pita-pocket hats. The very next day, Jon made a special trip to the grocery store for supplies. And that evening, he and Clara hovered over the kitchen island for a good half-hour creating The Lunch To End All Lunches.  Heart-shaped salami framed by heart-shaped cheese slices, people. A tiny little star cutout peanut-butter sandwich with honey and sprinkles

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Delegate Like Downton: A Strategy For Managing Home Helpers

Imagine this: it’s a Sunday afternoon. One child just got done shoveling the walk, and another is unloading the dishwasher. You, on the other hand, are reading a magazine, sipping a cup of tea and enjoying the calm of a neat (enough) kitchen…that you didn’t even have to tidy up yourself. Sound like a fantasy? It’s not! It’s actually how my Sunday afternoon played out…and it’s a pretty common scenario around here. It hasn’t always been this way. Earlier in marriage and motherhood, I was surrounded by mess and chaos, and bogged down by resentment. Why didn’t other family members recognize

At Home with Meagan

5 Must-Have Kitchen Tools

I’ve been wanting to do a regular video series, like, forEVER. But when I had kids home with me during the day, I found it was just too difficult to find quiet pockets of time to shoot and edit regularly. A five-minute video may not seem like it takes much time to do, but there’s a lot of set-up and production involved, even in the most “candid” vids.  Now that my days are my own, though, I’m finding that I’ve got the space and quiet to take on some of those things I’ve been wanting to do! So, here it

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Whimsical Girl’s Bedroom Ideas

We’re moving! In less than two weeks my family is relocating to Southern California and we couldn’t be more excited. Our new house is ready and waiting for us and I’m itching to get into it and start settling in. One of the biggest differences between our current house and the one we’re moving into is the flooring. We have carpet now – lots of it – and we’re moving into a house with all hardwood floors. And while the new floors are beautiful, it’s going to be awfully echo-y in there until we get some area rugs down. One problem:

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Gardening with Kids, The (Really) Easy Way

I’ve always wanted to think of myself as the kind of mom who grows herbs indoors using a DIY seed-starting kit, turning toilet-paper rolls or egg cartons into frugal mini-gardens which nurture her child’s green thumb, creativity and resourcefulness. In reality, I’m the kind of mom who intends, every year, to start seeds indoors eight weeks before the ground is warm, or start a windowsill herb garden, but always forgets to gather the supplies or set aside an afternoon for putting together a system. So this year, I decided to skip all the usual “Oh man, I can’t believe I

5 ways to be more productive – today.

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How about this weather, eh?

After two days of sun and glorious warm breezes (hey, after the winter we’ve had, 40 degrees definitely feels warm!) we were hit with six inches of snow overnight and I woke up to cancelled school and gray skies. And from what I’m reading around the Internet it sounds like many of you are dealing with dreary or unpredictable weather and a resulting case of the blahs.

This time of year can be tough – we all know sunshine is just around the corner, and it can be hard to muster up the energy to get things done when you’re in the in-between straddling seasons. So I’ve compiled some of our best posts on productivity and “getting stuff done” for you today. I hope they’ll encourage you to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Make a “to dream” list.

Is your to-do list, more often than not, incomplete at the end of the day? Do you find yourself carrying the same items forward day after day? It’s possible your to-do list is bloated with tasks that really belong on a to-dream list. Find out why creating a to-dream list can quiet the noise in your head and help you focus on the day-to-day stuff you “have” to get done, without forgetting the big-picture stuff you want to accomplish. 

Do less. Do it better.

Nobody can run in twenty-five directions at once, and when you try to focus on too many priorities, your efforts get diluted so much that it’s hard to make forward progress. A few years ago I decided to focus on doing fewer things, but doing them better. It makes it so much easier to prioritize and take effective action.

Streamline Your Mind

When your brain is full, it’s easy to spiral downward into social media escapism or get stuck doing little stuff that doesn’t get you closer to your goals. The first step when dealing with mental clutter is to get it out on paper, then organize and streamline. Here’s the process I like, detailed in of my favorite posts on how to stop spinning your wheels and take action. 

Forget about giving 100%

We often think of productivity in terms of “giving 100%.” Problem is, the 100% you are capable of on a sunny spring day when you’re feeling great might be completely different from the 100% you can pull off when you’re getting over a cold and your yard is a slushy mess. Here’s why giving 100% doesn’t always look like giving 100% – and why it’s enough to simply make forward progress without comparing your “average” self to your best self.

Stop thinking and act.  

It’s easy to get caught up in “paralysis by analysis.” Nobody wants to act recklessly, after all. But sometimes we use research, organization and preparation as excuses to never make forward motion. I recently wrote a post about how 10 years ago I started down the path toward creating a life (and career) I love. The number-one factor that changed everything for me? I took action, starting right where I was, rather than waiting to feel 100% ready or for somebody to give me permission.

You can too.

Did any of these ideas speak to you? What are your best tips for staying productive and getting important things done?

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