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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

Big Day of Giveaways: Win an Art Easel/Desk from One Step Ahead!

One Step Ahead Easel Giveaway 2 at The Happiest Home

Lately, Clara has been really into taking marker to paper. She draws all day, coming up with inventive characters and practicing drawing letters and numbers on every piece of paper she can find.

And naturally, I’ve encouraged my budding artist and writer.

But a couple of weeks ago, I woke up one morning to find 2’s scrawled all over my bedroom.

 

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She’d done it the night before, but because it had been dark in the room when I’d gone to bed, I hadn’t noticed. So as I walked around my room getting dressed that morning, I was suddenly met with the sight of dozens of 2’s.

They were everywhere. On every wall. Every dresser. The laundry basket. My desk. My bedside table. Jon’s wardrobe.

It was more than a bit unsettling.

I even found a number scrawled on the footboard of our bed – though, inexplicably, it was a 3. 

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Clara was contrite, and thankfully, the (permanent, yikes!) marker came off all surfaces with the help of a Magic Eraser. But it became clear that this girl needs a larger “canvas” for her scrawlings and doodles. Evidently, she feels the need to draw standing up

Which is why I was so excited to discover the Flip-Down Art Easel and Desk from One Step Ahead.

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The easel is sturdy, versatile, and roomy, offering plenty of storage space for all her supplies. It includes a paper roll (perfect for her larger-scale drawings), a chalkboard, and a white board, paint cups, and five bins for storing markers, crayons, brushes and more. It also folds down into a desk in two steps. This is the kind of gift that achieves hand-me-down status.

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Thanks to One Step Ahead, Clara will be opening this art easel and desk on Christmas morning – I know she’ll be thrilled! – and so could your little one.

We’ll be giving away a Flip-Down Art Easel and Desk to one lucky reader (and lucky kid!) today!

Just leave a comment – one per person, please – and you’ll be automatically entered to win a random drawing. I’d love to hear if you’ve had any “art mishaps” in your house, like our saga of Clara and the 2’s! 

Here are the official contest rules. Good luck!

Entry Rules: The contest will run until 10 PM EST on Friday, December 13, and we’ll randomly pick a winner on Saturday, December 14. You must leave a valid email address to win (email addresses will not be published). Winner will be notified via email on Saturday, December 14 and must respond within 48 hours to notification, or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks to One Step Ahead for sponsoring this giveaway!

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