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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

Is your kid watching too much TV this summer? Mine is (and I don’t really care).

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My teenage son Isaac has been on a television gorge-fest since the beginning of summer break. Normally, this is something I’d feel at least a twinge of guilt over. After all, aren’t we supposed to protect our kids from screens? Aren’t they better off spending their days playing sports or hanging out with friends?

What if the answer is “not necessarily”? When I started thinking back to my own childhood, I identified several summer breaks where I went on epic TV gorges, and I don’t feel I’m any worse off for having had them – in fact, they contributed to the person I’ve become. And what other time of your life can you indulge a whim for, say, watching 7 episodes of The Office in a row every single day, as my son has been doing these days?

In my most recent Babble post, I reminisced about the summer of 1988, in which I watched MTV for hours and hours a day during one summer vacation. It was the summer before I started Junior High, the summer I developed my first serious crush, and the summer I transitioned from “little kid” to something in between. And yes, all that MTV was wrapped up in it somehow, and in my memory, in a positive way.

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Looking back, I’m sure there are other things I could have been doing with those six weeks each summer. More productive things, certainly. Perhaps things that would have helped to nurture a talent or a skill. I could certainly have taken in more fresh air and it probably wouldn’t have hurt to read a few quality YA novels.

But I don’t regret my childhood summerly obsession with TV. Many times, the random bits of cultural knowledge in my head have helped me connect with other people. I can mark passages in my life, my growth, my awareness, by the videos I held dearest. And if nothing else, I can always amuse myself (and occasionally, others) by still being able to sing every single word to Poison’s “Fallen Angel.”

Read the whole thing at my Babble Voices column, At Large: My son has done nothing but watch TV this summer (and I don’t care)

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