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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

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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

mini-resolution: clean up my desk

Where do you do the majority of your work? Is it typing at a desk? Stirring over the stove? Mixing in a test tube? Creating in a studio? Chasing kids around the living room?

For me, the answer should be “typing at a desk”, but right now I’m sitting in the living room pounding away at my laptop, perched precariously in my lap. In an hour or two I might move to the bed, where I’ll slump over the laptop, kinking up my back and trying not to get sleepy.

Why? Because my desk is a hot mess! See for yourself:

Sad, huh? Yes, that’s a board game. And two bowls and an antique potato masher I haven’t found a home for yet. A Christmas tin. Stamps. A book. A sales flyer (probably from December). Window film boxes in my in-trays. It’s a big old pile of miscellaneous with zero room to sit and work.

When we had house guests over New Year’s, my desk became the unofficial dumping ground for all things that were taking up space in the kitchen or dining room. And between trying to get back in the swing of real life and going on two trips since the holiday, I haven’t had time to tackle it. I just looked at the calendar and realized it’s been a month since I’ve had a functional desk! I’ve gotten to the point where I walk quickly past my office and avert my eyes so that I don’t have to deal with the reality.

But today? I have clean it up. I need my space back!

The good news is that once you’ve decided to tackle a project like this, it usually doesn’t take that long. As I’ve pointed out before, cleaning and organizing are a process, not a goal you can reach and then stop worrying about it. Letting mess build up doesn’t mean you’re hopelessly messy or disorganized, it just means you have to make the decision to get in there and make it right again.

So that’s my mini-resolution for the day. How is your work space looking? Could it use a little attention so you can be more efficient and creative?

UPDATE! I spent a little over an hour cleaning this afternoon – thanks to my friend Melissa for coming over and keeping me company! – and here’s how my desk looks now:

A nice improvement, huh? It really didn’t take that long, but I feel like I can breathe again. (Of course, looking at this photo just now I realized that a picture or something had slipped behind the desk! Can you spot it?)

If your desk or work area is bringing you down, there’s still time to get it cleaned up today. Ready, set….go!

PS: Thanks to Cecily Kellogg for posting a fun slideshow of bloggers’ desks – it definitely inspired me this morning.

I’m wrapping up a four-week series of mini-resolutions: small, simple improvements I’ve been making in different areas of my life. This week I’m focusing on “work”, whether that’s your creative passion, your career or the work of caring for home and family. I hope you’ll join me!

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for creating a happier home life?

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