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


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


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:


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

My favorite Happiest Mom posts (an outsider-turned-insider’s perspective)

This post is by Sarah Powers, Happiest Mom contributor and Managing Editor, and blogger at Powers of Mine.

reading, blogs, The Happiest Mom

When I came on as Managing Editor here at The Happiest Mom a few months ago, I was already a big fan of Meagan and the blog. I’d been a regular reader here for a couple of years, I read Meagan’s book when it came out in 2011, and later that year I was lucky enough to be in a small group online writing class she taught.

As a reader, what kept me coming back to this space was just how helpful I found the content to be. And not just in an instructive, “10 Easy Dinners for Less than $5″ or “How to Potty Train Your Child” kind of way (though Meagan certainly has the chops and experience to be super helpful in many of those areas), but also in a “Wow, I love that way of looking at it” kind of way. I was drawn to Meagan’s writing because it was commonsense and practical, inclusive and non-judgmental, thoughtful and uplifting.

Now I’m on the other side…sort of.

In my role as editor I get to work with the diverse and really talented guest writers we’ve been featuring lately, I get to brainstorm with Meagan about the kind of content that will best serve you, our readers, and I get to contribute to the blog myself. (Can we just pause for a sec while I pinch myself? Because, yeah. It’s been awesome.) And while 90% of the posts in the Happiest Mom archives pre-date my involvement, I can’t help but feel some pride in being associated with them.

And yet, at the same time, I’m still a reader first. I cried with many of you at Meagan’s post last week about experiencing the joy of The Nutcracker just hours after news broke out of Newtown. I continue to find posts from our archives that are relevant to my life. I may be on “the inside” now, but I read our posts like many of you do – for a dose of real life, common sense and inspiration delivered gently and relatably from someone I genuinely like and admire.

So as we approach a New Year I thought I’d take you back into the Happiest Mom archives from this outsider-turned-insider perspective and share some of my favorite posts. Some of these have stayed with me since the first time I read them, and others have surfaced as new favorites as I’ve gotten to know our content better. Some are among our most popular posts ever, and others are a little more obscure. Whether you’re a new reader here or a longtime fan of Meagan’s, I hope you’ll find something in this list that resonates to what’s going on in your life as a mom these days.

(Oh! And if you have any topics you’d love to have us cover in 2013, be sure to leave us a note in the comments. I happen to know the editor.)

My favorite Happiest Mom posts: an outsider-turned-insider’s perspective (in no particular order)

…on personal and professional inspiration: What every mom with a dream needs: encouragement

…on shiny teakettles and little things that make us happy: Why do I hire help? Because I want to, that’s why.

…on being intentional about building your tribe: Five secrets to building a social life as a mom

…on creating a home and neighborhood for kids to be kids: 6 ways to encourage free play, create stronger communities, and raise safer kids

…on getting dinner on the table without reinventing the wheel: The Six-Meal Shuffle: Extremely Simplified Meal-Planning

…on being worth it: shopping, showers & self-sacrifice: the lesson of the blue dress

…on losing the labels: On labels and limits: why I no longer call myself an “attachment parent”

…on family dinners being functional, not perfect: What my mom taught me about getting dinner on the table

…on being okay with our choices: Homeschool, public school, private? Education choices and the ideal mother

…on not changing who you are: The mom you are is the mom your children need.

…on vulnerability: What’s your parenting Achilles’ heel?

Do you have any favorite Happiest Mom posts? Anything you’d like to see us cover in the coming year?

Photo: Terence S. Jones on Flickr, via Creative Commons license

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