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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

Our Fourth of July Story

Disney Story App

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands – click here.

In our house most holidays come with specific traditions…except for Independence Day. One thing is certain: on the Fourth, we’re going to eat. Everything else is pretty flexible.

Some years we throw a party, some years it’s just us. We usually don’t even commit to fireworks until sometime in the evening (and just as often as not we decide that we’re having a great time relaxing at home and have no desire to fight the crowds.)

This year our Fourth of July was, predictably, relaxed and food-filled. We hosted a small group of family and friends, but in our family, even a “small” group usually includes at least 10 kids. The weather was great, so amid stuffing our faces with ribs, potato salad, mac-and-cheese, and deviled eggs we sat outside chatting and watching the kids blow bubbles and run around the yard.

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At dusk we decided to grab the kids and some blankets and head down to the beach to watch the fireworks. It was fun, but a stressful, long, and late process that I will probably not repeat next year or maybe even the next.

I remember when my big kids were little, I would sometimes feel vaguely guilty that I didn’t take them to see the fireworks every single year. But now I see that I was NOT being a lazy or “bad” mom by skipping on the fireworks. Most of the time it’s way late for little kids and getting there and home can be a huge undertaking.

I figure I’d like some fireworks displays to be part of my kids’ collection of childhood memories, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen every year, or even every other year, or that I’m obligated to haul my kids out every time there’s a fireworks show in town.

I guess what’s constant in our July 4 holiday, besides the food, is that we have built a tradition of doing pretty much whatever we want on that one day each year. We don’t over-commit, we don’t over-plan, and we don’t over-do much of anything. It’s just hanging out in the yard, talking, eating, and having fun. I think every family needs a holiday like that.

To see more photos of our Fourth of July festivities go ahead and click below! It’ll take you to our Story using the Disney Story App, which is free and helps you create a virtual story from the moments in your life.

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