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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

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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

YUM: Creamy Potato-Bacon Salad With A Tangy Bite

potato salad with Marzetti dressing

One of my favorite ways to welcome spring? Potato salad.

But not just any potato salad. Here’s where I admit that for years, I was under the mistaken impression that I didn’t like the stuff. It turns out I’d just been eating the wrong kind – mushy, bland, overdone – and needed to be shown the light.

A few years ago we were in need of a potato salad recipe for a potluck. I had a bag of red potatoes and some bacon, so I went online and found approximately 30,394 recipes online for potato salad with bacon. Since then, we’ve tweaked and tweaked until just recently, we finally mastered the PERFECT potato salad recipe.

It’s tangy and creamy, with plenty of crunch, and so many complementary flavors going on that each bite is a little surprise. It’s also really simple to throw together before a weekend party – you’ll need just a handful of ingredients. 

The proportions in my recipe are party-sized, so feel free to divide the recipe if you’re just making this for your family’s dinner. Keep in mind that you’ll want some leftovers, though – the flavors will meld while it’s chilling in the fridge, and this potato salad is even better the next day.

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Creamy, Tangy Potato-Bacon Salad:

You’ll need:

  • 6 lb Yukon potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (you can also use red potatoes)
  • 3 sweet peppers, diced – I like to have a mix of yellow, red and orange
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 scallions, diced (reserve some for topping)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup Marzetti® Red Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Put potatoes in large pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Cook until just done – I prefer the potatoes to have a bit of snap left to them. As soon as they are as done, remove from heat and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Then put the potatoes in a large bowl and put in the refrigerator or freezer to cool (but don’t leave them in there too long – if they freeze it will mess up the texture. I learned that the hard way!)

2. Mix the mayonnaise, Marzetti vinaigrette, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. 

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3. When the potatoes are cooled, stir in the peppers, bacon, red onion, and about 3/4 of the scallions (reserve some for topping) plus salt and pepper to taste (you don’t need much.) Then fold in the dressing and toss or stir to coat.

4. Top with the remaining scallions – and you’re done!

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This salad is so flavorful – you get the sweet crunch of the peppers, the bite from the red onion, the salty goodness of the bacon, and the creamy, delicious tang from the mayo, Dijon mustard, and Marzetti vinaigrette in every bite.

Hello, spring. You’re tastin’ good. 

Tempted? Make my creamy potato-bacon salad this week and tell me what you think!

I have been invited to participate in a Marzetti® ambassador program. This post is sponsored by Marzetti and product has been provided by them. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Love pinning your favorite recipes on Pinterest? Enter the Marzetti Recipe Exchange Sweepstakes by April 30, 2014 for a chance to win a $250 gift card and coupons for Marzetti products. Start pinning today – you can start with this recipe, if you’d like!

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