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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

Surrender To The Snow Day

A particularly timely post from our archives. Enjoy!

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This was my reaction to learning recently that the school district had called off school – again – due to inclement weather.

Indeed, it felt that way. My children have only had one full week of school since early January. I think, anyway. To be honest, it’s all starting to run together into a big, cold, unproductive blur. 

But one thing I do know: we had three snow days, all in a row, after winter break. Then a short week for my big boys due to exams. Then a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Then school was called off. And called off again.

I’ve admitted to being an unabashed snow-day lover, but there are limits to everything. I’ve been looking forward to gearing up work and getting my house under control, but instead of building momentum, I feel like I’ve just been sputtering along since Christmas. 

So finding out about yet another day with all my kids home all day initially inspired a feeling of panic and more than a little mom-grumping.

It’s not just about my kids being around; I like my kids, after all. It’s about everyone being stuck inside due to the bitter cold, and having to move all my appointments – and then move them again. It’s about routines falling apart and bedtimes getting lax and the fact that I still have a few errant Christmas ornaments lying around that haven’t made it to the bins in the basement yet.

So that evening, I allowed myself one of those whiny Facebook moments I usually try to avoid.

But then I tried to shift my perspective.  I mentally wrote off getting much done, and just…surrendered to the snow day.

It’s normal to be frustrated when schedules keep getting interrupted. But the beauty of having bad weather hit so much of the country at once is the sense that we’re all in it together. Everyone’s working from home around the chaos of kids and dogs. Nobody minds when a meeting gets rescheduled. My calendar suddenly feels so arbitrary – will it really matter if I don’t get that post up on time?

One day, sooner than we think, life will get back to the comforting monotony of normal. And one day, we’ll look back and say “Remember that year that we had all those snow days?” 

Most likely the kids will have school tomorrow. But there’s always a possibility they won’t. For today, we’ll make some cookies, maybe play some board games. And see what the weather does.

I guess I just made up my mind to surrender to the snow day. I can’t do anything about it, after all. So I’m planning to enjoy the cozy, lazy, holed up feeling only a snow day can inspire. And remember that, soon enough, I’ll wish we had more breaks and lazy sleeping-in mornings. 

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