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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

"What I've learned about new motherhood? Time is not on my side."

Today’s post is the third in a series by guest writer Tragic Sandwich. You can read the first two posts in the series here.

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Time is of the essence. Tempus fugit. One thing’s for sure–time is not on my side.

Before Baguette was born, I heard horror stories about how long it could take to get a baby out of the house. I checked and re-checked her diaper bag half a dozen times in the days before we wound up going to the hospital for her birth. I was prepared.

And as it turned out, most of the time, getting out of the house wasn’t so bad, as long as I gave myself a little bit of prep time. (Mind you, there were plenty of times we turned around at the door to change a diaper one more time before leaving.)

Even once I went back to work, I developed routines that helped me stay on track. Over the weekend, I set out Baguette’s clothes for the next day. I try to cook at least one big meal so that there are some leftovers as the week progresses. I get her bag and mine ready the night before.

But that’s the routine. I can do routine. Variations? That’s a whole different story.

You’re having a birthday. Did I RSVP to your party? Probably not. It isn’t that I don’t care, or that I don’t want to let you know whether I can be there. It’s that I needed to check with Mr. Sandwich to see if he had any plans for that weekend, but I lost control of my email. Oh, and your card is going to be late. Happy Birthday!

That book everyone is recommending? I went to Amazon, put it in my shopping cart, and never actually bought it. I will notice this in a week, after wondering why the package hasn’t arrived.

I wasn’t always like this. Yes, my desk was always covered in paper, but I always knew exactly where everything was, and I never missed a deadline. And believe me, not sending RSVPs was one of my pet peeves. I know exactly how annoying this is.

It’s just that between a full-time job, a long commute, and a small child who Will. Not. Sleep, I find myself responding in the moment. I can click “Purchase” in an hour or a day or a week. Baguette has stubbed her toe right now. I need to stop her from exiting the house via the dog door right now.

I don’t like it, either. An awful lot of the time, this new tendency affects others and not just me. I’m very aware of that.

But just as it wasn’t always like this, it won’t always be like this in the future. I know that because of how many other things have changed.

That big meal I cook on the weekends? A year ago, I couldn’t do that. Baguette needed too much attention for me to plan and prepare food on a regular basis. Today I can use the slow-cooker. Sometimes I even get to use the stand mixer.

We went through a long period when we didn’t firmly commit to anything, because we didn’t know what would happen from one day to the next. Now I accept invitations based on how many other things are on the calendar, and whether the event is in the afternoon (and therefore likely to conflict with the nap that Baguette may or may not take).

Someday, Baguette will be better at entertaining herself. She won’t always need a nap. Maybe–just maybe–I won’t always have this commute. And that will mean that I can use my time in different ways, and base our schedule on different criteria.

So if you’ll bear with me for the moment, I’ll probably seem much more responsible in the future. In the meantime, I have to work with the circumstances I have, and I’m doing the best I can.

We all are. Let’s be a little more forgiving of ourselves. After all, it’s only a phase.

Photo: tyo on Flickr, via Creative Commons license

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