Blog Posts by Yahoo! Contributor Network

  • How to Make a Family Bathroom Work

    Keep sane when sharing a family bathroom.

    When my kids were still very little, too young to take baths on their own and still in diapers, I was the proud owner of a lovely home with two bathrooms. Then, as children do, they began to grow. My clever decorating scheme gave way to bathtub crayons, cartoon characters, and toothpaste from floor to ceiling - don't ask how the little darlings managed that last one, because I couldn't tell you.

    As a family of five, we've had to make our shared bathroom work for us. In short, I learned all about sharing a bathroom with children. Happily, I discovered a few things along the way to make the entire adventure less painful and more productive (and even kind of fun) for everyone.

    A Place for Everything…Including the Duckies

    Strictly speaking, the basic bathroom supply list for most kids includes soap, towels, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and little else. I have yet, however, to encounter a parent who hasn't also tried to find room in the bathroom for countless rubber duckies, special

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  • Celebrate Flag Day with a Craft and a Treat

    Celebrate Flag Day with a craft and a treat.Flag Day, the holiday that recognizes when Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States, takes place annually on June 14th. It's also the perfect day to warm up your patriotic crafting and cooking skills, and generate some summertime fun with your kids. Here's a fun way to commemorate Flag Day with your kids and celebrate the red, white and blue (with matching paint, glitter, chocolate and sprinkles):

    A Flag Day craft: Sparkly star decorations

    This simple craft is easy for kids of any age, and the end result is a versatile America-themed decoration that can be hung from trees, displayed in windows, decorate your front door (or bedroom doors), or be attached virtually anywhere that needs some red, white and blue spirit.

    Begin by collecting cardboard pieces, easily taken from disassembling cereal boxes or shoe boxes. Prior to crafting, cut out stars for kids to use as patterns, then let kids trace stars of different sizes on the cardboard. After cutting

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  • Guest Bathroom Basics for Busy Summer Months

    A bright towel will add summer fun to your guest bathroom.

    Summer is a busy time for moms - there are pool days, summer reading clubs, and daily "I'm bored" complaints to deal with. With multiple playdates and visits from family, you're sure to have a busy household this summer. Make sure your guest bathroom can handle all the extra traffic with these helpful tips:

    Stock up on toilet paper

    There's nothing worse than being unprepared - especially in the bathroom. Keep plenty of toilet paper on hand in case of an impromptu party. Stash a few rolls in plain sight (on top of the toilet or right next to it) so guests don't have to dig around cabinets. Put the rest in your linen closet and don't let your supply run out completely this summer!

    Spot clean daily

    When your kids spontaneously invite friends over, or you decide to host a last-minute BBQ with the neighbors, you won't have time to deep clean the guest bathroom. Store a tub of antibacterial wipes under the sink so you can do a quick wipedown each night (counters and toilet seat only). These

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  • Farmer's Market Meals Your Kids Will Love

    Get your kids excited about the farmer's market.

    When I became pregnant with our first child, I started learning more about the food industry. I decided I didn't want chemicals, hormones and other additives to be part of my diet. Furthermore, I wanted my daughter to eat clean. By the time we had our second child, we had switched to a primarily organic diet. We enjoy farmer's markets and fresh, local food. I am surprised at how many vegetables my kids like. These farmer's market meals will delight your children too.


    It's fun to go to the farmer's market with your children and pick out some fresh local berries. French toast with berries is a bright and healthful way to start the morning. Whole wheat bread, farm fresh eggs and organic berries give this meal substance. Add a little bit of maple syrup to satisfy a child's sweet tooth.

    Healthy French Toast

    8 pieces of whole wheat bread

    6 farm fresh eggs

    ½ cup of organic milk or almond milk

    1 tablespoon of vanilla

    ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

    Organic blueberries and raspberries


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  • The Five-Minute Summer Makeup Routine

    This beautiful summer makeup look is yours in 5 minutes flat!I'm writing this post from one of the hottest places in the world: Phoenix, Arizona. So, if there's anyone who's familiar with wearing makeup in hot climates where there's a 90% chance of sweating, it's me. In other words, I know how to make sure your makeup doesn't melt off your face. And no, you don't need to spend 30 minutes in front of the mirror to get the look!

    Of course there are many other desert-dwelling women who are qualified, but I'm breaking things down for those of you who are busy and have only but 5 minutes to spare for your morning face routine.

    Minute 1: Prep
    Prep that pretty face of yours, ladies. In the mornings, especially when it's hot, I like to rinse my face with cool water and gently damp dry. Once you're all dry, apply a face primer with clean fingertips. This helps minimize pores and creates a smooth surface for any foundation. If you don't wear foundation, skip this step.

    Minute 2: Even Complexion
    Summers mean hot weather. And for some of you, it means

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  • Beat the Hair Battle with Your Kids

    Stop pulling my hair!Stop pulling my hair! Ouch! That hurts! No! You aren't doing my hair!

    It's just a typical morning in my house. Sigh.

    My oldest daughter was born with a full head of beautiful hair. I like to tell people that we've been fighting about it at least that long. She simply despises having her hair brushed and styled. I've had more hair battles with her than I have with my two other daughters combined. What have we done to keep our hair battles from turning into war?

    Relax the rules.

    I care more about how my daughter's hair looks when she's heading to school or we're running errands than I do when we're just hanging out at home. So I've relaxed the hair rules around the house, and my daughter is responsible for her own hair when we're not going anywhere. Quite frankly, it's also one less thing for me to worry about.

    Up or off.

    Lice have run rampant around the first and second grade, fueling my desire for my daughter to keep her hair up out of her face and less likely to bring home any little

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  • An Easy Mother's Day Breakfast Casserole

    Build your own Mother's Day casserole.

    On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. The day was designed to recognize and honor all mothers, both living and deceased, for their immense contributions to family and country. Mother's Day is a day for spending time with family, and being stuck in the kitchen isn't what creator Anna Jarvis had in mind.

    To start your day with great food and family fun without stressing over a hot stove, try this wonderful Build-Your-Own Mother's Day Casserole. It can be assembled the night before and tossed in the oven on Mother's Day morning, freeing up your time for hugs and smiles. Even better -- hand the recipe over to your husband or older children to get the job done. Be sure to check out all the variations at the bottom so you can customize this recipe to your family's preferences.

    Basic Mother's Day Casserole Recipe (Serves 6)


    Cooking spray or margarine

    3 cups frozen hash browns

    3/4 cup shredded Colby Jack

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  • Midday Workout Must-Haves

    Midday workouts are perfect for working moms.

    The lunchtime workout can be a timesaver for busy women. Sneaking in a workout at lunch means you'll be able to sleep later in the morning AND be able to make plans at night! Since you're likely heading back to work, or busy with kids, midday workouts require a little extra planning. Here are five things every woman needs for a successful daytime workout.

    1. Non-crimping hair ties

    If your hair is long enough to pull back, get it away from the sweat on your face and neck! Use the thick-elastic, super stretchy hair ties that won't leave that annoying "ponytail crease " in your hair. Securing your hair in a loose bun will also eliminate that creased look when you go back to your day. Have short hair? Use a headband to achieve the same results.

    2. Tissues

    Tissues are a necessity to keep in your purse or gym bag. Makeup can easily run when you're doing cardio. Grab a tissue, wrap it around your index finger, and carefully blot the sweat from under your eyes. You can also use tissues to

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  • Our Embarrassing Potty Training Mishaps

    I am the proud survivor of one potty trained child. My child definitely wasn't one who was potty trained in three days. In fact, it took about six months before my daughter abandoned her training pants. However, there are still times when she laughs too hard and has an accident. Indeed, potty training is part of being a mom. As the mom of an almost five-year-old and a one-year-old, I have heard some funny potty training stories from other mothers. It's great to know that I'm not the only one whose child was obsessed with potty talk or had some embarrassing accidents. Here are some other "teachable moments" from moms who have potty trained.

    The Trashcan

    Jessica, mom of Eric, was potty training her three-year-old. Her son didn't go in the toilet. Instead, he escaped from the bathroom, knocked over a baby gate and made his way into the kitchen. There he proceeded to pee "on the side of the trashcan." It was the start of many misses in her potty training escapade. After the

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  • Healthy, Colorful After-School Snacks

    Kids love making their own after-school snacks, and they're a healthy alternative.

    Every day, without fail, my 11-year-old son trudges through the front door, theatrically tosses his backpack onto the nearest chair, and asks weakly, "Mom, do we have any food?"

    While I'm tempted to tease him, "No, sweetheart, I'm planning to forage in the back yard for dinner," I instead ask him to wash his hands so we can make an after-school snack together. Bonus: I get to spend quality time with my favorite person. Total win!

    Here's a few tried-and-true winners that will keep your kids happy and healthy.

    Yogurt Parfait

    There is absolutely no way to mess this up, and it's incredibly good for you. You'll need a cup of plain yogurt, fresh seasonal fruit (stay away from anything in syrup), and, if you wish, your favorite granola or dry oatmeal.

    Have your child scoop some yogurt into a clear juice glass -- part of the fun is seeing all the yummy layers. Add a handful of fruit, and then top with more yogurt. We like to alternate blueberries and strawberries for extra

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