Blog Posts by Redbook

  • Top 10 Things My Kids Say that Make Me Feel Guilty

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
    mommy guilt
    "Mommy, stop doing your work," my 5-year-old tugged at my pants the other day while I was standing at my computer. "We have enough food and I don't need any more toys. I just need YOU!*" That combined with his big puppy eyes made me go awww! immediately followed by ahhhh... and finished up with ack! as the mommy guilt set in. It doesn't matter whether you work or stay at home or work and stay at home like I do (worst of both worlds, yay!), mommy guilt is easy to come by. And our kids know us so well that they're often able to find just the right phrase to send us into a shame spiral. Here are my kids' classics:

    Related: Learning to Live with Kid Clutter...and Imperfections

    1. "It's okay, I like wearing dirty clothes better."

    2. "I get to help stack the chairs every day since I'm always the last one picked up!"

    3. "You can eat my Halloween candy without asking. Again."

    4. "Did you have another baby because I'm not cute

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  • Great Mom Debate: Is it Harder Having One Child or 9?

    undefinedBy Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    I'll admit it. When I read this intro to an essay titled "To the Mother With Only One Child" by Simcha Fisher, I fully expected it to be about moms with one child thinking because it's so easy for them to go shopping/make their kid behave/travel that it should be the same for those of us with more. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone say to me something like, "I don't understand why you think bedtime is hard, it's the most enjoyable hour of my day!" only to realize that they've only got one kid demanding their attention instead of the zoo at my house.

    Read more: 43 Sneaky Tricks to Look Younger

    But boy was I wrong! And I'm glad I was wrong. Fisher's essay goes on, "Don't say: 'Wow, you have nine kids? I thought it was hard with just my one!' " She compassionately answers the questioner saying, "My dear, it is hard. You're not being a wuss or a whiner when you feel like your life is hard. I know, because I remember having 'only one

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  • 5 Snacks for Anyone Who's Sick of an Apple and Peanut Butter

    By Nicci Micco, REDBOOK

    These combos deliver that same magical feel-full mix of protein and fiber, so you're good to go 'til dinner time.

    1. Cheese and crackers:
    6 Triscuits + 1 oz of Cabot 50% reduced-fat cheddar; 190 calories, 9 g fat, 11 g protein, 3 g fiber

    Related: 10 Ways to Beat Bloat

    2. Seeds and berries: 2 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds + 2 Tbsp dried cherries + 1 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips; 185 calories, 10 g fat, 5 g protein, 3 g fiber

    3. Snap peas and hummus: 1 cup sugar snap peas + 1/4 cup hummus; 142 calories, 6 g fat, 7.5 g protein, 6 g fiber

    Related: Love Can Make You Skinny

    4. Coffee and fruit: 12-oz non-fat latte + tropical fruit salad (1/2 cup papaya + 1/2 cup pineapple); 190 calories, 9 g fat, 11 g protein, 3 g fiber

    5. Asparagus and turkey: 6 asparagus spears + 2 slices lean deli meat; 84 calories, 1 g fat, 16 g protein, 2.5 g fiber

    Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network show Healthy Appetite , loves it this way: "Cut smoked turkey strips and wrap them around

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  • Confession: I Don't Know How to Play with My Kids

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    mom playing with childmom playing with child

    "Mom! Play with me!" is probably one of the most frequently heard refrains in parenthood. Which is why I'm more than a little ashamed to say that even after four children, I still have no idea how to do that. Usually I look at toys as something that I buy to distract my children so I can go do other things. Like pick up all the other toys they left around the house. But there's always a little flush of guilt when one of my kids begs me to play with them and I say, "Not now, I'm busy." I mean they're only young for such a short time, right? (No, that's not a rhetorical question. I've been in the "toddler" stage for 10 years now. Please somebody tell me this ends eventually.)

    So today, when my bored-out-of-his-mind 5-year-old started the incessant whining for something to do, I decided that I would do just this-I would play with him. Not just play around him (read: pick up his room while he makes more messes). Not just play next to

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  • Parenting Challenge: How Do You Get Through the Vending Machine Gauntlet?

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    vending machine

    Vending machines often tempt kids and adults with unhealthy snacks; but one new company with healthier alternatives may give them a run for their money.

    Gymnastics sounded like a brilliant idea at the time. An hour of running around in a place where you actually have permission to jump all over the furniture? My three boys were in heaven, even if they were the only boys amongst a sea of sparkly unitards. The problems came after the classes finished. After all that intense activity, my kids would be famished. (Especially the 7-year-old who can out-eat my husband. He says he's going to die after two hours of no food and honestly I think he might.) But since gymnastics lessons were held at the local high school, before we could head home to a healthy dinner we had one last tumbling pass to finish: the vending machine gauntlet.

    Related: The Best Mom Moments of All Time

    Rows of brightly lit, chirping machines filled with every

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  • Great Mom Debate: Do You Make Your Kids Write Thank You Cards?

    By Charlotte Hilton Anderson, REDBOOK

    thank you card
    Writing thank-you cards with your kids can be a hassle; but they may still be worth the trouble.

    When I was growing up I never had to write thank-you cards. My nice grandparents were dead, and my mean one only sent me one gift ever-a pair of used granny panties for my 12th birthday. We didn't have any family friends or other relatives who wanted to send me stuff so I pretty much never had to say thank-you. I know, I was like the luckiest kid ever. But my kids don't share my, er, problem. This past Christmas they each got a gift from their grandparents on each side, and while none of said relatives were present to see the gift-unwrapping joy, the kids could feel the love and thought that went into them. It was awesome. Now it's two weeks later and my kids still don't have their thank-you cards written. And by "my kids" I mean "me."

    Related: 43 Sneaky Tricks to Look Younger

    Of course our kids should write thank-you cards. It's good for them to

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  • 8 Simple Tips for Parents to Ensure Their Child’s Cell Phone Safety

    By Perri O. Blumberg, REDBOOK

    Want even more help in navigating the realm of phone safety for your children? Read these handy tips from's PR specialist, Amy Noder, adapted here.

    1. Cater phone functionality to age. If your child is under 10, they probably don't need a phone with unlimited social networking or email capabilities. Likewise, the actual phone itself doesn't need built-in features like a web browser or video messaging. For a young child, look for basic phones. Review all pre-programmed apps and phone capabilities beforehand.

    Related: Keep Your Kids Active This Winter

    2. Use parental controls. If your child's cell phone has access to the Internet, see what your service provider offers and consider enabling them. Have your kids password protect their phone and enact controls like web browsing limits, allowances on talk, and text - and auto-wipe of data if your child's phone is lost or stolen.

    3. Pre-program numbers. To help keep your kids safe, make sure their

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  • Eat to Shrink Your Belly


    Follow these sane food rules to a trim tummy.

    IT'S SIMPLE: To show off your newly toned abs, you need less body fat overall. You can shed a pound of it a week by cutting just 500 calories a day (the amount in a coffee-shop muffin). "But you do want to be careful to eat enough-otherwise, your body will start to store energy as fat," says New York City-based registered dietician Stephanie Middleberg.

    Related: 26 Organizing Tips That Actually Work

    LOG YOUR MEALS, SNACKS, AND DRINKS. You can use a notebook, your calendar, or's free to join, and their calorie counter comes in handy when you're trying to stay accountable. (You can also use their tools to find out how many total calories your body needs.)

    Related: Love Can Make You Skinny

    HAVE A LITTLE PROTEIN with every meal and snack. This helps stabilize your blood sugar level, staving off hunger pangs. Nuts, eggs, lean meats, chicken, fish, tofu, and low-fat dairy like yogurt are

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  • 5 Tricks to Break Your Bad Beauty Habits


    1. You rarely--okay, never--clean your makeup brushes. "Bristles collect a lot of bacteria, which can lead to clogged pores," says product developer Trae Bodge of Three Custom Color Specialists. Our no-more-excuses solution: a spray-on sanitizer like Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser (right), $13, or wipes like Sephora Make Up Brush Cleansing Wipes, $9. Both instantly kill germs. Clean your most-often-used brushes once a week if your skin is oily or combination, and twice a month if skin is dry, says Bodge.

    Related: What He Secretly Doesn't Want in Bed

    2. When you have a honking zit, you attack it. As tempting as it is, resist the urge to pop, says Jeannette Graf, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "Squeezing a pimple can make the skin red for days afterward, and even cause a scar." Instead, put ice in a paper towel, hold it on the spot for several minutes, then remove for one minute; repeat this a few more

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  • 4 Money Talks Every Couple Needs to Have

    By Blake Miller, REDBOOK

    If you've been putting off having the money talk with your spouse, you could be putting your relationship in jeopardy. Financial psychologist Brad Klontz offers pro tips to keep your finances - and your marriage - in check.

    1. "Let's talk about financial baggage."
    "You don't truly know each other until you discuss your individual spending styles and financial goals, and come clean about any debt," says financial psychologist Brad Klontz. "Being honest about how money was handled in your family growing up can also help your partner begin to understand any money hang-ups you bring to the relationship."

    Related: 26 Fun, Cheap Date Ideas

    2. "Let's talk about spending limits." Decide together what qualifies as a big-ticket purchase requiring approval by both partners. "Many acts of financial infidelity take place because couples don't have an explicit understanding about how much they'll spend or save," says Klontz.

    3. "Let's talk to a pro!" If you hit an impasse

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