Blog Posts by Redbook

  • Why Our Kids Will Never Love the Muppets as Much as We Do

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    Getty

    For my first childhood talent show, I sang "The Rainbow Connection." How did I learn the lyrics? I sang along with Kermit the Frog on my record player, of course. Who made me into the (horrible) cook I am today? The Swedish Chef. I can't believe I'm admitting this on the Internet, but Muppet Treasure Island is still one of my top five favorite movies. To this day, whenever my husband or I say something dumb, we'll point to our index finger and say, echoing the adorably vacant Fozzie Bear, "Mr. Bimble told me! He's the man that lives in my finger. He's been to the moon and back-twice!" It turns out the Muppets have been a large part of my life.

    The Muppets are one of those rare cultural phenomena that have the power to span generations, class lines, and even the lines of adult-child humor while still giving everyone something to laugh at in the end. This is why I was super excited when I saw that a new Muppet movie is coming out. But

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  • 5 Stores Worth Visiting on Black Friday

    By Julia Malacoff, REDBOOK

    Black Friday is just around the corner, and we've chosen the top five stores we think you shouldn't miss on the big day. Whether you're looking to do your holiday shopping early or just hoping to score some great deals on items for yourself or your home, these five stores will have everything you're looking for.

    jcpenny.com

    1. JCPenney. Notable deals include $29.99 boots for women (regularly priced at as much as $170!) and up to 70% off men's clothes. This is the perfect place to pick up some gifts for your hubby. You can see a preview of JCPenney's deals here.

    macys.commacys.com

    2. Macy's. Their best deals seem to be on home items, but don't miss the kids' puffer jackets at $15.99 each. Check out some of Macy's other Black Friday deals here.

    bestbuy.com

    3. Best Buy. A classic Black Friday destination, Best Buy won't disappoint this year. With many stores opening at midnight on Friday, you can get a head start on your electronics shopping. There's also a great

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  • 3 Tips for a Sane Thanksgiving

    By Perri O. Blumberg, REDBOOK

    Photo Credit: Ryan McVay

    No matter how much you plan ahead, Thanksgiving always ends up being stressful. These three tips will keep you calm on Turkey Day.

    1. Don't cook it all yourself!
    You'll wind up exhausted (and enraged). Use the free site potluckness.com to assign dishes and desserts in an organized way. It's simple: Guests click to bring things you've requested, like apple pie, stuffing, even gear (e.g., an extra high chair or serving platter).

    2. Get a head start.
    Ward off that panicky feeling you wake up with Thanksgiving morning by making a dent in your to-do's the night before. Chop veggies, prep one side dish, set the table, stock the bath-rooms, and arrange a bar so guests can serve themselves when they walk in. Now rest easy!

    3. Keep the kids out of the kitchen.
    It'll make for a much calmer day, says Lisa Kothari, a party-planning expert based in Seattle. Her fave activities: Have the older children teach the younger ones the

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  • The 10 Best Party Foods of All Time

    By REDBOOK

    These crowd-thrilling party foods are simple to make-and so tasty guests will think you slaved hours over them. Pick two recipes and round 'em out with a couple of easy extras.

    1. Biscuit Sandwich

    Raymond HomRaymond Hom

    Bake store-bought frozen biscuits (like Pillsbury Grands); then split, brush with honey mustard, and tuck a slice of baked ham inside.

    2. Crab Cakes

    Winifried Heinze/Getty ImagesWinifried Heinze/Getty Images
    Top bite-size cooked (from frozen) crab cakes with a dollop of lemon mayo and thin strips of lemon zest.

    3. 3-Cheese Pizza Bites

    Raymond HomRaymond Hom

    These crispy flatbreads are sure to be crowd pleasers.

    Get the recipe!

    4. Cheesy Dip

    Lisa Hubbard/Getty ImagesLisa Hubbard/Getty Images

    Stir together sour cream, crumbled blue cheese, chopped walnuts, parsley, lemon juice, and a dash of hot sauce. Serve with pita chips.

    Related: 5 Stores Worth Visiting on Black Friday

    5. Mini Arancini

    Raymond HomRaymond Hom

    Crispy fried rice balls filled with gooey cheese. What's not to love?

    Get the recipe!

    6. Mac and Cheese Bites

    Raymond HomRaymond Hom

    Red pepper sauce, sun-dried tomatoes,

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  • Settle an Argument: Should This Bride Change Her Last Name?

    By Perri O. Blumberg, REDBOOK

    Engaged couple, Matt, 28, and Kate, 30, are knee-deep in wedding planning. Between debating color schemes and honeymoon locales, they've hit on one touchy subject: Should Kate take Matt's last name? Kate, an editor, had always planned to keep her last name professionally, but has been excited about legally switching to Matt's name. Matt, to her surprise, doesn't want her to do it at all. Who's right?

    Related: 17 5-Minute Marriage Makeovers

    He says: "I honestly thought she'd be happy that I'm not forcing her to do something that I consider a bit archaic. She's had her identity for this long, and I don't want to strip her of it. Plus, it's so complicated to change names legally and balancing two different ones seems like a lot of work. It doesn't matter what our last names are-what matters is that we're married and spending our lives together."

    She says: "It's hurtful that Matt seems reluctant for me to take on his last name, and it makes

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  • By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK

    Content Man on Couch

    DEAR WHYS GUY:

    My husband doesn't get along very well with my siblings' spouses. We're spending Thanksgiving with my family. How can I make the weekend as painless as possible for him?

    DEAR REDBOOK READER:

    Karel calls the solution to this problem the "Prince Baby Aaron Solution." When she puts me in a situation I don't like and she knows I'm going to quietly complain, be frustrated, and generally act like an obnoxious baby the entire time, she treats me exactly like a parent desperate to placate a spoiled baby and gives me extra special stuff to shut me up.

    The minute I open my mouth and start to kvetch she shoves a metaphorical lollipop in there before I can throw a full fledged tantrum. That metaphorical lollipop can be anything from getting out of childcare, to uninterrupted football watching, to horrible amounts of junk food, to new books, and sex!

    Related: What Your Man Really Thinks in Bed

    I've actually grown to love

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  • The Great Mom Debate: How Do You Handle Religious Prayer at Thanksgiving?

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    Family prayingWe're a praying kind of family. This is partly because we're religious, but it also has a lot to do with the hilarious prayers created by our kids. One son recently blessed dinner thusly: "Dear God, please bless my brother to stop being a stupid jerk and messing up all my stuff while I'm gone at school, because I really hate him but I'm not allowed to kill him or even hit him. Amen. Oh, and thanks for the food. I already said 'Amen'." This 10 second prayer was too long for our toddler, who closed her eyes with one hand and shoveled food into her mouth with the other. See? Who wouldn't want more of this at every meal? And yet, we also understand that not everyone-or even all our family members-share our faith, and so we work hard to teach our kids how to be respectful of everyone's beliefs. For some reason, Thanksgiving seems to be the ultimate test for this.

    At a friend's home recently, the food was brought out, and everyone started to

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  • 7 Ways to Glam Up Your Look

    All it takes is an infusion of cool, colorful retro style. Deborah Lloyd (Kate Spade New York's president and creative director) explains.

    1. Have Inspiration:

    Deborah Lloyd gets her personal fashion inspiration from the legendary Audrey Hepburn.

    Paramount/The Kobal Collection

    2. Absolutely Try A...

    "Cape. They make anything feel flirty and chic. I wear mine with jeans on weekends or tuxedo pants for events."

    Ben Goldstein/Studio D

    Famous Maker, $60; burlingtoncoatfactory.com.

    3. Three Things Every Woman Should Have in Her Closet:

    "A colorful coat will brighten even the dullest day. And then a great cocktail ring and gold sandals: They can elevate even the most casual outfit into an evening look."

    Ben Goldstein/Studio D

    Talbots, $329; talbots.com.

    Related: 8 Perfect Holiday Dresses for Any Occasion

    4. The Beauty Item That'll Wake Up Your Whole Look:

    "One swipe of bright red lipstick is all you need to stand out in a crowd. It says, 'I like to have fun!'"

    Ben Goldstein/Studio D

    Kate Spade New York Supercalifragilipstick! in

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  • How to Talk to Your Kids About Bullying

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    If there is a worse feeling than seeing your child get off the bus with a bloody nose and scratched face, it's the one you get as you listen to your sweet little kindergartner tell you how he was beat up "by a big bully, Mom!" I was so upset I was shaking as I dialed the school. I want my kids to learn, to have fun and to work at school, but most of all I want them to feel safe and in one fell swoop that illusion was shattered.

    I think all of us remember some incidents from our childhoods of being bullied in some way. As a girl I never got my nose bloodied, but I did have a group of older boys hawk loogies into my hair every time I walked down the hallway to my locker, but things have changed in just a few short decades. Thanks to the advent of the Internet with its warren of chat rooms, anonymous websites and Facebook comments and the increased sophistication of cellphones, bullies have a whole host of newer and subtler ways to

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  • Dear Whys Guy: "Why Does My Husband Belittle Me About My Sex Drive?"

    By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK

    DEAR WHYS GUY:

    My husband is an attentive and thoughtful lover, but my doctor recently put me on a medication that kills my drive and makes it almost impossible to get from point A to point B without what amounts to overstimulation (toys plus hubby every time). At first when I explained this, he seemed to understand. Now he makes little hurtful comments or accuses me of not loving him. What's the deal?

    DEAR REDBOOK READER:

    Related: What Your Man Really Thinks in Bed

    Firstly, what guy actually cares that his wife needs a vibrator? I could understand if he was frustrated because he wasn't having sex at all, but how does your use of a toy diminish his experience? I'm gonna give your husband the benefit of the doubt and hope that this is all a communication breakdown. Maybe his ego is bruised and he's trying to make light of the situation by making jokes and he doesn't realize that they are hurting your feelings, in which case you need to

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