Blog Posts by Redbook

  • Kristi Yamaguchi's Tips: Fighting the Bedtime Battle

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    I am, at this very moment, engaged in one of my favorite parenting games: bedtime whack-a-mole. Every time one of my kids pops out of their bedroom for another drink/snack/hug/kiss/announcement-that-he-has-a-diorama-due-tomorrow, I don't get a rubber mallet with which to bop them back into their holes-er, beds. For me, getting infants to sleep was comparatively easy. They can't get out of their cribs. But preschoolers? They get their second wind at 9 p.m. and can open doors. What's a mom to do?

    Former Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi to the rescue! The figure skater, now mom of two, shared her bedtime tricks during the Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Story Hour.

    Related: 23 Power Foods to Eat More, More, More Of

    What is bedtime like in the Yamaguchi household? Kristi says, "I like bedtime to be soothing, the calm in our day. It's a time for me and the girls to spend quiet time together. My girls will only be little for a short while Read More »from Kristi Yamaguchi's Tips: Fighting the Bedtime Battle
  • 15 Room Makeover Tips on a Budget

    By REDBOOK

    Convince your friends that you hired a fancy decorator-and possibly won the lottery-with genius home decorating tips from Good Morning America anchor and thrifting savant Lara Spencer. Her new book, I Brake for Yard Sales, shows you how to turn castoffs into gold and decorate your home on a budget.

    1. Think outside the trunk. I turned this $100 metal trunk from a thrift shop into a table. I didn't have to do anything to it!

    2. Look for a sign. The graphics, shapes, and textures of industrial pieces like this old sign make amazing art and add a little masculine, throw-up-your-feet feel.

    Related: 23 Power Foods to Eat More, More, More Of

    3. Don't forget the extras. Keep 'em quirky and inexpensive. See that roulette wheel I found at a yard sale? It's a great conversation piece. I'm all about fun animal accents too - hence the ceramic owl and the pair of black Foo dogs. You can never go wrong with a Foo dog. Trust me.

    4. Consider Lucite. Because they're

    Read More »from 15 Room Makeover Tips on a Budget
  • Do Grandparents Know Best?

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    Your parents raised you, so you should automatically agree with them on ground rules for parenting, right? Exactly... and Elmo can actually play the piano. Whether it's a sign of the times ("Carseats are mandatory, even just down the street, Dad!") or a genuine difference of opinion ("I know you let us trick-or-treat alone, but my husband and I aren't comfortable with that"), disagreeing with your parents can make them feel like you're questioning their parenting skills. That's something you really don't want to do if your parents are the only available babysitters for the weekend of that getaway you were hoping for. For those of us lucky enough to have our parents involved in our kids' lives, deciding whose rules rule can be a tricky question. (Multiply that by a factor of 10 if it's your in-laws you're dealing with.)

    Related: 25 Snacks Under 150 Calories

    On one hand, you're the parent and you know your children best, so ultimately you Read More »from Do Grandparents Know Best?
  • Does Marriage Still Matter to Moms?

    By REDBOOK

    Marriage rates in the United States have hit an all-time low, at 51 percent. Do you think marriage still matters?

    1. No-A promise is a promise.

    My boyfriend and I have shared a home for over seven years, have two children, a dog, and a mortgage-and we don't consider ourselves any different than our legally-bound friends. Personally, I think of marriage as a religious institution, and as someone who doesn't practice any faith, that push to get hitched was just never there. I found the man I wanted to spend my life with, and it was as simple as that. Our kids have a loving, stable home and two parents who are crazy about each other. Isn't that all anyone could ask for?

    Related: Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories

    Cohabitational relationships have legal and social standing these days; my friends and kids' teachers don't necessarily know or care whether or not I am legally wed. What they do know is that we have a complete, secure, and very happy family. I

    Read More »from Does Marriage Still Matter to Moms?
  • Should Moms Sell Girl Scout Cookies?

    By Charlotte Hilton Anderson, REDBOOK
    girl scout cookiesgirl scout cookies

    "Excuse me? Would you like to buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies?"

    If you've ever been in a public place during the past several weeks, you too have likely been approached by green-clad pixies waving boxes of Thin Mints. The question didn't surprise me. The questioner did. Looking up from my grocery list, I saw the hand holding the cookies belonged to a middle-aged woman-and there were no Girl Scouts in sight.

    Related: 50 Under $50 Frugal Finds for Spring

    "Oh, our daughters are taking a break," the woman said vaguely.

    This recent experience popped into my mind when Paddy Hirsch, senior producer of NPR's Marketplace Money, decreed in this week's show that Girl Scouts are mere "puppets", saying, "I'm told that this Girl Scout cookie experience is supposed to be educational in terms of business and economics. But I just don't see it."

    Back when I was participating in the Great Cookie Sale, I remember going door-to-door with

    Read More »from Should Moms Sell Girl Scout Cookies?
  • 10 Tips for Starting (and Sticking To!) a Workout Routine

    By Jessica Smith, REDBOOK

    Want to get more active? Whether you're a gym newbie or a seasoned athlete, here are 10 easy ways to get on track.

    1. Check With Your Doctor

    Make sure you consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Why? Your doctor can tell you what types of exercise are best for you based on your personal health history or possible disease risk factors. Plus, they'll definitely applaud your efforts-and who doesn't like a cheering section?

    Related: 25 Snacks Under 150 Calories

    2. Every Little Bit Counts

    There's no need to spend hours at the gym training like a professional athlete. Michele Olson, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and professor of exercise science at Auburn University, recommends, "Start out with just 10 minutes of some type of physical activity-walking, gardening or riding your bike around the neighborhood, and build up to three 10-minute bouts of activity a day." Splitting up your activity into three, 10-minute

    Read More »from 10 Tips for Starting (and Sticking To!) a Workout Routine
  • 10 Simple Tips to Be Green Without Trying Too Hard

    By Jessica Press, REDBOOK

    Stop feeling guilty about the environment-and honor Earth Day on April 22-by taking a few ideas from this list. They're all simple, easy moves with major eco-impact.

    1. Quiz yourself by taking the fast, free "How green am I?" test at practicallygreen.com, a site started by mompreneur Susan Hunt Stevens, 41. It will give you an overall view of how you stack up - levels include "sorta kinda green" and "wicked green" (yes, Susan is from Boston!) - and generates an individualized to-do list of simple switches you can make. Susan was motivated to green-over her own life after her son was diagnosed with a number of food and environmental allergies. "I started by making really small and easy changes, and it inspired me to help others do the same," she says. Bonus: Practically Green offers feel-good rewards such as virtual merit badges and free product samples as you adopt eco-friendly habits.

    2. Drive a bit less and walk, carpool, or ride your bike to

    Read More »from 10 Simple Tips to Be Green Without Trying Too Hard
  • 26 Organizing Tips that Actually Work

    By Wendy Manwarren, REDBOOK

    Experts, readers, and REDBOOK staffers share their best stay-organized secrets. Your sock drawer will never be the same again. (And that's a good thing.)

    Do One Small Organizational Task

    1. Maximize wall space in an entryway with cut-to-fit lattice from your local home-improvement store or garden center. Thread S-hooks through the slats to hang baskets filled with scarves, hats, and Rover's leash. Lattice, $18; Lowe's stores. Green "Carrie" baskets, $39 each; unicahome.com.

    Related: 43 Easy Ways to Look Younger

    2. Do one small organizational task daily, no matter how small. Clean out one drawer or the top tier of the spice rack. Just think: After a month, you'll have checked 30 things off your to-do list.

    3. Open the mail over the shredder or recycling bin, and get rid of the junk immediately. This forces you to make quick and definitive decisions so nothing piles up in your hallway or anywhere else.

    Make Quick Organizing

    Read More »from 26 Organizing Tips that Actually Work
  • Married Debate: Limit TV or Not?

    By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK

    Olivia, 27, and Alex, 34, have been married for three years and have a 2-year-old and a newborn. Now that their older daughter is talking, she's always asking to watch TV. Olivia doesn't think television consumption should have strict limitations, but Alex wishes their children wouldn't watch TV at all. Who's right?

    Related: 17 5-Minute Marriage Makeovers

    She says: "My parents put extremely strict limitations on my TV time when I was growing up, which it made it feel even more forbidden and alluring. Now, I have trouble turning the television off, and I blame it on those parental limitations that I'm still subconsciously trying to rebel against. If you don't make a big deal out of watching TV, I think kids will develop a 'take it or leave it' attitude towards it. As in, it's there if you want to watch, but it's not a metaphor for parental approval and rules. If the kids start watching too much TV, I'll suggest other activities that sound more

    Read More »from Married Debate: Limit TV or Not?
  • Early Sexualization of Girls

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    A line drawn in crayon is, nevertheless, a line. And that line was crossed this week on the popular reality TV show Dance Moms when dance teacher Abby Lee Miller put her troupe of 8 to 12 year old girls in nude bras and pink fans for an "innocent burlesque routine."

    Related: Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories

    The level of sensationalism has gone up over the past few years but nowhere is this more apparent than how kids are portrayed on "reality" TV shows. Last season it was considered so shocking when Miller tarted her girls up in hooker costumes with thigh-high fishnets that they made it on the Today show. (Pretty severe punishment, eh?) Apparently public excoriation is just a few dollar signs away from public adulation and so Miller upped the ante.

    In case anyone is wondering if the girls understood the meaning of burlesque, Abby makes sure to teach them telling them it's "all about crotch and boobs" and telling the girls to

    Read More »from Early Sexualization of Girls

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