• Why I Won't Be Following This Easter Egg Hunt Trend

    Photo: PinterestIt’s Easter week, which means there’s been lots of chocolate-bunny-themed posts popping up in my Facebook feed. I love hearing how friends went on Cadbury egg benders and seeing the cute Easter bonnet shots (and the hilariously creepy Easter bunny shots). But one post made me do a double take: Color-coded egg hunts. As in, each kid gets assigned a certain color egg and is only allowed to collect those pre-designated eggs. At first the OCD-er in me was drawn to the pretty picture with all the order. The buckets match the eggs! I almost hit "like" but then I realized how much I dislike the idea. The post I read touted it as a way to “keep it all fair.” For real? This is so not for me. Here’s why:

    For one, this level of organization just adds more work and feels like part of the Pinterest, whatever-you're-doing-now-is-not-good-enough campaign to stress me out. Can’t we just scatter a bunch of eggs in the backyard and let the children loose? You have to tell kids who just sat still(ish)

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  • Popcorn: Three Ways

    There's nothing better than a bucketful of popcorn and your favorite movie. But before you hit the butter pump, give something new a try. Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli shows us three ways — both sweet and savory — to get creative with everyone's favorite movie snack.

    Simple popped corn:
    In a 2-3 quart saucepot, combine 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Shake the pot to coat the kernels with the oil, cover, and place over high heat until you start to hear popping, 2-3 minutes. Keep the lid on, lower the heat, and gently shake the pot back and forth over the heat until the popping stops. Transfer the popcorn immediately to a bowl, leaving any unpopped kernels behind. Makes 4 cups. Season with salt to taste.

    WATCH: Lighter Spring Desserts

    Dark chocolate and caramel popcorn:
    In a medium saucepan, combine 1 tablespoon unsalted butter with 1 tablespoon sugar, then melt over medium heat until it turns caramel-brown (careful, it will be extremely

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  • By: Ivy Jacobson for TheBump.com

    Veer/The BumpA new study, just published in the journal Pediatrics by researchers from Boston Medical Center, suggests that you may want to think twice before turning over the remote to your fussy toddler.

    More from The Bump: Are time-outs good for toddlers?

    The study's lead researcher, Dr. Jenny Radskey, is recommending that parents not put their toddler in front of a TV to soothe any tantrums, because that could garner developmental issues later in life.

    "We found that babies and toddlers whose mothers rated them as having self-regulation problems - meaning, problems with calming down, soothing themselves, settling down to sleep, or waiting for food or toys - watched more TV and videos when they were age 2," says Radskey. "Infants with self-regulation problems watched, on average, about nine minutes more media per day than other infants. This may seem small, but screen-time habits are established in these early years."

    More television watching could open the

    Read More »from Watching TV After a Tantrum Isn’t Good for Your Toddler, Study Reveals
  • 12 Questions That Teach Kindness in Your Children12 Questions That Teach Kindness in Your ChildrenWe encourage kindness in our children, above all else. In our home, we value and teach kindness above intelligence, talent, and responsibility.


    As parents, we are raising children whose character is built on thoughtful kindness. And it's working: In a day of endless stories of bullying, we are raising children who stand up for the bullied by stepping in. In a day of debates over whether children should be allowed in restaurants, we are raising children whose considerate behavior draws strangers to our table to comment on what a pleasure it was to have us as table-mates.

    In a house of three kids under 10 years old, we are working every day to raise siblings who know how to fight fair, know how to love and be loved, and who will be friends as adults. It starts at home, and we work at it every day.

    Our approach isn't foolproof. My 7-year-old is far more empathetic than his older brother. It's like empathy is his superpower. He can read emotions near flawlessly when he slows down enough

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  • More Mothers Are Staying at Home with Their Kids

    After a 30-year decline, more mothers are staying at home with their children.

    By Sally Holmes

    After a steady 30-year decline, the number of mothers staying at home to take care of their children is once again on the rise, a new study from Pew reports. Based on census bureau data, the study found that in 2012, 29% of mothers age 18 to 69 with children under 18 living with them, did not work outside the home-that's about 10.4 million more women than in 1999. Of that number, two-thirds are married, stay-at-home mothers with working husbands, but the other third is compromised of single mothers or married women with non-working or absent husbands.

    RELATED: Style Tips From the Chicest Celebrity Daughters (And Their Moms)

    But not all of these women are staying at home by choice. The study finds that six percent of women in 2012 reported that they were staying home because they were unable to find a job, compared to one percent in 2000. Other reasons for staying home were due to illness, disability, or being enrolled in school. The study also cites the economic

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  • Here's how to know when it's time to let it go.Here's how to know when it's time to let it go.

    What do we want? Free space! When do we want it? As soon as we can actually let go of our stuff. That day can be today, if you reconsider your on-the-fence objects with these questions.

    1. Is this item enhancing my life?
    This question is better than "Do I love it?" (Because, of course, at one time, you did.) Instead, ask yourself if the item is actively important to you right now.

    2. Is this something I'll want my children to see one day?
    A work of art you're proud of completing? Sure. A moving box filled with decades-old Tupperware? Probably not.

    Related: Don't Make These 7 Common Spring Cleaning Mistakes

    3. Do I already have five of these?
    You'll never use all that red nail polish before it goes bad, and you need, at most, two black cardigans to get through the chillier months.

    4. Would it be too expensive to replace?
    If it turned out you really needed that scented candle or magazine rack, it wouldn't break the bank to just get another. And in the meantime, enjoy a priceless

    Read More »from 10 Hard Questions to Ask when Clearing Out Your Clutter
  • By Ingrid Simone, Common Sense Media App Editor

    Planning to take a trip with the kids for spring break? Get these apps.Planning to take a trip with the kids for spring break? Get these apps.

    Whether you're taking the kids on a day trip or a trip around the world, if you're bringing a smartphone or tablet, you'll want to be sure you have these great apps for getting them involved and engaged in your travel adventure.

    Planning your trip

    As the grown-up, you'll do most of the heavy lifting here. But in the days or weeks before you leave, letting kids get in on the planning will build their excitement and engagement about the trip. A good geography app is a fun way to help kids get a sense of where they're going and how the location relates to the rest of the world. If you're traveling in the United states, Stack the States and Learn the States with Flat Stanley are terrific choices.

    Another app that's perfect for the planning stages is Google Earth. Kids can see a satellite view of your destination, famous landmarks, and more -- all with astonishing detail. And you can opt to display information about notable places,

    Read More »from Must-Have Apps for Family Travel
  • Photo: Getty ImagesThere are a lot of things strangers say to parents that come off as judgy, meddling or just plain stupid. The worst, of course: When are you due? When you are not, in fact, due … ever. (Been there and not wanting to be there again is the number one reason I’m attempting sit-ups these days.). But another cringe-worthy question has been coming up for me a lot lately and I want to discuss. Here’s what I’m talking about:

    I was on the security line at the airport with my four-month-old baby in the Bjorn and a friendly woman started chatting us up …

    Friendly woman: “Oh, he’s so cute. Look at his eyes! What a big boy. How old is he? He’s soooo smiley. I love his boots!”

    I smiled and nodded and answered all of her questions. We kept chatting. She told me about her grandson and how he isn’t as big as my boy yet and finally, about five minutes in, it happened…

    Friendly woman: “So, what’s his name?”

    Me: “Um, well, actually…she’s a girl and her name is Molly.”

    Then this poor woman back-peddled and

    Read More »from The Stranger Comment That Makes Me Cringe
  • From the kitchen to the kid's room, there's one old-school gadget that can help simplify your life. Maxwell Ryan is the founder of Apartment Therapy, and he stopped by the "Easy Does It" studios to explain why the lazy Susan isn't so "lazy" after all.

    WATCH: Use a Tension Rod to Get Organized

    Maxwell suggests using lazy Susans in the kitchen to maximize cabinet space, whether storing pots and pans, spices, or perishables. "Snacks are a really good thing to put on a lazy Susan," Maxwell says, or "anything that's small that can get stuck in the back of the cabinet." And the simplified storage isn't limited to cabinets, either. Place a lazy Susan in the fridge to keep condiments together and in sight.

    Looking to help the kids get organized? Use a lazy Susan to create a craft center for your child's room. Simply glue metal containers to a lazy Susan, label, and "fill them all with your pencils, tape, paper — all your craft supplies," Maxwell says. The lazy Susan can also serve as a

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  • By Angela Zimmerman, Common Sense Media Content Manager

    Common Sense MediaCommon Sense Media
    Let's face it: Not everyone can go to Bermuda for spring break. But sometimes a "staycation" is just what the doctor ordered, because you can hang out with the kids and tackle spring cleaning. It's also a good opportunity to weave media and technology into your daily lives in a mindful way. Use this day-by-day guide of media picks and activity ideas to maximize every moment with minimal stress.

    A few things before spring break begins: Set limits on computer time; pick a photography app and brush up on your photo-snapping skills so you can capture memories all week long; download some road trip music for when you're piled in the car; charge up your smartphone or tablet; locate your library card; and check the weather (and adapt the schedule as needed).

    And you're off!

    Monday: Music and Movie Mayhem
    Get spring break started with kid-friendly dance songs. Try a free streaming service like Pandora or Grooveshark for nonstop tunes.

    Read More »from Your Daily Guide to an Awesome Spring Break Staycation

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