Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Little ways to find happiness in a negative world via Newsette.

2. Positive expressions that can actually be offensive via Fast Company.

3. The two-word dress code used by General Motors in brilliant via Inc.
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Fab Finds Under $50


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The search is over! If you're on a limited budget but always on the lookout for fun, inexpensive items that add flair to your home, your outfits, or your life, you've come to the right place. I've tracked down five items that you need in your life right now. From entertaining to your beauty routine to your outfit of the day, any one of these items is a welcome addition to your life.
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Weekend Dispatch


This past weekend was super productive. After seven straight days of rainy, gloomy weather, I woke up to sunny skies on Saturday, and it made such a difference in my energy level. I went to an early morning yoga class, stopped for an iced coffee, and then headed to the farmers' market with my husband to stock up on goodies for the week. On Sunday, I did some meal prep for the week (I'm on a kick to not eat out so much), and took the girls back-so-school shopping (finally!). It was a marathon day at the mall, but it was successful.

Here's what I'm up to this week:

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The Value of Ongoing Education

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It’s at this time of year, when the kids go back to school and college courses start that we instinctively feel the need to be studying. As I watch my own daughters come home from school, open their books and notebooks, and feverishly write notes, I have a pang of envy for those days. I loved college. I loved learning, studying, and immersing myself in books.

Today, it’s never been easier or more convenient to learn from home thanks to online learning opportunities where you can study a plethora of university level courses, you can even master computer engineering online, today, which makes the academic playing field a little more accessible for stay at home moms, or those juggling family life with a busy job.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The worst habits for your heart via HealthyWay.

2. Five financial, money-saving chores you can do in 15 minutes or less via Inc.

3. The college majors that lead to the biggest salaries via Babble.
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Weekend Dispatch


After last week's jam-packed wedding weekend (I'm not complaining...I loved having all the activities laid out for us with room to do our own thing), I needed a weekend that was filled with down-time and time to catch up on laundry. I started a new book, watched several movies, waded through mounds of laundry, and made a huge batch of minestrone soup and prepped ingredients for veggie bowls for lunch this week. #winning

But now I'm back to the grind, and here's what I'll be up to this week and weekend.
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Loving Lately: Leopard Print


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This fall is the best time to take a walk on the wild side of fashion by sporting leopard (and other animal) prints. Animal prints were spotted (did you see what I did there??) all over the runways at NYFW, but one of the most popular to have emerged is the leopard print. This classic print has long been a fashion favorite. Some have even argued that it's a neutral! There are plenty of ways to wear it, but whichever you choose, you are sure to be on-trend.

Here are a few of my favorite leopard print pieces:
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Tips For Creating An Authentic Home

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When it comes to your home, it’s important to create a space that's perfectly fitted to yours’ and your family’s needs and personality. Your family home is the place where you and your family should feel the most comfortable and relaxed, and it should be the place you love the most. That’s why getting the design element of your home right is so important.

While contemporary design is currently on-trend, that doesn’t mean that you can’t vere away from the the current style to create a home that is better suited to your design preferences. Your home is your space, so it should be designed with that in mind. Whether you love modern design or prefer a more authentic and traditional space, your home should reflect that in its design.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Five healthy reasons to take a break from eating meat via Aaptiv.

2. How much avocado is healthy to eat in one day via Huffington Post.

3. Nine things productive people do before noon via Travel + Leisure
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Our Trip To Utah


When I found out that my nephew and his fiancée were planning to get married in Utah, I was super excited. I had never been there before, and I'm always game for traveling to a new destination. I didn't have a whole lot of expectations going in to the trip. I knew we'd be busy with wedding activities, so I wasn't sure how much time we'd have to explore beyond that and what we'd be able to see.

Since I'm not a skier, I probably would never have visited the Alta area of Utah, but I am soooo glad this wedding took me there. It is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous (as is Salt Lake City) and there is so much to do even in the summer months. We flew out to SLC last Thursday and returned home late Sunday on a red eye flight. Although we were only in town for a few days, we did manage to squeeze in enough to give us a feel for the local flavor.
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How To Use Mirrors To Decorate Your Home

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People use mirrors for a lot of reasons. You probably don’t even know how much you use your mirrors until you really sit and think about it. You roll out of bed and head to the bathroom to do your teeth and morning skincare and boom – mirror. You head to the closet to choose your clothes and boom – mirror. You put your coat and scarf on before you leave the house and boom – mirror. Everywhere you go, you see you, so it makes sense that a big part of the décor in our homes involves mirrors.

For many people, they’re a necessity for everyday living; even if you’re not the type of person to check your teeth in every reflective surface. There are so many benefits to adding mirrors to your home, and it’s not always because you want a quick glance at your appearance! Your home can benefit from many accents and upgrades, but mirrors are one of the best decorative investments you can make, especially since they are inexpensive. Change the way your home looks and you won’t look back on your choice of mirror décor.

Here are some of the ways that your home can really benefit from having more mirrors on the walls.
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Weekend Dispatch


We're off again! We've been back from Rehoboth Beach for only a few days, and on Thursday morning we are jet setting to Salt Lake City for my nephew's wedding. However, in the days since we've been home, a lot has happened. After you read about that, you'll understand just how much we need both a break and and some time with family to celebrate a joyous occasion. So, here's what I'll be doing this weekend and on the flight out to SLC. Enjoy your week and weekend! xx
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Life Is Short


It's a cliché we hear all too often and usually under casual circumstances. "Life is short. Eat dessert first." It's fun and playful to say. We don't really think about how short life is until tragedy strikes and the reality of the saying rings true and hits close to home.

Last week, we learned the hard way that life is short when my sister-in-law passed away suddenly. Nothing feels quite like a freight train has hit you like news like that. We were rocked to our cores. Shocked and speechless, you're glad your body breathes on it's own because if you had to think about making the effort to do it, it wouldn't happen.
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Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The most popular cookbook in each state via PureWow.

2. Health benefits of sleeping with a fan on via Bustle.

3. A weird trick for applying mascara for long, thick lashes via Redbook.
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How To Juggle A Hectic Work and Family Life


When you're a working parent, life can be tricky at times. Juggling your work life and home life is no easy feat. The fact is that for working moms, juggling a hectic work life and family life can, at times, seem totally impossible. The good news is it's not impossible. It's just a case of knowing how to balance everything effectively. If you have a plan of action in place, are organized and have help on hand for when you need it, you can make it much easier to cope and find a good balance between your work life and family life.

Here are a few tips I use to work efficiently, parent effectively, and run a home at the same time.
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5 Tips For Loving Your Workouts


It's been 18 months since I made the commitment to get into a regular a fitness routine. When I turned 49, I became hyper aware of my midlife status and rather than dread getting older, I decided to embrace it. My first step was getting to the gym and learning to love my workouts.

Building on the mistakes I've made in the past and what I had hoped to accomplish in the future, I've put together this list of easy tips for establishing a love-love relationship with your workouts.
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4 Important Life Milestones

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When I look back on the past 17 years, there are definitely milestones and goals that my husband and I worked towards and achieved in our years together. They may not happen for everyone, and if they do, they may not happen in this order, but you are likely to achieve at least one of them at some point. Maybe you're in a relationship and you don’t know where it's going at the moment, but eventually when you do have a solid plan, you'll need to think about the milestones below. Traditional is not the norm these days. So you can choose any path you like and achieve whatever milestones you want. 
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Non-Traditional Options For Creating a Family

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There are so many choices when it comes to deciding not only whether we want to create a family of our own, but how we can go about achieving this. Traditionally, when we think of creating a family, the majority of us will tend to think of a man and a woman conceiving through traditional intercourse. However, thanks to increased awareness surrounding all sorts of social issues, and also dramatic improvements in science, medicine, and technology, this isn’t the only way to create a family of your own.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. What it's like to be a realtor on House Hunters via Apartment Therapy.

2. Six self-care things to do to feel better about summer ending via Byrdie.

3. The best way to treat (and get rid of) mosquito bites via Into The Gloss.
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How To Update A Room On A Budget

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Decorating your home is a never ending process. As home interior styles and trends change, I have a tendency to want to follow them, which can get expensive. Since I don't always have the budget to make large scale changes, I try to stick to a combination of buying new and mixing up what I already have. New furniture, knowing how to repurpose old things, adding color, changing a theme are all ways you can update the look of your home and make it feel brand new without blowing the budget. Here are a few other ways I make quick updates on a small budget.
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Ways To Care For Yourself When You Are A Busy Mom

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Parenthood is the biggest adventure of all, and certainly one of the most challenging and rewarding things that most of us will do in our adult lives. When you start a family, life changes forever and your entire priority becomes caring for this little person and preparing her for adulthood and a life independent of you. However, while you are doing that, you can't lose sight of taking care of yourself. So many mothers pour themselves into taking care of their families that they forget to take care of themselves. In this age of self-care, you have every excuse to set aside time to focus on you whether you have a newborn or a college-aged child.
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Weekend Dispatch


In four days, my girls and I are heading to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware where we'll spend a relaxing week with my sisters and their children. If you are a long-time reader here, you know that I grew up vacationing in Rehoboth with my parents, sisters, and often, extended family. My sisters and our kids have been doing this trip since 2007, and it's one of my most anticipated weeks of the year. This week will be spent wrapping up posts for the blog, tying up loose ends for a client, and of course, packing, packing, packing. But during those rare moments of downtime, here's how I'll be spending my time.
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5 Fab Finds Under $50

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On a budget but still want to look great? Here are 5 fab finds under $50 that won't break the bank but will keep you (or your home) looking cute.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The best educational toys for kids via Business Insider.

2. What to consider when applying for jobs you are unqualified for via Fast Company.

3. The regrets of 90-somethings via Medium.
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My Favorite Beauty Products For Rosacea


Lately, I've been getting a lot of compliments on my skin...which makes me very happy. I have struggled with controlling my rosacea which I've had for a little over 15 years. My dermatologist told me that I likely developed the condition during my pregnancy and while rosacea isn't curable, it is treatable. Since that time, I've been hyperaware of my skin condition and have diligently worked to keep it under control. I've tried both oral and topical prescription and over-the-counter medications and many different beauty products.

50% of the way my skin looks is about what I eat. The other 50% is about how I take care of my skin. In the end, I have found that altering my diet and using a combination of beauty products that help mask redness have been a successful combination.
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Loving Lately: Wrap Dresses

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Diane Von Furstenberg invented the wrap dress in 1974. For over 40 years this iconic dress has been a solid wardrobe staple for generations of women. While its style has evolved over the years, the wrap dress has remained a classic. This summer especially, I've fallen in love with wrap dresses. I bought a super cute, inexpensive one at TJ Maxx at the beginning of the summer and this one at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Here are a few of my other favorite wrap dresses.
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Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend I made a last minute decision to take a little blogging break. After heading to central Pennsylvania to visit my sisters and their families, I returned home and was still in a laid back vacation mode and decided that I wouldn't push myself to write posts that just didn't feel organic and natural. There's something so satisfying about going to central PA where the pace seems slower and more laid back. My sister Holly lives directly behind a farm, and it's a complete juxtaposition to wake up to roosters crowing and cows mooing at the crack of dawn instead of hearing cars rushing by my window at home. It's always good to spend quality time with those we love, and that's exactly what we did. This week's Weekend Dispatch is combined with part of last week's which was never published since I took a break.


One of the things Emma wanted to do when we were in PA was go to Knoebels Amusement Resort. We hadn't been there in two years since we went camping (for the first time ever!) in July 2016. We spent the day there on Sunday. If you live in the NJ/PA area, it's a great day trip and a very cost-effective option for an amusement park. There is no admission fee, and you pay for only the rides you want to go on. I always enjoy our trips to Knoebels. If you go, be sure to ride The Phoenix and The Twister roller coasters, and a waffle ice cream sandwich is a MUST!! Here are a few of my other must-dos. Oh, and the Ferris wheel is never a bad idea! For more info on Knoebels, click HERE.



If you are a big fan of 80's music, then you know that Boy George is touring this summer with Tom Bailey (best known as the frontman for the Thompson Twins). On Friday, my sister, my niece, and I saw the concert at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park. It was amazing! Boy George and his band were phenomenal, and if you were a fan of the Thompson Twins (and I was a huge fan!), you'll love Tom Bailey. The Summer Stage is always a great show no matter who is playing. Check out the schedule to see the lineup for the remainder of the summer, and you can get info on the Culture Club/Tom Bailey tour HERE.


So I know I'm totally late to the game here, but have you watched The Affair? I tried to watch it back in 2014 when it premiered on Showtime, but it airs on Sunday evenings which don't really work for me as far as TV watching goes. I did watch some of it, but never followed through. A few weeks ago, I installed the xfinity app on my iPad and decided to give it another try. I started from the very beginning, and before I knew it, I was hooked. As you can guess from the title, the main plot of the show focuses on the affair of two married people, Alison and Noah. But this show is so much more than that. There are several sub-plots that are equally as good and engaging including family tensions and betrayals. It also explores the emotional/psychological impacts the affair has on everyone involved. It's set in Montauk and New York City, and the cinematography is so well done. Added bonus: Joshua Jackson.


If you are looking for an easy and nutritious meal, you can't go wrong with a grain bowl. They take seconds to put together, and although there are hundreds of recipes out there, you don't need one. You can use whatever ingredients you like or have on hand to create the perfect grain bowl for you. I like this recipe for quinoa and roasted broccoli grain bowls (p.s., I don't include the grapes) because I can use leftover broccoli and it includes one of my favorite cheeses: goat cheese. Start with a base of quinoa or rice and just add your favorite elements from there.


My list of favorite podcasts is every-growing, so much so that I now officially spend more time listening to podcasts than I do to music. When someone in a private Facebook group I belong to recommended the Second Life podcast, I was skeptical. The premise of the podcast is interviews with successful women who have reinvented themselves. They have made complete career changes, followed their passions, and are reaping the rewards of making such drastic decisions. Having been in the business of blogging for almost 10 years, I thought I had enough of those stories. But I was pleasantly surprised when I had my first listen to this podcast. It includes interviews with Lauren Conrad who went from being an actress to an entrepreneur and Ali Webb, the founder of Drybar.


So, tell me. What do you have planned this weekend?
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. When to pay with a credit card and when to use cash via Huffington Post.

2. The right way to clean a hairbrush via PureWow.

3. Solutions to 7 stressful family holiday situations via Real Simple.
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4 Reasons Your Dog Has Lost His Appetite

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Dogs love to eat! In fact, they will eat almost anything, whether it’s good for them or not. So it's only natural that we become alarmed when our dogs abruptly stop eating. When they turn their noses up at whatever you have put in their dish, it’s unlikely its because they are being fussy (although occasionally they might be). Here are four reasons why your dog may not be eating.
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Playing Favorites

Playing Favorites is a monthly series where I share my latest obsessions, favorite finds, and any kind of entertainment (books, movies, TV, podcasts, and magazines) that I am loving. Here's what I am loving this month.

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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The ten phrases to stop using at work via Grammarly.

2. If you aren't Type A or Type B, maybe you are Type C or Type D via Huffington Post.

3. Three reasons you should be living below your means via Inc.
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Weekend Dispatch


What we were expecting to be one of the worst weeks weather-wise here at the Jersey shore has turned out to be quite nice so far.  However, my friends in central PA haven't been so lucky. They've had over 12 inches of rain in just a day or so and have experienced widespread flooding. Keeping everyone in my thoughts and hoping for drier weather soon. In the meantime, here's what I'm up to this week whether it's rainy or sunny.
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How To Overcome Persistent Flea Infestations


Pets fast become staple family members in our homes. Your kids probably love that puppy or kitten like a parent loves a child, and you’re pretty fond of it, too. And, as with any other member of the family, the chances are that you’d go above and beyond to keep your dog happy and healthy. You take them for regular checkups and watch what they eat for that exact reason.

No matter how much care you take of your pet, it always seems to have a continual flea infestation. It’s a headache many pet owners face, and it can cause real stress. After all, fleas do more than irritate. In fact, untreated, they leave your pet at risk to a whole host of issues, including:
  • Skin infections
  • Internal infections
  • Blood poisoning
  • Tape worms
  • Anemia

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Frozé Watermelon Granita


In the summer months, you'll rarely find me drinking a cocktail that's something other than rosé or sparkling rosé. It's just so refreshing and hits the spot on a warm, sunny day. But sometimes rosé with a twist is a fun way to switch things up a bit while still enjoying my favorite wine. The recipe combines the elements of a frozé with that of a granita for a truly refreshing and tasty cocktail that's surprisingly easy to prepare.
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Tips For Dealing With and Preventing Hearing Loss

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In the current age of being plugged in to our phones, tablets, and other electronic devices 24/7, it's not surprising to hear that hearing loss is on the rise. Our devices have replaced radios and TVs, and the majority of us do our listening with earbuds, which means our hearing is likely being compromised. Nobody likes to be told that they have experienced some hearing loss, but the truth is that it is fairly common.

If you're experiencing partial hearing loss, your first concern is most likely that you want to avoid experiencing complete hearing loss. There are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that you look after your hearing when you have been told you've had some hearing loss.
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5 Fab Finds Under $50 #NSALE


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The search is over! If you're on a limited budget but always on the lookout for fun, inexpensive items that add flair to your home, your outfits, or your life, you've come to the right place. I've tracked down five items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that you need in your life right now. From entertaining to your office to your outfit of the day, any one of these items is a welcome addition to your life.

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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Seven hacks for growing out your nails via The Zoe Report.

2. How to be a parent your child wants to talk to via The Huffington Post.

3. Unhealthy habits you probably don't know you have via Coveteur.
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7 Tips For A Terrific Family Road Trip

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Summer has well and truly arrived and it’s something special for families. School is out and the time that the children get over the long school vacation is perfect for being able to spend time together as a family. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, everyone loves to go on vacation. The best part about the summer break is the fact it’s so long and the weather is beautiful; it makes packing in activities with the kids far easier!

You get to spend time putting together an fun and adventurous itinerary. Road trip planning doesn’t happen overnight. You have to figure out what you can afford, where you want to go, who is sitting where in the car, whether to hire a recreation vehicle to go alongside your trip or not. You also need to sit down with the kids and give them a chance to discuss what they would like to do and see on your trip. There are so many routes that you can take across the States for your road trip and it can truly be an educational experience for your children if you are seeing more than one historical site, landmark and even the beaches and theme parks for a little downtime.
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Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend was one of those rare summer weekends where we had almost no plans. It was sooo nice. I was able to finish a book and start a new one, catch up on a few podcast episodes, watch two movies, and hit the farmers' market on Saturday morning with my husband. The tomatoes here in Jersey are almost at their peak! Here are a few of the things I've been loving this week and some ideas for the weekend ahead.
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5 Ways To Make Family Mornings A Little Easier

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Mornings are a stressful time for most families. When one of your kids won’t get out of bed, another one spills milk down their shirt, and your husband can’t find his, it causes a huge amount of chaos and confusion, which makes getting to work and school incredibly difficult. As common as this situation is, it is far from unavoidable. Thankfully, there are ways you can make mornings a little easier for your family and get everyone where they need to go without the stress.
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