6 suggestions for ditching Mommy guilt

Mom guilt is real. Many moms spent a lot of time — too much time — feel guilty about, well, almost everything. How much time they spend playing with their kids. How much time they spend working. How much time their kids spend on screens. What their kids eat. How many extracurricular activities they should be […]

10 things teachers wish parents knew

It’s back-to-school season, and parents aren’t the only ones excited to get their kids back to the classrooms. Teachers are counting down the days until school starts again, and not in a don’t-go-summer sort of way. “Teachers care a lot more about their students than parents think they do,” says Steve Herrmann, a third-grade teacher […]

Snap happy: 6 tips for better smartphone photos

You’re making great memories this summer and want the photos to prove it. If your candid photos aren’t turning out exactly how you pictured, don’t dismay. There are a few basic principles of photography you can follow even when you’re snapping pics with a smartphone. Lighting is key Good lighting is the most important factor […]

7 steps to a better summer body image

It’s time for a mid-summer body image tune up. Too many women are too hard on themselves and their bodies, especially in the summertime. “There is a belief that there is a ‘summer body,’ a certain standard to be achieved, and I think that’s wrong,” says Emily Cooper, a clinical social worker and therapist at […]

7 beat-the-heat summer meal planning ideas

One of the last things you likely want to do when it’s 95 degrees outside is turn on the oven or stand over the stove to make a hot dinner. Yet despite soaring temperatures, your family still needs to eat — night after night. What’s a too-hot-to-want-to-cook mom to do? Embrace summertime meal planning strategies […]

8 of Utah County’s best beaches

The Beehive State is hundreds of miles from the ocean, but it’s still possible to have fun at the beach without making the 600-plus mile trip to the west coast. Utah County has a handful of sandy “beaches” next to local ponds, lakes and reservoirs, where you can have a great time sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, […]

6 ideas to make you the fun mom this summer

In theory, you want to be a fun mom who lets the kids make slime anytime they ask, always hosts night games and gives your teenagers and their friends free reign on the pantry. In reality, you can hardly bear the thought of another unplanned trip to the store to buy supplies for said slime, […]

11 city celebration activities kids will love

Kids just wanna have fun, especially in the summertime. If you’re already tired of thinking up fun things for your tribe to do, let Utah County’s kid-centric city celebrations do the heavy lifting. These multi-day events have plenty happening beyond parades, carnivals and cotton candy — although that trifecta is a pretty great way to […]

Summer (and sanity) saving camps for kids in Utah Valley

The early bird gets the worm — or in this case, the guaranteed spot in that coveted summer camp. If you’re staring down three months of empty calendar squares and aren’t sure where to start when scheduling activities, all is not lost. There are venues across the county still accepting registrations for day and overnight […]

10 ways to save money on Christmas

No one wants to be labeled as a Scrooge or Grinch at Christmas, but too many trips to the mall can bring out the miser in all of us. Expenses surrounding the most wonderful time of the year can quickly add up to a very unhappy New Year. Keep spending in check — and time spent standing […]

7 tips for talking politics with your kids

My 9 year-old came home from school a few months ago and ask me earnestly: “Is Donald Trump going to ruin my future?” Caught off guard, I bumbled some neutral, placating answer like, “Oh, no, life will go on, we’ll talk about it later” and drove back into my after-school multitasking of entertaining a preschooler, […]

7 best spots for fall family photos in Utah Valley

Fall is arguably the most beautiful time of the year in Utah Valley. Multi-colored leaves in vivid shades of red, orange, yellow and green make a stunning backdrop for family pictures. Try these Utah County spots, hand-picked by local photographers, for guaranteed-to-be-gorgeous family photos. 1. Spanish Fork River Trail Fall colors last longer at the […]

5 encouraging phrases that will make kids smile

Everyone needs a little encouragement, and kids are especially needy for positive words in the first weeks of the school year. Early wake-up times, confining schedules and packed days wear out parents, yes, but kids, too. You don’t need to flatter them endlessly to lift their wish-it-was-still-summer spirits; a few well-chosen words can go the […]

10 Utah season passes that will keep your kids and wallet happy

It’s summertime and the livin’ is … expensive. The cost of summer fun can quickly add up, especially for Utah’s big families. For the first few weeks of summer, parents may be able to get away with sending kids outside to play all day. But as the mercury rises, everyone in the house starts looking […]

10 tips for talking to grieving kids

Death is a tricky topic of discussion among adults, but talking to grieving kids about the death of a loved one can be downright intimidating. But experts say the difficulty of the conversation doesn’t make it any less important. One in 20 children will experience the death of a parent before they graduate from high […]

9 tips for a minimalist wardrobe challenge

Sorting through your clothes as part of spring-cleaning can be simultaneously overwhelming and underwhelming. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed at the sheer number of items packed into your closet but underwhelmed with the actual offerings; nothing fits or makes you feel great. Instead of heading out on an emotionally fueled shopping spree, consider this alternative: a three-month […]

10 ways to support a family with a sick kid in the hospital

When a friend or family member has a sick kid or teen in the hospital you know you want to help but aren’t sure exactly what to do. Try one of these 10 ideas for supporting families with a child in the hospital: 1. Give kid-friendly games. If a child is sick enough to be […]

8 apps that will help you break your cell phone addiction

If you check your smartphone in the bathroom, at the gym, at the playground with your kids, before you go to bed at night — and a hundred other times in between — it may be time for a digital detox. And ironically, there’s an app (or 10) for that. You may not be technically […]

6 ways parents can improve their listening skills

If you feel like your kids hardly listen to a word you say, take heart. Children and teens ignoring their parents is a universal problem as old as parenting itself. But before you put all the blame on your offspring, consider whether your listening skills could stand to be improved. Try these six tips for […]

10 life skills you should be teaching your teens (but probably aren’t)

Eventually your teens will be full-fledged adults. Yes, they grow up fast. Make sure they know how-to adult by teaching them these 10 simple but crucial life skills: 1. How to unclog a toilet. You only need to get stuck with a clogged toilet at a party once to understand how important this life skill […]

11 tips for a smoother day skiing with kids

Skiing can be an incredibly fun family outing. You’re staying active, enjoying nature and spending unplugged time together. But there is no denying it takes a lot of work — and sometimes a lot of cash — to get your family on the slopes. When teaching your kids to ski or snowboard, it’s best not […]

7 kid-friendly clutter busters

Kids and stuff go together like peanut butter and jelly. They stick together, and it can be a challenge for parents to keep things tidy with little clutter magnets in the home. Don’t work harder to fight the piles of kid paraphernalia; work smarter. Try these seven kid-friendly clutter busters: 1. Live by the one […]

8 New Year’s resolutions to make as a family

Parents may have a secret weapon when it comes to making and keeping New Year’s resolutions: their kids. After all, most children exhibit near-perfect recall when it works in their favor (“On Monday when we were driving in the car you said that we could go to Target on Saturday to look at Lego”),  above-average […]

10 activities to add to your Christmas break bucket list

Summer isn’t the only season worthy of a bucket list. Winter deserves a wish-list of its own (and not just the one penned for Old St. Nick). Consider adding these 10 activities to your Christmas break bucket list: 1. Build a snowman. If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, pencil in some time to build […]

8 tips for staying healthy during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … until your kids catch the nasty virus that’s going around, you eat one too many figgy puddings and a schedule packed with holiday merriment makes your normal exercise routine impossible. Before you cancel Christmas, try these eight tips for staying sane and healthy until Santa Claus […]

8 non-toy gift ideas for kids and teens

Gifts aren’t bad, especially during the holidays, but there can be too much of a good thing. Even if you aren’t a minimalist, you may not want to gift your kids another toy. Perhaps they may have too many already and you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on a gift that will end […]

15 toys and books that will help your kids keep quiet

There are plenty of scenarios when you need to keep your kids quiet but their hands busy so they don’t fight, complain or fall asleep in the car right before you get home. Keeping a quiet bag stocked and ready for car rides, waiting rooms and church time is a major parental sanity saver. But […]

6 ways to help kids develop a musical ear

It’s time to face the music: exposure to classical music is good for kids and teens. Numerous studies show a correlation between music education and brain development; math and spatial reasoning; reading and verbal skills; academic achievement; and even social and emotional development. For instance, a performance report from the 2012 SATs shows students who […]

8 solutions for the bedtime battle

Last week I staged a bedtime intervention with my kids. I was feeling frazzled and frustrated that what I pictured as a warm and fuzzy farewell to the day was in fact an hours-long power struggle. In desperation I did what any self-respecting journalist would: I interviewed my mom friends about what their bedtime routine […]

7 suggestions for surviving your spouse’s football addiction

Football season is in full swing, which can only mean one thing: I am now a sports widow. Every Saturday for the foreseeable future, I can plan on my husband being absent for hours, cheering on his beloved team until his voice goes hoarse. If it’s a home game, he’ll be in the stands yelling […]