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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is school stressing your kids out? 7 tips for managing school-related stress

Starting school each fall is like starting a new job. The first few weeks are often exciting but it can be stressful to adjust to a new routine and get a grip on the realities of the job. By mid-September, students that were once excited about school may feel stress and anxiety about homework and […]

5 podcasts for mom’s back-to-school learning

The kids will be back in school soon, but they aren’t the only ones in the family who could benefit from additional education. It’s a smart idea for parents to be continually learning, too, even if they aren’t formally enrolled in class. Podcasts are a convenient way to get education on the go. Listen to them […]

6 ideas for helping kids understand their emotions

Joy, sadness, anger and disgust. Thanks to the Disney animated flick “Inside Out,” parents and their kids may be thinking a lot more about these emotions. And hopefully they’re talking about them, too, says Ross Flom, a BYU psychology professor who specializes in child development. Flom and two former grad students co-authored a study released […]

6 tips for raising entrepreneurial kids and teens

Lemonade stands are hardly the get-rich-quick scheme that young children often hope they’ll be. But even if you know your kids won’t strike it rich selling watered-down drinks for a quarter to passersby, there are good reasons to encourage your child’s inner entrepreneur anyway. “I think that the world in general needs more entrepreneurial minds,” […]

Hey, Mom: You have more free time than you think

Moms never get enough sleep and they certainly don’t get any “me” time — or so goes popular opinion. But numbers from the latest American Time Use Survey released last Wednesday say those common societal laments aren’t necessarily true. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, women in households with children under age […]

7 tips for staying relevant while a stay-at-home mom

Utah seems to be the place for stay-at-home moms. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah is tied with Arizona for the highest percentage of stay-at-home moms. Your stance on the mommy wars aside, many stay-at-home moms plan on going back to work at some point. Maybe you’re waiting until […]

6 low-maintenance pets for families instead of a dog

A dog may be man’s best friend, but Fido isn’t the only pet fit for a family. There is a menagerie of animals that make great family pets and are a lot less work than a dog or even a cat. Next time your kids beg for a pet, consider satiating their need for an […]

7 hints for fantastic family camping trips

  No indoor plumbing, no fridge, no walls, no privacy. There are reasons why camping with kids in the Great Outdoors may not seem like such a great idea. But there are grounds for trying it out, anyway. No electronics, no friends and no cleaning, to name a few. Camping is a relatively inexpensive activity […]

5 unconventional summer camps for kids

Around this time every academic year, parents and kids alike start daydreaming of a summer unshackled by routines and requisites. Three months of winging it sounds just about right — until a few weeks into the break when you remember that “winging it” means epic sibling battles and endless requests for rides, cash and entertainment. […]

Make your Saturdays special with these 8 tips

“Saturday is a special day, it’s the day we get ready for Sunday.” That may be true, but that doesn’t mean Saturdays should be all work and no play. After all, if you observe Sundays as a Sabbath Day of worship, Saturday is likely the lone weekend day for family work and play. Make it count […]

5 Utah Valley memberships every mom/family needs

Raising kids isn’t cheap. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, kids born today will cost parents nearly a quarter of a million dollars to raise from birth to age 17. No, childhood isn’t cheap, but not everything you do with or for your family has to cost a mint. Here are five of […]

5 routines to minimize decision-making fatigue

File this under things no one tells you before you have kids: As a mom, you’ll have to make what seems like a million decisions each day. What time should you wake up the kids? What should you make for breakfast? And what is there to pack for lunch? Do you eat one cookie or […]

6 ideas for raising globally aware kids

Friday night is family movie night at our house. Usually we let the kids pick the flick, but recently I played my trump card as mom and made everyone watch the award-winning documentary “Living on One Dollar.” In the film, a few American college students spend two months living in rural Guatemala on only $1 […]

10 household tasks you can do in 10 minutes or less

You’ve got 10 minutes until the kids get home from school or the baby wakes up from her nap. There isn’t enough time to start a big project, and you tell yourself you might as well whip out your smartphone and see what’s happening online. But instead of checking your email again (without enough time […]