Tip of the Week

Your house is spotless, your children are well behaved, and every night there’s a beautiful home-cooked meal on the table. Just how do you do it?

The answer: You don’t. From 1960s how-to guides portraying the perfect mother to today’s Pinterest-crazed super moms, there’s always been pressure on women to do it all. But in reality, it’s unrealistic, and moms today are saying: “That’s OK.”

“Being a mom, you quickly learn to let go of trying to perfect every aspect of your life,” says actress and mom Busy Philipps. “So rather than trying to perfect things, I rely on tools to simplify those chaotic moments, which allows me to enjoy what matters - time with my kids ... and my sanity.”

With that mantra in mind, Philipps is sharing some of her favorite life hacks. Here are a few secrets for moms — both beginners and seasoned — for getting things done and enjoying life’s good moments:

Make me-time and them-time: “It’s so important to master me-time!” says Philipps. “Nothing beats getting up early for a good workout before starting the day. Want to really maximize a workout? Plug in your headphones, stream your favorite show, and get your heartbeat pumping while catching up on those episodes you missed! Another secret? Include your kids in ‘me-time’ once in awhile for a ‘them-time’ session. Manis and pedis with my girls is always a fun outing where we can spend quality time together.”

Minimize laundry time: “Never-ending laundry is a never-ending headache. I love my LG SideKick washing machine, which is a pedestal washer attached to my main washer,” says Philipps. “It’s perfect for washing those small laundry loads that are a big deal and can’t wait — from a soccer uniform to delicates and activewear. You can also wash two loads at the same time when you need to: large loads in the main front-load washer and delicates —- like my favorite workout clothes — in the LG SideKick, which is a huge time saver.”

Cut cooking chaos: “Forget the foodie frenzy,” Philipps stresses. “If you can pull together a simple and nutritious meal for the family, you are a superstar. This doesn’t require slaving away for hours in the kitchen. Internet search one-pan recipes. When time is really crunched, there’s no shame in takeout. Trust me, everyone does it.”

And her healthy eating tip? “I get my kids to eat healthy by hiding nutritious food - like broccoli pureed into spaghetti sauce - so they don’t even know they are eating it. A page from a book I swear by: Jessica Seinfeld’s popular cookbook, ‘Deceptively Delicious.’”

Create a healthy competition: In a perfect world, your kids would enjoy helping with all the household chores. In the real world this can feel like fighting a losing battle. Philipps’ solution: Try using a little trick psychology. “Think of ways to transform cleaning into a competition,” she says. “Who can toss the dirtiest clothes into the baskets? Who can make their bed faster? Who can match more pairs of clean socks from the laundry in 60 seconds or less? Kids will race to win, all while helping you get those chores done.”

“Being a parent can get messy, but obviously we wouldn’t want it any other way,” says Philipps. “Tricks like these help me accept that life’s not perfect, which is okay because life’s good. And good is great!”

— Brandpoint

Family Movie Night

“My Little Pony: The Movie”

Rated: PG

Length: 1 hour 39 minutes

Synopsis: A dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.

Book Report

“Good Day, Good Night”

Ages: 4 - 8 years

Pages: 40

Synopsis: When the sun comes up and the day begins, the little bunny says good day to all the familiar things outside. To the birds in the skies and the bees in their hives, to everything one by one. And as the sun starts to set, it’s time for the little bunny to say goodnight. Goodnight, kitty. Goodnight, bear. Goodnight, people everywhere.

This previously unpublished picture book by beloved children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown uses her signature word pattern from the classic “Goodnight Moon” that has soothed generations of children to sleep. Paired with Loren Long’s gorgeous illustrations, readers will take comfort in the reassuring world of the little bunny and delight at the attention to detail and hidden surprises on every page.

— HarperCollins

Did You Know

Many people live in areas prone to natural disasters so having a plan in place should these extreme weather events occur could save your family’s life. Start by having enough water, non-perishable food, medication, battery backups and other supplies to get through 48 to 72 hours. Russell Knapp, supervisor of fire safety for the Penn State Health Medical Center campus, says that families should have a emergency communication plan, know where they would reunite should they get separated and understand how their house is built to identify the safest areas for various types of disasters.

— More Content Now