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Top 10 Apps For Parents That Will Save Your Sanity

Apps for Parents - MainIt was 8:15 in the morning when I got a panicked call from my husband who was dropping off our kids at school.

“We were supposed to send in flowers for the School Open House this morning. Everybody brought theirs and is handing them to the teacher.”

I replied confidently, “Don’t worry, honey, the Open House isn’t until this evening, and I’ll bring the flowers then.”

“No, the flowers were supposed to be brought in advance. The teacher said it was in her email.”

I searched my inbox for the email about the Open House, and to my embarrassment saw that he was right.

This was not the first time something like this had happened. Despite spending hours each week reading emails, copying and pasting things into my calendar, and writing reminder notes for myself, I had forgotten to dress my kids in pajamas on PJ day (something they would not let me forget), send the library book back on library day and – my worst offense – pick them up on time on an early dismissal day.

Every time it happened, I would look into my kids’ disappointed faces and feel terrible, like I was such a bad mom.

I didn’t want to feel like that ever again, so I started to look for a way to handle it.

As I spoke to a few of my friends who had already traveled this part of the parenting journey before, one thing became very clear – everyone was using some sort of an app or a website, in many cases several, to help maintain order in their lives (and save their sanity).

Duh!

I’ve since been an avid collector of apps/sites that simplify life and have even founded an app company myself that offers group communication and organization for parents, which you’ll see below, called SimplyCircle.

Today, I’ve put together for you a list of 10 of my favorites apps for parents of school-aged kids. Some are smartphone apps, some are web apps, but all offer something to simplify our lives and allow us to feel like the fine parents that we are.

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How to Look Beautiful Fast: Secrets For Busy Moms From a Stylist to the Stars

How to look beautiful - MainAs a fashion stylist, I am paid to make movie stars look fabulous.

Ironically, I don’t always feel fabulous. I’m an over caffeinated mom on the run. I am a chauffeur, PTA volunteer, chef and homework helper to two busy kids.

Sound familiar?

Balancing the supermom persona with fashion stylist to some of the world’s most successful and high-profile personalities like Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts and  Heidi Klum, is quite a challenge.

It’s important for me to make a good first impression. When we first meet, I notice the star checking me out from head to toe, probably asking themselves if I could be trusted to dress them for public scrutiny.

Believe me, some days I just want to show up for the grueling day in sweats. But I can’t. My clients’ trust in me is proportional to the way I present myself.

Whether you run a household or a Fortune 500 company, it’s the same — there is scientific evidence that looking your best makes you more persuasive, confident and successful.

Known as the “halo effect,” the term was first used by psychologist Edward Thorndike in a 1920s study. It is human nature to judge. The better a person presents themselves, the better we judge them to be. We see attractive people as nicer, trustworthy or successful in all areas of their lives.

Here’s a little secret though — looking beautiful doesn’t require a big change or a lot of work. All you need is to make some time for yourself to raise your style game.

The key to looking beautiful is organization and an easy, signature style of your choice. Over the years I have developed a system that I use not only for myself, but for the stars I dress as well.

Here’s how to look beautiful fast –

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8 Quick and Easy Ways to Relieve Stress Every Parent Should Know

Quick and easy ways to relieve stress: main posterAren’t you done feeling stressed all the time?

It’s bad enough that modern life in general has become super stressful, but we parents seem to have mastered the art of adding more and more stress to our lives.

And the terrible thing is, the more stress we’re under, the less we’re able to enjoy our children, and the fleeting days of their being little and innocent and, well, ours.

Too often I postpone moments of connection with my daughters, instead allowing myself to be consumed by a to-do list that somehow feels more urgent in that moment. I end up spending my limited store of energy on things that don’t matter much at all.

For instance, during Christmas I thought it would be fun to use holiday-themed postage stamps for our Christmas cards. What started as a simple idea soon turned into an acute source of stress… it was getting close to my deadline for mailing the cards, but I just couldn’t seem to make it to the post office. Knowing that the lines would be insane that time of year made me resist the trip even more.

Every time I passed the pile of cards on the counter, ready to go but for a lack of stamps, I felt a little zing of annoyance and frustration. Until one day I realized just how ridiculous the situation was!

No one receiving the card was going to care or notice what kind of stamps I used. I could simplify my life during a chaotic season by simply slapping on the vanilla American flag stamps I already had on hand.

Which is what I finally did. It felt great to finally get the cards off my counter and in the mailbox.

That situation got me thinking…

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How To Be a Good Parent Through Dedicated “Lazy Parenting”

How to be a good parent through dedicated lazy parenting - main posterLet’s face it, parenting today takes work.

Something’s gotta give. We’re trying to do too much with our kids, too soon, too fast.

By today’s impossible standards of how to be a good parent, I’m a complete failure. I love my daughter, and enjoy our time together, but at heart, I’m a lazy parent. Which is why you’ll never catch me:

  • following my toddler around on the playground
  • trying to cajole her into eating dinner
  • spending every waking minute fixated on her

I accept, and embrace, that she’s an individual. As an individual, she deserves the opportunity to make her own choices, solve problems for herself, and build awareness of her unique interests.

Which is why I’ve dedicated myself to be as lazy as possible, as often as possible, when it comes to parenting my child. I’ve embraced “lazy parenting” with all my heart.

Don’t misunderstand — I’m not negligent, or uncaring. My daughter’s not walking through broken glass barefoot, or watching seven hours of Spongebob a day.

We just try to avoid extremes. There’s no lengthy list of activities we participate in, no major demands we feel the obligation to meet. If we’re interested in something, we explore it; if not, we move on.

Rarely experiencing a #parentingfail feels great!

So, what does lazy parenting look like?

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How to Have a Clutter Free Home (Especially When You Have Kids)

Clutter Free Home - Main Poster ImageIt’s amazing how clutter just happens, especially when you have kids, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter whether you work a job or you’re at home; if your kids are toddlers or teenagers –the to-dos and whatnots just keep piling up in corners, on surfaces and in that one special drawer.

Toys overflow their baskets and our feet painfully discover Lego bricks in the dark.

Mount Laundry grows like a volcanic peak — in the laundry basket, the corner of the bedroom and yes, even on the couch.

No matter how much we pick up, there’s always an endless supply of clutter. My husband and I, tired from our days, would ignore the piles. Then my keys would go missing. Or he wouldn’t be able to find his work badge. And we’d clean in a frenzy, snipping at each other about how we’ve failed yet again at the seemingly simple task of maintaining a clutter free home.

It looks like we were not the only ones struggling with this issue though.

According to a study conducted by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF), clutter can lead to depression, anxiety and tension in the home.

Clutter starts small, but soon becomes overwhelming. We postpone decluttering until it niggles at our peace of mind a little bit each day, and eventually becomes a stressed-out frenzy that eats up an entire weekend leaving a trail of bitterness and exhaustion in its wake.

Last year my husband and I decided to break this cycle and take on the challenge of completely decluttering our home and keeping it clutter free.

At first it felt like a lost cause – no sooner had we freed up one corner of our home from clutter, new clutter piled up elsewhere in the home. It felt like a game of whack-a-mole.

Slowly though, we noticed something that changed the nature of the game and gave us the winning advantage. Most of the clutter in our home came from 5 specific sources. Simply by focusing on nipping each of these little sources in the bud, we have actually tamed the clutter monster.

Our home doesn’t necessarily look like it is from the pages of the Home and Garden magazine, but it sure is a far cry from where we were a year ago. Here are some of the secrets to having a clutter free home, especially when you have kids –

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