I'm a writer, producer, and TV host, mom to 6-year-old twin girls, and a firm believer that you can shop at Forever 21 no matter how old you are. I write about parenting, style, and the Kardashians -- or as my daughter calls them, "the Princess Jasmines"! But my best material comes from the adorable, wise, and hilariously inappropriate things my daughters say. It’s my right until they’re 18 ... or at least until they learn how to google me.
The joke used to be that you'd hit the movies to get a break from your family on Thanksgiving.
Now shopping, pretty much anywhere, is the other option. So many major retailers are opening for business on Thanksgiving Day -- well, really Thanksgiving evening. That means waiting until Black Friday to bargain hunt is a thing of the past.
Of course this is the cutthroat world of holiday retail, and when one competitor changes the game, the others must follow. Not great news for store managers hoping for the day off, but awesome news for price-minded folks who prefer to work off that extra helping of sweet potatoes by power shopping.
To help you prep, here's a cheat sheet of retailers who will be ready and waiting:
I come from a family who loves to eat, but I am just going to say it: none of us can cook.
I mean, I can sort of cook. But it's not effortless or intuitive in any way.
As an adult I've tried to build up a repertoire of a few solid dishes my kids will accept. And while I give myself a B+ for effort, when you grew up on take-out Chinese, every slightly complex meal feels like a MasterChef challenge.
Still, Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite meal of the year and I believe the pressure that comes with cooking it is worth it.
I'm not quite sure if a baby's first birthday is a bigger milestone for the baby or for the parents. When my twins turned 1, I remember feeling like I crossed the finish line of a marathon. There was a lot of champagne and multiple cakes -- although my girls didn't quite know what to do with them.
Looking back on it, I wish I'd been aware of the trend that so many parents have caught on to: Set the birthday kid up with their very own smash cake, a separate, aptly proportioned confection presented without utensils for the honoree to enjoy in whatever manner they see fit.
They can feel free to squeeze it, drool on it, crumble it, face plant in it. You name it. No one else is going to eat it but them!
Here are a few reasons why this is an absolutely genius idea:
It's understandable that as parents, we want to shield our kids from the harsh realities of the world.
But I realized early on with my girls that cultivating the giving back concept is not only important, it's an opportunity to reinforce something that seems natural.
They pick up so much from adult conversations even when they don't get the specifics. As toddlers in diapers they were well aware of people and places in need -- I'm thinking specifically about the earthquake in Haiti -- and more than anything they wanted to help.
So why not make the helping a regular part of their lives? Here are a few practial ways to incorporate giving back into your kids' routine.