Erin is a mom of two and has been with Today’s Mama for ten years. She is charged with finding and sharing all of the wonderful things the web has to offer. She is particularly fond of food, photography, printables, and funny things. She writes about losing weight in her Healthy Living for Mom series, and is chronicling her attempt to master her DSLR camera with her series, Big Girl Camera.

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2009 Favorites: Expand Your Perspective

For all of us at TodaysMama.com, 2009 was the year that flew. The chance to stop and smell the roses were few and far between. But we’re not special. The year didn’t just fly for us…there is something about having small people in your life that makes the time just motor on by. So, if the end of the year grants you a few quiet moments to read, please enjoy our favorites from the 2009 Expand Your Perspective archives.

The Mama Life

Calling All Idiots
I was watching TV the other night when I saw a commercial with a well-dressed housewife at the controls of an enormous road roller start to drive over the top of her old washing machine.

Momma Play!
I crave a time where a new mom comes in to my classes and celebrates her body and all it has done for her and her child. It would be a different world if we all talked and shared what we love about ourselves wouldn’t it?

Please Accept Me!
My biggest problem with the quest to be popular is that a lot of it seems to boil down to conformity, or at least that’s how I remember it.

I Didn’t Plan to be a Witch!
I planned to be a kind, gentle, loving Mother who was responsive to the needs of my beautiful children in every way. There would be hot cookies and a healthy snack waiting for my kids after school. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

Strong Enough To Be Your Mom, Part 2
Was I strong enough to bring her to new experiences? Or because of my lack of physical strength was she literally “bound” to her wheelchair? Was I strong enough to show her the world beyond sidewalks and ramps?

Family Slow-Down Solutions
In fall, a family’s pace of life seems to accelerate dramatically. As we coordinate homework, sports, clubs, practices and appointments, it’s common to feel like slaves to our schedules, leaving us—and our kids—stressed out, frantic and frenzied.

Mama’s Kitchen

The Dinner Spin Value Menu
For years, fast food chains have been enticing customers with the promise of quick, cheap eats by heavily advertising a dollar value menu. The Dinner Spin is applying that same theory, with a healthy spin.

$10 Spot: Four Dinners for Under $10 Each
From chicken fajita salad to sausage-egg pie to minestroganoff—we’ve got you covered from the apps to the entrée.

Kid Tested, Mother-Approved
Little hands will love to help prepare this easy-to-make, kid-friendly fare. While the menu is all about the kids, grown-ups won’t have a hard time eating it too!

Daily Doublers
Check out these clever weeknight recipes that you can double and freeze for use when time is at a premium or you just don’t have the energy to cook.

Busy Family Food: Soup Sundays
In my perfect world, every night would be an exercise in homemade culinary delight, but in the real world, I need a meal plan that gives me options AND gives me an opportunity to enjoy something truly wonderful at least once a week.

Health & Fitness

Daughters and Beauty
The day I caught my six-year-old daughter looking in disgust at her tummy rolls in the bathroom I knew it was time to start evaluating how to teach my daughters about beauty and self-image.

Healing Mama: Tips for Postpartum Life
A TodaysMama.com staffer gives an authentic account of postpartum life and offers the kind of advice we wish we had received before we gave birth.

Birth Experiences: My First Homebirth
After her first child was born in a hospital with the aid of a midwife, Kendra Johnson decided that she would welcome her second child into the world while at home.

Birth Experiences: Act One, Sleeping Through Labor
“Compared to this [procedure], child birth will be easy,” said the doctor to a 19-year-old me. Little did he know how many times I would reflect on his words? Was it true?

10 Tips Every Parent Should Know to Keep Children Safe from Sexual Abuse
Just as we teach children about the dangers associated with crossing the street or going near a hot oven, we must talk to them about recognizing and avoiding threatening encounters with child predators.

From the Editors

Posts of Note: Getting Organized

MamaVoices: What Kind of Women Inspire You
We’ve asked some of our favorite bloggers to tell us about those amazing women in their lives that uplift, enrich and inspire.

Posts of Note: Laugh Out Loud
It’s time to put your feet up, take a break and have a good laugh. We have scoured some of our favorite “Posts of Note” to bring you a little humor — and chances are you‘ll squeak or snort! Indulge yourself… and laugh out loud!

Technology

File-Sharing Privacy Risks to Families
Parents, if you don’t know that kids’ file-sharing (or digital music downloading) activities can be a family privacy risk, here’s a heads-up.

Mama’s Money

My Empty Wallet: Saving For College Doesn’t Have to Make You Cry
While your wallet may be feeling a bit empty this time of year, now is the best time to start planning for college expenses.

Work From Home Tips
Today Show contributor and blogger, Jean Chatzky, offers tips on how to find the right work-from-home job for you.

Green

10 Easy Eco-Crafts For Kids
On top of being kind of pricey, store bought craft kits have far too much packaging and leave far too little to the imagination. I prefer to use materials we have on hand like from our recycling or our backyard.

Guide to Deals and Discounts on Healthy Food
Whether you’re an avid coupon clipper or just getting started, this guide will be one of your new best friends for finding the greatest deals on some of the healthiest foods.

Create

Melted Hearts
Crafting with your kids is one of the best ways to connect with them, as your hands get busy the chatting and sharing begins – and I have the perfect melty heart project for you to do one cozy afternoon, and bring some extra love into your home!

Capturing the Little Things
I have a little game I like to play when I’m feeling frustrated with the state of my house, or wishing I had a prettier couch or nicer kitchen appliances. I take myself on a little photo walk around my home, and capture the small and happy details.

Keeping the Peace
Want to keep little hands and bodies busy? Here are a few handmade projects to keep boredom at bay.

Give

March of Dimes Fund Soars in Memory of Maddie Spohr
Maddie lived 17 beautiful, amazing months. In that time, she touched lives and brightened the world of everyone who met her. News of her passing rippled across the Blog World…

Home and Garden

Let’s Go Camping!
There are few things that impact family vacations quite as much as being prepared. It’s one thing to have to call the front desk to get a toothbrush. It’s quite another to share a sleeping bag at 8,500 feet because yours got left behind.

One Drawer, One Hour: The Junk Drawer
When your time and budget are limited but your organizing projects are multiplying, how do you get your biggest return on your investment? By spending the least amount of time possible on an area you use virtually every day.

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