This quote hangs on my wall at work: It’s the perfect mantra for Real Simple. It’s also just one of hundreds of inspiring words from our Daily Thought Newsletter, which went under an exciting redesign this year. I look forward to it in my inbox every day.
2 of 6Glenn Glasser; Styling: Kristine Trevino
2. DIY Halloween Costumes
My favorite photo shoot of the year has to be our annual Halloween kids’ costume shoot. We have the incredible Krissy Tiglias organizing it (she even creates personalized goodie bags for the little stars filled with their favorite treats!) and the amazing Kristine Trevino creating getups out of garbage bags, roasting pans, and toilet paper tubes. Her creativity never ceases to amaze me. It’s total chaos (imagine trying to get a 2-year-old superhero to stand still), but one of the most fun days of the year. And, full disclosure: My little guy got to be in it this year, which is so much fun.
3 of 6Christopher Baker
3. Chicken With Wild Rice and Grapes
I’ve always steered away from cooking chicken thighs—not really sure why, but it just never appealed to me or seemed as easy to cook as chicken breast. This recipe from our October Month of Dinners changed my mind. It was so simple, tastes great the next day, and my 18-month-old son loves the wild rice and grape side dish. I’ve started making that at least once a week for him.
4 of 6John Gruen
4. The Laundry Tip That Changed My Life
On Simply Stated, we gave readers this life-changing laundry tip that was shared hundreds of times. Experts agree that it’s actually okay to let your clothes sit in the washing machine overnight. As a working mom, knowing I can throw the clothes in before I go to bed and not have to wait to put in the dryer helps me catch my Zzzzzs.
5 of 6wag.com
5. Small Pet Critter Cruiser
I look forward to our holiday gift guide every year—it helps me get a jump start on my shopping and there are always a few gifts that bring a smile to my face. Here’s this year’s winner for me. Admittedly, we don’t own a hamster (and will probably not ever own a hamster), but I would for 15 minutes if I could see it drive around “town” in this.
6 of 6RealSimple.com
6. Holiday Tipping Checklist
One question I am always asked around the holidays is: How much should I tip [fill in the blank]? This holiday tipping checklist is the perfect guide to figure out who and how much to give. The checklist itself isn’t new to 2012, but it was part of a checklist update this year—now you can save and track your to-dos. And that, indeed, makes my life Real Simple.