Author Archive for Karen J Rinehart

Karen J Rinehart is an award winning newspaper columnist, author, speaker, wife, mom and dog owner—all crammed into a fabulously petite frame. See her in action on KarenJRinehart.com.

The Mommy Rhythm
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The Mommy Rhythm

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It’s what makes you, unconsciously, rock back and forth, shifting your weight from one foot to the other, cradling your little baby, while waiting in the one out of 32 currently open grocery store lanes.   It’s what lets you ease your minivan onto the highway at the precise merging speed while refereeing a third row […]

Oh, Those Sassy Decorating "Experts"!
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Oh, Those Sassy Decorating “Experts”!

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Why I do this?  Last time I did, it took my husband two weeks to get me out of the laundry room corner.  Why do I torture my fragile ego with magazine articles which ultimately make me feel domestically inadequate?  The latest culprit?  “Bedroom Design Don’ts: Ten typical mistakes people make when designing a bedroom”. […]

Impostor Parents
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Impostor Parents

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Who are these people and what have they done with my real parents?   My real parents swore they needed a 2600 square foot house and five acres of mountain land for just the two of them because they like their space and privacy. Their impostors sold the house and bought a 1300 square foot South […]

The Perfect Family's Christmas Letter 2011, Part 2
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The Perfect Family’s Christmas Letter 2011, Part 2

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We flew straight from Sweet Briar to London for Kate and Will’s wedding. I’m so glad I saved my garter — it was perfect for her! Speaking of perfect, what a grand excuse to hold Johnny’s 12th birthday at the London Zoo! Camilla graciously offered us her estate for the party but Johnny thought that […]

The Perfect Family's Christmas Letter 2011, Part 1
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The Perfect Family’s Christmas Letter 2011, Part 1

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You know the one.  It arrives the day after Thanksgiving.  The envelope is double foil lined, the picture of the kids resembles a Gap ad, and the Holiday Letter comes with a warning: Caution!  May cause blurred vision, severe feelings of gross inadequacies and nausea.  Do not drive motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery while […]

Once-a-Year Refrigerator Pride
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Once-a-Year Refrigerator Pride

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Blame it on another quirky “holiday” – in case you missed it, “Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day” was November 15th.   All I know is one minute I was praying to the light at the rear of the dark tunnel for dinner inspiration and the next minute I was waist deep in seven half-empty mustard jars.  […]

That Was Then. This Is....Gross.
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That Was Then. This Is….Gross.

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If her unrealistic body proportions weren’t enough of a controversy and reason for parental and feminist outrage, now Barbie has tattoos. Hang on–before you think Tattoo Barbie is going to be your daughter’s Must Have or Die Christmas Gift, don’t. Only 7,400 dolls were made and they’ve already been swooped up by “collectors”.  And by […]

Here We Go Again
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Here We Go Again

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Why do I act shocked every time the stores pull out the Christmas merchandise before I’ve purchased Halloween candy (which has been sharing shelf space with the Back to School supplies since August)? Why do I let it gross me out year after year? I know it’s going to happen. But still…. I wandered into […]

The Big Bang Theory, Bus Stop Mommies Style
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The Big Bang Theory, Bus Stop Mommies Style

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“Hey Ruth, your hair looks so cute!”   Fiddling with her headband, Ruth’s weak, “Thanks.” sounded more like an apology.  “I’m letting my bangs grow out so now this is about the only way I can wear it.” Five genuinely empathetic female heads turned towards Ruth to offer a combination of condolences, encouragement and hair taming […]

Purses: Curiosity and Confessions
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Purses: Curiosity and Confessions

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What is it with women’s curiosity to know what’s in a celebrity’s purse? You know that feature found in the back of magazines — like some reward we get for reaching the last page: “We caught up with Brooke Shields and convinced her to ‘Spill it all’ for us!” Then we get to be shocked […]

Tiny Violins and Tissues
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Tiny Violins and Tissues

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Oh, look: Another study conducted on what the undervalued, average American Housewife/ Full Time Mom would earn if she actually received an annual salary. Oh, look: More bank executives getting paid millions of dollars to not work. That’s right, Bank of America just fired Sallie Krawcheck, (now former) president of wealth and investment management and […]

Ladies, We Can't Let Mormons Be the Only Ones with Empowering Underwear
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Ladies, We Can’t Let Mormons Be the Only Ones with Empowering Underwear

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Over the years I’ve shared many an undergarment adventure–from the Invisible Underwear investigation to the Perfect Panty my niece insisted I buy (yes I still talk to her). Finally, it appears my quest for THE brand has ended. And you know me, I’ve even found where to buy them at a discount. I mean please, […]

Reliving the Orthodontia Journey
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Reliving the Orthodontia Journey

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Dear Reader, I have so many friends whose kids are either beginning or ending the orthodontia journey, I found myself revisiting the history of my own daughter’s mouth-capades.  After 6 years of having some form of wire contraption glued in my daughter’s mouth (and us living off of mac & cheese, the clouds parted and […]

Father’s Day 2011
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Father’s Day 2011

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According to American retailers, dads don’t do much but play with power tools, do yard work, golf and wear socks. If I believe the magazine and newspaper stories I’ve read this past week, dads don’t know how to relate to the children they brought into this world: “How to Bond on Daddy’s Day!”  (You have […]

Hot Mom on a Lukewarm Budget
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Hot Mom on a Lukewarm Budget

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Joan from Ohio emailed: “Dear Karen, would you please consider writing about how to be frugal? You claimed in your book you’re ‘the most frugal person this side of the Mississippi’.  Judging from your pictures on your website and Facebook, it doesn’t look like you’re sacrificing much at all! I need your advice on how […]

Mommy Hindsight: Field Trips
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Mommy Hindsight: Field Trips

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I was watching a conversation unfold on a friend’s Facebook wall about the typical daily details of having kids in elementary school. Wait wait, let me think….oh right! THOSE days! I remember them. Which makes me exhausted. It also makes me realize, with apologies to my age-bracket friends who still have little ones, I don’t […]

Telemarketers: Why Are They Still Legal?
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Telemarketers: Why Are They Still Legal?

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“We’re supposed to be on the Do Not Call list. Why do they keep calling?” “Who, crazy Aunt Ida and Uncle Iggy?” “No, telemarketers, they drive me crazy!” “Why don’t you write a column about it?”  “Good idea honey,”  I muttered as I picked the phone up off the floor and searched for the batteries. […]

Do Cows Get Mammograms Too?
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Do Cows Get Mammograms Too?

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Feel free to do what I did, Google “Mastitis + Nonlactating” but try not to, like I did, freak out at the dire health possibilities.  Except for the 942 results for “Non-Lactating Mastitis in Bovines”.  Though I’ve never been a Bovine, it appears those poor cows are hurting just like me. Scared, alone, in pain […]

Fixing The Frig on Fumes
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Fixing The Frig on Fumes

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You’ve heard of, “Do it Yourselfers”? Well I’m from a family of, “Fix it Yourselfers.” Every home project became not just a teachable moment but prime daddy-children bonding time. When I moved out on my own, my trousseau consisted not of family linens but a socket wrench set and basic Craftsman tools. So last week, […]

Smell That?
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Smell That?

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I firmly believe God created Man and Woman in His likeness—but with distinct, logical differences. Women can give birth. Men are strong enough to hoist those heavy boxes up into the attic. Women, have a superior sense of smell, which, based on life in my household, men do not. Yes, we woman are not only […]

Will I Scar My Kids For Life?
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Will I Scar My Kids For Life?

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“Thanks Mom,” said my daughter as I handed her a pile of clean laundry.  “You’re welcome.” I turned around to fold the Fruit of the Looms but she continued. “Thanks for bringing me into this world, for clean laundry and for helping me through hard times.” And then she was gone. I peered out around […]

The Evil Force That is Girl Scout Cookies
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The Evil Force That is Girl Scout Cookies

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If you want to run with the true powerhouses of the world, look no further than the Girl Scouts.  Put down that box of Thin Mints and think about it. How many grocery stores will let you set up a rickety card table outside their doors and sell, cash only, cases of ground beef or […]

Spring Cleaning
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Spring Cleaning

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“Dear Karen, I’m so happy spring is in the air—I’m even looking forward to spring cleaning! At Home Made Simple this month, we’re enjoying the burst of energy and inspiration—and we hope you are, too. Best Wishes, Julie B.” And so begins another highly personal, newsy email from my overflowing inbox.  It was in good […]

I Married A Sock Addict
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I Married A Sock Addict

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My mother says she’s color blind from a lifetime of matching socks.  As I celebrate my 24th year of doing Scott Rinehart’s laundry, I now know why. According to my husband’s sock drawer, there are 17 shades of navy blue.  Four of those shades belong on over the calf socks while the other thirteen are […]

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