Letter from the Editor May 2010

Jenna Hammond

From breakfast in bed to dinner with the family, a handmade card or an extra big hug at bedtime, Mother's Day reaffirms that sometimes the simplest pleasures are the most rewarding. Relish the attention and affection you get on May 9. Whether you stay in with a newborn or go out with your extended family, I hope the day makes everyone in your clan appreciate all that you do to make each family member's days a little brighter.

For the 364 days of the year that Mother's Day isn't on the calendar and you find yourself cleaning your family's messes and spills, consider the insight you'll read in "Mrs. Clean." More than a piece on spring cleaning, Thelma Meyer's article makes neatening up a house for healthy and happy kids easy to manage and unlike a chore. A mom of nine children, Meyer is committed to making the world a cleaner and gentler place while maintaining her own tidy home. She is the face behind Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products— biodegradable household cleaners and baby products that are derived from natural ingredients whenever possible. Now retired, Meyer has penned a tip-filled read to make cleanup time palatable in any season. Readers even discover how to efface mattress stains that might stem from a Mom's Day breakfast in bed.

From Mother's Day to Mother Nature, the May issue gives you something else to celebrate: outdoor birthday parties! Easier to clean up after than house parties held indoors, outdoor parties are a major contributor to spring and summer splendor. However, like the article "Birthdays Under the Sun" declares, "the weather doesn't always make the perfect party guest." Turn to the article for pointers to plan a ball of a birthday no matter what the forecast brings on your child's big day. You'll be able to prep for an outdoor bash, but be set to take the fete indoors or keep your guests comfortable outside whether temps rise or fall.

Continuing the celebratory spirit, our bi-annual Birthday Party Directory covers some of the most beloved names in the birthday biz. Read the short profiles of the featured entertainers and party places to give every birthday guest something to cheer about as you choose to host an affair "At Your Place" or "At Their Place." You'll also discover party staff at some companies willing to pick up after party attendees. And you thought special occasions were messy. Au contraire, the directory makes the party planning and cleanup as enjoyable as the celebration itself. Even if you're not as efficient as Mrs. Meyer, maybe the great directory resources will prompt you to throw your own affair for Mother's Day.

Happy celebrating. Enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond