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Credit: Amazon, Uncommon Goods, Vuori, Bixby & Ball, Yeti

The Absolute Best Thing We Bought for Lazy — and Happy! — Weekend Mornings

published Jan 1, 2022
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No matter how uber-busy your family is Monday–Friday, weekend mornings are when there’s a welcome break in the action. Your family gets to chill your way, whether that means whipping up an extra-carbolicious breakfast or setting up a play zone so wildly fun you buy yourself a few extra minutes of sleep.

If your kids play travel sports like mine (poor you!) and you’re thinking, “But I’m up and out even freaking earlier on Saturday mornings,” look at it this way: You have the superpower of being able to fully appreciate a morning off. After all, you know it’s a rare and priceless gift from the universe! 🙌

While having a lazy Saturday doesn’t require any special equipment, stocking up and thinking ahead might help you enjoy that slice of family-self-care time even more. It’s partly a sign of the times, notes Shira Gill, professional organizer and author of the new book Minimalista. “Since most of us have spent more time at home than ever, I’ve seen a huge uptick in the time and resources people want to spend improving their physical surroundings,” she says. There is a point to this advance prep: “An organized home creates more time, space, and energy for the things that matter, like relaxing together on weekends.”

How we fill that sacred fam time is highly personal. To give you some thought-starters, we asked parents for their favorite finds that make lazy mornings that much better. Pick your favorites, add your own ideas, and enjoy the chance to get your cuddle on.

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Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the weekend. For Melissa Frayer, an attorney and mom of a 6-month-old in San Rafael, CA, it’s an actually-still-hot cup of coffee — thanks to her personalized Yeti mug. “Having a new baby often makes it so that I take forever to drink a cup,” she says. “Today it took me four hours! My Yeti keeps my coffee hot.” (And this is another purchase that makes life on the way to a travel swim meet so much more bearable!)

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One strategy is to stock a play zone where the littles can play while the bigs grab more zzz’s. Gill swears by a recent purchase: “Odd as this sounds both of my kids fell in love with this moldable forming foam which they can literally play with for hours! Bonus: They love to dye it fun colors using their washable markers and create detailed animals, shapes, and play food. It doesn't stick to surfaces or damage furniture so they can entertain themselves unsupervised while we do our best to sleep in!”

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Bed Bath & Beyond
was $19.99

And then there are those things you don’t even know your fam needs until you have them and can’t believe you ever lived without them. Cordelia Derhammer-Hill, mom of two teens in Mamaroneck, NY, would place their bagel slicer in that category. “We love our bagel guillotine,” Derhammer-Hill says. “Not only does it eliminate stress trying to cut bagels for ourselves and the kids, it also means you can make your family — and overnight guests — shout things like ‘This bagel has betrayed the revolution!”

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Screens have their time and place, and we’d say that exact time and place is 7 a.m. at your place while you’re still happily in a deep REM state. “If I’m being honest,” says Rachel Wallace, mom of two in Brentwood, CA, “my favorite buy is a Disney+ streaming subscription. We have a profile for the kids that shows only appropriate content so we don’t have to watch over it like a hawk. It allows for another 30 minutes of uninterrupted coffee drinking (or sleep) time!”

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Buttons and zippers are for suckers. And weekdays. Getting properly dressed on Saturday means slipping into joggers that feel like the softest set of flannel sheets. Carolyn Truett, a mom of three kids under 7 in Greenville, SC, has a favorite pair of these weekend-worthy sweats: “I adore my Vuori performance joggers. They come in at around $80 and I don't usually buy lounge pants this pricey, but they fit perfectly, feel like butter, and keep me warm when my house is frigid.” Truett — who blogs about her life with Celiac and shares gluten-free recipes — is fully committed: “I plan to lounge in them every Saturday until the day I die.”

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Who wants to schlep out a big ol’ griddle to whip up pee wee-size pancakes? Not Jennifer Belliveau, a mom of a 4-year-old and 2-and-a-half year-old in Pittsburgh, PA. “The Nordic Ware Nonstick Silver Dollar Pancake Pan is the best — I can cook bite-size pancakes for the whole family in just a few minutes because of the small size. Bonus, it cleans up really easily.”

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Bixby & Ball

In the early hours, there’s nothing like nestling under a snuggly blanket. Dawn Seymour, mom of 9- and 6-year-old sons, sacks out on weekend mornings nestled under the Italian Herringbone throw from Bixby & Ball.

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Lands' End
was $44.95

“It’s our go-to item for cozying up,” says Seymour, a PR director in Solana Beach, CA, “along with plush robes for the boys from Lands End.”

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Bed Bath & Beyond
was $59.99

What takes waffles and pancakes out of the stratosphere? Three words: a whipped cream dispenser, as Alexandra Fung, entrepreneur and mom of four kids ages 2 to 14 in Buena Park, CA, discovered. “It never occurred to me I could, much less should, get a whipped cream dispenser until I saw one at a friend's house, but it has probably been our family's favorite (fun!) kitchen purchase EVER,” says Fung, who is the co-founder of the parent recommendation-sharing resource Upparent. It’s also a big winner for specialty coffee drinks and hot cocoa. “It's super easy to use, and the taste is so far superior to store-bought whipped cream that we can never go back.” A word of warning — your kids may like it too much: “My 2-year-old would eat bowlfuls of whipped cream if we let him!”

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For weekend breakfasts, the best thing Philadelphia dad Brian Nagele found is a frying pan with different compartments for eggs, sausages, and anything else he wants to whip up for his two-year-old son. “It helps prevent mess and makes breakfast a lot faster, so it's a must-have for our family,” he says. Cleanup is a breeze, too, since it's non-stick.

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Since kids naturally want to help, Nagele also swears by kid-sized utensils and spatulas, pint-sized oven mitts, and kid-safe nylon knives so the kids can help in the kitchen. Kid-friendly tools make my kids feel like they have a place in the kitchen,” he says.

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For a do-together ritual that’s part science, part planet-appreciation, and part magic, nothing beats tending to a living growing thing. “We love to check our little garden in the morning, pick any herbs, and water the plants,” says Seymour, of her weekend morning hobby she does with her two sons. While they live in sunny southern California and can keep their herb garden going outdoors year-round, you can recreate the idea no matter where you live with an inexpensive indoor herb garden or a hydroponic (grown in water) herb garden in mason jars.