Have You Entered the Ladies’ Home Journal Essay Contest?

October 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm , by


For our second annual Personal Essay Contest, we want to hear about a memorable moment in your life — the day, or the hour, or the second that changed everything. We urge you to be poignant, reflective, funny. Make us howl with laughter. Make us blubber in our cubicles (we can take it!).

Ladies’ Home Journal is a community that shares stories — and we’re dying to hear yours. If you win our essay contest, we’ll give you $3,000 and the chance to have your essay published in the Journal. You’re free to interpret the topic in whatever way you like, but remember that we value creativity and clarity above all.

Essays will be judged on their emotional power, originality, and the quality of their prose. They should be no more than 2,000 words and ideally typed or written in a Microsoft Word document.

You can enter the contest by e-mailing your submission as an attachment (with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address) to LHJessaycontest@meredith.com or by mailing a copy to Personal Essay Contest, Ladies’ Home Journal, 805 Third Ave., 26th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Entries are due by December 7, 2012.

Visit lhj.com/essaycontest for official rules and answers to frequently asked questions.

(Photo credit: Flickr user SuziJane)

Win A Signed Copy of Sugarland’s Latest Album, The Incredible Machine

May 31, 2012 at 8:00 am , by

Here at the LHJ offices, we love to listen to good country music and Sugarland—which consists of bandmates Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush—is one of our favorites. And even though the Grammy-winning duo hasn’t released a new album since 2010, they’re satiating fans this summer with an interactive “in the hands of the fans” tour where fans can make song requests for each show, so every night is a brand new set. Jennifer Nettles took some time out of her busy schedule (she also stars on ABC’s new show, Duets) to speak with us for July’s In My Words interview, and she was nice enough to sign copies of their most recent album, The Incredible Machine, for three lucky fans to win! So if you’re a big Sugarland fan, here’s your chance to get an autographed copy! And if you’re new to their music, this is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this blog post. Only one entry per person, per email address. Good luck!

Official Rules

Jillian Harris Blogs The Bachelorette: Episode 3

May 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm , by

Finally! I was starting to worry about this season of The Bachelorette but this week’s episode certainly didn’t disappoint. Things are really starting to pick up—three guys were sent home, Dolly Parton made a surprise appearance, and some of the guys started showing their true colors. I’m glad we got less cheesy moments and more raw personalities!

I was so impressed by both Chris and Arie, the lucky guys who scored one-on-one dates this episode. But I have to say I am leaning towards team Arie right now and I’m pretty sure he hit a home run last night. Go Arie!

It was so adorable watching the guys play at the park with the kids, but I suspect that a few of them were putting on a show for Emily. Speaking of…is it just me or does Ryan give you guys the heebie-jeebies too?

Poor Tony! I think Emily made the right decision to send him home sooner rather than later. It was nice to see Doug there to support Tony since he’s a single dad too. After tonight Doug definitely earned a spot in my good book.

I was so confused by Kalon’s moves; I have no clue what he’s thinking. This dude is walking on thin ice. I’m pretty sure he’ll be firing up his chopper next week to head back home.

I also must say, it was great to see some fire in Emily—I didn’t think she had it in her. These guys are going get put through the ringer, and rightfully so. She deserves the world! I remember during my journey on The Bachelorette, that this was around the time when I started to get fed up with the guys who I knew weren’t there for the right reasons, so I started to get a bit feisty. And I think that’s a good thing, because it means Emily knows what she’s looking for! It looks like Bermuda is on tap for next week…and that means more boys with less clothes, hehe!

Until next week,


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Jillian Harris Blogs The Bachelorette: Episode 2

May 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm , by

First things first: Joe, call me!

Well, I said it before and I really stand by it now—this season of The Bachelorette is going to be much different and it certainly is. Emily has such a HUGE invested interest in this journey, and I really do believe that is true for her more than it was for any other woman that’s been the bachelorette. That being said, I do think it’s also the reason that this season is off to a slow start.

At the risk of making myself look, well, less classy, my season was more about fun, goofing around, more cocktails and less pressure. All I had to look for was a connection, and I don’t envy all of the extra details Emily has to cover. But maybe that’s going to be the key for her to find a successful relationship in the end.

For several seasons now people have complained that they won’t watch next season of the show because there’s too much drama and not enough of the “love connection.” Well, I think you guys are getting it this time around, so I don’t want to hear any peeps if you’re finding it boring. There’s a reason Jersey Shore is successful!

At the beginning of this season I felt like there were just a bunch of boys on the roster; no one who seemed quite ready for our Emily. But after the second episode I see a little light. I was also a little envious—Emily got the chance to have a big part of her life involved in this process. I think that makes for a very levelheaded bachelorette. Filming in her hometown, having her friends and her daughter helping her along, and getting to hang in her home are all things that will lend to some good decisions with the boys. Otherwise, it’s like vacation love, and we’ve all been there before! #fail :)

Here are my favorites so far: Arie, Charlie (so adorable) and the biology teacher, Aaron. My least favorite thing? Emily’s wardrobe! I hate to say it because I love her style, but so far I haven’t been a huge fan of her dresses. She really is so beautiful in her regular everyday clothes.

And as for Joe—the hockey hair, plaid shirt, natural laugh and the fact that he’s so well articulated? He’s my kind of guy! :)

Until next week,


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Jillian Harris Blogs The Bachelorette: Episode 1

May 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm , by

Jillian Harris

Another season of The Bachelorette kicked off last night with Emily Maynard, a single mom who competed on The Bachelor after she lost her fiancée in an accident several years ago, only to find out days later that she was pregnant with his child. If last night’s premiere was any indication, this season is the one to watch, and we’re excited to announce that we have Jillian Harris from season five of The Bachelorette recapping for us every week! Jillian currently runs her own interior design firm and hosts Canada’s Handyman Challenge on HGTV Canada. She’ll be here sharing her insight with us every Tuesday—be sure to check back all season long!

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be blogging for LHJ.com for the new season of The Bachelorette—I think it’s going to be a great one! First off, I have to say I think Emily is so, so beautiful. And I don’t mean to devalue the importance of my time on the show or anyone else’s, but I really think this season of The Bachelorette is the most important in terms of what it means for her. I wanted to find love, of course, but at the time I kind of looked at it like, whatever happens, happens. But I think because she’s a mom and she’s bringing her daughter along with her on this journey, the pressure is really on, and I hope this is it for her.

Emily Maynard

That being said, I also have to say that the show packed some major cheese last night, maybe more than ever. I loved Randy but seriously, what the heck was up with the granny get-up? It was so hard to take these guys seriously. I obviously loved Arie; he is so dreamy and I’m pretty sure he’s already a front-runner for Emily. Now as for Kalon, a.k.a. helicopter guy? I’m all for standing out, but in the least pretentious way possible, which in my opinion, helicopter guy didn’t achieve. At first I thought Jef the hipster was kind of a joke but he’s right, the other guys probably will underestimate him. I love what he stands for and I think his charity work is a huge turn on.

Overall there were definitely some good-looking men and I’m sure there are some solid guys in the group. I know that for me, that first night was such a blur (and no, not because of the champagne!). Emily is going to make some good decisions and some bad decisions, but at the end of the day I’m pretty sure she’ll pick the right guy. Whether it lasts or not has nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with their “real life” relationship. I know I picked the right guy and I actually believe that for a time, it was a successful relationship. I just hope that hers is a successful relationship that lasts longer than mine did.

Until next time,


Our Favorite Spring-Inspired Sweets on Pinterest

April 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm , by

Maybe it’s because there are baby showers, spring birthdays, and wedding parties coming up (or maybe it’s because I just miss the carbs and sugar I banned from my diet recently), but the desserts on Pinterest are more enticing than ever, and would be perfect to make for any spring occasion. Many of them were even created in the Journal‘s test kitchen by our talented food editors!  So grab a glass of milk and enjoy a sweet sampling of my favorite pins this week…

Double Rainbow Happiness Cake

For more ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out our Delightful Desserts board on Pinterest.

Guest Blog: The Author of The First Husband On The Search for a Place Called Home (Plus: Win a Copy of Her Book!)

April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm , by

Laura Dave, whose wonderful piece about her chronic sleeplessness appears in the current issue of LHJ, is a California-based writer whose third novel, the critically and popularly acclaimed The First Husband, arrives in bookstores in paperback tomorrow (April 24). Here, Dave tells us how she came to write what USA Today called a “playful, unpredictable and emotionally resonant” story about Annie Adams, a conflicted young career woman who finds herself torn between two wildly different men and two equally different lifestyles.

Bonus: Be one of 20 lucky readers who will win a hot-off-the-presses copy of The First Husband! Leave a comment on this post to enter.


I began writing The First Husband almost by accident. I was knee-deep in a different novel that took place in Big Sur, California. That novel was about fathers and daughters. Or, I should say, it started out as a novel about fathers and daughters. But the book had turned out to be about many disparate things including the American west, identity theft, and broken hearts. All of which is to say that the deeper I got into the writing of that book, the further away I seemed to be moving from why I’d wanted to write it.

So, almost surreptitiously, I opened a new document. I didn’t tell myself I was starting a new book—how could I? I told myself I was just writing one scene, which kept coming to me: a woman sitting on her couch in her house, right before her longtime boyfriend walks in and changes everything in her life.

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