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Animal Overhead: The Actual Cost of Owning a Pet

Animal Overhead: The Actual Cost of Owning a Pet

If someone said you could improve your health by sitting on the couch, you’d want to know more, right? Well, the answer could be the purring furball or the drooling pooch sitting next to you. Some of the perks of owning a pet are well known; there is, of course, unconditional love and constant companionship, […]

How To Design a Recovery-Friendly Get-Together

Alcohol has become a staple of neighborhood, friend, and family gatherings in our society. Need to relax? It’s time for a drink. Want to celebrate? Must be time for a drink. Want to hang out with friends? Yep, grab another drink. This is all good, until you have a friend who chooses not to drink, […]

Talking To Your Kids About Marijuana

Talking To Your Kids About Marijuana

The worrisome behavior signs were starting to build for Becky. Her daughter was suddenly disrespectful, mouthy, breaking the rules, and definitely displaying more “attitude” at home. This West Fargo parent says her “mom radar” was going off. But Becky had no real proof her teenage daughter was using illicit drugs. It wasn’t until her older […]

When Your Child Hates School

When Your Child Hates School

As a parent of children in high school, middle school, and elementary school, it is not unusual to hear the following comments from my children: “I just don’t want to go to school today.” “I had a bad day at school.” “I hate school!” In response, parents are prone to say things like, “Your day […]

Recognizing Fake News

Recognizing Fake News

Learning to distinguish between reliable and bogus information is a crucial skill in the 21st century. For a brief time, it seemed search engines might help people zero in on accurate, well-researched information. Instead, social media has made it easy to share “news” that has no basis in fact. The proliferation of fake news has […]

Loathe It? Leave It! 5 Simple Steps for Switching Banks

Loathe It? Leave It! 5 Simple Steps for Switching Banks

Are rude tellers and outrageous fees among your bank’s claims to fame? Enough already! You shouldn’t have to put up with that. There are plenty of other fish, er, banks, in the sea waiting for your business. Why waste your time and money on an institution you hate? You may think switching banks is a […]

Prenuptial Agreements:  They’re Just for  Rich People, Right?

Prenuptial Agreements: They’re Just for Rich People, Right?

Prenuptial agreements have an image problem. We think they’re unromantic and, on that score, it’s hard to argue. However, other perceptions are not as accurate. Take these, for example: “A prenuptial agreement gets couples off to a rocky, unhealthy start.” “Prenuptial agreements usually involve one party taking advantage of the other. Prenups are almost always […]

Birds and Bees, Pretty Please! An Age-By-Age Guide to “The Talk”

Birds and Bees, Pretty Please! An Age-By-Age Guide to “The Talk”

If the thought of talking about sex with your kids makes you sweat bullets, you’re not alone. More than half of parents haven’t discussed sex with their preteen, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. But, experts say, it’s not something you should skip. “If parents begin having age-appropriate, positive conversations with their child […]

The Emotional Side of Infertility

The Emotional Side of Infertility

I buried my face in my hands and wept. Another year had gone by and still no baby. After two rounds of in vitro fertilization, three cycles of Clomid, and five years of trying for a baby, all I had to show for my efforts were an aching heart and a stack of medical bills. […]

Vroom! Vroom! Helping Teens Get Their Own Set of Wheels

Vroom! Vroom! Helping Teens Get Their Own Set of Wheels

Everyone remembers their first car. Whether it was a hand-me-down beater or a shiny, new thing, those first teenage adventures behind the wheel of your very own car were a very big deal. Finally…you were alone, wind in your hair, music pumping, on the road to anywhere. Perhaps you saved your fast-food paychecks and birthday […]

Creating a Lovely Morning

Creating a Lovely Morning

When I wake in the morning, my mind slowly gathers, and I begin to move, the early morning light just starting to seep in. I have a glass of water, start the coffee, then meditate. Then I enjoy the coffee, a good book, and the quiet, before the dust and din and steam of the […]

The History and Mystery of Popular Wishing Customs

As the Disney song from “Pinocchio” goes, “When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.” While most people recognize wishes are not magically granted, the process is a wonderful way to identify the objects of your hopes and dreams. Here are a few ways, beyond wishing on that first glowing star of the […]

Be a More Playful Parent

Be a More Playful Parent

Parenting is serious business, and it can be overwhelming at times. It can also be a whole lot of fun if you find ways to sneak some play into your day. You don’t have to shirk grown-up responsibilities or make a fool of yourself (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to become a more […]

Growing Up Online: The Pros and Cons of Anonymous Social Media

Growing Up Online: The Pros and Cons of Anonymous Social Media

Keeping secrets is part of growing up. Deciding what you’ll tell people about yourself—and others—is one way children develop an understanding of privacy and trust. With Facebook and other forms of public social media, nothing is secret. Even young children now know that comments or photos become part of a person’s “permanent record.” And that’s […]

Breakfast In Bed

Breakfast In Bed

One of my fondest mom memories is of my 7-year-old daughter and her still toddling brother standing at the bedroom doorway with a half-spilled bowl of cereal balanced on a cookie sheet covered in dandelions. Their eyes were sparkling with pride as they delivered my surprise breakfast. It was as if they were presenting me […]

Engaged Couples Should Talk Before They Walk

A recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) revealed that 68 percent of respondents held negative attitudes toward discussing money with their fiancé, with five percent indicating the discussion would cause them to call off the wedding. “It is telling that two people who intend to spend the rest of their lives […]

Why Am I So Messy?! The Truth Behind Clutter and What You Can Do to Clean Up Your Act

Why Am I So Messy?! The Truth Behind Clutter and What You Can Do to Clean Up Your Act

Twelve years ago, Deb Williams was a completely different person. Living it up in a corporate job in Fargo, she was surrounded by piles of paperwork, mounds of mess, and a desk she could barely see. It made doing her job difficult. “My job required answering the phone and helping people locate information. Time after […]

Firearm Safety at Home: Keeping You and Your Loved Ones Safe

Firearm Safety at Home: Keeping You and Your Loved Ones Safe

*Author Disclaimer: This is an article about firearms safety—not gun control. Some may argue the two are intrinsically linked, others may see defining lines between them. This article is meant to be a tool to help you safely handle and store firearms in your home, if you choose to have them. Share your thoughts with […]

Give Yourself the Gift of Presence This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday has come and gone, and the beginning of the holiday season is upon us. I love the holiday season. Bing, Andy, and Nat serenading me with the Christmas songs that shape my memories. Christmas decorations adding a warm glow to the cold, dark December nights. Holiday movies, like old friends, […]

Holiday Time = Family Time = Picture Time

Holiday Time = Family Time = Picture Time

We’ve all seen those family Christmas pictures where Uncle Fred stuck his finger in front of the lens or Aunt Sally lopped off three of your cousins’ heads. Just because you’re not a professional doesn’t mean you don’t care how your photographic family keepsakes look. Here are some tips from a few area photographers to […]