Home & Family
Home & Family
Our Home & Family section covers a wide-range of topics to help you create the home of your dreams for your family. Check here for articles on real estate, interior design, child-rearing, family dynamics, home repair and much more.


8/7/2017 3:45:53 PM
All parents face adjustments when they bring home a new baby, but imagine bringing home five new babies. That’s feedings every three hours – all through the night, 40 bottles a day, and 420 diapers a week.
Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Relationships
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8/7/2017 3:37:04 PM

Oh, Baby . . . you’re having a baby! Or you have a baby. In either case, parenthood and all it entails is a primary focus in your life. Certainly, being a mom or dad is likely by far the hardest job and the greatest responsibility you’ll ever experience. And we want to help. This issue’s cover story aims to make your job a little easier and give you peace of mind that, yes, you’re doing a great job. Here, you’ll find stories on decorating the nursery, buying baby clothes, helping your baby develop healthy and happy, and a fun update on those adorable Busby quintuplets.

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Categories: Home  |  Parenting  |  Relationships
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8/7/2017 12:52:52 PM
As students begin the new year on college campuses across the country, most will probably be thinking about their class schedule, friends, football season, and back-to-school parties. These are all important elements of campus life, but there’s another one students shouldn’t forget: safety.
Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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7/5/2017 8:31:26 AM
Thrive magazine supports the efforts of DeWanna's Closet this month by providing a drop-off box in their office lobby. If you would like to make a donation, please bring new school uniform apparel (used clothing not accepted) to the office at 4845 Iles Rd., Lake Charles. Monetary donations are also welcome and can be given to the office receptionist. 
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Categories: Home  |  Parenting
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7/5/2017 8:27:02 AM
An initiative that began in Fayetteville, Arkansas to help relieve food insecurities in local Arkansas neighborhoods, the Little Free Pantry project has spread to many states across the United States. Now, the Little Free Pantry project has taken root in Louisiana, a movement that started in New Orleans and will come soon to neighborhoods in Southwest Louisiana.
Posted by Bailey Castille | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home
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7/5/2017 8:23:49 AM
It’s that time of year again – Back-to-School! It’s an exciting time of year with mixed emotions – bittersweet nostalgia over the end of summer break, and the excitement and anticipation of the coming school year. The first month or two of school can be a hectic demanding period of transition for both students and parents, as everyone settles into a new routine. Read this special Back-to-School section for tips to make your transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
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Categories: Parenting
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6/1/2017 12:06:06 PM

You’re probably wondering what makes me qualified to write this. I’m obviously not a father, but I have spent my entire life watching and learning from the person I consider to be the greatest example of fatherhood I’ve ever seen. Of course, I’m biased, but that doesn’t make me wrong. 


Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Relationships
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6/1/2017 11:43:13 AM

Media alerts interrupt regular broadcasts. News bulletins flash. Weather forecasts show another storm entering the Gulf of Mexico. As hurricane season begins each June 1, residents along the Louisiana Coast brace themselves for the onslaught of watches and updates. 


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Categories: Home  |  Summer
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6/1/2017 11:28:27 AM

First comes love, then comes . . . planning? Before a couple celebrates their wedding day, a tremendous amount of planning often takes place. Some brides have a mother and several attendants to help her. Others hire a professional wedding planner. Still other couples tackle the to-do list on their own. In any pre-wedding scenario, aside from spur of the moment elopement, there are details to attend to! The wedding venue, the reception, the dress, invitations, caterers, cake . . . the list seems to be unending. But the big day eventually arrives, and most couples look back and say they wouldn’t change a thing. If you’re currently planning your wedding, embrace the process as an exciting part of the journey, rather than merely a means to an end. To help you in your planning, we’ve put together this bride guide that we hope will give you tips, guidance, and maybe a few new ideas.


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Categories: Decorating  |  Entertaining  |  Relationships
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5/4/2017 10:20:30 PM

With summer swiftly approaching, you can feel the excitement in the air as your children dream of spending time at the pool or frolicking with friends outdoors without the thought of homework looming over their heads. Before you send them out into the sunshine, consider these tips from Dr. Stephanie Treme of the Children’s Clinic, Lake Charles, to keep your loved ones healthy and safe all summer long.


Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Summer
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5/4/2017 10:15:47 PM

We live in a fast-paced world, sometimes forgetting about "me time” or even "we time”. The family vacation, when done right, can give you a little of both. Here are some reasons why you should make time for a family trip this summer.


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5/4/2017 12:30:52 PM

Summertime is just around the corner. The days are longer; the kids are carefree from the rigors of early school mornings and homework; and, maybe, you’ll soon pack your bags and head to the beach. Are you ready?! Check out our Summer Guide and find fun youth activities and camps, tips to plan your family vacation, and information to help keep your children safe all season long. Happy summer!



Posted by Special to Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Summer
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4/5/2017 12:34:48 PM

Spring has sprung! With the change of season, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning, yard work, and enjoying extended daylight hours. But with the new season comes some springtime hazards for our pets. Dr. Jae Chang, veterinarian with Prien Lake Animal Hospital, has a few tips to keep your pets safe this spring.



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3/9/2017 9:53:46 AM

Buying a home under construction can be thrilling. The knowledge that no one has lived in it yet, everything top to bottom is brand new, the ability to customize paint colors and flooring, and let’s not forget that "new house” smell -- these are compelling reasons to buy new construction.



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3/9/2017 9:49:36 AM

Every corner of the personal finance world seems to hammer home the same point: Debt is the wealth killer. Debt is the single greatest threat to your retirement planning, college savings, and financial independence.



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3/9/2017 9:40:25 AM

If you’re in the market for a new home, you may feel lost when it comes to home financing. This is likely the biggest investment you will ever make, and big investments can cause big headaches if you don’t take the proper strides before starting the process. However, you can limit your frustrations by following these steps to determine your best home financing options.



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2/6/2017 4:54:46 PM
Have you contemplated sticking your toes into the water of the online dating pool? Heads up . . . the variety and sheer number of dating websites available can be overwhelming and downright scary. The good news is, there’s bound to be a site that meets your needs, no matter your interests.

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2/6/2017 4:52:54 PM

It is better to give than to receive, but how do you make your gift-giving twice as nice? Give a socially-conscious gift that supports fair trade around the world. This Valentine’s Day, instead of opting for that trusty old heart-shaped box of candy from Wally World that’s been on display since late December, plan ahead and give a gift that supports people in emerging nations. There are places you can shop online that effect positive change, making your gift an amazing gesture.



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2/6/2017 4:49:42 PM

The season is here! Whether a joyous fan of the feathers and sequins or packing to leave for an annual ski or Disney trip, you really can’t escape Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana. Many newcomers and visitors are surprised to learn that Mardi Gras is not a single day or a weekend event. It really is an entire season. Fat Tuesday (literally Mardi – Tuesday, Gras – fat, in French) is the most celebrated day of the season, but the lead-up to the big event can be every bit as exciting, filled with tradition and revelry.



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1/5/2017 10:01:15 AM

The Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana and the National Complete Streets Coalition recently hosted a day-long seminar at the SEED Center on the benefits of the concept of Complete Streets.



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1/5/2017 9:53:38 AM

Super Bowl LI takes place close to home in Houston this year, but if you can not score tickets, follow these tips to throw a great Super Bowl party at home.



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12/6/2016 9:18:46 AM

Flu season is here. Did you know your dog can get the flu, just like you? "It’s actually pretty common and the symptoms present themselves the same as in humans: respiratory difficulties, runny nose, fever and fatigue,” says Dr. Jae Chang, with Prien Lake Animal Hospital. Your dog can even catch the flu from you.



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12/6/2016 9:16:52 AM

For most children, the height of holiday cheer comes when they have ripped the wrapping off their presents and they finally get their hands on the toy they've been dreaming about for months. Parents, on the other hand, should be concerned about potential safety hazards with toys.



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12/6/2016 9:12:06 AM

Santas elves have been busy in their workshop this year creating epically cool gadgets and toys for everyone in your family. For some people, holiday shopping is the best part of the winter season -- excitement permeating every single trip to the store or click of the mouse. For others, panic ensues when they so much as think about choosing a gift for someone else. What if I get them something they don’t like? What if they already have it? Take a look at the following sure-to-please items your loved ones will have at the top of their wish lists this holiday season, making your shopping a little easier.



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11/1/2016 3:27:03 PM

PhotoImmunization is your familys best line of protection against the flu, which can cause serious illness. Uncover the truth behind three common flu vaccinationmyths.



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11/1/2016 3:24:47 PM

Holidays make for marvelous photo opportunities, and people always try to get just the right picture to include with their holiday greeting cards. However, not everyone is a natural-born photographer. How can you guarantee your holiday picture looks like a million bucks? Shonda Manuel of Shonda Manuel Photography offers the following tips to ensure phenomenal photos you’ll treasure for years to come.



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11/1/2016 3:18:28 PM

Genealogy websites that help people trace their family histories love to focus on fortunate souls descended from royalty, or related in some distant and indirect way to George Washington.

Yet genealogical research is just as likely to turn up horse thieves, drifters, and scandals of every sort.



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11/1/2016 9:52:29 AM

If you need more incentive to quit smoking, there may be some health related reasons beyond the obvious that you have not considered.



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9/30/2016 4:19:14 PM

For some folks, moving is one of the most stressful events they encounter in life. Others look at changing jobs, homes, or locations as a grand adventure.



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9/30/2016 4:15:53 PM

Most of us grew up with spring cleaning . . . that time of year in which you spent a whole weekend cleaning walls, cabinets, drawers, and more a weekend you would have much rather spent doing anything else. In reality, it is best to have a plan to keep your home and possessions clean year around. So, how often should you clean various household and outdoor items? Many of us have a weekly or monthly routine where the most used and high traffic areas of our homes get cleaned on a regular basis. But what about those deep cleaning projects like cabinets, walls, and mattresses?



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9/30/2016 4:12:23 PM
Name calling, threats, bodily harm, stealing lunch money, cyber intimidation  bullying has many ugly faces. And it is a serious problem for many school age children.

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9/1/2016 5:21:28 PM

In an age of Amazon Primes free 2 day shipping option and the vast availability of ebooks for phones, tablets, and computers, it may seem easy for some to forget about public libraries. Access to books and information is easier than ever as long as you have a computer or smart phone and an Internet connection. So, what does that mean for libraries? Are they necessary in the 21st century or will they become obsolete in the near future?



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9/1/2016 5:18:38 PM

Few elements of design set the tone of a home like color. Where does a do it yourself designer begin in order to create a just right atmosphere using interior colors?



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9/1/2016 5:16:55 PM

The start of a new school year is always exciting but what if your child ends up with a teacher that you or your child has issues with? Sure, it can be tempting to immediately ask to have your child transferred to a new teacher. Some parents go so far as to move their children to new schools. But there are alternatives you can try before going those routes.



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8/10/2016 12:27:44 PM

Comedian Rita Rudner once said, "I wonder if other dogs think that poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” It is true when one thinks of an extremely pampered pet, they would be hard pressed not to conjure up images of a poodle prancing around with intricately coiffed hair, a diamond collar, and perfectly manicured paws. In todays culture, however, it has become increasingly common to see all manner of pets sporting the latest fashions and trends while they’re peeking out from their owners purses in the local pet friendly cafe.



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8/10/2016 12:25:05 PM

While college can be a great experience overall, the path to graduation is not an easy journey. It takes a lot of dedication to have a nice grade point average as you also participate in some social events. I personally have gotten a more balanced college life by following these six pieces of advice:



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8/10/2016 12:21:31 PM

Only 15 men have been the head coach of the McNeese State University football team.The newest of them is Lance Guidry, who first showed his leadership potential as a full out hoss on the McNeese defense in the 1990s and wore No. 15, as if telegraphing his future with the program. (And: If he wins a conference championship, it will be McNeeses 15th.)




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7/14/2016 1:07:16 PM

Do this. Be here. Listen to me. Any good parent wants to raise happy, well adjusted children, but the way they go about often undermines that goal.


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7/14/2016 1:04:56 PM

Whether it is choosing where you will live, how you will spend the holidays, or how to raise your kids, getting along with in laws can be a challenge. Some people adore their in laws while others can barely tolerate their spouses parents and siblings.


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7/14/2016 1:02:35 PM

Far off places, daring adventures, and new favorite destinations wait to be discovered this summer. Unfortunately, not everyones budget or time off allows them to experience firsthand their dream vacations.


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6/15/2016 2:59:03 PM

Vacations are all about relaxing, but it is hard to stay calm when half your mental real estate is taken up by thoughts of your precious dog or cat lying on a concrete floor, whimpering for the next two weeks. If you feel you must bring your furry friends along, you will need to have a few essentials in order before you leave.


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6/15/2016 2:55:12 PM

A Southwest Louisiana summer can be as hard on the landscaping as it is on residents. Eyecatching curb appeal and a pleasing backyard oasis take hard work and careful planning and attention. Here are a few tips for keeping your landscape thriving during the upcoming months from Chad Everage, landscape horticulturist at Landscape Management in Lake Charles.


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6/15/2016 2:53:58 PM

Students look forward to summer fun and relaxation, but they can easily forget what they recently learned and fall behind academically. Learning need not stop when summer starts. With these tips, parents can help their children prepare through the summer months for a successful school year ahead.


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5/12/2016 3:02:00 PM

Whether you are planning a princess tea party or a superhero birthday bash, the secret to organizing a party your child will treasure is to keep your little ones interests at the forefront.


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5/12/2016 2:58:24 PM

Mosquitoes could be living, flying and breeding right in your yard, and you might not even know it.


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4/5/2016 11:47:47 AM

A new wave of homebuyers is hitting the real estate market: Millenials. Born between 1980 and the late 90s, this tech-savvy generation, also known as Generation Y, is changing the way homes are built, bought and sold.



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4/5/2016 8:51:56 AM

The best vacations not only allow you to step back from the hassles of daily life, but also create memories of a lifetime. However, if not carefully planned, travel glitches can cause an array of stress and take away precious time that should be used for fun and relaxation.



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4/5/2016 8:49:26 AM

It is spring cleaning season again and while this is a great time to hit the refresh button and declutter your life, it can quickly start to feel overwhelming.



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3/7/2016 9:55:31 AM

Each day, an abused or neglected child is removed from an unsafe home and placed in Louisianas foster care system. They remain in the system until their home environment is safe but for many that never happens. Of the 4,000 children currently cycling in state foster care, about 350 are ready to be adopted today. More than 60 of them are in Southwest Louisiana, right here in our community.



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3/7/2016 9:53:52 AM

There are 65.7 million caregivers in the US, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. That is 29 percent of the adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled, or aged. Of those, 43.5 million are taking care of someone aged 50 or older.



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3/7/2016 9:51:14 AM

There is a rapidly growing trend that offers parents every way possible to stalk their kids. Many parents now have GPS systems on their teenagers’ phones. There are apps such as Mobile Watch Dog where parents can see every app, every text and everything that happens on their kids’ phones. Other parents create the same social media accounts as their teens and follow not only their own children, but their friends.



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2/4/2016 3:17:47 PM

When you grow bored with your furnishings or want to change up the look and feel of a room, you may find yourself trying to put off redecorating until you have a bigger budget. Instead, you can give the furniture you already have a unique, fresh look at a fraction of the cost.



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2/4/2016 3:08:01 PM

There is no time better than the present to start looking to buy a new home. With our growing economy, the supply of housing will start to diminish, causing prices and rates to soar. Consider buying in a buyer’s market.



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2/4/2016 2:59:44 PM
Whether you are in the market for a new home or thinking about upgrading your current one, be sure to factor in monthly utility costs, and not just initial purchase price, when choosing your appliances.

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2/4/2016 1:58:08 PM

When Fido or Fluffy is in pain, has an upset stomach, or gets a cut or scrape, we want to make them feel better as quickly as possible. But what if it is after-hours for your vet or the weekend? In some cases, household and over-the-counter remedies can be used to help an ailing pet.



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2/4/2016 1:56:22 PM

Most environments that are set up for studying are quiet and focused with distractions kept to a minimum. In other words, opposite of what stimulates a student with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.



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2/4/2016 1:46:53 PM

Crystal Cooper is thirty and single and she does not get what all the fuss is about.



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1/14/2016 3:47:47 PM

Winter is the time you spend the least amount of time thinking of your lawn. Theres a good chance youve put away your mower and yard equipment, and are ready for a few months of worry-free relaxation before you have to start the lawn maintenance routine again.



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1/14/2016 3:40:40 PM

Few of us want to think of how our life will end, or how things will continue after we are gone. But one of the most meaningful gifts you can give your family is a personal plan for your memorial service. When your wishes are left behind, it eases the burden on loved ones who will be expected to make decisions and answer questions about how to proceed in the hours and days immediately after your death.



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1/14/2016 2:56:25 PM

If you are a parent with more than one child, you have probably been exposed to some form of sibling rivalry, whether it is fighting over a toy, fighting for attention, or fighting for no discernable reason at all.

It can be difficult to navigate the explosive and frustrating world of irreconcilable sibling differences, but there are things you can do both proactively and reactively to serve as a peaceful mediator and keep the situation as calm as possible.



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12/18/2015 10:20:22 AM

It is hard to imagine a time in pop culture history when Star Wars did not exist. Chris Bacarisse, Lake Charles resident, Star Wars fan, and child of the 70s, says it best: Star Wars defines a generation.


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12/18/2015 10:18:37 AM
A new study concludes that belting out show tunes improves brain health, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens.
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12/18/2015 10:15:05 AM

The kids have pestered you all year for a dog. You told them no. You gave good, logical reasons: Pets are a lot of responsibility. Someone will have to walk it and feed it. They need lots of attention. The kids begged and pleaded and you never gave in. Then you heard the call of holiday bells and had second thoughts. You imagined their surprise to get an adorable little puppy on Christmas morning, wearing a red bow and slopping their faces with kisses.


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11/16/2015 10:31:53 AM

Eighty percent of kids regularly use cell phones and 52 percent report being cyberbullied, according to the 2014 Counseling Service report. The increased use of smartphones and social media has made cyberbullying a common and serious issue among children and young adults, one that can result in anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide.


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11/16/2015 10:30:20 AM

The school year is in full swing. Soon enough, the "testing season” will rear its stressful head and it will be crunch time. But there are things you can do now to prepare for higher test scores, and higher grades. Just because the year started with a C average does not mean it has to end with one.


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11/16/2015 10:29:04 AM
When the time comes to end a relationship, there is no avoiding the fact that at least one, and likely both parties will experience all manner of negative feelings: blame, regret, vulnerability, disappointment and fear, to name a few.
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9/9/2015 1:13:58 PM

Banned Books Week is September 29-October 3 and I’m ready for it. I have my copy of Fahrenheit 451 and many other favorite books of mine that have faced challenges and censorship over the years. One week is not enough time to read them all. But why wait for Banned Books Week?


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9/9/2015 1:11:49 PM

The Louisiana Department of Education has announced that a record number of high school seniors have earned scores of 18 or higher on the ACT, leading to more graduates entering college without the need for remedial courses. Although this improvement comes after years of raising expectations for math and English in Louisiana, the state remains one of the lowest-performing states in the nation, ranking in the bottom five.


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9/9/2015 1:09:26 PM

In a perfect world, we’d all live in lakefront cabins with sprawling back porches offering waterfront views. Our closest neighbors would be a quarter mile away and would mostly keep to themselves, except for the occasional warm apple pie they brought over once a year after the harvest.


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8/18/2015 10:39:27 AM

Naturally, parents want their children to succeed in life. But could a little bit of failure be a positive thing for kids? Barbara Dianis thinks so.


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8/18/2015 10:36:54 AM

We all knew mean girls growing-up, whether it was the Queen Bee of the schoolyard and her giggling entourage or a vengeful gossiper. For most girls it’s impossible to avoid the sting, whether it’s through humiliating nicknames or code words, exclusion or the silent treatment. As we get older the majority of us move past it, but what happens to the mean girls when they grow-up?


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8/18/2015 10:34:31 AM
Parents can struggle with explaining divorce to their young children. Naturally, parents worry about overwhelming their child and sometimes parents disagree on their approach and delivery of the explanation. Divorcing parents often ask professionals, "What should we say? How do we help our children understand?” Although there isn't one correct answer, there are some solid guidelines.
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7/14/2015 11:23:46 AM

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) encourages residents to develop a hurricane plan and emergency disaster kit to prepare for hurricane season, which began June 1.


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7/14/2015 11:18:56 AM

It often seems as though mosquitoes make a beeline for one person in a group, leaving them full of bites when others are not nearly as bothered. The itchy bites can be enough of a nuisance, but for those who are allergic to mosquitoes, the bites can swell and become painful. Can anything be done to lessen ones attraction to mosquitoes?


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7/14/2015 11:17:33 AM

Holidays, birthdays, and milestone events like family weddings, or even funerals, are stressful enough without the added pressure of that one relative. You know the one. She creeps up behind you to criticize your coleslaw on the Fourth of July, or maybe he drinks too much on Christmas Eve and decides to make a list of your most unappealing traits.


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6/5/2015 11:55:25 AM

For many dog owners, your fur-baby is considered part of the family. So, when it comes time to go on vacation or out of town for work, the thought of leaving your family member behind can be heartbreaking. Making accommodations for your fur-baby while you are away can be stressful and depressing, knowing that you aren not going to be around for significant amount of time to care for your dog. Traditional accommodations include enlisting the help of a friend or neighbor to come to your home a few times a day to feed, water and take your pet outside, or leaving them at a boarding facility where, in some cases, your pet is kenneled for most of the day. Both options still leave your pet alone and without the human interaction for extended periods of time, maybe even causing your pup to stress out.


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6/5/2015 11:53:52 AM

The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) has awarded a $250,000 startup grant to Lake Charles College Prep (the PREP) for the 2015-2016 school year. Over the past two decades, WFF has invested more than $1 billion in K-12 education efforts that expand opportunity, create choice, and educational innovation.


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6/5/2015 11:52:32 AM

Take your mind back to your childhood summers. Did you play chase outside until your parents came home? Watch television while the sun blistered outside? Ride your bike down the street without a care in the world? Your summers of yesterday are probably much different than those of today. Not necessarily better, just different.


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5/7/2015 12:14:03 PM

With warmer springtime weather upon us, thousands of Louisiana high school seniors are only weeks away from taking the next step in their education. Now is the time for students and families to carefully consider how to pay for college, and if grants and scholarships are not enough, student loans can help fill in the gap.


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5/7/2015 12:11:27 PM

You have dreamed of this day for so long, joking about how you cannot wait to get them out of the house. No more picking up behind them and waiting up at night for them to come in. Your worries are almost over: Your newly minted high school graduate will be headed off to college in just a few short months.


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5/7/2015 12:02:18 PM

As they receive their diplomas this month, thousands of area high school graduates are already gearing up for college life in the fall. With this next step in the transition to adulthood, comes a real set of real world responsibilities, and chief among these are finances. If you are college-bound, you have probably already gone through or soon will orientation designed to introduce you to time management skills, dorm life, course requirement, campus layout and more. But in most cases, one of lifes most important lessons how to manage your money is left untouched.



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4/8/2015 12:40:56 PM
Graduation season is upon us, and before graduates step boldly into a future full of possibilities, they first have to deal with graduation ceremonies, parties, family gatherings and gifts. With all the celebrations surrounding this special milestone come confusion about the etiquette rules that should be followed. From whom should get an invitation to appropriate gifts, Sara Smith, local etiquette expert and owner of the PaperSmith, offers advice for making sure everyone involved receives top honors for manners and social graces.
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4/8/2015 12:35:42 PM
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the youth of today. Born between 1980 and 2000, they are defined as narcissistic and lazy, but also described as open-minded, educated and self-expressive. Research also shows that they are turning away from religion at greater rates than previous generations. According to the Pew Research Center, 86 percent of Millenials said they believe in God, compared to 93 percent of Generation Xers. Twenty-nine percent are not affiliated with any religion. Those are the highest numbers that have been recorded for any generation in the last quarter-century.
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