The holiday season is practically here, and time is running out to find an outfit for your upcoming office party or family gathering. Here are three-runway trends to help you put together a dashing look.
1. Bold prints
If you prefer to remain inconspicuous, this might not be the trend for you. However, a holiday party is a perfect opportunity to experiment with a paisley blazer or pants that have a geometric pattern.
2. Elevated denim
Don’t even think about wearing your worn-out work pants to a fancy dinner. However, there are haute couture jeans that make brilliant use of trim, rips, prints, fading, and stitching to create modern pieces suitable for any occasion.
3. Shades of red
From a sleek burgundy suit to a scarlet cardigan or spotted bow tie, red can be incorporated in a variety of ways to suit almost any style or occasion. Plus, it’s a perfect option at Christmastime.
For advice on how to best pair clothing with the right accessories, speak with a style consultant at a local men’s clothing store.
Monsters under the bed? What to do when bedtime fear strikes
Just about every parent knows the sound: The gentle patter of feet against the floor as your child gets up — for the fifteenth time that night — to tell you that they’re scared.
According to Verywell Family, imaginary fears, like monsters under the bed or in the closet, tend to strike kids around preschool age, when their imaginations develop, but they can’t always separate fantasy from reality.
It might be exhausting for parents, but there are some simple things that you can do to help your child — and you — get a better night’s sleep.
* Don’t confirm the fear or build it up. According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, parents shouldn’t get out homemade monster spray or check the closet for interlopers. Scaring away monsters just makes the monsters real to your child.
* Offer a security object, like a blanket or stuffed animal.
* Validate feelings. Say, “I know you feel scared” and talk about their specific fears.
* Encourage them to describe their fears, such as through dramatic play with dolls and puppets or with the artwork.
* Install a nightlight and offer to keep the door cracked open, as long as it doesn’t disturb their sleep.
* Monitor what your kids watch and read — scary shows, movies, books, and videos might be the root of the issue.
* Reassure your child. Tell him or her that they’re OK and you’re there to keep everyone safe. Encourage them to stay in bed and to think of their bed as a safe, special place.
* Be consistent and firm about bedtime routines.
* Contact your child’s pediatrician if your child’s anxiety is especially severe or continues during the day.
Couple conflicts: 3 common arguments and what to do about them
Are you having the same fight with your partner over and over again? It’s normal for couples to disagree from time to time, and arguments can lead to positive changes when handled constructively. Here’s how to address some issues that couples commonly fight about.
It’s not unusual for couples to argue about each other’s spending habits. To address this area of contention, sit down with your partner when you’re both feeling calm and make a list of all the things you spend your money on. Then, set an objective, such as paying off a shared debt or saving for a major purchase. Once you’ve agreed on mutual goals, create a budget to help you achieve them.
Intimacy is a key component of any romantic relationship. Though it’s normal for partners to have different libidos, mismatched sex drives can lead to frustration and misunderstandings. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation about your sexual expectations. Agree on a frequency you can both live with and schedule sex dates. If you need help discussing the issue, consider talking to a qualified sex therapist.
To avoid constantly bickering about who takes care of the household tasks in a relationship, make a list of all the chores that need to get done and divide them up equally. Determine who will do what jobs and when they’ll be completed. If you can’t agree on who should perform a particularly unpleasant task, consider hiring someone to do it for you.
Remember, never run away from an argument. If things get heated, take some time to cool off, but always come back and work through the issue. Your relationship will be stronger for it.
Winterize now for a cozy December
Here’s how to stay warm this winter and save on heating and repair costs.
Your home’s exterior:
Clean the gutters so ice dams don’t form and cause damage.
Replace cracked caulk around roof vents and around the chimney.
Install a chimney cap to keep critters and objects from dropping in. A cap will also keep rainwater from dripping down into the fireplace.
Put door sweeps on those that don’t connect with the threshold. Use caulk around windows and doors as needed or masonry sealer on brick.
Rake away debris and weeds from the foundation and seal any cracks. Install a plastic cover on the crawl space access door and seal some of the vents.
In the garage: Clear enough space to put your car inside on very cold nights. Check your snow blower and generator to be sure that they run. Buy a new snow shovel if you need one and have a bag of ice-melt on hand.
In the crawl space:
Wrap exposed pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. If frozen pipes are a significant problem for you, wrap the pipes with heating tape. Be sure it is activated in cold weather.
Check heat ducts for air leaks, whether they are in the crawl space, attic or basement so all the heat goes through the vents. Fix any breaks or gaps with a metal-backed tape.
In the attic:
If you can see the ceiling joists, add insulation. Don’t use paper-backed — it can cause moisture problems, according to the experts at MSN Real Estate.
In the house:
Get the furnace checked and the central air conditioning unit winterized at the same time.
Be sure the fireplace damper isn’t open unless you make a fire. Woodstoves should have glass doors that are closed when the stove is not in use.
Install socket sealers over unused electrical outlets on outside walls and reverse ceiling fans so they push warm air forward and force it to circulate.
Kids’ Corner: Do black panthers really exist?
Did you know that black panthers aren’t actually their own species of cat? Here’s some information about these felines that may surprise you.
A genetic mutation
The term black panther refers to any wildcat, such as a leopard, jaguar, or cougar, that has melanism. This condition occurs when big cats produce an excessive amount of melanin, a pigment that turns their fur and skin black. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice they aren’t completely black. These animals still have the typical markings of their species, which are masked but not eliminated by the excess of black pigment.
A practical characteristic
For some felines, a black coat can be an advantage when hunting. Melanism allows these wildcats to camouflage themselves in the jungle at night and surprise their prey. This type of pigmentation also helps wildcats avoid certain infections. Consequently, it’s not surprising that this trait continues to be passed down, making melanism a relatively common mutation.
In addition to big cats, several other animals can sometimes be affected by melanism, including wolves, dolphins, and alligators.
Time to plant spring-flowering bulbs
Do you always admire spring-blooming flowers in your neighbors’ gardens? If you want to see a profusion of blooms in your own yard next year, the work starts in the fall.
Late October and early November are the best times to plant spring-flowering bulbs. Here’s how to do it.
First, select a site that has good soil and good drainage so bulbs will continue to flower year after year.
For tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs, prepare the soil 8 inches deep or more. Plant them six inches deep, measured from the bottom of the bulb, and six inches apart.
For small bulbs such as crocus, glory-of-the-snow, and grape hyacinth, prepare the soil six inches deep. Plant bulbs three inches deep and three inches apart.
Lastly, broadcast a tablespoon per square foot of 12-12-12 or 13-13-13 analysis fertilizer and water well. When the ground freezes, mulch with two inches of fine mulch or straw.
Can you feed your cat fruits and veggies?
Are you wondering if you should feed your cat fruits and vegetables? Even though they contain vitamins and antioxidants, not all produce is safe for cats to consume. Here are a few things to consider before giving your feline fruits and veggies.
Cats are carnivores, and they require a meat-based diet. Consequently, they have problems digesting many plant-based foods. In fact, the high fiber content of fruits and vegetables can cause your cat to have digestive issues. If you decide to feed these foods to your cat, make sure they don’t account for more than 10 to 15 percent of their diet.
Always wash and peel your fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your cat. Vegetables should be cooked. Remove any seeds, pits, rinds, and inedible skins.
Certain fruits and vegetables can be toxic to your cat. The following are poisonous and should be avoided at all costs:
• Citrus fruits
The following fruits and vegetables are considered safe in moderation:
• Green beans
Remember to always consult your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet.