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Happy Halloween! This candy-filled holiday is a lot of fun, even when it lands in the middle of the week, but there are a few ground rules to keep in mind so everyone has a safe, good time. Here are the dos and don'ts for Halloween.

  • DO splurge on the good candy - Nobody wants raisins or old Tootsie rolls, so buy stuff you’d actually want to eat and grab a couple treats for yourself.
  • DO leave your light off if you forgot to buy candy or aren't home - A dark front door or porch is code for I have no candy or I’m busy or out, everyone knows that.
  • DON'T leave candy outside unsupervised - It may seem like a good idea, but then some kid will dump the whole bucket into their treat bag and ruin it for everyone else.
  • DON'T ask kids what they are - Some kids might be offended you can’t tell, some may not be verbal, and some are just too shy to speak up, so just fork over the candy and let them go to the next house already.
  • DO wear a costume - If you’re going to a Halloween party people expect you to be dressed up. If the kids are trick-or-treating, they’d better be wearing a costume, too.
  • DO be original with costumes - If you still don’t know what you’re going to be tonight, let Google or Pinterest help inspire you. There are all kinds of super last-minute costume ideas on the Internet, so you don’t have to resort to being a sexy cat because you’re better than that.
  • DON'T forget to say please and thank you - Encourage polite behavior from the kiddos and remember good manners will get you far.
  • DO be extra cautious - It’s dark, kids are on a sugar high and wearing costumes that they might not be able to see well in, so be extra aware.
  • DON'T hand out homemade treats - You’ll only be wasting your time because everybody knows you can’t eat treats that aren’t wrapped and with all the food sensitivities people have, parents need to be able to see what’s on the label.
  • DO clear a path so your walkway is easy to navigate - Move your plants so they don’t get trampled and turn the lights on so the little trick-or-treaters can make their way safely up to your door.

Source: The Kitchn

If your house feels like it’s filled to capacity already and you haven’t even bought the first gift off your holiday shopping list, you might want to start clearing the clutter now. Between all the decorations, piles of presents, and wrapping supplies, you’re going to need extra storage space this holiday season and getting rid of these things will provide that valuable real estate in your home.

  • Old decorations you haven't used in two years - If you haven’t hung the holiday decor in two Christmases or Hanukkahs, you can probably let it go. And go ahead and pitch all the broken ornaments, that artificial tree with branches that are barely hanging on, and stuff you know you’ll never use.
  • The holiday card collection - If you’re a sentimental type who holds on to every single holiday card you get, go through your stash to make room for this year’s influx. Keep the ones with heartfelt messages and special photos, toss the ones that are simply signed, otherwise you’ll be in this same boat next year.
  • Old bikes and outgrown toys - Donate toys your kids outgrew years ago that are still in good condition and get the kids involved to help you sort out what they no longer play with. And if they don’t want to let go, adopt a “one in, one out policy” so before they get a new toy for the holidays, they have to give one up from their collection. Suddenly those old toys won’t seem as appealing.
  • Those gifts you've never used - Take an inventory and part with unwanted gifts from holidays past, because how many waffle irons do you really need?
  • Old linens and bath towels - Time to get rid of the dingy towels and sheets you wouldn’t use, much less offer to house guests.
  • Duplicate (and triplicate) kitchen tools - Kitchens get cluttered so easily, maybe you don’t really need three cheese graters after all.
  • Winter clothing you’re not excited to wear - Think of this as speed closet decluttering. Just take out anything that you never want to wear or anything you haven’t worn in a year and save the big purge for spring.

Source: Real Simple

Women are always being warned that their biological clocks are ticking, which may make them feel rushed into expanding their families faster, but new research suggests slowing down is better for mama and baby. According to a new study from the University of British Columbia and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, new moms should wait at least a year after giving birth to get pregnant again to avoid putting themselves and their baby at risk.

Researchers looked into nearly 150,000 births in Canada and found women who waited 12 to 18 months to get pregnant after having a baby cut the risk of short- and long-term health issues for both mother and child. The risks to the moms were only found in women over 35 but the risks to the infants were found in women of all ages, but were greatest in those between 20 and 34.

And waiting a year or longer before conceiving makes a big difference. The study found that a short gap between pregnancies affected women over 35 more, raising the risk of spontaneous preterm labor (giving birth before 37 weeks) to 6% at the six month mark. But if the women waited at least 18 months to get pregnant again, it drops to 3.4%. Study authors say these findings are especially important for older women, who tend to space their pregnancies closer together on purpose, since time is of the essence.

“Older mothers for the first time have excellent evidence to guide the spacing of their children,” explains Professor Wendy Norman from the University of British Columbia. “Achieving that optimal one-year interval should be doable for many women and is clearly worthwhile to reduce complications.”

Source: Women's Health

About now is the time when a lot of people start thinking and planning their holiday vacations, and it’s no secret traveling during such peak times can do some major damage to your wallet. But it turns out, it is possible to go on an affordable holiday vacation but it will all depend on where you go. 

In case you missed it, GoBankingRates has just come out with their analysis of the most, and least, affordable places to travel this holiday season and you may be surprised about where you can go without spending all your savings.

While some may want to relax at the beach, others will be looking for fun and action over the holidays, and luckily, the site has named Las Vegas one of the most affordable destinations for the holidays season. A Thanksgiving trip to Vegas will only set you back about $502, while one over Christmas will be even cheaper, at $490.

Top Five Most Affordable Places To Visit For The Holidays

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Houston, TX
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Austin, TX 

On the other end of the spectrum, since a lot of people will want to escape to the beach over the holidays, it shouldn’t be surprising that Honolulu, Hawaii is the most expensive holiday destination. A trip to Honolulu over Thanksgiving will set you back $2,262.50, while one over Christmas goes up to $2,958.50. Round-trip airfare alone over Thanksgiving can cost as much as $1,076.50.

The Five Least Affordable Holiday Vacation Destinations

  1. Honolulu, HI
  2. Aspen, CO
  3. Key West, FL
  4. Hilton Head, SC
  5. Charleston, SC

Source: GoBankingRates

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Jay and Dawn

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