Christmas trees: Safety, health, cost of real Christmas trees

 When my husband and I first married, we were diehard holiday traditionalists and DIY-ers. We vowed to have a real Christmas tree each holiday. The whole family would select a tree and bring it home. But the kids have grown and finally reality hit me like the felling of a tree. I realized that I was doing all holiday decorating alone and it wasn't so much fun anymore. And I've become that Scrooge mom who uses an artificial tree. Here's a discussion on real Christmas tree vs. artificial tree, including safety, cost and health considerations. Here's the conclusion: a real Christmas tree is more fun for families of young kids but an artificial tree is the more practical choice. Christmas trees: Safety, health, cost of real Christmas tree vs artificial tree | Examiner.com

Christmas lights in home decor: Decorate with repurposed holiday lighting | Examiner.com

Holiday lights are a favorite Christmas decoration. I grieve every season when taking the Christmas lights down. Then I decided to keep the Christmas lights in home decor year-round. Holiday lighting is wonderfully versatile! Here's how to decorate with repurposed holiday lighting.



* String Christmas lights around bedroom ceilings. When our oldest daughter decided to do a Lord of the Rings theme in her room, she strung lavender holiday lights around her ceiling. Christmas lights gave her bedroom a soft warm Middle Earth glow.  Christmas lights in home decor: Decorate with repurposed holiday lighting | Examiner.com

Homemade Christmas presents: Recycled greeting cards, wrapping paper gift crafts

Parents, are you burned out this holiday season? It's hard to keep up with kids home on winter vacation, Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, baking, cooking, decorating--oh and your job (can't forget that!) Well, how about a holiday parenting first aid kit that puts children to work in productive ways making holiday gifts? Here are homemade Christmas presents and gift crafts kids can make from recycled greeting cards, valentines and Christmas wrapping paper. Make these gifts free or super cheap with reused materials. These gift crafts are perfect for grandma and grandpa, godparents, teachers, coaches and parents!   Homemade Christmas presents: Recycled greeting cards, wrapping paper gift crafts | Examiner.com

Free printable Advent wreath crafts for children to make | Examiner.com

Advent is the four-week season before Christmas, celebrated by Catholics, Orthodox and some protestant Christian denominations. Most people think of Advent calendars with candies and treats. But that, like a commercial Christmas, is miles from the real purpose.. Advent is a lesser penitential season, a minor Lent. Christians observe spiritual acts of prayer, fasting and charity. They follow Bible-based Advent calendars and count down to Christmas reflecting on Jesus. One evangelical pastor is pushing protestant churches to celebrate Advent and put Christ back in Christmas, said Time magazine, Dec. 1.Free printable Advent wreath crafts for children to make | Examiner.com

 

BBQ, pan-fried meat linked to kidney cancer: Broiled, grilled meat carcinogens

Add BBQ, grilled meat, broiled and pan-fried meat to the list of carcinogens reported the Washington Post on Nov. 9. In October, the World Health Organization said processed meats--hot dogs, bacon, ham, lunch meat--are as carcinogenic as cigarettes and asbestos. Now a National Institutes of Health study found that BBQ and pan-fried meat are linked to kidney cancer. WHO has already connected all red meat to bowel cancer and the list of reasons not to eat red meat just keeps getting longer, it seems.  BBQ, pan-fried meat linked to kidney cancer: Broiled, grilled meat carcinogens | Examiner.com

LEGO shortage scares Christmas shoppers: Too few LEGO bricks to fill stockings | Examiner.com

There's a holiday crisis of epic proportion. Santa's elves at LEGO haven't made enough of their iconic colored building blocks this year. And news of any shortage of toys, let alone a LEGO shortage scares Christmas shoppers reported the Christian Science Monitor on Oct. 21. LEGO sales jumped 18 percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2014 leaving them, well, a few bricks short of a load this holiday season. Too few LEGO bricks to fill stockings this Christmas? That is a this North Pole emergency! Alert the big guy in red and call out the reindeer brigade--the LEGOs must get through.  LEGO shortage scares Christmas shoppers: Too few LEGO bricks to fill stockings | Examiner.com

McDonald's franchisees aren't lovin' all day breakfast: Dual menu double fails

Welcome to McDonald's. Would you like breakfast or lunch or both? Now customers can order either and McDonald's franchisees aren't lovin' all day breakfast. said Business Insider on Oct. 15. The dual menu doubly fails customers, staff and even sales, say workers and owners of McDonald's franchises. On Oct. 6, fast food giant McDonald's launched a revolutionary always-available breakfast menu. And restaurants are struggling to keep up with the doubled food choices.McDonald's franchisees aren't lovin' all day breakfast: Dual menu double fails | Examiner.com

 

Cheap homemade no-sew baby and toddler Halloween costumes | Examiner.com

 Ready-made children's Halloween costumes are adorable, but very expensive. You can create cute DIY baby and toddler costumes easy with this guide. Using your recycle bin, make cute no-sew costumes for little ones, darn near free. Plus they'll be snug and warm for those crisp chilly October evenings. Ready? Let's begin. Cheap homemade no-sew baby and toddler Halloween costumes | Examiner.com

Facebook reunited burned baby Amanda Scarpinati, nurse Sue Berger 38 years later

Facebook reunions can be awkward and even unpleasant. But they can also be incredibly joy-filled. Facebook reunited burned baby Amanda Scarpinati and nurse Sue Berger 38 years later. ABC News said on September 29, that all Scarpinati had to go on were black-and-white photographs that showed a woman caring for her as a baby. Scarpinati was burned at three months old, when she fell into a steam vaporizer. Facebook reunited burned baby Amanda Scarpinati, nurse Sue Berger 38 years later 

 

NFWF grants $3.3M to help monarch butterflies: Monsanto aids butterfly habitats | Examiner.com

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced Monday that it is giving money to restore lost butterfly environments. According to a Sept. 28 press release, the NFWF will grant $3.3 million to help monarch butterflies. Big ag company Monsanto will fund restoration of migratory butterfly habitats lost to chemical pesticides. Other monies come from the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. The total will be divided into 22 grants given to support of initiatives working to restore 33,000 acres of monarch butterfly habitats. It doesn't come a moment too soon: 60 billion butterflies once decorated the skies with their signature orange and black wing patterns. That population has shrunk to 1 billion over the past 20 years.   NFWF grants $3.3M to help monarch butterflies: Monsanto aids butterfly habitats

Roseanne Barr stuns with jaw-dropping weight loss, platinum blonde do, pot use - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

  Funnywoman Roseanne Barr used to be one of the heaviest women in Hollywood. Now Barr stuns with her jaw-dropping weight loss and platinum blonde do. The popular comedienne of 80s sit-com fame posed for a photo with her youngest son Buck Thomas, the first of the pair since 2012. Wonderwall, on September 2, proclaimed her "unrecognizable" from her "Roseanne" days. Barr opened up her medical pot use recently, too.Roseanne Barr stuns with jaw-dropping weight loss, platinum blonde do, pot use - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Shooting range will sell booze: Guns and alcohol cocktails served at gun range - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Call it Guns 'n Brewses! A Florida shooting range will sell booze now that its liquor licensing was approved reported the Daytona Beach News-Journal on August 19. Ron Perkinson owner of Volusia Top Gun, got permission to serve guns and alcohol cocktails at a gun range bar he pitched to city commissioners. All but one city commissioner gave the green light for Perkinson's plan to convert a vacant building near Interstate 95 into a 12-lane gun range, with liquor-serving restaurant, and retail store. Shooting range will sell booze: Guns and alcohol cocktails served at gun range - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Pennies, nickels aren't legal tender man who paid $25 fine in pennies told

So pennies and nickels aren't legal tender, so a man who tried to pay a $25 fine in 2,500 pennies is told. Reuters reported August 13 that Justin Greene tried to pay a parking fee of $25 worth of pennies. He was told by the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania finance department that small change cannot be used to pay for amounts under $.25. They quoted federal law. Because so many bills cost less than a quarter? As if!Pennies, nickels aren't legal tender man who paid $25 fine in pennies told - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Ted Nugent champions Walter Palmer killing Cecil the lion, says Cecil had to die

The Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer who killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe has made a lot of enemies. But Palmer has one friend in Hollywood and that's Ted Nugent. Far from castigating the big game hunter, Nugent champions Walter Palmer killing Cecil the lion. Cecil had to die, On July 28, Nugent posted that Palmer's trophy kill "essential."   Ted Nugent champions Walter Palmer killing Cecil the lion, says Cecil had to die - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Depression linked to Parkinson's disease: Natural mood lifters to beat the blues

Spring is here, so say birds, flowers, sunshine. Yet you sit depressed, wondering what all the fuss is about. Depression is no joke. It can have disastrous effects on physical as well as mental health. Live Science says a new study says depression is linked to Parkinson's Disease. Clinically depressed people are 60 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease later.Depression linked to Parkinson's disease: Natural mood lifters to beat the blues - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

 

Memorial Day flowers: Plant a red white and blue patriotic floral flag garden - Grand Rapids Holidays | Examiner.com

My mother-in-law lives in a retirement community. She's an avid gardener with an unusually green thumb. For Memorial Day she volunteered to plant a patriotic floral flag garden. She shared how to make a floral flag garden.Memorial Day flowers: Plant a red white and blue patriotic floral flag garden - Grand Rapids Holidays | Examiner.com

 

How to save money on graduation open house, prom high school senior costs

Prom, graduation, open houses, they all add up. Parents, if you have a graduating senior or a student going to prom, be prepared to pay. Or you can save money on graduation and prom. It's your choice. Here are ways to trim spending on prom dresses, tux, graduation, high school senior costs open house. I've graduated three seniors and picked up some penny pinching tips.How to save money on prom, graduation, open house, high school senior costs - Grand Rapids Holidays | Examiner.com

 

Free printable Cinco de Mayo coloring crafts

Cinco de Mayo is the fifth of May. It's not the

Mexican Independence Day nor the equivalent of the U.S. Fourth of July. Cinco de Mayo is the day Mexicans remember El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (Battle of Puebla). Cinco de Mayo is mostly an Americanized Latino holiday. But also a great day to explore Mexican culture. Here are free printable Cinco de Mayo lesson plans, worksheets and games. Free printable Cinco de Mayo coloring pages, Mexican crafts and printables

Medieval garlic and bile salve kills MRSA superbug: Ancient miracle MRSA cure

Sometimes, old ways are better than new. Studies show a medieval garlic and bile potion kills MRSA, a deadly superbug. The recipe, from a 10th century medical tome called Bald's Leechbook, proved effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), reported CBS News on March 31. In lab tests, it wiped out a whopping 999 out of 1,000 bacterial cellsMedieval garlic and bile salve kills MRSA superbug: Ancient miracle MRSA cure 

 

'My 600-lb Life' shows obesity, poverty, lack of education, socio-economic links - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Obesity is a vicious cycle. Research shows obesity is linked to another vicious cycle: poverty, reported NZ Stuff from a New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) report Feb. 24. TLC's "My 600-lb Life" explores how morbidly obese people got so fat. My 600-lb Life illustrates in dramatic living color how poverty and obesity cause and affect each other.'My 600-lb Life' shows obesity, poverty, lack of education, socio-economic links - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

 

Detroit urban garden cited for blight amid Duggan and Pulte blight tousle - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

 Detroit is known for rampant urban blight. Businessman Bill Pulte accused Mayor Mike Duggan of edging him out of Detroit cleanup efforts, reported WXYZ Feb. 24. As Duggan and Pulte tousle over who gets to de-blight Detroit, farmer Kate Devlin's urban garden was cited for blight. Devlin converted a city lot, formerly used for illegal dumping, into a garden. The City of Detroit fined Devlin $1,000 saying garden compost was illegal dumping.Detroit urban garden cited for blight amid Duggan and Pulte blight tousle - Grand Rapids News | Examiner.com

Super Bowl XLIX buffet recipes, half-time appetizers, make-your-own salad bar

Sunday, Feb. 1 mark 2015 Super Bowl XLIX. Whether you watch for the game, half-time entertainment or the commercials--The Hollywood Reporters says they're half the fun--you'll likely be eating. And Super Bowl buffets are known for meat-heavy foods: buffalo wings, BBQ, chili, nachos and burgers. But what about fans who are gluten or lactose intolerant, have allergies, are vegan or vegetarian or dieting?Super Bowl XLIX buffet recipes, half-time appetizers, make-your-own salad bar

 

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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