+
More

5 things about being a parent on Halloween that every mom or dad can relate to.

My daughter tells me that Halloween is one of her favorite holidays because she “can dress up and be anything she wants for a day.”

Awwwww ... so cute! In a world filled with frustration and unlimited obstacles, I love that this day encourages her to foster her creative fantasies. As a supportive mom, I want to entertain her ideals and make her Halloween extremely special. And what could be more important than planning next year’s costume?

Like a proverbial PEZ dispenser of ensemble ideas, her Halloween costume planning begins on the floor, adorned in her current costume, sorting the sweet bounty of her prior hours of trick-or-treating. “Next year, I want to be a skeleton princess,” she’ll say with a mouthful of nuts saturated in high-fructose corn syrup. “Sure,” I say to her as I get her toothbrush ready. As a parent of an 8-year-old, I’ve learned better than to put too much weight into these premature moments of costume planning.


​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

I now wait until the grim reaper appears on those orange and black signs, promoting the opening of temporary costume shops in previously vacant storefronts. We then look together online, through thrift stores, and in these surprisingly overpriced costume outlets to explore exciting ideas for her Halloween future. She mentions she wants to be a hybrid of something that’s somewhat feminine and something utterly ghoulish. Despite how much I love how un-sexist these concepts are, her choices, unfortunately, always seem to include either accessories that make her invisible to drivers or something only suitable for a tropical climate thousands of miles away from our reality.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Eventually, we come to a costume consensus and we begin to plan the evening’s festivities.

Indulging in my own childishness from my years of juvenile past, I orchestrate what I think will be the best route to optimize our fruitful night.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Whatever we decide, I know the weather has the final say. So I plan accordingly.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

However, plans change: People don’t show up to our Halloween party, kids quickly become overly tired, haunted houses are spookier than we assumed. I just want my daughter to have the best Halloween possible, so, thinking about her happiness, I scramble to facilitate whatever fun is left to be had. Yet in this damage-control-induced craze, I don’t notice she is not only fine but has actually been having fun and has simultaneously, kindly, been thinking about me.

Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Despite my tendencies to over-plan and commandeer her best and spookiest memories ever, I realize that Halloween with my daughter is not about making it perfect; it’s about having a good time together in whatever shape, size, or form. Whether it’s hitting all the “good candy” houses or missing them completely because it snowed, it’s all about going with the flow and enjoying whatever Halloween throws at us together.

Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

A person of color uses a crosswalk.

This article originally appeared on 11.01.17


You missed a study that illuminates the very real dangers of literally "walking while black."

In addition to rogue police officers targeting people of color on the street, a study from Portland State University found that drivers are less likely to stop for black pedestrians.

The study, a follow-up from one conducted in 2014, administered tests using identically dressed black and white volunteers attempting to cross the same intersection. The 2014 study revealed black male pedestrians waited 32% longer than white male pedestrians for cars to stop. The 2017 research expanded on these tests to include black and white women and marked versus unmarked crosswalks.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

6 lessons in making life choices based on the wisdom of Warren Buffett

These are the six factors Warren Buffett says he considers when he's making big business decisions.

Warren Buffett speaking at the 2015 Select USA Investment Summit.

True
TD Ameritrade

This article originally appeared on

Warren Buffett isn't just rich. He's known for being ethical, straightforward, and wise. And also generous. Not just with his money but with his ideas.

Buffett straight up spelled out how he makes decisions on how to invest in and acquire businesses in a public letter sent to his shareholders. To be clear: His instincts and insights are what have made him such a rich man. And that's what he's sharing so openly with the world.

These are the six factors Warren Buffett says he considers when he's making big business decisions.

Maybe they could help the rest of us think through some tough decisions in our own lives? Let's see.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less