Living

Living

Ana Veciana-Suarez: Remodeling? Renovating? Prepare for the nightmare

This month's jobs numbers may have been anemic, but by other indicators, namely the quantity of home improvement projects, the economy seems to be doing just fine. Practically everyone I know is in the middle of some renovation, which invariably means one thing: they're stressed out and going through what I call the five stages of construction - excitement, confusion, shock, anger, and I-can't-wait-until-this-is-over.

Living

Ex-etiquette: Mother of teens chooses boyfriend over kids

Q: My husband passed away six years ago. We had twin boys. My boyfriend has two daughters. All the kids are very active in sports and go to the same high school. The problem is that after four years of dating and a lot of over nights, my boyfriend's divorce is not final and his ex-wife hates when I am around the kids. Therefore, I'm not allowed to go to any of his kids' activities, including football games where my son is the star running back and my daughter is a cheerleader. My boyfriend and his ex go, but I have to stay home. I hate being a part time girlfriend. I've thought of contacting her to discuss our future but I don't know if that's my place. What's good ex-etiquette?

Living

Ask Mr. Dad: Driven to distraction

Dear Mr. Dad: This may sound dramatic, but I'm hoping you can help save my mom's life. She's constantly on her phone, talking or texting, while she's driving. I'm only 13 and I've tried telling her to stop but she says she has it under control and says I should be quiet. She's cut out some of your columns and stuck them on our refrigerator, so I know she respects your opinion. I can't get through to her. Will you help?

Living

Living with Children: Could my 8-year old have OCD?

Q: My 8-year-old daughter is having anxiety issues that seem to border on obsessive-compulsive disorder. She wants me to repeat certain things back to her and has a set routine of things I must say when I'm tucking her into bed. She's genuinely upset by all this and tells me she thinks there's something wrong with her. I'd say it was something she can't control, but she does not do this sort of thing when she's alone with my husband. I've talked to her, tried ignoring her, refused to cooperate, and even yelled - all to no avail. Could she have OCD at this age? Does she need medication? What can we do to help her?

Living

Project: Independence Day celebration

Get ready to rock your block party this Fourth of July! Gather friends into your backyard for a day of silly costumes, serious lip-syncing, and barbecue favorites remixed with surprising new flavors. Top the evening off with berry-delicious floats.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: 'The Shallows,' bloody ocean thriller will terrify teens

Parents need to know that "The Shallows" is a tense, bloody, jump-out-of-your-seat thriller starring Blake Lively as a young med school dropout who goes surfing at a secluded beach. After being chomped on by a shark, she must figure out how to survive and get to safety. Many scenes could scare the pants off of kids (and adults), including a shark jumping out of the water with its jaws open (then chomping down on a surfer) and a man crawling onto the beach with half his body chewed off. It's very exciting, but it's not for the faint of heart. That said, Nancy is a strong, determined woman who never loses her cool, though she does swear a few times (including "f--k" and "s--t"). Bottom line? "The Shallows" is both terrifying and entertaining, but it's not for young kids or anyone afraid of the water or blood. If you couldn't handle "Jaws," skip this one, too.

Living

Family Meals Matter: Pre-fab Fourth

There's nothing quite as fabulous as the Fourth of July. Family, food, friends and fireworks combine for a pretty spectacular time. Now when you think pre-fab, you might think pre-fabricated, like furniture made of particle board, and wonder how that relates to Independence Day.

Videos

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Kids read to sheltered cats in N.C.

The SPCA of Wake County in Raleigh, N.C., has a program called Cat Tales, where children volunteer to read to sheltered cats. It’s as cute as you’re imagining.
Jill Knight The News & Observer
Kids read to sheltered cats in N.C. 0:46

Kids read to sheltered cats in N.C.

Freedom for Hoover the tiger after a life spent in circus cage 5:18

Freedom for Hoover the tiger after a life spent in circus cage

Learn how to make pimiento cheese in 35 seconds 0:35

Learn how to make pimiento cheese in 35 seconds

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How to make ice cream in a bag