The 3 Most Spooktacular Halloween Party Games for Adults

The 3 Most Spooktacular Halloween Party Games for Adults

“Is that your cat?” I asked as I scooped handfuls of candy into the younger boy’s trick-or-treat bag. The older boy, holding the cat, said, “Yup! He loves Halloween just as much as we do.” I had been waiting all night for trick-or-treaters, but most seemed reluctant to approach my apartment which is, not kidding, behind a funeral home. But these kids had seen my lights from the street; I had orange lights in the shape of…

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Personalized Gifts for a Wedding That Newlyweds Will Fall in Love With

Personalized Gifts for a Wedding That Newlyweds Will Fall in Love With

No gifts. That’s what my husband and I stated on our wedding invitations. We’d already been living together for a couple of years before we got married, so there wasn’t really anything we felt we needed once we tied the knot. Of course, our generous friends and family showered us with beautiful presents anyway. They weren’t your traditional gifts, though. There were no fine china sets, vases, or salad bowls. The gifts we received were personal and came…

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Housewarming Gift Registry Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of a New Home Wish List

Housewarming Gift Registry Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of a New Home Wish List

I was totally lost and had only been out of my car for 10 minutes—everything looked the same. The blinding white light overhead only made my head hurt more as I scanned the horizon for a familiar landmark. I was at a big box home goods store trying to pick out a housewarming gift for a family friend, but I was ready to just sit down in the middle of the aisle and call it a day. Housewarming…

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Hilariously Funny 40th Birthday Gag Gifts for Guys

Hilariously Funny 40th Birthday Gag Gifts for Guys

We couldn’t find the cake. Somehow, while we were at dinner, the entire three-layer banana cake had completely disappeared. It was my dad’s 40th birthday and, even though the rest of the night had been great, the missing cake put a damper on the evening. It wasn’t until later that night that we discovered what had happened—when I woke up to my dog Judy sitting next to my bed, breathing hot banana cake dog breath right into my…

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Surprise 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her New Decade

Surprise 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her New Decade

As I walked into the party and took in my surroundings, the first word that came to mind was “fabulous.” It was my friend Susan’s 40th birthday and her husband had thrown her a party to celebrate. There were fancy mocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres; everyone was dressed to the nines. In my twenties at the time, I had no idea that forty could be this fabulous! What impressed me most about the evening wasn’t the drinks or…

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The Best Housewarming Gift Ideas for a First Home

The Best Housewarming Gift Ideas for a First Home

I remember feeling so proud as I stood in my 500-square-foot apartment in a run down three-story walk up, waiting for my guests to arrive. I didn’t care if it was small and a little sketchy because it was mine all mine. I’d just moved into my very first apartment—and it was time to celebrate. Of course, my new place didn’t really start feeling like a home until the night of my housewarming party. It was a…

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The Best Wedding Registry Sites 2017-2018

The Best Wedding Registry Sites 2017-2018

There was watercolor paint everywhere, dripping from our new kitchen table and onto my feet. My husband and I were trying to make homemade thank you cards to send to our friends and family after our wedding, but the process was a little messier than we had bargained for. But, we had received such generosity from our loved ones that we wanted to put a heartfelt touch on our thank yous, to try to convey to them how…

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How to Give Sentimental Bride and Groom Gifts to Each Other

How to Give Sentimental Bride and Groom Gifts to Each Other

When I woke up on the morning of my wedding, I saw a dinosaur looming above me. Well, a plesiosaur, technically. It sat on the night table next to my bed and, as soon as I saw it, I squealed with excitement. Sitting up, I admired the carved wooden elasmosaurus, flushing with happiness; I knew instinctively that it was a gift from my soon-to-be husband. He and I share a love of dinosaurs, a strange passion, true, but…

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Sentimental New Mom Gifts From Dad Ideas for After Baby’s Birth

Sentimental New Mom Gifts From Dad Ideas for After Baby’s Birth

Giving birth is one of the hardest, most terrifying, and most beautiful experiences of a woman’s life. As a daddy, you’ll never really know just how tough and exhilarating it can be; I probably don’t have to tell you, but your lady is a super woman—not only because she will push through the pain of labor with grace, but also because she will give herself continuously—and unconditionally—to your newborn babe without asking for anything in return. This…

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Rockin’ Ideas for How to Give Concert Tickets as a Gift

Rockin’ Ideas for How to Give Concert Tickets as a Gift

The first time I saw my favorite band in concert, I had to drive all the way to Canada. Arcade Fire was headlining the outdoor Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal, meaning they weren’t playing until late at night. But, wanting that front row view, my best friend and I lined up outside the venue early in the morning, then sprinted to the front of the stage the moment the gates opened—10 hours before the band was slated to…

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The Best Handmade Over the Hill Gag Gift DIYs

The Best Handmade Over the Hill Gag Gift DIYs

The morning of my 30th birthday I got up, took one look in the mirror, and went straight back to bed. I know 30 isn’t that old, but I figured I had finally been around long enough to really deserve that extra 10 minutes of snoozing. I wasn’t over the hill, but I was definitely nearing the peak, and that made me feel just a little more fatigued than usual. Luckily, I was broken out of my barely…

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Unique Bridesmaids Gift Ideas on a Budget

Unique Bridesmaids Gift Ideas on a Budget

My wedding day felt like a dream. It was effortless, romantic, and filled with magical moments shared with my husband on our special day. What made it truly incredible, though, was having my nearest and dearest friends beside me, standing with me in their periwinkle bridesmaid dresses as I took my vows. Those wonderful women carried me through that day, just as they had so often in my life. They made me laugh when I was feeling…

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How to Pick out a Perfect Birthday Present for Anyone: 3 Easy Steps

How to Pick out a Perfect Birthday Present for Anyone: 3 Easy Steps

The table was covered with a rich blue cloth and gold confetti, a gigantic cake in the shape of a yellow sunflower sitting in the middle. We gathered around in hushed tones, waiting for the telltale sound of the key in the doorknob. Then—finally—“SURPRISE!” It was my mom’s 50th birthday, and we had struggled for weeks to figure out how to celebrate. When asked what she wanted, she said the eight little words that no prospective gift-giver wants…

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The Best 30th Birthday Gifts for Her Adventures Still to Come

The Best 30th Birthday Gifts for Her Adventures Still to Come

It’s no secret—I’m pushing thirty. Lucky for me, though, thirty is the new twenty. There has never been a better time to blow out thirty candles! But, if I’m being honest, turning thirty is a pretty big deal for me. As exciting as it is to put the student loans and self-doubt that defined my twenties behind me and step forth into a new decade, the thought of that big old 3-0 birthday rolling around still brings…

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3 Seriously Silly Gift Exchange Game Ideas for Large Groups

3 Seriously Silly Gift Exchange Game Ideas for Large Groups

I opened my front door and warmly greeted John Travolta—straight out of Hairspray John Travolta. He entered the room, saying hello to Grease-era John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever John Travolta, and, of course, the angelic Michael John Travolta before heading for the chips and dip. I love throwing silly parties, and the John Travolta Halloween party I hosted a few years back is now infamous amongst my friends (seeing that many people in one room dressed as…

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DIY Fall Wedding Centerpieces on a Budget

DIY Fall Wedding Centerpieces on a Budget

The aisle of the church was covered with fall leaves, pumpkins were at the altar. But this wasn’t some rustic, abandoned chapel in a field somewhere—it was the location of my wedding. We had done everything we could to bring nature’s autumn artwork inside: the flower girl tossed maple leaves instead of flower petals and my bouquet was filled with deeply colored dried flowers and radiant sheafs of golden wheat. Fall is my favorite season so it made…

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The Best First Birthday Gift Ideas to Delight One-Year-Olds

The Best First Birthday Gift Ideas to Delight One-Year-Olds

My favorite picture of me as a baby is from my first birthday party. I’m sitting in my high chair sporting a Winnie the Pooh party hat with a big cake in front of me displaying a solo pink candle. The picture always brings a smile to my face because my expression is priceless—I’m gazing inquisitively at the camera as if to say, “What is all this fuss about?” While I obviously had no clue why I…

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Personalized Welcome Back to School Teacher Gift Ideas

Personalized Welcome Back to School Teacher Gift Ideas

Spaghetti was dripping from the ceiling. I looked up, watching the mass of beige noodles and bright red sauce slowly unsticking from the plaster, dropping to the table with a soft, wet splashing sound. I looked over at my mom, expecting her to be apoplectic with rage over the fact that I had just tossed a lovingly made dinner into the sky, but, instead, she was shaking with laughter. “You still have to go to school tomorrow,” she…

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Inspirational First Day of Kindergarten Gifts for Your New Student

Inspirational First Day of Kindergarten Gifts for Your New Student

The warm and woodsy smell of pencil shavings, the feel of a waxy crayon between my fingers, the spirited squeal of a guinea pig in the corner of the classroom—this is what I remember from my first day of kindergarten. I loved kindergarten. It was a whole day of playing: singing songs to teach us the letters of the alphabet, counting and sorting dried beans (math was so fun back then), or feeding the class pet, a guinea…

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The Best Summer Birthday Party Ideas for Toddlers

The Best Summer Birthday Party Ideas for Toddlers

As someone who was born in July, I can say with confidence that summer birthdays are the best—especially when you’re a kid. When I was little, my parents threw the best parties for me; looking back they were quite simple, but I loved them. Every year my friends would come over in the mid-morning and we’d frolick in the grass as the skirts of our party dresses whooshed in the warm breeze. At lunchtime, we’d all gather…

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A Supportive Dad Blogger Network Gift Exchange to Celebrate Modern Fatherhood

A Supportive Dad Blogger Network Gift Exchange to Celebrate Modern Fatherhood

When I was a little girl, a homemade note hung by our back door for as long as I can remember. It was a note written by my dad and directed at my siblings and me meant to be read each time we left the house for school or to go play with the neighborhood kids. It said simply: Be the best person you know how to be. That’s it. It was nothing fancy—and far from a…

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The Best Gift Exchange Ideas for Big Families Hosting Summer Reunions

The Best Gift Exchange Ideas for Big Families Hosting Summer Reunions

I’ll never forget the very first family reunion I went to when I was a kid. My brother, my parents, and I all piled into our red station wagon and road tripped to Wisconsin where we gathered at my Uncle’s country home—along with forty of our relatives. It was the first time that all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins were together in the same place at the same time. I remember feeling very overwhelmed and shy…

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How to Keep in Touch With Friends Over the Summer Vacation

How to Keep in Touch With Friends Over the Summer Vacation

Growing up in a touristy vacation spot, my summer friends were a totally different group than my winter friends. Summer Nina (not to be confused with year-round Nina), Meghan O., and other kids would suddenly move into the neighborhood temporarily, becoming much easier friends to get together with than the ones from school who didn’t live a literal hop, skip, and jump from my front door. But when school started up again, I would inevitably be shocked to…

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The Best Office Party Ideas for a Cool Summer Company Picnic

The Best Office Party Ideas for a Cool Summer Company Picnic

In the long history of spoken communication, most sentence combinations have been uttered. But one that probably hasn’t is “It’s such a nice beautiful summer day. I’m really excited to go into work!” Or, ok, it may have been said, but never sincerely. It might, in fact, be the most sarcastic sentence possible. That’s the thing about work. Most of us have to do it, but there are days when it feels almost impossible to focus on it….

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