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easy diy halloween costumes for kids under $30

Here it is, folks . . . Halloweek (I think I just made that up! I’m trade marking it, stat!) and it’s time for some last minute, DIY Halloween costume ideas. For the past few years, I’ve hosted a mini-fashion show on Fox 5 San Diego with some fun, easy, DIY costume ideas so here are some of the highlights from Tuesday’s segment.

DIY Vanellope from Wreck it Ralph

DIY Wreck it ralph vanellope costumeI’ve talked on this site ad nausuem about this costume, probably because I’m still in shock that I pulled it off. But seriously, this is a fun one, especially if you or your daughter already have black hair and don’t have to deal with a wig. Check out the tutorials on how to make Vanellope’s wig and how to make the over-sized lollipop.


DIY Agnes from Despicable Me 

This costume is from the uber-talented Tonya Staab, who amazes me nearly everyday with her craftiness. Check out her site for DIY everything.

Easy homemade costumes as seen on fox 5


Tonya is also showing off her LEGO Lord Vampyre costume, so don’t miss it!

Side note: If you do any LEGO theme costume and you live in So Cal, I certainly hope you go to LEGOLAND California’s Halloween celebration, Brick or Treat, and enter into their costume contest!


DIY Black Cat

Though I would NEVER be caught dead in a cat costume, I know a lot of little kids would love to be a cute black cat (and adults too). Check out this EASY DIY tutorial via Adventures in Wunderland on how to (more…)

what parents need to know about their kids’ devices

New free apps enable kids to text without parents knowing

Kids are going to be kids. And kids with gadgets are going to sext, bully and/or do all they things that you don’t think that they’ll do. It’s the way of our world right now, and, as parents, we need to be on top of our game. We don’t need to stop them from having their typical teenage fun, but with a little work on our part, we can prevent an number of myriad predicaments that the fast-moving and far-reaching world of technology is presenting us, and them, with.

I once had a conversation with a mom of a 9-year-old boy who had just purchased him an iPhone. When I asked the seemingly rhetorical question of, “So you have all the parental controls in place, right?.” She replied with, “No, I trust him.”

Come again?

That‘s great if your son isn’t the kind of average, run-of-the-mill, pre-pubescent hormonal boy who wants to look up porn every chance he gets, or if your Sandra Dee of a daughter wouldn’t want to engage in flirty chats with a presumably hot 16 year old surfer guy (who is, in all probability, a 46 year old from BFE). However, chances are, his and/or her friends ARE that type, even if your kid is not.

So . . . here are some things that parents of kids over 7 years old should know:

1)   Don’t over-trust. It is important to trust your kids BUT, even if you have Beaver Cleaver as a son, do not over-trust so much so that delude yourself into believing  that he will not participate in various and sundry online activities. You know that phrase, “all the kids are doin’ it?” Well? They are. So don’t turn a blind eye.

2)   Check up on them. Check what apps they’ve installed and who they are talking to, and check their social media sites too. Take a peek when they are not looking, or even when they are. Yes, I am saying to pry a little. I don’t think this is breaking their trust, especially if you tell that that periodic peeks should be expected. You are not going against their trust, you are parenting.

3)   Blame the law. According to COPPA, it is illegal for kids under 13 to (more…)

banning lap seats on airplanes plus sexting and binge drinking in minors as seen on fox 5

There are certain parenting topics that give me immense anxiety, as in, I’m gonna need to break open my break-in-case-of-emergency bottle of Xanax anxiety. You know, the bottle that my doctor prescribed to me last year when I was suffering from panic attacks; the one I haven’t touched but have thought about opening several times (there is something to be said for the placebo effect).

When I see headlines like,

Teen boys sexting more than ever

Binge drinking in high schoolers is still a problem

That is when that special type of anxiety kicks in.

I think to myself, OH MY GOD, how in the hell am I going to parent two teen girls? Two out-going, saucy girls, who love attention and to have fun, just like their mother.

And then I go on TV, talk about the topics above, and end the segment by saying, “I need a drink.”

Yes, I did that on Fox 5 news today. Proof is in the video below.

I know that every generation deals with their own parenting woes, and that teens are no strangers to drinking, drugs and sex, but good God, the digital era is (more…)

getting your kids to listen, dealing with lice and how to prevent injuries in young football players as seen on fox 5

Parenting Questions with the Moms on Fox 5 san diego

This week’s Ask the Mom’s panel tackled a wide range of topics: getting your kids to listen, dealing with lice and how to prevent injuries in young football players.

I firmly believe in the power of that thing that rhyme with minx so even writing out the word “lice” is taking a lot for me. I would normally say, “you know, that thing on top of your head that sounds like the word my Mother-in-law says for rice,” but it’s an important subject and I learned a lot of about it from my fellow panelists.  And I dare you not to say the word lice and then get a case of the all-over-body itches.

Also, in the segment we discussed how to help prevent injuries in boys who want to play football. My genius piece of advice is to get them into GLEE club or the chess club–that will greatly decrease their risk of concussions. But realistically that’s not the answer, so it’s important to know what kind of helmet and guards are for your child’s position and also to be aware of the signs of a concussion.

Our final question was about getting kids to listen.

Getting your kids to listen as seen on Fox 5

My longwinded answer in the segment comes down to these few pieces of advice: (more…)

teeth grinding in kids, bonding with adopted kids and kids who cheat at school as seen on Fox 5

Is teeth grinding in sleep bad for kids

The scraping of nails on a chalkboard, or an emery board, or any kind of board for that matter is on the top of a list entitled Things That Make the Hair on My Arms Stand Up or Just Slightly Less Painful Than Medieval Methods of Torture. Recently I’ve just discovered the next item down on the list which is hearing my 5 year old grind her teeth while she sleeps.

Excuse me for a moment while I shiver from the heebies that have just taken over my body just from thinking about that wretched noise.

Okay, I’m back.

Even when she hasn’t crawled into our bed at 3 am and is sleeping snug in her own bed, I can still hear my darling 5 year old grinding away at her pearly baby whites through the walls and I will tell ya, it is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

It’s been going on for a few months now so I decided to do some research on line and also call her dentist. In some case, this condition known as Bruxism, may be caused by emotional factors, like stress or over-excitability before bed, but more than likely it is just a normal condition that many kids with baby teeth go through and that it will pass once her big teeth come in. The dentist said it will not do enough damage to her baby teeth to warrant concern and since getting a child that young to wear a mouth guard is next to impossible, I’d be better off by saving the money (which I will probably need on braces someday anyway).

For more info on teeth grinding in kids, watch this clip belowfrom our Ask the Moms segment on Fox 5, PLUS more parenting advice on parenting adopted kids and how to handle a child who is caught helping a friend cheat.


parenting questions about new schools, freckles and the miley cyrus vma debacle as seen on fox 5

talking about Miley Cyrus VMA performance onFox 5 News
I get less nervous doing live television now then when I first started doing my regular segments on Fox 5,  but still, there are times when my brain freezes and I cannot think of one articulate thing to say, or, even worse, I try to say something articulate but it comes out sounding like one long German word with no vowels or sense.

For example, this past week we had a question addressing the Miley Cyrus VMA debacle. Though I had been talking, blogging and analyzing the situation til I was seeing dancing bears in my sleep, once the camera was on me, I could not make sense of my thoughts.

In my defense, I caught myself off-guard by mentioning that she was trying get away from the Disney image and then for the next minute, in my head, I started questioning whether or not Hannah Montana is actually a Disney show. So, with a shroud of doubt hanging over me, and my mind racing while still trying to speak, I tripped over my words and didn’t make much sense at all. Thankfully I have awesome panelists, so I “threw it” to my girl Rachel on my left and she gracefully covered for me. That’s what fellow panelists are for, right?

I can’t tell if my blunder was clear to anyone else watching, but it’s pretty clear once you know the back story. Anyway, you all know what I think of the Miley situation, and if you don’t you can read about it here.

In the meantime, (more…)