Home & Family
Home & Family
Our Home & Family section covers a wide-range of topics to help you create the home of your dreams for your family. Check here for articles on real estate, interior design, child-rearing, family dynamics, home repair and much more.


7/4/2018 10:17:03 PM
Now that the back-to-school period is approaching, is it time to have your child screened by a health care provider? The answer depends in part on your child’s age and whether you’ve noticed any problems. A good place to begin is with advice from your pediatrician. If a problem is suspected, he or she can perform a hearing or vision screening and refer you to the appropriate specialist for further evaluation if needed.

Posted by Andrea Mongler | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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7/4/2018 10:11:40 PM
Figuring out how to pay those prices can be stressful, frustrating, and confusing. The good news is that many options are available to help you pay for college. And with a little research and planning, you can take advantage of those that make the most sense for you.
Posted by Andrea Mongler | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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7/4/2018 10:05:16 PM
The lazy, relaxed days of summer will soon be replaced with schedules, classes, and homework. It can be a shock to children to have to wake up early once school begins. As parents are busy buying new notebooks, new uniforms, and new lunch boxes, they should also take time to implement new sleep schedules for back-to-school. 
Posted by Christine Fisher | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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7/4/2018 9:54:35 PM
Back-to-school is only a month away. In addition to shopping for uniforms and school supplies, you may also want to verify your child is up to date on immunizations. Children entering pre-school and 6th grade require proof of current immunizations to be admitted to school.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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7/4/2018 9:49:16 PM
The word "summer” conjures up images of sleeping late and lazy days spent at the pool or on the back porch sipping lemonade as children laugh and run around the sprinkler. While those things make summer so enjoyable, it is important for students to continue to practice the skills they learned the previous year so that their minds will be as back-to-school ready as their new school uniforms and their monogrammed backpacks. Helping students retain and reinforce skills they learned during the previous school year is crucial to combat summer learning loss, and there are many ways that parents and guardians can do just that. 
Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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5/31/2018 9:37:50 AM
June marks the start of hurricane season, a time of year when residents along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States hold their breath, hoping the next five months pass without mention of evacuations, storm surges, and high winds in their area.
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Parenting  |  Summer
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5/30/2018 11:12:03 PM
There are a number of great ways to enhance the beauty of your home with landscaping, but there are few projects that can bring the same kind of life and natural elegance to your landscape as a high-quality, professionally installed water feature.
Posted by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Decorating  |  Home  |  Yard
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5/30/2018 10:52:24 PM
Americans love their pets! Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners’ Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association. Cats and dogs are the most popular, and there are around the same number of cats and dogs owned as pets – 95.6 million cats compared to 89.7 dogs. But dogs are slightly more expensive -- it costs approximately $1,641 per year to care for a dog; $1,125 for a cat.
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Pets
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5/3/2018 9:52:55 PM
May is often marked by graduation announcements and invitations arriving in your mailbox. You’ll want to show the graduates in your life how important they are to you with something special. Money is always welcome for young adults at this stage of their lives. Or you can consider buying a thoughtful gift that will remind them of you for years to come. Whether graduating from high school or college, here are some great gift ideas your grad is sure to love.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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5/3/2018 9:48:53 PM
The Southwest Louisiana Youth Foundation is a nonprofit organization making a difference for teens in Lake Charles and the surrounding areas through the education programs Truth, Facts &, Lies and Take Charge. 
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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5/3/2018 9:15:43 PM
Summertime, and the time is right for . . . our annual Summer Guide! We want your summer to be active, safe, smart, healthy, and most of all, fun. You’ll find a plethora of stories listing the many summer camps offered to SWLA kids, interesting places to travel, local parks to visit, and so much more. Take us along on your summer vacation. Thrive magazine makes a great beach read!

Happy Summer, everyone! 

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Categories: Summer
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4/2/2018 10:41:24 PM
Spring is here, and with the season comes dreams of a greener life. This month, we celebrate our commitment to our planet with Earth Day, April 22 and Arbor Day, April 27. If you need ideas to get involved, try these six easy ways to go green.
Posted by Sylvia Ney | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home
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4/2/2018 10:38:39 PM
Moving is hard. You leave behind family and friends, often to move to a place you’re unfamiliar with — not to mention the logistical headaches related to packing up and transporting all of your physical possessions.
Posted by Andrea Mongler | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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4/2/2018 10:19:40 PM
Polls show that buying a house can be more stressful than bankruptcy, divorce, or even bereavement. There are so many steps, so many decisions, and so many things to consider, the process can be truly overwhelming. English Renaissance notable Frances Bacon is credited with coining the phrase, ‘Knowledge is power.’ And it is true: the more you know about home buying, the more comfortable you will be with the process. Here, we share information on a myriad of home buying topics to assist you as you search for and secure the home of your dreams.
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Real Estate
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3/5/2018 2:07:06 PM
Home maintenance is something everyone faces. Maintenance includes simple things like sweeping and mopping, as well as more complex issues like roof replacements and repainting rooms. However, there’s one part of your home that you might be neglecting – and if you are, it could be impacting your health.
Posted by Keaghan P. Wier | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home
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3/5/2018 2:03:56 PM
One might say yellow is Beth Fontenot痴 signature color . . . daffodil yellow, to be precise. Her love affair with daffodils began when Beth was a child. She recalls springtime visits to her grandma痴 home near Gibsland, Bienville Parish. "My grandmother loved her daffodils; one variety especially that she called 礎uttercups.樗
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Yard
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3/5/2018 2:00:39 PM
Gardening has often been thought to be the hobby of the elderly or retired. However, six million people nationwide took up the pastime of gardening in recent months, with millennials accounting for 80 percent of the newbies, according to the National Gardening Survey. The survey also reports that "the number of households purchasing landscape design, installation, and maintenance services has doubled in the past six years.”
Posted by Sylvia Ney | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Yard
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1/31/2018 5:04:51 PM
Being in love does not have to mean breaking the bank when celebrating with your special someone on Valentine’s Day. Besides, stepping outside of the ordinary dinner date might win you some creative points with your beau or belle, and it will definitely keep Cupid on his toes.  
Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Relationships
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1/31/2018 4:55:14 PM
February is a month filled with fun and excitement including Mardi Gras celebrations and Cupid’s favorite holiday. But after packing away the last of the Christmas decorations, Mardi Gras beads, and Valentine’s Day candy hearts, you may find yourself wanting a way to refresh your home décor. New window dressings are a small change that can make a big impact in your home.
Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Decorating
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1/31/2018 4:35:36 PM
Are you up to date on your dental exams? According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults age 20-64 have had at least one cavity at some point. Yet only 65% of Americans visit a dentist regularly. The truth is, dental health is important. In this month’s special dental section, we bring you the latest on tooth disease prevention and treatment, new diagnostic technology, cosmetic enhancements, and dental sedation.
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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1/5/2018 1:08:35 PM
Local law enforcement statistics show a slow but steady increase in crimes committed by juveniles over the past year – not only petty crimes, but armed robbery and murder. City police filed 802 criminal charges against youth in the first seven months of 2017 compared to 648 over that same period in 2016; a nearly 25 percent increase. Mayor Nic Hunter feels it is imperative that the city develop a juvenile crime reduction initiative that would allow the community to be proactive in decreasing these numbers.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Relationships
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1/5/2018 1:03:16 PM
ICCS positively changes our community one classroom project at a time, creating learners who will be ready for the real word.
Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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1/5/2018 12:41:30 PM
We know you want 2018 to be the best year yet in every area of your life. This month’s cover story is dedicated to bringing you, our readers, up to speed on a few life trends. We give you the latest news on fitness, food, fashion, and home design. Read on!
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Decorating  |  Entertaining  |  Home
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12/1/2017 5:01:02 PM
As autumn slowly wanes into winter, many homeowners begin conjuring thoughts of dark, quiet evenings by a warm fireplace. But before you place that first log on the fire this winter be sure your fireplace is a safe place for you and your loved ones to enjoy in the months ahead.
Posted by Frank DiCesare | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home
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12/1/2017 4:57:41 PM
Light bulbs, smoke detectors, dental visits, tire rotations -- those seemingly simple chores are often relegated to the back burner due to their infrequency on weekly and monthly to-do lists. The end of the year can be busy and stressful, but attending to these menial annual tasks can provide a sense of freshness for the New Year. We’ve compiled a checklist of common annual and biannual chores. Here’s to crossing off the mundane and greeting 2018 with a clear, focused mind.
Posted by Victoria Hartley-Ellender | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Parenting  |  Relationships
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12/1/2017 4:21:29 PM
Christmas decorating, gift shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning for houseguests . . . whew!  We know how crazy busy the holiday season can be, especially if your plans include entertaining. In this month’s cover story, you’ll find articles with tips and ideas for décor, cards and invitations, and party planning that will hopefully make your holiday hosting to-do list a bit easier. 
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Decorating  |  Entertaining  |  Home
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11/2/2017 12:56:26 PM
Thanksgiving is a special time where we give thanks for everything and everyone in our lives. But when family and friends who don’t see each other very often gather for the yearly feast and celebration, sometimes things get strange and awkward. How do you shut down those prying questions or handle a rogue guest? 
 
Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these tips to make this Thanksgiving the best ever.

Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Entertaining  |  Parenting  |  Relationships
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11/2/2017 12:53:09 PM
Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year. The pressure to please everyone or plan the perfect meal can be an overwhelming task. Thankfully, a little pre-planning can pave the way to a smooth and hassle free holiday celebration.
Posted by Sylvia Ney | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Entertaining
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11/2/2017 12:42:01 PM
The average vehicle on American roadways is approximately 12 years old. But even though drivers are holding on to their old, reliable cars, doesn’t mean new cars aren’t being sold. Last year 17.5 million new cars were sold, and this year looks to continue that trend, thanks to some interesting advancements in automobiles. If you’re not a consumer who bought a new vehicle in recent years, the showroom floor at your local dealership may look different from what you’ve seen in the past. The most popular vehicles today are getting larger, more technologically advanced, and safer. Whether you’re looking to make a trade-in or just rubber necking what’s on the road, here are several of the hottest trends in the automotive industry.
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10/2/2017 9:51:21 PM
Many people work diligently during the spring and summer to ensure that their yard and everything in it is lushly landscaped, perfectly mowed, trimmed and weed-free. Then, when the first cold front arrives, the mower and gardening tools are packed away until spring returns.
Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Yard
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10/2/2017 9:47:38 PM
As cooler weather arrives, the battle against bugs and pests can shift and take on a life of its own as rodents, mice, and roaches attempt to escape the outdoor chill.
Posted by Victoria Hartley-Ellender | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Yard
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10/2/2017 9:35:23 PM
From costumes to candy, we've got you covered this Halloween.
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Decorating  |  Entertaining  |  Home  |  Parenting
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8/31/2017 3:08:45 PM
In the field of veterinary medicine, animal chiropractic is quickly emerging as one of the most effective ways to ensure long-term optimal health for animals. Originally used primarily for racehorses and show dogs, animal chiropractic provides non-invasive tools to effectively restore, maintain, and preserve nerves and joints in animals of all shapes and sizes.
Posted by Victoria Hartley-Ellender | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Pets
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8/31/2017 3:03:33 PM
Planting a garden can be a daunting task. Maybe it’s the idea of spending hours out in the southern heat, pulling weeds, and holding a watering can. Maybe you fear you’ll end up killing the very plants you’ve invested so much in. Or maybe you simply don’t have the energy or time to devote to a larger garden.
Posted by Keaghan P. Wier | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Yard
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8/31/2017 2:58:42 PM
Whether you see your grandchildren on a daily basis, or live out of town and see them for special occasions, grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. If you are looking for new ways to bond with your grandchildren, here are a few ideas to help you make lasting memories with your little loved ones. 
Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Relationships
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8/7/2017 3:45:53 PM
All parents face adjustments when they bring home a new baby, but imagine bringing home five new babies. That’s feedings every three hours – all through the night, 40 bottles a day, and 420 diapers a week.
Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Relationships
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8/7/2017 3:37:04 PM

Oh, Baby . . . you’re having a baby! Or you have a baby. In either case, parenthood and all it entails is a primary focus in your life. Certainly, being a mom or dad is likely by far the hardest job and the greatest responsibility you’ll ever experience. And we want to help. This issue’s cover story aims to make your job a little easier and give you peace of mind that, yes, you’re doing a great job. Here, you’ll find stories on decorating the nursery, buying baby clothes, helping your baby develop healthy and happy, and a fun update on those adorable Busby quintuplets.

Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Parenting  |  Relationships
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8/7/2017 12:52:52 PM
As students begin the new year on college campuses across the country, most will probably be thinking about their class schedule, friends, football season, and back-to-school parties. These are all important elements of campus life, but there’s another one students shouldn’t forget: safety.
Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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7/5/2017 8:31:26 AM
Thrive magazine supports the efforts of DeWanna's Closet this month by providing a drop-off box in their office lobby. If you would like to make a donation, please bring new school uniform apparel (used clothing not accepted) to the office at 4845 Iles Rd., Lake Charles. Monetary donations are also welcome and can be given to the office receptionist. 
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Parenting
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7/5/2017 8:27:02 AM
An initiative that began in Fayetteville, Arkansas to help relieve food insecurities in local Arkansas neighborhoods, the Little Free Pantry project has spread to many states across the United States. Now, the Little Free Pantry project has taken root in Louisiana, a movement that started in New Orleans and will come soon to neighborhoods in Southwest Louisiana.
Posted by Bailey Castille | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home
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7/5/2017 8:23:49 AM
It’s that time of year again – Back-to-School! It’s an exciting time of year with mixed emotions – bittersweet nostalgia over the end of summer break, and the excitement and anticipation of the coming school year. The first month or two of school can be a hectic demanding period of transition for both students and parents, as everyone settles into a new routine. Read this special Back-to-School section for tips to make your transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting
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6/1/2017 12:06:06 PM

You’re probably wondering what makes me qualified to write this. I’m obviously not a father, but I have spent my entire life watching and learning from the person I consider to be the greatest example of fatherhood I’ve ever seen. Of course, I’m biased, but that doesn’t make me wrong. 


Posted by Kristy Armand | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Relationships
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6/1/2017 11:43:13 AM

Media alerts interrupt regular broadcasts. News bulletins flash. Weather forecasts show another storm entering the Gulf of Mexico. As hurricane season begins each June 1, residents along the Louisiana Coast brace themselves for the onslaught of watches and updates. 


Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Home  |  Summer
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6/1/2017 11:28:27 AM

First comes love, then comes . . . planning? Before a couple celebrates their wedding day, a tremendous amount of planning often takes place. Some brides have a mother and several attendants to help her. Others hire a professional wedding planner. Still other couples tackle the to-do list on their own. In any pre-wedding scenario, aside from spur of the moment elopement, there are details to attend to! The wedding venue, the reception, the dress, invitations, caterers, cake . . . the list seems to be unending. But the big day eventually arrives, and most couples look back and say they wouldn’t change a thing. If you’re currently planning your wedding, embrace the process as an exciting part of the journey, rather than merely a means to an end. To help you in your planning, we’ve put together this bride guide that we hope will give you tips, guidance, and maybe a few new ideas.


Posted by Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Decorating  |  Entertaining  |  Relationships
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5/4/2017 10:20:30 PM

With summer swiftly approaching, you can feel the excitement in the air as your children dream of spending time at the pool or frolicking with friends outdoors without the thought of homework looming over their heads. Before you send them out into the sunshine, consider these tips from Dr. Stephanie Treme of the Children’s Clinic, Lake Charles, to keep your loved ones healthy and safe all summer long.


Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Parenting  |  Summer
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5/4/2017 10:15:47 PM

We live in a fast-paced world, sometimes forgetting about "me time” or even "we time”. The family vacation, when done right, can give you a little of both. Here are some reasons why you should make time for a family trip this summer.


Posted by Andrea Guthmann | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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5/4/2017 12:30:52 PM

Summertime is just around the corner. The days are longer; the kids are carefree from the rigors of early school mornings and homework; and, maybe, you’ll soon pack your bags and head to the beach. Are you ready?! Check out our Summer Guide and find fun youth activities and camps, tips to plan your family vacation, and information to help keep your children safe all season long. Happy summer!



Posted by Special to Thrive Magazine | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Summer
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4/5/2017 12:34:48 PM

Spring has sprung! With the change of season, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning, yard work, and enjoying extended daylight hours. But with the new season comes some springtime hazards for our pets. Dr. Jae Chang, veterinarian with Prien Lake Animal Hospital, has a few tips to keep your pets safe this spring.



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3/9/2017 9:53:46 AM

Buying a home under construction can be thrilling. The knowledge that no one has lived in it yet, everything top to bottom is brand new, the ability to customize paint colors and flooring, and let’s not forget that "new house” smell -- these are compelling reasons to buy new construction.



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3/9/2017 9:49:36 AM

Every corner of the personal finance world seems to hammer home the same point: Debt is the wealth killer. Debt is the single greatest threat to your retirement planning, college savings, and financial independence.



Posted by Madelaine Brauner Landry | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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3/9/2017 9:40:25 AM

If you’re in the market for a new home, you may feel lost when it comes to home financing. This is likely the biggest investment you will ever make, and big investments can cause big headaches if you don’t take the proper strides before starting the process. However, you can limit your frustrations by following these steps to determine your best home financing options.



Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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2/6/2017 4:54:46 PM
Have you contemplated sticking your toes into the water of the online dating pool? Heads up . . . the variety and sheer number of dating websites available can be overwhelming and downright scary. The good news is, there’s bound to be a site that meets your needs, no matter your interests.

Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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2/6/2017 4:52:54 PM

It is better to give than to receive, but how do you make your gift-giving twice as nice? Give a socially-conscious gift that supports fair trade around the world. This Valentine’s Day, instead of opting for that trusty old heart-shaped box of candy from Wally World that’s been on display since late December, plan ahead and give a gift that supports people in emerging nations. There are places you can shop online that effect positive change, making your gift an amazing gesture.



Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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2/6/2017 4:49:42 PM

The season is here! Whether a joyous fan of the feathers and sequins or packing to leave for an annual ski or Disney trip, you really can’t escape Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana. Many newcomers and visitors are surprised to learn that Mardi Gras is not a single day or a weekend event. It really is an entire season. Fat Tuesday (literally Mardi – Tuesday, Gras – fat, in French) is the most celebrated day of the season, but the lead-up to the big event can be every bit as exciting, filled with tradition and revelry.



Posted by Deborah Hacker Serra | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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1/5/2017 10:01:15 AM

The Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana and the National Complete Streets Coalition recently hosted a day-long seminar at the SEED Center on the benefits of the concept of Complete Streets.



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1/5/2017 9:53:38 AM

Super Bowl LI takes place close to home in Houston this year, but if you can not score tickets, follow these tips to throw a great Super Bowl party at home.



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12/6/2016 9:18:46 AM

Flu season is here. Did you know your dog can get the flu, just like you? "It’s actually pretty common and the symptoms present themselves the same as in humans: respiratory difficulties, runny nose, fever and fatigue,” says Dr. Jae Chang, with Prien Lake Animal Hospital. Your dog can even catch the flu from you.



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12/6/2016 9:16:52 AM

For most children, the height of holiday cheer comes when they have ripped the wrapping off their presents and they finally get their hands on the toy they've been dreaming about for months. Parents, on the other hand, should be concerned about potential safety hazards with toys.



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12/6/2016 9:12:06 AM

Santas elves have been busy in their workshop this year creating epically cool gadgets and toys for everyone in your family. For some people, holiday shopping is the best part of the winter season -- excitement permeating every single trip to the store or click of the mouse. For others, panic ensues when they so much as think about choosing a gift for someone else. What if I get them something they don’t like? What if they already have it? Take a look at the following sure-to-please items your loved ones will have at the top of their wish lists this holiday season, making your shopping a little easier.



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11/1/2016 3:27:03 PM

PhotoImmunization is your familys best line of protection against the flu, which can cause serious illness. Uncover the truth behind three common flu vaccinationmyths.



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11/1/2016 3:24:47 PM

Holidays make for marvelous photo opportunities, and people always try to get just the right picture to include with their holiday greeting cards. However, not everyone is a natural-born photographer. How can you guarantee your holiday picture looks like a million bucks? Shonda Manuel of Shonda Manuel Photography offers the following tips to ensure phenomenal photos you’ll treasure for years to come.



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11/1/2016 3:18:28 PM

Genealogy websites that help people trace their family histories love to focus on fortunate souls descended from royalty, or related in some distant and indirect way to George Washington.

Yet genealogical research is just as likely to turn up horse thieves, drifters, and scandals of every sort.



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11/1/2016 9:52:29 AM

If you need more incentive to quit smoking, there may be some health related reasons beyond the obvious that you have not considered.



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9/30/2016 4:19:14 PM

For some folks, moving is one of the most stressful events they encounter in life. Others look at changing jobs, homes, or locations as a grand adventure.



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9/30/2016 4:15:53 PM

Most of us grew up with spring cleaning . . . that time of year in which you spent a whole weekend cleaning walls, cabinets, drawers, and more a weekend you would have much rather spent doing anything else. In reality, it is best to have a plan to keep your home and possessions clean year around. So, how often should you clean various household and outdoor items? Many of us have a weekly or monthly routine where the most used and high traffic areas of our homes get cleaned on a regular basis. But what about those deep cleaning projects like cabinets, walls, and mattresses?



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9/30/2016 4:12:23 PM
Name calling, threats, bodily harm, stealing lunch money, cyber intimidation  bullying has many ugly faces. And it is a serious problem for many school age children.

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9/1/2016 5:21:28 PM

In an age of Amazon Primes free 2 day shipping option and the vast availability of ebooks for phones, tablets, and computers, it may seem easy for some to forget about public libraries. Access to books and information is easier than ever as long as you have a computer or smart phone and an Internet connection. So, what does that mean for libraries? Are they necessary in the 21st century or will they become obsolete in the near future?



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9/1/2016 5:18:38 PM

Few elements of design set the tone of a home like color. Where does a do it yourself designer begin in order to create a just right atmosphere using interior colors?



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9/1/2016 5:16:55 PM

The start of a new school year is always exciting but what if your child ends up with a teacher that you or your child has issues with? Sure, it can be tempting to immediately ask to have your child transferred to a new teacher. Some parents go so far as to move their children to new schools. But there are alternatives you can try before going those routes.



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8/10/2016 12:27:44 PM

Comedian Rita Rudner once said, "I wonder if other dogs think that poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” It is true when one thinks of an extremely pampered pet, they would be hard pressed not to conjure up images of a poodle prancing around with intricately coiffed hair, a diamond collar, and perfectly manicured paws. In todays culture, however, it has become increasingly common to see all manner of pets sporting the latest fashions and trends while they’re peeking out from their owners purses in the local pet friendly cafe.



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8/10/2016 12:25:05 PM

While college can be a great experience overall, the path to graduation is not an easy journey. It takes a lot of dedication to have a nice grade point average as you also participate in some social events. I personally have gotten a more balanced college life by following these six pieces of advice:



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8/10/2016 12:21:31 PM

Only 15 men have been the head coach of the McNeese State University football team.The newest of them is Lance Guidry, who first showed his leadership potential as a full out hoss on the McNeese defense in the 1990s and wore No. 15, as if telegraphing his future with the program. (And: If he wins a conference championship, it will be McNeeses 15th.)




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7/14/2016 1:07:16 PM

Do this. Be here. Listen to me. Any good parent wants to raise happy, well adjusted children, but the way they go about often undermines that goal.


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7/14/2016 1:04:56 PM

Whether it is choosing where you will live, how you will spend the holidays, or how to raise your kids, getting along with in laws can be a challenge. Some people adore their in laws while others can barely tolerate their spouses parents and siblings.


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7/14/2016 1:02:35 PM

Far off places, daring adventures, and new favorite destinations wait to be discovered this summer. Unfortunately, not everyones budget or time off allows them to experience firsthand their dream vacations.


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6/15/2016 2:59:03 PM

Vacations are all about relaxing, but it is hard to stay calm when half your mental real estate is taken up by thoughts of your precious dog or cat lying on a concrete floor, whimpering for the next two weeks. If you feel you must bring your furry friends along, you will need to have a few essentials in order before you leave.


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6/15/2016 2:55:12 PM

A Southwest Louisiana summer can be as hard on the landscaping as it is on residents. Eyecatching curb appeal and a pleasing backyard oasis take hard work and careful planning and attention. Here are a few tips for keeping your landscape thriving during the upcoming months from Chad Everage, landscape horticulturist at Landscape Management in Lake Charles.


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6/15/2016 2:53:58 PM

Students look forward to summer fun and relaxation, but they can easily forget what they recently learned and fall behind academically. Learning need not stop when summer starts. With these tips, parents can help their children prepare through the summer months for a successful school year ahead.


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5/12/2016 3:02:00 PM

Whether you are planning a princess tea party or a superhero birthday bash, the secret to organizing a party your child will treasure is to keep your little ones interests at the forefront.


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5/12/2016 2:58:24 PM

Mosquitoes could be living, flying and breeding right in your yard, and you might not even know it.


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4/5/2016 11:47:47 AM

A new wave of homebuyers is hitting the real estate market: Millenials. Born between 1980 and the late 90s, this tech-savvy generation, also known as Generation Y, is changing the way homes are built, bought and sold.



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4/5/2016 8:51:56 AM

The best vacations not only allow you to step back from the hassles of daily life, but also create memories of a lifetime. However, if not carefully planned, travel glitches can cause an array of stress and take away precious time that should be used for fun and relaxation.



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4/5/2016 8:49:26 AM

It is spring cleaning season again and while this is a great time to hit the refresh button and declutter your life, it can quickly start to feel overwhelming.



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