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Halloween 2020 Survey: Trick Or Treating is Out, Pumpkin Carving and Decorating Home In {INFOGRAPHIC}

While a lot of parents have decided not to let their kids go trick-or-treating this year, they are incorporating activities like pumpking carving and home and front stoop decorating

A majority of people surveyed said they do not plan to memorialize or celebrate Halloween this year, partially because of financial problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and also for fear of health and safety.

According to data commissioned by CouponLawn, only 58% are going to commemorate this Halloween 2020. Compared to last year’s participants, an amount of 10% would rather not participate this year.

Compared to last year’s Halloween when the pandemic did not yet exist, there was an amount of 78% adults who allowed the children to go trick-or-treating.

This year only 22% of parents who did not allow their children to ask for candies and chocolates outdoors.

What will they be doing instead? Fifty-three percent of respondents said they plan to decorate their home and another 46 percent claimed plans to carve a pumpkin.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

And just because people have nixed trick or treating this year, Halloween costumes are still being purchased and the pandemic isn’t stopping people from dressing up because 46 percent of survey participants said they will wear a costume.

More Americans plan to carve pumpkins for Halloween

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Here is the rest of the data in infographic form and head over to Couponlawn.com to see more data and analysis!

Rare: Pittsburgh Woman Got Pregnant With Triplets Twice in One Week

A Pittsburg couple told by doctors that they would never have children are expecting triplets in a rare double pregnancy.

Antonio Livingston and Dee Michelle are documenting their unconventional pregnancy.  Michelle has two uteruses and got pregnant with one child while already in the early stages of a twin pregnancy.

The rare phenomenon is called superfetation, or double pregnancy and can happen in only 1 out of a few million pregnancies.

It was quite the miracle.

“Last year, my doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to have kids and would need surgery,”  she wrote in a social media post about her miracle pregnancy. “But God said otherwise and gave us three healthy babies along with a completely healthy mother!”

She added: “During our visit to the ER, we discovered that we had not only one, not two, but three babies.”

The first-time mom-to-be of three also disclosed that while Baby A and B are identical twins, Baby C is six days older than their siblings.  Michelle said that she hopes to have a healthy delivery despite the high risk nature.

“Babies A and B are at risk for developing Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) which is a disease of the placenta…” Dee shared online. “We are believing that all three of our babies will be healthy, equal in size, and have no complications! They made it safely through the first trimester without any complications, so we believe that the second and third trimesters will be the same! Please continue to pray for us and our babies as we have a long journey ahead of us!”

Research shows that superfetation may only happen in one out of a few million pregnancies, and there may be fewer than 10 reported cases in medical journals.

The duo are sharing their journey via a YouTube channel:

Although the new editions were a surprise for the couple, multiple births are on the rise. The birth of twins has increased some 78 percent since 1980, and there are now around 34 sets of twins born per 1,000 births in the United States. Studies estimate that one in 250 pregnancies now results in twins naturally and according to the Center for Disease Control, Black people have a slightly higher likelihood of conceiving twins.

“It’s just a lot of joy, a lot of positivity is coming from all angles right now,” Livingston said.

Congrats!

DIY Celestial Themed Teen Purple Room Makeover {REVIEW VIDEO INSIDE}

During the current pandemic, a lot of people are using their extra time cooped up at home to do thorough cleaning of junk stored in their closets, attics, garages and basements and to redecorate and upgrade existing spaces or to expand and enhance their outdoor living spaces.

I am on that bandwagon and recently, I decided to finally upgrade the drab first floor guest room in my home which my daughter has been staying in as her personal bedroom. It lacked design and looked pretty rundown.

I wasn’t going to do it alone. My daughter had to put in some sweat equity into this project. I let her pick out the base color.

[HOW TO UPDATE YOUR DAUGHTER’ BEDROOM ON A BUDGET]

When I was a kid, my favorite color is purple and my daughter also considers that shade one of her faves so she decided that she wanted to have the walls painted purple. Purple is a color or royalty and is associated with celestial beings like the stars and the moon so we gravitated to that theme for the room.

The Budget

The total cost for the remodel: $500! Can you believe that?

My first investment was on good quality paint so  I invested in the PPG Timeless brand which can cost up to $100 per gallon but gets great reviews because you only have to use one coat.

The paint has a primer built in and is supposed to go on even and smoothly so you do not need to apply a second coat at all.  It was a little bit pricier than basic paint but still reasonable at $50, after shipping and tax for the gallon.

Next: Paint essentials!

Home Depot sells a reasonably priced paint kit that comes with a tray, liner, a couple of brushes, rollers and an edge brush for about $15! That’s a steal and while not professional quality, it was perfect for a small DIY job in a home.

Furnishings and Accents

We decided to keep some of the existing furnishings  in that  room or use some of the items I have picked up from Christmas bazaars and thrift stores here and there. Pre-Covid era, I used to like to purchase items that are heirloom quality or top quality when I see them when out and about thrifting or visiting yard sales on the weekends.

For example, I got the lamp and curtains in this photo above from a consignment shop nearby for about $7  each, or $15 total and I purchased the Ikea desk second hand for $20 from a local seller using Facebook Marketplace.  It was in perfect shape!

I had previously purchased a used office chair from the same guy and he offered me the desk though he hadn’t listed it at all. Sweet!

In lieu of just an accent wall, we decided to paint the entire room purple.

The Hiccup

Unfortunately, we discovered when we were done that the deep eggplant color was too overwhelming and too dark. My daughter and I decided to balance the dark wall with white or light colored linen and decorative accents.

I got a bed in the bag at Marshalls for about $60 and it included two accent pillows, a comforter, a flat sheet and fitted sheet, a sham pillow and a pair of pillow cases. We got it in queen size which is the size of the bed in that room. Kohls also sells these bed in bags for twin, full, queen and King sized beds starting about that the price I paid as well.

We diluted an entire wall by purchasing a white tapestry linen in a paisley print to drape that side of the room. It was only about $20 and was a popular brand, Ralph Lauren though Dormify sells plenty starting at just $11 for quality linen!

 

We let the celestial print in the bedding and tapestry drive the the theme and hung accent string lights from the ceiling and framed the wall and artwork framed in white with lights. The lighting also helped soften the dark colored purple walls too.

 

DIY Dresser Update

There was dark furnishings in the room before that we moved them out and to further lighten up the room via furniture, I decided to DIY spray paint a brown dresser in the room white. It was a bit of task because I did not have an electric sander and did not put enough energy sanding it with sand paper.

As you will see if you watch my video documenting the makeover, it was initially, a disaster because the first coat of chalk spray paint I purchased just ran over the sheen of the original paint job. Ugh!

I went to YouTube and found a video of a young lady, Desia Jean,who painted her furniture but who decided to skip the step of sanding it down first. I followed her lead and learned from her mistakes and subsequently, headed back to the store to pick up two more cans of semi gloss and that worked!

I really liked how the final paint job turned out. The paint was distributed evenly and without the blotches and sheer patches that were visible in previous coats. Phew! I had to have patience and trust the process!

I got new drawer pulls at the home design store that had a Victorian look to them for about $2 a knob (or $8 total) to tie in with the purple, mystical, celestial theme I was going for with this room makeover.

Luckily, I had already purchased some framed crafty cloth art work with green and purple in them which tied in well with the color scheme.

I went to Lowe’s and purchased a lamp shade a rustic old lamp we had in the basement for about $30 and we kept a steel grey side table that was in the room before because it blended in better with the new aesthetic than the old wooden chest and side tables that were in  the old version of the room did.

Decorating the Walls

While we were shopping for the linen and accent pieces, we found a large canvas sketch of a woman’s back and I thought it matched perfectly with a framed sketch of a ballerina’s back I had in my first apartment after college.

I fetched my old artwork from the basement and hung it up next to the white canva and framed it with the star string lights. Together, the grouping matched perfectly.

We got three other pieces of white framed artwork that cost about $15 each.

 

 

Finishing Touches

Finally, we picked up a couple of accent area rugs in white with a print and a light gray one at TJ Maxx for about $20 each and found the same brands online for similar price or slighty higher so I felt I got a steal, as usual!

I got wooden letters from the home modeling store and painted it white with the left over spray paint. The cost of the letters were abour $30 and the Command strips ran us about $20 for a few packs to hang up everything.

I got replacement blinds for about $40 for the pair at Home Depot as you can see in the video, the ones in the room in the before images was beat up and a hot mess!

The total output for the entire project is about $450 and maybe a little more. We love how it came out and it is a far cry from how it looked before! You’ll see it in the video of the project below but first a few other photos:

 

WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Lose Their Third Child Prematurely

Tragic news for TV host and model Chrissy Teigen and her husband singer John Legend who lost their third child after Teigen suffered pregnancy complications.

The couple shared the news on their respective social media accounts.

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” the couple said in a formal statement posted to each of their Twitter pages.

Teigen was taken to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday after revealing that she had been on bed rest and bleeding for “a little less than a month.”

Sadly, it appears the bleeding might have been signs of the baby in stress.

“We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions,” the post said. “It just wasn’t enough.”

On Teigen’s Instagram account on Wednesday night, she shared that she and her husband had decided to call the baby Jack.

With the first two pregnancies, the statements said the couple waited to name the baby until after delivering, but this time they had already begun calling “the little guy in my belly” Jack.

“He will always be Jack to us,” the statement said. “Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.”

The celebrity couple are parents to 4-year old daughter Luna and 2-year old son Miles, both conceived via in vitro fertilization.

Teigen was recently quoted stating that she felt the IVF pregnancies were “untouchable and safe”  but that her third pregnancy conceived without medical intervention felt fragile or “eggshelly” as she described it.

The family seems determined to grieve but grow stronger because of undergoing this ordeal.

“But everyday can’t be full of sunshine,” they said. “On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”

Study: The Covid Pandemic Will Set Working Mothers Back A Decade

The Coronavirus will set working women back a decade in progress, several major websites have reported citing a reecent study. In particular,  the Wall Street Journal published a shocking feature that really set up the case:

Seven months into a pandemic that has turned work and home life upside down, working women are confronting painful choices that threaten to unravel recent advances in gender equity—in pay, the professional ranks and in attaining leadership positions.

Women have already lost a disproportionate number of jobs.

That is partly because of a segregated workforce in many fields in which women make up more of the lower-income service and retail jobs that vanished as Covid-19 gripped the economy.

While women are 47% of the U.S. labor force, they accounted for 54% of initial coronavirus-related job losses and still make up 49% of them, according to McKinsey & Co.

More women—particularly mothers—say they may have to step back or away from jobs they still have, a new major study shows.

Source: McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org Women in the Workplace 2020 survey of more than 40,000 employees, June-August

Though the pandemic has forced fathers and mothers to juggle careers with child care and remote schooling, women often shoulder the brunt of those responsibilities.

That outsize burden has long-term consequences: About one in five working mothers surveyed this summer for the sixth annual Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org say they are considering dropping out of the workforce, at least temporarily—compared with 11% of fathers.

An additional 15% of mothers report they may dial back their careers, either by cutting their hours or switching to a less-demanding role. Among women with young children, the struggle is especially acute: Nearly a quarter say they may take a leave of absence or quit altogether.

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Pandemic Halloween: CDC Recommends No Trick-Or-Treating

 

Photo by Yuting Gao from Pexels

In a year that’s been plenty scary, this much is clear: Pandemic Halloween will be different than regular Halloween. Many traditional ways of celebrating are now considerably more frightful than usual, because now they bring the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines on how to celebrate Halloween safely. No big surprise: Classic door-to-door trick-or-treating and crowded, boozy costume parties are not recommended.

The CDC’s guidelines group Halloween activities into lower-risk, moderate-risk and higher-risk buckets.

The higher-risk category includes both door-to-door trick-or-treating and events where kids get treats from the trunks of cars in a big parking lot.

Also no-nos: indoor haunted houses where people will be crowded and screaming, which could send infectious particles flying. Going on hayrides with people who aren’t in your household or fall festivals in rural areas also carry a risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. And using alcohol and drugs “can cloud [judgment] and increase risky behaviors,” the CDC warns — though that’s equally true in any season.

How to get your thrills instead?

The agency says this way of trick-or-treating poses a moderate risk (compared with the higher risk of the traditional style): Kids could pick up individually wrapped gift bags at the end of a driveway or yard while still preserving social distance.

You could also organize a small outdoor costume parade where everyone is 6 feet apart. An outdoor costume party would also be considered moderate risk, if people wear masks and stay 6 feet away from each other.

Haunted houses are out, and haunted forests are in. The CDC says an open-air scare-fest is moderately risky, so long as the route is one-way, people wear masks appropriately and stay 6 feet apart. But there’s a caveat: “If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised.”

What about apple picking and pumpkin patches? Risks can be reduced if people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or apples, wear masks and maintain social distance.

Also on the moderate-risk list: an outdoor scary movie night with local friends who are socially distanced. Again: The more screaming there is, the more space is needed for safe social distancing.

If you want to be really safe? Then you need to plan for either virtual activities or ones that you do largely with your own household.

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CDC: Pregnant Women have These Extra Steps To Take to Prevent Contracting the Coronavirus

OITNB Danielle Brooks

Photo from OITNB’s Danielle Brooks pregnancy web series

This Summer, a 5-month pregnant Louisiana woman died from coronavirus and was miraculously survived by her premature baby doctors delivered via emergency c-section while they simultaneouly performed CPR on the mom in their failed attempt to save her life.

Following Allie Guidry‘s death at Women’s Hospital in Batoln Rouge in June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that pregnant women with COVID-19 could be at a higher risk of more severe symptoms.

So not only do you have to undergo the stress of pregnancy, labor, delivery and caring for a newborn, but the road to these latter hardships during a pandemic start during pregnancy.

The CDC recently conducted a study that notes pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and require higher levels of care than women who are not pregnant.

To minimize exposure to the virus, doctors recommend steering clear of large crowds and avoid going out in public when possible. The self-isolation is especially important during the last two weeks of pregnancy, physicians say.

To cap this all off, if the mom has a pre-existing underlying health condition, she could have an even tougher challenge  fighting off the coronavirus if she contracts COVID-19.

“The thing I have seen most commonly would be obesity, hypertension, and diabetes,” Dr. Marshall St. Amant said, a physician at Woman’s Hospital.

Another contributing factor to consider is the strength of the immune system.

“Cell-mediated immunity is when you make antibodies against something, and that’s something that goes along with pregnancy. So, we have known for years that women have increase rates of viral infections during pregnancy,” Dr. Marshall St. Amant said.

Here is an abbreviated checklist of precautions courtesy of the CDC:

For the full list of recommendations and guidelines for pregnant women amid the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

10+ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes to Inspire Girls, Women and Everyone

The second woman to ever be appointed to sit on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away today at home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer and several other ailments and accidents.

Her legacy is lasting consiting mainly of her pro-women stances in her legal opinions and inspiring others through her own life and rise to the top of the highest court in the land.  Ginsburg was known for her scathing dissents against rulings by majority conservative justices and her once rigorous work out regimen after age 80.

By the last few years, Ginsburg became a pop icon and was given the name “The Notorious RBG” after the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls (aka Christopher Wallace) because of her sharp rebuke of policies or practices that sidelined women.

Memes, artwork and photos of her downing a crown similar to the one worn by the Notorious B.I.G. during a 1997 portrait session—the rapper’s last recorded photo shoot before he was shot and killed in Los Angeles three days later.

In addition to her legendery legacy, Ginsburg  also leaves behind some pretty prolific words that can inspire, motive and enlighten and uplift women, girls and people of all genders, races and creeds. Here are a select few sourced from my Pinterest Quotes page where you can find the original source which I will add later to this post.

Black and White photos are from the United States Supreme Court official archival photo history.

 

 

 

 

 

     

New Study Says Teens Are Less Religious Than Parents

Photo by Prisciella Du Preez

A Pew Research Center study released in September shows that teens’ religious practice is less than that of their parents. The lessened observance cuts across all denominational lines.

And religious practice by adults, the study noted, has itself declined in recent decades.

One key finding of the report is that 43% of parents said religion is “very important in their lives,” and that, of teens ages 13-17, only 24% feel the same.

Surveys were taken of 1,811 adults who had given Pew permission for one of their teen children to later take the same survey. The surveys were conducted in April-June 2019, long before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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A Gender Reveal Party Sparked Latest Cali Wildfires

 

One of the multiple wildfires burning in California was started during a gender-reveal party, officials said.

A “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” used at the party sparked the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, Cal Fire said in a press release.

The fire started Saturday at 10:23 a.m. PT (1:23 p.m. ET) at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and spread from the park north on to Yucaipa Ridge, according to the release.

The fire has since grown to 8,600 acres as of Monday and is just 7% contained, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

Video of the party captures chaotic scene

Surveillance video from the party showed a couple with several children walking into the grass at the edge of the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. Another person is seen in the video appearing to light the device. Soon after, the family can be seen on video scrambling and grabbing water bottles as the flames grow.

“It really is a tragedy, it’s sad. They were hoping to remember the day in a different way,” said CalFire investigator Capt. Bennet Milloy, adding that over 80% of fires are caused by humans and that people need to be more aware of their surroundings. “You need to be extra cautious because you could be liable.”

El Dorado Ranch Park is a popular destination for fall photos as the wild grasses turn golden and make a beautiful backdrop, Milloy told CNN.

Unfortunately, as the brush dries out, it also makes exceptional tinder for wildfires.

Fire officials have refused to release the video to CNN, citing that it is an ongoing investigation.

Those involved in the gender reveal party, including the person who set off the device, the family and the person taking photos have been cooperating with fire investigators, according to Milloy.

If the district attorney pursues the case, the person who ignited the pyrotechnic would be the person charged, Milloy said.

Currently, fire investigators have identified at least three laws that have been violated, including “igniting the land” and arson. The level of recklessness will determine whether those are filed as misdemeanors or felonies. Based on that, penalties could vary.

Other gender reveal parties have caused fires

A gender reveal party is an Instagram-friendly event held during pregnancy in which the parents “reveal” the baby’s sex to friends and family. That reveal can sometimes take the form of an explosion in the color of blue for a boy or pink for a girl.

In 2017, a gender reveal party in Arizona sparked a wildfire that burned nearly 47,000 acres and caused more than $8 million in damage.

The expectant father, an off-duty US Border Patrol agent, had packed the target with the explosive Tannerite and shot it with a high-powered rifle. He pleaded guilty in 2018 to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay almost $8.2 million in restitution.

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