Published October 12, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Forget about what the kiddos are wearing this Halloween — trick-or-treating fashion is going to the dogs. And cats.

The pet supply industry is a big business, with more than $62 billion in annual spending. From food and treats to shampoos and even apparel, pet owners are throwing down big bucks on items that make their furry friend feel more like part of the family. 

And that, of course, includes holidays. 

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Published October 5, 2016

METRO DETROIT — From buying a car to getting that dream job, our credit scores play a larger role in our lives than we may think — or maybe want to admit.

The ratings that credit bureaus give us all to indicate our reliability in repaying our debts can decide how much we pay for financed purchases, whether we’re eligible for certain housing and so much more. But how we can build good credit seems more like a secret code that many customers have yet to crack.

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Published September 28, 2016

METRO DETROIT — It’s officially fall, and the campaigns for all things pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon are nearly as aggressive as the ongoing presidential election.

If you’ve been daydreaming about pecan pie, cider mill doughnuts and s’mores for weeks, you’re not alone. There are plenty of Michiganders who can’t wait to dive into the sugar-and-spice flavors of fall. But where there are treats there are calories, fat and shocking amounts of sugar.

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Published September 21, 2016

METRO DETROIT — When 17-year-old Jake Stewart looked in the mirror, he didn’t like the person looking back at him.

“I wanted to start losing weight, but just working out in the past didn’t seem to do it,” the Richmond resident said.

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Published September 14, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Homecoming is right around the corner, which means another pricey outfit will likely be in order for teens across metro Detroit.

With homecoming dresses reaching upward of $500 at some stores, more and more students are heading out of the malls and into resale shops to find a look that will impress without breaking the bank.

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Published August 31, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Hey there, parents. How’s that back-to-school shopping going? Got all those shiny new sneakers and fresh pairs of jeans ready to roll?

Well, unfortunately, you’ve only nailed down one of many steps to getting your kids classroom ready — and it’s not even the most important item on the to-do list.

Ask teachers what they really need parents to do before the bell rings each fall and you’ll be surprised at what they suggest.

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Published August 24, 2016

NOVI — Matt Scramlin doesn’t take vacations. 

The 39-year-old second-generation farmer — who raises sheep on his Holly farm — unwinds by putting his livestock in shows like the Fifth-Third Bank Michigan State Fair.  

There, Scramlin is in his element — reconnecting with family and longtime friends, showing fairgoers a peek into his life. That is what the State Fair means to him. 

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Published August 17, 2016

HOLLYGROVE — Michaela Laabs, of Bloomfield Hills, is a mother of two, with another one on the way. With her due date just around the corner, her little ones are anxious about their new sibling’s arrival — for a very specific reason.

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Published August 10, 2016

METRO DETROIT — For many students, the stress of college goes beyond all-night study sessions, dizzying textbooks and high-stakes exams.

Lots of students also have to worry about how they’ll pay for it all.

It can be tough to think about getting a full-time job to supplement college costs when school is designed to itself be a full-time job. But Kate Hendershot, senior academic advisor at Oakland University, knows many students don’t have a choice.

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Published August 3, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Family trips to the ice cream shop were a summer staple for many of us as children. And while a cool, chocolate cone still sounds mighty tasty, as adults we often pass for the sake of our waistline.

But surely we can excuse an indulgence in the name of cocktails with friends, right? Milkshakes and slushes with a grown-up twist are catching on around metro Detroit, giving adults the chance to enjoy favorite flavors from childhood again.

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Published July 27, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Summer vacations are best spent outside, right? Kids can tucker themselves out running around in the fresh air, while Mom and Dad get a reprieve from the noise inside.

It’s a good plan, until a heat wave moves through like the one last week and brings sky-high — almost dangerous — temperatures to town. There has to be a plan B for keeping kiddos active without sending them out into the sweltering heat.

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Published July 20, 2016

The idea of what makes summer fun hasn’t changed much through the generations. An ice cream cone, swim trunks and a garden hose can occupy most any kid for hours on a hot, sunny day.

As it turns out, the same goes for items in your children’s toy box. While many kids are tempted to park themselves near some kind of screen, experts say lots of families are still stocking up on low-tech toys.

You might have already heard that on Aug. 6, the American Girl doll company will open a pop-up store at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.

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Published July 6, 2016

METRO DETROIT — It’s summertime, and sometimes it seems that when the sun is out, kids measure playtime fun in stains — rolling in the grass, digging in the dirt, spilling ice cream just about everywhere.

Naturally, we make sure the little ones wash off that layer of grime every night. But why don’t we do the same for their faithful four-legged sidekicks?

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Published June 27, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Ladies, you know the drill: You spend hours scouring the internet for the perfect swimsuit, coverup and beach bag.

And why? Because none of it pairs very well with limp, sweaty hair and makeup dribbling down your face.

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Published June 22, 2016

METRO DETROIT — When your family heads out for a swim this summer, what will you pack in your beach bag? Swim trunks? Sunscreen? A course of antibiotics?

If the latter seems strange, you might want to think again, because in the last few weeks since temperatures have been warm enough to tempt families out to pools and lakes, doctors have noticed an uptick in common swim-related infections.

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Published June 8, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Father’s Day is almost here. Before you run out and get that annual bottle of his favorite cologne, think about what scent Dad would enjoy more than anything else.

Charcoal. Hickory. Eau de grill.

It’s a fragrance Steve Coddington knows well. The former construction worker turned pitmaster fell in love with craft barbecue 16 years ago, and he’s been cooking ever since.

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Published June 1, 2016

METRO DETROIT — You know the drill: You hop online to order tickets for the whole family to that great theme park you’ve been dying to visit.

Two adults, three kids. But there’s no option for Fluffy?

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Published May 25, 2016

METRO DETROIT — For some seniors, the idea of leaving their home — the place where they raised their children and built their life — is unthinkable.

For others, the prospect of never again having to worry about shoveling snow, mowing a lawn or fixing a leaky roof is too good an opportunity to pass up.

There’s a right fit for every individual, and Dr. Mike Coury aims to help families find that right fit for their older loved one.

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Published May 18, 2016

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — In large part, the days of calling the golf course clubhouse, asking for a tee time and hoping there’s an opening have faded into the past.

For many golfers, the decision of where to go, how much to pay and what time they’re teeing off is now just a few clicks away.

GolfNow was founded in 2001 and has become the leader in discount golf. The service (www.GolfNow.com) is affiliated with the Golf Channel and is a member of the NBC Sports Group.

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Published May 11, 2016

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — The average child in the U.S. spends seven hours a day in front of a screen.

This excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

So what can you, as a parent or caregiver, do to help minimize your child’s screen time during those school-free months? One option, local experts say, is to have them explore nature. 

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