A home security system can keep your family safe, but for households with pets and children, installing one might seem like a headache worth avoiding. There is good news. Today’s smart home security systems offer tools and gadgets that can help prevent false alarms and keep your home safe no matter how unruly or forgetful the occupants are.

Parents need to let go of the idea that packing social-media-worthy lunches and snacks is part of our job description. It's nearly impossible to live up to. "Quite frankly, I can't imagine my 8-year-old son sitting at the lunch table marveling at the cuteness of an owl-shaped sandwich," wrote Omaha mom Jessica Janssen Wolford. "I'm pretty sure he's more focused on how quickly he can go to recess — and maybe whether or not I packed him chips."

"Several years ago, I was on a Southwest flight to Los Angeles and was sitting next to a very loud, intoxicated businessman. To a closeted introvert, he was my worst nightmare realized.

"In an effort to get him to stop talking to me, I pulled out my laptop and started randomly typing. He leaned in and asked what I did for a living. When I told him I was a humor writer, he lit up as if he had an idea.

"'I know Cindy Chupack. Do you know of her?' I shook my head no and pretended to type important words.

"'She’s one of the main writers and executive producers of 'Sex and the City.' I met her on my vacation. I’ll email her and introduce you.'

"I lit up, but also got embarrassed. If there’s one thing I know, highly successful people in show biz don’t love random dudes they met on their honeymoon to give their email out to annoyed women on planes.

"I called his bluff: 'Okay, do it. Email her.'"

"'Now?'

"To my shock, he did. And to my even greater shock, Cindy wrote me back."