Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gwen Stefani takes DC for Earth Day & poverty awareness concert

Our Bellyitch alum Gwen Stefani  reunited and joined her old bandmates from No Doubt to performs at the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day to end extreme poverty and solve climate change on National Mall in Washington, DC on April 18, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Also performing at the free concert before hundreds of thousands in the crowd were: Usher, Chris Martin and Coldplay,, Common, the Mayor of DC Muriel Bowser, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Mary J. Blige

Chris Martin and Coldplay performed as well
Usher and Common 

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

5 ways to go Green for Earth Day

Wednesday is Earth Day. 

We can get along with nature….
Here are five ways to go Green for Earth Day:

1. Calculate your Carbon Footprint using this online FREE tool, then do something to lower it, whatever that calculation amounts to.

2. Download one of these 10 apps to help you live a greener life.

3. Start recycling in your home. Review these easy simple rules for starting.

4. Build a compost and have the kids help you make it. Follow this guide.

5. Commit to buying eco-friendly products when you can. Start by checking out these at this Eco-Store.

With these tips, you can make Earth Day, everyday!

Jaime King's couture maternity looks rock!

Hart of Dixie actress Jaime King has been having a couture pregnancy, appearing in top designer clothes like Dior and Burberry. The former model is dishing up serious style on her edgy yet still family-oriented Instagram feed. 

She and hubby Kyle Newman are expecting their second child.

They announced the pregnancy thisFebruary  2015 and welcomed their first child, son James Knight in October 2013.


Study: What you eat determines baby's palate

Want your child to love veggies? Start early. Very early. Research shows that what a woman eats during pregnancy not only nourishes her baby in the womb, but may shape food preferences later in life.

At 21 weeks after conception, a developing baby weighs about as much as a can of Coke — and he or she can taste it, too. Still in the womb, the growing baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid daily. That fluid surrounding the baby is actually flavored by the foods and beverages the mother has eaten in the last few hours.

“Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother’s milk,” says Julie Mennella, who studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In fact, Mennella says there isn’t a single flavor they have found that doesn’t show up in utero. Her work has been published in the journal Pediatrics.


Friday, April 17, 2015

STUDY: US moms have children too close together in age

 For U.S. moms, the typical time between pregnancies is about 2 years but nearly a third of women space their children too close, a government study shows.

Experts say mothers should wait at least 18 months to give their body time to recover and increase the chances the next child is full-term and healthy.

The study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 30 percent of women who'd had a child became pregnant again within 18 months. 

"That is actually pretty high and very problematic," said Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, a reproductive health researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. She was not involved in the new study.

The report is based on 2011 birth certificates from 36 states and the District of Columbia, representing about 83 percent of the nation's births that year. It was the first such report by the CDC so researchers don't know if pregnancy spacing has changed over time.

The study found:

-The median time to next pregnancy was 2 years, 5 months. About half fell in the 18 months to 5 year range. About 20 percent had babies more than 5 years apart.

-White women had the shortest spacing - about 2 years, 2 months on average. Black and Hispanic women typically waited 2 years or longer.

-The older the mom was, the longer the spacing between a birth and her next pregnancy.

Continue Reading
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Bump Watch: Ashlee, Naya, Keira & Kate out with hubby

Some of the married moms-to-be have been seen out and about with their spouses in recent days. Here is a round up:

Ashlee Simpson, out and about in white with hubby Evan Ross (Celebrity Baby Scoop)

Naya Rivera dined with hubby Ryan Dorsey for lunch (Just Jared)

Keira Knightley happily strolled in the sun with hubby James Righton in London (UK Express)

Kate Middleton joined with Prince William to visit an education center. (CelebBuzz)

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25 Ways to ask your Kids 'So How Was School Today?'

Parent bloggers Simple Simon and Company came up with an ingenious listing of 25 ways to ask your kids how was their day in school without asking that question. We know we get the same answer: "fine." So instead, go with one of theirs. Here are my faves:

#1.  What was the best thing that happened at school today?  (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)

#2.  Tell me something that made you laugh today.

#3.  If you could choose who would you like to sit by in class?  (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class?  Why?)

#7.  How did you help somebody today?

#9.  Tell me one thing that you learned today.

#10.  When were you the happiest today?

#12.  If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?

#13.  Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?

#16.  What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?

#17.  What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?

#19.  Where do you play the most at recess?

#20.  Who is the funniest person in your class?  Why is he/she so funny?

#21.  What was your favorite part of lunch?

#23.  Is there anyone in your class that needs a time out?

#24.  If you could switch seats with anyone in the class who would you trade with?  Why?

Check out the entire list and read the great comments to the post where parents added more suggestions HERE!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Love & Hip Hop's Emily B slays in her maternity looks

No one does nude color and black maternity wear like Emily Bustamante of VH1's Love and Hip Hop.   I love love her blush colored jumper she wore to an event a week ago and the simple black palette under a camel colored cape sweater at a recent charity event. Slay mama, Slay!

The celeb stylist and shoe designer and her long-time beau rapper Fabolous are expecting their second child. 

They are parents to 6-year old Johan, who looks like Fab's twin, just lighter. Emily B is mom to a gorgeous 16-year old daughter from a previous relationship, Taina.

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TREND: The High Waisted Bikini is great for Moms

Because I will be heading to a beach soon and am determined to get back in a bikini and not go the mom-bathing suit route with the skirt and swim top, I thought I'd research what offerings Shopstyle had and share. Here are some mom-friendly but still hot swimsuit options I came up with that could offer great coverage for those looking to conceal a not-so-perfect-anymore tummy and/or enhance breastfeeding deflated boobies. 

This is an update to this past post from last summer featuring sexy bathing suit options for moms. In addition to high-waisted bikini bottoms, the monokini styles are great for covering and compressing extra "stuff" no one needs to see! ha! 

What do you think? Which is  your favorite?

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Moms' Taylor Swift parody pokes at women-targeted weight-loss crazes (VIDEO)

As a mom over 40, I can certainly relate to the struggles of many women out there who are aging and finding it harder and harder to stay fit and healthy. To make it work, we have to shed all of our old habits and adopt new ones for life. Ugh! That's so hard to do.

But that is why I could totally relate to Laughing Moms by Elisha found Eden's latest parody video, "New Lifestyle" off of Taylor Swift's "Style."

It's also a great video to watch because there is a message at the end promoting Lyme disease awareness.


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Musician Billy Joel, A German mother of 13, Both 65, Both expecting, 5 children Total

Music Legend Billy Joel at age 65 just announced that he and his longtime girlfriend since 2009 Alexis Roderick are expecting their first child together, E!Online reports. Wowza! Congrats!

Meanwhile, across the ocean over in Germany, Europe, another 65-year old, this time a woman, Annegret Raunigk, is pregnant with her 14th child, 15th, 16th and 17th children!!

Yes, the Berlin schoolteacher is expecting quadruplets she conceived using donated eggs fertilized and implanted in her uterus, after multiple failed attempts.

She is already mom to children ranging in ages form 9 to 44. she gave birth to her last child at age 55 (see photo above).

Double Wowza!!

h/t Katina Stapleton, WJCL News (AP

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Research says men are rewarded when they have children, women punished

Can we talk public policy that impact  families for a second? I usually try to stay away from politics and the like on this site, but I wanted to share something jarring I read in the New York Times recently. It lead:

"One of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have children," and then continued, "mothers are less likely to be hired for jobs, to be perceived as competent at work or to be paid as much as their male colleagues with the same qualifications."

Upsetting but not really surprising if we consider the ongoing struggles women have faced historically to get fair pay. Still, who would've thunk that  the opposite is true for men who have children?  Recent data show men are actually rewarded for having children and given a pay bump? It's based on employers' outdated notion that men with kids have more mouths to feed and as the "breadwinner", should earn more to support the family. 

But that assumption is based on a 1950s era caricature of the nuclear family.  We know the definition of "family" has evolved tremendously since then.

Today, 71% of mothers with children work away from the home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Add blended families, second marriage families, step families with adult children, and the like. Pew Research Center data also note "that women are the primary breadwinner in 40% of households with children." 

Yet, companies still reward men with children and punish all others.  Companies are more likely to hire a man with children than a childless man, and they tend to be paid more after they have children.
The piece cited a paper by research group Third Way which said, "High-income men get the biggest pay bump for having children, and low-income women pay the biggest price."

From the New York Times piece: 
On average, men’s earnings increased more than 6 percent when they had children (if they lived with them), while women’s decreased 4 percent for each child they had. [This] study was based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth from 1979 to 2006, which tracked people’s labor market activities over time. Childless, unmarried women earn 96 cents for every dollar a man earns, while married mothers earn 76 cents, widening the gap.

“Employers read fathers as more stable and committed to their work; they have a family to provide for, so they’re less likely to be flaky,” Michelle Budig, a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who has studied the parenthood pay gap for 15 years told the paper. “That is the opposite of how parenthood by women is interpreted by employers. The conventional story is they work less and they’re more distracted when on the job.”

The wage gap hurts all in the family because that amounts to less income to go to things like savings, vacations and home renovations for the entire family unit, including the father in the home. This is why fathers too should care if their spouses or partners are getting paid less for the same work. 

Women though, especially, should care about policy that impacts their lives. 

Today, senior White House counsel to U.S. President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett wrote a blog post over at BlogHer highlighting 10 reasons moms and soon-to-be moms and eventual moms should care about these things. Reprinted with permission, they are:

1.      60 percent of children are in households where all parents work—including both dual-earner households and single working parents.

2.      Nearly half of all parents say that they turned down a job because of inadequate work-family balance.

3.      Child care costs have increased 72 percent in the last 25 years, after adjusting for inflation. In three out of five states, child care for an infant costs more than a public university for an 18-year-old.

4.      More than half of college and graduate students are now women. Since the mid-1990s, women have accounted for the majority of postsecondary students, meaning that they will account for the majority of our skilled labor force in the future. In 2013, women ages 25-34 were more than 20 percent more likely than men to be college graduates.

5.      But, among second-earners, women are 17 percentage points more likely to eventually leave the workforce compared to men. In fact, the US is falling behind its peers in keeping women in the workforce. In 1990, the United States ranked 7th out of 24 current developed countries reporting prime-age female labor force participation, about 8 percentage points higher than the average of that sample. By 2013 the United States had fallen to 19th out of those same 24 countries. A recent study found that the relative expansion of family leave and part-time work programs in other developed countries versus the United States explains nearly one-third of the United States’ relative decline.

6.      Children whose mothers received paid maternity leave earn 5 percent higher wages at age 30. Family-friendly practices can also help encourage better bonding between parents and children, which has been shown to lead to better outcomes for children in adulthood. For instance, researchers have shown that children of women who receive paid maternity leave earn 5 percent higher wages at age 30.

7.    On average for every $1 men earn, women still make just 78 cents. That means the average women will have lost $420,00 over her lifetime because of the earnings gap.

8.      Women who reach age 65 are projected to live about 2.5 years longer than 65 year-old men. That means their retirement years could be almost 14 percent longer, putting a premium on retirement saving for women.  In part because of the gender pay gap, women continue to be less prepared for retirement than men. 63 percent of the elderly living below the poverty line are women.

9.      More women in senior roles makes for better, more innovative companies. Greater representation of women in top management positions is associated with better firm performance on several dimensions, and research also finds that women can help drive innovation and better target female customers and employees.

10.  Closing the Male-Female Employment gap could boost U.S. GDP by 9 percent—or more than $1.5 trillion, about $5,000 for every man, woman, and child. The best available evidence suggests that encouraging more firms to consider adopting flexible practices can potentially boost productivity, improve morale, and benefit the U.S. economy as a whole.

If these stark findings are not enough to get us active, involved and seeing what our local, state and Congressional reps can do to change up the status quo, I don't know what will.

Your thoughts? Add in the comment section below.
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