Saturday, April 25, 2015

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Red Carpet: Celeb moms and others take DC!


Tonight is the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton. The charity event is a glitzy night for journalists who cover the White House to dress up and mingle with politicos, policitians and policy makers in a relaxed atmoshpere.

Over the years, the event has become a big draw for celebrities and with that, the event's red carpet is ripe for celeb spotting.

Indeed, several of the celebrity women we've covered in the past and currenlty expecting stars graced the red carpet.




Glee  actress Naya Rivera looked radiant in a white floor length (careful mama) Tadashi Shoji evening gown.




I really dug model Adriana Lima's black Bibhu Mohapatra gown with the sheer bodice and fitted bottom. The red lip really set off this look and it accented well with her wavy side-swept locks.






Ivanka Trump's red strapless fishtail gown was super gorg!




Mom-to-be Model Anne V 's lovely floral gown rocked.

 Laverne Cox was also there killing it!


  Haven't seen Lucy Liu for a while. She looked amaze-balls as well!



Blackish Tracee Ellis Ross' vibrant orange gown was a standout as well.


I loved Alfre Woodard's look too. She certainly looks refreshing and quite younger here!

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Celebrity, Surrogacy & Vanity controversy

                 Bellyitch Rewind
 
Surrogacy, pregnancy and Vanity are controversial topics this sometimes go hand in hand. 

E! Entertainment hostess Giuliana Rancic went through infertility, several failed in vitro fertilization attempts and at least one miscarriage before opting on a gestational carrier. The surrogate pregnancy of their son Edward Duke was the subject of her Style channel reality TV show Giuliana and Bill

Camille Grammer, the ex wife of Kelsey Grammer and Real Housewives of Beverly Hillsreality TV star reportedly suffers from irritable bowel syndrome which prevented her from being able to carry her own kids and forced her to bring her two children, Mason and Olivia, into this world via a carrier.

Elizabeth Banks' two kids were birthed via gestational surrogate. Her last was also.

And before Nicole Kidman finally settled on a carrier given her advanced maternal age, she had two miscarriages trying to conceive the traditional way. 

After having her first child "naturally", Sarah Jessica Parker struggled to conceive again and turned to surrogacy to deliver her twin girls in 2009.  

After 7 years of failed attempts to conceive, actress Angela Bassett and husband Courtney Vance welcomed twins Brownyn and Slater in 2006.

Irrespective of the reasons, there remains a stigma and unspoken presumption among many that women who conceive this way are trying to save their bodies from the stretching out, pigmentation and other trauma and stresses of carrying a child, including excessive weight gain in some cases. Camille Grammer's co-stars reportedly went on record saying that was her true reason for not having her babies through conventional methods. 

Former cast member Adrienne Maloof was under a similar controversy after castmate Brandi Granville revealed during a dinner party that was taped for airing on the Bravo TV show that Maloof's two children were born via a carrier. Apparently, Maloof had previously spoken about actually carrying her babies herself.  I don't know if this is true. Don't sue me, Adrienne. Read this post from Tamara Tattles which covers it well.

It's a tough route to go especially considering that no matter how you explain your reasons for using a carrier, there will always be a cloud of suspicion that they were truly for vanity sake. 

And when a star does admit that she is afraid of the effects pregnancy  would have on her body, she is harshly criticized over it. 

Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels got a lot of heat and flak after saying that she had decided to adopt a child rather than try to get pregnant because she worked too hard to have the body she has and was not willing to let pregnancy ruin it.

The New York Times has a wonderful, but a bit lengthy, piece, "Her Body, My Baby" written by a woman who welcomed a child via a surrogate. It's a worthwhile read for anyone thinking of going that road to have a child. 
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Mother's Day: Give a socially conscious gift to mom


Thinking of going a non traditional route for a gift for mom this Mother's Day?

Is your mom no longer with us but you'd like to give something in her memory?

Consider donating in mom's honor to the International Rescue Committee, which this week launched a campaign of rescue gifts for mothers in developing nations, in conflict or those that recently experienced a natural disaster like Syrai, the Congo or the Phillippines.

For $24, you can gift a safe delivery of a mom that will ensure critical supplies and assistance are provided for a safe childbirth. 

For $52, a baby and a mom in a country like Kenya can receive adequate advice, medical assistance and other support. And for $56, a young girl in Afghanistan, for example, can go to school for a year. They're the perfect gift for the socially conscious or eco-friendly mom in your life and it's great for last minute gift.

New mom and Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum  Morena Baccarin, Rashida Jones, John Legend, Jencarlos Canela and Sarah Wayne Callies have supported IRC's efforts.

Ingrid & Isabel, a maternity apparel company, will match all “Rescue Gift” purchases to the IRC up to $30,000 as part of the IRC’s Mother’s Day campaign.  

There are more than three dozen gift options at varying prices.  The recipient of each “Rescue Gift” will receive a personalized printed card or an eCard describing the gift and how it will impact the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. 

Gift buyers can see the catalogue at www.rescue.org/gifts.

Your mom's memory will go to good and that has got make all feel better and someone and some baby's life better too!


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Reality TV Moms who went from obscurity to Business Moguls


VH1.com  assembled a list of reality TV stars who were relatively unknown before and were able to parlay their appearances on docu series and become business moguls.  Moms dominated the list which included many current and past Bellyitch Bumpwatch moms!

Bethenny Frankel's Skinny Girl major distribution and buyout deal, Snooki's New York Times Best seller appearances, Kristin Cavallari's shoe line and subsequent E! TV hosting show and of course Kourtney and Kim Kardashian with all their Kardashian gold!

It left of the dozens or so who have launched websites, clothing, shoes and make up lines, books and videos. We're thinking, Phaedra Parks with her multiple ventures like exercise DVDs and all the other housewives from various series,  VH1 own's Love and Hip Hop stars Rasheeda and Yandy Smith, and several others who have clothing companies.

But still, that says a lot about the hustle of moms who were relatively unknown before and managed to use their stardom on a TV show and parlay that into lucrative business ventures for their families.

Yay moms! Happy Mother's Day!

check out its complete list HERE!
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Court: Turkey baster father counts as a dad too

A woman who used a turkey baster to impregnate herself is on the losing side of a legal battle over parental rights.

The Virginia Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the child’s biological father is more than a sperm donor and is entitled to be a part of his son’s life.

The case hinged on an informal agreement between two longtime friends: a woman who wanted to get pregnant and a man willing to supply the sperm to make it happen. 

According to court filings, Joyce Rosemary Bruce impregnated herself with a turkey baster, believing that Robert Preston Boardwine would not have any parental rights — including a say in the boy’s education and other decisions — because they did not have intercourse.

The appeals court said she was wrong.

“The path to fatherhood may have been unconventional,” the court said, but it doesn’t remove Boardwine’s parental rights.

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Coming of Age story 'Little Boy' opens nationwide today



It's been five years and two child births coming, but today the film Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum, actress, model, mompreneur Ali Landry stars in and supported her husband  Alejandro Monteverde to make, opens to audiences nationwide. 

Little Boy is the coming-of-age World War II-era film about an 8-year old boy Pepper Flynt Busbee (Jakob Salvati) crippled with stunted growth who finds courage and uses the power of will, imagination and faith to try to bring his recently-deployed dad back from war.


Landry plays a woman whose husband leaves for war in the film and fun fact: her youngest, Valentin Francesco, appeared in the movie too while in utero (inside his mommy's tummy) and out as an infant in one of the final film sequences. Landry is close to 9-months pregnant in one scene and another features her cradling  then-newborn Valentin . 

I got a chance to interview Monteverde who co-wrote, produced and directed the movie and gather more insight into its making.

He said he thought the movie would take three months to write but it ended up taking three years. From completion to editing to post production, it has turned into a 5 year project.

The previews project a very visual image of Americana. It's not just a caricature but a living duplication of that era as I learned  Monteverde created 95% of the town where Little Boy is set --- from scratch.

"It was great to work with because we had real cement, light poles, streets and street signs, " Monteverde reveals. 

It's worth it because scenes from the movie certainly evoke nostalgia of an era long passed. A real-authentic set distinguishes the movie from a lot of current films made in this era of CGI movie magic where scenes in a digital lab are created after the actors go home. 


If the setting looks familiar maybe it's because Monteverde got the inspiration for the entire town from one of those classic Normal Rockwell paintings. It certainly oozes of Midwestern puritanical innocence and optimism. 

But that comfort and secure is abruptly interrupted with the realism of war, prejudice and discrimination, as it was a time when Japanese Americans were interned in camps. 

The movie is also a modern fable set in the 1940s, Monteverde says of the story line that has several lessons interwoven throughout. 

What also appears unique is that the film explores the vulnerability and emotions of a boy. These days movies about feelings are usually centered around female or little girl characters.  

Another element that may stand out to movie goers is  how Little Boy seems to evoke themes of God, religion, agnosticism and spirituality.

WATCH THE TRAILER

"The deeper I got into the movie, the more layers we uncovered," the film maker reveals about the project which he says touches so many different themes. "It's like when you plant a seed, you don't know how it will come into fruition. As we saw the film take form, all those little things we were writing about in the beginning start to come out."

There are a lot of subtexts, he adds.

"It’s about the power of the will and believing in the impossible...we are every day faced with many challenges in our lives and the world belongs to those who believe they can overcome those challenges," added Monteverde.

"It depends how deep you want to go. You can take what you can from the external layers or you can watch it and discover the other layers; about discrimination, racism, faith v. superstition, will of man v. will of God."

In the film, main character Pepper's mentors include a Catholic priest advisor and an agnostic atheist shopkeeper Hashimoto, who Pepper befriends. Both influence Pepper and help him come away with what he is looking for and needs-- a way to bring his dad back from war. 

There has been a lot of buzz and chatter about the timeline of the movie which takes place before the US retaliated against the Japanese for its attack on Pearl Harbor by dropping the atomic bomb, euphemistically called a "Little Boy" on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. There is an intricate link you'll get when you see the movie, Monteverde explains. 

Monteverde isn't surprised by the various notions and interpretations the movie is getting.

"This movie explores the pain that World War II  - a war that caused hurt to the world and mainly here in the United States, the hurt that happened at the home front" to those the soldiers left behind and had to deal with the consequence of  their loved ones going to fight. "The foundation of the way the story was born  was I wanted to tell the ultimate underdog story – the one that everyone is against."


And there is a bit of art imitating life when it comes to the production in that vein.

Compared to his last award-winning project Bella  which took top prize at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, Monteverde had a much bigger budget to utilize to breathe life into this project, about $20 million, but in the grand scheme compared to much larger blockbusters released each year, it's quite modest, Montverde reveals.

And there he draws the parallels of the theme of the movie along with the symbolism of it being released a week before the highly anticipated Avengers sequel, "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

Monteverde spoke some about the challenges he faces for a movie that doesn't have too many bill boards but will spread by 'word of mouth.'

"The whole movie it about size...the small v. big..the David and Goliath story," he muses. "The little boy being shorter than everyone else trying to bring about the end to the biggest war. We are little boy. The character."

We are rooting it on because we love to support our Bellyitch bumpwatch alum families and cheer on the underdog. 

Go see Little Boy this weekend and report back and let us know what you think in the comments below or in social media at @Bellyitch on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. 

The last two best director Oscars went to directors of Mexican origin, Alejandro González Iñárritu for Boyhood and Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity. Perhaps Monteverde can be the third! 




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Instagram will stop censoring photos of breastfeeding moms

Controversial Instagram photo of Elisha Wilson Beach, wife of actor Michael Beach
After a couple of years of protests, the social media networking site Instagram has decided to change its policy and will no longer censor and kick off women posting photos of themselves breastfeeding. Much fuss was kicked up after the site disabled the account of a Toronto, Canada professional photographer who posted photos of herself breasfteeding her baby. 

The new policy released last Thursday mentions breastfeeding specifically:

We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.

It can safely be assumed nursing moms are also included in the new clause about harassment and shaming:
We want to foster a positive, diverse community. We remove content that contains credible threats or hate speech, content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages.
Woo hoo!!! Victory!!


The previous policy, archived HERE, is more vague. Instagram currently has 300 million users.



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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Full House is Coming Back! Which cast member are you? (QUIZ)


Hey 90s babies, if you haven't already heard, Full House is coming back. Actor James Stamos broke the news Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that Netflix is reviving the old hit comedy series to center around a grown up DJ Tanner and her life as a widow, raising a family of three boys. It will start as an hour spin-off reunion show and then spin off into a 13-episode series, Stamos revealed.

In light of the exciting news for us that Full House is coming back, take this quiz and find out which member of the cast are you?


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Trend: The cross body bag is a perfect accessory for busy moms


Fashion trends come and go. For various reasons, you may not be down with some of them. Some don't fit your body type or are just too old, youthful or dowdy for your taste. Then once in a while a trend comes into style that is already part of your normal wardrobe and  you give yourself a high five because all of a sudden you're hip and you don't even have to buy anything new to be trendy! 

That's how I felt when I learned the cross body or messenger bag styles were hip once more!


I have own several of these types of bags and as a busy mompreneur and head of the family transportation, athletics and social committee, I need to keep my hands free. These bags are perfect. The cross body strap provides security that you'll keep your bag close to your body like in crowded events or locations, while having the flexibility to have your hands free for other things.








One of my favorite bags is this vinyl sporty bag I picked up from somewhere years ago and always return to time and time again. It's great for the gym or quick trips to the market.





A couple of weeks ago, I took my kids to a science museum during Spring break and balanced out a black and white palette with a bright Coach Cross Body bag I got from Marshall's last season.





And more recently, I spotted this leather fringed cross body bag with gold hardware which mixes the fringe trend with the messenger style bag trend.


What do you think of the trend? Would you rock a cross body bag?

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Mother's Day: 10 Inexpensive Gifts to get Mom



Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12 and as it is getting down to the wire, some may be racking their brains looking for ideas and suggestions on what to get mom, or the mom-to-be in their lives. Here are 10 simple and mainly free or inexpensive ideas Kiplinger's offers to consider. 
  1. Do-nothing day—plenty of moms would love to spend a day not having to lift a finger or spend the day doing just what they want to do. So give your mom a card that tells her she is entitled to a day off—and be sure to honor it!
  2. Spa day—many spas offer Mother’s Day specials for massages and other services, so call around to find the best deal.
  3. A clean car—Mom’s car can get downright disgusting after shuttling kids around all the time. So grab the kids and have them help you wash the car.
  4. Customized necklace—May isn’t a good month to buy jewelry because stores often hike prices in anticipation of Mother’s Day. However, you can find affordable necklaces with charms that can be engraved with children’s names online at Etsy.com.
  5. Photo mug—plenty of companies create mugs with photos on them for about $11. This gift is ideal for grandmothers who appreciate a creative way to show off pictures of the grandkids.
  6. Plants and flowers for the yard—rather than a bouquet, buy a potted plant, flowering bush or tree that will last for years. Or let Mom buy plants for the garden and then plant them for her.
  7. Photo album—most of our photos are now digital and we rarely print them out. So print out your pictures, put them in an album and let mom enjoy looking at them the old-fashioned way.
  8. A clean house—give Mom a break from her daily chores and do them for her (the way she would want them done). Wash the dishes, do the laundry, sweep the floors and make the beds.
  9. Frame the kids’ art—Moms will surely get a few pieces of handcrafted art from the kids for Mother’s Day. Make it easy for her to display and store them with a frame that lets you do both!
  10. Make a donation in Mom’s name—for the Mom that already has everything, make a donation in her name to her favorite charity or motherhood-related organization.
  11. Bonus idea—Take the time to sit down with your mom and ask her to share family stories that you can record or write down in a journal that can be shared with other family members.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day: Eco-Friendly Celebrity moms who do good for earth


Earth Day is a month away! 

For this edition of Eco-Friday, we are going to highlight some of our fave Bellyitch Bumpwatch moms who have shown they have a commitment to the earth and helping others overcome natural disasters.

Jessica Alba co-founded an eco-friendly baby company, the Honest Company, which makes earth friendly products.

Drew Barrymore, actress, author and entrepreneur is known to be a flower child and recently she launched an eco-friendly and affordable make up line called  Flower Beauty.

Beyonce Knowles has worked with Second Harvest food bank network and with her husband Jay-Z founded United Nation's Water for Life, an organization devoted to giving people worldwide access to clean drinking H2O. 

Gisele Bundchen, international Brazilian model, has been involved in plenty of earth conscious programs and events over the years. She and husband Tom Brady live in a 22,000 square foot eco-friendly green mansion with solar panel roofs and a rainwater recovery systems. 

Hilary Duff is involved with USA Harvest a non-profit that collects surplus from area restaurants for homeless, missions and soup kitchens and has donated millions of dollars in  meals to the homeless. 

Hayden Panettiere, Nashville actress, volunteers to register youth to vote and works with programs to help wild sea creatures including dolphins and other endangered wildlife. 

Kelly Preston , with her husband John Travolta, Preston is famously known for donating their private jet to fly in loads of supplies and medicine to the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina.  

Alicia Silverstone is a vegan who has worked often with PETA and helped promote its campaigns. Silverston also lives in a very cool eco-friendly house.










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Earth Day: Tweet #Flipp4Forests to Plant a Tree


Today is Earth Day and if you are looking for at least one simple way to contribute to the day dedicated to celebrate mother Earth Day, the app Flipp will plant a tree with every social media share using the hashtag, #Flipp4Forests. And it will also enter you to win a $300 VISA gift card along with the hashtag.

Good for Earth and your pocketbook potentially. 

Flipp is a  free iOS and Android app available in the U.S. and Canada that digitally aggregates over 400 retail circulars from national chains as well as hundreds of local stores to help consumers find the latest sales in their community. Digital means less trees and that too is good for the earth! And it looks like it would be a time-saver for busy parents! Sweet!

Check out this infographic about forests for more reasons on why planting trees is important!


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