Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Family to Yours































From the Ghatt Media Holdings Family of Blogs and 
other Properties

We are very thankful to have you all as loyal readers and supporters. Everyday you encourage us to create content that informs, incites dialogue, edifies, amplifies and inspires you.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving, today and always.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Black Friday: 5 Ways to Save this Year



This year strategically plan your Black Friday adventure with Stephanie Nelson from the CouponMom.com who offers these suggestions:

1. Plan and Budget - Come up with a holiday gift list and plan. Decide who you need to buy for, what you can afford to spend overall, and divide that among all your gift recipients. Then shop the deals, coupons and savings strategies to stretch the budget. Check the store ads and websites for special "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" deals.

2. Compare Prices - When you are shopping for a specific item, compare prices online on the item before hitting the stores or shopping online. Prices can vary significantly, and an online retailer may offer free shipping and have no sales tax.

3. Be Coupon Savvy - Use coupons to drop the price even further:
·        Sign up for the email newsletters of favorite retailers and shopping malls to be the first to get special coupons
·        Follow a retailer's social networking page (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get access to special coupons or limited-time flash sales
·        Go to an online coupon site like www.CouponMom.com to find coupon codes for discounts and free shipping
·        Watch the newspaper ads and catalog mailings for in-store coupons.

4. Buy Gift Cards - Buy discounted or bonus gift cards to give as gifts or to use to shop for gifts .
·        Take advantage of bonus gift card offers that many restaurants offer at this time of year to give as gifts (for example, buy $100 worth of gift cards and get a free $20 gift card)
·        Redeem cash back rebate dollars from credit card programs for bonus gift card values. For example, use $20 of your credit card rebate dollars to get a $25 gift card to selected retailers.
·        If you are using a gift card to shop for gifts, be sure to combine them with coupons if available.

5. Get Cash Back for Purchases - If you have a cash back credit card, shop through the credit card website's shopping mall to get extra rebates on your purchases.

Good luck and happy shopping!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Halle Berry wins court order to stop ex from straightening daughter Nahla's hair to make her less black, she alleges


Who straightens the curly, yet already fine-textured, hair of a school aged little girl?  Model Gabriel Aubry, that's who, while he had his daughter, Nahla Aubry, who he had with Halle Berry in his care.

Berry accused him of trying to make Aubry appear to be more white and sought and receive an injunction stopping him from straightening 7-year old Nahla's hair. 

Man, that's almost sacrilegious in some communities to chemically straighten a girl's hair at such a young age, though there's no evidence that was done here.

It all had me thinking of this recent story about a half-Jewish, half-black college co-ed, who didn't even know she was bi-racial until she sent in her photo with her Georgetown University college application materials and the college sent her back a letter about the Black Student Union.  It turns out she was the product of her mom's extra-marital affair with a black man and her parents decided to get past it, which included never telling her of her African American heritage.

It was so interesting about identity. That student is now a 37-year old film maker Lacey Schwartz who submitted her documentary "Little White Lie" in the San Francisco film festival recently. The feature will air on PBS soon. 

Check out the teaser.


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Bump Day: Ali Larter shares belly progression silhouette


How super cute is mom-to-be Ali Larter's recent belly progression photo the TV host and former model shared to  her social media followers this Sunday?

Her 2-year old son Teddy sat hugging her leg. "Happy Sunday!" she captioned the Instagram photo. "I hope somebody you love is holding you close today."

Sweet!

Larter, who is expecting her second child with husband Hayes MacArthur, also has a great mom brand and blog. 

You need to stop by  and check out her awesome Thanksgiving post!



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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Study: Low alcohol consumption while pregnant not linked to birth defects



Heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy has long been linked to a range of developmental problems and birth defects including fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), low birth weight, and preterm delivery, but a new study from Yale and Brown University shows that low to moderate alcohol consumption is not associated with an increased risk of specific birth outcomes and measures of fetal growth.

The study is published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Annals of Epidemiology.

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Get Gwen Stefani's 'The Voice' Style



We have been really digging all of the awesome, futuristic, retro and other structured and flowly looks Gwen Stefani's style team have been putting together for her this season as she sits as a season guest judge on The Voice. Her tenure marks a third Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum's role on the popular NBC singing talent competition. Christina Aguilera is an original host and Shakira has sat in Aguilera's stead in previous episodes.

After each show, Stefani shares on social media a link to her website where fans can go to to "get her look." Fun, fab and smart!

Check it out here! 








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Brown, Trayvon, Race and Parents' Responses to these Verdicts


After the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case when his killer George Zimmerman was set free, I witnessed my online and social media world split into two.

All of my friends of color, black, Hispanic and Asian, including those who were parents, expressed on their status updates and shares a lot of rage, frustration and fear for their own kids because they could empathize with Martin's parents. They didn't automatically accept Zimmerman's account of what went down either. 

Meanwhile, almost all of my white friends on all of my social media accounts (and I have plenty) were "unbothered," blissfully sharing photos of their getaway weekends, outfits planned for parties and cat jokes.  It was as if the volatile and tense moments leading up to the verdict and the verdict itself didn't matter, in their lives anyway.

Also around that same time, Glee actor Cory Montieth ended his own life via a drug overdose, a victim of years of addiction. I then watched as mournful tributes and sadness from those same parents flood my news feed and marveled at how split the world and America really is along racial lines when it comes to empathy over the death of people not from their respective, race.

This round, when I learned yesterday that Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown's killer, police officer Darren Wilson, was not indicted for the death, I expected the same division.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see  a few Caucasian friends elevate the case on their social media accounts and one, particular influential one, let her immense followers and friends know that something isn't quite right here.  Others made bold stances to throw out their toy air rifles, perhaps in solidarity or concern and consideration of cases like a recent one in Cleveland, Ohio where a 12-year old kid playing with one at a playground was shot and killed by an officer who thought it was real.

Progress. 



The criminal justice system in America appears to over-police and over-enforces laws on black and Hispanic and under-police or at least serve to protect well-to-do and majority people from the intrusion into their lives  by  "undesirables" or those who "don't belong". 

It also routinely grants the benefit of the doubt, accepts the accounts of, and under-enforce the laws when the victim is a black youth at the hands of a man sworn to serve and protect.

To change it up so that status quo doesn't reign and "Justice" doesn't permanently morph into "just is',' as in that's "just how it is,"  we need more fairness, equity and parity.

We can never accomplish this until the unaffected or those who benefit from the system are outraged too. 

They also can't be so willing to blame the victim, assassinate his character or accept all uncorroborated testimony suggesting the victim deserved his or her fate or did something to invoke being shot and killed, for example.  

Also, I think of a passage from writer  Calvin Hennick"7 Things I can Do that My Black Son Can't" which addresses what he learned about privilege from being in an interracial relationship which produced a bi-racial son.

Number 6 was " I Can Complain About Racism"
When I point out that black people are incarcerated at alarming rates, or largely forced to send their children to underperforming schools, or face systemic discrimination when searching for jobs and housing, no one accuses me of “playing the race card.”
So true. This why, perhaps, words of support from those unaffected hold more weight than words from those expected to be in support.

Racking my brain to find some way to explain it so more are empathetic,  I thought of analogy to present to a young mother of 3 sons who I recently had a long Twitter exchange with who asked why do Blacks protest and complain too much when it has nothing to do with them specifically. 

I wanted to, but ultimately didn't, hit her back with a school analogy so she could understand: 
Imagine you have a talkative but otherwise good child who gets disciplined often in the classroom for talking too much, to the point as soon as she walks into the classroom or opens her mouth, she is presumed to be prepped to disrupt the class with her talking and gets sent to detention. 
Eventually, she is thrown out of school, altogether for being too talkative. As a parent, you take your case to the School Board. You gladly welcome parents of other talkative kids unjustly and routinely disciplined who have expressed similar frustration with the school's disciplinary procedures and anti-talkative kid bias. As they speak up on your behalf at the school board meeting, or to send in letters of support, you would never think to say they were complaining too much or didn't deserve answers for the discriminatory policy against kids like your own. 
If you could relate to that scenario re-read it again but replace the words "loquacious" or "talkative" with "black" and "talk" with "being black."

The exercise could have helped her "get it" finally, as to why these contentious cases imbue people to rally around victims. Ultimately, it is because they can empathize and/or  relate. 



What do you think? Are we divided based on our empathy to the victims of death, irrespective of how it comes? 

Or our cultural biases slanted so we care about some deaths than others or pick sides based on the side which we think we could relate to more? 
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving arts and craft project for the kids


Want festive, homemade Thanksgiving decorations? Need an activity to keep the kids occupied? Pine cone turkeys are the solution to both of these problems. Thanksgiving pine cone turkeys are cute and simple enough that even young children will be able to make them with minimal supervision.  If you’re looking for an activity that will keep the little ones busy while you are preparing Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen, this one is definitely worth trying.

Gather supplies- A day or two before Thanksgiving, gather up all of the necessary supplies and tools and put them in a box. That way they’ll be ready to set out for the kids to work with when the time comes. You’ll need:

    Various sizes of pine cones
    Feathers
    Brown pipe cleaners
    Glue
    Googly eyes
    Orange felt
    Safety scissors
    Paper (optional)

Create the tail- The children can create a colorful turkey tail for their pinecone by using different colored feathers.  If they want, they can dip the quill end of the feathers into some glue before poking them into the wide end of the pine cone.  The glue is optional because the feathers should stay in place if pushed all the way into the pine cone layers.  Continue to fill in the tail with feathers to make it as full as desired.

Make the head- Take the brown pipe cleaner and bend one end over to create a hook, then pinch the hook closed so that it’s shaped like a head.  Set the pipe cleaner aside.  Cut a very small triangle out of the orange felt for a beak. For young children, you may wish to do this step ahead of time. Glue the googly eyes and beak onto the shaped brown pipe cleaner and allow it to dry for a few minutes.

Attaching the head- Once the head is dry wrap the opposite end of the pipe cleaner around the pine cone until the head and neck are sticking up from the front. If the pipe cleaner is too long, cut it with the scissors or break it off by bending it back and forth at the same spot.

Adding feet- If you’d like to add feet to your turkey, you can freehand cut some feet and legs from the orange felt. Glue the legs to the underside of the pine cone with the feet sticking out in front.

Place card holders- Have the kids make enough turkeys so that each place setting has one.  Using cardstock, construction paper or any other paper you have on hand, write the names of everyone that will be attending your Thanksgiving dinner.  Lean the place cards against each turkey or stick it between the middle layers of the pine cone.  Now you have seasonal place card holders that can be used from year to year.  Or you can send the turkey pine cones home with the kids as a little party favor.

Tips:
  • You can use store bought pine cones for this craft or bake gathered pine cones in the oven at 250 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes to make sure there are no bugs in the pine cones.  Do this in advance so the pine cones have plenty of time to cool.
  • If you don’t have any pipe cleaners you can glue the felt beak and googly eyes directly to the front of the pine cone.
  • If you can’t find feathers or don’t want to use them then you can use feather shaped construction paper in various fall colors.  Depending on how much space is between the layers on the pine cone you may or may not need to glue in the paper feathers.





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2014 American Music Awards: Celeb moms sizzle on the red carpet


Several of our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alums rocked the red carpet to the 2014 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Here's what they wore:



Christina Milian was gorge in a long black lace slip dress with a sleek back hair, hot pink lips and a delicate gold bangles. 
 


Jennifer Lopez showed off her svelte and hot mama bod in a satin Reem Acra dress with sparking nude Christian Louboutin pumps and Norman Silverman diamonds.



Grrrrr! Fergie was sizzling in a black belted  Halston high-split floor-length dress, accented with Loree Rodkin jewels and a super hawt pair of Versus triple clasp sandals.
 


Garcelle Beauvais worked the carpet in a crimson Michael Costello figure hugging halter t-neck dress, with a gold clutch and gold and black gladiator heels with  a black cuff.


Giuliana Rancic looked amaze in a one sleeve Alex Perry dress, Christian Louboutin shoes, Rauwolf clutch, Pasquale Bruni rings, and Jack Vartanian earrings.
 
 

 Heidi Klum went quirky with a criss cross pink and black Versace dress with Versace pink and blue platform heels.




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Fall Fitness: How to Wear Walking Pants


As the weather gets brisker this fall, heading to the outdoors for walks can become more exciting. Whether you've just had a baby or are still preggers, going for a brisk walk or hike is a great way to stay fit, get some air into your lungs, clear your head or meditate on projects  or ideas you're working on.


Although enjoying the great outdoors can be quite exciting, there are several accessories which will enable any journey to be safe and comfortable. A modern example can be seen in walking trousers or pants. The primary difference between these garments and normal trousers is that they use innovative materials and durable fabrics that are designed to withstand the rigors of demanding conditions. In fact, the best hiking tips will stress the use of such garments during any lengthy excursion. So, how does one wear these trousers (or shorts) and coordinate them with other accessories? 

A Choice of Fabrics

First, it is important that we appreciate the wide selection of fabrics that can be chosen. These will primarily depend upon outdoor conditions such as temperature and weather. It is obvious that heavier fabrics should be employed in colder climates and thinner varieties in warm or tropical conditions. However, we should also remember that the trousers need to be able to breathe. In other words, sweat should be wicked away from the body. Thankfully, these fabrics are designed in a number of stunning and fashionable colors; enabling you to compliment an existing wardrobe.


Loose and Secure 

To avoid chaffing and possible blisters, these trousers should never be worn too tight. While most are designed in this fashion, it is still advisable to try on a pair before making a final selection. Although the legs and inseams should be loose, the waistline needs to be sufficiently tight so the garments will not shake during a hike. While as a woman you may want to accentuate your natural contours, let's remember that safety and comfort are your two main concerns.


Matching Accessories

It is always a great idea to add a bit of style to your outdoor ensemble. Thankfully, these trousers generally display muted colors such as beige, brown or green. This will enable you to find matching shoes and coats which will further punctuate your visual appeal.


So, we can see that choosing the best type of walking trousers depends just as much upon their design as it does in regards to the accessories that can match. Thinking about these concerns beforehand will enable you to make the best selection possible.

Good luck, have fun and be safe!
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

These fans 'aint loyal: On Kate Middleton's declining popularity


Kate Middleton's second pregnancy is not as popular as her first. Perhaps the luster and glory of a new royal British baby has worn off.

Forbes Life notes that recent reports and polls  reveal that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is not as popular; has dropped to fourth in the list of favorite Royal behind Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and her husband Prince William; and is no longer considered a style icon as much as before.

The report also revealed that compared to a year ago only 6% of men surveyed would want to date her and another found that 89% of women do not want to be her. 

Rationalized, some have said women realize the intense scrutiny of her every move, every food choice, every clothing decision is too intense and not really something they'd want for their own lives. 

It's not necessarily a personal condemnation of Middleton or sign of her declining popularity but more the fact the public if falling out of love with the awe of life as a Royal. 

Read more at Forbes Life. 
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Holiday Guests are Coming: Your Housewares Checklist


As the holiday season fast approaches, many families will find themselves hosting relatives and friends inside their homes. Doing so may require them to do a inventory of their household items and stock up, where necessary, to make sure they aren't handing out raggedy towels and setting up their guests to sleep on stained linen.

Home and Garden TV (HGTV) personality Carley Knobloch offered the 6 checklist items on The Fashion Spot.

Check out the full post here


Here are some tips from our partners at Rue La La:









And the folks at Healthy Sole have something for you germaphobes who usually ask people to remove their shoes before coming into your light carpeted for freshly waxed floors.  Their HealthySole device is an elegant “first to market” device that leaves up to 99% of infectious germs at the door – not on the soles of shoes.  Step on this sleek, innovative mechanism (looks similar to a bathroom scale) that uses green UVC technology to disinfect shoes from bacteria and viruses in a little as 7 to 10 seconds. Interesting!

Good luck and Happy Shopping!


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