Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard welcome 2nd daughter, Delta Bell

Congratulations are in order for Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell on the birth of their second child together, Delta Bell Shepard.

Yestrday, Friday December 19, the couple announced the birth separately on Twitter:

New dad again and The Parenthood star tweeted, “Delta Bell Shepard is here. She doesn’t look like either Kristen or me, but we’re gonna keep her anyway,” the proud papa announced.

Bell followed up with an equally fun announcement which featured a baby and mama gorilla. 

“The estrogen has now hit critical mass! Good luck, Dax. And welcome to the world DELTA BELL SHEPARD,” the actress tweeted.

Baby Delta joins big sister Lincoln, 21 months. The couple announced the baby news this past July

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Study: Spoiling your children with gifts create materialistic adults

Before you spoil your kids rotten this holiday gift giving season, consider a new study which found that loading up your children with material possessions may set them up for failure as adults. 

The study from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois at Chicago found that parents who use material goods as part of their parenting techniques may be setting children up for difficulties later in adulthood.

“Our research suggests that children who receive many material rewards from their parents will likely continue rewarding themselves with material goods when they are grown—well into adulthood – and this could be problematic,” said Marsha Richins, Myron Watkins distinguished professor of marketing in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at MU. “Our research highlights the value of examining childhood circumstances and parenting practices to understand consumer behaviors of adults.”

Richins, who completed the study with Lan Chaplin, associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration, found that three parenting strategies led to greater materialism:
  • Rewarding children with gifts when they have accomplished something, such as making the soccer team or getting straight As.
  • Giving gifts as a way to show affection.
  • Punishing children by taking away their possessions, such as a favorite toy or video game.

When parents use material goods in these ways, their children, when grown, are on average more likely to believe that success in life is defined by the quality and number of material goods an individual owns or that acquiring certain products will make them more attractive. 

According to Richins, previous research has shown that adults who define themselves or others by their possessions are at a much higher risk for marital problems, gambling, financial debt and decreased well-being. Materialism also contributes to environmental degradation due to overconsumption and waste of goods.

“Loving parents tend to provide their children with material rewards,” Richins said. “One explanation for the link between material rewards and later materialism is that children who receive these rewards are more likely than others to use possessions to define and enhance themselves, an essential element of materialism.”

Other aspects of parenting also can have an effect on the development of an adult’s attitude toward material goods. For example, the researchers also found that a relationship existed between parental rejection and materialism. Children who felt that their parents either did not have time for them or were disappointed in them were more likely to be materialistic. Additionally, adults who received both material rewards and material punishments as children are more likely to admire people with expensive possessions.

“It’s OK to want to buy things for your children, but remember to encourage them to be grateful for all the people and things they have in their lives,” Chaplin said. “Each time children express their gratitude, they become more aware of how fortunate they are, which paves the way for them to be more generous and less materialistic. Spend time with your children and model warmth, gratitude and generosity to help curb materialism.”

In their study, Richins and Chaplin surveyed more than 700 adults. The researchers asked respondents to report on a variety of childhood circumstances, their relationship with their parents, and the rewards and punishments they received during three critical stages of childhood.

The study, “Material Parenting: How the Use of Goods in Parenting Fosters Materialism in the Next Generation,” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Jessica Biel's pregnancy confirmed by Justin's ex bandbate Joey Fantone

Joey Fantone confirmed confirmed weeks of speculation that actress Jessica Biel is pregnant with her husband Justin Timberlake's first child.

"He told me a while ago, and I kept my mouth shut," Fatone recently told InTouch. "But now I can talk about it!"

The ex N'Sync bandmember added, "Jessica is awesome, and Justin is a kid at heart...[They'll have] fun."


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Eco-Friday: Alternative Holiday Gift Guide #GiftsWithACause

This holiday gift giving season as you are out and about shopping for commercial goods to give to family and friends, consider also gifting some alternative charitable goodies that can benefit impoverished people in America or other parts of the world.

Since 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has been offered to shoppers a selection of hand-crafted objects made in or inspired by the areas of the world the organization services. Last year, World Vision helped 822,000 people thought its catalog. 

In exchange for a specific donation, shoppers receive a gift for themselves or to give to someone else for the holidays, a birthday or some other occasion. 

The 64-year old old organization started out in 1950 aimed at helping orphans worldwide and now it focuses on poverty and injustice issues with 83% of its operating expenses going for programs to benefit children, families and communities in need. Only 5% of its 2013 expenses went to operational costs and 12% to fundraising.... for sending Bloggers like me a sample of an item from its catalog in exchange for sharing with our audiences about this option. 

The lovely African Soapstone Box I received is perfect for storing earrings.  Coated in light blue with an image of a giraffe, this ornate box features pretty details that will complement nearly any decor. Donations go toward the Kenyan artisans who crafted the box to help provide medical care for their families.  It is free with a donation of $85 to the organization. 

In addition, there are options in the gift registry that will be multiplied by matching government, corporate and foundation partners.  For example, perhaps in the name of a friend for Hanukkah, a donation gift of $25 will go towards $200 worth of supplies to help a poor family in America or a disaster relief victim. 

For those who are expecting and new parents and are grateful for being blessed with excellent healthcare and want to help mothers around the world get it too, there are options of donating towards Maternal Health in Afghanistan or a New Mother and Baby Kit

Consider checking out the catalog and donating on behalf of that person in your life who has everything! Thanks!


Keeping Balance in the Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays

The holiday season is fast approaching and we all know what happens.  We overload ourselves with plans and activities whether it involves our kids or our own friends.  Our calendars fill up with social events for which we promise to bake and help decorate for and we have to squeeze our family in there somewhere.  Basically we run around like chickens with our heads cut off.

It is so easy to become overwhelmed and even a bit depressed during the holidays even though there is so much to keep you busy and so much to be happy about.  So many of us are people pleasers.  We want to be available to help everyone!  The key is to find a balance to keep our sanity and our happiness.    
  • Make plans for what you know you can handle and avoid booking more than one event in one day. I know this is unavoidable sometimes because you do not set the date for an event.  Plan around it if possible.
  • When decorating and baking it is ok to take shortcuts.  You do not have to spend a fortune to make yummy appetizers or have a beautifully decorated home.
  • Do not be afraid to delegate some of the work out to others.  It helps take some of the stress off of you.
  • Plan on taking a day for yourself.  NO planning, baking, decorating or entertaining!  After attending all the school parties, adult parties, family get togethers you need a break!  A quiet dinner out or at home eating carry out with your husband might be a nice change of pace.  A nice quiet bubble bath can take the edge off of a busy week.
  • It is alright to say “no”.  If you feel like you are booked until the next century politely turn down the event.  People will understand.
It is important to take care of yourself during the holidays and enjoy your friends and family.  It is really hard to do that effectively when we overextend ourselves. Enjoy all of your activities this holiday season, but remember to take some time for yourself as well!

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Kimora Lee Simmons debuts her 4th pregnancy bump in Saint Barts

Paps caught Kimora Lee Simmons on a yacht in St. Bart's this week in a black bump hugging scrunching mini dress, flip flops and Jackie-O glasses.  News leaked in October that Simmons was on  her fourth pregnancy, first with her banker husband Tim Leissner in October. 

The sometimes reality TV star and Leissner have been married since February.  

The former model turned designer and fashion mogul has two daughters, 14-year old Ming and 12-yar old Aoki with first husband Russell Simmons and son, Kenzo with actor Djimon Hounsou, with whom she was married for 5 years. 

h/t Daily Mail 


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Did you know Vaginal Birth Delivery envy is a thing?

Did you know vaginal birth envy is a thing?
I know because I had it. I used to get it every time I’d hear a friend delivered “naturally”. For various reasons, I delivered each of my three children, now 12, 9 and 6 1/2 via Cesarean section (C-section)
I was one of those women who read everything under the sun before having my first child. I placed a high premium on delivering vaginally as that is how our ancestors have done it for centuries before the advent of modern technology to assist with labor and delivery.
Also, going to due date forums, you meet all these women who also talk about birth plans, the optimal birthing experience with a special emphasis placed on doing it as natural as possible.
And of course, there, we’d find the occasional woman who loved her body, her lifestyle and her options and saw absolutely nothing wrong with bringing her children into the world with the most amount of assistance and pain free as possible. She was the first to tell a mom who had a c-section to buck up because at least her vajajay is still tight and intact! Woi! And everyone would tell you, it doesn’t matter how a baby got here, all that is important is that they arrived with all ten fingers and toes and were healthy.
  “All babies are natural,” they’d tell me. Yup. Yup. But still.
Notwithstanding all of that, whenever I heard news that a friend had delivered, I used to ask about the birth and would secretly wish they had to get a c-section too and when I’d learn they did not a flush of jealousy would come over me. 

It took a while, but as my kids got older and my friends stopped having babies, I eventually did get over it and no longer harbor those sinister thoughts and resentments.  I matured on the matter.
In hindsight, I can blame my conditioning, over education and deep seated passion for wanting to be old school.  I used to think that I never truly experienced birthing as God intended because I never had a vaginal birth.
Who else had vaginal delivery envy? I know I wasn't the only one. 

Love and Hip Hop's Yandy Smith dishes on shooting reality TV while pregnant (VIDEO)

Love and Hip Hop's Yandy Smith has been having a vibrant and active pregnancy so far.  Smith rocked hot pink while attending a recent Monami holiday party thrown by show creator and executive producer of the Love and Hip Hop franchise Mona Scott-Young.

Before that, she and her son  Lil Mendeecees who she raises with her fiance Mendeecees Harris did the "Nae Nae" dance at the show's recent press event.

In the season debut this past Monday, December 15, Smith, who joined the show in 2011, is seen reuniting with Harris who got released from jail. Last season concluded with Harris heading there on federal drug trafficking charges.

The couple is expecting a daughter in February, their second child together. They welcomed a son Omere in summer of 2012 and Mendeecees has two sons from previous relationships.

They are working on finalizing a name, said Smith who once served as president for Monami and is a hip hop manager.  Smith wants to give their daughter her own last name as a first name, while Harris wants an African name, Smith told VladTV at the event.

When asked how she is handling shooting the show while pregnant, Smith lamented on pregnancy fatigue:

"I'm tired. I'm pregnant. I'm on a TV show. I have another show that I'm shooting, a cooking show. I'm running three businesses. Other than that I'm happy, but I'm tired. I work a lot."

Watch more from the short interview:

h/t fashion style

A video posted by yandysmith (@yandysmith) on

photos: Getty, VH1, Instagram

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FDA cracks down on ultrasound parties, commercial 3D imaging centers & in-home dopplers

The US Federal Drug Administration released a new update to its policies warning against the purchase of over-the-counter sale fetal heartbeat monitors which rely on Doppler ultrasound technology to listen to a baby's heart.

Apparently, it has become trendy for parents-to-be to pay commercial companies to conduct 4D and 3D ultrasounds in their home at gender-reveal parties and to charge for the 3D images, but the FDA says these outfits are exploitative and ultrasounds should only be used by trained medical staff. 

The oversight agency also warns the excessive and repeated ultrasound imagery for non-medical reasons can be dangerous to the growing fetus and mom. 

This is interesting because while the trend perhaps is to get a better visualization of what the baby to look like, many women who purchased portable dopplers may like having the comfort of being able to monitor their baby's heartbeat anytime. We imagine women who have had repeated miscarriages and fetus loss too may use the in-home devices so if there is a drop in heart rate, they could act. Granted, all of this probably contribute to increased false positive anxious calls from moms. 

What are your thoughts?

Read more about the new policy in the Huffington Post. 
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Carrie Underwood wows at the American Country Countdown Awards

Carrie Underwood wowed us twice this Monday, December 14 at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Love the cobalt blue Leanne Marshall silk-organza gown with undulating layers and black belt she wore while performing and the saucy one- sleeve gold eembellishedfigure-hugging white Xtreme dress she worked the red carpet in. That latter look was offset with a gold with black accented  Emm Kuo clutch and jewelry by  L’Dezen .

Underwood and her husband are Mike Fisher are expecting their first child. They announced the news this past September in the cutest way on Instagram by outfitting their two dogs in shirts declaring they will be a big sister and brother. 

photo: Getty

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Bellyitch/Beyond Baby Mama $1,000 Prize Pack Holiday Giveaway

Each year, Bellyitch has a holiday giveaway targeting its national audience. 

In 2013, and before that in 2010, it was Bellytich's Favorite Things and in 2012, we gave away 25 gifts for 25 days in December in the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaway. In 2011, we gave away $500 worth of goodies from our entire swag closet in a funny baby name competition. We've raffled off diamond push gifts and elegant celeb-fave designer maternity wardrobes and loads of other items generously donated and offered by sponsors.

This year, we wanted to do something a little different and focus on giving back to young moms close to our blog’s headquarters near Washington, DC. Many new moms starting out without an active partner in their parenthood journey struggle and don't have all they need. Some resort to using used items that may be outdated and unsafe.

That’s why Bellyitch has partnered up with writer, professor Stacia L. Brown, founder of the Washington-DC area-based blog dedicated to the support and upliftment of single mothers of color, Beyond Baby Mamas

The Grand prize this year, the Graco Modes Click 3 in 1 stroller travel system system we reviewed earlier today, valued at $500 (including delivery), is reserved exclusively for a deserving mom starting her family from the Beyond Baby Mamas outreach community. Others may benefit from other prizes as well. 

In addition to this awesome stroller, we are also offering up to anyone nationwide who wants to enter (not just DC area single moms) the following curated from previously featured brands and other items:
The value of all items up for grabs total $1,000, and we are still adding items up until the selection of the winners on Christmas day!

To enter, simply fill out the sweepstakes below. Enter for one prize or all.  However, if you want consideration for the stroller, you will have to (1)  live in the DC, Maryland, Virginia metropolitan area AND enter a comment stating who would use the stroller or who you will gift it to and why that person or family really need the stroller system.

The other prizes are available to anyone nationally!

The deadline is Sunday, December 21 at midnight. Beyond Baby Mama and Bellyitch will select three finalist and let readers vote for their fave finalist up until December 24 and select a winner on Christmas Day, December 25, 2014.  

We will accept entries for the other prizes, not the the top 3 until December 24.

The finalist getting the second highest votes will win the $100 Visa gift card and the third place winner will win the Diaper Bag.

Non top 3 finalists will also be entered to win the other prizes up for grabs on a raffle basis. The winner of those prizes will also be announced next Thursday!

You can enter daily!

Share the word! Thanks for entering! Happy Ho! Ho! Holidays, friends. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GRACO Modes Stroller Travel System Review & GIVEAWAY)

Baby and children's product manufacturer Graco sent Bellyitch to review one of its newest stroller systems, the Modes Click Connect 3 in 1 Stroller Travel System  (valued $482) which can accommodate a newborn to a toddler. It's versatile, grows with baby and literally can be the only stroller you’d ever need.  

First off, we start off with a pretty good base product.  Over 12 years ago, I got my first Graco infant car seat and it was wonderfully constructed, safe and durable and lasted me through several years. It truly is the industry standard for those seats.  It appears Graco has improved upon older models and taken the best part of stroller systems to come up with this latest product. Here is my review:

·        It took me about 5 minutes to take out all the parts in the box the stroller shipped in and within 15 minutes I had assembled all the parts myself with no tools whatsoever.  It was super easy! Most of the parts snapped in easily and the instructions were quite intuitive.

·      From the hospital, a baby will spend most of its time inside the infant seat. No need to disturb baby when you are going from car to the mall. Simply snap the stroller into the buggy part of the stroller and go. If it will be used as a buggy for a brisk walk out in the neighborhood, simply lay baby inside the carriage part and you’re off. As baby grows out of the infant seat, the back part easily adjusts and can be used as a toddler and pre-schooler stroller. The back reclines for those moments when a small kid falls asleep. No more toppling over or neck strains as with traditional umbrella strollers.

·         The stroller easily collapsed with a pull of a lever in the back and quickly snaps into place with one hand. It can be removed and added into the trunk with one arm. This is important for when out alone with baby and not spare hands to help you out. The front wheels easily swivel for taking tight corners which is good for maneuvering around crowded and cramped areas.

·      The canopy was made of pretty durable material, not flimsy at all so it looks like it could withstand the test of time. I liked the fact that my sample was a dark navy because it made it unisex and can be used or gifted to a mom expecting a baby or either gender.   

·         The height is perfect for me who is just 5 foot 3 and my husband who is 6 foot 3 to push and not have his shins hit up on the base.

·         The boot is very spacious and ample. I was able to stuff into it an entire diaper bag, a spare blanket, a jacket and had room to spare.

·         The wheels were sufficient though they could’ve been a bit more rugged so to withstand the test of time or being pushed through dirt, gravel, sidewalks with cracks in them and other gritty terrain, occasionally.

It’s a perfect gift for a soon to be or brand new mom because it would be all they’d need for baby for a very long time.

And this year, we're giving away our review edition to a deserving mom-to-be or new mom.

Check the blog tomorrow morning for details on the giveaway!
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