Archive | August 2012

William and Harry: Good Prince/Bad Prince?

*Link to original post here

We can’t get enough of the royals. And it’s evident in their constant media presence. Everybody’s favourite princely duo, William and Harry, have made the headlines again – but for very different reasons.

Prince charming, (William) came to the rescue of a Canadian tourist on Monday in Northern Wales, just four days after he helped to save a 16-year-old girl from drowning off the Anglesey coast, reports The Toronto Star.

Darlene Burton, 58, slipped on a rock and broke her leg while hiking near the Point Lynas lighthouse on the Anglesey coast with her husband, Lawrence Oakley. The vacationing Barrie, Ont. couple were stranded on the isolated trail – with Burton unable to move – but Oakley was able to reach a fisherman who then called for help. Then it was William to the rescue!

William has been working as a helicopter rescue pilot since his marriage to Kate last year. And while rescuing damsels in distress is part of his job, it makes the acts no less chivalrous. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’d welcome a rescue by the dashing heir any day.

His bad-boy brother, Harry, on the other hand, has made the headlines for less noble reasons. Photos of the naked prince, who evidently lost during a game of strip billiards, were captured while living it up on a Vegas vacation this past weekend, reports TMZ.

Obviously a day of mingling with celebs at a poolside party hosted by Jennifer Lopez was not naughty enough for Harry. He later brought a few ladies up to his VIP suite for a wild night of fun. Among the photos snapped were a nude Harry cupping his genitals while being embraced from behind by an apparently nude girl, and shot of the naked prince bear-hugging yet another unidentified girl who also seems to be naked.

Of the pair, who makes you swoon? Knight in shining armor, William, or playboy Harry?

10 Things Every Mom Says

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There are some things every mom says.

Put on a hat or you’ll catch a cold

OR

Your face will freeze that way

How many times have you rolled your eyes when you heard some of the things your mom said to you as a child?

And admit it, you catch yourself saying the same things to your child today. I know I do. It’s almost automatic. Every time I do it I hear my mother’s voice and cringe. Especially when I fall back on everyone’s favourite, “You’ll understand when you have kids one day.” My only retort was, “Well I’m not having any kids!”

Lies. I now have two. And I’m sure they are doubly annoyed by my broken record of momisms.
Well now kids are taking to Twitter to commiserate with their peers about the annoying things their moms seem to have on repeat.

We’ve rounded up the 10 most common tweets using the hashtag: #thingseverymomsays. Some things never change.

1. Me: Mom I’m bored. Mom: Go clean your room. – @missshadyxx

2. As long as you live under my roof, you’ll live by my rules. – @its_austinnn

3. I brought you into this world & I can take you out. – @mixdgrlproblems

4. When you have kids, you’ll realize what I’m talking about. – @RealBryanGarcia

5. Don’t talk to me like that, I’m not one of your little friends. – @ItsRyanParker

6. I’ll Give You Something to Cry About. – @CarltonnBanks

7. Because I said so. – @iKeepItTooReal

8. If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you? – @CarltonnBanks

9. You eat what I cook or don’t eat at all. – @TonyTRoberts

10. If you go out there and break your leg don’t come running to me. @rmurray92

Target Backlash: Moms Speak Out Against Tween Fashion

*Link to original post here or  here

I have a bone to pick with children’s clothing manufacturers. Walk past the window displays of any children’s clothier and you may catch a glimpse of mini-mannequins, sporting über short dresses, and super low-cut tops. And if it wasn’t for their size, you might expect these fashions to have come straight from the runway.

Last week a disgruntled mother posted a comment on Target Australia’s Facebook page. Ana Laura Amini expressed her disappointment with the store’s clothing offerings for girls between the ages of seven and 14, stating that because their designs lacked modesty, she would no longer be shopping at their stores. Her post received more than 70,000 “likes” and nearly 4,000 responses – many expressing shared sentiments.

Target has since responded, explaining their product design selection process, and assuring Facebookers that they are indeed reading customer feedback. However, this does not directly solve the dilemma many parents have when shopping for age-appropriate clothing: Where can average parents (meaning us non-celeb mommies) get affordable, quality, modest clothing?

Target isn’t the only store to offer questionable kid’s garment designs. And it’s a source of frustration for many parents who seek to dress their children in more modest fashions. As a mother of a tween and teen, it’s become more than just a frustration. I spend far too much time going from shop-to-shop, sorting through racks, for clothes that don’t make my 11-year-old look like her 17-year-old sister.

I have always allowed my children to embrace their uniqueness, and this includes their style. I didn’t bat an eye when my eldest went from wearing nothing but camouflage in Grade 6 to wanting blue hair in Grade 8 (much to the dismay of her principal). And it doesn’t faze me one bit that my youngest refuses to wear dresses, or the colour pink. But whether their style goes against the gender-grain, or is more flamboyant than the norm, they both have one thing in common – their desire for modesty. My girls like to stay covered up. And so the struggle continues.

So who’s to blame? It’s not the manufacturer’s responsibility to guide public taste. They make their money from the demands of their consumers. And since many parents these days want little replicas of themselves, the selection of kids clothing we are left with is just a shrunken down version of adult clothing.

So tell retailers what you want to see in their stores. Nay, demand it! Write letters, sign petitions, employ social media as Ana did. But you mustn’t stop there. What we need the most is to accept that our children are children and not living dolls. Teach them it’s OK to love themselves as they are. Let’s build strong children who don’t bend to the pressure of media images.

We get it. There will always be moms who think it’s cute to have a miniature clone of themselves. And there will always be kids who want to grow up too quickly. But we must be responsible and draw the line and encourage our own children’s age-appropriate modesty. The change starts at home.

Easy Meal Prep for the Time-Starved Mom

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I come from a long line of women who take great pride in spending hours each day making meals for their families. They ask for nothing in return but satisfied smiles. No dish was simple. Many required hours of marinating and slow cooking. Dinner was always three or four courses. And there was not a morsel leftover at the end of the meal.

As a single, working mom, that is no longer realistic for me. When I get home at the end of the work day the last thing I want to do is spend an hour, or longer, in the kitchen playing Julia Child. Yet it’s important that my children’s nutrition not suffer because of my lack of energy and organization. I had to find a simple solution that made sense for us. So for the last few years I have been attending a bi-weekly meal prep session at SupperWorks where I spend an hour making 12 entrees.  It’s such an easy process. I go on their website, make my selections from the monthly menu and book my session. When I arrive I am greeted by friendly staff who take my purse and hand me a glass of wine.

The first thing I do is wash up and put on a crisp, white apron. Then I move from station to station, following the printed directions they have laid out for me.  All the vegetables are pre-chopped, and all the meat is portioned out. All I need to do is to measure out a few seasonings, toss everything in a freezer bag, stick on a label with cooking instructions and place it in the holding fridge. The best part is that I don’t have to clean anything up.

While you are given two hours to put together your meals, sometimes I am finished in less than an hour. All that is left to do is put everything in my cooler and transfer the contents to my freezer at home. For the really time-starved, they have a pickup option which means you don’t lift a finger!

I love how everything from the shopping, prep work to clean up is all done for me. In addition to convenience they offer gluten-free and vegetarian dishes for those with food restrictions.  And on Saturdays they allow you to bring your little ones in to give a helping hand! Dinnertime is now stress-free and nutritious. We no longer have chicken Tuesdays in our home. We get to enjoy recipes from all over the world. Sometimes it’s Greek stew, other times it’s Spanish fish bake. Tonight it’s crock pot chicken curry. What are you having for dinner tonight?

Why Working Late in Your Pregnancy May be as Harmful as Smoking

*Link to original post here

We’re often told that healthy women with low risk pregnancies are able to work up until delivery.

But should they, really?

A new study from the University of Essex shows that working past the eight month mark may be as harmful to our babies as smoking since they grow more slowly in the womb.

The research tells us that women who continued working until the end of the third trimester were more likely to have lower birth weight babies. We know from previous studies that babies with lower birth weights are more prone to developmental delays and poor health. In addition, they are less likely to be scholastically successful, which could mean lower wages and higher mortality.

The study does point out that pregnant women over the age of 24 were at more risk. And those with less education are at most risk since they are more likely to have physically demanding jobs.

Samples were taken from three major surveys, over the last few decades, dating as far back as the 70s and as recently as 2005, among populations both in the UK and US.

One of the outcomes of the study was the recommendation that women who feel the need, should take a break from work before birth, rather than just after.

These new recommendations are a far cry from what pregnant women have been told in recent years. Women have been encouraged to stay active throughout their pregnancy to prevent gaining excess weight, which can contribute to gestational diabetes. Even light jogging is considered a safe way to keep fit and possibly make labour easier.

Sure, maybe with six support bras cradling your swollen, tender breasts. There’s nothing like carrying around the extra weight of baby, placenta, amniotic fluid and the increased blood mass to motivate you through your last mile. *eye roll*

I remember how cumbersome I felt at six months pregnant with my second child. Every joint ached, and it took all I had in me just to waddle to the kitchen to address baby’s chicken craving. I couldn’t imagine having to sit at an office desk for eight hours or playing Frogger through downtown traffic to make it to an industry event on time, let alone go jogging.

This new information finally offers some rest for the weary. It’s bad enough that women are expected to do it all, but to do it all while nine months pregnant? And we place these expectations on ourselves. We compete with each other the most.

Ladies, it’s OK to put your feet up and modify your daily routine. Yes, women have bore children for millennia, but it doesn’t make the feat any less miraculous, and dare I say, brave.

So take your last month, or three, off work and start nesting. And don’t allow the big belly mamas-to-be doing the downward dog in the park to make you feel inadequate. Better them than you.