There's only six weeks left in the school year and as much as I'd like to ride it out with 30 more soy butter and jam sandwiches and 30 little baggies of clementine slices, my son has officially declared he's had it with the same old lunches. We've decided to stick with our standard sandwich choices and jazz things up in the lunchbox with some new and exciting (well, at least to a kindergartner!) extras. If your kiddos are ready for lunchtime sides that aren't yogurt tubes and fishy crackers, here's how to really shake up their midday meals for the remaining school days.Read More »from 10 lunchbox extras that go beyond yogurt tubes and fishy crackers
Blog Posts by Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Snacktastic – Thu, Apr 28, 2011 12:06 AM EDT
Technology is taking the decades-long tradition of 12-step programs and drug and alcohol treatment to new places. Social networks have enabled the once-anonymous to share their stories of recovery in 140-character updates. Bloggers have used posts to openly discuss being clean and sober and message boards have offered support outside of meeting rooms. Soon, smart phones could take Recovery 2.0 one step further.Read More »from Can your phone help you kick drugs and drinking?
Engineering researchers at the University of Wisconsin's have developed a smart phone app that will be tested by treatment centers to assist addicts who are currently in recovery or have just left a treatment facility. The app offers quick, simple connection to sponsors, a 24-hour counseling hotline, their treatment center of choice, and friends, peers, or family who are critical to the recovery process.
Dubbed ACHESS (for Addiction-Center for Health Enhancement System Studies), the app also has a panic button that can be custom programmed. Specialized GPS also helps the
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Mother's Day – Mon, Apr 25, 2011 7:30 PM EDT
When it comes to Mother's Day, I've been one lucky mama. Even through a divorce, my mom and ex-husband have rallied to make sure that my little boy has a gift, usually wrapped up in pink paper and bows, that he feels excited to give me. He is opinionated -- usually choosing some kind of jewelry with a heart on it, almost always opting for girly colors he knows I will love -- and the support crew of adults pony up the cash and invest the time so his vision is realized in a bead bracelet or customized t-shirt or coffee mug plastered with pictures of my little boy's smiling face.Read More »from Tell us! What are the best and worst Mother's Day gifts you've ever gotten (or given)?
Still, I am well aware that the tween and teen years (and beyond) can be brutal for mothers, particularly on Mother's Day, especially for those of us who treasure the papier-mache and macaroni masterpieces and will wear a "best mom ever" necklace every day until our necks turn a disturbing shade of brownish-green.
You only have to look through Shine posts of the past on terrible Mother's Day gifts to find
Demi Lovato talks candidly eating disorders, rehab, and fighting back against the pressure to be perfectBy Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Tue, Apr 12, 2011 11:20 PM EDT
At the age of 19, Demi Lovato already has more than a decade of experience as a professional actor and singer in her repertoire. But her ambition and talent stretches back to a kindergarten talent show, where she says the spark was lit as she sang "My Heart Will Go On." By age eight, she was a part of the cast of the preschool sensation "Barney & Friends" with best friend Selena Gomez.Read More »from Demi Lovato talks candidly eating disorders, rehab, and fighting back against the pressure to be perfect
As a teen, her successes piled up -- a spot as the lead in the Disney Channel show "Sonny with a Chance", a starring role in the "Camp Rock" movies, a top spot in "The Princess Protection Program", and two solo albums. She made guest appearances on shows like "America's Next Top Model" and "Grey's Anatomy" and spoke out against bullying on CNN. She dated Joe Jonas, and teamed up with him, Gomez, and Miley Cyrus for an environmental charity campaign.
The Demi that looked shiny under the spotlight was really worn and broken underneath.
In this month's Seventeen, Lovato reveals that the pressure to be
If you're only focusing on filing your taxes on time, considering the tremendous work of rebuilding post-disaster Japan, how to keep childhood obesity from invading your home and kids' schools, or whether or not we will ever be done with these wars, for crying out loud, STOP.Read More »from Boys with nail polish: so not a big deal
Something really pressing has happened, something dangerous and controversial has infested our Internet, seeped into our home computers, and possibly poisoned all we know and have built for our families!
It needs your attention now! This thing...this scary, scary thing...is a threat! A horror! Psychological warfare on the minds of consumers, parents, and possibly an entire generation!
What is this dire matter?
A boy wearing pink nail polish. Of course.
Perhaps you've seen the coverage spilling its way across reputable and questionable news sources. Or maybe you received the ad in the mail, an email blast sent out last week by J. Crew last week to customers who receive a feature called "Saturday with Jenna."
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Moments Of Motherhood – Fri, Apr 8, 2011 5:24 AM EDTPatieCakes toddler stud muffin tie, $3Oh, the joy of the weeks before a big holiday when you're busy planning a brunch buffet for seventeen, desperately trying to find non-toxic eggs to stuff full of candy, on a house-wide scavenger hunt for the left patent leather peep toe heel you will be wearing thankyouverymuch and are praying to the Saints of Small Children's Attire that your kids will not be seated in pews in Dora jammies or something sort of clean.
Worry not. There's no need to buy new outfits for rapidly growing children or to stress about how many stores you have to go to in order to ensure everyone's fully clothed. Here's exactly how to use a brand new accessory or two - either from a store or dug up from whatever pile you find your own shoe in - to make the clothes your kids already have, love, and probably over-wear so that they feel comfortable, appear happy, and even look portrait-worthy.
Read More »from Forget buying new Easter outfits! 21 accessories to fancy up your kid's everyday clothes
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Wed, Apr 6, 2011 10:44 PM EDT
I could not take my eyes away from Bravo's new show based on the business of professional pregnancy concierge, Rosie Pope, and the crazy services she provides to wealthy moms-to-be in New York City. Her maternity boutique is high-end and so are the demands of her clientele, whose demands range from completely extravagant (naked portrait on a pony, anyone?) to basic (need to learn how to actually hold a baby?).Read More »from 'Pregnant in Heels': Do you need a pregnancy concierge? [video]
Rosie Pope herself is accommodating and still firm; she knows the parents she's dealing with and their hyper-specific issues but she doesn't stand for diva behavior or delegating the real work of becoming a mother or father to her or to her staff. Once I got over round-in-the-mouth accent, I liked watching Rosie navigate her way through the stroller store with parents who thought pushing a baby in a big, ugly plastic thing with too many knobs and levers was too much of a hassle. I even enjoyed the focus groups she set up for a couple intent on (get ready for this) "branding
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Tue, Apr 5, 2011 11:10 PM EDT
I am pretty sure that one day Bethenny Frankel and I are going to be friends. We will laugh hard and drink Skinnygirl Margaritas and she get on my last girlfriend nerve, but we are destined to know each other. And when we finally meet, I will thank her profusely for her crazy/wonderful tip on cutting calories from a food that cannot be completely cut from any sane woman's diet - ginormous bagels.Read More »from What's one little change you've made in your diet?
Here's Bethenny's advice from her book "The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life":
I'll be honest - no matter how much her crabby dog Cookie takes to me - there's just no way in hell I am going to scoop the good part out of a great food. But reading this did make me think that there's really no reason for me to eat the whole bagel those two times (ahem) a week (honest!) I crave one. I felt like this tip opened up my options for bagel-gobbling. Either I can scoop out the insides and add sandwich stuffs or I can just eat one half now, another in a couple of days.
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Mon, Apr 4, 2011 8:23 AM EDT
Kimora Lee Simmons / Getty ImagesI thought I knew a lot about Kimora Lee Simmons from marathoning my way through her reality show, during which she swathed her daughters in custom clothes, negotiated how much time her kids should spend meditating with her ex-husband Russell Simmons, openly hated exercise, squeezed into red-carpet gowns, bounded through life brashly as a single mother, ran multiple companies, had a third child and got remarried to actor Djimon Hounsou. Perhaps I believed that was rounded out knowing that she'd begun her modeling career at 13, considers Tyra Banks a close enough friend to be her maid of honor, and by reading excerpts of her book.
But what I didn't know was how much Kimora and I would have in common.
I'm a sucker for a celebrity interview. I usually hang up the phone or click off the email exchange fully vested in this person I've known for 2 minutes and 37 seconds. But the (much longer) time I spent with Kimora was more like coffee with that crazy mom in the killer heels you alwaysRead More »from Kimora Lee Simmons: 11 pretty fabulous things she told me, mama to mama
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Work + Money – Thu, Mar 31, 2011 12:01 AM EDT
Rosie O'Donnell to move in to Oprah's studioIf you were worried the world might quiet down a bit with Oprah's departure from daytime network TV, fear not. Rosie O'Donnell will be moving into the Chicago-based Harpo Studio One to tape her own show for Oprah's OWN cable network. O'Donnell announced that some of Oprah's staff will stick around to help her make a "kick-ass show" for the lady in charge. Winfrey has taped in the studio since January 1990.Read More »from Rosie O'Donnell to take over Oprah's studio: Will you watch?
The choice was apparently a careful one, with Sheri Salata, president of the studio, noting that Oprah highly values and respects the real estate space. In turn, Chicagoans are breathing a sigh of relief that it will keep jobs, revenue, and a bit of celeb status in the West Loop neighborhood of the city.
The word on the street is that O'Donnell and her four children, as well as her girlfriend and her six children, will make the move to Chicago. There, O'Donnell says her one-hour afternoon-slotted talk show will focus less on celebs and more on the timely topics she's known for