Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • 10 yummiest summer drinks

    I'm not a huge drinker, but there's something about the season that just makes me want to sit on the patio and sip a fun drink out of a pretty glass. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's the hours of sunlight. Maybe it's the abundance of fresh fruit and herbs. Maybe it's the fact that my kids are home from school. OK, so maybe there's no maybe about that one. It's the kids. They're driving me to drink. Here's what's in my glass ...

    1. White Sangria I love me some traditional Sangria, but this one just seems more summery to me. Yum.

    2. Honeydew Fizz Midori, fresh honeydew, and seltzer water is all it takes to make this yummy green bliss. I'll take three.

    3. Blueberry Spritzer This one is kid-friendly and super healthy. I think it'd be even better with some vanilla vodka, but either way.

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    4. Strawberry Lemonade We're totally making this for the lemonade stand and charging a dollar a cup.

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  • 3 veggie burgers that will have meat-lovers fooled

    I was tending the grill at a big block-party barbecue when someone asked me to cook some veggie dogs for them. Sure, I said, and then looked on in horror as this person plunked two Barbie doll-colored sticks on the grill. Dear readers, aside from the grill marks the veggie dogs hardly changed color when they cooked. I felt like apologizing when I served them.

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    This got me wondering: do all fake-meat products suck? I've written off veggie dogs as a hopeless case, but I decided to survey the veggie burgers at my local grocery store to see if there are some palatable options.

    Which veggie burgers made us reconsider our meat eating -- and which burgers just made us sad for vegetarians? We rated the most popular veggie burgers on a scale of 1 to 5.

    There is no way a vegetarian product can come even close to approximating a real, juicy meat burger, so my standard of judgement isn't so much about how

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  • Bad news for those who lost their virginity young

    sad young womansad young womanA new study from the University of Iowa suggests that girls who have sex before the age of 16 are more likely to get a divorce down the road. The study surveyed about 3,800 women and found that 47 percent of girls who lost their virginity in their teendom were divorced within 10 years of marriage. Some argue that the study implies that if a girl is sexually active as a young teen, her later relationships will suffer for it.

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    It's studies like these that really get my goat. If the divorce rate is 50 percent anyway, wouldn't that mean that it's a crap shoot either way, early sex or not? This vague causal relationship between early sex and divorce doesn't make much sense to me.

    The older I get, the less tolerance I have for these kinds of studies. And by that I mean studies that say who's going to win at marriage, studies that explain why you should settle, why you shouldn't settle, why you're more likely to be

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  • Banana Republic will debut 'Mad Men' collection in August. Squee.

    Continuing my (and most of the rest of America's) obsession with all things Mad Men, I was elated to see the news that Banana Republic has teamed with Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, and will release a Mad Men-inspired capsule collection in August.

    YAY.

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    Banana Republic is the perfect partner for Bryant. It allows her to design with slightly more upscale fabrics and still present a reasonably priced collection.

    And judging by the photos, this collection is going to be HOT.

    Click through to see the entire line of women's wear, which will be available in stores and online July 25.

    Check these photos out and then tell me which one is your fave:

    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic

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    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic

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    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic

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    Bana

    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic

    I'm

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  • How swimsuit season turns us into big fat liars

    bathing suitsbathing suitsThis can easily become of the most dreaded times of the year for many of us, if only because it's bathing suit season. Media and advertising have us believing we're practically supposed to sweat bullets over what styles look best on our body types, what cover-ups look the most chic and least muu-muu-ish, what kinds of cellulite cream will do nothing for "reduce the appearance of" our various lumps and bumps. That's just what we do every summer, right?

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    But according to a new survey of about 1,000 women 18 years old and up, conducted for ShopSmart (which is from the publisher of Consumer Reports), we're not falling into that trap of self-hatred so easily anymore!

    Only about 18 percent of respondents didn't like how they look in a bathing suit, while 40 percent are impartial, and 36 percent are "OK with it." Apparently, this is good, exciting, happy news, because so few women reported being unhappy with how they look.

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  • Dad takes on biggest challenge of raising a girl


    As a man with a daughter, I'm constantly bombarded with things that I'd always hoped I'd never have to get to know on an academic level. For instance, my daughter is wearing panties now. Those used to be fun. Now they're education.

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    And I won't even get started on the fear that I have of training bras and cup sizes. Nope, I'll just stick to my red Solo cups.

    Well, before I even get that far in life, I've been introduced to the wonderful world of doing a girl's hair. Yay me. My daughter's hair is a mix of my ultra-wavy, curly locks and her mother's thick and silky hair. I guess that would make her hair wavy, curly, silky, and thick. Basically, my daughter's hair is a parfait. And no, that doesn't make any sense.

    I knew the day would come when I'd have to give up my tried and true method of wet, brush, and clip. At some point you have to style a little girl's hair. Besides, I will not

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  • Missy Elliott reveals she suffers from incurable disease

    missy elliottmissy elliottImagine feeling lightheaded and shaky one afternoon, and then finding out it's the byproduct of an incurable disease. The cherry on top: Your incurable disease has the world's worst name. Missy Elliott is just that fortunate (note my sarcasm).

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    The "Work It" hip-hop artist is suffering from an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid, and was diagnosed two years ago in 2008. Only recently, in an interview with People Magazine, did the 39-year-old reveal her condition to the world.

    So what's the name of this disease? And what's this mean for Missy? Read on to find out:

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    Graves' disease.

    Uplifting, right? The singer suffered several debilitating hyperthyroid symptoms, like the loss of control of the nervous system, hair loss, and dramatic mood swings. The singer told People:

    I was [driving and] trying

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  • Parents hear 'worst sound in the world' every day

    If you think the worst sound in the world is when one of your kids starts whining, then you're actually scientifically correct. It turns out that whining is, indeed, the worst sound in the world to human ears. We can't get anything done when someone is whining.

    But no one had to tell this to us parents.

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    "Moooooommmmmmyyyy ..." my almost 3-year-old will cry. His older sister knows better than to try to whine to get my attention, but he still hasn't learned. And much as I love the kid, lord do I have to control myself in those moments. When my kids whine, I can't focus, I can't think. All I can do is sit there wanting that horrible noise to stop.

    It turns out, I am not alone. The noise actually is the most annoying noise in the world, according to a new study.

    How does one gauge the most annoying noise in the world? They gave math problems to people and then had them listen to several annoying noises,

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  • Medical breakthrough lets you live without a heartbeat

    Try to wrap your head around this: What's alive, but has no heartbeat, no pulse, and a flat-line on a monitor? No, it's not a riddle, it's a brand new leap in heart replacement technology that still has me scratching my head. In fact, if you tuned into NPR yesterday, you might have also had your mind blown by the latest invention to keep people alive who have suffered significant damage to their heart.

    It's a heart replacement, without the heart.

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    Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute developed a whirring device that pumps blood continuously to keep you alive when your heart stops working. It's based on the single ventricular assist device (like the one Dick Cheney has to keep him alive), except they doubled it to replace the entire heart. What happens next is the blood flows through your body, you stay alive, but you have absolutely no pulse or heartbeat. WEIRD. But genius.

    You see, the

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  • Scarlet fever fatalities terrify parents

    Color me terrified: Scarlet fever is back, and two kids have died from a massive outbreak in China. As a parent, I'd put scarlet fever on the back burner of worries, so to speak: Isn't that the disease that made Mary Ingalls blind in Little House on the Prairie? Oh well, nobody gets that anymore. But not only is scarlet fever back, the bacteria has apparently genetically mutated -- the new super-powered version spreads more easily and appears to be resistant to antibiotics. Usually, scarlet fever is, or has been, treatable. Severe cases, however, can lead to pneumonia, middle ear infection, heart disease, and death.

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    So what to do, as a parent? I have to say if my family had any plans to travel to China in the near future, I'd probably err on the side of caution and cancel our trip. Still, we live in the tri-state area, where people travel internationally all the time, so I know

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