Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • 10 Secrets to a More Bearable Mammogram

    mammogrammammogramNow that it's officially Breast Cancer Awareness month, we're sure to be saturated with info about all the different prevention and screening methods for the disease. But it doesn't have to be October for women to get a mammogram. For many, especially women over 40, it's an annual routine exam and, err, well, not exactly the most pleasant one.

    More from The Stir: Here's a Hilarious Reminder to Do Your Monthly Breast Exam! (VIDEO)

    A doctor who specializes in the health needs of women, Dr. Yael Varnardo -- aka Dr. V of -- admits, "There can be actual physical discomfort and mental anxiety that goes into the whole [mammogram] process that winds us up." But thankfully, it is possible to make the exam less annoying. Here, Dr. V shared with us her top tips for a more comfortable mammogram ...

    More from The Stir: 5 Things You May Not Know About Mammograms

    Before the exam:
    1. It's to your own benefit to follow instructions to a tee. For instance ... "Don't wear
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  • Who Will Raise My Daughter If I Die?

    baby on beachbaby on beach

    Being diagnosed with Stage IIIC cancer when my daughter was six days old, I have thought a great deal about what might happen after I die. Who will be the mother figure to her? Will my husband remarry?

    Would I want him to remarry?

    More from The Stir: Your Baby Will Survive Without You

    Of course, these questions are not unique to me just because of my cancer. Any of us could be hit by a bus tomorrow. The future is unknown. Just last week, in fact, a young mom and warrior in the cancer community died suddenly of a blood clot one week after the birth of her fourth child. This after successfully beating breast cancer and going on to become a tireless advocate for cancer research and awareness.

    Try and wrap your head around that one.

    Maybe it's because I'm now plugged into a community where death is an all-too-frequent visitor. Or maybe it's because the date of my first three-month post-treatment tests is looming. But death is on my mind a lot these days. My

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  • Yes, Your Baby is Cute, but No, She Shouldn't Be a Model

    babiesbabiesI think my baby is cute. And I'm thinking you think yours is, too. And hey, I think yours is cute, and you probably think mine is cute, right? Babies -- well, they're cute. Even when they're not, they are. They're tiny and squishy and pure and innocent. There really is nothing not to like about them. They're, in a word, adorable. But please, don't ask me if your child should be a model.

    More from The Stir: Let Baby Braggers Have Their Moment (Because It Won't Last)

    I'm guessing most of you have seen it. You log on to Facebook, or into your email account, and there it is: "Vote for my baby to be the next Gap/Gerber/You Name It model!" Really? Or maybe your friend has even asked you point blank: Do you think my son/daughter could be a model?

    Of course your baby is cute -- like I said, it's nearly impossible to find one who isn't. And I genuinely love all the photos you post of him/her on Facebook -- I even show my family. Aw, look how sweet so-and-so's little one is! But

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  • 15 Signs that You're NOT Ready for a Relationship

    Turn on any movie or television show and you'll quickly be inundated with the idea that if you don't have a romantic relationship, there's clearly something wrong with you and you're going to end up sitting alone at weddings without a Plus One for the rest of your life.

    It's not true.

    And it's also not a good idea to jump into a relationship if you're simply not ready for one. So how do you know if you should take the leap? Let's find out some signs that you're NOT ready for a relationship yet.

    More from The Stir: 10 Tips for Getting Over a Cheating Spouse That Really Do Work

    1) You're miserable, unhappy with your situation in life. If you try to jump into a relationship while you're depressed, chances are you're going to attract the wrong type of partner. Happiness comes from within.

    2) Like it or not, you're still in love with your ex.

    3) You're too busy working on your own life to devote any time to anyone else.

    4) You find yourself attracted over and

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  • The Apple Pie to End All Other Apple Pies

    sheila apple piesheila apple pieIn my part of the world, it's a chilly, rainy day. Wouldn't a warm piece of apple pie hit the spot right about now! And it seems like apples are all over the place now that it's fall.

    More from The Stir: Best In-Season Fruits & Vegetables to Cook With This Fall

    Apple pie can be easier than you think. If you're not into making your own, you can buy a pre-made crust -- and then use this classic apple pie recipe from DashRecipes. The rest is just tossing your apple slices with sugar and spice and letting it all bake into warm, golden goodness in the oven. What cozy, yummy smell to infuse your home with.

    Sheila's Apple Pie via DashRecipes


    • Pie dough (your favorite recipe, enough for a double 9-inch crust)
    • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
    • 5 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples, such as Granny Smith, Pippin, McIntosh, or Rhode Island Greening
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
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  • Throw a Presidential Debate Party Without Burning Down the House

    republicans democratsrepublicans democratsThe 2012 presidential debates are here! The presidential debates are here! Are you planning to watch? You could watch them alone and shout at your television in privacy. Hey, that's cool. Do it all the time myself. But isn't it even more fun if you have a few friends over? I think a debate party is in order.

    We've given you ideas for Republican-themed food and drinks and a Democrat-themed menu. But let's amp up the fun even more with some ideas for games, themes, and more.

    Invitations: You could try and invite people of all political persuasions. Um ... you are still speaking to your friends who are rooting for the other guy, right? Hmm.

    More from The Stir: 2012 Presidential Debates: When They Start, Where to Watch

    On second thought, maybe you should avoid having the police show up at your party to break up the inevitable "domestic disturbance." Just call the people you already know agree with each other. Apologize to your brother-in-law for un-viting him. He'll

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  • 10 Ways Your Baby's Name Could Ruin His Life

    baby namebaby nameChoosing the perfect name for your baby is something you definitely can't afford to mess up, especially since your kid will be stuck with whatever you decide on for the rest of his or her life. (Yeah, yeah -- I know they can legally change it, but that's a huge pain.)

    More from The Stir: 13 Hottest Baby Names of 2012

    And as it turns out, there may be a whole lot more importance in a baby name than we originally thought, because our given names may affect our personalities as a whole.

    A psychology professor at Brown University named Lewis Lipsitt has concluded that we choose our babies' names based on our own genes, which in turn means our babies' personalities should fit well with the names we choose -- because they share our genes. But at the same time, I guess that means if we screw things up and select a name that is a huge contrast to our own personalities, our babies may grow up conflicted and confused. (Great -- just great.)

    More from The Stir: 52 Wackiest

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  • 5 Reasons Moms Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect

    We can do it posterWe can do it posterI've read my fair share of parenting articles discussing perfection and the notion of "having it all," but none touched me like the recent piece called "Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect" by Barnard President Debora Spar.

    Since it's a pretty long article, I took what I thought were the 5 most salient points to share with you. Hold on to your hats, mamas, because what she is saying might just change your life.

    More from The Stir: 6 Things I Said I'd Never Do as a Mom ... But Am Totally Doing

    1. Acknowledge that biology matters. As Spar notes, biology doesn't determine everything, but it does matter, especially when it comes to having babies. So while women will always be the ones physically able to have babies (sorry guys!), we can try make choices that help alleviate the tensions that having babies can cause, like staying close to family so you have a support system, or breastfeeding for less time than you might want. Those might not work for you, but her point
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  • 5 Fall Looks No Woman Should Be Caught Dead In

    fall fashionfall fashionEarlier this week we took a look at celebs who look great in fall's biggest trend, black and white, and a few weeks ago, we learned about what beauty trends are out of style, but today, today we're going to talk about fall fashions that no one, no one should wear this season. You think fashion is subjective, but it's not. There may not be rules, per se, but there are certainly suggestions. Strong ones. Like here, in this post.

    More from The Stir: 8 Cool Kid Styles We Can Still Wear Today (PHOTOS)

    From certain shoes to certain scarves to certain animals, here are 5 things nobody should be caught dead wearing this autumn.

    What do you not want to see this fall?

    Fugly UgglysFugly Ugglys


    Fugly Ugglys

    Unless you're surfing in Australia this fall, there is no excuse for the Uggs. We're over them, and frankly, I bet the sheep are, too.

    Infinity Scarf -- BarfInfinity Scarf -- Barf


    Infinity Scarf -- Barf

    These had a good run, but it's time now to retire the infinity scarf. Plus,

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  • 8 Cool Kid Styles We Can Still Wear Today (PHOTOS)

    patterned skirtpatterned skirtIf there's one thing I'd love to carry with me forever, it'd be my childhood fashion sense. Fashion was fun, the clothes were stylish, and mixing and matching was a must. If you think that as you grow and evolve, you graduate from the leggings, the Mary Janes, and the floral prints of yesteryear, you're wrong.

    More from The Stir: 5 '80s Looks to Love & 5 More We'd Love to Forget (PHOTOS)

    It's time to reach back and revive those super cute styles you sported as kids. The goal isn't to dress like children, 'cause that would be really awkward. But don't be afraid to mix those grade school looks with the fashions that are around today. If you've ever been rummaging the shelves of a department store and thought, "I remember wearing this as a kid!" you're in good shape. It's all about reusing styles from our youthful days.

    So pull up a chair, a Capri Sun, and ready your Etch A Sketch 'cause I've got the details on how to stay stylin' in eight of the best childhood frocks:

    Mary JanesMary Janes

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