Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • Dukan diet: Will Kate Middleton skinny secret work for you?

    dukan dietdukan dietThe Dukan Diet is all the rage with the French, the royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton, Middleton's mother, and Gisele Bundchen. Now, it's coming over here, because Americans could always use another celeb-endorsed fad diet!

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    The Atkins Diet has always driven me nuts, because extreme measures (like cutting out all carbs and going on a fatty protein binge) have never gone hand-in-hand with effective, lasting, healthy weight-loss. But somehow, his old diet and various incarnations of it are still around. He really pulled a number on yo-yo dieters, convincing them that carbs are the devil.

    So, being that Dukan has been called the "French Atkins," I have a feeling I'm not going to be too keen on what he has to say. Still, the 69-year-old neurologist's books have already sold millions of copies and been translated in 14 languages.

    I guess the U.S. is a bit behind the eight-ball on this one? Alright, so let's catch ourselves up to speed on

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  • Crazy acts of revenge by cheated-on lovers

    Whenever my phone rings at 3 in the morning, it makes me nervous. And for good reason, since no conversation I've ever had at any wee hour has ever been good news (except for the occasional booty call from my then-boo back in college, but that's a different kind of walk down memory lane).

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    The last time it happened, it wasn't either.

    "Hello?" I whispered in one of those cantankerous, it's-3-am-so-don't-expect-light-hearted-chit-chat voices.

    No one said anything on the other end, but I could make out one distinctive noise: heaving and sobbing. I know that sound all too well. I waited for a minute, then gently pressed with another "hello" before my friend finally managed words to share the worst news that a woman could get besides finding out that Real Housewives was going off the air: her fiancé was cheating. And she found the proof herself.

    A few days later, she sent out a text message to

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  • 5 dumb nutrition rules worth breaking!

    All the rules nutritionists, doctors, and weight loss experts throw at us these days are enough to make our heads explode. So. Many. Rules. Eat this, but not that, and not at this time, and this will kill you but this is the healthier choice, but only on Tuesdays ... ACK! No wonder dieters are constantly running for the ice cream to escape the pressure.

    Finally, a voice of reason in this madness, Monica Reinagel, a licensed nutritionist and professionally-trained chef on the Nutrition Diva podcast and Nutrition Over Easy blog, is here to make it a little easier on all of us who are trying to eat better and already obsessing over how we're going to look in that bikini come summer. She says lot of the food and nutrition "rules" that are floating around out there fall squarely into the total nonsense category, and she sets the record straight on why below.

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    Moms have enough to worry about. Here are 5 dumb nutrition

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  • Technology to replace purses, moms to rejoice!

    There are a lot of things that cause us stress, and heck, technology can be one of them. But there's a new technological development out there that is really getting me excited. It's going to simplify my life so much, and yours too.

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    What if I told you that you could leave the house without your wallet, without your keys, and without any sort of identification and you'd be totally fine? Panic about your overflowing and ginormous purse no longer, NFC technology is here.

    OK. "NFC" has got to be the worst name for this thing ever, but it stands for "Near Field Communication" and it's basically a way for devices to commicate wirelessly with one another at very, very close range. So how will it help us?

    Devices, like our phones, for example, will become NFC-enabled, and so will, well, everything else. That means we'll only have to carry our phones, which will act as our credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, health

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  • Jilted fiance sues boyfriend for 'emotional distress'

    Hell hath no fury like a woman who's paid for part of her wedding, then finds out her fiance has cheated on her. Just ask Lauren Serafin, E.S.Q. I think she'd tell you how pissed she is, then maybe send you an invoice for the billable hours.

    Lauren and Robert Leighton (also a Chicago lawyer) were engaged to be married and had planned a 170-person wedding and honeymoon to Bora Bora. Then Rob went to Las Vegas for his bachelor party, and everything changed.

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    Lauren decided to not only get mad, but to get money, too.

    Rob's little Vegas getaway didn't go as Lauren had hoped. Well, actually, Lauren didn't even know he was going so ... Rob's little Vegas getaway really surprised Lauren, but that wasn't the worst thing that happened.

    Rob allegedly met a girl at a club, took her home to his hotel room, and had a one-night stand. He denied it, but Lauren found textual proof from SMS messages on his

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  • Food police is out to kill Cap'n Crunch, the bullies!

    Last week, there was a brief period of panic when reports came out that Cap'n Crunch was being put to rest. Yes, some rumors were circulating that the peanut buttery cereal of many childhoods that tore up the roofs of our mouths but still made us ask for more was going to be retired. Fortunately, the initial panic was put to rest, and the cereal is safe ... for now.

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    The actual cereal was never actually at stake (phew!), it was Cap'n Horatio Magellan Crunch, that blue-suited pirate that's been on the box since 1963 that some thought was facing retirement under pressure from Michelle Obama and her health food posse. They don't like people marketing bad foods directly to children ... who clearly go to the grocery store and buy cereal themselves?

    I have purchased my children exactly one box of sugary cereal in the seven years I've had children -- and that was for a long car ride in which I thought some Apple Jacks

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  • Nothing says Spring 2011 like eye-popping bursts of color and bright accessories, but these candy colors can make you look like an Easter egg if you aren't super careful. We all want to get on the trends and shake off the winter darkness, but not all of us know how to do it without looking silly.

    The first thing to remember is that some colors, usually neon, are best left to younger people. If you work in an office or are over the age of 24, you may want to reconsider that look. Beyond neon, all colors are fair game as long as you play it right.

    One of the best parts of spring is being able to look at your closet in a new way, too. Bright colors help shake up the old neutrals you have, and if you know how to do it right, you can end up spending very little on your spring wardrobe.

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    Here is a spring guide to rocking bright colors:

    No embellishment: If you want to wear colors, do it simply. You

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  • Rental car seats can be deadly & disgusting

    As if flying with kids isn't difficult enough, thinking about dragging their bulky car seat to the airport can be daunting. There's a big push to require car seats on planes, but many people still choose to go without, and rent a car seat from a car rental at their destination.

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    But there is danger in trusting that a car seat from a rental place is safe. In fact, there have been stories that reveal frightening facts that would make you never, ever trust one again.

    One important thing to consider is that you have no idea how the seat has been treated. And in speaking to friends who have traveled and asked the manager of the car rental about the car seats, it seems even the managers of the rental places have no idea. It could have been in a crash, there might be broken pieces that someone rigged to make work. A child might have peed in the seat and they threw the harness straps into the washing machine and dryer

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  • Weddings are a waste of money & so is Starbucks

    Whether we admit it to our friends or whisper it in our personal prayers, most of us would like to be wrapped up in love someday, if we haven't found it already. I fantasize about a romance that's a mash-up of the relationship between my pastors, who are one of the cutest couples I know; my grandparents, who were happy for 50 years before my grandfather passed; and the fun-loving Cliff and Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show. I think I've found that snazzy combination in my boyfriend, so y'all can understand why, eventually, I'd like to hustle him and a pair of rings in front of an officiant to become Mrs. Janelle Harris-Williams (or whatever).

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    We talk about a future together, complete with the same ideas on raising children and a shared vision for the perfect home. But there's a snag when we hash out how that's all going to happen: he thinks weddings are a big waste of money.

    For one, he's a guy and that's what

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  • A khaki trenchcoat for all seasons AND budgets!

    Katie HolmesKatie Holmes

    As Katie Holmes proves, you're nobody in this town without a khaki trenchcoat ...

    ... and a blue lollipop.

    Okay, the lollipop may be optional, but the khaki trenchcoat is a perennial favorite with the fashion elite.

    It also makes a very worthwhile and very wearable wardrobe investment.

    Best of all?

    You can score one no matter what your budget.

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    Want to see some of my favorite khaki trenchcoat picks?

    Read on!


    You can't go wrong with this classic MICHAEL Michael Kors trenchcoat (Bluefly, $119). Great designer, reasonable price.

    Fred FlareOr you could opt to shake up the classic look with this Natasha khaki plaid trenchcoat (Fred Flare, $54.99 on sale).

    J. CrewIf you've got the money for it, I'm smitten with this stylish Icon Trench (J.Crew, $298).

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    Ann TaylorDon't care for the belted look? Check out this pretty Trench Topper (Ann Taylor, $149.99 on sale).


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