Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • Are Your Taste Buds Male or Female?

    Here's a pretty common scenario when my husband and I head out for a date night that includes a cocktail: The waitress arrives at our table with a Cosmopolitan and a Manhattan. She sets the Cosmo down in front of me and the Manhattan in front of my husband. We smile resignedly ... and switch the drinks back to their rightful owners.

    More from The Stir: Shocking Drunk Baby Photos

    I can see why she'd assume the Cosmo is mine, because it's pink, fruity, and strongly identified with Sex and the City. (Not mocking you, honey! Okay, maybe just a little teensy bit.) But food is gendered in all sorts of ways. If I write, "Chris is totally jonesing for some chocolate" you're picturing a female, right? If I substituted "nice bloody rare steak" for "chocolate," you'd most likely think Chris is a guy.

    According to this fascinating Salon story, some scientists believe that such gendering of food is biological, that women are hardwired to prefer sweet tastes while men prefer things with a

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  • 5 Seriously Crazy Weight Loss Products

    Image via Ali ExpressImage via Ali ExpressAnything to lose a few pounds, right? Well, clearly many around the world embrace that philosophy very literally because a plethora of outrageous weight loss gadgets and gizmos continues to proliferate the market.

    Some, like various unregulated pills and potions, can be dangerous; others are just downright weird ... and, dare I say, a waste of money that prey on the hopes of everyone who wants to find a magic weight loss solution that doesn't require the tried-and-true method: exercise and healthy eating.

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    Here are five of my favorite crazy weight loss products:

    1. Calorie Breath Weight Loss Program By blowing into this phallic-inspired device, you can supposedly huff and puff your way to fitness in just five minutes a day. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for it to work though.

    Image via FitgizmosImage via Fitgizmos
    2. Dumbbell Phone Another one from our creative Asian friends, the Dumbbell Phone is a 10-pound weight you can attach Read More »from 5 Seriously Crazy Weight Loss Products
  • Selfish Lovers Are Better? Um ... Let Me Tell You Something

    Researchers are experiencing shock and awe over a recent study from Kwantlen University in Canada that seems to find that lovers who describe themselves as selfish have partners who describe themselves as satisfied. This, they say, shows a startling conclusion: Selfish lovers are better lovers.

    Listen, people, I was a horny 22-year-old myself, once upon a time. And I can see through this study like you could see through my Betsey Johnson baby-doll dress (guaranteed results in the early '90s, and I've got the lipstick-case notches to prove it).

    More from The Stir: Casual Sex: How Harmful Is It?

    Here's how I think these results came about, and it's not what these researchers concluded.

    The study worked like this: Couples of different ages (30 aged 18-25, 30 aged 30+) were asked (a) why they have sex and (b) whether their partners satisfied them. The study found that, surprise-surprise, younger lovers gave reasons like "I have sex because I'm horny and it feels good," while older

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  • Double Your Closet Space in 5 Easy Steps

    Organizing your closet is only as difficult and time-consuming as you make it. And no more "my closet is too small" excuses. Professional organizers know the key to freeing up clogged storage is setting priorities and maximizing existing space. Here are five quick and simple closet organization solutions to try the next rainy day -- no knocking down walls, fancy boxes and contraptions, or online organizing software required. Follow these five tips and double your closet space in no time!

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    1. Purge and declutter

    You'll have more space if you get rid of the stuff you never wear. This can be difficult, as clothes often have emotional attachment. Ask yourself four simple questions when closet cleaning:

    -- Have I worn this in the past year?

    -- Do I feel good when I wear it?

    -- Am I keeping it because I have buyer's remorse?

    -- Should I even wear it?

    If you answer no to any of the

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  • 5 Quick and Easy Homemade Food Gifts

    Image via theogeo/FlickrImage via theogeo/FlickrTeacher presents, graduations, birthdays, hostess gifts, thanks-for-watching-my-dog-for-the-weekend gifts. It feels like I've needed all of these just within the last couple of weeks.

    I love to show appreciation to people around me, but my ideas don't always match my cash flow situation.

    It's times like these that I always go back to some of the best gifts people have given me: FOOD!

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    Here are five of my favorite quick and easy food gifts:

    Chocolate-dipped anything:
    You can dip so many thing in chocolate: apricots, strawberries, Oreos -- even potato chips. Who doesn't love chocolate? That's right -- nobody!

    Go nuts:
    Toss your favorite nuts like pecans, almonds, or walnuts in egg whites, dip in cinnamon and sugar, and bake for an hour. Sweet and salty -- the perfect combo.

    Image via whitneyinchicago/FlickrImage via whitneyinchicago/FlickrBreakfast with a bow: Do you see all those spotted bananas at the grocery store? Take them home and make a dozen mini loaves of banana bread. You can

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  • A Hideous New Hat Trend

    Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesPascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesAs John Galliano strutted down the runway at the end of his Dior haute fashion show this week, all of Paris was asking one question:

    What eez zat zing on ees head??!!

    Galliano is known for wearing outrageous costumes, but ladies, I've gotta tell you, he's hardly alone in this particular look.

    It's popping up everywhere, including on Blake Lively at that very same show!

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    And compared to what I'm starting to see online, Galliano's and Lively's versions were quite tame.

    Care to see what I'm talking about?

    Do you dare?

    Keep reading for one of the strangest new trends I've seen yet -- and that's saying somezing!

    Image via ModClothImage via ModCloth
    Online, it's easy to find this Nicole Fascinator (ModCloth, $39.99) ...

    Image via ASOSImage via ASOS
    ... or this Mini Top Hat Fascinator (ASOS, $33.82) ...

    Image via ModClothImage via ModCloth
    ... or this Kentucky Dainty Hair Clip (ModCloth, $15.99).

    More from The Stir: Accessories We Love That Men Hate

    Image via ASOSImage via ASOS
    And I can't leave out this Bunny Ears Fascinator

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  • Secrets to a Great Online Dating Photo

    Exploring the new trend of the self-photograph and advancements in tech, a New York Times article shared the findings of online dating site, OK Cupid. It seems photos that get the most action (and therefore the larger dating pool) have one thing in common: a smile.

    While it seems obvious that a smiling face might draw in more potential mates, the other characteristics of profile pics were interesting in that "of course, that makes perfect sense, even though I've never thought about it" kind of way.

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    Women responded more often to pictures in which the man is looking off camera, not into it. Men were more likely to respond to pictures in which the woman is at home (and looking a little come-hither) rather than out with friends or on a trip. But for both sexes, pictures in which the subjects are smiling uniformly trounced the stone-faced ones.

    Perhaps a straightforward stare from a man could be perceived

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  • How American Is That American Cheese?

    Image via Ulla KjarvalImage via Ulla KjarvalThe more I learn about our food system, the crazier it seems. Case in point: The price U.S. dairy farmers get for their milk is largely set by dairy shares traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Only 1 percent of the U.S. dairy supply is actually traded on the CME -- the rest is cheese, processed cheese product, and milk protein concentrates, and most of that is imported. Meanwhile American dairy farmers are facing the worst crisis since the Great Depression.

    In other words, the imported processed cheese product in "American" cheese slices and boxes of mac and cheese are putting American diary farmers out business. Confused yet? Keep reading.

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    Keep in mind, we're talking about the price dairy farmers get for their milk -- not the price you pay at the grocery store. Milk pricing is incredibly complicated, but the short story is that the processed cheese product and milk protein concentrates that go into making our cheese-ish foods are

    Read More »from How American Is That American Cheese?
  • Summer's Best Shoes: Get a Pair!

    Summer is here and I have one pair of shoes to wear. One pair! And it's a sandal with a two-inch heel that has seen better days. I'm not counting my flip-flops because ... well, those aren't real shoes to me.

    I've been window shopping summer shoes and here are my favorite picks! Luckily there are a lot of sales going on, too.

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    I'm not a sneaker kind of gal, but these Keds Champion Dip Dye ($40) in purple, grey, or pink with a ribbon lace are pretty adorable. Good for year-round as well. Would look just as great with jeans as it would with a summer dress.

    Pierre Dumas Peggy-1 ($24.99) from Piperlime screams romance. How pretty would the flowers look adorning a pedicured pair of feet? Comes in bronze (shown), black, or gold. They are like the teeny-tiny bikini of summer shoes -- barely there and very sexy.

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    Shiekh Gogo Flat ($24.97) is a color explosion and

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  • Jake and Vienna Teach Us How Not To Fight

    Photo from ABC.comPhoto from ABC.comI watched the Jake and Vienna interview last week in horror. It was a he said/she said smackdown, complete with tears, whining, and eye rolling -- and it resulted in Vienna storming off and slamming a door. A lot of you are on Team Vienna, some on Team Jake. I think they were both so in the wrong and it was clear they do not belong together.

    But they also don't know how to fight ... the right way. We can learn a lot from their failed relationship. Here's how to avoid turning a typical fight into a monumental argument that will lead to a break-up.

    More from The Stir: 'The Bachelorette' Recap: Somehow I'm on Team Vienna Now?

    • Don't harp on things. Can you believe they were still talking about the tape measure incident? What's the big deal really? He measured to fit the dresser, she was checking his work. Why did Jake get so mad about that? And why was it still being brought up? When you have little spats, both of you need to move on from them and never bring them up again.
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