Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • Methamphetamines: scare your kids with bad skin

    Photo from Abalone SoftwarePhoto from Abalone Software

    Some might disagree with "scare tactics" as a way to get kids to avoid drugs. If it works, I'm all for it. But it might not. Remember the "your brain on drugs" commercial with the frying eggs? That attempt didn't work, obviously, so most kids probably just thought, "Yum, I want breakfast!"

    But new software that progresses a photo of a child's face to show what it will look like after meth use just might do the trick. It hits teens' vanity, which, we all know, is pretty close to number one on the list of things they are concerned about.

    A sheriff from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office in California, working with a local community of Pomo Indians, created the software with the help of Abalone LLC to deal with methamphetamine issues in that area.

    The software, which at $3,000 is not something you'll be downloading onto your family laptop, is geared more for law enforcement agencies and school programs. It age progesses a photo to six months, one year and three years

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  • Mother forces son to kill hamster over bad grades

    When my son's report card indicated he'd been fooling around too much and needed to pay more attention in class, I told him he'd have to work on this or face consequences. I was thinking no TV or playdates, something along those lines.

    A Georgia mom who didn't like her 12 year old son's grades forced him to kill his beloved pet hamster with a hammer.

    Wow, what can you say, except maybe, DFCS?

    That's exactly what happened to this nutjob 38-year-old mother who thought murdering an innocent pet was the best way to teach her son a lesson.

    According to the Washington Post Online, the boy was upset and told his teacher, who reported it to the Division of Family and Child Services, who contacted police.

    Lynn Middlebrooks Geter of Warm Springs faces one charge each of animal cruelty, child cruelty and battery.

    Okay, so this story is crazy extreme beyond belief, but taking it down a notch, what's the worst punishment you've ever handed out for bad grades?


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  • School gardens: more than 25 resources for starting one

    Looking to start a school garden or school cooking class in your community? Check out our list of resources:


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  • Depressed and pregnant: are you?

    Screening for depression during and after pregnancy is good for women, their babies, and their families, says a new opinion issued yesterday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


    Clinical depression is the leading cause of disability in women in the United States. Between 14% and 23% of pregnant women experience symptoms of depression, and an estimated 5% and 25% of women (200,000 to over a million) will suffer from postpartum depression every year.

    Depression is bad for you-and your kids. It can lead to preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. If it goes untreated, your depression can adversely affect your infant's cognitive, neurologic, and motor skill development, and your older children's mental health and behavior.

    While most OB/Gyns don't currently conduct routine screenings for depression among their pregnant patients, the College strongly urges that they begin to do so.

    Are you feeling depressed? Have you talked to

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  • Chores are my job, not my kids'

    It's hard enough raising one teen -- but three?! Welcome to one mom's wild and wonderful life. Each Thursday, she shares the week's drama or joy in Life with 3 Teens on CafeMom.

    Chores Are My Job, Not My Kids'

    My husband is very particular about our home and keeping it clean and organized.

    When both he and I worked full time, everyone -- my three children included -- were expected to pitch in. We never had a list of duties for each person, but everyone was expected to keep the house clean. After dinner, everyone takes care of their plate and helps out. This is still true now.

    The difference is that now that I stay home, I take care of the home. So my 15 year old and 18 year old, who are both living at home, do not have set jobs. Neither does my other 18 year old, who is away at college. I make all the beds, vacuum, dust, and do the laundry and most days cook the meals. I have all day while they are at work or at school.

    I have about eight hours and it only

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  • Cherry Chocolate Cupcake recipe for Valentine's Day

    Photo by Kim ContePhoto by Kim Conte

    I made Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes for my friend's birthday party this weekend! I think this easy recipe would be perfect for Valentine's Day, too!

    Here's how to make 'em...

    Photo by Kim ContePhoto by Kim Conte

    Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

    1 box dark chocolate cake mix

    1 can cherry pie filling

    1 container white frosting or homemade frosting

    1 jar Maraschino cherries

    Make cake mix according to directions on package. Fill cupcake tins 1/4-full with cupcake batter. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons cherry pie filling on top of batter. Cover with remaining batter. Bake according to directions on box. Frost with white frosting and top with a Maraschino cherry.

    Which treats will you make for your Valentine?

    Read more about Valentine's Day.

    Related posts:

    Valentine's Day Treats & Tips from Weight Watchers

    Heart Pizza for Valentine's Day

    Valentine's Day Rice Krispie Treats

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  • It took the FDA long enough.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally reversed its much-criticized position on BPA (bisphenol-A, a chemical used in plastic, which has been linked to behavioral problems, cancers, diabetes, heart problems, infertility, and other health issues). According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a developing fetus and babies are most vulnerable to BPA's toxic effects. Unfortunately, they also have the most intense BPA exposure of any group.

    In 2008, the FDA said the chemical was safe for all uses. Worrisome, since lots of pregnant women, moms of new babies and bigger kids, and others relied on this information when making purchasing and other decisions. Now, the FDA says it's concerned about the chemical's effect on pregnant women, infants, and children. (BPA is found in baby bottles, breast pump parts, the lining of formula cans, pacifiers, toys, teethers, and lots of other things.)

    The FDA isn't going so far as to ban BPA

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  • Top 10 Best Inexpensive Wines

    Buying wine can be intimidating-especially if you don't know what you are looking for or even what you like to drink. Lots of people have told me that if they have to buy a red or white wine, they choose a bottle based on which one has the "prettiest label."

    Hmmm...I can see why that decision-making process is tempting, but labels have nothing to do with how the bottle will taste. If you find yourself in the wine aisle or liquor store with no idea what to do, refer to this list of favorite wines from moms on CafeMom - most are under $10!

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  • Delaying solids for baby = thinner adults

    There's nothing better than baby fat on a baby. Chubby cheeks, thighs, toes, finger tips -- just about everything on baby is better when it's chunky. It's not cute on an older child or adult. Just the opposite. Plus it's unhealthy. A new study says we might want to delay solid food for baby because our children may be thinner as adults.

    "The later you introduce complementary feeding to an infant, within the range of 2 to 6 months, the smaller is the risk that the infant will be overweight as adult," Dr. Kim Fleischer Michaelson of the University of Copenhagen, one of the researchers of the study, told Reuters Health. Read the full article on (solid foods and thinner adults here).

    The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests women breastfeed exclusively until at least six months, but many moms start adding cereal and other solids before then, before four to six months or even sooner.

    Dr. Michaelson measured the body mass of 5,000 men and women and examined how their

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  • Easy one-pot Pasta Bake Casserole recipe

    You say you don't have time to cook dinner? Over in Casserole Moms on CafeMom, one mom called this Pasta Bake the "fastest, easiest, yummiest casserole" ever.

    It's pretty hard to argue with that.

    (Oh, and I almost forgot: Happy One Pot Wednesday!)

    Pasta Bake

    1/2 lb. noodles like penne, corkscrew, etc. (preferably whole wheat noodles)

    1 can or jar spaghetti sauce

    1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese

    Sliced olives (optional)

    Combine DRY noodles with sauce. Add 1/2 can of water. Top with cheese and olives. Bake at 350 for about an hour.


    Cook noodles. Combine with sauce; top with cheese; and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

    For more fast casserole ideas, check out this thread in Casserole Moms on CafeMom.

    What's your family's favorite casserole to make?

    Written by Kim Conte for Food & Party Buzz in CafeMom Life & Home

    Related Posts:

    Chicken Pot Pie Casserole...In One Pot!

    One-Pot Meal: Skillet

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