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Pandemic Halloween: CDC Recommends No Trick-Or-Treating

 

Photo by Yuting Gao from Pexels

In a year that’s been plenty scary, this much is clear: Pandemic Halloween will be different than regular Halloween. Many traditional ways of celebrating are now considerably more frightful than usual, because now they bring the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines on how to celebrate Halloween safely. No big surprise: Classic door-to-door trick-or-treating and crowded, boozy costume parties are not recommended.

The CDC’s guidelines group Halloween activities into lower-risk, moderate-risk and higher-risk buckets.

The higher-risk category includes both door-to-door trick-or-treating and events where kids get treats from the trunks of cars in a big parking lot.

Also no-nos: indoor haunted houses where people will be crowded and screaming, which could send infectious particles flying. Going on hayrides with people who aren’t in your household or fall festivals in rural areas also carry a risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. And using alcohol and drugs “can cloud [judgment] and increase risky behaviors,” the CDC warns — though that’s equally true in any season.

How to get your thrills instead?

The agency says this way of trick-or-treating poses a moderate risk (compared with the higher risk of the traditional style): Kids could pick up individually wrapped gift bags at the end of a driveway or yard while still preserving social distance.

You could also organize a small outdoor costume parade where everyone is 6 feet apart. An outdoor costume party would also be considered moderate risk, if people wear masks and stay 6 feet away from each other.

Haunted houses are out, and haunted forests are in. The CDC says an open-air scare-fest is moderately risky, so long as the route is one-way, people wear masks appropriately and stay 6 feet apart. But there’s a caveat: “If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised.”

What about apple picking and pumpkin patches? Risks can be reduced if people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or apples, wear masks and maintain social distance.

Also on the moderate-risk list: an outdoor scary movie night with local friends who are socially distanced. Again: The more screaming there is, the more space is needed for safe social distancing.

If you want to be really safe? Then you need to plan for either virtual activities or ones that you do largely with your own household.

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CDC: Pregnant Women have These Extra Steps To Take to Prevent Contracting the Coronavirus

OITNB Danielle Brooks

Photo from OITNB’s Danielle Brooks pregnancy web series

This Summer, a 5-month pregnant Louisiana woman died from coronavirus and was miraculously survived by her premature baby doctors delivered via emergency c-section while they simultaneouly performed CPR on the mom in their failed attempt to save her life.

Following Allie Guidry‘s death at Women’s Hospital in Batoln Rouge in June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that pregnant women with COVID-19 could be at a higher risk of more severe symptoms.

So not only do you have to undergo the stress of pregnancy, labor, delivery and caring for a newborn, but the road to these latter hardships during a pandemic start during pregnancy.

The CDC recently conducted a study that notes pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and require higher levels of care than women who are not pregnant.

To minimize exposure to the virus, doctors recommend steering clear of large crowds and avoid going out in public when possible. The self-isolation is especially important during the last two weeks of pregnancy, physicians say.

To cap this all off, if the mom has a pre-existing underlying health condition, she could have an even tougher challenge  fighting off the coronavirus if she contracts COVID-19.

“The thing I have seen most commonly would be obesity, hypertension, and diabetes,” Dr. Marshall St. Amant said, a physician at Woman’s Hospital.

Another contributing factor to consider is the strength of the immune system.

“Cell-mediated immunity is when you make antibodies against something, and that’s something that goes along with pregnancy. So, we have known for years that women have increase rates of viral infections during pregnancy,” Dr. Marshall St. Amant said.

Here is an abbreviated checklist of precautions courtesy of the CDC:

For the full list of recommendations and guidelines for pregnant women amid the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

10+ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes to Inspire Girls, Women and Everyone

The second woman to ever be appointed to sit on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away today at home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer and several other ailments and accidents.

Her legacy is lasting consiting mainly of her pro-women stances in her legal opinions and inspiring others through her own life and rise to the top of the highest court in the land.  Ginsburg was known for her scathing dissents against rulings by majority conservative justices and her once rigorous work out regimen after age 80.

By the last few years, Ginsburg became a pop icon and was given the name “The Notorious RBG” after the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls (aka Christopher Wallace) because of her sharp rebuke of policies or practices that sidelined women.

Memes, artwork and photos of her downing a crown similar to the one worn by the Notorious B.I.G. during a 1997 portrait session—the rapper’s last recorded photo shoot before he was shot and killed in Los Angeles three days later.

In addition to her legendery legacy, Ginsburg  also leaves behind some pretty prolific words that can inspire, motive and enlighten and uplift women, girls and people of all genders, races and creeds. Here are a select few sourced from my Pinterest Quotes page where you can find the original source which I will add later to this post.

Black and White photos are from the United States Supreme Court official archival photo history.

 

 

 

 

 

     

New Study Says Teens Are Less Religious Than Parents

Photo by Prisciella Du Preez

A Pew Research Center study released in September shows that teens’ religious practice is less than that of their parents. The lessened observance cuts across all denominational lines.

And religious practice by adults, the study noted, has itself declined in recent decades.

One key finding of the report is that 43% of parents said religion is “very important in their lives,” and that, of teens ages 13-17, only 24% feel the same.

Surveys were taken of 1,811 adults who had given Pew permission for one of their teen children to later take the same survey. The surveys were conducted in April-June 2019, long before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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A Gender Reveal Party Sparked Latest Cali Wildfires

 

One of the multiple wildfires burning in California was started during a gender-reveal party, officials said.

A “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” used at the party sparked the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, Cal Fire said in a press release.

The fire started Saturday at 10:23 a.m. PT (1:23 p.m. ET) at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and spread from the park north on to Yucaipa Ridge, according to the release.

The fire has since grown to 8,600 acres as of Monday and is just 7% contained, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

Video of the party captures chaotic scene

Surveillance video from the party showed a couple with several children walking into the grass at the edge of the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. Another person is seen in the video appearing to light the device. Soon after, the family can be seen on video scrambling and grabbing water bottles as the flames grow.

“It really is a tragedy, it’s sad. They were hoping to remember the day in a different way,” said CalFire investigator Capt. Bennet Milloy, adding that over 80% of fires are caused by humans and that people need to be more aware of their surroundings. “You need to be extra cautious because you could be liable.”

El Dorado Ranch Park is a popular destination for fall photos as the wild grasses turn golden and make a beautiful backdrop, Milloy told CNN.

Unfortunately, as the brush dries out, it also makes exceptional tinder for wildfires.

Fire officials have refused to release the video to CNN, citing that it is an ongoing investigation.

Those involved in the gender reveal party, including the person who set off the device, the family and the person taking photos have been cooperating with fire investigators, according to Milloy.

If the district attorney pursues the case, the person who ignited the pyrotechnic would be the person charged, Milloy said.

Currently, fire investigators have identified at least three laws that have been violated, including “igniting the land” and arson. The level of recklessness will determine whether those are filed as misdemeanors or felonies. Based on that, penalties could vary.

Other gender reveal parties have caused fires

A gender reveal party is an Instagram-friendly event held during pregnancy in which the parents “reveal” the baby’s sex to friends and family. That reveal can sometimes take the form of an explosion in the color of blue for a boy or pink for a girl.

In 2017, a gender reveal party in Arizona sparked a wildfire that burned nearly 47,000 acres and caused more than $8 million in damage.

The expectant father, an off-duty US Border Patrol agent, had packed the target with the explosive Tannerite and shot it with a high-powered rifle. He pleaded guilty in 2018 to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay almost $8.2 million in restitution.

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17 Nail Colors That Flatter Dark Skin

Dark skin women nail inspiration images are hard to come by.

Before you head to the nail salon or purchase a nail polish color, often times you want to see how it would look like completely on your skin tone. Obviously, you cannot uncap a sealed bottle and paint your nails in advance. Therefore, you either have to guess and hope it comes out fine or, alternatively, you search online for images of women with similar complexion that you have in the colors in the nail polish you’re interested in purchasing.

As a person with dark skin who loves to switch up her nail color, I’ve found it challenging to find images of women with darker skin tones on Pinterest and other visual search platforms that feature fashion inspos.

As such, I decided to curate some photos and feature myself in the nail color in consideration of other women out there like me who similarly struggle in this arena.

1. Mint green or aquamarine

Mint or Aquamarine is a cool attention grabbing color. This shade contrasts well against dark skin and stands out for sure. It’s one of my faves to rock especially on vacation or during the Spring when looking to switch up the wardrobe for warmer months.

2. White

You gotta love the stark contrast of white against dark skin. It stands out as much as mint green but is not as flamboyant a shade. White looks classic and can be worn in corporate and traditional work settings.

3. Brown

With brown being so close a color for brown people or deeply tan and olive complexioned people, it makes sense that this hue complements well with their skin. This axiom is true for light brown to darker brown shades of this nail color. All aspects of the spectrum work!

4. Green

Dark green is also a complementary color to deep tan and brown skin so you cannot go wrong painting your toe and fingernails in this shade. It’s a wonderful tone for the Fall  and Winter months for those who live in seasonal climates.

5. Yellow

Sunny yellow can brighten the mood. It’s a bold color that is so vibrant it will steal all the attention. It may be too bold for conservative settings but for anyone who wants to mix up their style and elevate their fashion level, this is the perfect pick!

6. Grey

Grey is a natural and neutral shade that is still dynamic albeit in a very subtle yet classic way.  Grey also complements any skin color from pasty white to blue black. All complexions work well with grey.

 

7. Burgundy

Another earthy warm tone is wine, magenta or burgundy. This hue is beautiful and classically attractive and is a good shade for work and formal events. They work on short, medium or long nails.

8. Blue

I love the stark complement of a dark blue nail polish against the rich hue of melanin enriched skun. Whether your nails are long or short, this color is a beautiful shade for modern women.

9. Gold

You can wear a metallic gold or a softer matte or muted version of gold  and know you will look polished and well put together. Gold is an understated shade but can be ornate at the same time.

10. Turquoise

I love this shade of blue because it always turns heads. It makes me happy and lets the world know you’re upbeat and ready to capture the day. Okay, maybe that is overstating things a bit but turquoise is a wonderful color.

11. Pink

A traditional feminine color is pink and out of all colors, I think this hue of nail polish is the most vibrant for dark or very tan skin colors. You can match your make up easily in pink. Whether baby pink or hot pink or blush pink, try it in every shade.



12. Indigo

This is close to blue and purple and for that reason is  very fun shade of nail polish. In Autumn, indigo nails go well with your warm scarves, layers and boots weather.

13. Orange

Orange is another warm tone that I love. You can try lighter shades like Sherbet or mid range orange in Tangerine or super bright Neon orange. All shades complement well with melanin rich skin.

14. Red

When I think of Winter, I think of candy apple red nail polish. This color looks great on any complexion and especially on highly melanated skin!

15. Peach



Peach is a lovely Summer color. It’s light and airy and complements darker hued inviduals perectly!

16. Neon Green

This exotic color looks great on dark complexions. It is so outrageous on anyone so don’t be afraid to be confident and go brave in this!

 

17. Nude
A clear top coat or a very pale pink that resembles the nail bed flatters all shades and colors.

There you go! Go brave or go natural! Have it your way, ladies!

Do Pandemic Mental Health Checks With Your Teens in These 8 Ways

A new study says the COVID pandemic is taking a toll on our collective mental health.

Per NPR:

Nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a study published Wednesday. That’s nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And those with a lower income, smaller savings and people severely affected by the pandemic — either through a job loss, for example, or by the death of a loved one — are more likely to be bearing the burden of these symptoms.

When a population experiences something traumatic, such as a pandemic or a natural disaster, researchers usually expect a rise in mental illnesses in the weeks and months following the event.

But the mental health toll of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be far greater than previous mass traumas, says Catherine Ettman, a doctoral student in public health at Brown University and an author of the study, which was published in the current issue of the American Medical Association journal JAMA Network Open.

The impact for teens can be devastating.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens, but experts are fearing the worst as young adults prepare to face unknown challenges that the return of school may bring – from coping with varying curricula, stressing over grades, and continued social isolation from friends and trusted teachers.

In Raising Global Teens, Dr. Anisha Abraham analyzes key subjects facing today’s teens, in the context of our modern, mobile world. Dr. Abraham shares some real-world examples with practical solutions, drawing on her latest research and personal experiences to help teens thrive in school despite COVID-19 and the eradication of their daily lives.

Some  points from the book include:

1.  Stop Comparing – Remind your teens that no one is perfect. Everyone is “uneven”, meaning they excel in some areas, but not others, and that is OK.

2. Time Management – Encourage your teen to set goals, prioritize tasks, break large assignments into smaller steps, work for designated time periods and take  breaks, and use a reminder system for deadlines.

3. Unwinding – Make sure your teen is taking time to fill their “anti-stress toolbox” with healthy ways to unwind. This could be as simple as talking to trusted friends or watching a funny show.

4. Mind & Body Care – Ensure your teen is getting adequate sleep, eating well, and exercising to regulate mood and energy levels.

5.Resilience – Support your teen during these times of uncertainty and  help them to build resilience and get “bounce”

6. Conversations – Have important conversations with teens about challenging topics such as pubertal changes, sexting, vaping, planning for the future and more

7. Signs of Depression & Suicide Risk – Understand warning signs which include: mood swings, withdrawal, poor sleeping or appetite, trouble with memory and concentration, talking or writing about suicide, and giving away belongings.

8. Get Help and Support. Know when and where to get professional support  if you believe your teen is depressed or suicidal. Each city, county, state and community have resources, some free, some paid that are available. Don’t wait too long. Do some research online and get help sooner than later. It could mean the difference between life and death.

Mental health is a serious thing to consider especially in this pandemic era. Consider these tips and purchasing Dr. Abraham’s book at Amazon here!

We are all in this together.

Louis Vuitton: How to Spot a Fake From a Real Product

Bellyitch Rewind

Louis Vuitton is the most counterfeited designer brand on the market today.

There have been many lines of these designer products produced over the years. If you are not very familiar with them, it will be difficult for you to know for sure which one is real and which one is a replica Louis Vuitton.

This is why you need to see how real LV replicas can look like so you know exactly what you are dealing with. Here are some tips that will help you recognize a counterfeit from the real one.

Louis Vuitton Logo

One of the most important things to look at when buying a Louis Vuitton is their logo. This logo was created over a century ago and has the same unique design that most counterfeiters have trouble copying.

If the logo on the Louis Vuitton you are buying is blurred, smudged or tilting, then it is a Louis Vuitton replica. The logo is also never crossed with stitches, locks or folds. Most of them have the LV monogram on the leather canvas, and it is symmetrical from side to side.

This logo can be upside down as in the speedy model but only on the backside without a seam at the bottom. Never go for a LV product that has two pieces of leather stitched together.

The Leather and Handles On An Authentic Louis Vuitton

The leather on vintage LVs is darker than what is found in contemporary bags. Some are made of coated canvas, but the trim is still leather. This trim should be dry to the touch. If it is slippery or oily, it is a fake Louis Vuitton.

The trims are never covered with polythene tissues or soft paper. This is an attempt by counterfeiters to protect the material from eroding and the seams from coming off.

Lining and Stitching

Another area you should carefully inspect is the lining. On Louis Vuitton bags, the linings are never dark brown. They are either Alcantara or grey. They also do not utilize suede linings. Some models have cotton ones.

Each model will have its unique lining. You, therefore, need to do thorough research and check the company’s website to ensure you buy the real ones. Counterfeiters will often overlook the lining part.

Stitching for LV bags is a crucial process from which perfection is demanded. Therefore the stitches are straight and even. There is also a specific amount of stitches used, and this does not change from bag to bag.

Some great examples are the Louis Vuitton Speedy, Alma, and Neverful. These have five stitches across every tab where handles are secured, never more, and never less. There is no back and forth stitching for all models.

Price

This is also something you should factor in when buying LV bags. None of them is cheap, and they do not have discounts or wholesale distributions. Their prices are constant throughout the year because of their strong market value.

Make Sure You Are Buying An Authentic Louis Vuitton

Choosing the real from counterfeit Louis Vuitton is not easy, but it is possible. All you need is to be extremely keen on the smallest details. You do not want to buy a Louis Vuitton replicathat will tear and embarrass you after only a few weeks.

 

PURCHASE AUTHENTIC LOUIS VUITTON PRODUCTS  FROM ONE OF THESE RETAILERS

 

Study: New Evidence Says Pregnant Women Should Avoid Alcohol

woman drinking coffe

woman drinking coffe

Pregnant women or those hoping to conceive should avoid coffee altogether, a scientist has urged.

Excessive caffeine consumption during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of low birthweight and miscarriages, however, the NHS states 200mg – around two mugs of instant coffee – a day is safe.

To better understand the potential dangers, a scientist from Reykjavik University analysed 48 studies carried out in the past 20 years.

Although the results were mixed, Professor Jack James concluded there is “substantial cumulative evidence” that drinking coffee while pregnant is linked to everything from a miscarriage and stillbirth to childhood obesity and even leukaemia.

Being cautious, he stressed no amount of coffee should be considered safe while expecting.

Not everyone is convinced, however, with experts calling the research “overly alarmist” and “of questionable significance”.

‘Evidence supports pregnant women avoiding caffeine’

As well as the NHS, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the European Food Safety Authority all recommend a maximum 200mg caffeine consumption a day during pregnancy.

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75+ Creative Ways to Tell Your Husband That You’re Pregnant

If you’re expecting a baby in 2020 or 2021 and you haven’t told your husband yet that you’re actually pregnant, consider surprising your spouse with the news with a creative pregnancy announcement to a husband.

Your partner, husband, spouse or significant other is the first person you give the news to.

You can also present him with the celebratory intel in a unique way even if this is your second or third child together. Every year, creative product producers come up with fun ideas and with this being the quarantine era,I’ve seen a few extraordinary note worthy ones.

Here is a round up of over 80:

1. LIFE IS A BOX OF CHOCOLATES

If your sweetie has a sweet tooth, surprise him with the news spelled out in chocoloates.  Order a box of it here at by the seller on Etsy.

2. MASK UP

In this quarantine era, as  you’re heading and he turns to you for a mask, give him one that announces his new role. You can order this from a Redbubble merchant.

3. SCRATCH IT

Give your husband (and later your family and closest friends) a lottery scratch off card that reveals that the baby is coming.

You can get a pack of 5 on Amazon.

4. SPECIAL DELIVERY

Order a delivery of diapers addressed to him. He will be certainly surprised by the package and as he opens up the box will instantly get the message when he sees it is a pack of diapers.  Order a pack via Amazon

5. QUIZZICAL PUZZLE

Stimulate his brain and the element of surprise by giving him a gif that is essentially a puzzle that spells out a special message. Get one here.  Or create a puzzle of the photo of the with the  ultrasound. This company can help you do that and it ships FREE to US addresses.

6. SHELVE IT

Clear a shelf in the office, kitchen cabinet or bedroom with a sticky note that reads, “Daddy, make room for me.” You can also place some baby toys, clothes or booties. He would be thrilled to know the news.

7. MESSAGE ON A TEE

Tell him you saw a T-Shirt on sale and ordered it one for him. It will be one declaring he is a dad to be and make sure to get a design that your husband may be more likely to wear. Otherwise, he can just wear it at your co-ed baby shower or the work shower.  Order one like this one on Etsy here

And for a dad who is not a first time dad, this dad again shirt sold at Etsy works. 

 

8. CHALK IT UP

Buy a chalk board or a felt board an put the “you’re gonna be a dad” message on it. Get a cheap chalkboard frame board from Amazon here. Or you can use a felt board frame liks this one.

9. BOTTOM’S UP

If you have a husband who is a coffee drinker, switch out his usual morning cup of joe with a special cup that has the pregnancy announcement at the bottom. You can order one here.   

Another tip is to simply set an extra plate at the table at lunch, or dinner and set a baby bottle as the drink.

10. SILVER SPOON

You can also do the spoon which is a common utensil trick you might have seen on the web. Get the spoon here.

11. SCRABBLE IT UP

If your husband is crazy about word games such as scrabble, ask him to play along with you. When it is your turn, share the news by making something related and ask him to spell. He would get delighted with the news.

Buy a Scrabble board game on Amazon.

12. MESSAGE LOADING

Write down a note on your belly such as “Baby inside,” “Coming soon” or “You are a Daddy”. The moment he notices the message, he will turn ecstatic.

13. TEAM SPORTS

If your husband is a sports fanatic, you can buy a junior size shirt or shoes of his favorite game and gift it to him. I like the one above and this one below which you can order in any team colors.

Get it at Etsy.

14. GET ARTSY

If you are artistic, you can draw a family illustration with your husband, child, and yourself in it. You can either gift it to him or stick it at a place where he can notice it. He is surely going to be on his knees to feel your tummy.

15. BOOKMARK IT

If your husband is currently reading a book, write a sweet message and put it as a bookmark.

He will get to read it the moment he opens the book.

16. PET LOVE

If you have a pet, order a shirt with a pregnancy announcement and outfit fluffly in it so surprise your husband.

Create or order a shirt for your pet. Place the shirt on your pet and have your pet greet your partner when they come through the door.

Or you can tie a bandana around his neck with the message. Get the one above here.

17. ONESIE, TWOSIE, THREESIE

Give your husband a gift of a onesie with a messag on it. I like this one above which is perfect for the quarantine era.

Order it here. There are tons of others available here as well.

18. GREETINGS

Put it in a greeting card. It’s simple but works. Get a specialized one here. 

19. WINE IT UP

If your husband is a wine drinker, get a personalized label with the message on it and affix it over an existing bottle of wine.

You can get one made here.

I also like this one above because it is a take off of Barefeet winery. I hope they got the trademark cleared! lol

You can order a label here.

20. APP UPDATE

Download a baby on your phone and then pull it hand your phone to your spouse and tell him you want to see a funny thing on your phone! He’ll get it pretty soon.

GET 56 MORE IDEAS OVER AT MUSTELA’S BLOG HERE!