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Kristen Bell: A Hollywood Mom Who Knows the Power of Social Media

  

So far 2014 has been

quite the year for actress Kristen Bell, and we’re only three months in! In

addition to starring in her passion project, the newly released Veronica

Mars
film, she’s also become the face of an ever growing movement to

protect celebrity children from paparazzi. Oh, and she was also a voice actor

in this one movie you may have heard of last year, it’s called Frozen?
Since the birth of her

daughter, Lincoln, in March of 2013, she hasn’t slowed down in the slightest.

That same month she teamed up with writer Rob Thomas to help turn their former

television series Veronica Mars into a film. The two of them were caught in negotiations with

Warner Brothers —who owned the rights to the franchise but didn’t want to put

up cash to make the film— when they decided to start a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise the funds instead. They were

the first group ever to launch a crowdfunding campaign for a film that was

already owned by a major studio, a risk that turned out to be worth taking

considering the campaign managed to raise more than its goal of $2 million in

the first day alone.
Kristen Bell has become

one of the most active and well liked celebrities on social media as well. In

fact, according to social media analysis tools Topsy and ViralHeat, at least 80% of the tweets mentioning the celeb have only positive

things to say. Kristen used this strong media presence while trying to raise

the funds for Veronica Mars, and is now redirecting that power

toward another cause close to her heart – that one of her child, and the

children of other celebrities.
Along with her husband,

Dax Shepard, and other celebrities (including Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, who helped pass legislation in California protecting the children of celebrities last

year) she’s launched a campaign against the “pedorazzi”, as she calls them. Her

and Shepard argue that while they chose the become famous, their children did

not, and while being photographed by the paparazzi comes with the territory of

what the parents do, their children didn’t ask for it and don’t deserve it.

She’s a Mama Bear on a mission and it appears that nothing will stop her.

Her “No Kids Policy,”

which targets media outlets who publish paparazzi photographs of celebrity

children, has been wildly successful since its launch earlier this year. Major

media outlets such as People, Us Weekly,  Buzzfeed.com, Entertainment

Tonight
, and many other notable current events, news, and entertainment

outlets have all interviewed the star about her cause. She’s also been on a

media blitz, making live appearances to spread her message. She even appeared

alongside her husband on Access Hollywood to debate a few real-life

paparazzi regarding the issue. 
As for her acting work,

she’s currently starring in the critically acclaimed House of Lies on Showtime and reprised

her cameo role as the vapid and catty Ingrid de Forest on NBC’s Parks and

Recreation
earlier this year. 
Kristen Bell as Jeannie Van Der Hooven  in House of Lies
She’s also rumored to have a role in the recently greenlighted, online spin-off

of Veronica Mars for The CW’s website. If the rest of the year is going

to be like the first few months of it has been for her, 2014 is going to be one

heck of a year for Kristen Bell.




Spencer Blohm  is a freelance entertainment, pop culture, and lifestyle blogger. When he’s not busy working he can usually be found at the movies or planted in front of his T.V. He lives and works in Chicago where the winters only encourage such behavior.

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Ten hot Isabella Oliver Maternity Pieces to Buy NOW

Spring is around the corner but the temperatures are still chilly. If you are still building out your maternity wardrobe this pregnancy, Bellyitch Blog invites you to consider making a purchase from our partner and affiliate, Isabella Oliver which is having a 15% off sale going on now thru March 14 for Bellyitch Blog readers! Enter code SAVE125 at checkout and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on orders over $89. 
Here are 10 of some of our favorite pieces from the British designer label that has been seen on many of the UK and US’s hottest celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Ivanka Trump, Myleene Klass, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Laila Ali, Ali Larter, Tia Mowry and more. 
Take a look! Happy Shopping!



Isabella Oliver Pianna Maternity Shirt Dress

New this season, the Pianna Shirt Dress is a modern classic for easy yet smart springtime styling. Complete with collar and rolled-up sleeves that have a chic button tab detail, it has all the appeal of a structured shirt while remaining feminine thanks to its empire waist and belt ties. The dress is designed in an unlined viscose for optimum comfort. Team with trainers for an off duty vibe or add ballet flats for an easy yet stylish workwear option.

Isabella Oliver Scala Maternity Stripe Dress
Such a great style for spring, the Scala Stripe Dress offers your wardrobe a fresh look with all the benefits of its knee skimming length, and long sleeves. In our iconic soft signature jersey, its washing and wearability is of the very highest standard. Boasting ruched detailing throughout the silhouette for stretch and design interest, it’s a perfect piece for elegant off-duty styling. Looks great teamed with loafers or trainers. 

Isabella Oliver Eva Knit Waistcoat
Easy, stylish and so versatile, this sleeveless knit is destined to become a wardrobe essential. With its relaxed fit and draped front, it looks effortless thrown over a maternity T-shirt or tank. This piece has a self-tie belt and has been designed in a merino wool blend for a luxuriously soft feel. This style works particularly well during pregnancy, nursing and post pregnancy.





Isabella Oliver Seville Tunic Maternity Dress 

New this season the Seville Tunic in the exotic palette of Bali Blue and Citrus is a gorgeous everyday style with a bright new season feel. Designed in thicker Ponte jersey for a more tailored look, it boasts an exposed zip running from its neckline to an empire waist with pleats falling simply over the bump. Sitting just above the elbow, the sleeves are a lovely summer length. Team with ballet flats, a satchel and a great pair of sunglasses for effortless city dressing.

Isabella Oliver Carla Maternity Dress
As a mid-length style designed in our silky luxe jersey, the Carla Dress offers the best in occasionwear styling with the appeal of everyday wearability. Benefitting from a self-lined back to help hide lingerie lines, it features a cross over front detail at the bust and a twisted knot allowing the fabric to fall over the bump. A great piece for day-to-night styling, wear with pumps and a blazer.

Isabella Oliver Allegra Maternity Dress 
The  flattering Allegra Dress is unlined and airy which makes it perfect for summer parties. Featuring a collar band to which the jersey is gathered and a button closure at the centre back, the dress then fastens with an obi belt above the bump. The belt is a removable feature so styling is up to you creating optimum versatility. Team with flat strappy sandals and sunglasses for an effortless elegance. 

Isabella Oliver Ruched One Shoulder Maternity Dress 

Wow! This Ruched One-Shoulder Dress is such a stunning piece, you’re guaranteed to make a style splash. Offering the ultimate in asymmetric elegance, it combines our signature ruche detail with a sexy one shoulder that’s perfect for special occasions and parties. This season, choose from classic Black Caviar and Dahlia Pink. Team with a killer heel and a beautiful clutch and make that entrance.

Isabella Oliver Serafina Maternity Dress

Every pregnancy wardrobe needs a simple go-anywhere dress and our Serafina Dress with its soft v neck dress, beautiful empire waist and closure that ties at the side seams is just that. A flattering style for any stage of your pregnancy, choose from Dark Grey Melange and Iris Blue. Team with a simple court shoe for a clean and minimal look.

Isabella Oliver Maternity Pencil Skirt

Our Classic Maternity Pencil Skirt in thick Ponte jersey has a deep waistband for optimum comfort. Finishing just below the knee it follows your curves beautifully while allowing for ease of movement. Wear with our crisp white maternity shirt for a polished look or choose one of our tees for a less formal appeal.

 Oliver Sophie Zip Coat

The only coat you’ll need this season, the Sophie Zip Coat offers minimal styling and an oversize fold-down zip collar

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PHOTO History of Ethnic Barbie Dolls Through the Years

This year Sports Illustrated marked the 50th issue of its widely popular Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition by devoting an entire spread to the iconic Barbie doll. And of course, the decision did not come without controversy and the usual back and forth debate and banter about Barbie, what she means to little girls and  their self esteem, and to beauty ideals.
Instead of jumping on that bandwagon, I thought I’d re share a quite popular spread we did a few years back during the 50th birthday of the doll and used the occasion to pay homage to how ethnic Barbies had developed through the years since Barbie first came on the scene. 
Enjoy this trip down blog memory lane:

Barbie, full name Barbara Millicent Rogers, was first introduced on the market on March 9, 1959. Her boyfriend, Ken, debuted in 1961.
She has always been controversial for activist-type moms who fear that the doll represents an unattainable and idiolized form of beauty that they don’t want their daughters striving to achieve.

Many moms “of color” have opposed Barbie because they say she represents a beauty ideal that their daughters can never attain (and look natural trying): blue eyes and blond hair.

However, a few year’s after her introduction, Mattel introduced a doll with darker complexion.

Francie doll introduced in 1967
In 1967, Mattel released a “colored” Francie doll that was made in the same mold as Barbie but just still had European facial features and body shape. 
Francie was featured on the Cover of Vogue Italia’s Black Barbie issue in 2009
Only in 2009, did Mattel release a “black Barbie” for commercial (non-collection) sale that had African features. 

First Black Barbie doll, introduced in 2009, that had African features

Asian parents wanted in too and wondered when Barbie would come in a version that resembled their little girls.  In 2010, Mattel released its first ever Asian doll, a Ken version, which many Asians complained should’ve been dressed like a modern Asian man in a t-shirt and jeans and not a Kabuki-looking, domo outfit.

A few years ago, when Mattel tried to modernize and release chic and updated dolls, mainly for adult collectors,  I noticed the Barbie Basic  dolls which featured dolls of various ethnic faces, hair styles and texture. 

In fact, it was the first time I saw a dark complexioned doll with a mini Afro. I took a photo of it but in the caption, I noted how the black dolls were dressed extra provocatively and one had on a J-Lo style navel cut dress.  Upon research, I discovered that several African American parents were up in arms over the dolls. But honestly, since they were collector items for adults, I really didn’t see much harm in them, unless they are complaining about Black women being portrayed as hypersexual in the media too much, then okay.

Over the years, Mattel has released various ethnic dolls, though for collectors and not commercial sale.

In, 2009, Italian designer Eliana Lorena outfitted over 500 Barbies in multicultural clothing for a charity auction to benefit Save the Children at Sotheby’s in Florence, Italy, to celebrate the then 50th anniversary of Barbie. Among those in the collection:
These dolls had ethnic features.
And then periodically, there are those celebrity replicas such as those our sister site Poshthesocialite featured last year:
Nicki Minaj Barbie
Halle Berry – “Die Another Day” James Bond Barbie
Janet Jackson Barbie
Diana Ross Barbie
 Beyonce
Kimora Lee Simmons
Beyond Ethnic Barbie, other controversial ones cylced in too…

There was that pregnant Midge , Barbie’s cousin, who scared parents into thinking Barbie was going to convince their baby girls they should get knocked up. She didn’t last on the shelves too long.
People went bonkers when a blogger spoke out against the idea of a Bald Barbie for children undergoing chemotherapy while suffering with cancer and Leukemia. 
And folks got mad when they thought Mexican Barbie came with her passport to prove she was a citizen.
Despite it all, Barbie has weathered the storm and stays on the scene. She is a ride or die chick. Outlasting it all.
What do you think about Barbie’s legacy and changes through the years?

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Olivia Wilde, Ali Larter support Kristen Bell’s anti-paparazzi social media campaign

Last year, Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry took on the paparazzi and successfully lobbied and got a law passed that put harsher restrictions on photographers who take pics of celebrity children.
Since then, actress Kristen Bell and hubby Dax Shepard have joined the fight and are using social media and the hashtag #pedorazzi to encourage the news magazines and media outlets that purchase paparazzi photos to stop doing that. The two went on TODAY recently.
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
The hope is that if the market dries up, the photogs will quit snapping the kids. 
It looks like current mom-to-be Olivia Wilde and past Bellyitch Bumpwatch mom Ali Larter are supporting the Shephards’ effort by retweeting Bell.

The Kardashians also put some work trying to get their millions of followers to support efforts challenging paparazzi target of celeb kids.

Good Luck!

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New Book: Celebrities having babies in 40s fool average women on pregnancy odds

Don’t let all these celebrities having babies in their 40s fool you into thinking you’ll be able to easily get pregnant.
That is the message author Tanya Selvaratham relays in her new book “The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism and the Reality of the Biological Clock” 
In a recent CNN review of her book, Selvaratham says older celeb moms like Halle Berry, Tina Fey, Nia Long, Julianne Moore, Kelly Preston,  Uma Thurman  and others have average women thinking having babies in their mid to late 40s may be easy.
“We see celebrities having kids seemingly without any problems and we have no idea what they went through,” Selvaratham says. “We see the end result, but not the struggle.”
Forty may be the new 30, but our ovaries have not gotten the same makeover, CNN notes. Even with all the advances in reproductive technology, our eggs have a finite shelf life and the odds of having a child over 40 years old are shockingly slim.
Yet, because of women delaying the start of their families and other reasons, there are more childless women in the US than in year’s past. In 1976, one in 10 woman between ages 40 and 44 was childless. By 2006, that numbered doubled to one in 5, according to the U.S. Census.
The book may also have been driven by the author’s own fertility struggles which took a toll on her marriage. 
It seems Selvaratham’s doctor may be part to blame for her troubles. After suffering her first miscarriage at 37, Selvaratham’s doc told her she still had time to conceive, influencing her decision to delay trying again until later. She learned later the delay in time probably made it harder.
According to the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine, a woman in her 20s has a 20-25% chance of conceiving naturally per menstrual cycle. In her early 30s, the chance of pregnancy is 15% per cycle. After 35, the odds of pregnancy without medical intervention are at 10%. After 40, that number falls to 5%, and women over 45 have a 1% chance of conception. 
Interesting. Your thoughts?

Mother’s Day Free Meals and Deals {35+ Freebies}

Photo of a plate of pasta

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms

BY JAY JAY GHATT

A lot of restaurants use the occassion of Mother’s Day in the United States to offer free meals and deals. Despite the challenges to the food and beverage industry during the pandemic, they are still rolling out the red carpet to feed the moms.

We curted a list of over 35 meals, snacks, drink and other offers for your last minute Mom’s Day planners.

Bahama Breeze

Get a Mother’s Day meal bundle for four for as little as $45.

Baskin-Robbins

Order a special Floral Cone Bouquet Cake for Mother’s Day. Sign up for emails or download the mobile app for discount codes that could help you save up to $5 on your order.

Blaze Pizza

Get a free 11-inch pizza when you order Mom a $25 Gift Card.

Boston Market

Get $5 off a Family Meal on Mother’s Day.

California Pizza Kitchen

Get a a Heart-Shaped Pizzas For Mother’s Day On May 9, 2021

photo of a plate of food

Carabbas

Buy mom a $50 gift card or buy one to use to treat her to lunch on Mother’s Day, and then get a bonus $10 card to use later at Carrabbas

Casey’s

Get an eight-piece order of Casey’s new cheesy breadsticks for $3.99 through May 31

Cheesecake Factory

Buy mom a $50 gift card or buy one to use to treat her to lunch on Mother’s Day, and then get a bonus $10 card to use later at The Cheesecake Factory

Chili’s

For Mother’s Day, Chili’s is offering a 3-for-$10 to-go special featuring either a 6-oz. sirloin or chicken fajitas, a drink, and a starter.

Cracker Barrel

Order a Family Meal Basket to-go, and get a $10 bonus card.

When you order Cracker Barrel’s Pancake Breakfast or their Sunday Homestyle Chicken Family Meal Bundles for pick up or delivery, you’ll get a $10 bonus card to use in the Cracker Barrel store. Both breakfasts feed a family of five for $31.99.

Einstein Bagel

Get a Mom’s Brunch Box, which comes with a free mimosa starter kit (aka 16-oz orange juice). For $29.99, it includes a variety of fresh baked favorites: one Farmhouse Egg Sandwich, two Bacon & Cheddar Egg Sandwiches, six fresh-baked bagels, one tub of plain shmear, four Twice-Baked Hash Browns and four blueberry muffins. Available at participating locations, from May 7 to May 17, 2021.

Fogo De Chao

Dine-in on May 9 or May 10 and get a free gift worth $25 to help cover the cost of two Full Churrascos for your next visit.

Greene Turtle

Moms get a free dessert with the purchase of an entrée at participating locations on Mother’s Day May 9.

Photo of someone taking a photo of their breakfast

Hard Rock Cafe

  • The restaraunt is celebrating all the hardworking moms with limited-time menu offerings and custom cocktails, available at participating locations throughout North America through Sunday, May 9, 2021.  Additionally, participating Hard Rock Cafe locations are offering a “Momosa Bar,” which allows diners to create their own “Momosa” using a flight of juices and a bottle of Riondo Prosecco

Hooters

Buy 10 wings, get 10 boneless wings free on Mother’s Day.

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches

For Mother’s Day, you can take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free sandwiches through May 9.

Jamba

Get free delivery on an order placed on the Jamba site or app. Plus, you can get a free breakfast item if you hit the $18 minimum thru Mother’s Day May 9

Jimmy John’s

If mom is craving a giant sandwich, Jimmy Johns is offering $5 off orders of $20 or more with promo code 5OFF20 through June 13. Order must be placed online or via the Jimmy John’s app.

Kolache Factory

Buy a muffin, get one for free on Mother’s Day. (Unless you’re at the St. Louis location. No free muffins will be found there.) Grab a coupon for this deal on Kolache’s social media.

Krispy Kreme

Buy a dozen glazed donuts, you’ll get a second dozen for a dollar on Saturdays and Sunday through May 23. If you got your COVID-19 vaccine, Krispy Kreme will give you a free donut every day for the rest of the year through December 31

Long John Silver’s

Get a  Free Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake With Purchase Of Any 10-Piece Family Meal Or Larger

Lucille’s Smokehouse BBB

Dine-in or pick up a to-go on Mother’s Day, get a $10 bonus card to use on their next visit.

Miller’s Ale House

Dine-in on Mother’s Day and get a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase to use on their next visit.

photo of avocado toast

Mrs. Fields

Use code MDAY2021 to get 20 percent off on Mother’s Day Collection Gifts.

Outback Steakhouse

Get their “Meal for a Queen” promotion through Sunday, May 9, 2021. Also offering buy a $50 gift card, get a bonus $10 e-card deal.

PDQ

Get a free small classic shake with any purchase for mom at participating locations on Mother’s Day, May 9.

P.F. Chang’s

The restaruant haslLaunched a New Menu For Mother’s Day, Graduation And Father’s Day Celebrations

Pluckers

Moms eat free at all Pluckers locations Sunday if mom or anyone else with her is a Pluckers Club member.

Pollo Campero

Take $10 off a $50 order when you use the code “MAMA.” until May 10.

another photo of avocado toast

Red Lobster

Buy mom a $50 gift card or buy one to use to treat her to lunch on Mother’s Day, and then get a bonus $10 card to use later at Red Lobster

Romano’s Grill

Use the code “TREATMOM” will get you 25% off any e-gift card through May 9

Shoney’s Restaurant

Dine-in and order the All You Care to Eat Mother’s Day Fresh Food Bar and mothers get a free piece of strawberry pie.

TCBY

Grab a Free 6-oz. free for moms on Mother’s Day.

TGI Fridays

The restaurant is offering new Carlo’s Cookies & Cream Tsunami Cake created by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and half-priced bottles of wine and a lineup of cocktails.

Tim Hortons

Get a Free Chili Dog Meal For All Moms On May 9, 2021

Yogurtland

For every $25 eGift card purchased through May 9, you’ll receive a $5 bonus card via email to use on a future visit between May 10-31.Bonus cards are valid only on food or beverage purchases in-store (not valid for online orders, third-party delivery, or other gift card purchases).

4 Natural Ways to Induce Your Labor

Premature birth may worry you as it worries most expectant parents but becoming overdue can also bring its own concerns and difficulties. As you become larger, sleeping can become more challenging. It becomes increasingly more difficult to get into a comfortable position as does breathing as your lungs become more crowded due to your overgrown uterus. If your baby stays in too long then there are risks associated with this, most commonly that your baby could pass meconium. If you find yourself overdue and are seeking advice to naturally help induce labor then the following is a list of ideas to do exactly that.

1. Sex– is often prescribed by doctors to help induce labor because the prostaglandins in semen help soften and prepare the cervix to dilate.

Herbs – hundreds of years ago midwives used herbs to prepare mothers for pregnancy, labor and birth. This was before the invention of pitocin. You must be very cautious with herbs of any kind as they can cause great damage if the correct dosage is not administered. Black cohosh, available in capsules or teas is commonly used to induce labor and can be with or without alcohol. During birth, black cohosh can help strengthen and regulate uterine contractions. Other herbs which have similar effects are red raspberry leaf and false unicorn root. These particular herbs have natural chemicals which are released into the woman’s body and stimulate the baby to encourage her to move and get positioned for birth. Herbs should not be used until the cervix is ready to open as they will not work until then. Beware of some herbs which can be dangerous to you or your baby such as aloe vera, bungleweed and pokeroot as these are some of the herbs that can cause premature birth or birth defects. Always consult a doctor before self-medicating with herbs. Primrose oil is used to induce labour as it has a comparable effect to semen in the cervix by softening and ripening it.

2. Castor Oil – is taken by some women as a natural method of bringing on labor. The theory being that the diarrhea and cramping it causes also causes contractions that can induce labor. It is unpleasant to taste but two tablespoons can be mixed into another drink such as a juice. It is advised to consume castor oil in the morning as you will be woken in the night with the cramping and diarrhea if you take it in the evening. There are risks with taking castor oil such as the expectant mother becoming dehydrated because she has diarrhea and also it increases the risk of the baby passing meconium while still in the uterus.

3. Nipple Stimulation – for hundreds of years nipple stimulation has been used by women to help induce labor. It has an effect of releasing a natural form of pitocin called oxytocin. Similarly to pitocin, oxytocin triggers contractions that can bring on labor. This method for naturally inducing labor is only effective near to your due date and when you are ready to give birth. Before forty weeks, it is not advisable to induce labor. The nipples can be stimulated manually or a breast pump can be used. Care needs to be taken as your uterus can become hyperstimulated. Only stimulate one nipple at a time and rest immediately once you notice contractions. Wait at least fifteen minutes after the contractions have stopped before resuming. If you do not get any rest between contractions other problems can arise.

4. Be Active – whilst most doctors advise you to slow down and reduce your activities as you approach your due date, it is also helpful to remain active as long as you do not cause yourself any stress. Walking a wee bit more than usual and slowly swinging your hips from side to side can help induce labor by stimulating your baby and getting her moving into the birthing position. If you fancy some fun, sex is always a good idea as I mentioned before because along with semen helping the cervix to soften, the female orgasm produces a hormone which aids childbirth.

Other methods women have used include acupressure and eating spicy foods, but watch out for possible nausea with spicy food and medical research has not yet supported this idea as definitely being beneficial.

4th and 5th Graders Can Ski FREE This Winter in PA

The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association (SkiPA) wants to make it affordable for kids to stay active, have fun and get outdoors with their families this winter.

SkiPA invites 4th and 5th graders to ski or snowboard for FREE up to three times at 21 participating Pennsylvania Area Ski Resorts.

Additionally, fourth and fifth graders can take advantage of a beginner lift, lesson, and rental package free.  Snowpasses are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis, so PSAA encourages families to fill out their applications online now.

And, families DO NOT need to be from PA to participate.  There is a nominal online processing fee of $35 before Dec. 1 and $40 after.

Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this season, the Snowpass program can be used even if your child has never skied or snowboarded before.

Any fourth or fifth grade student can participate by completing a simple application and providing a report card or other document verifying they are currently in the fourth or fifth grade. A photo of the student is also required.

You can apply online at www.skipa.com or download an application and apply by mail.

Skiing and snowboarding offer families the opportunity to exercise outside together during the winter months.

A ninety-pound youth can burn between two and three hundred calories per hour skiing and / or snowboarding depending on their activity level. Skiing and snowboarding are listed among the activities included in the President’s Challenge organized by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Children and adults can earn points toward a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award by skiing and snowboarding. Twenty-one ski/snowboard resorts across Pennsylvania belong to the Snowpass program.

The Snowpass can be used at the following Pennsylvania ski area resorts:

First-Time Ski Tips for Kids

It can be a little overwhelming skiing with kids in tow for the first-time. SkiPA has five helpful tips to make the experience less stressful and enjoyable for all.

  • Memorize the NSAA Your Responsibility Code

Before embarking out on the first ski trek, make sure everyone in the family discusses the Your Responsibility Code . The National Ski Areas Association developed the code to help skiers and boarders be aware that there are elements of risk in snow sports that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

  • Wear a Helmet

The National Ski Areas Association recommends wearing a helmet. It is important to make sure the helmet fits correctly for maximum protection and comfort on the slopes. A ski and snowboard helmet are not something to grow into. Learn more at www.LidsonKids.org.

  • Dress for Success

Properly suiting up for a day on the slopes is key to staying warm and dry. Cotton clothing such as jeans and a sweatshirt will become wet, then cold. So, the key is to make smart fabric choices and dress in layers. Layering allows the body to adapt to changing temperatures. Look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant. Most importantly, kids should wear a hat or headband, polyester or wool socks and gloves or mittens as the extremities are the first to feel heat-loss.

  • Wear Sun Protection

Always make sure children have sunscreen and ski goggles. The sun reflects off the snow, so is stronger than you think even on overcast days. Goggles provide the best protection for every day on the slopes, especially for children. Making sure the goggles fit properly is very important. When fitting children, be sure to try on the helmet and goggles together to make sure they fit seamlessly.

  • Take a Lesson

Start kids out with a ski lesson by a trained professional. Most resorts offer lessons for kids as young as three or four. Children’s instructors know how to teach kids specifically by starting with key fundamentals and slowly progressing to make the experience fun while building confidence on the slopes.

Good luck and have fun!

Overdue: 4 Ways To Induce Your Labor

Premature birth may worry you as it worries most expectant parents but becoming overdue can also bring its own concerns and difficulties. As you become larger, sleeping can become more challenging. It becomes increasingly more difficult to get into a comfortable position as does breathing as your lungs become more crowded due to your overgrown uterus. If your baby stays in too long then there are risks associated with this, most commonly that your baby could pass meconium. If you find yourself overdue and are seeking advice to naturally help induce labor then the following is a list of ideas to do exactly that.

1. Sex– is often prescribed by doctors to help induce labor because the prostaglandins in semen help soften and prepare the cervix to dilate.

Herbs – hundreds of years ago midwives used herbs to prepare mothers for pregnancy, labor and birth. This was before the invention of pitocin. You must be very cautious with herbs of any kind as they can cause great damage if the correct dosage is not administered. Black cohosh, available in capsules or teas is commonly used to induce labor and can be with or without alcohol. During birth, black cohosh can help strengthen and regulate uterine contractions. Other herbs which have similar effects are red raspberry leaf and false unicorn root. These particular herbs have natural chemicals which are released into the woman’s body and stimulate the baby to encourage her to move and get positioned for birth. Herbs should not be used until the cervix is ready to open as they will not work until then. Beware of some herbs which can be dangerous to you or your baby such as aloe vera, bungleweed and pokeroot as these are some of the herbs that can cause premature birth or birth defects. Always consult a doctor before self-medicating with herbs. Primrose oil is used to induce labour as it has a comparable effect to semen in the cervix by softening and ripening it.

2. Castor Oil – is taken by some women as a natural method of bringing on labor. The theory being that the diarrhea and cramping it causes also causes contractions that can induce labor. It is unpleasant to taste but two tablespoons can be mixed into another drink such as a juice. It is advised to consume castor oil in the morning as you will be woken in the night with the cramping and diarrhea if you take it in the evening. There are risks with taking castor oil such as the expectant mother becoming dehydrated because she has diarrhea and also it increases the risk of the baby passing meconium while still in the uterus.

3. Nipple Stimulation – for hundreds of years nipple stimulation has been used by women to help induce labor. It has an effect of releasing a natural form of pitocin called oxytocin. Similarly to pitocin, oxytocin triggers contractions that can bring on labor. This method for naturally inducing labor is only effective near to your due date and when you are ready to give birth. Before forty weeks, it is not advisable to induce labor. The nipples can be stimulated manually or a breast pump can be used. Care needs to be taken as your uterus can become hyperstimulated. Only stimulate one nipple at a time and rest immediately once you notice contractions. Wait at least fifteen minutes after the contractions have stopped before resuming. If you do not get any rest between contractions other problems can arise.

4. Be Active – whilst most doctors advise you to slow down and reduce your activities as you approach your due date, it is also helpful to remain active as long as you do not cause yourself any stress. Walking a wee bit more than usual and slowly swinging your hips from side to side can help induce labor by stimulating your baby and getting her moving into the birthing position. If you fancy some fun, sex is always a good idea as I mentioned before because along with semen helping the cervix to soften, the female orgasm produces a hormone which aids childbirth.

Other methods women have used include acupressure and eating spicy foods, but watch out for possible nausea with spicy food and medical research has not yet supported this idea as definitely being beneficial.

Parent Switcheroo: Healthy Snacks You Can Disguise as Junk Food



Getting the children to eat healthy is a challenge. A lot of kids would prefer to eat junk food versus good healthy food.



However, there are ways to weave healthy ingredients into foods that children associate with yummy junk food.



With a little research online you can come up with some wonderful creations.



Baked sweet potato chips,banana and peanut butter sandwiches, baked potato chips, yogurt pops and strawberry wraps are among the different types of foods you can dress up as yummy but good for them snacks.



Find out 20 healthy snacks that look like junk food and their recipes here!