Archive for April, 2011

Is new Colt 45 drink marketed to kids?

Blast is a brightly colored, fruit flavor concoction with bubble handwriting on the packaging and Snoop Dogg in its commercials. It’s not a new soft drink, but a potent new adult beverage with 12 percent alcohol. However, critics fear its aimed straight at kids.

From CNN:

“Colt 45 makers are raising the alcohol level from the already high 6% to the even higher 12%, and enticing young people with hip hop themes and lollipop flavors,” said Paul Porter of Industry Ears, a think tank that promotes justice in the media.

“Porter said the company is “expanding its market with our children. …”

“Blast joins the ranks of some high octane drinks such as Four Loko, Joose and Tilt that came under fire late last year for advertising to underage consumers.”

Jon Sayer, chief marketing officer for Pabst Brewing Co., said in a statement that Blast ic only meant for people above the legal drinking age.

(Click here to see images of the cans and of the commercial to judge for yourself …

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Will your family return to the Gulf this summer?

One year after 172 million gallons of oil started spewing into the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are evaluating how the water, its plant life and sea life are recovering.

Their reviews are mixed (surface and beaches look good but what about underneath and long-term), but I am wondering how Atlanta families will rate the recovery. Will they feel safe booking their favorite condos on the Gulf for their summer vacation? Will they return to the Gulf this year?

Here’s what the scientists see going on in the Gulf. From the Associated Press (I am bolding for a quick read):

“Scientists judge the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico as nearly back to normal one year after the BP oil spill, but with glaring blemishes that restrain their optimism about nature’s resiliency, an Associated Press survey of researchers shows.”

“More than three dozen scientists grade the Gulf’s big picture health a 68 on average, using a 1-to-100 scale. What’s remarkable is that that’s …

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My oldest daughter turns 10 today! Scary age or not yet?

My oldest daughter turns 10 today, and I can hardly believe it! Where has my little girl gone?

I am trying to decide if 10 is actually scarier than turning 13. (I know 16 and 18 are really scary!) Thirteen may be when they are officially a teenager but I feel like a lot of teenager stuff is already happening. We’ve had the period and sex talk. She’s started wearing a bra. Sometimes I think there are some hormones flowing already. She’ll get a little emotional for no apparent reason.

She’s having a Dance Party (spend the night and swim party). She plans to stream videos off You Tube on the Wii on the playroom and also wants the girls to play Dance Central on Xbox Kinect. (I am trying to decide which Katy Perry video’s I can allow at a 10-year-old’s party.)

She’s going for her first mani-pedi on Saturday as a special birthday treat.

So is 10 scary because all the puberty stuff starts or 13 is much scarier? Which is the scariest age with a girl? What about a boy? …

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How often are moms killing their kids?

We were all shocked to read last week about Lashanda Armstrong driving her minivan into the frigid Hudson River killing herself and three of her children. (Her oldest son swam to safety thank goodness!)

But just how often do mothers kill their children and why does it happen?

(I am so sorry this blog is such a downer but I feel like it’s very important to discuss and bring attention to this issue.)

The Associated Press took a look at statistics and case studies, and it’s a surprisingly large number of women killing their kids. Some experts say about 100 times a year. Others say one every three days! AP also found out that moms are more likely to kill their kids (under the age of 5) than dads. A mother killing her own kids cuts across class, race, ethnicity and age. The common thread for these women is they feel alone and without support. Often the mothers think they are doing what is best for their children by killing them.

From the Associated Press (I bolded the best …

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Is it a flattering season for mom swim suits?

I went bathing suit shopping Sunday afternoon and for the first time in several years I didn’t cry through the experience. (I didn’t have any little people with me which helped!)

I tried on probably 20 suits and didn’t hate any of them. Some looked better than others but none were horrifying as in years past.

I couldn’t decide if I had actually lost weight or if it is just a particularly flattering crop of swimsuits this year?

I’ve decided it’s a little bit of both. I have lost six pounds lately, but I also think swimwear manufacturers have finally figured out what helps disguise a woman’s figure flaws without shoving them into a granny suit.

For example, I love ruching on the fronts of suits. It helps disguise my tummy poking out. I also love a twisted top on the suit and a sweetheart neck. They are very flattering and draw the eye up. I like the little ’40s style skirts that barely cover your butt. It gives a little more coverage without looking old lady.

I am …

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Dibs: Should girls claim prom dresses on Facebook?

We all know it’s no fun to show up to a party wearing the same dress as someone else, but is it right for a girl to call dibs on a prom dress?

A new Facebook page allows teens to do just that!

Here’s how it works according to the Associated Press:

“A fashion advice website,, has even launched a Facebook-based registry called “Got Dibs” that allows users to track who’s wearing what to which high school event, and get feedback on their outfit before they wear it.”

“Amy Avitable, senior vice president of marketing for Lord & Taylor, which is partnering with on Got Dibs, says the project is a way to give girls an insurance policy that they’ll have something special, while making sure they won’t be second-guessing their outfit at the last minute.”

“Here’s how Got Dibs works: Girls can snap photos of themselves with the tags still on the dress and get instant advice on what shoes to wear, if the hemline is right or if the silhouette is …

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Moms: Beware of Crayola’s new Colored Bubbles!

Bunches of my mom friends have been talking this week on Facebook about Crayola’s new Colored Bubbles, and do they actually wash away as advertised or will they stain your stuff?

I have not bought the bubbles to test them for myself because I am afraid after I read The Wall Street Journal’s review of them. I’ll admit reviewing colored bubbles is an odd topic for such a serious publication, but I am glad they wrote about it!

The WSJ reports it took nearly two decades of research to develop the bubbles but there seem to be some glitches.

From the WSJ:

“But now some angry parents may burst Crayola’s bubble. The problem: when the bubbles pop (or the solutions splash), they leave a neon-bright—and, parents complain, often permanent—mess. Despite the large type on the front of the bottles that says ‘Washable.’ ”

“The Sunset Orange bubble soap that dripped on the floor of Emily Vanek’s garage dried in dark red splotches resembling blood, the Denver mother says. …

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Do you care about ABC canceling its soaps?

Yesterday ABC axed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” saying that soaps were only popular with the World War II baby boom generation (my parents) but not with younger viewers.

From AP:

“Soap operas have slowly been fading as a TV force, with many of the women who made up the target audience now in the work force. In place of the two canceled dramas, ABC will air shows about food and lifestyle transformations.”

“Brian Frons, head of ABC’s daytime department, went to the California set of “All My Children” to deliver the news on Thursday, where a video link was also set up to the New York set of “One Life to Live.” He said the shows were doing well creatively, but falling ratings indicated they had a bleak future.”

“If you have a show in severe decline, you’re trying to catch a falling knife,” Frons said.

“Daytime dramas have suffered recently as cable networks like TLC, Bravo and Oxygen aggressively seek viewers in those hours, he said. Soaps are popular …

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Find your summer camp! has the BIG LIST!

Even with those pesky snow make-up days, summer break is less than two months away! It is time to get your summer plans together for your kids, and the AJC is going to make it easy for you with its all-inclusive BIG CAMP LIST!

I am loving all the Margaret Mitchell House summer camps – different themes such as writing (my favorite), playwriting and mystery in the city. What could that be about?

Also love the topics for the Atlanta History Center summer camps – American Civil War, From this Land, Great Innovations. My son would love those!

Also the theater internships and Camp Newspaper in Roswell look fun too!

A lot of elementary schools are doing camps. We have gone to art camp and music camp at our elementary school the last two years. They were relatively inexpensive, were with teachers I knew and just gave mom a little break.

What camps are you thinking about for the summer? Do you like them to be physical types of activity or more mental? Do you like to let your kids …

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Italian mothers send food to far-flung adult bambinos! Are they going too far?

Literally THOUSANDS of Italian mothers in southern Italy are sending lovingly and extravagantly made meals to their adult children who have moved to other parts of the country. About 3,000 mothers have hired one delivery man, Domenico Martino, to take their care packages north weekly in a semi-truck.

From The Wall Street Journal:

“For generations, Calabrian women have poured their maternal love into Sunday lunch. They labor to produce sumptuous meals of fresh pasta, long-stewed meats and homegrown greens to lure their grown children back to the nest every week. It was easy when the children lived nearby or—as was often the case—in upstairs apartments built or bought by their parents. But today, the Sunday lunch tradition has fallen on hard times.”

“Jobs for young Italians are scarce—particularly in Italy’s poorer south—forcing people to migrate north to big cities, leaving their mothers behind. In Calabria, on the toe of Italy’s boot, 52% of Italians between the …

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