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This Viral Review Of A ‘Facial Slimmer’ Will Make You Laugh So Hard You Cry

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 06:58 AM PDT

A reporter’s hilarious review of a ridiculous “facial slimmer” went viral

Is there no end to what us gals will try to look more youthful and lovely? The sheer number of products in my bathroom cabinet is beyond the realm of normal and acceptable, yet, I won’t part with a single thing. And now that I’ve seen this reporter’s hilarious video testing out a Facial Slimmer Exercise Mouthpiece, I might need to add that to my insane collection of anti-aging shit. Once I’ve stopped laughing long enough to order one, that is.

Kristen Hampton, a reporter with WBTV in Charlotte, is no stranger to going viral. Last year, over six million people watched her try a product called the 3-Second Brow. And now? Over nine million (so far) have died laughing at her demonstration of the Facial Slimmer Exercise Mouthpiece, a beauty product so ridiculous we can’t believe it even exists. Oh, but it does.

Dear god.

Hampton explains that the item came with no directions, just looking like “a clown mouth.” It purports to slim “fat mouth,” as she puts it. Those lovely “jowls” we’d all love to get rid of. But at what cost? Look at that model in the photo. Shudder.

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

She dives right in, shoving the slimmer, which is made of “silicone and lots of toxic, poisonous chemicals,” right into her mouth. Because, “beauty first…beauty before health,” she says. Obviously.

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

“I feel it really working this right here,” she says, struggling to speak with it in her mouth. “Sorry, it makes you slobber.” And her trying to say “slobber” may finish you off right then and there. I am in tears.

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

“Just three minutes per day is all you need,” says Hampton. “Sorry, it makes you slobber. I’m trying to say P-O-P. Pop in the mold and make mouth movements. One thing I have discovered already is it is very hard to make certain sounds with.”

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

As she wipes away the drool that keeps building up, she starts cracking herself up, which further cracks me up. I mean, look at her.

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

“I’ll have to keep this thing in for several hours, not just three minutes,” she says, while evaluating her progress.

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

“I think some slime just fell out, oh my god that’s disgusting.” Maybe, but we’re only laughing ourselves breathless.

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

After several minutes of making the facial movements, trying to pronounce words, drooling all over the place, and tapping on her chin and face area to point out her “flaws,” she takes it out and checks the results. She also notes that you too can get this “youthful look” for the low, low price of $4.99, and along with Prime’s free shipping, that’s a hell of a deal.

“It’s slimmed down already, look. It’s not even there anymore. WOW. Just kidding,” she quips. Hampton reads one person’s helpful comment out loud. “Hope it helps your jowls…thank you, Janice. Cause those bad boys need some work.”

Image via Facebook/Kristen Hampton

“You too can have your face slimmed down if it’s too big,” she signs off hopefully. But Hampton says she’s going to try this terrible thing a bit longer before she rates it. Godspeed, my friend.

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Viral Twitter Thread Nails What Having Social Anxiety Is REALLY Like

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:43 AM PDT

Having social anxiety is so much more than being “shy,” and this thread nails it

Social anxiety is experiencing fear about being judged negatively by other people in social situations, which leads those who have it to feel inadequate, inferior, self-conscious, embarrassed, or even depressed. It’s far more nuanced and complicated than just “oh haha I hate people, I love staying home.”

Which is why this viral Twitter thread is so important — people everywhere who have social anxiety are sharing their experiences to help others better understand.

Social anxiety disorder is an incredibly common issue. Some people have specific, situational anxieties; for others it’s more general. In the U.S., studies show social anxiety disorder as the third largest psychological disorder in the country, after depression and alcoholism.

Being in social situations with others who are outgoing and effortlessly social can make you feel like you’re under a microscope. Suddenly, a simple family party or a gathering of friends and acquaintences brings on a sense of hyper self-awareness, and you feel like you stand out like a sore thumb.

Personally, I have a tendency to do a post-game analysis of every single detail and conversation of a social situation. I will agonize over whether or not I should have said something, and will endlessly wonder if my presence in any given social event was “too much” or “not enough.”

Another important thing to remember — having social anxiety is not the same thing as “being shy.” AT ALL.

The worst part is feeling like everyone can sniff out your discomfort.

In my pre-mom life, I was super involved in community theater. Being onstage in front of a hundred people didn’t bother me in the least — not even being onstage while 25 pounds overweight in a negligee (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, if you’re curious). Because on stage, I wasn’t myself. But you know what downright crippled me? Having to sweat through small talk with the audience members post-show. I felt stupid. Awkward. I was certain they were all talking about how fat I was, how talentless I was.

Having social anxiety is fucking brutal.

Raise your hand if becoming a mom has made your social anxiety worse. We spend so much time around our little ones, or at home, and not going out at all ever — that we feel like we really don’t know how to be in the same room as other adult humans anymore.

People with social anxiety disorder — we know our anxiety is irrational. It doesn’t make sense a lot of the time. Reading threads like this and knowing other people understand helps a lot.

For more information on social anxiety disorder and treatment options, head over to the National Institute of Mental Health.

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The Internet Is Divided Over This Pickles And Peanut Butter Recipe

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:42 AM PDT

New York Times: Try pickles and peanut butter together

The New York Times has set the internet ablaze this week after it championed an unconventional sandwich recipe: peanut butter and pickles. Sure, the paper is typically covering important news, but the world’s been a dumpster fire since Election Night 2016 so let’s hear these journalists out.

First, the original tweet that started all the drama:

While the Times shared this quirky post on Friday, the “recipe” was originally posted in 2012. It’s not quite a recipe since it only includes four ingredients: two slices of your favorite bread, butter, peanut butter, and bread-and-butter pickles. It takes about 90 seconds to make, and Times Book Critic Dwight Garner promises it’s “a thrifty and unacknowledged American classic.”

Apparently, this is his favorite sandwich. So, bro isn’t just advocating for something a little interesting, he’s committed to it. “The vinegary snap of the pickles tempers the unctuousness of the peanut butter, and it's an unusual pantry sandwich for when luncheon meats leave you cold,” the Times wrote.

More than 800 people shared their thoughts on the peanut butter pickle scandal on Twitter alone.

Lots of people loved the concept:

And this NYT reporter even upgrades his peanut butter and pickle sammies.

Some like the idea but don’t want a whole sandwich.

Several folks wondered if there was a reason behind this specific craving.

But, like me, lots of other folks were just a resounding NOPE.

My husband would eat this in a second as he puts pickles on all kinds of snacks, but I’m going to stick with the classic PB&J.

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What Happened When My Child Was Hurt By ‘The Mean Kid’

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

"Mom, this kid told me I'm weird and a loser!"

As a parent, these are the words I hoped never to hear from my kids. My daughter was having a tough few days. My husband and I knew something wasn't right.  She was snapping back at us, provoking her siblings — overall just not being very nice.

She's quirky and an old soul, different from kids her age (she's only 9). She would rather help her teacher than go to recess. Family time is everything to her. She hasn't found a bestie yet and is very cautious about letting her guard down when it comes to meeting new friends.

So when we encouraged her to try to play with more kids at school, it backfired.

"Back off, we don't want you playing with us!"

"Why can't I play with you?" my daughter asked.

"It's because you're weird and a loser!"

Cue my mama heart breaking into a million piece.

My first reaction: Who is this kid? Let me at her… no one treats my daughter this way!

But then, I took a few deep breaths, held back my tears and used this as a teaching moment.

First and foremost, we needed to work on my daughter’s self-belief and self-perception. We are hearing too often now the number of children suffering from depression and low self-esteem, so we knew we had to make sure it was our number one priority to let our daughter know she is loved, beautiful and strong.

You are not alone.

Whether your kid is an extrovert or an introvert, we need to let them know they are not alone. My daughter bottles everything up inside. She is not the first one to share her emotions. But as much as she doesn’t want to talk about it, she was in a dark and lonely place and needed to know she had a strong support system that loved and cared for her.

You are amazing.

I can just imagine my daughter walking alone during recess not playing with other kids. Does she know she is an incredible girl? Her peers don’t see it today, but so many others do. Let your child know that they are unique and awesome. Just because they are different from other kids, it doesn't make them “weird” or a “loser.”

You are in control. Be confident.

Words hurt, words sting — but they are only words. This idea is tough for kids to understand (adults too!). But they need to know they can't let words control them. Is she going to allow this “mean kid” define who she is? How about all the great qualities she has that others see? I didn't want one person to cast a shadow over all her wonderful traits.

Being in control also means being confident, one of the most important traits I want to instill in my children. I want them to be proud of who they are and confident in their decisions. I needed her to know the words and actions of others should not shake her belief in herself.

Be grateful.

When self-doubt starts creeping in and when you feel like nothing is going right, take time to write down all the great things in your life. We had our daughter tell us ten things she is grateful for and ten amazing qualities about herself. We needed to keep reinforcing the positives and acknowledging her self-worth and belief.

Develop a plan.

When we finally helped our daughter get into the right mindset,  we next encouraged her to develop a plan of how to handle the situation. What is the conversation she wanted to have?

Oftentimes, our first instinct when someone hurts us is to hurt them right back or just avoid the person.  However, after much discussion, our daughter realized that she needed to stick up for herself.

Together, we decided the best way to deal with this situation was not too lash out, but to question the “mean kid” about their actions.

Ask her why… Why do you think I'm weird and a loser? Why do you think it's okay to call me those names? Does it make you feel better putting me down?  Perhaps these questions will make the mean girl think twice before she insults someone else. More importantly, my daughter will stand up for herself and not allow someone to push her around.

So, we have set our daughter on a mission to talk with the mean kid.  We have no idea how things will turn out, but we do know that we took this opportunity to teach our kids to be confident and strong.

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Calm Down, Everyone. It’s Okay To Sleep With Your Dog.

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

When my ex and I got our dog, I remember my mom distinctly telling me, "Do not let the dog sleep in the bed with you." So we went out and got a squishy little bed all ready for our pup's arrival. She wasn't interested in the dog bed, so we decided to let her sleep on the couch instead. She'd wake us up with her howling. "Let's try bringing the dog bed into the bedroom," I suggested.

Well, she wanted no part of it. Exhausted, we just said "fuck it," and let her get in bed with us. She snuggled right in and passed out. She's six, and she still sleeps in bed with her people.

But contrary to what some may believe, having your dog sleep in bed with you isn't a bad thing. It actually doesn't affect your sleep in a negative way at all.

In a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, the myth that dogs sleeping in their human's bed has a negative effect on sleep has been debunked. This surely is a relief to those of us who let our furry companions in for a cuddle. For the study, 40 dogs (none of whom were under six months old) were observed for seven days. They were outfitted with a Fitbark (basically a Fitbit for dogs that tracks them at rest and at play) and people wore an Actiwatch 2, which records whether or not they are having a restful sleep. In addition to the trackers recording everyone's movement every minute, the humans in the study kept a sleep diary.

All of the participants in the study were adults with no sleep disorders, and 88 percent of them were women with an average age of 44. The dogs had an average age of five. If the dog slept in the bed with their human, the average sleep efficiency (amount of time asleep in bed) for the person was 81 percent, which is considered satisfactory. People slept slightly better when the dog wasn't in the bed, but still in the room. The dogs had an average sleep efficiency of 85 percent no matter where they slept, as long as they were in the bedroom. The study only focused on having one dog in the bed, but Dr. Krahn told the New York Times that she'd like to expand the study further in the future.

See? Having your dog sleep in your bed with you isn't going to disrupt your sleep in any truly meaningful way.

Dr. Lois E. Krahn, psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, and senior advisor of this study told The New York Times that her 6-year-old golden retriever Phoebe sleeps on her bedroom floor regularly. During colder months, she gets in bed with Dr. Krahn and her husband, and they all sleep "fine."

I actually prefer sleeping with my dog to sleeping with a human. She is the perfect bed companion; she likes to be close, but she will give me space to at least be able to roll over (something my kid does not do). When I was pregnant, she loved to curl up in the space behind my knees.

With a dog, you don't usually have to worry about fighting over the blankets, and even though I do know some dogs who like to get cuddly, they usually have their own blanket. My dog does have a thing for sleeping on my pillow, and she is definitely a spot stealer — if I get out of bed, she'll go right to the warm spot and curl up. But it’s actually kind of endearing.

Sa’iyda Shabazz

Of course, there are some dogs who may not be the best at bed sharing. Veterinarian and director of animal behavioral science at Penn Vet in Philadelphia, Dr. Carlo Siracusa explains, "There are dogs that tend to be more reactive to stimuli. So, for example, if the dog is on the bed and the owner turns and inadvertently hits the dog with the leg, some dogs will get startled and react out of fear," in a conversation with the Times. He adds, "If there are no problems and the owner is happy with letting the pet in the bedroom, or on the bed, it's fine with me."

But if you as the owner are not happy with having your pupper in bed with you, you can rectify the situation. Dr. Siracusa explains that the transition must be gradual, just like if you're trying to get your kid out of your bed (which we all know is no easy feat). Comfort is key, so figuring out what your dog likes about your bed, whether it's pillows or blankets, or the warmth of another body is the first step.

Then you can replicate that comfortable space in an area that is more beneficial to you. Maybe they don't like sleeping on the floor. Elevating them off the ground may be tricky, but it might be worth it not to wake up to dog breath in your face. And who knows? Maybe your dog doesn't want to sleep in your bed because you're an annoying sleeper. Nothing clears my dog out of bed faster than a fart.

So, if you love having your pup in your room, fear not. You're not creating any sort of bad habits for them — or making the night less restful for you. "Dogs can distinguish between the relationship with its human fellows and other dogs, and the way in which they regulate their interactions with humans in the house is not trying to establish a hierarchy," explains Dr. Siracusa.

You just have to do what's best for you, your family, and your dog. At least when they drool, they're cute.

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You’re Never Going To Get Your Sh*t Together (And That’s Okay)

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

The main difference between 20-something me and 30-something me is that I'm more certain today than ever that I will never get my shit together. That might sound like a gloomy proclamation, but I promise it's not. I'd actually argue that it's a mark of maturity to recognize what a mess your life will always be.

Fresh out of college, when I was working on Wall Street, I remember feeling like I knew exactly what I was doing with my life. I'd graduated from a "good" school and landed a "good" job and I was dating a tall, handsome guy who made a "good" living and came from a "good" family.

Over the course of three increasingly grueling years, I realized that I was wrong about a lot of things. I saw that my soul was handcuffed to a job about which I felt lackluster at best, no matter how much they paid me, and that I was surrounded by people I couldn't emulate. After soaking my pillow in tears too many nights in a row, I quit banking without any specific future plans in place. At 25, I knew that I never wanted to wear another sweater set, but beyond that, I was pretty fucking clueless as to what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Still, I was absolutely certain that figuring my shit out was entirely possible—that through introspection and hard work, I would arrive at My Happy Place. I sincerely believed that I would reach a point at which I felt content in all aspects of life.

I would carve out a fulfilling career in a new field and settle down with the right guy and our mostly peaceful, enriching lives would unfold as the years went by. I wasn't dumb to the fact that there would be obstacles along the way, but I did expect the proverbial stars to align for me as long as I put some effort in. I felt entitled to happiness, you might say.

A decade later, an outsider evaluating my circumstances might argue that I have figured my shit out. The process of establishing myself as a writer was by no means easy, especially without an English degree, a byline (not even on a personal blog!), or any industry connections to speak of. But I did it. I am also in a serious, loving relationship with a man I truly adore.

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This Couple Says Asking One Question Saved Their Marriage

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

I was 8 or 9 the first time I watched The Princess Bride. For those of you who haven't seen it, I'm sorry. Stop reading this article and go watch it now because it's basically amazing. But for those who have, remember when Westley tells Buttercup "As you wish" to all of her requests? After what seems like an eternity of this, but it's only a few minutes of movie magic, she starts to realize that every time he said, "As you wish" what he really meant was "I love you." Oh man, my heart — along with everyone else's in the move theater — melted.

I had always assumed I knew something about love. Or at least new love. It was about sacrifice, right? Well… yeah. But after you've been married for 10, 20, 30 years, "as you wish" can be replaced by the cold hard silence of two people still together, still in love, but not sure how to communicate or sacrifice anymore.

This is exactly the situation Richard Paul Evans and his wife Keri found themselves in after decades of marriage. According to Evans’ viral blog post, he and his wife were married at 21, and went into the whole arrangement with very unreal expectations of love. Which I must admit, is par for the course. I think every couple goes into marriage assuming its going to be one way, only to find out that it's actually a million and one arguments over how the dishwasher is loaded.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my wife. We have a good marriage, but the reality is we've been together for 14 years and our relationship may have started out with "as you wish," but it has turned into "take this kid before I abandon him in the woods."

Evans tells NBC that after years of marriage, he knew he loved his wife and she loved him, but they "just didn't know how to make it work." Then, one day while taking a shower, Evans broke down and cried. He had an epiphany: He couldn't change his wife, but he could change.

So he decided to ask his wife one simple question each morning: "How can I make your day better?"

Now let's stop right there and take a minute to let that very simple question sink in. I don't know about you, but marriage, children, family, work, all of it can be a pretty big boulder to roll. And it's not like it comes at you five days a week, with a nice break over the weekends. It's a 24/7 kind of thing, so having someone who is sharing in your struggle look you in the eyes and offer to help lighten the load is pretty powerful, right?

Naturally that's what Evans’ wife thought, right? Well… not at first. It sounds like she started by asking him to clean the kitchen, and then the garage. But much like Buttercup asking Westley to chop wood and then fetch a glass, there was a lot of love in his offer to help, and eventually she had an epiphany, too.

"I should be asking you that," she told him. She apologized, and said, "Can we maybe just spend time together?"

Now they both ask this simple question each morning, and according to Evans, it's absolutely improved their marriage.

Now I know that there are going to be some of you rolling your eyes as your read this because the last thing you want is to do something for your spouse. You’ve got enough on your plate already, and they should be doing something for you, right? Well, that may be the case. I don't know that much about your marriage, honestly.

But the way Richard Evans explains it, is that when he had that epiphany, he realized he was as much to blame for the state of his marriage as his wife. "I'm not as great a guy as I thought I was," says Evans. "I have a lot of really broken parts, a lot of baggage I brought to this. And I was thinking this was her, and the truth is, I suck a lot." Talk about some self-awareness.

They also suggested making sure that the request to help is sincere. This should never be used as a gaslighting technique, but rather a move to repair a struggling marriage. Of course, if you are in a marriage where asking a question like this could open up a new element of manipulation from an already manipulative partner, please don't.

But if the relationship is otherwise healthy, albeit a bit stagnant or there is some animosity, asking someone how you can help them takes a hefty dose of humility. But ultimately, marriage — and love in general — takes a lot of humility. I suppose the hope is that if the person you love still loves you, then they will begin to return the favor and ask how they can better your day, just like it did for Richard and Kari Evans.

There really isn't a quick fix to a marriage problem. I'm sorry, there just isn't. But this question is a really good way to improve a marriage if both people are interested in making it better. So tomorrow morning, I'm going to ask my wife this question. And I'm going to hope that she asks it back.

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If Your Child Barely Eats Lunch At School, You Aren’t Alone

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

It's the same story almost every day. I open my kindergartner's lunch box, and it's a damn mess. A sandwich with about two bites taken out of it, the rest of it in crumbly shambles. A banged up apple with one teenie-tiny bite. An unopened granola bar. And for good measure, a wet, soggy glob of string cheese that makes me gag.

In other words, my kindergartner comes home having barely eaten his lunch. Every. Single. Day.

Thankfully, I'm used to this sort of thing. My older son, now 11, did the same exact thing for almost all of elementary school, and only now is he beginning to make a dent in his lunch. Somehow, he survived, and I know my younger son will too.

I have a few theories about why some kids can't seem to get it together and eat at school. I think it has a lot to do with the atmosphere in the cafeteria. It's crowded and loud AF in there, for one. All school cafeterias are; that's just the nature of the beast. It smells all kinds of ways, and for kids with sensory issues like my older son, this can be a real issue (he's shared that he's gagged from the cafeteria smells at times).

On top of all that, there is the socializing aspect of lunch, which can be distracting or downright stressful. Sure, there are grown-ups monitoring things, but kids tend to let loose a little more during lunch time, their personalities in full force. And that can be overwhelming, especially for the little, shy kids like my kindergartner.

Plus, some kids just eat better at home, where they can relax. Where it's calm and familiar, and where they can take their time. That's just the way it is for some kiddos.

Both of my kids come home starving at 3 o'clock, and I've learned to make sure that there is a meal waiting for them then. My kindergartner eats a mid-morning snack at school, too, so I know he doesn't starve all day. (Side note: this mid-morning snack, which I try to keep small, probably sort of spoils his appetite for lunch. But what can you do?)

A few months ago, a fellow kindergarten dad confessed to me that his son was barely touching his lunch. The dad was worried. He thought his son must be the only one. When I told him that my kids did the same thing, he was definitely relieved. And from what I can tell, neither of us are alone. There are many, many kids out there eating barely anything at school, and saving their appetite for when they get home.

Sure, there are plenty of kids who eat their lunch just fine. And I realize, too, that for kids who live in poverty, skipping a free school lunch is not an option. There is a privileged aspect to being able to skip meals, and I definitely feel awful about the wasted food that my children bring home. But, at the same time, I know that being a kid is hard, going to school has its stresses, and it's very common for children to not be able to eat much at all during the school day.

Listen, I'm not saying that I love it. I have tried all kinds of tactics to get my kids to eat more during the school day. I have even discussed it with their teachers, who tell me that they see this kind of thing often. I hate that my kids come home cranky and starved. I wish, too, that there was a way for schools to make the atmosphere of the cafeteria a little more mellow and conducive to calm eating.

But I'm also here to say that having a kid who eats like a bird at school is pretty common. As long as your child eats enough to survive and isn't having a hard time functioning during the school day, everything is probably just fine. Kids are more durable than we think. I swear.

The silver lining is that most kids grow out of this phase. Just in the past year or so, my older son—who is about the pickiest eater in the world, and didn't eat lunch at school for years—is finally bringing home an empty lunch box. It's amazing. I think as he's gotten older, he's better able to tune out all the distractions of the cafeteria, and get down to business.

My little guy will get there too. Until then, I'll be over here opening his disgusting lunch box every afternoon, cringing, holding my nose, cursing under my breath, and waiting as patiently as I can until this annoying phase is over.

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