All the Rage

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    More and more women are turning to birth coaches, and with good reason. Some studies show using a doula reduces the length of labor, pain levels, and C-section rates up to 50 percent. "Many mothers refer to them as the women who have made their birthing experience a 'dreamy' one," says Giuditta Tornetta, a birth coach at

    A doula will give you the emotional support and information that most OB/GYNs -- and stressed-out husbands -- can't provide. "Basically a doula is there to help the mom get the birth she wants," says Stephanie Heintzeler, a doula at But as with choosing your doctor, midwife, and pediatrician, it's important to choose a doula that's right for you.

    Here's how ...

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    Infant massage may sound a little woo woo, but hey, who doesn't love a little pampering? And as the benefits of infant massage continue to grow, more and more moms are giving it a try. "Some of the benefits of infant massage include helping you to bond with your baby, as well as helping babies relax, improving their sleep, digestion, and bowel movements, and developing their body awareness, which is important for movement," explains Diane Bahr, a certified infant massage instructor and author of Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Some studies also suggest that it can enhance a baby's immune system, which is particularly important for premature babies.

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    So these Starbucks pay-it-forward lines seem to have become an official "thing" now. That's where someone in front of you in line pays for your order, and then you reciprocate by paying for the person behind you. Kind of a bum deal if you're getting a small black coffee and the person behind you is getting lunch, but whatevahs. It's supposed to be about being good! And kind! And charitable! Ermkay.

    We read about one continuous line that ended after 11 hours with customer number 378, a woman who apparently didn't understand the concept (nothing like playing dumb!) and just wanted to pay for her order. Now there's customer number 458, Peter Schorsch, who deliberately broke a different pay-it-forward line because he's a meanie-poo. But after listening to his defense, I gotta say, the man is making some sense.

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    It's a strange day when I find myself nodding at the wisdom of former Jackass star Steve-O, but I'm completely on board with his recent post about celebrity ice bucket challenge videos. He first shared a clip of himself carrying out the now-familiar act of dousing himself in freezing water, then asked, "I'm all about helping causes, but did this raise any awareness at all?”

    He went on to post a statement on Facebook decrying celebrities for not doing more to create awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. While Steve-O's opinion isn't likely to be a popular one, I see exactly where he's coming from -- and I agree more money could have been raised if so many celebrities hadn't turned their participation in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge into personal vanity projects.

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    Surprising little girls with puppies for their birthdays and having it captured on video is a thing. It's a thing on YouTube, at least, but it's such a good thing, I think it should be a 24-hour network. Rupert Murdoch wants to buy Time Warner, but his initial $80 billion offer was rebuffed. Reportedly, Murdoch is still gunning for Time Warner because he wants influence in China.

    But heck, the puppy surprise video genre -- this stuff is universal! I dare any nation not to cry when they see little girls given puppies when they don't expect it. Have you seen these? Try not to melt from the cuteness.

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    The summer is flying by and college is right around the corner. Didn't expect it to sneak up on you quite so fast, did you, Mom? Well, you can sit around sobbing and eating pints of ice cream or you can get busy ... dorm DIY is all the rage, and, well, it may be your last chance to get out your glue gun and do something with your kid for a good long while.

    Remember when you used to sit down at the dining room table with crayons and butcher paper and waste away an entire afternoon? Ah, so long ago. Now your kids are all about their cellphones and trying to convince their university of choice that Keurigs are so much safer than hot plates.

    But if your teen is obsessed with having the coolest dorm on campus, you're in luck -- because we've rounded up 10 of the blogosphere's coolest crafts for college dorm rooms.

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    I don't know about you, but I become especially lazy in the summer. I don't want to cook, I don't want to clean, and I resent getting dressed if I'm not putting on a bathing suit! However, I'm not so lazy that I totally abandon my beauty routine. I still do my fair share of primping, but I'm all about streamlining.

    More From The Stir: 6 Beauty Products With SPF to Keep You Gorgeous All Summer

    Here are a few favorite summery beauty products that work double, or even triple, duty. This way, we can devote our non-working hours to more important matters, like reading trashy novels at the pool!

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    After attempting a rainbow French manicure recently (and getting lots of compliments on it!), I got inspired to find more rainbow nail art designs to try. There's just something really fun about having a rainbow at your fingertips as you go through life. We may be "adults" but we don't have to be so serious all the time, right?

    With that in mind, I found a bunch of pretty rainbow manicure designs. They're perfect for Pride month, or any time of the year! I've included links to tutorials for the trickier-looking ones, but for the most part, these are all pretty easy to do.

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    If you had to guess what one of the biggest baby name influencers of the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 is so far, what would you say? If you said Disney's Frozen, you're correct. For the first time ever, Elsa has cracked the top 100 most popular names, clearly due to Frozen's crazy insane success (and due to the fact that many parents have let older siblings help pick out a baby name). Other characters in the film -- Kristoff, Hans, and Sven -- have made sizeable jumps in the baby name world, as well. Olaf, sadly, is the only character who hasn't had a big influence on baby naming (it is up 4 percent, though!). Awww.

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    Baby showers are one of those things that can spend even the craftiest person into a tailspin. Is it better to go gender-neutral? Should you make a theme about mom? About the baby-to-be?

    Should there be games? What about favors? And what the heck is a sprinkle? How about we just dial back the anxiety for a moment? Before you get yourself in a tizzy, let's start with the basics: picking an epic baby shower theme!

    From Star Wars for the geeky mama to a vintage tea party for a classy afternoon, here's a list of shower ideas that's sure to spark something for every mom!

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