Cause for Concern ~ Teens and Cough Medicine

When you open up your medicine cabinet, what do you see there?  If you have nail clippers, tweezers and eye drops, let’s exclude those.  Pain killers, cough syrup and night-time cold medicines, however, may be cause for concern.

Cough Syrup Can Be Deadly
There’s a disturbing trend being carried out in homes across America and I’m not talking teens taking medications as directed but rather, teens taking them in large doses simply to get high.    Many of our young people are drinking cough medicines containing Dextromethorphan (DXM) out of shot glasses.  

Government surveys show that 3.1 million people age 12 and older have misused over the counter drugs  in their lifetime—with nearly 4 percent of misuse among those younger than 18. Nearly 6 percent of 10th graders and roughly 5 percent of high school seniors report abusing cough or cold medicines.

Know the language: as it goes by many names on the street like dex, poor man’s PCP, CCC, rojo, skittles, triple C, velvet or robo.  To teens, it's a game and taking it in access often goes by robotripping, skittling, or dexing.  What is it found in:  more than 125 over-the-counter products, including Robitussin, Vicks, Coricidin HBP, colorful capsules and tablets.  What can it cause:   Depending on the dose, the effects include feeling either overexcited or lethargic. Low doses may be mildly stimulating. The more teens take, the more likely they are to experience hallucinations, euphoria, and a feeling of being outside of their own bodies.

Short term, abusing DXM can cause nausea, vomiting, numbness, abdominal pain, slurred speech, dizziness, paranoia, and increased heart rate. Long-term risks include dependence, high blood pressure, and problems breathing because of nervous system effects. Teens who abuse DXM suffer from impaired senses, which may lead to life-threatening accidents.

Skittles That Kill
Where is it available:  drugstores, supermarkets, convenience stores, online websites and yes, your own medicine cabinet.

Be proactive.  Know what your young adult is doing and talk to them about the dangers.  For more information go to

Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Bario-Neal, a handcrafted jewelry studio in Philadelphia that uses ethically sourced stones and environmentally conscious practices. Today they're giving away this fabulous cocktail ring ($180), which has geometrical facets in brass. Wouldn't you love to wear it with dark red lipstick everyday this fall?

For a chance to win, please visit Bario-Neal's online shop (including beautiful engagement rings and wedding bands), and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Latte Love is our winner. Thanks for playing.

Have you stayed friends with your exes?

Before I met Alex...
Read more »

Fall trend: Dark red lipstick

I usually wear bright red lipstick, but this fall, lips are going dark. Yesterday Toby and I walked over to the NARS store and found the prettiest color: Terre de Feu. Afterward, I felt really sexy, even in jeans and a T-shirt and with a baby on my hip.

The trick is to apply the lipstick, and then kiss it off on a tissue, so it's more of a stain; and then reapply a top coat. That way, it stays on for ages (and won't rub off if you have drinks or dinner).

Will you be wearing dark red lipstick this fall?

P.S. Dark red nails, and fall wedges...

(Photo by Stockholm Street Style)

Staring contest

Alex and I hosted a staring contest three years ago, and it was one of the funniest parties we've ever had. We've wanted to do another one for ages, so we invited a few friends over last week for the challenge. The rules are simple: People have to gaze into each other's eyes without smiling or laughing.
It's incredibly suspenseful. (Note our friend's face on the left:)
Doesn't our friend look like Ben Stiller here?
As I mentioned years ago, staring contests are surprisingly flirty—because, if you think about it, the only time you quietly gaze into someone's eyes without smiling is when you're about to make out.
Ben Stiller won.
When it was my turn, I was up against one of my best guy friends. I was embarrassingly bad and couldn't stop smiling even to begin the game. I was out literally the second it started.
Advice from the good players: Think of something sad or bite your tongue really hard.
Here are the three different postcard invitations we sent out (featuring photos from three years ago) to get everyone in the mood. We made them using Pinhole Press, of course.
It was such an awesome night! I'd highly recommend hosting one if you want to have a hilarious evening. Thanks for everyone who came.

P.S. A cookie swap and a 1930's party...

(Photos by Alex and me. Pinhole Press is one of my beloved long-term sponsors, and they generously let us order our invitations at no charge. Thank you!)

The Best Berry Cobbler You'll Ever Have

Whoa, how delicious does this berry cobbler look? Julie of Willow Bird Baking says that her cobbler "makes for a sweet date: two forks, a skillet of cobbler, some ice cream and a warm night on the patio." Here's how to whip one up...Read more »

Funny memoir

We chatted last week about books we love, and I forgot one of my favorites! Garlic and Sapphires is an incredibly entertaining memoir about Ruth Reichl's stint as the New York Times food critic. She would dress up in crazy costumes so restaurateurs wouldn't recognize her. Her costumes transformed her into an old lady, an English teacher from Michigan, a blonde divorcee from the South, a red-haired hippie...the list goes on. Her memoir is hilarious and compelling, and also has beautiful insights about food and relationships. Have you ever read it?

Flashback: I had the book on tape (which Ruth reads herself!)...and actually listened to it on a DISCMAN!
(Cartoon by Roz Chast, via NYCTaughtMe)