This Fruit Water Rocks!

According to the National Resources Defense Council, 90 percent of what you pay for a bottle of water goes toward packaging, shipping, and advertising; and many bottles wind up in landfills, where they might take thousands of years to decompose. Plus: If you’re going to buy flavored waters, they could be bulked up with added colors, sugars, and other unhealthy agents. Skip the store, then, and mix these up yourself.
Jalapeño and Watermelon Water
Jalapeño and Watermelon Water

In this zesty recipe from Food Network you’ll find juicy watermelon loaded with vitamins A and C, and spicy jalapeños containing capsaicin, which causes the body to release endorphins. That happiness hormone creates an energizing rush.
Apples and Cinnamon
Apples and Cinnamon

Blogger Sarah’s Cool Stuff combines cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, and apples to flavor her water. “Skinny spice” cinnamon helps lower blood sugar concentration and improves insulin sensitivity, while apples have been shown in studies to help a wide spectrum of ailments from staving off Alzheimer’s to protecting against colon cancer.
Strawberries and Basil
Strawberries and Basil

This pretty medley of strawberries and basil from A Beautiful Mess provides iron from the herb and vitamin C from the berries, which has been linked to fighting cancer, keeping wrinkles at bay, and more.
Raspberry and Pineapple Chunk Ice Cubes
Raspberry and Pineapple Chunk Ice Cubes

FullBellySisters makeover everyday ice cubes by freezing in raspberries and pineapples. You can also try the savory version: the bloggers recommend freezing olives in brine, and adding to a glass of seltzer.
Blueberries, Peach, Lemon, and Mint
Blueberries, Peach, Lemon, and Mint

This supercharged mixture from cjudithwhite combines the antioxidant power of the fruit with refreshing mint, a carotene-rich aromatic herb—like a yummy sangria without the booze.
Lime Slices and Basil

Blogger Olive Heart goes green, adding tart lime and fragrant basil to water, giving it a boost of vitamin C and iron.
Orange Slices and Vanilla Bean

Detoxinista hydrates with this simple recipe for orange and vanilla infused water. If you don’t have vanilla bean handy, you can substitute the pod with vanilla extract; both are naturally high in antioxidants.
Blackberries and Sage

The Yummy Life blogger puts a spin on water with blackberry and sage. Blackberries are brimming with fiber and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, while sage contains vitamin A and a variety of minerals like calcium and iron.
Cucumber Slices and Lemongrass

Transform a plain pitcher with this recipe for cucumber and lemongrass water from EatBoutique. Lemongrass is a key ingredient in Thai cuisine; if you can’t find it at the market in the produce department, see if you can find frozen stalks in the freezer aisle.
Peach Slices and Cayenne Pepper

No recipe required: Try fresh summer peaches with a spicy dash of cayenne pepper; it may help curb appetite and promote calorie burn.

This Military Wife Is…

These days, Tomas Kaplan is a ball of energy. Two years ago, he was a canvas.

“People bring banners, but instead of making one we thought we’d paint it on my belly,” said Tomas’ mother, Kendra Kaplan.

Kendra, then 5 months pregnant with Tomas, was welcoming her husband Joshua home after a year long deployment in Iraq.

The ‘Welcome home, Daddy’ message and the moment were captured by a news photographer. “I think it hit papers the next day and it blew up,” said Kendra.

The picture ran around the world. It was even chosen as a Life magazine photo of the year, but it didn’t take long for the comment boards to heat up. How could her husband be deployed for a year and come home to a wife 5 months pregnant?

“I mean you see this picture, she’s pregnant, 12 months, I get it,” said Kendra. “But it’s not okay.”

The comments got nasty and haven’t stopped since. The truth, Kaplan says, is Tomas was conceived on her husband’s two-week leave.

“A lot of babies are conceived on mid-tour. A lot,” said Kendra. “The husbands come home, they’re home for 2 weeks, and what else are you going to do? You’re gonna make a baby!”

Kaplan says it got uglier when the picture got copied without the original description that spelled out the story of conception.

It’s definitely missing from websites that describe it as “pregnancy fail” — websites that do manage to print her full name.

“It’s my name, they’re saying my first and last name,” said Kendra. “That carries on.”

Kendra worries about when Tomas is old enough to read and get teased for what other kids might find on the Internet.

It was enough for Kaplan to get a paternity test that she says she wanted to make her point to the world and her son.

“I can say this is your daddy, there are no ifs ands or buts about it,” said Kendra.

Kendra says in the end she’s glad she has a series of photos to one day show her son even if they come with an ugly Internet reputation.

“It just sucks that it was taken to that extreme,” said Kendra.

Kendra says despite the paternity test, the picture and its controversy has alienated some of her friends. But she says her husband has believed and stood by her throughout the drama.

Simone Is Done…

On Sunday, NBC gymnastics commentator Al Trautwig caused a stir for refusing to acknowledge gymnast Simone Biles’ adoptive parents as her parents. With eight simple words, Biles completely unhinged his commentary.

Biles’ maternal grandfather Ron Biles and his wife, Nellie, adopted the Olympic gold medalist and her sister out of foster care. Biles calls them her parents, but Trautwig refused to refer to them as that during his commentary at the Olympics. After being called out for it on Twitter, he posted a tweet (which has since been deleted) saying the grandparents “are NOT her parents.” Trautwig later apologized for the comments.

On Tuesday, Biles responded to Trautwig in the most graceful way in an interview with US Weekly. The gymnast summed up what the announcer continued to get wrong about adoptive parents.

“I personally don’t have a comment,” she said. “My parents are my parents and that’s it.”

It truly is as simple as that.

Donald Trump Reveals His Worst…

Donald Trump introduced his presidential campaign to the world with a slur against Mexican immigrants, accusing them of being “rapists” and bringing crime into the country.
“I mean somebody’s doing it!… Who’s doing the raping?” Donald Trump said, when asked to defend his characterization.
It was an unfortunate turn of phrase for Trump—in more ways than one. Not only does the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination have a history of controversial remarks about sexual assault, but as it turns out, his ex-wife Ivana Trump once used “rape” to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt “violated” by the experience.
Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”
“It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
Ivana Trump’s assertion of “rape” came in a deposition—part of the early ’90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.
The book, by former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene. After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.
“Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” Trump cried.
What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.
“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”
Following the incident, Ivana ran upstairs, hid behind a locked door, and remained there “crying for the rest of night.” When she returned to the master bedroom in the morning, he was there.
“As she looks in horror at the ripped-out hair scattered all over the bed, he glares at her and asks with menacing casualness: ‘Does it hurt?’” Hurt writes.
Donald Trump has previously denied the allegation. In the book, he denies having had the scalp reduction surgery.
“It’s obviously false,” Donald Trump said of the accusation in 1993, according to Newsday. “It’s incorrect and done by a guy without much talent… He is a guy that is an unattractive guy who is a vindictive and jealous person.”
Cohen acknowledged Monday that he has not read the entire deposition but said he had read the two relevant pages of it, including the rape accusation.
“It’s not the word that you’re trying to make it into,” Cohen told The Daily Beast, saying Ivana Trump was talking about how “she felt raped emotionally… She was not referring to it [as] a criminal matter, and not in its literal sense, though there’s many literal senses to the word.”
Cohen added that there is no such thing, legally, as a man raping his wife. “You cannot rape your spouse,” he said. “There’s very clear case law.”

This Time Blake Is Finished…

Blake Shelton released a statement on Wednesday, August 17, after several of his alleged racist and homophobic tweets from 2009 to 2011 resurfaced online over the weekend.

“Everyone knows comedy has been a major part of my career and it’s always been out there for anyone to see. That said anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance for hate of any kind or form,” the 40-year-old country singer told his 17.8 million Twitter followers on Wednesday afternoon. “Can my humor at times be inappropriate? Yes. Hateful? Never. That said I deeply apologize to anyone who may have been offended.”

The tweets in question, which have reportedly since been deleted, started making the rounds online on Saturday, August 13. According to screenshots of the tweets, Shelton allegedly wrote in March 2011 that he wished “the d–khead in the next room would either shut up or learn some English so I would at least know what he’s planning to bomb!!”

In another post, the Voice coach allegedly quipped, “Standing in line at a coffee shop in LA talking with the man in front of me. He orders a skinny caramel latte. I couldn’t tell he was gay!!!”

After the problematic racist and homophobic messages started going viral, several Twitter users took to the social media platform to slam Shelton with the hashtag #BlakeSheltonIsOverParty.

“Obviously you’re not a role model,” one user tweeted, while another added, “How did these not cause an outrage earlier?”

Blake Shelton Is Finished…

Over the weekend, long-lost tweets from country singer Blake Shelton’s account resurfaced online. Dating back as far as 2009, Shelton’s controversial tweets, which he wrote before he became a national star on The Voice, have landed him in hot water because of the uncomfortable homophobic and racist undertones in them.

One from March 2011 read: “Standing in line at a coffee shop in LA talking with the man in front of me. He orders a skinny caramel latte. I couldn’t tell he was gay!!!” Later on that same month, he also wrote: “Wish the [man] in the next room would either shut up or learn some English so I would at least know what he’s planning to bomb.” Yes, it’s not pretty.

Today, the singer, who will return to the hit show The Voice, finally addressed the old tweets in a non-apology statement on Twitter. “Everyone knows comedy has been a major part of my career and it’s always been out there for anyone to see,” he wrote. “That said anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance for hate of any kind or form. Can my humor at times be inappropriate and immature? Yes. Hateful? Never. That said I deeply apologize to anybody who may have been offended.”

The “it’s just comedy” line of defense has been used before by other celebrities who have been criticized for promoting racial and sexist stereotypes. Last year, Amy Schumer was accused of having a blind spot on race in an article in The Guardian which pointed out a questionable joke about Hispanic men. (“I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual,” she once said during a stand-up routine.) In response, Schumer tweeted: “I will joke about things you aren’t comfortable with. And that’s ok. Stick with me and trust that I am joking.” As criticism grew, Schumer later apologized, writing: “Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence, I stopped telling jokes like that onstage. I am evolving as an artist. I am taking responsibility and hope I haven’t hurt anyone. I apologize [if] I did.”

Shelton’s “sorry, I’m not sorry” statement hasn’t managed to tamper down the controversy. It’s anyone’s guess if he will issue a real apology or continue to attribute his crude remarks to a particular sense of humor. One thing’s for sure, though: Except for him, nobody is laughing.