Mother Catalogues Children and Animal Friendships in Russian Countryside

Many mothers will testify to the fact that throughout their busy days they have little time to sit back and enjoy their children or to appreciate the beauty that surrounds them in the form of simple, everyday moments. That is one of the reasons that Elena Shumilova, a mother in Russia, has taken over the internet with her amazing photography. Shumilova, a mother of two in the outskirts of Andreapol, purchased her first camera in 2012 and has been snapping breathtaking photos of her children ever since.

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“Children and animals – it’s my life. I’m a mom with two sons and we spend a lot of time on the farm,” Shumilova said in an interview. When shooting I prefer to use natural light – both inside and outside. I love all sorts of light conditions – street lights, candle light, fog, smoke, rain and snow – everything that gives visual and emotional depth to the image.”

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Shumilova explained that her education in architecture, as well as experience in painting and sketching, have defined her “feeling of photography and composition.”

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“I’ve been shooting every day and processing the images at nights. By autumn I felt I found my own way of approaching photography,” she said.

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View more of Elena’s photographs here.

BMW 328i Named Luxury Car of the Year

bmwCars.com recently announced the 2014 BMW 328i as the winner of the Lifestyle Award. The newest  Luxury Car of the Year is a perfect combination of “luxury, sport and prestige” and surpassed the other luxury sedans of 2013.

According to Cars.com, the BMW 328i “does everything well.”

The BMW has exceptionally strong acceleration due to its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, according to the website. It also has “progressive, fade-free brakes, and sharp, nimble handling.”

“It’s quick,” Cars.com adds, with “zero to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. It’s frugal: Observed gas mileage in our testing rang in at 28.1 mpg combined city/highway. The list of equipment, both standard and optional, is quite complete.”

BMW Product Planning and Strategy Manager Paul Ferraiolo accepted the award.

Coconut Oil and Oral Health: Dr. Nadia Kiderman

coconut oilThe health benefits of coconut oil have been researched for many years, and numerous studies have revealed that the aromatic oil can indeed improve a person’s well-being as well as prevent health complications in the future. In fact, recent studies have shown that coconut oil may have another beneficial use- oral health and hygiene. Dr. Nadia Kiderman, DDS, an expert based in New York City, wrote an article discussing the positive effects of coconut oil on a person’s smile.

“According to a study from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland, coconut oil’s antibacterial properties could spell good news for your smile and help you avoid cavities,” Dr. Kiderman explains.

Nadia Kiderman
Nadia Kiderman

“A team of researchers is presenting the research at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference this year. They looked at what effect coconut oil had on the mouth when it came into contact with certain enzymes used in the digestive process. The results showed that the coconut oil reduced the growth of several strains of the Streptococcus bacteria, including a strain involved in tooth decay.”

Though further research is required, lauric acid, a substance in coconut oil, becomes a monoglyceride called monolaurin when digested. Both lauric acid and monolaurin are known to have strong microbial properties, and can destroy harmful pathogens including bacteria, fungi and certain types of viruses.

Coconut oil is often used in skin care products, and is added to many health drinks and supplements. Perhaps with additional research, it will soon be added to oral hygiene products as well.

Finding Your Soulmate: Rabbi Tully Bryks

The concept of soulmates has been around for centuries, and is constantly explored by people from a number of different fields. While some consider the concept to be a religious one, others see soulmates as a spiritual connection that is not necessarily related to divine influence.

Rabbi Tully Bryks, a Rabbi who works to provide answers on all Judaic topics, discusses soulmates at great length on his website. He explains that according to Judaism, soulmates are predetermined. In fact: “Forty days before a baby is born, a proclamation in heaven declares the ideal future soul mate for that baby’s soul.” Bryks goes on the explain how the creation of man relates to soulmates today, and how one might go about finding theirs.

Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, author of Rituals for Love and Romance: Attract Your Soulmate with Ceremony and Self-love, also takes a spiritual approach to soulmates. However, she focuses more on the individual and how a person can locate theirs in today’s world. She explained that the key to finding your soulmate is not losing faith that he or she exists. She also stresses the importance of preparing yourself for love.

Brockway explains: “Make a list of what ‘soul mate’ means to you and the qualities you seek in your true love. Embrace your belief and find within yourself a place of trust and knowing that there is someone out there, somewhere, for you. If you can believe in love–even when life does not seem to be taking you in that direction–you are halfway there!”

 

10-Year-Old Disabled Girls Petitions American Girl Doll

A 10 year old girl with muscular dystrophy is petitioning Mattel, the owner of the American Girl Doll brand, to release a disabled American Girl doll. Melissa Shang lives in Paoli, Pa., and suffers from a condition that stops her from running, skating and participating in other physical activities with other girls her age. Melissa explains that she loves American Girl Dolls, partly because they help her “understand how it feels to be someone else.”

Melissa and her sister YingYing are hoping Mattel will now help other girls understand what its like to be disabled.

“For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help,” Melissa states on her petition page. “I want the other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.”

“Disabled girls are American girls too,” Melissa says. “We face challenges and overcome them every day.”