LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND SUBURBAN. Sparing nothing to spoil the child

Giants sack superstar Michael Strahan is so outraged by his estranged wife's spending habits he says the annual $100,000 she lavishes on their kids "blows" his mind. At their bitter divorce court showdown, the gridiron king was astonished that his soon-to-be ex could fritter away such a whopping amount of cash. How, for example, could she spend $27,000 on clothes for 18-month-old twins? And who in their right mind shells out $3,700 for invitation cards? The shocking figures emerged as mom of two Jean Strahan presented her claims for at least $14 million of her husband's fortune. He reckons the cost should be closer to $7 million. Most folks would agree that her expenses - including a party tab of $9,500 and $22,500 for photographs - seem excessive. But if, like Jean Strahan, you're the kind of mom who can spend $195 on a cashmere onesie, baby wardrobe costs can add up. When you move in her circles - rubbing shoulders with the Cristal guzzlers of Montclair and Saddle River, N. J. - sending tots to pricey "sign language" classes is practically required. And forget about giving the kindergarten teacher a bunch of daisies at the end of semester. She's more likely to get a Balenciaga bag. No wonder Jean Strahan claims to have spent $8,607 on holiday gifts last year. "I don't think her expenditure is outrageous," says publicist Tammy Brook, 31, a mom of one from the upper West Side. "She wants them to have the best of everything, whether it's designer labels, beautiful toys or lavish birthday parties, which people will analyze for months afterward. " Brook herself thinks nothing of buying $350 designer dresses for her 3-year-old daughter, Darly. "There is a lot of pressure for kids to look good in New York," she explains. "The city is the fashion headquarters of the world, and well-connected children reflect this. "I spent $600 on a fabulous Gucci baby carrier, which we only used twice. " Darly's third birthday was held at the Continue Reading


EXPERTS WERE SPLIT yesterday on whether the wife of football star Michael Strahan scored or fumbled when she said her husband took up an "alternative lifestyle" with a high-profile pal. Jean Strahan said yesterday she never meant to imply that her quarterback-crushing husband is gay. But some observers suggested she may have had a reason to drop the loaded phrase as the two battle over $22 million in assets in a New Jersey divorce court. "It is absolutely a strategy," said divorce lawyer Suzanne Kimberly Bracker. "She's airing their dirty laundry because she is hoping he wants to settle now." The Strahans, who have been married since 1999, have twin 19-month-old daughters, Isabella and Sophia. Divorce lawyer Eleanor Alter said those kids could be hurt the most by Jean Strahan's comments. "If it is a strategy, it's a dumb strategy," said Alter. "She's not going to get more than half. He is the one who earned it." Renowned divorce lawyer Raoul Felder called Jean Strahan's comments irresponsible. "It doesn't affect the monetary determination," said Felder. But, he added, "It's so embarrassing it may force a settlement." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

California elementary school brings in standing desks amid concern about students’ sedentary lifestyles

Children at a California school are being forced to take a stand after teachers introduced special waist-level chair-less desks. Students in four classes at Vallecito Elementary in San Rafael have had their seats nixed after educators became worried about their sedentary lifestyles, reports CBS San Francisco. It took them a while to get used to the change and initial soreness in their legs, said teachers. But school officials claim that the youngsters now love the new set-up, which was in part paid for by some of the parents, according to the San Francisco Sun Times. "You can get your bones stretched out and you don't, like, want to get it stretched in together again," first-grader Marley Metzger told CBS. "To me it's really fun and it makes me more focused," added fourth-grader Lola Maggioncalta. Fourth-grade teacher Gina Roberts said that the children were more attentive and parents claim they are sleeping better at night. "To me, this is the wave of the future," said fellow fourth-grade teacher Maureen Zink. "You know, you can roll your eyes all you want, but you need to come and see it," she added. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Daily Checkup: Dr. Carolyn Brockington of Mount Sinai says sensible lifestyle changes can go a long way toward preventing strokes

The Specialist: The director of the Stroke Center at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital, Dr. Carolyn Brockington is a vascular neurologist who specializing in treating disorders of the brain and blood vessels. May is Stroke Awareness Month. WHO’S AT RISK Sharon Stone, New England Pats linebacker Tedy Bruschi, Candice Bergen, Hugh Hefner — all celebrities who have survived a stroke, as do some 700,000 Americans each year. “Stroke is an injury to the brain caused by an interruption of blood flow — either because an artery is blocked or a blood vessel ruptures,” says Brockington. “Though many people associate having a stroke with becoming disabled, there’s actually a lot we can do to treat stroke and many patients regain their quality of life — there’s also a lot you can do to prevent stroke in the first place.” Doctors divide stroke into two major categories. “The majority are called ischemic strokes caused by reduced blood flow to the brain from a blocked or narrow blood vessel,” says Brockington. “The rest are hemorrhagic strokes, the result of when a blood vessel ruptures.” Stroke risk increases with age, but it’s a common misperception that strokes only affect the elderly,” says Brockington. “In fact, strokes can happen at any age, and it’s not uncommon for younger people to have a stroke,” says Brockington. “We are seeing younger patients coming to the emergency room with strokes which is due in part to increased obesity in children and young people.” The risk factors for stroke are similar to the risk factors for heart disease. “High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, smoking, and high cholesterol all increase your risk of having a stroke,” says Brockington. Women have a set of unique stroke risk factors. “Some women have hormonal changes and blood Continue Reading

McDonald’s launches Big Mac fashion and lifestyle line

Can we supersize those Big Mac pajamas? McDonald's has launched a clothing and lifestyle line that includes thermals, raincoats, wallpaper and sheets — all with the same Big Macs-on-white pattern. It debuted in Sweden on Tuesday. "Finally the hamburger of hamburgers can keep you warm at night," the listing for the $47 linens reads. For now, only the Swedes are lovin’ it — this Big Mac Shop doesn’t ship to McDonald’s homeland for now. Profits from the McFashion pieces benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. The beefy collection is part of the fast food giant's "imlovinit 24" marketing campaign, which involved 24 McDonald's-themed stunts in 24 cities over 24 hours. This included a giant coffee-cup-shaped ball pit in Sydney and a free Ne-Yo concert in Los Angeles. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO.  Continue Reading

Lifestyle changes may not cure obesity: study

Obesity is a chronic disease that diet and exercise may not fix, a new study says. Once you've been obese for six months to a year, you're likely to stay so, said Dr. Christopher Ochner, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who is the study's lead author. As a result, the generic recommendation for people with sustained obesity to change their lifestyle may not work. "It may be no more effective for most individuals with obesity than a recommendation to avoid sharp objects for someone bleeding profusely," Ochner said. Eating right and working out may send heavy people into "obesity remission," but only a few people permanently recover, Ochner said in a statement. They may lose weight at first, but 80% to 95% of people gain it back. Obese people — 35% of adults in the U.S. — may be "biologically very different from individuals of the same age, sex and body weight who never had obesity," he added. He said gastric bypass surgery is one of the only obesity treatments that works in the long term because it alters hormones related to appetite, in a sense changing how our brains react to food. The study appeared in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Continue Reading

Reese Witherspoon launches lifestyle brand Draper James ‘to honor my Southern heritage’

Reese Witherspoon is following in the footsteps of Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively with an added Southern twist. Not only does the 39-year-old actress star in the upcoming film "Hot Pursuit" alongside Sofia Vergara, but she's also just launched a lifestyle brand, Draper James. "I started this company to honor my Southern heritage and in particular my grandparents who were, and still are, the greatest influences in my life," Witherspoon explained on the brand's website. "My grandparents taught me everything I know about gracious Southern living," she continued. "From them I learned to dress and act like a lady, to take pride in my home, to reach out to help a neighbor, and to always invite everyone in for a visit." Fans are invited in to Witherspoon's idea of fabulous and fashion-forward living intended "to bring contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home, no matter where you live." That Southern style includes clothing items like lace tops, patterned shorts and dresses. Other items include a bag that read "Totes Y'all," and an iPhone case that read "hush ya'll" as well as mint julep cups and stationary sets. "Pretty please: it's not just a way to get what you want. It's a lifestyle," Witherspoon said in the introductory video for the brand. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

STASI: Holly Madison’s awful lifestyle should have been kept secret, not published in book

Former Playboy house pet Holly Madison is about as real as those silicone implants and has done almost as much harm to women as the mummy she chased, caught and temporarily snagged, Hugh Hefner. But seriously, how fast can a mummy run? The 35-year-old Madison’s newest get-rich-quick scheme, is yet another (why-do-we-need-this) book, alleging the old fogey was an abusive sex mogul who offered her Quaaludes and misery. Seriously? What did this former Hooters heifer turned hooker-for-Hefner think when she begged her way into his decaying mansion in order to sexually service Drac in exchange for money, fame and bling? Did she think she was signing on to earn a degree in women’s studies? Madison manipulated, cajoled and did God knows what until she finally became the 89-year-old Hef's best Playboy bunny. As in pet. What woman with even a shred of self-respect in this day and age thinks a good career move is to become a house pet? It's like a career as a dog — but worse — as a rabbit. Who willingly has sex with a near-corpse, or worse, has sex with other women while said near-corpse pleasures himself on the bed? Just thinking about it can give you an STD. What kind of bunny, let alone human woman, wouldn’t run outta there like her hideous cottontail was on fire? Oh wait, I know! I know! Pick me! The kind of woman who does this is the kind of woman who is a relentless self-promoter who, once the gravy train runs out of pet food, writes a tell-all, claiming to have been a victim. No, not of rape, but, well, of things. HUGH HEFNER SPEAKS OUT ON HOLLY MADISON'S SHOCKING CLAIMS The kind of woman who does this is the kind of woman who is now a failed Las Vegas burlesque entertainer entangled in lawsuits. She claimed the managers of her show, 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque, had hidden cameras that taped her and the other performers changing. The managers say the performers often just changed in the hallway, and the dispute Continue Reading

Staten Island man photographed walking fiancée in mall on leash explains ‘Puppy Play’ lifestyle

And they called it puppy love … An engaged Staten Island couple that caused an Internet firestorm after pictures of the man walking his fiancée through the Staten Island Mall on a leash went viral explained to the Daily News they have a completely normal relationship, except for one abnormality that feels completely natural to them. "The leash and collar are symbols of our bond to one another," Nathan Riely, 30, told the Daily News. "The collar is like a ring for most couples. They use rings, we have a collar." If you like her you better put a leash on her. Riely and his fiancée, who prefers the name "Xena, Nathan's puppy," caused an Internet sensation when pictures surfaced last week of the two walking through the shopping complex. Riely was observed by witnesses walking "Xena" through the mall while she was on all fours. Video also captured her dunking her head in a drinking fountain. The leash and collar are symbols of our bond to one another. The images generated a lot of attention and mostly negative comments, but the couple said they just wanted to explain what their unusual lifestyle is all about. "Xena" said they never intended to get attention, but this is just who they are. "This is the lifestyle I chose to do," she said. Though many people have made crazy assertions, Riely said there is no act of abuse and the leashes are not involved in their sex life, which he said is "normal." He also said he is not forcing "Xena" to do anything she doesn't want to, and the couple go over everything they do together in detail beforehand to ensure both parties are OK with it, he said. "No matter what, everyone is right and no one is wrong," he said. "Everyone can have their own thoughts and opinions on the matter. If they stop and ask us we will explain." The two are set to get married on Halloween 2016 and Riely said there are no plans to take Continue Reading

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy says he disagrees with gay lifestyle as Billy Bean, MLB’s inclusion ambassador, visits club

PORT ST. LUCIE — Aware that the issue of acceptance of gays in sports remains a work in progress — even in his own clubhouse — Mets GM Sandy Alderson invited Billy Bean, the openly gay former major leaguer, to camp on Tuesday to talk to players about having a tolerant clubhouse. It was a productive day, with Alderson telling the heart-wrenching story of former big-leaguer Glenn Burke, who died of AIDS in 1995 while homeless. But the differing views on the subject became apparent when Daniel Murphy, a devout Christian, expressed his opinion. “I disagree with the lifestyle,” Murphy told the Daily News when asked about Bean’s visit. “But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love a teammate who is gay. I was glad he was here today and to hear his story.” But Murphy wasn’t done, expanding on those comments to “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. “Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100%.” RELATED: DANIEL MURPHY TALKS SEXUALITY AND RELIGION WITH DAILY NEWS' ANDY MARTINO When asked Tuesday evening by the The News if he understands that gay people would take offense to the term “lifestyle,” Murphy said, “That’s why we’re having a conversation right now. And I completely understand why someone who believes it is not a choice, that you’re born with it, would take issue with my beliefs, that it is a lifestyle. “I feel like acceptance, embracing — that falls short. You understand what I’m saying? I love this person. The same way I love my wife, even though I don’t always Continue Reading