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A couple on honeymoon in Paris captured 17 incredible images after the attacks.

Newlywed couple Ryan Gielen and Katy Wright-Mead had just arrived in Paris on their honeymoon when the attacks began.

An impromptu memorial for the victims. All photos by Ryan Gielen/Honeymoon in Paris, used with permission.


Disappointed with some of the coverage of the aftermath of the shootings, Gielen, a filmmaker who runs a production company back in the United States, decided to put his camera to use.

"I think it's really easy, cliche, and not entirely true that the city was in a state of shock," Gielen told Upworthy of the media coverage.

What struck the couple the most in the days following the attacks was the abundance — and richness — of conversation taking place.

"There was pain and anguish and sadness and tears, and there were memorials popping up," Gielen said. "People came to grieve, but it seemed to both of us that just as many people were there to engage with one another."

The couple decided to document their trip on their Facebook page, "Honeymoon in Paris," which contains dozens of incredible still frames from Gielen's footage. The frank, intimate images they captured present a city in one of its rawest moments — persevering — through the eyes of two people experiencing it for the very first time.

1. Deborah, the manager of a bistro near the site of the shootings, talks about why she felt she had to reopen the very next day.

"At first I didn't know if I was allowed to open. ... I said, 'I'm going to open, so people will be able to talk, or if they need toilets or something like that," she told the couple in a conversation they later recounted on Facebook.

"I will be open... You have to live... I won't let them scare me."

2. A soccer fan showing the press his ticket from the previous night's game at the Stade de France, where an attack was narrowly thwarted.

"He sought out cameras and then displayed the ticket for as long as they needed. Once the cameras moved on, he went looking for the next," Gielen wrote on Facebook.

3. A tourist notices a series of blood stains on the street near Le Bataclan music venue.

89 people were killed during a standoff at Le Bataclan, the deadliest part of the attacks.

4. A young man placing tributes to the victims on the Monument à la République.

"He circled the ledge of the monument for nearly two hours, placing mourners' flowers, and taping letters, posters and flags, and then just walked off," Gielen wrote.

5. The monument at night, transformed into an impromptu memorial.

"I moved to New York City exactly a month after 9/11, so the atmosphere to me feels familiar in that way," Wright-Mead said. "It feels like a universal moment."

6. A group of total strangers gathers to debate politics, religion, and violence — in the middle of the plaza.

The night after the attacks, the couple encountered a number of spontaneous "salons" — lively arguments over the meaning and significance of the attacks, often between people who had just met.

"It's something really extraordinary that I've never seen before," Gielen said.

7. A Muslim man "playfully kisses a man he was arguing with."

Following the kiss, the duo continued arguing for almost an hour, according to the couple.

"I think it was sort of electric with conversation — intellectual conversation, and people were really alert, but sort of communicative, connected to each other," Wright-Mead said of their experience the weekend following the attacks. "Everyone we talked to was open and willing to talk, and sort of debate. But yeah, I'd say it was high energy, for sure."

8. Another young Muslim man, who spent the evening passionately arguing that the terrorists don't represent Islam.

"I asked, 'Do you feel responsible for explaining Islam, or apologizing for Islam to your people? Is that what you're doing here?'" Gielen said. "And his response was, 'No, I came to town to buy a gift for my girlfriend for her birthday, but in passing by and seeing the debates that were happening, I felt a responsibility to present myself as what Islam really is."

9. Laila, a young Muslim woman, vents her frustration at having to constantly justify her religion.

"French people say, 'Why don't you come to the street with us [to mourn], to come debate with us, to say you are with us...'" she told the couple, "But we don't have to justify or act. ... Of course we are with the French people, we are French. We don't need to say 'Hello, I'm Muslim, I'm here!'"

10. A mourner pushes a camera away.

The media attention was thick, according to the couple, but some of those paying tribute just wanted to be left alone.

11. A man recalls narrowly escaping the scene of the attacks only a few hours before they began.

According to Gielen and Wright-Mead, Theo and his girlfriend had been eating at La Belle Équipe on rue de Charonne, near Le Bataclan, on the night of the attacks.

"We were there for a late lunch ... we left at 6 or 7," he told the couple. "At 9:30, the guys arrive with Kalashnikovs and kill 19 people. ... We feel lucky right now, I think."

12. A bomb scare forced Gielen to take shelter in a building with dozens of others.

Gielen was observing the salons in the Place de la République when rumors of yet another bomb started flying.

"It felt like all 1,500-2,000 people turned and sprinted at us, yelling, 'Bomb! Bomb! Bomb!'" Gielen said. "So the people I was interviewing, myself, we just turned and ran."

The threat later turned out to be a false alarm.

13. A family looking for their daughter after the false alarm.

"Caroline? Caroline?" Gielen recalls hearing them say.

14. Back in the Place de la République, 15 minutes after the bomb scare.

According the couple, the discussions, arguments, and conversations continued as if nothing had happened.

"Nobody's hiding," Wright-Mead said.

15. A young man defies the police in order to hang a French flag on the monument in the Place.

"The crowd chanted 'Bravo! Bravo!' and applauded him. When he came down he was hugged by strangers until the police reached him," the couple wrote on Facebook.

16. Police confronting the young man — as the crowd protests.

"Seeing he was a French student, [they] gave him a polite but firm 'no more climbing' and let him go," Gielen wrote. "The crowd, who showed restraint in equal measure to the police, chanted 'Merci! Merci! Bravo!' applauding the police discretion and parted to let them return to their posts around the Place. It was an extraordinary display of community and communication."

17. A young woman in a cafe, who refuses to be terrorized.

Sophie, who the couple met at Attitude Cafe, talked about resilience in the face of uncertainty.

"We are sitting here, and yes we are afraid another car can come, and kill us," she told the couple, in a conversation they recalled on Facebook.

"But come on — have guts."

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Woman refuses to communicate information to mother-in-law

Women are often saddled with the mental load of the household in romantic relationships, there are multiple articles covering the topic. It can be daunting to be in charge of remembering all of the things, essentially becoming a house manager by default. Many times this isn't an arrangement that is discussed, it seems to be either an expectation due to parental modeling or falling into gender roles.

Morgan Strickell was not planning to fall into the trap of being her family's sole organizer and distributer of information. This was a boundary she and her husband were clear about before getting married but recently had to reinforce. The soon-to-be mom, took to her TikTok page to explain that she is not interested in being her husband's "kin keeper."

Strickell is pregnant with her first child and after news was posed on social media, her mother in law's feeling were hurt after finding out the news second hand. It was this situation that prompted the woman's video.


"I refuse to be the primary communicator with my husband's side of the family," Strickell starts. "A few weeks ago my mother-in-law was on the phone with us and she expressed that she was a little bit hurt because she keeps finding out things about our pregnancy from her sister who sees the posts on social media."

The woman explains that this is news to her as she assumed her husband had been communicating the news to his mother. So when they had another ultrasound appointment she reminded her husband to send the information to his mom, to which he asked why she couldn't inform his mom for him. That's when Strickwell had to reinforce her boundary, reminding him that it is his job to inform his side of the family of important information.

Strickwell has a good relationship with her mother in-law and speaks to her on a fairly regular basis, so it's not a matter of an unpleasant relationship. The soon-to-be mom is simply not adding additional things to her plate that then become the expectation. Many people in the comments agreed with her approach.

@morganstrickell #family #momsoftiktok #inlaws ♬ original sound - Morgan Elisa Strickell

I'm on your side and I'm actually the mom of three boys who don't communicate with me, but it is their responsibility to keep me in the loop not their wives," a commenter says.

"Last year my husband told me I was wrong for not including his mom in my Mother's Day shopping and I kindly reminded him that we in fact do not share the same mom," another writes.

"Stay strong on this, it only gets worse after the kid is born," someone declares.

"You are correct and the next thing he'll have you do is buying birthday presents birthday cards for his family and everything becomes your responsibility," another person says.

In another video, Strickell clarified that her husband isn't worried about his communication in with his mother. She also says this isn't an issue that comes up often in their relationship because he is very good at communicating with his family. But Strickwell's intention was to use that example as a means to make sure people are aware that the responsibility of communication doesn't have to fall on the female partner in the relationship.

Doctors say a lot of us are showering more than we need to.

A few times in recent years, celebrities and social media influencers alike have made waves by sharing that they don't make their kids bathe every day. For some parents, that was totally par for the course, but for others, letting a child go more than a day without bathing was seen as a travesty.

Doctors have made it clear that kids don't need to bathe daily, with some going so far as to recommend against it when they are young to protect kids' delicate skin.

But what about grownups? Most of us don't take baths regularly as adults, but what's the ideal frequency for showering?


According to a YouGov poll of over 5,700 Americans, just over half of respondents said they shower daily and 11% said they shower twice or more per day. That means two out of three of us are showering at least once a day.

But according to doctors and dermatologists, that's probably overkill for most people. Unless you're doing heavy labor, exercising vigorously, working outdoors or around toxins or otherwise getting excessively dirty or sweaty, a few showers per week is enough for healthy hygiene.

In fact, Robert H. Shmerling, MD of Harvard Health says too frequent showering could actually have some negative effects on your health.

"Normal, healthy skin maintains a layer of oil and a balance of 'good' bacteria and other microorganisms," Dr. Shmerling writes. "Washing and scrubbing removes these, especially if the water is hot." He shares that removing that protective layer can make our skin dry, irritated or itchy, which can lead to damage that allows allergens and bacteria to cross the skin barrier. Additionally, our immune systems require exposure to microorganisms, dirt, and other environmental stimuli in order to create "immune memory," and if we wash them away too frequently, we might be inhibiting the effectiveness of our immune system.

Dermatologists who spoke to Vogue had similar advice about shower frequency. Board-certified dermatologist Deanne Robinson, MD, FAAD told the magazine that you can skip showering for the day if you haven't engaged in rigorous activity. Mamina Turegano, a triple board-certified dermatologist, internist and dermatopathologist. agreed. "I think that showering three to four times a week is plenty for most people,” she said.

Of course, everyone is different and what is good for one person's skin isn't good for another's. Showering frequency and health also depend on what kinds of products you're using, what temperature of water you're using and how long your shower is. There's a big difference between a quick pits-and-privates rinse-off and a long, hot shower.

While scorching yourself and steaming up the bathroom may feel luxurious and relaxing, especially if you've got sore muscles, dermatologists say it's not good for your skin. Hot showers are especially problematic for people with skin issues like eczema.

"Any skin condition characterized by a defective skin barrier can be worsened by a hot shower," board-certified New York City dermatologist Shari Marchbein told Allure. "[It] strips the skin of sebum, the healthy fats and oils necessary for skin health, and dehydrates the skin."

In fact most dermatologists recommend keeping showers lukewarm. That sounds like torture, frankly, but who's going to argue with the experts?

A lot of people, actually. Modern humans are pretty particular about our shower preferences, and judging from the comments on cleanliness discussions, some folks are dead set on the idea that a daily shower is simply not negotiable. Even with the experts weighing in with their knowledge and science, a lot of people will continue to do what they do, advice be damned.

But at least the folks who've been judged harshly by the daily shower police have some official backup. As long as you're showering every couple of days, you're golden. As it turns out, there really is such a thing as being too clean.


This article originally appeared on 3.7.24

There was a time when every other girl was named Ashley. That time has ended.

As we know, baby name trends are constantly changing. One generation’s Barbara is another generation’s Bethany. But it doesn’t make it any less odd when you suddenly realize that your very own name has suddenly made it into the “old and unhip” pile. And for many of us 80s babies…that time is now.

In a now-viral TikTok post, baby name consultant Colleen Slagen went through the top 100 girl names from 1986 to find which ones “did not age well” and were no longer ranked top 1,000 today. Such a descent from popularity would mark them as what she calls “timestamp names.”

Spoiler alert: what might be even more surprising than the names now considered old school are the names that are still going strong.


The first name that Slagen says is “officially out” is Heather. That’s right, not even cult movie fame could help it keep its ranking.

via GIPHY

Other extinct names include Erica, Courtney, Lindsay, Tara, Crystal, Shannon, Brandy and Dana. Tiffany, Brittany and Casey are also heading very much in that direction.

“My name is Brandy. The Gen Z hostess at Olive Garden told me that she’d never heard my name before and it was so unique,” one viewer wrote.

However, Andrea ranks “surprisingly high,” and Jessica, Ashley and Stephanie have survived…so far.

Gobsmacked, one person asked “How is Stephanie still in there? I don’t think I’ve met a Stephanie younger than myself at 34.”

But the biggest holdout still belongs to Jennifer. “She was a top 100 name all the way up until 2008. Round of applause for Jennifer,” Slagen says in the clip.

@namingbebe Sorry Lindsay, Heather, and Courtney. #babynames #nametok #nameconsultant #girlnames #80skid #1986 #nametrend ♬ original sound - Colleen

If your name has found its way into relic of a bygone era status, fret not. Slagen, whose name also ranks out of the top 1000, assures it just means “we are creatures of the 80's.”

Of course, while we still have baby names that become incredibly common for extended periods of time (looking at you, little Liam and Olivia), the real contemporary trend is going for uniqueness. As an article in The Atlantic notes, for most of American history families tended to name their children after a previous family member, with the goal of blending in, rather than standing out. But now, things have changed.

Laura Wattenberg, the founder of Namerology, told the outlet that “Parents are thinking about naming kids more like how companies think about naming products, which is a kind of competitive marketplace where you need to be able to get attention to succeed.”

But again, even with a keen eye on individualism, patterns pop up. “The same thing we see in fashion trend cycles, we see in names,” Jessie Paquette, another professional baby namer, told Vox. “We’re seeing Eleanor, Maude, Edith—cool-girl grandma names.”

So who knows…give it time (or maybe just a pop song) and one of these 80s names could make a comeback.

Rodney Smith Jr. mowing a lawn in West Covina, California

Rodney Smith Jr., of Huntsville, Alabama, was recently profiled by KMBC for his generous donation to two 11-year-olds who fulfilled his 50 Yard Challenge in Gadsden, Alabama. Ja’Torrian Taylor and Tevin Rice, founders of TJ & JT Mowing Service, completed Smith’s challenge to mow 50 yards for the elderly, veterans, and people unable to care for their lawns for free.

"I’m heading down to Gadsden right now. These are good, hard-working kids that deserve some gratitude," Smith, known as "The Lawnmower Man," told KMBC. Smith had been told that Taylor and Rice were sharing an old lawnmower that a neighbor had donated to them.

When he arrived, he gave both teens a mower, a blower and a trimmer for their hard work, hoping they’ll use their new equipment to expand their business. "Giving these boys lawn equipment is teaching them discipline," Smith said. "If they tell someone they are going to mow a lawn, they need to mow the lawn."

"Remember, this is not the end; it’s just the beginning," Smith added. "This could be the beginning of a successful lawn service."

Smith’s commitment to taking care of people’s lawns started in 2015, and the following year he went viral for helping a 93-year-old woman who could no longer mow hers. The photo of Smith and the woman received over 1 million likes.

Five years ago, Upworthy profiled Smith for setting a bold goal of mowing lawns for free in all 50 states. His goal was to promote his initiative that "provides free lawn care to our elders, those who are disabled, single mothers, and our veterans, who do not have the time, resources, and/or money to manicure their yards."

As part of this goal, he created the 50 Yard Challenge, which has been a smashing success.

As of May 2023, 4,588 pre-teens and teens are participating in this challenge across the United States. If everyone completes the challenge, that will bring the total number of lawns mowed for free by Smith’s Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service to 229,400.

Kids and teens can take part in the challenge by sending them a photo holding up a sign that says, “I accept the 50 Yard Challenge,” and in return, they’ll receive a white Raising Men/Women shirt along with shades and ear protection to get started. For every 10 lawns cut, they will get a new color shirt.

• 10 lawns earn an orange shirt

• 20 lawns earn a green shirt

• 30 lawns earn a blue shirt

• 40 lawns earn a red shirt

• 50 lawns earn a black shirt

After completing the challenge, the child or teen will receive a mower, a blower, and a trimmer, just like Ja’Torrian Taylor and Tevin Rice from Alabama.

Smith’s story is an incredible example of how one good deed from a kind-hearted person can lead to an outpouring of kindness across the country. It also teaches young people the values of giving back and self-discipline as well as the entrepreneurial spirit.

Learn more about Smith’s nonprofit and donate at Weareraisingmen.com.


This article originally appeared on 6.23.23

www.youtube.com

British high schoolers try southern food for the first time

Southern food is beloved by many, and those of us raised on it just consider it dinner, not a special cuisine. But since Southern food is pretty geographical, there are plenty of Americans who haven't had the opportunity to try authentic Southern food. There are a few soul food restaurants that get it right sprinkled across the country, but all are not created equal.

Since Southern cooking isn't available throughout all of America, it shouldn't be a surprise that it's not a staple across the pond. Josh Carrott, author of "Once Upon A Time in Carrottland," runs the YouTube channel Jolly, where he has people try new foods. He decided to invite a group of British schoolboys to try a few Southern staples. The boys are in year 9 in England, which means they're between the ages of 13 and 14.

Since Carrott isn't Southern, or even American for that matter, I can't say how the food was prepared. What I can say is that my very Southern grandmother would give the sausage gravy preparation the side eye, but other than that, it looked as authentic as possible.


The boys were served biscuits that were perfectly golden, and there was immediate confusion. Apparently biscuits are flat and hard in England, so the boys were sure they were being served scones. It only took one bite for them to come around to the idea of the buttery fluffy delight that is the Southern biscuit. But the taste test for the biscuits wasn't over—Carrott mixed up some white sausage gravy and smothered the delicious bread.

None of the boys were eager to try a meal that many Southern households eat regularly.

"Let's call it interesting for now. I'm not going to make a judgment," one boy says.

"It looks like a chopped-up ferret," another lamented.

To be fair, if you've never seen biscuits and gravy, it doesn't look instantly appealing, but once you try it, the dish suddenly looks amazing every time you encounter it moving forward. Maybe it isn't everyone's favorite thing, but being able to drive through a Whataburger and grab it to go brings me childlike joy.

After trying everything offered, all of the boys agreed that the Southern food was delicious, including the sweet tea. Several of them said they preferred it over their British hot tea—no one tell their parents. It feels like it would be as shocking as finding a Southerner who prefers unsweet tea. You can watch the entire video below.

This article originally appeared on 6.22.23