Category Archives: News

National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, commissioning Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And like this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

Wow. These are obviously not Photoshopped projections, but real people, meaning tomorrow’s America lives among us now in every “Blackanese,” “Filatino,” “Chicanese” and “Korgentinian” you meet at the DMV, grocery store or wherever it is you hang out.

Their numbers will only grow. The U.S. Census Bureau let respondents check more than one race for the first time in 2000, and 6.8 million people did so. By 2010 that figure had increased to nearly 9 million, a spike of about 32%.

This is certainly encouraging, but there are obvious flaws with tracking racial population growth through a survey that lets people self-identify, especially since so many familial, cultural and even geographical factors influence your decision to claim one or multiple races. Complicating things further is the definition of race itself: It has no basis in biology, yet its constructions, functions and mythologies irrevocably shape the world as we know it.

So is an end approaching? Will increased racial mixing finally and permanently redefine how we imagine our racial identities? The latest figures suggest we’re getting more comfortable with the idea, or perhaps that we simply give fewer shits than ever before. Either would be a step in the right direction.

The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that 15% of new marriages in 2010 were between individuals of different races. It’s unclear whether they’ve included same-sex unions in the count, but as currently stated, this number is more than double what it was 25 years ago. The proportion of intermarriages also varied by race, with “9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians [marrying] outside their ethnic or racial group.” Interracial unions now account for 8.4% of all marriages in the U.S.

Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

In addition, more than 7% of the 3.5 million children born in 2009, the year before the 2010 census, were of two or more races.

The future: As for how this looks moving forward, studies have repeatedly shown that young people, especially those under 30, are significantly more amenable to interracial relationships than older adults, while college grads are more likely to have positive attitudes toward them than those with only a high school diploma. What does this mean for Millennials? As a population composed largely of over-educated 20-somethings, our generation is primed and expected to play a major role in populating this projected future America. That goes double if you live in a Western state, where people intermarry at higher rates; Hawaii is winning at the moment, with 4 of 10 new marriages identifying as interracial.

This doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine, rainbows and butterflies, however. Stark segregation still plagues many parts of the country. Poverty remains a barrier to social mobility and its consequent opportunities to interact with a diverse range of people. Sadly, the inequalities that shape American society as a whole are equally present in interracial relationship patterns. Time will tell if this holds for the long term.

But in the meantime, let us applaud these growing rates of intermixing for what they are: An encouraging symbol of a rapidly changing America. 2050 remains decades away, but if these images are any preview, it’s definitely a year worth waiting for.

[Source: Policymic.com]

10 Things Your Commute Does to Your Body

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The average American’s commute to work is 25.5 minutes each way, according to a report in USA Today. That’s about 51 minutes a day getting to and from work, or about 204 hours a year spent commuting. You know that commuting can be a huge pain in the ass—but what does all that back and forth actually do to your body, besides put you in a crap mood when you get stuck in traffic for what feels like the nine-thousandth night in a row? Read on to see how commuting impacts your mental and physical health—and what you can do to offset the damage.

Your Anxiety Increases
A new report from the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics finds that people who commute more than half an hour to work each way report higher levels of stress and anxiety than people with shorter commutes or no commutes at all. While there’s not much you can do to shorten or eliminate your commute, you can make the most of it by doing something like listening to an interesting audio book. Check out these other ways to take advantage of the time you spend in transit.

Your Happiness and Life Satisfaction Decline
The same report from the U.K. found that people with commutes of any length experience lower life satisfaction and happiness than people with no commutes at all. Riding a bus for 30 minutes or longer was associated with the lowest levels of life satisfaction and happiness, but even if you’re lucky enough to bike to work and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, your satisfaction takes a nosedive commensurate to how long you spend doing it. Womp womp. If you want to feel happiness in spite of your commute, be sure to check out these 12 Things People Believe About Happiness That Aren’t Actually True.

Your Blood Pressure Temporarily Spikes
Commuting during rush hour—especially when you’re concerned that you may be late to work or to an important meeting—can result in temporary spikes in stress levels that jack up your blood pressure, even if it’s normally stable. In fact, a researcher from the University of Utah set up an experiment where participants were placed in simulated driving scenarios: They were told they were late to a meeting and had a financial incentive to get to their destination quickly. Half the group was put in high-density traffic; the other half “drove” in a less congested environment. The people who drove in more intense traffic had much higher reports of stress, as well as higher blood pressure. If you feel like you’re always in a rush, it might be worth leaving well before rush hour—even if you arrive at work at the same time as you normally would, you’ll definitely feel less anxious on the drive over. Plus, you may also want to employ these tips on how to use yoga to de-stress during the drive.

Your Blood Pressure Rises Over Time, As Well
A study of 4,297 Texans found that the farther the participants lived from where they worked—the longer their commutes—the higher their blood pressure was. High blood pressure over time is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. To learn more about how stroke is related to high blood pressure, click here.

Your Cardiovascular Fitness Drops
The same study out of Texas found that people with longer commutes also had lower levels of cardiovascular fitness and physical activity. Cardiovascular fitness is critical for heart health and maintaining a healthy weight. For more intel on maintaining your heart health, check out four great (and four terrible) things you can do for your heart.

Your Blood Sugar Rises
Driving more than 10 miles each way, to and from work, is associated with higher blood sugar, according to a report written by researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas and published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. High blood glucose levels can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes. To counteract the high blood sugar issue, check out these 12 ways to never get diabetes.

Your Cholesterol is Higher
The same report in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the 10-mile one-way drives were also associated with higher cholesterol levels among commuters. Scary stuff since cholesterol is a warning sign for heart disease.

Your Depression Risk Rises
The researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas also noted in their report that people with commutes of at least 10 miles each way have a higher tendency toward depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Sometimes it can be hard to determine if your down-in-the-dumps mood is a real problem or something that’ll pass. Check here to determine if you’re depressed or just feeling blah.

Your Sleep Suffers
The Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 found that people who commute for longer than 45 minutes each way reported lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than people with shorter commutes. To get better a better night’s sleep and feel more rested, regardless of your commuter status, check out our story, “Why Are Modern Women So Exhausted?”

Your Back Aches
Spending hours a week slouched over in a car seat (either as a driver or a passenger) has negative consequences on your posture and your back; commuters are more likely to report pains and aches in their backs and necks, according to this story in the Washington Post. To counteract these ill effects, be sure to check out six ways to straighten up your posture.

 

[Source: Women’s Health]

5 Types of People I Feel Sorry For

When I was still in college, I took a Journalism class that required us to write a satire-like article that could possibly hurt someones feelings but have them also understand and agree where I was coming from. I say satire because it ridiculed people and criticized society. Using sarcasm and ridicule in my writing is not something I usually do but definitely something I have thought about in order to gain a wider variety of readers.

A lot of young girls see sarcasm and blunt truth in magazines like Cosmopolitan, which I used to read all the time. As I have gotten older I haven’t really read it too much because I feel some of the articles can do more harm rather than help. Like the ones about your boyfriend cheating or what he really thinks about your body during sex…. ummm there is a reason why we can’t read minds! And what they fail to realize is that not every guy will think the things they publish in their magazine. They cause a wide range of women to over-think situations and think of issues that may have not been there in the first place. (Which us women tend to do a lot!) They may think they’re being honest but they’re really just making girls and women come up with more bullshit in their heads that don’t need to be there.

Lately, when their posts come up on my Facebook wall, I scroll over them in disgust rather than feel the need to want to read what they have to say. I’m not bashing them, because they do have some great articles. For example, their beauty and health articles are great and are quite helpful to most people, I’m sure. But, when it comes to relationships and other personal issues, they seem to be feeding women things that aren’t necessarily going to happen and it drives me crazy at times!

Now that I have rambled, here is my satire-like post for the day: 5 Types of People I Feel Sorry For

Now, while reading this please remember what I usually post and how nice of a person I am lol! It just seems now-a-days people are being fed fake crap rather than being told the truth. Places like Thought Catalog have posted these types of articles so I figured I’d give it a go and see what happens!

1. Those who have not actually grown as they got older. This is for those who still act like they’re in high school, even though they are half way to 30 years old. Growth shows maturity, I see less and less of it lately. And I don’t mean those who still go out and get drunk, because hey, drinks are needed in adult life. Things get rough! I’m saying, if I acted the way I did in high school still, I’d be embarrassed. Some people take longer than others, I understand this but there comes a time when everyone needs to just grow the hell up.

2. Those who let others influence their decisions. Asking advice is fine, we all do it and sometimes it’s just what we need. But when you’re letting negative influences into your life it only shows signs of your vulnerability. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Be your own person and stand up for yourself – do what YOU want to do. It’s your life and it is going to go by way too quickly for you to not do what you are meant to do.

3. Those who just can’t let go. I’ve been here before, guilty! But, that is exactly why I have no problem writing this. I have been the type of person that just took way too long to let things go. This includes negative situations, petty arguments and even people. But damn, it feels so much better when you finally do it… like a boulder lifted off your shoulders. Do it and get on with it. You know you want to.

4. Those who still use Facebook to air their dirty laundry. Not only is this annoying as hell but no one actually cares about your relationship issues or your thoughts on what your significant other is doing wrong. If you’re not in high school anymore, you should have no reason to put that type of personal information out there for the world to see. You not only make the other person look bad, but it also makes you look stupid. Just saying.

5. This one is directed towards women. Women that still act like they’re 19. And I don’t mean by going out and partying, because I believe at any age you should still enjoy yourself as much as possible. What I mean is drama. You still act petty, envious and talk shit about everyone. How old are you? If you’re in your late 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, whatever, shouldn’t you be worrying about more important issues? Come on…

See! Wasn’t so bad, right? I’m trying out different styles of writing, seeing what I can pull out of myself… that’s all. Thanks for reading and hopefully you still come back to read my more positive posts! 🙂

A Sneak Peek of Summer Sunshine: How to Throw an Indoor Beach Party!

Hello followers! Where I live has been hit with some snow AGAIN. Here is a fun article I recently posted with LongIsland.com to get you into the summer time spirit. (Even though, I know I already am thinking of summer!)

Is this cold weather giving you the blues? If you and your family are mentally ready for the summer warmth, throw an indoor beach party that you, your children and even their friends will enjoy. Both you and the kiddies will be thankful to get away from the cold for a while and enjoy some fun summer activities, indoors!
These summer time activities are the perfect way to keep the whole family busy during a cold weekend or on a snow day. The activities will really get everyone in the mood for summer and will help you to forget about how chilly it is outside!
Wear a Bathing Suit
Most children love to play dress up, even when there’s nowhere to go! Instead of the princess and super hero costumes, have the children pick out their favorite bathing suit to wear for the day. Allow them to wear it until bedtime, after the “beach party” tires them out. To add some more fun to their beach outfit, throw on some other beach necessities like flip flops, sunglasses and beach hats! Break out the swimmies, too for the younger children.
Watch Movies on Beach Towels
Take the gigantic beach towels out of the closet a little early this year! Set them up in the living area in front of the TV and “lay out” as a family in front of your favorite movie. To really add to the beach experience, set up some beach chairs to lounge in or stand a beach umbrella up against something so everyone can lie underneath it.
Make Summer Time Blender Drinks
Indulge in some fun and colorful slushy drinks, perfect for during or after the movie!  A tasty drink that the children will love is a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri. For the moms and dads, add some liquor to it for the ideal summer cocktail. The sweet and fruity taste will surely remind you all of summer, especially if you add a festive straw and mini cocktail umbrella for some fun drink décor!
Indoor Limbo Contest
The party isn’t over just because the movie is! After the movie, have the kids compete in a friendly game of limbo. If you don’t happen to have a limbo stick lying around, use anything that can resemble one, like a broom stick. Throw on the limbo song while the kids line up and get ready to participate. The adults can be the judges and whoever wins the competition will receive a creative summer time prize.
Summer Time Feast
To end your beach party off right, enjoy a summer meal together as a family. Keep the blender drinks flowing and think of a meal your family likes to eat during the summer that you can still prepare inside. A simple dinner idea that is always a hit is delicious tacos loaded with your favorite toppings. If you want to have more of a BBQ feel, make some burgers and hot dogs with a chopped salad and corn on the cob for a yummy side dish!
Once your beach party is over, your family and friends will be grateful for the mini vacation they were able to take from the crispy cold air. Your beach bash doesn’t have to be a onetime event either, throw a party whenever you or the kids are feeling tired of winter and to help get prepared for summer time. The more parties you have, the closer you are to sweet summer!

Go for the Gold: Host a Watching Party for the 2014 Winter Olympics!

Hosting an Olympic Watching party this week? Here’s some great ways to incorporate friendly competition and sports games into your celebration!

The 2014 Winter Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to show your country pride while watching your favorite sports all during the same event. They only come around once every four years, so make it a worthwhile time with family and friends by celebrating with these fun party ideas!
The ideal Olympics Party features patriotic decorations, fun activities for adults and children, delicious food and a bunch of sports fans on the edge of their seat! Take a look at these great party tips featuring fun decorative ideas to tasty treats for the perfect Olympic Entertainment.
Decorations
Catch your guests’ attention by placing tiny flags along your walkway, each one representing the different countries participating in the Olympics. Most party throwers only decorate the inside for a winter party, not realizing that it’s a nice touch to add something outside as well to put your friends in a patriotic mood before they even step inside!
Put together small Olympic medals using mini size bottles of liquor for the adults and Gatorade bottles for the children. Tie a red, white and blue ribbon around the top of each bottle and give out to each guest as a party favor!
For the food and snack table, use a large stand made out of Styrofoam to place “The Olympic Rings.” Use paper colored plates to make each ring, gluing them onto a straw. Then simply place each ring in correct order into the Styrofoam.
Snacks
Snacks and appetizers are a huge part of the perfect party. It’s a great idea to have a variety of snacks so all your guests can be satisfied. You can even add festive food coloring or use red, white and blue foods to truly bring out the Olympics theme.
Fruit skewers are not only healthy but are great party treats since they’re easy to eat while socializing. Use blueberries, strawberries and marshmallows to have a plate full of red, white and blue skewers to honor the United States.
Create fun popcorn torches perfect for the kids and adults, too! Use mini ice cream cones for the torch then simply fill with popcorn, which will represent the golden torch flame. This too is another easy to eat snack that all your guests will be sure to enjoy.
Combine something healthy with something sweet to make American Flag Strawberries. Dip the strawberries half way into white chocolate so the red top is still showing. Then use blue sugar or blue sprinkles for the bottom portion of the strawberry. Once you’re finished, you will have an American Flag Strawberry!
Activities & Competitions
Have the kids of the party make Tissue Paper Torches that they get to take home with them. This is a cheap and easy to make craft that only consists of a plastic drinking glass (can purchase from a Dollar Store), spray paint if you would like to change the color of the glasses and three sheets of tissue paper (yellow, orange and red) Stick the tissue paper inside the glass, and gather so it represents a flaming torch. It is best for children to be supervised during this craft, and assisted by an adult while using the spray paint.
Enjoy a friendly, light-hearted competition with an Olympic Snowball Ring Toss. Place the Olympic Rings in their correct order on the floor about six feet away from the players (can place closer for children) Using mini marshmallows, see who can get the most “snowballs” inside the rings. At the end of the competition, have gold medal cookies waiting for the winners or another prize of your choice.
Compete in the cold as a family with a running race around the yard or at a local park. If it is snowing where you are, have a sledding competition down a nearby hill. Have a set of “judges” who time the competitions and write down everyone’s finishing time to see who wins the gold medal!
These useful tips will help create the perfect party atmosphere for you and your guests and will make your party hosting a fun and stress free experience! These ideas are also a great idea to utilize for an Olympics theme birthday party or sporting gathering.
Miss your favorite Olymic Event? Not to worry! Check out the Official Olympic YouTube Page to watch competitions, clips, highlights, and more!
Check out some more of my LongIsland.com articles here. 🙂

Safety Measures to Take While Preparing For A Snow Storm

My latest article with LongIsland.com due to today’s snow storm on Long Island.

Long Island residents are preparing themselves for the approaching snow storm that will be arriving today. The snow is predicted to be a large amount, so we have come up with some safety tips that will help you before, during and after the storm.

As a storm sets in, it is best to be fully prepared and take precautionary measures to avoid any harmful situations. This goes for on the road, your vehicle and inside your home. The American Red Cross states that an extremely important part of being well prepared is having a clear understanding of the assorted warnings and advisories that are reported.

  • A Winter Storm Outlook means that storm conditions are possible in the next two to five days.
  • A Winter Weather Advisory indicates that winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous; and if proper precautions are taken, conditions should not be life threatening.
  • A Winter Storm Watch is an alert that storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People should make preparations and stay informed about weather conditions.
  • A Winter Storm Warning indicates life-threatening, severe conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People should take immediate steps to insure safety.

Once you and your family are prepared for the storm, take a look at some of our general tips on staying safe during the snowstorm:

  • Be sure you are utilizing your heat properly inside your home to avoid any frozen pipes.
  • According to NFPA and USFA, if you are using a space heater, be sure to turn it off and unplug it when it’s not being used.
  • Do not use a stove or oven to heat your home, household members can become ill with carbon monoxide poisoning and can be put at a serious risk for burns.
  • Let your vehicle warm up before driving and be sure to check your tire pressure and battery which can both be affected by the cold air.
  • Give your pets extra protection and don’t keep them outside. If they are unable to live in your home, be sure they have proper shelter outside that will keep them warm and safe during the storm.
  • Have a first-aid kit on hand along with bottled water and a supply of non-perishable food.
  • Be sure to stock up on supplies including batteries, flashlights, candles, matches and blankets.
  • Be sure to feed your pets a little extra during the cold winter months so they have enough fueling calories to keep themselves warm.
  • Be alert while driving at all times. Keep an eye out for black ice and for other drivers. Some don’t take the same precautionary measures as others. Stay as far back as possible from the driver in front of you so you will not have a problem if they stop abruptly.

A significant part of during-the-storm safety includes shoveling. Take a look at the following shoveling safety tips offered by The National Safety Council:

  • Those over 40 years old or individuals, who are rather inactive, should be exceptionally careful.
  • Do not shovel without a doctor’s permission if you have a history with heart trouble.
  • Do not shovel while smoking or after eating.
  • Shovel slowly! Shoveling can raise your heart rate due to all the lifting, so it is best to pace yourself and stretch out before doing the task.
  • Shovel only fresh snow. The freshly fallen snow is easier to shovel than the packed-down snow.
  • As you shovel, push the snow rather than lift it out of your way. This will make it much easier on your back.
  • Use a small shovel so you don’t strain yourself by picking up too much.
  • Don’t lift with your back, use your legs. By keeping your back straight and bending and “sitting” into the movement will keep your spine upright and less stressed.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion. Take a break if you run out of breath.
  • Dress warmly and be sure to cover the places that need extra attention including your nose, ears, hands and feet.

PSEG Long Island has already thought about the snowstorm aftermath. They are as well preparing themselves for the service of Long Island residents. As PSEG awaits the storm, they are preparing for quick responses to any resulting power outages by doing the following:

  • Performing system checks on critical transmission & distribution equipment. This will arrange for contractors to assist the utility’s own skilled workforce.
  • Logistic checks will be performed ensuring the availability of fuel and other critical materials and supplies.
  • Coordinating with municipal and county emergency management personnel to inform them of the preparation work, what to expect and how the utility will respond.

Important Info to Keep on Hand

[Source: NFPAUSFAThe American Red Cross, The National Safety Council, PSEG Long Island]

Blast From the Past – 10 Books From My Childhood

10 Children’s Books That I Remember Most From My Childhood (the 90’s)

1. The Babysitter’s Club – Ann M. Martin

Image2. Love You Forever – Robert Munsch

Image3. Corduroy – Don Freeman

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4. The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister

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5. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Joffe Numeroff

Image6. Clifford the Big Red Dog – Norman Bridwell

Image7. The Berenstain Bears – Stan & Jan Berenstain

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8. The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats

Image9. Stellaluna – Janell Cannon

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10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin & John Archambault

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10 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

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I always think back to when I was younger and how I had specific expectations about my future, not having any clue as to what was ahead. If I could go back in time and prepare myself for anything, it would be the following:

1. Save more money. Every time I received money for holidays, birthdays, etc. I quickly spent it. Now, at the age of 24, I wish I had some more money to fall back on when needed.

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2. Make the most out of your college years. If I could do it all over, I probably would go away for college and actually try my very best to finish. I would have stayed on top of financial aid and anything else that went along with schooling. I went to a local school and sometimes I feel I would have had a better college experience if I went away. Your college years only come around once, make them count.

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3. Don’t bother trying to fit in. After high school, no ones gives a crap what “clique” you belonged to. Don’t stress over silly people who one day will probably be out of your life forever. The only person you should care about impressing is yourself.

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4. Things will change – be prepared. You don’t realize when it’s happening but things change constantly and you never realize until you’re looking back on things. Your friends will change, your relationships will change, your looks will change. The only constant in this life – change.

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5. Take advantage & be thankful for all the things you have access to. We don’t realize until we’re older all the things we received as children that are now not as easy to get as adults. This goes for a couple of different things… anything from food, hot water, health insurance, schooling, a roof over our heads. If you were fortunate enough as a child, your parents or guardians made sure you had all these things growing up. All the necessities. Now as an adult, you hope you don’t get injured because getting health insurance through your job is too expensive so you just don’t have any at all. Everything comes with a price.

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6. Keep a journal/diary. Write down all the big moments in your life so you can read it ten, twenty years from now. You’ll get a good laugh at how silly you were as a kid and it will remind you of some fun childhood memories. It’s nice to take a walk down memory lane and you will want to once you’re older.

Image7. Listen to your parents when they tell you to brush your teeth. This may sound funny but it’s so true, they’re telling you this for a reason and if you don’t listen you will most likely pay for it when you’re older. The dentist sucks – plain and simple. And it costs money.

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8. Be adventurous as much as possible. Go everywhere you can and cause some trouble. Paint the town red and enjoy every minute of it before adult responsibilities get in the way.

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9. Eat the cake… eat the candy… eat the ice cream. Eat it all. One day your metabolism will slow down and you will definitely not be able to eat like you used to. Feed your sweet tooth.

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And most importantly…

10. Stop rushing. I remember being young and wanted to be a “grown up” so badly. Ugh, now I ask myself “why?!” You have no responsibilities when you’re a child, nothing to worry about. Enjoy it, stop rushing to become an adult because when it happens you’re going to wish you could go back to a time when things were much simpler.Image