Tag Archives: Health

Read This! Sunscreen’s chemicals make it worse than wearing none at all!

Someone posted this article to Facebook and I had to share it. It’s shocking to me that they are saying wearing too much sunscreen over a long period of time is actually BAD for you! It is supposed to be protecting us. What is the world coming to? Chemicals are in EVERYTHING! Our foods, our deodorant (just ordered some organic deodorant from Etsy) along with sunscreen too! All thanks to this article – please share!

 

According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”

 Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.

 That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.

In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer.

Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome.

According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.”

A DISSIDENT DERMATOLOGIST

Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks. 

Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:

The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma.

A 2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.

SUNSCREENS: CANCER-CAUSING BIOHAZARDS

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well. 

Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).

Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”

Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations.

Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood! 

Dr. Plourde’s book also has a chapter on the importance of vitamin D3 to health, and she posits that the widespread vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to overuse of sunscreen combined with sun avoidance in general.

 

[Source: www.realfarmarcy.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]

Tasty Apps & Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday

Check out my latest article on LongIsland.com:

Try a new Super Bowl appetizer this year and have your guests begging for the recipe!

It is that time of year again, sports fans! Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching, and if you’re hosting a get together this year, one of the things that is probably on your mind is figuring out the perfect appetizers to serve your guests. In many households, the delicious appetizers are a Super Bowl tradition and are a huge part of this big day.
If you’re interested in trying out something new this year, take a look at these great recipes that will have your friends and family begging for more! Whether you are hosting the party or attending it, these simple and tasty dishes are ideal for the perfect Super Bowl celebration. We have also included some healthy snacks as well, for those of you looking to stick to your clean eating plan.
Mini Potato Footballs
Get creative with potatoes this year by turning them into mouth-watering fully loaded footballs with cheese, bacon, sour cream and herbs placed on top.
Ingredients:
  • 20 small red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • Toppings of your choice (bacon, cheese, sour cream, chives, etc.)
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place potatoes, salt and olive oil in a large bowl until potatoes are thoroughly coated.
  • Bake the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet for about 20 minutes or until soft.
  • Let them cool down slightly before cutting a small slit in the top of each and scooping out a portion of the inside.
  • Place toppings of your choice inside each potato and serve while still warm.
Red Velvet Cheese Football
Red velvet mix isn’t just for cake! Score a touchdown with this unique dish, served with assorted crackers and cookies.
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of red velvet cake mix
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  •  2 tbsp. of brown sugar
  •  ¾ cups of mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. white chocolate chips
  •  Assorted crackers and cookies
Directions:
  • Beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, brown sugar and cake mix until well blended.
  • Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a football shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Un-wrap the cheese football and place on a serving tray. Use the white chocolate chips to make the laces on the football and cover the rest with mini chocolate chips.
  • Serve with your choice of cookies or crackers.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
Chicken wings play a main role on the appetizer list for the Super Bowl. Here is a delicious recipe that will be sure to score a touchdown with your guests! 
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of chicken wings, rinsed clean
  • ⅔ cup hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper for taste
Directions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover an entire sheet pan. Be sure to wrap around the edges also. Then spray the pan with non-stick vegetable oil.
  • Spread the wings out evenly on the pan and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, turn the wings over and let cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  • While wings are baking, prepare a saute pan at low-medium heat. Combine the butter, salt, garlic pepper, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce and paprika in the pan. Allow the butter to melt then whisk for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the wings are finished cooking, remove from oven and dump into the large bowl with the chicken wing sauce.
  • Make sure to coat all the chicken with the sauce and allow the wings to sit for about 5 minutes before tossing again. After second toss, serve warm and enjoy!
Healthy Roasted Bell Peppers
If you’re looking to be brave and stay healthy on Super Bowl Sunday, this bell pepper recipe with goat cheese filling will be the ultimate appetizer for you and your friends.
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of mini bell peppers
  • 1 log goat cheese
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
Directions:
  • Cut the tops off of the mini peppers and remove the insides.
  • Place them on a baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil (optional)
  • Roast at 400 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes or until peppers are browned
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Mix the goat cheese, basil and balsamic vinegar into a bowl.
  • Stuff the peppers with the mixture and enjoy!
Spinach Pinwheels
Don’t feel bad about indulging in this spinach dish because it too is a healthy appetizer! This hearty recipe will be sure to catch everyone’s attention, whether they enjoy eating healthy or not!
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. frozen chopped spinach (thawed & drained)
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope ranch dip mix
  • 1 jar bacon bits
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 10 inch flour tortillas
Directions:
  • Combine sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise into a mixing bowl.
  • Beat in dip mix.
  • Add bacon, spinach and green onion then mix thoroughly.
  • Spread the mixture onto the tortillas, leaving a ½” space around the edge.
  • Roll up each tortilla tightly and wrap each in plastic wrap.
  • Chill for a couple of hours, or overnight.
  • Once finished chilling, cut off the ends and cut into ½” slices before serving.
Whether you choose a healthy recipe or one with some more calories, these dishes are sure to satisfy your guests. You can make these tasty appetizers for other kinds of parties as well, along with Super Bowl Sundays for years to come!
If you don’t have time to cook for the big celebration, no problem! We’ve got you covered. Check out some of the great catering companies that can dish up some great eats for your get together, and help make your day stress-free!

A Mental Makeover

ImageSan Clemente, California [Orange County]

A year ago today, I was enjoying my third day in California.. wandering the streets, staring up at the palm trees that surrounded me. It was my first time there and I had left New York to clear my head of a few things. I went on my own, meeting up with my aunt and friend once I got there. I was stressed at home and needed a mental break, which the 9-day vacation did. I came home with a clearer conscious and a mind more made up than ever. I had decided to eat healthier, which I did. I cut fast food out of my diet completely. I think I had McDonald’s two or three times in 2013. (Which is huge considering I used to eat it all the time when my younger body could endure it) I decided to leave a relationship that I found wasn’t suiting for me any longer and I was really proud of myself. I let go of the things that were weighing me down and I feel as though my trip to California really assisted me in doing all this. I came home a different person, and I was glad. I had many chances to just be myself and stare at the sunsets or walk on the beach and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. Sometimes all you need is to get away from the norm for a while… see new things and explore new places. I’ll be leaving for California again in 17 days and I’m counting down the days! I’m hoping that again I will come home with great new experiences that will shape me into an even better person than before.

A few more photos from my trip:

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La Jolla, California

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San Diego, California

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Mimosas in Dana Point [Orange County]

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Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles

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The view from my aunt’s apartment – San Diego

Helpful Ways to Relieve Stress

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Whether your stress is coming from your job, family, friends, a relationship, etc. there are a bunch of different ways one can lessen their stress levels. Of course, it won’t be gone forever (don’t we wish?) but temporary relief is better than nothing! Check out some of the ways I like to alleviate stress.

1. Cleaning. This may sound weird to some people and even cause stress for some. But try it out and see what happens. Usually once you start, it’s harder to stop and you end up cleaning the whole house. It gets your mind off things and helps you focus on the task at hand. Throw on some music to add some fun to it.

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2. Cooking. This is for those of you who actually enjoy to cook. Pour yourself a glass of wine and make a delicious dish. Cooking can be very relaxing if you let it. And the best part is, you get to indulge afterwards.

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3. Working Out. The hardest part to working out is getting started. So, once you push yourself it will get easier as you go. After your work out, you will feel better than before and will feel satisfied knowing you didn’t back out of doing it.

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4. Yoga/Meditation. This is something I’ve only tried a couple of times but when I did do it, it definitely made me feel relaxed. Apple has a bunch of apps you can download to listen to soft, spa-like music and most are free to download. You can also look some up on YouTube if you don’t want to download anything. The music will help set the mood and make you feel extra peaceful.

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5. Take a bubble bath. Light some candles and take a nice, long bath. Even if your mind is still running rapid from the day you had, your body will be forced to calm down… soon making you feel amazing. Put on some soothing music and drink a glass of wine to really set it off.

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6. Get organized. This is another idea that some people may find to be weird to alleviate stress. But if you think about it, when things are cluttered and all over the place, your mind feels that way as well. So, once you have everything in place, neat and clean you will gain a sense of fulfillment knowing that it’s one less thing to worry about.

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7. Blast the music and sing along. Even if you can’t sing, let it out anyway. It’s sort of like screaming really loud and feeling relief after. The music and singing will boost your mood.

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8. Get a massage. You may think massages are expensive, but local nail salons sometimes do a better job and are less expensive than spas. I do this every now and then just to get some temporary back pain relief without breaking the bank.

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9. Take a road trip. This is one I wish I could do more. Take a short road trip one weekend with a friend, lover or even by yourself if it’s what you need. Just being away from your routine life and daily surrounding will give you a sense of serenity. And another great plus, you will have the chance to explore new things and see new places.

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10. Drink a glass of wine, or three. I mentioned wine a few times in this post so it’s easy to tell that I use it as one of my stress relievers. Get together with the girls and have a wine night or cuddle up on the couch and watch a feel-good movie to take you out of your element for a bit.

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37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

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Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.

2. Not learning another language.

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You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.

3. Staying in a bad relationship.

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No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.

4. Forgoing Sunscreen.

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Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

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“Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.” Facepalm.

6. Being scared to do things.

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Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?

7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

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Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

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Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”

9. Not quitting a terrible job.

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Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.

10. Not trying harder in school.

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It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

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Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.

12. Being afraid to say “I Love You.”

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When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.

13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

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You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.

14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

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You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.

15. Caring too much what other people think.

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In 20 years you won’t give a damn about any of those people you once worried so much about.

16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

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Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.

17. Not moving on fast enough.

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Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.

18. Holding grudges, especially with ones you love.

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What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?

19. Not standing up for yourself.

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Old people don’t take shit from anyone. Neither should you.

20. Not volunteering enough.

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OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.

21. Neglecting your teeth.

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Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

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Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.

23. Working too much.

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No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.

24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

beyonce cooking

Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special.

25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

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Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.

26. Failing to finish what you start.

failing to finish

“I had big dreams of becoming a nurse. I even signed up for the classes, but then…”

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

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You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?

28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

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Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

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People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.

30. Not playing with your kids enough.

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When you’re old, you’ll realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

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Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once — even if you fell flat on your face — will be a great comfort when you’re old.

32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

help me help you

Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young, but later on it becomes clear that it’s how so many jobs are won.

33. Worrying too much.

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As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”

34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

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Who needs it?

35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

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Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.

36. Never performing in front of others.

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This isn’t a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew — just once — what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents.

37. Not being grateful sooner.

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It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/37-things-youll-regret-when-youre-old

Living is More Important Than Money

This is something I’m starting to learn, it’s hard but I’m learning. Today I get paid and pretty soon this will be my only job… after going from 3 jobs to 2, back down to 1 is a bit of a transition. I went from getting paid 7-8 times a month (ridiculous, I know!) to 4 times a month and soon to 2 times a month. One of my jobs was seasonal and the other was one day a week so I put my two week notice in. I have some money set aside but I never realized how much I was making until I started making less. I have more time to do things though and enjoy life which is the pro of all this and that’s what I try to remember when looking at my bank account. I re-blogged a post yesterday about a nurse who asks her terminally ill patients what they regret the most in life now that they’re on their death bed – a good number of them said they regret working so much. This made me realize that I was making the right decision about going back down to just 1 job. I have to enjoy my life before it’s too late. We never know what can happen and I’m not going to wait for it, in the meantime I’m going to try my best to do the things I’m dreaming to do. The longer we wait, the sooner life passes us by.

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Freedom

ImageWhen people think of freedom, they automatically think of being alone or doing what you please whenever you please. This could be the definition to some people, but it’s very much possible to feel free due to other circumstances. This goes for finally letting go of things that are “weighing you down” – a job that is going nowhere, a relationship, a friendship, feelings of guilt or even your own thoughts. Anything that will lift weight off your shoulders gives you freedom. You can still be around others, doing what they would like to do and feel free. Feeling free is all about YOU, what you feel, the things you do, how you think and how you deal with things. I recently posted something about my trip to California in January and how it opened my eyes to so many things and helped me start doing the things I want to do rather than doing what others felt was the right thing. This you could say, gave me a sense of freedom. Another example is last week when I put in my two week notice at my other job that I’ve been at for 5 years, because it was a dead end and not necessary to keep for my future. I already feel free from its responsibilities even though my last day hasn’t arrived yet. Another feeling of freedom is being with the right person for you. A lot of people don’t feel free when they’re “tied down” not realizing that maybe it’s because they aren’t with the right person. You may like them, care for them and all that good stuff but if you have a feeling of “stuck” rather than happiness, then maybe it’s time to let yourself seek freedom. This was another thing my Cali trip helped me realize, and now I’m with someone who makes me feel free without even trying. If it scares you, just think of the feeling you’ll have once whatever it is, isn’t weighing you down anymore.