childrens-books

You’re Never Too Old For A Children’s Book

As children grow up, they are constantly encouraged to change their reading habits and become more advanced. In school, students are given increasingly challenging books with topics designed more for growth of knowledge and analytical skills than enjoyment. But even after progressing into advanced levels of reading and content preferences, books for children and young adults are still relevant to everyone. They may sit in different areas of bookstores and libraries, but they hold just as much value as any other book.

Though stories written primarily for kids are easy to understand and lack complexities that books intended for adults have, the plots are still hold relevance in our lives. Yes, even the simplest solution to a character’s problems can help break down the intricacies of adult life, making the lessons that children’s books teach timeless.

The basic answers that kids are encouraged to find and apply to their lives through these stories apply to people of all ages. In fact, they can even become more powerful as the reader grows older, proving that not all solutions to life problems have to be complex.

Rereading old childhood favorites can definitely create a sense of nostalgia, while also allowing the reader to pick up on details and themes through a different mindset. In having a larger variety of experiences and gaining new perspectives as one grows older, certain aspects of the content and characters in children’s books become more apparent and relatable, which can create a greater emotional impact on the reader. There is no limit to the amount of interpretations one can take on a story, making every book — no matter who its intended audience — relatable to all who pick it up.

Just because the writing style is easier to comprehend doesn’t mean that it is a poor literary choice. Rather, this type of writing is of a higher quality than you may think. As any good writer is able to hook multiple audiences, children and young adult authors have a great amount of skill in being able to make concepts and emotions palpable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced readers.

For people with busy schedules, children’s books take less time to read.  They help the mind relax and enter into a quality story without having to exert a ton of energy to comprehend the plot line and analyze what may come next. Rather than being  stuck in the middle of a denser book for a longer period of time, you can get through books for younger audiences quickly — which allows you more time to read other works.

No matter what the book, reading is as enjoyable as it is important. Picking up and enjoying books “meant for” children and young adults is nothing to be embarrassed about. Age does not and should not limit one to a certain genre of books. After all, aren’t we all children at heart?

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US_Capitol

Headlines You May Have Missed: July 23

Need the news? Here are headlines you may have missed from July 23:

Truce Talks Are Happening For Gaza
Secretary of State John Kerry assured that progress was being made over creating a cease fire to end the atrocities occurring in the Middle East. Kerry is pushing to create a cease fire that will then allow Palestinian and Israeli officials to negotiate terms for peace without having to worry about battle fronts. After statements by Kerry, Palestinian officials came out and said that no cease fire was happening unless it was on their terms. While conflict resolution attempts to unfold, the casualties continues to occur.

Taiwanese Plane Crash Claims Dozens Of Lives
A plane on the way to a Taiwanese island was forced to make an emergency landing due to bad weather. The typhoon, Matmo, was passing through the region, making for heavy rainfall and wind speeds over 40 miles an hour. Unfortunately, the plane ended up crashing and killing dozens of people on board.  Out of the 58 people on the aircraft, 47 travelers lost their lives in the crash. The ill-fated flight was only supposed to last 45 minutes.

People Try To Sneak Weapons Into The Capitol
A man named Ronald Prestage was caught trying to enter the U.S. Capitol Building with a firearm. Prestage is not the first person to attempt this recently. Last Friday, a staff member tried entering the building with a gun at around the same time in the day as this incident. Ronald Prestage has been charged with a felony for carrying a concealed weapon without a license. Read more here.

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loving-yourself

The Art Of Loving Yourself

“Maybe if I don’t laugh, I won’t get wrinkles.”

That’s what I said to myself as I looked in the mirror earlier this week. I’d recently read an article about how it’s never too early to buy some anti-aging cream to ward against laugh lines and other intruding wrinkles — because how dare my face age like a normal human?

Don’t get me wrong; I love the beauty industry. I’ve spent many hours reading how-to’s, playing with makeup, and admiring celebrities’ daring looks.

But at the same time, it worries me. Despite recent advertisements from Pantene, Dove, and other companies, it seems as though a majority of the industry makes their profit by feeding off our insecurities.

We are exposed to hundreds — if not thousands — of advertisements every day. To sell their product, marketers convince us we need something. That our lives are somehow incomplete without the newest cream, gel, or serum. That we are not perfect the way we are.

As a result, women and young girls develop negative body image issues, depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. We base our worth on the arbitrary beauty ideal we see in the media, thinking that’s the end-all, be-all of desirability. We forget that beauty standards have been changing for centuries, and 50 years from now, something new will be “in.”

We forget that we are not defined by the numbers on the scale, the blemishes on our skin, or the designers we wear.

When are we going to take back our worth? We are women. We are strong, intelligent, beautiful (yes, you!) — and we are worthy of love and acceptance.

The movement toward accepting ourselves has already begun, but compared to the huge beauty industry, it’s the underdog. How can it gain support?

It starts with us. Love who you are, inside and out. Treat your body well, and take care of it. Accept every single part of yourself. In the end, this is the only body you’re going to have.

Instead of picking apart everything that’s “wrong,” remember how incredible your body is! Outside of how it may look, your legs carry you on scenic runs, your eyes see loved ones’ faces, your ears hear your best friend’s laughter. Even embrace your laugh lines! Marks, scars, wrinkles, and gray hairs serve as reminders of where you’ve been and what you’ve overcome.

Every day, remind yourself of something you like about both your body and your personality. Confidence takes work, but it’s worth it. And when you’re comfortable in your own skin, it’ll show.

This isn’t to say you should stop buying beauty products or caring about your appearance. If you want to, wear a full face of makeup every day, buy designer jeans, or get started on an anti-aging routine. Just don’t feel pressured to do so. Do things because they make you happy, not because you think you’re not good enough the way you are.

In practicing the art of loving yourself, you (and I) must teach ourselves, our friends, sisters, and families that we are more than our outside appearance. We have intrinsic value, and it does not depend on any person or product. We are beautiful, exactly how we are.

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boohoo Summer Mixer

boohoo’s wide variety of styles and trends allows you to have an endless amount of fashion fun. In the summer, we are essentially expected to go outside daily. Whether you’re spending a day beside the pool, taking a mini road trip with wonderful friends, or having a delicious barbecue, we’re positive boohoo has something for any occasion. With boohoo’s bargains and incredible selections, the question “What should I wear?” will be nonexistent in our summer style.

Keeping up-to-date with boohoo’s summer trends such as whites, grunge fest, and block brights will certainly have you feeling cool and staying stylish. We’ve created some sun-loving looks that you’re sure to adore just as much as we do. We mixed and matched  boohoo’s incredible apparel, shoes, and accessories that are available for purchase — all inspired by some of our favorite activities we can’t go a summer without. Get ready to take a splash, try a new bite to eat, or go on a trip somewhere new with our boohoo summer mixer.

Boardwalk Trip With Block Brights
Some of our most favorite childhood memories come from our times spent at the whimsical and magical boardwalks in the summertime. The smell of warm funnel cake, sound of game vendors persuading you over, and the feel of the sea right nearby paints a beautiful memory. To keep up that joyful and fun atmosphere we paired it with boohoo’s Block Brights trend. The colors of this look compliment each other well while reminding us of priceless boardwalk times.

Boardwalk Brights

Summer Concert With Grunge Fest
If you’re looking to spend a day outside filled with feel-good music, interesting people, and fresh food, a summer concert is totally for you.  Going along with this carefree and music-loving style, we only though it right to style it with boohoo’s Grunge Fest look. This look keeps everything light and laid-back, with just a wee bit edge for that rebellious summer show.

Concert Grunge

Weekend Getaway With Ibiza Nights
The title alone just sounds like a paradise in itself for many of us. It’s safe to say that packing our bags and just taking off for a weekend is something we shouldn’t hesitate to do every once in a while, if we can. boohoo’s Ibiza Nights was a perfect match-up for our weekend getaway look to keep everything wild yet chic.

Ibiza Getaway

Barbecue Into The Night With Metallic
Sometimes parties have so much life that they rage on well into the night. When that’s the case, it’s best to have an outfit on that goes from dawn till dusk like camouflage. boohoo’s metallic trend embodies just this by not being too much or too little for both day and night versatility. You can appear golden in the sunlight and sparkly in the moonlight. You’ll shine with just the right amount of shimmer in this twinkling ensemble.

Metallic Night

 

e-cigs

Headlines You May Have Missed: July 22

You know the deal: we recap the news for you every day. Check out headlines you may have missed from July 22:

Chrysler Makes Recalls
Chrysler has made 1.7 millions recalls on various vehicles. The recalls were made due to a faulty ignition switch in SUVs and minivans in various models issued in 2005 and later. Many complaints were received from people who said their knee could hit their key chain, which `cause the ignition to switch. Chrysler is currently under investigation.

Supreme Court Approves Execution
The execution of Arizona resident Joseph R. Wood III had been put off due to questions posed about the drugs used for lethal injections. Wood, on death row for a double homicide, wanted to know more about the lethal injection that would be used on him at his execution. Due to the questions about the drugs, which are shrouded in mystery, the execution seemed like it’d take a while to occur. However, the Supreme Court has now decided that the execution will proceed as planned.

The Trouble With E-Cigs
E-cigs, AKA electronic cigarettes, are often regarded as better for you than traditional cigarettes are. Regardless of the factuality of those assumptions, e-cigs are growing in popularity. The government is starting to take notice at ads for electronic cigarrettes; many of the advertisements seem to be aimed towards our youth. What was originally marketed as a way for adults to quit smoking is now becoming a vessel for more young people to start the addictive and unhealthy habit. Many law officials hope to stop the rising popularity of e-cigs (in children) sooner rather than later.

Apple Made How Much?!
While sales in Samsung phones seem to dip, Apple continues to go on strong. Apple sold nearly 36 million phones during this third fiscal quarter, which is a 13% leap from this time last year. Along with the huge amount of phones sold, Apple has reportedly made $7.75 billion dollars this quarter alone — a huge jump from this time last year. Even though iPad sales are taking a dip, Mac and IPhone sales are continuing to bring in humongous amounts of money for the company.

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somaliconstitution

Pledge To End Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation has been a longstanding practice in developing countries. However, in recent years, female genital mutilation (FGM) has become an issue in the UK as well. Politicians are now taking action to ban the practice of FGM and prevent further cruelty to women. FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, but prosecutions have not taken place until this year.

FGM is the removal — either partial or total — and injury of female external genitalia without any medical reasoning. The belief behind this practice comes from the belief in ‘pure femininity,’ to make sure women behave properly when it comes to sex. What this means is that ultimately, the girl is being robbed of her own sexuality, control over her body, and pleasure during sex. FMG occurs mostly to girls from infancy till age 15. It is practiced in 29 countries in Africa, as well as countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Millions of young girls are at risk every year, and even more are living with the consequences of the practice. The greatest danger of this practice — besides the mental and emotional damage on these girls — is the use of unsanitary tools during these procedures. Unsanitary tools can lead to infections, severe bleeding, and infertility. This practice also sets newborns at a greater risk of death at birth.

Yesterday, the UK held its first Girl Summit. Girl Summit strives to end female genital mutilation and forced marriages worldwide. Many international politicians, campaigners, as well as women who have been victims to FGM, were set to attend the summit in London.

The Girl Summit is an important milestone that will hopefully set the beginning of a larger fight against FGM worldwide. Ultimately, Girl Summit aims to make a difference in the lives of girls throughout the world.

FGM is a serious issue that has to be addressed now. The summit will is definitely a step in the right direction, and in order to reach girls throughout the world and achieve action, there has to be a sense of awareness that this is happening. It is everyone’s responsibility to acknowledge this horrible crime for what it is, spread the word, and evoke change. Let’s not live in ignorance or turn the other way because we don’t want to believe something so horrible is happening to so many girls and women out there. Let’s live in knowledge and strive for change.

Girl Summit is asking us to make a pledge through social media, to end both FGM and forced marriage. Visit their website now and make the pledge now, because no girl or woman deserves to be robbed of her sexuality.

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backpacking

How To Travel Internationally With Just A Backpack

Though you may have previously thought it to be out of the question, you can go on vacation and only pack a backpack. Before you panic at the thought, remember that your vacation can be an adventure when you don’t have all of that heavy luggage weighing you down. Traveling with just a backpack is great for international travels, when you want to bounce from one amazing location to another.

With just a backpack, you won’t have to worry about extra airplane luggage fees, where to leave your luggage while traveling, or how you will get all of your stuff from one place to the next. In short, too much luggage can really tie you down. So here are a few ideas on how and what to pack for your journey.

  1. A Pair of Pants

It’s summer, and assuming that you are flying to someplace warm, packing anymore than 1 pair of pants is out of the question. Whether you choose leggings or jeans (I’d go for jeans), you can wear them multiples times without them looking wrinkled or dirty. Add two pairs of easy-to-match shorts (avoid white) and you’re good to go.

  1. Shirts

Best suggestion here is to take the number of days you will be traveling and divide that in half. That’s the number of tanks or t-shirts you should pack. Yes, you will have to re-wear your shirts, but if the idea of some stranger realizing you wore the same thing twice bothers you, pack two cardigans to mix up your outfit. There’s a decent chance that where you’re staying won’t have a washing machine, so be sure to have ample deodorant.

  1. Pajamas and underwear

These two sort of tie together. If you are staying in your own room, just sleep in your underwear, as it will really save you packing space. If you’re staying in a hostel, pack an actual pair of PJs – but just one. You may smell a bit, but who cares, you’re only in PJs when its time to crash for the night.

  1. Shoes

For many of us this is probably going to be a heartbreaker but…only pack two pairs of shoes. Wear your sneakers on the plane, since they take up the most room in your bag, and pack a pair of flip-flops. You’ll want flip-flops for hostel showers, beaches, etc. And considering all the walking you will probably be doing, you’ll be glad you brought sneakers. Plus, if your flip-flops break, they’re cheap and easy to replace almost anywhere you go.

  1. Makeup, shower supplies, etc.

It’s sometimes hard to remember, but most of the items in your bathroom are luxury items. Pack a tooth brush and toothpaste, deodorant, travel sized shampoo and face wash, an all-purpose moisturizer (travel sized), and sunscreen. All of these items will have to be travel sized to meet the flight requirements for liquids, which will help you to narrow down what you really need. Throw in a brush and hair ties and you’re good to go.

  1. The extra must-haves

This isn’t your favorite type of mascara we’re talking about. You’re going on an adventure, so think of the important stuff. A camera is a must for sight-seeing, a journal is great to log all of your amazing experiences, a great pair of sunglasses is nice to be able to go out and face the day even after that amazing pub crawl, and a phone and charger so everyone at home can be updated on your journey (though sending postcards can be just as fun).

As a final tip, when you’re packing up your stuff, try folding your clothes in half and then rolling them. This will save you space when packing, and help to keep your clothes from getting too wrinkly!

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On The Record (July 22)

Alvvays - Alvvays  (July 22)

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With the fondest intended meaning of the statement, Alvvays is incredibly Canadian. It’s in the balance of pop, self-consciousness, and humble, poetic lyrics. There’s a nerdy innocence and guarded quality  to vocalist Molly Rankin’s tone, verbosely sitting somewhere between John K. Samson and  Kathleen Edwards. Charming surf rock and the most catchy, angsty melodies this side of the Thrush Hermit age make Alvvays a winningly cool set of losers.

Got A Girl - I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now (July 22)

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Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed, Scott Pilgrim) and Gorillaz producer Dan “the Automator” Nakamura may be jumping on the quirky retro pop bandwagon, but they do it so well, with such a kooky awareness,  that all the other Dusty Springfield lovers out there fall away. Winstead is confessional and sultry, her voice clarifying  even as it whispers; Dan the Automator’s musical approach is cartoon slink with an undertone of noir, giving Got A Girl an arch theatrical sensibility clever enough to cut any cuteness.

The Black Angels - Clear Lake Forest (July 22)

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Originally a Record Store Day limited edition, this Texan psychedelic group’s EP is seeing a general release for those who missed out back in April. The Black Angels love resting in a heavy, warm coat of reverb, expertly transcribing the tambourine jangles and bright guitars of their psychedelic forebearers. “Tired Eyes” is an expansive classic rock treat, that, like the rest of the EP, is a true treat to the ears.

Allison Weiss – Remember When (July22)

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Best known as a crowdsourcing pioneer, Weiss’ bubblegum pop is wrapped in the plaid of indie projects and DIY ethos, ready to share the most uncomfortable moments of the heart. Just guitars, intensely personal lyrics, and ground-up ingenuity.

Try These Tonight: Natural Ways To Sleep Better

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you just…can’t?

Waking up after a sleepless night is especially tough — even for the peppiest of morning people. It seems like as soon as you shut your eyes, your arch-nemesis alarm clock goes off, reminding you of the work to be done. And you know, right from the beginning, it’s going to be a rough day.

If you’re lucky, the reason for your long night has something to do with lots of laughter and making great memories. If you’re like me, though, it’s probably a rather boring reason: you just couldn’t sleep.

But, thankfully, there are plenty of natural tips and tricks to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and make sure you’re at your best every morning.

Turn off your electronics.
This might seem a bit obvious, but it’s something I only learned last year. When you’re going to bed, turn your phone on do not disturb (or, if you’re brave, turn it all the way off). That way, you won’t be disturbed by buzzing in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t fully wake up, your phone’s noises can disrupt your sleeping pattern.

Don’t take your laptop, tablet, or phone into bed with you. Leave them on your nightstand or in another room. Make your bed a place for you to clear your head and sleep without worrying about your friends on the other side of the screen.

On the same note, try to set a “bedtime” for your electronics an hour or so before you plan on sleeping. Exposure to blue light — aka the kind emitted from screens — will decrease your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. In non-science speak, this means that using your phone or laptop right until you crawl into bed will make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, limit your time on electronics to keep you body’s schedule…well, on schedule.

Set a nighttime routine.
If you have time in your day, consider creating a routine to get you prepared for bed. Do something that relaxes you, like drinking a cup of chamomile tea or taking a bath (just make sure to do these things at least an hour before you actually hit the hay). Dim the lights a little before you plan on going to bed; this will indicate to your body that it’s time to sleep. Work with your body rather than against it — you’ll be able to unwind from your day while easing yourself into sleep.

It’s also helpful to have a sleeping schedule, where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Depending on your situation, this might not be practical, but give it a shot! It couldn’t hurt to try. Remember, our bodies run like clockwork. It’s easier to work with your natural schedule than fight against it.

Get active
Exercising is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep, since your body recovers from physical exertion while you’re asleep. It’s best to exercise in the morning, though — or at least a few hours before bed — since exercise will give your body a boost, making you even more awake.

Fitting in exercise as a regular part of your schedule is great for many reasons, but it can also be hard to manage. If you just can’t get in a trip to the gym, do whatever you can. Take stairs rather than the elevator, or walk around the block during your work break. Any little bit will help you sleep better.

If you’ve tried everything and you’re still unable to sleep, consult a doctor or look into natural dietary supplements, like melatonin or valerian. Sweet dreams!

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Headlines You May Have Missed: July 22

Check out the headlines you may have missed from July 22:

Notorious NYC Pickpocket Caught
Wilfred Rose — who spent multiple decades as a New York City pickpocket — was recently caught at the age of 58. Rose has now been sentenced to 1.5-3 years of jail time because of his repeat offenses of plaguing the pockets of New Yorkers. He shared his story with The New York Times, allowing readers to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be apart of the “Nifty 50″ list of wanted pickpockets.
Read more here.

Fugitive Billionaire Found Dead
South Korean billionaire, Yoo Byung-eun,73, was found dead in South Korea. He was originally an unidentified body but, after DNA tests had been taken, it was confirmed that it was indeed Yoo Byung-eun’s body. He, along with his two sons, were believed to be guilty of embezzlement, tax evasions, and other crimes before purposefully sinking a ferry that had 292 people on it — including many high school students. Although the body of the reclusive billionaire was almost completely decomposed, authorities could match his fingerprints.
Read more here.

Obstructing Justice In Boston Bombing
A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was found guilty in federal court for obstruction of justice within the case. Azamat Tazhayakov was charged with removing a backpack with evidence important to the case in it, and now he has been found guilty. Tazhayakov could face 25 years in jail; his attorney says the verdict will be appealed.
Read more here.

EMTs Involved In Deadly Choke Hold Suspended
The four EMTs who responded to the call after a 400-pound asthmatic, Eric Garner, was tossed to the ground and put in a chokehold have been suspended without pay. Their actions are being investigated in hopes to find out whether they had anything to do with the death and if they could have saved Garner during the fatal incident.
Read more here.

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