DIY: Holiday Recipes

Holiday season is just around the corner! It  is the  best time to pamper family and friends with the ultimate holiday desserts, YUM! Check out these recipes that are guaranteed to make you and your family’s sweet tooth happy. These recipes require you to use the stove or oven, so ask an adult for help on making one of these delicious treats.

Rainbow Cake for Santa

This Oreo inspired recipe wrks best with the help from another person. Plus, it makes it more fun!

For this recipe you will need:

  • 15 Oreo cookies
  • 2 bars of cream cheese
  • 90 grams of no salt butter
  • 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup of table cream
  • 1 cup of condensed milk
  • 2 packages of unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 3 plastic bags with a seal
  • Santa mold (preferably plastic)
  • Red food colorantRainbow pie 1

After you have gathered the ingredients, follow these easy steps:

1.       Take the white center of the cookie and put the cookies into one of the plastic bags. You don’t need the white center part of the cookie for this recipe, so you can eat it or set it aside.

2.       Crush the cookies until there are no more chunks of it. That’s right, it’s just dust!
Rainbow pie 2Rainbow pie 3

3.       Put the cookie dust into a bowl and mix it with butter. Using your hands to mix both ingredients makes the whole process easier!
Rainbow pie 4

4.       Move this mix to the bottom of the mold and push until it is flat.

Rainbow pie 5

5.       Place the mold with the mix into the refrigerator until it is cold and hard.

6.       Mix water with the 2 packages of gelatin and place it into a microwave for 80 seconds.

7.     Next, while the mold is in the refrigerator, get a bowl and mix cream cheese, condensed milk, cream, vanilla extract and the juice of the lemon.
Rainbow pie 8

8.       Wait for the water with gelatin to cool, and, once it’s ready, pour it into the mix.

9.       Keep mixing until there are no more lumps.

10.   Separate the mix into the 4 bags, add food coloring to two and leave the other natural.
Rainbow pie 11

Rainbow pie 12

11.   Take the mold out of the refrigerator and cut a corner of the bag so the mix can be poured into the mold.

12.   Do layers, mixing one layer of red and one layer of natural mix, until you have 4 layers.

Rainbow pie 13

13.   Put the mold with the mix into the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. Then, take the mix out of the mold after the 3 hours are up!
Rainbow pie 17

Rainbow pie 19

Truffles

For this recipe you will need:

  •  200 grams of dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • ¼ cup of whip cream
  • 1/3 cup of hazelnut cream
  • 2 cups of white chocolateRainbow pie 16

 After you have gathered the ingredients, follow these easy steps:

1.      Place a container inside a large pan with water. Then, under a simmering heat, melt the dark chocolate and add the butter, whip cream, and hazelnut cream.

truffles 1

 

truffles 2

2.       Once everything is melted, mix it and put it into the refrigerator for 2 hours.

truffles 3

3.       After the 2 hours, get the mix out of the refrigerator. Use a Parisian spoon to make little balls and put them over sealed paper.

4.       If they’re not hard enough, place them into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

5.       While you wait, start melting the white chocolate in the microwave.

6.      With help of a toothpick, immerse the truffle into the melted white chocolate.

7.       Then, add decorations of chocolate.

8.       Put them into the freezer for a few minutes, enjoy!

Cookie Christmas tree

 For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 recipients
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ¼ tbsp. of salt
  • ½ tbsp. of baking powder
  • 1 bar of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. of milk
  • ½ tbsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 cling wrap
  • Star molds (different sizes)
  • A rolling pin
  • Skewer sticks
  • Vanilla icingcookies 1

After you have gathered the ingredients, follow these easy steps:

1.       In recipient #1 mix flour, salt and baking powder.
cookies 2

2.       In recipient #2 mix melted butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and an egg.
cookies 4cookies 5

3.       Mix recipient #1 and #2 together.

4.       Wrap the mix to the cling wrap and put into the refrigerator for 2 hours.

5.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6.       Put flour in a flat surface and spread the mix with a rolling pin.

7.      Take the star cookie cutter and press gently onto the cookie mix. Don’t forget to use molds of different sizes because this will shape the Christmas tree!

8.       Then, spread a thin layer of butter onto a cookie tray. Place the cookies you just cut out onto the tray and insert tray into the oven.

9.       Bake them until they’re lightly toasted, take them out, and let them cool off for 10 minutes.

10.   After they have cooled down, you are going to stack the cookies into the shape of a Christmas tree. Put them one over the other, from the biggest to the smallest one, on a plate. Put a stick into the center of the top cookie and connect with the rest of the cookies.

11.   Add vanilla icing to decorate the cookies and enjoy!

 

Holiday Punch

Looking for a quick recipe that doesn’t involve an oven? Holiday punch can be just as festive.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 4 guavas
  • 3 pears
  • 3 apples
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • ½ cup Roselle dried flower
  • 1 cup of tamarind
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 ½ lt. of water
  • 250 grams of sugar or piloncillo

 After you have gathered the ingredients, follow these easy steps:

1.       Cut the fruit in small pieces.

2.       Place a cinnamon stick inside a pot of water. Turn on the stove and let the water boil.

3.       Once the water starts to boil, add tamarind, fruits, Roselle dried flower, and sugar or piloncillo.

4.      Keep an eye on the pot and occasionally stir while it heats up. It will be ready when the fruit changes color.

5.       When the fruit changes color, turn off the heat and let it cool.

6.       When it stops boiling, add raisins, mix the contents, and serve.

The holidays provide the perfect opportunities to test out new or old recipes. With the help of an adult, making these recipes can be a breeze!

Aspiring Journalist

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Journalism is a good career for those who are tech savvy and likes to write. Many journalists find themselves writing for newspapers, magazines, and internet sites, or  producing, editing and taking pictures. Time management and being organized are important for succeeding as a journalist, which means you don’t have to wait until college to start preparing for a career in journalism

Middle School and High School Preparation

It is always good to be prepared, so start being active at your school! Most high schools happen to have their own newspaper, yearbooks, and even morning video announcements. Since journalism has many platforms, you can chose one program or even become involved in all of them. Your school’s newspaper is perfect if you love to write, but, if you’re interested in multimedia and graphic design, then yearbook might be a better fit. For the future journalists who prefer to be in front of the camera, try out your school’s morning announcement team. If you’re one of the lucky few, your school might even offer journalism classes! Talk to your counselor to see what is available at your school, you might be surprised of what clubs or programs your school has!

Internships
Internships offer opportunities for you to get experience as a journalist.  Journalism is a popular field, which means finding a job can become competitive. Internships help you stand out from the rest, so the more experience you have the higher your chances of landing a job. Part of the application process as a journalist is showcasing your work, so the more publications and internships you have, the better. Some internships are volunteer based, but, if you work hard, you can land a paid internship.

College Preparation
College is the perfect place to find out what part of journalism you are passionate about. Some people choose to major in journalism because they receive more training, but you don’t need a degree in journalism to succeed. If you are serious about studying journalism in college, you will learn about the history and foundation of the field, new skills and strategies to apply in your career, and will also be able to network with professors who worked in the field!

Journalism is a demanding and hectic career, but it is also fun and worth it. If you have any desire to work in the media industry, journalism is something worth considering.

Hairstyle MatchMaker

There are so many hairstyles in this world, but so little hair! There are so many factors when it comes to picking the perfect style for your hair. Whether you’re a person that’s always on-the-go or someone who likes to take things slow, there is a perfect haircut for everybody! Something that is important to think about when choosing your haircut is your face shape and personality.

Hair Length

Something to carefully consider is the length of your hair; how long or short do you want your hair to be? If you are a girl who is always in a rush to get to school, then a short to medium length is a good option. The longer your hair gets, the more maintenance it requires because it starts to lose its strength. That is why girls with long hair will take longer than a girl with short hair. If you want long healthy hair, then you have to be patient and be willing to work with your hair by buying conditioners and other products to help strengthen it. So, if you’re a chica who is looking for some spice and easy handling, then a cute short hairstyle could be the thing for you.

There are many hairstyles out there that can truly make a girl look cute and professional while saving time by being easy to handle. If you are a girl that has time and the patience, then a long length could be the way to go! Many girls can get irritated by split ends and tangles, and that its why maintaining long hair can be a challenge. Although, with patience comes rewards. Long hair is also a good option for fashionistas who love to do exciting things such as curling and braid hairstyles that can only be obtained with long hair.

Hair Texture

Hair can be thick, thin, straight, wavy, and curly. To find the perfect haircut, think about your hair texture If you want a short hairstyle and you have curly hair, remember that your curls can shrink up the shorter it gets. Therefore, if you cut an inch then the final product is that your hair will get shorter by two inches or more — depending on your curls. Hair can also change depending on the length. For example, a chica with wavy hair might get straighter the shorter the length is. You’ve had your hair for years, so you know how wild or tame it can get. Take some time to understand how exactly your texture changes when it comes to haircuts by straightening it, wetting it, or simply measuring it.

Face Shape

Face shape is also a very important factor when it comes to the foundation of your haircut. A haircut can either compliment or bud heads with it. If you happen to have a round face shape, long hair will actually make it look less round. If you have a shorter hairstyle, your face might appear more rounder. If you happen to have a long face than long hair might make your face look even longer. If you have a square face, then you might consider wanting to get choppy ends to even out your strong-like features.

 

Personality

Your personality can also influence the type of haircut you should get.  A new haircut can boost your confidence, so if you think that you look fabulous with a short bob, even though you have a round face, then go for it! The feeling you get after getting a haircut is mainly influenced by your attitude and personality. If you are fun and creative, and you like long, big curls, then you’ll love long hair. If you’re more on the shy side and don’t want to go a little too crazy, trimming, adding bangs, or even adding layers is the best bet. And if you’re an athlete or an avid traveler, then a short and fun hairstyle would most likely be the best option for you.

 

By picking the perfect haircut, you’ll be enhancing your beauty, personality, and even lifestyle. There are guidelines when it comes to picking hairstyles that flatter your features, but remember that you have the right to break the rules and still be beautiful. The best thing about the haircut is that it is not permanent — hair grows! Have fun and experiment to find the perfect match made in heaven haircut for you. Remember chicas, you’re all fabulous and beautiful.

Finding Your Perfect Look

Fashion for a girl is usually very important, so we all know how stressful it can be looking for an outfit. Everyone has a different style, so remember to just be thinking about what you LOVE when it comes to expanding your wardrobe this school year. By following these rules, you’ll be on your way to becoming the fashion queen at your school!

Make a List

It’s a good idea to make a list before you go shopping. If you are wandering around a store without being prepared, then be prepared to be walking around for a few hours. To make things less stressful and more efficient, make a list! You can write down whatever you want. A suggestion would be to write down your favorite colors. This is usually a good start to making sure you don’t go over budget. You can also maybe write down your favorite animals, flowers, and even patterns! This list will help your creative juices flowing and, in no time, you’ll start to see what kinds of outfits you love. Another suggestion is to write down any of your favorite clothing items that you already own. You might just want to find something else with a similar style.

1016130_299715566840320_2117876336_nDress Appropriate

Since it’s middle school, you’ll have to dress appropriately. Many middle schools actually have dress codes. If you happen to break it, then that’s a pass to the principal’s office. Remember that it’s middle school, so don’t try to show too much skin that will cause concern. If you have a free dress day or don’t have to wear a uniform, check your school’s dress code rules. You can also show the list to your parents and they’ll be able to help you as well when on the hunt for the perfect outfit.

Cute Outfits Don’t Have to Cost a Fortune

When summer ends a ton of sales will start to go up. Plus, there’s always Black Friday (in November) and other deals that happen throughout the year. Every store has a website that advertises their sales. Finding out where the sales are is super easy. First, start with writing down a list of your favorite stores. Then, ask your parents to help you find out about the different sales by going to each store’s main websites. Not only will you be happy, but your parents will be happy with a fuller wallet as well!

Shop Smart

If you find a sale that you absolutely have to go to because your favorite jacket is 50% off, be prepared to get to your favorite stores early! The sale is open to EVERYONE. It’s actually very normal for stores to sell out of specific clothing items because of the good deals. That is why preparation is key. Once you have arrived to your favorite stores, keep the list that you wrote everything on. Pre-planning your shopping list is normal, but don’t be shy to look around. Walk around the store and look at what catches your eye. You might find something cuter and better at the store.

Parent Approval

Congrats, you found your perfect outfit! But, most likely you won’t be paying for it. Your family’s approval is very important because if they like it, then most likely it is school appropriate. And if they are happy, then they may happily pay for your outfit (not always, especially if it’s too expensive).

With the perfect planning and timing, you’ll be able to find your perfect look. Plus, you’ll also be saving a lot of money and making your family happy. Find your perfect look and strut your stuff on throughout the school year.

Beauty Diary

249144_265003270311550_560818037_nFrom Covergirl and Revlon to MAC and Clinique, we are surrounded by advertisements and the pressure to be pretty with the help of cosmetic products. Some girls love makeup while others can’t stand to wear so much as tinted moisturizer. Thus, wearing makeup really means something different to each individual.

Beauty Is Truly In The Eye of The Beholder

The significance of makeup often varies with age. As a young girl, swiping that coveted wand of mascara across your lashes might seem like the ultimate ticket to teendom- and then as one gets older and busier with school, a job, etc., makeup is just a regular part of your day, if you even wore it to begin with. The purpose of makeup can be controversial, especially when it comes to figuring out how to use it and understand the meaning behind putting something on your face that is not naturally there. Having a healthy idea of one’s image without makeup helps with having a healthy relationship with cosmetic products.

The Purpose of Makeup

Rising junior at Trinity University and Biology major, Celina Provencio, says: “Makeup should be used to enhance natural beauty, [so] I don’t like to wear a lot. Just to enhance the features I have. I am more likely to wear makeup when I go out.” For Celina, an average day of makeup application means some blush, concealer and mascara for a natural everyday look that glows. As a girl who started wearing a basic and minimal powder, mascara and blush combo in middle school, she considers the beauty industry to be more helpful than harmful.

When asked about what the makeup and the beauty industry means for women, she stated, “It is helpful in giving a confidence boost when enhancing your features, but it [creates obstacles] when you rely on it to make you feel beautiful.”  A confidence boost can come from anything like covering up some blemishes to having some sparkly eyeliner for prom. The important thing to remember is that makeup does not make someone beautiful, but rather the belief that they are beautiful shines, no matter what product you do or don’t wear. And, as long as you wear makeup, knowing this and that it is ok to indulge in dolling yourself up if you like to do that- you are three steps ahead of anyone telling you differently.

Makeup is essentially about owning your beauty. Wear your makeup proudly if it helps you feel pretty, just don’t let your makeup wear you.  Remember that a bare face is perfect just the way it is, and while a touch of blush and a stroke of mascara won’t change your life, it can be fun to play up your already gorgeous looks.

Leading Chicas of YouTube

imagesSometimes surfing the internet can either be very fun or very boring. Maybe you have a day where there aren’t any updates from your favorite tweeters, or maybe you’ve spent just too much of your time scrolling through Tumblr. For days like these, Andrea Acevedo, 13, likes to head over to YouTube. “I check out YouTube when I’m bored to see if there are any new funny videos,” she says, “and a lot of times, there are.”

Of course, you might be asking yourself, ‘But where do I start?’ YouTube is a HUGE website with a variety of videos. From the weird to the funny, there are so many different v-loggers (video bloggers) out there and each v-logger has either a little or a huge fan base. Here are five female YouTube stars whose videos you should check out:

Dulce- dulcecandy

Dulce is a Latina from California with 1.5 million followers. She also happens to be the official beauty blogger of Cosmo for Latinas! Her videos focus on makeup, hair, DIY videos, and nail tutorials. Fun fact: She even has a La Llorona costume tutorial.

 

Kathy Cano-Murillo- craftychica

Kathy is a Latina whose channel is all about crafting! If you’re into crafting, or want to do a little DIY with your friends or family, check her out. She has videos on jewelry, art, and clothes, all ranging from easy to hard depending on your level. She has over 11,000 followers, so make sure to subscribe if you like her videos!

Bethany Mota- bethanymota

From sunny California, Bethany has 5 million followers! She has A LOT of DIY videos for those of you who want to fill your summer days with projects. The girl is so popular that she even has her own clothing line with Aeropostle!

Kat Lazo- TheeKatsMeoww

With over 1,000 followers, Kat is a Latina who vlogs about her life as a woman and her experiences in this day and age. She’s open and honest in all of her videos, so if you want to know more about feminism  and women in the media then you should definitely check out her video feed.

Bunny Meyer- grav3yardgirl

From the Houston area, Bunny has almost 2.6 million followers, or as she likes to call them, Swamp Family Members. Bunny’s channel has videos ranging from fashion and thrift hauls to her popular Does This Thing Really Work? In this segment she tests makeup and “As Seen on TV” products. Bunny is very open about her life experiences and has a habit of making everyone feel comfortable and loved during her videos.

Whether you end up liking these particular YouTuber or you click through the different recommended videos and find someone who you really love, YouTube is a great place to check out and connect with those who have similar interests as you. “I’ve learned so much from YouTube, and I love how I’m able to find new and different ways to connect with people,” says Martha Garcia, 17. “It’s even better when they’re Latina because I really like seeing others like me being represented on YouTube.”

Staying Fit for a Healthier You

Fitness is a mixture of staying physically active and eating a variety of foods to help keep your heart, mind and body balanced. Most people choose a fit life because they want to feel great about themselves, because when you feel good it shows on the outside — great vibes all around!

Benefits of Exercising

Latinitas El Paso - Summer Camp, Yoga Session

Latinitas El Paso – Summer Camp, Yoga Session

Physical activity can reduce stress and help you feel content. Brain chemicals, called serotonin are released during exercise, and they improve your overall mindset. Melissa Gomez, 7, says, “I like to ride my bike on trails. My dad takes me to the park and I ride my bike and he walks. I go a lot with my dad since my friends don’t live around here.”

Staying Active

Working out with a friend helps keep you motivated to have an active lifestyle. Being on a team helps create a tight bond with friends. For example, Angelina Diaz, 27, says, “I like to come to the park with both my aunt and my three daughters. I like watching them have fun.”

Her daughter, Mya, 3, jumps from one end of the hill to the next. “I would like to see my daughters live an active lifestyle. I know they look up to me. I do play soccer. I met some of my best friends on my team. So, as they get older I will encourage them to take up soccer like I am,” Diaz says.

Mya screams out, “Swing!” and proceeds to run from the hill top to the swing at the playground. Diaz says that though her aunt and other family members are overweight, she does her best to limit fast food and encourage more time outside so that her children remain consistently active.

In a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011-2012, it found that Hispanic obesity (being overweight) was slightly higher than any other group at a percent of 22.4% that set off the epidemic into adulthood. Having an active lifestyle at a young age helps decrease chances of obesity into adulthood. The benefits of physical exercise include the prevention of cardiovascular disease and obesity, as well as improving overall health, being more energetic, and being more confident.

Jenna Duenez, 8, says, “I play handball at school every day.” Her mother is quick to say that it isn’t only about being active, but the types of food consumed.

“It’s also a matter of what chemicals are in our foods. We live a no meat, no dairy diet and find that my daughter is growing with these eating habits just fine,” Duenez’ mother explains.

Duenez says, “I like coming to the park with my brother and mom. We like to walk around and play on the playground.”

Eating healthy means having a balanced diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. Even though Duenez does not eat meat or dairy products, like milk and cheese, you can lead a healthy lifestyle by reducing the amount of junk food, like chips, coke, fast food, etc., in your diet.

Melissa Gomez, 7, says, ““I don’t drink soda’ cause it rots your teeth…I drink lots of water… it helps me stay cool.”

Finding the Motivation to Exercise

Though overweight children have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self esteem, Kimberly Avalos, 13, and Ana Espinoza, 14, are the best of friends with the same journey. Avalos says, “I used to be a little thicker, well chubby. I was always so depressed.”

Espinoza adds, “Me too! I really wanted to feel better about myself. I was hoping to join the dance team by this year, so last summer Kimberly and me started running at the school park. Then we got into doing yoga to help stay flexible, and,well….”

“Now we’re both on the dance team,” Avalos finishes.

Avalos explains, “I get why we run in gym class. I get that it helps our self-esteem. It’s helped mine. When I see other people in gym who don’t try, Ana and I like to be positive and tell them, “You can do it. Hustle! Hustle! Hustle!”

“We mainly try to say encouraging positive words because we both know how it was to be chubby.”

Having a positive support group, like your best friend, can be the motivation you need to go start exercising. A little “sì, se puede” from a friend can make a 15 minute walk around the park seem like 1 minute!

Ana adds, “Staying active starts off slow.

“There is a lot of pressure to look good from artists like Becky G and Jennifer Lopez, I like to tell myself that I do this to feel better about myself, to be a better person and be body powerful,” Espinoza adds.

Physical education can encourage a fit body and mind. It helps fuel the mind and pumps the heart to alleviate the stress and prepare students to do their best in school.

You too can take small steps in achieving a fit lifestyle. Encourage family and friends to ride bikes to the park or walk around town to find a new location to talk to talk to other kids your age.

Gluten-Free Dessert Pizza

Gluten intolerance has become more common in many people today.  More often than not, many are gluten intolerant without even knowing! Being gluten intolerant means your body is rejecting gluten, which is commonly found in foods process from wheat. They may be experiencing stomach troubles and not able to figure out why this is so. Since gluten intolerance is becoming more and more common, many foods have become available to these people in the past year or so.

This  gluten-free dessert pizza recipe is for those who are gluten intolerant but still want to be able to eat delicious foods like everyone else! Not to mention, this may be more healthy than many other desserts out there.

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What You Will Need:

Crust:

1 large ripe banana

1 box Gluten Free Graham Crackers

3 tbsp agave (or honey)

Frosting:

3/4 container Cool Whip

1/4 cup cream cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup sugar

Before beginning, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

To start off, crush the graham crackers until it becomes almost like a flour texture. To do this, you can use a food processor or manually. After this is done, add the ripe banana and agave, or honey, into the graham cracker crumbs. Combine these ingredients with either an electric mixer or a fork, so that the banana is mashed completely or until the mixture will turn into a dough.

Next, grease a baking sheet, and roll out your dough mixture onto the sheet—flattening it into your desired shape. If you would like, indent the edges of the dough with a fork (like you would on empanadas) to add a little decoration to it.

Once this is done, place the crust into the oven for 12-15 minutes. Check on it periodically. It is done when the crust has a cookie-like texture.

While the crust is baking, prepare the frosting topping.

Add all the frosting ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir until the frosting is whipped and creamy. Refrigerate the frosting mixture until it becomes firm. While the topping is firming up, let the crust cool down on the baking sheet.

To decorate your dessert pizza, grab your favorite fruits and other toppings such as nuts and seeds. Set them out and have them ready to use as toppings for your dessert pizza while your frosting is firming up and your crust is cooling down.

Decorate your pizza however you desire and have fun with it! It is healthy and safe to eat for those who are gluten intolerant.

Family VS Facebook

1374166_668942679783592_214847276_nFacebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. The social media world; entertaining, but can also become harmful to people. Have you ever seen a person that never has time for anything else but surfing through their phone on social media? What if a close family member or friend is too busy on their social network to spend time with you or even acknowledge that you are there?

According to statistics found on The Guardian Liberty Voice, “when habits begin to interfere with daily lives – where one simply can’t do anything else until they’ve had their social media ‘fix’ – then it has become an addiction.” One doesn’t only like to get on social networks daily, it becomes you, you cannot seem to go with your day without getting ‘online’; after a while it simply becomes an addiction to social networks. 

These social networks have become more than a part of our lives, but part of who we are and what we choose to do on a daily basis.

Mom VS Facebook

Sometimes when I get home from school and something exciting happens I would like to run home and tell my mom, but recently it has become a war for her attention between myself and Facebook.When we hear her laugh it is because of a picture she saw, when she talks to me is to help her navigate better through Facebook. It has been bothering me and I didn’t know how to face it, until I just learned to accept it. Once I wasn’t paying attention to her anymore she noticed she was excluding everyone around her and realized the mistake she had done, and now she only uses Facebook when she has nothing to do or no one to talk to, she learned to make time for her social media use and myself.

Stephanie, 18, had a similar experience like mine. ”I love my Mom, but sometimes I just want to yell at her because all she does is Photoshop me in pictures and post them on Facebook, everyone would see and some of those pictures were embarrassing. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I had to tell her to stop because she wasn’t even paying attention to me, she wasn’t even doing her job good, and she wasn’t paying any attention to her family. It got to a point where she was ‘talking Facebook’, she would used to say. ‘Ooh, Like! Poke! 50 Likes, yes’ and she would post every 30 seconds to say exactly what she was doing, even when she was going to shower! It was already to another level, she had gone over board. Good thing we… talked some sense into her. Now, she only gets on social networks when she’s bored at home and I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said Stephanie.

The Pew Research and Project claim how “a widely-reported 2006 study argued that since 1985 Americans have become more socially isolated, the size of their discussion networks has declined, and the diversity of those people with whom they discuss important matters has decreased.” People care less and less about social interaction face-to-face now with the new technologies and have been socially alone, and the ethnic group that belongs to this is mostly Americans.

“My best friend was always on it, she even started missing school because she would stay up until 5 in the morning on social networks, posting pictures, looking at her feed, it got to a point where I had to do an intervention to show her how bad social networks were affecting her. She realized then how it was also affecting everyone around her. I just think everyone needs a balance, everything must be done with moderation,” said Lizzeth, 24.

Social networks can be entertaining and fun, but if you choose not to do it with moderation, there will be consequences. Being stuck to our electronic devices daily can affect how we behave and cause us to miss out on special moments with people that matter. Put down the phone and go look at the world, enjoy the priceless times you get with your loved ones and you can go back to the social media world when you have absolutely nothing better to do. Use it as a way to get away from reality once in a while, but don’t let that take away time from precious moments you could be spending with someone you love.

Planning For Your Future

College Chica, 2013

College Chica, 2013

Do you know what you want to study or what you want to be when you grow up? If you don’t, that’s okay. Your parents or friends have probably encouraged you to start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up so you can pick the best college for you. From financial aid to finding the perfect university, they might have shared some advice because they are concerned about your future.

You might know what you want to be when you grow up or maybe you’re just barely thinking about it. Knowing what you want to be when you grow up increases the opportunities that you can take advantage of in middle school and high school. Even if you are torn between two dream jobs, knowing what type of career you are interested in helps in knowing what type of scholarships you can apply to , and you can start early in your career by picking classes in high school that will give you a head-start in your dream job.

“I want to be an FBI agent, I was so ready for college and ready to have fun, but I never thought it was going to be this hard. I should’ve listened to everyone; college is really expensive, I can barely afford it, and I have to take out a lot of loans just to get by. I should’ve applied for scholarships and applied to more colleges. I procrastinated too much,” said Jocelyn, 20.

Even though she knew what she wanted to study, she didn’t plan for her future. Unlike Jocelyn, girls like Xochitl whom needed extra time to figure things out had a back up plan in high school.

“I didn’t quite know exactly what I wanted to be or what to study, but when I was a senior in high school I applied to all of the scholarships available, even if I thought I wouldn’t get it. I applied everywhere no matter how hard it was,” said Xochitl, 23.

She started early, even if she didn’t know what to study she kept applying everywhere. Some were a miss, but in the end she did wind up receiving enough money to pay for everything and still had some leftover money.

Even if you already know what college or university you want to go to, it is recommended for you to apply to more than one school and multiple scholarships because it is always better to have a plan B, just in case.

“Of course, I didn’t win all the scholarships, but the more you apply the more chances you have of winning one. I got two scholarships; I paid my tuition, my books, and everything I needed for school. I still had $2,000 left all for myself, but I bet if I knew what I wanted to study like I do now I would’ve gotten more scholarships,” said Xochitl.

Preparation may not be easy, might take awhile, or you might think you still have a long way to go, or that you will do it later, but take advantage of the time where you have nothing to do and start brainstorming. It’s never too early to start.

If you start planning your future now who knows, you might get more money than you ever expected. If you don’t you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket or with loans. Loans are often the last resort, and it’s not the best financial decision because you’ll be in debt. The worst thing you can do is to not apply at all. Planning ahead will not only help you financially, it will reduce the stress. Start planning, little by little, it might be stressful having so many options thinking of your life, what you want to do with it, but it will all be worth it in the end.

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