Dealing with Family Problems

Hispanic girk looking sadFamilies are those whom we can rely on for support, for love and those whom we have a special bond with, but we don’t always choose to embrace our feelings towards one another.

According to Psychology Today, it is common to have family problems, especially when living with several teenagers at home with their parents. Some of these issues include alcoholism, abuse, feelings of guilt, depression, financial, and anger towards family members.

The Better Health Channel shares three tips on how to overcome these common problems that can be sometimes be too hard to deal with.

1. Communication
Even though it is a cliché when someone says “Communication is key,”  it is true. “A lot of the times, unwanted problems arise because we don’t talk to each other enough. If we could communicate more with one another, we wouldn’t have to deal with the extra stress of unnecessary problems,” says Bianca, 24. Talking might sometimes be difficult, especially when it is something that is bothering you, but even a small amount of communication goes a long way. Keep in mind that the idea is to resolve the conflict, not win the argument.

2. Listen
Try to stay calm by putting your emotions aside and don’t interrupt the other person while they are speaking. Sometimes we are too stubborn to realize that we are letting our pride get in the way of fixing our problems. Understanding what they are saying by asking questions through an open and honest discussion will be beneficial in the long run.

3. Seek Help
If it is a more serious problem where communication is not possible, seek professional help. “When I was going through some intense family problems, I didn’t know what to do. I decided to go to my school counselor and talk about it, it took a lot for me to go, but I couldn’t deal with it alone. And now I can talk to my family about it and things are slowly getting better,” says Mary, 19.

Whether it’s talking with your family or with a counselor, you are not alone. You don’t have to deal with your family problems by yourself. Millions of people are dealing with the same things you are. Communication is key, listen to your heart, and seek for what you need.

“My family and I don’t have a good communication environment. My parents are old school and they think their way is the right way. And there’s no way of  telling them otherwise. I was so fed up and tired with everything that I decided to take it into my own hands. I made my parents listen to me. I made them see how much stress and pain they were putting me through. And that was the smartest thing I could’ve done,” says 22 year-old Clarissa.

Even when you think it’s inevitable, something can be done about it. You just have to speak up, let your voice be heard. Clarissa adds, “I have never been this happy with my life, taking a stand for myself  was the scariest and the best thing I’ve done in my life.”

Crafty Gift Ideas

We all tend to do our gift shopping last minute, and sometimes we can’t find what we want because it is last minute. But why not, instead of stressing out at store check-out lines or whether they would like it or not, why not give them something they’ll love and keep forever.

Crochet Candleholder

DIYCandleHolder
You’ll need: old crochet doilies, a balloon, wallpaper glue, and a battery-operated light
Steps: First soak five doilies into the glue, inflate the balloon, the bigger the balloon the bigger the candleholder is. Glue the doilies on the balloon right next to each other, let them overlap a little. Hang the balloon upside down to let it dry. When it’s dry pop the balloon, and there you go, a beautiful candleholder.

Mason Jar Prism Light

DIYPrismLight
You’ll need: Mason jar, round glass decorative elements, ribbon or twine, e3600 glue, tea light, lighter, and brushes
Steps: First apply the glue to the brushes, then apply it on to the Mason jar. Next apply the round glass decorations in the Mason jar all around right next to each other from top to bottom or the jar. Wait about 15-20 minutes while the glue dries. Then apply the ribbon or twine around the top of the jar to add a little more decorative touches, then insert the tea light inside of the jar and watch how it makes your room shine beautifully.

 

Decorated Coasters

DIYCoasters
You’ll need: Mod Podge (glue), a glue gun, roll of thin cork, Spray Acrylic Sealer, Foam Brushes, Small Tiles, and Photographs or Scrapbook paper
Steps: First with the hot glue gun, glue a squared piece of cork to the back of the tile, make sure it is firmly glued to the tile. Cut out any pretty scrapbook paper or any photographs that you’d like to decorate the coasters with the size of the tile. Put mod podge on the tile where you are placing the paper, place the picture and put mod podge on the picture and the tile until it is firmly on the tile. Let it dry for 10 minutes, then add a second layer of mod podge on the tile and the picture. Then you have to add 3 layers of Acrylic sealer, after every layer, wait 2 minutes. After you see that it’s dry, your decorated coasters are done and ready!

 

Now, you can give many different kinds of presents to your family that will make their heart smile.

Girl Talk: Tips to De-Stress

In order to fight stress, first you have to know what it is. Stress is a a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, may it be at work, school, bullying or even family. Stress can result in insomnia, extreme fatigue, headaches, tense muscles and an upset stomach among others. I bet you’ve felt this way before, maybe you were nervous about a presentation in school or an interview for a job or internship. Now the first thing to do is to find what’s causing you to feel this way and how to deal with it. Follow these steps to de-stess.

  1. Start a journal: Find a little notebook or diary as your stress outlet. Besides writing the highlights of your day, write about the things that are making you feel stressed.

  2. Find a special place: Search for a place where you feel relaxed and comfortable to be yourself. It can be your room, backyard or the coffee shop down the street. Go there anytime you feel like being alone and disconnecting of the world.

  3. Find a hobby: Hobbies can be a great distraction. Just try not to spend so much time at it. Remember responsibilities are always first. Try drawing, painting or playing a musical instrument.

  4. Make a calendar: If you’re stressed because of the amount of assignments or activities during your week, then write them in order of priority,. Write deadlines and dates to start working on them if they will take more than a day to do. Mark them as you finish each one of them. This way you’ll see what you’ve accomplished and feel more motivated to do the rest.

  5. Exercise regularly: Not only is it a way to stay healthy physically, but exercise is also great to help your brain. Physical activity enhances memory and learning. Exercising helps your body release endorphins, which are pain killers and will make you feel really happy. Try a sport to make everything more interesting and maybe find a workout buddy. Yoga is the ultimate stress reliever.

  6. Get enough sleep: Do you remember all those cranky mornings? Well that’s because sleep is very important for your emotional well-being. If you don’t sleep enough, you’re not able to function properly. Don’t even think about handling stress when you’re sleepy; it won’t work. If you didn’t sleep those beautiful 8 hours, try a power nap during the day. You don’t know how valuable it is until you try it. Just don’t oversleep.

  7. Pamper yourself: You don’t have to go to the spa or spend a large amount of money. Simple ways to pamper yourself can be done at home. You can take a bath, moisturizing and putting cucumbers over your eyes while you listen your favorite song.

  8. Focus on the positive stuff: Of course stress can be caused by more than one thing, but try to think of all of the good things in your life. It may not change the situation, but thinking of the good things can help you feel better. Some gratitude and positivity can be a big help in de-stressing. Think about the good things in life, you’ll know where to find the support you need.

Now that you know the tips to handle stress, try each one of them and feel the difference.
Good Luck!

Latin@ and Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, which affects our daily life in a variety of different ways. A healthy mental state affects how people interact with other individuals, form relationships, handle stressful situations, and be able to perform daily tasks without much difficulty. However, when there is a disruption or compromise of an individual’s state of being, problems begin to arise.sadgirl

Over the past couple of years there has been an increase of public awareness of what mental health is, the stigmas present, and the symptoms of a mental health illness. The National Alliance of Mental Illness found that  approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States (43.7 million) experiences a mental illness in a given year.

Programs have slowly popped up in multiple ways: from city-run campaigns to student-created clubs in school to increase awareness. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, about about 50.6% of children aged  8-15 received mental health services in a past year. The hope of this is to allow individuals that might be struggling in their daily life to reach out for help without being stigmatized by their peers.

Mental Illness and the Latino Community

Having a mental health illness is a serious issue and needs treatment so the individual can continue to perform at their normal capacity. In the Latino Community, symptoms of a mental health illness are usually dismissed or are written off as an attempt for attention, and mental health illnesses are heavily stigmatized. This combination usually prevents the individual from receiving help.

Celeste Nevarez, who earned her Masters of Counseling Psychology from Arizona State, is a licensed psychiatrist who works at the Family Service of El Paso. A native of El Paso, she decided to return to her city after graduation to help her community; she now works at a non-profit organization that offers counseling regardless of ability to pay and is a professor at El Paso Community College. Passionate about her work, she is determined to improve the mental health scene of the city.

Nevarez states that having a mental health illness can be due to a combination of genetics, psychology, and the social environment of the individual. Lacking a family history of mental health illness does not mean that the person is immune, mental health knows “no gender, race, culture, [or] religion.” Mental health illnesses do not discriminate, everyone is vulnerable. According to Nevarez, the best thing for someone that is suffering from a mental illness is to seek professional help if possible- especially if his/her case becomes dangerous; however, sometimes having support from a peer might help.

However, this might sometimes be hard to come by. Nevarez believes that the Latino Community is proud and tough, and asking for help to treat a mental health illness signals that the person is weak and that something is wrong with them. She thinks that the stigma might come from a combination of culture, religion, stereotypes of “crazy” people, and shame placed on the individual and on the family. Nevarez often hears similar lines to “‘it is just a faze,’ ‘nothing is wrong with you,’ and ‘I need help.’ ‘But you’re not crazy,’” when someone attempts to reach out for help.

Treatment of a Mental Illness

By prolonging treatment the individual might feel isolated if no support is given and that is one of the worst things to happen. Nevarez argues that the lack of treatment could possibly make the mental health illness might take a turn for the worst. Although there has been improvement of slowly breaking down the stigma and more people reaching out for help, Nevarez believes that there is still a long way to go.

With the continuation of breaking down stigmas and making mental health services easier to access, those in the Latino community will be able to reach the help that they need. Those that are asking for help should not be ignored or laughed at, but understood and supported through their struggles.

Finding Your Shade

Makeup is found both in the drugstore and high end stores, but finding the right shade and product can be tricky, especially for Latinas.

The following is a guide for chicas who are looking to play with makeup, and to those experienced ones who are looking for extra tips. So, andando!

1. Foundation and powder
Undertone and skin type
It is important to know this, as your foundation needs to work with your skin efficiently.

There are many steps to find your undertone. One of them is to look at your veins. Do they look green? You are warm toned. Are they blue? You must be cool toned. Can’t figure it out or you see a mixture of both? You might be neutral.

Another method is to try on gold and silver jewelry, pero don’t worry, they don’t have to be real!

  • Do you look better in gold ? You are warm. Silver? You are cool toned.
  • Or is it both? Then you’re neutral.

2. Now, onto your skin type. Look in the mirror.

  • Do you have oil and shine everywhere ? You have oily skin, chica. No oi
  • Okay, next question.Does your skin feel tight or have dry patches? Dry skin is what you have.
  • No to oil or dryness? Normal skin.
  • Don’t worry if you have a combination of skin types because, guess what? Yes, you have combo skin.

3. Next,use your skin tone (warm, neutral, cool) to look for some foundation to try on.
If you’re on a budget, the drugstore might be helpful. Unfortunately, some brands do not have enough shades for darker skinned Latinas. Thankfully, brands like L’Oreal have shades for all skin tones. Keep in mind that you can’t open the product in store, but you can return it to most drug stores as they accept returns if you are unsatisfied. Foundations can be tested in some high end stores, such as the famous Sephora. The great thing is that you can get personal help from a Sephora makeup artist.

Okay, if you would like to find a foundation shade for yourself, then swatch some shades on to your jawline to choose one that closely matches your face and neck.

For powder follow the same steps for foundation.

4. Blush, bronzer and highlighter
Blush: perks up your skin
Bronzer: creates more dimension and definition. Can be used to contour.
Highlighter: makes the face look like it’s glowing and radiant.
With all of these products, there aren’t strict rules of how to use them. In fact, you can use a light pink blush on deeper skin tones. Try what you like. You do you!
To apply, you can use makeup sponges or brushes. Ecotools and Real Techniques are some good affordable makeup brushes.
For beginners, definitely start a small amount and then build it up to your liking.

5.  Eye shadow
With eye makeup, the sky’s the limit as some girls prefer light colors and others bolder looks. You can use brushes or even your fingers to apply.
Usually the lightest color goes on the brow bone.
The mid tone color goes on the lids.
And the darkest color goes usually on the crease.

6. Eyeliner
There are many forms of eyeliner: gel, pencil, and liquid. A separate brush is used for gel eyeliner where a slanted one will be easier to apply. For pencil make sure to sharpen it for smoother application

7. Just have fun! 

The Mexic-Arte Museum

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.40.59 PMGoing to a museums is all about learning different histories and cultures. And the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas is the epitome of just that.

The museum opened in 1984 and was founded by Sylvia Orozco, Sam Coronado, and Pio Pulido. This museum started off with artwork based around Mexican culture throughout Texas. It opened with a festival for the Day of the Dead in the fall, and from that day on it offered different programs that allowed attendees to learn about the culture.

Four years after its opening, the museum was moved to its current location, right in the center of downtown Austin. The history section on the museum’s website says, “A total of 75, 000 visitors ranging from enthusiastic children to art connoisseurs, tour the museum each year.”

And it’s partly because the entire feel of the museum has a sort of Hispanic/Latin vibe to it. Although the museum focuses around Mexican culture, the art held in it is not all made by Mexican artists. There is currently art from a range of Latina women whether it be Mexican or Venezuelan or Spanish.

The Contemporary Art Collection this past march showcased recent work from artists such as Adriana Corral and Teresa Cervantes.

Along with this collection is the Changarrito Collection: 2012 – 2014. This annex gallery, named Selections from the Changarrito Permanent Collection from 2012 – 2014,showcases work from residencies of the Changarrito. The Mexic-Arte Museum says,

“The Changarrito Project is an international traveling mobile gallery that provides an alternative method of showcasing artwork for contemporary artists. Mexic-Arte Museum received one of the Changarrito carts, and has invited over 15 artists to participate. Works acquired from these residencies will be on display, ranging from tapes, zines, toys,miniature sculpture, paintings, sketches, and other portable works on paper.”

Below are various works of art from the Contemporary Art Collection as well as the Changarrito Collection. Both of these collections were at the museum until May 31, 2015.

To find out more about the museum, its hours, location, and programs, visit the website here.

 

DIY: Lace-Trim Shorts

lace-trim-shorts

We can all agree that trendy shorts can be a little over-priced. There are a variety of shorts that are in style such as high-waisted, distressed, and detailed, yet we may still have trouble finding the style that best suits us. So, instead of worrying about the money and whether you will find the right shorts that fit your taste, why not take it into your own hands and make them yourself?

Step number one is to go to your local thrift store, such as Goodwill, to find any high-waisted pants that are your desired size. Some may be a little big, but just find the ones that work best for you. Now that you have your high-waisted pants, you will also need a pair of scissors and some tweezers for the distressing process.

To begin, you will want to first cut off one pant leg to the desired length of shorts that you will want. Then, fold the cutoff leg over on top of the other pant leg, and cut the uncut pant leg so that the shorts are even. At this time, you may not begin to distress your trimmed shorts by using the tweezers to pull on some of the threads at the ends of the cutoff part of the shorts. You can even use sandpaper or a nail filer to distress the shorts more if you prefer. Next, you can cut slits on the front of the shorts and use the tweezers again to add more distressing.

Remember: The distressing part is based on your preferences and style.

For this next part, you will need some hot water, bleach, a stick, a bucket, and your shorts. Pour in the bucket two parts water and one part bleach, and proceed by dunking shorts into the mixture. To make sure they are evenly in the water mixture, use the stick to move the shorts around so that the shorts are entirely soaked. Let sit for 20-30 minutes depending on how quickly your shorts are discolored. After this is done, take shorts out of bucket and rinse them in the sink under some cold water. Try to wring as much water out of the shorts, and toss them into the dryer until they are completely dry.

Next, you will need some lace and fabric glue that you can find at any sewing or craft store. You will need to measure the amount of lace you will need to wrap around the inside part of the bottom of your shorts, and cut off the amount you need. Apply the fabric glue to the part of the lace that you will be attaching to your shorts until the ends meet. Gradually attach, and complete both sides of your shorts with this process.

Depending on your style and fashion preferences, you may add any other details to your shorts such as garlands. Allow a sufficient amount of time for the fabric glue to dry, and your shorts are complete!

DIY: Father’s Day Gifts

Finding out what to give your dad on Father’s day can be extremely hard. And sometimes, even when you have the best idea ever, you may not have money for it! So what’s the point?

Well, giving him a gift is still a great idea, and, believe it or not, there are ways to give him a gift without having to spend a whole lot of money. It’s the “Do It Yourself” (DIY) system. The following gifts will be things that can be made at home with all sorts of household objects, as well as fairly cheap arts and crafts that can be bought at most stores.

 

Father’s Day Goodie Bag: fast and easy and thoughtful. This bag is going to just be a mixture of things your dad likes.

Supplies:
-      Paper bag (brown or white, whatever you prefer)
-      Something to write on the bag with
-      Different things your dad likes (snacks, pictures, little games, notes)

Steps:
1. Take the paper bag and write a note on the front of it. It can say something as simple as “Happy Father’s Day” or “Father’s Day Goodie Bag.” It can be anything you’d like so he knows it’s for him on his day. Feel free to decorate the outside of the bag however you like. If you have any other crafts at home, you can definitely use those as well. Draw pictures on the bag if you’d like, too.
2. Now all you to do is put the things your dad likes in the bag.  Then fold the top of the bag closed so he can’t peek in it without you knowing.
3. You can either place the bag on the kitchen table for him to find in the morning, or give it to him yourself. When he opens it, he’ll be happy to find all kinds of things for him to enjoy on Father’s Day, as well as later on.

 

The Wallet Surprise: All you have to do is make “coupons” for your dad and hide them in his wallet.

Supplies:
-      Paper
-      Markers/pens/crayons
-      Scissors

Steps:
1. Take a sheet of paper, fold it in half “burger” style, then fold it in half “taco” style, and then fold it in half one more time “burger” style.
2. Unfold the sheet of paper, take your scissors, and cut along the folded lines of the paper. You should have six small rectangles by the time you finish.
3. Take your markers/pens/crayons or whatever it is you’re using to write on them, and write down things you will do for your dad that you don’t normally do. It’s all up to you, and it can be funny things or serious things, it can even be chores. Ex. “I will do the dishes without complaining” or “I will tell you one joke every day for the rest of the week”
4. Once you write down what you want, feel free to decorate them however you want. Remember, this is a gift from you to your dad. The more it looks like something you both like, the better. Don’t forget to put your name on them somewhere so he knows they’re from you.
5. When you finish, and when he’s not looking, find his wallet (or ask your mom or siblings to help you with this if you need to), and place the coupons in there without him knowing. Then the next time he looks in his wallet, he’ll find the coupons waiting for him and it’ll be a surprise!

 

Father’s Day card:
This sounds very simple, and it is, but it’s also a great gift to tell your dad how much you love him.

Supplies:
-      Paper (it can be notebook paper, or a white sheet of printer paper would be good too)
-      Markers/crayons/color pencils

Steps:
1. Take the paper and fold it in half, “burger” style.
2. It should look just like a card now. Make sure the folded side is on your left, and the side that opens is on your right. This is just so your card isn’t upside down when you finish.
3. Now, take one of your writing utensils and write, on the front, “5 Things I Love About My Dad”
4. Then write the numbers 1-5 below that, make sure you leave space so you can write down what you love about him.
5. Write down five things you love about him. They don’t have to be serious, and they don’t have to be silly. All you have to do is think about anything you love about him and fill in the blanks.
6. Open the card, and write something Father’s Day related on it. Again, this can be whatever you like. Ex. “Happy Father’s Day!” or “Thanks for being the best dad ever!”
7. Once you’re done, sign your name on the inside so he knows who it’s from. Now, on Father’s Day, all you have to do is hand him the card!

 

Father’s Day Poem: This explains itself, and comes straight from the heart. You will need:

Supplies:
-       Paper
-       Anything to write with (it would probably be best to start with a pencil just in case you make a mistake)
-      Frame to fit the paper (it will probably be an 8×11 frame)

Steps:
1. Take your paper and start writing! Start in pencil, if you want, and go over with some color when you’re done. Remember, poems can rhyme, but they don’t have to. Just make sure it’s a poem about your dad. If you need help writing a poem or remember different kinds of poems, feel free to click here.
2. If you haven’t yet, give the poem a title.
3. Go over the poem again with a marker or crayon or pen, if you want.
4. You can always decorate the page afterwards to. Draw a picture of your favorite time spent with your dad, if you want.
5. Place the poem into the frame.
6. Give it to your dad on Father’s Day! And because it’s framed, he won’t lose it and can keep it forever.

 

Father’s Day dessert:
Most, if not all dads, love desserts. So what better gift to give than something you make yourself? To do this, you’ll probably need some help from another parent or one of your brothers or sisters or even a friend.

Supplies:
-      Because every dad is different, there won’t be a specific recipe for you to use. Just think of your dad’s all-time favorite dessert ever. Cookies? Cupcakes? Flan?
Steps:
-      Go out and buy the ingredients for this dessert (you’ll probably do this with the person helping you).
-      The day before Father’s Day, start baking/making it. This is so you aren’t waiting for it to be ready on Father’s Day, but it’ll still be fresh for him the next day.
-      In the morning, surprise him with your gift! But let him know it’s dessert so he can’t have it until after lunch or dinner.

Poem: El Sol

El Sol by Celeste Ledesma

The garbage man,
Our country once called
Him a no one, a ghost
Of nothing that slipped
In through the night of our
Nation and wouldn’t dare
Leave the shadows.

Our country then called
Him a someone, finally,
A someone who didn’t belong
In civilian clothing,
And so he was shuffled
Into the light of the Vietnam War.

He reflects to anyone who will listen:
I fought for my America, not the one
That looks into the waters of the Rio
And sees the blue eyes of Jesus Christ
But doesn’t see the brown of the muddy tears
He cries…Sabes que , that’s not mud, it’s my sister
And her children crossing the battlefield
Of a different kind of war.

The garbage man,
Our neighbors eventually called
Him Antonio because when
The war was won, or lost,
Or who remembers… they were allowed
To know he was real in the small space
Between night and day.

The garbage man,
Our family called him el sol
Because we saw him through our windows every morning–
Smile shining so bright that you wouldn’t think
He lived in the night, but you would know by the way
He talked about the moon: She was the light he followed
Through his first American night,
And I wonder if anyone cares (I mean wonders)
If when he says moon he means wife.

The garbage man,
I call him grandpa
And he reflects to us: Niños,
Even though I did not know
That you would be mine, you
Were the stars I reached for
When I lived in the night.

DIY Vision Board

For many ambitious girls, there are plenty of goals that are waiting to be met. The struggle is staying focused and completing them. Whether it’s a short-term or long-term goal it can be done! Follow these DIY tips to create your own vision board to keep you on track to reach your goals.

Decide On Your Goals:
A long term goal can be to graduate with honors from your class, become a teacher, or even be organized. A short term goal can be to study for a test that week, exercising three times a week, or knowing your lines for the school play by the end of the week. Both short-term and long-term goals should be treated with equal importance because they are meant to be met no matter what. Once you have decided what your goals are, you can start focusing on making those goals a reality.

Create a Visualization Board:
A great way to begin brainstorming on what steps need to be taken in order to reach that goal is visualization. As the common term says, “Seeing is believing” its all you really need. Imagine seeing your goals every morning as you wake up as a reminder of what you want to accomplish.

Get Creative:
Create a board of pictures, words, drawings or quotes that represent what you want to achieve. Cutting out pictures and positive words from magazines help make your board be much more vivid. If your goal is to be more fit, cut out a picture of a woman exercising and print out a picture of your face and place it on the woman’s face. It looks funny, but it helps you see yourself in that position just like in any position.

Personalize It:
Don’t be afraid to use bright colors that will capture YOUR attention every day! You are personalizing your own goal board, so use your favorite colors or craft materials. It can also range in size, from a small board to a big poster board. The decision is up to the visionary, YOU.

Find the Right Spot:
When your masterpiece is complete place it somewhere where you will see it every day. Place it on your ceiling or on your door, a place where you know you’ll see it every morning when you wake up!

Reach Your Goals:
Everything takes time, but soon you’ll see your goals be accomplished and you’ll see your board with a sense of pride. Place stickers on the goals you have already completed to keep your board “alive”. The best thing about your board is that you can have as many as you want or change one every year, like a new year’s resolution with pictures!

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