FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sherisse’ D. Woodley PUBLISHER Deliberate Magazine EDITOR-AT-LARGE Sheralyn Y. Woodley CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sherisse’ Woodley LAYOUT/GRAPHICS EDITOR Sherisse’ Woodley COPY EDITOR Tameka Watkins BEAUTY EDITOR Lizandra L. Mercado FASHION EDITOR Sherisse’ Woodley FAITH EDITOR Elizabeth Petters CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Johnny Solis with Urban Rage Photography, Marcus Moore, Chris Moore CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lizandra Mercado, Elizabeth Petters, Sheralyn Woodley, Ashley Frerking, Emily Ostrander, Dana DiSante, Heather Cherry, Gabrielle Davis, Katie Allen, Khiamma Ptah, Trenica Gbani, Blake Reading, Teauna Harper ADVERTISING & MARKETING INQUIRIES email@example.com EDITORIAL SUBMISSONS firstname.lastname@example.org 3
Table of Contents Editor’s Note FAITH The Reason For The Season Prayer: Reconnecting With God Being Content Doesn’t Mean You’re Comfortable Why Woman Are More Religious Than Men
HEATH Staying In Shape During The Holidays Getting A Better Night’s Rest Fighting The Cold Metabolism Boosting Foods
LIFE How Different Cultures Celebrate Christmas The Spirit Of Giving Christmas Gifts For Everyone Making Yourself Invaluable Learning To Love Yourself Apps To Get Your Life In Order Stocking Stuffers Kissing Under The Mistletoe What Does It Take To Stay Married To The Same Person For A Long Time
Prepping For Christmas Dinner Merry Christmas
ENTERTAINMENT What We Can Learn From Our Favorite Super Heroes Books To Read By The Fire Oh Broken Remedy Movies To Watch When You’re Snowed In FASHION Stylish Winter Must Haves Travel Bag Essentials Staying Comfortable Yet Stylish In College Fashion Buys That Won’t Break The Bank BEAUTY Beauty Buys That Won’t Break The Bank Winter Beauty Staples Mastering Your Contouring Game Keeping Your Skin Hydrated 6
Letter From The Editor A year ago I decided to go on this new journey of starting my own lifestyle website and digital magazine. Over a year ago, I was not in a great place. I was fresh out of college and unemployed because I was laid off from the fashion tech company I was working for. My whole world was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do other than keep myself busy and try to stay positive; which is why I decided to create Deliberate Magazine. A lot has happened since then, both good and bad; but I can honestly and proudly say that I’ve grown significantly professionally and personally. Anyone that knows me well knows Christmas is my favorite holiday and my favorite day. Yes, I get more excited about
Christmas than my birthday, but it’s not because of the presents but the joy and love that fills the air. It’s during this time of the year that we start to recognize the important things in our life, and how important it is to spread joy and love. This issue is filled with such great content that I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. We have so much to be thankful for this year. We may have not received or accomplished everything we wanted to, but we’re here, alive, and well. May you stay warm, merry, and safe this Christmas. Love and hug your loved ones more because in the blink of an eye they can be gone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Reason For The Season A r ti c l e by Sher a l yn Y. Wo o d l ey
DELIBERATE MAGAZINE Christmas time is family time; it is the one of the happiest times of the year. Its when everyone comes together as one. I have often wondered why Thanksgiving and Christmas are at the end of year. These holidays in their own way bring you together, highlight, and show case to you and others what has happened during the year. The best way to share what has happened is during get-togethers, dinners, parties, giving of gifts, and family gatherings. Children and adults alike look forward to Christmas all year long. Parents and adults start planning for Christmas and making gift lists as early as August. A major shopping opportunity used to be Black Friday right after Thanksgiving in preparation of finalizing your Christmas list. For us, we start playing Christmas songs somewhere in the month of November. However, I believe my daughter started in October this year. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season” by Kirk Franklin. I have read, I know, I believe, I have taught, and have told others that, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. I had to get a different type of reminder and wake up call this year. It is easy to tell everyone that Jesus is the reason for the season when you have everything that you want. It is easy when you have the money to buy your children, family, and friends gifts. It is also easy when you are invited to the holiday parties and you do not have to go empty handed. Christmas is that one holiday that if you don’t give or have a gift to give you feel like a failure. If you don’t have the money for a birthday or anniversary gift, you can somehow find a way to still celebrate and not feel like a failure to the ones you love. However, if you are not able to at least give your kids, spouse, close friends, and family something, it leaves you with a feeling that is unexplainable; unless you have felt it and experienced it.
Nevertheless, remember we all know that Jesus is the reason for the season. I have had the feelings of pure success when we could buy our kids, family, and friends what the needed, wanted, and even what they didn’t ask for. After a series of life events, we have also experienced not being able to buy our kids, family, and friends what they wanted, and sometimes what they needed for Christmas. This is where you truly have to understand the true meaning of Christmas, even when it affects the ones that you love the most on this earth. It is during this time that family has to become the most important to you, outside of Christ. This is when you must realize and understand what a gift is. A gift is a special ability (talent); something given; something that is given to another person or to a group or organization; or to endow with some power, quality attribute. We have always been taught that a gift must be tangible and give that “WOW” effect at Christmas. This is the time when you find out who was just using you for the gifts that they could get from you. I have to admit it was embarrassing at first to not give gift the same as we had in the past years. However, once you truly understand that the one and only gift that we need is Jesus, we can now enjoy Christmas regardless if your home is filled with an abundance of gifts or not.
“gift of family”, “gift of being able to move on your own”, “gift of protection”, and the “gift of faith” We are thankful for the gifts that we cannot buy with all the money in the world. We are thankful for the birth of Jesus, not the material things, but Jesus. Through this, I have been reminded to be content. To take the time to count every one of my blessings. It doesn’t matter how large or how small the gift. We have been reminded to be courageous. We are faced with many situations that happen instantly. At that moment, you must have something (Jesus) in you already to stand on, lean on, and depend on in order to make it and get through. We have been reminded to be creative. When life events happen, you have to know how to react and maneuver in order to see and believe that “this to shall pass”. Definitely not the last, but the all encompassing of all, I have been reminded to fully trust Jesus Christ. Without Christ, we are nothing. As the song says, “Jesus is the reason for the season. I don’t need material things; all I need is the love you give. This holiday I came to say that Jesus is the only way. Jesus is the reason for the season.”
Philippians 4:11, 12 NIV I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, My sister and two nephews were in a major accident. All three were cut and I know what it is to have from the car and two helicopters were plenty. I have learned the secret requested at the scene for air medical of being content in any and every transport. Some of the statements situation, whether well fed or regarding the scene were “it was hungry, whether living in plenty horrible”, “drove passed it and it looks awful, heartbreaking …”, “drove by … or in want. was horrendous…”. One nephew has a broken clavicle and the other nephew is in ICU suffering from internal decapitation. My sister has injuries from the accident but is putting off surgery until her boys are stable. We are so grateful to God for the “gift of life”,
Reconnecting With God Ar ti c l e by H eather C her r y
Reconnecting with God through prayer can be challenging. When we pray in our times of need we often seek immediate recognition or results. How often have you spoke to God and expected Him to answer almost immediately? I am guilty of this task and have been corrected for it. We expect God to realign us and put us on the right path. However, we often are forcing ourselves down a path we think God wants instead of listening to Him. This is the key to reconnecting with God; stepping away from your own wishes and allowing Him to move. Often God will parallel your desires, but it is only when we step back that we can truly see that. Identify Roadblocks The first step in reconnecting with God is to identify the roadblocks in front of you. When you pray is it meaningful? Do you pray out of pure love for God and not out of selfish desires? Do you actively seek God throughout your day in every task you do and not just when you want something? God is our Father. Just like any earthly father, He wants us to be happy. God wants to grant us our greatest wishes and cure all ofour aches and pains. He wants us to be happy, but before this can happen He wants us to diligently be His. You may face a roadblock if you are inwardly seeking vengeance or harboring hatred but outwardly seek God. Perhaps you say you are merciful and forgiving, yet hold on to a decade-long grudge. How can God grant you your desires through prayer if you are not dutifully devoted to Him? Identifying what is causing you to be disconnected is the first step.
Be Quiet and Still Life is loud; especially in 2016 where technology always allows us to be “on”. There is no escaping the constant distraction of today’s day-and-age. It is important to be quiet and still to reconnect with God. Living a life of intention and being aware of life’s distractions is the most powerful weapon against the enemy. To be intentional means to live your life in a manner that you do things for a purpose and seek God first. Consider the decisions you have before you. Seek God’s wisdom and divine intervention. Be intentional about your decisions; mindfully choose how you spend your time and what thoughts fill your mind. We cannot receive God’s blessings unless we intentionally ask. The key to reconnecting with God is to look upwards and first seek Heaven’s approval. Action Speaks Louder You must first act, if you want to reconnect with God. That doesn’t mean to go excessively charge your credit card because you want God to give you a great paying job. It means to take steps in your everyday life that prove your worthy of his grace. Doing kind acts goes beyond opening the door for an elderly woman; it means willfully giving your heart to Him and showing your love any chance you get. God loves a cheerful giver! You don’t necessarily need to give a tangible object, but give yourself and love to others that may be less than deserving. Once you feel distant from God you may have to wait for a specific breakthrough to bring Him back. However, that is like the sun waiting on an alarm clock before it chooses to rise. Prove your worth to God before He even
considers granting your desires. Worship & Pray Spending time with God is the most important aspect of reconnecting with Him. However, unless we dutifully remove all the distractions and roadblocks prayer will not work. God wants us to actively seek Him and work towards being like Him. Attending to prayer and worship is our worldly way of declaring our devotion to Him. These things are representation of our faith to other followers and unbelievers. This is what God created us to do. He designed us to willfully follow and actively bring others to Him. Worship and prayer is only one component of a faith-based life, but probably the most important. No matter what path you are on (or not on), it is important to fill your life with people and things that make you happy and encourage your life with God. Be diligent about the company you keep. Stay aware of the tasks you participate in and how they make you feel. Awareness and joyful prayer are the greatest bonds to reconnecting yourself to God.
Being Content Doesn’t Mean You’re Comfortable Ar ti c l e by E l i z a b eth Petter s
We live in a world where discontentment lurks around every corner. With one swipe or click, we are able to glimpse into the lives of others. Comparison steals joy and contentment from so many of us, as we strive to live up to the best moments of others that we see online. Many of us recognize the feelings of discontentment, and don’t enjoy the discomfort that those feelings bring. So we search for contentment, hoping that we will find comfortability there, but that is not always the case. Contentment is a state of mind; one in which we can find peace and wholeness. However, it doesn’t always mean that we are comfortable, like we may think we should be. It’s the idea of finding peace in the worst of situations. Often we fall victim to the trap that if we just have more, or do more, then we will be content, and yet being content comes from within. Socrates said, “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he doesn’t have.” Who better to speak wisdom than Socrates, right? This time last year I was battling some uncomfortable and painful health issues. I was on a special diet, lots of supplements, and had to take a significant amount of time off of work as my body began to heal. I was discouraged and unhappy, living in negative thoughts. Over Christmas, my older brother, whose advice I treasure and respect, asked me what I would do if my life never changed. What would I do if my body didn’t heal, if I never worked again? Some of you think never working again would be the dream; however, I do not operate that way. I need structure and purpose, and I struggle to motivate myself to create that without help. So not working has always been a recipe for disaster for 18
me. But what my brother said has stuck with me. What if the hard circumstances don’t change? Do we live in contentment and peace? Or do we kick and scream and resent our lives the whole way? I know what kind of life I want. I want a life of contentment regardless of what is going on around me. Because as we all know, life is not easy. There will always be ups and downs, deep pain, and sweet joy. I want to live with a sense of steadfastness, peace, and strength in every moment. Sounds beautiful, right? But I think we all know it’s not that easy. How can we be content in those moments that feel like the world is falling apart all around us? Those moments when we are overwhelmed, can’t think straight, and feel as if we can’t take one more step forward? There are theories, practices, religions, and programs all geared towards finding balance and inner peace. While I ultimately choose to rest in the peace of God and cling to him on my journey of contentment, I know not everyone shares that and so I will break it
down into one simple idea. When we live with our hands open to accepting and releasing everything that comes to us in life, there we will find contentment. This is a life journey. I feel as though I am light years away from the life of contentment that I am working towards. I actually literally clench my fists without thinking throughout the day, I have since I was a little girl. And so I’ve traveled through life with my hands closed, not open. That is not working for me. It is not the life that I choose to live. So, as we journey through contentment, let us remember that life will go on. The pain will still come and the chaos will ensue, but we can actively choose to live steadfast in peace regardless of what comes our way. Contentment does not replace our emotions; instead it anchors our soul while we feel our emotions to the fullest. Contentment allows us to step fully into life, not to shy away from it. Contentment allows us to unclench our fists, open our hands, and breathe deeply.
Why Women Are More Religious Than Men Ar ticl e by Heather C her r y
Women are different than men in many ways; that is how God intended it. God created us equal, but different so that we may be able to coexist. Imagine if we were all the same. It would be a very lop-sided world. Men traditionally are known for their strength; whereas women are traditionally known for their nurturing abilities. While these characteristics are common, we know it doesn’t limit us nor are we required to abide by these stereotypes. When it comes to religion, women are scientifically more religious than men due to their biological composition and culture. Living as a woman can sometimes be one of the greatest challenges in this world. Women have been 22
stereotyped since the beginning of time. Men decide what women can and cannot do in many societies. Even in a place like America where women fought for their freedoms decades ago, they still tend to be looked down upon by some men. Equality is as tangible as the heavens; we know it is there but sometimes seems opaque. This way of life has been socially accepted and far too customary for too long; which has led to women being defined to be more emotional than men. However, even though women have always fought against cultural incapacities, they remain more religious than men. An article published by The Washington Post states more women
than men identify with a religion and pray daily. “Around the world, 83.4 percent of women say they identify with a religion, compared with 79.9 percent of men…meaning there are about 100 million more religiously affiliated women on the planet than men.” Science Defines Us Scientifically this diversity is explained by biology. Many may argue it is a result of culture, but in many ways, both can be contributing factors. Depending on the part of the world and/or religious group, men and women are socialized very differently and can create this gap in religiousness. A place like the United States has the highest gender gap in regards to re-
ligion. The Washington Post article states 64 percent of women pray daily; a jump from only 47 percent of men. Look a little north in Canada and you will see 30 percent of women pray daily and 28 percent of men. Is it more about culture than it is gender? Culturally Inept A world that is credited as the most powerful nation in the world comes at a price. The United States has fought long and hard for gender equality, but often falls short. The gender gap rings true especially with religious beliefs. Probably in part because men are typically viewed as “providers” in American culture, and women are shuffled into the category as “caregivers”.
A stereotype that rings true all the way back to America’s founding fathers. Is it because of this or the biology that women are designed differently? Emotion Commotion Women are naturally more emotional and sensitive beings. Despite the cultural differences, the biological makeup is more likely why women are more religious than men. Women tend to be stereotyped as the nurturer because God made women more sensitive. Men have been claimed as providers because traditionally they are strong. God made men strong physically to be able to provide for their families. Even though these typecasts tend to be socially accepted, God made
everyone in his perfect image. Despite individual differences, women are more religious than men because they are biologically able to feel more and culturally have been raised to be nurturing. Women are also a pivotal part of a family, and often responsible for their morality. Being religious is just a means to help direct their family and understand a purpose much bigger than the eye can see. God created men and women in his own image and knew how to counter-balance the other. He created women to seek religion more frequently than men because he knew they would be more in tune with his wisdom and guidance. 23
How Different Cultures Celebrate Christmas Ar ti c l e by Da na Di Sa nte
Starting the day after Thanksgiving, the holiday season officially begins its countdown to Christmas. The melody of “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” rings throughout folk’s ears and everything is adorned in red, green, and holiday décor from top to bottom. For residents of the United States, these Christmas traditions embrace nostalgic memories of Yuletide festivities, as an individual’s holiday festivities have been unchanged for many years. Although your idea of Christmas may not have changed, listed below are only a few of the ways Christmas is celebrated in cultures and countries throughout the world that differ from
western traditions. In the Asian-Pacific region, less than ten percent of the population is Christian; therefore, Christmas celebrations emphasize joyous holiday parties and gift giving rather than the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. In particular, Christmas in the Japanese culture includes children receiving gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve, but the adults do not partake in exchanging presents. In countries, such as South Korea and China, Christmas is more commonly celebrated, but both have traditions that differ from Christmas activities in a typical western culture. In particular,
Chinese Christmas celebrations are comparable to Chinese New Year, as it the most anticipated holiday of the year. On December 25th, Chinese New Year begins, but in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, the celebrations are analogous to the practices of western culture. The Asian country with the largest Christian faith population is the Philippines, so the Christmas holiday is enjoyed from December 16th through Christmas day and finishes January 1st, the “Feast of the Three Kings.” In Africa, Christianity is one of the most practiced religions. For people
living in a western culture, the Christmas traditions would be recognizable as many include similar celebrations. In Africa, the Christian faith can be traced to the 1st century, which has prevailed throughout the centuries. One similar tradition includes decorating homes and public areas. Similarly, the tradition of caroling is practiced as groups of children perform, dance, and sing songs while traveling throughout their neighborhood. In many African cultures, Christmas day is usually designated a national holiday, but the celebration of African heritage, Kwanzaa, is not. Kwanzaa is observed in the United States as a national holiday from December 26th to January 1st. In Australia, Christmas down under embraces its own interpretation of Christmas traditions, but the general concept is analogous with the Christian celebrations of the birth of Jesus. Some unique distinctions are the Christmas décor and influences. Many people in western culture believe Christmas is synonymous with a winter wonderland, but in Australia, the Christmas holiday is observed
during the summer. School children are on summer break during this time. Since it is a commonly celebrated holiday, the majority of public services and businesses close for the day. Furthermore, a major distinction is the visual imagery of Christmas in Australia, as it varies significantly from snowflakes and pine trees. Instead of the holly berries and poinsettias, the Australian culture celebrates Christmas by emphasizing the importance of the environment and its wildlife. Shops and homes are adorned with koalas, parrots, and flowers. It is even said that kangaroos are tasked with pulling Santa’s sleigh. European countries are origin points for many of the cultural traditions practice in the United States. Familiar traditions can be interpreted differently in each country, but the tradition’s concept is generally the same. In particular, here are a few Christmas traditions that can be traced to European culture. In Ireland, Catholics celebrate Christmas festivities from December 24th, Christmas Eve, to January 6th, which is the feast of Epiphany or “Little Christmas.”
In Germany, a centric part of Christmas festivities is the celebration of Advent. Similarly to American culture, the Christmas tree is a German tradition that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. In England, the practice of hanging a stocking for Santa Clause has been popularized and fostered in modern culture. In Scandinavia, or the Northern European countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, the Christmas tradition of “kissing under the mistletoe” can be traced back to the Norse goddess of love, Frigga. While this list may only include some of the Christmas traditions practiced throughout the world, it is important to recognize the spirit of the holiday remains consistent. Christmas celebrations bolster love and shares joyous memories for families and loved ones. Whatever tradition you may practice, it is important to remember to keep love and joy in this year’s Christmas traditions. Merry Christmas from Deliberate Magazine!
The Spirit Of Giving A r ti c l e by E l i z a b eth Petter s
DELIBERATE MAGAZINE The Holiday season arrives in a blur of red and green. No sooner have the plates been cleared from the Thanksgiving table, and some of us are already rushing to find the best sales of the season. Many of us will spend the next 30 days searching for the perfect gift for everyone on our list, while simultaneously putting together a list for ourselves to share with our family and friends. As time goes on, I have found myself growing weary of giving, as I have known it. Often, I find myself giving of my time and resources as an afterthought, or I run around frazzled trying to make everyone happy. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. As we are entering the holiday season, the season of “giving”; I can’t help but wonder; whether or not it is possible to give in a healthy balanced way? Give less (yup you heard me) A few years ago, I stopped buying gifts for people strictly because I felt like I should. It’s harder than it sounds. I am a perfectionist and a people pleaser; I hate letting people down. So, showing up to a party without agift or not giving a gift when one is given to me, is like nails on the chalkboard of my heart. And I must admit that the first year was a little awkward, but by the next year, my friends and I had found a freedom in not buying each other things that we didn’t really need just because it’s the holidays. Give intentionally Giving is such a wonderful thing, and the holidays can be a beautiful example of that, but like most things, we can go a little over the top. Balance is everything. Author 30
Glennon Doyle Melton shares a wonderful way to approach giving around the holiday season. Her family abides by the following gift giving guide: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read, and something to light up the world. Amen girl! That is simple, easy gift giving that I can get behind. Give from the heart Are you overwhelmed by how to give, what to give, and to whom you should give? Listen to your heart; although that may sound like a cheesy Disney movie line, it’s the best advice I can give anyone regardless of the situation. Giving is ultimately about the relationships formed and the lives touched, whether it’s giving of time, love, or things. This year, my husband’s family has decided each of us will donate $50.00 to a charity of our choice. That’s the extent of the gift giving. I cannot explain to you the amount of peace that comes over me knowing that I am giving something that is needed and that will be treasured. Our family has more than enough. I am not saying that we all need to go on a Holiday gift giving strike (although if you need some perspective, it might not be a bad idea). But I think it’s a good idea to take a step back from all of those holiday expectations and assess what giving is really about. How can we give less, give intentionally, and give from the heart? Giving should tumble out of our being without stress and expectation. We do not need to give to tie with someone else, to reach the expectations of others, or to impress those around us. All we need
to do is give when and where we feel led, to follow our hearts and our passions, and trust that where we are led is exactly how and where we need to be giving. Mother Theresa has one of my favorite quotes about giving. She said:
“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” And if anyone is an expert on giving straight from their soul, it is Mother Theresa. As we enter this holiday season where giving has become stressful and distorted, let us come back to this truth that if we give intentionally out of love then we possess the spirit of giving, and the possibilities are endless. So, regardless of whether we are giving of our time or our resources, whether we have wrapped our gifts in bows or not, let us give only out of love and fill the world around us with the spirit of giving
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Christmas Gift For Everyone Ar tic l e by G a b r i el l e Davi s
Can you believe that Christmas is in 9 days? With one and a half weeks until Christmas, many of us are just now beginning to cross items off of our loved ones’ Christmas lists. For many of us, we still have no idea what to get for our loved ones. What makes the perfect Christmas gift? What are some universal gifts that everyone will love? Today I’m sharing with you my top gifts for everyone in your life, whether it be that special someone, mother, brother, sister, co-worker, etc. The best part is that they are perfect if you’re working on a tight budget! Gifts for Her Candles For the ladies in your life who love walking into a home or office that smells fresh, comfortable or cozy, candles are an absolute must. Check out places such as Bath and Body Works, Anthropologie, and more! Anthropologie presents a unique, coconut wax based candle for only $20. The Voluspa Limited Edition Boxed Candle comes in 5 unique scents, with a colorful gift box and holder. Scents include: Baltic Amber, Panjore Lychee, Santiago Huckleberry, French Cade Lavender, and Mokara. 32
Jewelry Every girl loves a good piece of jewelry, whether it is a pair of earrings, a necklace, ring, etc. Having a signature piece of jewelry always helps a lady feel classy and dressed, no matter the occasion.
memorabilia. The NFL Collector’s Shot Glasses from Bed Bath and Beyond, priced at $19.99 for each set of 4 is promised to put a smile on his face! Make sure to choose his favorite team or else there may not be much smiling.
The Fremada Rhodium Plated Silver Cubic Zirconia Heart Birthstone Necklace is a perfect gift to gift someone who loves necklaces and it’s only $14 at Overstock.com, $13.99
Got a Cubs fan in your family? Give him this classic, MLB Chicago Cubs World Series Champions Stainless Steel 6 oz. Flask from Bed Bath and Beyond, priced at $20.99.
Gifts for Him With four different scents to choose from, your guy will smell his best all winter long! Gift him the Calvin Klein 4-pc. Men’s Cologne Collection Gift Set from Khols. The best part of this is it is only $26! For the video gamer in your life, surprise him with an old school, retro style Nintendo game controller. With Bluetooth support, 8bitdo Bluetooth Retro Controller is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac OSX, and Windows. It also has 20 hours of battery life and is $30 on Amazon! You can never go wrong with any sports gear gift when it comes to the men in your life or the sport fanatic women in your life. Gift your guy his favorite sports team
Star Wars has been all the craze these days. For the Star Wars fan, check out the Star Wars BB-8 USB Car Charger from ThinkGeek. com, priced at $19.99. Universal Gifts Do you want to make your Christmas gift a little more personal this year? Choose a Yankee Candle in your special someone’s favorite scent. You can choose the type of candle, fragrance, as well as the label and photo you want! Depending on the style of candle, the quantity, and the price can vary. Another great-personalized gift is the amazing “What I Love About You by Me” books at Uncommongoods.com for only $10. There’s nothing more special than a Christmas gift that comes from the heart; there is a variety of selections for all the special people in your life.
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Making Yourself Invaluable Arti c l e by K ati e A l l en
How many times have you finished a task or a project and thought, that could’ve been better? I could’ve worked harder and proved that I have what it takes to do this above and beyond my abilities? Between work, home, and outside hobbies it’s easy to begin to stretch yourself thin. Taking criticism from bosses begins to feel like a personal attack on you, instead of the work you do. It then becomes easy to feel the disappointment from friends, family, and bosses. Feeling useful to those in your life is essential. It’s a goal to work towards since it will inevitably make you happier and give you a better relationship with everyone you encounter. Instead of succumbing to sub-par expectations, make yourself invaluable to everyone. Work Feeling useless at work is easy, especially if you have a boss who pushes for more and always expects more than what you’ve given. The best way to feel invaluable is to anticipate what your boss and co-workers may need. If your boss has been complaining about a dirty break room or a dusty shelf, take the liberty of doing it before they can assign the task to someone else. If you finish a task with time to spare, look for any supplementary information you can add to it to really make it spectacular for your boss. Don’t wait for your co-workers to complain about something you did wrong or didn’t finish. By going beyond what your boss minimally expects of you, you’ve become invaluable to the company. Here are a few more ways that Forbes encourages you to be invaluable at work: Don’t settle for being a great individual contributor; be a leader.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not the manager. All you need is good communication and organizational skills. Help your co-workers see the future and vision you have for the company. This can be achieved with hard work and trust. It may be difficult to earn trust initially; however, once you’ve got it, co-workers and even managers will look to you for future projects and responsibilities. Be a steward of the business, not just a technical wizard. You’ve gone to school and you know how to do your job but so does everyone else who has your title. To be invaluable to a company, prove to them that you’ve got what it takes to further the business and help to solve problems that don’t directly involve your job. Help push your company into long-term success and show your boss that you care about the future of the company. Home Getting home from work and lying on the couch is the easy thing to do. I’ve come home and sat down with no intentions of getting up for hours. As easy as that sounds for you, it isn’t as easy for everyone you live with. To make yourself invaluable at home, give your spouse or roommates a break a few nights a week. If you split the house work, be sure to get it all done before your partner gets home. Take it upon yourself to make dinner whenever you’re home before everyone else. It doesn’t have to be fancy or homemade, even pizza is a great gesture. This is a great, especially if you usually don’t take care of dinner. It can give everyone else a chance to relax and sit back to admire your hard work. You’ll feel the appreciation with this invaluable act. As
with work, the biggest thing is to anticipate their needs and meet them before anyone has to ask. Friendship Being an indispensable friend is one of the toughest things. Relationships, no matter what type, are hard to maintain. They take a lot of hard work and effort and even then sometimes it doesn’t work out. The best way to show that you value friendship is to listen; genuinely listen, don’t just listen to give them your opinion. Listen to remember and recall this information later, in a more dire time. People appreciate when they tell you something and you bring it up in a later conversation because you remembered a fact about them. Share things with your friends. Lend them your favorite band t-shirt or book. Friends like to feel included in your life so show them what you care about and ultimately, they will revel in your favorite things. Share life experiences with them and help them relate to you. People like to associate with those they can relate to so be relatable. Encourage your friends and applaud their achievements. Even if it was just a pat on the back at work, your friends want you to be proud of them. They’ve worked hard for the achievements they have and a good friend would take notice and feel proud. By uplifting your friends when they excel at something, it will make your friendship invaluable to them. Your positive attitude will have an effect on your friendship.
Learning To Love Yourself Ar tic l e by E l i z a b eth Petter s
I spend more time than I would like to admit in a state of unsettledness. It’s this feeling that something just isn’t right. Or, more accurately, everything just feels wrong. When I’ve been sitting in bed for far to long, eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, I know that I’ve come to that place again. That place where I have forgotten my own worth, and have neglected to speak empowering things into my heart. Instead, I have once again become a slave to the constant whisper: DO MORE, BE MORE, THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. There are tell tale signs when I am in this place again. I find that I am hyper-organized, even more neurotically organized than my usual type A self. I throw half the contents of my closet into a “donate” pile, make lists of all of our home “to do” projects, decide I need a hair-cut right now, or rip myself apart for not exercising more, eating better, or traveling more. It’s not a gentle nudge to reach for the stars and throw away the 1lb bag of sour patch kids sitting in the cupboard, it’s an angry voice yelling at me to get it together because I am messing up all over the place. That’s when I know that I’ve gone too far; that I’ve forgotten to love myself, give myself grace, to nurture not destroy myself. I am realizing more and more that loving myself is not easy, and something I must fight for every day. It actually feels excruciating to ask myself what I want and what I need; and to actually follow through with it. Sometimes all I need is a bath and some tea, but sometimes I need to skip an important event; one in which people are counting on me. It’s harder to
honor ourselves when other people are counting on us. We don’t realize how the expectations of the world around us effects our ability to love and care for ourselves. Recently I have been trying to listen to that still small voice that is telling me what I need. Every time I listen it gets a little bit stronger, more confident. However, sometimes I miss the cue and do the thing I really did not want to do and that’s okay too. I honor that and move on. My hope is that in time I will get better at learning to hear her, the true me that has been muffled by expectations for so long. Along with this desire to know my true self and to honor and love her, I have also wrestled with the truth that sometimes in life we must do things that we do not want to do. But listening to ourselves and loving ourselves doesn’t mean that we never do things that we don’t want to do. It just means that we are not living as slaves to a life that we are not choosing. I still choose to do things that I don’t want to do, because I know they are good for me, or because I want to do them for someone else whom I love. But I am learning when to take a step back, regroup, and go a different way. Have I mentioned this isn’t easy? You’d think that loving yourself would be the easiest thing in the world, and yet it’s not. Many of us forgot long ago how to really love ourselves; so, listening to our needs, honoring our needs, and truly loving every part of ourselves is an uncomfortably foreign idea. Luckily, we all have an inner voice that steers us in the way we should go. We may call it different things;
but, if we can just learn to listen to that voice, no matter how hard it feels, we will be moving steadily towards our true selves and ultimately, we will be honoring who we really are. Truly loving, honoring, and knowing ourselves is, I imagine, a never-ending journey. But if you’re feeling as though you have no idea where to start, start with saying no. How often do you say yes to something to make others happy, or make yourself look better? I know that I have lived most of my life saying yes against my better judgment. You know the feeling; that sinking rock in your stomach when you commit to something that you know is all wrong for you. So, start small. When your boss asks you to work overtime for the third time this week and you don’t think you can handle one more minute, say no, I promise you that life will go on. When you’re asked to join yet another team, or club and you literally just can’t, DON’T! It won’t feel great at first, but the more you listen to your needs, the more at peace you will become , and ultimately, the more you will truly love yourself. I wish you all the best on this journey. We all deserve to be loved, and that starts with loving ourselves.
Apps That Get Your Life In Order Ar ti c l e by G a b r i el l e Davi s
Do you ever feel that sometimes, even though it may seem like you have your life in order, reality is that you could use a little help? Unfortunately, there is not an “Order” fairy we can call to help us out. However,, we live in a world of technology where there are dozens of life organization apps at our fingertips to choose from. How do you decide which one will work best for you? Do they really work? Why do people use these apps? I’m not a huge fan of apps; I find them to be annoying and they take up unnecessary memory on my phone; so, I have very few. After much research, I’ve come to the 42
conclusion that these 10 apps are the best apps to use for getting your life in order, or at least making it a bit less hectic. Check them out! Best of all, some of them are free! Cozi App Manage your family’s busy schedule by combining everyone’s schedule into one spot. It can also help create grocery shopping lists, to do lists, and a recipe box. It’s compatible with both Android and Apple devices. Red Laser Price comparison of products. It’s compatible with Apple and Android Devices.
Big Oven This app offers you a database of 200,000 delicious recipes, meal plans and it also allows you to share recipes. It’s like an electronic cookbook. EveryDollar Helps you budget your money by making you want to budget your money. It offers tips, tricks, and challenges to help you save more and feel more financially stable. Evernote An elite note taking app, it’s used by college students, professors, and teachers. However, it is ideal for anyone.
Closet Space This is one app that I might actually download and use. It allows you to take pictures of all your clothes and other fashion items, helps you keep track of what you have, and create outfits within the app! You can even export your ‘outfits’ to your Google calendar so that way all your outfits will already be planned! Dulingo Want to learn another language? With Duolingo you can learn 9 languages on your time, whether you are on the go, or standing in line for a cup of coffee. The app offers Spanish, French, German, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, and English if it’s not your first language. GPS for the Soul This app provides you with different stress relieving guides to help you unwind at the end of a long or stressful day. Trip It This app is designed to help with all your travel documents and create an itinerary for you by allowing you to forward conformation e-mails and organize your schedule while putting all your information in one place. CamCard I found this app rather interesting. Instead of exchanging actual business cards, this app lets you exchange e-business cards, save information from paper cards, and store all your contacts in one place. 43
Stocking Stuffers Ar ti c l e by G a b r i el l e Davi s
Sometimes the best part of Christmas is the stocking stuffers! I remember every Christmas my stocking would always be overflowing with little trinkets, gadgets, and candy. Sometimes that was my favorite part, versus the actual presents, on Christmas morning. When it comes to stocking stuffers, there are endless possibilities to choose from, so how do you decide which ones are the best? With the holidays just around the corner, check out our top 10 stocking stuffer ideas for all your loved ones this Christmas! 45
MI ST LE TOE
Kissing Under the Ar ticl e by Ashl ey Frerki ng
You don’t have to look far to see a tradition, whether it’s in your church, your family, or just about any other aspect of our culture. You don’t have to think very hard for a holiday family tradition to come to mind; certain foods we eat, the way our church has communion, when we put up the Christmas tree, or when we open presents Christmas morning. Some traditions have rich history, but others we have no idea where they originated! There is one Christmas tradition that I am personally curious about because I have no idea where it came from: kissing under the mistletoe. Most classic Christmas songs we have sung for years mention mistletoe, but who actually knows why we do it? What Is Mistletoe? We’ve all heard of mistletoe and the Christmas tradition of kissing under it, but what exactly is it? These days, mistletoe is considered romantic when in fact it is a parasitic and poisonous plant! The scientific name for American mistletoe is Phoradendron, which is Greek for “thief of the tree.” Mistletoe berries are toxic to humans, so the plant can only survive if birds carry its seeds to a host tree. Birds eat the berries, fly to a nearby tree, and leave behind the seed. Seeds attach themselves to trees with a sticky coating called viscin, which hardens and allows the seed to mooch nutrients and water off the host tree. Legend Has It Mistletoe’s history dates back thousands of years, and ancient cultures valued it because it possessed healing properties. Greeks used mistletoe for cramps and spleen disorders; Romans used mistletoe as a balm for epilepsy, ulcers, and poisons. It is likely that the romantic origins of mistletoe began with the Celtic Druids during 1 A.D. Since mistletoe blooms even in the winter the Druids considered it to be a symbol of life. As such, the plant was fed to humans and animals in hopes of restoring fertility.
According to Norse mythology, it was prophesied that Baldur son of Odin would die, but his mother, Frigg the goddess of love, asked all the plants and animals of the world to not harm Baldur. Each plant and animal made a
vow to Frigg that they would not hurt her son. However, she forgot to ask mistletoe to take to oath. The god Loki used an arrow made of mistletoe to kill Baldur. There is another version of the story in which Baldur was raised to life. In her happiness, Frigg declared mistletoe a symbol of love, and said she would plant a kiss on anyone who passed beneath it. The Middle Ages All throughout the Middle Ages, mistletoe was associated with fertility and life. By the 18th century it was already deeply rooted into Christmas traditions. It is still under debate how mistletoe moved from sacred herb to holiday decoration, but we do know that the kissing tradition most likely started among servants before moving its way up to the middle class. The early custom was that men could steal a kiss from any woman that happened to be standing under the mistletoe, and if the woman refused it was bad luck. Another tradition says that after each kiss a berry from the mistletoe has to be picked, so that once the berries are
gone all of the kissing has to stop. Norse Legend To Christian Symbol Christians adopted the spirit of the Norse legend into a symbol of Love that conquers death. Whether or not mistletoe actually has healing properties it is still symbolic of the Tree
of Life, the leaves of which heal the nations. During the eighteenth century the English gave mistletoe magical appeal, calling it a kissing ball. Evergreens, ribbons, and ornaments decorated sprigs of mistletoe. If a young woman stood under the mistletoe, she had to be kissed and the kiss could not be refused. These kisses could either carry great weight romantically, or it was just an act of friendship and goodwill. Women that weren’t kissed on a given year would assume they would not get married the following year. Even though this is just a superstition, the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe lends itself to fun during the holiday season. Kiss The Girl As odd as its history may seem, there is nothing wrong with a good holiday tradition! Especially when it involves a sweet, romantic kiss. Singles, use mistletoe to make your move on that special someone this year; and married couples, be sure to snag your significant other under that mistletoe this holiday season!
What It Takes To Stay Married To The Same Person Ar ticl e by Sher a l yn Y. Wo o d l ey
It seems that the original intent of marriage has been altered and changed. The intent of marriage is for it to last “until death do us part”, no one and nothing is supposed to be able to break it apart or cause it to break up. It is to last forever. It is an awesome and beautiful site to see a couple that has been married for 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60+ years. Below are 16 relationship tips from couples that have been married 50+ years. 1. Talk to each other, don’t vent to friends. 2. Never stop creating shared memories. 3. Kids makes marriage stronger. 4. Give each other personal space. 5. Marriage is not always 50/50. 6. Make an effort to look your best. 7. Embrace your individuality. 8. Don’t overlook small family moments. 9. Get professional help when you need it. 10. Expect that there will be crises. 11. Love means being a team. 12. Never stop showing affection. 13. Talk out issues in person. 14. Have a standing date — with50
out the kids. 15. History doesn’t have to be repeated. 16. Pick your battles. Now, that you looked at 16 things from people who have been married for 50 years, what if you have not been married that long yet. I have asked some wise, solid and grounded couples that have been married 20+ years to share their knowledge, wisdom and perspectives on marriage What is the most important thing for a wife and mother to know? The most important thing for a wife and mother to know is that your work never ends! LOL! Do everything with love because you set the mood in your home. Be an encourager to your husband and children. Submission is not a bad word. Your love for your family is never ending. Always PRAY! Always put God first in everything! Even though you are expected to do it all, realize that you can’t and it is OK. Have fun with your family.
The MOST important thing is to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord of her life and to work out her marriage and parental roles according to God’s plan which not only includes to love and respect her husband in both word and deed (Titus 2:4; Eph. 5:33) but also submit voluntarily to her husband’s loving leadership. (Col 3:18-19; Eph. 5:22-30) How has the role of husbands and wives changed, and what would you suggest new husbands and wives focus on to maintain a happy home? The role of husbands and wives has changed tremendously. Back in our day, wives stayed home, cooked, cleaned, and had 10 babies. Husbands were the breadwinners and worked hard labor from sun up to sun down. Now, some wives make more money and there are many “stay at home” husbands/dads. Whatever the role, it takes prayer, teamwork, and communication. Share the load people! We now see that most wives are working, as much as the husband; in some cases the man is Mr. Mom.
DELIBERATE MAGAZINE Respect and communication is key. Keep a clear perspective on common goals. Because everyone in the family is busy with work, school, church, sports, activities, physical fitness and other activities there cannot be only one person in the family responsible for everything. This will cause tiredness, arguments, burnout, resentment, bitterness, sickness, and ultimately an unhappy home. Wives are more actively involved in the workplace and husbands need to become willing to help around the house. Put Jesus Christ first in the home. Spend as much quality time with the family as possible, enjoying one another. How do you resolve conflict and disagreements? The way we resolve conflict and disagreements is we meet each other half way. We find a solution and we get over who’s right or who’s wrong. Someone has to be calm and stay calm. We try to understand the other person’s perspective. We don’t always see things the same. We don’t always agree. Nevertheless, we do know how to “peacefully agree to disagree” and move on. It is OK to walk away in order to not say or do something that you will have to ask for forgiveness or say I am sorry for later. We had to learn that you don’t have to be right, but effective. We have never lived around family so we learned to work our problems our in our own home. Remember love can overcome anything. Learn to forgive. We discuss the item and pray together regarding the situation. 52
Then we pray individually and continue discussion as to what we think God has shown us. If there is not consensus then my role as the husband is to make the final decision and the wife accepting the decision. I am responsible to God for my decisions Words of wisdom to help other couples reach the milestone of a long lasting happy marriage. Marriage is not easy. What has worked for us is 1) God First 2) Build each other up 3) Don’t worry, be happy 4) Forgive and forget; Always remember it’s about imparting in you children a legacy of prayer, faith and unity! “Only a king can attract a queen! Only a queen can keep a king focused” Make her your priority after God. Never stop studying her ways. Stay in the discovery mode. Communicate often. Be consistent in what you say and what you will do. Support each other’s dreams and goals. Have fun together. Men, we have a responsibility and the ability to design, create, and build an environment in our marriages that will last for a lifetime. Be quick to forgive as neither partner is perfect and even though we try to follow the Lord, sometimes our words/actions are not always uplifting. Therefore, forgive, forgive, and forgive… Never use the ‘D’ word by using divorce as a threat! Remember that it takes two to fight so as long as you both don’t get mad at the same time it is impossible to have a fight. Establish a biblical marriage and function based on biblical principles. Our marriage has been blessed as we
identified each other’s strengths and weaknesses and let each other function in their strengths. Areas that we are individually weak in are the strengths in our spouse. Please meet my friends that have helped and inspired my to write this article: • Ruben & Bila Candalaria, married 22 ½ years, have 3 daughters (16, 19, and 21) , 5 dogs and 3 adopted grandchildren. • Robert & Julie Gonzales, married 32 years, have 3 children (21, 24, 27), twin boy grandbabies on the way. • Jorge & Bela Vela, married 29 years, have 2 children (24, 26). • Terah & Sheralyn Woodley, married 27 years, have 2 children (23, 25). • John & Sherry Tillery, married 35 years, have 2 children (33, 34). • Gayle & Myrna Brogdon, married 53 years, have 3 children (40, 41, 50) and 6 grandchildren. Several months ago, I noticed so many couples having problems within their marriage. I also noticed that many of these couples had been married 15 years or less. I started praying even more than I had before. However, I researched the “longevity of marriage” maybe “why” they are having the issues and this is the reason for this article. I just want to encourage all couples, even myself, to hold on, stay committed to each other, love each other, seek God and seek Godly counsel because it is worth it. There is proof.
What We Can Learn From Our Favorite Super Heroes Ar ticl e by G a b r i el l e Davi s
Who is your favorite superhero? Superman? Supergirl? Batman? The Guardian? Wonder Woman, perhaps? Why? Why is it that we all love a good superhero? According to Smithsonian Magazine, there are three reasons why we love superheroes. First, every hero experiences some kind of life changing trauma, which causes him or her to make a vow to help others and become 54
activists. Second, accepting our socalled ‘destiny’ in which we finally accept what it is we are meant to do here on Earth – in other words, we find our ‘calling’ in life. Lastly, superheroes happen by chance in which random events cause us to step back, look at our lives, and choose a different path than the one we were originally on.
Superheroes teach us lessons whether we realize it or not. We know that every superhero has a weakness they must face. The most important lesson in realizing that every superhero has a weakness is that no one, not even the strongest superhero out there, is perfect. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Our weaknesses remind
us that we are in fact human; but, we are strong enough to overcome those weaknesses by believing in ourselves and with the support of others.
Superheroes teach us to recognize our goals and mission in life while forming a plan. You should always aim high and reach for the stars, but also be realistic. Break them down into smaller goals that can be accomplished over time. Superheroes teach us how to be successful. Every superhero can teach us how to be better individuals. They can teach us not to judge those based on past indiscretions and always seeing the best in others. Superheroes want to see the good in people and believe that there is good in everyone, even if that is not always the case. They also teach us to understand that everyone is different and no two people are the same, and that’s okay too; they teach us
Just like superheroes, we too have a nemesis or arch enemy. Not everyone is going to like you for who you are, and that’s okay. You were not put here on this Earth to please everyone; it is almost impossible. You should never stray from your beliefs and always fight for them. Superheroes teach us how to deal with our enemies in a positive way.
acceptance. The biggest lesson that superheroes can teach us is to be great, it requires effort. Anything worth something requires effort. Find what inspires you, what drives you, and what makes you happy then work towards it. Find your dream and go for it! Superheroes believe in the power of their dreams. Just like you should believe in the power of your dream, believe in yourself. No dream is too big or too small. Here are a few other lessons that we can learn and benefit from: • Express yourself • Face your fears • Fight for what is right, even if it seems small • Don’t take yourself too seriously and have some fun occasionally! • Always be there for your friends, even if they are too proud to ask • It’s okay to get angry sometimes
but be responsible in how you express your anger and always be in control of it • It’s never too late to change • You don’t have to be super to be a hero because we all have the power to be great The most important thing to remember about superheroes is that underneath the costumes, the masks, and the powers is a normal person who can do extraordinary things. We all have the power to be superheroes, to make a change in the world, to make a difference. The heroes are those who fight for justice and fight for the underdogs of the world. They are normal people like you and I. Superheroes teach us about humanity and what it means to be human. Yes, they are powerful but they are human when everything is stripped away. They teach us to always believe in ourselves and to believe in others. 55
Books To Read By The Fire Ar ti c l e by G a b r i el l e Davi s
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles William Eliot There are books, and then there are books. A good book is one that will transport you to magical realms or to another city, letting you get lost in its story and falling in love with the characters. Some books can even take you through time. On a cold winter’s day, there is also nothing better than being curled up by 56
the fireplace with a good book in one hand, and a cup of hot chocolate or tea in the other. With thousands of books out there, in all different genres, sometimes it’s hard to know which book to pick. Mysteries, especially the cozy kind, are my personal favorite and lately, I have found myself branching out into the realms of fiction and historical fiction. If you are looking for a good book (or books) to curl up with this winter, check out my top must have books! They range from historical fiction to fiction and thrillers.
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell $18
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larrson $18
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald $10
Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling $45
The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman $10
All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr $16
The Help – Kathryn Stockett $10
The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah $14
The Weekenders – Mary Kay Andrews $18 57
Oh Broken Remedy
Øh Broken Remedy, who are you and why are you called Øh Broken Remedy? Is this your original name? We are a rock alternative band revealing the love of Christ through our music. We’re called ØBR because the human condition is always a broken remedy. Temporarily you can find a fix (drugs, alcohol, or something that satisfies) but the only real cure is Jesus Himself. Yes, that’s the original band name. How did Øh Broken Remedy begin? It started as a pop punk band playing local shows in downtown Brownsville with friends. Who are your band members and the instruments that are played by each? How long have you known each other? Chris Moore (rhythm guitar and lead vocal), Marcus Moore (lead guitar/vocal), Jorge Padilla (bass guitar), and Adrian Loera (drummer) are the band members. Chris and Marcus have known each other forever, because we are brothers. Jorge has been a close friend for 7 years. Adrian is our newest band member.
What made you choose the instruments you have now? Are you subject to brand loyalty? Which ones are you loyal to? Was it cost or was it a style / model / brand / color preference? We chose the instruments we have because of the style of music we play. It’s more of a raw rock and roll loud electric guitar feel. We are not subject to brand loyalty. However, the OG sound of Tele’s is great. We are more than willing to experiment with equipment. When it comes to amps we tend to go for CLEAN, BIG, LOUD, and WARM. What is the message your band wants to the world to know and receive? We want everyone to know that we are not a band that will judge you for your beliefs. We want people to know that Jesus Christ loves them more than they could ever know and He satisfies more than anything in this world! Many of your songs are written by members of your band, who writes your songs? What is your source of inspiration for your songs and what are
the main themes or topics for your songs? Chris Moore writes our songs. Personal experience is the primary source of inspiration. For example, the struggles that a person goes through in life such as a loss, hurt, or pain are mainly the topics/themes of the songs we write and sing.
play what comes to us on the spot. During that we come up with melodies for the song. After that Chris works on tying the lyrics into the song.
What venues have you performed at? What are your favorite songs? When are you upcoming events? Walters in Houston, TX; White Rabbit in San Antonio, TX; Jacks Patio in San Antonio, TX; Yerberia in McAllen, TX; The Mockingbird in Macon, GA; Prophet Bar in Dallas, TX; Curtain club in Dallas, TX; Safe, Drown, and Drugs are some of our favorites songs that we’ve done. We have a show on January 6th in Houston, TX and on January 7th in McAllen. TX (Yerberia)
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge for offering spiritual, emotional, or financial support? We would love to thank Toro Bookings for booking awesome shows and venues and Dr. Bill and Anne Moore, parents of Marcus and Chris, for financial support.
Please describe your music-making process. We get together in a room and
What are your rehearsals generally like? In a rehearsal we play the set(for the show) beginning to end twice and we practice with the same intensity we play live.
How can our readers gain access to your music? Our music is available on Spotify, iTunes, Google play, band camp, and you tube.
Movies To Watch When You’re Snowed Ar ticl e by E m i l y O str a nd er
If you’re stuck at home on a snow day, why not have your own movie marathon? There are many great movies to watch when you’re snowed in for the day, and these are no exception. The movies below deal with other people affected by the snow, and might make you feel better about not being able to leave the house. They might even make you glad you’re warm and cozy at home on your couch, unable to do anything but watch movies all day. These movies represent only a few possible selections. You can create your own movie marathon when you’re snowed in at home. Make it a film noir day, watch gangster movies, or your favorite films from the 80’s. It’s all up to you. Groundhog Day (1993) Groundhog Day follow Phil (Bill Murray), a sleazy weatherman tasked with covering the Groundhog Day festivities in Puxatawny, PA. After a blizzard, Phil finds himself stuck in town reliving the same day over and over, until he learns what life is about. Phil tries all sorts of things to break the cycle, from suicide, to saving the life of a homeless man, to tricking his producer, Rita (Andie McDowell), into falling in love with him. Directed by the incredible Harold Ramis, this film is more than just a funny romp, it shows us that we can all make changes for the better in our lives. Edward Scissorhands (1990) Most people forget this movie, directed by Tim Burton, is a holiday movie probably because it’s set in a warm climate. The titular Edward (Johnny Depp), is an artificial human built by an elderly scientist (Vincent Price), who dies before he can finish Edward. As a result, Edward is left incomplete with scissors for hands. A local woman, Peg
(Diane Wiest), takes him in to her home, where he falls in love with her daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder). Edward Scissorhands is not only touching and hilarious at times, but Burton artfully spins the tale of how snow came to one small town. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) This movie is another holiday favorite. Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the story of Neal Page (Steve Martin), an advertiser who is trying to make it home for Thanksgiving. He meets Del (John Candy) after his flight is cancelled. The two men embark on an uproarious threeday journey from New York to Chicago together, with the hapless Del seeming to bring disaster at every turn. The men eventually become friends, and Neal invites Del to his family’s celebration. This heartwarming John Hughes classic is definitely one to watch when you’re snowed in for the day. The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining, is the tale of the Torrance family, Jack, Danny and Wendy. Jack (Jack Nicholson), a disgraced teacher and writer, is hired to be the winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Little does he know, the hotel has a dark past and waits to devour the whole Torrance family. While snowed in for the season, Jack is driven insane by the Overlook and tries to kill his wife and son. This chilling film is widely considered to be one of the best horror movies ever made, and being snowed in might make it even more terrifying for you, so watch it during the day..
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Rolling Stone The Thing (1982) John Carpenter’s The Thing, is another excellent horror movie to watch when you’re snowed in. Set in Antarctica, this movie follows an isolated research team infiltrated by a shapeshifting alien that picks them off one by one and assumes their form. MacReady (Kurt Russel), a helicopter pilot, leads the remaining team in a desperate stand against the alien parasite.. The Thing breeds paranoia; so, you may not want to t watch it before or after The Shining.
Fargo (1996) Fargo is the story of a strange murder in the small North Dakota town of Fargo. Marge (Frances McDormand), the town’s Chief of Police, sets out to solve the murder while seven months pregnant. This dark comedy, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Cohen is a perfect movie to watch when you’re snowed in. The snowy setting and the amount of time Marge spends trudging around outdoors will make you glad you’re warm and cozy at home.
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Stylish Winter Must Haves Ar ti c l e by G a b r i el l e Davi s
With winter fast approaching, it’s time to switch up your wardrobe and update your closet! Put your fall shirts away and break out the winter gear. The worst thing about winter is that for many of us, we often times feel like we have to dress in layers upon layers, thus losing all sense of fashion in the process. Yes, as winter descends upon us it is true that we have to start dressing in layers; however, we do not have to lose our sense of fashion and style! Check out my top 10 stylish winter must haves!
The mission is simple: put a hat on every child’s head that is battling cancer. With each purchase, you are helping raise money for cancer and providing a child with a hat to keep their heads warm. Each beanie is $30 and each pompom hat is $45.
Scarves Scarves are practically an outfit on their own sometimes and make a statement. Blanket scarves are particularly popular this time of year. Large, oversized, stylish, and comfy. Check out some of these amazing selections of blanket scarves.
Boots My favorite part of winter fashion, aside from leggings, is being able to wear boots. I love a good, sturdy, fashionable boot. Although they are expensive, you cannot go wrong with a good UGG boot. Priced at $155, these tall boots are guaranteed to keep your feet and your calves warm all year long.
Hats By far, the only hats you should purchase this year as a stylish winter must have is a beanie or pompom hat from Love Your Melon. 76
Leggings Winter fashion isn’t complete unless you have a great pair of leggings. Whether they are plain, patterned, or fleece lined, your winter wardrobe isn’t complete without a pair!
Gloves There is nothing worse in the winter than having cold hands and fin-
gers. Check out these cute selection of gloves that are not only warm, but also fashionable. Coats Part of winter means having to wear a heavier coat that we don’t consider to be as fashionable as our warmer wear. Believe it or not, there are actually some cute and fashionable winter coats out there. Flannel Pajamas Nothing says winter like a pair of cute, flannel pajamas! Classic Turtlenecks Turtlenecks are slowly making a comeback, and women are finding new and inventive ways to wear them. Earmuffs Surprisingly, earmuffs are making a comeback this year. They might seem childish, but if you really look, you can find some fashionable earmuffs to wear this winter!
Travel Bag Essentials Ar ti c l e by Khi a m m a Pta h
With the summer ending, everyone is planning their last minute vacations. If we haven’t been on vacation in a while we can forget what to bring to make our experience nice and easy. Instead of spending extra money at the shops before your flight, bring these five essentials with you. Cute Tote Bag First things first, you need a bag to keep all of your essentials in. Have you ever tried to stuff all your things into a small purse or backpack? Not anymore, an oversized tote bag is perfect for any flight as you can fit in all your essentials and more. Get one with multiple pockets so that you can stay more organized. You won’t have to worry about damaging your things if you have everything in a designated place. With a tote bag, you’ll be stylishly prepared as you make your way to the plane. Book or Magazine Being on the plane for multiple hours can be boring, especially if you have no form of entertainment 78
with you. Sometimes we don’t want to watch the movies provided to us either. We just sit there contemplating whether to go to sleep or go to sleep. This is where your book or magazine comes in handy. Bringing fresh reading material with you can get you excited to board the plane and read. Make sure to bring a book light with you so you can still read when the lights turn off. If you’re not much of a bookworm, then pick up the latest edition of your favorite magazine. You can catch up on the hottest trends and even read some lengthy articles. You’ll get through a magazine quicker than a book, but it’s a nice read when waiting for short periods of time. Portable Charger If you’re bringing an electronic device, it’s smart to bring a charger. However, having to deal with cords and sitting on the floor next to the outlet is not ideal. Bring a portable charger with you so when your battery life is low you can just plug up and keep moving.
Snacks Many people don’t think to bring snacks and find themselves starving on the way to their destination. Why pay twice as much money when you can bring snacks with you for free. Throw in a couple of goodies you made at home that are portable and mess-free. You’ll be thankful when the time comes, and you won’t have to opt for unhealthy food options. Noise Cancelling Headphones It can get noisy when on the plane, train, and bus. Bring noise cancelling headphones so you can hear your music clearly without any noisy interruptions. You’ll be able to listen to your music playlist without disturbing other people as well. This is the better option when listening to music with other people around you. Traveling can be difficult if you don’t have the proper things to keep you preoccupied. The next time you travel, throw a couple of these items into your carry on tote bag and you’ll be ready to go!
Staying Comfortable Yet Stylish in College Ar ti c l e by Khi a m m a Pta h
So the semester has officially started and you’re not so enthusiastic about getting dressed for class. You don’t need a completely new wardrobe to make this part of getting ready easy. With these five pieces you’ll be able to stay stylish yet comfortable in college.
slight change in a positive way and might even compliment you on your bold accessorizing.
Signature Jacket When you have those early morning classes and leave the house in a dress and sandals, you’ll wish you had a jacket. Throw on a classic jean or leather jacket over any ensemble and you have yourself an easy outfit to put together day after day. Switch it up by wearing different tops and bottoms with the same jacket throughout the week. Once the morning fog clears up, you can decide to keep it on or take it off. The more options, the better.
Sweater If you have those mandatory night classes, a sweater is the perfect thing to throw on. You can wear them with any piece of clothing like jeans, shorts, skirts, and so forth. Sweaters come in all types of colors, textures, and even some eye-catching designs. Wearing a sweater that has a cool saying is a great way to express your personality as well.
Throw-On Dress If your classes start in the afternoon, the sun is out and shining bright. On days like this throw on a dress, put your hair in a bun, and head out the door. The great thing about dresses is that you don’t have to worry about pairing it with another piece of clothing. This means that it will take less time for you to get ready which is always a plus.
Sneakers Sneakers are essential for school as you’re walking around campus all day and sometimes even all night. Swap out those summer sandals for a nice pair of comfortable sneakers. Those fast walks to class are made easy and if you style them right, you’ll be the epitome of casual chic.
Hat When we wake up late and don’t have enough time to do our hair, wearing a hat is a nice cover up. Throw on a nice baseball cap for a causal look or a fedora for a more chic look. People will notice the 80
Just because we’re college students doesn’t mean we have to forget about our appearance. Instead of grabbing your sweatpants, put on a pair of jeans and start looking presentable in class. The better you look, the better you’ll perform.
DELIBERATE MAGAZINE PINCH PROVISIONS MINIMERGENCY KIT $21
CIRCLE RING $27 REVERSIBLE FAUX LEATHER TOTE & WRISTLET $48
BAG-ALL CHARGER SMALL ORGANIZING BAG $10
Fashion Buys the Won’t Break the Bank WOMEN’S MANTRABAND CUFF $35
CORD ORGANIZER SET $24
MIRRORED AVIATOR 57MM SUNGLASSES $12 82
RIB KNIT FRINGE INFINITY SCARF $10
KNIT BEANIE $8
MINI SMALL SQUARE STUD EARRINGS $32
ORGANIC COCONUT HOT OIL HAIR MASK $4
POSIETINT CHEEK & LIP STAIN $30 PERFECT HAIR DAY(TM)’ DRY SHAMPOO $12-22
Beauty Buys the Won’t Break the Bank
FAUX FUR EYE MASK $29
TARTELETTE IN BLOOM CLAY EYESHADOW PALETTE $45
LIGHT THERAPY ACNE MASK $40
GORGEOUS COSMETICS ‘COLOUR PRO’ EYESHADOW $25
NAKED BASICS EYESHADOW PALETTE $29
9-PACK BATH TRUFFLE $20
NAIL CANDY KIT MULTI $20 83
Winter Beauty Staples Article by Trenica Gbani
Growing up in Miami, FL, as a Floridian, I never knew a true “WINTER”. However, as I grew up and joined the ranks of our “Great America Military” I quickly acclimatized to the northern east coast. As a result, I adopted the following winter beauty staples. It’s my opinion every lady should have a pair of knee high boots in her closet. I dress them up with jeans, shirts, and thick leggings. I enjoy every moment of dressing up in the winter. There was and is no limit to my fashion skill. However, life and time waits for no one. I began to attend college and on top of working, training, and deploying, those dress up fashion shows slowly stopped. My thought process was “ just put on something warm and go”. Sometimes as women we find ourselves taking care of everyone else for the holidays and the winter weather except “US”. Eventually, I began to turn that back around. Once I went natural three years ago, I began to look more into taking care of my hair and skin. I watched YouTube videos of women who went
natural and the products they used. Just as many of the women on the video stated, I would tell you the same thing “ find what works best for you”. For my hair, I use “Cantu products”, the shampoo and conditioner, Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Curling, Hair Dressing Pomade, Daily Oil Moisturizer, Define and Shine Custard, Leave in Conditioner, Moisturizing Cream Shampoo, and Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream, and Eco gel. I don’t use all these products at once, just on different occasions depending on the look I am going for. As I mentioned before, I focused on my skin as well. Now, my skin gets very dry depending on the city or country I’m in and the levels of their water. Because I never knew where I was going to be next I took Jergens Shea butter with me everywhere I went. It’s thick and it lasts me all day. Almost every female soldier will tell you that between the black socks and the Army boots our feet sweat all day and it destroys our feet. At night, I put Vaseline Intensive Care (Cocoa Radiant) with pure coca butter and sometimes Avon Skin So Soft (Firm and Restore) lotion
mixed together on my feet and I cover them with socks. This was told to me by a friend a long time ago in Fayetteville, NC. The socks help keep the moisture in and softens the feet. When I wake up in the morning my feet are so soft with no cracks or dryness. In addition, about a year ago, I began putting Vaseline on before I go to work and it works too. Additionally, in the winter I use more lip moisturizer than usual. The colder it gets the more cracked our skin can become especially our lips. I don’t know about you but when I wait too long to put some type of moisturizer on and my lips crack that is a painful feeling. I use Carmex Chap Stick and Maybelline New York “Baby Lips (DrRescue) medicated Balm”. Additionally, I picked up a fetish for scarves. In the winter, be different, the more unique the scarf, the better. I have even begun using the scarfs for head wraps; I figured I am able to get double my money, for usage.
Mastering Your Countouring Game Ar ticl e by Li z a nd r a M erc a d o
hese days, everyone seems to be stepping away from the “no makeup” look and focusing on their contouring game. Makeup is not just about foundation and concealer anymore. Contouring can significantly enhancel the amazing features you already have; but only if it is done correctly. As a makeup artist, I have seen
many bad contouring jobs, and trust me I would hate for such a thing to happen to you. Contouring and highlighting your face isn’t difficult at all. Anyone can learn how to contour; it is simply a matter of knowing where to place the products and using the right techniques to blend everything together. Let me just say this, “patience is
key” when it comes to blending your contour! You will mostly see contouring on the cheeks, chin, forehead and nose; but, you can enhance other parts of your face, it is totally up to you. Read on for a few steps and guidance on how you can master a flawless contour.
Images by Pinterest
or starters, you can either use cream or powder to contour; it is really a personal preference. Play around with both and see which works best for you. If you choose to use cream products you can use different shades of foundation or concealer to contour. For a natural look that you can wear everyday, go 1-2 shades darker than your natural skin tone. For a more dramatic, nighttime glam look, you can go 3-4 shades darker. Always keep in mind where you will be going and the type of lighting you will be in. When applying cream contour, you can use your fingertips or a flat foundation brush. For blending, a handy dandy beauty
blender is perfect; make sure that it is damp before using. If you choose to use powder product to contour, you will want to go with matte products such as a matte bronzer to give off a natural look. Shimmer is a BIG no-no when it comes to contouring! A large fluffy angled brush is ideal for applying and diffusing your powder contour shade.
parts by placing your fingers on the sides of your face and where you feel it dip underneath the bones, just above that is where you should apply your contour. If you want to add length or width to your nose, start a little narrower at the tip or carry it up into the brow area if you have. Honestly, everyone has different face shapes and sizes and everyoneâ€™s idea of enhancing their here do I apply my con- own features will vary but these touring product? are just some basic tricks.
f you have a larger forehead, hat is it! Follow and pracapply product straight into the tice these simple tips and hairline area to minimize it. To you will be a contour pro soon bring out your cheekbones, you enough. will want to first find the hollow 89
Keeping Your Skin Hydrated Ar ticl e by K ati e A l l en
There are plenty of things to love about winter; a freshly fallen coat of snow, ice skating, and of course, Christmas. It’s a beautiful time of year meant to be spent with close friends and family. Among all this beauty, there’s one thing that isn’t always something to love about winter; dry, flaky skin. The harsh winter weather can have a negative effect on your skin, making it hard to keep your skin hydrated. Between the brisk wind and the dry winter air, it can dry your skin out and suck all of the moisture away. There’s nothing worse than going to a party with dry skin and waiting for the impending looks the guests will give you. This winter, don’t settle for the drying effects winter can have on your skin. Keep your skin hydrated with these easy to remember tips. Wash With Soap Avoid the acne and blackhead face 92
washes. These tend to have a drying effect on your skin. While they do a great job at clearing your skin of imperfections, these face washes aren’t always the best picks for winter. In order for acne soap to work, it has to dry out your skin to keep bacteria from getting into your pores. Try using a face soap that emphasizes use on sensitive skin. A gentle soap won’t dry out your skin as much. Some actually help to put the moisture back into your skin. Moisturize With Ease Avoid those extra scented lotions. In the past I’ve noticed that they do a great job at making me smell like a cotton candy scented flower in Paris; however, they do little to help my dry and itchy skin. Any lotion with aloe infused in it is a great choice. It can add an extra layer of moisture to your skin to help lock in the hydration and keep the cold winter winds from stealing it. For
your face, try a gentle lotion, they always provide more moisture. I try to remember to moisturize when I wake up in the morning and right before I go to bed to give me 24-hour protection in the winter. Water All Day While keeping your skin hydrated from the outside is a good start, you’ll need to go that extra step to keep your body hydrated from the inside, too. Drinking water throughout the day will help to hydrate you throughout the dry winter months. Try to drink a water bottle (16 ounces) every couple hours. If it seems like that’s
too much and you want a different taste, there are easy ways to fix that. Buy a water infuser so you can add a hint of fruit to your water, you can add strawberries, lemons, or even cucumbers and mint. You’ll get the moisture and nutrients from fruit as well as a refreshing new drink to help keep you hydrated. Spray Your Face I’ve recently learned of a new technique to add extra hydration to your skin. Once you’ve washed your face at night spritz a bit of Rose Water or Ph Water onto your face. I’ve used Rose Water in the
summer when I’ve been sunburned and it helps to prevent my skin from becoming leathery and flaky. Ph Water will also help to give your skin moisture by restoring your Ph balance. Heated Homes Part of the problem in the winter is the heat we all crank up when it gets cold. Between the cold outside and the heat inside, your skin doesn’t have a chance to get used to either extreme. Try to keep your heat down, especially if it’s mild outside. That way, the transfer from inside to outside won’t be as drastic
and you can keep your skin hydrated. Salt Scrub Your skin can’t stay hydrated if it isn’t healthy. Don’t let your winter dry skin take over. Once a week, use a sea salt scrub to get rid of the excess dead skin. Use your favorite moisturizing lotion after the scrub to double the affects. After you use a salt scrub, your skin will feel smooth and refreshed. For those of you who can’t tolerate the salt, a great sea salt scrub alternative is a sugar scrub. 93
Staying In Shape During the Holidays A r ti c l e by B l a ke Rea d i ng
You work all year long on your diet and make sure you go to the gym multiple times a week, with the goal of maintaining your current physique, or attaining your dream physique. Don’t let a few days absolutely destroy your progress.
stopping you from picking and choosing the particular foods that you’re going to eat. You can borrow a relative’s car or have someone drive you to the grocery store and pick up enough healthy food for your meals between the family gatherings.
Now, pay close attention to that last sentence; “Don’t let a few days absolutely destroy your progress.” If for three days in a row, you drink upwards of 6 beers or glasses of wine each night along with carb and fat heavy comfort food, you’ll derail your hard earned progress, not terribly, but it’ll be noticeable. So what are you to do?
Eat clean meals all day and go to the gym when you can. If your family wants to go to dinner at their favorite local restaurant, go with them. This is one of the only times of the year where many people can call off work for an extended period and just relax with their loved ones. Don’t let your desire for an incredible six-pack prevent you from spending time with your family.
You should continue to go to the gym at least three days a week while you’re on vacation. You’ll need to stay active and in some sort of a routine. There’s nothing
But, make sure you use sound judgment when you’re out eating. If you want to maintain a decent
DELIBERATE MAGAZINE diet while on vacation and you’re at a restaurant, don’t order a pizza when you see it on the menu. You can order a salad, a filet, salmon, or chicken, and request it be prepared without salt, oil, butter, or an excessive amount of spices. Take your time and use your head. Let’s say your grandmother sets up an incredible meal at her house and invites the entire family over for Christmas Eve. All the food is set up buffet style and you walk along with your plate deciding what to get and how much. Clearly, it’s inappropriate to bring a food scale to Christmas dinner to weigh out your food; but, you can do your best to “guestimate” what you’re putting in your body. My best piece of advice is, look at your hand as a closed fist. If you put a “fist’s worth” of chicken breast on your plate, you will have about 4 ounces. Look at all the food and make sure you get a healthy serving of protein, carbs, and fat. If you’re going to be drinking alcohol, cut back on the carbs and fats a little. At the same time, you probably knew earlier in the day you’d be drinking tonight; so, hopefully you planned accordingly and didn’t indulge on snack foods. While we’re on this subject, let’s talk about the drinking for a second. The biggest misconception perpetuated by fitness professionals is that if you drink alcohol, you will become fat; that is incredibly false. There is no magic ingredient in a beer that will make you gain an ounce of fat, whatsoever. What it truly comes down to and how people actually gain weight is is calorie intake vs- calories burned. Your typical beer has 140-190 calories. If I told you to only consume 2400 calories on a daily basis, and 96
we’ve just finished dinner at 2000 calories for the day, you can only afford to drink two beers and meet your calorie goals for the day. The reason people get fat from drinking is because they eat to their calorie maximum, or blast way past it by eating garbage and then they go out and have 7 or 8 beers.
Friday 12/23 Workout today. Burn off the beer and push through the hangover that you will likely have as a result of having so much fun last night. Eat clean; get some healthy carbs and fats in your stomach next to that protein to fill you up and help absorb last night’s beverages.
If you really want to stay in shape over the holidays, you absolutely have to consider that. I am going to make this extremely easy for you now. Below is a sample food and gym schedule for the week of December 19th, with Saturday being Christmas Eve, when everyone is going to be indulging.
Saturday 12/24 Christmas Eve Take the day off from the gym. Get in plenty of protein today but watch your carbs and fats because it’s very likely you’ll be eating a large meal with your family this evening. If your dad wants to have a beer with you, have one with him. If your aunt wants you to try her new desert she made after dinner, try it. If the mashed potatoes are so good you want seconds, get them.
Monday 12/19 Eat a clean diet all day and go to the gym. Make sure you go to the gym today even if it’s a travel day, because starting your week off with a workout will set you up for success the rest of it. Tuesday 12/20 Eat a clean diet all day and take the day off from the gym. Hang out with your family and friends. Do something really fun. Wednesday 12/21 Same deal. Eat a clean diet all day, but go back to the gym today. Try an exercise that you’ve never done before to keep it interesting. Thursday 12/22 Take today off from the gym, but continue eating clean. Maybe some friends that you haven’t seen in years invite you out to get drinks tonight. Account for that and watch your calories. Maybe go for a walk with the family dog to pre-burn a few cals.
Christmas Eve or any holiday for that matter that you get to spend with your family is special. Don’t allow a strict diet to control everything you do and prevent you from having an incredible time with your loved ones. You never know when you will have the next time to see them; so,take this moment in and enjoy it. You’ll be back on your diet tomorrow and smashing your workout, so don’t worry. I hope you have an incredible holiday season and make some incredible memories that will last a lifetime with your loved ones. If you’d like to get more tips from me, head to GetHeroFit.com where you can buy my training and nutrition books for either fat loss or muscle building, along with some really cool gym gear and clothing.
Getting A Better Nightâ€™s Sleep
Arti c l e by Tea u na H a r p er
It’s 4:00 AM and you’re supposed to be up in 2 hours. However, you’re somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, tossing and turning in your bed. This is not the first time this has happened; nope, you were tossing and turning at 2:00 AM and 12:00 AM as well. Let’s not even mention how it took you an hour to fall asleep in the first place. It happens to all of us. So, what can we do to ensure a better night’s sleep? Turn Off Electronic Devices Most of our electronics such as phones, laptops, and tablets emit blue wavelength lights. They throw off our sleeping patterns because blue light is similar to natural daylight. Scrolling through Facebook before you go to bed can trick your body into believing that it’s daytime. This makes you more awake and it will take longer for you to fall asleep. By turning off these devices an hour or so before bed, you help your body know it’s time to sleep. If that’s sounds a little extreme for you, you can use apps or settings on your devices that decrease the amount of blue light it emits. Develop A Sleep Routine Create a sleep routine that allows you to wind down. Saturate your routine with things you find relaxing. Take a bubble bath, read a book, and/or light some candles. Do whatever it takes for you to feel relaxed and sleepy. Also, be sure to manage your stress. You don’t want to work or focus on things that cause you stress. Try taking time to write in a journal at the beginning of your routine. Write about your day, the way you felt, and make a to-do list for the things you need to accomplish the next day. Writing things down allows you to put
them out of your mind so you won’t be thinking about them as you’re trying to fall asleep. Consistency is also key. Be sure to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Create a Sleep-Inducing Environment Once you have turned off your electronics and have gone through your relaxing sleep routine, you have to have a good environment to sleep in. Just as you have to turn off the lights from your devices, it’s important to turn off all the lights in your room. You don’t want anything that could make your body think it’s daytime. You also want your room to be cool and quiet so turn down your thermostat and use earplugs if necessary. A comfortable pillow and mattress won’t hurt either, and a comfy blanket can make all the difference! Cut Down on Naps I know it’s 3:00 PM on a Saturday and you’re feeling a little groggy, but taking a nap may not be the best thing. Taking naps that are long and too close to when you go to sleep can disrupt your rest. So, while you think you’re doing yourself a favor by taking an afternoon nap, you are actually ruining your chances for a good night’s sleep. However, if you absolutely must nap, try to do it earlier in the day
and limit it to 20 minutes or less. A little tiredness today can lead to a well-rested tomorrow. Sleep When You’re Tired What happens if you do all of these things and you still can’t fall asleep right away? Well, this could be that you’re just starting your new sleep routine and your body hasn’t adjusted yet. Maybe, you simply aren’t sleepy enough. The best thing to do in this situation is to get out of bed and go do something that makes you sleepy. Drink a hot cup of tea or read a book. Then come back to bed and try to fall asleep again. Contact Your Doctor Simply using the tips above can alleviate most sleep problems. However, some sleep issues require medical attention. If your sleep problems have persisted for a long period of time or if they greatly affect your ability to function during the day, then it might be time to contact a doctor. Schedule an appointment to talk about any concerns you may have. Your physician will most likely work together with sleep specialists to come up with a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that works for you. 101
Fighting the Cold A r ti c l e by Tea u na H a r p er
When winter weather strikes, often times, so do colds and other illnesses. You may take vitamins, push fluids, and get 8 hours of sleep consistently; yet, still end up with a cold . Sometimes it’s inevitable and no matter how hard you try, you will get sick. My go to remedies for a cold are: chicken soup, garlic, and orange juice. There are other ways, that experts suggest, to stay healthy and prevent a cold; as well as how to deal with a cold and the flu if you should happen to get sick. Exercise Exercising when you have a cold can sometimes help alleviate the symptoms, especially if they are from the neck up. Exercising regularly can help fight fatigue and the flu, as well as ward off pesky illnesses. Chicken Soup Whether it’s fact,fiction or just an old wives’ tale, everyone who has ever been sick will automatically reach for a can of chicken soup or make it from scratch. Supposedly, eating chicken soup can help our bodies respond to the inflammation and relieve the symptoms. It can also speed up the movement of mucus and limit congestion. Doctors aren’t sure if it’s the vegetables in the soup, which have anti-inflammatory properties, or if it’s the fact that the soup is warm. It’s not pleasant; however, if you eat something hot when you are sick, your nose tends to run a lot more and you can breathe easier.
Drink Plenty of Fluids Whether hot or cold, drinking plenty of fluids when you are sick can help you recover faster. Water is usually best but orange juice and tea can help as well. Drinking fluids keep you hydrated and allows your body to better fight off the infection . Treat the Symptoms Most cold and flu symptoms can’t be fixed with antibiotics. A cold and the flu are usually viruses rather than bacterial infections, which render antibiotics useless. Treating the symptoms is often all that you can do in this case. Antihistamines such as Benadryl will help to decrease sneezing and a runny nose. Taking a decongestant can help reduce sinus drainage. Taking anti-inflammatory medicines, such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol, will help eliminate minor aches and pains associated with a cold and flu while also helping to treat fever. If you are severely congested, standing in a steam filled shower can help open up your sinuses and clear out congestion. Without standing in the shower, turn the water to HOT, as hot as it will go and shut the door. As you sit, you’ll notice the room begin to fill with steam. If you find your symptoms getting worse or not getting any better after a few days, definitely go see your doctor! Get Plenty of Rest Even though you may have to take a few days off from work or school, your employer and school (hopefully)
would prefer that you stay home and rest rather than come in and spread your infection to everyone else. Take it easy for a few days and don’t push yourself. Vitamins Your body already has an excellent immune system in place; however, sometimes it may need an additional boost. Taking a good multivitamin, along with Vitamins C and D will help. While they won’t necessarily cure your cold or flu, they will help decrease the length or severity. Always talk to your doctor first before beginning any kind of vitamin regimen. Run A Humidifier If you find that your house is dry, running a cool mist humidifier can often help by adding moisture back into the air. This will help ease your cough and congestion. . You can also put a cup of water on your night stand to help put moisture in the air. Always make sure to use a COOL MIST humidifier. Running a warm mist humidifier can cause bacteria and mold to grow Wash Your Hands You should always be diligent about washing your hands but especially when you are sick. Washing your hands keeps you from spreading your illness to others, including your family and friends.
Improving Your Metabolism Ar ti c l e by A shl ey Frerki ng
If we were honest with ourselves we would admit that we could stand to lose a few pounds. I know I could! But even when we are motivated to lose weight sometimes the pounds are just so stubborn. We hit the gym, we run, we eat right, and nothing seems to work! Sometimes the reason we arenâ€™t losing weight is because we have a slow metabolism. Our metabolisms burn the food we eat, transforming it into energy for all of our activities. If you need to boost your metabolism here is a list of foods and drinks you can ingest that will speed it up for you! Egg Whites Nutritionist David Grotto, RDN, says that egg whites are loaded with branched-chain amino acids. Branched-chain amino acids boost your metabolism. Additionally, egg
whites contain protein and vitamin D. Lean Meat Having an iron deficiency can slow down your metabolism, so load up on lean meat. Try to eat three to four servings of lean mean a day (like chicken and fortified cereal). Chili Peppers Capsaicin, a chemical compound found in chili peppers, speeds up your metabolism. Dr. Isaacs suggests adding a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers to your daily menu. Vitamin C is also found in chili peppers. Green Tea EGCG is a plant compound found in green tea that promotes fat-burning.
Milk Former director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee Michael Zemel, PhD, suggests that calcium can help your body metabolize fat more effectively. Whole Grains Whole grains require more effort your body to break down in comparison to processed grains. Avoid white bread and pasta, and instead eat brown rice and oatmeal. Lentils Your body requires iron to properly burn calories, and one cup of lentils equals 35% of your daily iron intake. Meeting the daily iron requirement is important because approximately 20% of women have an iron deficiency. Garlic Eating garlic has been proved to support blood-sugar metabolism and controls fat levels in your blood. When added to food rich with fats and carbs, garlic can prevent those substances from messing up your bod. Garlic can also boost your immunity, prevent heart disease, fight inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Dark Chocolate Your metabolism will be more regulated when you eat small amounts of high-quality dark chocolate daily. Eating this chocolate also reduces stress-hormone levels. Scientists think that the chemicals in cocoa (like flavonoids) help to regulate your metabolism because it reduces the stress that would otherwise cause your fat-burners to slow down. Oolong Tea Drinking this traditional Chinese tea speeds up your metabolism. Oolong tea is also loaded with antioxidants and catechines. The Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine conducted a study about those who drank oolong and discovered that participants who drank oolong regularly lost six pounds in six weeks.
Salmon This fish is probably the best one for your metabolism because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Typically if someone has an underactive thyroid it is due to inflammation of the gland, and salmon contains anti-inflammatory properties. Kola Nut Tea A cup of kola nut tea contains more caffeine than a cup of coffee, so drinking it kicks your metabolism into high gear. According to a study conducted by Physiology & Behavior this tea increase metabolic rates 3-4% after just 100mg of caffeine. Apples We all know the phrase â€˜An apple a day keeps the doctor awayâ€?, but eating a daily apple can also prevent metabolic syndrome. Apples are low-calorie, filled with nutrients, and fiber. They are one of the best fruits for weight loss. Yogurt Yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium. It will increase your metabolism when eaten as part of a reduced-calorie diet. The probiotics in food such as yogurt and fermented food such as pickles and sauerkraut assist the good bacteria in your stomach to effectively process food.
Avocado The monounsaturated fat in avocados speeds up the rate of your metabolism. They are also loaded with fiber. Laugh More According to the International Journal of Obesity, laughing causes a 10%20% increase in your basal energy expenditure and your resting heartrate. If you laugh for 10-15 minutes you burn 40-170 calories. Drink More Water According to a study conducted by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, you can increase the rate you burn calories just by drinking water. Your metabolism will increase by 30% after drinking about 17 ounces. By increasing your water intake by 1.5 liters a day (or six cups), you will burn an additional 17,400 calories over a year (a loss of about five pounds!). Coffee Drinking coffee is one of the best drinks for weight loss in addition to green tea. According to Physiology & Behavior, people who drink caffeinated coffee speed up their metabolism by 16%. Black coffee is a good thing to drink before working out.
Prepping For Christmas Dinner Ar ticl e by Emil y O str a nd er
Hosting Christmas dinner this year? Don’t stress out, this guide will have you sailing through your duties with ease. With careful planning and preparation, you can get enough done in advance so you can actually enjoy your Christmas with your family or friends. There are only a few weeks left before the holiday, but that’s plenty of time to prepare for Christmas. Depending on how well you stick to the schedule below, you may still find yourself rushing around a bit. If so, try starting even earlier next year. ASAP Send out your invites as early as possible so you can get a rough idea of how many people you’ll be cooking
for. This way, you can start planning and shopping as soon as possible. Items like canned goods, decorations, freezable meats, and alcohol can be purchased well in advance of your dinner. If you start buying early and your numbers change, adjustments will be easy. Look for after Thanksgiving sales on turkeys and other holiday favorites if you’re on a budget. You will also want to begin planning your menu. Try to choose items that are easily prepared in advance; that way you minimize your workload on the day of the dinner. You may want to opt for a potluck meal to further decrease your burden.
One to Two Weeks Out At this point, you’ll want to get a final head count so you can start prepping your dishes. If you have already bought your non-perishables, you will be able to prepare and freeze certain items on your menu. Foods like lasagna, stuffing, potatoes and certain desserts can be prepared weeks in advance and put in the freezer for your holiday meal. The best way to do this is to choose one dish to prepare every day of the week until you’re done prepping for Christmas dinner with plenty of time left. Three to Five Days Out Now it’s crunch time. You
should definitely have your final head count by now, as well as your decorations, drinks and frozen dishes. If not, it’s time to kick things into high gear. You need to make your final to-do and shopping lists for the next few days, and start getting things done. Make some room in your fridge and buy perishable items such as dairy, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, fruits and vegetables. If you plan to brine your meats, now is the time to buy or thaw them. Two Days Out If you aren’t brining your
meat, start thawing it now as large cuts or whole birds can take days to thaw in the fridge. Certain dishes, like pies, cookies, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes can be baked or prepped a few days before your meal and keep well in the fridge. You should also consider completing any chopping, slicing, dicing, or mincing at this point to make life easier for your future self. Anything you can do before the day of your Christmas dinner will allow that much more relaxing time on the day.
The Day Before If you’ve prepped carefully, you should be able to take today easy. Make a list for any final items you need for your Christmas dinner, that way, you don’t forget anything; this will help prevent “store runs” on Christmas day. Take care of any last-minute cooking or prep you can do ahead of time like making whipped cream, egg nog, or cold hors d’oeuvres, and put your drinks in the fridge to chill overnight. Eat a good dinner, and start your decorating and setup. Set
your table the night before, and set up your beverage and appetizer stations. Try making a cooking schedule for the next day so you don’t forget anything or have to rush about. Put out serving bowls and platters, plus any cookware you’ll need for the following day, and be sure to get a good night’s rest. The Day of It’s the day of your Christmas dinner, so I hope you got enough sleep. Your schedule today depends on how you celebrate Christmas. Regardless, you will
still have plenty to do before your Christmas dinner. Make sure to eat a good breakfast today so you have the energy to pull everything off. Cook items that can be reheated or served cold first so you can get your main dish in the oven on time. As your guests arrive give everyone a job to do, like basting the meat, serving drinks, selecting music or taking coats; doing so will allow you to focus on enjoying yourself and the Christmas dinner you orchestrated.