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Land Of Free and Home Of The Brave

What is the American Dream? According to Wikipedia, “The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.” This idea, which stems from the declaration of independence that all men are created equal, is what drove people to conquer the western frontier leading to manifest destiny and drove the wave of immigration into our country into the 19th century (according to the lawyers at http://visaserve.com/), which led to the industrial revolution in the roaring 20s, which was also inspiration for the Civil Rights Movement in 1964.

Does the American Dream still exist in today’s world? Although originally “all men” meant white men, it has now come to include all of humankind. The American Dream has shifted from what used to be about material things (like owning a car, owning a house with a white picket fence) to now focusing on creating a meaningful life by being charitable, giving back to the community and society as a whole, spending time with friends and family and being able to maintain their socioeconomic lifestyle.

Another shift in the American Dream comes from parents wanting the American Dream for their children, whereas now that these children are grown, want the American Dream for themselves. With more and more millennials now being of working age, they want to have a good income to support their lifestyle but they are also the most charitable and globally conscious generation. With that being said, there’s a chance that this generation turns the American Dream into something international.

What do you believe? Do you believe that the American Dream still exists or is it something that is long in the past?

Can Colors Affect Your Mood?

According to the famous artist Pablo Picasso, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.” Can the color of something really change your mood? Welcome to Color Psychology. Although not really a tested field in the world of science, color psychology has been applied to the industries of marketing, advertising and of course graphic design because they claim certain colors can capture people’s attention and get them to convert (whether by buying their product or remembering their logo for future purchases).

This isn’t the first time that people have though color might affect the body. In Ancient Egypt and China, they practiced chromotherapy, which is the use of colors to heal the body. This practice is still found in holistic treatment centers. Each color corresponds to a part of the body to help it heal. For example, red stimulates circulation and blue relieves pain.

But what do modern scientists say about this effect of color? Can it really make a difference to your emotions? Many current psychologists say the science behind this is iffy because the association of colors comes from previous experience with that color. For example, if your abusive step father’s favorite color was blue, then being in a blue room might not give you the same calming effect as most people. Also, they argue that although it might be calming at first, this is a temporary effect and not permanent.

Because the marketing and advertising industry have designated red, orange and yellow as warm colors and green, blue and purple as cool colors, we are subconsciously believing in this theory also. We also associate the warm colors with summer and the cool colors with winter. This can be seen in the fashion industry and beauty industry.

What do you think? Do you think that color can impact your mood or cure your ailments?

How To Be Happy At Work

There’s an old adage saying that you’re not supposed to be happy at work because ‘It’s called work for a reason!” (They even wrote a book about it!) Well, we don’t believe that this is true! After talking to one of our real estate lawyers at the law firm Merlino and Gonzalez, they gave us some great advice on what makes the day go fast and work and how to enjoy it, which I will impart that wisdom onto you!

Find A Work Best Friend – Do you think Merlino and Gonzalez would be partners in a law firm is they weren’t best friends? That might be wishful thinking, but finding that one good work friend can make all the difference. You need at least one friend to bitch too, gossip with, talk bad about the managers with, and work on projects with. When you are having fun at work with your friend, the time will fly by and you will be surprised how much more gets done!

Eat! – A lot of people think that they are so overwhelmed with work that they don’t have time to take a lunch break. Do It Anyway! Sometimes your brain needs to take a break from the stress of work. Go out for a cup of coffee every now and then. Eating a well-balanced lunch that healthy for you and making sure you are drinking water can give you more energy to make it through the afternoon of your job and make you overall happier. Don’t forget to keep snacks on hand for the 3 pm wall. Keeping your blood sugar at a normal level will keep away the cravings!

Move Around – Get up! Get a fit bit and make sure you do your 250 steps. Moving around and giving yourself a mental break and a little physical activity will get your blood flowing and energy levels back up.

How do you stay happy at work?

Benefits of Daily Vitamins

For those who do not like to eat fruits and vegetables, the absolute least you can do is take a daily multivitamin. When you are skipping out on these foods you are not getting essential nutrients that help our bodies in numerous ways. Even if you do eat lots of fruits and vegetables, sometimes you still aren’t getting enough of certain nutrients, so there’s no harm in taking a multivitamin. Over the counter, brand-name vitamins do not have enough concentration to be considered toxic. So what do you have to lose?

Illness Recovery – when you are sick, your body is unable to function properly because it’s using its resources to fight off infections from bacteria or viruses. Taking a multivitamin which has Vitamin C and other immune boosting vitamins will help you recover from your illness quicker. According to Medline Plus, Vitamin C is used in the formation of proteins which can help heal wounds and form scar tissue and repair bones. There’s also been studies that show that Vitamin C can help lower the amount of time it takes to recover from the common cold.

Improve Your Brain – Vitamins such as Vitamin D which comes from the sun but can also be taken in supplement form help our brains from improved thinkings to improved mood! When Vitamin D is activated by enzymes in the liver and kidney, it acts as a hormone and releases brain chemicals that help our bodies in a variety of ways including regulating cell growth, increasing calcium absorption, and maintaining immune and cardiovascular health.

With more and more Americans being afraid to go out in the sun due to the development of skin cancer, and more and more Americans relying on fast food because it’s more affordable than spending a lot of money to eat organic greens, the very least you can do is take a multivitamin!

Cool Things To Do In Houston TX

Start With Opening Day At Minute Maid Park

Houston, Texas is such a cool city that it is impossible not to have fun. Even if you don’t know your way around, driving downtown is both thrilling and well, hair-raising. Hey, you can always take an Uber or a cab. Downtown Houston is only part of what is available to you, as you will soon see upon your visit. Maybe you have been to Houston before, but you are checking out suggestions for cool things to do in Houston TX.

Minute Maid Park is on Crawford Street in Houston, Texas, and it is currently the #7 ranked attraction in the city. If you can go to Minute Maid Park anytime of the year, choose April and get yourself some Opening Day tickets. That is the absolute best time to show up there. There will be booths and vendors for blocks all the way around the park and in the courtyard. You will have so much to do well before the game starts, and there are great little places around the park to hang out before and after the game, too.

Taking in Opening Day or a game at Minute Maid Park on any day is an all day affair. You could go grab a bite to eat at a restaurant, but you’re not going to need one after spending the day at Minute Maid Park. It is also suggested that you take the tour of the park if you are able. Other fun and cool things to do in Houston, Texas after you have visited Minute Maid Park include the Space Center, the Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. You need a few more suggestions to get your way around Houston though, and so you should visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center, The Galleria and Rice University Campus.

Sea Shell Crafts

The weather is warmer and it’s time to head to the beach. But a fun day in the sun can turn into a few more. While you are at the beach collect some sea shells so you can do these fun crafts with your children on a rainy day!

Wind Chimes/Christmas Ornaments – By taking a small drill to make some tiny holes into the shells, you can create wind chimes or Christmas ornaments by hanging them with fishing wire. Don’t forget to get some acrylic paint to personalize each sea shell with names or memories. For a wind chime, taking a pre-existing wind chime and embellishing it is the way to go. For ornaments, you can go to the craft store and buy clear plastic balls. You can even throw in some sand!

Decorate A Picture Frame – whether you buy a new one from the craft store, or want to upcycle something in your home, adding sea shells to a beach family photo gives it a personal touch. You can paint the sea shells, the picture frame, and make sure you use sturdy glue so the shells remain on the picture frame. Another touch is printing out the picture in black and white and using colored pencils to “color in” the black and white picture.

Create A Candle – By putting sand in a mason jar, using a few pebbles, sea shells, and a votive candle you can create a memorable candle. Pro tip: Use a votive candle that mimics beach smell to not only have a cute decoration but something practical as well. You can buy different sizes of mason jars and decorate rooms throughout your house with these candles.

Do you have any other ideas for sea shells? Some other ideas include making jewelry, “pet rocks”, and bedazzling flip flops.

 

Pee-wee’s Playhouse Was The Best Show – Here’s Why!

Pee-wee’s Playhouse was the bright and colorful spotlight television show for Pee-wee Herman, comedian Paul Reubens’ most famous creation. Running from the mid-1980s until 1991 on Saturday mornings, it became a staple of many childhoods that is still fondly remembered to this day. While the character and his original stage show were once targeted towards older audiences, Pee-wee’s Playhouse was an “all ages” affair that balanced the introduction of basic morals and other educational leanings with an ebullient sense of all-out fun.

The ability to seamlessly serve dual purposes and entertain a broad audience is why Pee-wee’s Playhouse was the best show in many people’s eyes. It can still be found ranked highly in many “Best TV Shows Of All Time” lists, and it continues to garner praise as adults revisit it for the first time since their childhood. New generations have also been able to latch on thanks to DVD and Blu-Ray releases. The show has also been made available for streaming on popular platforms such as Netflix, assuring that its legacy will live on just a bit longer.

Even with his initial time in the spotlight now something of the past, there’s no doubting that Pee-wee Herman is still an immensely beloved character, and Pee-wee’s Playhouse itself has remained a classic that will always be looked back on fondly. Reubens even managed to bring the character back one more time in 2016 for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, a Netflix exclusive film that garnered positive reviews and a “certified fresh” rating of over 80 percent on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes. Between that and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure the widely adored 1985 motion picture directed by Tim Burton it would be impossible to deny the sizable mark that’s been made upon pop culture.

Cultures Who Worshipped Cats

There’s a reason why most of America is glued to their smartphone looking at funny cat videos. Our ancient brethren worshiped cats! From Ancient Egyptians, Norse Gods, even the people in Peru all had some sort of Cat Like Diety. Let’s take a look at the top 6 immortal cat beings from all over the world:

1. The Norse God Freyja is known as the goddess of love, fertility, war and was pulled around on a chariot by none other than two gray cats. A gift from her friend Thor. Farmers used to leave offerings to cats because they believed it would bring them a bountiful harvest.

2. The Peruvians, (better known as the Incas but in this case we are going even further back in history to the Mochica), have a shape-shifting god named Ai-Apaec. He looks like an old man with a wrinkled face, fangs and cat whiskers and was known to take the form of a tomcat.

3. The Chinese had a cat god named Li Shou. He makes an appearance in the Chinese Book of Rites. Similar to their Nordic counterparts, Chinese farmers would leave offerings to cats because they believed it protected their crops from rats and other vermin.

4. In Poland, there was Ovinnik, a black cat, who was also worshiped by farmers (I am seeing a trend here). He chased away ghosts, evil spirits, and fairies.

5. In Greece, there was the goddess Hecate who was a shape shifter. In one of the greek myths, she shapeshifted into a Cat to escape the monster Typhon. Since then she extended a special love and protection to all cats.

6. Ceridwen is a Celtic Goddess who also had cats as servants who would do her bidding on earth.

This list fails to mention Native American cultures that also worshiped cats and African cultures that worshiped big cats like Lions.

The Best Reasons To Become A Political Activist

Are you politically active? If you have an interest in politics, but aren’t actively involved, you may want to consider activism. There are many great reasons to become a political activist.

It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Studies have shown that activism can have a positive impact on a person’s health and happiness. People that get involved with activism report feeling happier and more satisfied with their lives.

When you aren’t politically active, it’s easy to become discouraged by everything that is going on around you. When you are active, you can focus those negative energies into something positive instead and become an advocate for something.

You Can Meet People That Share Your Values

When you become an activist, you’ll be able to connect with other activist. You’ll have the chance to meet a lot of people that share the same values as you.

If you get involved with activism, you’ll be able to make new friends and meet a lot of interesting people. You may wind up forming friendships that will last for a lifetime!

You Can Make The World A Better Place

The world is a better place because of activists. Activists were the people behind the civil rights movement; activists are the reason that people around the world have managed to achieve equality.

If you get involved with activism, you’ll be able to work to make the better place. If you’re worried about what the future holds, you should work to change it for the better. Every citizen has the power to make a difference.

As you can see, there are plenty of compelling reasons to explore political activism. If there is a cause that is important to you, then you should try to get involved. Don’t be afraid to speak out about the things that are truly important to you.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is one of those things that everyone seems to be doing nowadays and you aren’t sure why… or you’ve at least tried to meditate and find yourself bored out of your mind not understanding how it’s impacting or helping your body.

Here’s a few benefits of meditation, along with some tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind next time you go to take a quick 15-minute break at work:

Stress Reduction – when you clear all your thoughts of your mind, you can focus on relaxation. Some advice is to focus on each individual body part and visualize it becoming relaxed. Start with your left big toe and work your way through all your toes. Then start with the right big toe and relax each toe. Then move onto the feet, legs, hips, etc, all the way up to the top of the head. By the time you are done with this, you will begin to feel relaxed and the stress will melt away.

Improved Cardiovascular System – once you are fully relaxed, the blood vessels in your body will begin to open up which increases circulation and causes a drop in blood pressure (which rises a lot when you are stressed). Mediation can be a natural and effective way to lower blood pressure without having to take medication and deal with nasty side effects. Although, we recommend that you don’t stop taking medication without talking to a doctor first.

Become Energized – when you reach a deep state of meditation, the brain waves in your head are similar to that of a deep sleep. After a deep meditation, do the reverse process. Start with your left toe and wiggly it. Work your way up to the top of your head. Once you start to move around you will feel energizing. Mediation is the true definition of a “power nap”!!