Millions of Americans changed their racial or ethnic identity from one census to the next

Mixed American Life

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Americans of mixed race, American Indians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics were among those most likely to check different boxes.

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The New iPhone vs. More Important Things


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Just this month, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is still high, and the economy is still slow. Many people are still without health care. Homeless shelters are actually closing in some cities.

Oh, and the new iPhone 5s has sold out! The price is around $600, and more if you want extra features. And it’s sold out. Yes, that many people bought it as soon as it was available.

Do you really need a $600 phone?

Where are our priorities?


I found this post at EarthStoneStation and decided to reblog it because it has such a beautiful and important message.


The Aloha Spirit is a reference to the friendly and caring attitude for which the people of the Hawaiian Islands are so well known. In Hawaiʻi someone can be said to have or show “Aloha” in the way they treat others. Aloha is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.

011In the Hawaiian language, “Aloha” is much more than just a greeting  or salutation. Its deeper meaning is “(oha) the joyful (alo) sharing (ha) of life energy (alo) in the present.” Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring.  Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person.

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Experience a Different Time: The Cloisters Museum

The Cloisters – Photo credit: mattjiggins / / CC BY


I wrote this article for a college journalism class. 

Stepping into Fort Tryon Park with The Cloisters Museum looming in the distance is like stepping out of twenty-first century America and into medieval Europe. The sheer vastness of the park engulfs the senses with things almost foreign to modern city life- an unobstructed view of the local beauty, the Hudson River; countless brightly colored, fragrant flowers of several species; boundless stretches of green grass. There are people here, too, but there’s no jostling for a prime subway seat or a hard earned spot in a long line. It’s difficult to believe that such a place exists in the middle of Manhattan.

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Waiting For Someone to Make You Happy? Stop it!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


Endless pursuit of the perfect match may reveal a misguided quest for self-love.

If a woman has a negative self-image and generally feels poorly about herself, she may work tirelessly to find a cure by securing a perfect match. As a result, she may find herself perpetually caught in a cycle of working to attain male desire and feeling high once it is temporarily achieved. But of course, when the match turns out not to be a good one, the high is often followed by a crushing low. All of which can play out over a few hours or a much longer period of time.
When self-esteem is lacking, it is tempting to outsource a sense of self through associating with an idealized match. Unfortunately, until self-love is present within, true love and care from outside evade. If self-esteem lags, it is easier to focus attention on finding the perfect mate than it is to develop and achieve broader goals for the self. Attaching self-esteem to a romanticized other becomes a way to feel a sense of love that perhaps a woman cannot feel for herself, in her own head. Placing romantic partners on a pedestal is a way to make up for the self-worth deficit. If the man seems confident, sexy, high achieving, then suddenly the woman feels better about herself, almost as if she is him. Failing to harness her own self-esteem, she leans heavily on his.
As a general rule of thumb, the more obsessed and ruminative a person may be about obtaining a partner or finding new romantic attention, the more depleted and inadequate they may feel about themselves.

When self-love is lacking judgment becomes impaired; a woman is more desperate to couple up and is so lost in this pursuit that she has difficulty making an accurate assessment of who the person really is and if he can truly meet her needs. When partners are idealized, the illusion is destined to dissolve, leaving the woman depleted and with a greater sense of inadequacy.

Building self-love is a process. A helpful first step is to notice if you are putting all of your energy into making a relationship work or to finding the perfect match. Take a step back and consider if you are hoping someone else will provide you with something only you can develop. Ask yourself if you have a tendency to idealize your romantic partners and then are left deflated when you discover who they actually are. If you tend to camouflage what you consider unlovable about yourself through attaching to highly desirable, oh so important men, refocus, not on another potential mate, but on yourself.

Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and author of Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy—Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships.

In my opinion:
I know women who are homeless and have boyfriends who have just come out of jail. I know women who have children from several different men. I know women who are in miserable relationships who, when asked why they stay, say that they’d rather be with the wrong person than be alone. I’ve heard of women who sleep around, subconsciously hoping that some random sexual partner will one day turn to them in bed and say, “I love you.” I’ve heard of women who feel ugly, stupid, lonely, and broke and hope that when they find the perfect man, he’ll make things all better.
Guess what? Waiting for a man to fix your life will only lead to disappointment and pain. Only you can fix what’s wrong in your life.  It’s okay to seek help- a therapist can help you identify what you don’t like about yourself and what you don’t like about your life. Through self-examination, you’ll see what’s wrong and feel empowered to change your situation. Empowering yourself not only will improve your self esteem and self confidence, but you will stop having to wait for someone else to “fix” you.
Empowering yourself will also help you to avoid the “bad relationship” trap- you will see yourself having higher standards in a partner. This will minimize the chances that you’ll end up with the wrong person just because you’re lonely or desperate. And if you do end up with the wrong person somehow, you’ll realize that you deserve better and move on.
I love the picture I found for this article- don’t you just love her confidence? Cheers to you if you’re that confident! (I gotta try that hairstyle!)

Kanye West is a Misogynist

Kanye West- Photo courtesy of

Kanye West- Photo courtesy of


Even if you don’t listen to rap music regularly, you’ve most likely still heard of rapper Kanye West. He’s sold millions of albums, been nominated for and won Grammy Awards and MTV Videos Music Awards, and has been hailed as a great musician by Rolling Stone, Time, Vibe magazine, and several others

All of this disgusts me. Why? Because of his lyrics. While it is true that some of his music is more introspective than a lot of rap music of the day and discusses social and racial issues, enough of it is so sexist and narcissistic that the praise heaped on his work is baffling to me.

The dictionary defines the word “misogynist” to mean a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women. Kanye West does an excellent job convincing us that he indeed is a misogynist through his own music. Below are a sampling of some of his Grammy-winning lyrics. I apologize in advance for the crassness of the content. Just remember- he’s actually won AWARDS for this.

When necessary, I include translations- much of it is very difficult and messy to understand.

Lyrics from “Niggas In Paris”:

“She said, ‘Ye can we get married at the mall?’/I said, Look you need to crawl ‘fore you ball/Come and meet me in the bathroom stall/And show me why you deserve to have it all”

“You know how many hot bitches I own”

“Fuck that bitch, she don’t wanna dance”

For clarification purposes: “Ye” is short for Kanye. “Fore” means before. “Ball” means to make a lot of money and show it off.

Lyrics from “E.T.” (with Katy Perry) (from

“I got a dirty mind/I got filthy ways/I’m tryna lay my egg, egg,/ in your Milky Way”

“Pockets on Shrek, rockets on ya dick/Tell me what’s next, alien sex/I’ma disrobe you, then I’ma probe you/See I abducted you, so I tell ya what to do/I tell ya what to do, what to do, what to do”

For clarification purposes: “Tryna” means trying to. “I’ma” means I’m going to.

Lyrics from “Gold Digger”:

“18 years, 18 years/She got one of yo’ kids, got you for 18 years/I know somebody payin’ child support for one of his kids/His baby momma’s car and crib is bigger than his/You will see him on TV Any Given Sunday/ Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai”

“If you ain’t no punk, holla, “We want prenup”,”We want prenup!”/ yeaah/It’s something that you need to have/’Cause when she leave yo’ ass she gone leave with half”

For clarification purposes: “Crib” means house.

Lyrics from “Deuces” (remix):

“You know what, yo?/you a bitch!/you should have a travel agent cuz you a trip/you should make your own toilet tissue since you the shit/but all you got is some fucking issues you fucking bitch.”

For clarification purposes: “You the shit” means you think you’re so great.

Why is he being rewarded for this trash? Is the entertainment industry still this sexist?

Celebrity Images Photoshopped

So you’re not perfect? Neither is anyone else!
Ladies, stop comparing yourselves to the women on the cover of magazines. No one looks that perfect!


Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

Notice how most of the “improvements” made to the celeb’s bodies are done to get rid of wrinkles, as well as to make them appear thinner. Also notice that ALL the photos are of women. Hmmm… What is Hollywood trying to tell us?

On Nature and Money…

Photo Courtesy of Grant Simon Rogers

Photo Courtesy of Grant Simon Rogers

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.” ~Cree Indian Proverb

Sustainable Fashion

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Sure, we all know to look for fair trade when shopping but sooner or later there comes a point when it loses its personal touch. When Raven + Lily asked me to style one my favorite jewelry pieces for their Fair Trade Holiday Shopping Guide, I took the opportunity to find out more about the artisans behind the fair trade accessories. I was happy to find that their sustainable and affordable–keep reading for a special 25% off code–jewelry has a story behind it, from the handmade beads made with artillery shells from former war conflicts to the people whose lives have improved as a result of working with the fair trade brand.

Enter code “RALCLASSICSTYLE” until December 3rd and you can get 25% off your purchase on

© Raven + Lily

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