A Thanksgiving To-Do List

A Thanksgiving To-Do List

Along with baking the turkey and setting the table, be sure to use your time wisely!
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Each year, many families travel miles to be with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving.

November, known as the month of giving is centered around family, friends, and spending quality time together. Luckily for me, I have never had to travel more than 15 miles to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving. Each year, my family wakes up early in preparation for the viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – which just so happens to rank at the top of my list for popular television showings.

We gather around the dining room table, to share a time of fellowship with each other and to share our thankfulness for the blessings the year has given to us. Along with the sentimental meanings of this special day, there are so many small happenings that contribute to this remarkable time of the year. Here is a list of a few things you could do with your friends and family throughout the extra-long weekend.

1. Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If you’ve never seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you are truly missing out. My favorite part is always the Broadway segments, musical artist’s appearance and the extravagant floats. It is my dream to be seated front row right in front of the Macy’s Department Store in the heart of New York City. Stay tuned for more details, in making this dream become a reality.

2. Purchase and decorate your Christmas tree.

Alright, don’t criticize me for this one – but my roommate and I have already purchased our Christmas tree for the year. BUT – that is not to say that decorating the Christmas Tree and preparing for the Holidays can’t take place on Thanksgiving. Having the extra time off from school and work – it is the perfect time to decorate and get into the Holiday Spirit

3. Celebrate Black Friday.

Okay ladies, every single one of us – in some sort of fashion, love to shop. Whether it be thrift shopping, online shopping, or department store shopping – we all LOVE it. As for me, I have had many different shopping experiences on Black Friday. I highly recommend going around 4:00 pm on Black Friday. By this time, all of the crazy shoppers are long-gone, the stores have had a chance to restock the inventory left, and the deals are still popping!

4. Finalize your Christmas list.

Yes, I am nineteen years old, and guess what? I STILL have a Christmas List. Although my Christmas List has already been made and sent to my mother, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to add any finishing details to your list!

5. Enjoy Christmas decorations and festivities.

Although, most people do not start decorating their personal homes until the day after Thanksgiving, some public locations begin the Christmas festivities. With the schedule being fairly free, take advantage of the late nights. Ride around with your family and friends, listen to some Christmas music and enjoy the scenery!

6. Take a weekend trip.

Last but not least, use this long weekend to take a trip with your family or friends. Explore new places that you have never seen before. Any destination within a two or three-hour drive is the perfect destination for your weekend get-away!

In saying all these things, above all else relax, take a deep breath, and never forget the true reason for the season. Give thanks for your blessings, tell your loved cares how much you care, and take part of fellowships. Enjoy your company, for these special individuals are never guaranteed tomorrow!

Cover Image Credit: Public Holidays Global

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.

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Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.

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If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.

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Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.

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Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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