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Happy New Year!
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Happy New Year! Now, let’s make 2018 our best year yet.

What’s one thing you can do this year that might just help you do that? Just name 1 thing. Can you do it? Let’s share our ideas and inspire each other, shall we? Here’s how: Tell us the ONE thing you’re going to do this year to make 2018 the best year ever.

Cheers!

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Happy MLK Day!
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Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., see where you can shine your light. See where you can share your love. Here are some ideas:

- Find some clothing in your closet that you don’t need anymore and donate it
- Get a group of friends together to go and write poems about kindness and respect
- Find an example of a good, smart idea and support it

How else can you celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Tell us and let’s make this day matter!

Photo credit: history.com

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Let’s Code with Lilia!
January 11, 2018
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Meet Lilia Becker.

She’s a 10th grade student on a mission to expand computer coding to girls. Computing occupations are the fastest-growing, best paying, and now the largest sector of all new wages in the U.S. and she believes women’s ideas need to be heard.

She created her own site, too! Check it out:
http://www.CodewithLilia.org

Let’s learn to code with Lilia!

 

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Learn to Fly!
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4% of Pilots are Women, and other fun facts shared by a modern “Lady Pilot”
by Katy Rank Lev

Hello from the Flight Deck: An Interview with First Officer Stacy Chapman

Stacy Chapman has been flying planes since 2002.

KRL: Are there many women working as pilots?

SC: In my unit fr the Air National Guard, there are 4 female pilots out of about 40 or 50 pilots total.

KRL: It looks like only about 4% of pilots are women.

SC:  You’d be shocked by how many people are shocked to see me in my uniform in the airport.

KRL: Tell us what made you become a pilot.

SC: It just happened. In college I wanted to do something different and be part of something bigger, but I didn’t know what that meant. I was in Air Force ROTC and another cadet had wanted to be a pilot her entire life…but she failed the sitting height test. You have to meet certain height requirements both standing and sitting. Anyway, after that she really insisted that I go and take the test. I thought, why not? I passed all the physical requirements and got a pilot slot by my senior year.

KRL: What’s your day like at work?

SC: I wake up really early–2am–and I check over the plane and go fly anywhere from 2 to 5 legs per day. I work 3 days in a row and then am home for 4 days. We bid on our schedule a month in advance and it goes by seniority. I have pretty high seniority now, so there’s a lot of flexibility for me.

KRL: What’s it like up there in the cockpit?

SC: Ugh! The dryness–it’s from the altitude as much as anything else. I get bloody noses a lot. I always have tissues and lotion. The sun is also an issue for me. I always forget sunblock.

KRL: You’re a redhead and you forget sunblock?

SC: I always forget that my arms are exposed. We can’t pull the sun shades down up there!

KRL: At least it doesn’t smell like farts.

SC: I actually didn’t know it smelled like farts in the cabin. My husband told me that! There are only 2 of us up in the cockpit, and we just met that morning. We’re about to spend 3 days together. He’s not going to fart.

KRL: So you and your husband connect by talking about farts

SC: We text a lot. I can’t always talk in between flights. We have to work to actually get to talk on the phone. I learned it’s important to actually talk, even though he’s at work and I want to be asleep.

You don’t think 3 days is a long time to go without talking, but when it’s every week, you really lose your connection with each other.

I arranged my schedule so that he and I are (for the most part) sleeping and working at the same time. When we had flipped schedules we would go days without talking. It was bad. When I am home, we are very deliberate about spending time together. We run errands together, go to shows. We love to go to dinner theater. When I get back, we make it a point to spend that entire first day together.

KRL: And you’re about to be deployed…

SC: It’s hard. When I’m gone for a long time, we will video chat every few days. Time zones are obviously an issue, but we make it a priority to just tell each other about our day.

KRL: Which includes farts.

SC: In the military, it’s hilarious to fart.

KRL: Any advice for other women whose job takes them away from home each week?

SC: I’m still figuring things out. Talk to people, other women especially. Ask questions from people who have been doing it a long time–I didn’t do that in the beginning. My job is demanding and difficult, but it’s an exciting and very rewarding career.

It’s worth all the effort.

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11 Things to Do on a SNOW DAY!
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NO SCHOOL!

What do you do when you have NO SCHOOL?

Today is the 11th Day of Christmas and we have no school in our town. So we are making a list of 11 things to do today. Add yours!

11. Sleep in
10. Stay in PJs
9. Watch 2 movies in a row
8. Do 11 sit ups, 11 push ups, 11 squats and 11 lunges 3 times
7. Make cookies
6. Write 11 notes to 11 people
5. Change your sheets
4. Make a list of goals for 2018
3. Reorganize your t-shirts
2. Try 11 new signatures
1. Make bubbles that freeze – this is a must do if you are in cold climate areas!!!

Ok, add yours!

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Gifts from the Kitchen
Pittsburgh Light Up Night Gingerbread Houses

You can make iTwixie’s Gingerbread and make a gift they’ll remember and love.
Thank you, CBS Pittsburgh, for this great picture of Gingerbread Houses from Light Up Night!

Now, grab a parent or an adult to help, and here is what you’ll do:

Heat in a sauce pan until well melted and blended:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup syrup (molasses or pure maple)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Add in a large bowl:
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix in gradually:

3 1/2 cups flour (make a thick dough, may not take all of the flour!)

Cover and refrigerate overnight!
Roll out the very cold dough and cut with gingerbread cookie cutters (you can poke a hole in the cookie to make a tree decoration to eat later!)
Bake the dough in a very hot oven (450 F) until the pieces are just turning a little bit brown. This dough makes a very stiff cookie that stays fresh without a cookie jar.
Great source of: fun, holiday cheer and creativity!
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Delicious December
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Let’s Make this December DELICIOUS! Here’s how:

Share A Holiday Recipe
What do you and your family do together over the holidays? Do you have a favorite thing you eat together? Tell us about it all, right here! 

Make Something for Someone
Now, choose something that makes you happy about the holidays, and do that thing for somebody. Then tell us aobut it! Bet you will fee GREAT! And you can help make someone else’s December Delicious!

Try Something NEW!
Some favorite traditions become real after giving a new idea a try. What could you and your family try this year? Maybe try something NEW with your family, your friends or even at your school. You may find yourself full of even more JOY this holiday season.

Here’s the recipe for iTwixie’s Delicious December Lemon-Poppyseed Stars

INGREDIENTS – MAKES 10-12 STARS
Buy a dozen of Star Shaped – or other festive shaped – Cupcake Holders
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup sweet creamy butter, softened
2 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1⁄3 cups flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 lemons, zest of, grated
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup buttermilk or 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°F Spray each muffin holder with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat each one, well.
In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.
Beat until smooth.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full.
Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing.
Sprinkle powdered sugar or sprinkled on each one to look extra festive.

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Grateful November
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Happy Grateful November!

This month, let’s think, feel and act gratefully! Here’s how:

Think
Right now, take 20 seconds to think about 10 things that make you grateful. Try and make those things about real things, not just things you have or things that are pretty/cute. Think about really important things that matter to you and that make you feel truly grateful!

Feel
Join the iTwixie Bloggers Club and write a blog about how you feel grateful for your parent(s) or caregiver(s)! In a world where everyone’s always bashing parents, let’s turn the bus around! Let’s take a moment and express our gratitude for the people in our lives who are trying to help us grow up to be our best!

Act
Write a letter to someone who inspires you be your best, or to always try to be your best, at being YOU!

And be sure to keep checking back on iTwixie to take the Smart Girl Challenge on Mondays, Read with the brand new Parent/Daughter Book Club, and take the Word of the Week Challenge on Wednesday, and vote for Blogger of the Month, take the latest polls and much, much more!

Happy Grateful November!

Lots to come! Lots to try! All we need is to always be grateful for each other. Together, we are changing the world.

You go, girls!

 

 

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Be One of These Powerful Women for Halloween!
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Check out these 10  powerful women and dress up like one of them this year for Halloween! You can be a world leader! Who else should we add to this list?

1. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

2. Wonder Woman, Fabulous Character of a Number One Movie in the World

3. Melinda Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

4. Malala, Teen Gunshot Victim, Noble Peace Prize Winner, International Role Model

5. Jill Abramson, Executive Editor, The New York Times

6. Sonia Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress Party

7. Michelle Obama, Former US First Lady

8. Christine Lagarde, Head of International Monetary Fund

9. Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Homeland Security

10. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

Or just decorate your shoes with glitter and glue and call yourself a fashion designer!

Who else should we add? What are YOU dressing up as this year for Halloween?

 

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Who is Your Girl Hero?
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Tell Us! We Need To Hear from YOU by September 1!!!

On October 11, 2017, we will celebrate the 6th annual International Day of the Girl (IDG), and the 5th annual Girls Speak Out event at the United Nations.

It’s a huge year for girls around the world. That’s why we need YOU!

Think about girls you know and girls around the world and how they are overcoming the unique challenges they face just because they are girls. Then think about what it’s like where you live. Do or girls like you face unfairness just because you are a girl?  How do you deal with it? How do you overcome it?

Then, tell us a story about it. How did you – or a girl you know where you live – handle something unfair, unjust or even experienced a crisis, just because she is a girl.

There are so many unusual challenges girls have to deal with today, from injustice in society, their community and in the workplace, to unfairness in opportunities in education, or gender violence, sexism, war, climate change, and many others. There’s no right or wrong answer here. What’s important is how you define “crisis” or “injustice” and how you or a girl you know dealt with it.

We want to hear YOUR story. Your story will inspire others. Your story is like the story of millions of girls around the world who will be empowered by hearing from you. So tell us your story!

What is IDG
IDG is our day to celebrate girls everywhere – to celebrate our power, our voices, and our unique place in this world. Help us showcase the creative and collective voice of girls everywhere. The leaders of today need to hear from you. Let’s inspire everyone with our stories of girl power — in art, pictures, poetry, songs, video — to showcase the unique role girls play in our world. No girl is alone. And we are stronger when we raise our voices together. That’s why we need your voice!

5th Annual Day of the Girl

We will select a diverse set of bold, funny, sensitive, and powerful, everyday stories from girls to showcase during IDG 2017 on Wednesday, October 11 as part of the 5th annual Girls Speak Out event at the United Nations in New York City!

Here’s how you can send in your story:

  1. You can send your story as an individual girl, or a story put together by a group of girls — be sure that all of you are between 13-18 years old, and then capture your story!
  2. Tell the whole story in any way you wish –  monologue, a story, a poem, a rant, a piece of visual art, a video, or a song. Be you! Tell us: what happened?
     who was there?
     when was it?
     where were you?
     why did you do what you did?
     who supported you?
     what was the outcome?
  3. Then send it to us! Email it, with the consent form, to: IDGsubmissions@gmail.com
    Include: your name, age, country, and contact information
    Send it no later than Friday, August 18th 11:59PM US EST!

And get this, everyone who submits her work will be featured during the month of October on the DayoftheGirlSummit.org website, in our IDG2017 Webcast, or Shoutout Page! Please make sure your submission is in one of these formats:

Poetry or monologue (maximum 250 words)
Video or song (maximum length of 2 minutes)
Photograph (jpeg files of at least 500 x 500 pixels)
Art or graphic design (jpeg files of at least 500 x 500 pixels)

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