Quick Hits

36% of Americans say their family has achieved the American dream, with another 46% “on their way” towards.  Only 17% of people think the American dream is out of reach for their family.  

Of course, what constitutes the American dream is different depending on who you ask, and surprisingly it isn’t all about money for most people. The truth is only 11% of people say “being wealthy” is their idea of the American dream, with 40% saying it is not important. Instead, “freedom of choice in how to live” is the most essential aspect of the American dream for most people (77%), followed by having a good family life (70%) and retiring comfortably (60%).

Other things people view as essential to the American dream include:

  • Making valuable community contributions (48%)
  • Owning a home (43%)
  • Having a successful career (43%)

Source: Pew Research

Two new studies reveal just how much people care about animals and it’s often way more than humans.  When people were asked to donate money to either a dog or human in a dire situation, more people gave money for the dog.  Another survey gauged people’s empathy after seeing reports of an attack and people felt more distressed by the attack being on a dog than a person, with only an attack on a baby generating more empathy.

Source: New York Post

Walmart is throwing more than 20,000 holiday parties in their Supercenters this year.  Shoppers will have the opportunity to take selfies with Santa, and each store will be filed with holiday helpers that will assist customers in finding what they need, aid in customer pickup of online orders, get them to the shortest check out line and more.  The first parties are scheduled for this Saturday, where catalogs will be handed out, along with stickers for kids to mark off what they want their parents to get for them this year.

Source: USA Today

A lot of organizations will collect Halloween leftovers and send the off to people who could really use the sweet treat. Among them:

  • Operation Stars & Stripes Inc. - The group collects leftovers for their of Operation Trick-Or-Treating for the Troops and uses the candy to fill up stockings that are sent to troops overseas during the holidays. The organization takes donations until November 15th. Click here for more info. 
  • Soldier’s Angels – Their Treats for Troops candy drive takes excess candy to give to our service members and veterans. Click here for more info 
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities – The organization, which provides housing and health services to ill children and their families, may collect unopened candy for their residents. Click here to find if your local chapter and see if they’ll take your leftovers. 
  • Operation Gratitude - Operation Gratitude’s Halloween Candy GIVE-Back event collects candy, which they send to deployed troops and first responders. Just last year they collected 533,891 pounds of candy. 
  • Think Locally – If you want to do something in your area, why not contact a local homeless shelter, food bank or another type of organizationand see if they’ll take your candy. 

Source: Fox News

On the quest for a good night’s sleep, we’re willing to try all kinds of things. But if teas, supplements, and aromatherapy aren’t helping, science has a new suggestion to add to your bedtime ritual: tart cherry juice. Research shows it could really help you catch a lot more Zs.

A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that cherry juice has certain compounds that keep the brain from sabotaging its sleep cycle with certain chemicals. The compounds stop the chemicals from being released, which helped people in the study sleep longer and better throughout the night.

Researchers found that participants who drank the cherry juice slept an average of 84 minutes longer than when they didn’t drink it. That’s almost an hour and a half of extra sleep. And with scientists are warning that our lack of sleep is killing us, we really want to get all the shut-eye we can!

If you’re still not sure you want to add cherry juice to your shopping list yet, keep in mind it has other benefits as well. It’s packed with antioxidants, which help reduce that dreaded inflammation we hear so much about, as well as lower the risk for cancer. So really cherry juice sounds like a win-win for sleep and health.

Source: The Daily Meal

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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