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Author: The Refresh

Chocolate snobs don’t eat milk chocolate (and other myths, debunked)

Chocolate snobs don’t eat milk chocolate (and other myths, debunked)

by Megan Giller I have a confession: I love milk chocolate. It was my first love, and it’s often my treat of choice—but as a writer specializing in chocolate, it’s a fact I only whisper to close friends after making sure the room isn’t bugged. That’s because for years milk chocolate has gotten the shaft. In fact, for years you weren’t considered a serious chocoholic if you ate anything with milk in it. I can’t tell you how many times…

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Loving America is painful when America’s love is unequal

Loving America is painful when America’s love is unequal

by Gretchen Hanson I love my country. When I was a child I canvassed door to door for George McGovern. I must have been incredibly cute in strawberry blond pigtails with my patent leather Mary Jane’s and, my basket full of red, white and blue pamphlets, and strawberry blond pigtails knocking on doors in Southern California. I had listened to the evening news with Walter Cronkite every night of my short little life and as that generation did, I believed…

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Hustle Hard, Stay Humble: Amy Chmelecki On What It Takes to Be a Professional Skydiver

Hustle Hard, Stay Humble: Amy Chmelecki On What It Takes to Be a Professional Skydiver

Lauren Jonik: What drew you to skydiving? Amy Chmelecki: When I was 14, I remember hearing about two women going skydiving. It put an image in my head of being able to flip and flip and flip and keep flipping for a long time! I wanted to do that so bad. A seed was planted that day. Shortly after I turned 18, I went to a skydiving facility for the first time. The Drop Zone (DZ) scene blew my mind….

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5 Real-Life Sisters Who Inspired Historical Fiction Novels

5 Real-Life Sisters Who Inspired Historical Fiction Novels

by Elise Hooper The renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead reportedly said, “Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” The novel Little Women portrays the lives of four of the most well-known sisters in American literature, and I read it with fascination in my girlhood. Were the real Alcott sisters just like Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—the dutiful daughter, the tomboy, the angel, and the spoiled baby? I…

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Chronically Trying: Dating While Ill

Chronically Trying: Dating While Ill

by Kelley O’Brien “I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” It was St. Patrick’s Day of 2011 and my girlfriend just dumped me. We hadn’t been dating that long, but she was my first girlfriend, the first person I dated after a long battle with internalized homophobia. My head was throbbing from crying earlier in the day because it was the anniversary of my friend’s death and I was missing my grandparents’ 61st anniversary dinner back home. She…

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