Braids and Bad Moods

557987_342899579162309_1428256602_nBeauty

The weather is getting crazy with all the wind and rain, and we’re all in need of hairstyles that can stay put even in all the elements. One major trend still on the rise is the fishtail braid.

The fishtail is the most versatile braid there is! It can be polished and elegant or messy and fun. It’s also very easy to pull off. You can braid hair to the side or straight down your back. There are also many bun hairstyles that incorporate the fishtail.

The hardest thing about learning this new braid is getting used to holding your fingers differently. Once you get used to separating your hair, it’s so easy! The tutorial is here from the Beauty Department. If you ever want a dose of pure beauty tips, head over to their website.

Girl Talk

We all have bad days and sometimes they turn into bad weeks. Don’t lose heart, ladies. This week has been full of highs and lows and it’s hard to not dwell on the bad. When I get down on myself, I have a few go-to moves to cheer myself up.

The first thing I do is call my mom. Hearing a comforting voice and her words of encouragement always bring me back down to earth. She boosts my spirits and helps me relax.

If I’m still bummed after we talk, I usually take a hot shower and listen to music. Getting lost in a song and the steam melts away every worry. It’s hard to focus on any one thing when music floods your ears.

The best thing to do when you’re upset is realize how you’re feeling. Once you recognize your bad mood, you’re already on your way to getting rid of it. Think of things that relax you and do whatever works. If all else fails, call it a day and go to bed. There’s nothing that sleep can’t solve.

Be fierce and make your fishtail work!

-Auty.

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Topics and Stories

Topic 1: Dorm Life

  1. Safety of Dormitories
    1. Video
    2. The story will be about the overall safety of dorms on the Tech campus, the safety measures in place, and how public safety enforces security on campus. I plan on interviewing the head of public safety on campus and using a video clip of the interview with him next to the emergency response towers. I will use a video so students will be able to identify the head of public safety and because the towers are hard to visualize and explain without viewing them first hand. I will also talk with a couple resident directors or the head of the Residence Hall Association about safety policies in place at Tech.
  2. Co-ed vs. Same Sex Dorms
    1. Photo
    2. The story will cover the differences and similarities between the different dorm types. I plan on documenting differences with pictures of things such as community bathrooms, suite style rooms, and single rooms. I plan on briefly discussing the common areas in co-ed dorms such as the lobbies. I will do a small poll and figure out what students think is the better choice of dormitory.
  3. Roommates
    1. Print
    2. The story will discuss ways to pick the best roommate and tips to get along with them continuously throughout the semester. I will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of choosing to live with your best friend and also about the random roommate selection. I will talk with the counseling department at student health and find out the best tips to get along with your roommate. I chose print because it will best relay the information and show the right amount of detail.
  4. Benefits of Living On-Campus
    1. Info graphic
    2. The story will state the benefits of living on campus as opposed to living at home or in an apartment. I plan on using statistics, so the info graphic will be necessary to relay that information. I will research the top reasons why living on campus is best for students and talk with university housing about their policy of incoming freshman to live on campus or at home.
  5. Resident Assistants
    1. Audio
    2. This story will cover what a resident assistant is, what their job is, and how they are chosen and trained. I will interview the resident directors of various dorms and discuss the qualities of the best resident assistants. I will also interview a resident assistant and learn what they are trained to do and how long training takes. I chose audio because I plan to use a sound bite from the resident director stating how important resident assistants are to the functioning of a dormitory.

Topic 2: Health and Fitness in College Students

  1. Freshman 15
    1. Print
    2. This story will detail the causes of gaining weight when in college and how to avoid them. I will meet with the nurse on campus and talk about her recommendations for staying healthy. I chose print because there is no action or audio necessary. Print will show the causes and ways to avoid them best.
  2. Nutrition on Campus
    1. Photo
    2. This story will show the difficulties of eating healthy on campus, how healthy foods cost more, and how to eat better nutrition on a budget. I wanted to use a photo to show the costs of a bag of potato chips compared to a cup of fruit. Seeing the two side by side will give the reader a sense of their own discovery.
  3. Effects of Sleep Habits and Stress on the Body
    1. Info graphic
    2. This story will show the effects of too little and too much sleep and stress on the body. I will interview various instructors in the Health and Wellness department and compile statistics from research that I will convert into an info graphic. The info graphic will show the information in the simplest form for better understanding.
  4. Dorm Room Workouts
    1. Video
    2. This story will show a few workouts for students to do in their dorm room. I will show how to find multiple workout videos online for free and talk with the trainers in Tech Fit about how to make your own workouts. I will show the interviews with the trainers in a video, so the workout moves will be easier to see and do.
  5. Free Health Screenings
    1. Audio
    2. This story will explain the free BMI, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings available in the Health and Wellness Center on campus. I will interview the nurse and use the audio from that clip to explain how the process works. I chose audio because the nurse knows most about this subject and will be able to explain everything eloquently.

Topic 3: Community Outreach

  1. Reasons to Volunteer
    1. Print
    2. This story will explain the best reasons why to volunteer and the importance of it in the community. I will interview various students to see why they think volunteering is important and compile a poll. I will use the results of the poll for the story. I chose to use print because it will be a numerated list of reasons to volunteer and show the in depth impact of volunteerism in the community.
  2. The Crossing’s Impact on Russellville
    1. Video
    2. This story will show everything about The Crossing such as their location in Russellville, how they help the community, and what their goal is. I will interview the owner and videotape the interview. I will show where it’s located, what the giving wall is, and how they help the community. I chose to use a video to highlight where The Crossing is located and what the actual inside is like as well.
  3. Tech’s Monthly Service Days
    1. Audio
    2. This story will explain Tech’s community involvement and how the university encourages volunteerism. I plan on interviewing the head of civic engagement at the university and have her explain how Tech accomplishes their goals. I chose to use audio so I can use a direct quote from a representative of the university.
  4. Poverty in Russellville
    1. Info graphic
    2. This story will show the severity of poverty in Russellville by statistics and charts. I plan on talking with the Russellville city hall about what they know of the poverty and what their plans of action are. I chose to use an info graphic to make the information about poverty more appealing and seem more like usable information than just words.
  5. How to Help Your Community
    1. Photo
    2. This story will detail specific examples of activities Tech students can do to help their community. I plan on interviewing managers of local thrift stores and Goodwill stores about what they see as the biggest need in Russellville. I will photograph the activities students can do to demonstrate their simplicity. A photo will best convey how volunteering can be simple and rewarding without a lot of time and money being involved.

Veggie Tales

404892_331454556973478_1282716209_nFitness

Spring Break and summer vacation are just around the corner, and it’s time to buckle down and get down to business in the gym. It’s time for bikini boot camp! We’ve got to double our efforts, cut down on calories, and start shopping for the best deals on the cutest swimsuits.

Pretty much every health magazine and most celebrities are coming out with their own fitness plans to help us prepare for the warmer weather. Lauren Conrad’s plan has been the latest bikini boot camp I’ve seen.

While starting a new regime is a great idea, be careful. Do your research and don’t take everything at face value. Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they have any clue about fitness. Also, don’t replace your regular workouts for the boot camp programs. They’re supposed to be added in addition to your normal plans to boost your progress.

Also, focus on toning more than cardio activity. Tone your muscles will be better for swimsuit weather than just burning calories. Plus, the bigger your muscles, the faster your metabolism is.

Health

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about vegan and vegetarian diets. Meat isn’t the best thing for our bodies and isn’t necessary for our survival. Protein is absolutely necessary but we can find that in other sources.

These vegetable diets have been common topics in health magazines for a long time now. Most magazines only talk about how dangerous they are to your health. Any new diet without research is dangerous to your health. We’re not focused on diets anyways; we’re in it for the long haul, the lifestyle change.

Vegan diets are totally attainable and will detoxify your body, but you have to be extremely careful when starting it. It’s also pretty easy to get bored with all natural food. Keep your eyes peeled for healthy, all natural recipes.

The best reason to change your diet is to get healthy, not to lose weight. Changing your diet can cleanse your body, give you more energy, and get you back to basics. God didn’t create us to digest all the synthetic chemicals we do.

If you’re not interested in the extreme dedication of vegetarianism or veganism, try to eat more foods you could grow in your backyard. When you’re at a buffet, head for the all natural, no-chemical foods. Baby steps still count as progress.

Be fierce and make your healthy food work!

-Auty.

Modesty Is The Best Policy

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Modest but cute

Fashion

Are you counting down the days until Spring Break? I know I am! We get an entire week off of school solely dedicated to soaking up sunshine and relaxation, what a vacation! As we inch closer to the warmer weather, more and more of us are hitting the gym to get bikini ready! While we’re toning those muscles, we need to keep a huge thing in mind: modesty.

I know how hot it gets and how much fun short shorts are, but showing off your body isn’t always a good thing. How much you show is the biggest factor when it comes to modesty.

Think about how you’re portraying yourself with all that skin showing. Do you think people are thinking about your sparkling personality when you have your bra showing? Do you think they’re even going to try to get to know you with your bottom hanging out of your shorts? The answer is no.

We’re supposed to be classy and fashionable. My advice is to pair a tank top with shorts than completely cover you. Watch the length of your shorts and how low cut your tank tops are. Try to steer clear of visible bras. Just think about what you’re wearing in terms of your grandmother approving.

You can still dress with amazing style without showing so much skin. Trust me, guys do not need any help visualizing your body. Stay classy and stay covered!

Girl Talk

On subject with modesty, I wanted to talk to my younger ladies about respect. I know I’ve touched on it a few times, but how you carry yourself is how people are going to perceive you.

If you choose to deny modesty and strut around with all of your stuff hanging out, do not expect anyone to show you an ounce of respect. You can pretty much guarantee girls to roll their eyes at you and guys to pop their eyes out of their heads to ogle you.

Get attention for worthwhile things like your smarts or creativity, not your body. How you present yourself is how you can expect to be treated.

Have some pride, show off your confidence, and walk around with your head held high. You are a princess, and you deserve to be treated like one, nothing less.

Be fierce and make your modest clothing work!

-Auty.

Questionable Behavior

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Last night was the Oscars. My sister and I suited up in our best dresses and head to an Oscar Watch Party hosted by some organizations at our school. The event was full of formal attire, fancy finger foods, and a real red carpet! Tate and I enjoyed the fun of it all. We even had our picture taken by the university photographer. What was the best part of the night? We were completely sober and it was completely free.

All too many people get into college wanting the full cliché “college experience.” Drunken parties, sleeping with strangers, and possibly even drugs all appeal to them. Each of these are extremely dangerous. I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible to have fun in college without drinking.

Multiple organizations host events on campus every week that are free to students! One of the biggest on-campus organizations hosts a movie night every week with free popcorn. Most sporting events are free with a student ID card. Special themed events are always common.

For Valentine’s Day alone there were four events to go to. A dormitory was hosting a dance, the international students were hosting a masquerade, there was a movie playing, and there was a basketball game that night. Every event was free!

Girl Talk

Let’s face it. I know that at some point one of us is going to go to some party or get into some kind of stick situation. When this happens, how you handle it can stay with you the rest of your life. Even if you’re not doing anything bad, appearance is everything.

What you post on social media sites will stay with you for a very long time.

Pictures of you on the Internet doing questionable things could be brought up during your next job interview. Emotional statuses can disqualify you for a job. Hateful posts on social media could even cost you your scholarship.

Ladies, live by the rule of not doing anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to hear about. If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it.

If you do end up doing something questionable, cover  your tracks. Ask friends to delete pictures of you. Don’t post crazy things onto your Facebook or Twitter. Once you put it out there, it’s open for anyone to see. Employers lately have been known to have your Facebook profile pulled up on their computer screen while they’re interviewing you.

Censor your social media yourself. Monitor what you post and what it says about you.

Be fierce and make your social media work!

-Auty.

Brownies and Burpees

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Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and if you’re like me, you’re already missing all the love. Our sweethearts were extra special and made sure we felt the love. Now a couple weeks later, I’m feeling the aftermath. I want every day to be like Valentine’s Day! Every night should be date night.

My boyfriend Archie and I like to switch up our dates. We’ve been together for three years and thinking of new dates can be hard to do sometimes. Luckily, great sites like Pinterest have links to blogs solely dedicated to posting fun date ideas. They range from requiring some planning to getting a few supplies.

If you’re tired of the same old dates, try some of these fun classics. A personal favorite of Archie and I is to cook together. For our one year anniversary we cooked my favorite meal chicken alfredo. All of the ingredients are pretty cheap and it really takes no time to make it.

Baking cookies together is another date classic. Cookies are the fastest way to a man’s heart! Pinterest is full of recipes for sweet treats to try. Making them from scratch is even more fun than buying from the store. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend making these cake batter chocolate chip cookies.

Speaking of chocolate chip cookies, working out together is a great way to change the pace. A nice jog in the park or even a killer cardio session in the gym will get your heart rates pumping. The couple who sweats together stays together!

Fitness

One of the biggest fitness myths out there is that women shouldn’t strength train. If anyone tells you this, laugh and walk away. Lifting weights in my opinion is better than intense cardio for getting in shape.

Bodyweight exercises are the best and easiest on the joints. Lunges, squats, and pushups are your new best friends. Toning your muscles replaces the fat with muscle as opposed to just burning fat.

Instead of being skinny and cute, why not be toned and fierce? Strong is definitely the new skinny!

Be fierce and make your muscles work!

-Auty.

Make It Count

487967_340107006108233_240437523_nCollege

Even though Punxsutawney Phil told us that we’d be getting an early spring, we were all covered in snowflakes this week. What’s a college girl to do on a snow day? The weather is too bad to drive home, and there’s nowhere to go in town because the roads are bad. What’s a girl to do?

(I’ve come up with some great ideas. I should’ve thought of these activities during the snow day because Tater and I were bored out of our minds. We’ll save these tips for future reference! Next snow day, refer back to this blog.)

Being cooped up in your dorm room is the perfect time for a spa day! Drag out all your nail polish, lavender bath soaps, and clay face masks. You and your roommate can take turn doing each other’s nails.

Another fun thing to do on a snow day is have a mini-fashion show. Put on your favorite outfits, go overboard with the makeup, and just have fun. We all have that one piece in our closet that we have nowhere to wear it to. Wear it on your indoor snow day adventure!

College

Of course, there are more academic things you could use your snow day for. If you’re behind on your notes or drowning in homework, consider this day off a work day. Be productive and get ahead on your classes. You’ll have time to have fun when there’s actually fun to be had.

Collegiates need to have amazing time management skills since we’re out on our own here. Snow days are practically designed as a lifeline for us. We have nothing better to do than work! Break out the pencil and paper, and put that snow day to work!

Be fierce and make your mini-vacation work!

-Auty.

Divas

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Let’s face it, ladies. Deep down inside all of us is a true diva. Some of us let ours out more than others. My diva’s name is Auty. She’s pretty feisty! Your diva is your alter ego, the fiercer, realer you. Your diva is your soapbox. My diva comes out when I blog and when I tell stories. Those are pretty acceptable times to be a diva because it doesn’t hurt anyone.

When your diva comes out at inappropriate times is when we get into trouble. What happens when two divas collide? It’s about the equivalent to a nuclear explosion. Hateful Facebook statuses and resentful tweets go flying. Tempers flare and someone is bound to get their hair ripped out.

The best thing to do when another diva is getting on your nerves is to walk away. If you can’t get away fast enough then run! Run away from that crazy diva because staying will only lead to drama. Take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and return to your normal, fabulous self.

If another diva has wronged you, wait until she’s cooled down too. Then approach her in a friendly manner and talk out whatever your problems may be. There’s always a peaceful solution to be made.

College

We all have that one person who has the ability to get under our skin with just one look, one word, or even just by existing. In college, chances are that the moment we don’t want to see that person, they show up. No matter how big the campus is, they always happen to find us!

We can’t just turn around and walk the other way. We can’t roll our eyes in their face, or give them a dirty look and sigh in disgust. We have to face the enemy head on. As respectable ladies, we have to be cordial and professional all the time, especially in public. Your rash actions could have bigger consequences than you think.

I really love this article about ways to manage people you don’t like or don’t get along with. The only person you can change is you.

Keep your chin up, be fierce, and make it work!

-Auty.

NYFW

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Just one week ago Mercedes-Benz hosted yet another New York Fashion Week. The upcoming trends for this fall 2013 include bright, vibrant colors. Finally we’re getting away from those dreadful neon colors! Leather has been spotted quite a bit on the runway and is expected to be a major hit this upcoming season. Also, the classic black and white combo is here to stay!

With those key points in mind, let’s translate the crazy couture fashions into something wearable on a day-to-day basis.

Bright, vibrant colors liven up every outfit and add fun with sophistication. For a workplace setting, I do not recommend going with bright blue pants. Add your hues in less obtrusive ways by painting your nails. Some great vibrant colors to try out are royal blues, emerald greens, and bold, warm oranges.

Stay away from neon and pastel. As of now, they are out! This does not mean to throw out all those pieces, but try to use them for more of layering now, not the main focus.

I’m a big fan of leather. The chicest way to rock this trend is the classic leather jacket. Simple or studded, both are sure to make a lasting impression. If you’re feeling daring, try colored leather. Red is bold and sexy!

If you’re looking for a great place to get in on some of the upcoming trends without breaking the bank, I recommend JCPennys. They have fair prices, in-style clothes, and always have amazing clearance racks.

Dos and Don’ts

As the weather warms up and we try to transition from winter to spring, keep a few fashion tips in mind. We do live in Arkansas and the weather changes rapidly, as we all know. Do not swap out your sweatpants for flip flops just yet. Keep your warmer weather wear with you until the end of the semester.

A big fashion faux pas I’ve been seeing lately is wearing those adorable leather riding boots with a tank top. This is not a good look, ladies! I dare to say that this unfortunate combination is almost as atrocious as wearing Ugg boots with a jean skirt.

There are ways to incorporate your springtime apparel in with your current closet. Moderation is the key. A bright floral scarf will rocket you out of the winter blues. Pinks, reds, and purples are surefire ways to brighten your look.

Lastly, as a warning from the editor, don’t take the trends too far. Dos and don’ts are definite rules, but trends are mainly suggestions. These are not items to splurge on! Splurge on classic jeans, great shoes, and maybe even your swimsuit this season. Save on the trendier, more outrageous articles of clothing.

Be fierce and make your fierce new fashion work!

-Auty.

Thanks Obama

From term to term, presidents always get the blame for anything awry in the country. Rising gas prices are the latest thorn in the sides of Americans. Facebook is flooded with complaints of Mr. Obama raising gas prices and ruining our lives. Many of us accept this as fact immediately. Upon further research, Mr. President himself has nothing to do with how much we pay at the pump. Mulitple charts and statistics straight from the White House website show that prices worldwide fluctuate with the cost of oil. No offense to the President, but not even Obama could influence the cost of gas.

Furthermore, making more domestic oil has no effect on the price of oil worldwide. Oil prices are based purely on supply and demand worldwide. Upon comparing our gas prices with other countries, we actually pay less for our gas. The myth of the president setting gas prices is just another myth from the G.O.P., according to the New York Times.

Blaming the president is just another form of political mudslinging. NPR also points out how Obama said in a campaign speech how much gas prices were when President Bush was in office. Politicians themselves perpetuate the conspiracy when they make offhand comments to gain voters.

This myth will probably be around forever, but don’t buy into it. Arm yourselves with knowledge and do research before accepting anything as fact. Presidents have no more to do with gas prices than you or I do.

Be fierce and make your higher gas prices work!

-Auty.