Spooky Season Thoughts

Hello my beautiful friends! The days are getting longer and the nights a little more chilly but I haven’t let this seasonal mood get to me just yet!

This week, I can’t shake the feeling of turning 21. It’s like my life is coming together but not really, when does it start?!

Turning 21 next month, I look back at my life and realize I’ve never really stood still and took life for the way it was. I just kept moving forward, thinking about the next step or next goal. ANXIETY MUCH?

My life has changed SO much since then. I feel energized with happiness and genuine thoughts. Maybe it’s the concept of maturing and taking responsibility for more things in your life, but nowadays I just feel so grown and enlightened.

Maybe it’s the gym. I’ve never felt lighter and more toned in my life. All this energy I’m getting from here keeps me awake and I rarely take naps anymore!

I’ve also been thinking about investing in protein shakes. Aside from keeping track of my calorie intake, they’re just such an easier way to fill up that meal in my day. It’s frustrating not eating and then realizing you’re starving yourself at the end of a long day. What have you guys experienced with shakes?

Or maybe it’s my new set of nails I just spoiled myself to, it’s a treatment called SNS that’s loaded with Vitamin E and hardens your nails! Having my nails done makes me feel like an angelic fairy. Heck yeah!

I’ve also been super into accessorizing my fingers with RINGS. It gives me that flare when I talk and unconsciously move my hands around. Does anyone else relate? LOL. My current rings aren’t featured here but Charlotte Russe has a large selection and deals like 2 for $10. That’s where I’ve been heading to!

Or the thrilling satisfaction of starting a new book, CRAZY RICH ASIANS! I saw the movie and was blown away by the amount of story and slight divide between Asians and Asian-Americans. A concept I never thought about but things like this intrigue me more!

One weird thing, I find myself reading more when I’m reading 2-3 books at the same time. Maybe not read all the same day, but just take turns on which days I read what. By the time I finish, I feel way more accomplished finishing with 3 and it gives me more of a push because I have a lot to read!

And how could I forget my brand new baby girl, Venom. I proudly bought this car a few weeks ago and am still getting used to all the new high tech-ness! She’s a dream and I’m so lucky to spend the next maybe 10 years of my life with her. She’s a beauty, ain’t she?

I’ve had this dream since I was 16 of adding a pink steering wheel cover. This cover was purchased at a local repair shop for $12, Amazon would be a good place to look too! Now I drive around with high spirits, it’s honestly the little things in life. I spend a lot of time in my car driving to work, school, the mall, might as well invest in the interior!

This week, the thought of life flying past by scared me. But it’s sort of like the wine glass half empty or half full, it’s just how you choose to look at it.

I chose to sit back and think of things I’ve done this week that make me genuinely HAPPY and plant my feet on the ground. This way, I’m READY to take on my 21st birthday next month with open arms and an open mind.

Can someone tell me, does turning 22 feel this way too?!

HAPPY SPOOOOOKY SEASON!

– Pauly ❤

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Happiness is a Ritual

The definition of the word, Ritual claimed by Google.

“A solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.”

Has anyone wondered the key to happiness? Those days when you ask yourself when will the good days EVER start?

I can’t help but sit in bed and wonder why I led myself to those questions. I should be cherishing life everyday!! Waking up at 7 a.m!! Going on a jog!! Buying some groceries!!

Shaving my legs!! And being the best student, daughter, friend, grandchild, mentor, leader and feminist ever possible for the sake of my sanity and approval of those I love.

Wow that sounds like a lot, right? But this is a pretty average list of the small but BIG roles we maintain everyday. And for that reason, I think it’s easy to lose track of that genuine feeling of life (happiness) everyday in our lives.

Happiness is a ritual. Not a group ritual necessarily either, you’ll be happy for that later. It’s a commitment you make amongst yourself to keep light inside you. Literally a set of actions you need to establish in your life to keep balance or to restore it when insanity breaks loose.

For a prescribed order. No one knows this correct order and every order is different. But whichever destiny you have faith in, this order is meant to stay as an order and keep us from evil versions of ourselves.

Billions of people going through this complex journey, no wonder the answer only resides in you. It’s you, it really depends on you and the actions being taken to keep a stable relationship within yourself (happiness) !!

Ever heard of self-care? Lately the things that have kept my spirit running are the purchase of my new car (BMW gang!), a new gym I’ve just subscribed to, and the sense of getting my money together (heck yeah for new credit card!).

It feels new, gives me motivation and it stops me in my track once in awhile and reminds me of the good things coming my way in life. That’s key. I know I’m never getting today back or reliving the moment I stepped in my new car, so this sensation has got to last. Not for those glam moments, but for the sake of my mind.

These actions I give myself is a recipe for happiness. I give full effort in these tasks because that’s what I deserve. Neglect your actions and you’ll neglect your happiness. Sounds familiar right?

Stop what you’re doing. Think about your past few days and remember what’s been keeping that smile alive. Now keep doing what you’re doing because you’re about to ride a happy wave. I’ll be riding this wave with a glass of wine in my hand.

comment below your successes this month ❤ -Pauly

Back to Black

Hi everyone!

I hope your Tuesday has been wonderful and get your butt off the couch! Today was a life changing day as I walk around now in my new hair, back to Black!

I originally dyed it in 8th grade and continually kept up with it throughout high school but leaving for college, taking care of it just wasn’t in the picture for me. UGH SO WRONG!

So bottom line, it’s been two years! My amazing stylist hooked me up with Redken Demi Permanent in Onyx Black & Espresso Brown to find a happy medium between the two.

I also trimmed the ends and got that nice, sharp V in the back so I regained that structure for some hair flipping lol.

Gosh, I literally forgot how rewarding and satisfying it feels to pamper yourself this way. I feel rejuvenated? Definitely not going to forget this feeling, self care is such a huge discipline I need to get into!

I also had an interview at a retail store followed by some business emails and preparations for my cell bio class. In the midst of my busy schedule, changing up my hair even if just a little bit really did vamp me up! I feel lighter and like a fresh new Pauly walked right in. 🙂

So for YOU reading this, get that color or cut you’ve been dying for! lol get it?

Enjoy your week xo

How to ace human anatomy 101

Studying for any science class isn’t a walk in the park and definitely deserves your undivided attention. Yes, it’s not fair watching your friends with small tasks for the next class while you’re drowning in lab work – but I think if you get a real enjoyment out of your science courses, you’ll reap the benefits with how you can apply them later on in life.

Taking human anatomy was probably one of the first courses in my college career to really solidify the path I wanted to take. Whether you’re choosing to go into the medical field or solely just want to get to know the inner workings of YOUR body, you’ll be fascinated with the amount of things you’ll learn.

Before I jump into my tips on how to secure a slammin’ grade, it’s important to share that while you’re taking this class, if you don’t at least TRY to understand the terms and systems as maybe a doctor or a nurse, you’ll be asking yourself all the time “why am I taking this? Why do I need to know this?” aka DON’T be this person. If you try to comprehend the material in a perception different than your own, you will quickly learn it and be able to explain it to your friends! Enjoy ❤

1. You Need to Read Ahead 

Don’t brush past this tip and think to yourself it’s not necessary. You have a whole semester to learn a set curriculum and that’s it. Unless you fail, you’re not going back to that class to re-read certain chapters. Once you start with the first lesson which could be anything from the Endocrine, Urinary, Reproductive System, etc, you NEED to stay ahead.

You could stay at the same pace as your professor, but odds are they probably know more than you and will quickly read over words simply assuming you just understand. Get it now? When your professor asks you to review certain terms before lab, make sure you don’t just read but UNDERSTAND them in a way that you can explain aloud! Certain key terms will literally be used over and over again because the human body connects in mysterious ways! READ, READ, READ!

2. Get in Touch with Your Creative Side 

Studies show the best way to learn is to activate that ‘artist’ side of your brain. When you’re dealing with terms like lumbar plexus and tricuspid valve, you might need your creative side more than ever to help you out.

For me, when I’m busting out my flashcards or writing out annotations in my books, I’m listening to Lofi beats. It’s the coolest set of beats meant to calm you and make you focus at your task in hand. Here’s a link to a youtube channel with Lofi beats here! I can’t explain the amount of relaxation I get from hearing this music. There’s no lyrics or person behind a microphone, simply your thoughts and a slow beat.

Another way I allow my creative side to slither into my studying is by color coding. Human anatomy is all about structures and identifying its purpose within arteries, bones, ligaments, etc. You will receive a ton of diagrams so you can understand the human body from a visual standpoint. Color coding these structures and their certain accents will help you differentiate and identify on the day of your practical. Color coding has been proven to help people memorize complex or numerous terms!

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Don’t be sloppy with it though. I know tons of people that color code just to say they did it. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. Color coding is meant to make your life easier and group things together. For example, on a diagram of the heart, you would highlight with pink the valves and then highlight with yellow the atriums. There needs to be a sense behind all the colored madness! Otherwise when you look back at your notes, you’ll be confused as to why this term is colored a certain way than others.

3. Schedule your Studying in Advance 

Short and sweet. Map out the week in your planner with all the things you need to review and prepare for, for the following week. I wouldn’t consider myself a control freak that breaks down if something isn’t done, but these chapters NEED to get done.

Having a schedule has helped me in so many ways, by allowing me to study for all my other classes in a non-sobbing manner. Whether your lab comes before your lecture or vice versa, it’s basically like two DIFFERENT classes.

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This is different from my first tip because unless you don’t actively schedule out time to review and do pre-lab work, you’ll constantly be asking yourself if anything is due or what you should know for next class. Aka don’t be this person!

Most of the course is built on systems of the body which then dive into terms, case studies, structures on a microscopic level and why they’re important. One week you’ll be learning about the skeletal system and the next week you’re jumping into the nervous system. So it’s crucial that you give yourself time to comprehend the material before you jump into the next one. There was never a break or chance in class to go over the last system, so make sure YOU are responsible for it.

   4. Memorization takes Different Forms 

Taking human anatomy means identifying structures and the little accents that go into them. To some people, it may come easy to stare at a foreign diagram and simply memorize the parts from there. But to me, I have to bring in analogies from my life and relate it back to these diagrams.

For example, when I started learning about the compact bone and its microscopic features, it was one of the most confusing shit I’ve ever had to retain. That was until I took the time to memorize it in another way. The shape of osteons that surround the vein and artery otherwise known as the central canal, literally looks like a cake! A cake with many layers reaching down to the core with explicit frosting on the sides, known as the canaliculi  for blood flow and lacunae for the containment of osteocytes. 

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This may seem like a load of crap if you’ve never taken the class before, but giving yourself other ways to memorize structures other than hopelessly staring at it DOES WORK. I just find random things in my life that look similar and I’m all set. For others, it may work to draw it out a few times and label it!

   5. Eat Real Food

This tip was probably the easiest one to come up with because I personally struggled with this for about 2/3 of the course. Obviously you’re never allowed to bring food or water into lab so make sure you’re ready for the class ahead of you. Lecture on the other hand does allow you to bring food and water because just like lab, lectures can last more than 2 hours. My lecture was 5 HOURS.

At the beginning, I was so excited to just sit back, review the power point slides and eat while focusing on my professor. I would go to the cafe with my friend and we’d order frappucinos and french fries, ahhhh I can already hear my GI tract hating me right now. Well, the food started getting to me. I would slump in class, have nasty posture and sometimes even get on my phone!

So before one class, I decided to actually pack a lunch with apples, crackers, trail mix and water. THE DIFFERENCE IN ENERGY MY BODY PUT OUT. It’s true guys, what you put into your body really does come out the same way. If you eat like shit, you’ll feel like shit. The last place you want to be groggy and unobservant is in lecture! Just by eating apples and drinking water alone, I stood up straight, paid wayyy more attention and actually asked questions. This is not a joke guys!

But yes, on occasion I went down to the cafe and ordered an iced coffee. Nothing wrong with that, just make sure its not your whole meal.

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That’s it! Aside from the obvious tips like have pencils ready and actually go to class, I hope these opened your mind to a few more ways to be a good noodle. I’ve taken a few science classes over the course of my life but human anatomy was really a game changer for me on the route I wanted to take. I’m so happy I took the time to learn the body, the bones, organs and all the systems inside us that literally make us function on a daily basis. If you’re reading this right now, you probably have great insides 😉

Happy Summer! xo Any questions on how to study? School life? Makeup routine for school? Comment below!

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned!

Watching Miss Universe pageants since I was practically 5 years old is a HUGE reason why I dedicated so much love into this article. Miss Universe celebrates the power of femininity in so many ways – in ways that I think make us powerful human beings. Being an intellectual, a self-less friend, peace giver and a health advocate are only a few things a Miss Universe contestant must enlighten their voters and the judges.

Sunday night, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa was reigned Miss Universe. After Steve Harvey, this year’s host had announced South Africa would be crowned, Demi-Leigh raised her hands in disbelief and I could only imagine the emotions she was going through! What a magical moment to be sharing the stage with 91 other women from all over the world and wear the crown being placed by last years Miss Universe 2016 from France, Iris Mittenaere.

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At the young age of 22, Demi-Leigh has been advocating for self defense. During the pageant, she shared her story of being robbed at gun point and how it ultimately changed her life. With the title of Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh wishes to start ‘Unbreakable’, a campaign consisting of experts teaching self defense and confidence-boosting for women around South Africa. Knowing your value and how no one can walk all over you was the premise of her motto on stage.

“It’s okay not to have a perfect life, and it’s okay to have emotions, and have feelings. If we are able to express our feelings more and share them with others, it’s so much easier to work through when you know there are people holding your hands and walking through this with you,” Demi-Leigh reassures.

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Back home in South Africa, this is MAJOR news. Demi-Leigh is the second Miss South Africa to win the Miss Universe crown since 1978. Aside from taking her modeling to the next level, she recently earned her degree from South Africa’s North Western University in Business Management. She urges women to understand how life is filled with hills and obstacles to overcome, but the humbling moment to look back and see all that you’ve done makes everything worth while.

During the question portion of the pageant, Demi-Leigh expressed her passion for equality and her hopes for a better future all around the world. “I want woman to be treated as equals in every part of the world. We are making great strides but there is still so much to be done.” She speaks on the wage gap in South Africa, women empowerment and self-defense.

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Can we talk about her gown for the final round?! A sleek, fitting tan dress with accents of sparkles to illuminate her olive skin. This dress was killer when she strutted down the walkway with some classic, ankle-wrapping silver heels. She let her curves take control as she wrapped her hair in a braided bun to extenuate her highlights – the color scheme fit to a 10!

You know we can’t skip the bathing suit round – a bright, yellow bikini to bring a smile on everyones’ face. Working hard for your body isn’t something to be ashamed of and we should all be proud and welcomed to show it off; A few contestants stated prior as a result for the backlash on the ‘bikini round’. This certain round in the pageant isn’t for men to critique their bodies or for anyone else really, it’s to celebrate the female body and all the healthy measurements we take to stay beautiful and fit. But would you look at those heels? Any girl who can strut in those is a winner to me!

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So what exactly does a Miss Universe win for her time wearing the crown? According to their contest rules if a contestant is able to fulfill her duties, she will be given a year-long salary to spread advocacy of her choice, a luxury apartment in New York City, client representation in management agency WME IMG and my favorite part, access to all the premieres, fashion shows and even some opportunities to apply for acting roles.

Currently, Demi-Leigh is undergoing her ‘media week’ as the newly crowned Miss Universe. She will be attending conferences and press releases to unveil her plans for the upcoming year and what she hopes to accomplish back at home and all around the world for women.

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A true princess! I can’t wait to see where she’ll take her platform and the advocacy she has in store for empowerment. xo

Comment below if you’d like updates of her work during her time as Miss Universe!

Silk panties with a twist of nightmare

Preference on underwear could be based solely on the design, the occasion or because it fits your body just right over your waist. While it’s fun to hunt during the Victoria’s Secret 7 for $27 underwear deal, you need to keep in mind while shopping the type of fabric and pressure you may be applying to your vagina.

This is imperative to the health and happiness of your womanly parts. How can you possibly keep your vagina from becoming your worst, ex-best friend?

Silk underwear in any form like bikini style, thong or hipster style can suffocate your vagina from breathing, in other words clogging the moisture from leaving your vagina throughout the day.

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Courtesy of wiki

An article written by The Huffington Post featured woman’s expert and medical doctor, Donnica Moore, M.D., to speak about the common mistakes women typically aren’t aware of while choosing their underwear.

“Silk and synthetic fabrics are not breathable, which increases the risk of moisture being trapped and retained, which can create a yeast or bacterial infection,” concludes Dr. Moore.

The logic behind this doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Naturally, our womanly part is an average 3-4 inch hole facing down. It’s completely normal to have discharge throughout the day, in fact, it might be what’s healthiest to keep old discharge from growing in your vagina for days.

With discharge being a healthy and natural form of washing your vagina out, silk underwear can prevent old discharge from even leaving. Silk is compromised of a dense fabric restricting anything past its barrier, keeping bacteria smothered circling your vagina bound for an infection. Fungus is a natural supplement in our body that stays dormant and unnoticeable until it starts overgrowing from a large amount of moisture created by things like dense silk.

Common side effects of a yeast infection according to Planned Parenthood medical advisors are itching, burning sensations while you pee, redness and in extreme cases, sores that grow around the skin of the vagina.

Not to mention with dense fabric like silk, it can be pressed tightly around your skin cutting off circulation and increase the chances of irritation due to friction. Picking your vedgie (vagina-wedgie) can be an awkward scene in public when the irritation turns in to a stinging sensation. Avoid those situations by wearing comfortable and breathable underwear!

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Courtesy of Enkimd Online

To prevent silk from ruining your private party, shop for underwear that holds a cotton liner underneath the vaginal area. Yes, you can wear silk panties as long as there is a cotton liner but keep in mind the most important part to protect is the circulation of moisture flowing in and out. Even if you think your cotton liner is wrapped too tight, take it off and try a size bigger.

Alexander Chiang, assistant clinical professor at UCLA specializing in gynecology reveals to Self Health online, “Generally, cotton underwear is recommended since it has a natural moisture wicking and drying effect. And it’s cheap.”

Do your research. A pair of lace V-string panties from Victoria’s Secret can cost you up to $16.50 while Fruit of the Loom, a clothing company specifically in the manufacturing of underwear, offers six microfiber and cotton panties for just $12 that you can purchase online or at your local Walmart.

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Courtesy of Kmart

Good news, you don’t have to throw away all the sexy, silky lingerie you may have stored in your closet for those special occasions. Wearing silk underwear every once in awhile hasn’t been proven to be a bad thing either, moderation is key.

So go ahead and strut your stuff in those panties you decided to treat youself with. A healthy body is a happy mind, and a vagina being put through misery can be the definition of an internal nightmare. Let yourself breathe inside and out!

Treat Yourself Tips

By Paulina A. Marinero & illustrator from Positively Present, Dani DiPirro

So I’ve been super busy preparing content, creating new visuals and just over all new ideas for my beloved, precious PBC Magazine. Although life does seem to catch up to me, sometimes I have to stop and smell the roses – which is me, I’m the rose and I need to water myself. By doing so, I properly invest time to allow myself to grow emotionally and physically while stimulating my mind for better and  greater things.

So I’m passing these tips onto you because you deserve them and I know with whatever you’ve been doing whether it’s a project or unnecessary stress, you should stop and smell the roses yourself.

TREAT YOURSELF, LOVE YOURSELF. 

  1. Paint your nails 

This might seem like a simple concept, but the amount of relaxation you take in mentally while focusing on painting your nails is almost life changing. You’re glamming yourself up ( for free ) and you’re choosing your favorite color of the month – what’s better than that? You’re practically decorating yourself with an expected beautiful outcome. Play some music or turn to your favorite Netflix show and indulge for the hour.

If you think you’re not good at painting your nails, try purchasing a small precise paintbrush and carve out the edges with nail polish remover for a natural cuticle look when you’re finished painting. Or you can wait till you’re in the shower to scrape off the edges with your nails, but don’t hurt yourself! Once you master basic nail painting, you can search on YouTube ways to design your nails and keep it interesting. Right now, I’m on the ‘glitter on one finger for each hand’ phase.

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2. Drink green tea regularly 

You don’t need me to tell you, but green tea has been proven time and time again to have ties supporting your immune system, your heart and your brain. While it’s increasing your blood flow to help you stay active, it’s also getting rid of free radicals that might have disturbed your stomach when you decided to eat that junk food late at night. I’ve been committed to drinking green tea every morning for the past few weeks and I have seen SUCH a huge difference with my skin. It’s radiant, fresh and not as texturized as it used to be.

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I’ve also been trying to switch my coffee urges with tea indulgences since the benefits outweigh the other, but just knowing I choose tea more often allows to me splurge on coffee when I desperately need it the most. It’s all about sacrifices and since green tea is also caffeinated, you know it has you covered you for the night or ready to start the day. In the morning, I feel accomplished drinking a whole cup of tea knowing it’s doing me good – and the results are stunning.

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3. Settle for a new show 

I used to not watch T.V as much or even Netflix – I never understood the hype about either. But when I started watching Netflix early last year and actually ENJOYING shows, it also became an episode of me time. I put my phone to the side, grab a snack and simply let the drama on-screen entertain me for the hour or two….or five.

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What helps finding a new show is watching what you LOVE. If you’re into modeling and that whole industry, binge the new seasons of ‘America’s Next Top Model’. If you’re into art, try watching ‘Skin Wars’ or ‘America’s Got Talent’. And if you’re into food like we all are, try watching ‘Cupcake Wars’ or ‘Chopped’. If you watch what you love, you won’t have a hard time putting your phone down and keeping up with it later. But while you’re on the frenzy of watching what you love, you can learn a lot more about your field and be inspired by what you see.

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4. Start saving

ENOUGH SAID. Don’t let me be the reason why you start saving up again. No, don’t do that to yourself. Save your money consistently and effectively. You will seriously thank yourself later when you plan for concerts and beach trips with your friends next year or even in a few months – don’t let yourself be that friend who doesn’t have money to hit the club or even go out for lunch. But most importantly, invest in your future experiences and precious moments.

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You might want to find a job first but stay committed to putting at least $5 in a savings account every pay check week. For some of you, putting $5 is too low – GOOD. Make the sacrifice and put to the side as much money as you realistically can into your savings account. Fight the urges to touch your savings unless for emergencies but trust me when I tell you this, once you start touching the treasure chest for small things, you’ll be back for more and more until it’s all gone. So not only should you save consistently, but save effectively too.

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5. Online shopping is therapy

After putting some money to the side every pay week, never forget that the rest of the money aside from gruesome bills to pay is ALL YOURS. The hard hours you spent working your ass off should be rewarded by purchasing the things you love and have been eyeing for the past week. You have every reason to feel entitled to your money and to use it whenever you’d like, that’s something no one can take away from you.

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So sit down and spend some time online browsing through your favorite store for the latest sales and newest arrivals. This is an amazing time to reflect on yourself and see how your style is constantly evolving for your fashion needs and dont’s. Scroll through, take your time and BAM you’ll be hit with the pair of shoes that’ll actually makes your jaw drop – pick those obviously. If you want to stay organized with your shopping, make a list or jot it down in your notes so when you get paid next week, you’ll know exactly where to look first.

Do yourself a favor and splurge on that stationary shelf from IKEA for your apartment. Or buy that new coffee machine you’ve been wanting for quicker and easier mornings. But if you also want to buy that bronzer blush from Too Faced Cosmetics, you got some cash to treat yourself.

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6. Touch yourself 

And I mean your breasts. Or that too. But I never thought this was an actual issue until I took a second to think about it myself. Touching my breasts isn’t something that I normally do just because my hands are occupied by other things like work and grabbing my phone. But take the time to touch your breasts and take care of them as best as you can. Touching yourself can increase the blood flow in your breasts and allow the cells to move around instead of stick in one place in risk of disease.

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How do I do it? While I take a shower and shave my armpits, I use Dove soap as my shaving cream because its creamy and super moisturizing – but aside from that, I use the left over Dove soap in the palm of my hand and make my way down to each breast and give a little massage. So not only am I moisturizing the skin around my nipple, but I’m finding the time to circulate the blood flow in my breasts. And besides, your girls are your best friends – LOVE THEM. *If you like feminine self care tips like these, comment below!

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So there you have it, my tips for the beautiful rose that you are. Use them, incorporate them into your routine and create your own. You are the master of your world, your own mind. In order to think clearly and positively, set away some time for yourself and indulge in self care practices. xoxo

 

 

Welcome Mother Nature back on your campus

Whether you believe climate change is real or not, nurturing our Earth is the least we can do since we’ve marked our territory on pretty much every inch of this planet. Although it’s not something we think about everyday out of our busy schedules, it seems fair we should at least incorporate easy and quick ways to take care of our planet into our very own lives.

One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is by recycling. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, they’ve estimated at least 75 percent of our waste can actually be recycled, but it turns out Americans only recycle up to 30 percent of it. That’s a 45 percent actual waste dump we’re leaving onto our precious Earth to use and produce all over again, not to mention we’re doubling our natural resource production by almost half. With helpful data provided to us, we can make arrangements and recognize that not all our waste has to end up in a landfill, we can make use of it.

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Across from Dorill Dining Hall at Longwood University in Farmville, VA are two separate trash bins for recyclable and non-recyclable items. 

Acknowledging your surroundings is the first step, take a good look around and observe what’s keeping your community from being a sustainable and pleasant environment. The key is to observe now. Creating eco-friendly habits for yourself can motivate others around you to follow in your steps, and the skills you learn on campus can easily be incorporated while you’re back home, or really anywhere on Earth.

For many people, recycling can be seen as an extra chore or a burden added to their schedule, but how can we make conservation and the act of doing it, easy and almost like second nature? Well thinking about it, recycling can actually make your life easier. It can eliminate trash build up over time if you actually separate the bins, one for recyclable items and the other for non-recyclable items. Instead of piling up one trash can, balance out the waste and get organized. If you’re not sure where the nearest recycling service is in your area, use this app to track it down at iRecycle, Earth911 Inc. on the iTunes Store.

That’s not all. By reusing recyclable products, we’re expanding their longevity and expanding our wallets. Reusing plastic water bottles can actually save your wallet the next time you take a trip to your local grocery store. Stock up on a carton of water bottles and save now. Also, there are numerous institutions around the country that will take your recyclable, precious goods and give you money in exchange. That’s an extra dollar for your buck while helping other companies modify and reuse products for sale again.

Lastly, if you’re a college student, you want to maintain a positive image for yourself and your potential company’s image of a quality employee. If you’re not going to recycle for Mother Nature’s sake, do it for yourself and how you might outshine the rest. It’s no secret not everyone is as heavily motivated to save our planet, but by expressing specific interest and commitment to your close surroundings, employers can see you as the one different from the rest, proving devotion to not only the company, but the environment around you. Transform yourself into a hard-working, well-rounded citizen and others will follow.

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Longwood University keeps a steady ratio of recyclable to non-reyclable bins throughout campus. 

A huge problem nowadays is the hesitation to recycle. Do we need to re-educate ourselves the difference between recyclable and non-recyclable items? Without a doubt, recycling standards differ throughout each community and each year, the Environmental Protection Agency is changing what’s acceptable to recycle. So stay up to date, here’s a list of what’s appropriate to recycle as of now:

  • Steel and Aluminum cans (pasta and vegetable cans)
  • Glass containers (vases and beer bottles)
  • Paper, including cardboard (juice cartons and old homework assignments)
  • Plastic (floral wraps and sandwich bags)
  • Batteries (non-incandescent lightbulbs, printers and old keyboards)
  • Electronics (cell phones, stereos and televisions)

The most essential factor when recycling any of these items, is to make sure they’re clean and physically safe to grab. In other words, don’t throw away pieces of your broken glass frame; at this point the glass can’t be used and the worker separating the products can end up hurting themselves. If you’re going to recycle anything that was touched by chemicals and/or food, rinse it thoroughly before disposing or even reusing it – that also includes rinsing your plastic water bottles too.

Here’s what NOT to recycle:

  • Pizza boxes (cross contamination)
  • Used napkins or paper towels (that’s just not right and definitely not sanitary)
  • Wet, shredded and/or colored paper (broken fibers and color-dye is not safe to reuse)
  • Prescription bottles (major identify theft alert)
  • Plastic bags and used chip bags (too much of these items can clog up machinery tubes separating these products)

When you’re on campus, familiarize yourself with the locations of accessible recycling bins when it’s time to dump the trash away. If there aren’t enough around you, speak up! There is no excuse why higher institutions can’t create a healthy, clean environment. As students, we strive off of a good-looking campus. If your school isn’t emptying the recycling bins in appropriate increments during the week like the regular trash bins, speak up and have them prioritize!

Recycling is a whole concept in and of itself, but what’s another way to conserve energy and protect the environment around you and your peers?

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A clean, green enviornment can create a positive and studious atmosphere in and out of classes. 

Well for one, stop littering. It’s possibly one of the easiest and quickest ways to destroy our planet. If it wasn’t meant to be on the ground, it shouldn’t be left on the ground. Non-biodegradable items can sit on the grass for weeks before slowly fusing out its toxic chemicals into the soil. Do us a favor and wait until you see the next available trashcan.

 

Finally, practice what you preach and stick to it. All it takes is one person to inspire another and start a movement together. A huge reason why conserving energy is hard to keep up with is because we simply aren’t used to it..yet. No wonder why you rarely see anyone committing to these actions, we all stopped halfway. All habits start somewhere, so develop yours today. Jessica Hoak, an environmental studies major at Longwood University said, “I try my best to recycle and use eco-friendly products at home. Here at school, I wish they would have better advertising of it and actually empty out our recycling bins when requested.”

Start your own club and reach out to environmental studies majors, they probably know alot more and can give fresh, new perspectives for innovative eco-friendly tricks. You can also reach out to business majors if you end up taking your club to the next level and build fundraisers. The key is to network and use your resources to the fullest extent. Kind of like the whole idea for our natural resources we’re trying to conserve.

One last reminder, stop sticking your gum beneath chairs and tables. It’s damaging your school’s property, preventing other students from studying and not giving a good look to your school – we’re not in fifth grade anymore.

Be consistent with your eco-friendly tricks and realize it’s not an overnight miracle to possess, just know it’s all for the sake of Mother Nature.

Xoxo

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Spring allergies: Give them your best fight

It’s that time of the year again and no, I don’t mean the beautiful side of Spring. I’m talking about the coughing sensation, runny nose and sore throat dilemma we face this time of the year. If you’re not prepared for the outdoors, consider trying my tips and good luck!

First, Spring means the flowers blooming into your favorite dandelions and the trees standing tall and green. April showers bring May flowers, right?

With all the wild-life blooming, that means pollen is growing and flying everywhere to fertilize other plants as far as the wind can push those small particles. So it’s no wonder you see everyone around you sneezing up a storm and grabbing the nearest tissues, it’s allergy season!

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Getting your allergies taken care of can save you the hassle of not being in bed all day. Allergies can affect your ability to work, study and even sleep. Especially this time of the semester for all my student readers, you can’t afford a sick day.

My first tip is to close your windows, especially at night before you fall asleep. Having your windows open gives any pollen or dust the opportunity to sneak in and disturb your breathing pattern. This tip is one of my favorites because from personal experience, if I leave the windows even cracked at night, my throat will suffer the consequences. I’ve even seen people use masks when they’re outside which doesn’t sound like a bad idea. You can’t escape the great indoors, so might as well work around it.

My next tip is to take a hot shower before you go to sleep. Although there are some suggestions saying you shouldn’t shower before you sleep, I think for allergy season it’s a must. Giving yourself a hot shower will allow the steamy temperature to relieve your dry pores and give your nostrils the necessary moisture it needs. After stepping out of the shower and hopping in bed, you can go to sleep in peace knowing your nose has been washed and revitalized for the next day.

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I’ve had numerous questions on how to get rid of a sore throat and since my allergies result in solely sore throats- yay me- I have a few tips for this one. I really recommend drinking water, and so will any other medical doctor advise too. Think of water as your body’s personal shower – moisturizing your throat after a rough day of mucus clogging your glands. Not only that but water is key to life, essentially. The water you drink today is the water your body will use tomorrow, so fuel up!

I also suggest trying salt and water gurgles, like mouthwash. You can use it at room temperature but I usually boil my water, add salt and then wait for it to cool down for use. After a few gurgles and spitting it out, my throat no longer feels raspy or even that insane itch no one seems to be able to reach with their tongue – we’re all guilty of that. My theory to this is the salt acts as an exfoliator on the throat, cleaning all the old, mucus cells away when you spit it out.

My last tip for a sore throat is purchasing Claritin ($19) or Zyrtec ($14)

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from your local drugstore. I’ve personally never tried either but there seems to be a rave about these two allergy-focused medications. They claim to last four to 12 hours when you’re outside in the pollen-infested fields and according to many reviews on Target and Walmart, it actually works. Now, in no way am I telling you to purchase it – I just gave you 2 D.I.Y tips at home so don’t waste money if it’s not necessary.

My last tip is probably the most important when it comes to things you can actually take care of. You can’t control the amount of pollen outside when you’re walking by your favorite florist shop, but you can control your space at home and keeping it clean. I’m not talking about the dinner table you clean every day after a good feast, I mean the furniture you haven’t moved in months – collecting dust and debris over time. Any furniture or fancy paintings you haven’t touched in ages need a good clean too. Even wetting a paper towel and swiping the dust away does just the trick.

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Now that we’re practically done with Winter, when was the last time you used your fan? You’re most likely going to start using it again as the weather gets warmer and more humid, but before you turn it on, stop and clean the wings of the fan before you start walking around in dust-infested air.

Lastly, if you truly do suffer from allergies with severe symptoms, consider visiting your doctor and have them test/diagnose you for allergy implications. Even if you don’t suffer from allergies all-year round, some bacteria build up from the pollen/dust can hide dormant in your system and cause serious allergy episodes later down the road, get that treated now instead of waiting for next Spring!

The good thing about getting ready now for Spring allergies is you’ll have a stronger immune system for Summer weather. Isn’t that what we’re all waiting for anyways?

 

Penelope’s Boutique in Farmville, VA.

Right in the heart of Virginia lies Penelope’s Boutique, a jeweler and clothes store. It’s located right on Main street next to Uptown Café anytime you’re down to shop after some nice, hot coffee. Manager at Penelope’s, Amy Welch said, “We’re only in Virginia and we currently have nine stores all spread out through the state.”

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Penelope’s Boutique was founded in 1988 by Penelope Searcy herself in Lynchburg, VA and is now run as a family business. Farmville just celebrated their 29th year of having Penelope’s Boutique a part of their town.

Welch said, “We specialize in gifts pretty much for whoever you need to shop for. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can get it for you as well.”

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Walking into Penelope’s, I was blown away by the amount of accessories they had. They had multiple racks filled with necklaces, scarfs, wallets and plenty more! The whole store was organized by color scheme which made it that more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

All along the walls were hangers and shelfs filled with casual and sports clothing. Around the center of the store had a clearance rack (smart shopping never hurt anyone) and a foot-wear display which they also sell the popular shoe brand, TOM’s.

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Towards the back of the store were display windows that kept all expensive jewelry like sterling silver, etc. If you’ve ever walked into Kay Jewelers (every kiss begins with Kay), you’ll know the feel of how Penelope’s Boutique is.

Welch said, “Ever since we added jeweler brands like Pandora and Alex & Ani, we’ve been receiving more Longwood students. Most students usually stop at boutiques closer to Madison street, but we’ve got a lot here too.”

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I must say, although I was walking around the store mesmerized at all the merchandise, it’s definitely not cheap. Let me put this into perspective. I walked towards the apparel clearance rack which had a sign at the top saying “50% off” and I thought to myself heck yeah! But looking at the tags, most of items stated “WAS $60.99, NOW $30.99” and I don’t know about you but that’s not really a sale or clearance item according to my wallet.

Welch said as a first-time customer, you’ll be asked for your name and email to start a clientele profile and receive weekly emails on hot deals and new products coming in. Hopefully these hot deals come sooner now as we approach Spring because as much as that store may hurt my wallet, I can’t resist. As we come closer to graduation, Penelope’s Boutique would be the perfect place to shop for gifts!

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Penelope’s Boutique is opened from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and is closed on Sundays. Go check it out and tell Amy I sent you!