Friday, October 31, 2014

Tricks For Having A Halloween That Is A Treat

Halloween is here, and with this holiday comes dressing up in costumes, parties, and sweet treats! But beware that the night may be full of fun treats or not-so-fun tricks. Check out these tips to make festivities safe for everyone!

If you’re at a party:
Halloween is a night when students will be socializing with each other, whether it is at a friend’s place or an unfamiliar place your friend wants to go. Ask yourself these questions to make sure you’ll stay safe:
Who are you talking to?  With people wearing masks and costumes in a crowded, dim-lit party you might lose sight of your friends. Make sure you know who you are with, what they are wearing and how to find them. You don’t want to end up leaving with someone you don’t know!
What’s in your cup? To those of you who are legally able to drink: don’t accept drinks from strangers. Know what’s in your cup and keep an eye on it. Also, count your drinks and know how much alcohol your body can tolerate. In overcrowded Halloween parties, it’s essential to be coherent and aware of your surroundings.
Do you have a buddy? Go to the party with a friend and be conscious of where each other are the whole time. This might seem an inconvenience, but Halloween gatherings tend to become chaotic and if anything happens to you, it’s important to have someone who will notice and take action accordingly.
Does anyone know you’ve left? Ideally, you should always be with at least one friend. But since that’s not always possible, make sure there’s communication among friends. Let a friend know when you leave the party, and send a text when you get home so that they know you’re safe.
Are you driving?  Some Halloween parties in college may result in excessive drinking.  Be aware of people partaking in reckless activities, especially drunk driving. Try not to be on the roads whether you’re driving or walking, at night. If you are driving, be extra cautious of people on the sidewalk. Also, if you’ve been drinking and are unable to drive back home, make sure you get a sober friend to drive or call a cab.

If you’re trick or treating:
Who says you can’t walk around asking for free candy because you’re in college? Go get yourself some free sweets, but make sure you’re safe by following these directions:
Be seen. Make sure when you’re walking from door to door, the walking areas are well-lit. Keep close to the sidewalk and as far away as possible from the road because it could be dangerous if the drivers can’t see you. Also, take a flashlight with you so that you can see where you’re going.
Put a time limit. Once you start trick or treating, it’s hard to stop (especially once you start getting full-sized candy). However, set a time to stop trick or treating. It’s easy to get sidetracked and become lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Try to plan your route so that you know where you are. In case you stray from the route, have your charged phone with you.
Have a buddy. Go with a friend or a group of friends. Make sure that you’re not alone at any time of the night. You don’t know what could happen in the middle of the night. It’s more the merrier, anyway.
Inspect your treats.  Ever since you were a child you heard: “never take candy from a stranger”. Before you dig in, make sure the candy is unopened ad not tampered with.
Think about your health. I know it’s tempting to eat all those goodies you’ve gathered. Keep in mind that it’s all yours and no one will steal it. Before you grab a handful, know how to limit yourself. You can treat yourself a little every day, but try not to eat all of them in a day. Think about all the dreadful visits you would have to take to the dentist when you get unwanted cavities!

Halloween can be a fun time to dress up, socialize with friends, and get free candy. Go out and have fun, but be responsible. Make sure you’re safe in order to eliminate unwanted Halloween scares!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To: Wreath Making!

Supplies You Will Need:

-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Grapevine Wreath (or any other preferred type)
-4 to 5 stems of fake flowers (I used two rose and two hydrangea)
-Wooden letter(s)

      1.  Plug in your hot glue gun to heat up. This takes a few minutes. Be sure to put something under the glue gun in case it drips.
     2. Paint the letter. You may want to paint multiple coats (3 at most) in order to achieve desired color. Paint in the same direction to avoid seeing brushstrokes once the paint dries.

     3. Break the flowers from the stem. Some are made of plastic and detach easily by bending them at the base of the flower. Others may require cutting the flower. 

     4. If you want to incorporate the leaves from the stems you purchased, most flowers will allow you to peel off the leaf from the plastic veins. This allows for easy placement on the wreath. 

       5. Make a bow with the ribbon. The best tutorial for this is here.  

          6. Place the flowers on the wreath and decide what arrangement you like before you start gluing. You can play around with the flowers and decide what you think looks best.

     7. In order to make the bow stand out, you may want to put a small amount of flowers where the bow will be. This allows you to glue the bow on top of the flower and have it at the same level as the flowers. If you are working with a large bow, this step may not be necessary.

     8. Begin gluing the flowers on. Be sure to look at exactly where the stem of the flower was touching on the wreath.

     9. There are small openings in the wreath. If you put a good amount of glue on the stem and push the stem down into these openings, the glue will hold more effectively. After gluing the flower on, hold it down lightly for a moment to ensure it stays in place and that the glue begins to dry. (Do not press too hard because you may burn yourself.)
      10. Glue on the larger flowers (hydrangeas) first. This ensures correct placement.
      11. Glue the smaller flowers (roses) in the remaining spots using the same process.

          12. Once all of the flowers have been glued, place the ribbon where you think it will look best before gluing to see how to place it correctly.

         13. Use the hot glue to glue the ribbon on and hold it for a minute before letting go.

         14. Add leaves, if desired. Check placement of these before gluing. Be sure to glue part of the leaf under the flower so that it looks attached.
      15. Lay the (dry) wooden letter on the wreath and decide where to place it. I glued mine directly across from the ribbon. Cover the back of the wooden letter that will be attached to the wreath with hot glue. Place wooden letter on the wreath.

    Hang your wreath wherever you’d like!

This can also be done with multiple wooden letters to spell a word, make initials, or to even put your apartment number on the wreath.

-RA Lauren F.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eat This, Not That!

When you think of fast food you probably don’t think of the words healthy and affordable in the same sentence right? Nowadays there sometimes seems to be only two options: one, eat a healthy meal but break the bank, or two, save some money but end up sacrificing healthy menu options. Well now you can have a healthy meal AND have it be cheap!
The age old question: McDonald’s versus Wendy’s. On the left hand side is one of the most classic and favorite combos in the history of fast food. Unfortunately, a classic big mac with fries and a drink is not only unhealthier than the Wendy’s option, but it costs more too! With a Wendy’s baked potato, value menu sandwich (without mayonnaise), and a chili, you get not only more food, but also at less than half the fat.

Quick question you might be wondering, “why no mayonnaise on the sandwich from Wendy’s?” Did you know that sometimes the condiments on a sandwich or a salad can comprise of more fat grams than the actual meal itself?

Chick-fil-A sauce is actually 13 grams of fat per packet, that’s more fat grams than the actual chicken sandwich or nuggets that come from the meal themselves! The biggest culprit is the buttermilk ranch sauce that comes with the salads for dressing. Weighing in at 30 grams of fat, the dressing alone can make one of the healthy salad options quickly become the worst thing on the menu with the highest amount of fat.

For breakfast options, you are generally going to be stuck with something stuck a little under five dollars, but the actual health content of the food varies drastically. Chick-fil-A offers a healthier breakfast than your typical big breakfast box at McDonalds, with less than half the fat grams from the entire meal itself.

Eating at Moe’s and Chipotle for some “upscale” fast food can be a bit more expensive, but the choice can still be made better by opting for the healthier menu options. Making slight adjustments such as substituting the steak or ground beef for chick, tofu, or pork can make a huge difference. Here we have a typical nacho combo at Moe’s with queso versus any one of the three variations of Moe’s bowls with chicken, tofu, or pork.

Chick-fil-A boasts one of the healthiest menu options in the fast food industry at the moment: the chargrilled chicken sandwich at only 5g of fat. While you could substitute fries for a healthier option, I decided to keep them in to make it a fairer comparison. Even with fries, Chick-fil-A beats out the Burger King Whopper combo with less than half the fat of the meal.

Hope you guys enjoyed these comparisons and remember them next time you go for some fast food, because fast food does not always have to be unhealthy for you!

-RA Bruce Daryooni

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Are You Ready?

We all know that going to college comes with a lot of unique challenges. Entering adulthood is not always as standardized as we once thought! One challenge that college students often do not acknowledge right away is that they are now a full-fledged member of society...and with that comes involvement with the Government. 

Now, most of us cringe at that thought. But the fact remains that we are all involved in some form. If you buy gas or milk, you pay taxes. Also, most of us get assistance from the government in the form of Student Loans or the Hope Scholarship! 

Now, if we get all of these benefits or costs, it is our duty as responsible citizens to be involved in the process that creates these. We do this through voting. 

This November, many of us will have our first chance to vote in Federal and State elections! But how do we go about registering to vote?

Follow these 6 easy steps and experience being an active member of society:

1) Visit and select your home state.

2) Confirm your eligibility

 3) Fill out the personalized information
 4) Confirm that all information is correct and submit your application 

4A) Register in person at designated locations in your state
If you're unable to register online, you can also register in person at the following public facilities with the same information:
Your state's voter registration office
Election offices
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Armed Service recruitment centers
Public assistance facilities, or state-funded disability centers

4B) Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to vote absentee
If you're active-duty military or are overseas for other reasons during the election and you're not yet registered, you can still register to vote by filling out the FPCA form and requesting an absentee ballot.

Fill out this form to register if you're:
Active-duty military or a dependent
A member of the Merchant Marine Service
A member of the Public Health Service
Commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A US expatriate living temporarily overseas

5) Wait and Prepare

 You should receive a voter's card in the mail shortly after you send your paperwork or submit the online application. 

Most importantly, use this time to familiarize yourself with the candidates in the upcoming election and find your polling center on the day of the election.

6) Consider registering with a national political party or organization

You can register using one of the online services provided by the various political parties to affiliate yourself with their campaigns and learn more about their candidates. While not required for general elections, some states require this registration for primary elections.

You are now ready to vote! If you plan on taking part in the democratic process, be sure to understand your candidate's position. Being a voter is important. Being an informed voter is crucial!