DIY Thanksgiving Crafts

Express your gratitude and appreciation this Thanksgiving in the form of a creative Thanksgiving craft! Spiff up your dorm room with fun and easy decorative ideas for the holiday. Here are some ideas:

What to do with a clear glass vase:

– Fill it up with a layer of dried corn and beans and add a candle. Voila! A simple and decorative piece that can be set in any part of your dorm room.
– Add a popping color of oranges, reds and browns with plastic pumpkins
– Fill up the case with popcorn kernels and insert a candle for the perfect touch
– Any type of artificial flowers and branches (my favorite are branches with wine colored berries)…with fall colors of course!
– The possibilities are endless!

What’s on my list this year, is to whip up a Turkey Tulle Wreath that will be the perfect touch for my entrance door! Here’s what you’ll need:

– 2 small Styrofoam balls (about the size of Ping-Pong balls)
– 1 small Styrofoam cone
– 3 toothpicks
– 1 Styrofoam wreath
– 50-75 yards of tulle on a spool (or you can buy tulle on the yard and cut it to size) in a few different colors- like red, orange, and yellow brown yarn
– 1 sheet of red craft foam
– Black & yellow acrylic paint
– Paintbrushes
– Glue gun

Steps:

1) First, paint the pupils on the eyeballs and paint the cone (beak). Set them to dry (you can do this by sticking them in a spare Styrofoam wreath using toothpicks)

2) Wrap 1/3 of the wreath in brown yarn. This is not hard at all, but it’s tedious. Just wrap around and around, keeping the yarn tight so none of the wreath shows through. Tie the yarn off and cut off the excess when you’re done. Next, cut your tulle.

3) For “feathers” tie 5 pieces of each color, and alternated the 3 colors all the way around the remaining 2/3 of the wreath.

4) Insert toothpicks into each eye and the beak and insert them into the wreath, in the middle of the brown yarn. If you haven’t figured this out by now, the yarn is the turkey’s body.

5) Finally, fold a piece of red craft foam in half and cut out the waddle, making sure to make it skinny at the top (where the fold is).

6) You’ll drape the waddle over the beak and secure it with hot glue.

Finally, all done…hope you try these crafts out and ENJOY(:

Staying in Shape in College

As a junior in college, it keeps getting harder to stay in shape like I used to in high school, and I think most college students (other than athletes) can agree. So what do you do?

Watch what you eat.

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Whether you commute or live on campus, it can be hard to maintain a healthy and balanced diet; however, it’s not impossible. This doesn’t mean that every meal has to be slowly prepared and cooked with food purchased from Whole Foods. What I mean by this is, don’t eat a ton of Hersey bars and Hot Cheetos as a snack. It’s okay to have them every once in a while, but try to have an apple and some nuts instead. Make that the usual snack and junk the rare occasion munchy.

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For breakfast try to make yourself a meal. If you don’t have a lot of time, having a hard boiled egg, some whole grain bread and cheese with drink of orange juice will be an upgrade over an energy bar and a Red Bull. For lunch, try to have a legitimate meal. Even if you eat out, try ordering chicken breast with a side of salad, and finally, don’t pig out for dinner. If possible, try having something as light as a fruit salad. If you’re having a hard time staying awake while studying, eat some carrots. Most importantly, try to eat in reasonable portions. As already mentioned, I understand this type of diet is hard to maintain, but try to follow through with it, or at least some variation as much as possible. Definitely avoid fast food places like McDonald’s and such.

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Drink more water.

You’ve heard it a thousand times. “Drink more water. Water makes up 50-65% of your body.” It’s true, but you shouldn’t just drink water because it makes up a significant percentage of your body mass. Water is like a filter for your body. The more water you drink, the more it cleans out your system. Furthermore, substituting water for soda, is an extremely healthy choice. Avoiding soda in general should be a priority. Your body does not need soda, and it has absolutely no health benefits. Moreover, soda is a major contributor to weight gain. Once again, I understand college students need that kick to keep them awake, so they have soda, coffee or a Monster, but don’t make that a regular thing.

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Stay active.

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Get some exercise! I am a college student (an engineering major), and I know how hard it is to find time to exercise, but even half an hour can be extremely beneficial. Most campuses are really pretty. Try going through a 30 minute run every day. Jump rope outside. Some schools (like Benedictine) offer bike rentals. Get some fresh air. If it’s cold outside utilize your school’s gym. Run on the treadmill or use some other cardio machines such as bikes, ellipticals, stair step, etc. Do some free weight exercises, or take advantage of some of the fitness classes your school may offer. If your school doesn’t have a gym or offer these programs, do some exercises in your room. Everyone can benefit from the good ol’ push-up and sit-up.

 

Get some rest.

Try and get some sleep. Sleep will help your body recover from the day. In effect, you will be able to maintain good health. I know, firsthand, that sleep in college does not come easy, and getting those recommended eight hours can sometimes be impossible, but take advantage of sleep when you can. If you are finishing  up a paper, then finish it, but don’t stay up on Netflix watching just one more episode of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones.

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So if you wanna stay in shape in college, try to eat healthy, drink water, exercise and get some rest. If you can’t do all of these things, try to do at least two. You will feel better and have a greater capacity for learning. Creating these habits early on will stick with you throughout life and hopefully keep you in shape for a very long time.

American Horror Story: Unleashing the Terror

American Horror Story is a television show in which every season is set in a different place in America with a new plot and different characters (usually played by the same actresses and actors). It explores the darkness of humanity as it illustrates the horrors that people are willing to commit. It demonstrates the cruelty, greedy, selfish underbelly of human character. It’ll frighten you, but you can’t stop watching.

The show is created and produced by Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (who happen to also have created the musical television show Glee). It is broadcasted through the FX channel in the United States. The anthology series began airing in 2011 with relatively positive critical reception. It has been nominated and won many awards including the Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and People’s Choice Awards.

Thus far, the show has completed three seasons and is airing its fourth. Here’s a brief run-through of each one:

American Horror Story: Murder House

Synopsis: American Horror Story: Murder House takes place in 2011 and follows the Harmon family: psychiatrist Ben, his wife Vivien, and their teenage daughter Violet, who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien has a miscarriage and Ben has an affair. The Harmons move into a restored mansion and soon encounter the home’s former residents, the Langdons – Constance and her two children, Tate and Addie – and the disfigured Larry Harvey. Ben and Vivien try to rekindle their relationship, as Violet, suffering from depression, finds comfort with Tate. The Langdons and Larry frequently influence the Harmons’ lives, as the family discovers that the home is haunted by the ghosts of anyone who has ever died on the property.

 

American Horror Story: Asylum

Synopsis: American Horror Story: Asylum takes place in 1964 and follows the patients, doctors and nuns who occupy the Briarcliff Mental Institution, founded to treat and house the criminally insane. The wardens who run the institution include the stern Sister Jude, her protégé Sister Mary Eunice and the founder of the institution, Monsignor Timothy Howard . The doctors charged with treating the patients at the asylum include psychiatrist Dr. Oliver Thredson and the sadistic scientist Dr. Arthur Arden. The patients, many of whom claim to be unjustly institutionalized, include lesbian journalist Lana Winters, accused serial killer Kit Walker, nymphomaniac Shelley and alleged murderer Grace Bertrand. Briarcliff’s inhabitants are routinely subject to supernatural and scientific influences, including demonic possession and extraterrestrial abduction.

 

American Horror Story: Coven

Synopsis: American Horror Story: Coven tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America. Over three hundred years have passed since the turbulent days of Salem and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves. Wrapped up in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe, who is harboring a terrifying secret of her own. Alarmed by the recent aggression, Fiona, the long-absent Supreme, sweeps back into town, determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way.

 

American Horror Story: Freak Show

Synopsis: American Horror Story: Freak Show begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.

At the moment, the television show is broadcasting its fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show. It airs every Wednesday at 9:00pm central time.

It’s a great show so give it a chance if you’re into horror drama. 🙂

Tips for Presenting

You will give so many presentations in college that hopefully they will become second nature to you. If you’re not a fan of them, unfortunately for you, there is no avioding them. As an aspiring teachers, I have had to learned to embrace presentations as a way to practice being comfortable in front of a classroom. Being able to present and speak in public is an incredibly valuable skill. I’ve put together a few tips to make your presentations run smoother.

  • DON’T READ OFF YOUR SLIDES (notes, board, etc.). Biggest pet peeve ever. Your audience can read! They will fall asleep if you don’t give them new information to listen to.
  • Look at the class. Looking at the class instead of your presentation will make you appear more confident and will keep your listeners be more engaged.
  • Keep PowerPoints short. Your PowerPoint is just there as a visual aid. Loading it with words and information just makes it visually unappealing and overwhelming to readers. Supplement what is on your PowerPoint wtih your own words.
  • Speak Slow, Move Around. If you tend to get nervous for presentations, you also probably tend to speak fast. This will run you short on time and make you hard to follow. Take a deep breathe before you begin each sentence to make sure you don’t rush through it. Also, moving during your presentation, even if it’s just your hands, will keep your audience engaged and help keep your energy up.
  • Look Spiffy. If you like nice, you will feel more confident. If you feel more confident, you will present better. Simple as that. Your audience will also admire how great you look.
  • Speak naturally. This is hard to do when you’re in front of a large group of people, but it’s the best way to come across like you know what you are talking about. Someone who is stiff does not look like they are comfortable with the material they are presenting.

No one is a perfect presenter and it is certainly not expected of you to sound like a world leader when you get up to speak. However, you can always refine your skills. The best advice I can give is to be the person presenting that you would want to listen to if you were in the audience.

Good luck and I’m routing for you!

 

 

Benedictine University Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s finally November, it’s getting chilly out, it’s almost Thanksgiving and the end of the fall semester is coming fast. Benedictine University is having the traditional Thanksgiving dinner for our faculty, students and their families. This is a great event for everyone to get together and be thankful for all the blessing in their lives. I personally love this event because it is great for students to bring their family and friends from home to visit you, look at the campus, see your dorm or apartment, and have dinner with you. This event can be convenient for residents who live far from their house or out of state who would be unable to go home for Thanksgiving break and enjoy a nice dinner with their family because they won’t miss a Thanksgiving meal. I think it is great that even our commuter students attend this event and bring their families. The dinner will be held upstairs in the cafeteria in Krasa November 20th and I have to say that the food and deserts are to die for and I recommend everyone to come.