Sizzlin’ Summer Beauty Products

Summer is coming soon! Yay! In honor of the weather changing and our lives becoming a little more laid back (for students that is), I wanted to share all of my favorite summer beauty products! These aren’t new products, but can be found in stores year around. Let me know if you want more information about any of the products I mentioned by commenting below!

One Border to Another

It is 4 a.m. on the first Friday of spring break, but I am wide awake anxiously waiting to begin my road trip. Over the break my two friends and I decided to head north instead of south for an adventure none of us will ever forget.

On our way to Portland, we spoke of many things including our past, present and future; conversations that will keep the driver from falling asleep. After eight long hours on the road, we had reached our destination but little did we know a surprise was awaiting us in the great city of Portland. We were surprised when the hotel manager at the place we were staying told us our reservation was never confirmed, we turned to each other and said, “S%#t!, now what?” realizing we had to pay more now.

Once we got the whole room situation figured out, we headed out to catch a glimpse of the sunset in downtown Portland. Walking up and down the city, I couldn’t help but be amazed by everything I saw including the buildings, people and food trucks. The place immediately won me over. The trip continued the next day as we headed to Seattle in search of the first Starbucks and Space Needle.

Seattle is a city filled with popular buildings and great food all around, but the one thing I wanted to see above all else was the Kurt Cobain bench. Nirvana was a huge influence for me growing up as I went through my grunge phase, so I thought it would be appropriate to pay my respects to the man who started it all. My friends and I were tired from two days straight on the road, yet we couldn’t rest until we had reached Canada.

On St. Patrick’s Day, we had finally made it. The Canadian border indicated our mission was accomplished; all we had to do now was just enjoy it.

This whole experience taught me two things: if possible travel often and enjoy the company of friends. I believe Jack Kerouac said it best. “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”-Jack Kerouac.

De-stress with Nature

With finals approaching and soon-to-be-graduates sending out applications at a frantic, rapid rate, stress levels are skyrocketing. Luckily, the TGC staff lives in the beautiful town of Chico. The nickname City of the Trees paints a green picture in your mind, but some of us are so caught up in our own world, we rarely take a moment to stop and smell the roses. This video highlights the importance of nature. Being outdoors helps relieve stress and people who embrace nature will live happier and healthier lives.


Eat Great on a Budget

Nothing we all do is more important to our health, or more ignored in American culture, than the simple act of eating.

I understand that we are college students; we are not in any way wealthy. Eating healthy is expensive…right?

It doesn’t have to be. You can eat healthier for less than $50 a week. That’s right, you can eat better all week for less than a night out at The Bear, and have meals like this:

Looks good, huh? Here’s how to do it:

The List

I made the commitment to eat healthy and took a trip to the store. I was drawn to the tortilla chips, Oreos, and canned chilli that have so far been the staples of my diet, but I refrained. What I bought was almost enough to require two trips:

2 Avocados– $1.16
1 Bunch of Bananas– $1.40
1 Broccoli Crown– $.26
5 Carrots– $.46
1 Head of Lettuce– $.99
4 Apples– $2.29
1 Bunch of Asparagus– $1.44
1 Red Onion– $1.06
4 Oranges– $.89
4 Red Potatoes– $.94
3 Roma Tomatoes– $.70
1 Bag of Brown Rice – $1.16
1 Bag of Lentils– $.86
2 Cans of Tomato Sauce– $.50
1 Package of Pasta Sauce Seasoning– $1.29
1 Package Pasta (Vermicelli)– $1.79
1 Tub of Yogurt– $2.48
1 Dozen Organic Eggs– $3.48
1 Package of Chicken Breasts– $9.91
1 Package of Steaks– $9.71

Grand total: $42.76


Not bad, and it got the cat intrigued.


There is a lot you can do with this list. You could grill up a few chicken breasts with some steamed veggies for dinner. Then, for breakfast the next day, you could throw in a few leftover veggies into an omelet with some salt and pepper, and use the leftover chicken in a salad.

As a snack, take a banana and an apple with you to school. When you’re ready for lunch, bust out the chicken caesar salad you made with the leftover chicken and veggies. Then for dinner, make a beef stew with potatoes, onions, carrots, and lentils and start the whole cycle over again.

It’s actually kind of fun to cook your own meals and taking the time to plan your meals will make you happier and healthier. Check out Epicurious–which has a fantastic iPad app that allows you to search by ingredient–and Gojee’s food section for solid recipe ideas.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned:

1. Shop at FoodMaxx

FoodMaxx has a great selection of produce for cheap, and their meat is not that bad. If you’re broke like most of us, this is the place to shop.

2. Buy just what you need

You don’t need a whole flat of strawberries. While wholesale shopping might seem like a good way to save money, for a college student it could end up costing when food starts to go bad. Instead, try to plan your meals and buy just what you need for that week.

Except nuts. Always buy nuts in bulk.

3. Keep it simple

Shop for things that hit all the major food groups, but don’t get carried away. Limit what you buy to what you actually plan to eat. Sure, that sack of grapes looks good, but are you really going to eat all of them? Put them back.

4. Cook with leftovers

This goes without saying, but a lot of people forget that you can use last night’s extras in today’s meals. Throw some of that leftover chicken in some pasta and diced tomatoes to create a great dinner dish that’s done in eight minutes.

I hope this helps get you started. Look up some recipes online and go to town, I promise you won’t regret it.

Social Media Painted Red for Same-sex Marriage Equality

The current focus on same-sex marriage and social media’s solidarity campaign challenges people to stand up for their beliefs and show their support. This heightened focus on the issue expands the discussion. It helps same-sex couples feel supported, which enables them to voice their views, exposing the public to the reality of same-sex marriage. This increased awareness can only lead to increased acceptance, and eventually to full inclusion.

Marriage equality has been a popular topic in recent years. There has been much debate aimed at swaying minds of those on the fence and raising awareness among those that are mildly informed. While still an extremely controversial topic, same-sex marriage has sparked public interest and has created an ongoing conversation, especially through social media sites.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or have completely avoided every aspect of social media, you have probably noticed at least one of your Facebook or Twitter followers has changed their standard profile picture to one of a red and pink equality symbol in support of same-sex marriage.

Last week, nine Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in two cases regarding same-sex marriage.  The first was Hollingsworth v. Perry, which questions the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which eliminated recognition of same-sex marriage. The second was United States v. Windsor and challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and unfair treatment of same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, Monday, March 25 marked the beginning of social media sites being painted in shades of red. The Human Rights Campaign posted a photo asking followers to change their photos to show their support for marriage equality.

Over the next 24 hours, The Facebook Data Science Team notes that Facebook saw a 2.7 million user or 120 percent increase in profile photo updates compared to the previous Tuesday, showcasing one aspect of the campaigns impact. While the campaign spread nationally, it spread demographically as well, with Facebook users in their 30s participating the most in the campaign.

Throughout the week, many people had fun with their icons by creating various versions of the image to reflect their own personalities.

While social media can sometimes be a source for the world’s nonsense and misinformation, it has proved to be a powerful tool to focus attention on worthwhile causes and engage people in conversation about topics that may have an effect on political decision makers and legislation.

The reason I believe this campaign is so important is because it clearly points to a shift in public opinion. As social media users were exposed to the campaign, it seemed that one of two things happened with each user:

1. People who were already in support of same-sex marriage saw the equality symbol and shared the image or post a status in support, showing acceptance and influencing others to do the same.

2. Someone who is opposed to same-sex marriage is exposed to the campaign, wirnesses friends, family members, colleagues, etc. in support, and as a result, may reevaluate their stance, especially if the people they love are supporting the cause.

Quick Tips for New Parents

Being a first-time parent can be a stressful and challenging experience for even the most prepared person. You worry if they’re happy, eating the right foods and haven’t peed on the carpet in the middle of the night… I did mention I’m talking about my dog, right?

Two weeks ago, I adopted a dog from the Butte Humane Society. After looking for a pet for months and months, I found Indigo and the rest is history. She is a 10-month-old, 55-pound lap dog and quite a handful.

When you’re thinking about adding a new member to your family, it’s hard to imagine all the new and bizarre challenges you will face. Here are my top tips for dealing with a new dog (or maybe just mine):

1. When your dog won’t go to the bathroom, it might need some privacy.
I share this technique at the risk of sounding like a crazy dog lady, but believe me it works! If your dog doesn’t seem comfortable using the bathroom outside and prefers the carpet in your home, try this. Take your pet where there aren’t many distractions, let the leash hang loosely and look the opposite direction.

2. Buy dog wipes for between baths.
They look like a giant baby wipe and come in a variety of scents. They are extremely useful for combating a greasy coat or a smelly dog. Indigo actually enjoys it when she isn’t busy trying to eat them. I bought my lavender scented wipes at Petsmart.

3. If you don’t want your pet to sit on the furniture when you’re not there, don’t invite them to sit on the couch, ever.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way and now Indigo wouldn’t dream of using the lovely dog bed I bought for her–that’s $40 I’ll never see.

4. For a high-energy pup, buy them a bone.
Unfortunately, Indigo doesn’t understand when I explain that I can’t play because I have homework, so I give her a bone to keep her entertained while I lovingly ignore her. Most bones are cheap and good for oral hygiene. This will keep your dog distracted and allow you to get some work done.

5. Consistency is key.
Try using the same phrases for a specific action. Every time we are going outside I tell Indigo, “We are going OUTSIDE.” After a while your pup will catch on, and if they still need help, patience and positive reinforcement should do the trick!

Everythings Coming Up 90s

Take a look around, doesn’t it seem like something’s familiar? One thing I’ve noticed about 2013 is that it feels like America was thrown in a time warp back into the 1990s. Despite extremely low gas prices and entertaining Saturday morning cartoons, the nation has taken on a 90s feel.

First off, if you’re looking to see a movie, you can go watch Jurassic Park 3D. The film that originally came out in theaters in 1993 is back in 3D. It’s great for those who were too young to see it in theaters when it first came out.

Another nostalgic trend I’ve noticed is the return of grunge fashion and throwback sports clothing. Nirvana T-shirts and classic band shirts are scattered throughout stores like Forever 21. Acid wash jeans, combat style boots and studded accessories are popular again for young women. For men, snapback styled hats with reissued classic designs are popular and sold in many stores.

Other nostalgic trends I’ve noticed today are the boy-band revival and the return of classic television shows. If you haven’t heard already, a Boy Meets World spin-off called Girl Meets World is currently being filmed and even features the original Cory and Topanga.

There also are so many boy-bands in the pop music world again, that it reminds me of the days when just about every pre-teen girl was crazy about N’sync.

Last but not least, seems like the world also has a new Vanilla Ice.

Check out this page to see more nostalgia themed articles.

The Importance of Studying Abroad

Before beginning college I knew I wanted to study abroad.  The thought of living in a different country for 6-12 months seemed so exciting!

After arriving at Chico State, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the university has many great study abroad programs. Chico State study abroad sends more than 300 students to 30 different countries every year. My  dreams of studying abroad seemed as if they might actually come true.

When I was a freshman I attended the informational meetings about studying abroad. I didn’t need to be convinced that it would be the best time of my life, but I did walk away feeling even more determined to make it happen.

At the meetings, the study abroad coordinators showed pictures and told stories of student’s experiences abroad. The study abroad team stressed even more that those who study abroad are set apart from those who do not.

College students often hear that they should study abroad for “personal growth.”  Someone might say to them “it’ll help you come out of your shell” or “studying abroad will help you to become more independent.” While this is true, studying abroad helps in so many other ways!

Studying abroad does help with professional growth. It stands out on résumés! When an employer sees that someone has lived in a different country for a long period of time, there are many desirable qualities the employer might infer about the potential job candidate.

Study abroad students may gain leadership skills, cross cultural communication and an understanding of many different cultures. All of these qualities are important to obtain when entering the job market.

So, study abroad! Not only will you meet great people and have the time of your life, but you are also investing in your future!

Hey, if living on the beach can help you land a job; why not take advantage of it?!

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. July 2011

View of the beach from my apartment. Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. July 2011

Expanding the Job Market Beyond the Borders

Graduating and moving into the workforce is one of the biggest transitions a college graduate faces. The stress of today’s shaky economy, coupled with rising tuition costs and an increasing unemployment rate can take its toll on the decision-making process for most students.

In times like these, it is more important than ever to be open to opportunities when they present themselves. Living and working abroad is one such possible opportunity that is unfortunately often overlooked by most graduates.

Internship opportunities abroad are often more plentiful than here at home, and some even come with excellent benefits that are usually rarely given to graduates in the United States! Programs such as Cultural Vistas or GoAbroad are available to guide students through the process of seeking work in various locations across the globe. 4-year graduates often already meet prerequisites for many programs, and a student is only required to have the willingness to experience something new.

The benefits of working abroad are numerous. Gaining a sense of international understanding is a great educational opportunity that develops confidence in one’s own work skills. Life abroad can also sometimes be cheaper than here in the states! Getting to travel the world, learning about new cultures, learning a new language, and gaining an advantage in the job market are just a few of the many benefits of seeking work opportunities abroad. No matter what your career path may be, chances are you have a skill that is desired elsewhere in the world, and they are willing to pay you to do it.

So, escape the stress of the job market here in the U.S. for awhile and go have an adventure that pays off (in more ways than one!).