Tasty Tuesday: How To Skip Dessert Without Actually Skipping Dessert

Ah, dessert, my favorite meal of the day, and you know what they say about skipping meals! On a college campus where so many sweets and treats exist amidst so many students who choose to make the push toward a healthier dietary lifestyle, it can be a bit difficult to walk past a row of chocolate brownies and not even think about making that purchase. FYI, I have actually done a double take when walking by sweet treats in the dining halls! I usually walk away either bitterly content that I powered through the urge to buy that chocolate bar, or regrettably happy that I now have a chocolate chip cookie to look forward to. It’s a bittersweet feeling either way.

But no matter what reason you have for wanting to start walking the path to a healthier lifestyle, despite what you’ve been told, you don’t need to cut yourself out from your happy world of tiny satisfactions. That’s right, you can still have your dessert! So if you think that getting healthy means skipping out on your favorite meal of the day…think again! Here are some foods that are just as satisfying as your go-to chocolate cupcake.

Mango Black Tea Lemonade from Starbucks.

Well, the frappuccinos there are basically dessert! C’mon, a venti cup full of chocolatey goodness, topped with whipped cream and the topped again with chocolate syrup isn’t dessert? Yeah, okay. Believe me, I have tried to cut Starbucks out of my ‘new and improved’ lifestyle and it just doesn’t work for me. Sorry, not sorry. But instead of having a frappuccino everyday, I have taken to ordering their teas and other shaken drinks. I have gone from really cool Cool Lime Refreshers to the super pretty Strawberry Refresher, to Peach Green Tea and now, my new favorite, Mango Black Tea Lemonade.  Even with the lemonade added, these drinks aren’t nearly as sugary as frappuccinos are. These drinks are refreshing and definitely enough to keep your tastebuds content.

Coconut flavored yogurt.

I just love coconut flavored anything, but if you aren’t a fan, then try yogurt in a flavor that you are a fan of. I love eating coconut flavored yogurt as a “substitute” for dessert because I it makes me feel like I’m dipping my spoon into a coconut cream pie! Depending on the brand you choose, there isn’t a lot of added sugar — I mean if there was then you might as well have just bought that coconut cream pie — so this ensures that you aren’t pushing yourself too far off the healthy eating wagon. I love having dessert a little early (say 10a.m.) by enjoying a cup of coconut flavored yogurt.

Fiber One brownies.

These brownies are great for dessert because they come in pre-portioned packets, so you don’t have to cut anything yourself. And yes, I know that trick where you cut huge brownie slices so that one slice is basically the size of two brownies. Brownie crimes aside, these brownies come in reasonably sized portions and contain under 10g of sugar each. Plus, they’re brownies. I know they aren’t the same as your world famous chocolate chunk fudge brownies, but on the bright side, at least you won’t have to do the dishes after these!

‘Original’ frozen yogurt from Red Mango.

You gotta love Red Mango’s awesome flavors of frozen yogurt. From Nutella to Birthday Cake, to Spicy Aztec Chocolate, you’re happy so long as your sweet tooth is happy. But the Original flavor can actually make your sweet tooth happier than you think (probably not your dentist though). I like getting a small sized cup of Original flavored frozen yogurt because it’s sweet and just a bit tart (great combo). This is a great substitute for ice cream, of course. I, admittedly, like adding toppings, so I usually add granola bits. Feel free to sprinkle on almonds, strawberry slices, cereal bits, or anything else you think would pair interestingly with this flavor.

Bananas!

You can never go wrong with bananas! Since I dorm in college and I don’t want to pay 95 cents for every piece of fruit I buy from the dining halls, here’s what I do: When I go grocery shopping every two weeks, I pick a bunch of bananas that I think are very green and unripened. This is so that I can have them in my room longer without them spoiling. Once they’re ripe I have a banana a day. I love ripening them to the point where there are quite a few brown speckles on the peel. I find that they’re really sweet at this point. And the best part is, it’s all natural sugar! I usually peel a banana when I’m really craving a piece of chocolate or some other super sweet thing I know I shouldn’t have.

Frozen fruit bars.

Outshine is a great brand that produces these frozen fruit bars. They’re really good, and the company claims to use real fruit. See, fruit can be dessert! Frozen fruit bars are a great alternative to ice cream bars. Outshine has so many flavors to choose from: creamy coconut; grape; lemon; lime; mango — you name it! The only thing just as fun as consuming the product will be picking your next flavor!

So the next time you really, really, really want to indulge in a nice, big slice of decadent chocolate cake or a king sized chocolate bar, spoil yourself with one of these yummy substitutes! How’d you like this #tastytuesday post?

How do you skip dessert, but not really? 

Easter Nail Art…Using A Bobby Pin!

Nail art is a cool way to spice up any manicure. Since tomorrow is Easter Sunday, I wanted to do bright, fun designs on my nails, however, since I’m away at college and forgot my nail art tools at home (what was wrong with me?) I quickly found myself with very limited resources. If you don’t really do nail art by yourself, then chances are you’d find yourself in this situation too. Lucky for me I’m also very resourceful, if I do say so myself, and found a super simple solution that can work for everybody: I used a bobby pin to do my nail art!

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Aren’t they cute!? The index finger and pinky are very simple dots on a contrasting background, the middle finger is an easter egg design, and — my favorite part — the ring finger is a little chick! The best part is that all you’ll need are your favorite bright, festive nail polishes and a bobby pin — that’s it! No going out to buy any kits, no hunting for specific brushes, and no spending more money than you want to! Here’s what you actually will need:

  • white nail polish
  • yellow nail polish
  • 2 light/pastel nail polishes (I chose light pink and blue)
  • 2 darker nail polishes (I chose dark pink and blue)
  • black nail polish
  • orange nail polish
  • other pretty colors
  • a bobby pin
  • time

So here’s how I did these nails…

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First thing’s first, I browsed my dorm room-friendly collection of colors and picked the ones I thought would look best for this design. I settled on a light pink, white, yellow (because the ring finger will be a chick) and a light, peppermint blue. My thumb nail has the same exact design as my middle finger, so whatever you see on my middle finger is also what’s on my thumb, in case you were wondering. In the picture above, I used two coats of all my selected colors, to make sure I got a nice and smooth finish. Get as creative as you’d like with the colors, though — light purple, light green and even light orange would look really pretty too!

So now it’s time to actually start using that bobby pin…

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Bobby pins have these tiny round ball-looking things on the tips, so they’re great for creating uniform dots and things. As you can see, I used the tip of the flat side. I poured a bit of dark blue nail polish and dark pink nail polish onto a stiff piece of paper and dipped the bobby pin into it. The great thing about using the bobby pin is that it’s small which allowed for more control when creating the designs.

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I used the dark pink color and the bobby pin to create dots on the light pink nail, and I did the same to the dark blue nail polish on the light blue nail — a pretty, springy contrast! That part wasn’t so bad, was it? Good, now let’s kick it up a notch…Moving onto the middle finger with white nail polish, we’re aiming for a pattern you’d see on an easter egg. I dipped my bobby pin into light green nail polish and used it to create three dots near my cuticle. Not too shabby. Now about that zig-zag line…I chose the dark pink for this. The secret here is to not get too much product on your bobby pin; if yo do, it’ll just come out in a big, blobby mess! Don’t worry if you have to re-dip your pin into the color, just start off a little bit above where you left off.

Okay, you can take a breather now! I went back to polka dots and used yellow and dark blue alternatively for some added flair. After that, I used the pin again to paint a (somewhat) straight blue line right across the nail. Simple, yet substantial. Lastly, (you’ll like this part) all I did was take the brush from my bottle of light purple nail polish and paint the tip of the nail. That’s it! I promise you, this nail was the hardest of them all! But now that that’s over, let’s check on our chick…

This “accent” nail will really bring the whole hand together. Remember the pink zig-zags we made on the easter egg nail? We’re going to use that same technique here, only with white nail polish. Once you make the zig-zag right across your nail, you can fill in the bottom half. This is our cracked egg shell because the adorable little chick has hatched! Take your bobby pin again and dip it into any black nail polish you have to create dots for the eyes. Now for the beak, dip the pin into orange nail polish and create a very short, straight line between and below the eyes. I (sadly) forgot my orange nail polish at home, too, but like I said, I was being all kinds of resourceful yesterday and just mixed together my yellow and red nail polishes.

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Finish off with a top coat and there you have it: pretty easter-themed nails, and all you needed was a bobby pin! I hope you liked this tutorial and I hope you all enjoy Easter Sunday!

 

How To Avoid Burning Yourself Out

Meetings, office projects, fundraisers…oh my! With the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle, it can be pretty easy to one day wake up with zero motivation and actually feel tired of the obligations you’re currently tied to. As an ambitious college sophomore, I am currently the Editor in Chief of my school’s branch of OdysseyI’m a contributing author at Her Campus Stony Brook, I occasionally write and submit articles to other platforms such as Thought Catalog, I’m an undergraduate college Fellow, a blogger seeking to grow her site into a business, a Camp Kesem marketing team member, oh and I’m also a full-time student. And for next semester I want to be an ambassador for this cool organization, an Associate Justice for my school’s undergraduate student government and I would absolutely love a part-time on campus job! Am I scaring you yet? Are you raising your eyebrow in surprise and shaking your head at the computer screen? It’s cool, it happens. 

We all just want to do what it takes to get where we want to be, or to enhance our skills and create more enriched versions of ourselves. So if you’re a natural born go-getter (like me!) you want to take on as many responsibilities as you can, which is often a one-way ticket to burning yourself out! It can happen to anyone at any time, which really sucks because you know it’s not like you to feel that way but in the moment you feel helpless and like you just can’t do anything anymore. Sometimes these times are very short-lived and you’re back to kicking ass and handling your work like a pro. If you want to avoid falling into these black holes of lost energy and motivation, here are some things you can do. 

  1. Venture out of your comfort zone. If you just can’t resist the opportunity to add more things to your to-do list (or to build up your to-do list) try adding activities that challenge you. Hear me out. Doing something you’ve never done before can be really refreshing, so you aren’t always stuck doing the same thing over and over again. This adds a little zest to your life and provides you with a better opportunity to acquire new skills and credentials. Great for making those resumes look prettier! 
  2. Be a little selfish. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes! Actually, putting yourself first is very healthy. You’re a human being first, not the night editor of a magazine, not the president of the student government, not even a student! So if you’re deciding between kickstarting your gym routine and planning fundraisers for your club, I implore you to not feel bad for choosing the first one. Yeah, that doesn’t mean you let your obligations go to shit while you enjoy yourself, but do make sure you’re squeezing in some you time here and there. 
  3. Surround yourself with people. Sometimes, if I feel myself slipping into a mood — you know, the one where you growl at everyone and everything that so much as breathes in your direction — even if I just really want to jump in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy alone while I terrorize a family sized bag of Doritos, I tell myself that interacting with even just one person will make me feel better. And you know what? It does. It can be your roommate, your sibling, your parents, friends, a teacher or advisor you look up to; seeing the face of something other than your phone screen can really lift your spirits, so you won’t feel as crappy about whatever got you feeling crappy! This is important because sometimes, you burn yourself out as a result of feeling down from a combination of things. Stop those bad moods in their tracks! 
  4. Keep your calendar close. Sorry to say this, but staying organized will help keep you from that state of feeling like everything is eating at you. Knowing what your obligations are and when exactly you have to carry them out will keep you from feeling confused about your duties and prevent mix ups that you’d rather not have. But, hey, organization can be fun! Buy a planner with really cool print on the cover so you’ll always look at something pretty when you take it out of your bag. Color code your weekly schedule so you’re looking at a sea of colors instead of the land of all that is monochromatic. So if you haven’t yet been trained in the art of organization, now’s a good time to take up the discipline! 
  5. Do the little things that make you happy. I know you just love finding out little tidbits about me so it’s confession time: I look forward to playing music while I brush my teeth in the morning. Every morning. Even if I’m really tired and just did not want to get out of that bed for anything, remembering that I can have a mini dance party in the bathroom always lifts my spirits. If you don’t have the time to allocate for doing something gigantically fun like going to Six Flags or hanging out in the city, you can definitely find the time to make everyday moments more enjoyable. Treating yourself to a milkshake with your lunch every Wednesday will give you a reason to look forward to Wednesdays, for example. There are honestly too many ways you can enjoy the little things in life. 
  6. Get enough sleep. Yeah, yeah, yeah, easier said than done, right? Actually, it’s a little more achievable than you think it is. After what I just told you about my obligations, would you believe that I still get at least eight hours of sleep every single night? No? Well guess what, I do. I go to bed early (because I suck at doing work at night and I suck even more at staying up late) and I wake up early so I can get dressed and do work and tend to obligations. This works really well for me, so I’m never sleep deprived so I can stay as sharp as a tack (or my eyeliner wings) and put myself in a more desirable mental state to carry out my duties. If you cannot sleep early for the life of you, then make sure you’re at least waking up late — but not at the expense of class or something. 

Feeling more confident in your ability to handle life like a pro? I sure hope so! Just small adjustments can make the biggest differences! You’ll never be bored with your schedule, you’ll stay healthy and you’ll still have fun while doing it all!

How do you avoid burn outs? 

6 Dresses You Need This Spring

Spring is here (believe it or not, Northeasterners!) I’ll let you in on a secret: I hate wearing dresses and skirts. It’s because, well, I just get weird when I wear them — I’m liking it for the first hour and afterward it’s like the glitz and glamour has worn off and I would just rather be in sweats. But at the same time, I can appreciate a really pretty dress, and once in a while I see one that I just feel like I have to have! If you haven’t had spring dress fever yet, these dresses are sure to make you call in sick!

  1. There’s something about cold-shoulder dresses that are innocent yet sexy at the same time! They allow you to expose a little bit more skin without being over the top in any way. This dress gives off a sweet, angelic vibe, especially with the  cute crochet detail on the sleeves. This is a super sweet dress that would go great with a flower crown and brown boots for a sunny spring day. I actually have this dress (just bought it this weekend at Charlotte Russe for $21!) and plan on styling it that way, so if anyone would like me to do an “outfit of the day” blog post with this dress, definitely let me know in the comments!
  2. This beautifully bewitching dress is not only affordable ($32.99 at Charlotte Russe) but also really simple and very breathable! Like the previous dress, it’s not meant to hold any part of your body tightly, which means you’ll be able to move freely while wearing this. It’s a long sleeve dress, so if you aren’t too keen on showing your arms, here’s something for you! I personally love wearing black and can totally see myself in this paired with boots, one of those really cute black hats like this one, and pretty, layered jewelry. Let your dark side out this spring and rock this dress to class, on a date, at a cute cafe, or while hanging out with friends!
  3. Denim is super cute as a dress! Now, I wouldn’t wear denim jeans because I’m a leggings girl, but I would totally rock this dress to class on a nice spring day! It’s simple and attractive and it even has pockets! If there’s anything I’ve learned as a leggings lover it’s that anything with pockets that isn’t a pair of jeans is truly a blessing. This dress is great if you want to get on those casual vibes at a casual price — only $34.99 at Charlotte Russe. The belt adds definition by cinching the waistline perfectly. The hue of this dress is also great for spring — so calm and cool!
  4. Calling all goddesses — yes, I’m talking to you! This dress is so beautiful because it’s very simple, the color and neckline are innocent, and the rhinestone detail at the waist adds just enough flair without taking over the entire dress. Plus, the length is quite elegant — it’ll flow perfectly in the light spring breeze! This being said, the dress’s length makes it a great option if you aren’t too keen on showing some leg. You can even add a denim vest or light sweater over it if the breeze is a little chillier than you’d like. This dress can be found at Forever21 for $39.90, so you can look even more fabulous than you already do for only 40 bucks!
  5. It wouldn’t be spring if you didn’t have even one dress with a floral print on it! I found this cutie at Forever21 for $24.90. The floral pattern paired with the off-the-shoulder style makes this dress super bubbly and super flirty! It’s a bright pattern made for a really bright day of springtime fun, and the rope belt adds definition to the waist of an otherwise loose dress. For even more flower fun, you can wear a flower crown in your hair. Or don’t, you’ll look good either way!
  6. Okay, just one more dress with floral print, I promise. This dress has larger printed flowers and is a good alternative to the previous dress if you want to show off your love for flowers while still keeping your shoulders covered. It’s still really casual, plus skater dresses are always fun to wear!

If these gorgeous dresses don’t get you planning your next shopping spree, I don’t know what will! Which dress was your favorite? What other dresses do you have your eyes on? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

5 Things To Consider When Shopping For Granola Bars

*Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietician, or medical doctor of any kind. I am not offering any professional dieting advice of any kind. These are solely my thoughts and insight into how I go about making my own, personal dietary choices. You are free to adopt these ideas into your own life, however, do not take my word as medical fact.

What a wonderful world we live in to have portable bars of oats, grains, fruit and nutrition — ones that can conveniently fit in a backpack, brief case, or purse for sustenance on the go. Granola bars have been one of my favorite breakfast and snack options since middle school — hell, probably since elementary school. I always loved those chocolate covered ones from Chewy, because who doesn’t love chocolate covered anything, really? The older I get, the more health aware I become. So, yeah, I’ve already realized that chocolate covered anything doesn’t exactly pack the nutritional punch we wish it did. Of course, there are some things much worse than nutritional grains doused in sweet, milk chocolate.

Honestly, navigating the isles for your perfect match is pretty difficult, because there are so many aspects to consider. I created a guide that I go by when purchasing granola bars, and I’ve decided to share this with you! So here’s what I usually consider when selecting granola bars:

  1. How much sugar does it contain? This is the first, and biggest, question I ask myself when granola bar-hunting. A lot of people think that calories are their biggest enemy, however, remember the good old saying, “quality over quantity”? It applies here, too. It’s not how many calories you consume, but rather the types of calories you consume. So I basically threw that whole “100 calorie foods” idea out the window. Instead, I look at the sugar content in what I buy. I personally feel that sugar has a more direct role in weight gain and becoming unhealthy, and unfortunately, many granola bars (and protein bars) contain, or contain close to, our recommended daily serving of sugar — a whopping 25 grams. There are granola bars out there that contain fewer than 10 grams of sugar, which I would choose over those s’mores granola bars with 20 grams (and we all know how much I love the chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker combo). You can check out my list of 10 Granola Bars Under 10 grams Of Sugar on Influentser. 
  2. Will I poop? This is a hint toward fiber. I know that sometimes it can be hard to find granola bars that are low in sugar and high in fiber because often times, that’s just the way the trade off works. Granola bars high in fiber may also be quite high in sugar. The same might hold true for some granola bars that are low in sugar. Of course, you aren’t going to get your entire recommended daily serving of fiber in one, puny granola bar, but that one puny granola bar can definitely help you out a little bit more if you pay more attention to the amount of fiber it contains. 
  3. Fruit filling vs. fruit chunks. I try to stay away from anything with fruit filling inside because it is typically way too sweet. Even those with sweet a tooth (like myself) have a limit and this is my personal limit. Plus, there are definitely some amount of preservatives in there to keep that fruit filling fresh, or at least edible, for so long. That doesn’t mean there are no preservatives in fruit chunks, but there is probably considerably less. Fruit chunks also tend to be less sweet. 
  4. Does it contain something I might be allergic to? No matter how many health benefits a granola bar promises you, if you’re allergic to an ingredient in there, DO NOT consume it. I had this run-in with Chia Health Warrior bars. See, I’m allergic to almonds and I when I happened upon the Health Warrior bars in Target (mango flavored!) I didn’t even check to see if it contained any ingredients I was allergic to. You can probably guess how that ended…And then recently, a friend of mine recommended Lara Bars, so I went to pick them up, but this time I checked the ingredients list. Almonds. Of course.  So beware of nut allergies, soy allergies and other allergies when shopping for granola bars! This is actually more important than excess sugar!
  5. Is it sugar free? If the answer is yes then you probably shouldn’t make that purchase…This is something I learned a few months ago from a source I don’t even remember: If a food says it’s sugar free then chances are it actually contains some artificial sweeteners that are actually worse for you than regular sugar is. Weird, right? So sugar-free foods basically defeat their own purpose. I haven’t really seen any granola bars that are marked as sugar free, but I will definitely be on the lookout for them! 

I hope you were able to take away something from my guide to granola bar purchasing, and I hope you liked this Tasty Tuesday blog post and will consider these points I made.

What’s your favorite brand of granola bars? 

My Spring Break Beauty Wishlist

I look forward to any type of week-long (or longer) break from school because it gives me a chance to think about myself, which can be pretty hard to do when you’re juggling classes, exams, work, internship hunting and the drawn out process of getting your shit together. So when I’m being understandably selfish, I like to think about beauty products I have and ones that have really been on my mind. My Spring Break has officially started, and since I’m not going anywhere special, I’ll definitely make use of this time to explore new products. I know you’re just dying to see what super cool beauty products I’m dying to purchase, so without further ado this is my Spring Break beauty wishlist:

Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly Eyeshadow Palette – $36 

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I think this palette is super cool! I love that the concept for this palette was inspired by something as simple as peanut butter and jelly. I love the bright purple jelly shade on the palette and even the warmer shade of purple. The browns for the peanut butter are super warm and remind me of an almost sun-kissed look. The great thing about this palette is that even if I don’t feel like strutting around campus with purple eyeshadow, I can always create a beachy glow using the browns. Seriously, I can actually feel the heat just staring at this palette! I think it’s pretty affordable at $36, especially considering it’s a limited edition palette.

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipstick in ‘Firebird’ – $18

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I’ve always been in love with berry colored lipsticks. I think they go beautifully with my medium-tan skin, however it’s usually a hassle for me to find one that I’m head-over-heels for. Usually the ‘berry’ lip colors I get are either way too sheer to show up on my lips or they aren’t the shade I thought they’d be. After looking at endless swatches of this shade online, I finally decided that this will be my ultimate berry lip color. It’s creamy and rich and very affordable! I was actually considering taking a trip to Manhattan to the Bite Beauty Lab where you can get your own color consultation and have your very own unique shade of lipstick made right in front of you (whoa) but in my opinion, the lipstick is fairly expensive. At $45 for one lipstick, I definitely feel a little stingy about spending, so a cheaper alternative that can give me the look I want is the way I choose to go.

Coastal Scents Creative Me #1 Palette – $14.95 

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I love super bright, fun, colorful eyeshadow looks! I definitely want to start experimenting with my eyeshadow more by trying out funky, electrifying looks and I think this palette will be the best way for me to do this. It’s relatively cheap for a non-drugstore palette with this many shades, and the color combinations are definitely interesting. As the weather warms up, eyeshadow that reminds you of a tropical island will definitely be super cool!

Coastal Scents Classic Stippling Small – $4.95 

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I have pretty much always been in need of a stippling brush — I could just never ever find an appropriately priced one. Seriously, I have gone to numerous stores in search of an affordable stippling brush for when I apply my foundation, but could never find one so I’ve always had to settle for just the the flat brushes, which don’t get the job done as well. I prefer to stipple my foundation into my skin because I have a couple of scars from breakouts and the stippling motion almost ‘fills’ them in, in comparison to a rubbing or blending motion. But I think this will be the brush for me! I have never seen Coastal Scents being sold at any stores, so I suppose I’ll have to order it online. But if anyone knows of a place in New York (the city part, not the upstate part) where I could purchase Coastal Scents products, do let me know!

African Black Soap – $12.95 

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My family is Caribbean, so I’m already fully aware of the wonders of natural beauty products. We know of so many natural remedies and soaps and scrubs from Caribbean islands and African cultures, so this really isn’t the first time I’m hearing about African Black Soap. I actually am currently using an African Black Soap facial wash and mask from a brand called Shea Moisture. But what draws me to this specific product is the fact that it very clearly contains the ingredients in a more pure form. There are no added acids, fragrances, or anything like that, which could take away from effectiveness of the product. I am definitely very acne prone and would love to try a more natural product. This product is also from Coastal Scents.

What products are on your Spring beauty wishlist? 

5 Simple (And Healthier) Food Swaps You Need To Make Right Now

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a major health maniac, but I am conscious of what I put in my body. In recent years, anyone looking to change up their diet has stumbled across articles around the idea that foods we thought were as healthy as they come actually aren’t. Yeah, well, who has the time and money to dump their entire pantry in favor of these “new” foods? Certainly not a college student who has never had a paying job!

If you’re like me and don’t want to re-vamp your entire diet, here are some simple food swaps I have made over the last few months that actually have made a difference in the quality of my life and diet.

  1. Have spinach instead of lettuce in salads. It’s not much of a secret that dark, leafy greens are better for you than their lighter colored, but still pretty and nutritious cousins. One time, I went to see my college nutritionist and she suggested romaine lettuce over iceberg lettuce. This is because iceberg is full of water and therefore not as nutrient-rich as romaine lettuce. This being said, imagine how nutrient-rich spinach is! Spinach doesn’t have any sort of weird taste or flavor, so you probably wouldn’t even notice it. Sure, it’s not as crisp as lettuce, but that’s OK! I even have green smoothies that contain pineapple, mint, water and spinach! 
  2. Instead of frappuccinos from Starbucks, have the refreshers. I love a double chocolate chip frappe as much as the next guy or gal, but I probably don’t have to tell you how much sugar is in those (but for the record, most frappuccinos have around 54g of sugar in them, a.k.a. more than twice the daily allowance). I haven’t had a frappuccino for a few months now. Instead, I buy strawberry refreshers or the peach green tea lemonade, which each contain under 15g of sugar. They’re both very refreshing and extremely satisfying. They’re great post-workout treats and you don’t even have to feel guilty for having them if you’re on a diet! I also love how the strawberry refreshers have pieces of strawberry floating around! #aesthetic. I wrote an entire blog post on how to be healthy at Starbucks, so be sure to check that out if you just can’t get enough of the coffee superstar!  
  3. Trade chocolate bars for bananas and grapes. OK, I’m not shy about admitting that I had a chocolate problem some time ago. OK, like four weeks ago. Anyway, stay away from the chocolate — it’s all unnecessary sugar that can contribute to sugar highs that end in you crashing, and a sick feeling in the bottom of your tummy. Yikes! If you’ve got the munchies and just need to chew on something, try bananas and grapes. They have been my rescue foods as of late and they provide essential and nutritious sugars for your body. Fruit are a healthy take on mindless snacking, so you don’t wake up feeling guilty as hell in the morning after a snackful Grey’s Anatomy binge. 
  4. Insert whole grains anywhere you can. Instead of a regular sandwich wrap, ask for whole wheat. Replace an everything bagel or even a plain bagel with a whole wheat bagel (I promise they taste really good, too!) Whole grains are full of fiber, which makes you poop! Well, you already knew that, but I still wanted to say it for the sake of not giving a shit (pun may or may not be intended) because it’s my blog! Anyway, as we all know, pooping is one of the easiest ways our body gets rid of toxins — toxins that certainly won’t contribute to a better lifestyle! Whole grains are full of fiber, and likewise, there are some snack foods and cereals now that contain a healthy dose of fiber. Beware though: sometimes companies make an unfortunate trade off. They pack all this good fiber into a food, but then there are crazy amounts of sugar, too! If you will get your fiber from sources like cereal and granola bars, be wary of this! 
  5. Go for grilled chicken instead of breaded. Breaded chicken comes with some unnecessary baggage, like extra skin and fat. Grilled chicken tastes great in wraps, sandwiches and salads! Sure, that fried chicken is so crispy and juicy, but unfortunately frequent eating of it won’t positively impact anything — except fried chicken cravings! If you’re a college student and are finding it particularly difficult to make healthy swaps like this one, you can check out my Tips For Healthy Living that I wrote for Her Campus! 

Of course, enjoying the not-so-good-for-you foods sparingly is completely fine. What kind of less-than-amateur nutrition expert would I be if I didn’t tell you that, anyway? Will I still have chocolate once in a while? Absolutely — I had a chocolate brownie from Starbucks just yesterday while typing the first half of this post! But, of course, once you make these changes and stick to them, they become second nature. I kid you not, last week I went to buy my usual salad (spinach, turkey pieces, cheddar cheese, croutons, caesar dressing) from the campus dining hall and they didn’t have spinach, but I really wanted a salad so I got lettuce instead and, let me tell you, the lettuce just tasted gross to me. I wasn’t really satisfied with my salad, but that’s what you get for swapping the two! Hope you enjoyed this Tasty Tuesday post!

What swaps do you make for a healthier lifestyle? 

7 Surprising Realizations I Made After Dying My Hair Blue

I’m a huge fan of dying my hair bright, unnatural colors. A huge fan. I’ve been experimenting with hair color since I was a junior in high school. I’ve gone from mere dabbling with dying my bangs firetruck red to dying my entire head red. Then college happened and I dyed my entire head blue, which faded into a mermaid green (so I’m basically part mermaid now). Honestly, I’ll probably be dying my hair quirky colors for years to come (FYI, my next color will be ombre pink!)

So, it’s probably some sort of annoying societal stigma to willfully do anything to yourself that sets you apart from society’s shallow standards of beauty and what is attractive or ‘normal.’ If you dye your electric blue or royal purple, you aren’t in your right mind. If you have unnatural orange hair — like the actual peel of an orange — there’s clearly something wrong with you, right? I dyed my hair blue in November 2015 and as the months have gone by, the color has faded into a sort of delicate green, which I’m in love with (and apparently everyone else I meet is in love with too!)

So I’ve had this eccentric hair color for about four months now and I’ve definitely learned a few…interesting…things during this experience…

  1. There is a fabulous world of lipstick that I waited too long to be part of. Dark red lipstick sort of became my ‘thing’ after I dyed my hair blue. Previously, I could count the number of times I’ve worn lipstick in a year on one hand — if that hand belonged to a three-fingered alien. But dying my hair blue gave me this surge of energy to keep experimenting with my look, and the next thing I knew I was looking pretty damn good with blue hair and vampy lips. Now I wear lipstick every single day; it has seriously become a lookbook staple for me. I have bought quite a few lip creams and lip colors ever since and I’m super happy with my current collection. 
  2. Not everyone judges you as some weirdo with issues. And if someone does, that person is a shallow asshole clearly not worth your attention. Besides, they took one look at you and decided you weren’t worthy of more than just an eye roll and a pitiful head shaking. They make assumptions about your personality without ever thinking about how amazing of a person you might actually be. When you’re walking down the street, yes, everyone will stare at you until you’re out of sight (get used to it). Some people may think to themselves, yikes, what the hell did she do? Others will think, whoa, this is the coolest thing I’ve seen all day! Some strangers have even been bold enough to tell me to my face that they like my hair color. This has reminded me that there are some people out there who appreciate my boldness and sense of style, so furrowed brows and disgusted, sour faces are no skin off my nose. 
  3. Your hair is a newly found source of pride — and badass-ness! I’m a pretty modest person (sometimes) but I couldn’t help but find ways to show off my hair color, and I truly love how sparkly-eyed people get as they shower me with compliments on my hair. Finding something that sets you apart from other people while still allowing you to express your personality is really an accomplishment and a huge benchmark in your young adult life. Yep, I definitely felt like a badass walking through campus with my wild looking hair, casual but edgy wardrobe and, of course, my go-to sunglasses and lipstick. This being said, a huge surge of intransient confidence ensued for me. 
  4. Your hair is an excellent conversation starter. Anyone who dyes their hair (doesn’t have to be an unnatural color) can appreciate the work (and sometimes money) you put in to achieve your hair color. Because of this, you might find that it’s ridiculously easy to strike up a conversation with someone else with dyed hair, or someone might strike up a conversation with you
  5. Patience is a necessity even after you have the color you want. For me, this is really only because I’m so excited to dye my hair another strange color that I can’t wait for my current color to fade out! Over the last few months, my hair has slowly faded to this mermaid-y green color as a result of washing it every week. My current plan for my next ‘do is to wait until my hair has faded enough that it wouldn’t affect my next hair color too much. You can’t be super impulsive with this (no matter how much I’m tempted to go to a stylist right now and ask for pink hair) because right now, the color is still too intense and any attempt to put a color on top of it would turn out badly. Patience is a virtue, or whatever. 
  6. I’m already planning my next three hair colors. I just can’t help but feel the need to pick my next hair colors, granted it’ll definitely be several months, maybe even years, before I can get to all three of those colors but I’m really in love with playing around with my hair and turning it into something that can bear my personality. Next, I really want ombre pink hair, then silver, then lavender. But maybe lavender before silver would work better? 
  7. You learn to look into and appreciate the small things about others. This definitely stems from the thought that when some people see your hair, they make assumptions about your disposition without even trying to get to know you or giving you the benefit of the doubt. Appearances aren’t everything, and as someone who is constantly being judged and criticized for something that, in actuality, is pretty petty to be criticized for, you learn to refrain from judging your fellow books by their covers. Plus, you find it easier to appreciate someone else’s idiosyncrasies because you understand that uniqueness can be found in many things.

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 I so clearly am obsessed with hair dye (if you couldn’t already tell after the 10 times I talked about being excited for my next color). Experimenting with your look is a great way for you to grow as a person and realize things about the world around you. Just have fun with it! 

What color do you want to dye your hair? 

 

The Confused College Student’s Guide to Good Note-taking (Part 2)

So now you know which method of note-taking will survive the abyss that is your lecture hall of knowledge. Congratulations. But if you’re not yet sure how to select the fittest method of in-class note-taking for each of your classes, be sure to check out my previous post. As I was saying, so now you know that annotating lecture slides is your go-to note-taking method for that chemistry class, or typing your notes on your laptop is the best way to keep up during a history lecture. Now we have to take things one step further to ensure that you’re grabbing all the important info (a.k.a. stuff that will be on your exams) you need.

You rarely (if at all) get anywhere in life by cutting corners — looking for the easy way out, trying to skip the hard stuff. But when taking notes in class, sometimes you might want to trim the fat off of some edges. I’m pretty much talking about finding ways to make your note-taking easier, which includes learning how to write quickly and efficiently to ensure that you record only what’s important — that unnecessary fat can really weigh you down! So here’s how you can ensure you’re only writing down the necessary information:

Throw capitalization to the wind. You know how it’s just the law of basic grammar to capitalize the names of people, important places, states, etc.? Sometimes when I’m typing my notes I do this instinctively, but sometimes my fingers fumble on the keys when trying to hold the shift key and press a letter. This may sound stupid to you but it does happen and it does waste some time. Your notes are only for you — you aren’t submitting them for an essay contest! You don’t need to get caught up with capitalizing names of people, cities and the like. 

What comma? Punctuation marks such as commas and semi colons are not crucial when it comes to note-taking. You’ll still understand your sentence without a semi colon, so doing away with this kind of punctuation doesn’t take anything away from your lecture notes. 

Use ur abbreviations! Put your texting skills to good use in the classroom! Okay, actually, some people write out full sentences when they text, contrary to what many think, but that’s a story for another time. You’ve probably heard this ad nauseum at any school you’ve ever been to, but truthfully, abbreviating really does save you a lot of time when writing. Sometimes I instinctively write out full words when I could have used an abbreviation that would save me less time so I could focus on writing down other important points. 

Arrows are more than adorable boho print. I like incorporating simple arrows (like this one –>) into my notes to show cause and effect relationships. It’s way easier than writing, “and this lead to the downfall of…” #timesaver. 

Focus on points that demonstrate change. Demonstrating change over time, especially if you’re in a history class or other liberal arts class, is very important for exams and essays. I have a Professor who likes to give a lot of biographical information, which is cool and all (I totally want to know where George Washington got the majority of his teeth from) but I’m not going to write an essay about that! Looking for points that demonstrate change is a good filter to use when trying to figure out what to write down. 

List equations in the margin. If you’re in a math class or chemistry class or some other class I find horrid (because I hate math) then you’ll be working with a ton of equations. Making a list in the margin of your paper specifically for equations will help you single them all out so you don’t have to keep writing them down every time the professor presents a problem with them. This saves time like you will not believe! 

These few points are rather simple, but super useful! They’re great ways to effectively cut corners without taking away from your learning experience, and I’ve definitely found them to be extremely useful! Do you have any other methods for ‘trimming the fat’ from your lecture notes? Let me know in the comments!