Get some lotion, before they start roasting

Winter is now approaching, weather is changing, and skin is getting dry. Walking outside is a constant struggle for people with sensative skin. As the weather temperature drops, the water in your skin starts to evaporat, and this leaves your skin feeling dry and tight, giving your skin a white flaky look.

Although having dry skin can be a hasssle, there are ways around having it and giving you that sensation of smooth skin again. If you are dealing with dry skin, bring moisturizing lotion to school. Some lotions that will keep your skin moisturized during the day include brands such as: Palmers Cocoa Butter, Tree Hut Cocoanut Lime Shea Body Butter, and Cetaphil Moistirizing Cream. These brands are great for hydrating and shining your skin. If you have dry lips try Carmex; it always does the job.

Never be embarrassed for having dry skin or asking someone for lotion – everyone deals with dry skin during the winter. Being in Minnesota, a very cold climate does not make things easy for anyone. To find reasonably priced moisturizers you can go to your local Dollar Tree, Walgreens, Cub Foods, and Bath and Body Works. They have great deals and more for your bank.

Let’s start off to a good winter feeling moisturized and soft.

Holiday life hacks

The holidays can be crazy- but don’t worry! These life hacks will help your holidays go right, and add some extra pizzazz!

#1- Holiday light storage

Sick of tangled lights? All you need to store them right is some clothing hangers. When you’re done with your lights for the season, simply wrap them on the hanger and hang them in the closet until next year.

#2- Tree sap remover

When handling a real tree, things can get pretty sticky. If you get tree sap on your hands, you can actually use toothpaste to remove it. Minty!

#3- Fluff up your fake tree

Alternatively, you can also use green tinsel to fill out your fake tree. If live greenery isn’t your thing, and your fake tree isn’t up to par, grab some green tinsel and wrap it around the inside of your artificial tree to make it a little more bushy.

#4- Gift card balance

If you’ve ever received a gift card as a present, you know that it can be a struggle trying to keep track of how much money is left on it. To fix this problem, just put a file label sticker on the gift card (not over the barcode!) and write the amount left on the card in pencil. That way, you can erase the pencil whenever you use the gift card.

#5- Wrapping paper scraps

Got small wrapping paper pieces? Instead of trying to wrap them all back on the big roll, store small bits of wrapping paper on an old toilet paper roll to keep them organized.

#6- Gift wrapping pro

This last hack is super easy, but will make your gifts look professionally wrapped. Instead of using normal tape to wrap your gifts, use double-sided tape. It will make the presents look seamless!

How to prepare yourself for the cold weather

By: Maggie Alarcon

Getting ready for the long winter, and adjusting to it, can be hard. That’s why you should prepare yourself. Here are a few tips to stay warm.

Dress appropriately:

Layer up, although you might think that big winter jumpers are the way to go, wearing layers of thin clothes will keep you warmer as they trap body heat. Another simple thing you can do is wear gloves and hats and scarfs. Don’t leave the house without being all covered up.

Drink hot drinks:

Drinks like coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea will also help keep you warm, especially if you are outside at an event or walking. You want be drinking something hot. Clothing only helps trap the heat your body produces and that is what keeps you warm.

Anytime you get cold, the single best strategy for rewarming is to start moving or increase your pace. Just be prepared and always check the weather before going out.

Morphe grand opening

Morphe (a brand of makeup) just had its biggest in-store launch at the Mall of America on Nov. 3rd. To celebrate the grand opening, makeup artist and beauty blogger, James Charles, made an appearance at the ribbon cutting, and also announced his first collaboration with the beauty brand.

There was also a meet and greet, on a first come first serve basis, and only the first 250 people received a wristband allowing them to join the festivities.

Some of the festivities included getting autographs, taking pictures with Charles, and getting some makeup advice from him.

The store in the Mall of America is the first brick and mortar mall store for Morphe. They started as an online company, and had one stand alone location in California. So the opening of this store was kind of a big deal.

Charles, is well known as the first male cover model, and he has used that fame to start a Youtube channel with over 5 million subscribers. He is known for his makeup tips and tutorials.

 

Halloween tips

Halloween is one of the more spooky days of the year, but do you want to know what the real threat during Halloween is? It’s not ghosts or killer clowns, it’s being unsafe. 

It’s believed that Halloween started as a Celtic holiday with pagan origins. People believed that on one night of the year, the veil between the spirit world and our’s lifted, allowing spirits to visit us. People would leave food and drink offerings, and would wear masks so the ghouls would believe that they were also a spirit. It was also believed that deceased family members would come and visit their family.

But now that you know a little bit about the history, you should also know that safety on Halloween isn’t just for little kids. So, here are some ways you can be safe on Halloween.

Crime rates spike up on three holidays; New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween. In Boston and Canada, they had a 50% increase in crime on October 31st. Drinking rates don’t go up during Halloween, definitely not as much as on Saint Patrick’s Day, but even then don’t go out late at night in all black.

That being said, make sure you don’t get distracted while driving if you plan on going out on Halloween. Most kids are instructed to wear reflective gear, but you never know. Just follow basic safe driving tips like don’t text and drive, and don’t get distracted in general.

Also, if you’re getting candy, make sure it’s safe for you to eat. Especially, make sure it’s free of any allergens that you might want to be aware of.

If you’re wearing a costume, make sure you can see clearly, that you can breathe, and that you won’t overheat easily.

If you’re going to a haunted house, make sure you don’t assault the workers, or ruin the decorations. If you’re a jumpy person, and you think if someone jumps out at you that you’ll bop them right in the nose, maybe don’t go to a haunted house. Don’t even punch a worker or break the spooky decorations just for fun.

Lastly, know your limits. Don’t do anything if it makes you too scared. It’s totally okay to stay inside during the night of Hallow’s Eve, and not do anything remotely spooky.

But the most important thing is to have fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re not having fun.

Have a fun Halloween!

 

 

Cheap online clothing stores: Are they a scam?

By: Alivia Arredondo, Piper Gallivan, and Alani Bayon

There are many online stores out there, whether it’s for toys, mechanical parts, or something else, but most people shop online for clothes. There are a some websites that a few people have questions about how trustworthy they are. Since the prices are very inexpensive on these sites, many worry about the brands being scams, whether or not the quality of the clothes is good, and much more. We put two of the many available stores to the test: Shein and Romwe. Here are our results.

Clothes ordered from Shein:

*Note: The blue shirt we ordered is no longer available, so there is no picture for that

 

 

 

 

 

Images taken from: http://m.shein.com/us/?ref=www&rep=dir&ret=mus

Clothes Ordered from Romwe: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images taken from: https://us.romwe.com/user/orders/detail/RWAZP34519

Shipping

Shein

The shipping time for Shein’s products can be a little deceiving. When you first add things to your cart and look how long it will take, it says 6-8 days. This seems like a reasonable time frame, and I gave it a little wiggle room so that it would come in time for my upcoming trip to New York. I got a link to track my package and I checked that every few days. After about a week, it still had not left the first processing facility, so I became suspicious and checked their shipping FAQ area, on a separate website, for information about their company. It turns out that the 6-8 days were for the processing time frame, and shipping would take another 3-7. I went back to my cart and realized it said 6-8 days to ship, which technically isn’t wrong. This was very annoying because they had laid out the information to make it seem like a much better process, and I bought into it. Even taking into account the 15 maximum days it should have taken to arrive, it still took about 20 days to arrive, a few days after I had already gotten back from the trip I originally ordered the clothes for.

Romwe

Shipping for Romwe surprised me, and actually came on time. My order was processed within the 4-5 days, as the website said it would be, and arrived one week later, which was the latest the website said it would arrive. However, once you purchased the item and it said it was being shipped, there was no way to track where your order was, so you had no idea whether or not your order was close to arriving. On some websites, you have the option to return certain items but on Romwe you cannot return swimsuits and other items listed on their website such as underwear.

Prices

Shein

The prices on Shein seemed very hard to beat, especially considering how cute and trendy the clothes looked. I would compare it to the lower side of the prices you can get at Forever 21. Most tops, pants, and accessories were under $10, and outerwear and shoes were under $20. I ordered a windbreaker jacket, 2 t-shirts, and 2 nicer tops; one cutout suede short sleeve, and a short sleeve with mesh and embroidered flowers at the top. All of this was $39 including tax, which is very cheap especially considering I got 2 tops on the fancier side.

Romwe

Prices on Romwe were very cheap compared to other stores. A normal cute swimsuit at any other store from, Target, PacSun, or Aerie, can range from $20-40 for just one part of a swimsuit like a top or bottom. At Romwe, you could purchase the whole swimsuit (top and bottom or one piece) from anywhere between $5-12. These prices were unbelievably cheap compared to regular suit prices. Also, the cost of shipping was free if you paid over $50 on that website. In general, buying one full swimsuit, from a traditional store, could cost you up to $60; on Romwe I purchased 6 suits for $60.

Fit

Shein

The reviews on the items I ordered usually suggested to order the clothes a few sizes up, so I did that for every item. The first shirt I ordered was a normal light blue T-shirt one size up from what I would usually get. It fit fine, but the only issue was that it was very cropped which I was not expecting. It was not a shirt I was going to be able to wear anytime soon in Minnesota, and maybe never because you could basically see the underwire of the bra I was wearing. I checked back at the website and there was no indication that it would be cropped, and no pictures on an actual model to see for reference.

Romwe

The swimsuits themselves really weren’t consistent with their sizes online. When you are purchasing an item on Romwe you can see the size chart and use that to help determine what size you are. However, this size chart didn’t prove to be accurate. All of the bottoms I ordered fit perfectly fine. The tops are another story. Some of the tops I ordered were way too big, to the point where I could wrap it around by body twice, and some were way too small. Two out of the 6 tops I ordered actually fit right. As for the others, they didn’t fit well and looked frumpy. Since you can’t return swimsuits, I was unable to return them and get my money back.

Quality

Shein

The quality wasn’t terrible. For getting each thing for under $10 dollars I was pretty surprised on how they turned out. Obviously, it isn’t the same quality as more expensive brands like PacSun or American Eagle. I would again say Shein is most similar to Forever 21 quality. Nothing was actually see through, which is always a risk when ordering things that cheap. The only thing I had issues with was the windbreaker. The material was something similar to a tent, and did not seem like it would protect against the cold. Overall, you get what you pay for, and you can’t expect great quality, but for what it is, Shein did a pretty good job.

Romwe

The quality of the swimsuits weren’t bad. Obviously, since they are so cheap, they aren’t amazing quality. None of the bottoms or tops were see through, and the stitching was well intact. However, there was no way to adjust the straps. On most suits you can adjust the straps to better fit your body but the swimsuits from Romwe did not have this option. Also, on many of the swimsuits, the clip in the back was very strangely placed so that once you had it on, it would ride all the way up your back and look really weird. The quality of the bottoms were all just fine. They weren’t uncomfortable to wear and didn’t feel cheap, so overall the quality was mediocre.

Appearance

Shein

The actual appearance of the items was pretty varied on what I ordered. Two of my items, the flower mesh top and the windbreaker, looked just like the pictures, but the blue T-shirt and the suede top were a different story. Like I previously said, the blue T-shirt was actually a crop top, so that did not follow the description on the website. The suede shirt was a completely different color than the rusty pink on the website, it was more just a light brown color. So, none of the items were completely different than what I had ordered, but it didn’t always completely match the description.

Romwe

Compared to their online images, the swimsuits all looked the same. They were all the right colors and patterns as they looked on Romwe. However, unlike normal online websites, there was no model or a picture of a person with the swimsuit, which would have been nice to have. For example, online the suit looked perfectly fine but when tried on, it turned out the swimsuit was much more revealing then it seemed to be, which was a problem. In general, the swimsuits had the right colors and patterns as promised but not necessarily the fit.

All-in-all, you should be cautious about how your online clothes might turn out. They may sugarcoat on how their products are. You should take these experiences into consideration before you order from Shein or Romwe. Order at your own risk, and keep in mind what measurements are listed, and that it might not turn out as you planned it to.

Shape tape foundation

Shape tape concealer was one of the the best products of 2017; there weren’t any negative reviews on the concealer. The concealer was lightweight, full coverage, long lasting, and was cruelty free. It retails for $27 and contains 10 ml of product, so the concealer was definitely a hit.

It was such a hit, that Tarte decided to come out with a shape tape foundation. That’s not all, Tarte decided to come out with two formulas for the foundations, matte and hydrating. The matte foundation provided an oil-free, full-coverage pick. The hydrating foundation was for people who enjoyed a dewy look.

This information was provided in the teaser they had out, which excited everyone until it finally came out. Many believed that the foundation would be a success, and would probably be sold out fast, since the concealer was sold out in 20 minutes when it first came out. But many were disappointed by the product when it came out.

The review on the foundation tape was so bad that people figured out that the dewy foundation Tarte launched was a foundation they came out with a couple of  years ago, and just repackaged it.

A lot of light skin beauty influencers were also furious with Tarte, and they are boycotting the company until they come out with foundation for women of color. Women of color, who found shades that matched them, said the foundation was either too orange or looked ashy on them.

Another con is that the matte foundation dries too quickly so it’s hard to blend it.

The only thing people seemed to like about the foundation tape is that it is lightweight, full coverage, and it can be worn for 12 hours. Tarte has seen a lot of the backlash the foundation has received, and are working on making more shades for women of color. They have also apologized for only coming out with three shades for them. In the future, they hope that they can fulfill the expectations of every shade in the color wheel, and that they will think twice before putting anything out.

Treats and gifts for Valentine’s Day.

It’s that time of the year again, when the stores start putting out heart shaped everything and love is in the air. Another Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly; a time of year to show your loved ones just how much you appreciate and love them. So, here are some treats and gifts that’ll show just that!

Treats:

Sweetheart Cherry Pies:

If you’re looking for an easy but very delicious treat, this is the thing for you! It only takes about 25 minutes to prepare and bake. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pie dough (you can usually find this in any grocery store)
  • Fresh Cherries
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • Heart cookie cutter

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and make sure to line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.

Step 2: Take your pie dough and roll it out to about an inch thick and then take your heart shaped cookie cutter and press them into the dough. Make sure to use all of the leftover scraps to make more!

Step 3: Take all of your cherries and make sure to remove the pit, an easy way of doing that is by using a straw to help push it out. After you’ve removed the pit, chop up the cherries into small little pieces.

Step 4: In the bowl of cherries add a small pinch of sugar, or more if you have a sweet tooth.

Step 5: On the lines baking sheet, take the heart shaped pie dough and lay them on gently. After you’ve placed all of the pie dough out, take a spoonful of the ricotta cheese and place it into the middle of each heart, doing the same with your chopped up cherries.

Step 6: Lay down the top dough and seal the edges with a fork. After you’ve sealed the dough together, take your melted butter and brush it over top.

Step 6: Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to let the little pies cool down before serving!

Step 7: Enjoy the sweet treat with your friends and family or with your significant other!

Candy Heart Bark:
This chocolate dessert is one of the easiest treats to make! All it takes is about five ingredients; here’s what they are!

  • White chocolate
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Conversation heart candies
  • Food coloring of your choice

Step 1: Take a baking sheet and like it with parchment paper or a silicone mat if you have one.

Step 2: Using a double boiler or a microwave melt down your white chocolate, taking it out every 20 seconds to stir it thoroughly, adding about a tbsp of your oil into the chocolate. After melting the chocolate you can add any color that you want.

Step 2: Melt your semisweet in the same exact way that you did with the white chocolate. After the semisweet chocolate is melted, pour it onto the lined baking sheet, spreading it out evenly.

After you finish spreading the chocolate, use a spoon to scoop up your white chocolate/colored chocolate and randomly pour it into different spaces on top of the semisweet chocolate.

Step 3: Using a tip of a toothpick or even a fork, to drag the white chocolate into different shapes, creating a water marble effect. Before the chocolate hardens up, take your heart candies and place them all around your chocolate.

Step 4: Put the tray into the refrigerator and let it harden for about 2 hours. After its hardened, take the chocolate and break it into pieces as large or as small as you’d like!

DIY gifts:

Heart Bath bombs:

  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Fine Epsom Salts
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Love Potion Essential Oil
  • Red food coloring
  • Witch hazel
  • Mesh strainer
  • Spray bottle
  • Silicone heart mold
  • Plastic gloves

Directions:

Take your mesh strainer and place it over a large bowl, pour in 1 cup of your baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid and 1/4 cup of fine epsom salts.

Stir baking soda, citric acid and epsom salts until well blended, making sure there are no lumps.

Next, slowly add 1/2 Tablespoon of jojoba oil to the dry mixture. Add 10 drops of Love Potion essential oil and 1-2 drops of food coloring.

Wearing plastic gloves, mix the oils and food coloring through the dry mixture, until it is well incorporated and pink.

Once mixture is blended, slowly add witch hazel, one spritz at a time, until the bath bomb mixture sticks together when squeezed.

You’ll need about 8 to 10 spritzes of witch hazel to get the right consistency. The mixture should not be crumbly. It should stick together when squeezed, but you don’t want it too wet or it may begin to fizz.

Pack the slightly damp mixture tightly into the heart shape molds. Be sure to pack the mixture well, fitting in as much as possible into each mold. (This recipe should make 5 to 6 heart-shaped bath bombs.)

Allow to dry for several hours, or ideally overnight, then remove the homemade bath bombs from the molds.

They should be very hard when you remove them from the molds. Wrap bath bombs tightly in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place, away from any moisture.

Strawberry Sugar Scrub:

This perfect, and easy little gift is perfect for anyone who loves smooth skin! This strawberry sugar scrub is made in a few minutes, and smells absolutely amazing; here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 3/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Step 1: Take a big ziploc bag and place your freeze-dried strawberries in them. Make sure to seal it real tight, taking all of the air out to make it easier to smash it. You can use a rolling pin to smash the strawberries into almost a dust like consistency.

Step 2: place your strawberry dust into a bowl and add your cane sugar. After you’ve added your sugar, take your coconut oil and place it into the bowl as well, along with your vanilla.

Step 3: Combine everything together!

You can put this scrub into any container that you’d like, big or small! Enjoy using this while showering or while taking a nice hot bath! This will do wonders for you skin.

I hope you take your time to make these wonderful little treats and gifts, whether that be for your loved ones or even just for yourself! Have an amazing Valentine’s Day this year, spend it doing something fun!

Easy winter treats

Winter time is the time for staying inside and trying to keeping warm, so why not be productive and spend your time inside making different winter treats that will impress almost anyone who sees them. For those who need some different treat ideas, here are some that I’m sure that you’ll love.  

For those of you who are looking for a very easy, winter sweet treat, this is perfect for you. This treat is for those of you who have a liking for all things chocolate! Here are the things that you’ll need:

  • White Almond Bark or a white chocolate of your choice (half package)
  • Mint Oreos or another cookies and cream alternative (half package)
  • White Peppermint M&M’s
  • Red and green sprinkles

On a parchment paper, laid on to a square pan, you’ll want to spread out your melted chocolate, or your white almond bark, if you’re using that.

The next step is to crush up your Oreos; I find that the easiest way to do this is by putting them inside a bag and using a rolling pin to smash them into different pieces.

The next steps are pretty simple! Carefully sprinkle on your M&M’s and sprinkles on to the chocolate.

If you think that was easy, now all you have to do is put it into the fridge at let the chocolate harden; this took about 7-8 minutes for me.

After your chocolate has hardened, now all you have to do is take your treat and break them into pieces, big or small, it’s all up to you.

 

If you’re in need for an easy treat, one that’ll only take you only a few seconds, then I’m sure this little snack will tickle your fancy.

The simple ingredients that you’ll need are:

  • Strawberries
  • Vanilla frosting (either canned or homemade is just fine)
  • Black gel icing

The steps to this treat are very simple.

All you’ll need to do is to wash your strawberries and cut off the top off each.

Once you’re done with that, you’ll need to cut each one in half, make sure to keep track of which half goes with which!

Once your strawberries are all cut up, you’re going to take your frosting and place some onto the middle of your strawberry halves, placing the top of the strawberries on to the frosting.

With that done, you can then have fun with all of the different faces you can draw onto the strawberry, creating a small little strawberry Santa!

 

This treat is for those who love all things cookies; which we all know is a lot of people!

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 1 bag Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane – Kisses
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Red and green colored sugar

The very first thing you want to make sure you do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees and also to remove your wrappers from the candies. You will need about 35-40 pieces of candies, depending on the sizes of each of them.

In a big bowl, you’ll want to mix together your butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until everything is blended in fully.

The next thing you’ll want to do is to begin adding in your dry ingredients, starting with the flour and then adding in your baking soda and salt.

Once that is complete you’ll want to add your milk and butter mixture into your bowl, making sure that everything is well combined.

Now it’s time for the fun part! Taking your cookie dough, you’ll want to roll them into balls, any size that you’ll like will do, with each ball you’ll take the cookie dough and roll them into either the green or red sprinkles and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet!

You’ll now want to put the cookies into the oven and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes, making sure to rotate the baking sheet in between.

Once the cookies are done cooking, take them out and let them rest for about 2-3 minutes before you press your chocolate kisses into the center of each one!

These are a small sample of some different winter treats that you can make;  there are a lot of others out there, and I hope that you take some time to make these wonderful sweet treats. You won’t regret it at all; it’ll make the winter time seem ten times better!

Thanksgiving treats

Thanksgiving weekend is great. You get a few days off of work/school, there’s Black Friday sales, you have a lot of leftover food, and you get to see friends and family. If you’re going to a Thanksgiving party, having friends/family over, or just want to do something over the long weekend, here are some easy and fun treats.

Mini Peach Raspberry Pies

Pies are a very popular this time of year, but here is something quick, and since they are mini pies, they might take a little more time, but it is worth it. Most of the ingredients needed are ones you should probably already have at home (flour, sugar, eggs, milk butter), but here are the ones you might need to run to the grocery store for:

-Peaches, diced
-Raspberries
-Prepared pie crust

Full recipe and steps here – https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/COOKING-WITH-KIDS–MINI-PEACH-RASPBERRY-PIES

Rice Krispie Pumpkin Pie

Since pies have always been a popular Thanksgiving treat, here is a twist on the classic pumpkin pie. This is a perfect idea if you’re short on time, as this recipe calls for easy to get ingredients. Again, most of these ingredients you probably have at home (butter, vanilla extract) but here are the ones you might need to stop and get:

-Rice Krispie Cereal
-Marshmallows
-Orange food coloring
-Pumpkin pie spice

Full recipe and steps here – https://www.justataste.com/pumpkin-pie-rice-krispies-treats-recipe/

 

Fruit Cornucopias

Here is one of the healthiest (in comparison to the other two I had above), and easiest recipes yet. It involves one key ingredient: waffle ice cream cones. Dice up fruit of your choice, place a small piece of parchment paper inside the cone so it doesn’t get soggy and serve!

The full recipe can be found here – https://kirbiecravings.com/2014/09/fruit-cones.html

If you’re still looking for more ideas I found most of mine on this website: https://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/thanksgiving-desserts-for-kids?utm_term=.hwRpRKQb4#.ueb4WyMYo

Hopefully these have inspired you to make something fun and festive with your family and friends! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a good one! 🙂