All Posts By:

sarah

  • Lifestyle

    Immigration and Citizenship in the United States

    There has been a lot of controversy over Donald Trump’s rise to the Presidency.

    His biggest sell to our country is the promise of safer borders and less overcrowding due to foreign immigration. This promise began with the attempt to build a wall. Which has been less a structure and more a human resources enabled deterrent. The plan is to station 5,200 American soldiers along the border to prevent a caravan almost 4,000 people from Mexico.

    (More on the caravan and citizenship proposal here: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/trump-wants-end-birthright-citizenship-executive-order-n926081 )

    The people in this country are scared, but half of the population seems to believe “the people” shouldn’t expand. So, what does Trump propose next, to ensure that immigration numbers decline? He announced on a TV interview with HBO’s Axio’s (https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/trump-seeks-to-eliminate-birthright-citizenship-axios-1356703811948?v=railb& )that he will implement an executive order to withhold citizenship rights from foreign-born babies.

    The issue I would like to discuss does not start with Trump, nor will it end with Trump. It goes back to the mindset that in the United States of America, certain people deserve a certain standard of living.

    Why is it that people celebrate Cristopher Columbus when he sailed to the Americas and enslaved and warred with the native races? When immigrants from a border country try to find solace and a better life, they meet rifles and hatred. There is a disparity in how we treat people.

    My great, great grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, but my great-great-grandfather was almost entirely European.

    At some point in my family tree, an immigrant came to America to have a better life. My family wanted the freedom to practice their religious beliefs and wanted to live in a country where the sky was the limit. I can imagine that those trying to cross the border only want the same things if not more.

    If our country was an unsafe place to live in, would we not want another country to help us find peace?

    The idea that President Trump can change the 14th Amendment is going to push two sides of people to surface. One side will want what’s best for themselves, and the other side will want what’s best for other everyone. However, if we let the selfish side of ourselves win, how can we expect others to treat us and how can we forgive our actions?

    The stigma towards an entire race of people is causing tremendous loss. At the border, they force families to separate. Some people immediately return to their countries. While others are forced to live in an unfamiliar territory alone. The women who come to the U.S. illegally, and have children are only doing it for a better life for their child. They understand the risk of being separated from their babies. However, this would not stop a loving mother from doing what she can to provide for her family. This is the purpose of the 14th Amendment. It gives every person the right to a free life in a free country.

    If you have opinions on this topic, whether in favor of or against, please comment down below. I am curious to know where other people stand on this situation and am open to hearing all sides.

  • College

    Women in the Military and Sororities

    Military and sororities

    When you think of active duty military members, do you picture young girls in a college sorority?

    Women have had to fight for so long to be taken seriously. Sometimes people disregard traditionally “women-centered” organizations, thinking that it brings us down as a gender. It is time that the world knows that women can be anything and do anything that they want to. This includes being a part of the military and a sorority.

    In 1917, Loretta Walsh became the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Military. Since then, many brave young women have signed over their lives to help guide and protect those they love.

    I was given the opportunity to interview some of these young women.

    Madison Fritts, her sister, Amber Fritts, and Shelby Pitts are active members of the United States Army National Guard, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps), and UAB sororities. Madison and Shelby are members of Sigma Kappa sorority, and Amber is a member of Kappa Delta sorority.

    The Fritts’ both began their ROTC journey from an ad their father found in the newspaper one day. The ad explained that the Army National Guard was offering a scholarship to those who enlisted. They applied immediately. They were given the opportunity to serve their country and attend school for free. Madison stated, “I wanted to join because it was a way to push myself in a way I never thought I would.” Amber said she was originally planning to enroll in the Air Force ROTC program before the National Guard scholarship was found.

    Shelby’s story hits a little closer to home.

    She started college by following her family’s footsteps by enrolling in the Air Force ROTC program her freshman year. After doubting herself, she left the ROTC program. When her grandfather passed away in 2017, she chose to honor his memory and returned to ROTC.

    The Fritts and Shelby felt the need to get out of their comfort zone to make friends on campus. Madison and Shelby became founding mothers of Sigma Kappa at UAB in 2015. Amber is one of Kappa Delta’s founding members, which was founded in 2017. Amber stated, “I… fell in love with kappa delta and all the beautiful and smart women in the sorority and became a founding mother of Kappa Delta on 28 Oct 2017.”

    Being a founding mother of a sorority means that you have gone through the proper channels to bring a chapter of that sorority to your University. These three girls joined others in doing this, but it shows their leadership qualities in their ability to bring an entire chapter to their school.

    Shelby believes in fighting sorority stereotypes by showing that the women of her sorority and those around her are all unique and talented. Madison stated, “I never saw myself as a sorority girl, but all of the women from Sigma Kappa were so genuine and kind.”

    These three young women find that the biggest challenge being in both ROTC and their sororities are the time conflicts.

    Madison stated: “Sometimes I am unable to come to events because I am at an ROTC event or drill. However, my sisters are very understanding and are always there to catch me up on what I miss.” Amber recalled missing her chapter’s first “recruitment”: “I was unable to attend recruitment because I was doing CERFP training in Mississippi.”

    CEFRP (Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear, and Explosive Response Force Package) training involves a team practicing how to handle contamination during battle, and how to decontaminate those who do not live through it. (https://www.army.mil/article/29824/physical_training_gear_does_double_duty_for_cerfp_soldiers )

    That description represents how terrifying being a part of the military can be. You never know what kind of curveballs are going to hit. These girls go through months of training to be prepared for anything.

    Sorority recruitment also requires extensive training.

    You spend months prior to the week of recruitment preparing conversation pieces, uniformity, and chants. It may seem easy, given that rush week is advertised as lasting a week, but it is so much more.

    The Fritts sisters not only participate in Sigma Kappa/Kappa Delta and ROTC, they are also members of the organization Universities Fighting World Hunger. Amber was once the President of the Blazer Running Club and the Pre-Physical Therapy society. She is also an intern for the campus recreational athletic training room. Madison has held leadership positions with Sigma Kappa and is a member of the ROTC Color Guard. Shelby is also member of the Pre-Physical Therapy society, Black Student Awareness Committee, and Her Campus.

    So, not only do these women spend a large amount of time dedicated to the military and their respected sororities, but they also try to better the world through other campus organizations.

    I asked the girls who inspired them and what advice they could share with you. They all find strength from their friends in ROTC, their sorority sisters, and their family. Shelby finds inspiration from her future. She stays motivated to give herself the best future she can imagine. She also stated: “The military can seem intimidating, but without the army I wouldn’t be who I am. I have become a better version of myself and this is something I wish everyone finds…”

    Their advice for you is to get out of your comfort zone, whether it be joining a new sorority or signing up for ROTC. You won’t know how you feel about it until you give it a try. They have both found lasting friendships and have greater confidence in themselves.

    If there is anything you should take away from this article, it is that women can be anything and do anything if they just try. You do not have to join the military to be brave. You can be brave by fighting for what you believe in and securing the education you need to help the world in different ways. Madison and Amber are being brave by serving our country, completing college courses, and meeting new people.

    Please, comment down below to share how you are/can be brave!

  • Books

    Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    Girlspring book review, a court of thorn and roses

    What do you get when you cross popular fairy tales with fantasy-fiction?

    You get a book series by Sarah J. Maas. She takes a new spin to classic fairy tales with her series A Court of Thorns and Roses. The first novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses, is based on the concept of Beauty and the Beast. The second novel, A Court of Mist and Fury, follows the story of Hades and Persephone. The third installment, A Court of Wings and Ruin, is based off the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

    As the first novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses, unfolds, the reader is introduced to numerous plot twists and heart-breaking situations.

    The story follows Feyre, a nineteen-year-old girl trying to live her life in the harshest of conditions.

    One morning, as she is trying to provide for her family, she shoots down a stray wolf. Something off about this wolf, but her need to feed her family took precedent as she pulled back the bow and arrow.

    After shooting the wolf, Feyre finds herself in a foreign land reigned by Fae. She spends months captive by the High Lord of the Spring Court, one of the many High Lords in all of Prythian. Maas uses mysterious beings in a way that makes them seem just as vulnerable as humans, despite their superior power.

    Feyre faces constant struggles with abuse, eating disorders, self-awareness, and bodily changes over the three-book series.

    You will not feel like you are being lectured on how these issues affect people, instead, you will feel as though you are suffering along with her. There will not be a moment where you do not relate to at least one of the characters and find yourself understanding all their feelings and actions.

    Sarah J. Maas has a way with character development that brought tears to my eyes more than once. I 100% recommend this book series to any book-lovers and book-haters alike. I think if you must endure reading a single novel for a book report, Maas should be your go-to author.

    This series is LGBTQ+ inclusive and has an air of horror, mystery, romance, and fantasy.

    If you need a good book for December break, I recommend this one. Check out a more in-depth synopsis here: http://sarahjmaas.com/court-of-thorns-and-roses/

  • Makeup

    MakeUp Secrets, Tips, and Events

    girlspring, makeup tips secrets and events

    Do you want to know the secret to every beauty guru out there? They’re artists.

    They practice almost daily to achieve the desired looks. Somehow, they know how to move a brush across their face and create something so pretty. The final results are so good that everyone is dying to get whatever product they use. However, it is important to not compare yourself, or your makeup to professional make up artists. It is similar to seeing a painting and wanting nothing more than to be able to paint like that.

    Give yourself a break. This is the first step to achieving confidence with your looks.

    Stop comparing yourself to others, and you might find that you enjoy the way you put your makeup on. I know that I struggled with this realization for a long time. I didn’t want to put in the effort to achieve some Youtuber’s “simple” makeup creation, only to be disappointed that I’m terrible at applying it myself.

    Once you’ve accomplished facing reality, try looking at makeup differently. See it as a skill that you can either master or be decent enough to move on with your life. I know that I like learning new skills all the time, so why not add basic makeup application to the list.

    There are classes you can take provided by certain beauty brands.

    These may seem like a scam because you that you have to purchase so much makeup from them to participate. However, it ends up being a good deal. If you’re interested in honing your skills or crafting new ones, check out a local beauty store for upcoming events.

    The brand Smashbox always does my favorite make-up events.

    They seem to know what they’re doing, and you end up with high-quality products in the end. Plus, you get a cute little notebook and pen set to take notes.

    A make-up event might involve arriving at the store an hour prior to opening times and attending a short class on basic application skills. At the end of the little class, you get a personal makeover and get the list of products you used. This is where spending the money on the brand comes in handy for you just as much as for the company. Go ahead and buy those products that looked so great on you.

    Another beauty tip I want to share is that contouring does not have to be as crazy and hard as some people make it out to be.

    A light and simple contour are achievable. Just take a darker than your skin-tone powder, a thin angled brush and begin at the height of your cheekbone (for reference follow the bone in your cheek to the tip of your ear). Then take a shade a little lighter than the dark shade and brush over it. And finally, finish with a shade that nearly matches your skin tone. If the lines are harsh, then take a blender brush and blend until you don’t feel like you have mud on your face.

    If you are interested in the beauty tools that I use for my makeup or some preferred brands, then I will link them below.

    I work as a nanny for a makeup representative, so I am all in the know for new products and techniques. I may not be talented with makeup myself, but I am at least confident in the simple ways that I can do it.

    Smashbox Brush Vault: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/smashbox-16-pc.-camera-ready-brush-set-created-for-macys-a-382-value?ID=6993742&pla_country=US&CAGPSPN=pla&CAWELAID=120156340028656760&CAAGID=44402199731&CATCI=aud-390063526002:pla-438536849957&CATARGETID=120156340018162291&cadevice=c&cm_mmc=Google_Beauty_PLA-_-G_PLA_Beauty_-_Smashbox_Smashbox-_-173465103305-_-pg1899099_c_kclickid_235407e8-cc2e-4777-b8dd-49bdcd569853_KID_EMPTY_740213458_44402199731_173465103305_aud-390063526002:pla-438536849957_607710078796USA__c_KID_&trackingid=450×1899099&lsft=cm_mmc:Google_Beauty_PLA-_-G_PLA_Beauty%20-%20Smashbox_Smashbox-_-173465103305-_-pg1899099_c_kclickid_235407e8-cc2e-4777-b8dd-49bdcd569853_KID_774_740213458_44402199731_173465103305_aud-390063526002:pla-438536849957_607710078796USA_{feetitemid}_c_KID_,trackingid:450×1899099&gclid=Cj0KCQiAxs3gBRDGARIsAO4tqq0TTCAqv0rqDJ5M-0TcZ9IJFrIyFk6mMEhHNvELSjxJz4uVZe27_KUaAl7XEALw_wcB

    Tarte Cosmetics: https://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/home?mrkgcl=1213&mrkgadid=3296529234&adpos=1t1&creative=256728527705&device=c&matchtype=e&network=g&gclid=Cj0KCQiAxs3gBRDGARIsAO4tqq0fhcjhN9J9DxKqOqyPVUNbBv9QqfDlwBKyfc2FV9mEMimFn8-p5v4aAqQLEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Simple Makeup Tutorial Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1GyF14WKjQ

    Smashbox Makeup Events: https://www.smashbox.com/events

  • Bullying

    The Truth About Your Voice on Social Media

    Girlspring social media

    When I first started middle school, we passed notes on little pieces of paper until the paper was nothing more than a grey scale.

    It was our version of texting. It was tedious and involved a system of people willing to pass them back and forth for you. There was always the risk that someone you didn’t want to see or read it would, but it was a risk we were willing to take.

    I remember a girl in my sixth grade English class being made fun of in a series of notes. The class kept passing them back and forth for some hateful little girls without seeing the contents of what they were sharing. This went on for days, with the girls snickering in secret.

    Then my teacher caught wind of the notes passing and halted one of their letters before it reached the second reader of the day. I won’t repeat what was said, but just know that the girl who the note was about left the room in tears. The mean girls looked horrified. They didn’t think what they were saying was that big of a deal.

    They felt that there were no consequences for something that was written down versus spoken aloud. This would have been true if the teacher had never apprehended the letter. Or would it have been?

    Would it still be mean if the person you were writing about never knew you were writing hurtful things about them?

    This brings me to the topic of Social Media. As our technology grows, so do the opportunities for communication. What was once a simple note in the classroom is now a string of characters on someone’s Twitter feed.

    This gives more power to the speaker or texter. The words that are posted online are there for the public eye and will forever have a paper trail. With all chances to be good, there are equal amounts of chances to be bad. It is what balances the world, but it is something that does not have to support us. As a human race, we can choose to find other measures of entertainment and morals rather than basing them on being horrific to others.

    Unfortunately, there is a sort of confidence boost when we don’t have to see the consequences of our actions.

    Those girls from my sixth-grade class eventually apologized to the girl they hurt, and notes were banned from the classroom. But this did not stop people from sneaking more notes around. It did, however, change the mean girls’ opinions on what they put on paper.

    With social media, there is no immediate action. Even if a series of posts are written concerning something hateful, it could take days before an adult does something to handle it. And too often do we hear that we should ignore our bullies and let them get away with it simply because we are “the better person.” A better person would let them know that what they are doing is wrong.

    If they can use their platform to spit fire, then you can use yours to voice positivity.

    If someone is mean to you on social media, try responding to them once with a heartfelt comment on why what they are saying is problematic for you. Then, seek adult advice or council. You are not what those people say about you. You are what you make of yourself.

    It is okay to seek help from friends, family, or professionals when you are feeling uneasy about something. With so many paper receipts for posts today, there will always be evidence of how the other person hurt you. But in the end, it will affect when they try to get hired for a job. Or if someone is doing a character assessment?

    Try to blend the idea of ignoring your bullies and facing them together. Give them a single response at the start, then move on with your life. If they realize that you aren’t going to bite, they may just get bored. But at least you will have publicly announced how terrible they are behaving and have addressed the issue before moving on.

    If what people are saying about you online is getting deep beneath your skin, you are not alone.

    Everyone experiences self-doubt, insecurities, and sometimes depression. It is up to you how to handle it when you face it. I will provide some links below that can help guide you through some tough social media situations. Hopefully, some of them will be relatable and helpful if you’re in this situation:

    https://www.girlspring.com/what-you-can-do/

    https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ abuse/bullying-and-cyberbullying.htm

    https://us.ditchthelabel.org/cyber-bullying-top-9-tips-on-overcoming-it/

    https://www.girlspring.com/cyberbullying/

     

    Some key tips for dealing with social media drama, whether it is being bullied or unfairly treated:

    Remain professional or as adult-like as possible

    Give short answers when your words become too aggressive

    Remind yourself that this is public information and that future employers will likely have access to it

    Think of positive thoughts

  • Holiday

    Present Wrapping Step by Step

    Girlspring, present wrapping step by step; do it yourself; Christmas

    Wrapping presents has always been my safe-haven during the holidays. It’s a little piece of time that I carve out of my busy schedule to sit on my living room floor, with the sound of Christmas music in the background, and admire my good taste in presents.

    If you feel the opposite way about gift wrap, then let me walk you through a simple process to get it over with:

    Step 1 

    If you are buying baby presents for someone, go to Buy Buy Baby. Their items are no more expensive than Target, and they usually have coupons. Plus, they wrap gifts for you! No mess. No buying rolls and rolls of over-priced paper. It’s that simple. I’m sure the associates would also assist if you’re riding the struggle bus that particular day.

    Step 2 

    If you don’t have any expecting mothers or little ones to buy for this season, go ahead and purchase a roll or two of your favorite wrapping paper. Saving money by getting the cheaper paper may seem efficient, but the paper might tear easily and you to use more of it.

    Step 3 

    Find ample space of floor or tabletop that is comfortable for you to use as a workstation. Mine is the living floor. My mom prefers her large bed. And my grandmother always roped off the kitchen and displayed her elegant paper all over the place (and not on purpose, I should add).

    Step 4 

    Take a break. You’ve gotten pretty far already, and nothing defeats holiday cheer more than overworking yourself.

    Step 5 

    Reluctantly move from whatever relaxed position you’re in, to your workspace. It’s okay, though, because we are about to make wrapping go by quickly.

    Step 6 

    Unravel one of the pieces of wrapping paper for a few in inches. Then place the item to be wrapped on top of the bottom of the paper (the white or light-colored side that sometimes has dotted lines). Take the open end of the wrapping paper and cover half of the item. Then, bring the roll over the item, being sure only to overlap a little. Make sure to mark where the roll overlaps so that you can cut evenly.

    Step 7 

    Cut the place you previously marked, all the way across the paper.

    Step 8

    Move the roll to the side and start focusing on your present

    Step 9 

    Fold one end of the length of the wrapping paper under 1 inch. When the two sides of the length overlap on top of the present, one side will be folded under to form a sleek line instead of jagged scissor lines.

    Step 10 

    Tape the length of the wrapping paper (but don’t tape the excess that goes over the edges of the present. We need those to be flexible).

    Step 11 

    You can turn the present to where the width of it is directly in front of you. The length should be horizontal right now. You have two options now: be fancy or done.

    To get it over with, all you need to do is lay the top part of the wrapping paper down against the side of the present. Then bring the bottom half up and over the top half. There should be a line in the center where the two parts of the paper meet. Tape them together. And you’re done!

    Follow the remaining steps for a nicer looking package.

    Step 12 

    Tuck the sides of the paper in towards the center, creating a triangle figure with the top piece of paper.

    Step 13 

    The bottom should have pulled up some in response to tucking the top half. Fold the top of the bottom paper over about an inch, then lay this paper across the top half. You may have to wrestle with the tape a little bit to get it to lay flat.

    Step 14 

    Repeat steps 11-13 on the opposite side of the present. Then, add a premade tag with who it is to, and who it is from, to the top left-hand corner of the present. Leave enough space for a bow!

    I hope these steps made enough sense for you not to get frustrated with wrapping presents this year. The Christmas music also helps. Comment down below if you have any wrapping tips of your own, or if you have a favorite Christmas song!

    Here is a link to a more detailed list of present wrapping tips:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYXaxeJBj5k

  • DIY, Photography

    Christmas DIY Projects

    Holiday Do it yourself projects. For Christmas

    Christmas DIY Projects

    I’m going to be honest. I do not do a lot of DIY crafts. But for some reason, the Christmas season forces it out of me. I love making crafted gifts and just doing projects with a little kid that I babysit. Each year we come up with some new to try. This year we’re going to be creating Marbled Christmas Ornaments, Candy Sleighs, and Rudolf Hot Chocolate Bags.

    Marbled Christmas Ornaments

    The Marbled Christmas Ornaments are simple. You need a single or multi-pack of glass or plastic Christmas ornaments and some Acrylic paint. Take the silver topper off the ornament and squirt a little bit of the colored paints you want into the ornament. Then, you can place the topper back on or hold something over the opening to shake it. Once you’re done shaking, you can choose to add more colors or glue the topper back on. Et Voila! You have made a cute homemade gift for you or someone else.

    Here’s a breakdown of the Marbled Christmas Ornaments supplies:

    Glass (or plastic) clear ornaments

    Hot glue

    Acrylic paint (whichever colors you like)

    Here is a link to another way to make the ornaments using water and nail polish:

    http://www.aliceandlois.com/diy-indigo-marbled-ornaments/

    Candy Sleighs

    The candy sleighs should not be too difficult. All you need are candy bars that you, or whoever you’re giving them to, enjoy. You will want three-five different size bars to make the sleigh look cooler, and you need two candy canes for each one.

    Lay your two candy canes parallel from one another, then glue your largest candy bar lengthwise them. Now, to stack the rest of the candy bars you can use either glue, tape, or pray they stay in place with a ribbon. If you want your sleigh to be a candy surprise you can always wrap the bars in wrapping paper.

    Once the final bar or piece of candy is stacked, take a shred of ribbon (it doesn’t matter what kind or color you use) and wrap it vertically around the candy cane and stack. Tie at the top in a single knot. Then take another ribbon of the same pattern and color and wrap it around the stack horizontally (the candy cane will not be wrapped with this one). Tie at the top with a single knot. If you don’t want to tie them, you can tape them flat to the top piece of candy.

    Finally, take a bow of your choosing and place it atop the candy sleigh. And now you have something both cute and delicious.

    Here’s an overview of the supplies needed for the Candy Sleigh:

    Candy Bars (different sizes)

    Two Candy Canes (per each sleigh)

    Hot Glue

    Tape

    Ribbon

    Bows

    Here is a link to a Pinterest post on how to do this with extensive details:

    https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/candy-sleighs.html

    Rudolf Hot Chocolate Bags

    The last craft is the Rudolf Hot Chocolate Bags. This one will take a little bit more effort, because it requires printing (already prepared) tags, punching holes in them, and threading a ribbon. But the tags are important because they hold the instructions, so just bear with that step.

    To begin, make sure you have these supplies:

    Googly Eyes (can be bought at craft stores or Target)

    Little Red Pom Poms (again, at craft stores or Target)

    Brown Pipe Cleaners (Target, Walmart, or craft store)

    Icing Piping Bags (Target or Walmart)

    Box of Hot Chocolate Packets

    Bag of Mini Marshmallows

    Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

    Ribbon

    Printer

    Glue (hot or sticky)

    You can either start with placing the ingredients inside the Piping bags or you can decorate the outside (whichever works best for you). If you choose to do the ingredients first, then empty a packet of hot chocolate into a piping bag, making sure it all goes to the point of the bag.

    Then, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips (a handful or less should be enough). Add in some mini marshmallows, making sure to leave some space to seal the bag. Wrap a ribbon around the sealed part of the bag, adding the printed, prepared tag to it.

    Take two pipe cleaners and glue them to the back side of the piping bag parallel to each other. You can bend and twist the pipe cleaners until they reach a sort of antler shape. Next place two googly eyes a few centimeters apart in the center of the bag or over the chocolate chips. Be sure the eyes are on the opposite side of the bag that the antlers were glued.

    Take a single red pom pom and glue it a few centimeters above the tip of the piping bag. That’s it. You’re done! You have successfully created THREE Holiday DIY projects. Everyone will love them, and you will appreciate the little effort and money you put into them.

    Here is a link to more detailed Reindeer Hot Chocolate Bag instructions:

    https://everydaysavvy.com/easy-diy-gift-reindeer-hot-chocolate-recipe-instuctions/#_a5y_p=1123007