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  • Articles, Holiday, Tips

    Holiday Gift Giving on a Budget

    As a teen, it can be tough to shop for friends and family, especially when income is low. Here are some tips for gift givers who are on a budget:

    • Find a way to make some extra money. Reach out to parents who may be in need of a night out so you can do some babysitting. Dog walking, pet sitting, or selling handmade greeting cards are also other options for some money you might need to buy gifts.
    • Make a budget. Set aside an amount of money you will be willing to use for gifts. Write this number down. Next, make a list of the people you want to give gifts to. Consider a dollar amount you will want to spend for each person and write it below the name of each person. For example, you might put a larger number by a family member than by a teacher or friend. Then, add up the numbers. If you find that you are over budget, see the next bullet point.
    •  Make gifts. You can make gifts for everyone on your list or just a few in order to save money. Some homemade gift ideas include bath salts, baked goods, potholders, sachets, or art. Use your talents to your advantage. Many people love homemade gifts because they are so unique and cannot be found at a store.
    • Split the cost of a gift with a friend or family member. This option is great if you want to buy someone a gift you might not be able to afford otherwise. It is also beneficial to the person you split the cost with because you both get to give the gift for less money.

     

    Remember, the fact that you are giving someone a gift means that you care about them a lot, and the thought is always what counts the most! Have confidence in yourself and your gift-giving abilities. You’ve got this!

  • GirlSpring.com, Holiday, Tips, TRENDING

    Friendsgiving

    A Guideline for a Successful Friendsgiving:

    Hold on…what’s Friendsgiving? Friendsgiving is basically recreating Thanksgiving with just your friends. AKA another excuse to hang out and gorge on some deliciousness.

    How:
    Instead of putting the burden on one or two people to provide for everyone else, make it a potluck. Everyone is in charge of a certain dish they need to bring. Sometimes, a friend might need to borrow a serving dish or your oven. If you’re the host, make sure you know this information ahead of time so everyone’s not waiting on a certain dish to finish cooking.

    Also, don’t feel the need to make everything from scratch. That can sometimes be frustrating and not turn out well. Unless you’re a baller in the kitchen with mad Chef Ramsay skills…then by all means go for it. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from the prepared foods section.

    When:
    It’s a good idea to do Friendsgiving before Thanksgiving. Why? Let’s be real here, once Thanksgiving is over people ditch pumpkins and spice for sleigh bells, snow and Santa.

    What You’ll Need:
    It’s important to remember a few key items you will need to pull off a good Friendsgiving.
    -Platters and big serving dishes
    -Ice
    -Enough cups/utensils for everyone
    -A good thanksgiving playlist
    -An empty belly because it’s about to go down in chow town

    Where:
    It’s a good idea for the friend with the biggest space or most seats to host Friendsgiving.

    Why:
    Uhh…why not. Good food, good friends not to mention it makes for an aesthetic instagram story.

    Final Note:

    If you’re not the host, please help clean up. It’s a nice thing to do and the host graciously let people destroy their kitchen / dinning area for the sake of Friendsgiving.

    More Do’s and Don’ts for Friendsgiving

     

  • Articles, Fashion, GirlSpring.com, Tips

    6 Fail-Proof Ways to Find Your Personal Style

    6 Fail-Proof Ways to Find Your Personal Style

    Being a teen is tough. There are so many questions that you have, about the world, about yourself. It’s a time of great emotional vulnerability because there are so many experiences you open yourself up to- who you are, your future, your sexuality, potential romance, the meanings of the world and finally, what it means to grow up.

     At the same time, being a teenager is a time of great emotional strength, because these puzzling questions are difficult—and yet you are dealing with them. You are finding ways to express yourself and answer them, through art, sports, books, music, dance, video games, history, politics. Each of these outlets become personal methods of figuring out who you are. But the most visible way in which you can present yourself is in the clothes you wear.

    Developing a personal sense of style helps you connect better with the person you are inside.

    By wearing your style on your sleeve (pun intended), you can claim your own definitions. And yes: the pursuit for the right style is difficult, but you will find that developing your personal style is also a way of figuring out who you are. Here are a few ways in which you can find your personal style, and get closer to yourself.

     

    1.   Think About Yourself

     Take a break from magazines and articles telling you what the trendiest thing is. Spend some time with yourself and make a list of things that you like and dislike, and rate them. Do you like metal music? Do you like lifting weights? If so, how much? If you find that these are things you prize highly, you can actually translate them into the clothes you wear. If you like metal music, you can start wearing customized t-shirts, featuring your favorite band. If you really like working out, you can wear t-shirts that say that.  It does not matter how trendy these clothes are: they are reflective of you, and that is more important.

     

    2.    Look Through Your Wardrobe

     Maybe, even after listing the various things you like, you find that there is nothing that exceptionally stands out. Or even if you do find something, you do not want to wear it on a t-shirt. This makes the next step very important: empty out your wardrobe, and spend a few hours figuring out what you like and dislike. You will find unexpected recurrent themes: maybe you are big on blue jeans or plaid shirts. You have multiple of these clothes because you likely feel most comfortable and happy in them. Retain these clothes as building blocks of your personal style.

     

    3.   What Do You Dislike?

     With fashion, the apparel we tend to dislike is often because it highlights parts of us that we do not like. Perhaps you do not wear certain cuts of t-shirts because you think they make you look a certain way. Or maybe you are told that certain patterns do not flatter your body type. If these are your reasons behind disliking clothes, tell yourself that fashion and style can be revolutionary. Instead of shying away from certain garments, embrace them to challenge the very norms that tell you to stay away from them. Scary as this sounds, this will create a sense of confidence in you that no one can knock down.

     

    4.   Paint Your Own Story

    A huge part of style is choosing certain templates for yourself. Do you like bright colours? Pastel colours? Monochrome? Based on these combinations, pick a few colours that you love. While initially building your style, style your outfit around these colours. Comfort is key in those initial days because that will help you evolve and develop your personal style. So, good style is primarily about confidence. Wearing colours you love will give you a sense of comfort and confidence.

     

    5.   Budgeting

     Once you know what the overall style you want to incorporate is, figure out how affordable that look is. It is important to budget because while clothes are important, they can get quite expensive. If you find you and your family cannot really afford that one garment you really want, let go. There will always be lots of clothes to choose from, and one day you will be able to buy them all. As for your personal style, stick to basics that you can repeat. Buying a pair of boots, a scarf or a jacket that compliments several looks is smarter and more affordable than buying a dress you can wear in limited ways. There are also some basics you just can’t go wrong with. Gym apparel like well-suited track pants and tank tops, barely go wrong in casual settings and are always a worthwhile investment.

     

    6.  The Style is Always Evolving

     Once you have decided on a personal style, leave yourself the room to wear something radically different. If you cannot decide on a personal style, know that this is okay, and not a permanent state. The style is constantly evolving, with our many moods and age. When you look back at your photographs from when you are eight, you probably dressed nothing like you do now; and eight years hence, you will probably dress very differently. Realizing this means that you will not be limited by your style, and instead, you will form a healthy relationship with your body and yourself.

     

    Just remember: there will always be magazines telling you that certain things about your appearance aren’t great or fashionable, or stylish. At this point, remember your style, and how it is indicative of what you feel inside. Once you can do this, and be confident about it, you have found your personal style.

     

     

  • Technology, Tips

    Best Personal Safety Apps

    Best Personal Safety Apps

    It can be pretty scary if you find yourself alone late at night trying to find your way home or to your car. Thankfully, a whole genre of apps designed to protect its users exist for that very reason. These apps will help you feel safe walking to your car late at night, or during a midnight run to Starbucks, or whenever!

    Circle of 6
    This is a cool app that allows you to input 6 phone numbers that you can easily call or text specific messages to, including your GPS coordinates and the info that you need to be picked up. Or you could send out a message to your six that you need someone to call or text and act as your distraction. It also comes with resources for various topics like domestic abuse or LGBT+ hotlines.

    Check out the app here: https://www.circleof6app.com/

    Watch Over Me
    This app is a lot more streamlined and simple that some of the other apps on this list. You don’t even have to unlock your phone to use it. All you need to do is shake your phone, and it sends an alert to your emergency contacts AND starts using your phone to record the encounter.

    Check out the app here: http://watchovermeapp.com/

    SafeTrek
    This one allows you to alert the police by the simple push of a button. After you press the button, you have the option of in putting a four digit code. If you input the code, the police will not be alerted. If you DON’T input the code within 30 seconds, the police will be alerted. It’s fairly simple, and I like how the developers of the app utilized the aforementioned fail safe function.

    Check out the app here: https://www.safetrekapp.com/

    bSafe
    This incredible app has so many different functions, and it probably one of the better apps on this list. Here is a short list of some of its many features and uses:

    -get a fake call to allow you to get out of threatening situations or conversations
    -send your exact location out to certain preselected numbers to they can know where to pick you up
    -your friends can get alerts about where you are using GPS, and will get alerted once you get home
    -set a timer that will go off on your friends mobile devices if you have not contacted them within a certain time
    -you can activate an SOS button that send your location out to preselected numbers and your device will start recording audio and video in real time so they can see what is happening

    These are just some of the app’s many functions, so be sure to check out all of them on the app’s website: https://getbsafe.com/

    Presence
    This app is a little different from the other ones on the list, and has a very interesting concept. Presence allows you to convert your old unused mobile devices, tablets, or iPods into home security devices. It alerts you if it detects motion in your house. An added bonus is you can set it up so that your family gets these alerts as well.

    Learn more and download Presence here: http://www.presencepro.com/

    Sources
    No, Using a Personal Safety App Doesn’t Make You Paranoid
    https://www.techlicious.com/tip/free-personal-safety-apps/

    7 essential apps that will help keep you safe at night

  • Technology, Tips

    Best Ad block Services / Apps

    Who actually likes having to look at ads on the internet? Probably nobody. This article will talk about some of the best adblock services and apps that will greatly reduce the amount of advertisements that you will encounter on your laptop/ cellphone/ tablet/ ect.

    Adblock Plus- https://adblockplus.org/
    This open source program eliminates banners, pop ups, and a bunch of other stuff you don’t want to see. Another interesting feature is that it doesn’t block “non intrusive ads”, so that you can support websites you enjoy. It works for all sorts of browsers and platforms like Android, Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Best of all, it’s free!

    Adblocker Ultimate- https://adblockultimate.net/
    This program is a little more strict about blocking ads than Adblock Plus since Adblocker Ultimate attempts to remove all ads, even the ones that support the websites you visit. It works for Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Safari.

    Brave- https://brave.com/
    Brave doesn’t depend on extensions to block ads, and it is very simple to download and use. It has a bunch of different settings to play around with so that you can really customize your ad blocking experience. Interestingly enough, it is its own browser, meaning you will have to switch which browser you use to Brave’s. If you are willing to make the switch, this can be a highly efficient and streamlined program.

    1Blocker-https://1blocker.com/
    This app is for iOS products only, and has plenty of awards under its belt. This highly efficient app is very customizable and useful for your everyday browsing.

    HTTPS Everywhere-https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere
    This is an extension that you can download and use for Chrome, FireFox, and Opera. It encrypts your communication with major websites, and is very easy to use.

    Disconnect- https://disconnect.me/
    This program allows you to select the free basic version, or pay more to get more features. The free version works for Chrome, FireFox, Opera, and Safari. Essentially, Disconnect works by letting you visualize and block the websites that track you.

    Ghostery- https://www.ghostery.com/
    Ghostery works for Chrome, FireFox, Opera, and Safari by allowing you to regulate what ads you get and by maximizing your browser’s efficiency.

    uMatrix- https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix
    This one allows you to filter which websites you want to block ads for, so it does take some time and customization to get working. It works for FireFox, Chrome, and Opera.

    Adblock- https://getadblock.com/
    This one is easily the most popular and probably most used ad block service on this list. You can pay to support the folks that made the program, or not. It’s up to you. Works for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, and FireFox.

    AdGuard- https://adguard.com/en/welcome.html
    Like a lot of these programs/ services, AdGuard has free versions and versions that you pay for. Can be used on iOS or Android.

    Sources
    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictures-story/565-best-adblockers-privacy-extensions.html#s17
    https://www.pcwdld.com/pop-up-and-ad-blocker
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/web/best-ad-blockers-for-chrome/

  • Articles, Tips

    8 Things to do This Summer when You’re Bored!

     

    stock-photo-girl-bored-watching-boring-movie-in-bed-funny-image-of-woman-lying-down-in-bed-on-white-background-58682185

    I know you’ve been looking forward to it alllll year long, but now that it’s here you don’t know what to do!  Regardless if you’re taking classes, working, or staying busy- summer definitely allows more free time than the rest of the year. If you’re struggling on what to do this summer and find yourself bored one day, try one of these simple yet fun activities!

    1. Get some exercise! Whether it be walking through your neighborhood, buying a gym membership, or finding a new trail to run on, exercise can be a good hobby to pick up over the summertime. You’d be amazed how much better you feel about yourself if you just start walking around your neighborhood a couple of times a week. Plus having quiet time yourself is a must over the summer!
    2. Read a new book! Or an old book. Or a book you’ve already read 5 times! Even if you have summer reading assignments, getting on top of them early in the summer will make the rest of your summer less stressful! Go to a bookstore and find one that speaks to you and dive into it!
    3. Write in a journal. Sure, it seems old-fashioned, but writing your thoughts down can be extremely helpful and therapeutic to some people! Plus, this way you can go back in a couple of months (or a couple of years!) and read the exact way you were feeling, in your own words. Pretty cool!
    4. Make goals for the upcoming school year! Whether it be doing more homework, studying more, finding new friends, or whatever you want, try to write out some goals you have for the upcoming school year! This way, once summer ends, you will be right on track for the beginning of the new school year.
    5. Explore your city! This can be an adventure you can take with your parents, siblings, or friends! Try and visit somewhere (even if it’s just to eat) that you’ve never been to before! You never know what you might find!
    6. Find a new hobby! Try and find an activity this summer that you really enjoy doing! It could be collecting items, scrapbooking, or even a new sport! You have time to work on it all summer, and then if it is a hobby you can bring into your school life, you’ll be prepared once school rolls around! If it is a sport, buy some practice equipment and get the best you can during the summer months so that you’ll do great in school tryouts!
    7. Try a new recipe! This one can be a little bit more tricky than the others, but still fun! Get on pinterest and see if you can find any cool recipes that stick out to you. Then, go with your mom to the grocery store and let her help you find the needed ingredients! Come back home and try to make a new recipe! Just remember, even if you mess up, it’ll be a memory!
    8. And last but not least… Nothing! If you can’t find anything to do this summer and find yourself bored, just try to soak it all in! For the rest of the year you’ll have school and holidays and you’ll be non-stop busy! Giving yourself time to relax, even when you’re bored, can be a good thing. Just think once school starts how much you’ll wish you were bored!
  • Cooking, Health, Healthy Eating, Tips

    5 Tips On How To Eat Healthy

    eating-healthy-home

    You’ve heard of em. The Atkins Diet. The Zone Diet. Vegetarian Diet. Vegan Diet. Weight Watchers Diet. South Beach Diet. Raw Food Diet. Mediterranean Diet. With all these different types of diets, it can be overwhelming and hard to choose! But don’t worry- I’m here to help. The diet I think you should be on? None of them. I don’t think you should be on a diet! I think you should feed your body with things that are good for it- not that punish it. Too often, young girls get caught up in dieting because they feel this is the only way to get healthy! But that’s far from the truth. Here’s 4 tips on how to eat healthy- without the diet.

    1. Eat clean

    The hardest part about eating healthy is actually doing it. Once you’ve started eating healthy and you see the way your body looks, and the way your body feels, it becomes much, much easier. So, what exactly does eating clean mean? It means nourishing  your body with foods that will help it, not hinder it. I know Mcdonalds is good. I know how addicting a bag of chips is. I know how good cheese is.. trust me. But these foods will not help your body!

     

    1. Drink (lots of!) water

    One of the hardest things for me is drinking water throughout the day. Did you know you should be drinking half a gallon on water.. per day? Especially in the summer heat, water intake is essential to your health. Drinking water may not be the most exciting thing- but the positive affects it has on your body are amazing!

     

    1. Focus on on quality, not quantity

    A myth about eating right is that you have to eat a lot less- which is NOT true! Don’t worry too much about how much you’re eating, worry about what you’re eating. When you decide to eat healthy, you shouldn’t be hungry all the time! You can eat as much as you used to- just make sure it’s healthy food.

    1. Find foods you like

    It’s important to find healthy foods that you like, so that you aren’t constantly eating food you don’t want to be eating. This summer, experiment and find some healthy foods and recipes that you can try that will fuel your body! A good place to find healthy meals is Pinterest, which you can follow us on!

        5. Keep everything in moderation 

    If you decide to eat healthy, your life is not over. You can still have everything you want- just be sure to keep it in moderation! Don’t look at foods like desserts as bad for you, because you will feel guilty every time you splurge and have one. Treat yourself to some pizza, brownies, or ice-cream- just don’t make it every meal! If you keep everything in balance, you won’t feel guilty for anything you eat.