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  • 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

     

  • GirlSpring.com, TRENDING, Woman's History

    Get to Know the Women from the 2018 Midterm Elections Who Made History

    Jeannette Rankin began breaking ground in 1917 as the first woman in history in the House of Representatives. She was also one of the key people in pushing the 19th Congressional Amendment, which allowed women to have equal voting rights. Now, thanks to her bravery and devotion to women’s rights, we have a record-breaking number of women recently elected to Congress.

     

     

    On November 6th, 2018, a remarkable number of women were elected to Congress, making the overall number of women representing the House more than 100. It doesn’t stop there, either. The 2018 midterm elections were followed by several firsts.

    Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib will be America’s first Palestinian-American congresswoman, and Omar will be the first Somali-American congresswoman. Rashida Tlaib is a lawyer and a politician. She previously served a full term as a Democratic member of Michigan’s House of Representatives.  She won the recent election with over 136,000 votes uncontested. She is a single mother of two sons. She once was removed from a venue where President Trump was being honored with an official Purple Heart. She claimed that he had not earned it. She stood her ground and was escorted respectfully.

    Ilhan Omar was the first non-white woman elected to Minnesota’s House of Representatives and is the first Muslin refugee to be elected. Omar won the election with more than 267,000 votes. Omar was once a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota and was nominated as a rising star in the Party’s Women’s Hall of Fame. She also lives happily with her husband and three children. She spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya in the early ‘90’s after the start of the war. After immigrating to the states in 1995, Omar was able to learn the English language in less than three months. She graduated with a degree in political science and international studies from the University of North Dakota in 2011.

    Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first Native American congresswomen. Davids is not only a member of the Native American Ho-Chunk nation, making congressional history, but she is also the first publicly declared lesbian in Congress and a former professional MMA fighter. Davids is a strong young woman who chose to leave MMA fighting in 2013 to follow her democratic political dreams in representing Kansas in Congress. She received her Juris Doctor—degree in Indian law—from Cornell Law School in 2009. She won over 164,000 votes in the midterm election.

    Deb Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo people from New Mexico. She received a bachelors in English and continued onto graduate school to claim her Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico Law School. Haaland is a single mother who enjoys running marathons and gourmet cooking.

    Marsha Blackburn is Tennessee’s first woman elected to Senate. Blackburn brandishes herself as a conservative Republican. She has been a member of Tennessee’s Senate, and a U.S. Representative for Tennessee’s 7th congressional district. She is a strong supporter of “traditional marriage,” pro-life, and non-government-controlled healthcare. She is a former member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and is married with two children.

    Janet Mills is elected Maine’s first female governor. She ran as part of the democratic party and earned 318,000 votes in the election, winning by nearly 7%. She was an assistant attorney general and then the district attorney for three counties in Maine. She was the first woman elected to be Maine’s district attorney. She is the widowed mother of five stepdaughters and has three grandsons.

    Ayanna Pressley is the first black person elected into Massachusetts’s House of Representatives. She is the first female black women elected to Congress. Pressley was raised by her mother who worked incredibly hard to give her a better life. Pressley was a cheerleader in high school and did some voice-over work for Planned Parenthood advertisements. She supports the “take a knee” movement that gives recognition of the U.S.’s need for equality. Pressley is also a survivor of sexual crimes in which she fights against for herself and other young women. She believes that the states should defund the Immigration and Customs Enforcement laws as they endanger immigrant communities.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman elected into Congress at age 29. She will be representing New York’s 14th Congressional district beginning January 2019. She ran as part of the democratic party. In high school, Ocasio-Cortez had a small asteroid named after her when she won second place for a research project on microbiology during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. After facing financial struggles shortly after high school, she was awarded funds from Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator, which allowed her to start a small publishing firm. She went on to be an educator for the National Hispanic Institute, which is a non-profit organization. Ocasio-cortex supports free education for universities and colleges. She supports 100% renewable energy sources. She is for the impeachment of Trump and would like to the U.S. Customs and Enforcement agency to be abolished.

    Abbey Finkenauer is the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress. She is a member of the democratic party. She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Drake University in Iowa. She was endorsed by Barack Obama in her candidacy for this year’s midterms. She is the second youngest woman to be elected into Congress at age 30, following Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 29.

    Let these women represent everything that you can achieve in life. If someone says you can’t, or if the world feels like it’s against you, do not back down. Women in history have worked hard to get us to where we are today, and these newly elected women will help lead that venture. We are strong. We are smart. We are women.

  • DIY, Fun, Misc, TRENDING

    Last Minute DIY Halloween Slime

    Looking for a last minute Halloween DIY? We’ve got you covered. This super easy slime can be used for any kind of holiday decoration. Just add holiday decor or glitter to get your desired look.

    This is fun activity to do with frieds and so easy. You can find these ingredients at a Michaels, Hobby Lobby or any local craft store.  What DIY activites do you want to see next? Comment below.

  • Food, TRENDING

    Starbucks Instagram vs Reality

    This ad came up on my Facebook feed and I was immediately drawn in by the fun colors and the seasonal theme of the photo. The second thought I had was, “what in the flavor is this.” I made the educated guess that it wasn’t a wart of bat, breath of toad, and howl of cat flavored frappuccino. It made me wonder about advertisement and the viral nature of food products. This is a clear ploy to get people to buy for the Instagram or the snap versus actually consuming the product. Starbucks has done this before: unicorn, mermaid, dragon, and other. Side note: here is an interesting article about limited edition frappuccinos.
    However, as someone who never bought a limited-edition frappuccino, I was intrigued and thought why not try it?

    Soooooo… I did. I drove down to my local Starbucks. With a lit bit of reluctance order a “Witch’s Brew” frappuccino. The barista asked me if I have ever had it before because she’s never had it and was curious what it tastes like (clearly the Witch’s Brew is not nearly as popular as the famous unicorn one). After our exchange, I went to go wait for my ~spooky~ treat.

    Then my name was called, and I was greeted with a surprisingly bright purple “drink.”

    The color was not that far off from the ad as was the passion fruit syrup (that I’m assuming is supposed to look like braiinnsss *zombie voice*). The only thing missing was the vibrant green topping, which frankly I’m not too upset about, this thing was going to be sweet enough.

    Finally, I tasted it. And well, not too bad, but not great. It was like frozen milk from a bowl of fruity pebbles. Not sickly sweet like I feared, but not too flavorful. The passion fruit seeds occasionally added a textural element. Overall, not great, not bad. The taste was underwhelming for a drink that promised a lot with its presentation.

    So why does Starbucks put out a sub-par beverage? Well, it’s very #ontheme for Halloween, and they clearly grab attention for their brand. There is nothing wrong with Instagramable products, I am an active user of Instagram. However, there is an interesting conversation to be had about products focused on Instagram versus quality of the product. Going viral is great for a brand, obviously. I’m mean they got me to write this. Thats the point though, talking about the drink not drinking it. Why do focus on how good something looks if it doesn’t live up to the hype? Do we care?

  • Shero, Sheroes, TRENDING, Video

    Check Out Our SherOCTOBER Sheros!

    GirlSpring is seeking extraordinary girls (13-18) to be featured in our Sheroctober video series! 31 videos of sheroes will be selected and displayed on our website and social media throughout the month of October. This is your chance to shine! Build up your digital portfolio and let others know what you are doing that is special! All participants will be part of a compilation video celebrating girls in Birmingham!

    A shero is someone extraordinary and is in general making the world a better place! This could be someone who has started a community initiative, shown academic achievement, overcome adversity, is enhancing the wellbeing of others or using their artistic talents to be a positive change agent in this world. The possibilities are endless!

    Shero Criteria:

    • Girls ages 13-18 years old
    • Nomination from a non-relative
    • Access to an electronic device with video and audio features
    • A standout reason for her sheroism

    How to Submit:

    • Create a video clip (2 minutes max) acknowledging that you (can be more than one person) has been recognized as a shero, addressing what you do that makes you a shero, explain why we need sheroes in the world, and if you have any heroes in your life.
    • Videos should be interview-style, but feel free to be creative with background music and any other artistic and fun elements! MAKE IT FUN!
    • If using a cell phone, please turn horizontally when filming.
    • Upload videos to youtube, vimeo, or dropbox and include public link on the application form.
    • In addition to the Shero video, all submissions must include a second, separate video clip with the following phrase “My name is __________. I am a shero. We are Birmingham.”
    • Submit a nomination form and link to videos by September 28th to be considered.

    Nominees will be notified by October 1st if their video is going to be featured.

    Questions? Email kristen@girlspring.com

  • Animals, TRENDING

    Passion in Action: My Birmingham Zoo Volunteer Experience by Marie Harris

    Recently I had the privilege of attending the Young Women’s Empowerment Conference, a day long event whose name speaks for itself. The day was full of influential women and unifying activities, and around noon, attendees broke out for a “booth” session, where organizations throughout the community discussed their work and how we as young women could contribute to their causes. One booth present this year was the Birmingham Zoo, and I excitedly joined Kirsten Smith, the zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator and one of my personal inspirations, to distribute information (and origami elephants) on the myriad avenues of service the zoo offers. Kirsten wanted me to give a “volunteer’s perspective” on why someone should consider volunteering at the zoo, but as I stood there, I realized just how hard it was to fully recount how invaluable volunteering with the zoo has been for me.

    In my personal experience, I have been trained for pachyderm area, Giraffe Feeding Station, ReptileCrew, and interacting with visitors on the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) spectrum. I’ve listened to lectures from UAB professors, joined meetings with the Alabama Paleontological Society, and supervised volunteers for zoo special events. I’ve made lifelong friends from schools I didn’t even know existed, gained countless mentors, and spilled entire trays of baked beans during Teacher Night. A science project I conducted in the zoo’s butterfly garden placed first at the Alabama Junior Academy of Science and later received honorable mention at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. I was even honored with the Community Service Award at YWEC 2016 through recommendation from the zoo’s Volunteer Manager Alonia Diaz.
    And, I must admit, all of that sounds super cool! I would be lying, however, if I said that these were the greatest things I’ve gained from volunteering at the zoo. Truthfully, the greatest impact the zoo has made on me is that it has granted me an unparalleled sense of self confidence. It is for that reason that I strongly encourage young people like you (yes, you!) to apply to volunteer at the Birmingham Zoo.

    When I first applied to volunteer, I was an awkward and generally unsociable sophomore in high school. In retrospect, I had no idea what I anticipated for that summer, other than it was something new to try. My first assignment was CampCrew, where I assisted with the children in the zoo’s summer camps. From that, my next assignment was biofacts, which are mini-presentations where you utilize given artifacts (essentially conversation starters) relating to a selected animal to “interpret” to visitors passing through the exhibit. This latter task proved very challenging, as engaging with others was not my forte. In all situations, however, I intentionally forced myself to persevere, and soon engaging and speaking with others felt very natural for me. To this day, you can’t get me to shut up!

    At the end of the summer, Alonia planned a Volunteer Appreciation Party for all of the teen volunteers. It was at this party, which I of course arrived late to, that I was presented with a certificate signifying my promotion to Zoofari Teen. Zoofari Teen is the highest promotion a teen volunteer can receive and typically takes three years to achieve. I was thus beyond shocked and even more so honored that I was able to reach this level with only a summer’s worth of experience. Knowing that the staff at the zoo had so much faith in my competency as to allow me to receive this promotion granted me so much confidence, and since then, I have channelled this confidence in everything I do, enabling me to embark on ventures I would have never imagined myself attempting. I am therefore forever grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at the Birmingham Zoo, and I wholeheartedly advocate for others to apply as a volunteer so they too can experience the empowerment which I have hereby encountered.
    Though there are many reasons you should consider volunteering here, from service hours to free zoo admission, the Birmingham Zoo is incredible because of the people that comprise it. By volunteering at the zoo, you will get the opportunity to join a family of people who maintain a common passion and appreciation for the natural world and who share a mutual commitment to inspiring and investing this love in others. So break out of your shell, and apply to be a volunteer at the Birmingham Zoo today!

    Applications for the Birmingham Zoo’s Teen Volunteer program are due April 8, 2017 and can be accessed at www.birminghamzoo.com. For more information regarding the volunteer programs at the Birmingham Zoo, contact Alonia Diaz at volunteers@birminghamzoo.com.

  • Articles, College, School, Sports, TRENDING

    Groundbreaking female football player Becca Longo’s advice to young girls: ‘Don’t listen to all the negativity’

    Becca Longo, 18, is believed to have become the first female in history to earn a football scholarship with a top-tier college team when she signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Adams State University.

    Longo, a high school senior from Arizona, said she would tell young girls who have big dreams like her to “do what you love” and ignore the negativity.

    “If they want to play football, go out and play football. If they want to play hockey, they can go out and play hockey,” Longo said today on “Good Morning America.” “Just don’t listen to all the negativity because you’re going to get a lot of it.”

    “Just go do what you love,” she said.

    Longo was introduced at a signing ceremony Wednesday at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, as the first woman to sign a letter of intent to play football at a Division II level college or higher, according to ESPN.

    Longo, who will also play basketball at Adams State, said she was as surprised as anyone.

    “I didn’t believe that it was true,” she said. “I just remember sitting there and Coach [Gerald] Todd saying that I was the first girl to ever do that. … I was so blown away.”

    Making Longo’s rise to the ranks of college football even more improbable is that she only played football for two seasons in high school.

    “I started playing my sophomore year and then I transferred schools so I had to sit out my junior year and I didn’t get to play until my senior year,” Longo said. “I didn’t really expect to play after high school until sort of the middle of my senior season, which is kind of late.”

    Longo also overcame injuries and defied doctors’ expectations in her rise to become a college athlete.

    “The doctors told me that I couldn’t play sports ever again and I just kind of like used that as motivation to prove them wrong,” she said. “I love both of my sports too much to just give up and I’ve spent so much time and money and effort just to just let it all go.”