Browsing Tag:

summer

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Lifestyle, Travel

    Volunteering this Summer Changed My Life

    volunteering

    by Zoe Zahariadis

    This summer I am volunteering in two different refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece. Kara Tepe, the first camp I volunteered at, is a camp for families only. It hosts over 1,000 people from primarily Afghanistan.

    My Experience at Kara Tepe

    Kara Tepe provides a community atmosphere for its residents, meaning that its staff and volunteers are comprised of both international volunteers, local staff and residents themselves. The homes are not described in terms such as “section” rather than “area” and the refugees are called “residents”. For the first two weeks, I volunteered with Movement on the Ground (MOTG), a nonprofit located in the camp, to put up shading between the 200 plus homes in the camp. Shading was extremely hard work because I was in the sun on the roof for hours a day, but I really learned a lot about the structure of an NGO (non-governmental organization) and the importance of working together as a community. I worked alongside residents from across the world and was able to communicate and work efficiently, through the awkward language barriers, through it all.

    After working with MOTG, I worked with SOS Villages teaching English to children ages 7-13. It was a really great experience to learn about working with children from a different culture that also speak a different language. 

    Some of the words we taught to children
    Crafts that the children made

    My Experience at the Moria Refugee Camp

    After working at Kara Tepe, I became a French translator for Kitrinos Healthcare, a medical NGO in Moria refugee camp. Moria is the most notorious camp on the island, equated to concentration camps and prison. Working in Moria is extremely heartbreaking. In the medical clinic, we see victims of war, torture, and just overall sickness. It is so hard to have to see people break down in front of you.

    Being a translator makes you a conduit for language and understanding because at times you are the only one who can listen. It’s such a difficult place to navigate as an unbiased listener. Sometimes you just want to buy their medicine yourself or take them back to a doctor back home, but you can’t. And with very limited options at the camp, the doctors do their best. There just comes a point when you can’t do much with the small supplies we have and it is really heartbreaking.

    This work has made me grow as a person to understand more complex issues on a deep, personal level. I am so beyond thankful to have had this opportunity to learn from the community in Moria and Kara Tepe. 

    You can change the world with as little time as a summer or with more time like a gap year. Check out how Alexandra took a year off and became an activist!

  • Articles, Cooking, Food, GirlSpring.com, Health

    More Smoothies to Keep Your Summer Cool

    smoothie

    Summer is approaching fast, and so is the excruciatingly high temperatures that come with it. In order to beat the heat this season, hydration is a must– and what better way to accomplish that than with fruity, satisfying smoothies? 

    Below are a few simple, refreshing recipes to help you cool down this summer, sipping by the poolside. All you need to do is gather the ingredients, blend together and enjoy! 

    Pineapple Mango Smoothie

    Ingredients: 

    • ½ cup of pineapple juice
    • ½ cup of canned coconut milk
    • 1 cup of frozen mango
    • ¾ cup of frozen pineapple
    • ½ of a frozen banana

    You can modify this recipe by using a different substitute for milk or adding spinach or kale for a healthy twist. 

    Find the full recipe at https://www.iheartnaptime.net/pineapple-smoothie/.

    Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

    Ingredients: 

    • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup of ice
    • 1 cup of lemonade

    Simple, sweet and sour! This strawberry lemonade smoothie would be perfect at a picnic or pool party. Add a flavor to your lemonade, such as strawberry or raspberry, for some extra flavor.

    Find the full recipe at https://recipeforperfection.com/strawberry-lemonade-smoothie-recipe/.

    Watermelon Peach Smoothie 

    Ingredients: 

    • 3 cups of chopped watermelon
    • 1 ripe peach, sliced
    • ½ cup of plain coconut milk (refrigerated, not canned)
    •  A handful of ice
    • Mint for garnish (if desired) 
    • 1-2 tablespoons of honey to sweeten (if desired)

    Since watermelon is mostly water, this smoothie won’t only satisfy your cravings, but it will quench your thirst. 

    Find the full recipe at https://www.seasonalcravings.com/watermelon-peach-smoothie/.

    Peanut Butter Espresso Smoothie

    Ingredients: 

    • 1 frozen banana
    • ¼ cup of peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon of espresso or instant coffee powder 
    • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

    Ditch your boring cup of iced coffee this summer with this energizing, refreshing smoothie. Coffee is a must-have in my everyday routine, so I’m always looking for new, delicious ways to consume it, like this recipe. 

    Find the full recipe at https://thealmondeater.com/peanut-butter-espresso-smoothie/.

    Smoothies are easy to make, taste amazing and will cool you down in the upcoming hot weather– what more could you possibly be looking for? These recipes, plus some other GirlSpring smoothies, will quickly become one of your summer staples.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, TV

    Top Ten Best TV Shows To Binge This Summer for High Schoolers

    Tv shows to binge

    by Emma Lembke

    Everything alludes to the perfect ending. The two main characters’ paths begin to intertwine, and for a brief second the universe confined to the screen seems to meet a satisfying peace. One more minute and that serenity will be met. Thirty more seconds. Twenty. Ten. Suddenly, you hear the ominous music radiate from the screen. Your worst suspicions are confirmed. A quick yet extremely altering act has been committed, and the once so close perfect ending drifts into oblivion. Tears of anger and sadness roll down your face as you see the all too familiar phrase….. End of the Season.

    TV Shows, Movies, or any form of entertainment seems to wield magical abilities on the human race. These forms of entertainment can lead you into an unknown universe, make you fall in love with it and its people, and break your heart when they begin altering the fabric of their carefully crafted world. Here are some of the best tv shows available to teenage girls today that will allow you to escape the summer and enter into differing worlds of beauty, comedy, and sadness. Attached to each show title is a website that analyzes content within the shows in order to say which age is most appropriate to watch, but it is always a good idea to discuss tv shows with parents before watching! And don’t worry, all of these shows are on Netflix!

    1. The Office (comedy)
    2. Jane the Virgin (telenovela-style drama)
    3. Cable Girls (Spanish telenovela) *author’s favorite tv show, but it’s a mature show*
    4. Disenchantment (comedy)
    5. Parks and Recreation (comedy)
    6. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (sci-fi)
    7. The Umbrella Academy (comic book based drama)
    8. Silent Library (game show)
    9. Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (comedy)
    10. 10. Fuller House (kids show)

    Still looking for more shows to binge? Check out these TV shows with amazingly strong female leads!

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com

    SHE Camp Summer Camp 7/29-8/2 (RSVP by 7/26)

    Camp for Girls

    Girl empowerment through improv!

    SHE Camp July 29-August 2 at Homewood Library for girls ages 9-12 and 13-16.

    Was $275, NOW $150 with code SAVE50

    Led by Second City actress/comedian, Jessica Antes. SHE Camp participants will develop the skills they need to develop their own unique voices and encourage a positive self-image and the formation of healthy relationships. Through improv, dance, crafts, storytelling, and plenty of laughs, participants will gain the tools they need for full self-expression.  

    Schedule

    Day 1: Team building and improv

    Day 2: Standup, Sketch, Storytelling

    Day 3: Movement and Positive Body Image

    Day 4: Dream Boards, Setting Intentions and Goals, Review

    Day 5: Show prep and show

    Learn more and RSVP by July 26 here, https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gir/event/802782/

  • Articles, Cooking, Food, GirlSpring.com, Healthy Eating

    The Smoothies You’ll Need to Cool Down this Summer

    smoothies

    Smoothies are such a fast, easy, and healthy way to beat the summer heat. Here are five of my favorite recipes:

    1. Orange cream smoothie
    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 orange peeled
    • Honey, to taste
    • 1 cup almond milk, soy, or coconut
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or vanilla yogurt (for extra flavor!)

        2. Peanut Butter Banana

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened or vanilla)
    • 1 ½ tablespoons of natural peanut butter
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Honey, to taste
    • ½ cup plain greek yogurt or vanilla yogurt

    3. Strawberry banana smoothie

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • ½ cup frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup almond, soy, or coconut milk
    • ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
    • Honey, to taste

    4. Mixed Berry Smoothie

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • ½ cup frozen strawberries
    • ½ frozen banana
    • 1 cup mixed berries
    • 1 cup almond, coconut, or soy milk
    • ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
    • Honey, to taste

    5. Pina Colada Smoothie

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 2 frozen bananas
    • 1 cup pineapple chunks 
    • 1 cup coconut milk (from the can)
    • Honey, to taste
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

    Here are some other healthy snacks that are great for the summer!

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Health

    Importance of Maintaining a Regular Sleep Schedule During Summer Break

    sleep schedule

    Without the daily structure of school, summertime signals late bedtimes for many teenagers.

    Most high schoolers have commitments for at least part of the summer (if not for the majority of it), such as jobs, internships, and camps, and late bedtimes often result in an insufficient amount of sleep as they continue to wake up early to attend to their activities. It’s common for teenagers to go to bed past midnight, only to wake up exhausted early the next morning as they grudgingly get ready for the day ahead of them. This results in a screwed up sleep schedule.

    After some time, receiving an insufficient amount of sleep each night can affect an individual’s mood and health. Some people may try to offset this lack of sleep by taking a nap later on in the day. Although this may seem like a good idea, it isn’t because napping can mess with an already-altered sleep schedule. This results in even later bedtimes and even less sleep. Additionally, going to bed late and waking up late the next morning gets them accustomed to a new sleep schedule. Then it’s difficult to readjust once it is time to go back to their regular school schedule.

    Maintaining a balanced sleep schedule where you’re able to receive an adequate amount of sleep is essential to maintain good health and a positive attitude!

    If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re getting enough ZZZs, check out this slideshow from WebMD.

    Here are some recommendations on what you can do to maintain a healthy sleep schedule:

    1. Set a good bedtime. Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to be getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Your bedtime is when lights are turned off and you are in bed trying to sleep.
    2. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. For many teenagers, electronic devices are the number one thing keeping them up at night. Although binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix and Snapchatting your friends is fun (and sometimes kind of important!), sleep is valuable and should take priority. Remember, you can always be on your electronics during the day and should use nighttime to rest and get re-energized. Turn off electronics and put them in a different room if you think you’ll be tempted to use them. Use the time you have before you go to bed to read a book, listen to music, or do another activity that is calming and doesn’t involve the use of an electronic device that could potentially distract you and keep you up at night.
    3. Eat dinner at a decent time. For many individuals, a 6-6:30 pm dinner time is the most ideal. Sleep schedules get thrown off when dinner time is later in the evening, causing additional problems. I would recommend maintaining the same dinner time as during the school year. If you choose to stay up later, eat something healthy to satisfy your hunger and keep yourself energized.
    4. Create a bedtime ritual. For some people, creating a daily bedtime ritual allows them to stay organized and feel calm; better preparing them for receiving a good night’s sleep. Activities on your ritual could include anything from cleansing your face to reading a book before going to bed. Figure out what makes you feel happy and relaxed, and create a thirty-minute to an hour ritual for yourself incorporating those activities! Do you need ideas for before bed activities? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to a Self Care Routine.
    5. Be comfortable. When you feel comfortable in your room, you’re going to have a much easier time sticking to your sleep schedule! Make sure your bed is comfortable. If you care about the temperature, do your best to keep it at one that is optimal for your sleep! Some summer nights, it can get very hot and may be difficult for you to fall asleep. I would recommend getting a fan for your room if you don’t already have one.
    6. Exercise daily: For some people, this isn’t something to even worry about. Their summers are spent enjoying the nice weather outdoors and being active. However, for others who aren’t very active, making the effort to get some exercise in is important. Doctors recommend exercise or doing something active for at least 60 minutes each day. Going on a run, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or playing sports are some examples of ways one can stay active during the summertime. Exercising helps individuals get a good night’s sleep, making it is very important and something you shouldn’t neglect!
  • Articles, Health, Lifestyle

    The Stay at Home Guide to Becoming Fit During Summer

    stay at home workout

    Summer is a time for people to be outside swimming or playing sports, but not everyone likes these activities. Some people like to stay indoors with the air conditioning. They can’t be bothered to go outside. They like the indoors where they can watch Youtube videos or Netflix. Maybe they read. Either way, working out isn’t a priority. They don’t want to do it. They just want to laze around and relax, or maybe they don’t think they have time. There are easy things to do to stay in shape and continue whatever they want to do instead.

    If working out isn’t your thing then start off small and add the amount you’re comfortable with as you go.

    • The Workout
      • 10 Lunges on each leg
      • 10 Squats
      • 15 Push-ups
      • 15 Crunches
      • 10 Leg Raises
      • 1 minute Plank
      • 15 minutes Jog in place

    Working out can be daunting as a beginner, here are some ways to not get discouraged when starting a new workout