Netflix Shows to Inspire you this Spring

By MaryClaire Fox

Hey ladies! As springtime approaches, we finally can see the end of the school year in sight, but don’t give up on your schoolwork just yet. Here are a few positive shows on Netflix to give you a mood boost next time you need some motivation to finish that assignment.

Childhood Classics

Sometimes, it’s fun to re-watch one of your favorite movies from growing up.

Possible Movies: High School Musical, The Cheetah Girls, Jump In!, and A Cinderella Story

 

The Art of Food

There are so many different types of shows involving food from baking the most delicious cakes to preparing a lovely appetizer. No matter what cooking show you decide to watch, you are sure to be full of bright ideas by the end of it.

Possible Shows: Chef’s Table, The Great British Baking Show, and Nailed It!

 

Positive Documentaries

It is so easy to find documentaries which show the injustices of the world. While these are very important pieces of film, it is also necessary that we see all the things which are improving in the world as well. I hope that after watching these documentaries, you feel that you too can make a positive impact in the world.

Possible Documentaries: Twinsters, Happy, Man on Wire, and Meru

 

Light-hearted Sitcoms

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? When I am feeling down, the first thing I do is watch one of my favorite comedies on Netflix to make me feel better. Sometimes laughter is the best thing to get you out of a bad mood and give you the energy to carry on.

Possible Shows: The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation, and Friends

 

 

 

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Smart Spending

by Olivia Parker

Now that most of us are old enough to have the freedom to choose where we spend our money, it’s important to trust the companies we are giving our money to. When we buy goods or services from certain brands, we are indirectly promoting the causes they support as well. For example, you could be supporting cheap labor in foreign countries, discriminatory actions, or animal testing. On the other hand, it is also good to support the brands you do agree with like female empowerment, environmental safety, and feeding the hungry. Here is some important information about select brands and companies to consider when making decisions about where to shop.

H&M and Gap – Sweatshops and racially insensitive clothing

Imagine working in a Cambodian clothing factory, sewing clothes for roughly 50 cents per hour. You are forced to work long hours in a hot room packed full of other women and children. You and other workers faint frequently and any possible strikes are shut down by authorities. You are trapped in a job that provides for your family, but will not help you escape poverty. Major clothing brands like H&M and Gap are guilty of supporting sweatshops, primarily in Cambodia, with similar conditions. These companies can sell their clothes for as little as $25 because of the outsourced cheap labor in developing countries.

In recent news, H&M has also had another press scandal concerning it’s new release of a boy’s hoodie. The serious reputation crisis emerged after the image of a small black boy modeling a sweatshirt emblazoned with “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hit social media. H&M came out and explained that it was a result of internal procedures not being followed properly, but it quickly turned into a racially insensitive nightmare. The Weeknd, a musician and collaborator with H&M, recently announced he is cutting ties with the store in the wake of the incident.

Clorox – animal testing

The Clorox Company, which specializes in cleaning products, has been present in many of our homes since 1913. They have products to clean your bathroom, kitchen, wood products, and just about anywhere in your house. Since they do sell products with chemicals for cleaning and human contact, they must make sure they are safe for their consumers to use. This includes testing them for incidental and accidental reactions to skin, eyes, ingestion, and inhalation, occasionally using animals. On their website, TheCloroxCompany.com, they explain that animal testing is the last resort and used only if all other efforts to ensure safety are exhausted. However, the company is currently working towards a future where animal testing has no role in product development. They believe companies should be able to use existing data and alternative tests so animals are not involved in product-safety testing.


Abercrombie and Fitch – Weight discrimination

One type of discrimination still prevalent in the U.S. is weight discrimination.  Abercrombie & Fitch’s chief executive, Michael Jeffries, admitted that his company designed clothes no larger than size 10 to target “cool kids’’ in a 2006 interview with Salon magazine. When challenged by The National Eating Disorders Association who believed this encouraged eating disorders, like anorexia, in customers wanting to fit into their clothes, the company stayed silent. It is important to know, especially now that we buy most of our own clothes, that when you buy clothing from a store you are supporting a certain attitude put on by that store.

Clif Bar, Patagonia, and New Balance– Environmentally friendly

Here are three brands that a majority of us own and love: Clif Bar, Patagonia, and New Balance Athletics. All of these companies publicly strive to make the Earth a better place. Clif Bar and Company’s Co-owner, Kit Crawford, says the company’s goal is to create “the kind of place that makes the kind of food we’d like to eat, and that strives for a healthier, more sustainable world.” Clif Bar sources quality, mostly organic ingredients from farmers and other suppliers that uses fair labor practices. The next company on this list, Patagonia, uses recycled and environmentally friendly materials in its clothing, as well as energy and environmentally efficient stores and facilities. They also donate at least 1 percent of company sales to various grassroots environmental groups across the globe. Also, while your Patagonia is keeping you warm in the winter, it will last longer and stay out of the landfills due to the Company’s Worn Wear Program. Lastly, New Balance Athletics is changing the way the sneaker industry runs with its reduced use of harmful chemicals. It’s kind of a buzzkill to hear that your fresh pair of sneakers were made using chemicals that are hazardous to the environment, so to counteract this problem, New Balance has created a special team in their company tasked with keeping tabs on harmful chemicals used in production, and finding ways to prevent restricted substances from entering factories. These are just a few examples of companies that are making an effort to better the planet by doing their part to keep it clean.

Always– #LikeAGirl campaign

We all know the brand Always as a reliable source for feminine hygiene products. In the past three years, they have launched a campaign to empower the very people that use their products- girls. Studies show that when girls hit puberty, 80 percent of them feel the societal pressure to be perfect and never fail. This fear of failure inhibits girls from trying new things and setting big goals. Always wanted to boost a girl’s confidence at the time they need it most, when they begin the daunting journey of womanhood. Part of their campaign was a commercial in which they portray their mission to encourage girls everywhere to embrace failures as fuel to build confidence and keep going #LikeAGirl.

Tacos4life– Meal4Meal

Tacos4Life is a restaurant with a great assortment of unique and tasty taco flavors that was started in Arkansas. The quality that makes this restaurant unique is its mission to give back on the global stage through their Meal4Meal program. They have decided to help solve one of the world’s greatest problems- hunger. Tacos4Life donates the funds necessary to Feed My Starving Children to purchase one meal for every meal sold in the restaurant. They also work with organizations in countries like Honduras, Haiti, Belize, Dominican Republic, and Swaziland where children face economic and health challenges.

Dog Date Ideas

By Allison Toomer

  1. There are beautiful dog parks, such as Hot Springs Bark Park, places to treat your canine companions, such as Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa, or nature trails like the ones at Pinnacle Mountain Park if you want to get some exercise while exploring the outdoors with your pet.

The Best Dog Parks

  1. Paws Park at Murray is a fenced, off-leash park for you and your pet to run around and meet other dogs.
  2. Burns Park Dog Park is also a great open area for your dog that has tubs of water and sprinklers for them to play in and cool off on hot, summer days.
  3. Fort Smith Dog Park is an off-leash, exercise and socialization spot with over 40 acres of land for you and your pet to explore.

Treat Your Dog

  1. The Bark Bar is Arkansas’ first indoor/outdoor, off-leash dog play area and bar. They offer discounted memberships provide a safe space for your pet to play.
  2. Bow Wow and Meow, located in Maumelle, is a shop where you can buy baked dog treats for your canine companion. They also create specialty “pupcakes” and cookies for your dog’s birthday.

Feel the Burn (with your dog)

  1. Allsop Park has a trail that runs along a stream, with plenty of trees and wonderful scenery for you to walk or jog with your dog.
  2. Petit Jean State Park also has wonderful scenery and challenging hiking trails for you and your dog to enjoy this spring.
  3. Pinnacle Mountain State Park has many trails with varying difficulties, however the climb to the top is always worth the wonderful view,

Spring Cleansing

Spring cleaning involves many different ways for people to organize their lives. Not only do I think of cleaning my room during this time of fresh starts, but I also think about clearing out my mind too. Spring cleaning can mean anything from cutting ties with toxic relationships, to cleaning your house to create a more organized, productive space.  When you clean the unnecessary things out your life, it is like giving yourself a fresh start—which is exactly what spring entails. Our lives are constantly changing, and if we don’t focus on ourselves every once in a while we can feel emotionally drained. Not only does this mental spring cleaning help better my mindset, cleaning your room can also really help your mental focus. When my room is clean, I can be more focused on my work because I am not overwhelmed by the thought of a messy room. Organizing my room helps me to be more productive and motivated while I’m at home.

 

A synonym for spring is “to evolve.” Not only does this make sense because the seasons are changing (or, evolving),  but this is also a time for the entirety of the natural world to start again. Spring brings us new beginnings to evolve as people as we cut out the things in our life that are weighing us down.  Even though it is hard to keep motivation at the end of the school year, I highly recommend taking this time to organize your life in order to recenter your focus for the rest of the year.

Spring Recipes

By Rachel Eberle

It is always fun to change up your cuisine with the new seasons. With the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in spring it is easy to create healthy, tasty dishes. Here are two spring inspired recipes that are delicious and easy to make.

Lemon Risotto with Spring Vegetables

  • 12 ounces asparagus
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen spring peas
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1.25 ounces grated parmesan cheese (about ⅓ cup)

The lemon risotto requires a little effort and prep time but the finished product is worth it. You can make it your own by swapping out the peas and asparagus for other vegetables or adding in a protein for a more substantial meal. Eating it the day after, as leftovers, made the flavors even stronger and better.

Check out the recipe here.

Lemon Blueberry Whoopie Pies 

For the Whoopie Pies:

  • 2 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, divided

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4+ cups powdered sugar

The lemon blueberry whoopie pies are easy to make and are a great dessert with just the right balance of tart and sweet. You can make these you own and eat them as cookies dipped in the lemon cream cheese filling instead or as sandwiches.

Check out the recipe here.

Valentine’s Day Printables

By MaryClaire Fox

Hey ladies! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I wanted to make some printables for you guys to get in the spirit. I know it can become a time of the year you just want to skip over if you do not have someone to share the day with, but that does not mean you can’t spend time with your family and friends. I hope you guys all have a great day and spread the love!

Click here to check out the printables!

Date-Night Looks

By Raehana Anwar

With the arrival of Valentine’s day comes the stress and chaos of prepping for the perfect date.  Whether you’re going to dinner with your S.O. or having a night out with the girls, it can be tricky to find the right look for the occasion.  With this in mind, I’ve put together four different outfits for four of the most common date locations I could think of, hopefully easing your worries and providing some inspiration for your perfect Valentine’s Day look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movies

The movies has always been the most cliche date spot, but also the most casual. With dark lighting and comfy seating, the movie theater has the most chill and laid back atmosphere, which isn’t a bad thing at all. You can easily pull off a comfortable yet cute look with a pair of sweatpants (or any other comfy pants), slip-ons, and a long-sleeved shirt.

 

 

Pants: https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/dummy_noempdisc/2000253407

Shirt: https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/top_blouses/2000246068

Shoes: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/jslides-ariana-platform-sneaker-women/4869450?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=black%20fabric

Dinner

Dinner is a bit more formal than a movie, which means, sadly, sweatpants won’t make the cut. Depending on how fancy the restaurant is can determine how dressed up you want to get, but a typical dinner can go along the lines of jeans, boots, and a sweater or long-sleeved shirt.

 

 

Pants: http://www.forever21.com/uk/product/product.aspx?br=f21&category=bottom_jeans&productid=2000223812&variantid=

Shirt: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-lace-up-bell-sleeve-pullover-sweater-nitrogen-black/-/a-52828751#lnk=newtab&preselect=52784695

Shoes: https://www.publicdesire.com/us/libby-flared-heel-sock-fit-ankle-boots-in-black-stretch

Coffee/Park

A coffee date or an afternoon in the park are both casual and easy options that call for more laid back outfits. You can pair leggings with an oversized shirt and a denim jacket layered on top for an effortless put together look. Slip on some sneakers and you’re good to go.

 

 

Pants: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-cotton-blend-fleece-lined-seamless-leggings-with-5-rise-a-new-day-153-black/-/a-52721629#lnk=newtab

Shirt: http://www.eddiebauer.com/product/mens-eddies-favorite-thermal-crew-shirt/13302925?showproducts=&color=190&sizetype=&size=

Jacket: https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/love21/bottoms_jeans-tops-jackets/2000198836

Shoes: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-bebe-lace-up-embroidered-sneakers-a-new-day-153-white/-/a-52617739

Concert/Party

A concert or party would be the most dressed up look out of the four. My go-to party look is a black skirt paired with a long-sleeved shirt. You can dress it up with heels or keep it comfortable with sneakers. to make a simple outfit stand out more, add some accessories. Layer some necklaces or add on earrings and the look’s complete.

 

 

Pants: https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/bottoms_skirt/2000268842

Shirt: https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/top_blouses_b/2000235157

Shoes: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-bebe-lace-up-embroidered-sneakers-a-new-day-153-white/-/a-52617739