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10 Celebrity Quotes That Will Make You Feel Good

Between Hollywood scandals and fashion faux pas, the media seems consumed by everything celebrities do wrong — and most often they tend to forget about all the positive things they have to say. Here are ten celebs with inspirational words that may brighten your day.

1. Michelle Obama
“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”

2. Beyoncé
“Whenever I feel bad, I use that feeling to motivate me to work harder. I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself. When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”

3. Tyra Banks
“Girls of all kinds can be beautiful — from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned, the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy, though, because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box … Think outside of the box … Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.”

4. Sofia Vergara
“Confidence is sexy! I’m comfortable in my body and not afraid to show it off.”

5. Mary Lambert
“I am allowed to look sexy, feel sexy, and be in love. I am worthy of all of those things, and so are you. Own your good and bad, and all the scary parts that you’ve been covering up because it is yours and no amount of judgment can tell you how to love your body.”

6. Adele
“I think no matter what you look like, the key is to first of all be happy with yourself. And then you know if you want to try to improve things that you don’t like about yourself, then do it after you appreciate yourself.”

7. Emma Stone
You’re only human. You live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damned red velvet cupcake.”

8. Drew Barrymore
“Life is very interesting … In the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths.”

9. Oprah Winfrey
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

10. Ali Tate
“True beauty comes from the soul. To change yourself and to conform to anyone else’s standards of beauty is to change your essence. Own who you are, and you become a truly powerful woman.”

[Image courtesy of Mary Lambert, "Body Love"]

3 Ways To Live Up The Last Weeks of Summer

The final days of summer are full of mixed emotions. On one hand, we’re all excited to go back to school and get into the thick of things again. But on the other hand, heading back to school — whether you live in the same city or are going to college out of town — means things won’t be the same for a while.

So, of course you’ll want to live up the last, long days of the season. Here are a few ideas for making the most of the time we have left.

Mix pleasure with business.
Heading back to school likely means you’ve got a mile-long list of things to buy and pack. But who says it has to be boring? Enlist the help of a few girlfriends and get those chores done. Spending a day shopping for furniture is way better when you’re spinning around in IKEA’s swivel chairs (500) Days of Summer-style  with your best friend(s). Even packing becomes manageable when you’ve got someone by your side. And, of course, offer to help your friends with whatever they need as well. This way, you’re all being productive while spending quality time together.

Make a mini bucket list.
Chances are, you didn’t get to accomplish everything you’d hoped to this summer. But don’t throw away the perfect summer you dreamt up while avoiding studying for finals last semester. Instead, prioritize a few exciting activities that you can accomplish in the next couple weeks. Grab a friend and go to Disneyland, or take a day trip to the beach. It might not seem like you have much time left, but there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you.

Channel your inner artist.
You know that Pinterest DIY you’ve been eyeing for the past few months? Now is the perfect time to exercise those crafty skills (even if you don’t think you have any). You can kill two birds with one stone: making a craft will (hopefully) be relaxing and fun, while also accomplishing something productive. Whether it’s a big or small project, you’ll feel much more accomplished having done something creative — plus, you can show off your skills to your friends when you get back to school.

Though it seems like autumn is closing in on you, it’s never too late to have the best summer of your life. So what are you waiting for?

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college

Start The New School Year On The Right Foot

Whether you’re entering college as a freshman or going into your senior year, it’s important to start off the semester strong in order to have a successful school year.

We’ve got some handy dandy tips to help sure you begin the new school year on the right foot!

When you arrive at school, make sure you get there with plenty of time to settle in. You’ll want to have time to unpack and get organized. If you are rushed settling in, you probably won’t finish and your room might stay consistently disorganized year-round.

Get organized from the get-go. Make sure you have binders and notebooks for your classes, and ensure that they are in order and ready for use.  To make sure you keep your ducks in a row, use sticky notes and a planner to for to-do lists and scheduling. Most importantly, make sure everything in your room is neat and tidy.  An organized room makes a better room for studying, and you’ll probably be happier overall, as well.

Be prepared to learn. College can’t be all fun and games; you’re there to learn, after all. Make sure your summer work is completed and that purchase your required textbooks. Also, make sure you know where all your classes are so you don’t have to worry about getting lost and arriving late to class.

Have your schedule planned out. You can’t have it planned out perfectly because things change — such as switching classes or adding club meetings — but you can start the semester with a general idea of your schedule. This will help you determine when you can study, complete homework, exercise, and hang out with friends. Knowing your schedule will help you manage your time well through out the semester.

Set personal goals. If you set goals for yourself it will help you accomplish tasks throughout the semester. These goals could be ambitious like landing an internship or attaining a certain GPA, or as simple as joining a new club that you find interesting. Make sure to make a list of your goals and check them off as you accomplish them. That way you can track your progress, pat yourself on the back, and see how far you’ve come!

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Undercover Colors Hopes To Prevent Date Rape With Nail Polish

How many times have we heard rules about watching our drinks when we go out? How often have we been lectured on the dangers of letting some random guy buy us a drink at the bar? We are warned of the dangers of something being slipped in our drink, and we are scared into avoiding “getting roofied” at all costs. As sad as it may be, it’s often the harsh reality of staying alert and being cautious as a young woman — particularly while in college.

To combat the issue of date rape, a new nail polish is being developed to keep women safe. It goes by the name of Undercover Colors and is being created by four male undergrads from North Carolina State University. (Yes, you read that right. Undercover Colors was created by college guys.) On their Facebook page, they explain their motives behind creating this innovative product:

“In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That’s almost one out of every five women in our country. We may not know who they are, but these women are not faceless. They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to simply dip your fingernail in your drink and proceed with confidence, knowing it’s not roofied? The masterminds behind Undercover Colors include Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Tasso Von Windheim, Ankesh Madan, and Stephen Gray. Together, they truly hope to protect women by becoming “the first fashion company empowering women to prevent sexual assault.” They explained:

“For our first product, we are developing a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. With our nail polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger. If her nail polish changes color, she’ll know that something is wrong.”

All too often I’ve had to turn down a free Long Island Iced Tea at the bar or ditch a mysterious cup of jungle juice at a party, all because some rando gave it to me and I have no idea if it could be tainted. While statistics aren’t entirely clear on exactly how many sexual assault cases are the direct result of date rape drugs, the fact is: preventing any amount of sexual misconduct is progress worth pursuing.

Check out Undercover Colors, show some support, and join the cause. The company is currently raising funds from investors and accepting donations online as they continue research and development.

We’ve all heard the age-old line, “we accept the love we think we deserve.” Hopefully, one day soon, every woman out there can also feel absolutely comfortable to accept the cranberry vodkas she thinks she deserves. Because let’s face it: you deserve a drink. And you deserve to enjoy it worry-free, too.

[Image courtesy of Undercover Colors]

Effective Exercise Starts With A Workout Playlist

When you go to the gym, do you arrive with iPod (or cell phone) in hand? If not, you may be missing out on some health benefits. According to the Huffington Post, working out while listening to music can improve the length and quality of your workout. The music on your playlist should be made up of upbeat, or fast paced, songs to ensure you stay motivated.

If you aren’t quite convinced that music can improve your workout routine, here are the top five reasons why you may want to change your mind:

1. Keeping Your Pace
With any type of exercise, it’s good to keep a steady pace. This applies to running, weightlifting, etc. When you feel like you’re running out of steam, keeping up your pace can be a bit trickier. So, use your workout playlist to help keep you moving at the perfect speed. Pick songs that easily fit into your workout routine, and use them to keep track of your pace. For example, pick an upbeat tune while running, or choose a song with a steady beat while doing crunches.

2. Forget The Pain
While you’re at the gym listening to your neighbor panting on the treadmill, it’s easy to want to quit your workout and head home for the evening. Swap out the sounds of exhaustion for your favorite tunes instead. While you listen to your all time favorites, you’re way less likely to remember how exhausted you felt after the last rep, and will be motivated to carry on.

3. Positive Energy
Think you your typical gym environment. You have people sweating, panting, it probably smells, and you’d like to get through you workout with as little interaction as possible (so hopefully no one recognizes you in your sweaty state). This environment, though it’s where you need to be, doesn’t sound all that appealing. So pop in your ear buds and watch the transformation begin.

Granted, it probably won’t do much for the smell, but it will cover up the noise coming from other gym members. Plus, your tunes may inspire a bit of daydreaming, which could make for a great distraction. Make sure to pick music you really enjoy, something upbeat to ensure it promotes positive energy.

4. Effort
According to a study done in 2010, working out while listening to a fast paced song may actually increase the effort you put into your workout. So, choose your music wisely. The study suggests songs that have between 120 and 140 beats per minute. This ensures that you aren’t going too fast, but that you’re moving fast enough to burn some serious calories.

5. Moving
Music, especially the fast paced and oh-so-catchy kind, makes you want to move. When your favorite song comes on, it can be truly hard to resist the urge to dance around. So why not do it? Dancing is a great form of cardio, and it strengthens your core muscles. If you’re really not a dancer, follow that inkling to move around, and use it to inspire your regular workout routine.

Music is great for keeping you in a positive move, encouraging you to keep moving, and making your workout a bit more enjoyable. When it comes to a workout playlist, it’s all about the music you choose, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself swapping out songs here and there.

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ModCloth Signs No-Photoshop Pledge

This past week was a victory for the Truth in Advertising movement — and online shoppers around the world. ModCloth became the first retailer to officially promise not to retouch its models by signing the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers agreement. The agreement, which was created by the Brave Girls Alliance, aims to get the Federal Trade Commission to regulate retouching in advertisements.

ModCloth’s pledge seems like a natural fit; since the company was founded in 2002, they have used everyday women to model their designs, rather than hiring professional models. Furthermore, they claim they’ve never retouched their images with Photoshop.

“I do believe that women of all sizes are beautiful,” ModCloth’s Chief Marketing Officer, Nancy Ramamurthi, told Today. “So why not show that and reflect back the diversity of women in this country today?”

By signing the self-regulating pledge, ModCloth promises to do the following:

“1. To do their best not to change the size, shape, color, or any physical features of their models in post-production.

2. To mark retouched ads with a “Truth in Advertising” label so as not to “confuse an advertising ‘ideal’ with what’s real.”

3. To not use retouched ads in media that might be seen by children under the age of 13.”

While ModCloth is currently the only retailer to agree to this mission statement, it’s encouraging to see a retailer publicly promise to represent their products — and models — truthfully. Plus, signing the pledge has provided some great publicity for the Truth in Advertising movement.

Ideally, even more retailers will see the need for ads that reflect the product realistically and offer an honest image of a healthy model. Who knows — if this movement gains steam, we could decrease the low self-esteem and negative body image that pervades our culture. This could be the kick retailers need to remember that their consumers want honest ads. Let’s hope it is.

[Image via ModCloth]

Miley Cyrus Wants To End Youth Homelessness

We all remember Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last year. People spent months talking non-stop about her barely-there outfit, her raunchy use of a foam finger, and how she twerked on Robin Thicke.

However, at this year’s VMAs, Miley had a different plan. She did not perform or do anything risque; instead, she brought 22-year-old Jesse Helt as her date. Jesse  is a young guy that has dealt with being homeless, and Miley has apparently befriended him on a personal level.

Miley won the award  for Video of the Year and managed to shock the audience for the second year around. This time, however, Miley’s antics weren’t nearly as controversial. Instead of going up to accept the VMA herself, Miley let Jesse go up and share an amazing acceptance speech about the shocking rates of youth homelessness.

The unexpected speech was quite inspiring, and we applaud Miley for taking the chance to do something meaningful with the large platform she has. At the end of his speech Jesse said, “If you want to make a powerful change in the world right now, join us and go to Miley’s Facebook page.”

Miley has created a campaign to raise funds for homeless youth, specifically through an organization named My Friend’s Place — a homeless center for young people in Hollywood. If you donate to Miley’s campaign, you are automatically participating in a contest to go to Rio, Brazil to watch her perform live. 

Unfortunately, it seems as if homelessness can fly under the radar as a social cause that needs support. It’s wonderful that Miley is using her fame — and the huge audience of VMA watchers — to bring this issue into the light and get people talking.

If you want to donate to the cause, click here.

On The Record: The Week’s Best New Music (August 26)

Itching for some new tunes? Our On The Record column features releases that are hand-picked as this week’s most promising new music.

Ariana Grande – My Everything

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Ariana Grande may be another product of the cable tv child star machine, but her musical work has a spirit and skill that many other reinvented child stars do not. The lady can sing…and sing she does.  Every hooky,  bombastic track is dialed up and delivered at 110%, in fully formed diva style. Featuring a rotating cast of huge names (like darling of the summer, Iggy Azalea) this is electric mini-Mariah pop with contemporary production.

Cassie Ramone – Time Has Come

Cassie Ramone

If Brooklyn’s the Vivian Girls were 60′s pop as interpreted by Daria, former Vivian Girls  guitarist and vocalist Cassie Ramone’s solo work keeps swimming the 90’s-meets-love waters. Her sardonic voice melts into a sea of Dinosaur Jr. reverb and psychedelic sway on each concise, heavy piece. Bring your tambourines and Doc Martens. It’s gonna be a time.

Cold Specks – Neuroplasticity

Cold Specks

Al Spx weaves cerebral, delicate soul-inspired music, weary church hymnals full of decay and darkness that transmute southern gothic literature into audio form. On her latest offering, Al’s earthy and bone-chilling voice oscillates with dissonant drones, Swans-like rattles and sonic oddities. It’s no surprise that Swans Michael Gira, a past collaborator, features on “Exit Plan,” but unlike his work, in Cold Specks’ desolate, ominous soundscape, there is always a tremble of warmth and humanity.

In The Valley Below – The Belt

in-the-valley-below-the-belt-2013

This peculiar fusion of folk-rock, synth, and of-the-moment neo-disco is brought to you by L.A. duo Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob. While the combination of influences is shaky at times, there’s an infectious energy in The Belt (especially in the intensity of Angela’s voice) on tracks like “Last Soul,” where the duets take on a cinematic scale.

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D.I.Y. Dorm Decor

“There’s no place like home.” These words have been hard to argue with ever since Dorothy uttered them while being far from home in The Wizard of Oz.  Sometimes we may feel like we’re all the way in Oz while living in residence halls  or campus apartments. If moving into your dorm is the first time you’re living away from your parents for an extended period of time, it can be a hard adjustment.

Making your new place feel like home is a must. You want your space to symbolize you, make you feel comfortable, and ultimately be your home away from home. You will, after all, be living there for a (school) year or longer — so why not personalize it into exactly what you want?

Now there’s no need to go out to the store and purchase products that can certainly become costly. Save your money and head on over to your local craft store instead; there you’ll find some crafty supplies. You’ll be able to create all of these D.I.Y. dorm decorations on your own — with a little bit of work and whole lot of inspiration.

Photo Wall: 
Photographs are something we hold near and dear to our hears. They hold visual representation of our memories, our favorite things, and of course what we aspire to do. A creative way to showcase everything you believe in and love is by making a photo wall. Choose one wall of your room and begin to fill it with printed out pictures or old photos of anything and everything that has a special place in your life. Design the photos into a symbol, the first letter of your name, or even into a lovely heart. Together they will create a gorgeous piece of art that you can see every single day – one filled with memories, inspiration, and a few of your favorite things.

Mirror Details: 
This is one cute and simple idea we just had to share! It goes without saying that us girls have to have a mirror in our dorm rooms. However, we never think of it as more than just a mirror except as something to see ourselves in. It can be more though! Basically it’s a frame that pictures you everyday  - why not decorate it? Add stickers, gems, flowers, or anything else along the frame. Post post its that motivate you along it. Write sayings along the border that you love. Make it into something beautiful that you’ll love to look at as much as you use it.

Lights All Around: 
If you have a roommate, you know the courtesy of turning off all the lights before you go to bed. Sometimes though, the darkness of a new place can get to us — and there’s no shame in that! Not to mention, the mere shadows of the room can leave us feeling lonely if we have it to ourselves.

Light your room up in a romantic way with Christmas lights, lanterns, or little bulbs you can get just about anywhere. Drape the lights across your bed frame, hang them from your ceiling, or put them around your photo wall. They will provide that extra touch that can make your room feel all the more cozy.

Multi-Use Mason Jars:
The mason jar trend is still going strong. You can utilize mason jars for just about anything. To make them a little more decorative, you can spray paint or hand paint the mason jars with your favorite colors.

Place them on your desk to hold your stationery supplies, put them in the bathroom to store your toiletries, or even lay them on your windowsill with some flowers. We’re sure they’ll look absolutely adorable in any way you choose.

Now that you’ve got some ideas for D.I.Y. dorm decor, happy decorating!

hair removal

Your Guide to Shaving, Waxing, and Laser Hair Removal

Hair removal is one of the more tedious parts of womanhood (if you choose to do it). There are multiple ways you can get rid of that pesty hair, which can be great and confusing — but how are we supposed to know which way is best? We’ve got the scoop on shaving, waxing, and laser hair removal.

Shaving
Tried and true, most women choose to shave. But shaving day after day can be a drag, especially if it’s causing you pain.

Always make sure your legs and razor are wet before shaving. It’s best to shave after a warm shower, since the water will open your pores and prepare your legs better.  And don’t underestimate shaving cream — it provides necessary protection between the blades and your skin. Find one that meets your needs; if you have sensitive skin, for example, make sure you’re using a cream that’s designed for that.

Shaving isn’t the most effective way to remove hair, since it doesn’t last long and doesn’t remove hair roots. It can also lead to razor burn, which you can avoid by changing out your razor head regularly and keeping your skin healthy by moisturizing between shaves. Still, shaving is arguably the most convenient way to keep your body hair-free for cheap.

Waxing
Waxing your eyebrows might seem simple, but waxing your legs is a different story. This method is more painful and expensive than shaving, but it lasts longer. Waxing can last from three to nine weeks, and as you wax more consistently, it’ll take longer to grow back. Instead of just cutting hair off at your skin, waxing removes hair further down the shaft, meaning it’ll take longer to grow back.

Though generally considered to be safe, waxing can be painful if done poorly. To minimize irritation, avoid hot water, direct sunlight, and fragranced cosmetics for a day after waxing.

Although relatively more expensive, waxing is a great option. You can do it in a salon or at home, and your skin will stay smooth for several weeks. The only drawback is that you have to wait for your hair to grow back (usually around 1/8-1/4 of an inch) before waxing again, meaning you’ll have some stubble for a while.

Laser Hair Removal
This probably isn’t the most practical method for young women. It can cost hundreds of dollars — so it’s something to consider for the more financially stable.

Essentially, laser hair removal is just like it sounds: it beams concentrated light into hair follicles, destroying the hair without harming the surrounding skin.

The best thing about laser hair removal is that it’s permanent. After several treatments, it’s likely that your hair will never grow back. It can be painful, though, but for many women, the benefits outweigh the inconvenience. For an honest account of one woman’s laser hair removal experience, check out this article on Vogue.

Hair removal is a pain — sometimes literally — but once you find a method that works for you, it’ll be a little easier.

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