Monday, November 28, 2016

Want to Save Money?

Does anyone else watch those shows about coupon hunters? These people search through newspapers, magazines, websites; all over, just for a little coupon that gives them half off three gallons of milk. And of course you watch it and you’re thinking ‘this is a lot of trouble for half off three gallons of milk’. But then they go to the store and they’re picking up everything, with a hundred and fifty random coupons in their pocket. Toilet rolls? Twenty percent off if you buy five. Cereal boxes? Buy twenty and you get the twenty first free. Soda bottles? Buy one case, get one free. Eventually the “coupon hunter” arrives at the checkout with their cart full of food they don’t need. Obviously the price ends up somewhere close to five hundred dollars.

But then the magic happens.
Sadly the coupons for Redbubble didn't work
The coupons are added up. Minus five dollars. Minus twenty cents. Minus three dollars. On and on, until finally they walk away with five hundred dollars’ worth of food for twenty bucks!
So what did we learn from this amazing feat?
Mainly, coupon hunting takes way too much time and is a magic quite beyond my comprehension.
So that’s why I was stunned to find out about Honey. It’s a chrome extension that automatically finds you deals online. Is this the coupon app I’ve been searching for?

I tried it out with a couple of websites.

First I went to redbubble to buy a T-Shirt. At checkout Honey offered a long list of coupons but- sadly- they were all outdated. No savings for me. My first try didn’t turn up anything.

Next was Morphe. This time I was a little bit luckier. Although the coupons were all marked as having a “low chance” of working, the first one I tried still worked. Twenty percent off! I saved a moderate 2.50. Not anything to yell from the rooftops about, but hey, I was saving.

The last store I tried was Macys.
That’s when I realized the problem when it came to Honey. Although it offered me a list of hundreds of coupons, they were all very specific. I got twenty percent off dresses, but only from a specific section that were really expensive anyway. Either they were outdated or too specific for me to use personally.
The Honey official website

Honey isn’t about to revolutionize the way we shop online or the whole “coupon business.” We’re not all going to buy three hundred dollars’ worth of items for pocket change.
But I say give Honey a shot. It’s free and you don’t lose anything by trying it. All it takes is a click of a button to see what coupons are available. If they work, great. If they don’t, well you were going to buy it full price anyway.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Friday, is it really worth it?

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all enjoyed the long week and ate as much food as you could handle! It was my second Thanksgiving in the US that was spent in a family setting and I absolutely loved it. I had way too much food and enjoyed every second of it!

One of the traditions that I have never really understood is Black Friday. A day where people’s inner bargain hunter comes out, and the stores are rampaged with people trying to get the best deals. Friday morning I woke up and watched the news, and the first thing I saw was that an individual had been shot outside of Macy’s in New Jersey. It was at this point that I turned to my boyfriend and asked what is so special about Black Friday? Is it worth getting in a bad mood and being trampled on for some potential good sales? In my opinion, definitely not.

I ventured out Friday afternoon to the local mall near me and was expecting madness. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the mall was as packed as it usually would be on a weekend. I found that, anything I wanted to purchase, like sneakers and winter clothing, the deals were just not that great! Admittedly this could be due to my lack of patience of going and looking through each rack to find a good piece. But, it was at this point I was made aware of cyber Monday, a day where you can search for deals all from the comfort of your bed on your laptop, a much nicer environment!

What are your thoughts on Black Friday? Did you find any good sales! If this post should be used for anything it should be to encourage all of you to get online on Monday and get shopping without any chaos!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Don't Forget to Give Thanks!

I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, rams, hot dogs, you name it!

Source: Friends
As Thanksgiving rolls around the corner, the spirit of this holiday should not be forgotten. We tend to forget the essence of this holiday and it's true importance. November 24th is not only a day where we gather, converse and have fun, it's day to GIVE THANKS.

Life can get a little crazy sometimes and we don't even realize it until we stop and look back. We work, go to school, study, hang with friends; all of those things can overwhelm and distract us. It's no ones fault, it's just how life is. It becomes harder to appreciate things when you're going through the motions and because of that we don't say thank you as much as we should.

There is so much in this life to be grateful for. Your friends, family, education, health, well being, clothes, job and so much more. The things we have, whether tangible or not impact us everyday and we are so blessed to have them.

This Thanksgiving, make it a priority to say the things you are thankful for. Unfortunately, people around the world don't have the same opportunities that we do, so its extremely important to be humble about our possessions and not boast. Not only one day of the year but everyday we should be thankful.

I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving with lots of warmth, food and  love <3.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Does Our Justice System Work?

            Imagine being a suspect for a crime you didn’t commit. At first you assume the police will find out the truth, but they don’t. Then you think the courts will find out the truth, but they don’t. Before you realize what’s happening, you’re sent to jail and your whole life is turned around. This is what happened to Jeffrey Deskovic when Angela Correa was found murdered, raped, and strangled in 1989.
Deskovic before
being sent
to prison

            Deskovic held a lecture at RCC on Monday, 11/14, talking about his experience. He said that he wasn’t popular in high school and the other students thought he was strange. It was because of this that the other students told police to question him. They did just that, and he became a suspect. Unaware of the seriousness of the situation, the police harassed him into a confession. Under threat for his life Deskovic fabricated a story and confessed to the murder.
            He never should have been found guilty. The DNA found on Correa didn’t match Deskovic. His confession wasn’t taped or signed and was made under coercion. However, Deskovic had a lawyer who rarely met with him and didn’t allow him to share the fact that the confession had been made under duress. The DNA was explained away by claiming that the victim was sexually active and the DNA had come from another man when they had consented sex. This was never supported with facts though. In order to find the wrong person guilty, the victims reputation had been sullied and the real murder had been left to walk free.
            In 1990 Deskovic was sent to a max security prison. There were guards who didn’t care about the lives of the inmates and violence between prisoners was common. Deskovic himself was part of a few fights and almost lost his life.
            To be put on parole Deskovic would have to take a sex offenders class during which he would have to admit (in detail) the crime he had committed. He refused to take the class and therefore had no chance of parole.
            His only chance of getting out of jail would be through the legal system. And he did, after 16 years. After the courts failed him, Deskovic wrote to lawyers who wouldn’t take his case because he didn’t have the money, reporters who never wrote him back, and even religious organizations who ignored him. Eventually he got in touch with an investigator who pointed him towards an organization called the Innocence Project. They were the ones who released him from jail. The DNA from the crime scene was matched to another prisoner who confessed to murdering Angela Correa. After fighting for 16 years Deskovic was finally let out of jail.

            Deskovic’s story doesn’t end there. He had a hard time reconnecting with friends and family when he was let out, he couldn’t get a job, he couldn’t afford to take care of himself, and he received no compensation for years. There was no returning to the life he once had.

Deskovic talking about
being released
from prison
            Eventually Deskovic founded the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice and he helps those who face the same injustice he faced in 1989. He came to RCC to explain to the future police officers and lawyers and judges exactly what jail can take from an innocent man. Mistakes were made when Deskovic was sentenced, and these mistakes are continually made even today. Our system isn’t perfect and the only way to make it perfect is to be aware of the problem and, when we are faced with the same choices the police officers were faced with or his lawyer was faced with, to make the right decisions.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Flu Shot

 I went to the doctor this week and while I was there she asked me if I wanted to get a flu shot. I had been considering getting it this year and this was my opportunity. I as much as the next person dislike injections but this was so quick and painless I would recommend it to anyone. I had it done on the top of my arm, which felt a bit bruised for a couple of days after, but that was the extent of any pain or discomfort I felt.

I have never had the flu shot before out of worries for putting something unknown in my body, worries of how I may react, and of course the “myth” that the flu shot can give you the flu. This year I made the decision I wanted to get it for a number of reasons.
  1. I hate being sick, if you have ever had flu or known someone who has had the flu, the fact that a single shot could prevent that suffering is the first reason to get it!
  2. I don’t want others around me to get sick. By preventing yourself from the flu, you are also preventing it from spreading. I am around young children quite a bit and I would never want them to get sick in that way.
  3. It is free! The flu shot is covered under almost every health insurance. The fact that this is helping our bodies and is free, really begs the question of why wouldn’t you get it?
  4. It lasts six months. Once you get the flu shot, you are immune from that specific strand of flu for six months. This means you don’t have to worry about it again until next flu season. 

I really think you should consider getting it, and I hope my reasoning has influenced you to at least think about it. Flu season officially starts the week of Thanksgiving so now is the perfect time!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Do You Need Some Comic Books?

Tapas is a free comic book app on Android and iPhones. There’s no better feeling than finding that perfect comic and binge reading the entire thing. I check it every day for new updates of my favorites. It’s an easy way to find some very creative entertainment that only requires a few minutes of your time.
If you get the app, here’s a few comics to start you off.

This comic is about a cat who loves playing video games. What started off as just a few gaming jokes developed into a story about friendship and family. You follow “Gamercat” as he obsesses over the latest video games, but at the same time learns that there’s more to life than what’s on the screen.

Yellow Hearts
By Keezy Young
Yellow Hearts is a pretty new comic, but I’m already obsessed with it. Without giving too much away, three children make a deal with a demon. Twenty years later it finds them again to make good on what it’s been promised.

The Outer Door was started in 2014 and was completed just this Halloween. It’s about five teenagers who are stuck in a creepy (probably haunted) mansion on Halloween night. They have to find their way out again, but it’s much harder than it sounds. If you want to try out Tapas then this should be your first comic. It’s a solid story that’s already finished so you won’t be waiting around for an update.

The plot to this comic almost doesn’t matter because it’s just so beautiful. The updates are slow going because every single panel is so detailed and beautiful. It’s about a king who finds a baby incased in ice. He keeps her as his own, but twenty years later there is an uprising and she is taken. Is she as evil as the people believe?

Comic books aren’t all superheroes, there is some amazing artwork and stories out there. Why not give them a try?

We Never Go Out of Style...

I believe that fashion is a statement. Fashion is expressing yourself in a way that is unique to your character. Each person, no matter who they are, has their own personal style that makes them special. In our crazy world, we need to differentiate each other by our personalities and our fashion that correlate with that.

I'd like to think of myself as a fashionable, modern 19 year old who loves getting dressed in the morning. I love picking out outfits, I love shopping and I love creating pieces that represent me as a person. I've always been a girly girl, ever since I was younger and my mom would dress me so that definitely had an impact on who I am today. I remember going in her closet and stealing all her clothes, trying on heels, pearls and dresses and absolutely loving it. When I was in high school, I loved waking up at 6am, putting on my makeup, putting on my clothes and just feeling so confident in myself. When you look good, you FEEL good. Of course having style has a different connotation for everyone. Each individual is different, each individual has a different personality so what's to say that style has to be the same. Style means looking good for YOU and being comfortable in your own skin.

Now if you're stuck on what you like, what suits you, and what your style consists of, just think about you as a person. You don't have to dress in Gucci and Fendi to be classified as stylish. In our fashion based world, it becomes difficult to develop your style with so many influences around us, however it's as simple as looking at yourself in the mirror. If you're a simple person, maybe you like wearing jeans, converse and a basic white tee. If you're free spirited and open, maybe you like flowy pants, sandals and a crop top. No one can tell you what your style is except for you and once you've figured that out, you'll be set.