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 At checkout Honey offered a long list of coupons but- sadly- they were all outdated.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 Either they were outdated or too specific for me to use personally.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.   

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Things Change, People Change

I want to point out the obvious, that things are never ever the same as they've always been. The game stop in the mall that you'd always walk past as a child, has probably turned into a clothing store; your neighbor of 10 years has probably moved; and your childhood friend maybe hasn't spoken to you in years. As sad as it may seem, things are always changing and people are always changing and that's simply just a part of life.

I myself know exactly what it feels like to lose a connection with someone you'd thought you'd never lose. You'd go to their house at least once a week, you'd text each other so much that when you didn't text them, something was off and you'd have so much fun hanging out not even thinking about the future. It's hard to even put together the pieces of what happens. I think that's the worst part. Having a relationship last so long and then out of the blue it just weakens and weakens until you part ways and act like total strangers.

I never understood that; I still don't understand how people just drift apart and start a new chapter of their life, without you. Unfortunately, that's just life. It's not anyone's fault, it's just that as the years progress, we get older, we learn more about ourselves and what we want and certain people just aren't in that phase of life yet where they can keep up with you, and understand what we may be going through.

It's much harder for people like myself, who get attached quickly and will do whatever they can to keep a relationship from breaking apart. What I've learned, is that you can't force a relationship. You can't force your best friend to text you, you can't force them to hang out, and you can't force them to be your friend. It's beyond difficult to handle, however once you let go and understand that things just happen out of your control, you'll feel better and move on. Better things are yet to come and it's for a reason.

 If you find yourself pushing and pushing and forcing a relationship, its simply just not meant to be. The people in your life, they impact you in a positive way and they grow, which ultimately makes you grow because of that impact. You'll look back and thank them for influencing you and helping you reach that next step in your life.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Guilty Pleasures

With midterms in the mix I find myself indulging in all my guilty pleasures and, as much as I want to keep these a secret, I am convinced that a lot of people have them in common! I am going to share my top three with you, and get you thinking about what some of yours are.

      1.  Reality TV
            I want to dislike it… really I do, but there is something about sitting there watching other                     peoples lives and not having to use any brain cells that is really enjoyable! Sometimes it is                   nice to get wrapped up in other people's lives and drama and forget about your own.


  1. Singing in the shower
This sounds very stereotypical but I really do enjoy a good sing along when in the shower. I do not have the best voice but when on my own and listening to my favorite songs I just can’t help it.
  1. Going to bed early

The older I get the less I care for late night adventures. Once I passed the 25 mark and got closer to 30 I realized going to bed at 9.30pm was amazing. When in class with younger students I tend to feel myself hiding these facts because let's face it no one wants to feel old!


10 Things You Should Know for Any Relationship

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's highly important to be aware of the key components for a healthy relationship, romantic and not.

In media, we often see this: Boy meets girl, and through a series of misunderstandings and happenstances, they eventually get together. Those types of stories are usually...not too well written in my opinion. At the very least, not healthy to look up to. They can set up unrealistic expectations and set us up for failure in future relationships, because of said expectations. You can see this in almost every movie and miscellaneous. Why is there always a love story?

Onward to my tips, (Disclaimer: I'm not a therapist/counselor/love doctor/etc.)
1. Love can be conditional. 3 words: Flexibility, love, and trust. Those things are earned, not forced. Love is not dependency nor co-dependency
2. ***C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N.***  If you want someone to know how you feel, what you think, and what you hope to achieve: You tell them, you hear their side, you work it out, come to a compromise and better understanding. It can be scary to admit your thoughts, but it's a necessity. If someone refuses to compromise and understand where you're coming from no matter how many times you try, walk away.
3. You are never to blame for the past, present, or future, it isn't anyone's fault. The latter can be debatable depending on the situation, but the past makes us who we are. No matter how terrible it may have been, we learn from it. And despite how it was, life is the longest thing you'll ever do. It's never too late for doing the things you want to do for a change.
4. You can't change opinions. You can't fix people. People fix themselves if they want to. You can guide them, encourage them, but you can't fix 'em. If there was technology out there that could change a person's mind, I'm sure it wouldn't ever be legal and available to the public.
5. There's nothing wrong with seeking help and letting it out, it never makes you weak. You have a right to feel the way you feel. "Letting it out" is healthy, and seeking help is even healthier. Your mental health should be as valuable as your physical health.
6. Your feelings are valid. Feelings have no explanation, they just are. Don't let people tell you how you should feel since it's impossible to control our emotions. If you want to leave your current situation, say, end a relationship, it's ok to not "have a reason." Wanting to is a reason!
7. It's ok if things aren't always happy. Keep an open mind, not everything is gonna turn out the way you planned, right down to every detail. If you take it from the movies and expect constant happiness and The One to knock on your doorstep, you'll be sorely disappointed. A relationship should not be your sole source of happiness. It won't always be wonderful and the honeymoon phase fizzles out after 2 years. Every relationship takes work though! Those up, down, and dull moments are normal.
8. ***Consent is key.*** Just because someone is say, a close friend, family member, or lover doesn't give them the right to violate you despite you saying no. Conversely, you should always ask someone if things are okay, if something's ok to do and not assume. And it's okay to change your mind at any point in time.
9. Don't be hard on yourself. You are never worthless. We're all worth a lot, to everyone we know, and to ourselves. And we have a lot of potential! We always do. We can do anything, anytime.
10. You don't need a love story. You know why there's always a love story? Because it's something most people can relate to. It gets views and easily adds a bit of realism to any story. But it really isn't necessary. First and foremost, you're a strong independent (wo)man who don't need no relationship to function. Second, you need to love yourself before you love someone else. Third, enjoy your life while you're probably not married right now. ;)

Take care, and do spread awareness - help a friend out and don't you dare give up on them. Don't be afraid to call a hotline and visit the Connection Center. Whatever you're going through, I hope this cheers you up: