5 Apps That Keep Me Productive and Creative

ringing phone call Sticker by AIRVOID
From Giphy.com

Podcast

Podcast is my favorite app at the moment. No matter what you are interested in, theres a podcast for it. My favorite thing to listen to in the car is true crime podcasts because they keep me entertained and are actually addictive. My favorite true crime Podcast at the moment is Crime Junkie. Crime Junkie is popular and the episodes are usually pretty short. If you’re new to podcast and this sounds like something you you be into, check them out. You don’t have to have the podcast app to listen to podcasts. There are tons of podcast website and some are even on Spotify.

Pinterest

I couldn’t make a list of my favorite apps without including this one. Pinterest is the place I go for 99% of my inspiration for all things. The main reasons I use this app are outfit inspiration, recipes and home decor ideas. Click here to view my board! 

Canva

Canva is a fantastic website/app that allows you to create anything from resumes, logos and business cards to Twitter headers and Instagram stories. The options are endless and user friendly for beginners in graphic design. If you are just starting out in graphic design there are templates to choose from. If you want to get really creative, you can start a project from scratch. I use this app for personal use and for school assignments constantly. 

Reflectly

This is an app I downloaded in the past few weeks and I am so excited about it. This is a digital personal daily journal. This app did a great job of personalizing the app to fit you. It’s user friendly and I consider it relaxing.

Reminders

As a full time college student who works a part time job, I have so many things to remember and I need help. I use the reminders app everyday. This is an Apple app that is automatically downloaded to any Apple product. This app is a life saver. I use this along with the stickies feature on my Macbook to keep my life together. 

All of these apps are free on the app store. If you don’t already have these downloaded or have them and don’t use them, I recommend utilizing them. If you have a favorite app related to productivity or creativity, let me know in the comments! 

What Is the Enneagram Test?

The enneagram test has become popular over the past year. People on Instagram are posting things about their enneagram numbers and what they mean. There are even accounts dedicated to enneagram posts. 

So, what is the enneagram test? 

Essentially, it’s a test you take about yourself and at the end it gives you your enneagram number. There are 9 numbers and each number is a different personality type. Some examples of questions on the test are “I feel my emotions very deeply”, “I see the positive in every situation” and “I let other people make decisions”. Your answer choices are “accurate”, “neutral” and “Inaccurate”. 

I took the test and these were my results:

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 9.33.56 AMI was a 64% match to number 2, which is my highest match. My second was type 8 and third type 1. According to the type 2 description, I am a giver. Type 8 is the challenger and type 1 is the perfectionist. When you take the test, which is free with using this website, you have access to a lot of information on each type including what your core values are, how others can recognize each type and even how you act in certain situations. 

I was surprised to find out that I agree with my results. I was skeptical of the test because how could an algorithm know how I act and think? Well, it doesn’t. It is a generalized summary of a personality type. Of course some things will be off, but this can be a helpful tool.

What do you do with this information?

This information can be used to better understand others around you. It’s a tool you can use to better empathize with others as well. Whether it’s with family, partner, co-workers or random strangers, understanding each type could help you communicate with people who are different from you.

If you haven’t taken the test and want to, visit Truity.com to take the test and get your results. If you find this kind of thing interesting, follow some enneagram accounts on Instagram like @enneagramenthusiasts 

Juul Is Being Sued By Victims of vaping illnesses

Vaping has grown over the past couple years and is advertised as a way to wean yourself off of cigarettes. Unfortunately, the majority of people who vape were never addicted to cigarettes in the first place and are now addicted to the nicotine in vape pens. 

Last week, a 17 year old boy from the Bronx passed away and is the youngest person to pass away from a lung related issue due to vaping. Hearing this on the news wasn’t surprising as it’s the 24th death related with vaping in the US. It wasn’t surprising, but it was upsetting. 

This map by The New York Times shows where and how many deaths have occurred. Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 8.31.55 PM

What harm do they cause?

E-cigarettes have only been around less then a decade so the research done on them is limited. What we do know is that “inhaling the two primary ingredients found in e-cigarettes—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—is likely to expose users to a high level of toxins and that the more ingredients a user is inhaling, the greater the toxicity”, according to The American Lung Institute.

These numbers are alarming, especially since you or someone you know probably vapes. Vaping is a trend among teens and companies like Juul are being accused of marketing towards that age group. 

Juul produces fruity flavored products wrapped in colorful candy-looking packaging. According to The National Law Review’s article by Katy Moncivais, “By analyzing Juul’s website, social media platforms, hashtags, andcustomer campaign emails, the researchers concluded that, “Juul’s advertising imagery in its first [six] months on the market was patently youth oriented.”

According to this New York Times article by Ed Shanahan and Azi Paybarah Some of the people affected by the products have filed suits against companies like Juul for things like targeted advertising toward youth and making the device small enough to hide from parents. 

What can we do to fix this crisis?

Spread the word and if you or someone you know vapes or is addicted, inform them on whats going on. Most likely they will already know. In that case, I would try to offer them professional help to quit. Although vapes have been advertised as harmless, it’s being proven that they are not harmless and can actually cause life threatening illnesses.

Target’s Anniversary Collection And My Favorite Fall Picks

Target is probably my favorite place to shop for just about anything. It’s affordable, trendy and has variety. Over the years Target has definitely progressed into a more sophisticated store. In the past 20 years the company has even partnered with high fashion designers to produce reasonably priced designer pieces. 

2019 marks the 20 year anniversary of the collaboration of Isaac Mizrahi and Target. This was the first of many designer collaborations target would have. To celebrate, the company re-launched a collection of affordable designer clothing and home decor with 20 of their previous designer collaborations. 

The partnerships include:

  • Michael Graves 
  • Philippe Starck 
  • Stephen Sprouse
  • Isaac Mizrahi 
  • Erin Fetherston 
  • Proenza Schouler 
  • Thakoon 
  • John Derian 
  • Anna Sui 
  • Rodarte 
  • Stephen Burrows
  • Zac Posen
  • Harajuku Mini
  • Missoni 
  • Jason Wu 
  • Phillip Lim
  • Altuzarra 
  • Lilly Pulitzer 
  • Marimekko 
  • Hunter

According to Target’s website, “The Anniversary Collection will be available, while supplies last, Sept. 14 at all Target stores and Target.com, with prices ranging from $7 to $160. Designer collections and items will vary by store and guests may purchase up to five items per size and color”.

“It sold out within days or even hours, those wares were snapped up for resale on eBay at prices inaccessible to the very shoppers Target initially hoped to lure”, says Ruth La Furla, from New York Times. This isn’t surprising considering how excited people were for the drop of the collaborations. 

Target has always been one of my favorite places, in general. I was excited for this launch because as a college student, designer clothes are not a realistic thing to spend money on. Aside from this anniversary collection, Target is an affordable place to shop for clothing, beauty products and home decor. 

A New Day is one of my favorite clothing brands Target carries along with Who What Wear and Knox Rose. Who What Wear is a brand that has a great collection of  work-wear pieces. A New Day and Knox Rose are both brands that carry cute and casual pieces I would wear on a regular school day. 

Here are my top 5 favorite fall pieces from target right now: Click the picture to shop. (All photos obtained from Target website)

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Could There Be Harmful Chemicals In Your Personal Care Products?

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Have you ever wondered why we are so trusting of products we use? Up until recently I never questioned what products I used to clean with, eat or use on my skin and hair. 

It wasn’t until I read about Kourtney Kardashian lobbying on Capitol Hill that I considered there could be harmful chemicals in the makeup I use daily. 

Yes, I am an unapologetic Kardashian/Jenner fan. I knew Kourtney was the sister that’s all about natural foods and beauty. I never thought of myself as that type of person and still don’t, but I do want to stay clear of products that could be causing more harm than good. 

Kourtney was asked to lobby by an organization called Environmental Working Group, or EWG. This is an organization that allows the public to look up a product and check the safety risks associated with it as well as find safe products to use. EWG was trying to get a bill passed that demanded the FDA increase regulations on chemicals used in personal care products, according to Anna Cook from MarketWatch.

According the the EWG website, “For more than 12 years, EWG’s Skin Deep® has provided practical solutions to protect consumers from everyday exposures to chemicals in personal care products”.

The first questions I had after hearing about this were:

  • Aren’t there regulations in place to protect us from harmful ingredients?
  • How do I know what ingredients/chemicals are bad for me?
  • What kind of products could be dangerous? Baby products? Makeup? Perfumes? 

The FDA does not have to approve cosmetic products but does have some regulations a product must pass. For more information on the FDA’s authority over cosmetics, click here.

To avoid harmful ingredients, use resources like the EWG app or just Google the product’s ingredients and do your own research before using them. The risk isn’t only in makeup and skincare. There are unsafe perfumes, sunscreens and even baby products.

For now on, I’ll be more conscious of the products I buy. I want to be educated on what is harmful and I plan on looking up the products I use daily to figure it out. 

MLM vs Pyramid Scheme; What Are They and What’s the Difference?

 

Poor No Money GIF by Quinta B

If you’re active on any social media, you might have come across the phrase multilevel marketing or MLM and Pyramid Scheme. You may have even been asked to purchase products from an MLM company or know someone involved with one. 

The difference between MLM and a Pyramid Scheme is very confusing so i’m going to try and lay it.

According to this video explaining the difference between the two, Pyramid Schemes are fraudulent and illegal and MLM’s are annoying at times but are not illegal. The problem is, Pyramid Scheme companies sometimes disguise themselves as MLM and the line is very thin. This is problematic because on paper, the company seems like a good idea and many people agree to be representatives or distributers, when actually, they’re getting themselves into a trap. 

MLM is a legal marketing practice, where you sell a product directly, recruit other people to sell the product under you (usually people you know personally) and get a portion of their sales as well. This line of recruiters can go on and on. The start up costs for MLM companies are small and the products being sold are comparable in price to others on the market. 

Contrary to MLM, but very similar are pyramid schemes. These are illegal and financially dangerous to get stuck in. People involved in these companies are pressured or convinced to pay and excessive amount of money to start up their business. The pyramid is set up to where you will just keep loosing money. Not only bad for the seller, but buyers are being scammed as well. The products are priced far above other similar products in their market. 

Here is a list of the “15 Most Hated Multilevel Marketing Companies Right Now

  • Lularoe
  • Rodan+Fields
  • Herbalife
  • Advocare 
  • Nerium
  • Monat 
  • Jeunesse
  • It Works!
  • DoTerra 
  • Amway 
  • Primerica
  • Younique 
  • Le-Vel
  • Nu Skin 
  • Arbonne

If you see brands you are familiar with or even use, you might be confused as to why they’re hated. Note- just because a brand is on this list does not mean it’s illegal or a pyramid scheme. Of the companies on the list, Herbalife, Rodan+Fields and Arbonne are some of the most talked about companies in my location. I know A LOT of people who sell these products. 

Pyramid companies will make promises and won’t deliver on them. Before you join a team or join a company, research and talk to people with experience. 

If you have to pay the company to work for it, it’s probably not a good idea. The line between MLM and a pyramid schemes is too thin for comfort. Do research and don’t take someone else’s word for a brand’s legitimacy.

 

 

 

 

 

What Is an “Influencer”? And Some of My Favorites

small business dog GIF by WordPress.com

There are so many bloggers and influencers out there. Some have millions of followers and some have much, much less. No matter, each one has a message they’re  sending to their following. That message is so important because of how influential social media is. People don’t like the term “influencer” but that is exactly what they are. 

Of course everyone has an influence on people, but influencers are on a much larger scale. 

“What is an influencer?”,you may ask. 

An influencer is a person who gains authenticity and trust through social media to promote brands, in turn, making a commission from sales. Brands will send their products to the influencer to try out and possibly promote to their following. 

This trade-off has occasional issues. Influencers are often accused of promoting bad products for the profit or even hiding the fact they’re promoting a brand. Influencers have gotten better about acknowledging Ads. 

If you don’t think you follow an influencer, you’re probably wrong. Influencers aren’t solely in the fashion business. There are influencers in every aspect of life. (Health and Fitness, fashion, makeup, sports, music, interior design, organizing, and probably anything else you can think of) 

Since there are so many, you have the ability to decide who to see scroll across your screen. Here’s a list of 5 influencers I admire and why. 

SIVAN AYLA RICHARDS- she promotes the BEST products and companies 

I like her style (clothes accessories home)

Baby Capri is the cutest!

She’s honest 

Big on skincare 

She’s opinionated 

Insta- @Sivanayla 

Blog- https://www.sivanayla.com

KELSEY PATTERSON- she’s local

Shares cute clothes 

Works really hard on her instagram 

Cute momma-to-be 

Also works in real estate 

Insta- @kelseynpatterson

LAURA GODFREY- she’s so positive

Shares sales on clothes shoes and accessories 

She’s witty and entertaining 

I don’t skip through her insta story 

Insta- @laurangodfrey

DESI PERKINS- she’s a makeup goddess 

She’s Latina!!

She’s genuine and funny 

Shares her life (not only the glamorous side) 

Big on skincare 

Insta- @Desiperkins

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/user/DesireePerkinsMakeup

KENNEDY FRAZER- full time college student and also running a successful instagram account 

Shares workouts, makeup, clothes, accessories, and more 

She’s newer and fresh

Insta- @Kennedyfrazer

   

 

 

Common Fears About Going to College

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The newness of it all: I’ve always heard that freshman year of college can be the hardest, which scared me because I thought it would be the work. I quickly figured out it’s not because the work is extremely hard, but because everything is so new and you will -most likely- be out of your comfort zone. I don’t know from experience because I didn’t move away, but if your moving away from your hometown, it will probably be more difficult (but also exciting and fun).

Making new friends/ meeting new people: When I started school I imagined meeting those lifelong college friends immediately and a happily-ever-after. It wasn’t like that. Actually, the first semester of college I felt kind of lonely and secluded. Probably because I was just trying to figure out my new surroundings and do well academically. This semester is so different though! I’ve met so many people and built new friendships. So if you’re worried you won’t meet any new people, don’t, because you will in perfect timing.  

Being away from home: This is actually something I can’t relate to because I don’t live in the dorms. The main complaints I hear about the dorms are 1- people not getting along with their roommates 2- the space being too small 3- Not wanting to go back home for breaks. The new freedom you get in college usually trumps all of those issues.

Workload: The work freshman year will be your basics (unless you finished or got credit for most of them in high school). These classes will most likely be pretty easy. There is definitely more outside of class study/ work time, even for your easiest class. It’s nothing you can’t handle. Find fun places to study, study with friends and communicate with your professors. 

Major won’t work out: Do not panic! People change their major all the time and odds are you will change it anyways. You don’t have to know what you’re going to do in school, much less in life. So many people go into college “undecided” so if you have an idea of what you want to do, you’re ahead of the game. If you are undecided, you have plenty of time. 

College is so fun and it’s what you make it. Check out my other articles about college!

Freshman Year Takeaways (College Edition)

Hello friends! I just want to hop on here and share some takeaways and songs that got me through this year. 

It is not only okay, but HEALTHY to take breaks: This is true for everyone whether you’re in school, pursuing a career, raising a family, or really just doing life. Something i’m terrible at is slowing down. The lord has shown me this semester that 1- I can’t be successful if i’m overloaded with work. 2- He is persistent and constantly moving. We tend to have a mindset where we feel like we have to be doing something all the time. So the break might not even be physical, but mental.

Set goals: set realistic goals that benefit your health, faith, education, job, or whatever is important to you. For me, i’ve found that exercise is therapeutic and relaxing and something I genuinely enjoy. I’ve starting setting goals for myself in that way and i’ve felt stronger, more organized, and healthier.  

Most things are not as big as they seem: 99% of the time things work out for the best. One of my favorite quotes is “it always seems impossible until it’s done”. Life it too short to worry about things that don’t matter *me talking to myself* and if you spend your time worrying you will miss so much!

Just do it: I couldn’t think of another way to say this (good job Nike) but for real, it’s simple. A lot of fear and worry could be avoided by facing your fears, not being lazy, and just getting things done. Once you start something you’re more likely to finish, but you have to start.

Find balance: Everything is okay within reason. TRUE. If you’re with your friends more than focusing on school, it may be an issue. In the same way, not having a life outside of school isn’t great either.

Find your people: Spend time growing in those relationships! The people I’ve met the past two semesters are wonderful and I’m so grateful for each of them. College is where you might meet your lifelong friends. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who lift me up, encourage me and let me be my truest self. Those are the BEST kinds of people!

Be informed: Keep up with the news! Know whats going on around you and know what you’re talking about. Even looking at the news through twitter is better than nothing. At this point, not being informed is no ones fault but your own. It’s so easy!

Overall, OU has treated me well and I give this year a 10/10. It’s crazy how much you mature and see the people around you mature in college.

SONGS: 

You Say- Lauren Daigle

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus- Lauren Daigle

Sucker- Jonas Brothers 

Shallow- Lady Gaga

A Million Dreams- The Greatest Showman

Talk- Khalid

 

 

 

What is Fake News and Why is it Important?

donald trump fake news GIF by Feibi McIntosh

Fake news has been a growing issue in media, especially with President Donald Trump frequently using the term. The word used to mean parody news or just literally false information being published. Now though, President Trump has added a new meaning to the term. Fake news can now reference something that is actually true, making the truth harder and harder to uncover.

“Fact checking” is now something consumers can use to find out if information or “fake news” is actually false. Factcheck.org was created during the presidential campaign just for this reason.

Not only is fake news confusing to media consumers, but it can also be a threat to our society. For example, after hurricane Harvey, a headline titled “Only 60 out of 1566 Churches Open To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims”. This headline was false and unnecessarily created hatred for people and religious groups. For more misleading headlines, check out “Fake News Of 2017”.

As social media makes each individual their own story teller, there are unlimited amounts of stories. Not all of them are true and many of them disagree. This kind of division has had a direct affect on the division and violence in the country. It’s unfortunate that so many people believe the first thing they hear or see. It is so important, especially right now that we fact check ourselves by using multiple sources to seek the truth. Sometimes popular media platforms do not always have the correct information.

Another way fake news can have an impact is through voters. When people vote, they usually do it based off what they hear and see in the major political news channels and papers. I don’t believe every news organization spreads fake news, but some do. 

It is essential to the legitimacy of news media to be honest. The voting population needs to make sure they know why they are voting, as well as if the information is true. For reasons like this and many more, people need to do their own research and seek the truth in media.

Sharing a false story may not sound like a huge deal but its impact is deeper than it seems.