Angie Baquedano

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Angie Baquedano is the Assistant Lifestyle Editor at Niner Times. She is close to completing her Creative Writing major and Journalism Minor as an Undergraduate and hopes to one day work for The National Geographic Society. When Angie isn’t swamped with homework or working her CNA job she can be found traveling, reviewing restaurants for Charlotte Food Adventures or taking up new hobbies such as painting with oil pastels (It changes depending on what inspires her that week).

A look inside my job as a CNA

Tribune News Service
Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Jobs, most people in college have one. They range from being a waitress to being an emergency medical technician (EMT), and the possibilities are endless on temporary jobs that don’t require a degree. Most don’t pay much, but it’s enough to keep us afloat while we move towards a degree. The beauty of jobs at our age is that many of our options can be counted as real resume and experience builders. For example, if you wish to be a teacher then a tutoring job would be a good place to get some grounding.

I work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA 1), and it’s the most rewarding job out there in my opinion. There is a CNA 2, but there’s not that big of a difference in what I can and cannot do, so I decided not to go further in my certification because it comes at a significant cost.

As a CNA, I work for an in-home care company. I get assigned a client and then I read up on their condition and their needs. Then I go to their homes and I do whatever is necessary, which can include getting them dressed, feeding them, getting them into bed, showers and even doing simple errands for them. I sometimes clean their home, or paint their nails; sometimes I even just sit there and provide them with company.

It’s a very rewarding job with a ton of benefits. I get compensated for mileage because I have to drive to their homes and sometimes it’s a bit far away from campus. Thirty-five to 45 minutes is the average time it takes to get to a home. The compensation is good, but the time lost going back and forth really can be a downfall. It’s stressful to have to worry about classes and studying when you work so far because those 45 minutes there and back could have been used to study rather than sit in traffic.

One great benefit about working as a CNA is that if you’re planning on going to medical school, becoming a physician’s assistant or anything that requires clinical hours, you can get them through working as a CNA. You can rack up your hours and get paid, which is such a better alternative to working a minimum wage job where you’re not advancing on your career in anyway.

You also get a lot of experience from working a job like mine. I’ve worked at nursing homes with people with dementia, sun poisoning, paralysis, you name it. It’s a very rewarding occupation financially and emotionally. I get paid between $12-15 an hour plus mileage, and on top of that I’ve met some of the kindest souls on this planet. I’ve met people that have gone on grand wonderful adventures and others who have lived a just as wonderful sedentary life. Every single one of them forever thanks me for helping them. Everyday I work I get a thank you before I leave or during the job.

Ultimately I would say the pitfalls of working as a CNA is the distance you have to travel to do it and maybe a bit of back problems since you sometimes have to lift up your client but I think the positives outweigh the negatives. You meet new people, you learn new things, you get hands on experience, you earn clinical hours, you get great pay. It’s honestly such a wonderful job and I would recommend it to anyone, even if they aren’t pursuing an occupation in the medical arena.

If you’re not interested in working in geriatrics while in college (even though it’s more fun then it sounds I swear), you can get other jobs that are just as rewarding such as tutoring children K-5 or getting certified as an EMT and working in the emergency room (That’s my next goal). You could also teach low-income immigrants the basics of the English language ( I used to do that for free but I’m sure that charging them if you’re good and patient won’t be a problem) or babysitting if you like children. You’d be surprised how observant kids are if you guide them in the right direction. Working at an animal shelter is another option.

There is an endless amount of jobs that you can work at our age as temporary jobs until you get into something more stable, and you never know your job right now could lead you into something similar later that pays better and is permanent. At the end of the day, what I’m saying is my temporary job makes me happy and I’ll get to look back on my college years later and actually be able to say that I was so incredibly happy. It’s not okay to be miserable because you hate your job or anything else for that matter. If you don’t like the way you’re living, then change it.

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Jorge Roque

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

“The universe is so big it creates mystery. Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of a man’s desire to understand. So here I am leaving the library at 2am after a full night of studying in hopes that one day I’ll also be able to understand.”

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Rodney Jordan

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

“I was 15 and competing in Judo, which is a type of martial arts. Everything was great, but I eventually reached a point where I became tired of it and I wanted something more challenging. So I went to a new gym, mixed martial arts, and there I found a large amount of people kickboxing and I immediately knew that’s what I wanted to do. So I got my butt kicked for the next six months and then I moved to Charlotte for a better gym and more opportunities. The guys that I met at the gym here in Charlotte brought me up to the level that I am now. It’s been a long road, but now I’m a personal trainer and a professional MMA Fighter. I truly am thankful for the people who got me here and the ones who made me love it.”

 

Recipe: Fruit sushi

 

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

It’s the annual point in the year where you dress up nice, eat well and get presents. It should probably be called something like thanksgivistmas (Thanksgiving and Christmas combined) because let’s be honest, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. You eat well and you get gifts. What better way to enjoy a day than with a healthy, homemade, easy, cheap, delicious (did I mention cheap?) meal. Goodbye normal California roll and hello fruit sushi.

RECIPE:

Makes about 25 pieces or so, it’s just up to you and how thick you cut the rolls. So first you’ll need these next few ingredient and tools:

Tools:

– Bamboo rolling pad

– Measuring cups and spoons

– A medium pot

– Wax paper

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups short grain sushi rice

– 2 cups water

– 3 tbsp sugar

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1 cup coconut milk

– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

A variety of fruit and berries, it can be anything your heart desires, ranging from

Pineapple to even bananas. Below I’ll list a couple of options. Remember to ask the other person who might be eating this if they are allergic to any food or fruit because you don’t want to send them into anaphylactic shock, that would really kill the mood.

– Strawberries

– Mango

– Kiwi

– Blackberries

– Raspberries

  1.  Start with a medium pot and combine the rice, water, sugar and salt. Then it’s cooked on low heat for about 20 minutes or until all the rice absorbs the water. During this time, you can get your wax paper ready and your bamboo rolling pad.

 

  1. When the rice is ready you add the coconut milk and vanilla. The mixture should be moldable.

 

  1. Spread the rice about 1/2 inch thick over the paper into approximately a medium size rectangle across the wax paper.

 

  1.  Slice the fruit of your choice into long pieces. Use a potato peeler to shave thin slices off the mango, do not try to do it with a knife because the cut will probably not come out very thin and you don’t want to be all bloody for your date or anti date, whatever it is you’re into. Also, you can toast a 1/4 cup of coconut shreds for 3 minutes.

 

  1. Finally, lay the fruit pieces on the rice and roll up carefully. If rice sticks to the paper too much, try spreading it a little thicker. Coat the rolls with either the mango slices or the toasted coconut. Slice each roll into however many pieces you want and with the rest of the rice, roll into balls and place thin slices of fruit on top, like nigiri.

But wait, we aren’t done yet. We still need sauce for the sushi. So for this all you need to is blend 1/4 cup raspberries with 1/4 cup water. I added a little bit of agave into mine because I like sweet things, but that’s just me.

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Brent Campbell

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

“I was 13 waiting for my dad to pick me and my twin brother up from football practice. He was about an hour late at that point, so we just sat down on a bench waiting for him to come. Then one hour turned into two. When he finally got there, he noticed all of our friends were playing and running around and my brother and I were just sitting on the bench waiting. He asked us what was going on and we said, “We were waiting for you. We wanted to make sure that you were going to come.” and he got so angry with us when he heard that. So he sat us down and he said “I’m your dad; I love you. I’m always going to come for you. If I’m ever late, you play. I am never going to leave you.” and that was the first time, I wouldn’t have said it at the time, but that was the first time I understood the love of God. “

Recipes: Vegan banana pancakes

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

My roommate has recently become vegan, so by default I’ve become somewhat vegan, too. A few nights ago, we were both craving breakfast food and to be supportive I decided to hit the kitchen and try to help her make vegan pancakes. The original recipe we found was a bit different and frankly we found it kind of boring, so we added chocolate chips and fruit. It was really amazing. These vegan alternatives are much healthier to your usual food.

2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour

1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder

1 Scant Teaspoon of Salt

2 Tablespoons Organic Pure Cane Sugar

1 ¾ cup of Almond Milk

1 Banana

¼ Cup of Vegan Butter

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Maple Agave Syrup Blend

Strawberries

Raspberries

Chocolate chips

**You can use normal flour, sugar and unsweetened vegan milk rather than the ingredients I used. Also, instead of vegan butter, you can use shortening or coconut oil.**

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and as most college kids don’t own a sifter, my roommate and I used a noodle drainer and it worked just the same.
  2. Next with two knives, cut in the vegan butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, take it out and add milk and vanilla and whisk until mixture is relatively smooth. Next add the bananas and the chocolate chips.
  4. Heat an ungreased, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (It’s hot enough when a drop of water flicked across the surface immediately sizzles.)
  5. Pour ⅓ cup of batter into the center of the pan. Cook until the edges start to look dry and its ready to be flipped without falling apart. Flip and cook the other side until golden.
  6. Remove from the pan and place on a serving plate, covered with a cloth to keep the heat in.
  7. Repeat until remaining batter is used up.
  8. Serve hot, with plenty of vegan butter and Agave maple syrup.

My roommate and I of course turned it into a food arts and craft moment after we were done and we did our very best to adorn our pancakes with strawberries and raspberries before we drowned them in a boatload of agave maple syrup. Enjoy!

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Mark West, PhD

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

“Well I still live in my childhood, and I don’t think I have one particular childhood memory that peaks above the others. Now if I had to pick, I would say it was when my father would read out loud to my siblings and I. He would read to us six nights a week up until I was in eighth grade. The best part about it is he wouldn’t just stick to small children’s books, but we would venture into Charles Dickens territory or Oliver Twist. It was my favorite part of the day, and that’s why I became a children’s literature professor.”

New year new me, for real this time

IMG_3081“New year, new me.” Isn’t that what everyone is saying? It’s refreshing to have a new year, so we make these fitness resolutions and stick to them for as long as we can, maybe even three weeks. Then life ultimately catches up with us when the new semester arrives, and we are once again too busy. So much for eating healthy and exercising, that summer body will just have to wait. So 2016 will roll by, as just another year that you almost got in shape.

Oh wait, except unlike last year or the years before that I wasn’t here to give you advice. Well, I’m here now, and you are sticking to that New Year resolution. I’ll guide you through it, summer body here we come!

Drink more water, drink less soda.

Okay, so I know this is a hard one for a lot of people, but water is vital for your body. Also, you can’t exercise drinking a Dr.Pepper. I promise you that won’t go well. Water is necessary; choose it as your drink at meals, when doing activities and even keep one by your bed at night. If you are someone that just doesn’t enjoy water because of a lack of taste, then try infusing your water with fruit. I am just fine with ordinary water but out of curiosity I made a blueberry orange infused water, and it was incredible!

More Moving, less Netflix and Chilling

There are various ways to get more physical activity into your daily life. Our campus is on a hill for Pete’s sake; you don’t even need a gym—just make that uphill climb to class rather than finding a flat path. Walk up the stairs rather than using the elevators within the buildings. Go window shopping or real shopping at concord mills mall. The mall is set up in a loop formation, and one lap around is equal to one mile. You wouldn’t even know it if I didn’t point it out, but there are so many ways to sneak in exercise into your day.

Become a Yogi

How about yoga? Yes, you too boys. Yoga has so many health benefits it helps with stress, bodily pains and it’s a heck of a workout. If you want to sweat off those winter break pounds then here is your answer, do hot yoga. Hot yoga is when you are put into a standard yoga room with all the intentions to do normal yoga except it’s 99 degrees in there. Our campus offers free yoga classes, but if you’re curious of what exactly hot yoga entails then you can head over to Yoga One on highway 49 and join a class for just five bucks, or get your first month for 30 dollars with an unlimited amount of sessions within that 30 day period. My roommate and I are doing it. See you there.

Get back into a routine.

If you haven’t exercised in a while, then you need to start off slow or I promise you something will be hurting intensely in the morning. If you’re a runner, begin by walking long distances. Unless you live in the high-rises and your car is parked in Lot 25, or what I like to call Siberia, walking to your car doesn’t count. So begin by taking longer walks and then ease into a speed walk, then a jog and eventually a run. Do a type of exercise 2-3 times a week to start, and don’t exercise for longer than 45 minutes. Let your body get back into the routine without straining itself. As the weeks go by, you can add more exercise time and days because your body can now handle it. You know how everyone says push yourself? Yeah, don’t. Do not wait until you’re on the verge of throwing up to stop. Your body gives you signals for a reason, understand and accept those messages. You have reached your limit for this exercise session.

Changing is hard, but it’s necessary, without change there is no progress. So go out there and join a sports club, go out there and buy mason jars to store your infused water, go out there and work your way up to a body you are comfortable with. Good luck and I’ll see you on the beach!

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. -Sydney J. Harris

Top ten moments of 2015

Moment #1

From user Swiked at swiked.tumblr.com/
From user Swiked at swiked.tumblr.com/

The ridiculous “what color is the dress?” question. Is it blue and black or white and gold? Honestly, it was blue and black for me for the longest time and then I had half a second when I saw white and gold. Will knowing the answer to this question help me get my degree? So let’s just put that dress in the past and face the fact that the dress was hideous. In case you need science to accept the world as it is, here you will find the explanation of the dress:

http://www.nytimes.com/
interactive/2015/02/28/science/
white-or-blue-dress.html?_r=0

Moment #2

Thousands of Syrians were displaced from their homes fleeing from the Islamic State Group. People are people, and we must not judge them over other’s wrongs. It’s quite depressing how much the people of Syria are suffering. Thousands of Syrians are dying every day trying to escape the hell their world has become.

Moment #3

This is recent, but there has been a methane gas leak in California. It’s not looking too hot out there for them and many families have been relocated due to the leak that has been likely going on since October. There have been reports of people claiming they feel nauseous and unwell. Officials are working as fast as they can to seal off the gas leak. You can get more information here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/massive-methane-leak-displaces-thousands-southern-california-n487381

Moment #4

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 2.50.03 AM
Picture courtesy of @gavingraham. pic.twitter.com/HrpApfbBfJ

The dead Raccoon Memorial in Toronto. So if you didn’t hear there was a dead raccoon on the streets of Toronto that was supposed to be picked up by the city. The city never picked it up, so the people of Toronto created a raccoon memorial while others continued to contact the city to pick up the raccoon. Flowers were placed into the raccoons hands. Someone even printed out and framed a picture of a raccoon and put it next to the dead one. The people of Toronto made a point that the city wasn’t doing its job, and they did it in the funniest, and I think sweetest (For the raccoon) way. R.I.P little Raccoon.

Moment #5

What do you mean you’re not a Belieber? The whole world got Bieber fever! Justin made a huge comeback this year and for those of you who didn’t watch the AMA’s do yourself a favor and WATCH it. I didn’t even like him before 2015, but now I can wholeheartedly say that I am a fan. He literally made it rain at the AMA’s. This is not an overeager rationalization, this is the truth. He made it rain, and it was magical. To make it easier on those who didn’t get a chance to watch the AMA’s, you are welcome.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-justin-bieber-sing-in-the-rain-during-2015-amas-finale-20151122

Moment #6

paris
“Peace for Paris” art by Jean Jullien. www.instagram.com/p/-CvRmhhFJP/

The Paris attacks. My heart is truly broken for the beautiful city of Paris. I spent a glorious summer there and never in my wildest dreams did I think something of that magnitude would happen. It goes to show how the world is changing and to prevail as humans we must come together. The white house and even our very own Charlotte bore the colors of the French flag on our buildings and landmarks. It’s unfortunate that disaster is what has brought many countries together, but at least they are together. May all the people who died on that important night rest in peace, may all the lives that were touched by this horrible event be healed, and may the world grow into a much warmer loving place. More info can be found below:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34818994

Moment #7

Donald Trump and the Presidential race. What started off as a laugh to most people has become into a serious topic of debate. Trump is the most visible candidate for the Republican Party and threatens to run independently if not given the nomination, which would fracture the Republican vote. He has been the source of much controversy this year with a very aggressive stance towards minorities and slander tactics against his opponents. Only time will tell if Trump makes it into the oval office, but in mean time, make sure you stay up to date with today’s politics and VOTE in the 2016 election.

Moment #8

Hotline Bling. Drake pretty much took over my life for a good month. I actually had to delete vine because I spent all my time watching all the funny and ridiculously addictive videos that people created. There was a Pokémon one, a Dora the Explorer one and much more. It was fantastic. In fact, I will provide a link to it just to show how great it was. If you find yourself five videos deep, just shut your computer and go outside, please.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjefCwpowTc

Moment #9

The pope visited the United States! The Pope hung out at the white house and with the president. I even had a friend who went to Washington to see him; random but cool. Seems like this pope is really trying to get out there and do more. It’s working out great, and as I have heard by many of my friends that follow his work, he is the best pope the Catholic Church has had in a very long time.

HG
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Moment #10

The last Hunger Games film came out. I will go ahead and flat out say I was not satisfied. I will also state the fact, and no one try and fight me on this one because I will stand my ground, that baby Katniss “ birthed” at the end of the movie was enormous. Enormous isn’t even the word that fits it. The baby was the size of a watermelon, and it bothered me that the producers actually tried to sell that scam to the audience. No way she had that kid, she would be in half. Although I will admit the mutant mutts in the sewer scared the life out of me, and I almost screamed in the theater when Finnick was killed off. I mean I could see it coming from a mile away, but it still hurt.

 

Great things, bad things and odd things happened this year. We can’t change a single aspect about how our 2015 went, but we can make way for how our 2016 goes. Today is already almost gone but tomorrow isn’t nor is the day after tomorrow or the day after that. So we can come together as communities, as cities, as states, as a country, as a group of countries to make this world a better more enjoyable place to live. So live for today and not for tomorrow because tomorrow is the day for that and today is the day for the now.

Restaurant review: Crepe Cellar

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

Ah, Crepes. Beautiful, giant, flat, pancake looking stuffed wraps of deliciousness. This weekend I made the trek out to NoDa’s very own arts district where you will find interesting shops and amazing food in an eccentric environment. This week’s number one restaurant award goes out to Crepe Cellar. Upon walking in, my roommate and I were immediately seated by this curly-haired happy waitress. She could not have been any friendlier. The restaurant wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t too full either. The layout consisted of half-booth, half-tables, full booths, and full tables. Each table was either adorned with a candle or a beautiful overhead lamp.

The waitress made sure to let us know about the specials as she poured us complimentary water and asked if we would like anything else to drink. We politely assured her our water was just fine as we gazed at the incredible looking menu. My roommate is a vegan, and she was easily able to find something she could have. I ordered a lunch crepe called the Queen City, which consisted of roasted chicken, tomatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese and a tomato sauce. Me being the person that I am, I customized my crepe by substituting the tomato sauce for pesto, and the cheddar for mozzarella. I believe I deserve three genius points for that one and even the waitress thought it sounded fantastic. Never did she get annoyed or become rude because I was being “that” picky customer.

My roommate ordered a black bean and carrot veggie burger, with cucumbers, romaine lettuce and sweet potato aioli on a potato bun, and roasted parsnips as her side. My side was house fries, which was not a regrettable decision, but if you’re a health conscious person, parsnips are your answer. I tried some and they were delectable. Who knew being healthy would taste that good?

While we waited for our lunch, we ordered a loose leaf ginger tea to share. Within five or so minutes our waitress came out with a clear glass kettle, lemons, honey and three baby hourglasses that should probably be called minute glasses since the little ones only last a minute. I remember my dentist used to give me those to time how long to brush my teeth, but never had I used it for tea. The three sand timers were going at different times, and they did this so we could choose how strong of a brew we wanted. When the first timer ended, we could press down a lever on the kettle to have a light brew. If we waited for the second, it would be a medium brew and the last would be a strong brew. We went with the medium brew. The ginger tea is not for everyone, and while it was amazing, I had to douse my cup in honey and lemon because it was too strong. Nonetheless, the whole set up was very cool, and our teacups were adorable. I was ready for tea with the queen, but then my food came.

My plate looked dainty and organized. The fries did not falter in flavor, but the pesto sauce within the crepe could have used more seasoning. I added some lemon, salt and pepper. It was great. Throughout the whole meal, the waitress maintained an alert and happy demeanor. The music playing was perfect and yes, I did know every single song that played and every single word. Props to the owners for having great taste in music.

The food was great and filling, but I couldn’t leave without a dessert crepe. I got a to-go Nutella, banana, strawberry and caramelized walnuts crepe. I sorrowfully announce that I forgot to take a picture of it. I devoured it while sitting in five o’clock traffic later that day. Just take my word for it, it was absolutely decadent.

Overall, I had a marvelous time at Crepe Cellar and I hope everyone follows my lead right to that lovely restaurant and orders everything on the menu like I so badly wanted to.

4.5/5.0 

Surviving the fall finals 2k15

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

Queue the ominous music, gray clouds and hyperventilating, finals start this week! Now before you roll into a slow panic as the days pass by, take a moment to sit down. Breathe in, then out and tell yourself it will be okay. No more ominous music, pretend the sun is out (if it’s not) and breathe like a normal person. With these next few tips finals week will be a breeze.

Here are the golden rules of surviving finals week:

Sleep

I cannot stress this enough. If you do not get enough sleep, you’re not going to remember what you’re studying. What’s the point of studying if you’re going to be falling asleep through it and come exam day, not remember a SINGLE thing? Naps are always good if you’re one of those “I’m always busy” persons.

Eat

If you don’t eat then you won’t be able to concentrate, but also don’t eat something unhealthy that will end up making you fall into the dreaded food coma.  I recommend that you go to Jamba Juice. It’ll get you off campus for a bit, and everything is super healthy. Get the Acai Primo Bowl. I guarantee studying for that exam will seem a little more bearable with an acai bowl at your side.

Drink

No, I am not talking about impairing beverages. I’m talking about good old healthy H20. Stay hydrated. You would be surprised just how sickly you will begin to feel if you don’t get enough water. Headaches, nausea, everything  you don’t need during finals.

Make Flashcards

I promise you they work. They aren’t expensive, you are more likely to remember what you’re studying if it’s put into a flash card format. It helps because you have gone through your notes, analyzed it, transferred it to a notecard and you are now repeatedly studying those cards. It will help and it’s worth a shot if you’ve never tried it before.

Group Study

Study with other people, have them quiz you and you quiz them back. It’s helpful when you go over topics with other people. Also, if you don’t understand something, ask a reliable person within the group to explain it. DO NOT study in groups if you don’t do well in them. Everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about, because they have either been the person who doesn’t do well in groups or experienced someone who doesn’t do well in groups. You know, the person that won’t shut up, is making everyone get off task, can’t concentrate, forever starting super irrelevant conversations that have nothing to do with studying. If you are that person, then you should avoid study groups. You won’t learn anything, and you’ll probably take away from the learning that group could have accomplished.

Attend Tutoring Sessions

Make time and go to one, especially if you have a TA and they are going over topics from class. Nine times out of ten, that TA knows what questions you will be asked on the exam. Get help and pay attention. You are more likely to do well on your test if you attend a tutoring session and it’s FREE.

Take Breaks

If you have hit that ‘3:30 in the afternoon, I’ve been here since 7 am’ slump, then it’s time to take a break. You won’t retain anything you’re studying if you’re in that slump. So know when to just stop, relax, center yourself and then get back to work. If stretching is all you need, then do it. I assure you no one in Atkins will even care. They will either be too busy taking a nap, studying or crying because they didn’t show up to any lectures.

Don’t Cram Study

Speaking of showing up to class, if you made the dreaded mistake of not showing then you’re probably going to have to cram study before each exam. This final could be what either bumps you from a D to a C, B to an A or what causes you to fail the class. First, accept that not going to class was probably the dumbest thing you’ve done education wise this semester. Second, promise yourself you won’t ever do that again. Third, get to studying early. Don’t just sit there and cram the day before. You won’t do well.

Make Goals

If studying is hard for you because of a lack of concentration then create a goals and rewards system. For example, if you study for 6 hours every day leading up to finals, then you can treat yourself to that bar you’ve wanted to check out or a piping cup of coffee. The key is to create a rewards system that works with you and will motivate you to get things done. I’ve been studying hard for my classes, so yesterday I went out and bought myself a dog. A little extreme? Maybe, but guess who is going to do well on their finals? This new pet owner.

Take Time Off

Do not make your study week busier than it needs to be. If you can get finals week off of work, then do it. If you get too busy, you will find yourself stressing out over making enough time for studying and everything else. Plan stuff out. If you do not already have a planner, get a baby one that will last you until the end of the semester. Write down everything that will be due to make sure none of your tests interfere with each other.

Well, there you have it—my tips that will get you through finals. Remember that if you put in the effort, study, try hard, prioritize and maintain yourself in good health through this time of stress, then you’ll great. Pain is temporary my friends, but your GPA is forever. Happy studying and good luck!

Fall recipes: Apple Pie Quinoa

DSC_0376
Photo by Angie Baquedano

The holidays are upon us, and everyone knows what that means—food, food and more food. What is more glorious than food? The only problem with the holidays is the holiday pounds that come with it. As much as I love to indulge in Thanksgiving sweets, I might just love keeping my summer figure a bit more. So for your healthy and sweet pleasure I present to you the Apple Pie Quinoa, an excellent alternative to Apple Pie. Apple Pie Quinoa can be a dessert, a snack or even breakfast. The best aspect about it is that its super easy to make.

You probably already have the ingredients needed in your fridge or pantry, so check before you run off to the grocery store only to turn around because you’ve realized you had everything all along. I speak from experience. You will need quinoa, brown sugar, two apples, unsalted butter, cinnamon and skim milk. The great aspect about quinoa is that it is jam-packed with manganese, riboflavin, iron and magnesium. On top of all of that quinoa is also high in fiber and its one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. Hurrah for being healthy and eating well.

 

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Photo by Angie Baquedano

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided

2 apples, cored and diced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup skim milk
Directions:

  1. You will begin by cooking the quinoa as directed on the packaging. After it is done, you can place it off to the side.
  2. Turn the stove on to medium heat and place a skillet with ½ a tablespoon of butter. Allow the butter to melt.
  3. Add the diced apples to the skillet and sauté until caramelized and tender.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the apples and stir until they are all beautifully coated.
  5. Finally, add milk to the skillet stir and add the quinoa and the other ½ tablespoon of butter. Stir and serve warm.

Viola, you now have a healthy, warm and delicious treat. I added fresh apples to my plate and more brown sugar since I am big on sweets. I also added condensed milk, but just a bit since that would defeat the purpose of this healthy alternative. Also, instead of skim milk I decided to use almond milk. This may give it a bit more of an oatmeal consistency, but it was delicious nonetheless! I hope absolutely everyone enjoys this recipe as much as I did. Happy Thanksgiving and eat until you’re in a food coma while you have the chance.

Beauty Product: Too Faced Hangover RX Replenishing Face Primer

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Photo by Angie Baquedano

Ladies, I sorrowfully announce the beginning of the beauty hangover season. The end of the semester is quickly approaching and what I am now calling the “BH Plague” has begun its course of tan destruction and under eye bag hoarding.

A long night in Atkins studying your life away with nothing but a cup of coffee and your fleeting sanity is more than enough stress to cause the dreaded beauty hangover. Once you emerge back into the daylight, you look sleep deprived. All the caffeine you ingested has dehydrated your skin and any hint of color has been completely drained from your face. Halloween is way behind us, yet you’ve begun to consider changing your name to Corpse Bride.

These are just a few of the symptoms of the BH Plague, but this season a cure has been found. You can now wave goodbye to the Corpse Bride and say hello to being as radiant as Rapunzel from ‘Tangled.’

I present to you Too Faced’s newest product, Hangover RX Replenishing Face Primer. The heavens have spoken and we have been bestowed the gift of a light yet powerful beauty weapon. Infused with coconut water, probiotics and skin reviving electrolytes, you will now look as if you have had a full night’s sleep all along, rather than a half hour, open-eyed nap. Calling out to all my vegans and chemical-conscious ladies—Hangover RX is paraben free, sulfate free, vegan-friendly, phthalate free, silicone free and cruelty free.

Hangover RX can be worn alone as a nighttime moisturizer and a daytime prep/primer for your daily beauty routine. It goes great under foundation and prepares the skin for the day. Skin will now look healthier, radiant and those pores will be almost nonexistent.

It’s smooth, long lasting and light, unlike other primers that tend to feel thick and perhaps chalky or powdery. Its non-sticky formula helps your skin regain its natural, healthy tone that may have been drained right out after spending several hours with your head in a textbook.

It doesn’t cause breakouts, absorbs quickly and has a pleasant coconut scent that quickly dissipates for those who are sensitive to aromas. For $32 it can be easily found at stores such as Ulta and Sephora. I know what you’re thinking: $32 for a primer? It’s worth it!

You get 1.35 ounces of this skin-saving elixir in a tube with a pump so you can use it until the very last drop. Use it at night to wake up to healthy moisturized skin in the morning, use it again before your foundation or wear it alone with full confidence that you will always look great even if you don’t feel it. Goodbye beauty hangover, you have been eradicated.

Restaurant Review: Little Spoon Eatery

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

Located in the beautiful Myers Park area, about 25 minutes away from UNC Charlotte’ s campus, Little Spoon Eatery awaits to fulfill your Sunday brunch dreams. When I arrived, the wait was 30 minutes, but I was seated within 10 minutes. I sat on the patio facing the street and I highly recommend sitting there if you choose to visit. You would think watching cars pass by would get noisy, but it didn’t and the sound was almost therapeutic. To start off the perfect Sunday brunch, the waitress introduced herself and kindly shared background information on the café. I assure you that here you will receive the freshest of the fresh local food. Local is good people, remember that.

Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

To start off my meal, I ordered an orange juice. I expected Simply Orange because the café is obviously nice and Minute Maid just seemed like an insult, instead I got fresh squeezed. As a fellow college kid, I’m sure everyone understands my amazement. I live off of cereal and water and this waitress brought me fresh squeezed orange juice. My mother and a close family friend accompanied me to Little Spoon and they both ordered the two-hand coffee. This is not a joke, it took both hands to drink it and according to them it was the best Americano they’ve had in a very long time.

As an appetizer, we ordered the Cinnamon Toast Brulee, which consisted of brioche, cinnamon, butter and brown sugar. Anything with brown sugar is good and this did not fall short of that notion. It was absolutely exquisite and it paired well with the coffee, all for $6. For our meal, we each decided to order something different, once the food was before us we split it all into thirds to share. If sharing food does not bother you, I say follow my lead and make the most of your brunch experience.

I ordered Shashuka–do not ask me what that means because I have no idea. I was trying to be adventurous with my food selection. The dish consisted of a bowl of pomodoro, parsnip, fennel, baked eggs, parmesan and toast all for $13.

To me, it just looked like a bowl of tomato sauce with an egg and toast. I began to think maybe it wasn’t worth $13. Nonetheless, I popped quite a large spoonful in my mouth. It was an incredible mixture of flavors at first, but towards the end it packed a bit of a spicy punch. I’m not usually a spicy food fan and I generally can’t handle heat, but all I can say for this dish is it burned so good. I’d like to take this moment to apologize to the waitress for the excessive amount of water jars she had to bring over. My meal was unbelievable, but my mouth was on fire. Final verdict: worth it.

During this whole adventurous Shashuka experience, the waitress kept a friendly demeanor and kindly refilled my water and orange juice as soon as the cups looked low. She also kept up with the other customers she was attending to which was impressive, as it was a full house. As far as I saw, there was not a kid’s menu. The crowd consisted of mothers with their adult children, or couples. It was not much of a college crowd. For me, this was ideal because I find it nice to get away from campus and anything school related now and then.

Next, I moved on to my third of my mother’s dish. She got a breakfast classic, the #BEC which stands for bacon, egg and cheese. It was served on a grilled roll, and the bacon was thick cut and unlike any bacon I’ve ever seen before. I imagine this is what farm-fresh bacon looks like. It was marvelous to say the least. The egg was cooked medium so it wouldn’t become runny once we all shared it, but it is usually served sunny side up. I think the point of the dish is that it becomes runny, but we decided to do things differently. Lastly, the dish was completed with white cheddar cheese. It was amazing, and all for $9. You will not get those flavors anywhere else for that cheap–scouts honor.

After I had devoured my portion of my mother’s dish, I moved on to our friend’s meal. She ordered Hash, which was $13 and included purple and sweet potatoes, onions, bell peppers, eggs and sausage. We traded the sausage out for bacon. I advise everyone to do this because the bacon is to die for. I would say the hash is a meal that is good for someone who isn’t too hungry. It’s not that the portion was particularly small, I just don’t think it could fill someone up completely.

Overall, the restaurant was a fine pick and I am excited to go back. The atmosphere is eccentric and fun, as is the menu itself. The café likes to go by the motto, “Seasons change and so does our menu.” This means that the delectable dishes I gladly inhaled may very well be gone until next season. Do not let this scare you off. I assure you the staff is friendly, and the food will be fantastic no matter what you order. On Mondays they are closed, but from Tuesday to Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the doors are wide open almost beckoning you to come in for a bite.

Rate: 5/5