Ashleigh James


Niner Nation Bucket List

With graduation approaching, how many more of these do you need to do?

  • Take a picture with the chancellor. Thank him for all that he does for the university.
  • Become a campus celebrity. Get a picture of yourself on the school website.
  • Learn something unique about the history of the school. Impress your friends with your Bonnie Cone trivia.
  • Take a campus tour. Maybe you did one before you started attending UNC Charlotte, but the tour will be very different now that you’re enrolled.
  • Eat at all the dining options on campus. With so many options, you’ll enjoy every bite.
  • Complete and off-campus internship. Not only does it look great on your resume, it can be fun, too.
  • Take a class that is unrelated to your major. Learn about something that has always interested you.
  • Befriend a professor. They can become great resources and contacts later on in your career.
  • Skip a class just to sleep. Doing it just once won’t hurt anything.
  • Stay friends with someone you met at orientation. Come senior year, you’ll have lots of memories.
  • “Darty” with your friends. Set aside a Saturday to have a drunken day party for no reason.
  • Study abroad. Have new experiences in new places.
  • Go on a blind date with someone you met on DateMySchool. Because why not? Just be safe.
  • Become a member of an organization on campus. With over 350 on campus, you have plenty of opportunities to make friends.
  • Participate in a day of service event. Doing service with your fellow Niners can make long-lasting friendships.
  • Hang out in the Union for a couple hours. Even if you’re just people watching, you’ll feel one with the school.
Make sure to hit a game in every sport. Photo by Ben Coon
  • Wear your Niner gear and go to a game. Throw on one of your many free T-shirts and cheer on a team.
  • Get a picture with Norm the Niner.  Show your Niner pride and pose with our awesome mascot.
  • Pre-game and tailgate before a football game. Just make sure to drink responsibly.
  • Go to one of the teams’ away games. The Charlotte 49ers need fan support whether they are home or away.
  • Learn the Alma Mater and FIght Song. Sing along to them at all the games and campus events.
  • Pull an all-nighter for non-academic reasons. Bonding with friends is important, too.
  • Start a paper the night before it is due and turn it in on time. College is procrastination nation.
  • Cram for your exams in Atkins Library. It isn’t college if you don’t do this at least once.
The library is a staple in college life. FILE PHOTO
  • Crash a party where you don’t know anybody and make a friend. No better place to be yourself then where nobody knows you.
  •  Through trial and error, learn your alcohol limits. Please always drink responsibly and with trusted friends.
  • Spring break like in the movies. Spend all your money on a spring break trip that you will never forget.
  • Come back after graduation. You’ll miss the musk of Fretwell and the honk of geese. Donít worry, you’ll be back.


Tips for stress management

Are you losing sleep because you are worried about homework and tests? Do you feel as though there are too many demands and too much pressure on you? Dealing with stress may be challenging, but there are many ways to manage and minimize the stress in your life.

Try to be realistic. You have to realize no one is perfect, including you. If you feel as though you need assistance with something, such as schoolwork, don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.

Learn to say no. Everyone has a limit and you canít please everyone all the time.

Sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep keeps your mind and body in shape.

Don’t put too much on your plate. If you feel as though you are taking on too many things at once, you should consider eliminating a few commitments that may not be as important.

Call a friend. If you are feeling overwhelmed, call a friend. When you share some of your troubles it helps to make things feel more manageable.

Write it down. Writing things down helps put a lot into perspective. Write everything down that is stressing you out and eliminate all the things you can’t do. Don’t fret over those things, but instead focus more on the things you can get done.

Keeping a calendar can help you to better keep up with assignments and classes. Screenshot courtesy of Amanda Duke

Try to relax. Make sure to fit some time into your schedule for calm and pleasurable activities such as taking a hot bath, getting a massage, spending time with family or friends, reading or making time to enjoy one of your hobbies.

Count to ten. Take some time out to collect yourself if you find an assignment or other task overwhelming.

Have fun and make plans. Take some time to hang out with family or friends, go to a concert, get a massage or make plans for a weekend getaway. Having fun, relaxing and goofing off temporarily helps remove the feeling of stress.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 5.56.09 PM
Make plans with friends such as going to a concert in order to give you something to look forward to through a stressful time. Photo by Amanda Duke

Go for a walk. It is important to get up and move around.

Just smile. Smiling makes you happy which leads to a decrease in stress.

Think positive thoughts. The way you view things are all influenced by your attitude. By being a little optimistic, you can eliminate some of the stress you may be dealing with by making the best of your circumstances.

Don’t forget to stretch. Throughout the day your muscles start to tighten up and adding stress only makes it worse. Do a couple of yoga poses, such as the child’s pose, to stretch out your back and shoulder muscles which ache after sitting in a desk all day.

Listen to music. Music always does the trick. Listen to your favorite songs and just sit back and relax.

Take care of your body. The best way to manage stress is exercising and eating properly. When you eat well, it gives you the fuel you need to function. When stressed and on the go, it’s easy to eat unhealthy foods. Make sure you give your body the proper vitamins and minerals.

Nature Valley bars are great, healthy study snacks. MCT Campus

Breathe. Slowly inhale through your nose, hold your breath for a few seconds and exhale. If you repeat this several times, it will almost instantly help you relax and feel like you can accomplish anything.

It is important to remember that we donít have control over everything that may happen in life. When situations start to become challenging or difficult don’t react by feeling overwhelmed or becoming frazzled. Becoming overly anxious is both a physical and mental hazard. It is true that stress is a fact of life, but being stressed out is not a way of life.

Fashion alert: spring essentials

This is the season we have all been waiting for; goodbye winter, hello spring! It is time to spice up your wardrobe with bright colors and prints, any bold or neon colors will leave all eyes on you.

There are so many different looks to choose from, so make this spring all about being daring and different. This is what makes fashion fun, you have the freedom to express yourself through your wardrobe and you can take all of your favorite pieces and make a statement. With that being said, let the shopping begin.

Jump right into this spring by making sure you have all your key spring essentials. Throw your boots to the back of the closet and swap them out for your favorite wedges, flats and sandals. Don’t forget to add a bright polish on your toes to have them compliment your cute, new shoes.

photo (7)
Fun sandals are a must have this spring. Photo by Michelle Liringis


From the runway to campus, I have seen many women rock wide leg trousers. I absolutely love these pants because you can pair them with anything from a crop top, blouse or a statement tank. You can transition the wide leg trousers from a more sophisticated look to a relaxed weekend look, depending on what works for you.

High waist denim is definitely a must have!  For the ladies who are looking for a way to help elongate your frame, high waist bottoms are the way to go.Sometimes high waisted pants can be a hit or miss for curvier women, but it all depends on the color and cut of the bottoms. It is important to keep in mind while shopping for your new spring wardrobe to find pieces that will flatter your shape.

You can strut the streets this season with a trendy pleated skirt or printed trousers. You definitely can’t go wrong with pastel colors, and there are so many playful patterns to choose from, whether it is strips, floral or chevron. Don’t be afraid to make your wardrobe pop with bold prints.

When shopping for trendy outfits, don’t forget how important it is to be comfortable, so find your favorite mid or maxi skirts or dresses. If you want to go for a sportier look, mesh pieces may be what you are looking for. Depending on your style, blousy shorts, tailored trousers and light dresses are perfect for the spring, and before it gets too hot you can still have fun with layering.

Last but not least, you can’t forget the key essentials, trendy sunglasses, bold nail and lip colors, hair accessories, jewelry and a statement bag. Bring out the fashionista in you this season by accessorizing and making sure you have all your key spring essentials to make this season a complete success.

Beauty review: Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick

Spring has finally arrived, which means it’s a new season so it’s time to upgrade and bring out the new you.

Spring is the perfect season to play around with colors, so spice up your everyday look with fun shades of lipstick. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipstick comes in 68 different captivating shades, such as ‘Pink Me Up,’ ‘Plum Shine’ and ‘Red Revival’. With all various colors Maybelline offers, you will definitely fall in love with one of these stunning shades.

When it comes to hunting for the perfect lipstick there are a few questions I ponder on before I make my purchase such as, how rich is the lip color, will it nourish or dry out my lips and is it affordable?

When I came across Maybelline’s Color Sensational, I was hesitant about buying it at first, but with all the fun shades that were offered, I knew I had to try at least one. The first Maybelline lipstick shade I ever purchased was ‘red revival’ and the first day I wore it I fell in love.

When I applied the lipstick it was true to color and it glides on so easily in an even application on the lips. I personally apply a clear gloss over my lipstick for a shinier, glossy glow.If you do decide to use a gloss remember not to overdo it because you don’t want your lipstick to go from “poppin” to greasy.

One thing I did notice about this lipstick is I find myself reapplying it throughout the day, on average it last about 3-4 hours. To prevent this from happening, I suggest using a lip primer before applying your lipstick to help extend the life of the lipstick application throughout your busy day.

After purchasing my first Color Sensational lipstick I had to keep going back for more. I have been playing around with a variety of shades and I currently just purchased ‘Lavender Voltage,’ which is a bright intense purple. I think this color is perfect for the spring and it goes with everything.

Lavender voltage is the perfect color for more daring girls. Photo by Ashleigh James

I love that no matter what shade you chose it is perfect for any occasion, whether it is a night out with girls or a long day at school or work. Maybelline’s Color Sensational stunning lipstick shades are made affordable at any Ulta or drugstore.

Beauty review: Maybelline baby lips

photo (2)
Babylips lip balm eliminates dry, cracked lips that come with cold winter temperatures. Photo by Ashleigh James

Have no fear Maybelline is here! Maybelline has introduced Baby Lips, one of the best moisturizing lip balms on the market.

According to Mr. Groundhog, there will be six more weeks of winter so what better way to fight this cold weather than having a killer lip balm. Cold weather tends to cause your lips to dry out so it is important to keep them moisturized.

Before using this product I had really chapped lips, but this lip balm has worked wonders. Baby Lips comes in a variety of flavors, but I personally love Baby Lips Dr. Rescue.

Dr. Rescue is a medicated lip balm that soothes sore lips and eliminates any dryness. There are various tints and flavors, but Dr. Rescue’s Too Cool is my favorite. This lip balm has a clear shade and leaves your lips feeling amazing.

Not only does Too Cool leave a light glossiness, there is a cool, tingling sensation when you apply the minty lip balm.

I have been using Baby Lips lip balm for months now, and I can honestly say I can’t live without it. I have to make sure I keep one handy because I use it daily.

I love the tube that it comes because it doesn’t look like your average chap sticks or lip balms. Baby Lips comes in many different flavors, smells good and it lasts a long time once you apply it.

You can apply this lip balm night and day and many people love that it contains SPF which protects your lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

If you’re not a fan of lipstick, but in the mood to add a hint of color, Baby Lips Dr. Rescue comes in 6 different shades such as, ‘Pink Me Up’ and ‘Soothing Sorbet’. You are able to add a kick of color but also have long lasting moisture. There are so many different lip balms to choose from other than the Dr. Rescue line.

Baby Lips also offers various shades in its original Baby Lips line and Maybelline Baby Lips Electro lip balm.

These moisturizing lip balms are affordable and you can find them at any Target, Walmart or local drugstore. You will not be disappointed!


Valentine’s Day gift guide

Roses are red, violets are blue, who are you going to give that special gift to? Valentine’s Day is the perfect day of the year to express your love for your loved ones. You can’t go wrong with giving chocolate, flowers and a card to your special someone, but everyone knows this hallmark holiday has always been associated with these traditional gifts. Get creative this V-day! Whether that special someone is your boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, family, or maybe even yourself, make this Valentine’s Day special. Here are a few gift-giving ideas and tips.

Romantic Relationships

What is the status of your current romantic relationship? Finding the perfect gift depends on the relationship status and how long you’ve been together.

If you are in the beginning stage of a new relationship it is important not to overdo it.You don’t want your significant other to think you’re obsessed, so find a “thinking of you gift,” a gift that lets them know that you care. In the beginning stage try giving a simple piece of clothing, accessories, DVDs, favorite books or video games. If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with planning an evening doing something that you both enjoy. Spending time with your special someone can be more of a perfect gift than buying something from the mall. You could plan a movie night and rent some of the new released movies.

Are you both the outdoorsy type? An outdoors lover would love a romantic picnic at the park, a romantic V-day hike or even fishing on the lake. If you guys are a couple you have to have a least a few common interests, so take those interests or hobbies and turn them into a date they will always remember.

If you have been with your significant other for a long time, the gift can be more expensive and intimate. It is important to show them how much you care so take the time to find a meaningful gift.

Buy a gift that you always hear your loved one talking about, such as a sports team jersey of their favorite team, or if he or she is a film buff or music lover you can’t go wrong with a DVD collection of their favorite movies or tickets to an amazing concert, musical or play. You definitely can’t go wrong with jewelry and if you do decide to get flowers, many popular flowers have different meanings, so take the time to find the perfect bouquet.

The main thing to remember when trying to find the perfect V-day gift is it really is the thought that counts. If you really want to express your love for your significant other, personalize a gift, such as personalized couple’s pillow cases. You could even customize a t-shirt or a coffee mug.

Think of a special craft or create a collage or photo album of the memories you two have had together.  If Valentine’s Day is a hectic day for the both of you and you don’t have time to spend it together, try giving a booklet full of meaningful and fun vouchers, such as a voucher for a candlelit bath, alone time, end to argument, and a variety of other unique coupons that can be redeemed.

Lastly, you can’t forget about sensual gifts. Treat your significant other to an intimate dinner for two. Cook a meal that you know they will love and set the mood by putting on music and dimming the lights.  After dinner you can give your loved one a massage with scents and oils.

Family and Friends

Valentine’s Day is the time of the year to shower your loved ones with thoughtful gifts, so you can’t forget about your family and friends. If your family and friends are like mine, they don’t expect me to spend a lot on gifts, but it’s important that I give them something small to remind them how much I love them.

For the ladies in your life, you can’t go wrong with smell good gifts, such as perfumes, body-lotions or candles. Any simple and sweet gifts should be just fine. Chocolate cover strawberries are to die for! If the lovely ladies in your life are not a fan of chocolate, stay away from sweet and stick to simple. A charm bracelet or personalized gifts, such as a personalized pillow case or anything monogrammed from a robe to a tote bag should do the trick.

For the men in your life, you can purchase a Netflix subscription attached with a Valentine’s Day card via e-mail. If the guys in your life are book lovers, try a book paired with some yummy sweets, such as chocolate covered almonds or cherries.

When it comes to showering your loved ones with gifts, keep in mind that it’s the thought that counts, so it’s ok to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget. You can get creative by making home-made gifts or personalizing a gift. Here are a few ideas: make a card, write a poem, make a photo album, cook dinner or bake a tasty treat. For personalized gifts you could give an engraved jewelry box or picture frame.

Bake your loved one a tasty treat such as cookies as a personalized gift. You can even use heart shaped cookie cutters or a heart cookie pan to make them more festive. Photo by Michelle Liringis


Haven’t found Mr. or Mrs. Right? I’m sure you’re not the only one that’s going to be single for Valentine’s Day, so there’s no need to drown in your tears or loneliness. Use this day as a dedication to yourself and make it special by pampering yourself. You deserve it! Go see a movie or play, go shopping and buy that one thing you’ve been dying for or treat yourself to a day at the spa and get a massage, mani or pedi. Craving something tasty? Bring home a meal from your favorite restaurant and stop by RedBox on the way home. Show yourself just how much you care by making this day special and be your own Valentine.

Fashion alert: Valentine’s Day style guide

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so it’s time to start making plans and find the perfect outfit to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

Whether you are spending Valentine’s Day with your significant other, your best friend or maybe dedicating the day to spend time alone and treat yourself to dinner and a movie, it is important to find an outfit that not only fits the occasion but “wows” everyone in the room.

Here are a few tips to finding the perfect outfit on this Hallmark holiday.

Do throw away your red plastic earrings and your frilly heart ensemble. Find an outfit that makes you look sexy, yet sophisticated this Valentine’s Day.

You do not have to go to the mall and spend hundreds of dollars on a whole new outfit. Ladies this is the time to pull out your favorite shoes and dresses that make you feel confident and will surely have heads turning.

Do mix and match pink, red and white in your ensemble, everyone knows these are the quintessential colors for Valentine’s Day.

Depending on where you decide to spend your V-day, do wear something comfortable.

Going out on the town with the girls?

If you are anti-relationships or you and your boyfriend just broke up yesterday, take the time to spend the night with just the girls, a printed mini-dress with a cropped sweater or jacket would be perfect on a night out on the town.

Don’t forget to spice up your outfit with fun accessories, such as a sparkly clutch or headband.

Going out for lunch?

Throw on a trendy sweater with a pair of your favorite light-washed or black skinny jeans.

You can dress this outfit up or down with a pair of pumps, wedges or flats. Add a touch of glam by accessorizing with gold jewelry or a scarf.

Going on a dinner date?

This holiday is known as the most romantic day of the year so finding an outfit for a date, especially if it’s the first date, may become stressful. Just remember, don’t overdo it.

You don’t want your date pondering on the idea of whether or not he’s going to get “lucky” after dinner.

A deep shade red cocktail dress or a flowy black dress is perfect for a dinner date. You can either keep the rest of your outfit simple or accessorize with colors that will make the dress pop. Make it a point to look stunning.

Going to a party?

You know there are going to be a lot of attractive guys on the guest list so find an outfit that will have all eyes on you.

Stick with fun colors and an outfit that will accentuate your figure. Don’t forget your heeled booties; you will need something comfortable so you can hit the dance floor with a breeze.

Going to work?

Stay away from anything too bold, especially if you work in an office. You can’t go wrong with comfy red flats. If you want attire that is dressier, throw your denims in the back of the closet and pull out your pencil skirt or slacks. Accent or accessorize your outfit with the color red.

Regardless of your relationship status or where you will be spending your day, go all out this holiday by putting together a killer ensemble that will make you stand out.

There are so many looks to choose from this Valentine’s Day.

Last minute gift ideas

Wrap gifts nicely to show you put thought and effort into them, even if you bought them at the last minute. Photo by Michelle Liringis
Wrap gifts nicely to show you put thought and effort into them, even if you bought them at the last minute. Photo by Michelle Liringis

The holidays are full of fun, love, decorations and a lot of gift unwrapping, but everyone knows Christmas is hectic and one of the busiest times of the year. As you count down the days you realize it is almost Christmas day and you still have not found the perfect gift for that special someone.  Like many of us, you still have some last minute shopping to do.

There is no need to enter panic mode because you still have time to find thoughtful gifts for those left on your list. Here are a few ideas for the perfect last minute gifts.

Top 12 gifts for him:

  1. Cologne
  2. Ties/Bowties
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Gift card: There are so many gift cards to choose from but find the one you think he would love the most, whether it is his favorite restaurant or store. You can’t go wrong with an amazon, iTunes or a visa gift card.
  5. Watch
  6. Video game: Look for the hottest video games that have been newly released. Some of the top video games this holiday season are Call of Duty: Ghosts, Grand Theft Auto, Batman and NBA 2K14.
  7. Blue tooth speaker
  8. Head phones: There is always a need for headphones because many people use them nearly every day, so really nice headphones are the way to go!
  9. Mug with coffee, hot coco or tea
  10. Favorite sports team apparel
  11. Netflix subscription
  12. Shot glass: Find an awesome shot glass with a funny saying. You can’t go wrong with humor for the holidays! You could even pair the shot glass with a bottle of whiskey or sparkling cider if you are underage.

Top 12 gifts for her:

  1. Monogrammed accessories: You can monogram just about anything, such as a tote bag, hat, robe or phone case.
  2. Perfume
  3. Make-up
  4. Gift card: Take the time to find a gift card that you know she will love, such as a gift card for the movies, favorite nail salon or clothing store.
  5. Scarf: A pattern or colorful scarf is a must have and a great accessory. Trendy infinity scarves are in, so there will not be any disappointment with this gift.
  6. Throw blanket and a good book: There is nothing better than a cozy blanket and a good book on a cold night. Find a blanket that you think will match the style of their home or go for a neutral color.
  7. Jewelry
  8. Purse/wallet
  9. CD
  10. Magazine subscription
  11. Candle
  12. Comfy pajamas and slippers

There are so many gifts to choose from, you could even put your creativity to work by making a handmade gift. There is nothing more meaningful than a gift that is handmade. You could sew, knit, quilt, paint or even personalize an ornament using photos.

Lastly, you can’t go wrong with baking a tasty desert, who doesn’t love Christmas cookies?

The key to last minute shopping is to make sure your gifts don’t look last minute and don’t give something that you wouldn’t want to receive.

Stay away from giving gifts that someone may want to throw away or regift. Make sure to wrap the gift with fun wrapping paper or in a nice gift bag. When you take the time to nicely wrap a gift it shows that you put thought and time in finding the perfect gift. Shop smart and look for sales!

No shave November: to shave or not to shave?

“You don’t have a sense of pride if you don’t have facial hair as a man”, stated junior Mohammad Konfoh. So many men have reasons as to why they do or do not have facial hair.

Everyone knows about the popular “No Shave November” so how can we not talk about facial hair? If you see guys around campus that look identical to the Duck Dynasty cast members, you may be able to put the blame on No Shave November, or maybe they just love their facial hair that much.

Everyone has different reasons as to why they participate in this event or why they decide to even have facial hair. Before we begin, what exactly is “No Shave November” and where exactly did this originate?

November 1 marked the first day of the annual “No Shave November” where participants do not shave their facial hair for the entire month. It all started when a group of men organized an event to help raise awareness for men with depression and prostate cancer for 30 days, which is known as the Movember foundation.

The purpose of the campaign was for men to grow out their hair and embrace it because many patients who have cancer tend to lose hair. No Shave November and Movember are not the exact same thing but No Shave November is a concept that is used for a variety of reasons such as helping to raise awareness, donating money to charities or maybe shaving just isn’t your thing.

Throughout the month of November, you may have men who are fully committed to not shaving for the whole month and men who are partially committed. After a number of interviews around campus with guys who have facial hair, only three out of the nine said that there reason for having facial hair was to participate in No Shave November”; whereas others just cannot live without their facial hair no matter what the month is.

Reasons as to why people have facial hair vary and so do the different facial hairstyles.

There are numerous styles to choose from for men who decide to dress up their face with facial hair. Styles can range from a 5 o’clock shadow beard, a full beard, goatee or even just a moustache. Based on the look you’re going for and what style fits you best, there are many options available.

Just like different women try different hairstyles, some men love their facial hair and aren’t afraid to play around with different facial hair styles.

The same facial haircut or style may look perfect on one person, but totally different on another. Below are some of the popular facial hairstyles here at UNC Charlotte. These men have chosen a variety of different styles and various reasons for why they have chosen to rock their facial hair.

Josh Avery aka DJ Dexter Dynamite has been growing out his beard as part of No Shave November. Photo by Matt Jackson
Lenny Anderson says he grows out his beard because “I look like a twelve year old without it.” Photo by Matt Jackson
Scott Gordon grows out his beard because “It gets annoying shaving all the time.” Photo by Matt Jackson
Mohammad Konfoh says facial hair gives him a sense of pride as a man. Photo by Matt Jackson
“It’s a family thing,” says Roe Richardson of his beard. Photo by Matt Jackson
Gregory Smith has been growing out his beard for No Shave November. Photo by Matt Jackson
“[My facial hair] represents who I am!” says Anthony Tapp. Photo by Matt Jackson
Griffin Rosado has facial hair “Just because I like it!” Photo by Matt Jackson

Give back this holiday season

Grab your family and friends and give back this holiday season by participating in one of the many volunteer opportunities here in Charlotte.  Just by donating your time you can have a huge impact on the lives of others.  Let’s help make a difference! Below are a list of five great volunteer opportunities here in Charlotte. You can even check out by signing in with your niner email. This site connects you to student organizations and programs on campus where you can find a variety of opportunities and ways to volunteer.

1.     Dilworth South Kitchen First Christian Church

First Christian Church is one of the soup kitchens that offer holiday meals and lunches for people who are homeless and in poverty.

1200 East Blvd.

Charlotte, N.C. 28203


2.     A Child’s Place

This organization is privately funded for children who are homeless or at risk. For the Holidays you can donate a grocery store gift card that will help provide these children and their families with a nutritious meal this Thanksgiving.

601 E. 5th St., Suite 230

Charlotte, NC 28202


3.     Hospice and Palliative Care

This organization helps patients that don’t have neither the physical nor financial resources to celebrate Thanksgiving or unable to prepare a holiday meal. By volunteering you help prepare and deliver meals for the holidays to the homes of these families.

1420 E. 7th St.

Charlotte, NC 28204


4.     Second Harvest Food Bank

Help to stop hunger in our area by volunteering to help complete a variety of tasks, such as packing food backpacks for kids or packing food boxes. You could even give back by donating a few dollars at any local Harris Teeter.

500-B Spratt Street

Charlotte, NC 28206


5.     Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps give every man, woman and child a place to call home. Through donations and volunteering, homes and the community are built to help bring hope into the lives of others. You can participate in the number of different opportunities offered by Habitat by simply visiting the Habitat Charlotte site or even by getting involved with our very own campus chapter.

Student Government and Organizations Complex
Student Union, Room 212
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Homecoming Habitat Build, 10/9, Chris Crews, DSC_5639_tonemapped
UNC Charlotte’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter gives students opportunities to give back. Earlier in the semester, students participated in the homecoming build. Photo by Chris Crews

Get into the Halloween spirit with festive nail art

halloween nails
Sally Hansen has a variety of products to make your Halloween nail art quick and easy. Photo by Ashleigh James

Get into the spirit this Halloween and add a little spook and funk to your nails. You may not have anywhere to go this Hallows’ Eve or perhaps you think your too old to wear a costume but get in the spirit with fun nail art and colors.

There are so many festive and easy manicure ideas to choose from this holiday. Make your nails scream Halloween with designs that are more traditional such as spider webs, skulls and cross bones, ghosts, zombies, pumpkins or even a simple “boo” to express your holiday spirit. Look fabulously frightening with monster nails, such as the Frankenstein design. Sally Hansen’s Xtreme wear in green with envy, Xtreme wear in blackout and white on are perfect for Frankie face nails.

If you want to give your nails a more detailed look, such as teeth on a skull or drawing Frankenstein’s facial features, you will get the best results with nail art pens and nail art striper brushes to help clean up your designs.

Nail art pens are also perfect for creating spider web designs. Think the traditional look isn’t spooky enough? Frighten it up a little with vampire nails or blood dripping nail art.

Don’t be scared to put your skills to work. If you can’t choose one design, mix and match them by painting each nail different. To give your nails a more tasteful look this holiday, the candy corn nail design is the yummy way to go. This effortless design can be accomplished by simply using orange, yellow and white nail polish. All you have to do is paint your whole nail orange, make sure you wait for it to dry, then carefully paint a white horizontal strip at the top of the nail to create a white tip, then lastly add a yellow strip to the bottom.

For those of you who are dressing up for fright night, you can now look spook-tacular from head to toe. Complement your costume with different Halloween inspired nail colors and designs. Not only does Essie have a variety of nail colors that are perfect for eccentric nail designs, treat yourself to OPI’s Halloween nail collection. OPI’s Rock Goddess Mini Nail Set allows you to set your alter ego free this Hallow’s eve with four bold shades to help you achieve the look you are going for.

Another festive way to dress up your nails is by using glow in the dark polish. Monsters Ball Collection introduced by China Glaze includes Ghoulish Glow which is a polish that glows green in the dark. Your glowing nails will surely have head turnings at the party as you dance the night away.

If you find that creating your own nail designs is way too complicated, you can still have BOOtiful nails by painting them solid colors such as black and orange. Add a sparkle top coat for a little something extra. To spice up the solid colors even more, try applying them on stiletto style acrylic nails to make your nails scream Halloween.

Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from bright colors. Bright neon colors are perfect for anyone wearing a Retro-costume. Each nail can be painted a different color such as neon green, neon yellow and neon orange.

Another festive way to decorate your nails is by using Sally Hansen’s effects nail polish strips. These nail decals are easy to apply and there are a variety of Halloween designs, such as ghost art or zombie green. Depending on the look you’re going for, there are a variety of polish strips to choose from that will complement your costume.

Lastly, you could even give your nails a simple spooky effect with crackle nail polish.

St. Ives Apricot scrub

beauty review
The St. Ives apricot scrub comes in different varieties for different skin types. Photo by Ashleigh James

Ladies and gents, after you have had a long, hard day of constant ripping and running and it’s finally time to freshen up and relax, the best product around town to help you feel refreshed and cleansed is St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

This facial scrub leaves the skin feeling smooth and fresh after a gentle exfoliation.  We tend to put our faces through a lot of torture, from caking on make-up to sweating, so it becomes very important to take care of our skin by washing our faces properly.

When trying to find the perfect cleanser, it is evident that all cleansers are not perfect for each and every person.

Skin types and specific facial issues vary, so there are a few questions you have to ask yourself before investing in a new product.

The good thing about St. Ives Apricot scrub is it is made for all skin types and there are various apricot scrubs that aim at solving different facial issues, such as Naturally Clear, Sensitive Skin, Timeless Skin and Fresh Skin.

I have personally been using the Naturally Clear St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which aims at blemish and blackhead control. I have used this product daily for a year now and I absolutely love it.

This product not only moisturizes, softens and soothes the skin, it also smells good.  It is inexpensive and it does its job well.

Before using this product I had major issues trying to find a facial cleanser that worked best for me because I would either break out from using the product or it would leave my face feeling dry.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub works wonders for my face. I would definitely give this product five stars hands down because it gives my face a natural glow and it is very gentle on the skin. This scrub has all natural exfoliating ingredients which results in a healthier looking face.

If you are looking for the perfect facial cleanser to help cleanse and renew your face, the Apricot Scrub is a must have.

It is made affordable at any Wal-Mart, Target or drugstore for less than $4.

Don’t let your skin suffer anymore; remove all the dirt and oils with St. Ives Apricot Scrub to help create a healthier, cleaner you.

Men’s fashion guide

Attention men, first impressions are everything. The key to a good impression is making sure you always look your best.

There are a variety of styles you can chose from, whether you decide to go for the classic look, preppy, casual, or even “street style.” You can accomplish many of these looks with pieces such as statement scarves, jackets or different prints.

If you are going for the more casual look, go for a t-shirt and jeans. It may sound simple, but you can redefine simple by adding statement shoes, scarves or jackets.

You can choose from a variety of different shirt styles, such as crew necks, V-necks, baseball shirts or Henley shirts.

Depending on the occasion, you can turn casual to dressy by adding a blazer or replaceing your t-shirt with a dress shirt. You can stand out this fall by adding color or dark denim.

Men who are going for the more preppy look this fall, you can’t forget your collared shirts and khaki pants. Plaid print is perfect for your look.

You can choose from a button-up shirt overlaid with a cardigan or trench coat or you can dress up your shirt with a tie or bow tie.

These tops can be paired with either jeans or dress pants.

One good thing about button-ups is you can either dress them up or down, and there are a variety of different patterns and fabrics to choose from to fit your style.

Men going for the “street style” look are the ones who tend to play around with different styles by mixing and matching different colors, patterns and accessories.

These styles range from cargo pants and a white tee to even skinny or cuffed jeans with a jean jacket or blazer.

The men going for the street style can also be known as “hipsters” so anything that is fun and bold is perfect for you.

Here are a few last tips to be effortlessly stylish this fall. Play around with different prints or colors. Colors to try this season are burgundy, indigo, orange or ash gray. Have fun with layering by wearing a button down with a crew or V-neck sweater. You can’t go wrong with cuffed pants, colored or dark jeans, cargo pants, trousers or khakis.

Liven up your wardrobe with the perfect fall shoes such as combat boots, oxfords, hiking boots, suede ankle boots, boat shoes, moccasins or even a pair of sneakers.

Last but not least, you can make a statement with the right accessories such as watches, hats, belts, ties or even a 49er t-shirt or hoodie.

Rock your shape

Ladies, it is time to go shopping to find the perfect outfits that will make you stand out this season.  The key to successful shopping and finding the best outfits is to know your body shape.  There is more to fall fashion than just grabbing your scarves, sweaters, leggings and boots. You have to find the outfit that fits your body, and accentuates your curves the best.


Adding belts to looser fitting items accentuates an hourglass waist. Photo by Ashleigh James

A woman with an hourglass figure can be described as having curvier hips, a full chest and a waist that is slim and defined.

When finding an outfit to compliment an hourglass shape, look for clothes that can enhance your curves. Stay away from anything that is oversized, styles that make you look boxy or aren’t form-fitting. Throw away your baby doll dresses and patterns that do nothing for your body such as horizontal stripes.

The perfect tops to accentuate your shape are close-fitting blouses and tops that have V-neck or a scoop neckline as open necklines help flatter your curves. Try playing around with different fabrics such as sheer or anything that is more on the clingy side. Fitted jackets overlaying a dress or skirt with a cute top will emphasize your figure because it draws attention to your slim waist.

Pants that are high waisted are perfect for an hourglass shape. A-line skirts and pencil skirts work wonders for your figure because your hips will no longer be the main attraction.

A belt is the perfect accessory if you decide to wear a cardigan sweater or tops that may be looser. You can help define your figure by placing the belt on top of the loose material where your waistline is the smallest.

Pants and trousers that have a wider leg, waist cut jeans, stretch denim, tailored jeans or even wide leg, boot cut or flared jeans would work best. Remember to find outfits that accentuate your shape, your curves aren’t meant to be hidden so embrace them with the right pieces.

Pear shape

Dark pants paired with a light top gives a slimming effect to pear shaped girls.
Photo by Ashleigh James

A pear shaped woman is bottom heavy with wider hips and thighs and a more narrow chest and shoulders.

Those with pear shapes should find pieces that make your figure look elongated and avoid outfits that draw attention to your bottom half. Skinny jeans are not made for this body shape.

Try tops that have wider necklines, such as a boat neck, because it helps broaden the shoulders that can then balance out with your hips or diminish how full they look.

In addition, tops that are fitted and fall to the hips will accentuate your slim waist. Play around with tops that have different patterns which will make your upper half the center of attention.

A little black dress or anything in a darker shade can be overlaid with a cardigan that has a lighter color to avoid your bottom half being the main attraction.

If you are in a dressier mood and want to wear a skirt, stay away from short, tight skirts because it draws too much attention to the lower body.  Try an A-line skirt or anything loose.

An important tip for this body shape is light colors should be worn on the top and darker colors on the bottom for a slimming effect.

Look for a jacket that is waist length or tailored instead of shorter jackets. You will look less bulky and can always accessorize your jacket with fall’s number one essential, scarves.

Comfortable pants and jeans are probably the most difficult thing to find. To make your hips and thighs look lean and long, try pants with a wider leg. Darker denim is the way to go. Try shades such as blue, black and dark grey. Stay away from washed jeans, pale jeans, bottoms with stripes or anything that is too light.

Don’t be afraid to add a little color to your wardrobe, it is all in how you wear it.

Rectangle shape

Cropped tops with maxi skirts give boxy girls a more defined waist line. Photo by Ashleigh James

If your hips, bust and shoulders are approximately the same width and your waistline is not well defined, your body type is a rectangle shape, either slim or stocky.

Rectangle shaped ladies have the ability to pull off a little more than women with other shapes, but there are a few tips that will help enhance different body features. V-neck or scoop tops accentuate your bust and help make your waist look narrower.

Tops that have a high neckline, such as turtlenecks, makes your chest seem fuller. Any tops that are cropped, draped, pleated or have frills will look great but stay away from tunics and oversized tops. If you decide to overlay your tops go with a more fitted jacket, small cardigan or a flared blazer to accentuate your waist.

Dresses that are fitted at the waist are perfect because they give an hourglass look. You could even rock a cute maxi dress. If you are a slimmer rectangle shape, try to incorporate horizontal stripes into your fall wardrobe.

If you are a stockier rectangle, stay away from horizontal stripes and go for more bright colored tops paired with bootleg jeans.

When it comes to your bottom half, as stated before, you have the ability to pull off just about anything, from pencil skirts to maxi skirts.

For a curvier look, try pants that are boot-cut or slightly flared. Your shape is perfect for leggings, jeggings and skinny jeans paired with a new pair of riding boots.

If your backside is more on the flat side look for jeans that have flaps or pockets and play around with different denim washes. You could even pull off linen trousers. There are a variety of outfits and looks to choose from for women with this shape. Take advantage of this and create a unique look.

Apple shape

Apple shaped girls should stick with empire waist tops and shorter jackets to draw attention away from the midsection. Photo by Ashleigh James

The apple shape has fewer curves and is more top heavy with a larger bust and stomach.

If you are apple shaped, try to avoid form-fitting tops that may cling to your waist; you want the attention on your slimmer legs.

The perfect tops to accentuate your shape are tunics because they aren’t too tight around your midsection. Tops that have an empire waist help hide your stomach and make your chest look narrow.  Try wearing fabrics such as cotton or silk because they are less clingy and are comfortable.

Darker colors make you look slimmer. To help spice up dark tops, look for something that may have a simple design or even a cute top with a longer shirttail.

The perfect way to make your torso look longer and slimmer is V-necks. There is something about open necklines that works wonders for your body.

Don’t forget about finding the perfect jacket for this fall. Jackets that fall below the waist somewhere as far as the mid-thigh are the best for apple shapes.

You can also overlay your cute tops with a blazer or jacket worn open paired with a comfortable pair of denims.

The apple shape gives you more flexibility with pants, jeans and skirts. Dresses are perfect for showing off your legs. If you decide you want to wear a skirt try an A-line skirt to give a leaner look.

When it comes to finding the perfect jeans you have to make sure you feel and look great. To give your backside a boost, try jeans with flaps or pockets. For a more balanced look you can pair boot cut or wide leg jeans with a blouse to take attention away from your waist.

Lastly try denim with color. Wear darker colors on top and play with lighter colors on the bottom.

It is important to balance out your outfits and wear pieces that make you feel sexy yet comfortable.