To all dog lovers

To all dog lovers

Have you ever thought about why dogs can make us so happy?  After a long day, coming home to a dog is the best feeling in the world.  Some schools even provide dogs during finals week because they relieve so much stress.  Studies show that interactions with therapy animals, especially dogs,  can decrease stress in humans. Playing with or petting a dog can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. … Reduced stress can also benefit physical health.  Is it because dogs are so cute? Or because they’re friendly?  Or because they want to play all the time?  Here are eight reasons why dogs reduce stress..

 

  1. Just being around an animal decreases your blood pressure, which is one physical measure of stress.
  2. Our pets decrease our reactions to stressful situations.
  3. Pet owners on average get more exercise, especially dog owners.
  4. People with pets are less likely to say they feel loneliness, which is one common source of stress.
  5. Dogs help you be in the moment.
  6. Dogs lower stress by fulfilling our need for touch, which we find comforting. And what’s more, they feel the same way about it.
  7. Pets seem to help support feelings that make you more resilient at dealing with stress.  One study from psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University showed that pet owners had better self-esteem and tended to be less lonely, less fearful, less depressed and less preoccupied than people without pets — and that all of these qualities correlated with feeling less perceived stress.
  8. Finally, they make us laugh!

 

Hopefully this blog convinced you to become a dog lover if you aren’t already.  So…if your feeling stressed head over to the dog section of the pet store and make yourself at home.

Valentines Day Boycott

Valentines Day Boycott

Candy hearts, teddy bears, roses, heart shaped chocolates… yep you guessed it, Valentines Day is just around the corner!! There are two types of people on Valentines Day, you either love it or deeply hate it.  I personally can relate to loving Valentines day one year and despising it the next.

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If you’re the lovey dovey type and can’t wait to indulge in chocolate and post a picture with a gooey caption of you and your partner, no need to keep reading, go about with your happy relationship.  On the other hand, if you are looking for multiple ways to avoid Valentines Day at all costs, I’m here to save the day!  Opting out of Valentines day is easier than ever if you just follow these simple steps:

 

  1. Stay clear of Hallmarks and the Valentine themed aisles at the store.
  2. Go see a scary movie with your friends who also boycott Valentines day.
  3. Stay home alone and hibernate until the day is over and the coast is clear.
  4. Pick a different holiday to celebrate, like your dog’s birthday.
  5. Avoid all social media sites in order to steer clear of the romantic posts.
  6. Go to Bingo with your grandma.
  7. Go to the gym and run out your anger for this holiday.
  8. Do not go out to dinner. If you are really desperate for food, go splurge on some fast food because you know there won’t be any romantic dates at McDonalds or Wendy’s.

 

Follow these steps, and before you know it February 15th will be here and you won’t have to fret over Valentines Day for a whole year!  Be careful though, a relationship could sneak up on you and in the blink of an eye you could actually be looking forward to celebrating with your Valentine.

 

Ladybirding 101

Ladybirding 101

 

When you think of the phrase ‘student-athlete’, the sports that come to mind are most likely football, basketball, swimming, lacrosse, etc.  Have you ever thought about a dance team being a part of the student-athlete curriculum?  Probably not, however as a member of the Louisville Ladybirds dance team I’m here to give you a glimpse into our day to day schedule and tell you why it fits into the student-athlete mold.

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We can start with the 6am workouts, keep in mind we do not have a facility on campus so we have to wake up extra early to squeeze in that twenty minute drive to the gym.  After sprints, deadlifts, weighted squats, pushing sleds, etc. we head to class.  Paying attention is very important because we must maintain good grades or else our coach will not allow us to participate in any Ladybird related activities.  Taking a nap after class is ideal for most people, however as Ladybirds we have to keep our schedules open for appearances, community service acts, and sometimes even head to practice early to put in some extra work.  Practice starts at 8:30 and ends around 11, keep in mind that twenty minute drive to the dance studio adds forty minutes to this time frame.  In the midst of these busy days the Ladybirds perform at every home football game, most away football games, and every single home basketball game for both men and women.  We also have to make time to prepare for our national championships in April.

 

By the way, we are 15 time national champions.

 

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Preparing a different dance for every single game is hard work and takes a lot of time, patience, and most of all dedication and hard work.  With our busy schedules we still make time for school which is our number one priority.  Time management is one skill that is extremely vital to be a Ladybird.  While all of these responsibilities are time consuming and sometimes a bit stressful, the honor of being a ladybird outweighs any stress or frustration that comes along the ride.  Representing the University of Louisville is something that I will forever take great pride in.  I like to consider Ladybirds as student- athletes and I hope after reading this you appreciate that being a Ladybird is a little more than just a pretty smile and shaking your hips.

The reality of “reality” tv.

The reality of “reality” tv.

We all have that guilty pleasure, whether it’s something like The Bachelor or something along the lines of Jersey Shore.  When reality shows do so well it’s because they include drama from the main characters.  While watching your favorite reality television show I bet you have never taken the time to think about how long it took for the characters to get microphones attached to them before making a grand entrance.  Or how there always seems to be perfect lighting in every scene.  Or how drama just seems to pop up out of absolutely no where.tiot5-jamaica-07-202-rikki-hibbert-photography

 

I have been living behind the scenes of reality television for four years now and I’m here to give you a small glimpse into the true reality of it all.  With my mom and younger sister being featured on the show “Dancemoms” it has been very eye opening to me, a reality show addict.  First and foremost, most things are completely staged.  That awkward run in, or surprise guest had everything to do with producers planning it behind the scenes.  Next, behind every argument are producers telling the two characters that they have to have a confrontation, even if they are best friends and don’t want to.   I’m not telling you that reality shows are scripted, however every conversation has been thought out by producers and relayed to the audience by the characters.  Then come the interviews, while you at home are thinking that one character is saying something specific to another, that could be completely wrong.  For example, in an interview someone could be saying how gross a certain food tasted, however with the editing skills of the film crew this conversation about gross food can be made to look like the character is talking about another person, saying how gross they are.

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The moral of the story is don’t believe everything you see on reality television.  It may be extremely entertaining but it is definitely not reality.

But First, Coffee.

But First, Coffee.

As college students we are all culprits of something along the lines of “can’t function until I’ve had my coffee.”  Sometimes my day’s biggest dilemma is deciding if I want Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or Starbucks coffee, not to mention the predicament of getting it served hot or iced.  Coffee is just so inviting with its mocha swirl, peppermint twist, caramel drizzle flavors.  For some, coffee is even an accessory:

 

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For others, coffee can be excellent inspiration for a Halloween costume:

 

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For all coffee lovers if your mouth waters at the sight of a macchiato dripping with fresh caramel, showing the perfect ratio of a milk to coffee ombré, then you know the feeling of craving a bottomless amount.  With these luxury drinks being so alluring, it is immensely easy for coffee crazed customers like us to go ahead and treat ourselves with a large or venti.  However, some people don’t realize the hidden calories that indulge in these specialty coffee beverages.   That is why I’m here to deliver you some good news and bad news.

 

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Bad news:  Drinking a White Chocolate mocha from Starbucks (470 calories, 18 grams of fat) is just 30 calories less than a cheeseburger from McDonalds.

Good news:  There are healthy alternatives to coffee cream and sweeteners that knock out a ton of those nasty calories.  By choosing healthier alternatives when ordering your coffee, you can still enjoy your large caramel bruleé latte without feeling so guilty about the calories.  It’s the best of both worlds!!  I have compiled a list of healthy alternatives that can make your coffee order a little less equivalent to eating McDonalds…

 

  1. Instead of creamer: Skim, Soy, or Coconut milk
  2. Instead of sweetener: Add cinnamon
  3. Instead of regular syrups: Choose sugar free syrup
  4. Instead of a large: Order a medium or small and add espresso shots

 

For all of you coffee addicts out there I’m right there with ya.  Lets choose healthier alternatives together, CHEERS!