Category Archives: How-To

On Trend: Spring Nails

-Rache’ll Brown

Trends aren’t just limited to clothing and accessories. Hair, makeup, and nails matter too, and this spring some easy DIY nails trends are in. From fun designs, to hues that are bright, dark, or pale, there is something to match everyone’s style. So this spring, pair white clothing with one of these nail designs to be completely on trend.

After a little research, I found the top nail trends for spring 2013, and decided to give one a try. With pops of color, two-tone nails, and metallic accents to choose from, I decided to combine a few and create a nail look that fit my style, but still kept the trends of the season in mind.

First, I had to choose my colors. I went with “Dulce de Leche” by OPI to match the natural/pale color of the season, and decided to use “Hot & Spicy” by OPI (a bright, orange-y coral) as my pop of color. I painted all of my nails (except my pinkies) the pale color, then let them dry almost completely. Next, I took some pieces of tape, and placed them diagonally across each nail. I decided to make my diagonal “pop” gradually get bigger from the pointer to the ring finger, and I ended up leaving the thumb nails just the pale color, and the pinky nails just the bright color. I chose to do this because another trend I noticed (more on celebrities than the runway) was each nail looking slightly different from the next, but all still looking cohesive as a whole. After placing the pieces of tape on my nails, I painted the uncovered portion and my pinky nails with the bright color, waited for the polish to be partially dry, then peeled off the tape. And that’s it! Cover with a topcoat, and a trendy spring nail look is complete.

If nail art seems too complicated, stick with solid colors. White nails, pastels, and bright colors are always in, and this season, dark nails are making an appearance too. Remember: in fashion, every detail down the nails matters, so grab some polish to create a polished look.

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It's All Greek To Me: How to Make Baklava

-Eleni Pappelis

Having been brought up with a Greek heritage, one thing I have come to appreciate is the great food Greeks make. Baklava is a type of honey pastry and is also a Greek delicacy that I have enjoyed my whole life. To truly call myself Greek, I baked this easy dessert!


One 16 ounce  package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts of your choice
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.

2. Chop nuts and toss them in with the cinnamon. Set that aside.

3. Unroll the phyllo dough. Cut the whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover the phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in the pan, and butter them thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top it with two sheets of dough, butter, and nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 to 8 sheets deep.

4. Using a sharp knife, cut the layers into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut it into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts.

5. Bake it for about 50 minutes, or until the baklava is golden and crisp.

6. Make the sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until the sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

7. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let it cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Duck & Cover: How To Make It Onto The FanCam

-Eleni Pappelis

Tired of being yet another face in a sea of other students just like you?

Have trouble standing out in class, around campus, or life in general?

Is it time you finally had your fifteen minutes of fame?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions it’s time for your face to finally make the big screen.  This week’s column can help you do this! This guide provides a solution to all your problems.

How to make it onto the Jumbotron at a basketball game

1.  Have a clever, synchronized dance ready to bust out with the people you go to the game with.  For those of you who have seen the State Farm fancam commercial, execution of the simultaneous is key. Watch for some inspiring moves: State Farm FanCam Commercial.

2.  Or maybe you don’t need anyone to hold you back and prefer to go solo so you can freestyle your dance moves. Wild, cliché, or simply weird will surely work.  You will probably fall under one of two categories for this option: either “Awkward White Guy Dancing” (Mr. Roboto on the Jumbotron) or “You Just Made Jumbotron History” (Livin On A Prayer Jumbotron). True fancam talent and commitment from this soloist here.

3.  If accessible, have or find a cute child to show off to the crowd.  True, the attention might be focused on the kid, but let’s face it: Who wouldn’t rather see an adorable three-year-old do funny things than a less-lovable grown-up?

4.  Guys, hide behind a group of attractive girls. Odds are the cameramen are going to be a little biased and prefer to show them and not you if you haven’t followed steps one through three.

5.  Disgustingly eat a hotdog or serving of nachos and you can end up on the regurgi-cam. Here, everyone can witness your repulsive eating habits. The regurgi-cam masterfully displays fans eating their favorite foods from the concession stand.

6.  Become a super fan with a distracting outfit, and no Jumbotron can resist showing you off.  Anyone can appreciate pride in your favorite team.

7.  Have a huge sign that is well thought-out and make sure everything is spelled correctly . . . unless you want that kind of attention. However, please be courteous with your huge poster and don’t forget that all the people sitting in the row behind you probably came here to actually watch the game.

8.  Get extra cuddly with your significant other or the cute guy/girl who’s just as into basketball standing next to you and maybe you’ll make it on the KissCam. More advice: be careful who you sit next to.  This can go horribly wrong if not planned out.

A word of caution to each of these helpful tips: you must commit.  They won’t work if you are not fully invested. You deserve to stand out.  Like mom always told you, you are a shining star and a special individual.

Do Not Try:
1.  Getting into a fight. Sporting events are reputable functions that should be appreciated and respected.
2.  Taking off your clothes. The tech team is quick enough to cut your 15 seconds of fame to less than one if they think you are going to show your stuff.  Quite honestly, if it took the fancam to make you willingly show off in front of 20,000 people, odds are it’s not just the cameramen who doesn’t want to see what you’re really made of.  Streaking down a football field, however is a completely different circumstance.

How To: Remain Calm

Sleeping student

Image courtesy of Flickr. Photo by McBeth.

-Alex Hicks

A typical Tuesday afternoon can find University of Oregon students strolling across campus, chatting casually with their friends, perhaps on their way to class or to satisfy their sweet tooth with Yogurt Extreme. But today, you would more likely find empty shells of former students, running frantically to the library, clutching their Starbucks for dear life, trying to maintain what little composure they have left in their body. This can only mean one thing: it is Dead Week.

Three times a year, college students across America are crippled by what can only be described as blind panic – the result of an entire term’s work culminating in seven days of hell. But there is no need to fear: this can all be managed through some simple ways to relieve stress.

Now, I’m not talking about the typical stress-relievers you find in a Google search – taking a deep breath and counting to ten only gets you ten seconds closer to punching a whole in the wall. I am talking about actual activities that students find helpful in retaining a sense of calm amidst the chaos.

After invasively asking a multitude of wigged-out collegiates, here is a list I have comprised of ways to tame the stress monster:

Clean Your Space
Cluttered desk, cluttered mind. Being surrounded by stacks paper, piles of unwashed and over-worn clothes, and of course that bag from Taco Bell that’s been sitting there for three days, will only add to your anxiety. Take twenty minutes out of your day to organize your space. Not only will you get the satisfaction of completing a task, but chances are you will work much more efficiently with a little bit order.

In the immortal words of Elle Woods, “exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” So before you shoot your roommate, professor, or that random dude walking by, try hitting the gym first. Getting some exercise will produce endorphins that give you a natural high, virtually melting all of your stress away. Plus, you get the added bonus of feeling like you accomplished something, even if your schoolwork is falling apart. Plug in the most catchy,
upbeat song you know (‘Call Me Maybe,’ anyone?), and you’ll be in high spirits in no time.

Get Outside
After spending hours on end in a dimly lit room hunched over a desk, getting out in nature for a while can be a welcome break (especially if you live in a ten by eight rectangle like I do). Being outside can be quite spiritual, creating a natural sense of calm. Further, the fresh air well help clear your thoughts and provide you with new energy. Grab your bike, go on a walk, or even just sit on a bench, just get outside. But don’t forget your Claritin in the springtime.

Put on “Happy Clothes”
Everyone owns that one piece of clothing that has magic powers. For some reason, whenever you put it on you are brimming with confidence and nothing can keep your mood down. My roommate last year, for example, had a purple hat with a fanny pack on the front that she dubbed “The Happy Hat.” I have a pair of bright blue socks with penguins on them (nothing says “winner” like penguins, right?). Regardless of the type of clothing, when you start to feel stressed, put it on. In fact, during Dead Week it might be smart to carry it in your backpack at all times. I’m sure nobody will judge you…at the very least, not the kid wearing penguin socks.

Distract Yourself
This one might seem self-evident, but surprisingly, very few students go about it in the right way. In moments of stress, it seems the most practical to think about nothing but the task at hand. However, when the anxiety begins to settle in, you often times lose focus, therefore reducing productivity and increasing the stress you were trying to avoid in the first place. The simple solution is to just take time to mentally recuperate. Watch a funny movie. Read a book. Turn up some classical tunes. Look up YouTube videos of ridiculously cute babies. It doesn’t matter. Do whatever you can to distract yourself for the time being, and return to a mental state of calm. This will allow you to focus and be productive when
you are ready to return to the task at hand.

Stress Eat
This is perhaps one of the most common ways to divert stress. How can you be upset when all you can think about is the bittersweet heaven that comes in the form of a Ghiradelli chocolate bar? How can anxiety get you down when your mouth is filled greasy goodness of a freshly ordered pizza? There are actually a few foods scientifically proven to reduce stress: oranges, almonds, and avocados are packed with vitamins and nutrients that give your body a natural high without the crash you often get from sugar. But if you ask me, a giant piece of garlic bread, washed down with a Diet Coke and some gummy bears, is perfectly fine.

According to a recent study, physical contact with either a pet or another human is actually proven to reduce stress. If you aren’t lucky enough to have access to a furry little companion (and can’t borrow one from a friend), it is perfectly acceptable to force your best friend/partner/roommate/fellow stressed-out stranger to cuddle with you. Not only will you get the physical affect of feeling warm and safe, you will have the emotional support of someone who knows exactly what you are going through.

Scream It Out
Last but not least, there is the good, old-fashioned rant. Nothing releases stress like screaming your frustrations out to the universe at the top of your lungs. As you bellow each of your grievances, you can almost feel them leave your body. By the time you’re done, your stresses won’t seem like such a big deal. Some might even vanish completely. But, if all that fails…

Call Mom. She’ll Fix It.
‘Nough said.

Off Campus Eateries: Ideal Date Restaurants

-Diana Roure

Is it just me or are there more couples on campus than usual, brazenly interlocking hands and making out in front of that door you really need to get into?  April showers seem to have brought a little more love to Eugene than just flowers!

Cool.  You got the girl/guy, but what do you do now?  It’s time to take them on a date!

Like most events in our culture, dating is often centered around eating.  But you can’t just go to any old restaurant.  It has to have the right vibe, can’t be too loud, can’t be too busy, and the food you eat should definitely not require any breach in table manners.  Finding a restaurant to take a new love interest can be a daunting task, so let me provide you with a little guide to Eugene’s finest eateries, fully equipped for the best date ever.

Cheap Date

Middle of the Road

 Top of the Line

All these restaurants are ideal in atmosphere and cuisine to assure that your special someone feels that much more extraordinary.  So go on, get out there!  Nothing says I like you like a delicious meal.

For a prime dating encounter, stop by Sweet Life Patisserie to continue your time together and to devour the sweetest treats in all of Eugene.

Image taken from

How to Find a New Place to Live: A Guide for the Clueless

-Sam Bouchat

That time of year has come around—it’s time to reserve your fall living situation. This will be my fourth time moving in as many years, and through hardship, annoyances, and difficultly learned lessons, I have become something of an expert at finding new places to live. Here is a simple guide to make finding your next home less stressful.

1. Determine Your Priorities

Every person has different needs in a living situation. For me, I don’t mind a long commute to campus; but I cannot, under any circumstances, live in a loud environment. Quiet and tranquility (along with price) are my highest priorities. As such, this limits my living arrangement options—this is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because I can narrow down where I want to live (areas around frats are out of the question), but bad because it gives me less options to choose from. You must figure out what is important to you, and use that structure when finding places you want to live.

2. Research Your Landlords

Utilize websites like Yelp and Google reviews to determine if your future property manager is responsible or god-awful. For instance, there must be a reason Von Klein Property Management has 17 reviews on Google, every single one of which is 1 star. But you don’t have to stop at the internet.

When I was living in my sophomore quarters, the landlord showed my place while I was there. The entire time, I was astounded that the groups to whom the place was being shown did not once ask us, the current tenants, about the rental. Talk to people who live there! You will never get a more honest opinion. And people LOVE to talk about their homes.

3. Read the Fine Print

READ. THE. LEASE. The whole lease. Every last word. Because you might end up being screwed, and you would have been warned if you had just read that last, 8 point clause. Ask questions about everything. What does “common area” imply? Who do I call for noise complaints? What’s the emergency number?

And make copies of EVERYTHING. Your lease, your checks. Write down who you talked with on the phone that promised that August rent would be half off. Keep documents, because they might be the only thing between you and a miserable year.

4. Talk to Friends

Your friends have great and awful living experiences—ask them for advice. Oh, you love where you live? How do I apply? Oh, your landlord never came to fix your dryer? I’ll be sure to avoid him.

5. Start Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to begin looking for and applying for fall apartments or houses. You’ll end up with the dregs. Find a place that you love now, and cut your stressing short. You’ll be thankful come September.

Top 5 Cheap and Easy Eats

-Whitney Barton

Most college students don’t come home after a day of classes, homework, projects, meetings, etc. with the energy and resources to whip up a gourmet dinner. So here are some of my favorite affordable, everyday ways to have a something resembling a home cooked meal at the end of a long day.

1. Spanish Rice

I love Spanish rice, but it can be a bit time consuming to make from scratch.  Out of a box though- easy.  I use Rice-A-Roni mix and alter the ripe a bit for added freshness and flavor.

  • 8 ounces canned diced tomatoes (note this is a different quantity than is provided on the box)
  • 8 ounces chopped fresh tomato (about 1 tomato)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional:  Cayenne pepper to taste

Brown the rice with butter in sauté pan (I add a little more butter than the box calls for).  Add water, seasoning packet, tomatoes and garlic.  Let come to a boil, then lower temperature and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.

2. Chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets are one of my all-time guilty pleasures.  I can’t get enough of them.  I typically buy Foster Farms, but any kind will do.  I dress this childhood classic with an aioli sauce and I have to say- it’s a match made in heaven.  And of course you have to break out the ketchup.  This is America after all.

Aioli (quick and easy version)  (French aioli, more involved)

  • ¾  cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

3. Faux Pho

Pho is one of those salty, spicy dishes that is so perfect on a cold, rainy day.  But frankly, it’s great any time of the year, and any time of day (personal theory:  it’s a valuable component on hangover cure list).  This is my inexpensive, college student take on the real thing, made with little more than ramen, and Sriracha sauce.

  • 1 package of ramen noodles (I use chicken or oriental)
  • 1 egg
  • chopped cilantro to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Sriracha to taste

Bring water to a boil, then add noodles, and spice packet.  Crack egg directly into pot and breakup with a fork.  Once egg starts to turn white, turn heat down to medium low, allowing noodles to cook to desired consistency.  Add Sriracha and cilantro.

4. Margherita Pizza

Who doesn’t like pizza?  Ordering out can be expensive and it’s always annoying when there’s a long wait.  I try to keep a frozen pizza on hand for an easy dinner option, but I like to zest it up with some fresh ingredients.

  • 1 frozen pizza (I used a thin crust Margherita Pizza by California Pizza Kitchen)
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan Romano cheese

Cut tomato into thin slices, and julienne basil.  When pizza is about two minutes from done, take out of oven.  Place desired amount of tomatoes on pizza, then sprinkle basil and cheese on the top.  Place back in oven and allow to finish cooking.

5. Jalapeño Quesadilla

I am a Tex-Mex fan.  It’s flavorful, cheesy, and tastes as if it should be enjoyed in a hot, sunny climate with a pool or ocean nearby.  This quick and easy dish is great for a light meal, or to share with a friend over lime-laden beers (… if you’re of age of course).

  • 2 tortillas
  • Shredded cheese (I used a prepackaged “Mexican Blend”)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, deseeded and julienned
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Fresh chopped cilantro

Heat butter in pan on medium to medium-high until foamy.  Place first tortilla in pan with desired amount of cheese, then add desired amount of jalapeño slices and chopped cilantro (I also sprinkle a seasoning salt and cayenne pepper).  Once cheese is almost completely melted, place other tortilla on top and flip (this typically corresponds with when the heated tortilla is crispy).  Continue to cook for a few minutes, or until other side is golden and crisp.

Bon Appétit!

How to Keep Yourself Organized

-Callie Gisler

Let’s face it. Between four classes, homework, a part-time job, hobbies, and trying to have some sort of a social life, you’re busy. College students are constantly on the move and keeping track of everything is no small feat.  From papers and exam dates to meeting with friends and visit from families, I don’t think a normal person could keep track of everything there is to do in a day.

So how do you keep yourself organized during a busy day? Here are a few useful tips to stay organized and avoid the stress:

Buy an organizer or calendar

Consider picking out a planner or wall calendar to write down dates and important reminders. You can find one at just about any store like Target or Office Depot for relatively cheap. Even one of those fancy mortarboard planners from the Duck Store are a great option. Take a look at different layouts and find out which one works best for you – daily, weekly, or monthly? My planner goes everywhere with me. It’s one of the most helpful tools I have to keep dates and tasks straight.

Make lists and keep track of things to be done

Making lists is one of the most effective ways to stay productive, and there is a little reward in crossing off something when you’re finished. Make it a habit to start writing things down. Add sticky notes to your planner or calendar to remind yourself of tasks that need to be done on a certain day.

Spruce up your workspace

Whether you work best at home or at the library, an organized workspace will definitely help you feel more productive and focused. Invest in file folders or desk organizers to keep assignments, notes, and other important papers organized. This will also help to maximize your work time and prevent you from wasting time looking for something you’ve misplaced.

Set a schedule and stick to it

If it’s hard to find time during the week to hit the gym or get homework done, designate a block of time to it. Write it down on your calendar and treat that time as though you cannot miss it – like a shift at work or a final exam. Creating this mindset will help you make dates and stick to them.

Organization is one of the most helpful skills you can have – now and in the future.  How do you stay organized? In summary: write it down, stick to it, and cross it off when it’s done. Soon enough it will become a helpful habit that will make this busy college life seem a little more manageable.

Follow Callie at @calliegisler

How to Study for Finals like a Boss

-Sam Bouchat

It’s almost finals week. Are you ready? No? Well, join the club. And enjoy some of my personal steps to ensuring an efficient and effective study session.

Midterms mean everything

Odds are that your midterm will look a lot like your final. Get a hold of that old scantron and study it! What did you get wrong? Why? Figure it out, because professors love to reuse questions. Additionally, most professors will let you see the midterm test if you go into office hours.

Flash cards, flash cards, FLASH CARDS!

Everything from foreign language to chemistry can benefit from the usage of flashcards. Na is (flip it over) SALT! 骨means (flip it over) BONE! Good job. Creating and then using flashcards is a fantastic way to memorize things. Also, a stack of index cards are a lot less daunting than a stack of textbooks.

If you can avoid cramming, do so

Cramming is wasteful—you’re studying to remember information for a single test, and then will inevitably forget it. That’s not fun! I, for one, want to remember how and why human activities are affecting fluvial systems. You shouldn’t be in class to pass; you should be there to learn. And remembering this stuff now will save you valuable time in the future!

Time Management

Be aware of your priorities. Sure, my geology final is on Tuesday while my Japanese final is on Wednesday, but I also know that my geology final won’t have kanji on it. Label each test with a priority level, and study accordingly. It will save you time, energy, and will help you mentally organize the upcoming nightmare of a week.

Make Blackboard your new best friend

If you’re lucky, your professor put some class materials online. Anything from PowerPoint lectures to the keys to the homework assignments is now a vast field of knowledge. Get to know that stuff. If your professor thought it was important enough to put into immortal online form, odds are it’s also important to know.

Once a textbook, now a canvas

Those textbooks are yours. You bought them for inflated prices and, no matter what you do or how fantastic the condition is, you will only ever sell it back as used. So use it. Mark the corners, doodle notes, put stickers on pages, stuff it with color-coded Post It notes. Highlight passages, underline captions, and draw creative crayon graphs in the margins. Even if you never open it to that page again, marking a passage or phrase will help you remember it infinitely times better than simply reading it.

Follow Sam at @sambouchat

How To Deal with Noisy Neighbors

-Callie Gisler

Apartment life can suck. This is especially true when you live below people who seem to be hosting a party every Friday night. If you’ve never dealt with a scenario like that, you can take my word for it. Eventually, apartment living will introduce you to problems with neighbors. How do you deal with the problems when they arise?

The adult solution.

By this point in our lives, we college kids have learned to solve our own problems. Adult conversations and discussions are possible without screaming and fighting…Right? Approach your neighbors during a calmer and quiet time, maybe the day after a loud night filled with partying. Remember your manners. Avoid accusations and incriminating tones, especially if you don’t know these people well. Remind them that apartment living can be loud and you’re having some difficulty dealing with the noise levels. More than likely, he or she will be happy to take your honest and civil requests to heart.

The landlord solution.

If your attempts to deal with the problem aren’t helping, don’t be afraid to turn to your landlord or complex manager for assistance. This is one of the perks of being a renter – these people exist to help solve your living problems. Let your manager know that you’re having problems with your neighbors’ noise levels. If the situation is more serious, consider calling the non-emergency line to file a noise complaint.

The college kid solution.

When all else fails, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Turn your music up a little, talk a little louder, and remind them that apartment walls are thinner than they appear. If you can hear them, they can certainly hear you. Though this solution does come with a disclaimer – you could easily piss people off. Be careful.

Apartment living is one more necessity to the college experience. And some would claim that so are the noisy neighbors that often come with it. The thumping base, the window-shaking music, and thundering footsteps will add up to cultivate that first-apartment experience. Approach the situation with a little understanding – we’ve all been “that” neighbor at some point.

Follow Callie at @calliegisler