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A Collegiette's Guide to Life
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    It’s that time of the year again—no, not the holidays or New Year's, but the end of a tiring and stressful college application season. You’re almost done wrapping up college essays and you’ve turned in most of your materials, but there are a couple things left on your to-do list, including thanking teachers for the time they put into your recommendation letters. You definitely don’t want to go for a bland thank-you note; make sure they get the most appreciation possible! If you’re still unsure on how to thank them, below are some ideas to get you started.

    1. Write a handwritten thank-you note

    Instead of typing up a formal, traditional letter, why not take the time to whip out the colored pens and cardstock for a thoughtful handwritten letter? According to Kevin McMullin, author of If the U Fits: Expert Advice on Finding the Right College and Getting Accepted, it’s important to put effort into the thank-you letter as it recognizes that they did a big favor for you.

    “Don't get me wrong, sending any kind of thank-you note is better than sending nothing at all,” McMullin told Collegewise.“But if someone deserves to be thanked, don't they deserve to be thanked well? Put some effort into your thank-you note. Show the person that you recognize the fact they did a favor for you, that you sincerely appreciate the effort made on your behalf. Write it on stationary (not over email). Use capitals and punctuation (seriously, use capitals and punctuation).”

    Like McMullin explains, putting in effort means going beyond an email by writing your thanks down IRL and being sincere with your words. Make sure to mention specific things like how you totally appreciate your English teacher’s encouraging feedback on those essays, or how you’re going to major in history because you had so much fun in their class. That can really show you appreciate them in an unforgettable way!

    2. Record a thank-you video

    Another way to say thank you is by recording a sweet video that shows your teacher how much you appreciate their recommendation. You can even incorporate short messages from your family—and if you’re already in college, include some short clips of your college life from the English class that totally made you think of your teacher’s quirky essay prompts or the modern art exhibit that you know your art history teacher would go crazy for. All in all, being specific about how their letter and guidance really aided you in the application process will be sure to bring a smile to their face.

    3. Gift them something connected to a personal interest

    FYI: Gifts can be creative and memorable without breaking the bank. Sadhvi Mathur, an expert contributor at CollegeVine, explained on the CollegeVineblog that knowing little nuances about your teacher can go a long way when it comes to gifting and that the goal is to be small, but personal and perhaps related to their interests, passions, hobbies or obsessions. While you’re at it, you can even consider asking if you can help decorate the classroom. From buying some of those posters of their favorite musical artist, or even arranging some of their favorite flowers, just the simple act of striving to make their day or classroom more inviting can put a smile on their face!

    Anna, a student at a the University of California, says, "One of my teachers really appreciated it when I bought my Spanish teachers some flowers to make her day. Even though it didn't cost much, I could tell that she really loved using the flowers to decorate her desk!"

    And if you know that your English teacher is obsessed with King Lear, try getting them a coffee mug with a Shakespeare quote on it. Or if they’re a total caffeine junkie, why not get them a gift card for the local coffee shop? You can even try getting a teacher memorabilia from the university you’re attending, such as a banner or poster to show that the work they put into writing your recommendation was well worth it!

    Related: 10 Easy Homemade DIY Holiday Gifts

    4. Offer to help out in the classroom

    With your teacher’s hectic schedule, they may find themselves running short on time for important tasks. So, why not take a portion out of your day to repay them for the time they spent writing your recommendation letters?

    And if you’re worried about price, don’t fret! Instead, try paying close attention to some small details! Sally Rubenstone, a former Smith College admissions counselor, told College Confidential that as a former teacher the only gifts she truly remembered were tailored to her, like some heavy duty gummy gunk that was a much better alternative than the masking tape she used to use. So instead of spending too much money on pricey gifts, try taking the time to see what your teacher might need some help on! For example, if you know your teacher could really use a pick-me-up, gather a group of friends to help arrange multi-colored Post-It notes on their desk to show your gratitude for their recommendation letter. Leaving them a simple note of encouragement or a compliment about how their positive attitude can really go a long way.

    Besides giving your teacher small gifts to improve the classroom, consider doing tasks that take a small amount of work off their plate. Offer to help clean the whiteboards or organize papers during the break times. Even if it doesn't take much time, rest assured that they’ll definitely be able to appreciate the effort you put into helping them!

    Related: Here's How Much Teacher Recommendations Actually Matter to Colleges

    5. Make them an original playlist

    If you know they love music, why not take some time to help pick out an awesome playlist to thank them for all the help in getting to college? You can try throwing in some songs that can show your gratitude, from old throwbacks like “Kind & Generous” by Natalie Merchant, or some songs you know they’ll love, be it classical music or the soundtrack to the Broadway musical they’ve been raving about all semester. Or maybe try returning a favor to that high school teacher that always played music in the classroom by picking out some classic hits! It may sound cliché, but little nods to their interests not only show that you pay attention to them, but that you really appreciate what they’ve done for you, not just as a teacher but as a mentor!

    All in all, there are endless ways to thank your teacher, be it a care-kit filled with spa goodies, or leaving them a surprise vanilla latte you know they’ll love. Plus, you don’t always have to spend money, because after all, what matters most is that you’re able to show the deepest appreciation for being an awesome source of guidance during your college application journey.

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    Birthday parties are always exciting, especially for your closest friends and family. What better way to show your appreciation for them than by planning the entire event! Sometimes, planning your own party can be quite stressful—take the reins from your BFF so they can enjoy their special day without the hassle.

    1. Consider what type of party your friend prefers

    Loud, extravagant birthday parties aren’t enjoyable for everyone. Some people truly don’t enjoy large social gatherings, surprises, or their birthday in general. Respect your friend’s wishes and try to abide by what would truly make them happy. After all, this is for them—not you. If your friend would prefer a small hangout with a few good friends, you can try to plan that instead. If they would prefer a huge, pull-out-all-the-stops glamorous event, try to see if that is doable as well. Determine what would be the best party for this person, and follow their guidelines while being reasonable with your own budget.

    2. Decide on the location and date

    Location, location, location! Is there a certain restaurant that always makes your best friend happy? Perhaps you can plan a surprise dinner there. Or would the party be better suited in their home? Here, you can get creative and display how well you know your friend. Perhaps they’re the outgoing type and a game of laser tag with their friends is all they have dreamed about. Again, make sure you keep your friend’s wishes in mind! The date is also important because you need to make sure your best friend can actually attend this super amazing party you’re throwing. If you’re keeping it a surprise, try to be discreet about asking their whereabouts on the date you were thinking.

    Lilly, a freshman at Lehigh University has experience with this. "When I threw a surprise party for my best friend back in high school I tried to get her mom involved so she could ask her where she was going on the certain date. It was much more natural coming from a parental figure than from a friend asking with no intention of actually making plans (at least that's how she'd perceive it)."

    3. Plan the invite list

    This is such a fun part! You get to decide who will be celebrating along with you and your best friend. The people you invite should depend on the kind of party. Is this an all-night banger in NYC? Is this a family-friendly brunch in your backyard? If you’re going to hit the town, it might be a good idea to invite friends or sorority sisters: people who would enjoy the nightlife. If it’s a more casual and light-hearted event, inviting close family and extended friends seems more appropriate. Invite people that would, without a doubt, add to the positive vibes to the party—not people who would stress your best friend out. If it isn’t a surprise, you can plan alongside your friend to get exactly the list he or she would want!

    4. Order food

    A party without food is not a party at all. Is your best friend a super foodie? Do they like sushi, tacos, pasta or all of the above? Perhaps there’s a Thai place they’re always talking about that could cater the event! Or maybe your friend is a little bit more casual and traditional, and a backyard BBQ is more their style. Get some hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill! Make sure you ask if anyone has dietary restrictions or allergies because this could be a major downer on the party if they’re unable to eat most things.

    Also, what’s a birthday party without cake? Don’t forget to order a cake with your friend’s favorite flavor. You can customize what the icing says as well. If you want to be a little sarcastic, you can choose a sassy message like “you’re older” or an inside joke that you and your friend share. If you want to keep it classic, make sure the cake decorators spell your friend’s name right after “happy birthday!”

    5. Decorate according to your friend's taste

    Hit up Party City and other party supply stores to get festive! You want your friend to feel special, so throw in a birthday sash for good measure. If streamers aren’t really your friend’s vibe, make sure you get some inspiration on Pinterest to find the look that feels right—something your friend would actually pick out themselves.

    6. Plan the playlist

    What’s a party without music? Check out Spotify for specific playlists that suit the theme and mood of the party. It may be a “Late Night Chill” playlist or a “Get Turnt” playlist—it’s up to you! If you want to play your friend’s absolute favorite songs, you can create your own personal playlist for the occasion to make him or her feel extra special. You could even play one of your best friend's playlist that they created themselves. 

    Laura, a sophomore from TCNJ, says she threw her best friend a surprise 21st birthday bash. "I created a playlist of all of our favorite jams ever since we met. The playlist ended up being over 50 songs because we've just known each other so long but every time the song would change we'd get excited again. It was a nice addition to the party."

    Related: 5 Inexpensive Ways to Have a Birthday Party in College

    7. Get a gift

    Since you spent a lot of time, energy and money on this birthday party, you can take it easy on getting a super extravagant gift. Get something thoughtful that your friend will appreciate for years to come. To cut down on cost, you can even make a little handmade trinket for them to keep or go in on a gift with friends. Again, this all depends on what your BFF is like. Don’t be afraid to get creative and find some inspiration from Pinterest again.

    Kayla, a sophomore from Lehigh University says, "My best friend actually surprised me with a scrapbook of all our old pictures growing up. I still get teary-eyed whenever I stumble upon it. It's one thing to post a collage on Instagram but it's another to sit down and physically recreate and piece together fond memories. I'll cherish it forever."

    8. Get everyone in on the surprise

    If the party you’re throwing is a surprise, make sure everyone is aware so no one spoils it! You can let them know by detailing it on the invitations or in a private Facebook post or group chat that your friend can’t see. Just make sure it remains a secret! Also, don’t forget to get someone to help you bring your friend to the location at the right time. This is super important! You can ask their parents or another friend to make sure they arrive at your desired time.

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    It’s 2018 and sustainability is bigger than ever. More and more fashion companies are becoming more ethical and considering the positives that becoming sustainable will do for our world. ICYMI, sustainable clothing refers to fabrics derived from eco-friendly resources, such as sustainably grown fiber crops or recycled materials as well as refers to how these fabrics are made. According to Marie Claire in regards to ethical fashion, they stated, “green is the new black,” and we couldn't agree more. 

    The best part of ethical fashion is that you wouldn't be able to even tell the difference compared to a non-sustainable fashion brand’s clothing. Eco-friendly fashion stays up to date with trends and styles and is only just made more environmentally friendly… so why not take part in making your environment a better place? The consumption of fashion can be crucial to the environment and your fashion choices can make a huge difference. 

    Here are 3 sustainable fashion brands that produce environmentally friendly, high-quality clothing that we cannot get enough of. 

    Ash & Rose ($$)

    Ash & Rose, founded by a mother and daughter duo, is the CUTEST sustainable brand out there. Plus, their core values, being sustainability, fair labor, and empowering women, is totally something to get behind. Ash & Rose sells must-have clothing, jewelry and accessories that are oh so chic. You can shop their ethically, sustainable beautiful fashion here.

    H&M ($-$$)

    You’ve probably heard of the popular store called H&M around the world. H&M offers trendy, good quality clothing and is comparable to stores like Forever 21 and Zara; however, H&M revolves a lot of their actions around sustainability. The H&M Group has three ambitions that they always keep in mind in their sustainability strategy: 100% leading the change, 100% circular & renewable, as well as 100% fair & equal. You can shop their selection of sustainable fashion pieces here.

    AMUR ($$$$)

    AMUR, which stands for A Mindful Use of Resources uses vibrant, bold prints and chic vibes. AMUR clothing is perfect in style and gives a contemporary women fashion that creates confidence, all while being good to the environment. The sustainability of AMUR comes from the fabrics they use. Using organic fabrics and reclaimed fibers in their unique looks, AMUR takes conserving materials seriously (and we love that). 

    All of these sustainable fashion brands, plus even more, are contributing to an eco-friendly fashion industry, and you should take part in it too. Take a stand for your environment and let’s transform fashion consumption for the better. Do your research on how to become a sustainable shopper!

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

    Melania Trump Clashes with White House Staff

    Deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel and President Trump's chief of staff John Kelly are both at risk of losing their jobs due to a conflict with first lady Melania Trump, NBC News reported. Regarding Kelly, Melania allegedly told the president earlier this year that Kelly had "repeatedly turned down requests to promote some of her aides, even as Kelly's staff received promotions." 

    Melania's spokeswoman issued a statement on Ricardel on Tuesday, saying she "no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." According to CNN, a White House official confirmed that Ricardel would be fired, but it's not immediately clear when. It's also not clear what sparked the statement, although members of Melania's staff were said to be feuding with Ricardel over her trip to Africa. Ricardel was also accused by a White House official of "being dishonest about the feud and subsequently leaking stories to try to cover her behavior," CNN reported. 

    Florida Election Recounts Underway with Dems Seeking Extension

    The state of Florida is currently conducting a machine recount of votes in three midterm races: governor, US senate and agriculture commissioner. The deadline for the vote tally is Thursday, but Democratic Senator Bill Nelson — who's narrowly losing to GOP Governor Rick Scott — filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday to extend the recount for the Senate race. According to Nelson's campaign, the lawsuit would "allow all local elections officials in the 67 Florida counties the time they say is needed to finish a legally mandated and accurate recount because the race was so close."

    The pre-recount tally had Scott leading Nelson by more than 12,500 votes. However, the closest Florida race is undoubtedly between Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell, as Fried is leading by a little more than 5,000 votes (or .06 percent). Regarding the governor's race, Republican former Representative Ron DeSantis is ahead of Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by nearly 34,000 votes. These numbers could change after the recount, though. 

    Trump has weighed in on the Florida races, saying that both Scott and DeSantis should be elected. He also cited voter fraud, tweeting on Monday that "large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged." Meanwhile, there are currently four other lawsuits seeking that ballots of a variety of sorts are counted in races in different states. 

    CNN Suing Trump & Top White House Aides

    CNN filed a lawsuit against Trump and several of his top aides on Tuesday in an effort to restore reporter Jim Acosta's White House press pass after it was suspended last week. Acosta lost access to the White House after a heated exchange with Trump and then a brief altercation with a press aide in which she attempted to take Acosta's microphone but he refused. Hours later, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Acosta's "hard pass"— which grants reporters access to the White House grounds — would be revoked for an indefinite period. She also called Acosta's alleged behavior "unacceptable" and tweeted a video that appeared to be doctored of the incident. 

    "CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court," CNN said in a statement on Tuesday. "It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN's Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process."

    Judge Timothy J. Kelly has since ordered that the White House and the defendants named in the suit respond to CNN's motion for a temporary restraining order by Wednesday morning. According to The Washington Post, a hearing on the restraining order, which would temporarily allow Acosta to get his press credentials back depending on the outcome of the trial, is set for Wednesday afternoon. 

    What to look for...

    A pickle — it's National Pickle Day

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    A 27-year-old man was found unanimously not guilty for the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Ireland. What came as a startling shock to the public was what many advocates considered victim-blaming presented by the defense. Elizabeth O’Connell, representing the accused, suggested to the jury that the girl’s underwear should be considered when trying to understand the man's actions, according to The Independent.

    The Irish Times reports that O’Connell argued, “Does the evidence out rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

    This apparent use of victim blaming has sparked an uproar on social media, with the use of #ThisIsNotConsent attached to photos of underwear.

    Irish politician, Ruth Coppinger showed a pair of underwear in the chamber — to force members to acknowledge the absurdity of this form of evidence.

    The cameras cut out this incident, but she did not hesitate to display that same pair of laced underwear on Twitter with a clear message: #ThisIsNotConsent.

    ROSA (Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity) Socialist Feminist Movement has decided to hold a protest against victim blaming in Cork on Wednesday to show their forceful opposition to using what women wear, drink or say against them as victims/survivors of sexual assault.

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    Facebook announced on Nov. 8 that it was adding two more countries, Canada and Thailand, to its online-dating service after its September launch in Colombia, Business Insider reports. Originally announced at the annual F8 conference in May of this year, the dating service is targeted for people who are seeking more meaningful, long-term relationships as compared to hookups.   

    Currently only available on mobile, one of the benefits of the service is that it does not require an additional app on your device. To make a profile (which is separate from your usual Facebook profile), users will need to manually enter all of the required information and personal specifics, such as your location, gender, height, religion and whether you have children; only your age and first name will be automatically entered.

    Up to nine photos or a series of ice-breaker questions provided by Facebook are also included on your profile. An example of one of these questions is, "What does the perfect day look like?" There are only 20 options and no choice, for now, to write your own.  



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Pınar Keleş ( am

    Like all other dating sites, once you've made your profile, Facebook will use its own, unique algorithm to match you with potential dates. No one you're already friends with on Facebook will be shown, nor will anyone you've blocked. Potential matches will also be restricted to within 100 kilometers (when the site is launched in the U.S., there will be a separate equivalent in miles). 

    “We’re trying to connect people that are open to getting to know each other in the future,” Nathan Sharp, a product manager at Facebook, told Wired. “It’s all about opting-in and making sure that people are really intentional.”

    To sort through potential matches, as Tech Crunch notes, users will need to tap "Not Interested," rather than swiping through the options, as with Tinder. In addition, users cannot send a generic message to connect, but rather must respond directly to one of a potential date's photos or questions, a system reminiscent of the dating app Hinge. All of these messages will be located in a separate inbox specifically for the service rather than in Facebook Messenger. You also will not be able to send links, photos or payments for security reasons. 

    One of the major features of Facebook Dating is the ability to match with people who attend the same events or are part of the same Facebook groups. This is not a default option, however. To engage with this feature, users will have to "unlock" each event or group manually. On the upside, there are no restrictions on events or groups, whether it be a Taylor Swift concert or your college meme group. 

    Along with announcing the service's launch in Canada and Thailand, Facebook also introduced two new features. The first, known as Second Look, is reminiscent of Tinder's paid user option that allows you to undo a mistaken left swipe. In Facebook's service, users can re-review someone they already said they weren't interested in if they have second thoughts. The second feature allows users to pause their profile. This means that users can take a break from the service, say if they are in an exclusive relationship, but can re-start with their saved previous information if they want to jump back into dating. 

    It is currently unknown when Facebook Dating will reach the U.S., but with all the other dating apps flooding the app store, it's unclear how much we're missing out on. Who's ready to try yet another dating app where you can practice that perfect open liner? 

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    On Monday, The Taco Bell Foundation announced the opening of their fourth annual Live Más Scholarship, with $4 million available to students. So you can add this to the list of scholarships you're definitely applying to — after all, college is expensive AF.

    “We know that affordability is a major barrier to education, so we hope that by doubling our funding, we can double the number of doors opened for young people, and remove twice as many obstacles for innovators, creators and dreamers,” said Tina Nguyen, executive director of the Taco Bell Foundation.

    The Live Más scholarship program was created to help aspiring or current college students cover the cost of tuition and encourage them to pursue a degree. The funds will be divided between three groups of applicants, awarding $1 million to new applicants, $2.25 million through a renewal program for previous winners and $750,000 for Taco Bell employees. 

    To apply, students are required to submit a two-minute, or less, video that tells the story of their real, driving passion. Seriously, that’s it.

    The video can range from a short film, animation or just a simple testimonial. According to the scholarship website, this is not about how well you can make a film — we just want you to show us your passion and explain why you should be considered for a Live Más Scholarship." 

    The foundation wanted to think outside the box, or outside the bun if you will, and support students who are not often awarded scholarships in academics or sports, two of the main forms of aid provided to college students. 

    The scholarship application is currently open and will run through February 21, 2019, with winners announced on or around May 15, 2019.

    For all the rules and how to apply, check out their website. 

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    Our favorite foodie holiday is right around the corner and we can already taste the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie that we're going to wholeheartedly enjoy. Besides deciding on what casseroles and stuffings you'll be eating this holiday, choosing the perfect Thanksgiving outfit that's equal parts chic and cozy is a major struggle. As much as we love any excuse to get dressed up and show off our new holiday looks, a girls gotta eat. Meaning, stretchy apparel for the inevitable food baby is so essential.

    While your favorite pair of stretchy pajamas is always a classic for the Thanksgiving holiday, don't think you can't bring a sense of style to the dinner table. Here are just a few of the latest Thanksgiving-friendly looks we've been obsessing over this week from members of Her Campus's InfluenceHer Collective

    1. A soft vintage tee & boyfriend jeans are casual and comfy with just a hint of edge.

    2. Flared pants and an oversized trench wins in the comfort category.

    3. Keeping it monochrome but adding a pop of pattern on the feet makes Thanksgiving fashion easy!

    3. Layering a t-shirt and dress keeps it on-trend all while keeping it ~comfy~.

    4. Break out the teddy coat, AKA this season's hottest trend — it's about to get real cozy in here.

    5. A mid-length dress that flows in the wind paired with block kitten heels is such a go-to look for the Thanksgiving szn.

    6. Oversized sweaters + leggings = holiday outfit bliss.

    7. There's no denying a classic white tee & jeans are comfy AF. Plus, it can be taken to the next level with a camel coat on top.



    thx u, next

    A post shared by Erin Kean (@erin.kean) on

    8. Keep it casual with the fam by wearing a jean jacket, leggings & slip-on shoes.

    All looks brought to you by members from Her Campus's InfluenceHer Collective. Are you an aspiring fashion influencer or blogger? Apply to join Her Campus's community of millennial and Gen Z influencers today!

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    Your alarm clock blares. It’s 6:35 a.m. You’ve overslept after hitting the snooze button countless times – heavens know why the heck you signed up for that 7 a.m. class in the first place. Obv you want to have breakfast, but if you want to make it to class on time that means you only have about two minutes to get dressed and 15 to eat.

    You get out of bed, and then it hits you: You haven’t done laundry in a month, so what’s left of your wardrobe is basically criminal. You have an assortment of stay-at-home tees and a pair of sweatpants so faded they make you cringe. Don’t worry, though. If you don’t have time to find something else, there are so many ways you can upgrade these classic lazy-girl staples into outfits that are both stylish and comfortable.

    1. Score with a crop top

    Pair a crop top with your ratty grey sweatpants, and it feels like you’re wearing PJs while you actually looking like you tried. We stan a baggy black jogger/crop top combination for a look with super casual vibes. Wear this relaxed ensemble to class or a library study session. Black sweatpants go great with just about any crop top style and color. You could totally use something like this cute Dolls Kill set.

    If that ensemble is still too simple for you, try a more eye-catching color-block style. This set worn by blogger Mimi Nash gives us some major outfit inspo. 



    A post shared by Mimi Nash (@vintagefittingroom) on

    2. Elevate with heels

    This sounds weird, but hear us out. Heels are the fastest way to upgrade your sweatpants and tee into something a v cool New York City influencer would wear. It’s the best combination of high-fashion and athleisure – and if Rihanna did it, y’all know it looks good.

    Word of advice: Heeled sandals in black or white should be your go-to here. (Talk about a versatile shoe.) But, if heeled sandals aren’t your thing, any other style of statement sandal will work just as well.



    A post shared by V•Chic Boutique🛍 (@vchicstore) on

    3. Your ears can own it

    Add a pair of statement earrings to your outfit, and you just made sweatpants fashion. Congrats! We love a good dangly chandelier earring for that could-still-slay a fashion show vibe.

    Incorporating these is a simple way to elevate your ‘fit without having to put in a ton of effort. They upgrade any outfit because not only do they draw the eye away from the least fashionable parts of your creation, whenever someone looks at you they'll probably think you’re heading to a gala instead of class.

    4. Jean jackets for a cool-girl look

    When you’re in a pinch and need to either upgrade or downgrade your look, having a piece in your wardrobe that’s scalable is key. The jean jacket is definitely one of those pieces. A light-washed, semi-distressed blue is especially fun to pair with sweatpants. Throw on your sweats, a tee, and the jacket, and you won’t look like you just rolled out of bed.

    5. Boho chic all day

    Depending on how you style them, boho skirts can be both casual and dressy. Pairing these long skirts with a t-shirt will dress them up a bit, and it’s a comfortable outfit for when you have to sit through long lectures. Since boho skirts are a bit of a statement piece, we suggest sticking to basic colored tees— especially white tees. For lovers of the boho style, there are plenty of ways to incorporate the fashion into your daily life.

    Arhiadne, a sophomore at UPR says, “I love to pair my boho skirts with crop top tees. They’re super comfy, and on hot days they’re plenty breezy as well.”



    A post shared by ChiquiBoho (@chiquiboho) on

    6. Go bodycon

    Bodycon skirts can be paired with just about any top. And if you only have a tee shirt to pair with it, bodycon skirts can instantly transform it into a dressy option (especially when paired with those heeled sandals we talked about earlier). Bam! You'll walk into class looking just as hot, and put together, as Corissa from Fat Girl Flow. 

    7. Lace up with a corset

    Corset belts are very trendy right now. They’ve been spotted everywhere from the catwalks to the streets. These belts come in a bunch of materials and types: from leather to suede, there are belts for any occasion. If you're not convinced that this can work for you, just take a look at Rihanna rocking a plaid corset belt and basically ending us all. Now that's style.




    A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

    No matter how late you wake up or how lazy you are in the morning, having versatile and evergreen fashion staples – like heeled sandals, a black bodycon skirt, and statement earrings in your favorite colors – can instantly transform any outfit. But, you can still always stride into class in sweatpants and an old tee. As long as you’re confident, you’ll glow!

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    Get ready to strap on your highest heels, spray down your curls and slip on your most sequin-shining dress! Netflix just dropped the first trailer for Dumplin’ on Wednesday, and it looks absolutely amazing. 

    Directed by Anne Fletcher, Dumplin’ follows the plus-sized, Dolly Parton-loving teenager Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), who is the daughter of a former pageant star (Jennifer Aniston). The former pageant queen relives her glory days by hosting the Miss Teen Bluebonnet beauty pageant.

    "Bein' a bit of a celebrity around here meant that she was a little too busy for me," says Willowdean or Dumplin' as her mother calls her. "And that's when I decided enough was enough." 

    Willowdean signs up for the beauty pageant, explaining that her enrollment would be “like a protest in heels.” Her bold move starts a revolution against the typical standards of beauty and other misfits of the small Texas town follow Will’s lead and signs up.

    Macdonald and Aniston are joined by Odeya Rush as Will’s best friend Ellen, Luke Benward as Will’s love interest Bo, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Maddie Baillio as two of Will’s fellow pageant contestants Hannah and Millie, and Dove Cameron as Bekah Cotter, the favorite pageant contestant. Ginger Minj of RuPaul’s Drag Race also joins the cast to help with Will’s pageant glow up. 

    “It’s the closet thing you can get to Dolly Parton around here,” she says in the trailer as she heads to a local drag bar to change her look for the pageant — and she even receives a piece of advice from Parton via Minj: “Figure out who you are, and do it on purpose.” 

    The movie is based on the beloved 2015 YA novel of the same name by Julie Murphy. It will also feature an original song from the one and only Dolly Parton, whose music is a major part of Willowdean’s story, according to Entertainment Weekly

    Dumplin’ will be released on Netflix and in select theaters on Dec. 7. 

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    The U.S. Department of Education is set to announce new rules that will dramatically change how universities and colleges will address allegations of sexual assault and harassment on campuses. The most significant change will be the right for the accused to cross-examine their accusers, according to the Washington Post.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will release it before Thanksgiving, and even as early as this week, The Post reports. The rules will limit liability for universities and allow them to use a higher standard in assessing sexual assault and harassment claims. 

    The new proposal would reverse the Obama administration’s Title IX guidelines. It limited the interaction between accusers and the accused during the investigation process of a sexual assault case. The guidelines did not include cross examinations, but the new rules will allow it in a controlled setting. 

    According to The Post, only the lawyers of the accused would conduct the cross examination, and accusers can ask to be cross examined in a separate room from the accused. The Post also reports that accuser’s won’t be asked about their sexual history. 

    Another change includes the ability of both sides to appeal rulings — and not just the accused. Universities will also have more freedom in providing services to victims, including schedule changes and housing reassignments. Those two aspects were a major request from survivor groups, The Post reports. 

    DeVos has frequently expressed her disapproval of the 2011 Obama guidelines. Last year, she revoked it saying it favored the accusers. A version of the rules was leaked in September. According to The Post, only a few items changed from that version. 

    Schools will still be allowed to decide between “preponderance of the evidence” and “clear and convincing” evidence when assessing claims under the new rules. 

    Universities and colleges have received backlash over its response to allegations of sexual assault and harassment on campus. Many critics fear the new rules will discourage victims from coming forward or that their claims will be still ignored. Some college institutions thought that the Obama guidelines were too broad and confusing, and now these new rules will give a clear basis on how to handle allegations, according to The Post.

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    President Trump announced his support on Wednesday for a bipartisan criminal justice reform plan that would overhaul prison sentencing laws. The “First Step Act” is designed to improve rehabilitation programs for former prisoners and potentially ease sentences for non-violent crimes, like drug charges. 

    Trump backed the bill at a press conference at the White House, saying that the legislation would hopefully “make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time.” 

    No signature from Trump will happen until the bill goes through the Senate, but his approval might sway Senate Republicans further towards supporting the bill.

    “Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible,” Trump said. “And maybe it’ll be thriving, if we’re going to get something done.” 

    According to the New York Times, the bill withdraws longstanding federal policies that disproportionately affected many black inmates. It’s also one of the first overhauls for prison sentencing in decades, Huffington Post reports. 

    If the First Step Act is implemented, it will help inmates whose lives are impacted by the prison system. For instance, it will improve good time credits by “ensuring that incarcerated individuals can earn 54 days of good time credits per year, and not just the 47 days that BOP currently allows.” 

    It’ll also create incentive programs for current and former prisoners participating in programs. It allows “for 10 days in prerelease custody for every 30 days of successful participation, with no cap on the prerelease credit that can be earned.” 

    Other benefits include moving people within “500 driving miles of their families,” banning the use of restraints during and three months after a woman’s pregnancy, providing pads and tampons to incarcerated women at no cost and giving individuals a form of ID prior to release.

    But a major reform would be in expanding inmates opportunities for employment and access to rehabilitation programs. 

    “We’re all better off when former inmates can receive and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens,” Trump said.

    The legislation has already passed in the House of Representatives, and it has received overwhelming support from liberal and conservative groups. A bipartisan group of senators added more provisions over the summer after it did pass through the House. The group decreased the minimum sentence for drug-related crimes and lowered the “three strike” penalty from a life sentence to 25 years, according to Huffington Post

    Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Alyssa Milano have advocated for the bill. According to Rolling Stone, over 50 celebrities signed a letter asking Congress to sign the bill before the December break.  

    The bill would need to be signed by then, and if it does pass in the Senate, Trump will sign the bill into legislation. 

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    One of the first steps in adulthood is getting your own place and being able to afford it. Your first apartment is an exciting time; you can do what you want, design and decorate how you want and you finally have privacy. Having your own place, however, means you’re responsible for it—including fixing things that fall apart or break. It’s easy to just hire someone to fix things, but learning how to do it yourself can help you save money and teach you a new skill. Here are six things in your apartment that you can fix yourself.

    1. Clogged drains

    One of the first things that will frequently be an annoying problem is clogged drains, whether it’s the shower from washing your hair, or the kitchen sink from disposing food. This is an easy fix and there are a few ways to unclog and clean your drains. Make sure to wear appropriate safety gear and have a bucket, cloth and/or sponge available for possible messes.

    A pop-up stopper or plunge stick are the most used tools for clearing clogged drains clogged by hair. Chemical drain cleaners are also used as a first result for breaking up the clog in the drain. For deeper problems, try using a plumbing snake by removing the stopper and inserting the cable in the drain. Push and pull the cable to break up the clog. For a more natural cleanser, use a cup baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain. Wait 5-10 minutes and then follow the mixture with boiling hot water.

    2. Holes in the wall

    Another common problem in an apartment is a hole in your drywall. Anything with enough force could create a hole, but with a simple patch kit, your wall will look brand new.

    Use a self-adhesive mesh patch to cover the hole and in a crisscross pattern, using a drywall knife, spread a lightweight joint compound over the mesh patch. Let the first coat dry before adding a second coat on top. After the second layer is dry, sand the wall smooth.

    3. Scratches on wood floors

    If you’re lucky enough to have wood floors in your apartment, you’ll want to take care of them as much as possible so they continue to look brand new. It’s easy to find scratches on wood floors from moving things around, shoes, etc.

    Wipe the area of the scratch(es) with a damp cloth or towel to make sure there is no dirt or debris. Use a stain marker that is the exact color of the wood and run it over the scratch a few times. Use a clean cloth with mineral spirits to rub in the stain from the marker to remove any residue.

    4. Smoke detectors

    Ever wondered why your smoke detector makes that loud and obnoxious beeping sound? It’s because the battery needs to be replaced and the alarm should be reset.

    To change the battery, first turn off the main breaker so there is no electricity running through the smoke detector. Take the detector off its mounting and disconnect the power cable. Remove the battery, press and hold the “Test” button until the alarm goes silent, and place the new battery inside. Reconnect the power cable, place the detector back on the mounting, and turn your breaker back on. Also, if you discover the problem is not with your smoke detector, check your carbon monoxide alarm.

    5. Hanging curtains

    The fabric of your curtains should fit the mood, aesthetic and function of the room. For rooms that have multiple or bigger windows, having thinner or light colored curtains will allow more sunlight. For more privacy, you’ll want a heavier fabric that won’t allow light to come through when closed. When hanging, you’ll want to hang the rod a few inches higher than the window frame; this will create an illusion that the window is taller. Make sure your curtains are full and fall to the floor.

    6. Cleaning scorched pots and pans

    Scorched pots and pans happen all of the time and everyone has at least one. While some people will just buy new ones, there’s a way you can clean and salvage your cooking ware; you’ll need your baking soda and vinegar again for this fix. Boil water and vinegar in the bottom of the pan, remove from heat, pour out the liquids,  and use baking soda to clean the pan. For more stubborn marks, add more baking soda with a few drops of water.

    Remembering how to fix these few things will make staying on your own a little easier and save you money. If you’re a fan of DIY activities, try fixing other things around your apartment. This can also help with getting used to fixing things yourself and knowing what to do when something goes wrong.

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

    Michael Avenatti Was Reportedly Arrested On Domestic Abuse Charges

    Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels in lawsuit against Donald Trump, has been arrested on allegations of domestic violence, law enforcement said to the Associated Press

    Avenatti’s law firm later released a statement, calling the claims to be “completely bogus.” 

    “I wish to thank the hard-working men and women of the LAPD for their professionalism,” the statement said, according to Buzzfeed News. “They were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me. I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated.” 

    The Associated Press reports that the alleged incident happened on Tuesday night and was booked on felony domestic charges on Wednesday afternoon. No specific details of the alleged incident have been revealed. He was released on $50,000 bail. 

    Lisa Storie-Avenatti filed for divorce on back in November of 2017, and was not involved in the incident, according to Buzzfeed News. Avenatti’s ex-wife, Christine Avenatti-Carlin, also released a statement, saying in the 26 years of knowing him, “he has never been abusive to me or anyone else. He is a very good man.”

    His court date is currently scheduled for Dec. 5. 

    LGBTQ Asylum Seekers Some Of The First To Cross U.S. Border From The Migrant Caravan 

    LGBTQ asylum seekers from the migrant caravan are the first to reach the U.S. border from Central America. Although a large majority are still hundreds of miles away from the U.S., several LGBTQ migrants arrived in Tijuana, the Washington Post reports.  

    Thousands joined the caravan fleeing violence and persecution in their home country, including victims of gang violence, domestic violence, and LGBTQ discrimination. According to multiple studies by Amnesty International, Central American has high rates of anti-LGBTQ violence despite pro-LGBTQ laws. 

    Multiple LGBTQ asylum-seekers described harassment and discrimination from other migrants in the caravan to The Post

    “We were discriminated against, even in the caravan,” said 23-year-old migrant, Rick Dubon, from Honduras to The Post. “People wouldn’t let us into trucks, they made us get in the back of the line for showers, they would call us ugly names.” Many described being harassed and robbed by other migrants leading many to band together, according to NBC News

    NBC News reports around 50 LGBTQ migrants in the caravan between the ages of 17 to 60. 


    Victoria's Secret CEO Steps Down After Backlash From Anti-Trans and Plus Size Comments 

    Victoria’s Secret’s CEO, Jan Singer, has resigned. The news comes one week after the brand’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, said in an interview with Vogue that transgender and plus size models aren’t in the show because they don’t fit the brand’s “fantasy.” 

    Since joining Victoria’s Secret in September 2016, she’s worked to combat the brand’s drop in store sales. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she developed a “fast-fashion model” with lower prices and new styles revealed frequently. But her efforts still haven’t solved its commercial struggles. 

    The brand also faces intense criticism on the lack of diversity. Last week sparked outrage against the brand and Razek.

    “If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” Razek said in the Vogue interview. “We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell t, and we don’t market to the whole world. We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.” 

    He later apologized for his remarks on Victoria’s Secret’s Twitter account. 

    LGBTQ and plus-sized models such as Gigi Gorgeous and Tess Holiday publically condemned the brand. 

    What to Look Out For….

    Despite the non-believers, climate change is 100 percent a thing. And you know one of the ways you can help save the planet is by recycling! It’s National Recycling Day, so please do everything you can to reduce our waste. 

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    Food is an epicenter of Millennial and Gen Z culture: From social media to viral videos to waiting in line for hours for the latest food trend, restaurants are even plating their dishes more beautifully in hopes diners will notice and share to social media. While the culture surrounding food and the added excitement of Thanksgiving, Hannukah or Christmas can be easy to get caught up in this time of year, it’s also easy to forget how this food-centric, holiday culture effects people with eating disorders. estimates that of the current population, 20 million women and 10 million men will battle an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders can range from under-eating, to purging to over-eating and the mental side effects are equally as harmful as the physical. The daily struggle of choosing what to eat and when to eat is a struggle enough, but as the holidays approach the fear and anxieties are only amplified as those living with eating disorders are now forced to face their struggles with people around, and more importantly people who might be aware of what they’re going through. 

    Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State knows firsthand just how hard the battle of an eating disorder can be, and even more so around this time of year.

     “While I don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I know that holidays can be the most difficult time for anyone suffering from eating disorders," she said. "As someone who has battled with bouts of anorexia and bulimia since I was 6-years-old, I know the best thing that friends and family can do whenever they eat around an ED survivor is to ignore how much they're eating and make no mention of their weight or eating habits."

    And, of course, when in doubt, it's never a bad idea to refrain from commenting on someone's eating habits in the first place.

    "While they might be a healthy weight, they could still be struggling with the fact that they have gained weight and the implication of this weight gain can risk their progress.” 

    "Mentioning a survivor's 'healthy' weight or appearance can as be a harmful trigger," Jackson said. "While they might be a healthy weight, they could still be struggling with the fact that they have gained weight and the implication of this weight gain can risk their progress.” 

    And while progress and recovery is key, tackling a Thanksgiving meal should be done so at your own pace. Joanne Larsen, dietitian at offers.

     “People in recovery from eating disorders can decide for themselves what and how much to eat at Thanksgiving. They don't and will resist monitoring by other well-intended folks...Modeling mindful eating by not eating to excess helps reinforce that a person can select moderate portions of food and push away your plate when full.” She also adds, “A pause in eating is a good sign to stop eating and push away your plate signaling to others at the table that you are done eating. Talking during a meal when not eating is helpful in slowing down the pace of a meal by engaging people in conversation.”


    Eating disorders go beyond the pumpkin pie and second helpings of stuffing during Thanksgiving and can pinpoint underlying issues that may have been brewing under the surface. Research shows that eating disorders can be linked back to personality traits such as perfectionism, childhood trauma and low self-esteem. Therefore, the environment someone with an eating disorder finds themselves in, could be just as difficult to deal with, as the food itself. 

    Rebecca*, a sophomore in college who has battled with an eating disorder also notes that it's important to separate food from the holidays, whenever possible.

    "The goal for today is for you to enjoy that stuff. So as much as you can, don't stress about food. If you think you can conquer a fear food today, then do it, but if you're more comfortable sticking to your meal plan or any foods that you're comfortable with, then do that."

    "Remember why you used to love Thanksgiving. It was never the food, was it? You liked the food, but more importantly, you loved spending time with family. You loved cooking with your mom. You loved the warmth of the fireplace and hearing your family joke around and seeing your cousins. The goal for today is for you to enjoy that stuff. So as much as you can, don't stress about food. If you think you can conquer a fear food today, then do it, but if you're more comfortable sticking to your meal plan or any foods that you're comfortable with, then do that." 

    And her advice for those who know of someone battling an eating disorder at the Thanksgiving table? Cut the calorie, diet-culture talk.

    "Don't talk about calories. Don't act like you need to burn things off. There's no place for that at the Thanksgiving dinner," she said. "Talk about what you're thankful for. Bring love to the table. This goes regardless of whether you have a family member recovering from an eating disorder. You never know what people are dealing with!"

    Thanksgiving is a time to come together and reflect on all the wonderful things we have been given. So whether you're battling an eating disorder or know someone who is this holiday season, be mindful of yourself and others, and above all else practice self-love. The food is merely what brought you to the table, now use that table for good. 

    *Her name has been changed to respect her privacy

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    The saying, “Don’t mess with Texas,” is no where more evident than with this Texas bride who decided to celebrate the end of her 14-year long marriage by blowing up her wedding dress.

    Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler of Lacoste, Texas enlisted the help of her brother to set explosives inside her wedding dress, step back and celebrate the finalization of her divorce with a bang. 

    "It was soooo awesome. It was bigger and louder than I could have imagined." Santleben-Stiteler told Circa.  

    The idea came from the bride's father and brother who rigged the dress with $200 worth of Tannerite, an explosive material used for longer range firearms training. The dress was then set to explode with a single rifle shot.

    Santleben-Stiteler's sister, Carla told her local newspaper, Centre Daily Times, "We have a friend who is a bomb tech, and he kept saying, ‘that’s really a lot,’ like five different times, when we told him our plan. So we had to back it up."

    When the time came on Saturday night, Santleben-Stiteler pulled the trigger, hit the bullseye and the 20-pound payload was detonated. 

    The explosion was one that was so loud and powerful that Santleben-Stiteler says people could hear it from 15 miles away. 

    “On the one hand, it was like being on set of some action movie. The explosion was huge,” Kimberly said. “It was liberating pulling that trigger. It was closure for all of us."

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    This article has been syndicated from Between the Pearls, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here

    Facial rollers have become such a staple in my beauty routine during 2018. There are a lot of different facial rollers out on the market now, but the two that I have been loving are an ice roller and a jade roller. What really got me hooked on them is that they make my jaw feel better. I have had jaw problems in the past with it locking up or being incredibly sore. After using a facial roller my jaw feels so much better and I get all the other benefits too!

    First thing in the morning I use my ice roller. I keep mine in the freezer and putting something so cold on your face in the morning really wakes you up! This honestly does take some getting used to, but once you do it becomes part your morning routine. I don’t have a specific method for doing this, I just roll it all over my face since it’s so large. I use my jade roller mostly at night once I have finished my skincare routine. It helps all the products sink in better and it helps to relax my jaw muscles at the end of the day. You could keep your jade roller in the freezer too to help remove inflammation more or if you just like it to be cold. Mine stays cool enough in my bathroom that I don’t feel the need to put it in the freezer.

    The benefits

    Facial rollers are thought to improve your physical health in several different ways, including:

    • Reduce inflammation
    • Increases blood circulation
    • Depuffs skin 
    • Reduces redness
    • Helps skincare products sink in
    • Relieves tension

    How to use

    When I use my jade roller I start with the larger side along my jawline. I start at my chin and roll upwards towards my hairline. I go over the same spot three times before moving up to the next area. I go up my face until I hit my forehead and then repeat on the other side. 

    For my forehead and eye are I roll the large side of the jade roller from the middle of my face to my hairline. I do this along my forehead the go from between my eyebrows to the sides of my head. Throughout this, I am still rolling each area three times before moving onto the next.

    For under eyes I use the smaller side of the roller and start from around the bottom of my nose and roll upward. I do this in two sections to cover my under eyes and then I roll from the inner part of my undereye to the outer, towards my hairline again.

    For my neck, I just start at the center of my chin and roll down towards my collarbone. I do this rolling down and making my way on each side towards the sides of my neck. I’ll also take it onto my collarbone and clavicle where I put my neck cream. 

    Although jade rollers seem a little "gimmicky" at the beginning, once you start using it, you won't want to stop. Plus, they're available at several different price points, so it's easy to find the right one for you!

    Read the full post here

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    As the eastern United States sees some of the first bits of snow of the season, the Internet's favorite orange nightmare muppet (who is also, full-disclosure, my most favorite true-born child) celebrated the first-ever snow day of  short, terrifying life. 

    Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers' deeply uncomfortable but impossibly culturally resonant mascot, took to Twitter on Thursday to herald the coming of the "zamboni dust" that fell from the sky. He presumably lives a v sheltered, if zany, life and is too busy menacing other rival mascots to learn about the weather. But that is fine – if only because it lets us experience his firsts with the innocent, wild, googly eyes of a newborn. 

    Not unlike my gentle, simple Yorkshire terrier during his first snow storm, Gritty went on to frolic in this goddamn winter wonderland like it was the only joy he'd ever know— whimsically catching snow flakes and dancing, reminding us all of less-painful winters past and the happiness we were once (maybe) capable of feeling. 

    He then looked on all that he had scooted through and saw that it was very good. Declaring that he not only loved it but "LOVEEEEEEE[s] IT."

    Because his journey into the winter weather was so thrilling, the Weather Channel reached out about featuring his videos. Gritty gave permission, but not before asking the important, hard-hitting questions. 

    For those who aren't initiated into the pure and wholesome fandom of this mascot, Gritty (who, to be clear, may be a sports mascot, but ultimately belongs to the people) was officially welcomed by the city of Philadelphia this past fall with a resolution from the city council.

    In that resolution, they wrote that he was "a 7-foot tall orange hellion, a fuzzy eldritch horror, a ghastly empty-eyed Muppet with a Delco beard, a cross of Snuffleupagus and Oscar the Grouch, a deranged orange lunatic, an acid trip of a mascot, a shaggy orange Wookiee-esque grotesquerie, a non-binary leftist icon, an orange menace, a raging id, and an antihero. He has been characterized as huggable but also potentially insurrectionary, ridiculous, horrifying, unsettling, and absurd." 

    And if that's not our winter vibe, IDK what is. 

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    Trying to pack your suitcase when heading home for the holidays is no easy feat. There are so many things to consider: catching up with old friends, holiday dinner with the fam, parties where you might bump into your ex. Plus you'll want to save room to bring back all of the gifts and extra clothes you're storing at your parent's house.  

    Here are 9 items straight from the 'Gram that are perfect for bringing with you as you head home the holidays. 

    1. A teddy coat 

    Teddy coats are the hottest item this season... literally! These fuzzy jackets are thick enough to keep you warm all break long and perfect for snuggling in when it's cold outside. Wear your teddy coat on the plane to save space and keep you cozy all flight long.

    View this post on Instagram

    Cozy cozy cozy 🐻

    A post shared by Sarah Maberry (@sarahmaberry) on

    2. A matching athleisure set

    Maximize your suitcase space by packing a matching set that can work together or as separates. When you're at home eating holiday treats, a cute gym outfit will help motivate you to get off the couch. Also, you'll get double duty out of your favorite leggings and athletic tops outside of the gym when you're Netflix binging with the fam.

    3. A fisherman's cap

    Hide bad hair days in style by topping off any outfit with a chic hat. Plus, hats and other small accessories take up little space in your already overflowing suitcase, making them the perfect way to add versatility to the outfits you already packed. 



    Life’s better when you’re cheesin ☺️

    A post shared by Sarah Maberry (@sarahmaberry) on

    4. A party dress

    Going to holiday parties means seeing old friends and bumping into old flames. Looking your most extra will give you an added confidence boost and show everyone you're living your best life when you're away at school!

    5. Your favorite sweater 

    Limited packing room means you want to only bring home your favorite pieces. Your favorite cozy sweater will be your go-to when you're lacking outfit ideas. 



    Me once it drops below 60 degrees: 😆 Shop this sweater with #liketkit

    A post shared by McKayla (@mckaylaerinn) on

    6. Your go-to jewelry

    That family heirloom or the necklace grandma got you last Christmas are the perfect accessories to wear when you're around the family. Layer them on with your everyday look to add a special touch to the outfit. 



    velvet haze

    A post shared by N I C (@fancyandbroke) on

    7. A leather jacket

    Versatile, chic and easy to wear, leather jackets are a winter must-have. They're great for dressing up with a holiday dress or tossing on over your favorite oversized tee. 



    A PSL themed fit ☕️

    A post shared by Sarah Maberry (@sarahmaberry) on

    8.  Comfortable black boots

    You'll only have room to bring home a few pairs of shoes, so make sure to bring only the comfiest pairs in your wardrobe. A basic black ankle boot is perfect for pairing with any outfit and comfortable enough to wear during all-day holiday shopping hauls. 



    Perfect fall boots ✔️ #UOonyou

    A post shared by Sarah Maberry (@sarahmaberry) on

    9. Statement sunnies

    The secret to looking like a celeb in the airport: oversized sunglasses. After a long day of travel, hide your tired eyes with your favorite chic sunglasses. 



    I call this look ‘when was the last time I washed my hair chic’

    A post shared by Sarah Maberry (@sarahmaberry) on


    So stop stressing about what to pack and get busy looking fabulous and enjoying the holidays

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    Taco Bell has finally graced us with a full course meal inspired by their perfected spices, chicken flavors and everything chipotle. Are you looking to up your Friendsgiving game this year? Then, there’s no way you could go wrong with throwing a bit of Taco Bell flare in it.

    The menu includes four parts, with full recipes released by Taco Bell.

    1. Taco Bell Fire Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken

    This is the ultimate center of attention for any feast. Who doesn’t want a slow roasted chicken covered in Fire Tortilla Chip crumble? Show off your prowess in the kitchen and please all of your fast food loving friends.

    2. Sauce packet seasoned root vegetable purees

    For a fancier, more adult addition, there is the vegetable puree. Taco Bell provides the ever unique and addictive sauce packets which you can add to carrots, red kuru squash, parsnips and garnet yams. These are just a few of their suggestions but the sauce can be added to any vegetable of your dreams.

    3. Roasted potatoes with Chipotle Crema & Diablo Caviar

    Potatoes are the foundation of pretty much any meal, but Taco Bell is here for you to step up your game. Chipotle crema and diablo caviar just scream adulthood and luxury. Trust us, your friends will be very impressed.

    4. Special cocktail: rice & beans

    The name might deter you for a second but the play on words is fully worth it. Mix together some horchata (the rice component), any vodka of choice, and coffee ice cubes (to resemble the beans). This is definitely living mas.

    If this menu isn’t enough for you, you can also pair it with your very own Taco Bell themed sweaters from Tipsy Elves. One of the sweaters reads, “thankful for taco bell” and it is clearly very on point.

    Remember this girl that got her senior photos at Taco Bell? A true hero and icon? 

    Maybe Invite her and your Taco-loving pals to Friendsgiving this year— and celebrate this ultimate holiday combination.

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    These days, “stress” and “college” might as well be synonyms. With the amount of exams, extracurriculars and outside jobs or internships you juggle at any given moment during the semester, it’s not surprising that you might start feeling the heat eventually. So, what’s the best way to deal when stress comes knocking on your door?

    Well, you’re probably familiar with conventional self-care methods like venting to a friend or simply taking a nap, but what about giving exercise a chance? We know: Working out after a long day of classes might be the last thing you want to do, but exercise actually can positively impact your mental health.

    Of course, if you’re dealing with something longer-term than a bit of stress, like anxiety or depression, exercise alone won’t treat it—think of these as helpful supplements or temporary alleviators that should be incorporated in tandem with your other doctor-approved treatments and medications. Knowing the difference between simply feeling anxious sometimes and having a diagnosable anxiety disorder is important; if it’s the latter, visiting a mental health professional is the best step you can take. But if you’re simply looking for some fun ways to move your body, read on for the best workouts for reducing stress.

    1. A brisk walk

    While you may have been expecting something a bit more intense, a 10-minute walk can decrease your blood pressure and stabilize your mood for the next several hours, both of which will reduce your stress. We think that’s perfect if you want to take a quick study break; it’s easy to fit into your schedule and can make your whole day better.

    Instead of going at it on a treadmill, why not amble across campus and do some people-watching to get your mind off whatever it is you’re stressed about? If you’re attending school in a city, walking to a nearby coffee shop or just strolling through the neighborhood can be a great stress-reliever. After all, walking has been linked to lowering the amygdala activity in your brain, which controls your anxious feelings and stress, as Lisa M. Shin and Israel Liberzon note in their neuropsychopharmacology research. You may not class this one as a traditional “workout,” but for the lazy college girl, it might just be the boost you need to clear your head and get the blood flowing.

    2. Running

    If you want something to push yourself a bit more, college students swear by running as a great stress-busting technique. “It’s a great way to clear your mind and relax your nerves if you’re anxious or stressed,” says Audrey Lent, a fifth-year student at Cal Poly Slo. We can see why; taking your energy and putting it toward one clear goal or path will take most of your focus away from that test or that fight with your friends.

    “I like to use my anger or frustration to push myself,” adds Sierra Knoch, a student at Loyola Marymount University, “and then I end up feeling much happier and less stressed from accomplishing a new time or distance.” Having something more concrete to show for how much you’ve gotten done, such as the number of miles you’ve run, is definitely satisfying and you’ll be ready to take on your next task with gusto, whatever it may be.

    3. Dancing

    According to Everyday Health, dancing is a great way to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. We’re glad this one makes the list because what’s more fun than dancing with friends? Aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate is the best when it comes to anti-stress workouts, so something like a Zumba class is perfect for this.

    The other upside of dancing, Everyday Health notes, is the social aspect (although, okay, dancing around your room by yourself is also a hell of a good time). Socializing, especially in a fun, high-energy environment, can also serve to elevate your mood, so grab some friends and your favorite tunes and dance it up. By the end, you might have made a fool of yourself, but we guarantee you’ll be smiling and sweating, leaving you feeling less stressed and more energized to return to the #grind.

    Related: How to Figure Out If You Should Talk to Your Doctor About Mental Health Meds

    4. Yoga

    When it comes to connections between your mind and your body, there’s perhaps no better exercise than yoga. Mayo Clinic recommends yoga as a stress-relieving workout because it emphasizes inner peacefulness and physical control through different poses and breathing exercises.

    Yoga incorporates meditation, which can help you relax and reduce the amount of stress you’re dealing with—perfect for the struggles of midterm season. It also has physical benefits, like helping with your balance, strength and flexibility. Yoga is also great for beginners, or anyone of varying fitness levels, so it’s a nice way to ease into making exercise a regular part of your day.

    Yoga is ridiculously popular right now, so finding a yoga class (even on campus!) and a buddy to try it out with should be easy-peasy. If not, buy a mat and find some YouTube tutorials online; doing yoga in the privacy of your dorm room is fine as well!

    5. Kickboxing

    On the other end of the spectrum, kickboxing might not relax you in the same way that yoga will, but doing some cardio might just be what you need to knock-out your stress. American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) explains that enzymes produced by stress reduce your supply of endorphins, which can bog you down, so doing some cardio-kickboxing can release those endorphins and have you feeling top-notch again.

    LIVESTRONG notes that kickboxing comes with a wealth of other benefits, as well. Getting better at self-defense as a college student is always a good idea, and you’ll also be working out your entire body because it’s such an involved workout. We’re all about killing two (or more) birds with one stone, so you’ll definitely catch us in our local Rumble studio once the stress starts bearing down on us.

    6. Weightlifting

    A lot of the times, stress is about lack of control. Maybe you got stuck with the TA that harshly grades your papers or all of your professors who scheduled exams on the same day. College is constantly throwing things at you left and right, so maybe the best course of action is to put some control back in your hands, even if it’s small.

    It’s for this reason that Makena Gera, a sophomore at Marist College, favors one workout in particular. “I really love weightlifting,” she says. “When you’re stressed, a lot of the time you feel out of control like there are too many things going on and you can’t tackle them all. But with lifting, I feel so strong and in control. It’s a great way to just let out any anger or stress you’re feeling and use it to accomplish a goal—like finishing that final rep.” Yes, please.

    Ultimately, exercise doesn’t just have to be about burning calories and getting fit; your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and you shouldn’t shrug off your stress. These workouts will hopefully help you flex your muscles and relax your mind, so you can feel good on all counts. Even the least exercise-savvy person can find a workout that works for her, so don’t wait—grab your yoga mat, dancing shoes, a friend or whatever else you may need and get to it!

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    The touching story of a New Jersey couple helping a drug-addicted homeless veteran, who had supposedly given up his last $20 to help the couple get gas for their car, turned out to be “predicated on a lie” as the three individuals designed the feel-good story for a get-rich-quick scheme that would dupe people into donating to a GoFundMe campaign.

    The homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt, and the couple, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, allegedly conspired to create a story that would tug on people’s heartstrings, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a news conference Thursday. Bobbit, McClure and D’Amico sought to get $10,000 from the GoFundMe account, but as the story triggered an “international media blitz,” quickly garnering the page $400,000.

    The couple said that they had met Bobbit when he came to the rescue and gave his last $20 to McClure, who was stranded on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, so she could get gas for her car, ABC News reports. The couple then created the GoFundMe account to thank Bobbit and to help get him off of the streets.

    via Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office

    “The paying-it-forward story that drove this fundraiser might seem too good to be true,” Coffina said at a press conference. “Unfortunately, it was. The entire campaign was predicated on a lie.”

    “Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake,” Coffina added.

    Coffina read one of the text messages McClure allegedly sent to a friend, in which she wrote, “Ok, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn't. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff.”

    Investigators reviewed more than 67,000 text messages in the case, some of which the couple had discussed their mounting bills that they were unable to pay, CNN reports.

    According to Coffina, the couple first met Bobbit at an off-ramp near a casino they frequented about a month prior to the GoFundMe campaign going live. They went back to that spot a month later, where D’Amico took a picture of McClure and Bobbit, which would later become the face of the GoFundMe campaign.

    Coffina added that Bobbit had shared a “remarkably similar” on his Facebook page in 2012, writing that he had come across a woman who had run out of gas and had a flat tire at a Walmart in North Carolina and gave her the last of his money, CNN reports.

    “I don’t think that's a coincidence,” Coffina said.

    The trio might have gotten away with the scam, however, had Bobbit not filed a lawsuit against the couple in August, accusing them of withholding the $400,000 raised for him. Bobbit’s lawyers sued the couple for fraud, writing that the couple had bought Bobbit a camper without his consent and placed it on their property with “no access to money or food.” Bobbit’s lawyers alleged that he had only seen $75,000 of the $400,000 raised for him.

    The couple, at the time, said they were holding the money for Bobbit until he had a job and had stopped using drugs.

    Despite Bobbit’s lawsuit and the controversy surrounding the GoFundMe page, D’Amico was still thinking of keeping the scam going, including landing a book deal about the whole story.

    “He was certain the payday from the book deal they were pursuing would dwarf the money from the GoFundMe campaign,” Coffina said. “A few months later, when the dispute with Bobbitt became public D’Amico was not dissuaded. Instead, he pitched a title for the book that would encompass the controversy, ‘No Good Deed.’”

    The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the missing GoFundMe funds in September, and raided the couple’s home, seizing a BMW and other belongings.

    The money is all gone, however, with McClure and D’Amico squandering most of it on luxury handbags and extravagant trips to Las Vegas. The couple also gave $9,000 to relatives they owed money to, and then “hit the casinos hard.” According to ABC News, bank records show that the couple withdrew over $85,000 at or near casinos in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Las Vegas.

    McClure, D’Amico and Bobbit were all charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. The trio voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Wednesday, but have all since been released. They are each facing five to 10 years in prison, according to prosecutors, and are expected to appear in court on December 24, ABC News reports.

    A spokesperson for GoFundMe said in a statement that donors will receive a refund, and that the company is “fully cooperating” with law enforcement in the investigation.

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    President Donald Trump on Wednesday made the case for voter ID laws again by using a grocery store analogy to make his point — claiming that shoppers need to show their ID to buy cereal.

    “The disgrace is that, voter ID. If you buy, you know, a box of cereal, if you do anything, you have a voter ID,” Trump told the conservative news website The Daily Caller.

    As the midterm election votes keep continue to be counted for the Georgia’s gubernatorial race, as well as the recount effort for the Florida governor and senate positions, Trump has claimed that Democrats are trying to steal the election, The Huffington Post reports. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) even said last week that there was no evidence of voter fraud.

    “The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump said on The Daily Caller. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

    “If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID, ” Trump added.

    The president’s comments left many scratching their heads. Is he saying that in order to buy cereal, one must have identification on them? Or is he perhaps referencing to how some businesses require that you show your identification when paying with a check or, sometimes, with a credit card?

    It appears it might be the second one, since the president made a similar argument this past summer — that if you need identification for something as basic as buying groceries with a check, it should be required to vote.

    However, there isn’t a mandatory rule that one has to show their identification when purchasing cereal in the United States. Photo identification is required when purchasing things like alcohol, some medicines and cigarettes. According to CNN, in a small number of states, identification photos are included on food stamp cards for low income families.

    “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID,” Trump said in August. “You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”

    “The only time you don't need it in many cases is when you want to vote for a president, when you want to vote for a senator, when you want to vote for a governor or a congressman. It's crazy,” Trump said at the time.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, following Trump’s August comments, said the president was referring to alcoholic purchases.

    “If you go to a grocery store and you buy beer or wine, you're certainly going to show your ID,” Sanders said. “He’s not saying every time he went in. He said, ‘When you go to the grocery store.’ I’m pretty sure that everybody in here who’s been to a grocery store that’s purchased beer or wine has probably had to show their ID. If they didn’t, then that's probably a problem with the grocery store.”

    There is, however, well-established evidence that voter fraud is extremely rare, and as the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law says, stealing someone’s identity to vote is less likely to happen than being struck by lightning.

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    Move on over Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, because Katy Perry just gifted us with a surprise Christmas song and it’ll totally get you in the holiday spirit.

    The pop star uploaded the chorus to her new Christmas single, Cozy Little Christmas, to her Instagram account on Thursday, and it has all the dancing vibes of Carey’s classic Christmas hit, with a hint of Michael Bublé jazziness.

    The song, which was co-written by Perry and Ferras Alqais, is about not getting too caught up in the materialistic things for Christmas and just enjoying time with the ones that you love, E! News reports.

    “I don’t need diamonds, no sparkly things…’Cause you can't buy this feeling,” Perry sings in the chorus. “Nothing lights my fire or wraps me up, baby, like you do. Just want a cozy, a cozy little Christmas here with you.”

    She later adds, “I don't need anything. Take back all the Cartier, and the Tiffany’s and the Chanel. Well, can I keep that Chanel, please?”



    Bout to sleigh in an hour 🎅🏻

    A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

    The pop star hinted at the new Christmas song on Instagram Wednesday night, writing that she was “Bout to sleigh in an hour.” About an hour later, an excited Perry released a snippet of her new song, writing, “For all my friends secretly buying their tree already, SURPRISE! Christmas comes early!”

    To hear a teaser of the track, check out the Instagram post below.

    According to Hello Giggles, Cozy Little Christmas is currently only available on Amazon Music, and you can stream it with your Amazon Prime account or buy it for $1.29.

    Now, we don’t know if this new Christmas song means that Perry will drop an entire Christmas album, but I’m going to write a letter to Santa in hopes he’ll convince her to.

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    Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

    Florida Senate Race Heads to a Hand Recount

    The Florida Senate race is heading to a hand recount after a machine review of the initial vote still kept a narrow difference between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

    While the recount will keep Nelson in the race for a few more days, it might be a little harder for the Democratic candidate to beat his opponent after the machine recount yielded a few more votes for Scott, leaving the Republican candidate with more than 12,600 votes over Nelson.

    The Florida governor race, however, remained outside of the 0.25 percent legal threshold for a manual recount, meaning that former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis will likely be Florida’s next governor over Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum.

    The Senate race, however, remained within the 0.25 percent legal threshold, and is now headed to a hand recount of overvotes, where an individual votes for more candidates than allowed, and undervotes, where a voter chooses fewer candidates than allowed.

    via Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

    According to The Washington Post, the narrow margin appeared to be too much for Nelson to overcome, and Scott called for Nelson to bow out of the race. Nelson’s attorney, however, expressed confidence that the second recount, plus court cases, would give Nelson the needed boost to win the race.

    “It’s never been our view that there was going to be one silver bullet that was going to change the margin in this race,” Marc Elias, Nelson’s lead recount attorney, told reporters, adding that they have “been seeking [the manual recount] all along.”

    There has as of late been a stream of attacks by Trump, accusing the Democrats and election officials in heavily Democratic Broward County of fraud.

    “An honest vote count is no longer possible — ballots massively infected,” Trump tweeted this week.

    The scrutiny of the state’s elections system only worsened Thursday when some of the Florida’s largest counties failed to meet the 3:00 p.m. deadline on the recount, forcing the counties to stick with their pre-recount totals.

    On Thursday, Nelson also appeared to gain a legal victory when U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker ruled that thousands of voters across the state have until Sunday to resolve issues with signatures on mail-in and provisional ballots to get their previously rejected ballots to count.

    According to The Post,  the recount in Broward County will likely be closely watched. According to instructions from election officials, there will be 100 tables with two election workers, two campaign representatives and two party representatives at each table during the recount, and only election workers are permitted to handle the ballots.

    The manual recount will take place over 11-hours on Friday and Saturday, and must be completed by noon Sunday.

    California Wildfires Claim 66 Lives, With 631 Still Missing

    As crews found another body in the remnants of a burned house on Wednesday, crews fear that there will be more deaths in the destructive fires that have ravaged the state and have now claimed 66 lives.

    The Camp Fire in Northern California, which is now the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history, has killed 63 people, and seven more bodies were found on Thursday, official said.

    Officials said there were more than 631 individuals still missing in the Northern California fire zone on Thursday night, but officials are trying to track down those individuals, ABC News reports. Butte County officials have asked residents to visit the sheriff’s website to check that they are not listed on the missing persons list.

    Thom Porter, Chief of Strategic Planning for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), said that the death toll from the Camp Fire is expected to go higher as search crews inspect the nearly 12,000 structures that have been destroyed in the fire.

    "It is by far the most deadly single fire in California history and it's going to get worse, unfortunately," Porter said of the Camp Fire.

    Forty-seven of those that have been found dead have been identified, but due to the severity of the blaze, the remains of some of the missing may never be recovered, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke toured the destruction of the Camp Fire on Wednesday, and visited with firefighters still battling the blaze, ABC News reports. During a news conference on Wednesday in Northern California, Long called the fire “one of the worst disasters I’ve ever seen in my career, hands down.”

    Brown, who said the fire’s destruction “look[ed] like a war zone,” remarked that he had spoken with the president, “who pledged the full resources of the federal government” to assist in the recovery effort for the California wildfires.

    As of Wednesday, the Camp Fire was 35 percent contained.

    The Woolsey Fire in Southern California, which rapidly spread between Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, has destroyed over 500 structures and killed two, ABC News reports.

    As of Wednesday night, the Woosley Fire was 52 percent contained, with Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the Woolsey Fire calling the blaze the largest his department has had to combat in over 100 years.

    The Hill Fire, which is burning near the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, was 94 percent contained as of Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

    Trump Met With His Legal Team to Discuss Answers to Mueller’s Questions

    Over three days this week, President Donald Trump met with his legal team to discuss his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller’s questions, a source told ABC News.

    The special counsel’s questions centered around Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to sources. The year and a half long Russia investigation stems from allegations that Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign during the presidential election.

    Sources said that the president was irritated by some of the questions asked by the special counsel, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani shared those same sentiments with The Washington Post.

    “There are some that create more issues for us legally than others,” Giuliani told The Post. He said some were “unnecessary,” some were “possible traps,” and “we might consider some as irrelevant.”

    Nearly 32 individuals and three Russian businesses have been indicted by Mueller’s team on charges ranging from computer hacking to obstruction of justice, with six guilty pleas and three individuals being sentenced to prison.

    What to look out for…

    Today is National Fast Food Day! It’s time to head over to your favorite fast food restaurant and treat yo self.