Tag Archives: winter

Little White Snowflake

“Little white snowflakes falling on the pale white skin.” Photo from: https://writinginnorthnorfolk.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/snowflake-tears.jpg

Little white snowflake falling from the sky,
Little white sparkles falling on the curls.
White flakes hanging from the lashes,
Light blue eyes watching the gray clouds go by.
Watching the little white snowflakes falling all around,
One, Two, Three, time to fall down.
All the little white snowflakes acting as a bed,
Nice, soft, and very cold.
Little white snowflakes falling on the pale white skin.

The Life of A College Dog

Iris, an Austrailian Shepherd/Catahoula Cur mix, just turned into a one-year-old pupper on January 25th, 2017. I adopted her at four weeks old. Since then, she has grown into a stunning, albeit sometimes vexing, addition to my family. Alongside her three kitten siblings, Iris is ready for anything. This is the journey of a college dog, week by week.

Iris lets me know she's ready to go.
Good morning!

Iris wakes me before the alarm, shoving her leash in my face, demanding to start the day. The screech of a whiny dog isn’t the most comforting thing to be woken up by, but it’s better than poop on the floor. Always stay positive!

Iris poses perfectly for a candid shot in front of Young Hall.
Iris poses perfectly for a shot in front of Young Hall.

Following her wait for mom, Iris goes for a walk around campus. The sun is shining, the breeze is careful, and Iris is feeling fresh. She runs around Moffett quad and then rests in front of Young Hall, which makes for a great candid shot.

Iris showing her love for pork at Due South BBQ
Iris showing her love for pork at Due South BBQ

If you don’t like barbecue, leave now. Iris doesn’t need that negativity in her life.

Iris's best friend accompanies us on our journey for quality BBQ.
Iris’s best friend accompanied us on our journey for quality BBQ.

After begging for a taste of our food, Iris and her BFF pose for a photo with a giant pig BBQ pit.

Love story between a waterfall and a pupper.
Love story between a waterfall and a pupper.

Fast forward past the disaster of having to tear her away from the smell of cooking food. We find ourselves at Falls Ridge nature preserve. I cannot stress to you the difficulties I faced while taking this photo. Picture yourself splashed by mud, almost trampled, and herded into the water to play. After running around for 20 minutes (no joke), she finally sat for a beautiful nature shot.

Falls Ridge features an 80-foot waterfall, varieties of plant and marine life, and great hammocking spots. So, you should visit. But wait, there’s more!

Iris enjoying her second hike at Ellett Valley Nature Trail in Christiansburg, VA.
Iris enjoying her second hike at Ellett Valley Nature Trail in Christiansburg, VA.

For the small price of one more minute of your day, you can see more cute pictures of my pupper!
Iris’s parents, being dumb college kids, forgot water and had to go to the gas station. We noticed Ellett Valley Nature Trail, secluded and small. Why the hell not, eh? Iris seemed to love the smells and environment.

BFF in hand, she's ready for dinner and a long nap.
BFF in hand, she’s ready for dinner and a long nap.

Perfect end to a perfect day. Let sleeping dogs lie!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings

Christmas music: can you really overplay it?

As soon as November first rolls around, you start to hear it. It starts off  playing in drug stores and maybe the occasional Walmart, but as Thanksgiving gets closer, it becomes nearly impossible to so much as turn on a car radio without having the cheery Christmas hits fill your vehicle.

The verdict is split. Some people wish Christmas music would be kept safely in the confines of the week leading up to the big holiday, while others want to get their “Jingle Bell Rock” on the moment the leaves start to turn color. Those annoyed by the Christmas hits usually have the same complaint- it’s not that they dislike the music but it’s simply overplayed. They get annoyed by Christmas music the same way you groan every time you can’t escape Adele’s “Hello”, no matter how many times you change the radio station.

While I myself turn on the “all Christmas, all the time” radio station the second it starts up each year, I understand why those who find themselves cringing every time they walk into a department store in the November- December time period feel the way they do.

After all, Christmas music is essentially the same handful of songs on repeat just performed in different ways by different artists. Seriously, if you have one Christmas album, you have them all. Sure there are some original songs that are always enjoyable, but most of the time you can bet on hearing “Winter Wonderland” or “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” several times in one sitting.

For those of you who still can’t understand the plight of these tortured souls, imagine hearing today’s hits, “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez, or “Hello” by Adele played on an infinite, cheery loop, each recording played by a different artist who tries to change vocal inflections here or there but really never strays from the original track. Pretty gruesome sounding, right?

If you, like me, love Christmas so much that even Alvin and the Chipmunks’ versions of the classic songs don’t bother you, then great, but if you know people who are annoyed by the holiday music, maybe change up your playlist just a tad when you invite them over.

Brace yourself for winter with these health tips

Winter is well on it’s way, and we all know how the cold weather affects our bodies. Follow these tips to prepare and make it through the freezing winter that’s heading straight towards us.

Stay protected from the wear and tear of winter. Graphic from NY Daily News
Stay protected from the wear and tear of winter. Graphic from NY Daily News

Stay moisturized. To prevent chapping hands, use soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free hand sanitizers. When you do wash your hands, slather on lotion immediately after. Use a simple mix of honey and sugar — the honey reduces inflammation while the sugar increases circulation in skin — to soften dry patches on rough elbows and knees. Before putting on moisturizer, exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator.

For your feet — before bed, use a scrub or pumice stone to buff away calluses, then apply a thick moisturizer and wear socks overnight.

Keep your showers short — long exposure to hot water can strip your skin and hair of moisture.

Keep chapstick handy — but if your chapped lips get too flaky, take a clean toothbrush and gents exfoliate to remove excess skin. Then, apply beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin and keep reapplying throughout the day. For seriously dry lips, apply honey or Vaseline to your lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water. 

Slather on sunscreen — winter sun and sun glare can damage your skin. Apply 30 minutes before going outside, and remember to reapply. 

When heading outside, put on a hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid windburn and prolonged exposure to the cold air.

Apply olive oil or lotion containing lanolin to nails before bed and sleep with gloves on — to protect your nails from breaks and tears. Clear nail polish can protect brittle nails as well.

Buy foods full of healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids — such as fish, nuts, olive oil, flax, sardines, and avocados.

Also buy vitamin C-rich produce like citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C helps boost the body’s production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin and other connective tissues. Add biotin-rich foods (Vitamin B7) to your diet, vegetables like carrots, and protein like nuts and fish. Consider buying Biotin in supplement form.

Use humidifiers throughout your home, to disperse moisture more evenly — to help prevent your skin from drying out.

Drink plenty of water. Water is good for your overall health.

Keep your stress to a minimum. Studies have linked high stress levels to susceptibility to catching colds and the flu.

Exercise regularly.

Get the right amount of sleep every night. The average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body becomes vulnerable to illness.

Stay warm this winter, but most importantly — stay healthy.

Fall turning into Winter, chills turning into sweat


fall landscape
“Blustery winds whip at your face making it glow red and sting.”

Fall is the dominant season of October and November. However, winter creeps up on us and it starts with the morning hours of every day. Blustery winds whip at your face making it glow red and sting.

For those of you who have early classes, we have all too frequently experienced the frigid winds and frosty grass on our treks across campus.

We bundle up in thick layers to avoid the miserable chill of winter greeting us so early but come noon sweat droplets appear on our foreheads and then it hits us. Stripping down to a t-shirt, peeling off layer by layer to escape the afternoon heat that is beating down on all of our Northfaces as we try to make it from class to class or home.

You’re given strange looks from everyone who is just appearing on campus for their afternoon classes. They are all dressed accordingly and are comfortable while you’re drenched and carrying three sweatshirts attempting to make it to your desired destination. Little does everyone know you have been up for three hours and didn’t want to freeze while on your way to class earlier. Another burden of the approaching winter is the heat in classrooms.

Since it’s getting cooler outside the heat is turned on and with thirty or more kids in a classroom all of the heat and body heat combined into one big sauna. After you’ve already been sweating outside, trying to play it “cool” and make it to class on time, you’re now stuck like a bunch of sardines in a can and can’t escape the heat.

You try to pretend like you aren’t bothered by it but the heat is getting to unbearable as it forces your clothes to stick to your skin and sweat marks to appear near your underarms.

We’ve all been there, so next time you are waltzing around in Uggs and your fleece at noon when it’s almost seventy degrees, just keep in mind that you’re not alone! Always layer and hang in there until it’s fully the winter season and you can dress warm for the entire day!


13 Nights of Halloween PSA

Attention all Halloween lovers and movie fanatics: 13 Nights of Halloween has officially started on ABC Family! It technically started last week, but this week is when they play Halloween movies non stop, and really good ones at that!


13 pumpkin
“13 nights of Halloween has officially started on ABC Family!”

Last week ABC started by showing a Harry Potter marathon and The Addams Family. Now that we are at the week of Halloween, however, they have been showing Halloween movies all day and night, every day and night. They have moved up from Casper and are now airing the classic Hocus Pocus and beloved Tim Burton’s films such as Corpse Bride and A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Some newer movies are being played as well such as Paranorman, an animated movie about a boy who can see and talk to dead people and must save his town from the walking dead taking over.

Frankenweenie is also a newer movie that is animated and tells the story of a boy who brings his dog back to life and the rest of his neighborhood and classmates bombard him to bring their pets back to life as well.

Another classic that hasn’t been showed in a while is Sleepy Hollow, which will play several times on Halloween night along with Hocus Pocus which will play back to back! Halloween is the perfect time to enjoy some creepy, and even a little funny, movies when the air starts to get crisp and chilly and the leaves start to fall. It will really get you in the mood for the winter that is on its way.

Don’t miss out on the classic and new Halloween films this year! ABC Family has done a brilliant job of scheduling the movies so that you can catch them at some point throughout October and also have included a great variety in which movies they are airing. Click here and get the full schedule of 13 nights of Halloween on ABC Family and enjoy your spooky Halloween the fun way!



Spring: the underrated cousin of the seasons

Summer and winter are grossly overrated. As much as I love basking in the summer sun and the fun of preparing for Christmas, spring deserves more credit than it gets.

Spring is a magical time of year. Dead grass and trees slowly begin returning to their leafy-green glory and flowers create a brilliant, colorful scene as they peek their heads out of the ground. Many poets have written about the glorious return of life during the spring — but in modern times, spring seems to be the most underrated of the seasons.

Spring is also a wonderful time for self-transformation. As we shed our heavy winter coats and begin to sport sandals and shorts, we can also grasp the opportunity to make changes and grow in our lives. Spring cleaning has become one of my new favorite yearly rituals. I recently felt an enormous amount of stress due to school. I would sit in my room for hours looking at the mess of papers, trash and old clothes I never wear any more. So, I started to clean. I filled a large storage container with things I didn’t need or want anymore, and prepared it to be donated to Goodwill. As I packed those things away and removed them from my room, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

Just as leaves fall off trees in the fall and grow back in the spring, I believe people go through similar seasons. We end the year with New Year’s resolutions, start fresh and grow as people. It’s easy to feel lost at the beginning of a calendar year as you set new goals and prepare to make changes, but in the spring, those changes can be seen and felt as they emerge from within ourselves.

Although I literally shed the weight of extra items in my room, many of the changes spring can bring are intangible. Perhaps you started a new skill and were just losing faith in your abilities- spring is a wonderful time to hone those skills and begin to see results. Maybe it’s just because I grew up in Florida and am inspired more by the sun than the cold of winter, but something about the warmth of spring seems to kick us into gear as we make changes.

There’s a reason many DIY and at-home projects are started in the spring- it’s because everything’s fresh. Just as nature is replenished and things grow, we find ourselves wanting to do the same.

Spring is an exciting time of year. No matter how much you love winter, after the holidays it’s easy to yearn for warm weather again. This year, as the tulips begin to bloom, take time to think about the changes you want to make and start taking steps toward reaching those goals.

The white end

This is it.

I step out of the car

Reflexes brace against cold

Is this worth it?

I take a step.

I take another

Boots and snow mesh

The cold spreads

Wind rips like daggers.

It slices through my clothes

I feel naked

What could I do to prevent this?

I take a step.

And then another

Boots meet ice

Why does this always happen?

“Everything is white. The snow, the ice, the sky.” Photo By: Caroline Leggett


I slip.

All of my preparation, useless

My momentum used against me

How will this end?

Everything is white.

The snow, the ice, the sky

I can’t see

What’s happening to me?

I lie there.

Pain in my head

Numbness in my hands

How ridiculous is this?

I stay there.

There’s no point now

No purpose

I’m not going to make that class.

15 ways to enjoy the upcoming Snowpocalypses of 2015

With the recent blizzards and arctic temperatures, it’s easy to feel that all hope is lost and there’s nothing to do but wait miserably for spring. In the meantime, though, there are small glimmers of hope for us dwellers of Radford. Fret not, because there’s still joy to be found and fun to be had (even in the dark corners of your dorm or apartment) as you shelter from the cold. There are many activities you can partake in which will fill your heart with the wonder you thought only the warm embrace of spring could give you.1. Bake cookies, muffins, cupcakes, etc.

This will not only make you feel warm and happy, but getting the oven going will make your apartment warm as well.

  1. Make it a coffee date.

-Invite your friends, crushes, or neighbors over for some coffee, hot cocoa and shenanigans. You might even want to…

  1. Add some chocolate,caramel, or peppermint liquor to your hot cocoa.

-This speaks for itself.

  1. Have some snuggles.

-Unless your love is nonexistent or far away,  in which case curl up with some stuffed animals and the remote.

  1. Netflix, Netflix, Netflix
  2. Board games.

-Time to take it back to your childhood for a bit. Or, if not, I recommend “Mad Wishes.”

  1. Card games.

-I don’t care what anyone says – I still love Go Fish and Uno.

  1. Catch up on homework.

-Yeah, it sounds boring, I know. But catching up on homework or even getting ahead on homework is such a relief.

  1. Order in.

– It sounds awful to encourage ordering in when the snow is too deep to drive in. But these are delivery money-maker days. If they’re still offering , give a fat tip and rest peacefully knowing you helped them out the business.

  1. Work it out.

-I recommend downloading daily workout apps or “Swork it – Lite” if you’re having gym withdrawals. It’llll make you feel productive and keep you warm in case your house gets a tad nippy. There’s also the choice of having spontaneous dance parties.

“There’s nothing better than reading up on or researching new things that might interest you.”
  1. Read or do research.

-There’s nothing better than reading up on or researching new things that might interest you. Even taking a bunch of online personality quizzes just for fun can kill surprising amounts of time.

  1. Use being locked in as an excuse to get to know your neighbors, friends, or roommates a littlebetter.
  2. Practice a skill.

-Cooking, writing, typing, baking, sleeping – the important things in life.

  1. “Spring” clean.

-It really is nice to de-clutter one’s life/closet/home/fridge.

  1. Play in the snow!

As long as it’s not yellow.

Enjoy it, RU!

Winter wishes ❄

I don’t know about you, but I’m not one for the cold.Let me rephrase that: I’m not one for the cold if there’s no snow.

Is there really a point in it being 15 degrees outside if there’s no pretty white precipitation falling from the sky or laying on the ground? No? I didn’t think so. What’s enjoyable about the cold without snow? Nothing…except maybe cuddling up to a warm fire with a cup of hot tea and an intriguing book.

Snow is something to look forward to in the winter. You look forward to lying out, going to the beach, relaxing in the pool, or floating down the river in summer. What’s there to look forward to in winter without snow? You can’t ski, snowboard, tube, or even go sledding without snow. Granted, people offer indoor ice-skating, if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where they have a rink. Let’s face it: winter is nothing but boring, cold, and dark without snow.

Besides it being ridiculously cold and pointless without snow, let’s talk about something else that’s ridiculous. I get that people get sun happy when the sun comes out when it’s 30 degrees outside. I also totally understand why people are so pumped about the new gym (I mean, come on, it’s awesome, clean, and you always have a place to run or lift or whatever you do). But one sunny day even when it’s 22 degrees out doesn’t give you the right to walk to the gym in your booty shorts (girls) or your cutoffs (guys). No one, I repeat, NO ONE feels bad when you walk across campus from Light Side to go running and you’re shivering because you have HALF of an outfit on. Please have some common sense. Sunshine does not always equal warmth. I know, being in my third year at RU, we can all agree on that last statement. Most of us have walked to class being blinded by the sun reflecting off  2 feet of snow. I can’t stand cold without snow and I can’t stand when people can’t grasp the concept that it’s BELOW freezing outside. So sleep with your pajamas inside out, flush ice cubes down your toilet, do a snow dance, I don’t care — just wish for snow with me please. And to those who think it’s “cool” or “fun” or “an adventure” to wear zero clothes to walk to the gym, wear some sweats or a hoodie. Didn’t your momma ever teach you that’s how you catch a cold? Oh, and don’t forget to cover your head; you don’t want to let all that heat escape.

Winter club fair: The roaring location

I have been leader of the Board Gaming Club here at Radford since I founded it two years ago. In those two years, I have run our table at both the fall and winter club fairs. However, this year’s winter club fair seemed less successful.

In the years I have been involved, I have noticed winter club fair has never drawn nearly as much attention as the fall club fair . This could be because of a variety of factors (lack of interest, less club involvement, less advertising) but this year, location played a huge part in the poor turn-out.

Last year, the winter club fair was hosted in the Bonnie. This year, it was hosted in the new Fitness Center. Although this new venue created more space for more club involvement, there were still a fair amount of empty tables there. More clubs could have participated, but for whatever reason, they didn’t..

Robert Webb and Katie Gibson run the Board Game club table at club fair. Photo by Katie Gibson
Robert Webb and Katie Gibson run the Board Game club table at club fair. Photo by Katie Gibson

Despite this, the location caused more issues than last year in the Bonnie. It was in a basketball court within the lower level of the Fitness Center, which caused two major problems.

First, there was so much echo in the room that it quickly became very loud. The usual noisy chatter of club fair became a roar for the next two hours. I found myself having to yell to talk to anyone interested in the club, making communication difficult.

Unlike the Bonnie, which serves as a hot spot for students seeking food or entertainment, our location in the Fitness Center was less popular. In the past, a lot of interest in winter club fair was generated due to students stumbling upon us unknowingly, and staying once they saw all the interesting booths. This also allowed for many students with varying interests to find clubs that suited them. Unfortunately the bottom floor of the Fitness Center was out of the way, and mostly attracted the students who happened to be working out downstairs.

Winter club fair is never as visited as fall club fair, but this year clubs suffered. Board Gaming Club has never been as popular as other clubs, but we get more members every semester. Last winter club fair, the BGC got 31 new names on our email list. This year, we got 11. That is almost one-third the amount as we received last year.

Regardless, winter club fair serves as an opportunity for clubs to branch out to students who may share their interests. It’s an encouragement for students to be involved here at Radford, and a reminder that our school makes great efforts to support what we are interested in.

At the end of club fair, all the tables were given a survey on what we liked or didn’t like about this year’s club fair. I filled mine out, as did the other tables. Only time will tell if we end up in the same location for winter club fair 2016.

My UGGly obsession

UGG boots aren’t the prettiest of footwear. They’re bulky, they kind of make your feet look like elephant feet, and they’re well…UGGly. They’ve gotten a lot of crap, especially in the last couple of years. I remember hearing comments every now and then from hipsters, mostly, about how hideous they were when I was in high school. When I got to college, the hate for UGG boots got a lot more intense.

UGG boots are nowhere near cute, but they’re comfy! If you want to feel like you’re wearing slippers, but still feel slightly adult while going to class, UGG boots are for you. Not only are they comfy, but they’re very warm during the winter. Sheepskin, the material UGG’s are made out of, is a special material that regulates your body temperature. In other words, you could wear them any time of year and they won’t get too hot or too cold.

20141021_102625_resized (1)
“They’re bulky, they kind of make your feet look like elephant feet, and they’re well…UGGly.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

I’ve noticed that through years of wear and tear with my UGGs, they’ve never gotten stinky like my leather boots sometimes do. This is probably because the material UGGs are made out of “breathes” so moisture doesn’t get trapped in them. Granted, if you wear your UGGs in really damp conditions, they will get ruined and start to smell. But I’ve worn mine in 3 feet of snow, and they still look and feel brand new.

UGGs are really expensive, which is one of the big downsides to them. However, if you’re looking to invest in a pair of really comfortable winter boots that will last for years, UGGs are a great investment. I would definitely recommend getting the care kit for UGGs that includes a spray that really waterproofs them. I never bought one, and mine still look barely worn, but if you just want that extra security, go for it.

Of course, PETA has gotten onto UGGs accusing them of animal cruelty. I bought my UGGs before these accusations, so I can sleep at night. But honestly, PETA isn’t the most honest of organizations. In many cases, the videos PETA (and other organizations) uses are from black market slaughter houses where, in many cases, the animals aren’t being used as meat. UGG specifically uses sheepskin from meat processing companies that would otherwise be discarded. One article written by an employee of the meat industry explained that sheepskin has become more expensive due to the popularity of UGGs. Companies are competing to get the sheepskin from meat companies that would just discard it.

Whatever your opinion is of UGGs, whether you think they’re ugly or not, they’re here to stay. I know I’ve never even thought that my UGGs were cute, but they’re comfy and practical and that’s what matters most to me. One of the biggest issues I’ve had in recent years when shopping for clothes is that many times you have to sacrifice practicality for cute clothes, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg. Although my UGGs were expensive, they’ve proven to be durable and trusty, which is more than I can say for a lot of my clothes.

Commuting Hell!

Although off-campus living can come with a few perks, there are also some huge downsides to it, including transportation to campus and around Radford. If you live outside of town, you may drive twenty or thirty minutes every day to get to class. Early classes are a huge struggle, especially if they’re at 8 a.m. This is made even more challenging when you’re forced to get up earlier to make the drive.

RU Transit

Although there is the option to use public transportation, it may be difficult for those with tight schedules and those who have jobs to get to. Maintaining a job and finding the time to get school work done is also a juggling act that many off-campus students have to do week by week.

When arriving on campus, parking can be a huge task in itself. You’ve got to worry about getting to the school early enough to be able to find a parking space and you’ve got to pay for a parking pass. This does not help those of us that have difficulty budgeting our time as well as budgeting anything else.

Commuters have an entirely different school experience than other students. They’ve got to pay a fortune in gas money and other car expenses each semester. They also have to transform their home into a study-friendly zone, because living away from other students can make focusing on textbooks difficult. Speaking of textbooks, commuters have to lug those around. Often, they carry more things to school each day. Forgetting materials at home ruin the effort of getting to school.

Traffic complications may cause missed classes. If you’ve already reached your allotted amount of missed classes and are stuck far from your school, beware. Winter is coming! That means that snow may be a major obstacle in the near future. If this winter is anything like what people are saying, there are definitely going to be complications.

To avoid missing classes due to bad weather, find an on-campus buddy that you can crash with for a couple of days. Wait out the storm with this friend so that you can keep attending classes. Don’t let weather be the reason you fail a class.




Wintery weather: Snowpocalypse

Around 2 p.m. Wed., Feb. 12, RU began experiencing one of its biggest snowstorms ever. Classes were cancelled after 3 p.m. on Wed., and all day Thurs. and Fri. The roads were a complete mess, despite constant snowplowing. There was over a foot of accumulation, covering RU and gifting a few snow days to the lucky students. Continue reading Wintery weather: Snowpocalypse

Radford’s bipolar weather

Here at Radford University we want to see blue skies and yet, most of what we have seen lately is gray, cloudy, cold winter-like days.

Do you ever get unmotivated to go to class and just want to sleep all day? I feel that sentiment. Lately I’ve seen winter and spring weather that just boggles me. Almost two weeks ago, we had a beautiful Saturday, nice enough to go fishing, and then the following day involved sledding. What’s the deal with that? The weather just can’t seem to make up its mind and April 4 was a perfect example. It’s April now, so doesn’t that mean “April showers bring the May flowers”? I thought they meant rain showers, not snow showers. Continue reading Radford’s bipolar weather