Back-to-School Workout Challenge

Although I still have a week left of my winter break, I know many of you have already started your second semester, which totally sucks I’m so sorry. But going back to school also means getting back to working out, because like many of you, I know I have been slacking in that department this past month. I didn’t have time to get to the gym the other night so I came up with this 35 minute cardio and strength workout routine inspired by a bootcamp class I take at my university’s recreational center and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred that incorporates some of my favorite exercises. It switches back and forth from 6 minutes of strength training to 3 minutes of cardio exercises. I’m a huge fan of interval-based workouts because you can fit in your cardio and strength exercises in a short routine and it doesn’t leave you dying from long periods of high intensity cardio (such as in Insanity, god I hated those videos). Also, it’s been proven that interval-training fitness systems actually burn more calories than traditional fitness systems with no varying levels of intensity, so i’ll take it.

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So here is my Back-to-School Workout that you can do straight from your room, 3 times a week to help you tone up and get your Spring Break body.  All you need is a pair of free weights (I suggest 5-8 lbs.), a mat, a timer, and lots of water. Do each exercise for 1 minute.

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College Cribs and DIY Decoration Projects

            The best part about moving away from home or even moving into a new apartment during college is being able to personalize your living space. While decorating can be really expensive if you go out and buy everything new, there are a lot of ways to save money and to make things yourself with DIY projects. In this very special multimedia post, I’ve included an audio slideshow I like to call “College Cribs” which is a play on the MTV show where celebrities give you a tour of their homes. But instead of celebrities, two female students from the University of Iowa will be giving you a tour of their apartments. In addition, I made my first DIY tutorial on how to make a glitter vase out of an empty wine bottle. Finally, I have put together my list of “Best DIY Projects for College Homes” with the use of Storify. I have worked really hard on this post so I hope you all like it! And if you don’t, just tell me you do anyway.

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How to avoid the dreaded Freshman Fifteen

I remember freshman year. You promise yourself you’re not going to be one of those girls who gains the “freshman 15” and that you’ll eat healthy and work out every day. It doesn’t happen, well at least it didn’t for me. Not that I actually gained 15 pounds but I do admit I indulged a little bit too much at the all-you-can-eat cafeterias and packed on a few pounds. I wish I had known what alternatives I could have taken and the many resources my University offers. I wish I had talked to people like Joann Miller of the Student Health and Wellness Center about how to stay healthy on a budget in college earlier. But hey, better late than never right?

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The 90s Kid in Me

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Just had someone hand this flyer out to me while walking to class. Saying I’m excited would be an understatement. Not only is Third Eye Blind the BEST band of the 90s, but it’s free, so nothing can beat that. I can’t wait to relive my childhood at this concert. Better see all the University of Iowa ladies there so we can jam out to “Semi-Charmed Life” together.

What’s your favorite Third Eye Blind song?

❤ Michelle

It’s Tail-Great Season

I can’t believe it. Two more days and it will be a month since the first day of classes started at the University of Iowa. Where has the time gone?!

As awful as it is being back in the classroom, one thing I looked forward to all summer was tailgate season, or as I like to call it, tail-“great” season.

Since tailgating season is my favorite time of the year, I thought it would only be appropriate to have it as my first blog post.

My favorite part about tailgating and going to  football games is getting to dress up in my school’s colors. As a University of Iowa student, there is just something really special about walking down Melrose and seeing all the black and yellow.

While there are several stores on campus that sell awesome university apparel, they can be pretty pricey. I have some personal tips and ideas I got from girls on campus about cute, creative, and most importantly, cheap ways to dress up for a football games that can be applicable at any university.

My first tip: personalize. It is so easy to put on a pair of shorts and a school t-shirt or jersey, but dress it up so your outfit is unique. Some of the cutest outfits I’ve seen at tailgates have been girls who cut up their t-shirt in creative ways or pair it with a flannel shirt or metallic leggings from Ragstock. Just because it’s a football game doesn’t mean you can’t still show off your personal style and have fun with it. For my first Iowa game, I decided to put together an outfit with the university’s color scheme.

My outfit consisted of:

  • White tube top (Wal-Mart, $5)
  • DIY high-waisted black denim shorts made from “mom jeans” (Goodwill, $4)
    • I used this simple Youtube tutorial to make mine. (link to- GlamourandPosh “DIY Vintage Distressed High-Waisted Jean Shorts”)
  • Yellow bandana for my hair (Wal-Mart, $1)

I got so many compliments on this outfit, and not including my shoes (I wore black Vans), and it was all for only $10.  Here is a picture of my outfit from that game (I’m in the middle).

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My second tip: never pay for anything full price. I got a great tip from my friend Taylor Dalbey, a junior at my school, about how our campus store “Iowa Book” has a downstairs area with a bunch of university apparel on clearance. There were a bunch of shirts for only $5 and sweatshirts and hoodies for $20. (There’s also a section on their Iowa Book website). Definitely check out clearance sections at your own university campus stores. Also, stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s are great places to look for campus clothing at discounted prices.

My third tip: Don’t be afraid to borrow and trade tailgate clothes with friends. I got this one from Jessica Shedd, a freshman. For example, black and yellow overalls are absolutely adorable for tailgates but they cost nearly $60. Split the cost with a roommate and share, or ask to borrow from a friend. Almost all girls love sharing closets. Here’s a picture from the Iowa vs. Iowa State game in Ames where I borrowed my friend’s overalls. I also pulled my hair back with a yellow flower clip I bought from Hobby Lobby for only $2.99!

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My last tip: buy items that aren’t necessarily supposed to be for tailgates, but make them so they are. Caitlin Johnson, a junior, told me how she bought a pair of $5 white sneakers from Wal-Mart and splattered them with black and yellow paint. I loved this idea so I will be making my own pair later this week and I will update this post with a picture. This goes back to my tip of personalizing everything you wear. It’s not only cuter, but it also can save you big bucks.

I hope these money-saving tips help you and get your creative mind going. I’d love to hear some of your tips and pictures of your outfits from tailgates because I’m always on the lookout for new outfit ideas.

Tailgate hard for me, ladies!

Michelle Ngo