Once you’ve completed your dorm checklist, the next thing to do is to actually go out and buy what you’ll need. Dorm shopping can be pretty hectic, especially when move-in day is approaching. It’s best to do your dorm shopping early on.

Many retail stores will have sales around mid-July and August, and they’ll also stock up more on dorm-related items (such as those pesky extra-long twin sheets) around that time. Keep a close eye on catalogs to know when the best time to shop is. You don’t necessarily have to do it all in one day (though that may be more convenient). If you’re school is on the quarter system, you’ll be tempted to put off your shopping until late August or early September, but many sales will already be over by then. Do your shopping early on.

Where should I do my dorm shopping?

Large retail stores usually work best. Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart are normal choices, though Bed, Bath, and Beyond also is a great choice if you’re willing to spend a little bit extra.

Chances are you won’t be able to buy everything in one store — that’s okay. Take your time and hunt around to make sure you find exactly what you want. Read more

Many college and university dining halls offer all-you-can-eat food to students. Unlike high school and middle schools which try to serve healthy foods, not all of these foods are the best to eat for you. Combine fatty and sugary foods with sodas and unlimited portions and you get the “Freshman 15″ — the 15 pounds gained by many students in their freshman year of college.

Is the Freshman 15 real or just a myth?

T_Freshman_15_1Well, it really depends on the person. If you eat unhealthy and don’t exercise, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some weight gain in college. However, if you’re able to control your eating habits well and/or exercise, you won’t have much to worry about. After my first year, I noticed that most people hadn’t really changed weight at all, though there were definitely some students who had put on a few pounds over the year.

So, what can you do to avoid the Freshman 15? Read more

Your grade-point-average (GPA) in college is still a very important statistic. Many employers will look at your GPA before deciding whether or not to hire you, and graduate schools will definitely look at your GPA before deciding whether or not to admit you. It’s important to have as high of a GPA as you can get by the time you graduate college. Even if you got your high school diploma through on of these online GED programs but you got a good GPA you will be just fine.

If you calculated your GPA and you don’t think you have a good GPA, you should definitely consider trying to raise it, no matter what year you are in your studies. If you’re a freshman, keep in mind that it feels a lot easier to maintain a decent GPA than it does to bring a low one up. If you’re near graduating, every bit can help out, and raising your GPA a tenth of a point could still make a pretty big difference.

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Raising your overall GPA

Because your GPA is based only on the grades that you earn in college, there’s only one way to raise it: get better grades. If your GPA is around a 2.2, then any grade that counts for more than 2.2 points (a C+ or higher), will help increase your GPA. Vice versa, any grade that counts for less than your GPA will lower your GPA (if you have a 2.2, a C or lower will hurt you).

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I went on a day trip to a city 200 miles away where I go about once a year to visit friends. On the drive there, I went through a mountainous region. I was coming around a curve and saw a big black thing moving in the middle of the road ahead of me. I could see that it was moving – I couldn’t tell what it was for a few more hundred feet.

Then I saw that it was a large black bear.

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I saw a bear around this area once before, but it was on the side of the road, so I just drove by. This time, with the bear just in the middle of the narrow mountain road, I had no room to go around it, so I put my hazards on and tried to pull as far to the side of the road as I could, about 50 feet in front of the bear.

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Today my daughter and I went to a community yard sale. She is in college and is looking for items to fill her first apartment. The first few houses had a few small kitchen items (small food processor and a garlic press) which we purchased. She was also looking for a craft project to do during the summer.

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After about 20 houses will found a house that had a nice paper cutter (new about $25) and A diamond electric knife sharpener, we purchased both for $6.00. The same house had a Oreck XL vacuum cleaner for sale for $4.00, The owner said that she had taken it to the Oreck store and they wanted a minimum of $60 just to look at it. She stated that something was stuck inside of it and she had already purchased a new one. This vacuum was in great shape and was less than 10 years old. So I bought it figuring that at worst I wasted $4.00.

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I can hardly believe how last week went!  One day I went into my office and found a packet from one of our local television stations that was letting me know my business Tranquil Touch Therapeutic Massage For Women had been nominated for their “Vote 4 The Best” contest!  Then, the very next day, I received an email letting me know that my blog (this little blog!) had been awarded as one of Online Nursing’s top 30 Doula blogs!  What an amazing week!

I have to thank all my readers, clients, friends, and my family for supporting me for the past 6 years.  I also recently hired a new therapist to work with me, thus extending the opportunity to receive great massage therapy to even more women in our community.

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Everyone hates those earbuds that come with the iPhone. Their hard and barely fit in your ear and if you wear them for more than 15 minutes they make your head hurt. Not to mention the sound quality is pretty subpar. And many people go out and buy new headphones that fit better and sound better.

But instead of looking for the cheapest pair of headphones that look like they’ll feel more comfortable, why not make your Ipod or Iphone sound the way it’s meant to sound? If you’re interested in getting incredibly deep bass, crisp high range frequencies, and rich mid range, you need to check out Beats headphones.

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Recently I had a prenatal massage therapy client come in for an appointment; we’ll call her “Client A”.  On my prenatal massage client form, I have a spot for the client to request information about my birth doula service.  If she requests that information, I take a few moments to discuss what her desires for birth are and explain how my support can help enhance her birth experience and help her have a positive memory of how her baby was born.  I did this with Client A.

Allow me a moment to briefly share my background:  I have 2 boys who were born vaginally, but with medical interventions.  I have personally experienced induction, episiotomies, use of vacuum extraction, narcotics in labor, epidural, spontaneous water breaking, and AROM.  I know how some of these interventions were beneficial to me or my baby and some were harmful.  Fortunately, my children are healthy, happy, and show no signs of birth trauma.

Knowing what I know now about these interventions, I am sure that I would have made some different choices if faced with the same circumstances today.  I have provided support to 16 sets of parents and 17 babies as they entered the world, some in hospital settings and others in our local birth center.  I am neither pro-intervention, nor am I against intervention.  I am, however, pro-knowledge.  I believe that if a woman is fully informed of both the risks and the benefits of an intervention, she can in good conscience make the best decision for her and her baby; this is her birth after all.  As her doula, I support her in any well-informed decision that she makes. 

I carry with me The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer  along with OB/Peds Women’s Health Notes to help my clients if they are faced with an intervention decision during labor.  I show them the information, which includes the pros and cons, and allow them to make the decision with which they are most comfortable.  I feel that this is the best way I can serve the birthing women who have invited & honored me to join their birth team.

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I have a client who is 39 weeks pregnant with her first full-term pregnancy.  It is a very exciting time for her and I am honored to be her Doula.  While we have been spending the last several days texting and talking about the progress her body is making, I have also been serving my massage therapy clients in my office.

As you may have read in my last blog post, I really love my job.  I love giving massage and helping women find comfort to cope with stress and the physical pains caused by it.  I also really love working with women as they enter the homestretch of pregnancy in preparation for their baby’s birth.

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What I don’t like is math!  I’m in the process of preparing to write a grant to hopefully get some money to expand my business and relieve some of the financial stress on my family (teenagers are so expensive!)  As I began this process, I have realized that the business plan I prepared 6 years ago in massage therapy school is no longer adequate.  Back there, I had not much of confidence, just 2 months before I got to the massage therapy school, I  polishing my math skills taking GED practice tests. It worked out, I got my GED diploma and was able to get to the massage school but my confidence level was low.

I am so very thankful that I have reached all the goals I set up for my business back then, but I would much rather have my hands on someone’s body, helping  her muscles release, than having my hands on a calculator and my laptop!  Some people enjoy the exactness of math, the way that there is always a formula that ends with an answer that tells you that you are exactly right.  I, however, enjoy the idea of possibilities, that there may be outcomes we don’t expect and surprises that we don’t plan.   Read more

So, I was reading one of the books on my list for Doula recertification and had quite a visceral reaction to one of the terms used in the section about Preterm Labor Treatments and that got me thinking that the terminology that we use everyday can cause us to develop fear, negativity and even lose confidence in ourselves.  This is not restricted to pregnancy and childbirth, but it seems to me that those circumstances call for even more care in the way that we phrase things.

I have had 2 children and have been a birth professional for several years.  Most of the terms used are very familiar to me, including the one that caused me to write this post.  What struck me is that although I knew the term and what it was, I’ve even known a handful of friends and acquaintances who have had the treatment; it never raised a red flag in my mind until now.  Chalk it up to a growing awareness of the power of words and my personal journey toward positive living.

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