Thanksgiving Break

It has been really nice getting to have an entire week off from school for Thanksgiving. A week off allowed for me to relax, do homework, spend time with friends, goof around with my sister, and visit my family in New Mexico for Thanksgiving.

Getting a week off from school was great and I didn’t realize how much I needed it until the break arrived. I was able to sleep in, work on homework, read, and relax. Two of the books I read over the break were Land of Stories: Return of the Enchantress and Happily Ever After. Happily Ever After is a book that accompanies The Selection series by Kiera Cass (my favorite book series by the way). Land of Stories: Return of the Enchantress is the second book of the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. I recommend both series to anyone who enjoys romance and fairy tales.

Thursday morning, my family and I packed up our car and travelled to Farmington, New Mexico to spend time with my aunt, uncle, and grandpa. On the way to New Mexico, we heard “Alice’s Restaurant” which is a Thanksgiving traditional song three times. Oh boy. There was plenty of wonderful food to eat when we arrived at my grandpa’s house and we had a good time together. In my opinion, spending time with family is very important, especially during a holiday. You get to catch up with one another and have a good time together. I definitely did not go Black Friday shopping, despite the good deals many businesses offered. To be honest, Black Friday shopping scares me. It gets so intense and personal for some people!

On Saturday my family and I were out and about running errands and visiting family friends. When we had time, my mom, sister, grandma, and I went to the local mall and found a great ugly Christmas sweater. It’s pretty ugly, but the ugliness almost makes it cute. When dinner time rolled around, my entire family drove to Zeb’s which is a buffet restaurant where you can pick a meal from the menu with a side from the salad bar, a meal from the meat bar, or the salad bar as a meal. I ordered a Alpine Burger that had a burger, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and sour cream on it (I added that from the burger bar). In the end, the food was good and we were all stuffed. Zeb’s is a wonderful restaurant that has a large variety of delicious food and great service.

Today my family and I packed up and are currently on our way home. Eight hour car trips are the perfect time to work on blogs, haha. It’s been pretty cold so far and there’s some snow up in the mountains.

Overall, I had a great and productive Thanksgiving break and look forward to more trips to New Mexico, time with family, and breaks in the future. I hope you and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful week!

Thanksgiving Break

App Reviews: Acapella

Music video apps and singing apps have become extremely popular in the past few months. Each of these apps is fun and cool in their own way. They allow you to make funny or serious videos that are short and fun to watch. The app that is being reviewed specifically is Acapella, which as far as I know is currently only available on iOS devices.

Acapella is an app in which you can record someone singing or making music in up to nine frames all in one video. The result is a short video that is really cool and entertaining to watch. The app is free, with the exception of $1.99 to unlock three minute length videos and $9.99 to unlock ten minute length videos. Every frame type and video length, excluding the three and ten minute video are completely free.

The entertaining part about this musical app is that you can choose to make whatever kind of music you want to, express yourself, and if you choose to, you can share your musical creations with other Acapella app users or on social media.

The Acapella app is easy to work with when creating videos. There are features like a metronome to help keep a beat, a count-down timer, and another timer to let you know how much longer you have to sing or play an instrument of some sort. Saving the video and sharing it is fairly easy, it just takes it a little while for the app to process it so that it can be shared or saved.

Overall, Acapella is a creative, enjoyable, and easy-to-use app. Whether you’re singing, playing an instrument, making sounds, dancing, or just being silly, this app will help you create something fun to watch. Several other apps that are music and singing related include, Video Star, musical.ly, Dubsmash, and Vine (this is more of a social media). The possibilities are endless with Acapella, so if you’re interested in music and making fun, short musical videos, this is the app for you.

App Reviews: Acapella

As a side note, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break if you’re off this week from school or work, and wish you a great Thanksgiving. 🙂

Did You Know: Pica

Mental illnesses/disorders are very interesting and can be scary. There are many mental illnesses out there and some are treatable while others are not. Some of them can be classified as anxiety disorders or coping strategies and one of the illnesses that can be classified as both is pica. Here are some facts about pica disorder:

-The name of this illness comes from the Latin word for “magpie”. Magpies are known for their ability to eat almost everything.

-Pica is defined as the consumption of non-food substances. Some of these items may include buttons, hair, glue, screws, dirt, paint, and feces. This behavior has to continue for a month for it to be classified as pica.

-Pica is categorized as an eating disorder, anxiety disorder, and coping strategy for stress or other mental illnesses. People who eat non-food items on a regular basis usually eat them to satisfy their craving for a particular texture or taste. Eating non-food substances gives those who eat them comfort and relief.

-This illness is caused by nutritional deficiencies, dieting, malnourishment, parental neglect, developmental/mental health issues, and pregnancy.

-This illness is most common in children, pregnant women, and people with schizophrenia and OCD. Most children and pregnant women get over their cravings within months on their own.

-Pica is treatable as long as it is caught early and the proper treatment is found. Sufferers of pica are commonly relieved of their symptoms after 1-2 months of treatment.

-Several forms of treatment for this mental and anxiety disorder are multivitamin supplements, medication, and aversion therapy which is praise for eating real food and consequences for eating non-food substances.

-The most famous case of pica was occurred in 1929. After a patient in the psychiatric ward of a hospital died, doctors found a total of 1,446 non-food items in his stomach. There were 453 nails, 148 seeds, 115 hair pins, 85 small stones, 63 buttons, and 42 small stones.

While pica is fairly uncommon, it is on the rise and there has been a 93% jump in hospitalization for sufferers of pica. If someone you know is suffering from pica, please assist them in getting help. This is a serious eating disorder if not treated and can cause serious damage to the body. In Colorado, the United States, and all over the world, there are many pediatricians, psychologists, and other doctors willing to help and treat pica.

This information is not meant to scare or worry anyone. It is here to inform you all about a mental/anxiety disorder that is serious and on the rise. So whether or not this information is new, now you know a few things about pica.

Did You Know: Pica

Did You Know: Pica

How to Write an In-Class Essay

Whether it’s a history class or an English class, in-class essays are becoming more and more common. When you aren’t prepared, and even when you are, writing an in-class essay can be stressful and chaotic. Here are a few tips on how to be successful while writing an in-class essay.

1. Take your time but pace yourself. This might sound confusing, but it really isn’t. I would suggest taking the first few minutes to plan and get organized. For some people this might be an outline or organization map of some sort. Others simply write down what ever helps them get their ideas on paper. Do what works best for you. After planning, keep your eye on the clock, take time to think about word choice and if the statements being made makes sense with the topic/prompt. You wouldn’t want to have rushed through the entire paper only for there to be grammatical and spelling errors all over the essay.

2. Make sure your paper gets in before the deadline. The deadline is usually the end of class. Some teachers won’t even look at your paper if it’s late, so work efficiently and save the last few minutes to get the essay turned in. If you’re typing your in-class essay, this is a good idea in case your computer has technical issues. You might have time to fix it and still get your essay in on time.

3. Come prepared for anything. It depends on the teacher, but sometimes they’ll give you the topic. If they give you the topic, practice writing your essay at home if you can. Work on your introduction, thesis, and conclusion. I suggest preparing your arguments too. If your teachers allow you to, bring in material that you can reference while you write and support your arguments with. Supporting your arguments with textual evidence helps make an essay better. If you aren’t given a topic, the in-class essay will most likely be on something you’ve covered recently in class. You can still prepare by going through your notes and past material.

4. Read directions and answer the prompt in your essay. Answering the prompt in your essay is crucial to receiving a good grade. Reading the directions will help you understand what you have to write about and help maximize your score.

I hope that these tips help you write a solid in-class essay. Remember to take your time, pace yourself, complete your paper before or at the deadline, prepare for the essay, answer the prompt, and read the directions. Good luck writing!

How to Write an In-Class Essay

Baking Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is a very yummy and healthy treat to have in the fall. My mom always bakes zucchini bread during this time of year and it tastes amazing! It’s great for bake sales, at work, school events, or as something tasty to eat at home.  Here is my mom’s zucchini bread recipe:

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs
1 cup of oil
1.5 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of honey
2 cups of grated zucchini
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1.5 cups of chopped nuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Mix the ingredients well and fill the bread pans halfway. Bake at 325 for one hour. After it is done baking, check with a toothpick, and then allow the zucchini bread to cool before before removing it from the pan.

You can get two loafs of bread from this recipe.

Zucchini bread is great for bake sales, road trips, family get-togethers, parties, and as a snack. It tastes delicious, it’s healthier than cupcakes or cake (which still taste pretty good), and it’s fun to make with family.

Zucchini bread is great on a cold day with a nice, warm cup of tea. It also tastes really good with a big, cold glass of milk. If you decide to add nuts, pecans taste best in the bread. I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a good week!

Baking Zucchini Bread
Yummy!