Cal Poly Students Share Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15


Watch the video to learn how easy this healthy pizza is to make. Photo by author.

Let’s face it. Avoiding the Freshman 15 during your first year of college can be pretty difficult. And it’s even more difficult when your variety of dining options at Cal Poly are well– not the greatest.

Fear not, future freshmen. Watch this video to learn how to take ingredients from VG’s (a cafe on campus), and make your own healthy meals from it, right in your dorm. With these tips, maintaining your health can be a piece of cake… (yay puns)

DIY Dorm is Winding Down… for now

My stats as of March 11. Photo by author.

My stats as of March 11. Photo by author.

Let me tell you the good news before I tell you the bad.

First off, I’d like to thank everyone for their amazing support. Honestly, DIY Dorm would not have been a success without all my friends and followers support. Never in a million years did I think this blog would have almost 5,000 views in just two and a half months. 

With that, I would like to inform all of you wonderful followers that DIY Dorm will no longer be posting as often. After my video this Thursday, I will no longer be posting twice a week.

Now before you storm off on me all upset, know that DIY Dorm will be posting every two weeks or so instead. I will not abandon you lovely people, I swear!

This blog wouldn’t have been successful if it weren’t for the support from my fellow students. Here’s what some of my classmates had to say about DIY Dorm:

“Your blog has so much information to offer, and you do it in such an entertaining way. You really show your dedication to your blog with all the different media and different ideas you provide for your audience.”

– Katelyn Piziali

“I love the theme of your blog. It seems to fit the creative DIY  projects that your blog is all about. It just works.”

– Angela Fausone

Whenever a new DIY idea pops into my head, or I feel inspired, I promise to update you all on here first. Thanks again for being such wonderful followers, and stay tuned for Thursday’s video blog! 

Sneak Peek for Next Week: How to Avoid the Dreaded Freshman 15


Here at Cal Poly, we’re lucky  to have places like Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and Yogurt Creations right on campus. This can be both a blessing and a way to lose track of your health at the same time…

How can you avoid the “Freshman 15” while being stuck in the dorms?

Stay tuned for DIY Dorm’s video next week, with interviews from freshmen Natasha Bartolome and Emily Nguyen– two Cal Poly dorm residents that practice healthy habits on the daily.

The video will feature their tips for success, as well as some delicious, healthy recipes you can make in the dorms. Avoiding the unhealthy choices in college might seem difficult, but with Natasha and Emily’s recipes, you’ll keep the pounds off while satisfying your cravings at the same time.

Check out some of Natasha’s meals she’s made this quarter below. If you like what you see, definitely stay tuned for next Thursday’s post!

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Looks delicious right?

Sure, Yogurt Creations and breakfast burritos from VGs are fine as an occasional treat. But after a while, campus food can really take a toll on your health.

Natasha and Emily’s tips and recipes are not only easy, but cost effective as well– all following what this blog is really about. Well, that’s all for now guys!

Stay tuned for next week!

DIY Bobby Pins: Vine Style


Who doesn’t love the simplicity of a 6 second DIY Video?

Thanks to Vine, I’ll skip the whole lengthy rant before giving you what you really visit my blog to see: easy-peasy DIY ideas.

So here it is guys. Before going out to buy $6 colorful bobby pins from Target, check out this Vine and save some money.


Other DIY Vines that will make your life easier: 



Treat Yourself After Midterms. You Deserve It.

Cotton Candy Frappe with the sis. Photo by author.

Cotton Candy Frappe with the sis. Photo by author.

You’ve spent hours in the library, downed multiple espresso shots in order to stay awake, and given up on sleep all for one thing. Ah yes, it’s midterm season.

Now that you’ve survived these past two weeks of midterms, hopefully your professors will give you a break. Nonetheless, treat yourself for all your hard work, and stop by Cal Poly’s on campus Starbucks.

Due to the past two weeks, you probably cringe a little at the word. But I promise you, there are no espresso shots or Venti double-shot iced lattes involved.

Instead, try these yummy “Secret Menu” drinks, and give yourself a pat on the bat for your hard work.

Favorite Starbucks Secret Menu Items

1. Cotton Candy Frappuccino

How to Order: 

  • order a vanilla bean frappe
  • ask for 1 pump* of raspberry syrup

2. Oreo Frappuccino 

How to Order: 

  • Order a double chocolate chip frappe 
  • Ask for 1 pump* of white mocha syrup

3. Rolo Candy Frappuccino 

How to Order: 

  • Order a vanilla bean frappe
  • Ask for caramel on the inside of the cup
  • Ask for them to add java chips
  • Top with a mocha drizzle, or chocolate syrup 

**1 pump= Tall

2 pumps= Grande

3 pumps= Venti

Want More? Check out these links before your next trip to Starbucks.

An Evaluation of DIY Dorm


First off, I would like to thank all of you for helping me achieve 1,500 views. At the beginning of this project, I was nervous I wouldn’t even get above 100. All of your support means so much 🙂

Even though DIY Dorm as been a success, there’s always room for improvement. No body is perfect, right? Below are a list of pros and cons of DIY Dorm I gathered from some peers of mine.


  • Headlines stand out and catch your eye 

  • Step-by-step pictures help when making projects

  • DIY projects are unique and interesting

  • Writing style is upbeat and fun

  • Overall interesting layout


  • Sometimes the text can be lengthy (especially in “Expert of the Week” posts)

  • Needs to be more fonts bolded and colored to keep reader interested

  • Sometimes there are too many pictures 

  • Needs to be more multimedia (videos, graphics, etc)

  • Needs to incorporate more DIY topics to stay focused

Now, here’s a list of some solutions to your feedback to make your experience with DIY Dorm a great one.


  • The “Expert of the Week” Q&A can be cut down by quite a bit. Next time, there will only be three questions instead of five.

  • DIY Dorm has strayed into different topics sometimes, but stay tuned for next week for some new DIY ideas that will be featured.

  • Next post, I will be sure to add in multimedia features– stay tuned for an awesome interactive graphic on Thursday’s blog

  • Everyone seems to be more interested in the DIY project-themed posts, rather than the “off topic” story ideas listed in the cons section. I’ll be sure to stay more on topic.

Feel free to comment below if there’s anything else you think DIY Dorm can work on. Trust me, constructive criticism will only make this blog better! Heres some links to some sites that demonstrate the qualities listed in the “Solutions” section above. They’re pretty rad. 

Dateless Again: How to Avoid a Pity Party on Valentine’s Day


Whether you despise the holiday or you love it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, my friends.

Ah yes– the holiday that can either help you fall head-over-heels for that special someone, or cause you to burn every romantic comedy in sight.

We get it– for those single folks without a Valentine, the beginning of February brings on the Valentine’s Day Blues. It’s hard to hear about all your friends’ cheesy plans without wanting to roll your eyes. Well, if this is you, than you have two options:

1. Wallow in self-pity while eating all the chocolate you bought yourself this holiday, or

2. Reward yourself and your loved ones with some tasty Valentine’s Day treats from DIY Dorm

Or you can do both. Either way, DIY Dorm promises all you single folks to help this year’s Valentine’s Day a little less painful.

DIY Mason Jar Sweet Treats

Don't hog all of it– give these jars to your friends, co-workers, and family. Photo by author.

Don’t hog all the good stuff– give these jars to your friends, co-workers, and family. Photo by author.

1. Grab a jar, any jar.

(You can get them in bulk, or for about $2 each at most grocery stores)

2. Get some ribbon, bag tags, and some hot glue too.

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3. Glue pieces of ribbon onto the lids for decoration.

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4. Write the names of your friends, co-workers, and family on the tags. Glue them on the lids.

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4. Fill the jar with popcorn, candy, or even homemade chocolate-covered pretzels.

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And what a wonderful way to get out of the single-life blues! But what about some other DIY ideas to rebel against Valentine’s Day? Here’s a list of some personal favorites. Don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s Valentine’s Day themed posts, and to check out this week’s DIY expert!

How to Beat the V-day Blues

  • Make these cookies from The Curvy Carrot. They will do wonders for your cranky mood, and you don’t have to worry about sharing. 
  • Avoid romantic comedies at all costs. That’s right… put down The Notebook and walk away. Instead, check out Mashable’s list of the top 11 movies to watch alone (and they’re all conveniently on Netflix too!)
  • While you’re watching that movie, why not get creative with your popcorn too? You can add in M&M’s for a salty-sweet treat, or pick from one of these recipes.

Student Opinion: Do you like Valentine’s Day?

“I’ve only liked Valentine’s Day when I’ve had a date.” – Ryan Werth, freshman

“Yes, because it’s a great excuse to eat all the lovely chocolates everyone has sent you, or that you sent yourself…” – Tess Engel, freshman

This Week’s DIY Expert: Frances Dodson from


Image of rings by WikiMedia and used here with a Creative Commons license.

After losing her husband to cancer a few years ago, Frances Dodson began designing personalized, hand stamped rings and is now a successful Etsy shop owner. Check out her store here.

Q: What got you started on making the jewelry in your shop? 

A: I had a different life planned for myself a couple of years ago. My husband and I took early retirement so we could enjoy our new Colorado Mountain home, travel around on our motorcycle touring a lot of the U.S. and just visiting and enjoying our grandsons. 10 months into that life, my husband passed away of pancreatic cancer.

My daughter has a shop here on Etsy. She kept encouraging me to find something I liked, and open my own shop. I was very scared, went to lots of craft shows, and just started watching what others were doing that seemed to make good money for them. I saw someone making the name rings, and decided I could do that– it seemed like something I could handle.

Q: Are they costly to make? How easy are they to make? 

A: Sometimes, I can start a ring and it only takes me a few minutes to get it stamped, then it goes to coloring, then clean up and packaging–pretty decent profit for that one item. The next time, I can work for what seems like forever, scrap three or four rings before I get it right, and there is no profit in that one at all, but I keep going.

Q: Over the years, have they made you any profit? 

A: I have only been working this venture for just over years. The first year, I think was at a break even point. This past year, I am thinking I made a decent profit. I am pretty much able to live on my Etsy income. Now don’t think that is huge, because I am a single person with no huge bills, and a very low standard of living.

I also like my Etsy shop because every sale I make gives me the feeling that someone out there likes my stuff and– in a small extension of that– me.