Cal Poly Students Share Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15

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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)

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

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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!

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

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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 Etsy.com

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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.

Microwavable Mug Creations: A Great Way to Avoid Campus Food

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After looking through St. Louis Post-Dispatch articles on food recipes (found here and here), I was completely inspired to show everyone how to avoid campus food the easy way: by simple coffee cup recipes you can make in your dorm microwave. Trust me, it’s as simple as that.

Let’s be honest: here at Cal Poly, we don’t necessarily have the best dining options. And after a quarter of eating the same food at VGs and Metro, face it— you’re finding any way you can to avoid campus dining.

All would be dandy if we could just simply cook our own meals, but not every student is blessed with a built in kitchen in their dorm.

But what about the downstairs kitchen? Ahh yes, every red brick dorm has one on the first floor, available to everyone. Sounds like a great alternative, right?

Maybe not. Basically, it smells like a cross between a dead animal and a fridge that hasn’t been cleaned in months. I think this picture is worth a thousand words in this case.

Muir Hall community kitchen at its finest. Photo by author.

Muir Hall community kitchen at its finest. Photo by author.

Pretty sure this tray was responsible for the dead animal smell. Who knows what is growing in there.

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Baking sheet in community kitchen that has been there for 2 days. Photo by author.

This is where microwavable mug recipes become your best friend.

  • But I found that even the recipes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted, as well as other mug recipe blogs, were missing one thing: they still were not easy for college kids to make in their dorm. The articles claimed they were “dorm oriented” but things like
  • white flour
  • brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • rising flour
  •  thyme
  • chopped green onion

…were ingredients needed in a lot of the recipes that I know students would never go out and buy.

I now present to you three truly easy microwavable mug recipes that anyone can make in less than 2 minutes, inspired by the mentioned articles above.

1) Chilaquiles in a Mug

Nom nom nom. Photo by author.

Nom nom nom. Photo by author.

Things needed:

  • Mug
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBS of Milk
  • Chips
  • 1 TBS of Cheese
  • Salsa and Pepper (Optional)

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Stir the milk and egg together in the mug. Add pepper or salt for flavor.

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Add in squares of cheddar cheese (or shredded cheese) and mix well. Then break up chips, and stir well.

Put in the microwave for about 1 minute and 10 seconds, plop on some salsa and more chips, and ta-dah!

2) French Bread Quiche

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Oui Oui, this quiche is yummy. Photo by author.

Things Needed:

  • Mug
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 TBS of Milk
  • Pepper/Salt
  • 1/4 Einstein’s Bagel
  • 2 teaspoons Einstein’s cream cheese
  • Ham (optional)

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Mix egg, milk, and pepper in mug like the last recipe. Stir well

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Mix in dime-sized bits of bagel, and stir well. Add in cream cheese and stir well. Add in ham

Microwave for one minute and 20 seconds, and bon appetit. The French would be proud.

3) Strawberry Angel Food Cake

(with sprinkles of course)

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My favorite mug recipe. Photo by author.

Things Needed:

  • Mug
  • Mug Cake Mix (half angel food cake, half strawberry cake mix)
  • Water
  • Sprinkles

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This was a gift for Christmas. My roommate’s friend filled the jar half with angel food cake mix, and half strawberry cake mix. Totally simple and a cute gift idea!

The image above is self explanatory with instructions included, but here’s a link to my video just in case!

Strawberry Angel Food Cake in a Mug

Well that’s all for today! I hope these recipes save you money, and save you from Cal Poly’s campus food.

Check out some other blogs with mug recipes!