It's Not Too Late: 7 Ways My Roommates And I Bedazzled Our Leftover Pumpkins

It's Not Too Late: 7 Ways My Roommates And I Bedazzled Our Leftover Pumpkins

Halloween is not the only time you can decorate a pumpkin.

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My roommate's dad sent the six of us, who live in a small little pod, a gift:

Six pumpkins.

I'm not talking about the cute tiny little pumpkins you can hold with three fingers. No. I mean the eight-pound pumpkins that you need two hands and a knee to hold.

At the moment, across the room from me sits six pumpkins in a large pile on the ground right under my roommate's bed.

Me, being the control freak that I am, cannot stand seeing bare pumpkins lying around. They're practically naked and think decorating these is the best way to go. Also, I have a feeling I may not be the only one with a pumpkin in my dorm. Decorating a pumpkin should be a Fall thing and not just a Halloween thing. So here are some ideas for Fall Pumpkin Decorating:

1. Carving

Nothing is more fun than carving a pumpkin because there are so many things you can do with a marker, a knife, and some inspiration. There are so many spooky, funny, and sweet faces to come up with to bring some holiday cheer to the front doorstep. (Or in this case, dorm door). Carving a pumpkin doesn't have to stick to a face. It can be cartoon characters, real people, Disney princesses, sports teams, school logos, animals, or landscapes.

I had a friend who carved Cinderella's Castle, and another one who carved Scooby-Doo. A pumpkin can be anyone's carving canvas, so maybe this idea is something my five roommates can think about.

2. Paint

No one ever said painting pumpkins is for kids, so why stop now? In fact, since we've gotten older, we can probably think of a lot of great ideas for the pumpkin. Pumpkins are circles, and there are just as many options for painting as there are for carving. In fact, there are probably more things you can do for painting a pumpkin because you don't have to worry about making the pumpkin top heavy or have so many holes that it just breaks apart. Putting paint on a pumpkin can reduce all that hard work of carving. Besides, what college student has something other than a butter knife in their dorm?

3. Glitter

Whether you're a male or female it really doesn't matter because glitter makes everyone happy. Pick up some glitter at a local crafter store, grab some liquid glue, and be prepared to pick up glitter off of the floor for the next semester. You can make the glitter pumpkin rainbow or a specific color scheme for whatever you are feeling. Whether you want to write something in glitter or make glitter leaves across the pumpkin, it creates a classy and colorful addition to your pumpkin.

4. Bedazzle

This is fairly time-consuming, so I understand if this is a craft you would most definitely rather skip. However, if you want to ignore the fact that you have an exam to study for or have an essay to write, this is super fun. (This doesn't have to be done all at once either). There are so many designs you can choose from as well. With Thanksgiving not too far away, you can really be creative. Creating a pilgrim is an idea, or maybe if you want the winter season to come sooner put on some bedazzled frost on the top of your pumpkin. The possibilities are endless.

5. Eat It

I don't necessarily mean the entire pumpkin, because although I love pumpkin pie, I don't think I would be able to eat an entire pumpkin. Though, if you have a recipe for just a plain pumpkin and have an idea on what to do with it go crazy. As a college student, my ability for cooking goes just a little beyond microwavable ramen. And yes, this is something you can do in your building's microwave. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

I love pumpkins seeds, and they're probably my favorite part of a pumpkin. (Minus pumpkin spiced lattes of course). And you can do just about any with them because they're fairly bland.

I'm also a crunch lover and prefer that over anything gummy like Gummy Bears or Twizzlers. (So I like potato chips, popcorn, and crackers). Pumpkin seeds offer the same satisfaction, and it's not difficult to get. Simply put some pumpkin seeds on a microwaveable plate from your gutted pumpkin, sprinkle a little salt on it, and place it in the microwave for a minute. Continue adding the minutes until the pumpkin seeds are golden. (If you can put the microwave on the highest temperature setting, I've noticed it gives an extra crunch). But if you're the select lucky few who have a working oven in their building or dorm room, feel free to use that.

6. Make a Face Mask

For those of you who want their skin looking great, here's an idea what you could do with the entire pumpkin. Simply put it on your face. (And no, don't throw it at your friend's face). Smash it up a bit and make a little facemask out of it. Anyone could improvise with a knife and maybe a spoon to break up a pumpkin, but it's possible. When your pumpkin is happily mashed up in a little bowl, you can mix up whatever oil or product you want into the paste to get a nice and soft facemask. Plus, you can, of course, put it into a container and use it as much as you like, or if you feel like sharing it use it as a little Fall gift.

7. Melt Crayons

If you have leftover crayons that you are prepared to throw out, DON'T, this idea is perfect for you. Unwrap all those pesky crayons you don't want and place them on top of your pumpkin. Bring out your hairdryer and watch the magic happen. The crayons will start to melt and the melted crayon will drip down your pumpkin. Add more crayons and colors you want for the desired effect.

Feel free to try out any of these ideas for your post-Halloween pumpkin. If you come up with an idea yourself that's fantastic, but these were the ideas I thought about for the six pumpkins currently on the floor in front of me that you can definitely try out. They seem fun enough to me, and a bit relaxing after mid-terms finally coming to a close. I wonder what my roommates and I will decide to do because of all of these sound fun. I may mix up a few. Perhaps carve the pumpkin and eat the seeds. You may feel free to do so as well.

Enjoy the Fall season. Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean the fun is over!

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Walk Through The Woods That Eased My Pain

After a week of constant pain, a walk through pine flatwoods helped me feel alive and at peace.

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A week of constant pain left me exhausted. All I wanted to do was lie in bed. I didn't want to go anywhere, but my husband wanted to work from the park, so we went. After sitting on the bench for a while, uncomfortable and aching, I remembered sometimes when you're in pain it helps to walk it off, so I decided to take the trail through the woods.

The woods at this park, like most parks in Florida, are made up of various tall pines and low-lying shrubs. It is called a pine flatwood. I walked the path slowly, not in a rush to get anywhere, just there to enjoy it. The pine left a sweet odor. Slash pines and longleaf pines towered above, their long straight trunks topped with long bright green needles that stood against the blue Florida sky.

My back still ached a little but felt much better, so I kept moving. The path weaved through the woods. Partially shaded by the trees. People passed me, but I didn't mind. They were busy exercising; I was busy enjoying. I loved the dense saw palmetto that lined the forest floor. Some woods are darker or mostly brown colored, especially on the floor that is often covered in fallen wood and leaves, but not these woods, these woods are vibrant shades of green, green that makes you feel alive. It made me feel more alive than I had in days.

Typically, when I take walks in the park, I spend time watching the birds, seeing which ones I can identify. This time on the trail there weren't many birds, so my attention was drawn to the pines, palmettos, and other plants instead. Often, these plants go unnoticed, serving as a backdrop to the more exciting parts of nature. But as I turned my attention to the trees, I noticed how stunning they were.

I looked up noticing how their branches spread in front of the sky. Then I looked at the endless palmettos, extending through the woods. The trees towered above me, yet they were a comfort, a shelter, that helped take my mind off the aching. The trees are still and peaceful, helping me to be still too. To stand confidently and breathe, and to also rest, clear my head, and know that it'll all be okay.

I walked through the trees for a while, not wanting to stop. It's important we all learn from trees. In their still, patience they know things that we fast-paced humans often forget in our busy lives. Life needs to be enjoyed, slowed down and still, our minds and our bodies. And when we do, it's healing. Walk slowly, take it in, notice the trees that we often forget to notice because they are still, but that doesn't mean they aren't the wisest of us all.

My aching was not cured, but as I returned from my walk, I felt at peace, rejuvenated, alive. Like the bright green towering pines, I stood proud and breathed in the fresh air.

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