Pumpkin Painting 101

Pumpkin Painting 101

10 different ways to 'pumpkin' spice up your fall decorations.
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It's finally October which means that it's time for Fall, including pumpkins, changing leaves, apple picking, pumpkin spice flavored everything and so much more.

A yearly fall tradition that we have in my family is painting pumpkins. The whole family gets together with their carefully selected pumpkins to create some of the most creative Halloween decorations ever.

Since it is just the beginning of fall, I thought that I would share with you a few different ways that we came up with this year that you can use to pumpkin spice up your decorations.

1. Go ghostly

Nothing screams Halloween more than a ghost. Not only are they cute, but they are also perfect for the person that may not be as confident in their artistic talents. That being said, they can be as simple as a white pumpkin with two black eyes, or, for those that are up for a challenge, a detailed ghost that could be straight out of a horror movie!

2. Do the 'Monster Mash'

Everyone can appreciate a scary monster, especially around Halloween. Monster painted pumpkins are a perfect scary addition to your fall decorations. To add an extra scare factor, use glow in the dark paint to make your monsters jump out and give your trick-or-treaters a good, old fashioned Halloween scare!

3. Make a statement

Sometimes a perfectly painted pumpkin is the perfect centerpiece for the table or the mantle above the fireplace. Some pumpkins are made to become monsters or to be decorated with crazy faces ... and some are made to become show-stopping DIY decorations! One or two coats of a pop of color can make a simple pumpkin become the star of your Halloween party or Thanksgiving meal.

4. Stick to Classic Halloween

When I think of Halloween and Halloween decorations, I think of big spider webs in the bushes or hanging from the front porch. I also think of skeletons, monsters and vampires hiding in dark corners, ready to scare at any moment, and bats swooping around at dusk. So, what better way to decorate your pumpkins than to use classic Halloween as your inspiration?

5. Go wild

If you're stuck with ideas or just want to go for something totally different, I suggesting going for the paint splatter method. If you're decorating for Halloween and are in a classic mood, then orange and black is the way to go. However, if you want to mix it up, add a little bright green and purple. If you're decorating for fall or Thanksgiving, add some browns, reds, oranges and yellows to give your pumpkins a funky fall makeover.

6. Show school spirit

What better way to show off your school spirit than to decorate your house with it? If you're like me, though, and in a dorm with limited space, a tiny decorated pumpkin for your desk or in front of the door is the perfect decoration.

7. FACE your fears

A big part of Halloween are the masks that are used in costumes. So why not decorate your pumpkins in their own mask? To give your decor a little extra spook factor for Halloween, throw on some glow in the dark paint and give your pumpkins a makeover. If you're in a scary mood, give your pumpkin a scary mask. If you're not aiming for scary, though, a simple smile will do.

8. Favorite candy

Why not decorate your pumpkins based on the type of candy that you hope to get the most of in your trick-or-treat bag? If chocolate is your favorite, then paint them like M&Ms or a Hershey's bar. If you're more of a sugar hard candy person, then paint the pumpkins rainbow like Skittles or Smarties!

9. Spirit animal

Halloween is a great time to become your inner spirit animal. Why not use your pumpkin decorations to show it? Whether it be a mysterious cat or a sly snake, your animal is sure to make the perfect pumpkin decoration.

10. Travel

Perhaps you love to travel or wish that you could, but you are going to be stuck handing out Halloween candy. Use the pumpkins decorating your house to make yourself feel like you're on the road going places that you've thought about for a long time. Beep, beep!

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.

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Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.

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If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.

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Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.

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Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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