Drink Water Like A Pro With These Water Bottles

Drink Water Like A Pro With These Water Bottles

How to choose the perfect bottle.
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Lately we have been seeing this ongoing trend of having the "perfect" water bottle. There are so many companies out there that are pushing their own products. Some of the most popular are Hydroflask and Swell.

However, what makes these water bottles stand out from the others is not only the quality but the price. Here are what I believe are the top five best water bottles on the market that are worth your money.

1. Hydroflask


Created in 2009, Hydroflask's main goal was to create the perfect all-insulated water bottle for all types of activities. Boasting over 11 million purchases, they expanded all over the world bringing the drinking community closer together. Starting around $20, these bottles are honestly a lifesaver. They can either keep your drink hot or cold for hours on end. Some of the parts that suck are the dents that they can get just by dropping them or banging them against something. It really sucks after a while. However over all, they are a great addition to the cupboard. You can find them at most sports places or on Amazon. 4/5

2. Swell


Born right after Hydroflask, Swell places second on my list. These are great bottles because not only do they insulate but they also are the perfect size to bring anywhere you go. Their unique shape lets you traditionally hold a bottle while also grip onto while you run. They're made of eco-friendly materials and some of the proceeds from purchases go back to the community. I would have to say this is great if you feel compelled to give back to your community. 4/5

3. Wellness

This is the perfect buddy for any eco-friendly do-gooder. Wellness is similar to its competitors, however the custom wood top is what makes them stand out. It's pretty cool to see how unique this bottle is too. Wellness gives some of it's profits to building wells in Africa. Overall this bottle does a great job in insulating either something hot or cold. For it's price too costing at $30, it's a great investment knowing you're helping someone out in the world with water. (You get 20 percent with the code JUSTOH20). 4/5

Hopefully this gives you a glance of what kind of bottle you may want to invest in. They are all super great!

Cover Image Credit: Justo Oppus

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Tips and Tricks to Painting Coolers

My fool-proof way to create awesome coolers for formal season.
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Although I have never actually been to a fraternity formal myself, I have painted a few coolers for friends who have. Cooler painting is an extremely labor intensive art that you should not go into blindly. Here are my tips and tricks to successfully painting an awesome cooler that will last years! If you read all the tips and still feel like it is too daunting of a task, maybe you should just pay someone.

1. Sand it 'till you can't sand it anymore

Grab your laptop and turn on Netflix because sanding the cooler is definitely the longest and most boring part of cooler painting -- but sanding is the most important step to creating a cooler that will last longer than a week. I suggest using two, or better yet, three types of sand paper: course grit, medium grit, and fine grit. Start with course grit and, with a lot of pressure, sand each side of the cooler until you cannot see the original texture of it. With the medium grit and a slightly lighter touch, sand the whole cooler again. Lastly, with the fine grit sandpaper, lightly sand the cooler until the surface is very smooth with no bumps.

2. Wash all the powder off from sanding the cooler

Easily the most forgotten step to cooler painting, it is super necessary that you wash off the gritty powder from the cooler. Wash it with just water and some type of brush and make sure to let it dry before you prime it. If you prime it with all the powder still on it, the cooler is a lot more likely to chip. It only takes a second, so just do it!

3. Fill in the indented logo

If you feel like going the extra mile, fill in the trademark indented "igloo" or "coleman" logo with Spackle or Modge Podge. Beware: while Spackle does create the best looking cover up, it smells HORRIBLE, so if you are going to do it, make sure to do it outside. An easier, but less professional approach is to fill it in with Modge Podge. Turn the cooler on the side so that the logo it on the top and poor Modge Podge into it until its full. Let it dry overnight, then repeat. You might have to repeat this a few times as the Modge Podge tends to shrink when it dries.

4. Prime it...good

Priming the cooler is a step that cannot be overlooked because acrylic paint will not stick to the bare surface of the cooler. With painters tape, tape off any parts you do not plan on painting (e.g. the handles and wheels). Use a plastic spray primer like Krylon Fusion or Valspar Plastic Primer and apply two to three coats to each side. Wait at least 15 minutes between each coat. Make sure to do this step outside and on a surface you are okay with ruining. Wait a day before painting on the cooler.



5. Decide what to paint and on what side to paint it

There are SO MANY things you can paint on a cooler, the ideas are truly limitless. Try to find out what your date's favorite brand names are or sports teams. He will appreciate it much more if it is personalized. I would suggest having the top incorporate his name some way (e.g. southern tide logo, but instead of "Southern Tide" write his name in the same font style). On one of the larger sides, make it themed the place the formal will be held (e.g. NOLA). On the other sides, be creative and maybe plug your srat in there somewhere in the style of "DG loves KA"; they will never notice.

6. Paint the background colors first

Get excited, this part's hard to mess up. Whether you have decided to paint the traditional Patagonia logo or the fraternity's crest, figure out what the background colors of each side will be. Tape a strip of tape down each side and around each edge to ensure sharp lines. With acrylic paint of your choice, paint the background colors of each side. Tip: It doesn't have to be one solid color; it can be ombre from red to yellow for a beach scene (get creative). Use a larger brush for this part. Two coats is ideal.

7. Transfer the designs onto the cooler

This part is easier than you think. For inexperienced painters, I would suggest printing the design out, then tracing it onto tissue paper. Take the tissue paper and tape it onto the cooler and with a Sharpie, draw over the tissue design to transfer it to the cooler. It might take a while, but it is totally worth it for an awesome looking cooler. If you are a good freehand artist, then just go for it and draw it on the cooler with a pencil. Or if you have an artist friend, bake them cookies and I promise they will draw the designs on your cooler for you (trust me).

8. Paint!

This part should be fun, relaxing, and easy because your design is already on there. Remember your 1st grade coloring lessons and "Stay in the lines!". If your hand is just not steady enough for the small detailed lines with a paintbrush, try using paint pens-- they are a lifesaver for straight lines. But be careful not to use a paint pen to paint a large area of the cooler because it is noticeable and can make it look tacky. Have fun with this part!

9. Last but not least, Modge Podge that bad boy

After all your hard work, it is only necessary to prevent your cooler from scratching by sealing it. After you are done painting your cooler and it is COMPLETELY dry, grab a large, CLEAN paintbrush and a tub of Modge Podge. Shake the Modge Podge to mix it then softly hit it on the ground several times to get the bubbles out. With nice, even strokes in one direction, coat all parts of the cooler you painted. TIP: Modge Podge goes on white but dries clear, so do not worry. Wait until the first coat dries then paint a second coat. If you have the time and some Modge Podge left, paint a third to really ensure no chipping.

Voila! You now have a spring break-worthy and frat party proof cooler that any guy should feel happy to own. Although it seems like a lot of work, it is very rewarding knowing your date has the best cooler there. If it just seems like too much for you, there are so many crafty girls who would love to paint a cooler for you (it might not be cheap though), but you can save yourself a lot of money if you do all the prep work (e.g. sanding and priming) first. Either way, I hope these tips and tricks help you to create your one of a kind cooler.

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It’s Time To Stop Letting Victoria’s Secret Define What Is Beautiful

Glorifying and commodifying a specific type of body on a large-scale is damaging to women everywhere.

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Victoria's Secret is a retailer that thrives off of exclusion and maintains notions of beauty and attractiveness that are no longer as welcomed in the 21st century.

Frankly, capitalism will likely wipe out the brand when people stop buying their lingerie due to lack of support for the company.

That's the beauty of capitalism.

In fact, VS stock, which is now down 40% indicates that this type of change is coming to the lingerie marketplace, where women now value companies that promote bodily diversity and don't shame certain kinds of bodies for not adhering to the beauty standard set by Victoria's Secret.

While Victoria's Secret has increased its diversity throughout the years regarding ethnic backgrounds, the body type represented in the brand is incredibly homogenous.

The models in the show are all runway models outside of the Victoria's Secret show, meaning that they adhere to standard agency requirements. These requirements dictate a female model be at least 5'8 in height, and while weight is not often specified, models are usually between 105-120 pounds.

Any brief exploration into the models on the site will show that their measurements are around 31-34 inches in the bust, with a 22-26 inch waist and 34-36 inch hips. These measurements correspond to sizes 0-2, which are often used as sample sizes for the runway.

This article is not meant to attack their signature model, "Angels." They are beautiful women who fit the needs of the fashion industry they earn a living in. However, they are not the ONLY type of beautiful women to exist.

Further, this article is not meant to denigrate naturally thin individuals. I am a size 0 myself, so many people consider me a "thin" individual.

People might fail to understand why I disapprove of Victoria's Secret as a brand. After all, they cater to individuals with my body type, so what is there for me to complain about?

I don't fit their height requirement, meaning that I could never be one of their esteemed Angels. And you could ask yourself, "so why does that matter?"

The vast majority of women in the United States could never come close to achieving the bodily standards observed in Victoria's Angels that the brand emphasizes.

And which it's important for companies to cater to individual markets to ensure corporate diversity, Victoria's Secret remains a lingerie giant and has a massive ability in dictating national standards of beauty.

They also sell sizes beyond the XS or S displayed in the fashion show, yet fail to include bodies in the show that would fit their M, L, or XL sizes they sell in stores.

The problem with influence and lack representation coupled with their marketing strategy dictates to women that the Angel is the pinnacle of beauty. Therefore by wearing their lingerie, you get to supposedly feel like an Angel in the Victoria's Secret fantasy.

And yet, you don't.

Why?

Because even if you get sucked into their marketing scheme and buy their bras and underwear expecting to feel better about yourself, if you're not absolutely secure and completely love with your body already, you'll just recognize that you will never fit the Angel standard that you feel is expected of you to be considered beautiful.

And that when you look in the mirror, you not looking like an Angel makes you feel like a fraud.

Victoria's Secret further utilizes the term "sexy" often, meaning that wearing their lingerie is supposed to make you attractive and appealing to the opposite sex.

So not only is their brand about idealizing specific types of bodies but commodifying these particular bodies as objects of prime attractiveness to the opposite sex.

There is a consequence of presenting one body type as the most beautiful and categorizing it as incredibly sexy. For women, they risk feeling that a guy seeing them in lingerie will think of them as unattractive since they don't adhere to the epitomized beauty standard so endlessly praised in the media.

Victoria's Secret emphasizes that their show is a "fantasy." This notion of a fantasy can imply that it's not real. However, we as consumers know those models are still real people. And even if they're bronzed, made-up and thrust out onto the runway in perfect lighting, the bodies walking that runway wouldn't be there if Victoria's Secret didn't already consider them perfect before the show.

Further, Ed Razek, the Chief Marketing Officer of Creative Services of L Brands (the company that owns Victoria's Secret) responded to a question concerning bodily diversity in this manner:

"We attempted to do a television special for plus sizes (in 2000). No one had any interest in it, still don't,"

His quote is prime evidence that the minds behind Victoria's Secret do not consider bodies outside their norms interesting, nor beautiful enough to be in the spotlight.

In the eyes of Victoria's Secret, we women who don't fit the Angel model are not valued. We are not, and never will be, as attractive or as sexy since we are not, and cannot become, Angels.


To them, we are just women who chase their notions of beauty and sexiness to try and fulfill our desires to feel that way about ourselves. We remain consumers thinking that someday, maybe we will get close to or achieve that ideal and that wearing their lingerie is somehow a way to get there.

And since the vast majority of women in the United States feel insecure about their bodies, Victoria's Secret capitalizes on women's insecurities.

Brands such as ThirdLove and Savage X Fenty have made efforts to turn lingerie from devices of body standards and external validation to objects worn by women of all backgrounds for support, self-confidence, and comfortability. They've also worked to move the notion of sexiness away from something determined by the opposite sex to instead a feeling one experiences from empowering their own female sexuality.

All in all, you get to decide what companies you support, where to put your money and who you think makes the nicest lingerie.

I, along with many other women, have decided I don't want to spend my money at Victoria's Secret anymore. I've been on too long of a journey of bodily hate and self-destruction, and I feel that it is time for me to move on and surround myself in a social movement that doesn't make me feel less of a woman.

Maybe one day, Victoria's Secret will do someone to cater to the millions of women upturning their noses at their company. And if not, they may have to settle as a smaller, specialty retailer that emphasizes clothing for smaller women.

Regardless, a change in marketing could benefit their sales and stock.

Otherwise, a lot of us women are going to go elsewhere and work to redefine what it means to be beautiful.

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