The Secret to Life (and cleaning white shoes)

One of the greatest struggles in this era is cleaning dirty white shoes.

My white shoes after cleaning

From when I bought them, I tried to keep them as clean as possible as a result of my OCD. However, through everyday use and accidents like spills or people stepping on them, it became increasingly hard to keep them in their original condition. However, after some snooping online, I found the perfect way to clean them. This is a real life saver and something I would love to share with the public.

Items needed:

  1. Baking soda
  2. old toothbrush or soft-bristle brush
  3. bowlIMG_4052.JPG
  4. water
  5. aluminum foil





  1. Wait until 12-1 PM before starting.
  2. Mix equal parts of baking soda and water in a bowl. Note- the consistency should not be so thick that it becomes a soup, but rather it should be a watered-down paste.
  3. cut out a sheet of aluminum foil and place it outside.
  4. place the shoes, baking soda mix, and old toothbrush on the aluminum foil.
  5. Using the old toothbrush, dip it into the mixture and apply it to the shoes. Make sure to put more on the parts that are dirtier until you cannot see the stain. If the area looks very clumpy, that is OK. We’ll get back to that later.
  6. leave your shoes outside for at least 4 hours.
  7. IMG_4060.PNG
    After 4 hours of drying in the sun

    After they dry up, they will look and feel very rough and dusty. That’s OK! Simply brush off any big excesses with a towel or the toothbrush and whack the bottoms of the shoes on a hard surface to get all of the powder off.

    Important- Baking soda is somewhat of a “temporary” technique of cleaning white shoes because it acts like a paint that sticks onto the shoes and therefore will need to be redone every month or half-month. However, they are safer than the risk of permanently damaging your shoes in the washer or through bleaching.






If the Hoodie Fits

I’ve never understood why it is so important to get something in your size until now.

Generally, I like my shirts fitted and my jackets and pants baggy to create a hIMG_3889.JPGip-hop inspired look. By fitted, I mean one size down what I usually wear, so if I want, say, a Tupac Longsleeve,  I would get it in a small and not a medium. I just like the tight fit and how it wraps and molds around the body as opposed to having sleeves overfold from the extra bagginess and the bottom of the shirt drop as low as to my crotch. For my hoodies, I just really like the baggier, but not overbaggy, style, just so it is comfortable enough to wear and provide as much warmth as possible while still looking presentable. For example, because I fall between a Men’s small and a Men’s medium category, I would choose the medium size for my Kung Fu Kenny hoodie.  However, the real problem begins when I step out of my comfort zone.


About a week ago I had my eye on this one nice hoodie. It was not that much- I had a $20 discount and that changed my grand sum of around $50 to just $20. Specifically, it was a Lira Men’s IMG_3890.JPGRose Hoodie. However, there was only one problem: It only came in 2 sizes; XL and XXL. I had visited Tilly’s shops several times to look for a smaller size or a different type of hoodie that I liked, but nothing appealed to me and the smallest size I could still possibly fit was an XL. I asked around to see if my friends had any solutions. The most common one that came up was, “wash it in very hot water and dry the crap out of it.” I was very skeptical about the idea. However, when I tried it, it in fact did shrink! It was absolutely amazing for me to find out that things like these work. However, with everything comes a price.



I am very happy my hoodie actually came out looking decent, although just a tad IMG_3891.JPGbit too large. I, however, did not know that there was a large change that using direct heat like that could ruin the hoodie in a number of ways, including fading, breaking down the material, and having the designs peel off. luckily, this did not happen to me on a major extent, but I do recommend that before anyone tries this they consider the cost. If you believe is worth it, go for it.


Now, I try something a bit odd to shrink my clothes. First, if I am washing the object by itself, I would normally use one or two levels ofIMG_3894.JPG heat down from the maximum. Once finished, I would throw the object into the dryer. However, here is the tricky part: I would set up different times of direct heat and “cooling down” so the damage to my clothes would be minimal. For example, maybe 10 minutes of maximum heat, then 5 of the next lowest heat and 5 of the next and so on. At the end, I would blast it on full heat until the remaining time is finished (Probably just 10-15 mins). Overall, I am happy how my hoodie came out and intend on using this only as a reliable but last choice options.



Hair Problems? I Think ‘Knot’

IMG_3760.JPGAs a guy in high school with a greater amount of hair, I constantly have the problem of taking good care of my hair and mold it to how i want my hairstyle to be. I shower twice a day, and each time I use Dove 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to make my hair softer. However, after using gel, pomade, or some other form of hair product to do my hair, it is either rough and hard or sticky and pungent. I have all kinds of hair product that I have used: Gel, hairspray, pomade, beeswax, and so many others; however, none of them really meet both conditions of being soft and healthy as well as perfectly molded unless it is unnecessarily expensive.


The first time I really had this problem was back in 8th grade. This was the first time I decided to do my hair.  I first started with gel- it was an all-natural, firm hold one. I did not have as much hair as I did now and I used to have my hair in a ‘lion’s mane’ hairdo. I found it exceedingly difficult to keep my hair in it’s place, no matter how much hair gel I used. Another problem was the gel made my hair stiff and hard on the places it got on, creating such an imbalance in my hair. Next, I tried hairspray to fix  my problem. Sure enough, hairspray fixed my problem of not having all the hairs equally how i wanted them to be- but at a cost. The hairspray needed time to dry so I would have to waste five minutes of my day just standing around hoping somehow my hair did not get ruined in the process. I quickIMG_3761.JPGly found a loophole to that by applying hairspray at night and waking up to a nearly-perfect hairdo. Also, hairspray leaves a lot of flakes and dandruff-like particles in my hair. It was equally as unhealthy as it frequently made a lot of my hairs fall out. Lastly, I finally bought some Old Spice pomade, and although it worked great it made my hair and my hands particularly sticky and have a strong odor that a lot of people could not stand after a while. After a period of looking, it appeared that I would just have to settle for second.



Since then, a lot has happened involving my hair. First, I changed my hairstyle to longer hair that I could slick back or nonchalantly leave to the side. Also, when I did decide to do my hair for those special occasions, I discovered something amazing. It wasIMG_3762.JPG coincidental that I had run out of hair gel that day. I was moisturizing my face with lotion, a very important skin care process, when I decided to fix my hair. The excess on my hands and fingers ran across my hair to stick it up and have it hold like the pomade. After careful inspection, I found that regular lotion had a stronger hold then gel, no odors and unnatural stick like the strong pomade, and actually helped my hair become smoother unlike the hairspray.

Every time I decide to do my hair now, I always rely on lotion. It’s amazing multipurpose use for such a cheap object gives the object even more value. It really does help make my hair softer and IMG_3763.JPGit feels more natural to use than any other hair product, giving the same effect as even the best of pomades. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap but effective hair product to use.


There are still some problems from using lotion as a hair product. First, it is generally looked down upon by society, marking the user with labels such as a ‘radical’ or a ‘maverick.’ Also, lotion makes the hair look very shiny, which does look odd at certain times. Lastly, lotion does not hold up the hair that long before the density of it makes your hair collapse and look incredibly flat or as if you just ran up and down 20 flights of stairs, Nevertheless, in my opinion lotion is still the most conventional hair product out there.


No Chill: How to have a Cold Drink Without Pesky Ice Cubes

I have never realized how good it feels to drink chilled water without constantly having to deal with the ice.


6337849563_f688da3932_o (2).jpg
Photo: Antoni BCN November 1,2011©[CC BY-SA 2.0)

Every day this happens to me: I come home from the gym or a basketball game craving for some ice-cold refreshing water to quench my thirst. I fill a glass of water and place some ice cubes in so it can be chilled. However, every time I drink water I always have to slowly sip because the ice constantly bumps into my lip and continues to make it numb or irritate me enough that I have to delay my drinking just for it to submerge into the depths of my cup again. Every time. So every day as I came home hot, sweaty, thirsty, desiring for something to relieve me of my ailments the heat has caused me, I always consistently run into the same problem. How can I get a drink if every 5 seconds I have to take a dramatic pause to not afflict myself of frostbite.


I lived in a 24/7
nightmare for several years until I stumbled upon something that completely changed my perspective on my chilled drinks. As long as something touching the

Photo Brook Ferry August 15, 2011©[CC BY-SA 2.0]

water was cold, the water would be cold! It led me to nights of innovating with frozen peas, carrots, tomatoes, and apples. Although they all helped chilling my drink, they still gave an unnecessary taste to the perfect liquid that would ever touch man’s lips. Somehow, I had to come up with a way to chill your drink without giving it flavor or taste, my largest challenge for years.



There were several conditions that needed to be met to make it the perfect substitute for ice cubes. Did it chill water? Did it allow

Photo Mix Sensations August 20, 2010©[CC BY-SA 2.0]

for continuous drinking while the water is cold? Is it cheap? Is it efficient? And finally, on a Sunday morning by complete accident, I discovered my answer.






The night before I stayed up late to finish some pesky homework that needed to be done. I took a sip of water and unknowingly placed it in my fridge along with the leftover foods from dinner. After I woke up for a few hours or so, the temperature was blazing as the sun branded our backs. I went in for a drink and when I opened the fridge, lo and behold, my cup was still there. I took a drink from it. It was completely cold! I retested this by placing an empty cup in the refrigerator. When I used it, all

Photo Terhi January 19, 2013©[CC BY-SA 2.0]
of the contents were perfectly chilled and did not serve as an obstacle to my thirst. At long last, I came upon two conclusions: Pre-chill multiple cups in the refrigerator to have it instantly chill the refreshment or to pre- chill the drink itself. Never again will ice distract me from quenching my thirst, ever.

Life Hack: Get More Sleep

Sleep is very important for students before a big test or finals that will ultimately determine their grade. However, the average sleep of students that are teenagers or adults is only 6-7 hours, when in reality they need at least 9 hours of sleep. This article will solely be on how to catch more zzz’s to ace that test or quiz tomorrow.



  • Put Away Your Phone



Phones and other electronic devices that display blue lighting often distract people from sleeping the amount they need to. Turn off and cover any blue-light electronics at least an hour before your bedtime. This will include your alarm or whatever device you use as an alarm, so you don’t constantly look over to see the time.



  • Pick a Pillow



Your pillow should be at a neutral and natural position when you sleep. If you sleep on your side, line your nose up with the center of your body. Also, sleeping on your stomach twists your neck and will lead to stiffness and pain in the morning. The best sleep temperature for most people is around 68 and 72 degrees.



  • Eat Right at Night



Try eating light at night. Eat supper an hour before bed and drink liquids 2 hours before bed. If you drink before bed, you would be more likely to wake up at night. A good replacement for wine and alcohol would be tea or warm milk.


DIY Fix Glasses

Not everyone has 20/20 vision. About half of all adults have imperfect vision, but in this day and age, there are several ways to fix that. The easiest among all of the corrective techniques and devices are glasses. Unlike daytime or nighttime  contacts, glasses do not irritate your eye and you do not have to be committed to them daily or nightly. But what happens when your glasses break? In this DIY blog, I will show you how to easily fix your glasses.

Step 1: Get Materials

You will need:

  1. Hot glue gun
  2. Hot glue gun glue
  3. Thread of string that matches your glasses’ color.

Step 2: Identify the Broken Area

Although a break on the glasses’ bridge is far easier to fix than a break at the hinges, both will be very easily fixed within 10 minutes.

Step 3: Apply First Glue

Apply glue from your hot glue gun at where the glasses broke. This may require 2 people for precision and because the glue dries up very quickly. Spread the dried excess glue with the hot metal tip across the area of breakage.

Step 4: Applying Thread

While the spread around glue is still hot, start wrapping the breakage area with thread. This helps bind the two parts together and makes your broken glasses sturdier. If you broke your glasses at the hinges, try to wrap around the two broken pieces together instead at just the middle. The thread should cover somewhere between half an inch to an inch around the broken area and should not be thicker than 3 layers of thread (personal experience).

Step 5: Final Touches

Place an insignificant amount of glue behind and in front of the breakage area on the thread. Spread the glue around so it covers the thread and touches the non-threaded parts surrounding it. If broken around the hinges, place a small amount of glue to fill the space that connects the places that go on your ear and the frame that holds the glasses. Also, you will not be able to fold your glasses if you choose to fix the hinge area.

Step 6: Adjustments

No matter how hard you try to get your glasses DIY-fixed, they will never look or feel the same. Make some adjustments on both sides of the frame (move each side up/down) to create balance and symmetry for both sides of the glasses on your face.

Step 7: Wear with Pride



Note Taking Tips

Notes are one of the best ways to study for a test and review key concepts for a final. However? What is the most efficient way to take notes? The general idea of notes is to help you remember, not cram every small little detail into your mind until you forget the important stuff you need in the test. In this blog post, I will show you how to take notes the most efficient way to earn easy A’s.

Notes should be short but detailed. That doesn’t mean you need to fit in all the small details, but instead the main concept. In a textbook, for example, most sentences are obsolete to the general knowledge you need. Don’t worry about skipping through the paragraphs to find your main idea though- usually, the knowledge you need to retain is at the top of the paragraph or in bold. After that, insert other information relating to the general idea and provide examples to remember.

The structure of notes are equally as important as it’s content. Without structure, there is nothing to hold the contents in. Although several structures are preferable and that preference varies from person to person, I like most a structure that can easily help anyone with their notes as shown below:


I(Roman numerals). Chapter

  1. Subchapter / main idea
  • Other important information regarding main idea
    • Examples

Notes are undoubtedly a wonderful study tool for anybody. Next to flash cards, it is the easiest way to study for a test or review for finals. With the structure and information of notes, you will undoubtedly get an A if you put your mind, body, and soul into it. Happy Holidays!