Monday, November 28, 2011

One more thing on your plate means one more thing on theirs

As things are winding down this semester, I am doing everything I can just to keep up with school, work and family (as I'm sure you are, too). It seems difficult to imagine putting anything else on my plate. But people across TCC are taking on extra responsibilities to make sure those less fortunate have something on their plates by collecting and buying food for those less fortunate.

Don't get me wrong. When my department said "Let's adopt two children from the Salvation Army Angel Tree," I was eager to buy the 5-year-old girl a pair of Sketchers Twinkle Toes. But that didn't take a lot of effort or time. And, I was happy to do it. I could just imagine the look on that little girl's face on Christmas morning when she opens a pair of the coveted Twinkle Toes tennis shoes. Precious!

But my department isn't the only one. Some students and TCC employees have collected literally thousands of pounds of food (Yes, I'm talking about you Phi Beta Lambda at TCC's West Campus!) And, they have donated toys to give to children who have been treated at one of the Shriners Hospitals for Children (I'm taking that photo Thursday!). And there are probably a dozen other similar stories out there.

To all of the givers, I say "Way to go!" Even though money is tight this time of year and many are without jobs, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that so many people are thinking of others this time of year. If you have the chance to give to someone, even if it is as simple as putting an extra can of corn in your shopping basket and dropping it off in a food donation box, do it. Those little things add up, and they take very little time and effort when everyone pitches in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bypass boring attire with these Thanksgiving outfit inspirations

Photo credit

Hey girls: Are you wondering what to wear during Thanksgiving break? College Fashion has some cute outfit ideas inspired by Disney Pixar's "Up." Whether you want to dress comfortably to grab a coffee with friends or get glammed up for the big T-Day, these styles will give you some inspiration! I especially like the "Kevin"-inspired outfit. The dress has vivid colors and a flattering shape. So pretty.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Looking to get out & about this week? Check out TashaDoesTulsa

Are you looking for something fun to do this week in addition to eating turkey and spending time with the fam? Check out what's happening around town from Tulsa's blogger Natasha Ball at TashaDoesTulsa. She has plenty of things to choose from if you want to get out, even if that just means moving from your comfy couch to a cinema seat. Between the laundry, cooking, cleaning and homework-catchup, take some time to have fun this week. You deserve it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Candy, turkey and pies: Oh no!

I asked my pal and fitness guru Amy Leach to give us some tips on how to stay healthy during the tempting holiday season. Read below for her awesome advice!

Amy Leach is the Fitness Center Manager at TCC's Metro Campus

 Does the holiday season get you just as excited about food as it does for me? It’s that time of year when it’s "OK" to go off your diet or workout regime because this time only happens once a year, right? Well, as many of you know, this once-a-year-eating-fest usually turns into two to three months of binging on all of your grandma’s favorite recipes. Let’s see, there’s candy corn at Halloween; turkey, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving; and anything sweet and fattening around Christmas!

With all this said, and likely known by you already, what is a person to do – stay on your diet throughout the holidays and be miserable or let the diet slide during the holidays and be miserable? It’s almost a lose-lose situation, especially in regards to your workout regime. I personally find it extremely hard to get motivated to workout when it’s 20 degrees outside and I am sleeping all comfy in my warm bed. And let’s not forget the crazy Oklahoma weather! It might be 60 out one day and then a blizzard may hit the next day. With weather like this, no wonder it’s hard to stay on track with any healthy lifestyle. The last time we got snowed in last year, the only thing to do was nap, bake cookies, nap, eat cookies and eat more cookies! Sound familiar?? So let’s start our strategizing now BEFORE all these wonderful and not-so-wonderful things occur.

I am extremely active and in decent shape, but I, too, struggle with these everyday situations. Here are my tips to get you motivated to stay on track while still enjoying everything pleasant about the holiday season.
·         Remember, family is one of the best parts of the holiday season. Focus on family, friendship, and laughter – not solely on food. Life is too short - wouldn’t you rather spend quality time with those you love as opposed to pulling up a chair to the buffet table? Think about it…
·         As all the magazines and popular health websites suggest, moderation is key! One thing I did last year at Thanksgiving was filled my plate with tons of veggies (and I didn’t mind if they were covered in butter or not), then I added some white turkey and a few samples of the other side dishes. Lastly for dessert, I made an apple pie with a can of lower sugar apples (of course natural would have been better but who has time to cut and peel them) mixed with Truvia (a natural sugar substitute), cinnamon and apple pie spice, and for the crust I used fat-free butter, whole wheat flour, oatmeal and a few graham crackers. That way I knew what was in it and didn’t feel as guilty about over-indulging.
·         Another tip is to go for a family walk or participate in a game outdoors. Again, last year my sister and I went for a walk after dinner and it was great because we bonded, vented about annoying family members and burned off a few calories in the process.
·         Lastly, don’t beat yourself up if you do over-indulge (which we all are going to do from time to time). Get up early the next day and do some push-ups, squats and jumping jacks at your house. If weather permits, go out for a jog or head to the gym for a quick 30 minute cardio and/or weights session. Christmas shopping is another way to burn some calories. Just remember to park far away from the entrance (probably won’t be too hard to do with all the traffic), take the stairs when possible and drink plenty of water.

Good luck and have a wonderful holiday season! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cach for cash at GIS Day

Geographic Information Systems may sound complex, but you can learn how to use this technology in a fun scavenger hunt at GIS Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Student Commons on TCC's Metro Campus.

GIS Day is a free event that invites the community and students to learn about TCC’s GIS Certificate program, to network within the geospatial community and to discover GIS career options. The day includes a scavenger hunt in which participants will use GIS technology to find items, and there is a cash prize.

A GIS, or geographic information system, represents computer software, data and solutions that are used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in government, education and business. GIS Day educates people about how geography affects people through GIS technology.

For more information or to register to attend, visit or contact Dr. Kelly Allen at 918-595-7085.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Higher ed chancellor to visit TCC

Chancellor Glen D. Johnson speaks to area higher ed leaders in 2008 about goals and initiatives of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

It's a pretty big deal when the chancellor of higher education visits your college, and that is exactly what is happening this evening. Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will speak to guests about Complete College America and the budget for the next fiscal year.

You may be thinking, "What does a chancellor do?" Well, Chancellor Johnson provides leadership concerning  the academic programs in our state, and he works closely with our state legislature on budget allocations for colleges and universities. He has a lot of important responsibilities that affect everyone involved in higher education, from students to college presidents.

In case you are wondering: OSRHE is requesting $980 million for FY13, which is a $35.7 million increase from the previous year.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer to speak, present work at TCC

If you don't have plans on Friday night, you do now. Jose Galvez, the first Mexican American Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer is coming to TCC to speak and display his photo exhibit, "Somos Mismos, We are All Alike." The photos communicate that people have more in common than they might think. He will talk about his work at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Cyber Lounge at TCC's Northeast Campus.

"We all share similarities across this great land of ours," Galvez said via email. "We're families, attend celebrations, have faith, are business people and have hope for the future."

As you may have read in my last post, the Hispanic population is booming in Tulsa and TCC. This growth is leading to changes at TCC, including a new class, Hispanic American History. Galvez's visit to TCC is not only to display and talk about his work, but also to support the addition of this new credit class.

To view his work, visit

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Growth of Hispanics leads to new class offering at TCC

With the Hispanic population booming in the U.S. and Tulsa, it makes sense for Tulsa Community College to offer classes that pertain to this population's historical influence on America. TCC is offering a new class this fall and in spring 2012 called Hispanic American History to do just that.

Professor Daniel Chaboya is teaching the class from 5:30-8:20 p.m. on Wednesdays at TCC's Metro Campus. The course call number is 24379.

Here is the rundown from Chaboya:

This interdisciplinary course introduces you to the important historical, cultural, political and social experiences of Hispanic Americans. You will examine the struggles, triumphs and contributions of this multifaceted ethnic group with emphasis on the history of the United States to explain the contemporary status of Hispanic Americans. For more information: 918-595-7544 or

To read an article about the growth of the Hispanic population in the Tulsa World, click here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top five reasons to give hand-made gifts this year

We've all been there. The holidays are approaching, and you've got $100 to spend on gifts for 20 people. Life is expensive, so it's difficult to buy something wonderful for every special person in your life for the holidays.

I believe with some planning and creativity, you don't have to spend a fortune to give gifts that are insightful and meaningful. Here are some tips to get you thinking.

Top five reasons to give a hand-made gift versus a store-bought gift for the holidays:
1. There isn't a chance that you will give them something they already have.
2. If you put the recipient's name on the gift, you can pretty much guarantee they won't regift the item.
3. Store-bought may make your recipient feel you just grabbed the first thing you saw.
4. Hand-made may make your recipient feel you spent a lot of time, thought and energy into the gift. Even though the gift could be something that took very little time to create
5. It's less expensive, and you are a college student so every penny counts!

Here are some ideas I like:
1. Pour dry ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) into a Mason jar or paper sack with a little recipe card attached with a ribbon. The ingredients could be for homemade cocoa, cookies, brownies, etc. Use your imagination! Put enough dry ingredients in each jar to make 5-10 servings. The gift recipient just has to add water, eggs, etc., and bake! Example
2. Buy a ceramic plaque and paint the name or initials of the gift recipient on the plaque. Hobby Lobby has some great ones that start at $2.99 a piece, and some of them have holes at the top for hanging. Example
3. For the guys in your life, why not make home-made coozies? These are so cute and cheap, and he will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Example

If you have other hand-made gift ideas, please share!