Introspective planning for V-day

Introspective planning for V-day

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor I’ve always questioned the validity and purpose of Valentine’s Day. Why does it matter so much to dedicate one day to a loved one? A devoted partner should be doing that every day. I attribute the existence of Valentine’s Day to consumerist culture and societal pressure to not be single.  So, I started thinking about what else I could do on Valentine’s Day to make it special, but not like how society has designed it. The stereotypical Valentine’s Day event consists of buying flowers or chocolate and planning a date or elaborate escapade with a partner. My version of Valentine’s Day shifts the focus from partners and romantic interests back to oneself.  Instead of buying roses, find a local flower shop and buy a bouquet. Give the bouquet to a family member or friend, or simply keep it in a noticeable place for the next week to brighten the day. Buying locally is a great way to give back to the community and keep some good feelings for oneself. This goes for any product, but with the overstated emphasis on roses at this time of the year, giving more love and attention to some lesser-loved flowers will be a nice change of pace.  Instead of falling into the consumerist scheme of buying ten different heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, make some baked goods at home. The calming ritualistic nature of taking the time to bake will add fulfillment and purpose to the day. Giving baked goods to someone is also a great way to show that time was put into that person’s gift....

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Dating in a small town

Dating in a small town

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor Finding romantic places to take one’s sweetheart in a small town is a difficult task. This Valentine’s Day, refer to this list for date ideas close to Western. Monmouth The Sippery — This independent coffee shop is a favorite hang out and study spot for Western students, and it can make for a cute date as well. Curl up in a soft chair or on a couch, and grab a tasty drink. The Red Poppy Studio — The Red Poppy Studio offers craft classes at a low price for those who are artistically inclined, or for those who are just starting out. Otherwise, come shop for beautiful art pieces created by local artists to hang up at home. Momijis — On the corner of Monmouth Avenue and Main, a quaint sushi restaurant sits waiting for couples to dine in. Or, if eating a relaxing dinner at home is preferable, their delicious sushi is available for take-out as well. Sundew Tattoo — Go get matching tattoos with one’s beau or bae at this local Monmouth tattoo parlor. Phoebe, the owner, creates magic on the skin with designs including flowers, animals and bugs for all skin colors. Main Street Ice Cream Parlor — Want a sweet treat? Look no further than this local ice cream parlor, within walking distance of Western. They provide many delicious flavors of ice cream and milkshakes with dozens of toppings to choose from. Independence Witches’ Vine — For those who are in touch with their spiritual side, this plant and crystal store provides all kinds of witchy needs. Don’t...

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Getting personal with Rylie Cader

Getting personal with Rylie Cader

Written by: Hannah Field | News Editor Rylie Cader is many things: a cheerleader, a Disney fan and a hopeless romantic. One of those passions — cheerleading — began in early elementary school. She signed up for a day camp during second grade — led by the local high school cheerleaders who would steer Cader toward her future.  Cader is now cheerleading in her second year at Western. This February, the cheerleading team will be attending the annual competition in Anaheim, California, reminding Cader of her second passion — Disneyland. “I come from a very big Disney family. And the reason why is because my grandfather — he passed away when I was ten — he came from a super poor family. He grew up in poverty. He had to grow up pretty quickly because of that. And he loved Disney because it made him feel like a kid again,” Cader said. “He always made sure we could go, and because of that, my mom loves Disney.” Cader has been to Disneyland countless times. She knows when ticket prices are high — and in February, they are — and what old rides used to stand and where. She believes that Disney is something that changes and evolves with its fans. Her grandfather traversed Disneyland in the first year of its opening — something that inevitably changed the trajectory of Cader’s family line. Cader graduated from high school in 2022. That year, her mother wanted to take her to London to celebrate — but Cader had other plans.  “I actually told her I wanted to go to Disney. She was...

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Sleep tips that will benefit ones life greatly

Sleep tips that will benefit ones life greatly

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer In the United States alone, 50 million people suffer from sleep disorders, while more than 100 million report getting an inadequate amount of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours, which can seem virtually impossible for many of us.  One may not realize it, but lack of sleep or an inconsistent sleep schedule, can lead to a variety of health risks. It can have daily effects such as trouble with concentration, mood changes, irritability, weight gain and lack of motivation. Long-term sleep deprivation can also lead to being at a higher risk of more serious health issues. This includes an increased risk of heart disease, anxiety, depression and a much higher likelihood of injury — such as car accidents.  So what can one do to get a full night’s rest? Here are some helpful sleep tips: Disconnect from electronic devices and give oneself 30 minutes of relaxation — Studies have shown that being on one’s phone or other devices before bed suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that assists with sleep. Getting into this routine of a clear mind before bed will slowly help build back one’s melatonin.  Invest in blackout curtains or a sleep mask — It seems obvious that, for most people, it needs to be dark to fall asleep, but there’s more to it than just that. The brain’s response to darkness is to produce more melatonin, encouraging the body to sleep. This can help one take naps as well — bonus tip, naps should never be longer than 20 minutes.  Physical activity —...

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Boiling and delicious

Boiling and delicious

Written by: Taylor Duff | Staff Writer Bag O’ Crab is a seafood boil restaurant that opened a new location in Salem, Oregon right off the Market Street exit. This restaurant offers an array of boil bags that can be customized, including sides, wings and drinks.  I decided to go and try the restaurant for myself because of my proximity to their newest location. I decided to invite my mom and have a feast. We ordered a Combo 2 which included one pound of snow crab, ¾ pound of headless shrimp, two corn on the cobs, two potatoes and four sausage slices.  We decided to add two boiled eggs and our flavor of choice was original cajun. On the side, we ordered six lemon pepper wings, two sides of rice and a Cajun fish plate. We ordered a Cinnamon and Pear Moscow Mule and a Mojito Smash for drinks.  This was a lot of food, but everything came out fast and organized. The restaurant environment was clean and captivating because of the friendly robot that served the food. The tables all had white paper to prepare for the mess of the boil; we also got a bib, gloves and a wet nap, which was much needed. The staff seemed a little occupied as the restaurant was busy, but they got our items exactly as we ordered and checked us out with a friendly goodbye.   First, we got our drinks which were both very balanced and smooth and chock-full of flavor. Soon after, our bag and rice arrived, delivered by our friendly robot.  We poured our bag out and started...

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From construction workers to the suburbs

From construction workers to the suburbs

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor In 1913, inventor William Stanley Jr. fused vacuum insulation technology with steel in a portable thermos, and the Stanley company was born. The original Stanley cups of the early 1900s were built specifically with the working class in mind. Through World War I and II, the cups were used to hold soup, coffee and even transport human organs. Between the variety of sizes and strength of the cups, Stanley has been a beloved brand for over a century. However, the company has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. After the new year, Target released a collection of limited edition Valentine’s Day Stanleys, and hundreds of people lined up outside, even got physical with one another, hoping for a chance to get their hands on one… or maybe five.  A sea of Stanley fans were falling over each other in a frantic race to the stainless steel finish line. Some collectors were pleased with their pre-Valentine’s purchase, while others took advantage of the frenzy to resell the rare tumblers. On eBay, the Stanley cups are being resold individually for almost 300 dollars. So, when did Stanleys stop being a cup for blue-collar workers and become the favorite brand of suburban moms, teenagers and college students? The first fact is that Stanley is a sustainable and reputable brand. Their products are designed to be durable and hold a multitude of substances. The second contributing factor to Stanley’s popularity is the accessibility of the internet and its cycling trends. Other popular reusable water bottle brands such as Hydro Flask, Swell and Yeti have...

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Journaling: for funsies and data

Journaling: for funsies and data

Written by: Ruth Simonsen | Digital Media Manager As the New Year makes its grand arrival and the resolutions start to flood every social media platform, a popular choice continues to be journaling. Whether it’s for feelings, logging gym stats or to fulfill your emo poetry dreams, journaling provides a wonderful resource to many. Amity Deters, a fourth-year and star athlete on the Western track team, is one such person who finds solace in journaling. Deters first took up this hobby after seeing it on social media and deciding to curate it for herself.  “I was going through a lot of changes,” Deters said, “so I wanted to track how I was feeling about them in an unbiased, no-placebo way.”  Deters explained she did this through tracking habits, changes to her lifestyle and sleep schedule, as well as other small parts personalized to her life.  “I try to focus on topics that will help me, ones that will benefit me and not cause harm or hyper fixation,” Deters said after being asked how she went about choosing topics to track. Journaling is fantastic for keeping track of habits, both good and bad, as well as things like finances, water intake and sleep schedule. Unfortunately, remembering to log all of this information can become tiresome and tedious, leading to many people deciding to drop this hobby.  While Deters does not claim to be an expert, she gave tips on staying motivated to keep up with journal entries. “To be honest, sometimes I forget about it for a couple days,” Deters said. “The most important thing is that you’re not hard...

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Hello 2024, didn’t see you there

Written by:  Taylor Duff | Staff Writer Happy New Year! Welcome to 2024 and to all the possibilities this year will bring. With the new year here, many are just starting to pursue their 2024 goals. These goals range from becoming a better cook, committing to more cuddle time and even trying hydrotherapy. This list describes the top five things to add to resolutions for 2024 to improve ourselves and our lives.  Improve clutter — Everyone wants a space that is calm and collected as much as it is organized. After the holidays especially, decluttering your space feels extremely rewarding and gets the new year off to a fresh start. Take the much-needed time and go through old boxes, sorting items no longer used or organizing to be more efficient.  Pick up more hobbies — Each year individuals want to incorporate something new to try such as painting, pottery or dance classes. Picking up new skills improves mental health by reducing anxiety and expressing gratification.   Build a better budget — Americans have struggled with finances throughout history but possibly even more so in the past four years since the pandemic and inflation have taken a toll. Budgeting income helps ensure bills and finances are taken care of which allows security. It can be difficult to cut back on things sought after and sit down to make the proper list of funds but once done, the guessing is over.  Get rid of toxicity — This can be getting rid of alcohol, nicotine or even toxic relationships. As people, we accumulate habits that might not seem to be as harmful to...

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Waste increases dramatically after the holidays

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer The holidays can induce many feelings of happiness through eating good food, giving gifts and seeing your family. Although, one thing the holidays are also notorious for, that is less joyous, is the fact that waste increases dramatically over the holiday seasons.  Waste and trash increases by at least 25% after the holiday season when individuals throw away about 81.5 pounds of clothes at the end of the year. Instead of chucking everything in the trash bin, Oregon has many donation sites that offer a better, more sustainable option than throwing away unwanted holiday gifts. Clothes/Furniture/Decor Goodwill — and other local thrift stores are always great options to give unused clothes and furniture — being that they are in decent condition of course. Donating to these types of stores allows them to continue to provide job opportunities and contribute back to the community.  Habitat For Humanity Restore — is another community knit organization that can pick up one’s donations, or one can drop them off anytime from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. — no appointment needed. They accept donations consisting of furniture, cabinets, exercise equipment, home goods and tools for a variety of jobs.  Food Oregon Food Bank — offers tremendously different options on how to donate food and money, volunteer and even set up one’s own food bank for communities near you. The goal of the Oregon Food Bank is to eliminate hunger one step at a time and to bring the community closer together to increase awareness of these organizations. Visit the Oregon Food Bank website to see the variety...

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Pursue one’s dreams and become a business owner

Pursue one’s dreams and become a business owner

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer One of the greatest attractions Oregon has to offer is its large variety of unique, locally owned, creative businesses. These include businesses like food trucks, soap companies, haunted tours, bake shops, handmade items like clothes, jewelry and so much more. With a little bit of incentive and a lot of determination, one can turn their biggest passions into a career. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss?  One of the benefits of starting one’s own business is having full creative freedom and connecting with the community through that creativity. In recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for those who have a passion for arts and handmade crafts.  Though one may not have their own store or permanent location to sell their products, there are numerous options to put oneself out there. Oregon has many seasonal/holiday markets, sporting events, local events and festivals that are open to local artists that allow them to get a chance to sell their wares.  Getting a business on its feet can be a daunting task and renting out a spot in these types of events may not be accessible to all; don’t worry, there are ways to get one’s business out there without worrying about the starting costs. For example, the Oregon State Fair offers various types of competitions that do not require an entry fee and can provide an opportunity to get one’s name out there. Competitions like these create an opportunity for the public to learn how businesses are made and how they work — it can even give one an opportunity to...

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