Mount Hood

Fight off finals stress with yoga

Give yourself a fifteen minute yoga break to relax

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Take some time away from the stress of life to relax with a simple yoga sequence. These gentle poses help relieve tension while allowing practitioners to take a break during any time of their day. 

Begin by sitting comfortably and focusing on breathing, letting worries float away and getting into the mindset to relax during the practice. Perform each pose in this set for two to five minutes based on comfort level, and remember to modify if necessary.

Cat-cow: Start on hands and knees. Breathe in, arch the back and look upwards to come to cow pose. Then, while exhaling, slowly look down to the mat and round the back into cat pose. Repeat.

Thread the needle: Still on hands and knees, raise the right arm towards the sky while breathing in; on the exhale, scoop the arm into the space between the left arm and left leg. Let the left arm extend and head relax to the side as the right shoulder touches the ground. Repeat on the other side.

Child’s pose: Sit back onto the heels and spread knees to the edges of the mat. Bring the forehead to touch the mat, and either stretch arms out in front or let them rest at the sides of the legs. 

Reclining pigeon: Lay face up with knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Cross the right ankle over the left knee. Grab behind the left knee with both hands, reaching the right arm through the triangle created by the right leg, and gently pull the legs towards the chest. Repeat on the other side. 

Supine twist: Lay flat on the back, and bring the right knee to the chest while keeping the left leg straight. Put the left hand on the outside of the right knee and begin to pull the knee across the body towards the left side. Stretch out the right arm perpendicular to the body and turn the head to face the right hand. Repeat on the other side. 

Legs up the wall: Lying face up, lift the feet straight up to create an L-shape with the body. Let the arms rest wherever comfortable. Use a wall for support if desired, or place a folded blanket under the hips for more comfort.

Savasana: End the practice by lying comfortably face up on the mat for several minutes. Focus on the breath and take in the positive feelings that the sequence brought to the mind and body. 

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Take the hassle out of moving with these hacks

Simplify the moving process with these seven handy tips

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

For many college students, summertime means moving season — which can be a highly stressful time, especially if moving during finals week. Though moving certainly takes a lot of effort, there are plenty of tips and tricks to make the process that much easier. Follow these packing, unpacking and moving hacks that will keep moving day running smoothly. 

Before moving, get rid of stuff: From clothes, to furniture, to unused food, getting rid of unneeded items means less stuff to pack. Donate or throw out unwanted things before starting to pack, or hold a garage sale. 

Pack an essentials bag or box: Group items needed from day one — things like medication, chargers, trash bags, box knives, toilet paper, hand soap and paper towels — altogether in one container so that day one at the new place is easier. Keep this separate and easy to access so that it doesn’t get lost among all the other boxes. 

Color code boxes: Use stickers or colored tape to label which room each box belongs in. This is especially useful if using plastic containers that cannot be written on like cardboard can. Hang up cheat sheets with each color and room name all over the house so that movers know where to take the containers. 

Keep boxes light but full: Use up every inch of boxes and totes for less total boxes, but be sure they’re not so heavy that someone can’t carry them. Pack heavy items like books, large dishes and tools in smaller boxes, or utilize a suitcase with wheels so that the items don’t have to be carried. 

Pack clothes with trash bags: Keep clothes on their hangers and simply slide a plastic trash bag over about a dozen clothing items at a time to make transportation quick and simple. 

Use items around the house as packing material: Save money on packing material by being resourceful; use soft items such as newspapers, towels, wash cloths, linens and clothes to protect breakable items. 

Prioritize what to unpack first: Many people will find bedding, bathroom items and kitchenware to be the most imperative things to unpack, though everyone is different. Determine what needs to be unpacked first, make a to do list and stick to it. 

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New bar livens up Main Street

Dry Town Tap Station now serving food, drinks and entertainment

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor 

The Dry Town Tap Station is now open to serve the not so dry town of Monmouth. What used to be a gas station has transformed into a destination for good drinks and great company in the IndyMo area.

Co-owners and sisters Ashley Dornhecker and Abigayle Tilby held a soft opening on April 30. Even without publicly advertising the event, Dornhecker described the night as more successful than they thought it would be.

“Everybody just wanted to be there,” Dornhecker said. “We were turning people away because we were at capacity.”

Their soft opening was accompanied by local band, Way Walkers, on Dry Town’s very own stage; Dornhecker said they knew how to draw a crowd. Already, Dry Town has hosted two other artists — David Brinker and Nathan Myers as well as Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys — and the restaurant is looking to continue working with more local artists. Upcoming performers include Zach Abee and Jessie Leigh; more information about these shows can be found on their Facebook page, @Dry Town Tap Station.

Not only does Dry Town know how to entertain, they also know how to serve up a good meal. Chef Aaron Henderson serves a rotating menu of delicious entrees from their food truck.

“He’s creating an amazing menu,” Dornhecker said. “Street food from around the world I guess is a way to put it.”

My friends and I can personally recommend their fish and chips, birria tacos and Wellington burger. Be on the lookout for two new food carts that will also be coming to the lot soon to serve the community an even greater variety of dishes.

Of course, who could forget about their alcohol menu? With 20 taps that serve a wide array of local ciders and beers, patrons will be sure to find something to love. Not to mention, their mixed drinks ⏤ like the Ruby Hound and 76 Lemonade ⏤ are also splendid. Belly up to the bar indoors, or take the refreshing drink to the outdoor seating area.

The Dry Town owners know how to serve up a mean drink. One of the sisters’ other businesses, Craft Bar West, has been making and perfecting drinks since 2019. They expanded their restaurant reaches when what was once a 76 gas station became available for leasing.

“I’ve always loved the building where Dry Town is,” said Dornhecker. “When the opportunity came up to do something with it, we jumped on it.”

Though COVID-19 caused some delays in opening, Dornhecker was grateful for the opportunity the extra time presented. They were able to make the venue that much more refined, focusing on details such as wood work, refurbishing the entire floor and creating murals. On top of that, Dornhecker enjoyed having a more laid back process and getting to spend more time with family throughout.

In the upcoming months and years, Dry Town hopes to be a place to host festivals and more year-round performances. The Monmouth community can also look forward to themed nights, such as a college night and an industry night for late night workers.

“Our goal with Dry Town Tap Station is to make Monmouth, Oregon a destination,” Dornhecker said. “There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be taking a detour down here to visit all the local shops in Monmouth and Independence. It’s just too cool of an area not to share with others.”

Anyone and everyone can enjoy Dry Town Tap Station at 180 Main St. E in Monmouth. Their current hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 to 10 p.m. and Sundays 12 to 9 p.m. Keep up to date by following their social media: on Facebook @Dry Town Tap Station and on Instagram @drytowntapstation.

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Get inspired and conquer creative block

Five tips for boosting creativity and overcoming artist’s block

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Creative block happens to the best of us, and it seems to happen at the most inconvenient times. Whether a creative medium is needed for a class or work, or it is simply used as an outlet, it can be frustrating to be out of ideas. When inspiration is lacking, try one of these strategies to jump-start creativity. 

Set aside time to work: Creativity is a skill, meaning it needs to be practiced regularly in order to improve. Dedicating time to working on one’s craft ⏤ even if it’s only 10 minutes a day ⏤ can continually keep the creative juices flowing. Remove distractions for an optimal work session.

Do nothing for a while: Alternatively, take a complete break from everything, including social media, homework and other stressors. Give the mind a mental break and take the time to recharge. This relaxing time can also be used to daydream or meditate on possible creative project ideas and let the imagination wander.

Try a new medium: When totally stuck, it could be time to do something new, yet still on the creative track. Try a hand at painting, crafting, writing, music, photography, baking or any number of creative outlets. If a friend or family member is skilled in a different medium, ask to spend some time with them performing their activity together.

Change the environment: According to, a change of scenery, even a slight change, can boost creativity. This could look like redecorating a workspace or working in a different room or location altogether.

Enjoy other artists’ work: Gather inspiration from others’ creations; any type of media can be helpful for any artist. Listening to music, exploring social media profiles and groups, watching videos or reading books and stories can all be inspiring while also providing some entertainment.

Brainstorm socially: Sometimes, the best ideas can come out of conversing with others. Exchange ideas directly with other artists, providing prompts for one another to work off of. Or simply take the time to have a fun conversation; maybe an interesting, inspiring topic will arise.

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Find the ideal to-do list app

Six time management and habit tracker apps to stay organized

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Looking for a new way to manage time and keep track of habits? A multitude of apps exist to do just that — but which to choose? Here I provide an overview of six time management and to-do list apps to help narrow down the options. All are available for free on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

“Focus To-Do”: My favorite of the bunch, this app is based on the Pomodoro technique — work on something for 25 minutes straight, then take a five minute break. List upcoming tasks, estimate the amount of Pomodoro sessions it will take and start the timer to get to work. As an added incentive, users can grow a virtual sapling by completing sessions.

“MyLifeOrganized”: This app is great for those with a lot on their plate. Organize projects, tasks and reminders into multiple workspaces and subsections, and use tags to easily navigate different types of tasks.

“Productive”: With a cute design, “Productive” is aimed at those looking to keep track of daily habits, such as drinking enough water, waking up early and going for a walk. The app logs statistics overtime, and users can complete challenges for extra motivation.

“Remember The Milk”: Remember more than just the milk; this app offers a great way to organize all kinds of reminders while also adding a social element. Sync up specific to-do lists with other devices so that tasks can be managed from everywhere, and share lists with colleagues or friends to check off together. 

“TimeBloc”: Keep track of routines and events — both one-time and recurring — in one calendar with customizable color coded labels. Scroll through the day’s hour-by-hour tasks on the main tab, or view added routines on the second tab to plan ahead.

“Todoist”: Focused on making habits by keeping streaks, “Todoist” creates a reward system for completing to-do list items every day. Set goals and check off tasks on different boards in order to reach higher “Karma” levels.

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Meaningful mementos for Mom this Mother’s Day

Inexpensive gift ideas for every mother figure

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Mother’s Day is almost upon us, which means if getting Mom a gift, it’s time to go shopping. Gifts can be very meaningful without costing too much; get inspired by these Mother’s Day gifts to present to a mother figure this holiday.

Photo album: Collect meaningful photos of the family into a photo album or slideshow. Decorate a little scrapbook with stickers and captions, buy a simple photo album to put many printed photos in or keep it digital by arranging a slideshow to share. 

Pots and plants: If Mom loves gardening, buy them their favorite flowers or some herbs or vegetables to plant together. Customize a pot by painting it together, or get the whole family involved by each decorating a container for them. 

Mug and coffee or tea: Cute coffee mugs can be found all over the internet for as little as $10. Get them a mug that says, “Best Mom/Aunt/Grandma/Sister Ever,” and stuff it with some of their favorite coffee or tea. Or give them new flavors to try together. Sit down with them and spend some time chatting over a hot beverage on Sunday. 

Office supplies: Sticky notes, paper clips, pens — an organized person has to have it all. Buy Mom some office supplies in their favorite color or themed with their favorite flower or animal. Some notepads and journals come with motivational messages, which can be a nice mood booster for Mom for days to come. 

Their favorite self-care product: Is Mom running low on their favorite lipstick, lotion, hair product or essential oil? Offer to buy them a refill of one of their favorite products, or give them a gift card to the store they most enjoy. 

A nice card: Give Mom a thoughtful, funny or beautiful card with some meaningful words written inside for them to display for the coming weeks. Plenty of physical stores offer a wide variety of greeting cards, and online shops like Etsy have customizable options to give the gift an added personal touch. 

Time together: Sometimes the best gifts are nice moments together. Spend some quality time with Mom on Sunday, or, if busy, plan a day soon that’s dedicated to them.  

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Use the forks and enjoy these recipes

“Star Wars” themed appetizers to fuel May the Fourth celebrations

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Happy May the Fourth, “Star Wars” fans. Celebrate the day by making these two appetizers inspired by the series, and share with friends or family to enjoy while binging the movies.


Start to finish: 20 minutes

Yields: about 30 pretzels

One 12-ounce bag pretzel rods

3 ounces white candy melts

3 ounces green candy melts

3 ounces blue candy melts

3 ounces black candy melts

1 ounce black candy melts

Mini M&M candies

Assorted star sprinkles

Prepare a baking sheet or cooling rack with waxed paper. Melt candy melts according to package directions. 

Pour desired color of melted candy coating onto two-thirds of a pretzel rod; shake gently to remove excess. Immediately add sprinkles if desired by rotating the pretzel rod to coat all sides.

Place pretzel rod on waxed paper or cooling rack, then let colored coating set completely. Next, transfer melted black candy to a piping bag or freezer bag with the corner snipped. Drizzle over the end where the candy meets the pretzel. Move pretzel to clean section of waxed paper, then press two mini M&Ms into the black candy coating before it sets. 

Let pretzel rods dry completely before packaging or serving, and store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Recipe from


Start to finish: 15 minutes

Yields: 10 servings

1 pound cream cheese, softened

7 ounces white cheddar, grated

½ cup slivered almonds, finely chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 sheet seaweed

4 jumbo olives

Mix the cream cheese, grated cheddar, chopped almonds, garlic powder, salt, onion powder and pepper using a food processor, a stand mixer or hands. Form the cheese mix into a pear shape with a flat bottom.

Use scissors to cut a headband, eyes and mouth piece out of the seaweed. Cut off 2 of the “X” shaped ends off of 2 olives for the circles. Cut another olive into quarters lengthwise; use 1 vertically and 1 horizontally between the circles. Cut the final olive in half lengthwise and then into six slivers each for the side vents.

Carefully press the nori and olive pieces into the cheese ball. Serve within about an hour, or refrigerate and remove 1 hour before serving.

Recipe from

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