Category Archives: Self-Improvement

Gift Ideas for Your Boyfriend

GiftForGuyGirlFriend.MaryDuggan As well as you know your boyfriend, holiday shopping for him never gets any easier.

“The hardest part of picking a gift for my boyfriend is making it personalized rather than getting the generic Christmas present,” says college of DUS freshman Meghan Hoerz.

Big department stores try to tell you exactly what your man would want – a “one gift fits all” type of advertising. But, we know that’s simply not the case. There are all kinds of boys with all kinds of interests and their gifts should be tailored to fit those interests.

Thoughts of panic fill your head as the holidays get closer. You don’t want to get your boyfriend the same generic shirt that 100 other girls are buying their boyfriends. But, you also don’t want to get him something he doesn’t even like. What’s a girl to do?

Have no fear, Valley is here. Consider these gifts for your guy’s specific personality.

If your boyfriend is… Continue reading

Gift Ideas for Your Girlfriend


If you’re seeking the perfect holiday gift for your girlfriend but are overwhelmed by crowded malls and brands you can’t pronounce, don’t stress.

Valley wants to help.

“I’m convinced that I have a better chance at correctly defusing a bomb than getting her a present she actually likes,” says senior economics major Ben Adejala.

Shopping for women is no doubt tricky. With a girl’s taste and preferences changing at any given moment, it’s no easy task selecting the perfect gift. But every girl is different and just wants to see some thought put into her gift more than anything else. So, if you know what kind of girl you’re shopping for, here are some ideas to ease the process.

If your girlfriend is… Continue reading

Channel Your Inner Disney Princess for Finals Week

IMG_5642-2 If there was a guide written about how to master finals in the same detailed structure that Cosmo puts out on how to master the perfect winged liner without looking like a scary raccoon, there would be no doubt that Valley would have those how-to steps signed, sealed and delivered to anyone in need. But while that’s in the works, you can get help from another group of boss females that can make sure you are in good hands.

These females are a part of a group that you probably grew up on, kept posters of and made sure that on the first day of your elementary days, were plastered on your backpack. Disney Princesses have been one of the essential role models for the majority of little girls. Whether it is sang in the shower or a quick sneak-peek while babysitting, you cannot help but to reminisce about these females and their epic journeys.

Fast forward ten years; the admiration is still there but now the princesses can be more than just a pretty face on a backpack or poster. Finals week is approaching and with the help from a few of these princesses, we can make sure that you know all the ropes to succeed during this week.

Snow White

Look at Snow White’s stepmother, The Evil Queen Grimhilde, as the jealous final that just wants to take all of your energy from the previous three and a half months and condense it into one week. Instead of stumbling into seven dwarfs, stumble into a good sleeping pattern that will enable you wake up and conquer finals week without having to wait for a prince to be the one to wake you up. Getting enough rest is important in order to have energy for this intense week. If you want to do well, you need to make sure that you are awake to do so! Continue reading

Things to Remember While Watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

photo-28 As the saying goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! This time, I’m not referring to Christmas or Hanukkah or even New Years. No my friends, I’m referring to the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the fashion show happens once a year in early December. This year, it will air on Tuesday, December 9th. And, as you may have guessed, the show pretty much consists of stunningly beautiful, half-naked models, strutting the runway in all  their glory.

While this is purely for entertainment, watching the fashion show tends to bring out quite a few thoughts in the head of the average American woman. With the show just days away, your friends here at Valley are here to remind you of a few important things to keep in mind while watching.

They Chose the Most Beautiful Girls on the Planet

The Victoria’s Secret “Angels” are not your average runway models – those in charge select the most beautiful and physically fit women in the world. These women are gorgeous, but they are NOT the average standard of beauty. While you watch, keep that in mind. Continue reading

3 Steps to Coming Up With the Perfect Holiday Gift


Getting Christmas presents is so much fun, but picking them out for another person is a completely different story. It’s true that it’s the thought that counts, but at the same time if you are buying a present for someone, you want him or her to actually like it. Buying a Penn State sweatshirt or a pair of fuzzy socks for a friend or family member is boring and completely expected. But this year surprise your loved ones with something more creative and with something they will truly appreciate. Here are three steps to giving the perfect holiday present.

1. First, think about things they enjoy

When trying to figure out what type of present to buy, think about the things you know they enjoy. Maybe they have certain hobbies they are really involved in like collecting coins, playing a sport, hiking, etc; or maybe they have an obsession with shoes, cars, different types of brands, or a sports team. Even think about things they do on the weekend to relax such as going to spa, getting their nails done, or going to the gym. “I love receiving gifts that people put a lot of thought into because that means that they know me really well and obviously care about me,” says Sophomore Hospitality Management Major Sarah London. Then, once you figure out all the things that they love, choose one and start brainstorming of presents that would fit that theme. Continue reading

Dealing with Disapproval

FamilyDisapproval_SkylarYuen You can officially eat Easy Mac for breakfast, Ben & Jerry’s for lunch, and use the leftovers for dinner without anyone telling you not to. But just because you’re in college now doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you still have to answer to your family about, and more often than we’d like, the answer they come up with is ‘No.’

As we grow older, not only do we have to make more decisions, but we have to make bigger decisions. Instead of deciding who to take to Homecoming or what color nail polish to buy, a lot of us are deciding what major to pursue, who we choose to be in a relationship with, and what we do with our bodies, and a lot of the time our families want in on those decisions, too.

So what do you do when grandma tells you she’d rather not have a granddaughter with a nose piercing or when mom and dad aren’t entirely convinced by your decision to come out of the closet? While there is never a black-and-white answer to these scenarios, Valley sat down with Dr. Claudia A. Hutchinson of Hutchinson Counseling and Consulting in State College to get some advice.

1. Ask yourself the hard questions

According to Hutchinson, taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of your decision before even bringing it up to your family is essential in deciding whether this is a battle worth fighting. Not only will a well-thought-out decision make you more confident in your choice, but will also make your family more confident in your choice, as well. Continue reading

Cool Down this Holiday Season with Peppermint

peppermintcupcake One of the best parts of the holidays is all of the delicious holiday drinks and desserts – especially those with the special “holiday” flavors, like nutmeg and peppermint. But what if I told you that you can easily make your own peppermint desserts at home? The best part is, most of these ingredients can be found in McLanahan’s – so pour a cup of cheer and enjoy!



What you’ll need:

4 cups of heavy whipping cream
¾ cup of powdered sugar
2 candy canes

What to do:

1. Pour the whipping cream and sugar into a mixer and beat until mixed.

2. Place candy canes in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until it’s completely powder. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a full water bottle.

3. Once the candy canes are powder, add them into the mix, and continue to beat until it’s the consistency of whipped cream. If you want it to have a stronger flavor, add more candy canes. Continue reading

Sneaky Snow-Proofing Secrets for Your Car


You can’t wait for winter weather so you can finally be reunited with peppermint mochas, snuggly sweaters and close friends and family. What you don’t want to be reunited with this winter? The actual weather part.

And we can assure you, neither does your car.

Snowdrifts and black-ice make for a winter not-so-wonderland when it comes to getting behind the wheel, but thankfully there are a few steps you can take to prepare your car for the tough road ahead and keep you from slippin’ and a-slidin’ all over the neighborhood.

According to Dennis Fallon, the owner and general manager of Pro-Trans Transmissions and Auto-Repair in State College, “There are a few things every student should know how to do to their own car. In fact, every person that is on the road today should know how to do this stuff to their car.”

With Fallon’s help, we put together this quick checklist to keep you safe on the road this winter. Take a look: Continue reading

Mind Your Manners

b9363e57891002b172c7597e132ed1d6 Nowadays, it’s hard to find someone who displays the same manners to you as they would in front of their family. This holiday season let’s remind everyone to bring those same manners back to school. When you are around your family, you tend to be on your best behavior: no phones at dinner, no cursing, opening doors, saying please and thank you, etc. So, what makes being around your friends so different?

After break, let’s all try a little harder to bring those traits back to State College. First, let’s put the phones down for dinner. When your friends ask you to join them for dinner, they’re asking for you, not you and all your contacts to sit down and barely have a conversation in person. Heck, if they wanted that they could just eat alone and text you about it. I’m not saying to shut it off and not get it out until you’re finished, instead don’t refresh all your feeds and text everyone about all the stuff that can wait an hour.

Next, for all the potty mouths… you’re not the coolest person if you know directly where to enter s#!@ or f”$^ between every sentence. Instead, try to talk with a little more respect and use those words a little less often. After all, you wouldn’t curse like this in front of your grandma. Continue reading

The Importance of Guy Friends

guyfriends.natalierunnerstrom They’re our big brothers while we’re away at school. They act protective when we need them to most. They give us a break from some of the unnecessary drama that often consumes our everyday lives.

They’re our guy friends.

Perhaps we girls don’t always appreciate our guy friends as much as we should because we never really reflect on what they do for us. The beauty of having friends of the opposite gender is that it offers a new perspective on nearly everything. Think about it.

When we are having, say, serious boyfriend problems, our best girlfriends are (of course) there for us. They tell us we are right to be upset and hand us a pint of Ben and Jerry’s finest. Simply put, they’re amazing. But what our guy friends can offer is not a delicious frozen treat, but rather a different take on our problems. They can put themselves in our boyfriend’s position and try to describe to us what he’s maybe feeling or thinking. Their advice on what to do is different, too. Our guy friends can suggest to us solutions that we or our girlfriends may have never thought of before. Continue reading