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Quirky Father’s Day Gifts — June 5, 2022

Quirky Father’s Day Gifts

By: Delanee Ensley

With Father’s Day right around the corner it’s time to think about what to get your dad for fathers day. These five fathers day gifts are perfect for the dad who has everything!

  1. Bobblehead
    1. Ever wonder what your dad would look like as a bobblehead? Well look no further! This Etsy site makes bobbleheads that look just like your dad, all you need to do is send them a picture, and they’ve got it covered! Though it might seem like a silly gift, you have to ask yourself, who wouldn’t want a bobblehead of themselves?
  2. Truff Hot Sauce
    1. Truff Hot Sauce has been getting more and more popular in the last couple years! This truffle and chili infused hot sauce will have your mouth watering for more. This also makes the perfect gift for dad, as it looks fancy, and tastes even better. This gift will have your dad begging for the whole hot sauce set!
  3. Massage Pillow
    1. Sometimes after a long day all you want is someone to massage the tension out of your shoulders, well, you’re not the only one, your dad does too! These pillows are actually massage pillows, so just lay down and let the pillow get to work!
  4. Guided Journal
    1. This journal isn’t like a normal journal, in fact, it’s a gift for both you, and your dad. This journal prompts your dad with different questions for him to fill out about his life, or simply just about himself. When he is done with the guided journal he gives it back to you, and you have a part of your dad that you can hold onto forever!
  5. Carnivore Club
    1. Though this gift might not be perfect for all dads, I sure know some that would love this gift! This subscription box sends a box of 4-6 different cured meats each month This allows your dad to get his carnivore fix, and try something new each month. Win-win!

Our dads are the best, which is why they deserve the best. This year think outside of the box for your dad, and you might just find the best gift yet!

The More You Know: Pride Month — June 4, 2022

The More You Know: Pride Month

By: Delanee Ensley

June is here, and you know what that means, happy Pride Month! Though most of us know that June is considered Pride month, not all of us know why, or how Pride came to be.

There is a long history gay activism before Pride came to be, like the story of Henry Gerber. According to History, Henry Gerber was a German immigrant who resided in Chicago, and created the first documented gay rights organization in the US in 1924. Gerber, and the other members of his organization created a newsletter titled ‘Friends and Freedom,’ which was the first gay-interest newsletter. Though the police forced them to disband in 1925, it spread a message, and 90 years later Gerber’s home in Chicago even became designated as a national landmark. Though it may not look like Gerber accomplished much, the fact of the matter is that he got people to pay attention. Though it might not have always been positive it was still spreading word so that maybe someone who needed to hear it did.

For years leading up to the event that would change LGBTQ+ history forever there was frustration and outcry from those who just wanted to be treated like any other individual. This is why on the night of June 28, 1969, a police raid, something that was unfortunately the norm, finally set anger into action. The members of the Stonewall Inn decided enough was enough and the historic Stonewall Rebellion was spurred into action and lasted for 5 days. They were tired of the brutality and violence that was their world during this time, and so they fought back.

This date, June 28th, would forever have a meaning to the people of LGBTQ+. The next year on this exact date, the date of the beginning of the Stonewall Rebellion the previous year,  The Christopher Street March took place in New York City where 3 to 5 thousand people marched in celebration and alliance. The Christopher Street March was brought back again and again, only now the name has changed to The Pride March, with the slogan ‘Say it Loud, Gay is Proud.’ History states that L. Craig Schoonmaker was an intrical part to this slogan, as ‘Gay Power,’ was orgiginally the top contender, but when Schoonmaker said that while gay people lacked power, the one thing they had was Pride.

This story has been told and retold for decades, and hopefully will continue for decades to come. Through pop culture the Stonewall Revolution and the many individuals who were there have had their stories shared throughout the world. They were brave, they were frustrated, and most importantly they had Pride.

Spotlight: Tricia Rivas — May 31, 2022

Spotlight: Tricia Rivas

By: Delanee Ensley

This month I had the honor of spotlighting someone who highlights a lot of characteristics that I believe are important for myself and Peony Publishing. Tricia Rivas is someone I have looked up to not only as a creative, but as a strong woman who has done amazing things for herself, her family, and her community. When I was in high school I had the privilege of being able to work as a receptionist for Tricia, at Trixies, her salon, and was able to learn and grow with the unwavering support of the Trixies family. It is my honor to introduce Tricia!

First things first – when did you know you wanted to be a hairstylist, and what steps did you take to get there?

“I have always wanted to be a hairstylist, as I come from a long line of hairstylists in my family. I attended La James School of Cosmetology in 1996 and the rest is history! Since then I have worked in a salon, owned multiple locations of Trixies, achieved my dream of working at New York Fashion Week, and mentored many staff members on their own journeys through the years.”

When was the moment you realized you wanted to own a salon?

“I worked for an Aveda salon in Ankeny for seven years but wanted to be closer to my home on the Southside of Des Moines. In order to make that happen, I decided to start my own business. I worked for myself for three years before opening the first Trixies location in 2010. We are still in the very same original location and have since owned two other locations and also included a boutique in our offerings.”

What does Trixies mean to you? What is your mission statement for Trixies?

“I truly believe hairstylists can change the world so I have tried to surround myself with team members that have that same vision. Owning my own salon is more than about “just doing hair.” It is being a part of the community and using my skills to give back. ‘At Trixies, our promise is to beautify the world around us through our craft, education, and relationships with our guests. We are led by our passion for giving back and pledge to leave an impact on our community. At Trixies, we will provide our salon and spa guests a personalized and 5 star experience. Our mission statement is HAIR. BEAUTY. PHILANTHROPY.’”

What new elements do you hope to incorporate into Trixies in the future?

“We plan to remain a customer service-centered business. While we will always use technology and trends to improve our systems, we will remain focused on people and giving the best experience in a world that may not always be so kind. The future may include Trixies culture and skills expanding into non-traditional markets like on-location work and in other facilities than a typical salon. “

Who is a female role model that you look up to?

Dolly Parton! Because she uses her platform and gifts to give back to those around her and to make a difference. When people talk about my life, I hope they say a lot more than she cut and colored hair.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to go into a creative field?

Find a mentor that is in your field of interest or something similar! It is so important to surround yourself with like minded people. 

As a female business owner, what is the most difficult challenge you have come across?

Not everyone is going to like you and your business isn’t going to be for everyone. The sooner you make peace with that, the happier you will be!

Just For Fun:

What is your favorite type of hairstyle/service to do?

Neither or none of the above, LOL. Makeup is my number one passion and favorite thing to do.

If you could do anything besides hair, what do you think you would do?

I am honestly doing everything I want to be doing right now. Owning a salon, working and coaching small businesses, and non-profit work.

What’s your favorite thing to do after a long day?

Veg out on the couch with my dog, oh oops, I meant to say Hubby, and watch Netflix!

When Tricia is not working at Trixies she is giving back through the non-profit she created, Dream Catcher Inc., which is “a non-profit group of licensed beauty professionals offering complimentary salon services to men, women and children who are chronically or terminally ill.” To read more about their story or find ways to contribute, please click on the embedded link! Tricia is truly someone who imagines what she wants, and isn’t afraid to achieve it. It was a true honor to be able to have Tricia as a spotlight for this month!

Follow her on Instagram!

Tricia Rivas (@tricia.ann.rivas)

Trixies Salon (@trixiessalonandspa)

Dream Catchers Foundation Inc. (@dreamcatchersfoundationinc)

Special Thanks to Katey Peters.

Horoscope: What Flower Are You? — May 27, 2022

Horoscope: What Flower Are You?

By: Delanee Ensley

April showers bring may flowers which means it’s time to find out which flower you are!

Aries (March 21 – April 19):

The aries sign is known to be eager and competitive which makes the hyacinth perfect for this person. The hyacinth flower is beautifully fragrant and means playful, which gives it a meaningful edge for this sign!

Taurus (April 20 – May 20):

The taurus sign and the iris flower go hand-in-hand! While taurus are known to be strong, dependable, and creative while the iris flower melds in with hope, trust, and valor. So give your favorite taurus an iris!

Gemini (May 21 – June 20):

Carnations are seen as a valentine flower that means fascination, distinction, and love. These blooming flowers fit in nicely with the gemini sign as the gemini are expressive, curious, and kind. Give the gemini in your life a carnation!

Cancer (June 21 – July 22):

The cancer sign is known to have personality traits dedicated to being compassionate and protective. This makes the peony flower perfect for this sign as the flower is compassionate and bashful. This cancer and the peony are one in the same!

Leo (July 23 – August 22):

There are so many different kinds of orchid flowers, but luckily the orange orchid fits perfectly within this sign. The orange orchid means pride, enthusiasm, and being bold. This fits in perfectly with the sign of the leo! The leo are dramatic, outgoing, and fiery. These two exude boldness and are perfect for each other!

Virgo (August 23 – September 22):

The sunflower is a bright light on a cloudy day and has a meaning of adoration, loyalty, and strength which gives the loyal and gentle virgo a favorite flower for life. 

Libra (September 23 – October 22):

The snapdragon is known as the gracious flower and libra is known as the diplomatic sign. Though the libra might not always be gracious, it needs to remind everyone once in a while and vice versa. These two are the ideal of an opposites attract situation!

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21):

Once again we have a flower that has many different colors, and therefore it needs to have the perfect meaning, this is why the orange rose is perfect! The orange rose means to be enthusiastic and passionate where the scorpio is passionate and stubborn. This unique flower belongs to an even more unique individual!

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21):

This sign is known to be optimistic and funny which fits in perfectly with the zinnia flower which means lasting affection. Every optimistic sagittarius needs to find a person to give a zinnia to for long lasting affection!

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19):

Capricorns are known to be serious, independent, and disciplined which goes hand-in-hand with the daffodil. Daffodils mean self-love and to be resilient. Both of these things are important aspects of what it means to be a capricorn, which in turn makes this the perfect flower.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18):

This sign is known to be an original and imaginative personality, and they believe in the power of change. The flower of the pansy works in connection with aquarius as it means to be considerate or to be lost in thought. The pansy is the true flower for the aquarius.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20):

Lily of the Valley means to be sweet, be humble, and happiness. Though Pisces does not have that exact meaning, pisces do tend to be affectionate and empathetic, two traits that fit perfectly with lily of the valley. These beautiful flowers emphasize the pisces.

Best Online Thrift Stores — May 19, 2022

Best Online Thrift Stores

By: Delanee Ensley

Thrifting is a great way to reduce clothing waste, but it’s hard to do it conveniently when you have to go shopping in-person. However, there is a solution! These clothing websites are the best places to thrift online.

  1. ThredUp: ThredUp is like your favorite thrift store, but it’s all online! This online store is dedicated to helping to reduce the waste from clothing pollution. Giving clothing a new life instead of throwing it out is a great way to save the planet, but also get new clothes without breaking the bank. ThredUp sends out bags free of charge for you to fill and send back to them! They then sort through them and decide which things they can sell, and those they can’t donate, or you can pay for them to send the items back to you. When your items do sell they will give a percentage of the profits, and you can use this money to shop for more clothes that are new to you! If you want to just shop there are over 900 brands you can look at, including designer brands. To learn more about ThredUp, click on the link above!
  2. Mercari: Mercari is a great and easy way to find and buy thrift store finds online! Though Mercari has a great selection of fashion finds, that’s not all they offer, they have categories for anything you might need! Mercari also has a new feature where you can shop locally with other people, and meet up with them so you don’t have to wait!
  3. Poshmark: Poshmark is very similar to Mercari, except it’s just clothes and there are no local meet ups. However, Poshmark does allow you to speak with the seller very easily, and allows you to bundle multiple items from a person’s closet so that you can save on shipping! Poshmark is also very seller friendly, and easy to use as well!

Though there aren’t as many online thrift stores or shopping platforms, it’s important to realize the waste impact we have on our planet, and how we can all do our part with something as little as clothing. eBay and Facebook Marketplace are two sites that are similar to the ones listed above if you need more options. Think about thrifting next time you need a new pair of jeans or sweater, though it might not be as convenient, it keeps clothing pollution a little smaller.

Different Types of Manicures — May 16, 2022

Different Types of Manicures

By: Delanee Ensley

There are so many different kinds of manicures out there today, and it can be difficult to decide which one is the best for you. Well, look no further, here are some of the best and most popular manicures today!

  1. Basic: The basic manicure consists of a clip, file, and basic cuticle maintenance. Though there is nothing particularly fancy about a basic manicure, they can be cheaper and more practical if you intend to get multiple manicures a month. Basic manicures can also be done at home instead of going to the salon, nail polish can be found almost everywhere!
  2. Dip: This manicure has become one of the more popular ones. This manicure involves a longer process than a basic manicure because instead of using regular polish, dip powder is used. The benefit of a dip manicure is that it’s longer-lasting, durable, and can be done at home!
  3. Gel: Gel manicures are similar to a dip manicure, however instead of dip powder it’s a gel-based polish that uses a UV light to set it. This manicure is great because it lasts longer than a basic manicure, and does not chip as easily. However ,the downside to this type of manicure is that it’s not easily done at home, so you need to go to a nail salon to be able to get the manicure, and remove the gel polish.
  4. Shellac: Shellac manicures and gel manicures are very similar in nature. While a gel manicure uses a gel-based polish, shellac manicures have a different kind of shellac-based polish. Both of the manicures are finished off with a UV light. The difference between the two are that gel manicures tend to last longer, but shellac removal is better for your nails. Unfortunately, this does not mean much, a dip, gel, and shellac manicures can and tend to, weaken the nail beds.
  5. Press-on: Press-on nails can be the go-to when attending a one-day event or a wedding, however, they are not meant to be long-lasting. Depending on where you get your press-on nails and what kind of nail glue you use, they tend to only last two weeks tops. Press-on nails can also be tricky, because it really depends on the quality of the fake nail. There are some kinds that you can get cheap at the drug store, but there are also salon-grade press-on nails. It really depends on the kind of money you want to spend, and how devoted you are to the upkeep.

These five types of manicures are probably the most popular right now. Though they are similar in some ways, it’s important to understand the differences to figure out which one is best for you. Something important before you commit to any of the manicures above is to research salons before deciding on them; some salons care more than others. Your nails deserve the best!

Starbucks Secret Menu Items and How to Order Them — May 14, 2022

Starbucks Secret Menu Items and How to Order Them

By: Delanee Ensley

Secret Menu drinks have blown up thanks to TikTok and other social media platforms. However, it can be difficult for both you and your barista to understand what you want sometimes. This article will help you understand how to order the new TikTok drink, without your baristas hating you for it.

Cookie Frappuccino (Oreo Frappuccino)

To order this drink ask for a java chip Frappuccino with white mocha pumps instead of chocolate. For topping ask for caramel drizzle and cookie crumble topping!

Gummy Bear Drink

Take the classic lemonade and add raspberry to it, and maybe peach juice if you’re feeling spicy! Though it may not be colorful like a gummy bear, it still tastes like one!

Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino

This one is a little more complicated than the two above. The first step to this drink is to order a venti strawberries and cream frappuccino. Then ask your barista to add three scoops of vanilla bean powder, four pumps of white mocha, and three pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup. It might be a sugar rush, but you won’t regret it!

Sunset Drink

This ombre drink is beautiful to look at! It starts with a mango dragon fruit refresher with lemonade. Then just ask the barista to top it off with a little bit of peach juice and then a splash of passion tango tea!

Apple Pie Frappuccino

Once again, this drink can get a little complicated, so read carefully! To start order a chai creme frappuccino, but instead of milk, ask for apple juice instead. For toppings ask for cinnamon powder and caramel drizzle. This might not seem as complicated as I have made it out to be, but it’s a little strange, so make sure you order it correctly!

TikTok Pink Drink

The TikTok pink drink is also known as the keto pink drink. Start with a pink drink, but instead of coconut milk, ask for heavy whipping cream. Then ask them to add two scoops of vanilla bean powder, and some strawberry puree if you’re feeling adventurous!

Cookie Butter Latte

This one is a crowd favorite, and is luckily very easily ordered! Start by asking for an iced chai with oat milk. Then ask if they can add brown sugar syrup. It’s that easy!

TikTok White Mocha

The TikTok white mocha is probably the most popular one out there! It’s an iced white chocolate mocha with vanilla sweet cream cold foam. Then to top it off, ask for a little caramel drizzle!

The most important thing to remember while ordering the drinks is to respect your barista. They have to deal with a lot of drinks and a lot of people every day, and while they’re happy to make your drink, a little bit of kindness goes a long way. So remember to smile, thank them, and tip when possible! Happy ordering!

May: Mental Health Awareness Month — May 9, 2022

May: Mental Health Awareness Month

By: Delanee Ensley

Even today there tends to be a lot of stigma around mental health. There is fear of being judged and facing embarrassment from the loved ones around you. That’s why May is dedicated to allowing you to relieve some of that stress and understand that mental health is not something that you need to be ashamed of.

Mental health is something difficult to wrap your head around, and even harder to say the words out loud. Though Mental Health Awareness Month might not make it any easier to talk about, you can at least get rid of the fear that you are alone in your feelings. On the other end of the spectrum, you might find yourself coping well with your mental health, but that does not mean you can’t give yourself some time to relax. Mental health is something that affects everyone, even if it’s not always in the same ways.

According to National Today, Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 by the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, now known as Mental Health America Organization. This committee was founded by Clifford Whittingham Beers, who came from a family that suffered from mental illness. Beers decided that it was time to bring awareness to the cause after watching family members struggle. He wanted others to know that they weren’t alone.

Though the understanding of mental health has come a long way since 1949, there is still an unhealthy amount of stigma surrounding the topic. However, through outreach and helping others understand that this isn’t something that someone can control, we can grow stronger as a community in order to help those who need our support. Some suggestions on how to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month is to first and foremost take care of yourself. Though I understand this is easier said than done, it’s good to just check in with your brain. Mental health is just as important as physical health, if something is hurting you need to take care of yourself, don’t try to explain it away, listen to your body. Next, check-in with those around you. If you have a family member that you know struggles with their mental health, ask how they’re doing, see if they need to talk, or just be there for them if they need it. Just knowing that you have a loved one to talk to can make a world of difference. Lastly, don’t keep mental health a secret. Mental health doesn’t need to be a dirty secret to whisper about. Though it can be an uncomfortable topic to bring up, everyone needs to know that it doesn’t have to be something they hide. The more we talk about mental health the more awareness and understanding we can spread.

Your body is there to take care of you, so it’s time we’re there to take care of it. Take some time this month to listen to your brain. More people than you would guess struggle with some sort of mental illness. Like I said above, just because someone doesn’t want to talk about it, or think about it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Love yourself, and understand that you’re not alone.

The More You Know: Star Wars Day — May 4, 2022

The More You Know: Star Wars Day

By: Delanee Ensley

The 4th of May is a day for fans to be able to celebrate the Star Wars franchise! There’s a whole website dedicated to the celebration, and even Disney gets in on the action.

Since the release of Star Wars in 1977, it has been a fan favorite! The science fiction film franchise helped 20th Century Fox go from being almost bankrupt to becoming a thriving company. Since the first film, A New Hope, there have been two other original films, with three prequel films, and then three sequel films. There have also been two other anthology films within the series! From the movies, there have been several spin-off series like The Mandalorian

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There are several celebrations everywhere, including the first organized Star Wars day taking place in Toronto back in 2011, according to National Today. This event included trivia, costume contests, short films, etc. In 2012 since Disney purchased Lucas Films, they have continued the celebrations by integrating Star Wars day into their Disney theme parks.

Though this ‘holiday,’ might seem silly to some people, it’s a way for Star Wars fans to celebrate their favorite franchise. So it’s time to binge some movies and May the 4th be with you!

This Day in History: First Sighting of Loch Ness Monster — May 2, 2022

This Day in History: First Sighting of Loch Ness Monster

By: Delanee Ensley

The legend of Nessie has been popularized since its first sighting in 1933. Hundreds of tourists go to Loch Ness in the hopes of spotting the serpent-like creature. Though the creature has never been confirmed as being anything more than a hoax, there are still hopes that someday that we will confirm the reality of the Loch Ness Monster.

The first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster is recorded on May 2, 1933, by the Inverness Courier Newspaper, according to History. This sighting was further validated by a couple who also claimed that they had seen the monster. Since the 30’s there have been amateur detectives, who have taken it upon themselves to find Nessie. In the 1960’s British Universities used sonar equipment to scour the bottom of Loch Ness in search of the creature. In each of these searches, they were able to detect large moving underwater objects, however, the searches were found to be inconclusive. Again, in 1975, through the use of sonar and underwater photography, they were able to find a large animal with flipper-like features. In the 80s and ‘90s more inconclusive readings of the water were gathered.

Though it has since come out that the famous 1933 photo was a hoax, according to Britannica it was actually a plastic and wooden head attached to a toy submarine. Recent searches of the water show that there is no conclusive evidence to show even an inkling of a monster being in the water. In fact, most of the underwater creatures there consist of eels, which might be the reason for seeing flipper-like creatures from the 1970s.

Though the Loch Ness monster is indeed a hoax this does not stop tourists from traveling to Scotland each year; in fact, in the 21st century, it is reported that Loch Ness contributed $80 million to Scotland’s economy. 

Though theres no recent information or searches for Nessie, there is still the hope that she is out there. Maybe one day she will reveal herself!