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XOXO, Gossip Girl

April 24, 2015 Features, Features Columns

Column by Breanna SillFeatures Editor

For my final column as Features Editor I am going to share one of my favorite celebrity encounters.

In 2012, I was in Nashville, Tenn., for CMA Music Festival week once again and that year, the CMT Awards were held during the same week also and they had a special celebrity host that year.

This was right after Kristen Bell had appeared on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and exposed her love of sloths to the entire world. If you haven’t seen the YouTube video of it, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, so who doesn’t love Kristen Bell? She is hilarious and is the voice of the narrator on “Gossip Girl” so to me, she felt like an old friend.

My friends and I had already declared it our mission for the week to meet her. So it was a really exciting thing when we got on Twitter and saw someone had tweeted about seeing Kristen at the airport in Los Angeles. So immediately we got in the car and drove to Nashville’s airport in hopes to catch a glimpse of her. … Continue Reading

Homemade food is love

April 17, 2015 Features, Features Columns

Food makes people happy. It’s as simple as that.

No matter who you are or where you come from, odds are, you like food.Who doesn’t get an adrenaline rush when walking down the baking aisle. Who doesn’t get a tingly feeling when you see those cute little pints of Ben & Jerry’s?

Is that just me? Well, let me tell you, food is love. But better than Ben & Jerry’s or boxed cookies is homemade food.

My best memories of home are the food that my mother made for me when I was a child. When I go home on holidays or breaks, that’s the one thing I look forward to – all the delicious, homemade food I get to indulge in.

Even if my mother was the worst cook on Earth, I would still love to come home to a meal that she made for me. Why? Because she made it with her own two hands, and that’s what makes it special.

There’s something about a home-cooked meal that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. … Continue Reading

“At the top.”

April 10, 2015 Features, Features Columns

So it seems like I get email upon email from people who read my column and want me to give them tips on how they can meet their favorite celebrity.

While I am always up for sharing a few tips, one tip I thought I would never need to share would be to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you.

For example, I was beyond disappointed in the turn out for Tuesday night’s Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board concert in Lovett Auditorium. The concert was completely FREE to Murray State students and featured one of the biggest up-and-coming bands in country music. What reason, besides class, of course, did you all have not to attend?

None.

Maybe you hadn’t ever heard of the band Old Dominion before, but I guarantee if you listen to country music, you know more than half of the songs they performed because they wrote them all for other artists. They are some of the most in demand songwriters in country music. … Continue Reading

The gift of breakfast

April 3, 2015 Features, Features Columns

As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I think that saying was meant for people who eat healthy things like grapefruit and scrambled eggs, not biscuits, sausage gravy and bacon.

Eating healthy is not my forte. How can you resist the sound of bacon frying and the smell of fresh biscuits? You can’t.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is waking up to my father cooking the best meal known to man: biscuits and gravy.

Nearly every Friday, I would ask if he would make breakfast in the morning. During those days, I could sleep in until 1 o’clock in the afternoon, but on the occasion that biscuits and gravy would be awaiting my arrival to the kitchen, that was something I could get up early for. … Continue Reading

Forever a fangirl

March 27, 2015 Features, Features Columns

(WITH VIDEO) – While I guess it’s no secret, I have a habit of running into famous people. I am not the only person who enjoys the occasional run-in with a celeb.

On the sad, but off chance I can’t make the trip to wherever my friends are headed for the next big concert, they always keep me in mind.

I have a whole collection of autographs and videos done specifically for me by some of my favorite artists and celebrities.  One of my most prize autographs comes from Taylor Swift and reads “Breanna is perfect! Love, Taylor,” that a friend of mine got me in one of her meet and greets in Charlotte, N.C.

Another prized I keep in my collection is a video John Rich from the country duo Big and Rich saying how badly he wished I was at his concert. A friend who was working for a radio station in Indianapolis, Ind., at the time got that for me backstage at a 21 and up show he was doing in 2012. … Continue Reading

Embrace the housewife

March 12, 2015 Features, Features Columns

The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. As much as I hate gender stereotypes, especially those about women, there is one particular stereotype that I believe in: a woman’s ability to know her way around a kitchen.

For decades, and probably centuries, a woman has been measured by how well she can maintain a household by cooking, cleaning, reproducing and supporting her husband.

In fact, early scientists believed that women were incapable of learning and retaining information and that education would hinder a woman’s ability to reproduce.

Somehow knowledge affects our reproductive organs. Right, that makes sense. I digress.

As a woman, I am proud to see how far we’ve come over the years. I agree that women should have the right to be the CEO of a company and they should be given the choice whether or not to marry or how many children to have. 

However, I believe that a woman should know how to maintain a household. That means cooking, ladies.

There is nothing degrading about being able to make your man’s mouth water when you pull a fresh lasagna out of the oven. There is nothing degrading about being able to talk on the phone, whip a meringue into submission and watch HGTV at the same time, all while looking fabulous.

It seems that people have gone so far right on the spectrum of gender equality that many people believe staying home to take care of your house and your children is something to be ashamed of.

Every woman should be given the opportunity to excel in school and in the workplace, but that does not mean taking care of a family is for weak, idiotic women.

It’s a tough job to be a mom and take care of a family, judging by my mother and grandmothers. You don’t get paid to be a parent, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult than running a Fortune 500 company.

Hence, every woman should know how to cook a meal, shop for groceries, create a budget, clean a house, keep her children in line and keep her husband happy.

I realize that these ideas are a little misplaced in today’s day and age, but what can I say – I’m an old soul.

To all the women out there who claim they burn water, make friends with the Food Network and always have a fire extinguisher at the ready.

Trust me, when you reach the skill level to bake a perfect pie and a man-catching lasagna, you’ll thank me.

Don’t get me wrong, women should still get an education and strive to get a career. But ultimately, they should learn self-confidence and do what makes them feel fulfilled as a woman.

Women, keep dreaming and keep following those dreams until you reach them, but don’t ever be ashamed of wanting the simple things in life, because there is nothing, and I mean nothing, wrong with winning a man’s heart with a freshly-baked pie.

Column by Madison WepferAssistant Features Editor

Leave the night on

March 5, 2015 Features, Features Columns

On Feb. 23, I braved the remaining snow and ice and ventured to my home away from home, Nashville, Tenn., to see my absolute favorite up-and-coming country music act Sam Hunt.

He announced his first headlining tour a few months ago and the closest date to Murray was Knoxville, Tenn., a five-hour drive.

Back when I discovered Sam, barely a soul alive knew who he was besides a small group of fans. He had just put out his first single to country radio and was virtually unknown.

Well, I have a big mouth when it comes to talking about something I really love, and I talked my head off about Sam on every form of social media.

Almost a year later, he’s on the fast track to being country music’s newest superstar. I give myself a lot of credit for that. I have very few friends who don’t know every word to his songs “Ex To See” or his newest single, “Take Your Time.”

Anyway, back to Monday. I left for Nashville about noon and spent the majority of the day in the office of my good friend who just got hired at Broken Bow Records on Music Row. It was such a cool experience considering she is only 19 years old and working at such a high-profile label.

By the time I got to the show, there were so many more people than I could have expected there for Sam. It was such a “proud mom” moment for me.

While the venue, The Listening Room Cafe, isn’t big, it was packed shoulder to shoulder with excited fans.

The opening acts included Old Dominion, who will be in Murray next month. Then it was finally time for the act we were all waiting for.

Not only did Sam sing his original songs, he also performed a medley of 1990s cover songs including Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.” That might have been the best part of the night.

While I didn’t get to meet Sam again after the show — he dipped out pretty quickly — it was still such an incredible experience because of the time I spent with good friends listening to such good music. I wouldn’t trade these small, intimate, pre-superstardom concerts for the world, and I know one day I will tell my grandchildren about the time I saw Sam Hunt play for 300 people instead of a stadium full.

 

Column by Breanna Sill, Features Editor

A cupcake vendetta

February 27, 2015 Features, Features Columns

Dear cupcake-lovers, quit being so pretentious and just eat a slice of cake. Although cake is always second to pie, it is still the original and most sought after dessert of all sweets. Cake is a staple for every celebration. What’s a birthday, wedding or graduation without cake? Furthermore, is there not a sense of rage and disgust when you show up to a party and find out no one brought a cake?

From bundt cake to crumb cake to angel food cake to upside-down cake, most people love cake. That being said, cupcakes are at the opposite end of the spectrum and the bane of cake’s existence. If cake is the mother of all desserts, cupcakes are cake’s pretentious, ungrateful daughter.

Why eat a cupcake when you can eat a whole cake? It’s like having a morsel of deliciousness rather then an entire platter of it. I understand cupcakes are cute with their dollops of icing and adorable decorations. However, I still maintain that cupcakes have no place in the dessert world, and here’s why:

The first major problem is the frosting.

Half of a cupcake is cake and the other half is frosting. Who wants to bite into a dessert with a mouthful of heavy, sugary gunk? I don’t care if it takes like heaven on earth. A piece of cake gives you the perfect ratio of cake to frosting. With a cupcake, you end up missing the most important part – the cake itself – and wasting your time with a mound of frosting.

Second is the amount of effort it takes to eat a cupcake.

When I eat a dessert, I don’t want to strategize how I’m going to eat it, and I definitely don’t want to look like an idiot trying to get my mouth around an enormous mound of frosting. I want to eat it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

No matter what your cupcake-eating strategy is, you always end up with a mess of crumbs, frosting and an awkward piece of demolished cake to shove in your mouth. Some would say, “Well, Madison, that’s why you use a fork.” Well, if I’m going to use a fork and a plate, then I’m just going to get a piece of cake instead. What’s the point?

The third problem I have with cupcakes is their decor. It is perhaps what makes them so unlikable above anything else.

Even with their fancy and glamorous decorations, cupcakes hold no candle to cake itself. Sprinkles are one thing, but elaborate flowers and decorations made out of fondant are past ridiculous. Earth to cupcake bakers – cake is an art in itself.

Creating elaborate “works of art” in the form or frosting and sugar is just mocking the generations of the cupcake’s classic cake predecessors.

Given these reasons, cupcakes are a waste of time and a waste of perfectly good cake. Why are there countless cupcake bakeries sprouting up all over the U.S., and why do we have TV shows devoted to baking and decorating cupcakes?

Let’s look at our lives and look at our choices, America. Get it together and just eat a dang piece of cake.

Sincerely, a die-hard cake lover.

Column by Madison WepferAssistant Features Editor

College of Business & JMC

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