Alia Hoyt

Contributing Writer

Alia is an Atlanta-based freelance writer who has contributed content to HowStuffWorks for going on a decade now, with a specialty in health writing. She’s also been published by TLC, Animal Planet, and a number of corporate clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), and might someday get around to setting up a professional website. Until then, check her out on LinkedIn.

She and her husband are proud parents to three handsome, too-smart-for-their-own-good boys. Alia is a passably not terrible tennis player, lover of all things dance and music, brownie-obsessed, avid reader and off-key car singer. Her two favorite types of people are those who have a healthy sense of humor and those who actually read articles in their entirety before posting comments.

Recent Contributions

How to Get the Best Deal on Your Mortgage Refinance

Mortgage refinance rates can vary from lender to lender. So, how do you know that you've got the best rate you can?

5 Questions to Ask Before You Refinance Your Mortgage

"How low will my new interest rate be?" is not the only question to ask before you refinance your mortgage. Here are five others you should think about.

When Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Refinancing your mortgage may be a great way to lower your monthly bills, but you need to keep these points in mind.

Can You Refinance Your Mortgage With Bad Credit?

You'd like to take advantage of the low interest rates out there to refinance your mortgage, but your credit is less than stellar. Is it worth even trying to refinance?

Pros and Cons of a Cash-out Mortgage Refinance

Need some extra cash to take care of some debts? You could tap into your home equity through a cash-out mortgage refinance. But what are the pros and cons?

Can't Read Roman Numerals? We Can Teach You

And it'll take XIV minutes flat.

Get to Know the Greek Alphabet, From Alpha to Omega

Even if you hardly know your beta from your zeta, chances are you've used Greek letters at some point in your life. What are they and why are they so common?

A Heavenly Angels Quiz

Halos and robes and wings are how most people think of angels, but these heavenly beings are actually a lot more complex than their popular image. How much do you know about angels' roles, ranks and responsibilities? Take our quiz to find out!

How Did the Goldfish Become Everyone's First Pet?

Goldfish may seem like an easy starter pet, but they do require some basic care so they don't end up in the toilet a few weeks later! We talk with an expert about the three steps every goldfish owner should take.

8 Cuddly Facts About Koalas

They look so cute and fluffy, but koalas have a fierce side too. Still, their biggest threat to survival is mankind.

Why Giving a Professional Reference Can Be a Minefield

Ever had someone ask you for a reference that you didn't want to give? Or been unsure of what your reference may say about you? Professional references can be minefields, but they don't have to be.

What's the Difference? Quiz

Does anyone really know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Or a hurricane and a cyclone? You're about to learn with the answers to this quiz!

6 Wild and Wacky Takes on the Advent Calendar

These Advent calendars give new meaning to the phrase "countdown to Christmas." Plus, where did the Advent calendar come from?

6 Tips for Creating a Cozy, Charming Farmhouse Look

Farmhouse style is an eclectic mix of traditional charm and quirky character that lends a cozy, warm feel to any space where comfort is key.

How to Stay Warm in Your Freezing-cold Office

Whether winter is a-knocking at your poorly insulated office – or you have a too-efficient AC in the summertime, we have some creative real-world tips and advice on gadgets to help you stay warm.

Do People and Bananas Really Share 50 Percent of the Same DNA?

You probably feel like you have very little in common with that banana lying on your kitchen counter. But science says you do! So, how is this possible? And is that stat accurate? We talk to the scientist who did the research.

How Subway Tile Moved From the Underground to the Urban Home

Subway tiles were created specifically for use in the New York City subway system, but consumers love them too, as they add a touch of retro urban sophistication to almost any home.

Is the BRAT Diet Still Beneficial?

A bland diet consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast was a standard remedy for children with diarrhea and other stomach issues. But not any more. What happened to the BRAT diet?

Been Told You're Too Sensitive? You Might Be an Empath

Emotionally sensitive people sometimes get a bad rap from others. But being an empath can be a gift, as long as you take care of it. So how do you know if you're one?

How to Make Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls

Sugar skulls are an integral (and beautiful) part of Day of the Dead festivities. We speak with an artist and sugar skull expert to find out how to make them.