Monthly Archives: May 2012

Cheap & Snazzy Dinner Dates

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget - Social Community Manager
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profile of girlBy guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

Let’s face it – enjoying great food in the company of awesome people is a fantastic way to spend a few hours. But footing the bill for the tasty drinks and drool-worthy food can be difficult – especially since anything besides Top Ramen is a delicacy to most college students.

It’s already hard enough to fork over the insane amounts of money that are necessary to cover our college textbooks and school tuition without the temptation of treating ourselves once in awhile. So to help myself out, and hopefully a few of you as well, I have compiled some ideas on how to enjoy that dinner date out on the town without having to pull from your “Post-graduation vacation $$” jar.

fun date

Photo: Historiful

Happy Hour

One aspect I am always looking to save on is the price for drinks on a nice dinner date since buying a few good drinks can usually end up doubling the price of a dinner. A lot of restaurants also offer appetizers and specific dishes, sometimes half-size, for lower prices during happy hour. You can find a Happy Hour any night of the week if you know where to go and have explored all of your restaurant options. To add a little spice to your dating life, try going to a new Happy Hour at a different restaurant every time you go out, make it a bucket-list item.

Websites & Coupons

There’s an ever-growing list of coupon and deal websites that restaurants use to entice new customers.  Groupon and Livingsocial are two popular websites that I have seen offer deals such as 2 for 1-dinner entrée coupons at local steak restaurants and “Buy a meal get a beverage or dessert free”. These hidden gems can provide you with a chance to try a place that may have previously been unknown to you or out of your price range.

Make A Meal to Go and Take A Hike

Although hiking isn’t necessarily required for this tip on how to save on dinner dates, sometimes it can be nice to go a little farther away then a city park if possible. In the coming warmer months, it can be romantic and sweet to take the usual dinner date somewhere in the open air and spend an evening enjoying nature and maybe even stargazing. To make the picnic, you can always order take-out from your favorite place to eat or visit a local grocery store. My usual weekly picnic includes a sourdough loaf, avocados, sharp cheddar cheese, turkey, prosciutto, salami, and a bottle of wine. I have spent many great nights lying on a blanket in the middle of a field laughing the hours away.

 

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Grand Prize BookRenter Digital Media Intern Angelina!

Filed under: Digital Interns - BookRenter Team
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girl

 

Angelina Bossone: Senior, Communication Business Major at The University of New Hampshire. Office Assistant at Crimes Against Children Research Center. BookRenter Digital Media Intern. Enjoys warm sunny days and listening to music. Hopes to pursue a career in advertising / business.


Hello! I’m Angelina Bossone, BookRenter’s Digital Media Intern. I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Go Wildcats! I am studying Communication Business and dream of one day working in The Big Apple at an advertising firm.

As soon as I saw BookRenter’s advertisement for their Summer Digital Media Internship on their Facebook page, I did not hesitate to apply! I didn’t think I would get it seeing as I entered into the competition several days after it had started and I was behind other contestants in the most votes. I didn’t let that stop me – I knew I wanted this position since I had already fallen in love with BookRenter as a customer for two years, and knew that I could promote them with true sincerity. Thanks to family and friends (and obnoxious posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Groupbox) I was able to receive the top votes! In addition, I made a promotional video in hopes that it would give me a competitive edge.

The days passed as I anxiously awaited a response from BookRenter. When I found out I won the grand prize internship, I jumped and screamed and couldn’t believe it! I am so grateful to have won – and I appreciate everyone’s help with their daily votes (and I thank BookRenter for picking me)!

Two weeks into the internship, I have already learned new skills with publishing, monitoring, promoting, and social networking. I truly enjoy promoting BookRenter. This has already been a wonderful experience and will also give me extra cash for this upcoming year with a biweekly paycheck AND a $500 credit to my BookRenter account for textbooks! I couldn’t be any more grateful. College expenses get more expensive each year and since I discovered BookRenter two years ago, I have saved at least $1,000 in books! That ALONE got me to love BookRenter and now with this opportunity, I love them a million times more.

I’ll be posting videos based on my experiences once a week – and in my latest video I show how I’ve used the money I saved from BookRenter.

How would you #DreamBig and spend your BookRenter savings?

Thank you BookRenter!

Follow me: Twitter / Pinterest

BookRenter Digital Intern,

Angelina Bossone

 

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The One Thing Missing From Your Resumé

Filed under: Volunteering and Giving Back - Social Community Manager
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photo of girlBy guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Stop what you’re doing and check your resumé.

Is there a section devoted to your volunteer experience? If not, maybe you should think twice about what you have planned for this summer. A lot of students hesitate to volunteer if it’s not required for school, a scholarship, or, heaven forbid, paying off a debt to society. But there’s something you should know: it’s not only personally rewarding, but it matters more to employers than you may think.

In my previous post about volunteering, I mentioned my experience at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lane County, Oregon – and I can’t tell you how many opportunities I’ve snagged simply based off of this. Although listed at the bottom of my resumé, most employers have always asked about my experience at BBBS during the interview. BBBS has a lot of sponsors, so they have a ton of support what they do for at-risk youth. Keep in mind, this can be key to networking post-grad.

What volunteering says about you

Volunteering says that you are reliable and dedicated to showing up to the job even if it’s unpaid. Showing you care about your community says a lot about the type of person you are, so think about what you’re passionate about, and then find an organization that matches. Volunteerships are just like jobs: if you like what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work.

But volunteering is not all about what’s on your resume, either. I’ve made a lot of connections and friends I might not otherwise have made. Over the years, I’ve written numerous articles about BBBS, I’m constantly telling friends about volunteer opportunities, and I’ve even spoke to a room of 500 people at BBBS’ annual Fall breakfast about how mentoring has influenced my life.

If you’re feeling defeated and discouraged by how long it’s taking for you to complete your college degree, volunteering will give you immediate results every time you do it. If you volunteer at an animal shelter, you’ll see animals adopted every day; if you volunteer at a homeless shelter, you’ll dish out a meal the people you serve couldn’t be more grateful for.

In the end, volunteering isn’t just about donating your time. It’s about becoming a better person through generosity; giving your time to a person or place that could really use it, even though you have a million other things you could be doing. And it’s amazing how something seemingly so small can mean so much to someone else, but also be incredibly humbling.

 

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Legendary Concession Stand Food

Filed under: Funny Internet Stuff - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Kelsey Bradshaw
Kelsey is a sophomore at the University of Oregon majoring in Journalism and Facebook (wait, that’s not a real major?!). Originally a track star from Medford, Oregon, she now enjoys going for runs with her friends and working out at Eugene Crossfit. She also enjoys visiting National Parks, playing in the snow, and hanging out at the beach…double points if they’re all at the same time.

Baseball, Hockey, Basketball…what do these things have in common?

Apart from millions of fans, nation anthems, and a circle(ish) shaped ball or puck, these sports all have some of the best—and weirdest—concession stand food you’ll ever have.

Take, for instance, the Meat Lover’s Hot Dog served at the Great American Ballpark, home to the Cincinnati Reds: a deep-fried quarter pound hot dog, which is then coated with chili and topped off with pepper jack cheese and fried salami.

If you’re up for a challenge, the next thing on your ‘To Eat’ list is the Big Boomer, offered at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Measuring 24 inches long, it weighs in at a full pound and is topped with spicy ketchup, jalapeño mustard, Baja relish, beef chili, melted cheese, and raw onions.  If hot dogs aren’t your thing, try the three-pound pretzel they also offer—so big it’s served in a pizza box.

The fun doesn’t stop there, though. The Miami Marlins stadium offers a helmet full of nachos with all of the toppings—salsa, jalapeños, chili, cheese, and green sauce. Wearing it after eating is not recommended.

While it's a staple of Canadian cuisine, poutine is not for the faint of stomach! Photo by Ken Yu.

If these all sound a little tame, stop by the Louisiana Superdome and try alligator sausage or jambalaya.  Or, if your stomach is up for it, try the Rocky Mountain Oysters that Coors Field in Denver offers. These deceivingly named “oysters” are not of the seafood variety, but rather deep-fried bull testicles, served with fries and dipping sauce.

Canadian Hockey fans have it really good, however; many of their stadiums sell poutine, or fries covered with cheese curds and gravy. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ concessions include not only poutine, but hot dogs coated with the heart-stopping concoction, as well as bacon-wrapped hot dogs. But BMO Field belonging to the Toronto FC Major League Soccer team takes the cake with the Triple Pork Poutine: the typical fries, cheese curds, and gravy, then followed with pulled pork, bacon, and sausage.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten at concession stands? Would you ever try any of these?

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How to Become a Morning Person

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Sometimes having early morning classes is inevitable. No matter how hard we may try to plan our school schedules to start after noon, there’s usually always that one class that forces us to wake up early. If you push that snooze button more than once on the days of those morning classes, these tips are for you. And I’m not talking about the usual 2 or 3 cups of coffee routine.

The first tip I have, which you may not like if you’re a night owl, is to go to bed earlier! Remember those days when you were 8 years old and your parents made you go to bed when it was still light out? I’m not talking about that early, but aim to be in bed by 10. On days you have classes that start later, you can afford to go to bed later, so it only makes sense that if you have to get up early, you should go to bed early, too. It helps to put anything electronic, (including your cell phone) away and out of sight. Try reading a book, writing, whatever… you want to induce that sleepy state, and staring at anything with a bright light won’t get you there.

Next, find a source of motivation! Plan a really delicious breakfast so you have something yummy to look forward to. Cereal and toast get boring, so mix it up with yogurt and granola with a cut up banana, fruit salad with a dollop of whipped cream, a nice omelet with peppers and onions, or even scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes! Rewarding yourself for following through on your goal is a great way to keep repeating it.

Sometimes you need more than just an alarm clock to get you out of bed. Photo by Paul Li.

The minute your alarm wakes you up, try to ninja jump yourself out of bed. Not literally, of course, but try to get out of bed quickly enough so that you don’t have time to think about pushing the snooze button…or worse, skipping that first class. Beat your thoughts to the punch and, like Nike says, just do it!

Another tip I’ve heard works well is chasing your alarm clock. There are alarmclocks made specifically for people who have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning and from the many reviews they’ve collected, the majority says they work! The only downside I see to this is if you live in a dorm and your roommate doesn’t have to wake up until a couple hours after you. The sound of your alarm clock leaping off your bedside table could potentially wake them up too! So, note to self: check with roommate before investing in Clocky.

Of course there are the tried and true ways of making it easier to get out of bed in the morning, such as working out right away or doing yoga, drinking a cold glass of water to jolt your system awake, or creating a feel-good pump up playlist of music you love. So try a couple methods and then stick to whatever works best for you. Maybe next term you’ll get luckier in getting afternoon classes!

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