Category Archives: Fun Ideas

6 Quick & Easy Meals To Cook This Summer

Filed under: Food, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

A lot of memories can be made with people cooking and eating together outside in the summer. When the weather is nice, the company is good, and refreshments are chilled… all you need is some food. Do you go with some hot dogs and burgers on the grill? Maybe something roasted over the fire? Maybe even some seafood?

Consider these seasonal bites the next time you need an idea for a summer meal:

1. Chicken Kabobs

This one’s easy. Find some kabobs, some meat (chicken or beef), and some veggies and/or fruit. Slice everything up into cubes and pierce the food with the sticks to make a nice stack of everything. Grill them on medium heat for about 5 minutes before you flip and grill them for another 5. The great thing about kabobs is they’re so customizable. So feel free to adjust to your tastes, but I suggest using teriyaki or lemon-pepper chicken, green and red peppers, and chunks of mango or pineapple to make a simple, yet delicious treat!

2. Summer BBQ Chicken-Hawaiin Pizza

Pizza is also an easy recipe that is highly customizable, but this one will transport your taste buds to a luau on Maui. Get a pre-made crust (thin, original, rustic, etc.) Find some honey-barbecue sauce, chicken breast, bacon, pineapple, marinara sauce and some mozzarella cheese. You’ll also need some salt, black and red pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Place the crust on a baking sheet or a pizza wheel if you have one. Pre-cook the chicken and the bacon before placing it on the pizza. While the chicken and bacon cooks, you can put the sauce and the cheese on the pizza crust. Then slice up the cooked chicken and break up the bacon into bits and scatter them on your pizza. Add slices of pineapple and lightly drizzle the honey-bbq sauce all over the pizza in whatever pattern you want. Add a hint of seasoning. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then enjoy!

3. Trout Fillets

I like to fish, but you don’t have to go out and catch your own trout to enjoy eating one. Some people prefer cooking these on stovetops skillets, but you can just as easily use the grill. You’ll need your trout fillets, a lemon, some garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and aluminum foil. Heat up the grill on medium-high heat. Place your fillets in the middle of enough aluminum foil to wrap them in. Slice up the lemon and chop up the garlic. Top the fillets with the garlic and then lay a couple lemon slices down. Season with salt and pepper, wrap them up, and grill them for about 5 minutes depending on their size. The middle should be flaky (test with a fork) when done.

4. Apple Slice and Chorizo Salad

This is an interesting summer salad with the tartness of the apples balancing out the spiciness of the chorizo. You’ll need some olive oil, salt and pepper, green leaf lettuce, half of an apple (I prefer Granny Smiths), some lemon juice, half a clove of garlic, and your favorite type of cheese. Use a skillet over medium-heat to cook the chorizo for about 3 minutes in some olive oil. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, and just a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add apple slices, lettuce, cheese, and toss. Should take about 10 minutes to cook, then dig in!

5. Caribbean Corn on the Cob

This version of corn on the cob will add a little flavor of the Caribbean. Get a few ears of corn, husk them, and remove all the silk. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of butter, paprika, asiago cheese, salt, and some lime wedges. Grill the corn on for about 12 minutes over medium heat. When they’re done, drizzle the melted butter, grate and sprinkle the cheese, add the paprika, and squeeze some lime juice over them. You’ll never go back to plain old corn on the cob again.

6. Peanut Butter S’mores

Always save dessert (the best) for last. You’ve probably heard of s’mores – your standard graham crackers, chocolate bar, and fire roasted marshmallow. But you haven’t lived until you’ve added peanut butter. Roast a marshmallow until it’s golden brown. Then simply spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one of the crackers, and then add your chocolate, the marshmallow, and the top cracker. Delicious!

Get creative! There are many things you can cook and many ways to do it. Cook with some friends so everyone can enjoy the meal and have their own meals to contribute. Summer should be about meals and memories.

Let us know in a comment below if you try any of these recipes, and what you think! Or, add in your own favorite summer recipes!

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How To Make Any Day An Adventure

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Living, Tips - Angelina
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McKenzie Caldwell BookRenter Blogger Biography 6.10.16

With about only a month left before school starts, some of you may feel pressured to really make the most out of the rest of summer. If you have a job or just spend your days watching Netflix because it’s too hot out, this may seem like a nearly impossible task. Well, there are some ways to make every day worthwhile.

Here are a few ways to add a little adventure to your days:

1. Change Your Mindset

Redefine what you consider an adventure. You don’t have to devise an elaborate plan to escape your routine; there are plenty of new things to experience where you live. In order to escape the mindset that everything around you is mundane, try looking with new eyes. While the house you’ve never noticed on your drive to work may not immediately be connected with adventure, opening your mind to the idea that there’s always something new is a vital part of separating yourself from your routine and making each day more exciting.

2. Explore and Open Yourself to New Experiences

It often seems that exploration and adventure are intertwined; however, you don’t have to go to a foreign place to explore. Check out your town. Is there a restaurant you’ve never tried? Is there a park you occasionally drive by? You also may just happen upon something new. Maybe a coworker invites you to a roller derby or there’s a cover band playing a few towns over in a couple hours. Try making fewer excuses. Think about what would happen in action movies if every character said, “Sorry, I can’t.”

3. Find Out What Kind of Adventurer You Are

Do you like to adventure alone or with friends? Do you rely completely on spontaneity and follow your whim to the cafe that just opened, or do you make “bucket lists” to help remind you to finally visit that farmer’s market you pass every day? You won’t know until you try each one—but isn’t that the adventure? Trying new things from various perspectives will allow you to gain a fuller view of the world. Throw yourself from the norm and give it a go!

Just remember… Adventure is out there! It’s what you make of it! Don’t forget that when classes start either.

Share a comment below about some of your recent adventures!

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Creative Outdoor Summer Exercises

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Christine Henson BookRenter Blogger Biography

Summer is the perfect time to get a little creative with your workouts. It’s warm, sunny, and perfect for an outdoor workout. Just be careful if it’s too hot and always stay hydrated! Exercising outside sometimes allows more space and opportunity.

Here are a few creative outdoor exercises to help you stay active this summer:

1. Tricep Dips

For this exercise you’ll need to find a bench, a sturdy chair, a step, or anything that sits a little off of the ground. Sit on the item with your hands to your side, grasping the seat (fingers facing your feet). Then walk your feet out a little bit so your bottom is now raised. Using your arms, lower yourself down to the ground to about a 90-degree angle with your arms. Raise yourself back up to starting position. You should feel this exercise in the back of your arms.

2. Pull-Up Jumps

Find a branch, pole, or any horizontal object that’s a little taller than your arms when you hold them straight up above your head. Squat down, jump up to grab the object, and pull up so your head is above the object. These pull-up jumps will work your arms and legs all at the same time!

3. Water Hose Hops

You’ll need a water hose, rope, or any long flat object that you can easily hop over (without tripping). Lay the object flat on the ground and hop across the object from one end to the other while keeping your feet together. This is a great cardio move, and will target your calves as well.

4. Toe Taps

For this exercise you’ll need a step, curb, or anything slightly off the ground. Start with one foot resting on the object, then hop and switch your feet as fast as you can. Like the water hose hops, this is good for cardio and your calves.

5. Frog Leaps

These are great to do outdoors, because of limited space indoors. Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, squat, bend at the waist and rest your fingers on the ground, then explode off your feet and jump as far as you can! This will work your hamstrings and quads.

Hopefully these outdoor exercises will help you get outside and try something a little different. Happy sweating!

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5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography





Did you know that the tradition of celebrating the 4th of July goes all the way back to the late 1700s? I know I didn’t! Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (or our American independence from Great Britain).

When I was little, it meant barbecues, an extra day off school, and hearing fireworks lit off in the street I lived on. Now, I recognize it more as patriotic and realize there are a lot of great ways to celebrate it.

Here are some ideas to celebrate the 4th of July this year:

1. Visit a National Landmark

One year, my parents and I drove 4 hours to see Crater Lake, something I had never seen in pretty much my whole life of living in the area. It surprisingly wasn’t packed and there was even snow, which made it much more memorable considering the 4th of July is in a hot season. I felt patriotic paying a visit to an important landmark in my state and I got to check something off my bucket list. Win, win!

2. Watch Fireworks At The Beach

Another year, a roommate and I drove out to the coast and spent the afternoon being tourists and getting grub to eat down at the harbor. Bring a blanket if your coast is notorious for being cold, dinner for the whole experience, and chairs if you don’t want to sit on the ground!

3. Go To A Baseball Game Or Rodeo

A traditional way to spend the weekend of the 4th is to take in a baseball game. Don’t like baseball? Bring some sunflower seeds and make bets on who’ll win. Loser buys vendor food for dinner! You can also bring a deck of cards to kill time while waiting for fireworks to start. Rodeos are also a good place to see a good fireworks show and sometimes you’ll even get the patriotic music and a mechanical bull to go with!

4. Get Together With Friends

Pool your money and buy a few really good fireworks to carefully set off by yourselves. Or you could get a bunch of the really inexpensive ones, such as sparklers or TNT poppers (the ones you throw at the ground). Just make sure to be safe, clean-up afterwards, and be mindful of certain laws. Don’t want to spend money? Each of you can bring a dish to have a potluck and watch the celebrations on TV.

5. Go Hiking

Watching the fireworks from the top of a beautiful mountain is a beautiful view. One year, I hiked with friends to the top of a butte and we chowed down on munchies while enjoying the lit up sky. Some other hikers even brought a guitar so we had tunes to listen to at the same time.

Thinking back, what was the best 4th of July you have had? Tell us in a comment below! If you can’t think of one, take one of the ideas above for this year and have fun!

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5 Books You Must Read This Summer

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Living - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

School’s out for summer! Or hopefully anyway… Whether you’re taking off for the summer for a reprieve or stuck on campus with catch-up classes, you should take some time to relax! What better way to relax than to get into a juicy, quick summer read?

Fantasy, mystery, and crime await in my recommended summer reading list below!

1. Allegiant

by Veronia Roth

In the third book of the Divergent trilogy series, Tris and Four follow up with what happened in the second book and journey past the city’s borders to find out what is outside. Haven’t read the first two books? Pack all three in your suitcase or stock your bookshelf with the trilogy because once you finish the first one, you won’t want to wait to start the next one!

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

Sixteen-year-old Jacob travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales. There, he discovers what is left of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The abandoned building shows signs that the children who lived there were more than just peculiar. Were they dangerous? Are they still alive? Haunting is the only word to describe this story.

3. Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Yesterday the circus was there, now it’s not. Le Cirque des Reves holds many secrets under its tent, one of which is the duel about to take place between Celia and Marco – two young magicians who’ve been trained for this very moment. What they don’t know is that this duel ends in only person standing and this person gets to travel with the circus. Too bad they’ve already fallen in love. Now what’ll happen?

4. Saints of New York

by R.J. Ellory

Sometimes we just need a book that will keep our heart beating until the very last page is turned. Homicide detective Frank Parrish is on a mission to find a killer preying on young women. This is your go-to mystery book if you’re looking for suspense and something that will keep you guessing.

5. Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Didn’t read it when it was first released? Now is your chance! Nick and Amy are supposed to be celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. There’s just one problem: Amy has disappeared and Nick is the prime suspect. Told from both Amy and Nick’s perspectives, Gone Girl is one of those books that makes you think you know what’s going on, but in the end, you are thrown for a loop.

Summer is a great time to catch up on all those books we don’t have time for during the school year. So when you find yourself needing a break from homework (or family if you’re heading home), crack open a new book and feed your mind with a rich story.

Do you have any summer books to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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