Category Archives: Fun Ideas

Hosting The Best Super Bowl Party

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Social Life/Relationships, Sports - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

Super Bowl XLIX will likely be the most widely watched Super Bowl of all time. It has everything from two superpower teams going head to head, to wild controversy, and historical significance. The Seahawks are looking to defend their claim to the title they won last season.The Patriots are taking on their former coach, Pete Carrol, and Tom Brady is looking to join his idol, Joe Montana, with four super bowl wins. If the Patriots win this one, Tom Brady and Bill Belichik will likely go down as the best ever quarterback and coach combination in the history of the National Football League, even though their legacy is tainted by the media-dubbed and hyped controversy, “deflategate.” Whether you believe the claim that the Patriots somehow cheated by deflating their footballs or not, the hype has certainly helped to build up anticipation for the game.

Watching the Super Bowl, also means having (or going to) a Super Bowl party. Even if half of your friends don’t like football, the Super Bowl is a time that everyone loves to get together to watch. If you have either volunteered or unluckily been elected to host a party for your friends or family, you may want to make sure you have some of the essentials.

1. Food

Your first option is to make all the food yourself and make sure all of everyone’s favorites are present, but you would then will have to clean up all the mess after. Your second option is to order takeout/delivery to spend less time preparing and to have everyone pitch in money to help out, but complications could arise, such as mixed up orders, late deliveries, and nobody having bills smaller than a ten. Your third option is my favorite – pot-luck dinner! In this scenario, everyone brings over what they like and you almost always end up with delicious leftovers because everyone brings so much! Usually everyone cleans up together and everybody is happy. Stick to easy-to-make and eat finger food like hot wings, burgers, pizza, scallops in bacon, pigs in blankets, meatballs, carrot sticks, crackers, cheese, etc.

Hot Buffalo Wings Super Bowl Party Food

Photo © City Menu

2. Transportation

Before you invite 10+ people to your house, make sure they all have places to park their cars! If you live in an apartment in the middle of town, you may want to switch the venue to someone who lives in a more suburban area or at least near a parking garage/lot. I would recommend to have your guests organize a car pool or take public transportation if possible. Also if anyone needs to stay the night, it is good to make preparations for them to crash on your couch and find a way home the next morning.

Public Transportation City Public Bus

Photo © Affinity Medical Technologies

3. Other Entertainment

Just because your guests are at a Super Bowl party does not mean they actually want to watch football. They may just be there for the company, food, or funny commercials. I recommend having other things to keep them occupied if this is the case, such as light music and party games in the other room. One popular idea to keep watching the game interesting and extra fun, is the game called Super Bowl Squares. Everyone participating picks squares on a grid, usually 10×10. Each axis is assigned one of the teams and the rows and columns are randomly assigned numbers 0-9. At the end of each quarter, a winner is chosen based on the last digit in each team’s score. So if the score at halftime is 33 to 24, whoever chose the square at the intersection of row 3 and column 4 is the winner! Usually people play this game with monetary prizes, with everyone participating pooling their money, but there could be alternatives as well. For example, if your friend’s also have a fantasy football league, this is one way to determine draft pick order for the next season (first pick goes to whoever won the square for the final score).

Super Bowl Squares Game Seahawks Patriots

Photo © Saving Advice

Now you’re ready for your very own Super Bowl party! Who do you want to see win the championship? Leave a comment below!

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Starting A New Exercise Routine

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Health & Fitness, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

It’s always difficult to start a new exercise routine. Especially with the pressure of welcoming in a new year. Every year I feel like I say I’m going to start being healthier, and exercise every day, but now that I’m older, I’ve realized more and more than I do not like traditional exercises. It’s very hard for me to be motivated because I don’t like lifting weights, and I definitely do not like running. There are a few ways that I’ve kept myself motivated and on the right track, that are easy to implement into your everyday life!

1. Figure Out What You Like

I got a cheap pass at my local gym that allowed me to try out all of the different kinds of group classes. It was a great experience because I found out some exercises that I never would have thought of that I absolutely love now. My new favorites are hot yoga, spin class, and boxing! This makes it so much easier for me to want to go to the gym because it is so much fun!

Spin Exercise Class Fitness Sprinning Bikes

Photo © Core Fitness Club

2. Get A Gym Buddy

I have a co-worker that has been struggling to lose weight, just like me. We decided to start exercising and start going to the gym together! Not only do we go to group classes together now, but we also split the cost for a personal trainer! This makes it easier on our wallets, and we have each other to make sure we commit to our routine.

Gym Buddy Cat Shrek

Photo © Her Campus

3. Find Discounts

Websites like Groupon and Living Social are my favorite because they have major discounts for awesome activities. I have been using Groupon a lot lately and I’ve been able to go on a lot of adventures, that are a twist on exercise. I’ve gone on a group rock climb, a white water rafting trip, and hot yoga for a month for only $20!

Groupon Website Fitness Coupon

Photo © The Ad Effect

My best advice is to try several different forms of exercise to figure out what you like the best, even if it’s just dancing for an hour every night! You’re burning calories and doing something that you love. It’s not about forcing yourself to exercise, it’s about changing your lifestyle to be more physically active, which you can’t do unless it’s something you enjoy!

Good luck!

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Cheap & Easy Recipes For Students On A Budget

Filed under: Food, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger BiographyA college diet can sometimes be a struggle when you’re on a tight budget. The dreaded Ramen meal can sometimes be a nightmare to your taste buds, but have no fear! Here are some cheap and easy recipes that will leave your mouth watering. These recipes consist of five or less ingredients and are quick to make. Try them out!

1. French Bread Pizza

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and cut a loaf of French bread in half and place it on a baking pan. Spread spaghetti sauce onto the bread and then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Add any toppings you desire (pepperoni, olives, ham, bacon, etc) and add a touch of spices for some extra zest! Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread has toasted and the cheese has melted. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then cut. Now you have your own homemade French bread pizza!

Cheap Easy New Food Recipe For College Students French Bread Pizza

Photo © life as mom

2. Avocado Egg Bake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut avocados in half and remove the seed. Use a spoon to gently scoop out enough space for an egg. Crack eggs into the avocado halves, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Bake the avocados for 15-20 minutes, or until the yolk is cooked to your liking. Toast on the side couldn’t hurt either!

Cheap Easy New Food Recipe For College Students Baked Egg Avocado

Photo © onsugar

3. Garlic Butter Pasta

Cook angel hair pasta for 8-10 minutes and heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate pan, on medium-high heat. Once the oil has warmed up, add 3 to 4 crushed garlic cloves. Add ½ a stick of butter as the garlic begins to brown. After the butter has melted, mix in with the pasta. Season to your liking and add any fresh herbs, cooked shrimp, or grilled chicken slices.

Cheap Easy New Food Recipe For College Students Garlic Butter Pasta

Photo © Simply Recipes

So, the next time you are running short on time or cash, give one of these recipes a try. If you have any quick and easy recipes, share with us in the comments below!

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10 Winter Break Activities That Won’t Break The Bank

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran

Winter break is about half-way through! If you haven’t taken advantage of your time off from school yet, it’s time to start getting serious about having some fun! Here are some suggestions to make sure your winter break is all you could ask for before starting the new semester.

1. Snow Tubing

This doesn’t have to cost a single penny. All you need is snow, a hill, and a garbage lid. Grab some family members and/or some friends and you’ve got a great day ahead of you!

College Student Snow Tubing On Winter Break

Photo © exposure

2. Netflix

Winter break is the time to lounge on the couch and binge on your favorite shows and movies. Make some hot chocolate, put on your fuzzy socks, and really get into it – this is the time!

Netflix TV Binge Watching Relaxing

Photo © Fox Business

3. Baking

Take this time out of college to try out a few new recipes. The internet is filled with some great ideas, some are even winter festive! If you already know how to bake, try baking something new, if you don’t know how to bake, this is your chance to learn! Once you are done, you will have some delicious snacks to munch on later.

Winter Snowflake Baking

Photo © Artemis Cookware

4. Museums

Many museums have “free days” on which you do not have to pay an entrance fee. Take advantage of these! If you go with a couple of friends, it is actually a lot of fun!

Museum Dinosaur

Photo © kidsfuninseoul

5. Re-Organize Your Closet

After four months of piling your laundry all over the place, take a day out of your winter break to clean up a bit. Organize your closet. Go through clothes that no longer fit or you will not longer wear and donate them. Do some laundry and get everything back into place. Doing this always gives me the feeling of a fresh start, which is great for the upcoming Spring semester.

Organize College Closet

Photo © stupic

6. Read

Even though you’re probably sick of books by the end of each semester, use your winter break to do something you may not get the chance to do during the semester: read for pleasure.

Reading Books By The Fireplace Winter

Photo © Her Campus

7. Re-connect With Friends

While classes are in session, it’s hard to keep up with all of our friends in between midterms, finals, and papers. This is the perfect time to re-connect with some of those friends and make some lasting memories.

Winter Hanging Out With Friends

Photo © Mass Public Health Blog

8. Rent A Cabin

Gather a larger group of your friends and rent a cabin for a couple of days. When you split the cost between all of you, it is not that expensive. If you really want a challenge, do this without the iPads, laptops, and cell phones. Sometimes it is nice to get back in tune with nature.

Friends Get Cabin In The Winter Woods

Photo © wvcabins

9. Earn Some Extra Cash

Use the few weeks you have off to earn some extra spending money for the upcoming semester. Find a temporary gig, work in the catering hall, or pick up some extra shifts at your current job while you have the time off.

College Student Working In Dining Hall

Photo © University Housing at Illinois

10. Relax

Whether that means taking a bubble bath or going out dancing, remember to relax this winter break! You deserve to relax before the upcoming semester.

Ice Skating Winter Break Relaxing

Photo © Your Naperville

What have you been doing for your winter break? Share with us in the comments!

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Alternative Ways To Celebrate The Holidays

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships, Volunteering and Giving Back - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

The holidays in the fall and winter are my favorite holidays. As I thought about why that is, I realized that gift-giving is low on the list of things I love about the holidays. I think the number one thing that makes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa so special is the emotion. Maybe it’s the years of Christmas advertisements burned into my mind, but there’s something in the air that just seems to make everything more joyful.

My family celebrates Christmas. We get our Christmas tree a day or two after Thanksgiving, decorate it together as a family, buy gifts for each other, go to my Aunt’s annual Christmas Eve party, and then open presents Christmas morning and eat a hearty breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, hash-browns, and toast. This year we decided a change was needed. Instead of our traditional Christmas activities, we decided to scrap the gift-giving, forgo the Christmas tree, and forget the feasts.

These are some unconventional ideas for alternative ways to celebrate the holidays:

1. Family Outing

My family and I went on a vacation. Going on a trip with loved ones is a great way to get closer as you share new and exciting experiences together and create memories to last for years to come. I know I cannot wait to be lounging on the beach in the Virgin Islands with my family, soaking up the sun and fishing by day and having dinner by night.

Family on vacation at the beach

Photo © Birds Paradise Travel

2. More Than A Gift

My friend’s family has a pretty interesting tradition as well. They also celebrate Christmas, so they buy a tree, invite lots of people over for a pot-luck dinner, and they give each other gifts. However, these gifts are deeply personal and often take more effort than just going to a store and buying something. Some gift examples include a photo album consisting of pictures of the giver and receiver over the years, or a song written and recorded by the giver, or a playlist of songs that the giver knows the receiver loves. All these gifts are different but have one thing in common: they transcend consumerism and touch people on a deeper level.

Looking At Photo Album Christmas Gift

Photo © She Knows

3. Pay It Forward

Another idea for an alternative holiday is to “pay it forward” by giving the gift of a charitable donation in the name of the person you would normally just go buy the newest gadget for. Think of the good you’ll be doing if, instead of buying your 70 year old grandmother a smartphone that she will never completely understand, donate the money to Alzheimer’s research. Instead of buying dad a new tie, you could buy a months’ worth of dinner for a family less fortunate. If you are having difficulty coming up with a charity, the local food pantries always need help this time of year. I’m sure they would be more than happy to have volunteers.

Pay It Forward Holiday Donation Giving Back

Photo © Marion Online

Whatever holiday you celebrate, remember the true meaning is about celebrating with family, friends, and even the community. It’s about giving back and doing something special. If you could celebrate the holidays differently, what would you do?

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