Category Archives: Seasonal Celebrations

5 Easy To Make Valentine’s Day Desserts

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Food, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
Tags: , , , ,

Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Amidst the romance, celebratory pink and purple hearts, and love stuff – the best part of Valentine’s Day is probably the desserts. Rich chocolate cakes drizzled with yummy sauces, crunchy cookies with colorful frosting, and lots and lots of sprinkles! If you’re planning on a sweet (literally) Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of super easy desserts that can be quickly pulled together if you’re short on time this coming Love Day.

Check out these mouth-watering treats for some baking inspiration:

1. Rice Krispies Hearts

The age-old favorite hasn’t lost its appeal! Combine butter, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies together to make the typical Rice Krispies Treat. For different colored treats, have a separate bowl for each color to mix ingredients in. You can then use your favorite cookie cutters (I suggest hearts or letters to spell out a sweet message) to add some flair. Give them to your special someone, your best friends, or enjoy them yourself!

2. Muddy Buddies

Who doesn’t love this guilty pleasure?! It might be directed more towards the kids, but who are we kidding: this treat knows no age limit. Combine Chex rice cereal, confectioner sugar, shortening, sprinkles, and pink candies to make yet another tasty treat made of cereal.

3. Classic Cherry Bread

If you like Maraschino cherries as much as I do, you’ll love this recipe for cherry bread. Combine things you probably already have in your kitchen (sugar, flour, salt, eggs, etc.) along with one 10-oz. jar of maraschino cherries. Bake and then drizzle it with a cream cheese icing. I think I know what I’ll be making for Valentine’s Day!

4. White Chocolate Popcorn

If you “heart” popcorn more than any other snack, this recipe is for you. Melt 12 ounces of white chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave) and then drizzle it over your popped popcorn. Use a spoon to toss it and then spread it out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, your favorite sprinkles (hopefully pink and red), and feel free to add some conversation hearts for cuteness! Once it’s all cooled, start snacking!

5. Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies

We all remember Fruit Roll-Ups as the most coveted snack at the lunch table when we were kids. Some of our parents were nice and stuck one in there for our mid-day treat, while others had to beg and plead with their parents to buy them. Turns out, they’re perfect material for making fortune cookies. Buy a box of fruit roll-ups (one roll-up equals one cookie), use a circle cookie cutter, and fold! Don’t forget to tuck in sweet “fortune” messages! Super easy, and super sweet!

Whatever you make, you can’t go overboard with red and pink colors, a smooth frosting, or anything classic. Other hits include chocolate-covered strawberries, pink and white M&M cookies, or the infamous heart cake topped with your favorite frosting.

Do you have a favorite dessert you’ll be making for Valentine’s Day? Share it with us in the comments below!

Add a Comment



The Best Places To Travel This Spring Break

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Living, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
Tags: , , ,

Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

The days are getting longer and the snow is disappearing, which means spring break is right around the corner! To relax during spring break, you may want to go on the trip of your lifetime with your friends, who doesn’t? But this can be tricky for a college student on a budget. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a memorable time.

Visit these locations if you’re looking for a spring break destination that won’t break the bank:

1. The Dominican Republic

Here you can find towns boasting luxury beaches and mega-resorts with all inclusive spring break party deals, but there’s also more low-key and affordable options as well. You can find hotels for around $200 dollars a night for two people. And during the day when you aren’t enjoying the nightlife, consider taking a guided kayak tour through the Los Haitises National Park. The park is located on the northeast coast and is covered in mangrove forests and hosts a wide array of wildlife, like sea turtles and many types of birds – some of which are only found on the island.

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is great because the prices aren’t that bad and travel fees should be less than travelling to another country. Myrtle Beach is a popular area in South Carolina with many resorts and other tourist friendly attractions. It is consistently warm and sunny and boasts fantastic food, 60 miles of beaches, over 100 golf courses, and a vibrant nightlife.

3. Great Smoky National Park, Tennessee

Not only is the Great Smoky National Park affordable at about $100 dollars a night, it features fantastic fishing, hiking, and scenic drives nestled in the Appalachian Mountains along the North Carolina and Tennessee border. It’s America’s most visited national park and is known for its diversity of wildlife and I’ts only about a half an hour away from Dollywood.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a somewhat popular spot for party-goers for Mardi Gras, but afterwards it is slightly less crazy. It is a historic city lined with cobblestone streets. In New Orleans, you can have it all: world renowned food, the birthplace of jazz, and an electric nightlife are just a few of the things this city as to offer. Be sure to check out the French Quarter Festival if you are there between April 7th and 10th.

5. Montreal, Québec

Most people think of warm places with sandy beaches for spring break, not Canada. But one day in Montreal and you’ll realize it’s one of the most magical cities in North America. It’s affordable, yet feels luxurious! The culture is a perfect blend of American and European and it’s reflected in the delicious food and surprisingly active bar/club scene. Then of course, there is hockey. If you’re a hockey fan, Montreal will feel like home; and if you’ve never seen a game before, you may fall in love with it during your stay. The people are friendly and are more than happy to talk to anyone looking for some good company.

Wherever you go during your spring break, even if that’s just back home to be with family and friends, hopefully it is a restful and relaxing one.

Share your spring break plans with us in a comment below!

Add a Comment



How To Enjoy The Winter Season

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
Tags: , ,

Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

There are some of us who look forward to winter all year long, whether it’s for the holidays it brings, or the chance to get cozied up next to a fire with a good book and a cup of chocolate. There are also some of us who don’t exactly jump for glee at the thought of freezing temperatures, driving in the snow, and the inevitable gloom and depression winter can bring.

Whether you’re really happy for this winter season, or counting the days until summer, there are certain things you can do to make the most of the season:

1. Catch Up On Your Reading List

If there’s a list of books you’ve been meaning to check out, take the opportunity to cuddle up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and the book of your desire. Reading time is compromised in the warmer months since it’s ideal to be outside and enjoy outdoor activities, but if you’re “stuck” inside from inclement weather, escape through a nice good book.

2. Have A Movie Marathon

When it’s cold outside, one of my favorite things to do is have a movie marathon. I choose some movies I never get tired of seeing and some I haven’t seen yet, but have been wanting to. It’s a great way to get caught up on your pop culture, and maybe even discover a few newbies you might have never seen.

3. Get Some Fresh Air

I get it, sometimes the last thing you want to do when it’s cold outside is be outside. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, take a quick walk – solo, with your dog, or with a friend – just around the block. Believe it or not, this may brighten your mood just enough to make the season seem much more tolerable.

4. Get Together With Friends

Have a potluck or a game night (or both!) and have all your closest friends bring some munchies and/or a game to play. You could even use up a whole Saturday and spend all day goofing off, sharing stories, enjoying good food, and having a few laughs with the games. Getting together with friends is a great way to pull yourself out of whatever winter funk you might be in.

5. Tune Up A Hobby

Are you into photography, writing, or music? Winter presents the opportune time to hone hobbies such as these. Bundle up and bring your camera out into the woods or simply downtown to use up the foggy ambiance. Write a story, a poem, or even some new song lyrics. Take it one step further and share your new masterpiece with friends and family!

6. Color

My personal favorite is to spend a foggy and gloomy day by getting all my crayons and markers together, making a cozy nest on the couch, and breaking out my coloring book. If you haven’t tried this new phenomenon of adult coloring books, now’s your chance!

Remember, time flies when you’re having fun! The more you can keep yourself busy, the better this winter will be – no matter what you’re doing!

What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?

Add a Comment



5 Things To Start Doing In 2016

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Living, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips, Volunteering and Giving Back - Angelina
Tags: , , , , ,

Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

At the beginning of every year, most people spend time thinking about what they want to change in the new year. After reading several articles and reflecting on what has worked for me this year, I’ve put together a list of five things I think people (including myself) should start doing this year if they aren’t doing it already.

Why not make this year the best one yet? Start doing these things in 2016:

1. Grow Your Savings

As college students, we’re all aware of the struggle of handling our money. Some people are just better at it than others, I am not one of them. Last year I decided that instead of managing my savings account and depositing whenever I wanted, that I would setup automatic deposits. This has been life-changing for me. I never noticed the money gone, and it’s already added up greatly. For every paycheck, it automatically deposited $20. I also have saved any tip money I received at the end of the month from my job.

2. Find Your Relaxation

I feel like this world becomes more and more stressful each year, and each year I feel less equipped to handle it. I’ve been researching many different solutions and I think I’ve found a remedy for me. Over the past two months I have replaced soda with hot tea, which was mainly for weight loss reasons, but it has helped my emotional health tremendously. The most important thing to remember is that relaxation looks different for everyone. My relaxation is making myself a cup of tea, and either sitting in my yard, or rocking in the chair on my porch. Learn what calms you down and leaves you feeling happy, then remember to practice this often to reduce stress and increase your inner peace.

3. Read More

This is actually a goal of mine for 2016. I have read more this past year and picked up a book or two every now and then, but it’s my goal to read one book each month for this year. I remember how much I used to love reading, and how calming it was. I want to get back to that instead of filling my nights with Netflix. Reading is found to help in so many areas of your life including stress, happiness, creativity, and even your grammar! Visit www.bookrenter.com for some reading inspiration!

4. Volunteer

For most of us, our schedules can be almost maxed out to the limit. Adding another thing to it can seem impossible. Even still, I’ve decided for this next year that I’m going to overcome the impossible and set some time aside to volunteer at the local children’s center. I’m passionate about children, so it’ll be a great fit. Find what inspires you and you will see that it will seem less like a “chore” and more like another fun thing to do. If you really can’t give your time, get creative to think of how you can give back. A few weeks ago my friend and I had a “purse stuffing” party to stuff unwanted backpacks and purses full of everyday essentials to hand out to any homeless people we cross paths with. Imagine if everyone gave back just a little bit? It would make things just a little bit nicer, don’t you think?

5. Let Go Of The Negative

After a pretty rough year for me, it will be great to mentally refresh. If you’ve had a rough year too, or had a few bad instances, let go of any negative feelings and leave it behind in 2015. Make a decision to be positive going forward. This could even apply to negative situations you may find yourself in or people you hang out with – if you want to improve your situation, think of removing yourself from these scenarios. Use goals and daily motivational quotes to get you started, then it’ll become a routine. The past is the past for a reason, so get past it and look positively toward your future.

These five things are things that I’ve been working on for myself, and will continue to do in 2016. With how busy and stressful life can be, I think the most important thing to remember is to relax. Enjoy life and don’t worry about the small stuff!

Happy New Year! What change will you be making for 2016?

Leave a comment and let us know!

Add a Comment



Making The Most Of Winter Break

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips, Volunteering and Giving Back - Angelina
Tags: , , ,
 Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

This is my fifth winter break from college, and I’m prepared to make the most out of it. When I first started college, I didn’t value the break as much as I do now as a senior coming off of an 18 hour day semester. The main thing to remember is that this is your break, so do some things for you!

Here are a few suggestions for how you can make the most out of your winter break:

1. Spend Time With Family

I know this isn’t applicable to everyone because we don’t all live close to our family, but now that I’ve moved back to Texas, I’ve realized how important it truly is to spend as much time as possible with them. Life is incredibly short and semesters are incredibly long, so take some time to get some quality time in.

2. Have Some Alone Time

As important as it is to spend time with the people you love, I’m a big believer in spending time alone too. I frequently have “me” dates at the movies, or at a good dinner. Being alone to be peaceful with your thoughts and to do something you enjoy can be very calming (which we all can need at the end of a semester). This gives you time to regroup, recoup, and relax.

3. Do Some Reading

This has turned into a tradition of mine, and one that I cherish. Every year before winter break begins, I pick one novel that I’m going to read. I’m not a huge reader, so I set my goal realistically with just one book. It’s a great way to keep your brain active, and a great way to make sure you aren’t glued to the TV all break. This year my novel is Animal Farm (for the third time). This also allows me to remember the entertainment in reading, and not to just think of reading as “studying” or homework.

4. Volunteer

During the last four of my winter breaks, I have always gone and worked at the homeless shelter for a few days. This year, I will be working a lot so I figured out another way to give back to the community. I collected unwanted purses and backpacks from friends and family and filled them with essentials (toothbrush/paste, deodorant, snacks, etc.). I now keep them in my car to hand out to any homeless people I may see over the break!

These suggestions are just a few things that I like to do during my break. But, like I said, this is YOUR break. You have to figure out what you can do to make the most out of it because before you know it, we’ll be back in class.

What are you doing this winter break? Share with us in a comment below!

Add a Comment