Category Archives: Seasonal Celebrations

Celebrating Thanksgiving On Campus

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


Parades, football games, delicious food, and of course seeing family and friends are just a few things that make the holiday season so great. The other great thing is taking a break from school! But what if you live too far from home to visit for Thanksgiving? Or what if you just can’t afford it this time? Don’t assume you’ll be stuck feeling alone on Thanksgiving. It may be easy to give in to that depressed feeling, but you can distract yourself with a multitude of ways to celebrate on campus.

Celebrate Thanksgiving on campus in your own way:

1. Buddy Up

Get together with anyone you know who may also be still on campus for the holiday. You can all go out to eat together, or maybe even collaborate together to put together a home-cooked meal.

2. Volunteer

Local charities and organizations are always looking for volunteers during the holiday season. They usually need help putting together an event or dinner for the community. Reach out and I bet you they will thank you for your service with a nice yummy meal. Don’t forget the side of having accomplished something nice for others (which is what Thanksgiving is all about).

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Eat Alone

It’s okay to have a Thanksgiving dinner to yourself. Sometimes, that can be the most stress-free and relaxing way. Decide if you want to cook or just get takeout! You can take all the time you need to choose a good Netflix movie and enjoy! Don’t forget the dessert too!

4. Go Out, Get Busy

Sometimes a good distraction can take away any loneliness. If you want to get out, go see a movie, go to a park, or start some early holiday shopping! Have some fun and maybe get some things done that you’ve been wanting to do.

5. Ask For Leftovers

There is always enough food to go around. If you can’t get a meal of your own, ask a friend or someone if they can bring you some leftovers so you can at least get a little taste of Thanksgiving. In the meantime – get a head start on homework, make a list of things you’re thankful for, and maybe even Skype with family/friends to distract yourself!

6. Watch TV

Seriously, Thanksgiving is a great time for television. The Macy’s Day parade and football games can fill your entire day! Make it a point to get cozy in your dorm or apartment with some blankets and goodies from the grocery store and watch whatever you want! If you don’t have cable or a television, then try online!

The important thing is to make the most of what you can. Bake your favorite kind of cookies, listen to your favorite music, or even plan what to do with the money you saved by staying on campus! Remember to be thankful for what you DO have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Fit-Feasting On Thanksgiving

Filed under: Food, Health & Fitness, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

This time of the year is known as the time that ruins your diet. With the holidays, great meals, and colder weather – everyone seems to gain weight. Usually we don’t worry about gaining the weight until bikini body season. For the past couple of years, I’ve learned some tricks to staying as healthy as I can during Thanksgiving and this time of year so that afterwards I don’t feel sluggish and gross.

Here are some suggestions to how to stay healthy during Thanksgiving:

1. Family Fitness Activity

If you’re spending the holiday with family, like most of us do, the easiest way to get a “workout” in is to involve the whole family. For two years, my family and I have participated in the Turkey Trot 5K races the morning of Thanksgiving. If your town doesn’t offer something like that, then do a flag football or volleyball competition. Incorporate some sort of competition or game that gets the family going so you can burn some extra calories and make some holiday memories while doing it!

2. Cook Some Of The Meal

Talk to whoever is “in charge” of Thanksgiving and see what you can make yourself for the meal. I’ve already talked to my grandma about making a pie, and some side dishes this year. This puts you in control of the recipe, so you can use healthier options when cooking!

3. Smaller Plate Trick

So you don’t offend the cook, talk to them beforehand, but instead of using a big plate like everyone else, use a smaller plate. That way you will have a full plate, and smaller portions, so you trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten a lot. This will help you to prevent all of that gluttonous overeating.

4. Commercial Break

My family watches football on Thanksgiving as a tradition. When there is a commercial break, I use it as an opportunity to get away from the TV and walk around. If you’re in a comfortable family setting, do jumping jacks or push-ups between commercials to get your blood flowing!

5. Don’t Discourage Yourself

Don’t be upset because you ate mash potatoes, or if you ate one too many cookies. IT HAPPENS! If you eat too many cookies, walk around the house and burn some extra calories. Don’t let this celebration with your family turn into you freaking out about calories all day.

Remember to enjoy yourself, and your family’s company. Don’t stress about calories all day, but be try to do some fit-feasting this Thanksgiving to help!

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8 Must-Watch Movies For Halloween

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





Fall is the best season of the year, if I do say so myself! The leaves change colors and turn crunchy, you can have unlimited amounts of hot apple cider, and the intense anticipation of Halloween is always really exciting.

If you’re like me, you’re probably planning some time in front of the television to watch some of your favorite and/or new movies that are perfectly fitting for this time of year: thrillers, horrors, and anything Halloween or autumn related.

Well, grab your popcorn and a blanket for these must-watch Halloween movies:

1. Sinister

Ethan Hawke plays a writer who moves his family into a house with an attic containing a special box of film. He starts to watch the movies, which is his first big mistake. This is my number one scariest movie ever! It was so scary that I came out of the movie theater with a bad headache. And did I mention I saw this in daylight?

2. The Sixth Sense

It’s the classic starring Bruce Willis as a psychologist who helps a little boy with a secret. The secret is the little boy can see dead people. It just wouldn’t be Halloween without it!

3. Hocus Pocus

The Disney oldie, but goodie, still airs every October, so add it to your list! The Sanderson Sisters are back after a boy lights “the black-flame candle.” Mayhem ensues!

4. Orphan

Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard play a couple mourning the loss of their unborn child. They decide to adopt a 9-year-old Russian girl named Esther. This is number two on my top 5 scariest movies list. Isabelle Fuhrman won everyone over with her haunting portrayal of Esther.

5. Frailty

Two boys struggle with their relationship with their father who is highly religious and believes God is commanding he kill demons “disguised” as people. The boys witness things that make this the perfect psychological thriller. Just what are they seeing? Watch to find out!

6. Psycho

Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without Alfred Hitchcock. It’s the movie the TV show Bates Motel was based off of. There’s an underlying creepiness to Norman, one of our main characters, that’ll have your mind spinning the whole way through.

7. The Conjuring

Some see this as a joke; others see it as legit scary. It follows the same old tried and true storyline: a family moves into an old house with a tumultuous history and soon realizes their house is haunted, etc. In the beginning, the family is playing Marco Polo by clapping (Marco claps once, Polo claps twice), only when the mom claps, it isn’t her children who claps back.

8. Jeepers Creepers

A brother and sister are driving home from school break on an isolated country road when they see something they wish they hadn’t: someone dumping a body down a pipe. Turns out it’s a creature awake from the dead to do its ritualistic eating. This one is a must, especially since Jeepers Creepers 3 is slated to start filming early next year!

Which Halloween movies are your favorites? Share with us in the comments!

Happy Halloween!

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Creative DIY Halloween Costumes

Filed under: College Life, DIY & Crafts, Fashion, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you’ve ever bought a packaged Halloween costume at a store, you know first-hand that it’s usually not worth spending of all that money. It’s like buying a bridal gown: it’s something you’ll only wear once (unless you decided to reuse your gown as a zombie bride costume) and pay a lot of money for (granted, not as much for a costume as a gown, but you get my point). Making your own costume is often much cheaper and it adds a fun creative element, which will instill a sense of pride in your costume that money can’t buy. Besides, college students need every way possibly to save money.

Consider these options and tweak as you see fit:

1. Cardboard Armor

Whether you want to look like a roman centurion, a transformer, or a knight of the round table, you can always make some sweet armor out of cardboard. Get some scissors and some glue, plan out your costume design either by following an online template or freehand, and then get to work! It’s a classic college costume design that saves money and recycles leftover cardboard! Be sure to throw your costume in a recycling bin afterwards too.

2. Thrift Stores

Goodwill, Savers, the Salvation Army… Any and all thrift stores are great options to find cheap clothing that you can alter to look like a costume. One year I dressed up as Charlie Sheen’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I found a leather jacket at a local thrift shop as well as some ratty jeans that I could tear up to look like a greaser. In total, it cost me $8 – a steal compared to a store bought greaser costume which can cost upwards of $40! All I needed after that was to style my hair and get some makeup for exaggerated effect; which brings me to my next point…

3. Makeup

Yes, you can even do your own makeup without having to buy actual monster makeup. Now if you’re female, chances are you have some sort of experience with this. However, I am male and therefore have no idea about the world of makeup. So I asked my one of my female friends to do it for me! She did such good work that I was questioned by a police officer as I was on my way to my friend’s apartment that night. The point is: it’s still DIY even if you ask for help and you don’t need to buy anything marketed as a ‘Halloween product’ to have a killer costume.

4. Turn to Pop Culture for Ideas

If you still don’t know what to dress up as, a good bet is to parody something in the media. Some examples include but are not limited to: Donald Trump’s hair, a Californian Astronaut going to Mars in search of water. Or Mad Scientist Bernie Sanders. Group costumes are always great too with a bunch of friends: Power Rangers, a flock of penguins, hair metal band, etc.

Share what you will be dressing up as this Halloween in a comment below! Whatever it is, hope you have fun!

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8 Things To Do Before The Summer Ends

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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron TranchemontagneDid you start off this summer with a huge list of summer activities you wanted to complete before the season ends? Summer is almost over, so if you haven’t taken an opportunity to enjoy it yet, make sure you do so soon! Make this summer memorable and fun!

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer by doing some of the following:

1. Hiking

I could be very biased because I’m from New Hampshire and have unlimited access to the breathtaking White Mountains, but I think hiking is a much underrated summer activity. It’s great because it lets you reconnect with nature, it’s very healthy cardio, and often times the destination is worth the trek. One of my favorite summer memories is hiking up to Zealand Falls to see the beautiful views on the summit, and then stopping at the waterfall on the way back for a refreshing swim in the pool below. Its best to go with at least one other person, but anything beyond a group of four can get hectic. Make sure you pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sunscreen, and plenty of bug spray.

2. Camping

This one and hiking almost go hand in hand, and they’re fun for the same reasons. Go camping without an RV, trust me, it’s a whole different experience. You can either drive out to a campsite and park your car at your designated site, or you can venture into the woods with all your gear on your back. I usually go to a state park that allows camping because it is the perfect mix of civilization and wilderness. Bring a tent – of course – and either some inflatable mattresses or foam squares to lay on the ground to make sleeping more comfortable. There will likely be a fire pit and maybe a grill there, but consider bringing your own personal grill and a small tank of propane. Depending on where you go, they may have bathroom facilities, but it’s always best to check ahead of time so you can plan out what you need to bring and what you don’t. Also, check out my last blog about summer camping hacks.

3. Family Reunions

Haven’t seen your cousins, aunts, and uncles in a while? Why not have a family reunion? My family does this every year and in the 40 years that it’s been around, it has become one of the most widely anticipated events of the year in our family. It’s always the first weekend in August and everyone in the extended family is invited for a surf n’ turf cookout complete with lawn games, music, and good company. It’s always good to reconnect with the family members you haven’t seen in a while.

4. Sun Bathing

Yes, it’s not too late to go outside and get a tan. This is an activity with lots of multitasking opportunity. You can read, talk on the phone, take a nap, listen to music, etc. all while laying outside. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated if it’s hot!

5. Fairs

Ever been to a fair? They’re pretty fun, right? If you haven’t been to the fair, rest assured, it’s pretty fun. There are lots of fairs that happen at different times in different places, but end of the summer into early fall is usually a fair-filled season. There are games, rides, and often times even a petting zoo! Not to mention all the fair food that is delicious and terrible for you (I highly recommend the deep-fried Oreos). You may even get to see some fireworks while you’re there!

6. Outdoor Entertainment

Does your town have a park? Do they sometimes host concerts, theatre productions, or movies in that park? If they do you should consider going to one! It’s just like going to all that stuff normally, but outside! Often times the movies shown at outdoor venues are indie movies or documentaries that you wouldn’t get to see in a commercial movie theater. Most of the time, the concerts feature relatively unknown bands who aren’t big yet, but might be in 5 years or so and then you’ll get to say, “I saw them play 5 years ago at a park in my town” and everyone will think you’re so trendy and ahead of the curve.

7. Museums

If you can find a museum about something you are genuinely interested in or just want to know more about, then prepare to have a super fun day of learning (yes, that is possible). Typically the exhibits at science museums will feature something mind-blowing and/or interactive. Art museums are less interactive but may have some very awe-inspiring pieces if you’re an art lover. There are also more specific museums dedicated to a certain topic or person. For example, if you are in Virginia you can visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, where you can tour the house and the grounds to see what life was like on the property. You’ll see everything and gain more of an appreciation for a little piece of American history.

8. Amusement Parks

Although the lines and the ticket prices can be a hassle, it’s usually a fun day whenever you go to an amusement park. The rides are thrilling, the games are entertaining, and the food is cardboard (so pack your own lunch). I also include zoos and aquariums in this category because often times amusement parks will have their own zoos or aquariums, like Busch Gardens in Florida or the York Wild Kingdom in Maine. And if you think about it, zoos and aquariums are essentially nature-museums operated like a theme park. If you can’t find a theme park within driving distance of you, see option #5.

If all else fails you could always go play in the sprinkler (maybe?). Whatever you do with these last few weeks of summer, have fun and appreciate each day. School will be back in session before you know it!

What is the best thing you’ve done this summer? Share in a comment below!

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