Category Archives: Social Life/Relationships

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.

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.

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).

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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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.

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.

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.

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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Giving Back This Season

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Holiday break is always a great time filled with family, food, fun, and presents! During your holiday break, don’t forget to take some time to give back to the community! Whether you donate to a food drive, donate clothes, or help out a local soup kitchen, you can spread the holiday cheer and remember what the holidays are truly about.

1. Coat Drive

Take a look into your closet and see which coats you no longer wear. If you are feeling like you can part with it, donate it to a local charity drive! There are a ton of coat charity drives that reward people for their generous donations. For instance, some restaurants and coffee shops give donors a free dessert, appetizer, or coffee for every X amount of jackets they bring. Some places even give gift cards in exchange for some coats. So, clean out that closet, donate your coat to someone in need, and maybe even get rewarded! Check your local businesses for coat charity drives.

Winter Charity Coat Drive

Photo © trend-kid

2, Toys For Tots

If you have extra cash to spare, then donate some new toys to Toys for Tots! This wonderful organization gives toys to kids who are less fortunate. Their parents request toys for their holiday gifts and donated toys will fulfill the child’s wishlist. If you don’t have any extra cash to purchase gifts, you can also host your own Toys For Tots event to donate to the charity.

Toys for Tots Charity

Photo © Toys For Tots

3. Volunteer

Looking to give back, but have no way of donating items? No problem! You can volunteer at local shelters, church parishes, and soup kitchens. You can volunteer to help serve food to those in need or simply help set-up. No task is too small and they are always welcoming new volunteers. Find places to volunteer: http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

Soup Kitchen Holiday Volunteer Work

Photo © WHL Consulting

Happy Holidays! How are you planning to give back?

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Staying In Touch For The Holidays

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

If you’re like me, and most college students, you can’t afford to fly everywhere to see the people you love during the holidays. The holidays are a time to share love with the people in your life that you care about, and sometimes if you’re not able to be with them, you have to be creative on how you show them you love them! Here are a few very simple ways that I have shown love and stayed in touch with family and friends during the holiday season, and you can too!

1. Christmas Cards

Websites like Vista Print, Shutterfly, etc. are cheap and allow you to design your own card. Or, just make your own! Sending cards are a fun, easy, and quick way to say hello to friends and family. My last Christmas card had a picture of me and three of my pets. On the back, I gave a brief description of how I was doing in school and how my pets were doing. This makes the people you send the card to, feel updated and loved by you!

2. Skype

Skype is one of the best ways to keep in touch with anyone, anywhere. I love it because it feels like you’re sitting across from the person you are talking to. A few years ago, I was cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner and my dad walked me through the whole thing on Skype! It made us both feel lucky to have that kind of technology. It felt like we were cooking together. Video chatting is one of the best things to do if you’re distant from your friends and family.

3. Surprise Gifts

This one may require you to save a few bucks, but it’s totally worth it for the people you love. Last year, we said we wouldn’t exchange gifts, but I sent my dad and step mom flowers and Christmas cupcakes that were delivered to the house. They felt so much love from the gesture, even though I was miles away. If you can’t afford much, then get creative! Send them a framed picture that you love of the two of you, write them a song, or whatever you’re talented at – use it as a surprise gift that will surely brighten their day!

Distance is hard all the time, but it is especially hard during the holidays. Tackle the sadness of distance and be proactive by showing the people you love how much they mean to you, no matter how far away they are!

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Things To Be Thankful For

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

It’s that time of year again where the walk to class in the morning is getting colder, the sun is setting around 4:30pm, and finals are coming. For those of us who live in areas that get snow, the winter can be pretty miserable. It can be easy to forget how great one’s life is when you’re trudging through about 4 feet of snow to make it to that 9 am class. However, with winter comes holidays, and with holidays comes a nice dinner and family. The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, are a time to remember all the things we have to be grateful for.

1. College

Believe it or not, college is a privilege. Those who do not have the means to go are put at a huge disadvantage. That doesn’t mean it is impossible to succeed without a degree. Some people have great success without going to college, but they achieve this through extraordinary perseverance and dedication. College certainly lends a hand to finding a career. It is an experience of some of the most important things you can learn, lessons about yourself. There is arguably no better place than college to meet new people, try new things, and figure out who you are, and what you believe. It is an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

2. Family

Family can mean a lot of different things depending on each person’s point of view. To me, family means more than just the people you are related to. Family is also the people you can rely on no matter what. Family is defined by love, trust, and making the most of your time together. As we grow up and start to form our own lives, tend to see less and less of our family. They are easy to take for granted sometimes. But they are people to be grateful for because they’ve had your back since day one and will continue to be there when you need them.

3. Thanksgiving

Sure, we were lied to in school about the true nature of the first Thanksgiving. Realistically it probably wasn’t anything like the holiday we celebrate today, but the now it allows people to take a break from their daily life and spend the whole day with family and friends, watch football and the Macy’s Day Parade, play games, and eat arguably the biggest and tastiest feast you will eat all year.

Keep in mind how lucky you are this holiday season. What are you thankful for?

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