Category Archives: Tips

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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7 Things That Happen When You Prepare To Leave For College

Filed under: College Life, Living, Tips - Angelina
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7 Things That Happen When You Prepare To Leave Home As an incoming college freshman, preparing to leave home is very bittersweet. A ton of changes are happening... you’re moving on with your life as an individual and you feel like your life is just a big ball of chaos. It’s okay. You will experience a wide range of emotions and tasks from now until you officially start class. To prepare you, here are 7 things that may happen as you begin to leave home: 1. Cherish Time With The Best Friend You’re Leaving You and your partner-in-crime from home may be splitting up, so you have to continue to cause trouble while you still can. This way, when you’re feeling homesick, you can think about all the fun you two had the past summer while you count down the days until you are reunited. 2. The Obvious: Excitement You may be finally moving out of the house and into your new space! You are starting a new chapter and making new memories. You can now recreate yourself or take time to discover who you really are. A new school, new faces, and new experiences are something to definitely get excited about! 3. The Other Obvious: Fear Whether your college is just around the corner, or a few hundred miles away, your new adventure holds a lot of uncertainties, which can be terrifying. The unknown is always a bit scary. Not knowing what to expect may make you worry. It is normal (and a part of the process) to feel this way. 4. Newfound Freedom You can practically do anything you want to do now! You don’t have parents down your throat about being home before curfew, because you don’t really have one anymore. Your life now is more in your hands than ever - just be careful to not get too carried away… Still, yay for freedom! 5. You Go To Orientation Your first official act as a college student will be registering for classes and orientation. This is a time to really think about the direction you want to start out in. Orientation is a great time to explore the campus, make some new friends, and start to let some of that fear subside. 6. You Realize You’re More Broke Than You Thought After looking at financial aid and student loan offers, you finally submit to the fact that your bank account will always look like this: $0.00. If your schedule allows for it, you may want to consider trying to find a part-time job on or near campus to help pay your way through school (or to at least just have some fun spending money). 7. You Have To Pack Up Your Room This may get emotional and make time a while, when it’s time to pack your belongings reality will sink in. You may have to completely clean out your room and for your bedroom to become your parent’s new guest room (this is not okay). If you don’t, only take with you what you need. All in all, preparing to leave home is a big ball of feelings that consists of happiness, excitement, fear, and a little bit of anxiety. Change, for most people, is a terrifying thing. Embrace the change though because it’s all for good. Besides, it will still always be your home, no matter what.

 

As an incoming college freshman, preparing to leave home is very bittersweet. A ton of changes are happening… you’re moving on with your life as an individual and you feel like your life is just a big ball of chaos. It’s okay. You will experience a wide range of emotions and tasks from now until you officially start class.

To prepare you, here are things that may happen as you begin to leave for college:

1. Cherish Time With The Best Friend You’re Leaving

You and your partner-in-crime from home may be splitting up, so you have to continue to cause trouble while you still can. This way, when you’re feeling homesick, you can think about all the fun you two had the past summer while you count down the days until you are reunited.

2. The Obvious: Excitement

You may be finally moving out of the house and into your new space! You are starting a new chapter and making new memories. You can now recreate yourself or take time to discover who you really are. A new school, new faces, and new experiences are something to definitely get excited about!

3. The Other Obvious: Fear

Whether your college is just around the corner, or a few hundred miles away, your new adventure holds a lot of uncertainties, which can be terrifying. The unknown is always a bit scary. Not knowing what to expect may make you worry. It is normal (and a part of the process) to feel this way.

4. Newfound Freedom

You can practically do anything you want to do now! You don’t have parents down your throat about being home before curfew, because you don’t really have one anymore. Your life now is more in your hands than ever – just be careful to not get too carried away… Still, yay for freedom!

5. You Go To Orientation

Your first official act as a college student will be registering for classes and orientation. This is a time to really think about the direction you want to start out in. Orientation is a great time to explore the campus, make some new friends, and start to let some of that fear subside.

6. You Realize You’re More Broke Than You Thought

After looking at financial aid and student loan offers, you finally submit to the fact that your bank account will always look like this: $0.00. If your schedule allows for it, you may want to consider trying to find a part-time job on or near campus to help pay your way through school (or to at least just have some fun spending money).

7. You Have To Pack Up Your Room

This may get emotional and make time a while, when it’s time to pack your belongings reality will sink in. You may have to completely clean out your room and for your bedroom to become your parent’s new guest room (this is not okay). If you don’t, only take with you what you need.

All in all, preparing to leave home is a big ball of feelings that consists of happiness, excitement, fear, and a little bit of anxiety. Change, for most people, is a terrifying thing. Embrace the change though because it’s all for good.

Besides, it will still always be your home, no matter what.

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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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How To Survive Summer Classes

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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McKenzie Caldwell BookRenter Blogger Biography 6.10.16

Summer is all about things like going to the beach, riding rollercoasters, traveling, and binge-watching Netflix. If you are taking summer classes, you may envy your friends just a little bit for having more free time to enjoy these activities. It can be tough to focus on school during the summer, when all you really want is to take a break and relax.

It’s okay – there are a few things to make summer classes a bit easier:

1. Know The Syllabus

Did your instructor provide you with a syllabus? If so, how familiar with it are you? Whether a class is online or on-campus, it’s important to know what’s being asked of you. If your school operates on semesters, the summer class that you’re currently enrolled in is more than likely much shorter than you’re used to. However, in most cases, the material you’d learn in a 15-16 week course is now crammed into a 3-8-week period. This can make it very easy to fall behind.  The syllabus may include a grading scale and an outline of the work for the course to help you prepare. Reading the syllabus at least once could avert a grave catastrophe of missing an assignment or expecting certain assignments to boost your grade.

2. Develop A Schedule

Knowing how long it will take you to complete a task for your class is important. If there’s assigned reading for the course, how long does it take you to read it? How long does it take you to complete the homework?  How long do you need to study for a quiz or a test? If possible, try to overestimate. Give your self time to not rush through anything and if it takes less time than anticipated, then you have extra free time! Even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes, that’s still enough time to get a snack or start on the next thing on your to-do list. This will also enable you to make plans, such as when you’re available to work or when you can hang out with friends.

3. Reward Yourself

Summer classes can be stressful, especially if you haven’t quite recovered from the previous semester. Though you may also be working while taking classes, be sure to take care of yourself. Reward yourself for completing the day’s homework with a dessert, or a few episodes of your favorite show. When you’re finally done with the class, do something bigger like going out to your favorite restaurant. This can also give you something you enjoy to look forward to instead of just facing the next wave of school work.

Once classes are over, you can enjoy the rest of your summer!

Until then… power through it!

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