Tag Archives: holidays

Preparing For The Stuffing

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

 

 

 

 

We all know Thanksgiving is infamous for making us feel sluggish and bloated. We may even incidentally gain a few pounds from holiday meals and then feel guilty for eating all of that wonderfully delicious food. For the past couple of years, I discovered a way to make my Thanksgiving meals more enjoyable by preparing for a giant feast. About two weeks prior, I have done a small “almost diet” to balance out the weight gain. I want to share the four steps I take to prepare my body before I hit that huge bowl of stuffing!

1. No Soda

UGH, I know, this isn’t easy. Soda has become a dominant drink for our consumption, especially for college students. I’m a huge diet coke drinker, and even though it is diet, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a ton of sugar. I cut it out completely and stuck to sparkling water. I always lose a few pounds just from that alone!

Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Cans

Photo © TLC

2. No Fast Food

Again, as a college student, fast food is sometimes the answer to all my problems, but a few weeks before turkey day, I lay off. Even if you get a prepared salad, it will have twice as many calories as if you were to prepare it yourself at home.

Fast Food Hamburger Fries

Photo © MegaLife

3. Drink Water

I’m a pretty decent water drinker on a regular basis, but during this season I quick it up a notch. I drink about 8 bottles a day, and I add lemon because it is an amazing natural detox.

Glass of Water

Photo © jesusmeca

4. Add Some Exercise

I go up and down through phases of exercise, and definitely around midterms I hit a lull. So, for the few weeks before the holidays I make sure that I at least walk 1 mile, do 50 pushups, sit-ups, and a plank every day. It really doesn’t take that long at all, and it’s amazing how great your body feels just from that small amount of exercise!

Girl Doing Sit Ups Exercise

Photo © mujer

I encourage you to tweek this list and make it your own, but I promise it will make your Thanksgiving meal (and the following upcoming holiday meals) that much more enjoyable knowing that you are aware of your body’s limits and that you are taking care of it!

Just remember that it is normal for everyone to add a couple of pounds during the colder season, especially when big heavy meals

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Holiday Happiness

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It’s the holidays, which for most of us doesn’t just mean sipping hot chocolate with a red sweater on. For most of us, it means crazy schedules, empty wallets, and stress. Holidays can be a little overwhelming, especially when we also have finals to worry about. Instead of telling you how to de-stress your holiday, I’m going to remind you of a few things you can be grateful for this holiday season.

1. Education

Pat yourself on the back because you’ve either made it through your first semester of college OR you’ve made it through another semester without completely losing your mind (hopefully). After meeting someone who couldn’t go to college because she had to work to support her family, I started to be more thankful for my education. It shouldn’t take hearing something like that to be thankful, but sometimes it does. Just remember, if you’re in school, no matter how you got there, that is something to be thankful for.

2. Family

Deep down, everyone loves their family. It’s just hard to remember that when you’re home for a month and your mom tries to give you a 10 o’clock curfew. That used to REALLY frustrate me, but now that my mom has passed away I look back and laugh at those times. The things that bother you the most about your family members, are usually what you end up missing the most. Even though you’re going to feel annoyed, take a second, and just be thankful for who you have in your life.

3. National Pride

Even though our country seems to be going through some rough times right now and although it feels like we are divided by politics, it’s so important to remember the beauty in our country. As much as we may be angry with our government, trust me, we’ve got it good here. We are blessed to be free, and it is definitely something that millions of us take for granted. Recognize how great it is to live in this country.

College girl happy and smiling about Christmas holiday

There are so many things that each of us can be grateful for during this holiday season. If you turn your focus onto what is good in your life, the holiday stress will decrease. So instead of just making yourself crazy with all you have to get done, just take a breather, and remember what the holidays are truly about.

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How to Write the Perfect Thank You Card

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Kelsey Bradshaw
Kelsey is a sophomore at the University of Oregon majoring in Journalism and Facebook (wait, that’s not a real major?!). Originally a track star from Medford, Oregon, she now enjoys going for runs with her friends and working out at Eugene Crossfit. She also enjoys visiting National Parks, playing in the snow, and hanging out at the beach…double points if they’re all at the same time.

Thank you cards are something I always plan on doing really extravagantly in my head (I’m going to write them on Christmas! As I unwrap! And when the recipients open them, confetti and a miniature poodle will jump out!)…but procrastinate until it’s next Christmas and I still haven’t sent a single thank you note.

Photo by Roger Carr

Getting started is the hardest part, but once you sit down and do them they’re not as hard as previously imagined. Start with a basic thank you for their gift.

Dear Aunt Sally,

Thank you so much for the stripper pole!

If the gift was money, don’t write “money,” but rather a phrase such as “Thank you for your generosity” or “Your kindness will be much appreciated.”

Now, describe why their present was amazing. Tell them how and why you will use it in everyday life. If you don’t like it, don’t exaggerate or ignore it–instead, find something basic you like about it, like the color. Try to find a way to compliment the person while doing this.

…I just heard about a fitness class that uses these poles for exercise! You’re always so on top of the trends, Aunt Sal. I really like the way the pole shines in the light.

If you were given money, explain what the money will go to or how it will help you. No matter how much it was for, make it sound like it was an extravagant gift that could make all of your wildest dreams come true.

Your generosity will help buy me that lava lamp I’ve had my eye on for a while!

Now that you have sufficiently thanked your relative, write a line about how it was great seeing them at a specific time or how you can’t wait to see them again. If it’s not someone you are close with, use a line like “I hope you’re doing well” or “I hear you got rid of your little problem! Congrats“; and with both parties, thank them one last time before you sign your name.

…It was so nice seeing you at the reunion in May! I hear you’re still making your peanut brittle, hope you don’t glue too many jaws shut maybe you can send me the recipe! I can’t wait to see you again in March for Spring Break.

Thank you again for the stripper pole and gift card!

See, that wasn’t that hard, now was it? Let’s review:

1. Name

2. Thank you for….

3. I’ll use it when….

4. Personal reference

5. Thanks again!

6. Name

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find some miniature poodles.

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Sugar Overload: Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

The weather is getting colder. The fall season is long over and Thanksgiving has come and gone. Winter time means we are given little reprieve from classes and homework and tests and everything else professors throw our way. Winter break is almost here!

Winter break also means time with family, amazing food, and some seasonal winter movies. There is something irresistible about the aroma of warm spices and freshly baked goodies.  Mixing up batches of dough and baking trays of cookies while listening to holiday music is a great activity you can do during your time off.

Holiday-shaped sugar cookies with frosting are classic, yet are also an easy fall back. In addition, there are so many more choices for a new baking adventure!

Here are 2 great recipes to get you rolling (pun intended!):
(Gathered from allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com)

Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

by allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 drops any color food coloring

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove cookies from baking sheets to cool on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Mix in the milk one tablespoon at a time until a good spreading consistency is reached. Stir in food coloring to desired shade. Decorate cooled cookies, and set on waxed paper to harden.

Peppermint Candy Cane Twists

by allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 package (18-ounce) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, room temperature (recommended:
  • Pillsbury), or home-made sugar cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (recommended: McCormick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

Directions

Cut the roll of cookie dough in half. Put the halves in separate large mixing bowls. In 1 bowl, thoroughly mix 1/4 cup of the flour and the peppermint extract into cookie dough. In the second bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour and enough food coloring to make a red dough. Mix well with gloved hands until the color is well blended.

Divide the white and red dough into 24 pieces each, (for a total of 48 pieces). Roll each piece into a rope 8 inches long and about 1/4-inch in diameter.

To shape candy canes, arrange 1 rope of each color side by side on parchment lined cookie sheets. Gently twist together and shape into a candy cane. Repeat with the remaining pieces, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest, about 5 minutes, before transferring the cookies to racks. Gently remove them from the cookie sheets with a long metal spatula and cool on cooling racks.

What are you looking forward to baking this holiday season?

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The Most Popular Costumes this Halloween

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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by Guest Blogger Serena Piper

Every year in October, or sooner if you like to plan ahead, college students start making Halloween plans. We find out from our friends what they are doing, think about who we want to spend Halloween night with, and most importantly, what our costume will be.

The costume used to be the most important part to me. (How else would I have come up with the idea to be an Aerosmith groupie one year?) However, because I work with kids, I get enough of a Halloween fix at work seeing what their costumes are. Still, it never stops being entertaining to peruse the costume websites to see what is most popular that year.

First, you have Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is probably the most fun you can have with a costume because the pop star is famous for her head-turning outfits. To make sure others actually recognize who you’re supposed to be, grab a wig in a bold color, some glittery eyelashes, and sky high heels. Just don’t run out and slap some meat on your body, á la Lady Gaga at the VMA’s last year.

by Luigi Orru

Since yet another Pirates of the Caribbean movie has been released, it seems there is no shortage of pirate costumes. For the guys, if you can look as good as Johnny Depp then I’ve got no problem with yet another pirate, but girls, the slutty pirate costume is just a little bit unoriginal. When you see a hundred other slutty pirates walking the city streets Halloween night, you’ll thank me for telling you to try again!

It seems that it wasn’t until the Spiderman movies came out that flaunting your crush on a comic book superhero was considered “cool.” Well that tradition has carried over and now there is bound to be no shortage of superheroes. From Batman and the Green Lantern, to Spiderman and Wolverine, it might just be that superheroes are the staple for college guys. For women, we get to be slinky and sexy without being slutty.

by istolethetv

Whatever you choose to be, have fun with it! The whole point of Halloween is that we get to dress up as something we aren’t. So be original and get creative because it’s going to be another whole year before we get to do this again.

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