Tag Archives: holidays

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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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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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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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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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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