Author: Genna Gincel

Essentials for a Relaxing, Pamper Night!

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With the end of the semester getting closer and closer, you may be a bit stressed. If that’s the case, it’s time to ‘treat yo’ self’ to the relaxing night you deserve. Do it solo or have a group pamper night with friends! Here’s what you’ll need!

  1. Candles

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There’s something about candlelight that is so magical and relaxing. Pick up some candles in scents that you love and put them around your room. You don’t have to light them all at once, so pick one or two scents that compliment each other and put them wherever you like. If you’re in a dorm that doesn’t allow candles, you can get a flameless wax burner for a similar effect.

  1. A Face Mask

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There are so many different face masks out there to choose from, so find one that you think will be good for your skin and smells nice. They have masks for dry skin, breakouts, oily skin, blackheads, stress relief, redness, etc. You name and it probably exists. You’ll feel like you’re getting a facial at a fancy spa, without the hefty price tag!

  1. Scented Lotion

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There’s nothing better than soft skin that smells amazing. There are scented lotions that smell like just about anything you could possibly think of, so find some that you love. A great place to start searching is Bath and Body Works. Their selection is huge and you’re bound to find something you love. If scented lotions aren’t you’re thing or you’re allergic, there are some great, unscented lotions out there so don’t feel like you have to be left out on this one. Find a hypoallergenic, sensitive skin friendly lotion that is really moisturizing and you’ll be goo to go.

  1. Hot Chocolate or Tea

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A hot, delicious beverage is a great addition to your pamper night. You can make your own hot chocolate or tea or pick some up at your favorite café. If you like specialty flavors, like peppermint hot chocolate or chai tea lattes, there are mixes you can buy to make at home—part of the fun is in making it yourself and there’s something ultra relaxing about making your own hot beverage!

  1. Relaxing Music

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Just put on a playlist of your favorite mellow music and you’ll instantly feel relaxed! You can also find some great playlists on Pandora and Spotify if you want some help finding the perfect soundtrack for your pamper night.

  1. A Good Book or Magazines

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Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to get to or revisit your favorite book! If you’re a pop culture junkie pick up some new issues of your favorite magazines and get your celebrity gossip fix!

  1. A Cozy Blanket

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This one is pretty self-explanatory: wrap yourself in your favorite cozy blanket while you drink your hot drink and read your book!

  1. Comfortable PJs

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Comfortable pajamas are an essential here, because pamper nights are all about comfort. Ditch the jeans and let yourself truly relax!

3 Cancelled-Too-Soon TV Shows for Your Next Netflix Binge

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1. Freaks and Geeks

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This Judd Apatow creation is a cult classic comedy from 1999. The show only lasted one season (18 episodes) and then it was tragically cancelled! The show was the start to many stellar careers. The cast was made up of some of your favorite actors including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr. Set in a high school in Michigan in the 1980’s, the show mixed comedy with high school drama seamlessly and was a truly incredible, however short-lived, series. Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Joe Flaherty, Becky Ann Baker, Busy Phillips, and Samm Levine round out the cast. (Available on Netflix)

2. Undeclared

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Another Judd Apatow creation that came after Freaks and Geeks, this comedy left high school behind and went straight into college. This show also only lasted one season with 17 episodes completing the series. The show focuses on a small group of college freshmen in the early 2000s (when the show first aired). The show starred Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, Carla Gallo, Monica Keena, Loudon Wainwright III, and Timm Sharp. Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, Amy Poehler, and Busy Phillips also make multiple appearances. Even the guest stars list is impressive. It includes Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Simon Helberg, Felicia Day, Martin Starr, Tom Welling, and Fred Willard to name a few. (Available on Netflix)

3. Arrested Development

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Arrested Development actually lasted 3 seasons in its original run before returning for a 4th and final season exclusively on Netflix on May 26, 2013, 7 years after the ending of its 3rd season. This comedy starred Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Wil Arnett, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter, David Cross, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, and Jeffrey Tambor. The cast makes up the dysfunctional, formerly wealthy Bluth family whose patriarch (played by Tambor) is in prison for fraud. His son, Michael (Jason Bateman) takes over the family business and, as a result, the family. The hilarious sitcom falls under the category known as “cinema verité” which is a documentary-similar style—think Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Recreation, etc. (Available on Netflix)

4 Ways to Make a Healthier Pizza!

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1. Use a whole wheat tortilla as the crust.

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This is a healthier alternative to a traditional pizza crust, but is just as delicious! Put your sauce, cheese, and desired toppings on and then put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle some garlic powder and basil on top for added flavor. You can adjust the cooking times depending on how crispy you want your crust to be.

2. Make a personal pizza on a portobello mushroom cap.

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This makes a great snack or pair it with a salad or some other side to make it a meal. This is a very healthy, low carb alternative to a regular pizza and it is very tasty! You can get very creative with this option. Use any sauce you want: marinara, Alfredo, or pesto and it will be delicious. Then top with some low-fat shredded cheese or fresh mozzarella and any toppings you want. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. It is super easy and a great way to satisfy your pizza craving!

3. Pick up some whole wheat flat-bread pizza crusts.

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You can find these premade crusts in stores (the package pictured above is from Target). All you have to do is add your sauce, cheese, and toppings and toss it in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and you’ll have a delicious and crispy thin crust pizza! Use lots of veggies for toppings for added nutrition and tastiness!

4. Choose your toppings wisely.

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You can easily cut calories without sacrificing taste by picking more health-conscious sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Go for a simpler tomato sauce and stay away from sauces that use heavy cream or cheese. Pick up low-fat cheese or fresh mozzarella, which is actually one of the healthier cheese options because it is low in sodium, has no carbs or sugar, and is rich in protein. Fresh mozzarella is also really delicious and melts perfectly! Choose fresh veggies for added healthiness and nutrients.

5 Movies Coming Out This Semester!

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Gone Girl (October 2)

Gone Girl is based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn who also wrote the adapted screenplay. The psychological thriller follows the life of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his missing wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). Why did Amy Dunne go missing? Did Nick kill her? You’ll have to see the movie (or read the book) to find out! The film, directed by David Fincher, also stars Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, and Sela Ward.


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The Judge (October 10)

Directed by David Dobkin, The Judge has been described as a comedy-drama. The film tells the story of a lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) returning home for his mother’s funeral after years of living away from his family. He comes to find out that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), who is a judge in his hometown, is a suspected murderer. Downey Jr.’s character must then represent his father in court when he is put on trial. The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton.


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Fury (October 17)

Fury is a war drama set in Nazi Germany during the last month of World War II. The film chronicles Wardaddy, a U.S. Army sergeant, and his five-man crew as they go on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines in a M4A3E8 Sherman tank named Fury. The film stars Brad Pitt as Wardaddy, as well as Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Issacs, and Scott Eastwood.


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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21)

One of the most anticipated films of the year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is based on the first half of Suzanne Collins’ novel Mockingjay from the smash hit series The Hunger Games. Francis Lawrence returns as director after a successful directing job on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, and Jeffrey Wright all return to reprise their roles. The film also stars Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.


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The Interview (December 25)

This comedy centers on TV tabloid host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen). After scoring an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who is a fan of Skylark’s show, they are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Rogen and longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg direct the film, so it is sure to be hilarious! The duo also co-wrote the screenplay with Dan Sterling. The film also stars Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park as Kim Jung-un, Timothy Simons, Charles Rahi Chun, and Rob Lowe (as himself).

Tips to Keep Organized at School

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1. Get a wall calendar.

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You can find a wall calendar with anything you can think of!  Get one to go with your décor, of your favorite animal, or of your favorite TV show… the possibilities are endless!  Once you put up your wall calendar, mark down all the important things: exams, breaks, paper and assignment due dates, advising appointments, career fairs, etc.  This will help you keep track of everything you have going on each month in an orderly and easy way!

2. Pick up some baskets/desk organizers.

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You can use baskets anywhere: on top of your dresser, on shelves, on your nightstand, under your bed, etc.  Use them to organize your school supplies, electronics, chargers, toiletries, hairbrushes and accessories, jewelry, and anything else you’re not sure where to store!  Desk organizers are great for storing pens, pencils, markers, scissors, and other desk essentials!

3. Get a whiteboard and put your upcoming assignments/to do list on it.

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This is a great way to keep track of your weekly assignments, chores, and errands.  Hang it somewhere in your room that you will see it all the time! You can color code by categories for added organization.  And check off things as you get them done, it’s really satisfying to see your list get smaller and smaller!

4. Set alarms/calendar alerts on your phone for important events and appointments.

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If a new event or appointment comes up, put it into your phone’s calendar and set an alert/alarm for it to make sure you don’t forget.  The little reminder can really come in handy and save the day when you’re out and about!  This is a great tool if you make an appointment when you’re not home and can’t immediately write in on your wall calendar or white board.

5. Get a lanyard and/or key chain for your student ID, keys, and other essential cards.

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Keeping your ID and keys in the same place will make things so much easier for you day to day.  You can keep them in your bag or around your neck when you leave so you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing these very important items.  Eventually you’ll get in the habit of grabbing for your lanyard/keychain and it will become second nature; goodbye to the days of getting locked out of your room or apartment!

5 Shows to Watch This Fall

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Now that September is upon us, lots of shows will be returning with new seasons. New episodes of your favorite shows are a great treat to look forward to throughout a stressful semester!  Don’t know where to start?  Here’s a short list of some great shows coming back for all new seasons to help you get started!

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1. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation will be returning for its 7th and final season.  The Emmy and Golden Globe nominated NBC comedy stars Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Rhetta, Nick Offerman, Jim O’Heir, Rashida Jones, and Rob Lowe.  The show centers on the Parks and Recreation department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana and is in documentary style.  Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who also created the US version of The Office, created the show.

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2. Modern Family

Modern Family returns for its 6th season on September 24th at 9pm on ABC.  The acclaimed comedy series has won several Emmys and Golden Globes for its first five seasons and is consistently well received by critics and audiences alike.  The show stars Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriquez, and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons.

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3. American Horror Story: Freak Show

The 4th season of the FX hit returns October 8th at 10pm with a whole new set of characters.  Each season of the show has its own story, completely separate from each other, so each season functions as a miniseries.  Much of the cast, however, typically stays the same.  This season stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, John Carroll Lynch, and Patti LaBelle.

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4. The Vampire Diaries

This CW show is back for its 6th season on October 2nd.  The finale of season 5 was very emotional and fans of the show are eager to see what comes next.  The show stars Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Kat Graham, Candice Accola, Steven R. McQueen, Matt Davis, Michael Trevino, and Zach Roerig.  What happened to Damon and Bonnie at end of season 5?  Tune in to find out!

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5.  The Big Bang Theory

This CBS show is the #1 comedy on television and it returns for its 8th season on September 22nd.  Led by Jim Parsons, who has won 4 Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper, the show is well received by fans and TV critics alike.  The show also stars Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, and Mayim Bialik.

 What shows will you be watching this Fall?  Let us know in the comments!

5 Free Apps to Have on Your Phone

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1. Calm by Calm.com

This app is great to help you de-stress!  Through guided meditation and loads of calming music, this app helps you relieve stress, fall asleep, and relax.  This is a great way to deal with the stress you’ll be under at school.  Whether you’re anxious about a test, midterms, finals week, or overwhelmed by all of your responsibilities, this app can really help you feel calm, focused, and ready to take on the world!

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2. Venmo

 Do you ever find it hard to split the bill when you go out to eat with friends or when you buy groceries with your roommates?  Venmo lets you link up your bank account to the app so you can send money directly to someone else without having to worry about taking out cash or splitting up an odd number.  Don’t worry, it’s completely safe and no one can gain access to your account, but you.  You can even set a passcode for the app itself so only you can get onto it!

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3. Your Bank’s Mobile App (This could be PNC, Bank of America, Chase, etc.)

 This will make your life so much easier!  Many of these apps allow you to deposit checks from wherever you are by taking photos of the front and back of the check.  You can also set up transfers, track your activity, and check your balance.  These apps are so convenient and make it so easy to manage your budget.  It really comes in handy when you’re out and about and need to check your balance!

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4. Airline Apps (United, JetBlue, Southwest, etc.)

 If you fly home for breaks or are going on a big spring break trip, these apps are great!  You can book a flight, check the status of a flight, check-in, and get your boarding pass right on your phone with them.  You never have to worry about forgetting or losing your boarding pass because it’s right on your phone!  You just scan the bar code on your mobile boarding pass at security and at the gate and you’re good to go.  These apps also send you notifications of any delays or gate changes.  You can even change your seats and make upgrades through the app.  And if you make an account, you can get rewards for your miles!

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5. Google Maps

 If you don’t already have Google Maps on your phone, you should download it ASAP!  It has turn-by-turn GPS directions, gives you the option to choose between public transportation, driving, walking, and biking directions, check traffic, and drop pins to help you find your way back if you’re walking, hiking, or lost!  This app is a lifesaver!

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How to Beat Homesickness Freshmen Year of College

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Homesickness is very common among college freshmen.  For many first year college students it is the first time living away from their families, so missing home is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of!  Here are a few helpful tips for when you find yourself feeling a homesick!

1. Before you move in, make sure to pack something personal that makes you feel more connected to home.  An old stuffed animal, blanket, or an old t-shirt/sweatshirt are all good options.  Having something in your room that makes you feel at home is really comforting.

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 2. Find one day a week that works for you and your family for Skype.  Talking on the phone is great, but actually getting to see each other while you’re talking makes a big difference! You can do the same thing with your friends!

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3. Pack your favorite books and DVDs.  When you start to get a little homesick, getting lost in your favorite book or movie can be really comforting.  Watching your favorite TV show on Netflix is also really helpful.  Weirdly enough, watching or reading something that makes you nostalgic can actually make you feel better when you start to miss home!

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4. Comfort food can also do wonders for homesickness.  When you’re missing home, treat yourself to some ice cream, cookies, mac and cheese, or whatever you love!  Eating something that makes you happy can help you get through it!

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5. Get a small plastic storage box and create a First Aid Kit with all the essentials as well as stocking up on any medication that you typically take when you get sick; things like cold medicine, stuff for nausea, and pain relievers/fever reducers like Tylenol.  When you start to feel a little under the weather, it can make you feel really homesick, so it’s good to be prepared.  The first time you get sick away from home is always the hardest; you’ll really want someone to take care of you, so already having what you need will make things easier!

 

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5 Dorm Decorating Ideas for the Student on a Budget

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College students often don’t have a significant amount of money to spend, which is why the term “broke college student” is so well known.  But, just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your dorm room feel a little bit more like home.  Here are some ideas to help you do that without breaking the bank!

1. Print pictures from Google images, Tumblr, etc. and create wall collages/designs.  Most universities give you a per-semester print quota that most people don’t use up completely.  Take advantage of this opportunity to make your dorm room more festive or homey.  Black and white pictures are classic and go with everything, so you don’t even need to print in color (usually your print quota doesn’t include color printing and if it does, each pages will be worth more for your quota).  Just print out your pictures and get creative

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  (This is the wall collage I made for my room last year!)

 2. Go to the drug store to print personal pictures; it’s usually pretty cheap there!  You can go the collage route and tape them to your wall with clear tape (or sticky tack if you’re worried about the paint on the walls) or go to the dollar store for some cheap frames; you don’t need anything fancy for your dorm room… but remember, frames take up space and your room will likely not be that big.  You can even try getting one giant frame, making a collage to put in it, and use command strips to hang it on your wall!

7-14 photo prints3. If you have a roommate, take a trip to the nearest craft supply place, like Michaels, and make a Saturday or Sunday out of creating your own posters, banners, and other decorations; you’ll be likely to find a lot of cute, cheap decorations that you can make together!  It’s a great way to bond with your roommate and make your room a home away from home.  Find a common ground, whether it is a color scheme, a pattern, or a theme you both like, and run with it!

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(My roommate and I both love Harry Potter so we went with a Gryffindor Scarlet and Gold theme for our room Freshmen year and the above picture is a banner that we made!)

4. Get dry erase boards or small chalkboards and hang them on your door and your walls.  It’s a fun way to get your friends involved with your decorations, so just leave markers or chalk out in your room somewhere so they can write you little messages or drawings!  It’s a nice way to keep changing up your décor a little bit.

7-14 dorm dry erase5. Buy a Plastic Storage Drawer/Cart to maximize your space.  You can even spray paint the cart to go with your color scheme and get stencils to spray paint a pattern or design to really make it pop!  You can buy one of these carts at Walmart, Target, or even order it online and find a great price.  Get really creative!

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