Adding Wanderlust to Your Walls

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Wanderlust
[won-der-luhst]
noun
a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about

As youthful and adventurous students, we have all experienced wanderlust at some point in our lives. In order to prepare for your next great journey, we’ve put together a guide to decorating your dorm or room while your wanderlust grows.

Gone West

gone-west

Just like in decades past, many of us have dreams of pushing west towards the Pacific. And why wouldn’t you? The West Coast is known for a lot of things, one of the most notable is its easy-going, carefree lifestyle—nothing like the rushed and rude East Coast. To help you ease into this state of mind, I recommend hanging this Sunset Pier wall canvas over your bed.

There is no better way to take in the beautiful West Coast than driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. To get ready for the drive of a lifetime, pick up the Pacific Coast Highway tin sign—it makes for a cool little accessory to hang around your desk and keep you dreaming.

Finally, the moment you have been waiting for—Hollywood! While the oldies are never a bad thing, everyone in Hollywood is all about staying fashion forward. Set your room apart with a twist on a classic monument in pop culture with the Hollywood Sign Rainbow art!

New York , New York

new-york

If you can never sit still, are always looking to meet new people and never have the same day twice, New York may be calling your name. So how should you decorate your NYC inspired dorm room? Check out some of our favorites below.

You may not have realized, but New York City is HUGE! With so many districts, neighborhoods and not to mention landmarks, it can be pretty overwhelming. Familiarize yourself with some of the most notable with this cool and vintage New York City Famous Places Tin Sign. And while we’re talking about famous places, how could you not think about Times Square—check out this print of Times Square from above!

While New York can get pretty crazy at times, the people in the city do sleep, believe it or not. To make ease your New York City wanderlust, even while you sleep, wind down with our 42nd Street Pillow. It is without a doubt comfortable, chic and, most importantly, totally New York.

Euro Dreamin’

europe

With so many rich and diverse cultures packed on one continent, it is no wonder why so many people are drawn to Europe. Kick off your Europe inspired room with the beautiful landscape of Paris on your wall. This Eiffel Tower wall canvas not only shows off the magnificence of the Eiffel Tower, it will also add a clean and chic look to your barren walls. We don’t want to overdo it on one country because, let’s face it, you want to display your cultured side, not your obsessiveness! HOWEVER, the Paris Mon Amour pillow is too good to pass up.

As you travel south into Spain, you’ll notice a bravado and swagger not found in France. The ancient practice of bullfight represents this marriage of ferocity and gracefulness perfectly. This mounted Spain Print will not only bring this marriage into your room, but the splashes of colors will also bring life to your dorm walls.

Many people finish their European tours in Italy, wishing to end the adventurous journey surrounded by calm and tranquility. Touring through a canal-filled city on a gondola can certainly have that effect. Until then, decorate your room with this mounted print of the Bridge of Sighs, one of the most peaceful places in Italy.

Making New Friends at College

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One of the biggest fears among new college students is how to make friends, which is a totally rational fear! To alleviate your fears, our friend Rachel from Sunshine & Sinatra has jotted down some killer advice she’s came upon at school.

Being that I have 4 semesters under my belt, I feel that I could be qualified as “Queen of making friends”, considering I’ve also transferred two times until finally getting it right. For the loud, outgoing, popular girl; sure it’s easy to make friends – people will flock to you. But are you the one who had friends in high school from many different groups? Did you juggle sports, interest clubs, and the friends you’ve grown up with since birth? Well, I’d like to let you know that you, my friend, are on the track to success.
Walking into your dorm for the first time, unpacking your clothes, saying goodbye to your parents (and trying to hold back those tears), your roommate appears in the doorway. You either squeal with excitement or are overwhelmed by the awkwardness. Don’t fret, they feel the same way. You head out to the freshman orientation event (that you are forced to go to) but secretly you’re like I need to make friends. The banners are overflowing, you get attacked with overly excited club members telling you how much their group rocks, and you nod and walk away. I have advice for you, CHECK OUT THOSE TABLES.

college-fair-friends

Religious groups? Hey, so maybe you’re not into going to your place of worship on the daily, but these people want to be there for you. They will help guide you around campus, you may or may not feel like king/queen of the world (it’s okay to do so), and you get a ton of free food for attending events. Please don’t tell me you’d turn that bad boy down! The great part about groups in college are that they will not say no to anyone. Interested in Judaism? Buddhism? Go for it; there’s a club for that!
Greek life? You watched the movies growing up and seeing how awesome being the president of the sorority or fraternity is so you obviously have aspirations to be that one day – juuuuust like the movies. The great part about Greek life is that YES, there is a place for you. The sporty ones, the crafty ones, the list goes on. The great part about recruitment is that you can figure out a place where YOU belong. Plus, you get to walk around campus with showing off your Greek gear! You are bound to have friends in the blink of an eye. If not, you can come find and talk to me personally.

2010 Murray State University

Your roommate? You guys share the same fridge, sleeping schedule (sometimes), and learning the habits of one another. They take biology course, you take art courses. You can meet friends through each other! Try hanging out during meals (that’s how I made some of my best friends), or planning a group trip — like the local mall!

Clubs? A serious given. If you’re stumped with which to join (so many choices, I know), try one that pertains to your major first! It’s a great way to maybe get some tutoring with that math homework or even testing each other for the upcoming midterm! If you feel like studying with others is so not your thing, just remember that these peers are GREAT for networking in the future job world. Make sure to hit them up on LinkedIn, too!

 

On Campus Student Activities? On every campus, big or small, there are a great group of students who decide something like yeah, I love Beyoncé, let’s get Beyoncé to perform!, and thus creates the coolest thing ever (Sheesh, I wonder how much that one would cost). You could even join the group to put in what musician you would like to see live, or where to go next. Skiing? New York, New York? Possibilities are endless. Also, this organization experience looks great on a resume!

The great thing with college is that you don’t see the same people every day. There are probably over 1,000 ways to make friends on a college campus – leading to having a jam packed schedule (if you please), as well as friends whenever and wherever you turn the corner. If you find yourself friendless without a dinner pal, JOIN A CLUB. Get involved. The Wizard of Oz said so.

Photos: 1, 2, 3

How to Stay Fresh and Pretty During Road Trips

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Going on a road trip can be the most exhilarating adventure of your life.  Consisting of just you, maybe some friends or family members, a loaded car, and the open road, there are very few things that can prevent you from having an incredible experience.  Of those few things, hygiene obstacles are high on the list.

Being cooped up in a bathroom-less car for extended amounts of time with a group of people can certainly stir up some trouble in the hygiene department.  Not to mention, it doesn’t take much for your congested car to build up heaps of trash every time you stop for food.  While this may be daunting to those who shower everyday and are used to having a sink at their disposal, there is no need to let this stand in the way of letting you have the time of your life.  There are many alternative ways to keep you fresh and clean on the road without you needing to search for a bathroom.

 freeway-sign

Road trippers should consider making a list separated into categories of target odor concentrated areas of the body.  Under each category should be a list of products you’ll need to help subside odor until the next shower time.  Below are some easy ways to help you prepare for your road trip and keep you feeling fresh and clean throughout your adventures.

Hands

Your hands are two extremely popular areas for germs to congregate.  And since you are sharing a small car with other people, germs can be passed around easily and put everyone at risk of getting sick.  Try to pack hand sanitizer, and encourage everyone around you to also use some every few hours.  You can buy a small bottle that fits perfectly inside your purse, or a larger communal bottle that can fit in the glove box.  Once at a rest stop, take advantage of the warm water and soap and give your hands a thorough cleaning.

Body

Cleaning your whole body without a shower can seem tricky.  However, this is not the case.  The key to avoiding a build up of body odor and sweat is to wear light, breathable clothing, like a thin cotton dress.  Also, invest in a large pack of wet wipes to freshen up with at pit stops.  Just a quick wipe down will do wonders for your piece of mind.

Finding opportunities to shave might be slightly difficult; however, once you do you will immediately start to feel like a lady again.  And of course, be sure to use deodorant regularly, as this will be your constant savior in eliminating odor.

 side of the road

Hair

When it comes to keeping hair clean, there are certain tricks that help give the illusion of cleanliness.  Pick up a bottle of dry shampoo from your local drugstore before the trip to spray in once the roots start to look greasy.  You can also substitute baking soda for dry shampoo, which absorbs excess oils equally as well and cleans without water.  Start with your roots and massage the spray or powder in until the oiliness disappears.  If you are worried about going a long time without giving your hair a proper wash, you should know that our hair actually benefits from natural oils that come from out scalp.  So, while other areas of the body should be regularly freshened up, our hair luckily requires minimal maintenance.

Mouth

Items like fold-up travel toothbrushes and Colgate Wisps are perfect for brushing your teeth on the go, and fit nicely into a purse.  Try to chew minty gum when you can to keep your breath smelling fresh.  Nothing feels better than having a clean mouth!

Make sure you have plenty of water on the trip, and even better to add a squeeze of lemon.  Water and lemon is a natural detox and will help you feel your optimal self on the inside.  Also, remember to pack any feminine products you might need along the way, as well as a roll of toilet paper for “emergency” situations.  Lastly, remember to bring an optimistic, open attitude and you’ll have everything you need for your exciting road trip adventure!

Photos: 1, 2, 3

My Favorite Outfit for Going Out

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Its 8:30 on Friday night and all of your friends are ready to go out on the town and blow off some steam after a stressful week of Chem labs and essays except you’re still sitting on your bed with 4 or 5 outfits laid out in front of you. Decisions, Decisions.

In order to give you some inspiration, a few of our student writers let us pick their mind and shared a few of the essentials they NEED to have when going out.

Joanna, Suffolk University

When getting ready for a night on the town, I like to be both stylish and comfortable. My go-to outfit usually consists of black skinny jeans, a white loose-fitting blouse, and a fitted leather moto-jacket. While my taste in clothing can be described as minimalistic, I like to make my shoes the statement piece of the outfit. Whether its chunky black combat boots, retro NIKE’s, or chic flats, I prefer my shoes to be both bold and sensible (high heels are not my forte). For a handbag, I always stick with a black side satchel for easy, hands-free convenience. Of course, no outfit is complete without hair and makeup to match. Depending on my mood, I will either leave my hair down with long, loose curls, or slick it back in a straight ponytail. As someone who loves experimenting with makeup, I usually like to pair my ensemble with a bold red lip and dramatic cat-eye. I finish it off with a few spritzes of my favorite perfume, and it’s out the door I go!

Monique, University of Central Florida

monique

Choosing what to wear out for me is always a question of what setting am I going to be in and who’ll be there? Typically, if it’s a nicer setting and I’m going with my best friends, I will definitely be putting on a pair of heels with a skirt and cute top. I am, however, particular about my heels ÔÇô they have to be something that wonÔÇÖt kill my feet after being on them for several hours and also ones that wonÔÇÖt get ruined with drinks spilled on them. So, suede is a no for the bars! If itÔÇÖs a less formal setting, IÔÇÖll usually opt for a pair of jeans, a tank top and maybe wedges or flats. ItÔÇÖs all about getting the right mix of comfort and style!

Rachel, Drexel University

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I’ll be the first to admit that I have at least dozen blazers in my closet. They are a style essential for interviews and, when you sport this style with ornate detailing or bold hues, they’re perfect for nightlife. I have an affinity for black’s ability to naturally make me look slender, and would be lost without my black skinny jeans and my many “LBDs.” In order to not have my outfit be humdrum, I like to add a dash of red or pink to give femininely energetic dynamic to my outfit (check OCM’s blog post about combining black-and-white with color). This can be done through jewelry, lip color, pumps and, of course, a blazer.

Black and White + A Splash of Color

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They may be at opposite ends of the light spectrum, but there is no doubt that, when bold blacks and whites are brought together, they are a force to be reckoned with. Recently, the fashion world has revitalized this timeless color duo by using them as a backdrop to bring other more vibrant colors to life. Black and white with a pop of color is a modern trend that is both simplistic and edgy. Unlike more subdued tints of gray or brown, these pigments have the ability to awaken normally passive hues like pastels or cooler colors like blue or green.

For your dorm, consider having the major pieces, like your bed comforter, dressers, and chairs to be black and white. Ununiformed prints like this zebra comforter or rug will be particularly engaging to the eyes and add a contemporary edge to the environment. Plus, everyone knows the masterful impact black-and-white photography has on viewers; browse our many college wall canvases to find topnotch shots of New York City, sandy beaches and more.

This image belongs to OCM.com

Colorful accent pieces will really pop when contrasted against the neutral tones, so make sure the decor details you’re emphasizing are purposeful and attractive. For inspiration, check out our college room decor supplies and college frames. Be mindful that the eye will naturally be drawn to these colorful bursts of life, so make sure items like the trash can or laundry caddy aren’t the items that will stand out.

While you are not restricted to utilizing a single bright hue, limit yourself to no more than three or four pops of color in order to maintain a clean, chic aesthetic.

 

Theme Your Room, Series 1: Great Gatsby

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GB Inspiration Board

If you haven’t thought about adding a little Great Gatsby inspiration to your dorm room, it’s time to join the party and embrace this hot aesthetic! The novel is set in New York City during a time of opulence and roaring jazz; rich hues like gold, purple navy and jade will emanate old fashioned glamor, while bold patterns will capture the “big personality”of the era. Many narrative highlights of the tale take place in Jay Gatsby’s out-of-this-world parties, so pay homage to the nighttime and its infinite possibilities with this moon wall clock or a glitzy poster of the New York Skyline. However, your walls aren’t the only way you can honor this great American story. Accent pieces like our dorm room decorative pillows are an easy way to add art deco designs to your environment. Reflective materials from silk to brass will further spruce up your dorm room and can be featured in a variety of different ways, from your curtains to the knick knacks on your desk.

Get the look with our Gatsby-inspired products so you can start living the extravagant life of luxury, without the extravagant price tags.

 

Three Reasons Why You Should Start Planning For Spring Break NOW

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You may be consumed with the not-so-distant holidays lately, but there may be something else you want to keep in mind. Being surrounded by snow, cold weather and warm cups of cocoa is the perfect winter scene, but when the snow melts and the weather warms up you don’t want to be left behind at home. That’s why NOW is the perfect time to start planning your spring break getaway. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘the early bird gets the worm’ and in this case, the worm is sweet – and much cheaper than waiting until the last minute. Here’s why:

1) The earlier you book your airfare, the less expensive it’s going to be: There’s no surprise in saying that waiting until the last minute to buy your airfare is going to cost you big bucks. Sure, you may be able to find great deals on a seat here or there, but it’s going to be whatever is leftover on the plane and is probably right next to the bathroom. And, if you’re traveling in a group, it’ll be hard to get seats together, let alone on the same flight. Try looking at sites such as Cheapo Air or Priceline. If you sign up for their emails, you’ll even get discounts and price drop alerts sent to your email. One of my other favorite channels is Travelzoo – they always are offering deals on flights for short periods of time.

2) First come, first serve. Get your pick before you get stuck with what’s left: You know that one room you stayed in two summers ago with the full kitchenette, king size bed and gorgeous view of blue sparkling water? That will go quickly. Booking your reservations early will ensure you have the top pick of rooms and spaces available. And, it will allow you to pay for the room earlier so you have time to save up more spending money for your trip!

3) Adequate timing to schedule around your school work or put in time off at work: Don’t be that person that puts in for vacation time a week before you plan to leave. Give your teachers, homework, and coworkers the courtesy of planning around your absence. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting your shifts covered last second and will have enough time to get assignments/work done that may be due when you’re away. And, this will give you a chance to possibly pick up a few more shifts and save some money aside to spend on your vacation.

Wherever you decide to go for spring break, remember earlier is better!

Brand New Items on OCM.com!

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Finding the right items to make your dorm room a home is a task all in itself. You know we want to make your move-in process as simple as possible, and that’s why we offer you everything you need right under one browser. And, as always, we offer shipping directly to your home or campus so you don’t have to bug your parents to haul your new items up to you at school.

During the last few weeks, we’ve added a bunch of new and exciting products for both home and residence hall use. From brand new fans, security safes, alarm clocks, hampers, adorable and festive seating solutions, to new decorative pillows and beyond, we’ve refreshed our entire selection to bring you the very best! If you’re interested in taking a look of some of these new popular items, keep reading – we’re going down the list of the top 5 most popular parent and student favorites!

1) Majestic Seating Solutions and Pillows – Who doesn’t love a seating solution covered in the season’s hottest prints? Chevron, floral, Victorian damask and more – these reading pillows, cubes, loungers and poofs make for stylish AND comfortable room decor. And, they’re multi-functional. Use the poufs as a nightstand, extra seat, or even laptop desk. The lounger can be doubled as extra seating or a comfy place for your friends to relax and study or take a snooze. The reading pillows? They come in handy for those long nights of studying to prevent an achy neck and back. We just love the prints they come in – take a look for yourself, here!

2) Yogibo – There’s nothing quite as fun and comfortable as the Yogibo items. Filled with lightweight materials and available in a variety of bright colors, the Yogibo products are made with comfort in mind. These items come in neck-rolls, large lounge pillows for 1+ people, study trays, neck supports, and more! Yogibo products make for great dorm room furniture because they’re easy to move and store against any wall or in any corner. They also provide a comfortable solution for extra seating for movie nights and study sessions. These items are BRAND NEW to OCM.com and are already a popular pick. What’s YOUR perfect Yogibo?

3) Decorative Pillows– We had such a great response from our decorative pillows last fall that we made it our goal to bring more of them on board for this school year. And – we’ve got a larger selection that both males and females will enjoy! Color coordinate by your favorite colors or simply by your dorm room decor – either way, there’s plenty to go around! We’ve really tapped into this year’s trends: Owls, sparkles, texture, and mustaches galore! And, for those students too-cool-for-school, we’ve even got some cool shades to rock on your bed! Top off your room with great style, and start by what’s on your bed! Shop the new decorative pillow line here.

4) Room Safes – For the most part, dorm rooms are fairly safe and usually monitored and observed by your awesome residence hall staff. Occasionally though, some students forget to lock their dorm room doors when leaving for class or a friend’s room and notice things missing when they get back. Besides remembering to lock your door when you step out, it’s a great idea to have another step of security in the place in case you forget once or twice. We’ve brought aboard a brand new selection of room safes to help keep your items in YOUR room – and not someone else’s! Lock your valuables in your safe when you leave, and rest assured knowing that they’re safe and secure for when you return. Available in multiple sizes and shapes, we’ve got safes for days! Shop the new line of dorm room safes here.
5) Healthy Care Packages – We know, you love all the fun sweets and treats that come in our seasonal Care Packages. BUT, what if we told you that you could have the same Care Packages you love so much that are both healthy AND delicious? Our masterminds here at OCM have put together student favorite snacks and treats that both amp up energy and sustain a hungry tummy. From workout packages to gluten free selections, we’ve cut the refined sugars and extra carbs to bring you delicious, health motivating care packages that have popular items such as Cliff Bars, Granola and even MiO water enhancer. Who said eating healthy couldn’t taste delicious and be convenient, too! Check out our new selection of healthy Care Packages here!┬á
Love these new products? The fun doesn’t stop here – we’ve got an even LARGER selection of brand new items up for you to enjoy! And, now’s the time to get any last minute dorm essentials in.. we’re hosting a 60% sale on some of our dorm room essentials! Ready to decorate? www.ocm.com!

High School vs. College: Are They As Different As They Seem?

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I’m sure throughout your high school career, the words “college is very different than high school” were uttered at some point or another. Whether you heard it because you were slacking on work and your parents were fed up with senioritis or because your guidance counselor was trying to teach you about college, it might not be as true as it seems. Sure, there are major differences between the two, but when it comes down to it, college and high school can be extremely similar. So what exactly are the biggest similarities and differences?

  1. Classes don’t really change– As you can imagine, the classes do get harder than they were in high school. But if you go into college expecting that, then it may not be as big of a shock for you. And yes, unfortunately homework is still around and it does come in a larger form. I know when I came to college, I was ready for lecture halls with hundreds of people. Sure, I did have some fairly large classes, but I was never overwhelmed by them. I came from a small high school of 400 students and I still had no problem adapting to a college with 5,800 students. So in the end, it’s still me, sitting at my desk, listening to the professor, and taking notes.
  2. Your friends will still be there for you– Just like your friends in high school, your college friends will be just as supportive and helpful to you. It might be hard to believe, but you actually may become closer with these people than you are with your friends from home in less time. Think about it this way, you live with these people, have classes with them, and hang out with them on the weekend. You’re going to meet people that you will be friends with for the rest of your life, which hopefully is similar to some of your best friends from high school.
  3. You’re still learning– When I say this, I don’t just mean that you’re learning more about your intended major, but also yourself. It sounds cliche, but college is a time for you to learn more about who you are as a person since you are more independent and you are still being educated. I know that I came into college thinking that I want to major in business, but I’ve had so many moments where I’ve considered changing my major. To this day, I still am not sure what I want to do with my life or what I want to major in, and that’s okay.
  4. People are still there to help you– Just because you’re more independent now doesn’t mean you have to be solo for every decision you make. I know my parents have still been there to help me along the way with choices as small as what bedding should I get to decisions as large as should I stick with this major. You also still have advisors to help you with school-related decisions and make sure you’re on the right track to success.

Sure, college allows you to have more freedom, more challenging courses, and a more diverse atmosphere, but it ultimately seems to be an extension of high school. I know that I certainly didn’t feel like I entered another world when I came to college, but the changes were subtle enough that I was able to appreciate them. So in the end, are high school and college that different after all? I’ll let you decide.

Freshman Year All Over Again?

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I think one of the most scary things about college is the fact that, in a way, you have to go through the beginning of high school all over again. You have to enter a completely new environment filled with strangers and try to figure everybody out, form new friendships, and learn how to operate on your own in a place that you’re not used to. I remember freshman year of high school when you had to get to know people in addition to putting yourself out there to others, things I’ll have to do come fall when I start my freshman year of college.

You have to walk the fine line of being outgoing but not coming on too strong. You want to come across as laid back but not completely careless. You want to convey some level of sophistication, but not look like a snob. I’ll be meeting a slew of new people and I won’t know right away what, if anything, we have in common. But I’ll have to find a way to keep the conversation moving, avoiding awkward pauses at all costs.

Sometimes I think this social change-up is a challenge particularly difficult for kids my age. Technology has given us devices, especially cell phones, that allow us to ‘check out’ of the real world at any moment. Sitting around people we don’t know that well, we’ve always had the option of texting or going on the internet via a cellphone instead of trying to have a conversation with the people around us. Maybe that’s made us a bit less used to reaching out of our comfort zone and starting interactions with strangers. But like it or not, this fall all those attending their first year of college of will have to bite the bullet and find a way to navigate a completely new social scene. Hopefully, considering we’re four years more mature, it’s a little easier of a transition than the one to high school!