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.

Easter On Campus

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Happy Late – Easter everyone!

Easter is that wonderful time of year when Peeps fill the shelves at Walmart and large amounts of eggs are dyed festive colors. However, for some of us, going home isn’t a feasible option. For example, at the University of Northern Colorado we have a large number of students from Hawaii, California and Texas. So, going home for one day during the weekend isn’t something these students are able to do.

However, there are some great ways to celebrate Easter while remaining on-campus. These are some great ideas for RAs or just a student looking to have a good weekend full of Easter festivities:

Host a floor egg-decorating contest. This is a great way for residents to bond with each other while celebrating Easter. The winners can win a giant chocolate bunny or even a basket of candy, depending on what the host/RA wants to do. You can also provide crayons and Easter coloring pages so residents can color if they’re not too confident in their egg-dying capabilities.

Have an Easter egg hunt on the floor or in the entire hall! Plastic Easter eggs are pretty inexpensive and there are always massive bags of candy that can be bought at most retail locations. Advertise on your floor or throughout your hall and have a massive Easter egg hunt! Residents can bring their own bags (unless baskets can be afforded) and they can see who can find the most eggs! Make sure to list how many eggs will be hidden, so you can make sure they have all been found at the end. Another way to carry out the hunt is to only allow people to grab a certain number of eggs, such as 5 or 10, so that everyone can walk away with a sizable amount of candy.

Have an Easter brunch. Our dining halls at UNC have brunch instead of breakfast and lunch on weekends. This is a great time to grab some friends or, if you’re an RA, your floor and take everyone to the dining hall to have a brunch with each other. This is a great chance to chat with friends and celebrate Easter.

If you like these, feel free to use them next year when Easter rolls around, or set up one tonight before it’s officially April 1st!

Halloween Dorm Decorating

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That’s right, Halloween is next week! If you haven’t already picked out your costume and need a few ideas, check out this blog we wrote a few weeks back with some fun and inexpensive ideas! Now that you’ve thought about decorating yourself, have you thought about making that dorm room a bit more festive? Halloween is all about the cheesy and the gory, so there’s really no limit on how decked out you want to go! If you want to know a few cute and budget friendly dorm room decorating tips for Halloween, here’s a few you might like!

Orange Tinsel- Tinsel is one of those things that you can use for any party, in almost any color. It’s great for Halloween themed decorating because you can buy it in both light and dark colors (Black, Purple, Silver, Gold, etc) and is relatively inexpensive. You can buy a strip of Tinsel from your local dollar or party store and hang it around the borders of your walls, or underneath your desk. The best part is that Tinsel is super easy to clean up and stores great for re-use!

Light up Pumpkin- No Halloween decor can possibly be complete without a proper pumpkin! But, since we understand that living in a dorm can cause conflict with carving out pumpkin guts and lighting real candles to place inside, we’ve found some super adorable light up Halloween figures you can buy instead! Most of these plug into the wall so you don’t have to worry about buying batteries. And, although there’s no yummy pumpkin seeds hiding inside that you can cook and eat, these light up figures can’t go bad so you can keep them for years to come!

(Check out that evil grin! This one’s from CVS!)

Halloween Tablecloth- Whether you’re decorating your wall and want something large and wide to use as a backdrop or covering up those dorm-desks with something festive for the season, Halloween (or any holiday) tablecloths can be found anywhere from the dollar store, to your local grocery store and are usually dirt cheap! You can find some in adorable patterns or some that wish you a spooky Halloween! Either way, these will shield your college desk from food and any extra glitter that may fly while you’re decorating your Halloween costume and can be reused over and over again!

Safe (and clean) Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Dorm Life

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Halloween. One of my favorite times of year. The humid and hot heat from the summer has finally faded away, and the boots, leg warmers and fuzzy gloves start to make their appearance. Apple cinnamon fills the air and the yummiest of all recipes are concocted in fall inspired kitchens everywhere. The middle of October creeps around and Halloween party invitations start being distributed. If you’re like me, you’ve had your costume planned out months in advance, and already know what location you’re going to settle into for the night. You get excited about little trick or treaters stopping by your house way before they ever show up, with the vast amounts of bagged candy you bought in preparation.

Besides your costume, there’s one other part of Halloween decorating that completes the night. A pumpkin, or as some like to call it, a Jack O Lantern. You may have noticed that a pumpkin with a candle inside is a fire hazard, which is why your parents probably had them outside on your front step every year instead of in your actual house. You may also notice that candles and fire in your dorm are against regulations therefor prohibiting you from having your own candle. If this makes you sad, don’t get upset, get creative! Just because you can’t use a candle doesn’t mean you can’t use an LED light or other means of decorating your pumpkin. If you’re living in a residence hall and want to spruce up your pumpkin, here’s a few pointers that may get you back in the Halloween spirit.

1) Get a fake pumpkin- I know this may not be as exciting as the real-deal full of pumpkin seeds that you can bake and eat, but it’s still just as pretty. If you buy a plastic pumpkin you can choose to purchase one that already has a decoration on it or a face carved out. The cool thing about these is that there’s more than likely already a light inside, and all you need to light it up is to plug it in. This also gives you a pumpkin that isn’t fun to smash, leaving you no mess, and no bugs.

2) Get a small pumpkin and paint it- Carving a pumpkin in your dorm room can get extremely messy. Sure you can use the little pumpkin carving knives to carve out your design, but what are you going to do with all of the pumpkin guts and seeds? You’re going to end up with garbage bags full of goo that will attract bugs, and mice. Instead, get a small pumpkin and paint it with acrylic paints. You can paint a face on it to replicate a Jack O Lantern or paint it with your favorite design! Stencil your name and your roomie’s name onto the pumpkin and accompany your names with a common decoration theme in your room. If you both have Damask comforters, stencil a Victorian Damask design on your pumpkin to match your room. You can even cover your pumpkin in glitter spray if you have an outside area to ventilate the spray and not make a mess.

3) Use stickers or glue on fabric- This may feel like a 5th grade project, but even more fun. You can give your pumpkin gigantic felt eyebrows and a mean grin or you can glue some nerdy glasses on and make him a genius. Whatever you want to do, your pumpkin will be easy to “peel and stick” just like a Mister Potato Head. If you design your pumpkin and realize you want to go a different direction with your pumpkin you can always just peel off the felt pieces and glue on some new ones.

4) Sharpies! – Sharpies are good for almost anything. You can decorate your favorite sneakers, doodle on your notebook and in this case, even decorate your pumpkin. This method probably gives you the freest reign as far as hand-drawn design goes. You can buy the pack of 24+ sharpies and have a ton of colors to choose from. Just make sure that whatever design you’re going to do you stick with, because once that sharpies on, it’s not coming off.

If all else fails and you really want that carved pumpkin, you can always carve your pumpkin outside and immediately throw away the guts somewhere outdoors. Make sure you clean up as much of the extra interior of your pumpkin as possible, and squeeze some lemon or lime juice on the inside to slow down the aging process. Then go to your local CVS or grocery store and buy an LED light (usually charged by 2 AA batteries) and place that inside your pumpkin. Your pumpkin will last for a few days, and your light should last as long as you have batteries.

Just don’t forget to throw your pumpkin away as soon as it starts going foul. Rotten pumpkins smell and look awful and attract the ickiest of bugs and vermin. So enjoy your spooky pumpkin for your Halloween festivities, take some pictures and then throw it out. There’s always next year to decorate all over again!