Hacks for Hosting Friendsgiving Dinner at College

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Friendsgiving, or Thanksgiving for friends, is almost here, and we are already drooling over how awesome it’s going to be! All over, college students like us are taking on their own Thanksgiving celebrations and bringing them straight to the dorm. While it may seem impossible to do a full-on dinner party, you can make it happen with these 12 hacks for hosting thanksgiving dinner!

 

1. Get Lucky with Pot-Luck

One of the easiest ways to host a successful Friendsgiving in a dorm or small apartment is to make it pot-luck. Assemble a list of essential food items and have each of your guests select what they will bring or make.

 

2. Order It In

No cooks among you or limited access to fridges and ovens? Order in instead. Restaurants and catering companies offer Thanksgiving-to-go a few days in advance. Just pick up your pre-cooked turkey and sides and serve hot. Viola!

 

3. Reserve a Common Space

Your 200 square foot dorm is probably not going to cut it. But because it’s the holidays, you may be able to convince your RA to let you use (or rent) you a common area, such as a lounge or event space, instead. That provides you more seating and tables to spread out!

 

4. Rent Another Room

If you’ve decided that your dorm will have to do, ask another student if you can rent their room to store your big furniture (such as a bed, desk or storage container) while you host your party. You might have to slip them some money for it, but you’ll be thankful for the extra room.

 

5. Make It a Picnic

If you’re not able to get the seating you need, consider doing a Thanksgiving picnic. Spread out flannel or brown and gold blankets on the floor and host a simple meal like turkey sandwiches with cranberry jelly.

 

6. Don’t Forget Entertainment

We love DIY games like giant Jenga or watching Christmas movies such as Christmas Vacation. You can also play a game of Thanksgiving-themed BINGO or Minute to Win It.

 

7. Hold a DIY Decor Contest

Don’t spend a ton of cash on centerpieces when you can have your friends do it for you. Host a contest where everyone brings a DIY floral or non-floral centerpiece. Then, have guests places beads or pennies next to their favorites. The winner takes all.

 

8. Curtain Tablecloths

Covering up ugly folding tables is a must, but table cloths are pricey. Instead, go thrift store shopping for window curtains. Most are just the right height and length, and you won’t feel bad about throwing these away or donating them when done.

 

9. Colored Fiestaware

“Who’s glass is this?” No thanks. Get plastic Fiestaware in different colors for each guest. Then no one has to play the guessing game of where they left their drink or whose plate is in their seat.

 

10. Pre-Make Leftover Bags

You can find plastic takeout boxes at most dollar stores. Before serving your meal, fill each up with a second course and stash to the side. When your guests are ready to go, hand them a takeout box as a party favor!

 

11. Game Hens Over Turkeys

Turkeys are complicated, massive, and not exactly dorm-friendly. Instead of turkeys, go with cornish game hens. They are already individually sized to perfectly fit in mini-fridges and they take less time to cook.

 

12. Make It a Community Affair

Dream of a party with strangers and friends alike? More than likely, there’s someone on your campus who doesn’t have a family to go home to or may be from another country. Get the word out about your Friendsgiving and make it a party you’ll never forget by inviting both your friends and your fellow students to join in and share what they are thankful for.

 

5 Transitions into Fall Fun

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Fall Activites

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (Christmas aside)!! The leaves are starting to change, the air has a slight crispness to it, and the faint aromas of apples and cinnamon seem to hang in the air. That’s right…Fall is here! And there are so many different ways to celebrate.

1.) Go apple picking!

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Grab a few girlfriends and go apple picking!

2.) Bundle up!

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Seriously, it can go from nice 75° one day to a breezy 60° the next.

3.) Visit a local farmer’s market!

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This is the best way to support local organic farmers, and makes for a fun outing with your friends or family!

4.) Make some seasonal goodies!

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Make all the pies and fall-themed goodies imaginable. Yum.

5.) Stay in with a fall movie!

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If it’s too chilly to head outside, why not bundle up on a couch and watch a fall classic?

 

What is your favorite time of year?

What are some ways that you are looking forward to celebrating fall?

 

9 Cool Ideas for a College Guy’s Halloween Costume

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College Guys Halloween Costume

With just about a month left to get your Halloween plans in order, it’s time to think about what you’ll wear for a costume. From scary to funny puns, these 9 cool ideas for the college guy’s Halloween costume ideas are sure to get everyone talking.

1. Twister Board

The easiest costumes are often the best. Take a white shirt and pants and either draw or stick on round circles in Twister board colors (red, green, blue, and yellow). Borrow or make a spinner and call out commands throughout the night to get everyone playing along.

2. Stick Figure

White t-shirts are certainly best friends of DIY and last-minute, low-effort costumes. For the stick figure, you’ll use a white shirt, white pants, and a white face mask and draw the classic wiggly, childish lines of a badly drawn stick figure.

3. Superhero In Progress

We all own at least one or two superhero shirts, but just wearing those for Halloween is lame. Instead, spice it up by dressing as a superhero in transition. Think Clark Kent changing into his Superman attire with suit unbuttoned showing a hint of his superman outfit, tie (stuck with pins) flying in the wind, cape sticking out the back, and nerd glasses still on face. You can pull this off with just about any superhero from Batman to Hulk.

4. Headless Horseman

If you’re ready to impress, the Headless Horseman is how to do it. You’ll need a large cardboard box or two to create the shoulders, chest, and to cut out the neck. Then, cover it in oversized clothes that you can slip out of easily and mark where your eyes are so you can cut out later. Then, take a large jar or clear tub and place a large softball inside with a picture of your head wrapped around it for added effect.

5. Mario or Luigi

All you need are red or green shirts, overalls, white gloves, and a killer (if needed, fake) mustache to recreate your favorite video game character. Just don’t forget the cap with the logos! Thrift for a cheap version you won’t mind writing or sewing on decals.

6. Wacky Tourist

Pick up an old school camera from the attic and a fanny pack from a less stylish friend or family member for the wacky or lost tourist look. Dress in your favorite Bahama shirt, add a dorky hat and sunglasses, and carry around a map or guidebooks for your town to make this cheap Halloween costume really work.

7. Tetris Piece

Group costumes in college are the best, especially if you can get a group in on it. Our favorite twist is to recreate a Tetris board with each person as a classic piece. You’ll just need packing boxes glued together and then painted in red, green, or blue. Throughout the night, you can play an epic game if you get enough people participating.

8. Toy Army Man

Got green paint? You’re set. Cover yourself and your clothing (add a bike helmet in place of an army version) in army green paint and then pose in-place like the favorite GI toy. You can add the foot plate using cardboard, but it won’t be easy getting around throughout the night!

9. Piece of Art

Speaking of paint — if you’re an artist, you can make yourself up to look like one of the classics. Take Van Gogh’s self-portrait. Wear a blue jacket, yellow straw hat, and paint yourself to mimic the colors. It may take a long time to really get this look down, but it looks awesome with a backless gold frame.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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If you haven’t checked your calendar lately, here’s your last warning: Mother’s Day is THIS SUNDAY! There are only a few days left before the big day, so getting the perfect gift for your mom is going to be a bit tricky. Luckily, we’ve done the hard part for you. Here are the best gifts for Mother’s Day you can get last-minute while still wowing even the pickiest of moms!

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  1. The Updated Family Photo

Moms with adult or teenage children know the pain of no longer getting that awesome family portrait done every year. But you can make your mom’s wall a happier place by getting your brothers and sisters together for one updated family snap. Hire a photographer (or a great photography major) and spend the day recreating your favorite poses.

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  1. Concert Tickets

Moms like to party and dance just as much as you do! Check to see if her favorite band or musician is coming to town and buy her the best seats you can find. The best part is that with e-tickets, you don’t have to wait for delivery to surprise her.

  1. A Girl’s Night of Gift Cards

We all love pampering, especially when with friends. But a day at the spa with mom is one memory you’ll never want to forget. Purchase a pair of slippers and stick in a gift card for a manicure for two at your favorite nail salon or a mother-daughter massage from your go-to masseuse. She’ll love that you want to spend that special day with her.

  1. Handmade Jewelry

When you were a kid, you may have made your mom a necklace out of macaroni noodles and string. That’s so not what we mean. Instead, you can go to custom jewelry shops like bead stores that offer hundreds of choices for customizing your items without breaking the bank. Best of all, you’ll walk away with something that’s both professional-looking and made only with your mom in mind.

  1. The Latest Best Seller

If your mom loves to read, load up her e-reader with your favorite books or the latest outing from her favorite writer. Stores like Amazon allow you to send a book without even having to be there to see her surprised face.

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  1. A DIY Flower Vase

Flowers are just a natural part of Mother’s Day, but what about where to put them? Before you pick up your blooms, stop by a thrift store and pick up an old glass vase. Tape up a design using painters tape and then spray paint several coats. When dry, you have the perfect gift for a Pinterest-loving, modern decor fan of a mom!

  1. Monthly Box Subscription

One gift? How about 12? Monthly subscription boxes are perfect for a woman who loves to try new things or explore what’s out there. You can get boxes full of makeup, books, travel items, flowers, tea or coffee, and even food! She’ll love the surprise of not knowing what’s coming next.

  1. Homemade Bath and Body Items

Homemade soaps, lotions, and creams are all the rage, and you can make them easily in your own dorm room. For soap, for example, all you need is her favorite scents in oils, lye (or sodium hydroxide), and an old pan. The process takes a few hours, but it’s a personalized item she’ll cherish.

  1. Your College’s Swag

Moms love to show their pride just as much as you do! And while it may not be their alma mater, surprise her with a shirt that boosts where her son or daughter is attending. Many colleges even have parent shirts that designate her as a “XX University Mom.”

  1. You!

There’s nothing more special than having your child home for a holiday like Mother’s Day. And while it may be tempting to skip out, make her day that much more special by giving her gift (or just your presence) in person.

 

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Valentine’s Day Inspiration

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pink and red collage

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would round up ways to incorporate pinks + reds in your wardrobe, along with a ton of inspiration!

I’ll be honest. I’m not particularly a big fan of this holiday. In fact, I refer to it as GALentine’s Day because I love any excuse to wear a red dress and dress up for all my gal pals. Whether you’re spending the night on a date, going to see a romantic movie, or even spending it in the most casual setting, I hope these looks inspire you to be bold and try something new this year.

🙂

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And just to throw in last year’s Valentine’s Day look, for good measure! 😉

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P.S. feel free to follow along on my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board!

ALSO, there’s a $500 PayPal giveaway I’m hosting over on my blog…

😉

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6 Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah at College

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Come December, you’re probably yearning for the warmth of your family and the traditions you hold so dear. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you may be dreaming of your grandmother’s latkes or the joy of opening a gift for eight nights in a row. But if you’re away from home this year or away from family and friends, you don’t have to have a Hanukkah-less holiday. Here’s how to celebrate your favorite holiday no matter how far from home you are.

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1.   Decorate Your Dorm

Get out your blues because your dorm is getting the Hanukkah makeover! There are so many cute and fun ways to decorate. For one, you can make tissue paper sun catchers in the shape of the Star of David or a candle. You can also create whimsical hanging garlands from your ceiling using craft paper with coordinating patterns.

2.   Dreidel Competitions

Ugly sweater parties? Who needs them when you have dreidel competitions! Invite your friends over for a round robin style dreidel showdown. Have each player bring in a bag of candy or even some quarters to get in. Then, have playoffs in which two or four players in each group go against each other. End with a final game between the winners of the playoffs for a take-everything, high-risk game! And if playing with money, be sure that the winnings go to the winner’s favorite tzedakah (charity) in the spirit of the holiday.

3.   Make a Dorm Room Feast

The food is always the best part of the season. While you can’t really deep fry much in your dorm room, you can pan-fry most of your grandma’s latke recipes without losing the flavor. Make your own applesauce by steaming the apples in the microwave or over a stove and adding your favorite spices for an extra kick. But if you’re craving more, check out local bakeries for jelly donuts. You may just find a new favorite spot!

4.   Celebrate with Other Students

Holidays like Hanukkah are the perfect time to see what your college has to offer its Jewish community. Visit your Hillel center for activities or ideas for worship. However, if your campus does not offer a Hillel center or even an on-campus rabbi, reach out to other students, Jewish or not, and invite them to celebrate with you. This is a great time to show students of different faiths what the season means to you and how your family celebrates.

5.   Create a DIY Menorah

You may not be able to light an actual candle given residence hall dorm room rules, but you can still have a menorah in your home away from home. Flameless tea lights can be easily added to a traditional menorah. Or, you can get fun and funky with glow stick menorahs using dollar store single stem vases. You can even make one out of LEGOs or blocks if you feel like getting creative!

6.   8 Days of Giving

While most gift getters during Hanukkah are little kids, you can still have fun for the holiday by practicing a giving tradition. For 8 days, give money to your favorite charities. Also reach out to Jewish schools to see if you can donate winter gear such as scarves and hats. You can even start a drive within your dorm room. This way you’ll heart will be full with the true meaning of the season, even if you’re far from home.

Holiday Style Guide for Collegiates

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Hello Our Campus Market readers! My name is Cara and I write a blog called Caralina Style. I’m so excited to be a new guest blogger for OCM! For my first post I will be bringing you a holiday style guide!

All photos from my Instagram! I LOVE the holidays, my favorite times of the year are Christmas and summer. I just adore how happy everything is, the decorations everywhere, the family time, the good food, the shopping, finals are over, my list could go on and on. Now that it’s almost Thanksgiving I’m starting to look for holiday outfits and thinking about Christmas shopping. I love how the holidays are an excuse to wear just about anything sparkly, red, green, or metallic from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Here are some of my past holiday outfits and inspiration for more this year!

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1- J. Crew Factory confetti sequin tee 2- Grace Elements faux leather pleated skirt 3- Sole Society Anneke pumps 4- Essie Good and Gold nail polish (one of my favorites for the last few years) 5- Kendra Scott Miriam stackable ring set (I have and love)

6- J. Crew Factory plaid flannel popover 7- Topshop faux leather leggings 8- Baublebar Pearl Shower bib 9- Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in “Beso” 10- Talbot’s Eddison glitter pointed toe flats

11- Ombre sequin mesh shift dress 12- Nine West Howley ankle strap heel 13- Kendra Scott Alex Earrings in Mirror Rock Crystal 14- MAC Lipstick in Plum Dandy 15- J. Crew tights

16- Loft Bow Chambray shirt 17- J. Crew Factory elephant jacquard skirt 18- Kate Spade bow pearl earrings 19- Kate Spade polka dot tights 20- Sam Edelman Dea pumps (I have these in black and they’re great)  And here a few more of my holiday favorites for this year:

Thanks for reading! Which outfits are your favorite? 

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a DIY Barbeque

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Throw an All-American party that your family and friends are sure to remember! From decor to what to grill and don’t forget the sweets after dinner, there is an endless amount of creative choices and fun DIY projects that will make your get-together one for the record books. To start, let’s take a step away from the party and focus on the single most important decision you will make regarding the evening. What will you wear?!

You need something for the heat, something easy to grill in, and something patriotic. Why not try making an American flag tank top out of an old white t-shirt? Just tape over the part you want to keep white, and break out the spray paint. Style points if you put a bow on the back of the t-shirt after you tear it into a tank!

Great idea to make your own crafty shirt

Check out these impeccably painted nails! Use a toothpick in the white nail polish to draw stars, and you can have beautifully painted Fourth of July nails too.

Fourth of July nails

On to the real party details…Let’s talk decor. There are a million things that you can DIY from Pinterest, but how many are realistic for people who have other things to do with their day? I have found some easy DIY projects to get your space looking party-ready in one day! A burlap sign is easy to paint and hang on the deck, on the porch, or over the food inside. Streamers and lights hung out back create a warm and welcoming environment. Mason jars with tissue paper glued inside and a tea light candle are a great way to bring some more warm light to the party. Sparklers wrapped up with the silverware in a napkin ensure every guest has a sparkler for some of your own backyard fireworks! Stamp a strip of fabric or burlap with stars or fireworks to make an easy table runner for the buffet table or the dining table (or better yet, both!).

Fourth Decor

Ditch the basic, boring hamburgers and hotdogs, and make your food just as festive as you are. Make an American flag lasagna with olives and pepperoni for a dish to share with the whole gang. Paper baskets make for easy carrying when guests want to socialize while munching. A pan full of bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are a healthy way to celebrate the holiday! Add an cutout flag on a toothpick to a hotdog, hamburger, or even dessert to bring some creativity into your kitchen. Hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls on a skewer with a triangle of Colby cheese on top look like fireworks and are a great addition for the kiddies! Now my favorite part- dessert! Dip pretzel sticks into white icing or white chocolate and sprinkle with red and blue sprinkles for an on-the-go dessert. S’mores scream summer… and alliteration! This dessert will always  be fun at a cookout. Strawberries dipped in white chocolate and blue sprinkles are as patriotic as they are delicious. Enjoy your barbeque and fill your stomach with these awesome ideas!

Fourth Food

Have a wonderful Independence Day party with your new DIY crafts!

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!