Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting The Best Bang For Your Holiday Bucks!

Oh, the holidays. The parties, the songs, the snow, the negative number in your bank account. For those of us on a budget, the holidays are rough. We all want to go to every party in a stunning outfit and give fabulous gifts to everyone we know but that costs a pretty penny.

Tip One: Budget
 If you are doing a Secret Santa with friends or giving gifts to family, then establish how much is going to be spent and stick to it. We know you’re looking for coolest friend status, but you can achieve that by flexing your awesome personality, not your bank account. 

Tip Two: Hand Made Presents
Being broke sucks but being creative and broke sucks way less. People cherish a homemade gift, so bring out your inner Martha Stewart and start creating. There are many homemade gift ideas online and on Pinterest!

Tip Three: Pick Up Some Extra work
            If you want to make a little more money over the holidays (and you have the energy and time) then there are usually opportunities with retailers. You could try to sell clothes and items that you don’t use anymore for extra cash as well. There are many online yard sales which are a great way to get quick and easy cash!

Tip Four: Traveling
            Traveling can be fun and enjoyable; however, can put a big dent in your wallet. Planning is key to saving money when traveling. Plan and pack meals when traveling. Food can add up if you are constantly eating out. You can save a lot of money on plane tickets if you fly the day of a holiday. If carpooling is an option, then do it! Gas is expensive and can add up quickly.

Tip Five: Credit Cards
            Ideally, you'll want to pay everything off immediately. Have a choice of cards? Always use the card that offers the lowest interest rate. A good idea is to track your credit card spending just as you would if you were writing a check. Remember: It's really easy in the flurry of the holiday spending to run around and not keep track.

Tip Six: Send E-cards

They're free -- or only cost a couple of dollars -- and don't require postage. Some even play music, making them a fun, free way to catch up with far-flung friends and family.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Wise Owl's Guide to Surviving Finals

Finals week in college can feel like the academic version of the Hunger Games. We’re stressed out, exhausted and doing everything we can to stay sane. Surviving finals is all about finding the balance between getting everything done on time and not overworking yourself. Check out these tips for surviving finals week.

Pick a Good Place to study!
Pick a study space that is quiet and free of distractions, whether that’s a café or a quiet corner of the library. Know what works for you and what doesn’t.

Plan out your studying!
Keep in mind how many exams you have to study for and how much time you’ll need to spend on each one. This way, you can focus on one project at a time, which will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

Build in breaks!
Build breaks that are nourishing in body, mind or spirit into your studying time. Some examples may include spending quality time with friends or exercising.

Take advantage of programming!
Take advantage of RA programming. Many RA’s will be throwing programs giving you great tips on how to de-stress during finals week and things to do to get your mind off of finals for a minute.

Stay Hydrated
Your brain works best when it's hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and headaches, which will distract you from your work. Caffeine dehydrates you more, so for every coffee you have, have a glass or bottle of water; your body and mind will thank you.

Catch some ZZZ's
Everyone has different sleep habits, but it is never healthy to pull an all-nighter. If you do, make sure you have time to take a nap so you get the sleep your body needs. Sleep will improve the quality and retention of studying, even though you may have less study time. Less is more.

Relax you will do fine!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Decor & More!

Decorating can be extremely important during the holidays and can put pressure on an individual or family who is hosting dinner, festive activities or just having guests over for a visit. Some may need help thinking of ideas or just making their decorations pop. Here are some simple things one can do to have memorable and favorable decorations for the holidays.

  •        Adding fruit decorations to the greenery can add a pop of color and brighten up the decorations. This can make the room have more color over all and can even make a positive atmosphere. If fruit decorations are not available, ribbon works as well.
  •       Recycling old decorations is wonderful tools you can use to make something look nice as well as save money. You can use old ornaments to create a centerpiece for the table or countertops. Select a few colors to stick to and place the ornaments in a bowl, vase or even a cake stand. You can add leaves or pinecones as well.
  •       Wrapping greenery around the staircase and doorway can help bring a more forestry atmosphere to the room. You can even decorate the greenery with lights or ribbon.
  •       Adding bells to the door handles are a nice simple way to decorate as well. These can help make you guests feel welcomed when they enter the house or room because people are guaranteed to notice them.
  •       Having soft music playing is also a good way to help “decorate” the atmosphere because it can calm, excite, and just bring a positive feeling into the room music with lyrics can even spark conversation if someone has certain memories connected to a song.
  •       If a special toast is planned a simple bow tie with ribbon around the glasses can help bring decoration as well. This is also a good idea for parties as well.
  •       You can also make your guests feel special by creating goodie bags and placing them on a table or rack near the door. Or you could leave a jar of candy or treats for them to eat while visiting.
  •       Placing positive notes or favorite holiday quotes or phrases around the house or room is a good way to help your guests feel welcomed. You can even give them a note to take home with them. A simple thank you note or you favorite quote or phrase can have your guest leaving with smiles.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Great Date Ideas!

I think we can all agree that throwing in some unique date nights can be a great way to have a lot of fun and spice up any relationship. You know you have been dying to try out one of those cute date night ideas you’ve seen flooding the internet, so why not? After all, who doesn’t love a good date night! Here are some fun ideas that I love doing that are local and always a great time!

Trying to save a little money?
Staying at home and doing a date night in can be a great way to still have a lot of fun!

  • Movie Night: If you want to do a movie night, try building a tent together! Cover the whole bedroom/living room with blankets and make a romantic tent for two! This can be a great way to share some laughs and bond! Make smores, pop lots of popcorn, and have a whole movie marathon inside your tent!
  • Game Night: Time to break out the board games and go old school. Board games are interactive, challenging, and are even better with more people. Have a double date with some friends and challenge them in a board game battle! May the better couple win!
  • Dinner at Home: Cooking a homemade dinner is romantic and requires teamwork! Try tacking one of those Pinterest recipes and giving it your own unique spin! Don’t forget dessert and of course sitting down together and talking about your day. Throw in some lights (no candles in the residential halls, of course) or even pack up the food, drive to a special place, and have a picnic to make it even more romantic!

Wanting to stay close to KSU?

  •     Ice Skating and Roller Skating: KSU’s Ice Forum (located at 3061 George Busbee Parkway Kennesaw, Georgia 30144) has an ice rink that students and the community can use! Skating and skate rental costs under $15 and it can be a new experience for you and your significant other to try out! Ice not for you? Try regular roller-skating! Sparkles Skating rink (located at 1000 McCollum Pkwy NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144) has skating and skate rental for under $15 as well! Have fun watching each other fall and laugh while learning something new!
  •      Bowling: Right here in Kennesaw we have, Brunswick Bowling (located at 775 Cobb Pl Blvd NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144). There is laser tag, arcade games, and of course- bowling! Challenge your significant other to see who can bowl a better game and loser buys dinner!
  •     Art classes: Even though you may not be an artist, trying out an art class can be a fun experience that lets you walk away with a great memory and your own hand painted artwork! Try going to Sips n’ Strokes (located at 230 Hammond dr. Bldg 400 Sandy Springs, GA 30328) and get artsy with your significant other!!

Ready to Break Out the Bucks?
These restaurants can be a little pricey, but it’s a good excuse to put on your heels or your button down and hit the town!

  • The Vortex- Looking for an awesome burger, this is your place to go!
  • Café Sunflower-Vegetarian? Café Sunflower is an award-winning restaurant that can turn anyone into a veggie lover!
  • The Real Chow Baby- Described as “Asian Fusion” you can make your own stir fry bowls and it’s all you can eat!
  • Two Urban Licks- Awesome atmosphere and great food. Wood-fired meats and fish are to die for here!
  • Six Feet Under- Are you a lover of seafood? Then this is the place for you! My personal favorite here- the crab legs!
  • The Melting Pot- This fondue styled restaurant will not disappoint! Even if you just visit for the dessert where you dip assorted treats into rich chocolate, you will leave stuffed and satisfied!