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Eccentric Gifts Perfect for College Students

Finding college students the perfect gift is one of the most time-consuming and stressful activities that almost everyone has experienced at some point. A great way to avoid giving a boring gift is to go for something eccentric, unique and extraordinary.

The unexpected and unconventional gift will be loved and cherished far more than an uninteresting one. Here is a list of eccentric gifts tailored mainly towards college students, but can be presented to anyone who appreciates uniqueness:

1. Unicorn-themed gifts

The unicorn is a mythological creature which resembles a horse and has a horn on its forehead. Called unicornis in Latin, one of the first descriptions of this magical creature is found in Greek literature. It is described as a single-horned animal with a white body, purple head, blue eyes, and a long horn on its forehead. A unicorn is thought to ward off evil and protect people from all types of poisons. In certain parts of the Bible, it is mentioned as the creature re’em.

In modern times, the creature is associated with magic and unicorn-themed gifts are perfect for anyone with a good sense of humor. These gifts range from gin made from “unicorn tears” to unicorn snot glitter gel and even canned “unicorn meat”. Regardless of the occasion, you can’t go wrong with a unicorn-themed present.

2. Visiting Vantablack

In 2014, Surrey Nanosystems created the darkest matter known to man and named it Vantablack. Vanta is the acronym for “Vertically Aligned Nanotube Arrays,” which refers to its structure made up of millions of small carbon nanotubes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the world’s darkest man-made substance and absorbs up to 99.9 percent of radiation in the visible spectrum. It will be used for improved visibility in outer space in satellites and telescopes. Artist Sir Anish Kapoor announced in late 2016 that he had acquired exclusive rights to use this material, which led to the creation of this fascinating piece of art.

Currently, schools, universities and museums can order the substance for educational purposes and the sample will be sent in a sealed, crinkled-foil display-unit. The substance is said to be so black that the human eye is unable to see its exact shape and form. Although you can’t buy clothes or merchandise made from the material, you can visit the museum that houses it (UK). The visit will make for an eye-opening gift, especially for a science geek. It is said that staring at Vantablack is like staring at a black hole in outer space!

3. Body pillow

This is a large pillow, also known as ‘Dakimakura’ in Japanese, which translates to “hug pillow.” Popular among Japanese youth, these polyester-filled pillows have been around for centuries. Before the 90s, they came in simple prints with no images on them. However, with the rapid rise of anime and manga fans during the 90s, production of body pillows with illustrations of various anime characters on the front and back became common. An anime body pillow will be a unique gift for anyone, regardless of whether or not they are fans of anime, manga, or comic books.

4. Out of this world

Outer-space fans will love these perfect eccentric gifts. You can buy a galaxy umbrella, which comes with a high-resolution photo of the galaxy printed on it, so you are always under the stars. Another option is an infinity-mood cube; a mood light that creates amazing outer-space optical illusions. Jet black in color and cubical in shape, it is a rotating LED that will mesmerize anyone. Heat-sensitive mugs are another perfect gift idea. When you pour hot liquid into these innocuous-looking mugs, they light up in a range of patterns, showing the various constellations, a galaxy, the world map, or more.

You can also find a range of outlandish outer-space themed food products including donuts, cakes, wallpapers and even lollipops. A word of caution —avoid buying a gift where you pay to name a star after a loved one because this is essentially pointless. It will only be named in the company’s books where you buy this service from.

5. Carnivorous plant

Bored of seeing the same harmless house-plant in every home? Then gift the carnivorous Venus Fly Trap plant instead. Called Dionaea Muscipula in Latin, it feeds itself by luring and capturing prey, such as flies, inside traps that are lined with tiny hairs.

6. Caffeinated soap

Calling all coffee-addicts! If you want to give a coffee-lover the perfect eccentric gift, look no further. Even after gulping down a mug or two of their morning cuppa, they can continue to get their caffeine-fix from this caffeinated soap as they shower!

7. Souvenir from Hobbiton

If you know a huge Lord of the Rings fan, then get them a pair of shire slippers. These fluffy slippers are designed to look like hobbit feet—notoriously large and hairy. They’re funny, quirky and make for a great gift for a college student who is a Tolkien fan.

8. Nothing

Do you know someone who has everything? Then this is the perfect gift for them, the gift of nothing! Ingenious and strange, itis sure to be appreciated. Perhaps a last-resort option, choose this if you are unable to find anything at all.

The next time you go looking for the perfect eccentric gift for college students or loved ones, take a look at these weirdly wonderful options. There is no need to rely on tired options like socks, because now you can take your pick from dark matter, outer space and even unicorns! These gifts show that you put a lot of thought into them and will stand out from the rest, making you the king or queen of gift-giving!

Need some more ideas?: Eight Best Gifts for College Students

 

Author
Nicola Reynor is a passionate blogger who loves to blog about fashion, beauty, travel, health, fitness, wedding and lifestyle trends. When in leisure time, she prefers to spend time in traveling with friends and family.

10 Ways Being a Couch Potato is Detrimental to Your Health

Are you a couch potato? Here’s some bad news for you.

Studies have shown that besides the intrinsic lack of physical energy and mindless eating coining the phrase “couch potato”, this extra lazy behavior could actually encourage obesity. Sitting for long hours and watching your favorite TV shows has negative effects on your body from organ damage to problems with your back. Here are 10 ways being a couch potato is detrimental to your health.

ORGAN DAMAGE

1. Heart disease
Your muscles burn less fat when you sit idle for a long time. Blood flows more sluggishly, ultimately allowing the fatty acids to clog your heart.
Moreover, sitting for long periods of time can cause high blood pressure and higher cholesterol. People spending their time inactively are more likely to have cardiovascular diseases than their active counterparts.

2. Colon cancer
Extra sitting time increases chances of getting colon, endometrial and breast cancer, studies have revealed. The reason is that sitting for prolonged periods of time builds up excess sugar and insulin levels which can be detrimental to health.

3. Over-productive pancreas
The pancreas produces insulin, the hormone that carries glucose to cells for energy. But cells in idle muscles don’t respond as readily to insulin as in active muscles. As a result, the pancreas produces an excess of insulin which increases the chances of diabetes and other harmful diseases.

BRAIN DAMAGE

4. Vague brain
When you are in a state of motion, your body is able to drive fresh oxygen and blood through the brain which triggers the release of endorphins, including dopamine and serotonin—the pleasure and happiness receptors.
But idle muscles slow all bodily functions which can damage the brain. With a lack of endorphin produce, there’s a chance that sitting for a long period of time may increase levels of anxiety.

5. Regular pain in shoulders and back
Slumping forward overextends the back and shoulder muscles, especially the trapezius, which connects the shoulder and neck.

6. Stressed neck
If you are sitting for a long time, craning your neck forward strains the cervical vertebrae and this leads to everlasting imbalance.

You might also enjoy: Easy Steps to Get in Shape in the New Year

 

MUSCLE DAMAGE

7. Limp glutes
Sitting idly will slow the proper functioning of your glutes. Soft glutes will negatively affect your stability and maintenance of a powerful stride.

8. Mushy abs and tight hips
When you slump on a chair, tight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posture-wrecking alliance that affects your spine’s natural arch posture and you could suffer from swayback condition—pain in the lower back.
Couch potatoes rarely extend the hip flexor muscles which cause them to become tight and short which ultimately limits your range of motion.

LEG DISORDERS

9. Poor blood circulation to legs
One of the primary symptoms of leg disorders is poor blood circulation that occurs because of fluid retention from idle sitting. Problems range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).

BACK PROBLEMS

10. Disk damage & inflexible spine
Being a couch potato means there is a greater risk of developing a lumbar herniated disc. The muscle psoas, is a muscle that travels through the abdominal cavity and, if tightened, pulls the upper lumbar spine forward. This can be harmful as a result because the weight of the upper body is totally on the sitting bones with half of your weight supported along the arch of your spine. Spines that do not move become inflexible and susceptible to damage in mundane activities.

So the detrimental effects of being a couch potato are clear. From organ damage to disk damage & inflexible spine, these above-mentioned evidences are enough for couch potatoes to get up and lead a healthy and active life.

Further reading: Four Basic Yoga Poses

 

Author Bio
Katey Marsh is a health consultant at Essay Writing Service firm and a nutritionist in hospital. Many celebrities are leading a healthy and fit life by following her diet plan. If you also want to stay fit, then you can contact her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

How to Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget

It can be very exciting to leave home and go to college. Though it might seem like a tightly packed space with not much room between two people, your first dorm will become host to plenty of great memories. In order for your dorm to feel as much like home as possible, you’ll need to decorate it properly. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t be! There are plenty of ways to decorate and furnish your dorm without breaking the bank.

1. Make a List (and check it twice!)

Think about everything you’ll need when you move into your dorm and write it down. It shouldn’t be too hard; just think of everything essential that could reasonably fit into a modestly-sized room. Most colleges offer beds, desks and dressers in their dorms, so that takes care of some major items.

2. Talk to your roommate

If you know your roommate but haven’t met them formally yet, reach out on social media to discuss plans for your shared dorm. This doesn’t need to be too in-depth; just consult with them about what they plan on bringing. This can help you save a good deal of money; for instance, you might be thinking about buying a brand-new TV for the room, but you could find out that your new roommate already has one they’re bringing.

3. Scavenge

No, we don’t mean you should root through garbage cans or at the dump for furniture or other dorm room essentials. However, it never hurts to ask around. Check out your house or the homes of relatives and see if there’s anything taking up space that you could take off their hands to decorate your dorm on a budget. Additionally, you should also visit thrift shops in your area for possible hidden treasures.

4. Determine what tech gadgets you buy

Are you someone who lives off of ramen noodles and other microwave meals? If so, you should invest in a microwave. Or if you need a caffeine fix in the morning, a simple coffee maker too. While both these items range in price depending on the model, your best bet is to get one that is cheap but reliable.

There is a good chance you’ll be writing a lot of papers in college, so a printer is a great investment. Check out the list of the top 10 most economical printers for students to find a printer that’s right for you. You should also keep your eye out for discounts on gadgets such as tablets and laptops.

5. Buy multipurpose furniture

If you can’t decide between buying a coffee table or a bookshelf when you come to decorate your dorm, compromise. Maybe you can store your books on the coffee table without much intrusion and find that everything works out better that way. You’ll end up saving money as well as space.

You’ll also enjoy: College Life Hack: Earn Extra Money on the Side

 

6. Talk to experienced dorm decorators

If you have a sibling or older friend in college (or know anyone who recently graduated), talk them about your plans for decorating your dorm and see what they think. They should be able to offer some good advice based on experience. It is very likely that they made some mistakes in decorating they want to help you avoid.

We hope this has been helpful for you as you prepare your journey into dorm life. There’s no absolutely right or wrong way to decorate, which means you can do it however you want (provided your roommate is okay with it!). It might seem strange, exciting and scary all at once. But if you can find some great decorations and furnishings, you’ll be thinking “”dorm, sweet dorm”” before too long.

Do you have any ideas on how to decorate your dorm on a budget? Let College News know!

Get ready for summer: Summer Décor for Your Dorm

 

College Life Hack: Earn Extra Money on the Side

I’m Erin Feldman, and I am a college drop-out.

I’m not ashamed of telling people what I am—I’d like to motivate college students on the verge of dropping out because their student loans are taking a toll on them to earn extra money.

Dramatics aside, I know how it feels to hit rock-bottom. A $100,000 student loan was taking its toll on me. I was the type who liked to tackle things one at a time. However, loans wait for nobody, and before I knew it, I had to pay for 100,000 dollars worth of education.

This may not be setting a good example, but I dropped out to keep myself sane. I couldn’t continue with such a large amount of debt. When I was starting out in college, I was very optimistic—I was hell-bent on following my passion; that’s the whole point of college anyway, right? I had to rely on student loans to make it in college. When my passion changed in the middle of the first term, I resolved to still follow my passion, because I knew I could just pay this off once I got to my dream destination. Even if my lunch had become breakfast-lunch-dinner and was composed of grilled cheese (or sometimes, just “grilled” toast), I had to follow my heart.

I’m not discouraging anyone; I’m not saying you shouldn’t follow your dreams. But, a well-thought plan could help you avoid the situation I found myself in. I didn’t think through things, I didn’t consider that my parents were at a frail age. I was young, wild and free. I played hard, I didn’t work hard. I was living a life just like in any teen movie.

Before you scroll down and check how to earn extra money and rid yourself of that loan, I want you to heed my lifehack advice.

PLAN

Planning can get boring, planning ruins the spontaneous fun. But I realized that in this world, a slight change in course can lead to a different set of events.
Stick to that plan, or change the plan. Make sure you’ve weighed out the pros and the cons. Are you studying for a degree because your potential salary is better than that of your passion? If you stick with your passion, will it be enough to get you through?
Always think of the future. If you cannot make ends meet, at least meet halfway. In today’s “adulting”” challenge, learning how to compromise is a must. That’s why, if you want to earn extra money and pay off your debts, you need to learn how to juggle your time for work, play, and study. Note that these tips aren’t exactly your easy way out, but as young adults, we need to learn more about responsibilities, too. Here are some tips on how to make it out of college, alive:

HOW TO EARN EXTRA MONEY ONLINE

There are lots of ways that you can make money online. Instead of watching videos, or wasting time on social networking sites all day long, why not spend your online time for something useful? This can potentially save you from dropping out of college so consider one or more of the following:

1. Selling on eBay, Amazon
Especially if you have collectibles, or just extra stuff that you don’t use anymore, selling items on online market places such as eBay or Amazon, can help you. You can sell your old books, clothes, shoes, or toys for some extra money. I did this during my pre-departure days from college. I met a few friends during my night-outs, and they helped me supply my online store. Eventually, I got out of eBay and decided it was time for me to build my own brand.

2. Filling out surveys
There are some sites that will pay you to fill out online surveys. Register for the following online survey sites and they will contact you in case your profile meets the requirement for their survey:

• Cross Media Panel
• Digital Reflection Panel
• Harris Poll
• MyPoints
• Opinion Outpost
• Pinecone
• Pinecone 18-24
• Points Club
• ProOpinion
• Reward TV
• Survey Junkie
• Survey Spot
• Swagbucks Surveys

3. Freelancing
Online freelancing offers a lot of opportunities. There are also lots of online freelance work out there for those looking to earn extra money. UpWork is one of the most popular sites for online freelancers. However, take note that some of the tasks here require dedication. Working full-time whilst studying isn’t exactly the best route, especially if you’re studying on a more theoretical degree that requires you to read and research.

4. Selling Stock Photos
If you like taking pictures, you might want to consider selling them online. Some sites like iStockPhoto will purchase a photo they like. Make use of your photography skills to earn some extra money!

5. Selling clothes online
For our fashionistas out there, follow your inner juju and start selling clothes online. There are numerous ways to do this, but one of the easiest and probably the cheapest way to showcase your items is through social media; Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Oftentimes, people look here first before rushing to their favorite online store. What can you do to increase chances of selling your garments? Here’s what I did when I started out: Put up a style guide! Dress for the occasion! It’s already winter in most places; hold a quick photoshoot of trendy outfits this winter, and mention your items for sale. That’s how you create demand; you fuel their need with their desire to look cool in your effort to earn extra money.

6. Blogging
Although not an easy way to make a lot money, blogging can still help you out. Once you have garnered a decent amount of followers, you can earn by advertising, by becoming an affiliate marketer, or by selling your own products.

7. User testing
There are sites like UserTesting.com that will pay for you to rate and give feedback on websites. All you have to do is to rate the usability of a site and provide feedback to earn extra money.

8. Becoming a virtual assistant
There is also an opportunity in becoming a virtual assistant for someone. You can help someone run a site or social media account in your free time.

9. Doing gigs on Fiverr or Mechanical Turk
Fiverr is a microsite where you can sell a lot of random projects. Amazon also has a microsite called the Mechanical Turk where you can be paid for doing tasks that usually take seconds to do. There are different gigs that you can do to earn some money.

10. Selling on Etsy.com
You can sell crafts and earn extra money on Etsy.com. So if you are a on the creative side, you can make money selling cards, invitations, or other unique crafts.

11. Publishing an e-book
If you have a knack for writing, then writing an e-book may be the right side hustle for you! You can then sell it to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Make use of your talent to help you get through college!

Read: First Day at a New Job

 

OFFLINE WAYS TO MAKE MONEY

If you don’t see the right side hustle for you on our list above, then you might be better off with our list of offline ways to make money.

1. Tutoring
You could earn some money by tutoring younger students and helping them with their studies. This is a good way to stay sharp while you earn money. Aside from being an academic tutor, you can also teach skills. I found peace in yoga, that’s why in my spare time, I am teaching anyone interested to learn how to find their “inner peace”. If you know how to play the ukulele, use a sewing machine, or play jazz music with the piano, then it’s one of the opportunities you can capitalize on.

2. Catering
There are lots of catering companies that need a lot of help, especially during the weekends. You won’t need to work full-time so you can still have time for your studies.

3. Baby-sitting
A lot of families are in need of baby-sitting services. If you are good with kids, baby-sitting can help you get decent amount of extra cash.

4. Cleaning services
You can offer cleaning services to neighbors, especially those busy families with not much time to do tedious housework.

5. Selling recyclables
You can also make some extra money by selling recyclables. Ask your friends and relatives to store recyclables for you. Or better yet, do this in combination with cleaning services.

6. Walking dogs
Some families are so busy that they don’t have time to even walk their dogs. Offer dog walking services to earn extra money.

7. Pet-sitting
If your pet-loving neighbors or friends don’t have active dogs but still want someone to look after them when they’re gone, you can offer pet-sitting services for them

8. House-sitting
The easy-peasy job of just staying in a neighbor’s or a friend’s house while they’re away is als a great way to earn money. Although this won’t be a regular gig, it could still earn you some decent amount of money, especially during the holidays.

9. Modelling
For those lucky enough to have dashing good looks, modelling can be the right way to earn money for you to help get you through college! You can go for shoots during the weekend and have enough time for studying during the week.

10. Gardening Services
Do you know about the couple of entrepreneurs that started a business by moving  lawns? Who knows, you may also have the same fate if you start now.

I am a college dropout and I want to save those who are about to be like me. I hope that you can find a way to earn extra money to get you through college. I wish all the best for your studies. Hustle ‘til you graduate!

You’ve made it—now what? Read: What to Do After Graduation

12 Christmas Dinners Around the World

Merry Christmas to all of our CN readers!

The big day has arrived and no doubt you’ll all be salivating, waiting for your Christmas dinner to be served. While the smell of roasted turkey and ham fills the home, we thought we’d make you even hungrier with this list of traditional Christmas dinners around the world. Happy Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

1. Norway

The Norwegians treasure tradition and this is especially true at Christmas. This country celebrates in style on Christmas Eve with roasted pork ribs or belly with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes accompaniments. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, just FYI—would you eat this classic Norwegian dish?

2. Poland

The Polish tend to feast on their most important meal of the year on Christmas Eve. This meal is served with fish, with no red meat in sight. The dinner is traditionally known as “Wagilia”.

3. England

Much like Americans, the British love a big roast dinner and are not shy with the trimmings. Turkey is most popular but other meats on the table include gammon and “pigs in blankets”—little sausages wrapped in bacon, in case you didn’t know!

4. Mexico

It might be difficult to imagine Christmas being celebrated in anything other than a snowy environment, but Christmas is a huge deal in Mexico with a huge Christian population. The Mexican Christmas dinner is varied and includes Tamales, Bacalao (salted fish) and Pozole—a hominy soup made with chicken or pork., with the celebration beginning on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve).

5. Italy

Definitely a Christmas dinner for meat lovers, Italian Natale (Christmas) dinner comprises of a huge spread of different meats including braised beef, roasted veal and roasted chicken. The meal starts with an antipasto spread including cured meats and fine cheeses—decadent indeed!

6. Russia

This eastern European country celebrates their Christmas feast grandly by often presenting a stuffed pig’s head as the table’s centerpiece. The meal also includes goose, hare, venison and fish—be sure to wear your loosest jeans for this one.

7. Germany

Christmas, or Weihnachten as they say in Germany, is celebrated with succulent roast goose and roasted carp often served with potatoes, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. Not the bratwurst dish you were expecting, huh?

8. France

The French are widely known for their exquisite tastes and Christmas is no exception. If you’re lucky enough to join a French family over the holidays, expect to see the table laden with dishes such as foie gras, chapon and Bûche de Noël for pudding; a Christmas cake shaped like a log. No, we hadn’t heard of these foods until just now, either!

9. Romania

Christmas dinner in Romania may be one of the most unique meals you might encounter on the big day. The family gather together and feast on roast gammon and pork chops which is also served with a sour soup made up of fermented bran and pork meatballs—delicious?

10. Australia

While we’re mostly used to warming up by the fire on a snowy Christmas day, needless to say, the weather is, shall we say, slightly better down under. Australians will feed on cold food on Christmas day, or, as one might expect, they will celebrate with a barbeque eating fresh seafood’s such as shrimp.

11. Egypt

With Christianity arriving in Egypt around 1AD and making up to 20 percent of the Egyptian population, Christmas is a a big celebration. After a Christmas church service, families eat a special meal called “fatta”, a traditional meat and rice dish. Children are given small amounts of money by family members so that they can buy sweets and toys.

12. Brazil

Another country on our list that serves its main meal on Christmas Eve, is Brazil. The table will be laid with platters of ham and turkey; and in some parts of the country, expect to see fish, too. Instead of the all too familiar roasted potatoes, the meal is usually accompanied with kale, nuts, rice and fruit!

Would you try any of these traditional Christmas dinners from around the world? Let College News know!

You might also enjoy: 11 Ways to Celebrate Christmas

First Day at a New Job

3 tips to spend your first day at a new job like a star employee!

The first day at a new job can be nerve-wracking. However, we have made a quick checklist for you that will help you ace your first day as a newbie. Here they are:

1.  Research

Make sure before you have set foot into your first day at a new job, you have done plenty of research into the company and industry so you don’t put your foot in your mouth. Scan through articles, read up on whatever you can find on the internet and learn about what is happening in the market.

2. Get Organized for the first day at a new job

Whatever you may need for your first day at your new job, make sure you’re organized the night before so you can get ready for work the next morning smoothly.  You wouldn’t want to be late for your job, so iron your shirt, make your lunch—are your shoes ready? Just to be on the safe side, set two alarm clocks—you’ll sleep better knowing everything is prepared.

Thinking about your career? Read: What to do After Graduation

3. Beware of Business Etiquette

There are a number of things that you will have to do in order to look like a cultured and professional resource on your first day at a new job. It’s called business etiquette, and there is no harm in brushing up on a few things such as below:

i) Dress Code
You will be meeting your team or co-workers for the first time. Is there a dress code that is followed at the new job? You don’t want to seem too informal and yet at the same time informal. Try and find an in-between and if you are not sure it’s okay to call or email HR to ask them about the dress code so you don’t violate any rules.

ii) Punctuality
You know that old adage “If you’re five minutes early you’re on time, if you’re on time—you’re late”? Don’t be late on your first day at a new job, it leaves a really bad impression.  If you are using public transport, take extra measures to ensure that you are not late and plan to leave your home early. It is okay to be at work 10 minutes earlier than your colleagues on your first day at a new job. At least you’re not giving the impression that you’re lazy.

iii) Demeanor
How you carry yourself is a very big deal. You will probably feel very nervous on your first day. Relax!  Everyone at this job also had a “first day” just like you. Give a relaxed and confident impression but be careful not to appear arrogant. You wouldn’t have made it this far if you weren’t good at what you do.

iv) Behavior
Neither your boss or your supervisor will have enough time to introduce you to all of your co-workers, so it is absolutely okay for you to go up and introduce yourself to people. This will help build trust, networking and help you learn how the team operates. This way, you will also be giving off positive energy to the people around you. It is okay to drum up a one-liner and have a little small talk. They may also want to know a thing or two about you: where did you come from? What was your last job? What will you be doing here? What was your major in college? Don’t be a drone and give them long answers. Keep engaged with short chit-chat to the people you now work with in order to gel with them.

Usually first days are very intimidating, don’t overthink it and don’t worry so much. Remember, you obviously brought something to the table when you came for the interview and you can get through this now as well. Have a great time in your first day at a new job!

Read our tips on: How to Write a Cover Letter

Author Bio
Anna Marsh is a Senior HR Executive at an Online Education And Training Company. She is also a blog writer and shares her professional insights on workplace issues and gives assignment help at assignmenthelpdeal.co.uk to students who want for assistance. She also likes taking online courses to update her skills in HR management. Follow her on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

11 Ways to Celebrate Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, CN gave to me, 11 ways to celebrate Christmas!

Family time is sacred for the student who has just spent months away at college, so finding ways to celebrate Christmas is of prime importance. During the semester, we are reminded of how much we miss the creature comforts we grow so attached to at home and sometimes, we get homesick. Come home this holiday season with some fun ways to celebrate Christmas, optimizing the little time you have with your family before it all begins again.

1. Choose a different main course

If anything will shake up the tradition of Christmas day, it’s changing the main course. American’s everywhere will be feasting on the Turkey roast with all the trimmings, but why not switch it up and have a fish main, instead?

2. Bake the dessert

One of the greatest gifts of all, is food—and this rings especially true at Christmas time. Celebrate Christmas this year by baking the family Christmas pudding and impress your family with those cooking skills you’ve acquired since you’ve been away!

You’ll enjoy: Two alternatives to Christmas Pudding

 

3. Handmade gifts

Nothing says sentiment more than a handmade gift. A great way to celebrate Christmas this year is to set aside some time to craft a keepsake for a friend or for your family. Perhaps you enjoy knitting or want to give it a go? A ball of wool and knitting needles are inexpensive, but result in fantastic blankets or tea cosies—a great way to kick off the Christmas celebration.

4. Host a surprise Christmas party

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with a great party? Invite all of your family and close friends over to your family’s home and lay out a fabulous spread. Click play on the stereo and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

5. Write letters

With tech and social media so prevalent in our modern lives, we forget that writing a small note can be such a welcome gift. Along with usual gifts, write a handwritten letter telling that person that you are thankful for all that they have done this year—I promise it will put a smile on their faces!

6. Invite that exchange student over to your family for Christmas day

Have you ever been an exchange student? No? International students often find themselves unable to afford to go home and will have to spend Christmas on their own in their dorm. Give them a way to celebrate Christmas this year and invite the exchange student from your class over for Christmas dinner.

7. Wear Christmas sweaters for the day

If there’s a time to be goofy, then it’s definitely at Christmas! Get your whole family involved and buy each other fun Christmas sweaters to wear on the big day. What a great family Holiday snap that will be!

8. All Pitch in with Christmas dinner

Mom is usually the one slaving over a hot stove when Christmas day comes. This ultimately means that she doesn’t get to sit in on the Christmas movies or the festive games that you usually have lined up. Give her the gift of breathing, and take it in turns to watch the cooking, baste the turkey or boil the vegetables. When it comes to washing up after the big feast, teamwork means it’ll all get done super-fast so that you can all enjoy the rest of the day as a family.

9. Buy a disposable camera for vintage shots

Let’s not forget that in the not-so-distant past, we used film to capture those special moments in our lives. In an effort to steer away from our iPhones and social media, another way to celebrate Christmas is to buy a cheap disposable camera from the local Walmart and snap your family throughout the day for printed keepsakes.

10. Have yourself a merry movie marathon

We must all admit that we enjoy spending time on our own sometimes, and while Christmas might not be the ideal time to do it, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Christmas all the same. If you’re spending the holidays on your own this year, movie marathons provide hours of endless entertainment, reason for snacking AND passes the time. Best of all, this is an activity for multiple people even without being in the same room! If you’re missing family, use skype to talk to your family while the same movie is playing in the background.

Need some movie inspiration? Read: Nine Best Christmas Movies

 

11. Self-reflect

Wake up early and meet the sunrise, take photos and feel gratitude. Write about your experience of a solitary Christmas at the end of the day, eat your favorite foods and take a long bubble bath right before bed to wind down for one of the most appealing ways to celebrate Christmas.

6 Makeup Trends for Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas, CN gave to me, 6 makeup trends for Christmas!

It’s that merry time of year again, with festive food, sparkly outfits and the party season is finally upon us, so we’ve compiled six makeup trends to get you ready for any party. Whether it’s a family get-together or college hangout; these looks will do the trick.

Channel old-school glamour

A classic favorite, the best time to rock a dark lip is this season, as seen on many celebrities such Shay Mitchell and Lily Collins. If you want to channel old-school glamour, add a dark berry lip with nude eyes and lashes of mascara. To make sure you have the perfect red lip for the whole night, start with outlining and filling your lips with a lip pencil and then use a lip brush to apply the color of your lipstick for a precise finish. To avoid edges that fade, add concealer around the sides of your lips and blend it out. Pair this makeup trend for Christmas with a dramatic winged eyeliner and a subtle touch of blush.

Smokey eyes, nude lips

If you want your eyes to be the highlight, go for the smoky eye—a classic makeup trend for the holiday period. Instead of the usual black shadow, shimmer in gold shades instead. A nude palette such as the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is a perfect compact for a quick smoky eye look. Start with a light brown shade for the base color for your eyes then add a darker gold-brown color in the crease. Apply a dark brown or black to brush on the outer edge and blend into the other colors on your lid for a smoky effect. Since this is all about the eyes, apply coats of mascara or opt for fake lashes and finish with some eyeliner in the waterline around your eyes. Pair this look with a nude lip for an extra dramatic look!

Spider Lashes

Something that we have spent years trying not to do, is achieve clumpy spider lashes. However, as seen on a few F/W 2016 shows, this makeup trend is now in style with its clunky eyelashes. To achieve spider lashes, focus most of the product on the tips of your lashes rather than just root to tip. This look has been seen paired with glossy nude lips and natural eyes, which is great for a unique Christmas lunch look. For the evening, add a dark lip but keep the lids natural, as the eyelashes should be the stars of the night.

Dazzle in Rose

Don’t leave your bronzer behind with the fall and summer months as this makeup trend is all about looking like a contoured golden goddess. If you want a classic understated festive look, focus your efforts on contouring and highlighting using gold-infused products. Use a mixture of matte and shimmery products to avoid looking like a golden disco-ball! On top of prepped skin and foundation, use a gold-based highlighter, such as Urban Decay’s Afterglow highlighter, to apply across your cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, down the length of your nose and on your chin. Then apply bronzer gradually across the sides of your face and pair this with a matte rose-nude lip and rose-gold cream eye shadow such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes To Mesmerize Mona Lisa.

Holiday vibes—coloured eyeliner, eyeshadow

A unique way to bring in the holiday season is to sport the seasonal colors on your eyes. Now, I’m not saying use red eye shadow or red eyeliner—you might wan to avoid looking like you have an eye infection! Opt for greens and golds, instead. For something a little more adventurous, line your bottom lash line with green eyeliner and apply a gold shimmer onto your top lid. Add a black winged liner on the top lid and highlight to your brow bone and inner eyes. Blend the gold used on the top lid gently with the green eyeliner to create a festive look. Pair this with a bright red lip and you are Christmas-ready.

Metallic Lips

Metallics and chrome are big colors this season as seen in holographic makeup, clothes and accessories and make our list of makeup trends for Christmas. Although metallic lips have been a big trend this summer, they’re in to finish off the year with them too. Metallic lipsticks, such as Kylie’s Metallic Lipsticks and ColorPop’s Ultra Metallic Lips, make it easy to add that trend your holiday style. But if you don’t have metallic lipstick in your makeup bag, you can just as easily apply a red lip and gently dab gold eye shadow ontop. Concentrate on the center of your lips patting the excess highlighter all over to give your lips a copper-red metallic color.

What are your favorite makeup trends for Christmas? Let us know!

Dressing up this party season? Read: Holiday Fancy Dress

Holiday Fancy Dress

On the first day of Christmas, CN gave to me, holiday fancy dress!

We are so excited to kick-start our 12 days of Christmas with College News series this year and we’re doing so by offering up our holiday fancy dress ideas for that big party you’ve got coming up—let’s get started!

Christmas party

Do-it-yourself with your holiday fancy dress costume and make a homemade tree-inspired dress for festive party attire. Or, recycle the big boxes you used to move in to your dorm to create a Christmas present costume where you’re the surprise. If you don’t have a box, then just wrap yourself up with festive wrapping paper, secure a bow and you’re good to go.

Take inspiration from Disney’s hit movie, “Frozen”, and dress as Olaf for holiday fancy dress. For the snowman character, wear black jeans, boots and a white t-shirt attaching three big black cut-out circles—made from paper or felt—down the middle as buttons. Then accessorize with a small top hat and scarf. Or to sympathise with the literal nightmare of college work due in before Christmas, why not go to your holiday fancy dress party as the Grinch?

Keep people guessing as to which character you are at the party and think up clever costume ideas based on puns. Try “Holy Cow” and turn up in a cow animal costume with a halo accessory for your head. You could also keep it simple with the “Party Animals” pun. Attend the event in your usual outfit but pair it with cat ears and whiskers or any other animal you desire!

Buying for your classmate? Read: Eight Best Gifts for College Students

 

New Years

Those following “The Vampire Diaries” (TVD) will be quite upset to see it come to an end after season eight. To pay homage to the ups and downs of Elena’s life—or any character on the show—use “The Vampire Diaries’” costume style as inspiration for upcoming masquerade-themed holiday fancy dress parties. Besides festive masquerade masks, guys should wear fitted suits and the ladies a little black dress.
New Year’s Eve celebrations this year will see a rise in 1920s themed parties (yay!). Choose from gorgeous flapper dresses and feathered headbands for the ladies and classy fedoras with an added waistcoat under a suit for the guys—cute and fun!

Valentine’s Day

If you need a quick last minute costume for Valentine’s 2017, then don’t fret. Take inspiration from “Pretty Little Liars” and recreate the romantic mysteriousness of The Girl in the Red Coat. Wear a red coat over your party outfit for a stylish yet warm way to enter the party. If goofy Valentine’s day costumes are more your thing, dress as Cupid for your holiday fancy dress and go pair up some couples in 2017!

You might also enjoy: Back to School Fashion

Elevate Your Style With Helix Cuffs

When it comes to fashion, the biggest articles don’t always speak the loudest; in fact, the subtle pieces that you tastefully add to your ensemble can more frequently attract second glances. Today, men and women all over the world are adopting accessories, or fashion finishings, to express their uniqueness and taste, and elevate otherwise dull appearances into interesting, unique statements. Consider the guy who adds bright orange shoe laces to otherwise boring brown dress shoes, or complements a plain button-down with a colorful polka-dot bow tie. These pieces aren’t merely articles of clothing—they are expressions of individuality, and conversation starters. Add “handmade” to the equation to stand out even more. One brand that perfectly combines all the above, is Helix Cuffs.

Each cuff bracelet is handmade in Boulder, Colorado using a hammer and anvil, by designer Davis Hatcher. These one-of-a-kind pieces are rugged yet elegant, and incredibly versatile—they go well with a casual jeans and t-shirt, and also dress up well with a suit and tie. You won’t find anything like these pieces on the market. Use code COLLEGE at checkout for 25% off your order.

Check out what customers are saying on helixcuffs.com:

“I was amazed at how many people noticed my cuff, commented on it and wanted to know where I got it. The quality is everything I expected. I like that it is handmade and made in America.”
—Michael T, Texas

“I received this cuff as a gift, and I get compliments from it all the time. It’s so unique, truly an amazing piece of artwork.”
—Brent K, entrepreneur, Florida

“It’s such a cool accessory that looks great dressed up or hanging out in jeans. I even wear mine with my uniform. It’s stylish, well made, and a great conversation starter.”
—Mark C, American Airlines pilot, Pennsylvania

“I recently bought one for my son as it was one of the items on his wish list for his 20th birthday. It is truly a one of a kind piece, my son has received many compliments and it looks super cool on his wrist when he plays his guitar. Not only is the craftsmanship of the cuffs outstanding and unique but the customer service is A+++!”
—Becky H, Florida