Taking the Challenge: Fake Glasses

I took the challenge– and I lost.  To me, the whole fake glasses look is a bit hipster, while I would say I’m more of the preppy type.  But, when collegefashion.net (awesome blog, by the way) proposed trying out the look, I figured, why not? 

The overwhelming response is a “negative.” This pair certainly had too big of a frame for my face.  Maybe I just need a different pair to try? Have you worn faux glasses with success?  Send tips my way, please!

Full posts →

Freaky Friday: Columbia University

With a nickname like ‘The City that Never Sleeps’, one would expect stories of ghostly spirits to be abundant in New York City. So, I started reasearching scary tales and hauntings of Columbia University, expecting to scare myself silly.  But, surprisingly enough, I couldn’t find any true hauntings.  What I did find was an interesting history of the university’s location as identified by blogger Michael Susi.

In the 1820s, Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane took up residence on what is now Columbia’s teaching grounds. In its early days, the facility housed New York City’s mentally-ill residents; an estimated 300 people were housed here at the height of operation. In 1839, Blackwell’s Island asylum was opened, replacing Bloomingdale as home to the allegedly insane.

From then on, the Bloomingdale facility was used for patients that were believed to be curable, who were also typically wealthier than the previous inhabitants. At the time, the asylum was in a rural area, providing a peaceful atmosphere for the patients. It is also counted among the first of this type of facility to employ humane treatment methods.

In 1892, Columbia purchased the land and construction of the campus began. Visitors to Columbia today can stop by the Macy Villa building, near the Low Library, which is the only remaining structure from the days of Bloomingdale.

So, obviously this was not a ghost story.  Do you know of a hair-raising tale at Columbia that I could not find? Share your story with us in the comments below!

More Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday: University of Rochester
Freaky Friday: East Tennessee State
Freaky Friday: Washington State University
Freaky Friday: USF Tampa
Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park

Full posts →

Dish It: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

With summer officially in session, this week’s Dish It is dedicated to our grill-masters out there.  Enjoy this healthy take on a hamburger, courtesy of AllRecipes.com, and share your BBQ recipes below!

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 slices provolone cheese (optional)

What To Do

Whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano and garlic, then pour over the mushroom caps. Let them marinate for about 15 minutes.

Brush your grill grate with oil and place the mushrooms on the grill.  Keep some of the marinade on the side for basting.  

Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, brushing with marinade frequently. Add cheese the last 2 minutes of grilling if you would like!

More Recipes

Dish It: National Fresh Veggie Day
Dish It: Nutella Pretzel Ice Cream Bites
Dish It: Taco Dogs

Full posts →

Creative Ways to KIT

Technology has made it incredibly easy to remain close to your college buddies during the summer months. Facebook and Twitter updates let you know exactly what your friends are up to on any given day and if you haven’t heard from them in a while, sending a text or an email to say hi is quick and effective. This may all start to feel a bit routine after a while, and slightly impersonal, so we have come up with a few creative ways to keep in touch (KIT) during the summer.  

Postcards

Everyone loves getting snail mail, even more so when it doesn’t involve a bill. Send love from your travels or your hometown this summer with a postcard from a local tourist spot or of a funny picture or quote.  Postcards are usually inexpensive and you typically don’t need a regular stamp (but check with your post office before sending!), making this perfect for a college student’s budget. You may find even more creative pieces to send – I found a message in a bottle postcard at my beach town!

Sharing is Caring

Do you have an item that a friend just absolutely loves? Take a picture of yourself wearing whatever it is (a tee, earrings, sweatshirt, etc) during your next fun summer activity. Then send both the picture and the item to your friend and ask them to send you something in return. The challenge will be to see how many times you can each wear the items while doing something fun and then send them back to each other. This doesn’t have to be limited to only 2 people, feel free to add more friends to the mix! By the end of the summer, you’ll have a great collection of photos from your group’s summer.

 

E-Cards are a simple but fun way to show someone you care.

 

E-Cards

Did you know that July 21st is Monkey Day? Or that Friendship Day is August 7th? Now you do! Browse free e-card sites, such as 123greetings.com, and find a card to send a friend you know would appreciate one of these random holidays. You can also search for occasions more relevant to your friends’ lives. 

Scavenger Hunt

Using Facebook or another social media tool, create a group exclusively for your friends to post messages or pictures and share exciting plans for the summer. Then add in some fun and make it a scavenger hunt! Share a list of items with your friends and challenge each member in the group to be the first to take and add pictures of all the stuff to the group’s page. You can add in your friends from home to make teams or play solo.  As an added incentive, the winner gets dinner made for them when everyone gets back to school. 

How do you and your crew keep in touch when you’re apart? Share your ideas with us below!

Full posts →

Want This: Recycled School Supplies

Going green is totally en vogue these days and what better way to embrace the movement than with recycled school supplies? From pens and notebooks to laptop accessories, your Barnes & Noble College bookstore has everything you need for a green start this fall.

Ranging in price from $1.98 to $5.98, these notebooks are sure to fit your style – and budget – this fall.

 

Recycled Notebooks & Portfolios 

Whatever your needs are for class, you can find a notebook or portfolio to feel good about. The New Leaf Reflections collection includes 2-pocket portfolios made of 80% recycled paper and 100 sheet composition notebooks, which contain 100% recycled paper and 95% post-consumer waste. The earth tone color palette makes the notebooks a perfect complement for the crisp fall days to come.

 
 
 

The B2P Gel Roller is one "write" way to go green.

 

From Water Bottle to Pen

“Bottle-2-Pen” or B2P pens take the concept of going green to a whole new level – they are actually made from old plastic bottles! The pens are composed of 89.9% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and are the first pens made from such material. These gel rollers retail for just $2.98 and can be found at select campus bookstores.

 
 
 

Protect your laptop as you trek around campus with a neoprene laptop sleeve, starting at $24.98.

 

Laptop Sleeves 

Not only do recycled bottles make great pens – they make laptop sleeves, too! The fabric on the inside of these Neoprene Laptop Sleeves is composed of 100% recycled plastic bottles and the outside is waterproof so you never have to worry about spills during a study session. Better yet, ‘neogreene’ is water-based and has zero harmful toxins or chemicals.  Plus, 25% less petroleum and energy is used to make them, so pick one up today!  

Do you know of other green school supplies? Share with us below, we’d love to hear about them!

More Ways To Go Green

Small Steps to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Saving the Environment, One Sip at a Time

Full posts →

The IT List: Beach Chic

I love the beach, but sometimes in my rush to soak up some rays, I forget to pack the essentials. For my reference (as much as yours), here is a list of all the must-haves for this season’s beach adventures.

Full posts →

Full posts →

Freaky Friday: University of Rochester

This week’s tale is so unbelievably spooky, it requires little to no introduction. Be forewarned, this story may raise the hair on the back of your neck.  Without further ado, we bring you The Legend of Pete Nicosia.

Plans for a new school library were underway in the early 1920s, and it was during its construction that the legend began. Pete Nicosia was working on building the library under foreman James Conroy, when Nicosia met an untimely death, falling 150 feet from the top of the tower to the ground.

Following Nicosia’s death, students reported encountering a man dressed in overalls and a ratty sweater outside a building near the library, who was seeking James Conroy. The man claimed Conroy owed him money for work he did that he was never compensated for before his death. The students suggested he try his request at the service building on campus.

Some of the same students later saw him in the library tower he had been helping to build. When they casually informed him the tower stood at 150 feet, the man replied, “And it didn’t hurt a bit.”

I officially have goosebumps, yet the tale does not end here.

For several weeks, the mysterious man was spotted in and near the library. One day, a fellow worker of Nicosia’s was in the library and upon seeing the man, ran screaming from the building, proclaiming that he had seen a ghost. The worker swore that the man he saw could only have been Nicosia, unless Nicosia had a twin.

University of Rochester’s campus newspaper continues to publish stories of Nicosia’s ghost on occasion, perpetuating his existence on campus. Have you had an encounter with Pete Nicosia or another ghost at Rochester? Share you story with us in the comments!

More Freaky Tales

Freaky Friday: East Tennessee State
Freaky Friday: Washington State University
Freaky Friday: USF Tampa
Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park

Full posts →

Dish It: National Fresh Veggie Day

Today is Fresh Veggie Day and we can’t get enough seasonal vegetables these days. Here is a recipe for a California Grilled Veggie Sandwich, an easy recipe that is sure to please all BBQ-goers this summer. The best thing about it – besides how delicious it sounds – you can adjust it to your favorite summer vegetables!  The portions below serve four, so don’t keep this tasty bite to yourself.

What You’ll Need:

Seasonings: ¼ cup seasoned Mayonnaise, 1/8 cup olive oil, crumbled Feta cheese

Recommended Veggies: 1 Red Bell Pepper, 1 small Zucchini, 1 small Yellow Squash – all sliced to grill

2 Focaccia bread pieces, open faced

What To Do:

Coat vegetables with olive oil and spread out on grill, keeping the pepper and zucchini towards the middle; cook on each side for about 3 minutes then remove. Spread the mayo on the bread and sprinkle each with feta cheese. Grill mayo & cheese side up for about 2-3 minutes with the lid closed, just enough to warm the bread. Remove from the grill and add your vegetables. Enjoy! 

AllRecipes.com has plenty of summer recipes for you to enjoy. Try a few out and tell us which one is your favorite!

More Recipes

Dish It: Nutella Pretzel Ice Cream Bites

Dish It: Taco Dogs

Full posts →

Summer Reads

Summer is in session, which means you can now pick up a book for just plain fun! No tests. No essays. Read for pure enjoyment this summer while laying out by the pool, sitting on the beach or lounging in the park. Here are some recommendations to get your summer reading started.

Full posts →

Full posts →

Your Choice: Heads or Tails?

Decisions, decisions.  They can be tough.  Should you take the dreaded 8am class?  Should you head to the Thursday night party or stay in and study?  Which textbooks should you buy: New, Used, Rental or Digital?  What to do? 

In times of great indecision it’s no wonder many of us turn to coins to make the choice for us (who said change is useless?).  With a simple coin toss, your unanswered questions and conflicts are solved.

If you’ve used a coin to choose your fate, you’re not alone.  Many big decisions in history were made with a quick flip.  Here are three historic decisions made with a coin toss.

If you'r not sure which to choose, let Honest Abe be your guide.

After one of his buses broke down, Buddy Holly chartered a plane out of Fargo, North Dakota to fly out his band, according to classicbands.com.  The plane was one seat short, leaving one of Holly’s band members and Richie Valens to flip a coin for the remaining seat.  Freezing during the current snow storm and tired, both desperatley wanted a spot on the flight.  Valens won the toss.  The plane tragically crashed during the storm just one mile from the airport.  And that was “the day the music died.” 

Back in the day, Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy shared the deed on a 640 acre parcel of land in Oregon, but couldn’t agree on a name, notes PDX History.  Lovejoy wanted to name it after his hometown of Boston, Massachussettes, while Pettygrove preferred to name it after Portland, Maine.  With the flip of a coin, the decision was made– Pettygrove won and we now have Portland, Oregon.

In 1903, the Wright brothers took their plane to the skies in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  Since the plane only sat one person, they flipped a coin to see who would be first in flight, according to First Flight Foundation.  Wilbur won and took off– but he was only airborne for about three seconds.  The next day, Orville successfully flew the aircraft for 12 seconds, leaving him with credit for the first successful flight.

Have you made decisions with the help of a coin toss?  Share your story with us in the comments below!

Full posts →