Style on a Budget

We know it’s important for college students to live on a budget, so when our reader, Jenn, asked us where she could find websites to shop for stylish clothes that are not too expensive, we were inspired to share our bargain-hunting abilities with all of our readers! After all, who wants to brag about expensive labels when you can enjoy the fact that you saved tons of cash on all of your new outfits? Keep reading for our money-saving tips.

Tip #1: Be open-minded.
Just because a shop isn’t necessarily a fashion hot spot, doesn’t mean you should rule it out. I’ve found inexpensive hidden gems at stores like Walmart and Costco.  The key is to keep your eyes peeled for anything you might not have considered before!

Check out the Target Website for more designs by Jason Wu!

Tip #2: Collaborations can be amazing. I can’t help it, I’m obsessed with Jason Wu for Target! Why, you ask? It combines the delicate craftsmanship of his designer label with the more budget-friendly prices of Target. Tons of less expensive stores have been teaming up with big-name designers and the outcome has been a magical flurry of inexpensive fabulous-ness. Versace teamed up with H&M, Karl Lagerfeld went to work with Macy’s, and the list goes on and on.

MSNBC even discussed how two Italian designers were so inspired by the Franklin & Marshall sweat shirt they came across that they launched a high-end label featuring the school’s logo! However, you can save yourself a $100 by purchasing clothes featuring the logo from Barnes & Noble at a fraction of the cost. It’s all about doing your research.

Tip #3: Check discount websites.
Nowadays, there are tons of websites that offer designer clothing at discounted prices. Sites like Gilt and Shop It To Me offer designer brands at 40-70% off of what they normally cost. Other web pages, including 599 Fashion, sell clothing for well-below retail prices.

Tip #4: Think twice before buying.
The important thing to remember here is just because the clothes are less expensive than usual, doesn’t mean you should be buying every item you see. If you’re on the fence about making a purchase, wait a week or two and see if you still want it. If your enthusiasm has died down the next time around, refrain from buying the item. You’ll save time and money.

Forever21.com lets you stay within your budget...easily!

Tip #5: Sale Sale Sale! Whenever I get the urge to shop, I immediately check the SALE page on my favorite sites. Some stores, like Forever 21, DHstyles, and GoJane, regularly update their sale pages and offer excellent deals. Campus bookstores (like Barnes & Noble!) also offer sale items regularly, so don’t hesitate to check for promotions or items on clearance. If you really need a new sweatshirt, for instance, be sure to browse a few sale pages first – you’ll be surprised with what you can find.

Tip #6: Learn to make quick fixes. Have you ever ripped a hole in a pair of pants or shirt and felt like you had to go buy a new one? Now is the time to grab a needle and thread! Learning to make small repairs will extend the life of your clothes and will save you money you would have spent on replacements.

What’s better than watching both your closet and your wallet expand? Remember our tips next time you go shopping and don’t forget to share your own with us!

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Freaky Friday: Rowan University

Unexplained creaks & thumps, flickering lights and a bathroom door that opens on its own are all signs that point toward the work of the supernatural. Students at Rowan University have more than one ghostly figure to blame for any odd occurrences in Bunce Hall. If an article on the university’s website is accurate, they may have as many as six! Fear not, though – those who have had a run-in with one of the many spirits that inhabits the building say they mean no harm…for the most part.

Perhaps the most well-known of the ghosts, one spirit is believed to be that of Elizabeth Tohill, the university’s first drama teacher. Bunce Hall houses the Tohill Auditorium, named for the teacher who seemingly never left. Affectionately referred to as Liz by students, there are claims that she has dropped in on rehearsals and performances in the auditorium, even being daring enough to take part in a chorus line!

The paranormal investigation group South Jersey Ghost Research was brought into the building in 2007 to find out if ghosts indeed were to blame for the mysterious chills and noises often experienced in Bunce. Using infrared motion sensors, voice recorders and other equipment, they found ghostly activity all over the auditorium – I have chills just thinking about it!

I am definitely convinced that these ghosts are real, but am I alone? Do you know more about the ghosts at Rowan University? Share your stories with us in the comments below! Full posts →

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Five Things We Love This Week

It’s (finally) Friday and what better way to welcome the weekend than with a quick recap of all the things we couldn’t get enough of this week? From snacks to sports to social media, we’re covering all of our latest obsessions.

Sports Illustrated is going "Lin-sane" over the Taiwanese-American Knicks player, Jeremy Lin.

1. Linsanity: I’ll admit it, I’m intrigued by the hype. Whether you’re a die-hard Knicks fan or have never set foot on a basketball court, it’s hard to resist the inspiring story of Jeremy Lin. The Harvard grad was sleeping on his brother’s couch before he finally got his chance to show off his skills. If nothing else, you’ve got to love the handshake between him and teammate, Landry Fields (If you’ve missed it, check it out here).

2. Pinterest: The social media site that launched a thousand pinboards is growing in popularity each day…and for good reason! It allows you to organize all the internet things you come across onto your own virtual bulletin boards – perfect for an organization freak like me. Charlie Sheen would call that “#pinning.”

3. The College Freshman Meme: He’s baaaa-aaack! Remember the slightly goofy, over-eager looking kid that rose to minor internet stardom via the “College Freshman” meme? Well years later he has returned – as a senior! Mashable has all of the photos that started a whole new set of jokes.

AMC's apocalyptic show, "The Walking Dead" does NOT disappoint!

4. The Walking Dead: If you’re absolutely entranced by the story of Rick Grimes and the other characters on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” you know that another fantastic episode debuted this past Sunday.  After a break that was way too long for my liking, though probably rather brief in the TV world, the zombies really are back and better than ever. As someone who is not a usual fan of the “monster” genre (I’ve never seen a Twilight movie or a single episode of True Blood – don’t hate me), I must say this set of mythical terrors has changed my mind. Don’t miss it!

5. Hummus: As someone on the never-ending search for healthy snacks, I must say I can never eat enough hummus! Paired with raw veggies or whole wheat pita bread, this delicious spread is a good source of fiber and protein. It’s also perfect for vegetarians and vegans as well. Yum!

We hope you enjoyed reading what we can’t stop obsessing over this week. Have anything to add? Post a comment below!

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Five Years Later, J.K. Rowling Returns with a New Book

All good things must come to an end, and back in 2007, the end came for J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series. Now, nearly five years after we said goodbye to Harry, Ron, and Hermione, J.K. Rowling is back with a new book. This time, however, don’t expect a visit to Hogwarts! Rowling’s new book will supposedly target a more adult audience than its wizard-based counterparts. According to the New York Times Arts Beat, Little, Brown and Company – part of the Hachette Book Group, has acquired rights to publish the book. As of today, the title and publication date have not been named.

We started off loving Harry Potter as children and now have grown up just in time to enjoy J.K. Rowling’s latest literary endeavor. Do you think you’ll be picking up a copy of her new book or are you still holding onto your love of all things Hogwarts? Post a comment below!

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The IT List: Nautical

The Nautical trend has long been associated with goofy figures like the cartoon sailor, Popeye, and the awkward Gilligan, but we’re here to prove that this fashion statement can actually be more chic than cheesy.  Cherry red and navy blue are the perfect hues to make any outfit pop and with its clean, crisp stripes, this trend will have you turning heads on land and at sea. Whether you’re heading to class or to a party, you’ll be fashion-forward. Read on for our tips and ideas for how to pull off a Nautical look three different ways! The best part? Many of these items are available at select campus bookstores!

*Products vary by store.

Class

Though you want to be comfortable while attending class, it’s important not to come across as sloppy. Pairing a navy blue blazer with denim and a striped tank is an easy way to take a casual outfit and make it look more polished. Red and blue accessories, like the headband and scarf shown, add some finishing touches while sandals are the perfect shoe choice to keep you comfortable. Don’t forget your red backpack!

*Products vary by store.

Yoga

Just because you’re working out, doesn’t mean you can’t be fashion forward. Yoga pants and a red and white striped tank top are fitted but not confining and athletic sandals can be kicked off easily once you reach the gym. Keep stray hairs out of your face with a trendy headband and stash your collegiate water bottle and yoga mat in a red, white and blue striped tote bag. If you think it might be a little chilly on the walk to and from your workout, don’t forget to pick up a college hoodie from your campus bookstore!

*Products vary by store.

Party

Just admit it – parties are a lot more fun when you’re excited to show off your outfit! Offset fitted red skinny jeans with a flowy blue top and laid-back grey flip-flops. Adding some neutral (but trendy) accessories – like a beaded necklace and some bangles -  takes the outfit up a notch, without being too flashy. Throw on a fedora and grab a clutch and you’ll be good to go!

Whether you can’t get enough of all things ocean-related or have never even set foot on a boat, we know you’ll love this season’s Nautical trend! With our easy-to-follow guide, you’re all set to pull off this look. Have any other outfit ideas you can’t wait to share with us? Post a suggestion below!

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Freaky Friday: Nicholls State University

This video from Nicholls State University was created when the ghost-hunting group Louisiana Spirits Paranormal Investigations came to campus. With hopes of either proving the existence of ghosts on campus or dispelling the rumors once and for all, they set out with some “high-tech tools that even the Ghostbusters would be proud of.” Before you take a look at this video newscast, answer this question: are you one of the 34% of Americans this video claims believes in ghosts? Your answer just might change after you see this video!

Have you had an encounter with the Lady in White? What other ghost stories are there at Nicholls State? Share your stories with us in the comments below and you could see them featured here!

More Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday: University of Tennessee at Martin
Freaky Friday: University of Mississippi
Freaky Friday: Boston University
Freaky Friday: Saint Louis University
Freaky Friday: Temple University
Freaky Friday: Marymount University
Freaky Friday: Northeastern State University
Freaky Friday: University of South Dakota
Freaky Friday: Yale University
Freaky Friday: University of Colorado at Boulder
Freaky Friday: Ohio Dominican University
Freaky Friday: Brooklyn College
Freaky Friday: University of the Cumberlands
Freaky Friday: Saint Martin’s University
Freaky Friday: New Mexico State University
Freaky Friday: The College of New Jersey
Freaky Friday: Ball State University
Freaky Friday: University of Tampa
Freaky Friday: Emporia State University
Freaky Friday: University of South Carolina
Freaky Friday: College of the Canyons
Freaky Friday: West Virginia University
Freaky Friday: Park University
Freaky Friday: Texas Tech

Freaky Friday: William & Mary
Freaky Friday: Columbia University
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

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Dish It: Midnight Snacks

“Late-night” should not be considered “prime time” for preparing an all-out feast, but if it’s late and hunger strikes, why not treat yourself to a healthy midnight snack? Some fresh fruit or a handful of nuts are always a great option but consider drinking a glass of water first. According to the website, She Knows, our bodies often confuse hunger with thirst and, therefore, it might be beneficial to down some H2O before diving into a snack. After ten minutes, if you’re still hungry, feel free to whip up this easy personal-pizza recipe (courtesy of Glamour’s website)…

What You’ll Need:

English muffins - only 100 calories!

- one 100-calorie English muffin
- 3 oz of tomato sauce
- 1 oz of part-skim mozzarella cheese

What You’ll Do:

1) Cut the English muffin in half. I like to warm it up (just slightly!). If you don’t have a toaster, place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

2) Spread the sauce on top of the muffin. Sprinkle on the cheese and enjoy!

This low-calorie snack will fight off your hunger pains without the grease of a real pizza! Have any midnight snack suggestions of your own? Post a comment below!

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Download Worthy: Goodreads

Finding new books has never been easier!

Get ready to unleash your inner reader! Whether you’re a hardcore literature fan or just a casual reader, you are going to LOVE this app. Users can compare their books with others, make recommendations, form book clubs, and even keep a list of what they’ve read and would like to read in the future. Rather than displaying reviews from random users, Goodreads uses more of a “social-network” approach and displays insight from your friends. They also analyze your books (and ratings!) to help you discover more books based on what people with similar tastes approved. Beyond just reading, you can also feel free to post in discussion groups, reach out to authors, and even submit your own writing. The (literary) possibilities are endless! This app is available on both Apple and Android phones as well as the NOOK!

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V-Day Survival Guide

Ah, Valentine’s Day. As a kid, it was one of the best days of the year. Your classmates basically hand-deliver candy to a little bag you have hanging on the front of your desk. It’s like Halloween…but without all the walking and the uncomfortable costume. As you grow up, however, things change. The Valentines become more selective and a sense of bitterness rises up in people. Eventually, you learn that Valentine’s Day might actually be one of the most disliked days among adults (what?!).

Every kind of chocolate you can imagine!

I’ll be honest, I never really understood the hatred. Sure, maybe the holiday has become “commercialized.” If nothing else, however, it’s pretty much a guarantee that all sorts of candy is going to be ON SALE. I’ll admit it, I can’t get enough of those coconut-filled chocolates – I don’t care if they come from some love interest or just my mother as a nice gesture. Candy is candy.

But if it’s going to take more than just some chocolatey goodness to get you through the day, keep reading. We’re bringing you a few easy tips and suggestions that will keep you grinning all day long.

It’s All About Perspective – Before you brush this off as a cliché, hear me out. Being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean submerging yourself in the other person and being single doesn’t have to mean being lonely. Quite often, people focus too much on their “relationship status” (thanks, Facebook) and forget about what actually makes them happy. Does the person you’re with make you smile every day? Then take this “holiday” as an opportunity to show them how much you appreciate them. Does being single let you have time for your own hobbies and interests? That’s something to celebrate too! It’s all about how you look at it.

Do Something Fun – Doing something you enjoy is a surefire way to improve your day, no matter who you spend it with. Sitting around sulking or putting intense pressure on having the “perfect day” is only going to make you miserable. Round up your significant other and try concocting that dish you both love or grab your roommate and treat yourselves to much-needed manicures. Problem solved!

A homemade card means smiles all around!

Show Your Appreciation – Everyone loves getting cards: birthday cards, holiday cards – you name it. Make one for whoever you are spending your day with and decorate it with things they like. They’ll be smiling all day and, in turn, you will be too.

And most importantly…. Valentines’ Day should be about love…period. Most people associate the dreaded day with romantic love, but why shouldn’t it celebrate all different kinds? If you spend the day with family, friends, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, it won’t be time wasted. Some of the best Valentine’s Days I’ve had have been spent with close friends and I wouldn’t trade that for all of the roses and candies in the world (well maybe the Russell Stover kinds…I like those).

I think it’s safe to say that not a single other day of the year brings out equal parts loathing and romance. As someone who feels fairly ambivalent about the holiday, I think I’m qualified to say that it is more than possible to escape this lovey-dovey holiday unscathed – no matter what your relationship status. So whether you’re 1/2 of a nauseatingly cheesy couple or looking forward to wearing all black on the 14th, embrace the day armed with a smile….and maybe a bag of chocolate.

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Freaky Friday: University of Tennessee at Martin

There is a group at the University of Tennessee at Martin that certainly believes in the presence of the paranormal in their midst. They call themselves the Paranormal Research & Investigation Society of Martin, PRISM Paranormal for short, and with a Facebook page boasting over 4,000 fans, it is clear they have made a name for themselves on campus.

This past fall, the group hosted events around the campus of UTM including their 4th Annual UT Martin Haunted Adventure and several ghost hunts around Halloween. The description for one such ghost walk says there are stops at campus buildings including Clement Hall, Pacer Pond & the quad, however there is little information about the ghosts that reside in each on the fan page.

PRISM Paranormal’s influence extends far beyond UT Martin’s border, with their website housing case files from clients all over northwestern Tennessee and the surrounding area. Anyone who believes they have spirits dwelling in their home within their service area can request an investigation or cleansing. The site also provides clear signs to aid potential clients in identifying a true haunting.

Despite all of the research and investigations PRISM Paranormal has conducted, I can’t help but remain a skeptic. So I want to hear from anyone who has taken a tour or participated in one of PRISM Paranormal’s events! Did the group convince you of the existence of the paranormal? Or are you now further convinced that ghosts do not linger among us? Tell me what you know about the ghosts at UT Martin in the comments below!

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