A Handy Chart: The Shelf Life of Food

I sometimes wonder whether things are truly OK to eat after they’ve been left out on the counter or in the back of my freezer for 6 months. Here’s the deal on how long you can leave stuff out, when leftovers need to go, and what “expiration date” or “best by” really translate to. Seriously important stuff! No one wants to get sick right before Spring Break (yuck!). See the full (downloadable) list here.

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Five Travel Tips for Your Spring Break

The greatest and most hyped up week of the spring semester is soon approaching. That’s right, spring break is right around the corner! Everyone has his or her own stories of beach days and endless nights. However, safety should always be a top priority. Whether you are road tripping to Panama City Beach or cruising to the Bahamas, keep these 5 tips in mind!

1. On the road…

Buckle up! Take turns behind the wheel. We all have that one friend who yells, “SHOTGUN,” but it’s important to make sure that no one is distracting the driver. Make sure everyone has a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and obey the speed limit!

2. At the beach…
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of WATER. If you start feeling light-headed, get in the shade immediately. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and reapply often. No one wants to look like a lobster!

3. Going for a swim…

Make sure there is always a lifeguard on duty. If the tides look rough, wait until it’s safer. Try to stay within the designated swimming area and always bring someone to come with you.

4. Venturing out…

We all have that one friend who wanders off, so make a pact to look out for one another. If you are in an unknown area, stay in pairs. Go out with your friends, go home with your friends.

Get your passport...and don't procrastinate!

5. Leaving the country…

You need a passport! The passport process can take awhile, so plan about 6 months in advance before a trip abroad. Having gone abroad last summer, I had to obtain certain documents. There was a high-demand, therefore I received it JUST in time! Make sure to get all the paperwork that is necessary as well.  When flying, remember to check out the Transportation Security Administration for what you can and cannot bring on board.

College is the perfect time to get a feel for the world. Live in the moment and don’t look back saying, “What if I went with them?” or “We should have planned something.” Stay organized and safe and your trip will a blast.

So what will you do this spring break?

Written by Guest Blogger, Melissa G. of George Mason University

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Download Worthy: Pocket

We’ve all been there… the awkward moment when you say to your friend, “I saw the most hilarious thing online yesterday! Hold on, I’ll show you!” You search for what feel like forever for the video of Grumpy Cat doing the Harlem Shake, at which point it’s really not as funny anymore. Pocket, an iOS and Android app,  allows you to save online articles, videos, and more to any device to which you download the app. Not only is it available for iPhone, Android, and iPad, but also Safari and Chrome, making it easier to have your own media library anywhere you are. My favorite things about this app are it’s usefulness as a replacement to Chrome and Safari’s “bookmark this page” and the ability to tag saved items.

The app for Google Chrome and Safari has a Pocket button, similar to the Pinterest “Pin It” button, making it easy to save a webpage and in nano-seconds. It also prompts you to add tags to make it even easier to find the page in your Pocket Queue later. The smartphone app allows you to Pocket via the Mail Link to this Page option, from which you send the link to Pocket (the app prompts you to save this to your contacts when you install it), and the link goes right to your List. As the New York Times aptly called it, it is “DVR for the web.” Nifty, huh?

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Dish It: Cake in a Mug

Do you find yourself dreaming about homemade cakes? Are you drooling over the thought of your mother’s baking? #Collegeproblems! This sweet recipe for microwaveable cake mugs, submitted by Sydnesaurus to CollegeFed, is guaranteed to make all your cake mug dreams come true. Yes, I said cake mugs. Minimum effort + a microwave = #collegesolutions.

Image via CollegeFed

What You’ll Need:

  • Cake Mix – Any flavor your heart desires!
  • Other Ingredients – Check the box: Do you need eggs and canola oil?
  • Frosting
  • Sprinkles

What You’ll Do:

Pour the mix into mugs, filling it about 1/3. Try not to go over that or it may overflow!

Microwave each mug for about 3 minutes. Let it cool for 2 min. Then frost, add sprinkles, go nuts! Don’t forget to send Instagram pictures of your awesome cake mug creations to us when you’re done @bncollege #cakemug!

If you liked this recipe let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to bring you some more like this one!

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29 Ways To Stay Creative

Did you know that daydreaming can help spark creativity and enhance problem solving skills? Here’s 29 other ways to stay creative!

Image via Islam Abudaoud on Behance
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A little wisdom…

Need I say more? What have you done lately that’s great? Feel free to brag about it in the comments!

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Made in the USA: Mad Gab’s Wildly Natural Lip Gloss

We’re continuing our Made in the USA series with Mad Gab’s Wildly Natural Lip Gloss this week. The most interesting part about this installment is that the company’s back story is just as intriguing as its shimmery lip treatments. What began as a DIY experiment bloomed into an unbelievable mixture of talent and products. Mad Gab’s main focus now is creating and marketing all-natural products that are unique in appearance, effectiveness, and quality. We’re happy to carry their Wildly Natural Lip Glosses in select stores! Keep reading for more info.

Wildly Natural Lip Gloss uses both Shea butter and organic oils to moisturize without feeling sticky. Their natural color palette includes pink, plum, and bronze – the gloss will kick your smile up a notch without overwhelming your look.

So why do we love this “Made in the USA” product so much? It’s a cosmetic that both enhances natural beauty and encourages a healthy lifestyle.  All of Mad Gab’s products are made, packaged and promoted with minimal waste and each lip gloss comes in a clear-plastic recyclable tube. They’re pretty, both inside and out!

Want to try the glosses out for yourself? Stop by select Barnes & Noble College campus bookstores and pick up a tube!

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Phenomenal Summer Jobs and Where to Find Them

Not all summer jobs are created equal! Singing for tips at the local ice cream shop may be an easy way to put money in your pocket this summer, but if you want to delve into a new experience or just do something different, you may want to check out some of your more exotic options. It’s still early in the game, but many internship programs expect their applications to be completed by March. Get an early start by taking a study break to research some of these awesome opportunities:


Under the Sun or on the Beach
Love being the outdoors, up in the mountains, and playing in the sand? There are job boards out there, like Cool Works, which connect you with employers in amazing locations. The site offers jobs at U.S. National Parks, resorts, ranches and elsewhere.

Employers everywhere from Alaska to Maine are looking for seasonal staff. Many offer free or very inexpensive housing. In addition, many of these jobs offer perks:  free golf passes, fitness classes, and horseback riding lessons could be just another part of the package. Add in working with other students from all over the country, making new friends, and make some cash? Deal!

Poolside Positions
Many hotel and resort operations offer have programs where they hire teens and college students for their busy summer season and will pay for lodging, meals, and even travel expenses. These positions are not generally high-paying, but can be great customer service experience. Also you will have all the perks of a luxury resort in your free time!

Some of these resorts look to hire front desk representatives with some experience in customer service, so if you’ve held a retail or restaurant job part time you may be qualified. Some resorts have a preference for multilingual speakers, but many will hire English speakers who can pick up a few words in the host country’s language.  Season Workers is a good place to start your search or at least get some ideas. They’ve got great options to narrow down your search to find the perfect position!

College is the time to experiment, try new things, and get a feel for the world. It’s the time to realize what type of places you may want to work and live, what kind of real-world skills you possess, and what type of skills you… don’t. What are your plans for this summer and where will you end up?

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UNCW and Sammy Seahawk “Have a Heart”

Valentine’s Day – it usually means chocolate and flowers for your loved ones. But what about showing you care to the people who need it most? The University of North Carolina Wilmington campus’s Staff Assembly is hosting the “Have a Heart” Food Drive which aims to do exactly that. They are asking all those interested to fill a brown paper bag with non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Wilmington Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC.

Are you a UNCW Seahawk or do you live in the area? Check here to find the “Most Needed Items” list and find out how you can contribute! Bags should be dropped off at the UNCW Campus Bookstore by 4:30pm on February 14th.

Still need a little motivation? Sammy Seahawk is here with the inspiration you need:

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Monday Morning Motivation

Strive to do well in all things, but don’t get discouraged if certain subjects do not come easily to you. This week take some time to figure out what your strengths are and build on them!

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