Category Archives: Lifestyle

4 inexpensive ways to have fun in college with your roommate

Freshman students may seem uninteresting at first; they are shy, don’t know much about college life and play cautious when it comes to interacting with peers. Instead of adding to their anxiety, you could take the initiative yourself, be open, try to know your roomie, and maybe the awkward situation will turn into a beautiful friendship.

Party bus in Santa Barbara CaliforniaFirst thing when getting to know your roommate, inquire about his hobbies and favorite pastimes. Perhaps you’ll discover you have things in common and you’ll be able to have fun together. If you’re both socialites trying to meet new people, think about throwing a party yourselves or joining one off-campus. It’s no secret that these bashes are the best way to experience college life and meet people in relaxed environments.

Plan a photography expedition. No matter where you live, I’m sure there are plenty of charismatic places to admire and go to. Why not make it a memorable day and capture everything on camera. You’ll appreciate it even more over the years when you’ll have the pictures to remind you of those awesome college times.

Playing board games is not just for kids. They can be really entertaining if you’re in the mood for a quiet night in. So pull out that Monopoly from the closet and let the fun begin. Life, Pictionary or Settlers of Catan are also extremely engaging. And they’ve made quite a comeback recently. So you’re safe, still on the cool side.

Start a working-out routine. Besides strengthening bonds, this activity will keep you fit and healthy. You can either work out in your dorm room, there are easy exercises that don’t require a lot of space like push-ups or sit-ups, or you can head out to a local gym, park or swimming pool. Any kind of sport is good. You know what they say: a sound mind in a healthy body.

Or you could have a movie marathon. This is one of the most inexpensive and enjoyable ways to burn a lazy afternoon and evening with your buddies. Or even a whole weekend with the Lord of The Rings Trilogy accompanied by The Hobbit. It doesn’t cost a dime and you can keep the party going with some snacks and nice music.

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in College life, Lifestyle, Roommates


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Do you have what it takes to live with a roommate?

Living with a roommate is not as easy as one might think. While it’s a must-have experience in college as it’s got many perks attached to it – including weekend shindigs and sleepless nights -, sharing personal space with somebody else other than your partner (which at times might turn out difficult as well) might lose some of its appeal after graduation.

Living with a roommateI think every student dreams at some point of having the bathroom all to himself or listening to the same song on repeat without anyone shouting how irritating it is. On the other hand, living on your own requires much more responsibility on your part and not having somebody to talk to can be extremely demoralizing, especially if you’re a sociable, chatty person. So how does one choose right? Well, it actually depends on your personality and lifestyle; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Here are a few things to consider before deciding one way or the other.

The available budget dictates most of our housing decisions. To keep things comfortable, make sure you don’t spend more than 30 percent of your monthly income on rent. With the rental rates going up and the high demand for urban living, getting a roommate might be a good idea and perhaps your only chance of living in a nice home while keeping household expenses at a decent level. Shelling out a few extra bucks will buy you a lot of privacy though, your choice.

Are you an only child? Then you’ll probably need more time to adjust to living with someone outside your family. Sharing may not come as natural to you as to people who had to deal with siblings their entire lives. Many only children are accustomed to having things done their way, go to bed when they want to, listen to the kind of music that they fancy or simply enjoy the silence when they feel like it. If you want to happily co-exist with a roomie you need to pay attention to what others want and need as well. Being considerate, respectful and polite is sometimes all that it takes to build a harmonious relationship. Maybe even get a friend for life out of it.

As you get ready to move out of your parents’ home, keep in mind one other thing. Home cooked meals may sound all fun and games in theory, but take hours in reality and never taste quite as good as your mom’s. On the plus side though, you’ll be able to keep calories under control and always know how much fat you’re actually ingesting.

One of the golden rules of living with a roommate is keeping your end of the bargain. Do your part when it comes to cleaning and shopping, and make sure you have your share of the rent at hand at the end of the month. Plus, you should remember that among roommates there’s a much appreciated sequence of doing things: it’s cook, eat, wash not cook, eat, watch TV, go out, sleep and then wonder why there aren’t any more clean dishes in the cabinet.

Roommates that have similar life philosophies and share common interests have every chance to succeed in mastering the art of sharing space. That means they understand each other and can relate to each other’s needs. The entire experience gets a lot more pleasant if there’s someone to hang out with after work, help out with the daily chores, feed your pet or water the plants while you’re away.

What do you think? Is it better to go solo or get a roommate?

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Lifestyle, Relationships, Roommates


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Decorating for two – double the fun, double the challenge

There comes a time when even the most independent and carefree woman must settle down. And sometimes it’s no easy thing as you’re accustomed to having things done your way; even a piece of clothing thrown randomly on the living room couch may bug you terribly at first. But one of the secrets to a happy co-existence is learning to compromise. Even the most stubborn and proud personalities have to learn to compromise if they want a peaceful relationship. In return you get to experience so many beautiful things. No more lonely nights for starters; but you also gain a best friend waiting for you at home, eager to learn about your day or laugh at your jokes, or someone who’s just there in times of trouble. And on the more practical side, you get to share everything, including bills, expenses and household chores.

For some people, moving in with that special someone is just a natural step in the development of a relationship. Others may find it difficult to combine lifestyles and daily routines. Here are a few decorating tips that will help you create a nurturing environment for the both of you.

Adopt a neutral design scheme. Personally, I’m a big fan of white interiors as they induce a state of relaxation and innocence. But if you want to establish a serene atmosphere you can also use decor pieces, rugs, furniture, picture frames or bedding in shades of gray, creamy beige and brown. Or use a neutral color palette as your base and toss in a textured pillow in a fun print or a vivacious houseplant for a plus of energy.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate a few masculine touches. A rougher approach to a design scheme can actually do tons of good to a place. It adds personality, strength and a more down-to-earth feel to a home.

I for one just love what exposed brick can do to a room. It’s a bold move but the effects can be spectacular. It’s a look that many think fit for a bachelor’s pad but it can perfectly complement a contemporary, minimalist design scheme fit for two.

Keep it comfortable and cool. Luckily for us, most men don’t have strong opinions about home décor so it’s pretty much up to us to beautify the space. You must know by now what he likes to do when he’s at home or what his passions are. If he likes reading let him have a reading nook, get a comfy armchair and a lamp, put them somewhere near a window and his corner is all set. If he’s a gamer, make a little room for his PlayStation. He’ll be glad to know that you’ve been thinking about his needs, too.

Remember, it’s his home, too. I know we’re ladies and we need our makeup, cosmetics, skincare and other beauty products, it’s what keeps us looking fresh and glowing all the time, am I right? But instead of having them lying all over the place, keep them looking neat somewhere in the closet or in the bathroom.

Romantic, whimsical style is a definite no – no. No pink or orange walls, get rid of the flowery, mushy linens and oversentimental decorations. Instead, focus more on creating a pleasant, more functional environment that could transform the apartment into a real home for you both.

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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Design ideas, Relationships, Urban living


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You’re officially a grown up…now what?

Now that school is finally over and you’re one step closer to entering the real world, it’s time to start thinking where you want to go next. You’ve probably enjoyed the fantastic mix of culture, science and fun that college has offered and you’re feeling a bit sad that you have to leave all that behind. Don’t worry though, things might get even better if you play your cards right. You’ll get to practice everything you’ve learned in school and build up your career. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be getting nice paychecks and be able to provide for yourself, rather than counting on your parents. Isn’t that a nice feeling for a change?!

First things first: you need to start looking for a nice place to live; if you don’t want to burden yourself with huge housing expenses right from the start, think of getting a roommate. It will also give you time to complete the transition. In addition, you won’t feel lonely, you’ll have someone to look after the house when you’re not around and you’ll be able to split household chores. Just be sure you know the risks; besides the fun and socializing, shared living comes with responsibilities, respect for other people’s property and personal space and sometimes even conflicts. But it’s going to be a thrilling adventure nonetheless that will teach you much about life itself.

The next step is finding employment. You’ll need to be very thorough, have a strong résumé and a lot of recommendations to back you up as good jobs are hard to find.

Good news though! The U.S. economy starts to look better in terms of job growth, industry and business development. Unemployment rates were lower in May 2013 than a year earlier in 253 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 86 areas, and unchanged in 33 areas, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

San Jose ($69,670), Washington ($63,750) and San Francisco-Oakland ($62,680) top the nation as highest paying markets.

Image courtesy of tt83x via deviantART

Click here to see the average annual pay levels for all employees within the nation’s 104 major markets or here to check out the 100 top-paying jobs in the nation as a whole.

According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020; total employment is projected to grow by 14.3 percent over the decade, resulting in 20.5 million new jobs. In occupations in which a master’s degree is typically needed for entry, employment is expected to grow by 21.7 percent, faster than the growth rate for any other education category.

So the future doesn’t look bad at all for the new class of 2013, right?

Photo credits: Talha Tariq Photography & Artwork

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Posted by on July 4, 2013 in College life, Lifestyle, Roommates


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Light and easy dinner recipes for summer

What’s for dinner tonight? This is a question that many busy professionals like us have grown to be tired of. Especially after a hard day’s work when you can’t wait to get home to have a moment of peace and relaxation. Somehow, spending another two to three hours in the kitchen cooking does not fit the schedule. Well, I’ve been having the same problem and I think I might have found a solution: quick and easy veggie dishes enhanced with scrumptious dips.

Indeed you have to be bold to try out new recipes on a daily basis, yet it’s all worth it. You get to show off your creative skills to the entire family, eat healthily and enjoy invigorating, home-cooked meals every night. Here are a few of my favorite recipes, perfect for complementing these gorgeous summer days.

Just like diamonds, salads are a girl’s best friend. Whenever I feel like playing with flavors, I go for an enhanced version of the Caprese Salad. I actually combine two recipes to make this dish and it’s my idea of a perfect dinner, both healthy and refreshing. You just need some shredded grilled chicken breast or Parma ham for a plus of aroma, 2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes, and 8 bocconcini or mozzarella cheese. Add basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and toss lightly to combine. And there you have it, your fancy super cool dinner for a hot summer evening.

Put a rainbow on your plate. There’s an age-old Eastern belief that health and longevity depend on a balance of the five elemental energies; and that one should have at least five colors on each plate every day: red, orange/yellow, green, white and blue/purple. You can easily achieve this by combining foods from each category – vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and grains.

This Red, White and Blue Potato Salad for instance is consistent, very easy to prepare and can make a perfect addition to a nice family dinner. Go hunt for some fresh potatoes at your local farmers’ market; make sure you have Greek yogurt and mayo at hand, some cheese and some refreshing scallions as well. Add the juicy bacon and your treat is all set. Either served as a main dish or accompanying your favorite grilled foods, this flavor explosion will make your taste buds go crazy every time you have a bite.

Another exquisite option for a beat-the-heat dinner is Pasta Salad. Pasta salads make cooking very easy as you’ve got the major attraction already in the plate; now you just have to add spices and aromas to push that delightful taste to sublime. Salmon or tender turkey bites are a perfect complement to pasta salads.

And remember…there’s nothing better than a fresh lemonade or icy cold mojito to go with a lovely dinner on a steamy day.

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Food, Health


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Life lessons from hot celebs

While celebrities are not meant to be role models – we all know their job is to entertain – sometimes there’s a lot to learn from them, from overcoming great odds to investing time and effort in charitable actions. Just think of Giuliana and Bill Rancic and their inspiring life story. Fighting cancer and trying to build up a family in the same time is no easy thing. Yet they did it! After years of failed fertility treatments, they welcomed baby Edward Duke in August 2012 and now they are ready to welcome another bundle of joy to the family!

Another great couple which I think is worth all the hype is Bradgelina. One of the sexiest women alive, Angelina Jolie is much more than a Hollywood star. She’s a dedicated wife and caring mother who decided to put herself and her family above all else. She recently went through a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, a move many called “brave” and “inspiring”.

“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made.” writes Angelina in The New York Times. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

Meanwhile, Brad Pitt is playing his own part in the fight for humanity. His contribution to providing affordable housing to victims of Hurricane Katrina as part of the Make it Right project is just as laudable.

Make it Right began as an effort to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, an area terribly hit by the massive storm in 2005. Of the 150 homes planned for the blighted neighborhood, a number of 86 homes are already in place and have all earned LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification offered by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Taking the initiative one step further, the foundation helped build an apartment building for disabled veterans in Newark, NJ, broke ground on an ambitious community development in a blighted Kansas City, MO neighborhood and partnered with Native American tribes to build homes on the Fort Peck Reservation.

Vampire Diaries star, Ian Somerhalder, has his mind set on protecting the animals and making the world, or at least part of Louisiana where he plans to build an Animal Sanctuary, a better place. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation is focused on providing a safe haven for all the outcast animals that have been neglected, mistreated and ultimately misunderstood. In addition to the animal shelter, plans include construction of a youth education center that would be home to summits on issues such as wildlife and land conservation and clean energy. Way to go, Ian!

What celebrity do you admire and look up to most?

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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Celeb, Lifestyle, Relationships, Trending


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Funniest passive aggressive roommate notes

They say the best things in life are free. Well, I agree and may add that the best laughs in college life are free.

As exciting as it may seem at first, sharing space with someone other than family may pose a few difficulties along the way. For starters there’s always someone in the kitchen, drinking your milk, occupying the couch, talking on the phone with their BFFs a.s.o. There’s no way to go around that and it should be perfectly fine as long as you respect each other’s personal space. Respect is a key word in any relationship. And taking things lightly may help a lot too.

The best way to keep a roommate relationship on a sane level is to set some ground rules…and stick to them. When you feel like making a point to your roommie, do it with a dose of humor, it’s always easier to digest. Here are some of my favorite roommate notes, light and funny yet consistent enough to get the message through.

Can happen at the office too:

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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in College life, Relationships, Roommates


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Parents going rogue on Facebook

What other purpose is there to Facebook than showing off our moments of glory, socializing and commenting on friends’ photos?! Well, it seems that there’s much more to it than meets the eye. These creative parents took the social media concept to a whole new level, using it as a way to discipline their thirteen year old daughter. The ingenious duo took silly photos of themselves which they uploaded onto the social media platform, turning the girl’s updates into into a „wall” of shame.

The story got the attention of the media when a Reddit user, apparently the girl’s brother, posted one of the photos with the caption: „My parents took away my sisters phone for the week. They’ve uploaded about 10 of these to her facebook. Doing it right!”

Parents on FB

This alternative form of punishment may have caused a few laughs among her peers, yet it got mixed reactions from the general public and gave way to lots of discussions on the parenting theme.

While some commenters saw it as a fair reprimand and a funny joke, appreciating the couple’s sense of humor, others felt that this kind of virtual discipline can mark a kid forever, doing more harm than good.

What do you think? Did they do it right? Or is that too much of a punishment for a bratty kid?

Here’s another example of original Facebook parenting, effective or counterproductive, you decide:

And here’s how teens react to the video:

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad my parents did not have access to Facebook when I was a teen.


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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Lifestyle, Relationships, Trending


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Officially amazing: 5 curious records

There are many extraordinary things in the world but some are simply astounding. Here are our top 5 awesome records that put the fun in “fun-tastic”.

Tallest dog living. His name is George, Giant George and he’s a Great Dane owned by David Nasser of Tucson, Arizona, USA. George was measured 1.092 m (43 in) tall on 15 February 2010 and he’s absolutely gorgeous, don’t you think?

“Gangnam Style became the most “liked” video in YouTube history in 2012 with 4,911,081 votes. “We’re pleased to present his official certificate to such a global phenomenon,” said Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday, who presented the certificate at the radio studio. “Gangnam Style is an infectious, joyous song that has brought a smile to the faces of a tenth of the world’s population, and the result is that it’s the most liked video of any kind in the history of YouTube!”

The fastest toilet record is held by “Bog Standard”, a bathroom set consisting of bathtub, sink, and laundry bin, which can travel to a speed of 68 kmh (42.25 mph). The curious motorcycle ensemble was presented on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, in Milan, Italy, on 10 March 2011.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The tallest man living is Sultan Kösen (Turkey, b.10 December 1982) who measured 8 ft 3 in on 08 February 2011. He also holds the records for widest hand span and largest feet on a living person. Though life up there is not always fun, he learnt to enjoy it and keep an optimistic outlook on his existence. One of the advantages of being that tall, he says, is being able to help his mum out with jobs such as changing a broken light bulb and hanging curtains.

Are you ready to see the largest egg from a bird living? Well, you should know it weighed 2.589 kg or 5 lb 11.36 oz and was laid by an ostrich (Struthio camelus) at a farm owned by Kerstin and Gunnar Sahlin in Borlänge, Sweden, on 17 May 2008. Now that would make one big omelette!

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Celeb, Travel & living, Trending


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You don’t need a New Year to make a change, all you need is a Monday

Whether you want to improve something about your lifestyle, your job or your wellbeing, the opportunities are endless, you just need to make a plan and stick to it. You don’t need a New Year to make a change, all you need is a Monday.

Along with other challenging resolutions like quitting smoking and eating healthier foods, losing weight is highly popular amidst people of all ages. The truth is we all strive to look and feel better so each January, gyms are packed with people eager to take action on this resolution. However, according to Time Magazine, 60% of gym memberships go unused and attendance is usually back to normal by mid-February. They say we are lazy but I think it’s much more than that, exercising is hard to fit in a busy schedule, with long office hours and exhausting household chores taking up most of our free time. What if there was a simpler way to stay fit? And have fun in the same time.

In a video that has now gone viral, famed TV reporter, Ben Aaron, came up with an awesome idea which is adaptable to many lifestyles: dance your way to school, work, the grocery store or wherever life might take you next. Because everybody can dance, right?

Furthermore, our cities are stocked with healthy alternatives for shedding the pounds, you just have to find your happy place, discover a workout that works best for you, whether it’s relaxing yoga classes, energetic Zumba or replenishing Pilates. Zumba is my personal favorite, a calorie-burning dance-fitness party that will have you movin’, rockin’ and shakin’ the weight off in no time, on stimulating music rhythms:

If you were to choose a particular song to work out to, what would it be? I’ve chosen Flo Rida’s Wild Ones for this morning’s dance session:

Oh and dance like no one’s watching!

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Health, Lifestyle


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