Valentine’s Day gift guide: 8 ways to make your Valentine’s Day special

 Scene & Heard, The Well  Comments Off on Valentine’s Day gift guide: 8 ways to make your Valentine’s Day special
Jan 262013
 

Author: Hannah Woolums

Many couples have a hard time giving that perfect gift to their significant other. As Valentine’s Day draws near couples everywhere are looking for that memorable gift. But, let’s face it, as college students, money isn’t the most abundant luxury at this point, and it can be a struggle to give something meaningful if you don’t have the money to spend. Here are eight fun and unique ways to celebrate your Valentine’s Day and give a gift that your partner will never forget.

1)      Homemade craft- Not every gift has to be expensive, a lot of what people love most is what comes from the heart. Take some time out and get crafty, showing your significant other just how much they mean to you.

2)      14 things you love- One of the best things someone can hear is why you love them or why they are special to you. This Valentine’s Day give your significant other the things about them that you love most. Since Valentine’s Day is on Feb. 14 give them 14 reasons why they mean so much to you. Have fun; you don’t have to make it all serious. This is a perfect way to give them a meaningful gift without breaking the bank.

3)      Cook dinner- Everyone has heard the saying, ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, so this Valentine’s Day create a romantic dinner for just the two of you. Light some candles and cook his favorite meal, or for guys looking to impress their girl, change it up and plan a romantic evening for her.

4)      Framed picture- Although it may seem like a small gesture, frame one of your favorite pictures of you and your significant other together. This is something that will be treasured for a long time and shows that you are committed to your relationship. If you can’t pick just one, make a collage to commemorate all of the fun times you have had as a couple.

5)      14 little presents- If you can’t decide what to get your partner, think about the little things day to day that make them happy. Hide them in places where they can find them throughout the day, and make it simple. It can be their favorite candy, movie, or even a note reminding them of how much you love them.

6)      Trip to the Spa- Guys, if you are looking for that special something for your girl, then get her a day at the spa. With the start of the semester, stress is almost unavoidable, so make sure she has a way to unwind and relax. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, even a manicure or pedicure would be perfect for a relaxing day.

7)      Romantic home date- There is nothing more special than spending time with the one you love, but when you go out that time can get interrupted. For this holiday, plan a night at home. You can make it different themes, like a movie theater night. Get them specialized popcorn holders and all of their favorite toppings.  Dim the lights and enjoy your favorite films in the comfort of your own home.

8)      Get out of town-  Plan a time for both of you where you can go out and do your own thing. Give your partner the gift of spending time with you. Go on a winter hike or head up to the slopes. This will give you a romantic getaway that the two of you can enjoy together.

Valentine’s Day gift guide: 8 ways to make your Valentine’s Day special

 Scene & Heard, The Well  Comments Off on Valentine’s Day gift guide: 8 ways to make your Valentine’s Day special
Jan 262013
 

Author: Hannah Woolums

Many couples have a hard time giving that perfect gift to their significant other. As Valentine’s Day draws near couples everywhere are looking for that memorable gift. But, let’s face it, as college students, money isn’t the most abundant luxury at this point, and it can be a struggle to give something meaningful if you don’t have the money to spend. Here are eight fun and unique ways to celebrate your Valentine’s Day and give a gift that your partner will never forget.

1)      Homemade craft- Not every gift has to be expensive, a lot of what people love most is what comes from the heart. Take some time out and get crafty, showing your significant other just how much they mean to you.

2)      14 things you love- One of the best things someone can hear is why you love them or why they are special to you. This Valentine’s Day give your significant other the things about them that you love most. Since Valentine’s Day is on Feb. 14 give them 14 reasons why they mean so much to you. Have fun; you don’t have to make it all serious. This is a perfect way to give them a meaningful gift without breaking the bank.

3)      Cook dinner- Everyone has heard the saying, ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, so this Valentine’s Day create a romantic dinner for just the two of you. Light some candles and cook his favorite meal, or for guys looking to impress their girl, change it up and plan a romantic evening for her.

4)      Framed picture- Although it may seem like a small gesture, frame one of your favorite pictures of you and your significant other together. This is something that will be treasured for a long time and shows that you are committed to your relationship. If you can’t pick just one, make a collage to commemorate all of the fun times you have had as a couple.

5)      14 little presents- If you can’t decide what to get your partner, think about the little things day to day that make them happy. Hide them in places where they can find them throughout the day, and make it simple. It can be their favorite candy, movie, or even a note reminding them of how much you love them.

6)      Trip to the Spa- Guys, if you are looking for that special something for your girl, then get her a day at the spa. With the start of the semester, stress is almost unavoidable, so make sure she has a way to unwind and relax. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, even a manicure or pedicure would be perfect for a relaxing day.

7)      Romantic home date- There is nothing more special than spending time with the one you love, but when you go out that time can get interrupted. For this holiday, plan a night at home. You can make it different themes, like a movie theater night. Get them specialized popcorn holders and all of their favorite toppings.  Dim the lights and enjoy your favorite films in the comfort of your own home.

8)      Get out of town-  Plan a time for both of you where you can go out and do your own thing. Give your partner the gift of spending time with you. Go on a winter hike or head up to the slopes. This will give you a romantic getaway that the two of you can enjoy together.

DIY edible holiday gifts

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on DIY edible holiday gifts
Dec 012012
 

Author: Michaela Koretko

Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like the taste of a homemade treat. For a simple (but delicious) gift or party platter, try these recipes.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Give adorable little gifts people can enjoy like Hot Cocoa Mix in a jar. Photo by Michaela Koretko

Ingredients:

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1 cup marshmallows

 

Suggestions:

Layer these into a decorated jar for a perfectly festive gift. When ready to use, the recipient can separate out the marshmallows, mix the cocoa, sugar and cinnamon together, and add two or three tablespoons to a cup of hot water or milk (possibly with a little eggnog). Add marshmallows to preference.

 

What a cheap and easy gift to give, homemade chocolate turtles are everyones favorite! Photo by Michaela Koretko

Ingredients :

2 dozen candy caramels

2 dozen pretzels

1 23 oz. bag of chocolate chips

2 dozen pecan halves (optional)

 

 

Directions: Put the pretzels out on a microwave-safe plate. Unwrap the caramels and place one on each pretzel.  Microwave the caramel-pretzel plate for 30-60 seconds, until the caramels start to get soft. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (following the instructions on the bag). Put a spoonful of melted chocolate on each  caramel-pretzel. If desired, press a pecan half onto each one. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Package them nicely and give them as a gift, or put them on a plate and enjoy!

 

Rice Krispie Wreaths

Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies Treats (Photo credit: stickyii)

Ingredients:

6 cups Rice Krispie cereal

4 cups mini marshmallows

3 tbsp. butter

3  drops green food dye

red-hot decorating candies

 

Directions: Melt the marshmallows and butter in a large bowl by microwaving and stirring the mixture in 20 second intervals. When melted, stir in the food dye. Stir in the rice cereal. Spoon onto wax paper and make into wreath (donut) shape. Add red-hot decorating candies. Allow to cool and harden, then package or serve.

Hard candy for the holidays

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on Hard candy for the holidays
Nov 302012
 

Author: Victoria Hawn

Hard candy. Photo by Tori Hawn.

Hard candy. Photo by Tori Hawn.

In addition to the plethora of baked goods during the holiday season, hard candy is becoming increasingly popular.

During this family-oriented part of year, it is only appropriate to share a family recipe.  It is one that has been passed down generationally, and given out to neighbors to share the seasonal togetherness.

The recipe goes as follows:

 

Ingredients:

Powdered sugar

3 cups of sugar

1 cup of Karo Light Corn Syrup

1 cup  of water

1 teaspoon of desired Lorann Flavoring oil with desired food coloring

 

Directions:

  1. Pour powdered sugar into cooking sheet.
  2. Mix sugar, corn syrup, and water into large heavy saucepan.
  3. Boil the mixture in the sauce pan, without stirring, until temperature reaches 310 degrees Fahrenheit or until drops of syrup form hard and brittle threads in cold water.
  4. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Stir in flavoring oil and food coloring to match flavor.  For example, if you use spearmint flavoring, you might want to use green food coloring to distinguish flavors.
  6. Pour onto cooking sheet with powdered sugar on it in thin lines.
  7. Let cool and break into pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

 

Holiday giving without all the spending

 Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Holiday giving without all the spending
Nov 202012
 

Author: Kendall Greenwood

The holiday season is here. Snow is on the ground, the lights are hung in Old Town and the careful calculations of your bank account commence. If snow or lights is not your thing, there is not much you can do to avoid them. Pinterest can help ease your bank account though.

Pinterest, a blog-like website with countless creative ideas, is a hub for do-it-yourself projects. Here are five easy and affordable do-it-yourself gift ideas from this site that will give you extra hot chocolate money.

Rein-beer

For this you get a six-pack of beer, or any other drink of your choosing, and decorate each beverage with pipe cleaners, googly eyes and a little nose. In the end, the six-pack will look like a gang of reindeer. According to Wilbur’s, the average six-pack is around ­­$9.99 and the crafty items are all available at Dollar Tree, making this an affordable gift costing you ­$12.99.

Manicure in a Jar

This gift needs a mason jar, which Walmart has available for $6.97; nail polish, $3.97 at Walmart; nail polish remover, $2.96 at Walmart; and a manicure set from the Dollar Tree. Arrange these items in the mason jar in a manner of your choosing and decorate. The nail polish color and your choice of decorations allow you to specialize this to your loved ones’ tastes.  Your complete gift totals to $14.90.

Nutella Cookies

All you need to make these cookies is a cup of Nutella, one whole egg and one cup of flour.  Combine these ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for six to eight minutes. A 26.5 oz. jar of Nutella is available at Walmart for $6.56, making this a very affordable gift idea.

Painted Wine Bottles

For the craftier, there is the painted wine bottle gift. You will need empty wine bottles (or an empty bottle of some kind) and chalkboard paint, available at Michael’s from $1.99 to $5.99. Paint the bottles with the chalkboard paint and wait to dry. Gift with chalk and your loved one will have a new kind of message board.

Hot Chocolate and Bailey’s

This gives a twist to the traditional holiday drink. Pair hot chocolate with a shooter of Bailey’s for $2.99 at Wilbur’s. You can use store bought hot chocolate for anywhere from $1.28 to $7.71 at Walmart or you can look up your own recipe. With hot chocolate from the store, this present could cost as little as $4.27. There are limitless ways to package this.

These are just a few ideas that have been posted on Pinterest for the holidays.  Liana Guerin, a freshman apparel and merchandising major, enjoys Pinterest because of its variety.

“It gives me ideas for my hair and clothes, but also things you normally wouldn’t look up,” Guerin said. “Like recipes and gift ideas. “[I am on Pinterest] about an hour a day.”