The Holiday Gift Guide on a College Budget

It's tough to think about gift shopping when you have final exams and a pretty tight budget. But thoughtful little gifts are everywhere, if you just know where to look. Here are some of our favorite stylish gifts, all under $25, for all your favorite ladies: moms, best friends, sisters, and anyone else who appreciates the little things in life.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Watch Red Band Society


The release of The Fault In Our Stars led the way for projects about people affected by cancer and other diseases including, Red Band Society. Fox’s Red Band Society is a television series that follows the lives of a group of teenage patients living in the pediatric ward at Ocean Park Hospital. The show is filled with dark humor, sarcasm, yet talks about the daily lives of teenagers faced with serious problems from an eating disorder to osteosarcoma. The series is filled with both comedy and drama. If you haven’t watched it yet you need to. With only 6 episodes released so far, you’ll have no problem catching up. Here are five reasons why you NEED to watch Red Band Society!

1. Ensemble cast

Academy Award winning Octavia Spencer, known for her role in the film The Help, plays Dena Jackson, the head nurse of the pediatric facility. Seemingly scary on the outside, Nurse Jackson has a soft exterior and deeply cares for the teenage patients. There’s also Dave Annable who’s known for his role in the ABC’s television series Brothers & Sisters, who plays Dr. McAndrew, the “Hot doctor.” The majority of the cast represents the young Hollywood generation. Although the cast is super young, most of them have already made a name for themselves. Zoe Levin, who plays the cheerleader, has appeared in various films including one starring alongside well-known actors such as James Franco and Emma Roberts.

2. Similar yet different to The Fault In Our Stars

If you liked The Fault In Our Stars then you’ll definitely love Red Band Society. Both are about teenagers that are diagnosed with deadly diseases with one exception – Red Band Society isn’t as depressing. Unlike watching The Fault In Our Stars (I balled during a majority of the movie), Red Band Society is more comical and light-hearted. There definitely are scenes that are very emotional (like when Kara realizes her chances of getting a heart transplant are slim) but it’s definitely more comedy based.

3. There are no villains or cliques

A great thing about the show is that there is no real antagonist in Red Band Society. Although some of the characters are described as the “Mean girl,” the “Rebel,” “The Girl Next Floor” (play on the Girl Next Door) – there are no cliques. Although they may have existed outside the hospital, these stereotypes are removed at Ocean Park. Even “Mean girl” Kara befriends the group and becomes part of the “Red Band Society.” The teens are bonded not only by their bracelets but also by their friendship. They understand what each other is going through because they’re experiencing it themselves.

4. Based on the award-winning Spanish series, “Polseres Vermelles”

Red Band Society is based on the critically acclaimed Catalan television show Polseres Vermelles. The show was created by Albert Espinosa and is loosely based on his childhood experiences as a hospital patient. Espinosa was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14. He spent 10 years of his life in and out of hospitals battling the illness and lost a leg, a lung, and part of his liver.

5. It’s unconventional

Red Band Society has a refreshing approach on teenagers with serious illnesses. There’s a scene in the pilot episode where the guys attempt to buy alcohol and condoms for their illegal rooftop party using their illnesses to seek sympathy from the cashier. In a hospital full of sick kids, it’s nice to see some comic relief on such a heavy topic. Although these teenagers are diagnosed with serious diseases, they’re still living their lives, going to school, and cracking jokes while trying to overcome adversity.

At the end of the day, the patients are just regular teenagers - experiencing their first loves, their first heartbreaks, and creating lasting friendships. Red Band Society is quirky, unconventional, and unlike any series that’s on television right now. Check it out for yourself and catch up on the series online before the new episode airs. Watch Red Band Society every Wednesday on Fox at 9PM!

By: Crissy Tang | Image: Source 

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Winter Coats You Need To Try



I'm so excited that the weather's getting colder because it means it's time to bring out those winter coats! With winter just being around the corner, it gives you an excuse to look for something new. And with the assortment of options this season, you'll definitely find what you're looking for. Some typical winter coats on college campuses include Northface parkas, the duffle coat, and lots of peacoats but why not be bold and try something new? It's time to switch out those old coats and try one of these. Here are a few coats that I'm dying to try!

The leopard print coat is a must-have this season! It's super bold and daring to wear. You can pair it a solid colored blouse and some black skinny jeans or spice up the look by wearing colored pants like these maroon leather pants and some booties. You can also layer under the coat with a leather jacket if the weather's really cold. 


Long coats are super in this season, especially those in neutral colors like this grey long coat. For a neutral look, pair the coat with a pair of black skinny jeans, a black top, and black booties. A long coat screams sophistication and creates an effortlessly chic look. 


Fur coats are huge this season. Not only are they super stylish but they're super warm, which is a definite plus when the weather is getting colder. Pair your fur coat with some skinny jeans, sweater, and loafers. A fur coat is definitely a statement piece so no need to wear anything else that may overwhelm the outfit. For those who aren't a fan of real fur, there's plenty of faux fur coats that are just as equally cute (and definitely cheaper options)! 

I love the oversized coat. It's super chic and classic. Pair it with a sweater, some jeans, booties, and a clutch. It's perfect for those cold weather days because it's easy to layer under. You can also add a oversized scarf depending on how cold it is. To create a dressier look, trade in your booties for a pair of heels. 


In my opinion, you should have at least one pattern coat in your closet. They definitely add that extra pop to your outfit! Pair your patterned coat with some flats, skinny jeans, a cute sweater, and a hat. This patterned coat adds color and a little bit of something to the outfit! 


Switch out your sporty Northface parka for a more trendy parka like the one below. Pair it with a sweater, skinny leather pants, and some black boots. Add a beanie and some sunglasses for a more effortless look. These coats are super edgy but also very feminine at the same time! You're bound to turn heads with this coat!


Which coat are you going to try this season?

By: Crissy Tang | Image: Source1Source2Source3Source4Source5Source6



Holiday Gift Guide for the Beauty Addict

 


With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to think about gifts for family and friends! Beauty products are a favorite when it comes to gifts - you don't need to know their size or details. And who doesn't love receiving nail polish or lip gloss? For your favorite beauty addict friend, here are some tried and true favorites:


Listed:
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Cherry • $22.50
Essie 'Winter 2014' Mini Four-Pack • $17.00
tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush • $26.00
Eos A Ray of Holiday Sunshine Rachel Roy 3 PK • $7.99
NARS Eyeliner Stylo • $27.00
Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Bag • $20.00
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette • $29.00
Smashbox 'O-GLOW' Intuitive Cheek Color with Goji Berry-C Complex • $28.00
Stila 'in The Know' Eyeshadow Palette • $39.00

12 Online Black Friday Sales You Need to Know About

As a general rule, I don't go out shopping on Black Friday. The crowds are just crazy. But thanks to the internet, I can now do my Black Friday shopping online! Luckily, some of these deals are on early, so you can get your BF shopping done before your Thanksgiving food coma hits. Here are some of our favorite deals:

  • American Eagle/Aerie: Take 40 percent off and free shipping with code GOBBLEUP.
  • Bloomingdale's: Save up to 50 percent off, and take $25 off almost every $200 purchase with free shipping.
  • Charlotte Russe: It's buy one, get one free!
  • Converse: Save an additional 25% with code 25MORE with free shipping.
  • Dormify: 30% off site-wide with code SECRETSANTA, plus additional markdowns up to 70% off.
  • Express: Get 50 percent off everything.
  • J.Crew Factory: Get 50% off everything plus free shipping at J.Crew Factorywith code THANKS.
  • Kate Spade New York: Save up to 75 percent in their surprise BF sale.
  • Lucky Brand Jeans: Save 45 percent on all orders and get free shipping at Lucky Brand Jeans.
  • Madewell: Get 25 percent off sitewide through Nov. 30 at Madewell with code GIFTON.
  • Metropark: Get 25 percent off at Metropark with code CYBERDAY.
  • Nike: Take an additional 25 percent off clearance.
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Calvin Klein's Controversial "Plus Size" Ad


Most advertisements in the fashion and modeling world don’t include plus-size models (or anyone over the size of zero for that matter), but Calvin Klein is challenging these unrealistic images with its recent underwear ad campaign. The fashion brand uses a size 10 model Myla Dalbesio, who is considered plus size in the modeling industry. However, the ad has sparked much controversy surrounding the term "plus size" used to describe the model.

Many feel that Dalbesio shouldn’t be labeled as a plus size model. People went onto Twitter to express their own opinions on the issue. The general consensus was that she's not plus size, she’s just the normal size for women.

Calvin Klein never called Dalbesio plus-sized. Instead, the company released this statement explaining a need to represent a range of sizes.

According to The New York Times article, a Calvin Klein spokeswoman said, “The new Calvin Klein Underwear Perfectly Fit imagery features models Myla Dalbesio, Jourdan Dunn, Amanda Wellsh, Ji Hye Park and the face of the brand, Lara Stone, in several styles. The Perfectly Fit line was created to celebrate and cater to the needs of different women, and these images are intended to communicate that our new line is more inclusive and available in several silhouettes in an extensive range of sizes.”

Although there’s much debate over this advertising campaign, there’s no doubt that this is a step in the right direction for featuring a more realistic picture of what real women look like.

How do you feel about this model being considered the first plus size model for Calvin Klein? Do you agree with the controversy surrounding the ad?


By: Crissy Tang | Image: Source 

How to Wear: A Sweater Dress (aka The Perfect Thanksgiving Outfit)

I've never been a huge fan of sweater dresses until this winter, and now they're a staple! They can transform from the perfect holiday party dress to a date night outfit to a comfortable go-to-class clothing. Skeptical? Read on to see how, with just a change in accessories:

Semi-Dressy

Liz Claiborne sweater dressVince Camuto booties | J. Crew opaque tights | chevron statement necklace

Pair the sweater dress with a simple statement necklace, then layer over opaque tights and your favorite pair of booties.

Perfect for: a date night where you want to look put together, Thanksgiving dinner with your relatives, a meeting at the office, or a sorority function

Dressy

Liz Claiborne sweater dress | Asos bow heelsJ. Crew opaque tights | Charlotte Russe spiked necklace 

It might be too cold to go barelegged, so pair an opaque pair of tights with a black pair of heels, like this gorgeous bow-accent pair. Top it off with a statement necklace (can you believe this one is only $5?)

Perfect for: holiday parties, fancy events, a glam night out on the town, or whenever you want to feel extra pretty

Casual

Liz Claiborne sweater dress | Longchamp Le Pliage bag | INC riding boot | Madewell gridcraft bangle

Sweater dresses are also perfect for the day to day grind. Pair it with riding boots and large bag to hold your essentials, and top it off with a simple bangle for a stylish but warm look (and don't forget those fleece lined leggings if you live somewhere cold!)

Perfect for: a long day of class, meeting a friend for coffee, traveling for the holidays

Are you a fan of the sweater dress for this holiday season?

5 Snacks for Late Night Studying




During those late nights of endless studying, sometimes all you need is some snacking to keep you concentrated on finishing up your work. While the tempting choice might be to snack on some chips or go on fast food run, there are simple options to energize you that you quick and easy to make right from home and easily packed to take with you to the library or wherever your studying takes you.

Homemade Puppy Chow
Gather three cups of rice Chex, 1/2 cup of chocolate ships, 1/4 cup of peanut butter, two tablespoons of chia seeds, one cup of nuts and a 1/3  of powdered sugar. After melting the chocolate chips and peanut butter, pour it into a bowl with the Chex squares, seeds and nuts. Stir and then let cool for 15 minutes. Put the mixture into a large Ziploc bag and add the powdered sugar; then shake it. Keep the puppy chow in the fridge.

Coconut Raisin Peanut Butter Balls
In a bowl, combine half ½ cup of flaked coconut, half a cup of raisins, four teaspoons of sugar and two tablespoons of chopped walnuts. Add a third cup of peanut butter and a fourth teaspoon of coconut extract and beat well. Refrigerate the mix for 30 minutes and then shape into small balls.



Popcorn
For a traditional snack without the unhealthy ingredients of packaged microwavable popcorn, buy plain popcorn kernels to pop with an air popper or on the stove. If popping using a stove, simply add a fourth cup of popcorn kernels and two tablespoons of oil or butter to a pot. Cover with a lid and keep at a medium heat until the kernels begin to pop. Once your popcorn is ready, add flavor with your choice of seasoning or mix in chocolate, candy or any sweets.

Crunchy Homemade Trail Mix
Go back to the basics with a quick and easy trail mix fix-up snack by combining your favorite ingredients. Things to include are nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grains like cereal or pretzels, sweets like M&Ms and chocolate or yogurt chips for a kick, and any spices like cinnamon for extra flavor.

Yogurt Popsicles
Add one cup of fruit and ¼ cup of sugar into a food processor. In a bowl, mix a cup of yogurt, ¼ cup of milk and ¾ cups of granola. Then add the fruit blend. Once mixed, pour into popsicle molds. Insert popsicle sticks into each mold and place in freezer for about six hours. Once frozen, you have a refreshing and delicious treat to help keep you energized and awake.


By: Emily Dabau | Image: SourceSource 2

4 Award Winning Sandwiches You Can Make at Home

As students, we don't always have a lot of time to cook, nor do we usually have chef-worthy kitchens. Luckily, we can always put together a sandwich or two without lots of fancy equipment. Although these sandwiches may take a little more time and effort than your typical ham and cheese, they are definitely worth it:

Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Nothing says gooey-cheesy goodness with a side of guac better. Recipe here.

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo


This twist on your BLT makes it so much better. Recipe here.

Beef and Mushroom Sloppy Joe


This is a little more grown-up than your childhood favorite, but just as delicious! Recipe here.

Turkey Pesto Panini


You can't lose with this combo. Recipe here.

What's your go-to sandwich?

Must-Follow Celebrity Kids on Instagram

Bored of the people you’re following on Instagram right now? Check out these must-follow celebrity kids on Instagram! Having celebrity parents definitely has its perks. With access to private jets, invitations to the most exclusive events in Hollywood, and a never ending wardrobe of clothes and shoes - these celebrity kids are living the life. 


Sofia Richie (@sofiarichie)
You may have seen Sofia Richie as the sensible little sis on big sis Nicole Richie’s reality TV show Candidly Nicole. Although it may seem difficult to create your own path when your father is musical legend Lionel Richie and with your big sis being a fashion icon, it hasn’t stopped Sofia Richie. She’s been able to create a name for herself through the reality show but more notably on Instagram. With her ever changing hair and her amazing fashion sense, Sofia Richie’s Instagram is a perfect source of inspiration.


Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

Daughter of Yolanda Hadid Foster, you’ve probably seen her making several appearances on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Gigi Hadid is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to modeling. At the young age of 19, she’s already established herself in the modeling industry having walked in runway shows that aspiring models only dream of walking in including Marc Jacobs and Chanel. Her Instagram captures her modeling career, traveling around the world, and attending fabulous events. She's definitely one to follow on Instagram!


Hailey Baldwin (@haileybaldwin)

You may have seen her on Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s Instagrams a few times, but Hailey Baldwin has some connections of her own. Her father is Stephen Baldwin and she's the niece of Alec Baldwin. She’s an aspiring model and has walked for Topshop during London Fashion Week. Going to fashionable events and hanging out with other famous celebrity kids including Jaden and Willow Smith and the Jenner sisters, Hailey Baldwin is a must to follow!


Peter II & Harry Brant (@harry_brant and @petermbrant)

Peter and Harry Brant's father is Peter Brant, an art collector and publisher of Interview Magazine while their mother is former supermodel Stephanie Seymour. Naomi Campbell, Michelle Rodriguez, and Karlie Kloss are just a few celebrities that have been featured on the siblings’ Instagrams. Not to mention they’re practically besties with the top dogs of the fashion industry including Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy’s Artistic Director, Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s Creative Director and Derek Blasberg, Harper’s Bazaar’s Editor-at-Large. Attending exclusive parties and glamourous events, these socialites are definitely ones to follow on Instagram.

By: Crissy Tang | Image: Source1, Source2, Source3, Source4

6 Must Watch Episodes of Gilmore Girls



As a loyal fan of Gilmore Girls, I was overjoyed when I found out that the series would be streaming on Netflix - all seven seasons! Gilmore Girls follows the lives of witty and coffee obsessed Lorelai Gilmore raising her daughter Rory in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. With great story lines and constant banter, the show is a must watch! Since Netflix has added the series for streaming, I've chosen a few of my favorite must watch episodes! If you haven't watched the show, I definitely recommend grabbing a bag of popcorn and binge-watching the entire series!

Season 1, Episode 4 "The Deer Hunters"

Just starting out at Chilton, Rory gets a D on a major assignment leading her to cram for the upcoming test. Unfortunately she oversleeps, gets hit by a deer while on her way to school, and is unable to take her exam after being late. This is one of my favorite episodes because although Rory’s sweet, she’s just like her mother and isn’t afraid to be sassy. The most memorable line from that episode was “And for the last time, my name is RORY!”

Season 2, Episode 16 "There's the Rub"

Lorelai and Emily spend the weekend at the spa. Rory spends the evening alone until it's interrupted by Paris. In addition, Jess unexpectedly shows up with a bunch of food from Luke’s Diner and invites himself over for dinner. Dean surprises Rory with some ice cream at her house only to find Jess there. There’s no denying the chemistry that Rory and Jess have in this episode. As a Jess fan, this is definitely one of my favorite episodes.

Season 3, Episode 7 "They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?"

Stars Hollow holds its annual 24-hour dance marathon, which Lorelai is determined to win. The Rory/Jess/Dean love triangle comes to its end as Dean breaks up with Rory because she has feelings for Jess. It's definitely a must watch episode, especially since Adam Brody appears as the dorky, music obsessed, Lane crushing, Dave Rygalski. 

Season 4, Episode 22 "Raincoats and Recipes"

The wait is over! After four seasons, Luke and Lorelai finally go on a date. However, things don’t go according to plan when Lorelai’s ex comes to the newly opened Dragonfly Inn leading Luke to be unsure of where he stands.  Eventually things get sorted out, marking the beginning of Lorelai’s and Luke’s relationship. Rory rekindles her relationship with Dean (who recently got married) and loses her virginity to him.

Season 5, Episode 13 "Wedding Bell Blues"

In the 100th episode of the series Emily and Richard renew their wedding vows. After speaking to Emily, Christopher comes to the wedding hoping to win Lorelai back. Luke and Christopher end up getting into an argument about Lorelai leading Luke to leave the wedding early. Rory decides to have a casual relationship with Logan, even though she's used to having more serious relationships.

Season 7, Episode 22 "Bon Voyage"

Rory lands her dream job as a political reporter and finds out she has to leave Stars Hollow in three days. With help from the town, Luke throws a surprise goodbye party for Rory. This is one of my favorites because it shows just how much Luke cares for Rory and Lorelai. At the end, Lorelai and Luke get back together and rightfully so, the last scene displays Lorelai and Rory eating at Luke’s Diner before Rory heads off to start her job.

By: Crissy Tang | Image: Source
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