20 Reasons Why I Love the Holiday Season

20 Reasons Why I Love the Holiday Season

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With finals coming up, and the impending doom of all-nighters, one thing to keep you going is the reminder of winter break. With winter break comes the temporary relief of school and the holiday season. Although I am definitely a summer type of girl, there's so much I love about the spirit that comes along with the winter holiday season. From Christmas movie marathons to ice skating with my friends, here are my top 20 reasons as to why I love the holiday season: 

  1. Christmas Movie Marathons – Who doesn't love "Elf" or "A Christmas Story"? 
  2. Ice Skating with Friends – Nothing better than seeing my best friends fall on their butt!
  3. Presents galore – Everybody loves presents.
  4. Seeing all my friends who are back home from college – Finally, a chance to hang out and catch up with everyone.
  5. Gingerbread Houses – For those of you that love to get creative like me, building a gingerbread house during the season is a must.
  6. Decorating the house for the Holidays – I love getting into the Christmas spirit and decking the house with stockings and various snowmen.
  7. The smell of christmas trees – The trademark "smell" of the Christmas season in general.
  8. Seeing "Santa" at every mall I go to – Hmm, not suspicious at all?
  9. Basketball season is back! – Nothing better than watching my Lakers on Christmas Day.
  10. Christmas music – I absolutely love hearing christmas music everywhere I go. Unlike most people, who get annoyed at the 100th time they've heard Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" walking through the grocery store.
  11. Christmas lights everywhere – On my neighbors house, in my living room window and at the closest Starbucks. Christmas lights are everywhere and I'm absolutely loving it.
  12. Red Starbucks holiday cups – Every #basic girl's favorite thing about getting their Starbucks during the holiday season.
  13. Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties – I love going thrifting trying to find the "ugliest" Christmas sweater I can find just for this purpose. 
  14. Sweater weather – With winter and the holiday season comes the time for me to finally break out all my sweaters, scarves and boots.
  15. Snuggling up by the fireplace with some hot cocoa – self explanatory...
  16. Annual Christmas pictures/cards – I've always loved taking christmas pictures with my  family every year, as well as receiving christmas cards in the mail from family and friends.
  17. Eggnog – Even though eggnog isn't a personal favorite of mine and doesn't technically belong on the list, it is still a holiday season staple that many people love. This includes my younger brother who seems to consume gallons of it during the season.
  18. Endless baking – I don't know about you, but my family always goes crazy with baking when it comes to the holiday season. From various types of christmas cookies to pumpkin bread, I can't deny any of these baked goods.
  19. Counting down to the New Year – I remember always staying up until midnight with my family and getting so excited to watch the Ball Drop at Times Square on my TV. 
  20. A chance for reflection – With the holiday season, comes the ending of yet another year. This leaves me time to reflect on everything, and to be thankful for the good things that occurred. 
Cover Image Credit: http://foxxyworld.blogspot.com/2010/12/preparing-for-holiday-season.html

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!
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To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate



Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.


2. Flowers



Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.


3. Giant Teddy Bear



This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.


4. Wine



Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.


5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!


6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.


7. A Movie



Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.


8. A Necklace



I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!


Buy one on Amazon.


9. A Ring



While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.


10. Clothes



Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.


11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel



I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.


12. Personalized Picture Frame



A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.


Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"

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Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.

Damages

Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.

Neighborhood

It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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