Buying gifts on a budget can be tough, but it's even tougher to show up without a gift. Leave the gift giving to Santa and reach for one of these stocking stuffers that will leave Santa himself in shock because they're all that good!
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No matter how badly you were burned by someone else's flames.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your father in heaven." - Matthew 5:43-45
I've always considered myself somewhat a vengeful person. I am not proud of that. Wanting revenge is not a good thing. And it certainly is not a Christian way to live. But I am self-aware, and I have realized that I struggle with this. If someone hurts me, I want to hurt them back. I know, I know, this sounds so bad. But I know I am not the only one that struggles with this mindset. It's a self defense mechanism. It hurts to get hurt. It hurts to have someone say or do something that digs deep. It really hurts. Ghandi said, "And eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." If we keep fighting fire with fire, we are all going to end up in flames.
We also unfortunately live in a culture that sometimes supports the idea of getting even and getting revenge. Songs like Taylor Swift's "Better Than Revenge" may be catchy but they are giving us distorted views. It can be easy to get caught up in a "give someone a taste of their own medicine" mindset, but again, is that really the way we want to live?
"When you are angry, be silent."
I have realized that fighting fire with fire is an exhausting and pointless game. People are going to hurt you, whether intentional or not, someone is going to do something that rubs your the wrong way. It's so easy and dare I say a natural instinct to want to get revenge upon being hurt. We want to protect ourselves. But is being vengeful really the way to do that? Do you really, and I mean really believe that you will feel better about a situation once you hurt someone else?
I encourage you, put down your flame, put down your weapon, whether it be your harsh words or plan for revenge, I encourage you, put it down. No more fire with fire. No more hate.
Sit in silence for a few moments. Breathe in. Breathe out. You are more. You do not need to fight fire with fire. No matter how badly you were burned by flames from someone else.
"The most merciful person is the one who forgives when he is able to take revenge."
Here's to never growing up.
If you were anything like me, you came home from school, plopped on the couch and jammed to Radio Disney. You've heard these songs at school dances, parties and on the radio, and you probably still know all the words. Despite most of your favorite childhood artists pursuing different careers (or different styles of music), these throwback hits will always be there to comfort you!
1. "SexyBack" - Justin Timberlake
2. "Oops!... I Did It Again" - Britney Spears
3. "Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Replay" - Iyaz
5. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
6. "Girlfriend" - Avril Lavigne
7. "Beautiful Girls" - Sean Kingston
8. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO
9. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heros ft. Adam Levine
10. "Titanium" - David Guetta ft. Sia
11. "Classic" - MKTO
12. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen
13. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg
14. "Down" - Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne
15. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry
16. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" - Beyonce
17. "I Gotta Feeling" - Black Eyed Peas
18. "Umbrella" - Rihanna ft. Jay Z
19. "Fergalicious" - Fergie
20. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5
21. "Drive By" - Train
22. "Hoedown Throwdown" - Miley Cyrus
23. "Want U Back" - Cher Lloyd
24. "Love You Like A Love Song" - Selena Gomez & The Scene
25. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
26. "TTYLXOX" - Bella Thorne
27. "Firework" - Katy Perry
28. "Low" - Flo Rida ft. T-Pain
29. "Halo" - Beyonce
30. "Tik Tok" - Ke$ha
31. "Animal" - Neon Trees
32. "Mr. Brightside" - The Killers
33. "We Are Young" - fun. ft. Janelle Monáe
34. "Airplanes" - B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams
35. "Hollaback Girl" - Gwen Stefani
36. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 ft. Ludacris
37. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster the People
38. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
39. "Ain't it Fun" - Paramore
40. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher ft. Pitbull
41. "Boyfriend" - Justin Bieber
42. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha
43. "Forget You" - CeeLo Green
44. "Starships" - Nicki Minaj
45. "Say My Name" - Destiny's Child
46. "Baby One More Time" - Britney Spears
47. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean
48. "Hey Ya!" - Outkast
49. "Bye Bye Bye" - *NSYNC
50. "Poker Face" - Lady Gaga
51. "Last Friday Night (TGIF)" - Katy Perry
52. "Bring Me To Life" - Evanescence
53. "Teenage Dirtbag" - Wheatus
54. "You Belong With Me" - Taylor Swift
55. "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
56. "Thnks fr th Mmrs" - Fall Out Boy
57. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys
58. "Crazy in Love" - Beyonce & Jay Z
59. "Mine" - Taylor Swift
60. "Toxic" - Britney Spears
61. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
62. "Milkshake" - Kelis
63. "Part of Me" - Katy Perry
64. "Yeah!" - Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris
65. "Wannabe" - Spice Girls
66. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey
67. "Stayin' Alive" - Bees Gees
68. "Survivor" - Destiny's Child
69. "Beautiful Soul" - Jesse McCartney
70. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
71. "Just Dance" - Lady Gaga ft. Colby O'Donis
72. "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
73. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
74. "The Climb" - Miley Cyrus
75. "Price Tag" - Jessie J ft. B.o.B
76. "You Make Me Feel..." - Cobra Starship ft. Sabi
77. "Don't Stop the Music" - Rihanna
78. "Paper Planes" - M.I.A
79. "In Da Club" - 50 Cent
80. "Get the Party Started" - P!nk
81. "That's Not My Name" - The Ting Tings
82. "Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry
83. "Umbrella" - Rihanna ft. Jay Z
84. "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" - Soulja Boy
85. "So What" - P!nk
86. "Hit 'Em Up Style" - Blu Cantrell ft. Foxy Brown
87. "Bootylicious" - Destiny's Child
88. "Baby" - Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris
89. "On The Floor" - Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull
90. "The One That Got Away" - Katy Perry
91. "All Star" - Smash Mouth
92. "Jenny from the Block" - Jennifer Lopez
93. "Superbass" - Nicki Minaj
94. "Tonight Tonight" - Hot Chelle Rae
95. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna
96. "Like a G6" - Far East Movement ft. The Cataracs & DEV
97. "What Makes You Beautiful" - One Direction
98. "We Found Love" - Rihanna
99. "Mr. Saxobeat" - Alexandra Stan
100. "Here's To Never Growing Up" - Avril Lavigne
Did I miss any of your favorites? Comment below!
The Horse: A Kind and Gentle Animal
Usually pinned back in a sign of aggression. Used by the horse to ignore the rider’s commands and pleas for mercy.
2. Mouth (see: Teeth)
 Contains the sharp dental appendages which are used to deter the rider from placing a bit in the horse’s mouth;  used to transfer grass from the ground to the rider’s clean riding breeches and white pressed button down immediately before the start of an exhibition, always unfailingly;  the main reason people claim to dislike horses.
3. Teeth (see: Bit)
 Sharp dental appendages which are often shown to a passing human by surprise using a strong and forceful bite to the shoulder, back, or arm;  to be held tightly closed as soon as the rider attempts to place a bit in the horse’s mouth, especially in times of urgency (i.e. before the start of an exhibition);  used to chew fences and stall doors, decorative structures built solely for horses to chew on.
 Used to falsely display innocence to little girls in love with ponies and their parents’ ability to buy ponies  used to scan the surrounding area for objects the horse fears, which are one of two things: things that move, and things that don't move.
5. Mane (see: Tail)
When $125 is paid to a groom to braid this, it is immediately rubbed against the nearest wall or post to undo said braids.
 Used to (sometimes) propel the rider over colorful sticks raised above the ground;  Used to plow through colorful sticks raised above the ground instead of jumping over them;  used to strike at anything which enters a five foot vicinity.
 Used to stop directly in front of a colorful raised stick after approaching at a full canter, often dismounting the rider (to the horse’s great dismay);  used to flatten a rider’s polished leather riding boots which “I can't believe I’m spending this much money on” (Mom, every time she buys riding boots);  used to stamp down onto whatever feet are in closest range  what the rider sees first when the horse makes the executive decision to end a ride.
8. Stomach (also: Underside of Barrel)
What the rider sees first when the horse makes the executive decision to end a ride.
A device covered in long fine hairs used to  strike at flies  strike at a rider trying to tack  strike at nothing.
10. Nose (Nostrils)
Used to transfer nasal contents from the nasal cavity onto a rider’s clean riding breeches and white pressed button down by means of snorting immediately before the start of an exhibition.
The reason why riders seldom ride and/or jump bareback.
The location that the rider holds to stay on the horse.
The Horse: A Kind and Gentle Animal's Tack
1. Saddle (see: Girth)
A small slippery leather chair strapped onto a moving creature’s back with a thin length of cloth.
2. Girth (see: Saddle)
A thin length of leather or cloth, [sometimes] holds a saddle onto a moving creature’s back.
Thin pieces of leather which are often ignored.
Short posts of iron which are often ignored.
Short stick/bat which is often ignored.
Leather headgear for horses.
Metal steering mechanism placed in horse’s mouth, usually met by clenched teeth to refuse the bit.
8. Horse (see: All)
 The animal that tests, hurts, and angers, making me ask myself why I participate in such a sport  the source of my greatest pains and frustrations;  the thing that I love the most.
A breakdown as to why the 3 'B's rule should be used by more than just sorority girls during recruitment.
The idea behind 'No boys, booze or bars' is to encourage sorority sisters to spend more time with their sisters during critical periods of sorority life, such as during recruitment and new member initiation. As a sorority girl myself, I can attest to the merits of this rule, despite how difficult it may be to follow. As a matter of fact, it's a rule that every one should follow every now and then because it allows you to focus more on yourself and important relationships with the ones you love. Besides, the three 'B's usually end up being more trouble than they are worth.
On Giving Up Boys (or Girls): Can't live with them, can't live without them...
Do I even need to explain the pros for giving this 'B' up? Whether we are single, 'talking', taken, married, divorced or somewhere in-between, boys are a constant source of stress. If I used all the time I spent just thinking about boys on something more productive (like school) I would probably have a 4.0 GPA, officer positions in a handful of clubs, a ridiculous accumulation of volunteer hours and at least three or four degrees by now...I am not proud of this, but it is a fact that I am sure many of you can agree with.
Giving up boys for just a couple of days can open your eyes to more important things, like your friends, family and even yourself. Just something as simple as dressing for YOU can have a really big impact on self-esteem.
On Giving Up Booze:
This is easier for some than others. As we are all well aware, alcohol can be a catalyst for fun; a remedy for an awful night; or sips in between a good conversation. It can also be the reason for horrible mistakes, tear-filled nights and desperate attempt to fill some sort of void. Booze can be unhealthy and take away the clarity of mind that we need. Take away the booze, even if you are one to use it lightly and in the proper situations. Take it as an opportunity for self-reflection and study up on how to handle problems and feelings in a more effective way then drowning them in tequila. You'd be surprised by just how much fun you might be sober.
On Giving Up Bars:
We may pretend bars are a fun destination, worth getting all dolled up for, but let's be honest with ourselves: They're really just a dingy, disgusting, normally tacky way for us to find those other two Bs. Not to mention, things tend to go from good to bad, real quick in a bar setting. How about you gather your group of friends and spend your weekend in any place but a bar? Find real adventure, go somewhere that's just as beautiful as you are in that dress or stay in and have a conversation with your friends that you can actually hear. The bonds formed in bars, stay in bars. Bonds formed outside of them? Those can be really amazing.
The three 'B's definitely have their perks. Why else would sorority girls have such a hard time staying away from them even after hours of recruiting? Everyone can take a tip from this Greek life rule. Even if it's just a weekend every few months or so, take a break from the 3 'B's and focus on the things in life that actually matter. Just like a sorority girl come Bid Day, you'll be glad you did.
Are you at one of the ages mentioned in Taylor Swift's songs?
Before Taylor Swift's transition from a country/pop sweetheart to a crazed vengeful victim, I was a huge fan of hers. I've been listening to her music for as long as I can remember.
Over the years, as an observant T Swift fan, I've noticed her penchant for mentioning ages in her songs. Maybe she does this so she can look back on these songs and remember how old she was when she had these experiences. Or maybe she does it so her fans have another level to relate to her on. For at least my past seven birthdays, I've checked to see if Taylor Swift mentioned my new age in one of her songs.
Not only does it make me feel closer to her, but it also gives me a song to cling to for a while. By my count, Taylor Swift mentions 13 different ages in her songs.
This is the youngest age mentioned in a Taylor Swift song, which means you probably didn't listen to this song on your third birthday. This age comes from the song The Best Day off of her second album, Fearless. The song chronicles Swift's life at multiple ages and is above all a love letter to her family.
"There is a video I found from back when I was three. You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me. It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs."
This is another age mentioned in The Best Day. It is part of the song's opening line. Unlike age three, where Swift is seeing something and not actually remembering it, this appears to be a memory from age five with her mother sometime in October.
"I'm five years old, it's getting cold. I've got my big coat on. I hear your laugh, and look up smiling at you. I run and run past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides. Look now, the sky is gold. I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home."
This is one of five ages mentioned in Mary's Song (Oh My My My) from Swift's self-titled debut album. This song tells the story of a guy and a girl going from young friends to an old couple, from the perspective of the girl. Swift was inspired to write this song by an elderly couple that lived next door.
"She said, I was 7 and you were 9. I looked at you like the stars that shined in the sky. The pretty lights. And our daddies used to joke about the two of us, growing up and falling in love. And our mommas smiled, and rolled their eyes, and said 'Oh, my my my.'"
This is the second of five ages in Mary's Song. It is mentioned directly after age 7 since it is the age of the guy in the song, who is two years older than the girl.
"She said, I was 7 and you were 9. I looked at you like the stars that shined in the sky. The pretty lights."
This goes back to The Best Day. Swift is no longer five, and she has new problems to deal with. Thankfully, her mom is by her side, like always. I was always able to relate to this part of the song, even before and since I turned 13.
"I'm 13 now and don't know how my friends could be so mean. I come home crying, and you hold me tight, and grab the keys. And we drive and drive until we've found a town far enough away. And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgot all their names."
You don't have to look hard to find this one. In fact, it's the name of the song. This song is also on Swift's Fearless album. It's about her beginning high school. She talks about friendship, love, and dreams. She even mentions the name of her real life best friend at the time, who she is still friends with now. Since it's the name of the song, 15 is mentioned multiple times.
"'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you're gonna believe them. And when you're fifteen, feeling like there's nothing to figure out. Well, count to ten, take it in. This is life before you know who you're gonna be. Fifteen."
"When you're fifteen and your first kiss makes your head spin 'round. But in your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team. But I didn't know it at fifteen."
"When you're fifteen, don't forget to look before you fall. I've found time can heal most anything, and you just might find who you're supposed to be. I didn't who I was supposed to be at fifteen."
We return to Mary's Song for this one. After the two young kids have grown up a little, their perspective on both life and each other changes. This is a turning point in their relationship. Remember, the song is told from the girl's perspective, so she's talking about her age.
"Well, I was sixteen when, suddenly, I wasn't that little girl you used to see. But your eyes still shined like pretty lights. And our daddies used to joke about the two of us. They never believed we'd really fall in love. And our mommas smiled, and rolled their eyes, and said 'Oh, my my my.'"
We jump forward a few albums for this one. The song Starlight on Swift's Red album tells the story of young Ethel and Bobby Kennedy. She saw a picture of Ethel and Bobby as teenagers, which inspired her to write a song about it. She actually played it for Ethel, who enjoyed it.
"I met Bobby on the boardwalk, summer of '45. Picked me up late one night out the window. We were seventeen and crazy, running wild, wild. Can't remember what song it was playing when we walked in. The night we snuck into a yacht club party pretending to be a duchess and a prince."
We skip over age 18 because apparently that's been done too many times for Taylor Swift to bother with it. 19, which happens to be the age of yours truly, is mentioned in Dear John, off of Swift's third album, Speak Now. This song is allegedly about Swift's relationship with John Mayer, which fits the timeline since she was 19 when they dated. I have always loved this song but felt a deeper connection to it when I turned 19.
"Dear John, I see it all now, it was wrong. Don't you think nineteen's too young to be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so? I should've known."
Certainly, everyone is familiar with this one. It is Swift's second song titled with an age and a popular anthem for people who are proud to be 22 and aren't afraid to dance like it. This is a song from the Red album, which came out shortly before Swift's 23 birthday.
"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22. Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you. You don't know about me, but I'll bet you want to. Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22."
This age is mentioned in a song off Swift's most recent album, Reputation. As I subtly mentioned at the beginning, I'm not a fan of Taylor Swift's new music. For the sake of being thorough, though, I scanned Reputation for ages. I found 25 mentioned in the song Dancing With Our Hands Tied.
"I, I loved you in secret. First sight, yeah, we love without reason. Oh, twenty-five years old. Oh, how were you to know?"
We jump ahead quite a bit for this one! Obviously Taylor Swift isn't 87 yet, so she's not speaking from experience. At this point, you can probably guess which song this is from. If you thought Mary's Song, you're correct! This is at the end of the song, where the young friends are finally an old couple. The future tense implies that the couple this song is based on aren't quite that old. However, they intend on staying together until they are.
"I'll be 87, you'll be 89. I'll still look at you like the stars that shine in the sky. Oh my, my, my."
I could have combined 7 and 9, and 87 and 89 since they're so close together, but I wanted to make a point. If you've been paying attention to the numbers before the ages, you'll notice that this is the 13th age mentioned in a Taylor Swift song. If you're a Taylor Swift fan, you probably already know what that means. If not, let me enlighten you. 13 is Swift's lucky number. She was born on December 13 and turned 13 on Friday the 13. The number 13 is also connected to her music. Some of her songs have 13-second intros. Some of her albums have 13 songs. Some songs peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Could that fact that Taylor Swift mentions 13 different ages in her music be a coincidence? It could, but it seems unlikely. When it comes to Taylor Swift, there are hardly any coincidences. Since she has been using ages in songs since her first album, it is likely she will mention more on subsequent albums. However, she has never gone less than four years in-between albums, so this 13 reference will stick around for quite some time.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign