DIY Gift Guide: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!


Christmas is coming!  I know that some of you are staunchly against even mentioning Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed (and that’s okay, we can agree to coexist peacefully), but it is never too early to be thinking about presents.

If you’re like me, the present budget is a little tight.  But fear not!  Here is a list of lovely little gifts that you can cheaply DIY for your favorite people.

1. For the coffee-lover, a personalized coffee mug.  Experiment with different colored Sharpies and get your Picasso on.

2.  For the tea connoisseur, Christmas tree-shaped tea bags filled with homemade loose-leaf tea.  OR you can just buy the tea pre-made.  Up to you.

3.  For the Narnia-lover, a lamppost snow globe.

4.  For the naturalist, beautiful wood coasters.

5.  For the little person in your life, a cuddly sock bunny.

6.  For the candle lover, a scented candle in a mason jar.

7.  For the Bath & Body Works addict, warm vanilla sugar body scrub.

8.  For the foodie, infused olive oil.

9.  For the stubbly stud, beard balm.

10.  For the traveler, map art.

11.  For you furriest friends, a warm, cozy bed.

Happy crafting, friends!




Thirsty Thursday

Thinking about trying something entirely different at Rinnova, but not sure what to get?  Try a frozen green matcha (that’s green tea, for those of you who don’t venture beyond coffee) with soy milk and a shot of raspberry.  It sounds weird, but it’s delicious- I promise!

Not feeling the fruit?  Try swapping out the raspberry for a shot of mint and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.  Instant mint chocolate matcha.

Bonus tip: green matcha tea is actually healthy for you.  Among other things, it is loaded with antioxidants and great for your heart health.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it.  Your tastebuds will be glad you did.

green matcha

Love Our Veterans: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!


Since tomorrow is Veterans Day, I want to share some things that we can all do to support our armed forces.  They sacrifice everything for our freedom- let’s do something for them!


1. Donate to Disabled American Veterans.  The DAV is a veteran’s advocacy group that makes it their mission to make sure that our veterans have the benefits and healthcare that they need.

2.  Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.  Like the DAV, Wounded Warrior Project exists to support wounded service members and provide rehabilitation programs and community for them and their families.

3.  Sponsor a soldier.  Click here here or here to find out how you can adopt a soldier and show them some love!  All three of these organizations work to provide soldiers with regular letters and care packages to let them know that they are loved and appreciated.

4.  Write to a soldier through Operation Write Home.

5.  Send a care package through Operation Gratitude.

6.  Donate to Books For Soldiers.  Donate some of your old books or buy some new ones.  You can send books, games, and DVDs.

7.  Welcome veterans back from their Honor Flight.  The first honor flight left from Springfield, Ohio in May 2005!  Since then, hundreds of veterans have been flown to Washington, DC to see the memorials built in their honor.  Check the schedule to see when veterans will be returning from their flight in your area, and go welcome them home at the airport like the rockstars they are.

8.  Shake a veteran’s hand and tell them thank you.  Tomorrow morning is our Veterans Day chapel (which is absolutely incredible- don’t miss it) and our campus will be full of veterans.  As you go throughout your day, shake their hands and tell them how grateful you are for their sacrifices and their service.  Our veterans are real-life super heroes, and they deserve the recognition of a sincere thank you.  They are such a blessing- bless them with gratitude.


If you are a veteran, thank you.  If you are an active service member, thank you.  If you are an ROTC student, thank you.  If you are a family member or loved one of a soldier, thank you.  You all are heroes and I am so thankful to live in a country where I am free and safe because of the sacrifice and bravery of our armed forces.  I can’t thank you enough.

Happy Veterans Day!





Natural Remedies: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

Cold and flu season is upon us.  And while I am usually the first to reach for the NyQuil when the stuffy-nose strikes, there are also a lot of other (natural) things that I make sure I do in order to help my body recover as quickly as possible.  Just a friendly reminder, the things that your mom told you to do when you were sick as a kid still work!

1. SLEEP.  Sleep is the first ingredient in maintaining your overall health.  Your body repairs itself while you sleep, so even though course loads are tough right now, don’t miss out on the zzz’s your body needs to fight the bug.

2.  Eat some chicken noodle soup.  The hot soup helps your body stay warm, which conserves energy needed to fight your sickness off.  Also the fluids help keep you from drying out more than you already are.  And chicken noodle soup is delicious and tastes like home.

3.  Sore throat?  Gargle with warm salt water.  It kills the bacteria in your throat and the warmth of the water is soothing… so long as you don’t accidentally swallow some of it.

4.  Steam.  Boil water, pour into bowl.  Put a towel over your head and the bowl and breathe in the steam.  It’s also a great way to get a free steam facial- good for both your skin AND your nasal passages.

5.  Make a homemade tea from ginger root and lemon, which both fight inflammation.  Ginger can also help sooth nausea!

Hopefully none of you are sick or will become sick for the rest of the semester (fingers crossed!).  But if you do catch the cold or flu, try these out and get some much-deserved rest.



Thirsty Thursday: The Perfect Halloween Treat

This drink is perfect for Halloween and for Cedarville students!

Rinnova has outdone themselves this time. Truly. This drink is known as the “Boo-Tella”. It’s a chocolate-hazelnut chai topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. To make it even better, the sprinkles are purple, green and white!

I know I’ve posted about chocolate chai drinks before, but this just shows you how easy it is to twist a drink even more! For instance, add a little bit of spark to the drink with a shot of espresso. This also helps make the drink a little less sweet.

Get this drink while it lasts! Or just memorize what’s in it and you can request it again and again and again. Well…you get the picture.

So the question is, are you in for a trick? Or a treat?


A Little Local Lore: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

Since Halloween is this Friday, I figured that instead of posting tips for self-improvement I would share some local legends and ghost stories.  I love a good ghost story almost as much as I love healthy eating tips.  Almost.


Like all states, Ohio has its fair share of haunted houses and ghost stories.  You’ve probably heard several of them growing up.  I still remember the ghost stories I heard on the school bus as a little girl in my hometown near Indianapolis.  But did you know that some of the places we Cedarville students frequent have ghost stories of their own?  Clifton, Yellow Springs, Xenia, and our very own university (maybe?) all have their own allegedly haunted sites.

Below is a list of local haunts with a ghostly reputation- click on the name to read an article about the legends surrounding each location.

1.  John Bryan State Park, Clifton

2.  Antioch College, Yellow Springs

3.  Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs

4.  Crybaby Bridge, Xenia.

5.  Ye Olde Trail Tavern, Yellow Springs

6.  Spring Hill Elementary, Xenia

7.  Trebein Road, Byron

8.  Little Sugar Creek, Bellbrook

9.  Myers Hall, Wittenberg University, Springfield (bonus link for poem version with creepy background music)

10.  Cedar Lake, Cedarville University

Although many of these stories have historical basis, the actual presence of ghostly figures is just hearsay.  However if you are brave (and looking for something creepy to do this week), head out to one of these locations and take a look for yourself!  Just make sure that you have the proper permissions before you go exploring, and of course, be respectful of the places you visit.  If you aren’t, you never know who or what will come after you for it…

Happy Halloween!



How to Stress Less: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

In keeping with last week’s health theme and in the spirit of midterms, I’m going to share some helpful tips to stress less.

1. SLEEP.  The life of a college student is often riddled with late nights, early mornings, and all-nighters.  We wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honor.  Over time, lack of sleep can and often will cause serious health problems, including but not limited to heart failure, obesity, and cognitive impairment.  Short term, however, rest assured knowing that that all-nighter will do nothing for your test score unless you are either really smart or really lucky.  Lack of sleep hinders your brain’s ability to recall and process information.  The best thing you can do for yourself the night before a big test is put the books down and turn the lights off.  Your brain will thank you (and hopefully reward you) in the morning.  Be intentional about your beauty sleep, and your overall well-being will improve.

2.  Eat well.  Your body is a machine.  Put the good stuff in, get the good stuff out.  While it may be tempting to reach for pizza and soda while you study, DON’T.  When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol and adrenaline.  Did you know that there are foods that can combat that?  Just by making sure that you are eating the right stuff, you can significantly lower feelings of stress.  For more information, click here.

3.  Go for a walk.  If you read last Monday’s post, then you already know that exercise is a must for stress relief and overall health.  Get some fresh air, and release some endorphins while you’re at it.  Afterwards you will feel relaxed and ready to take on whatever the world throws at you.

4.  Play with kittens.  Fact: animals relieve stress.  Don’t believe me?  Read here and here.  Even though the articles specifically discuss the benefits of pet ownership, simply spending time with an animal can reduce anxiety, lower cortisol levels, and raise oxytocin levels (one of your body’s happy chemicals.)  Sometimes when I am stressed I go to Fetch at the Fairfield Commons.  Many of you may simply know Fetch as “the puppy store.”  Fetch is full of sweet, fluffy puppies that would love nothing more than to play with you.  They even have signs indicating which puppies are most in need of some love and attention.  Even if you can’t afford to or are unable to take a puppy home, the Fetch staff welcome playtime for the low-low price of $1, which goes to the Miami Valley Pit Crew, a non-profit animal rescue!

However, if you are able and willing to adopt your very own stress-relieving friend and can’t afford a buddy from Fetch (we are college students, afterall), I would direct you to a nearby humane society.  Check out the Humane Society Serving Clark County, or the Humane Society of Greene County to meet your new best friend.  Then, bask in the glow of their unconditional love and appreciation while you study and prepare for midterms stress-free.  It’s a win-win.

Study lots, drive safely this weekend, and DON’T STRESS!

‘Til next Monday, friends.



Dorm Fitness: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s getting cold and rainy, which means less motivation to go to the gym and more motivation to watch TV in my sweatpants.  While I love watching TV in my sweatpants (and eating junk food while I do it), it does very little for my mood or the health of my body.  I’m going to take a wild guess and say that some of you know what I’m talking about.

What if I told you that you could get fit and improve your mood every day, in less than 20 minutes a day, without ever leaving your dorm room?  Interested?  Well then, I’m gonna learn you a thing.

Welcome to the Daily Workout Plan by Back on Pointe.  (Click below.)

Back on Pointe is a Tumblr blog chock full of resources to get fit without having to fight someone for an elliptical.  The site also features delicious recipes to help you feed your body the things it really needs.

Daily exercise has been proven to have innumerable health benefits, including but not limited to heart health, stress relief,  improved sleep, stronger bones and a better complexion.  Not to mention the fact that the burst of endorphins feels great.  All good things for a busy college student.   Do these exercises every day for a week and just try to not feel better.

Fight the couch potato urge and stay healthy out there! (Read here to learn about the dangers of being a couch potato!)