Valentine’s Day ideas for the student on a budget
Feb16

Valentine’s Day ideas for the student on a budget

Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, and we know what that means—heart-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups, long-stemmed red roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, dates, and sometimes even a marriage proposal. As a college student, funds are limited. So, if you’re looking for a way to treat your Valentine to a romantic night without spending a fortune, here are a few ideas that won’t break your budget. 1. Don’t have money to spend on a fancy restaurant? Either order take-out from a local restaurant or cook for your significant other. Women love when you cook for them, and it’s cheaper than going to a fancy restaurant. Next, go to That Art Place here in Belton, and paint pieces of pottery together. The shop offers mugs, plates, figurines, and more with various designs ranging from $10 to $20. If you call ahead on Saturday night and mention you’re on a date, you will get a 10 percent off discount. Or if you want to pay a little more, the shop is offering couple’s canvas painting or fused glass projects that comes with a complimentary rose and desserts. Finish off the day by watching the stars and drinking hot chocolate in the Quad. 2. Do you and your sweetheart like being outdoors? You can check out a kayak or a canoe for less than $20 at Recreation Equipment Checkout at BLORA and take a romantic kayak or canoe ride down Belton Lake. Bring along a guitar and play a special song for your special someone. After you finish kayaking, explore the trails by the lake together, before enjoying appetizers at Dead Fish Grill, The Gin, or BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. 3. Would you rather see a movie? The Grand Avenue Theater is showing classic romantic comedies Sunday night for $5 a person. You may not be a huge fan of chick flicks, but you will score huge points with your date if you’re willing to sit through one. The theater’s café’ will be offering Valentine’s Day-themed entrees. After the movie, indulge in The Gin’s special red velvet cheesecake with a chocolate-covered strawberry on the side for $5.95 or make your own frozen yogurt concoction at the Weigh Station next to The Gin in downtown Belton. You can mix and match these ideas, check out Pinterest and Groupon.com, or create your own unique idea. No matter what you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, choose something from the heart, and I can guarantee that she’ll like it. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a memory that your special someone will remember for years to...

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Lip Sync Battle: A show fit for the Queen

For those of you who can’t binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix because you don’t have a Netflix account, don’t worry. There is still hope for quality entertainment on cable television! Lip Sync Battle is a fairly new reality show on Spike that got its pitch from a popular karaoke segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. This popular show takes classic karaoke to the next level by allowing celebrities to dance, dress up, and perform their favorite songs in front of a live audience. The first episode aired April 2, 2015 and has yet to disappoint. With LL Cool J as host, and model Chrissy Teigen providing colorful commentary, the show is thriving.Viewers tune in weekly to see their favorite pair of A-list celebrities go head-to-head in a lip sync battle. Channing and Jenna Dewan-Tatum set the bar high during the premiere of the show’s second season with phenomenal performances of Beyonce’s “Who Runs the World” and Genuine’s “Pony.” The “Queen Bee” herself even made a guest appearance along with Paula Abdul and some of Channing’s Magic Mike co-stars. The star couple had the audience and viewers raving about their performances. The list of star-studded guests has ranged from comedian Kevin Heart to actress Anne Hathaway, and the list will continue to go on into the third season. Spike officially announced the hit show, which is currently in its second season, will be returning for a third season consisting of 20 new episodes. This comes at no surprise to those who love the show. Lip Sync Battle smashed viewership records when they pulled in 4.7 million viewers in one episode and three days worth of video-on-demand and DVR playback. Its initial premier was one of the highest-rated shows to ever premier on Spike. The show now has versions airing in Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Philippines, and the United Kingdom. The popularity of the show has clearly made its mark on the world. So the next time every one is binge-watching on Netflix or Hulu, you can catch the stars on Lip Sync Battle on Spike HD channel 112 Thursday nights at 9...

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Star Wars makes the big bucks
Jan28

Star Wars makes the big bucks

“Luke, I am your father.” Darth Vader’s gravelly voice echoes through the chamber. “No, that’s not true,” one-handed Luke Skywalker screams in disbelief and agony before he jumps down a hole into the abyss. Most Americans instantly recognize this iconic scene from the franchise that changed the course of cinema. Star Wars, directed by George Lucas, pushed its way into the box office in May of 1977. Considered a low budget B-movie, Star Wars opened to only 43 theaters. However, each week more theaters began to show the movie. Star Wars remained in theaters for almost 70 weeks, and made more than $460 million. “The first Star Wars was so appealing because it brought a new genre to the big screen with a great storyline that hadn’t been heard before,” sophomore Christian studies major Franklin Groseclose said. From this point on, Lucasfilms began licensing the brand to other companies for merchandise. In addition to the usual action figures and T-shirts, some rather unorthodox items have been spotted including airsickness bags, Darth Vader toasters, and fishing gear. During the next 28 years, Lucasfilms released five more Star Wars films, including three prequels to the original Star Wars movie. Star Wars was renamed as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when these prequels were released. Disney bought the franchise in 2012 for $4 billion from George Lucas. Once they acquired the franchise, Disney instantly expressed interest in adding onto the Star Wars saga. “When I heard that Disney owned Star Wars, I was angry, because it seems like they own almost everything. But when I saw the new Star Wars movie, I was very pleasantly surprised,” freshman nursing major Michaela Williams said. In December of 2015, Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Thousands of moviegoers of all ages flocked to see the new movie featuring old characters such Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Han Solo, and new characters such as Finn and Rey. “Star Wars is a movie franchise that a generation has been able to pass to the next,” Groseclose said. “Since our parents grew up on it, they understood what it would be like to see Star Wars once again, and it is appealing to the younger generation because of the action and that it was probably part of their childhood as well.” After just 20 days in theaters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens beat Avatar’s $760,507,625 domestic gross to become the #1 grossing movie in the nation. For those of you who have not seen the newest movie, let’s just say that Disney left everyone with a cliffhanger. I guess we’ll have to wait until...

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DIY: Ugly Christmas sweater edition

By: Jasmin Ortiz Are you in search of the perfect look for the onset of the fast-approaching ugly Christmas sweater season? With a few simple and budget friendly tricks, you will be right on your way to your most creative holiday sweater season yet. Find a Sweater. To have a great holiday sweater, you need the base–a sweater. Before hitting up Goodwill, check your closet–any old or unwanted sweater will do wonders. But if the closet shopping doesn’t produce any contenders, Goodwill or any thrift store may have simple and cheap sweaters that can get the job done (after a good wash). And don’t worry about strange patterns or designs–these work great. The purpose of an ugly Christmas sweater is to have the most outlandish style, so don’t be afraid to be a little out there. This step will not only help you save a few bucks on the project, but may also give it some much desired “flair.” Get crafty. Grab whatever crafty materials you have nearby–paper, tinsel, glitter, beads, or anything that may help to create the craziest and best look. If none are available to you, make a trip to the dollar store. Different sweater embellishments can be found for cheap. Also, during the holiday season various holiday-themed items are in the front of the store which can be a huge plus to the project. Design time. Lay out what you want the sweater to look like before actually attach items. An easy and cute idea would be a pop-out Santa (You can make a Santa face out of construction paper, or other materials, or a reindeer with antlers that stick out). After figuring out what the general idea is, start to lay it out on top of the sweater. Make sure the sweater is completely flat and spread out. Application process. When finalizing the design, make sure the whole look will stay. Hot glue is recommended, but for those without one on-hand, use regular glue, tape, or staples. The idea is to be outlandish and funny. If the whole sweater is held together by staples, it may work and look just as great as those that were sewn together. Making the sweater unique and custom to you will benefit the overall concept and allow a unique level of creativity. And there you have it, a budget friendly and fun way to kick-start this holiday...

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Tis’ the season for a movie marathon
Dec08

Tis’ the season for a movie marathon

The Christmas season is finally here and it’s time to spread some holiday cheer. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday movie for your next Christmas movie marathon, these films are a must-add to your list. 1. Elf, 2003, PG Buddy, a human raised among Santa and his elves, travels to New York City after finding out his true identity. He goes on a quest to meet his real father, and has to adjust to the crazy life outside of the North Pole and win over his not-so-caring father’s heart. This favorite Christmas comedy combines Will Ferrell’s hilarious sense of humor with classic Christmas spirit. It is sure to leave both children and adults singing and laughing out loud. Whether you’ve seen it or not, this movie is a must-add to your annual holiday movie list. 2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000, PG Everyone in Whoville is excited and full of Christmas spirit, preparing for the Christmas holiday. Everyone, that is, except for the Grinch, who is insistent on stealing Christmas. This classic film is based on Dr. Seuss’ book ,and continues to be a childhood favorite for both kids and adults. A definite must-see this Christmas season. 3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989, PG-13 In hopes of impressing both his wife and children and his visiting extended family, Clark Griswold sets out to have the perfect Christmas. But unfortunetely for the unlucky family man, everything goes wrong. With many of the same cast members and producers of National Lampoon’s Vacation, this timeless comedy is still a popular movie choice during the holiday season. If you are looking for a good laugh to add to your Christmas movie marathon list, Christmas Vacation should definitely be on the top of your list. 4. The Polar Express, 2004, PG In this modern holiday film, a little boy goes on the journey of a lifetime to the North Pole on a train ride that teaches him bravery and how the spirit of Christmas will never leave those who believe. The Polar Express is the perfect way to relive your childhood and the magic of believing in Christmas. So, make sure to include it in your next Christmas family movie night. 5. Home Alone, 1990,PG After accidentally being forgotten at home by his parents during Christmas vacation, an 8-year-old boy is left to protect himself and his home from two burglars. This scary experience soon turns into a hilarious experience for the young boy. It is the perfect Christmas movie to laugh at with a group of friends or loved...

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How to get away with eating like a pig over Christmas break
Dec08

How to get away with eating like a pig over Christmas break

By: Starr Rivers It’s that time of the year. The most wonderful time of the year. It’s Christmas Break. Time to take a rest from 8 a.m. classes, tests, all-nighters, and Chick-Fil-A (well…maybe not Chick-Fil-A). Time to enjoy family, old friends, caroling, giving to others, and of course, EATING. What’s Christmas without your mom, aunts, and grandma pulling out their best recipes and ending the year with more food than you could ever eat. Thanksgiving just passed and be honest, you went back for seconds, thirds, and maybe a fourth plate. But that was only a week long. With Christmas break upon us, it could be four weeks of stuffing your face. You could go back to Belton 20 pounds heavier. When you return to campus, everyone will know exactly what happened. They’ll know that eggnog, cookies, figgy pudding, chocolate fudge, and gingerbread houses got to you. For those who don’t want to ruin their workouts, here’s some tips to get away with countless cheat meals before spring semester. 1. Focus on other things When attending different Christmas functions and parties, remember it is a social gathering. The pigging out should be for Christmas dinner. Many times people believe it is all about eating. In truth, it is more about congregating and socializing with others. Play board games, watch a movie, sing songs, but don’t get stuck in the corner with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. 2. Go for that turkey There’s bound to be tons of turkey, ham, quail, and other protein sources. It’s usually a mainstay of holiday dinners. Eat it. If anything, eat lots of it. It’s delicious because Grandma knows how to marinate it just right, and it is a great source of nutritional value and protein. 3. Pace Yourself` This is usually the biggest problem when gaining weight over the break. This is usually why by the end of the night our stomachs are killing us and we regret those last two plates of pie. When eating all the delectable dishes, give your brain time to register how much food you’ve eaten. Believe it or not, 10-15 minutes later, you might not want the food as much as you thought. I know, you’re shaking your head, saying no way will I turn down a plate of Mom’s famous chocolate cake, but hey, just give yourself time and it may save you a pound or two. 4. Drink lots of water Water does the body good. It’ll make you feel fuller longer and will keep you hydrated. You may hate water, but it’ll really help with all the salt and sugar you’re going...

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