The Ultimate Spring Break Destination – Puerto Rico!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Christmas has come and gone.  The ‘winter wonderland’ we desired before holiday break can easily turn to the winter blues.  Snow may soon be turning to slush and while we loved our holiday celebrations, we quickly may long for the the warmth of our next ‘break’ – spring break!

Whether it is our first or final (gulp!) spring break, most of us long for sun, sand, and warmth!  

No beach locally (or in a days drive)?  Save some cash and pack your bags with no passport needed and head to Puerto Rico!

Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico.  Whether you’re a golfer, foodie, the adventure type, or a beach (rum) bum, Puerto Rico has everything that you want in a nice relaxing vacation. Just hop on a plane and go!

With 270 miles of coastline and featured in the Top 10 beaches from Travel Channel, your entire crew is sure to find something to do!  From relaxing beaches to the impressive Camuy caverns you can glow like an angel in the water in the Bioluminescent bays or visit the only rainforest under US national park service, El Yunque, and climb to the clouds. 

Beach not your thing? History Buffs can enjoy old world charm of San Juan,  adventurers can enjoy horse back riding or the magnificent Camuy caverns that runs through the 3rd largest subterranean river in the world and foodies can experience the delicacies of Puerto Rican gastronomy and it’s famous Rums.

Interested in making Puerto Rico your spring break destination?  Like SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook and Follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter and share with us why you want to check out Puerto Rico!  

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Top 5 Places to Go in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Courtesy of Sasha Graffagna

Courtesy of Sasha Graffagna

When it’s 50 degrees in early May, nobody can blame us classy co-eds for dreaming of tropical weather and white sandy beaches. Those dreams can come true in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico. Just a short flight from many major cities, San Juan is a low-budget summer getaway. If you can make it down there this summer, CL has compiled a list of 5 must-see places in San Juan.

1. El Caribe Hilton. On a co-ed budget, you likely can’t afford to stay at this Hilton. But you can certainly have a drink at the hotel bar, as long as you’re over 18. Have a sip of a cool, frothy piña colada, which was invented here in 1954. And if you are lucky enough to be able to spend the night, make sure to hit up the city’s only private beach.

El Morro/Courtesy of Sasha Graffagna

El Morro/Courtesy of Sasha Graffagna

2. El Morro, La Fortaleza, and Castillo de San Cristobal. San Juan’s many defensive structures no longer fight foreign invaders, but they remain an impressively imposing sight. These structures make up much of Old San Juan, the city’s historic district. Start at the fountain at the end of Paso de la Princes, and follow the stone wall all the way up to the Castle of San Cristobal. Watching the waters of the Pacific lap against the base of this centuries-old fort is a peaceful end to your day, especially if you go at sunset.

3. Isla Verde Beach. You can’t go to Puerto Rico and miss its biggest attraction: the beach! Go to the one closest to your hotel, because in Puerto Rico you really can’t go wrong. Need a change of scenery? Head to Isla Verde and relax on its famous white sand beaches, or swim in the calming waters. There is also a plethora of restaurants, stores and luxury hotels within walking distance.

El Yunque National Forest/Courtesy of Sasha Graffagna

El Yunque National Forest/Courtesy of Sasha Graffagna

4. El Yunque National Forest. OK, so this isn’t technically in San Juan. But at just an hour’s drive away, it’s too amazing to miss. El Yunque covers most of the island’s northeastern region and is the only rainforest in the United States National Forest System. See if you can find a coquí, the world’s smallest frog, only found in Puerto Rico. And if it’s not raining, take a dip in one of El Yunque’s several natural pools. Looking for an adventure? Several companies offer ziplining tours of the lush green forest.

5. Raíces. Looking for a taste of traditional Puerto Rico? Head to Raíces, located in Old San Juan, to sample all of the delicious Puerto Rican food they have to offer. Try the mofongo, which is essentially mashed fried green plantains stuffed with stewed meat or seafood. You might want to save this one for a special occasion though – Raíces can be pretty pricey.

Image courtesy of lkunl/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of lkunl/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking for more budget vacation ideas? Check out:

5 Road Trip Stops in Long Island

City Spotlight: Cancún

5 Pittsburgh Road Trip Stops


Get Your Body Bikini Ready

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As you and your college roommates shop online for your new bikinis for the upcoming Spring Break vacation, you realize although your mind is in the right place, your body isn’t up to par. With a couple weeks left before you bid adieu to campus life, you know you have to do something and fast. You and your friends decide you’re really going to crack down and start with healthy dorm eating and exercising every day. The only thing you and your classy co-eds are missing is some advice and how-to, so you can obtain your ideal beach bodies. Well, CL is here to guide you so you can make the most of the last couple weeks before Spring Break.

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  1.    Portion Control: You made it through your three-hour night class with dinner on your mind. After finally getting home, all you want to do is fill your tummy. But then, two words pop in your head: bikini body. Instead of eating an unhealthy dinner because of how hungry you are, load half your plate with delicious veggies, a quarter of your plate with lean protein and the final quarter with a carbohydrate.
  2.   Smart Snacking: Between classes you head to the vending machine to grab a quick snack. As you begin to push B6 for those tasty chips, you begin to hear the sounds of the beach and your future Spring Break vacation. You stop and begin to think of some healthier options for your snack-time cravings. Instead of chips, pack a small plastic bag half full of your favorite high-fiber cereal; trail mix, or some fresh fruit. Eating these healthier options will put you one step closer to getting that much wanted beach body.
  3.  Exercise: Finding time for working out between studying, class and your job can seem next to impossible. But, have no fear because CL has some tips to help shape your body to look flawless in your bikini all in the comfort of your own dorm room. Make it a point to wake-up a few minutes early to do these ab exercises.

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  • Flutter Kicks- lay on your back with your hands at your side and kick your legs up and down. Do 20 reps.
  • Tik-toks- lay on your back with your hands at your side and with your legs together, move them from side to side. Do 20 reps.
  • Plank Hold- position your body into a push up position and hold for 30-45 seconds.
  • Side Crunches- get in the sit-up position with your hands behind your head. Bring your left elbow up to your right knee. Then, bring your right elbow to your left knee. Do 20 reps on each side.
  • Rockers- lay on your back with your arms above your head and rock your body back and forth. Do 20 reps.

In addition to getting that sculpted tummy, you should get your heart-rate going and do some cardio. Grab some friends and go for a bike ride around campus. Or, make a playlist and get on an elliptical or treadmill to help speed up your metabolism and get you on the fast track to your much-wanted bikini body.

What bikini are you going to get to sport your new fabulously fit Spring Break body?

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How to Make a Spring Fling Last

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Springtime is approaching quickly which means love is in the air! Co-eds are awakening from their winter slump, and beginning to enjoy the warm weather. With summer around the corner there’s no better time for a spring fling. Maybe it’s a new guy from campus or someone you meet while on spring break. Either way, no one can deny the thought of a new date is exciting! Blossoming romance is one of the best feelings, but what happens when it turns serious? When one or both parties start to develop feelings? How can you make your spring fling last?

spring fling 2

Before starting to date someone new, make sure your expectations are realistic. Most times, flings start without any sort of guidelines mentioned beforehand. If both parties go into the relationship aware of the fact that it is just a fling, it is more likely no one will get hurt in the end. If your partner is clear that they don’t want a commitment at the time, it’s important for you to understand that nothing serious will develop.

When getting to know each other, remember to be yourself and show your new love interest how confident and fabulous you are. Sometimes we get caught up in the passion of it all and expect a story book ending. The best way to get to know your date is to be yourself, especially if you meet while away for spring break or on a vacation make sure you are always completely honest with your date. Honestly is the best way to build a fling that has real lasting power.

 

Maintain a spring fling with no pressure; it is the best way to set it up for a successful future. Pressuring your partner after the relationship has developed will only lead to a spring fling’s demise. No one likes to be given an ultimatum of commitment or calling it quits. When it comes to a fling it is better to go with it and see how you both feel after a few months together. If one feels more strongly than the other, it may be best to just wait a bit longer and see what develops.

spring fling 4

Keep these three tips in mind if you begin to find yourself at the start of a spring fling. Always remember to start it off realistically, stay classy, let your personality shine through, and keep it pressure free. Who knows? You may find your spring passion leading to a long lasting relationship.

spring fling 5

 


Style by the City: Ireland

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

Spring Break is the time to show your best style to the strangers you will meet in a foreign place, and more than likely, you will never see them again. Leave an impression on the city which you go to. Especially, the blessed students who have the opportunity to go abroad for spring break 2013. One of the hottest spots this spring break is the cozy country of Ireland. Unlike the cliché spring break trip, which usually takes place in Cancun or Miami – leaving you slim options of bathing suits and tank tops – you will have the chance to wear fun fleece sweaters and epic coats. Make all the Irish men and women  go crazy over your daring fashion sense.

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

Funky Sweaters

Sweaters. They never go out of style. Wear a long sweater with a sophisticated bun. This is a style that is very American but will translate very well among the masses. Wear an off-white fleece sweater, black skinny jeans, and a cute fedora. If the hat is too much or it makes you uncomfortable, bring on the girly style. Wear a Blair Waldorf inspired headband. Adding an ultra-femme touch to a simple outfit is never too much. Wearing a cute pair of heels to make it classy will top off the whole ensemble.

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

The Blue Period

It has recently come to my attention shades of blue inspired by the ocean have become an eccentric and chic color choice, which people are experimenting with, and it is doing wonders. Although you are in a colder climate, you can always wear colors inspired by the beaches of California. Wear a sandy-beige blouse with a pair of aqua pants. A pair of wedges and big sunglasses will make you look like you walked right off the boardwalk and onto the blarney stone. No one will be able to resist you. All the Irish will adore you.

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

Night on the Town

An excellent statement you can make on a night out in the beautiful country of Ireland is to wear a sheer blouse, a pair of vertical striped shorts, and a blazer. This classy style will not only give off a chic vibe, but will also make you stand out. If it is a little bit chilly at night, a pair of tights is absolutely recommended.

All you girls heading to Ireland for your spring break, get excited for that flight. With one last piece of advice, pack lightly. You will end up purchasing a few beautiful new items to add to your wardrobe. I hope you girls have a blast and keep the luck of the Irish on your side.

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

 

For More Articles on Spring Break:

Spring Break: Staycation

My Time in Ireland

Spring Break Travel Online Savings Guide


CL’s Guide to: Keeping Fit over Spring Break

 

After long months of working out to get your Spring Break beach bod back in action, it’s finally time to show it off. While lying on the beach blasting some tunes with your savvy college roommates, temptation strikes. Chips, dips and soda seem to be the only thing around to eat, and working out is the furthest thing from your mind on this beautiful spring day. CL sat down with LSU’s Sports Dietitian, Jamie Mascari, to find out how you can keep your fitness up to par and avoid the freshman 15 while enjoying your vacation.

College Lifestyles: How do you suggest fitting in exercise while away on a Spring Break vacation with the family, friends and with countless activities going on?

Jamie Mascari: Working out may be the last thing you want to do on vacation, but there are fun ways to stay active while traveling. Consider signing up for a walking tour, bike ride or mountain hike. You’ll burn some calories while experiencing the city/country in which you are staying. Scope out your hotel to see if it has a fitness center, and squeeze some morning workouts in there as well. The fitness room is a great place to meet locals and other tourists who can give you helpful tips about the area.  Make a list of the eateries that have a variety of nutritious, low calorie options and keep it on hand with you during your trip. By preparing this dining guide prior to your departure, you will have more time to enjoy your vacation plans without worrying about finding places to eat.

CL: What are some healthy alternatives to typical beach/vacation foods?

JM: Typical beach/vacation snack foods consist of chips, dips, cookies and sodas. These items seem convenient but can easily be substituted with some healthier options. Instead of chips and dip, pack your ice chest with baby carrots, celery, and sliced cucumbers along with some hummus and salsa. To curb a sweet tooth, have fresh or dried fruit, yogurt, and 100 calorie granola bars available. Prepare turkey and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread for a light lunch. Always have water available to stay hydrated while relaxing under the sun.

CL: How do we kill the craving for unhealthy foods so we can keep our fit bodies in check while away?

JM: First rule of thumb is to never deprive yourself of these so-called “unhealthy foods.” Any type of food can fit into a healthy diet, but balance and portion control is a must. Once you decide to never eat a certain food again, the more you are going to crave it, which will most likely lead to over-eating. Treat yourself in moderation every once in a while, but try to stick with fiber-filled and protein-rich foods the majority of the time.

CL: Is it possible to make exercise seem like less of a chore while on vacation?

JM: Absolutely! As stated in question one, plan fun vacation events that require physical exertion: long walks with friends along the beach, beach volleyball, walking tours, pool/water games, etc. You’ll be having fun without even knowing you’re burning calories.

CL: What is your number one piece of advice for spring breakers wanting to continue their fitness plans this year?

JM: I would say the most important thing is to find what works best for you! Stick with exercise plans that fit your schedule and preferred fitness style, and most importantly… make sure it’s something you enjoy. If you have fun while exercising, you are more likely to stick with it.  Avoid crash diets (especially diets that promise impractical results). These are only for the short term and tend to be very expensive and sometimes unsafe. Set achievable fitness goals for yourself and work towards them in a slow and healthy manner. You will be able to appreciate the hard work you have invested in your health and fitness… this will lead to long lasting results.

For more college tips to help you keep your fitness level up check out these fabulous CL articles: “Grilled Vegetables 101”, “Healthy Eating at BBQ’s and Beach Parties”  and “Workout Spotlight: Hatha Yoga”.

 

 

 


Spring Break Travel Online Savings Guide

For some, Mother Nature is bringing in the cold and snow, while for others, Mother Nature is in the ‘in-between’ stages of ‘do I wear a sweater today or not?’  Spring Break may be a long awaited thought in our minds, but we are getting teased with swimsuit displays at our favorite stores.

To some, a stay cation sounds great, for others, the sun and sand is their calling, and for some, the city is a prime destination.  Whether you decide to drive, fly, or stay home, one of the first steps in determining if a Spring Break destination is in your cards is a spending plan.  While the gorgeous beaches may seem like a dream, your dream can become a reality by doing proper research, planning, and taking advantage of online coupon sites.

Coupon Chief Coupon Codes is a savings site offering a variety of online deals from clothing to travel one can use for Spring Break budget planning.

Stores we have found great deals specifically related to Spring Break travel include:

Jet Blue.  Planning on flying to your destination and Jet Blue flies out of your home airport, view this section for any discounts on booking your flight.

Expedia.  Jet Blue doesn’t fly out of your home airport?  In addition to searching for flights, use Expedia to check hotel prices on your Spring Break destinations.

SuperShuttle.  Taxi’s can be outrageous and some hotels do not offer a specific shuttle to and from the airport.  A SuperShuttle stops at various hotels to and from the airport, so be sure to plan extra time for this ride; but the savings can outweigh a taxi.  Call your hotel to determine if a SuperShuttle is available.

With a proper budget and use of available online savings, you may be able to afford your dream Spring Break!


Spring Break Health 101

While spring break is supposed to be a relaxing time, free of classes and studying, for many college students, it means rethinking your body image and wondering if you are bikini ready. I’ve checked in with CL’s Editor in Chief/CEO, Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN-Registered Dietitian, and Brianna Larson, BS, ACSM/HFS. They provide classy co-eds with advice on looking good for spring break while doing it the healthy way.

College Lifestyles: What do you suggest students should do in preparation for spring break if they are looking to shed a couple pounds?

Shelly Marie Redmond: Since many of us don’t have a say in what is served to us (dining hall), the most useful tip is to cut down on portions and replace with high fiber vegetables.  Literally, cut in half what you place on your plate.  If you have two scoops of spaghetti, cut down to one scoop and fill in the empty space with any vegetable/salad available in the dining hall.  The second tip is to carry water with you at all times. Snack on protein – carry around Greek yogurt cups or have in your refrigerator and eat those if you get a hunger craving.

CL: What do you believe is one of the biggest food mistakes students make in trying to lose weight for spring break?

SR: Skipping meals.  Many of us think if I skip breakfast, I will cut down on calories, but the truth is you will be starving at lunch (or before) and overeat without realizing it.

CL: What do you think is the healthiest way to lose weight in a short amount of time?

SR: Portion control.  Sounds silly, but it is true.  A regular bagel equals three bread servings.  Cut that in half and you are set!

CL: Why is it so unhealthy to go on a crash diet or starve yourself?

SR: Simply, you cannot stay on these diets or this ‘skip meal’ pattern forever.  When you ‘go back’ to eating regular, you will gain any weight loss back and become discouraged.

CL: How can students eat healthy while away on spring break?

SR: While it is difficult to plan ahead when traveling with friends, have a goal to make one grocery trip when you arrive to your destination.  Fill the refrigerator with Greek yogurt and one of your favorite fruit (be it apple, oranges, banana, etc).  Aim to have the yogurt and fruit daily (ideally for breakfast).  In packing, throw in your suitcase a box of Kashi or Luna bars.  Have these as a snack or while getting ready to go out on the town.

For more helpful tips on eating healthy this spring, check out intern, Meg Dowell’s guide on starting a spring nutrition plan.

CL: What kind of exercise plan do you recommend students do to shed weight in a small amount of time?

Brianna Larson: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is my go-to exercise program when you need to maximize your workout in a minimum amount of time. HIIT sessions consist of a warm up period of exercise, followed by six to ten cycles of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about half of the intensity of your maximum intensity. The beauty of HIIT is the entire session lasts at most fifteen minutes and not more than twenty. The original protocol of HIIT is set at a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of jogging or walking. You can perform HIIT in your dorm room, bedroom, at the park and with absolutely no equipment. This excuse-free, express route to fitness is the best for those who want results!

CL: How can students stay active while away on spring break?

BL: Engage in exciting and active things. It’s not fun to be tied down to the gym on your break, however if you attend a Zumba class or bootcamp class, you get the best of both worlds. Keep your body slim and wallet plump, by inquiring about a student discount at local gyms. If you are away on vacation, book a hike or explore the city with friends. Walking is an excellent way to burn calories and enjoy the sights and sounds of fun new places, and not to mention the resistance training you’ll get from toting the heavy bags from shopping!

Try CL’s 30 day workout plan by intern, Kathleen Hansen, so you can look fabulous and feel confident in your bathing suit. Whether you’re going away for spring break or just relaxing at home, Meg Dowell’s article on starting a spring workout plan can help you get fit and healthy this spring.


Chic Style: Spring Break Travel Looks

Photo Credit: Google

The countdown for spring break begins now! Depending on where everyone is going for spring break, people everywhere are wondering what to wear. Whether you are going to a chic French speaking country, a warm beach, or even to your hometown to spend time with friends and family, you should still look as stylish as possible.

Summer Weather

Photo Credit: Google

If you are going to the beach, bathing suits are a huge deal. Bathing suits that fall into the high-waisted trend will give you the classy look of a 1950’s star on the beach. As intimidating as high-waisted bottoms may seem – if you want to obtain the look, you should. Have fun with it and even add a flare of glamour, whether it is red lipstick or a vintage piece of jewelry. Be Grace Kelly on the beach.

A bathing suit trend that is less intimidating is the return of the bandeau top. The bandeau bathing suit top is simple and sweet, but it can easily stand out. Bandeau tops with fringe are absolutely youthful and classy.

Off the beach, you can obtain a sassy look with crop tops, bandeaus, high-waisted or cut off shorts, and a straw hat of any size to match. You will not only feel warm in the sun – but beautiful as well.

Colder Climates

If you are visiting a colder climate, be it your hometown (if your hometown is in a colder area) or a western European country, there is a good chance it will still be a little bit freezing in March. A pair of skinny jeans or skinny corduroy jeans will do the trick. Skinny corduroy jeans are unique enough that you will catch everyone’s eye.

A collared sleeveless shirt or blouse is a very cool look as well. You can wear an ascot and a blazer and jeans or slacks by day, and then wear a form fitting skirt by night. This type of shirt is not only fashionable, but can be easily transformed time and time again.

Oxfords are also the perfect shoe. They are comfortable and assist in the evolution from being a high school student to being a studious and academic collegiate co-ed. For Freshmen who are going home during spring break, this will surprise your family and friends and will show them the good transformations you are undergoing. You will appear as a true adult.

Photo Credit: Google

Shorts and tights are a very good and practical look in cold weather. Put those shorts to good use. The college kids below the equator should not be the only ones in shorts. Tights and shorts are really fun. Wearing blue shorts and burgundy tights gives a very fun and sassy look. With a pair of funky oxfords you will look like a college girl. Also, a pair of black cut off shorts and white tights with combat boots will make you look like a rock star. You can pull off any look.

Make this spring break the best one ever College Lifestyle’s readers. Remember, always feel comfortable in the skin you are in and always look chic and sassy no matter what.

Photo Credit: Google


Looks for Spring Break – Plane Travel

Hi Ladies ! Its finally spring beak ! I know we are in desperate need for some R&R and a week to not open a school book after midterms :) A lot of us are probably going somewhere with sunny,warm weather or maybe even having a staycation. No matter where your spring break travels take you, I have both the plane rides apparel covered.
For all my ladies going home let’s be both fashionable and comfy with jeans, t shirts, and oversized sweaters.  I love this look  its so versatile which can be worn on a plane and on mall trips!

Now for my ladies heading to Cancun, South Beach, Panama City, and more. Let’s start this vacation early. Head to the airport warm weather ready. Put on some cute printed shorts with a comfy tee. Don’t forget the accessories add sunglasses and fedoras. If your worried about it being cold on the plane just grab a sweater. Have fun in the sun :)

Shanae Hatchett is a sophomore English major with a minor in Public Relations at Hampton University. She is obsessed with fashion,shopping, magazines, celebrity drama, and reality tv all while wearing cute shoes with a caramel macchiato in hand.


Keep the Spring Break Feeling all Semester Long!

If you’re headed off for spring break this week, don’t be disappointed when you come back to finish the semester off! You can still enjoy the rest of the school year even while you’re hitting the books.

Put up photos. No, not on Facebook. Get prints of some of your best photos and put them into frames, especially beach pictures if you have to go back to a cold place.

Incorporate spring themes into your wardrobe. Check out Shanae’s Colorful Jeans article and Morgan’s NY Fashion Week Looks for Less.

 

Courtesy of fashionising.com

 

Eat fruit. There’s no better way to keep a beachy feeling than biting into an orange or strawberry!

Exercise. Take some time to go to the gym or go for a walk – working out will leave you feeling less stressed.

Get a mani-pedi. Try the colors suggested by CL Intern Sasha.

Stay in touch with friends from home. Make plans to see each other over Easter break, and keep one another updated on your lives while you’re at school. This is also a great time to start planning a spring brunch.

Start planning your summer vacation. Check out a few locations and cruise lines. It will keep your vacation appetite at bay.

Buy a new book. There’s nothing better than reading at the beach, but a dorm room will have to suffice for now. Try some of these CL readers’ recommendations you may have missed last semester and the CL Book Club reading “The Violets of March.”

Courtesy of being5.com

Take a nap. After a long week of vacation time, your sleep schedule is probably a little bit off, especially if you were in a different time some. So, get your Z’s!

But don’t slack off! Keep up with your work – SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE!


Snack Right While Traveling

Spring Break is in full swing on college campuses across the country. For many classy co-eds, this means travelling. Whether by train, plane, or automobile; to places exotic or back to your hometown; you will probably get hungry. After working for weeks to get swimsuit-ready for your Spring Break trip, don’t let getting the munchies at a gas station derail healthy eating. Here are some of College Lifestyle’s favorite snacks for traveling.

Whole-grain cereal

Many cereals that tout the “Whole Grains” stamp of approval are available in single-serving cups for your consuming pleasure. Look for brands that have at least 4 grams of fiber per cup, like classic Cheerios.

Energy bars

Often, energy bars are just a fancy way of saying “candy bars”. Be a label-reading maven and look for a bar that has at least 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein while keeping a eye out for the sugar content. Kellogg’s Special K Protein, Kashi Go Lean, and Clif Bars all make excellent choices with a variety of delicious flavor options.

Trail mix

Preferably made by you! Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and peanuts make a great source of healthy fats and protein. Throw in some dried fruit such as Craisins or dried apricots and maybe a few dark chocolate chips to sweeten the deal. Just make sure to pay attention to portion size or you may be in for more than you bargained for.

Fresh fruit

Many places are now making fresh fruit available, even if it is just the ever popular apple or banana. If you’re lucky, you may run across fresh fruit cups, such as those produced by Del Monte. Fruit provides a hefty dose of vitamin C to help you battle those nasty bugs that always seem to go around when travelling. No one wants to have a cold while sitting on a sunny beach!

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If you have the time and ability to plan ahead and bring a cooler along, for instance if you are taking a road trip or driving to your destination, then that’s even better!

Pack your cooler full of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, baby carrots, and fresh fruit. Drink plenty of water and try adding a packet of Crystal Light if you crave a little flavor. I like to make my own protein bars whenever I’m away from home and need a healthy snack. Here is my go-to recipe:

Pumpkin Protein Bars

1/2 C Xylitol Brown Sugar Blend (Ideal)
1/2 C No Sugar Added applesauce
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 t vanilla extract
4 large egg whites (3/4 c liquid egg whites)
1 – 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin
2 C oat flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein
1/2 c almond milk

Preheat oven to 350deg F. Spray a 9″ x 13″ dish with non-stick spray. Combine first 11 ingredients (through pumpkin) and mix well. Add the final 3 ingredients, and mix until incorporated.
Spread batter into dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Have a safe and successful Spring Break, from College Lifestyles to you! Prepare to come back and finish the semester in style.

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Ellen Ratliff is a Senior Health Writer at College Lifestyles ™. She is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in Dietetics with a specialization in Health Promotions. For Spring Break 2012, she will be staying in town, relaxing with family and friends.


Five Spring Break Destinations!

After a long and cold winter, many classy co-eds are anticipating spring break! Here are five spring break locations to consider:

 

Miami

Miami is known for attracting college students with their sunny beaches, shopping opportunities and unique wildlife.

Attractions:

  • Beaches- enjoy the beauty of the ocean while getting a nice tan.

    ca. 2004, Miami Beach, Florida, USA — Hotels on Miami Beach — Image by © Alan Schein Photography/CORBIS

  • Seaquarium-  visit the animals of the sea and see exhibits featuring dolphins, whales, sea turtles and many other fascinating sea animals.
  • Everglades- explore the home of 14 endangered species by walking, camping or canoeing.
  • Coral Gables- be a fashionista and shop along the boulevards or taste the finest cuisines at one of their restaurants.
  • Little Havana- witness the Hispanic culture for yourself by tasting the food, hearing the music, and by visiting the various monuments filled with Hispanic history.

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica

Along with Miami, Costa Rica is notorious for its beaches but is also known for its beautiful national parks and gardens.

Attractions:

  • Arenal Volcano- Visit one of the most active volcanoes the country has to offer. If you are lucky enough you might get the opportunity to experience one of its eruptions.
  • Helicopter Tour- Make sure to see Costa Rica from the sky! See all of the island’s natural attractions as well as view other monuments from a bird’s eye view.
  • Whale Watching- Among the most beautiful endangered creatures are whales. During your trip be on the lookout for the Humpback Whale as it makes it way pass Costa Rica for migration.
  • Zip Lining- Have fun by soaring through the air as you zip line through Costa Rica’s tropical areas and experience the sensation of an amusement park ride.
  • Scuba Diving- encounter coral reefs, tropical fish, sharks and even lava formations as you scuba dive into the waters off the coast of Costa Rica.

Cozumel

Visit Mexico’s largest Caribbean island and enjoy the sights of jungles, various animal species and the festive culture of the isle.

Attractions:

  • Atlantis Submarine- Aboard a 48 passenger submarine and witness life underwater as it takes you 100 feet below surface.
  • Deep Sea Fishing- This activity requires no experience, but luck as you try to catch the best sporting fish in the Caribbean while aboard a yacht.
  • Stingray Beach-Encounter stingrays in a different way as you interact with them by touching them, feeding them while you snorkel.
  • Cozumel Country Club- Golf at this first-class country club and enjoy the wildlife and beautiful scenery it has to offer.
  • Mayan Steam Lodge- Familiarize yourself with the Mayan culture as you reap the benefits of the traditional sweat bath.

 

South Padre Island

Located at the tip of Texas, South Padre is the perfect destination for spring break if you are looking for some fun in the sun!

Attractions:

  • Coca Cola Beach- If your spring break falls between March 7-24, be sure to go to Coca Cola Beach 2012, a free event with music, water balloon contests, tug-o-war, dance contests and much more.
  • Sandcastle building- While on the beach be sure to sandcastle building lessons from an expert! Learn how to do everything from a simple castle to a monumental castle with doors, windows and other unique features.
  • Dolphin Watching- Take a dolphin cruise and watch as the dolphins appear and show off their graceful dives.
  • Casablanca Lounge- Like Casablanca? Visit this themed lounge and see what South Padre’s nightlife is all about.
  • Air Padre Kiteboarding- If you are adventurous, make sure you take kite boarding and kite surfing lessons to get your adrenaline pumping!

    The sandcastle I helped build when I visited South Padre


Aspen

While many co-eds want to spend spring break in warm areas, you may want to change it up a bit and go somewhere chilly. Aspen, Colorado is the perfect location to make the best out the cold weather!  Aspen is also a short drive away from most Vail resorts, which are a fantastic place to spend a vacation as well.

Attractions:

  • White River National Forest- visit the top recreation forest in the nation and enjoy all the 2.3 million acres the forest has to offer.
  • Glenwood Hot Springs- here you will find the world’s largest hot springs pool and have the opportunity to water slide, play mini golf and relax at a spa.
  • Aspen Highlands- if you like to ski, Aspen Highlands has 700 acres of uncrowded slopes for you to venture upon.
  • Aspen Santa Fe Ballet- be entertained by a performance by an international dance company or sign up to take ballet classes yourself.
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory- give your taste buds a real treat by trying Colorado’s fudge, caramel apples and other assorted candy.



Sherelle Black is a junior at Louisiana Tech University majoring in journalism with a minor in marketing. She is president of her chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and likes to dance and hang with her sorority sisters in her spare time.

 


8 things Co-eds Love about “Staycations”

College is fun, but sometimes you need a break. That’s what Spring Break is for! Whether it be a sweet escape to the Bahamas, a ski trip to Colorado, or a week-long stay at home, set your studies aside and forget about the stresses of everyday life. This is a vacation…enjoy!

Here are 8 things co-eds love about “staycations“:

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1. You can sleep till whenever (in your own bed). There are no clocks to punch, no 9am classes to wake up for, no office hours to go to, so just sleep in and savor the comfy-ness of your very own bed, blankets, and surplus of pillows.

2. You can watch trashy TV reruns all day long. Think The Real Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, and Desperate Housewives.

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3. You can eat delicious home-cooked meals. Start the day right with a plate full of chocolate-chip banana pancakes, indulge in homemade lasagna for dinner, and enjoy freshly baked cookies before bed.

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4. You can catch up with your high school friends. Find out who’s dating who…go to the movies, go shopping, go bowling, etc.

5. You can bond with your family. Have family dinners, play scrabble, watch movies together, enjoy each other’s company.

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6. You can take a trip to the beauty salon. Get a haircut and then a mani and pedi to match your new do.

7. You can do fun miscellaneous tasks. Make collages, print pictures to hang in your room, color, walk the dogs, write your favorite quotes on fancy paper…

8. You can do absolutely nothing. If you want to spend the entire day in your pjs, now is the time to do it! Sit back, relax, and live in the moment.

Erica Avesian is an intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a a communications major at the University of Michigan. You can find her at the gym, on the elliptical, reading Cosmo and listening to her “Look Good, Feel Good” playlist.


Curing the Halfway Blues

Over the past few weeks, I have had several people come up to me and ask me how I “push on” through the last half of this semester without letting “senioritis” get the best of me.  In fact, I’ve already started my countdown until I graduate at the end of the semester!  But for those of us who are just trying to make it through some of the first semesters, making the final push through the halfway blues of this semester is tough — especially if you live in the midwest or east side with all of the snow and poor weather getting you down.

So how can the savvy ladies of CL and all of our co-eds make it through successfully?  I asked a few of my friends to help me out by answering the question: “what helps YOU make it through the halfway blues?”

1. Erica — Erica is graduating at the end of this semester and is looking forward to starting her career.  She told me that clearly she needs to keep up her grades to get to where she wants to be, so she keeps focusing on what’s in front of her right now with what’s ahead at the front of her goals.  Plus, she’s going to Florida for some Spring Break R&R :)

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

2. Kelsey — Kelsey is a busy physical therapy major with quizzes, exams, projects, and more almost every single week.  She told me that part of how she makes it is all about sleep.  Kelsey tries to get between 9-10 hours of sleep as much as her schedule will allow so she will be focused while making it through the semester!

Get Some Quality Sleep

3. Chelsea — Chelsea finds time to spend with her roommates and her boyfriend.  She thinks that if  you can’t have a little fun, the semester might just kill you before it’s over.

Make Time for Friends

4. Kyle — Kyle celebrates his accomplishments, even if they’re small.  If you get a B+ when you worked hard on an assignment, or even made it through a tough group presentation, celebrate it!  If you constantly put pressure on yourself, chances are you won’t be too happy throughout the semester.

Celebrate Yourself

5. Me — Make “me” time.  All to yourself.  When constantly surrounded by people and assignments and lists of things you should be doing, you might just go crazy.  I make time every night to watch at least an hour of television or do whatever I want, by myself. (P.S., check out CL intern Jessica’s ideas on how to love yourself more!)

Make “Me” Time

There you are, co-eds!  We’re in the final stretch!  So how do YOU make it through the halfway blues?

Kelsey Book is a  writer and a dreamer who thinks faith, family, and musicals make her world go ’round!   She is excited for the 14 Days of Valentine’s challenge, and can’t wait to see what she comes up with herself :)


Kayla’s Fabulous CHERRY February!

What I LOVE about February (& go find the cherry on top!)…

 

My boyfriend, Richard, and me

 


1.  Name: Kayla Norris

2.  Be honest, did you watch the Superbowl? just most of the second half =)

3.  Romantic comedy or love story? Romantic comedy

4.  Favorite ‘love’ movie(s): Just Married, The Notebook, When In Rome and I am seeing Dear John tonight.. it will probably make the list!

justmarried

 


5.  Love getting or giving Valentine’s cards? Getting… I know it’s horrible to be selfish!!

6.  My Valentine’s cards have to have the following cartoon characters? Hello Kitty or Powerpuff Girls

7.  Chocolate or flowers? Mmm any chocolate except dark!

8.  Favorite flower: Peach colored rose

peachrose

 


9.  A great Valentine date would be: I honestly don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day myself =) but knowing I’ll always have a Valentine in my wonderful boyfriend, Richard, is good enough for me!!

10.  My favorite love quote: “It doesn’t matter if the guy is perfect or the girl is perfect, as long as they are perfect for each other.” – Good Will Hunting & “If I tell you ‘I love you’, can I keep you forever?” – Casper =)

11.  Things that ‘make my world go round and I love’: Family, True Friendships, My Boyfriend, My Dog- Yogi, Sorority Road Trips, Teddy Bears, Candles, Bubble Baths, Laughing, Smiling, Cape Cod Chips (Sea Salt & Vinegar), FOOD in general =)
Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority Roadtrips!

Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority Roadtrips!

 

12.  Favorite Winter Olympic sport: Snowboarding

13.  Anything else you love about February: Little Debbie Cherry Cordial Cakes and that it is a month away from SPRING BREAK, which is always much needed in the semester for me!

Little Debbie Cherry Cordials!

Little Debbie Cherry Cordials!

 

**DID YOU FIND THE ‘CHERRY ON TOP’**  =) ………  LITTLE DEBBIE’S!!

Don’t forget to check out my “15 Facts” !

 


cherriesKayla Norris is an intern for College Lifestyles (TM).  She has enough love to give and have in her life to have Valentine’s every day of the year!