courtneylodge

Summer is coming and this means warm weather, festivals, hiking trips, and CAMPING! I personally love to camp and have gained an immense amount of knowledge about it over the years. The name of the game is preparation. Here are few tips to make sure your first camping trip is a successful one. Happy Camping, Vinties!

  

1. Know your site

Call ahead or look on the camp sites webpage and ask what is included in your site. Some campsites are considered primitive (no electricity or running water) and some include electrical hookups and water. If you know you won't have access to these things, you can better prepare.

This is also a good time to check the rules of your campsite. Many ask that you bring in no glass, be quiet after 1am, etc. 

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2. Make a camp box

My fiance and I love to camp. We have two boxes we bring with us each time we go. Here is a quick list of some very valuable supplies!

  • Toilet paper, paper towels
  • Matches
  • Something to cook on: a grate, sticks, a camp stove if you have it
  • Garbage bags
  • Tent, stakes, and mallet
  • Sleeping bag, pillow, extra blanket
  • Duct tape and string
  • First aid kit
  • Something to sit on around the fire

     

3. Food and drinks

Make sure you pack enough water. My rule of thumb is a case of water (or a few gallons) per 3 days for a couple. Only pack foods that will keep well in a cooler or are shelf stable. Pack more food  than you need because if you are in a remote area food will be expensive and hard to come by. Prep work can save you a lot of time and stress on a camping trip. If you are able, prepare food items beforehand and just warm on the fire!

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4. Clothing

Pack layers! Weather can be unpredictable. Temperatures also tend to fluctuate throughout the day during camping season. If you have several layers to play with you can stay comfortable all day. Clothing may also get wet or dirty throughout your camping trip so bring plastic bags to store the clothing until you get home.

    

5. Practice

If your tent is new, you should make sure to set it up at home before you leave. This gives you an opportunity to familiarize yourself and make sure all the parts are there. If it is your first time camping, you may even want to spend a night in the backyard just so you can see what you might be forgetting to bring along. 

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6. Have fun!

Camping is about having fun and enjoying the outdoors. After all your prep you should be able to sit down and enjoy yourself around the campfire with friends. 

    

Feel free to ask any questions you might have! 

Comments (2)
archel

It never hurts to save up some money! It’s one of the best things to do to keep your finances in check. The worst feeling is finding out you have close to nothing in your bank account without backup money to spare. There are a lot of ways to cut spending here are there, here’s a list of ways that can help save some cash now.

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1. Clean Up & Shop Smart

Go through a closet purge, take everything that you don’t wear and sell it! You can turn your unwanted clothes into cash by selling on Vinted! If you want to take a step further, start creating a capsule wardrobe, meaning only have a few select pieces that you can mix and match per season. This way you don’t have too many clothes in your closet that go unworn. To shop smart buy preowned and used clothing, whether it be thrift stores or Vinted, you can save so much money rather than buying retail.

  

2. Get Cash Back

Sign up for credit cards that give a certain amount of cash back with every purchase, this helps you save some money without even realizing it. Also if you do shop online don’t forget to use cashback sites like Ebates or MrRebates before you checkout.

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3. Meal Prepping

Eating out adds up, try out some new meal prepping recipes for breakfast and lunch breaks. You can easily make some food on a Sunday afternoon and store everything for the rest of the week. Save you hard earned cash during the school / work week so you have more money for the weekends.

4. Want vs Need

If you’re really convinced that you need to buy something, take a few days to think about it before purchasing, then if you still absolutely need it then go ahead and purchase (don’t forget to buy during sales, use cashback and promo codes)

5. DIY

The best way to save up money is to DIY – try doing your own nails instead of heading to nail salon, make your own makeup remover, or salt scrub. There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest that can help you become the ultimate DIYer

6. Use a Budget App

I personally use Mint for all my budgeting. It’s great because you can set your budgets, meaning how much you want to spend on certain categories, such as gas, shopping, eating out per month. This will alert you if you’re spending too much! It’s a good reminder to save your money, it also tracks how much s in your savings account. So it's nice to see that grow!

  

 
Comments (2)

Personalize your look at prom with these affordable DIYs!

  

1. Bow Heels

Got an outfit that shows off your heels?  Dress them up!  Simple yet eye catching. Learn how here!

  

2. Flower Hair Accessories

Down your braid or around your crown, this DIY flower hair accessory works either way! 

   

3. Corsage

Customize your corsage that will last forever.  Go for traditional or a new twist corsage!

  

4. Hair Jewelry

Going for updo?  Try this DIY hair necklace!  

  

5. DIY Clutch

Carry around all your essentials in a cute clutch!  Go for sequins, animal print, lace, the choice is yours!  Find out how here!

Share your prom DIY tips in the comments below!

Comments (2)
courtneylodge

Well, Vinties, it's coming up on that time of the year again. FINALS. We could all use some new tips and tricks to make these days run smoothly and to get the most out of our studying. I have been through it all, AP testing, ACT, SAT, GRE, associates degree, bachelors degree, and a masters degree. It's fair to say I've done some studying! Here are my top 8 keep-your-cool-during-testing tips!

   

1. Mint to be

Use biology to your advantage. Scents and flavors are strongly tied to memory. Grab your favorite stick of gum or mints while studying. When test day approaches, studies have shown that chewing the same flavor of gum or mint can improve recall and results. Even if this doesn't turn you into a genius overnight, studies also show that mints can reduce nausea for those really tough test days.

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2. Multiple choice

This one is meant for standardized testing but can work for class courses as well. It is a bit complicated so stay with me! Tests that are randomized do not use visual cues (such as too many a's in a row, too many similar answers, etc.) to help them decide. We, as humans, tend to look for patterns. To account for this I have a simple trick. First, get rid of answers you know to be false. Then, take the remaining choices and select the FIRST ANSWER. This accounts for randomization and gets rid of our interesting human choices. Still confused? Here's an example.

1. Where is the best place to sell second-hand clothing items?
a. the grocery store
b. Vinted
c. the post office
d. Plato's Closet.

We can easily get weird of the answers we know aren't true- a and c. Now we have b and d left. Instead of choosing an answer we think is MORE correct (we are often wrong, after all) we choose the first available. B. Vinted. Well, we already knew this one. :)

3. Brain breaks

Let's face it. We COULD sit in the library all night and pretend like we are getting somewhere when we end up staring at the same page for 25 minutes. We are human. We need breaks! Take a walk, have a snack, get a coffee, go streaking on the quad, something! When you get back at it you will feel like a new person.


4. Know yourself

Not everyone learns the same way. I learn best by speaking out loud and writing things down. Some students learn well by hearing while others thrive by reading. If you take the time to figure out what works best for you, you can make the most efficient use of your time.

5. Back to basics

Go. To. Class. Lectures can get boring and you may feel like you are wasting your time. I promise there are valuable things in lecture. Some professors/teachers give tid bits of information about tests that are crucial to success. Some students ask questions you would have never thought to ask. You also won't have to play catch up by studying information you could have learned in class. These little differences can push you up into the next letter grade!

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6. Catch some z's

Sleep is a mysterious thing. We aren't sure exactly why the body needs it but we do know that deprivation causes physiological reactions. Get an adequate amount of rest the night before as well as leading up to the test. Your brain and body will thank you.

7. Feed the beast

Your body is an intricately functioning machine. Proper nutrition will allow you to get the most out your brain and give you the best results on your test. Some of my favorites on test day are bananas, a nice omelet, or a fresh fruit salad. Pick your fuel just don't forget to fill up.

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8. Know the test

Standardized tests will offer past versions of the test on the internet, for sale in books, or provide copies to your school. Looking at past versions of the test will not tell you the answers but will get you used to the structure and time limits of the test. This will reduce stress on test day and help you reach your peak performance.

I hope these help you reduce stress and make the most of your time. Good luck Vinties!

  

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Time for some fun-tastic quizzes!  

   

1. For the makeup lover

They say, "Only A True Makeup Lover Can Get More Than 70% On This Quiz".  Can you beat my 8 out of 14 score?  Guess I should step up my makeup game.

    

2. Logan, Jess, or Dean?

Calling all Gilmore Girls fans!  Do you belong with Logan, Jess, or Dean?  Find out here while I'm off with Logan enjoying the California sun.  

P.S. Can't wait for the new episodes! Ahh!!!!

    

3. What's Your Prom Dress Style?

Don't know what kind of dress to get for prom?  Try out this quiz

   

4. Could You Win “Masterchef”?

Would you stand a chance?  I'll be living on take out for the rest of my life with my 3 out of 15 score. 

   

5. Can you see beyond the Snap filter?

Rules of the game: identify the blonde singer.  Sounds easier than it is but I'm sure you'll ace it!

Share your results in the comments below! 

Comments (2)
courtneylodge

Recipes should be two things: delicious and fun!  This one is both. Grillable Personal Pizzas are perfect for when the weather heats up. Don't have a grill? No problem! These can also be made in the oven or in a toaster oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp-tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ortillas


Toppings:

I used mozzarella cheese, mixed Italian cheeses, Colby jack cheese, pineapple, barbecue sauce, Canadian bacon, bacon bits, and pepperoni. The choices are endless here. If you have it in the house and it goes on pizza, have at it!


Instructions:

1.Combine tomato paste and tomato sauce. Stir well.

    

2. Add cayenne pepper to your taste. This will make your sauce a bit spicy. I recommend starting low and adding more if you want a bit more kick.

   
3. Lay out your tortillas on plates or on a cookie sheet.

  
4. Spread red sauce evenly over the tortilla using a spoon. Use as much or as little as you would like.

   
5. Top pizzas as desired.

   
6. Cover in cheeses.

   
7. Place on the grill on medium heat for 6 minutes or until cheese browns and tortillas crisp up.   

8. Chow down!

Hawaiian pizza: use barbecue sauce instead of red sauce. Top with pineapple and Canadian bacon.

Don't have a grill? Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Sauce will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Enjoy!


Comments (2)
courtneylodge

I am a plus sized gal and I am also obsessed with thrifting! I do, however, find that it is difficult to find items that are on trend in the plus sized areas of Thrift Stores. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your thrifting experience!

    

1. Don't limit yourself on sizes.

For example: if you are a 1X or XXL don't just stop after your section. Numbers on tags are nothing more than that, numbers. Search through the entire plus size area (and even XL) for items that are generously sized, shrunk, or mislabeled. I have found a lot of great pieces this way.

    

2. Remember the men's department

Men's clothing tends to be more generous in some problem areas: the chest and stomach/hips. If you are looking for a great flannel, denim jacket, or even a basic tee, the men's section cannot be discounted. Paired with a skater skirt and a nice pair of boots, your friends will be none-the-wiser.

   

3. Check back often

Thrift stores change constantly. Don't let a day of coming up empty handed discourage you. Someone will donate that magic piece. Because plus size clothes are in demand it may take a few trips to nail down the classics.

   

4. Get crafty

Dresses and skirts can be transformed. Dresses with an a line can easily be made into flowy tank tops and tunics with a simple hem. The a-line gives a more generous cut and even a Large or XL can be made to fit you! Hate that frumpy floor length skirt? A change in hemline can change an item.

I'm thrifty, I'm plus sized, and being both can be super fun!

   

Comments (6)
thechickgoescheap

Welcome to #HerStory : a monthly installment of stories highlighting the personal journeys that led your fellow Vinties to sell, buy, and swap on Vinted.  

#HERstory- meet Anna

  • Name: Anna @xbitterfruit
  • Currently killin' it in: San Marcos, TX
  • Vintie Since: April 2014

I stumbled across a Vinted ad on Facebook and thought, "I really do have too much stuff, this sounds great!" I fell in love with Vinted because of the sweet community and all the lovely ladies in it! 

   

HERjourney to Vinted

Vinted's been a literal life source! It's been putting enough money in my bank account for groceries and the occasional date night with my husband! It's also been a great source of inspiration, strength and a great exchange of positive vibes! I've met fantastic girls, who've sent me valentines, positive messages, and in general been amazing people! I've also been able to give lots of unique finds and garments a second chance at life! It's amazing how an app has turned into so much more than just that! 

   

HERtips

1. Take Vinted seriously! Your closet is essentially a store, and while it may be small or limited, people still appreciate great customer service! As a general rule, I try to stay fast, friendly and efficient, and it's really paid off! I've had several return buyers and made friends with some of them!

2. Along with that first rule, be consistent! Have clear, well-lit pictures, on a solid wall or background. It makes your closet look cohesive and attractive! It looks put together and like you've put in effort, and it usually pays off!

3. Sales! Sales are a great way to clear house and to get things moving! Flash sales seem to be more successful for me than big bundle discounts and though it may not seem like a lot of money, it does add up in the end! Plus you get rid of loads of stuff!

4. Be you! There's nothing like buying from a trustworthy person. I pride myself on being an active part of the community and letting people know who I am. Vinties like knowing who they're working with! 

    

HERstyle

I'd describe my style as vintage edgy artist! A good mix of quirky, dark, edgy pieces...kind of all over the place, but I like to think it works! Here are my top five brands: 

1. Vans
2. Asos
3. Zara
4. Gap
5. Not a brand but I love vintage items! There's nothing like a quirky vintage garment to spruce up an outfit! 

Share the love for Anna in the comments below!

Want to share your story? We want to hear it  >>SHARE

   

Comments (17)
archel

For those like me who use their phone for about everything, this list is perfect for you. Here’s a list of essential apps I have downloaded. I use most of these every day and make my day a little bit easier.

   

Travel

  • Google Maps - Although I have an Apple Device, Google Maps still wins. It syncs with your calendar, you can zoom out of the map, it’s just overall easier to navigate with.
  • GasBuddy - Useful app that lists gas prices according to your location. This way you can find out the cheapest option and save some change. You can help your community by submitting gas prices as well (since they’re always changing), and win prizes for participating!
  • Uber - Always be prepared, you never know when you need a ride somewhere. Love this app because you can estimate how much a trip will cost and see who’s coming to pick you up. All you have to do is set up your pickup and dropoff location and pay through the app. No tips needed! It’s great for going out, so you won’t need a DD. I’ve used it to get to work when my car is out for maintenance, when I needed a ride to get to the airport, and getting around cities where parking is impossible.
  • Spotify - Best playlist music app with a shuffle option! No data usage with T Mobile too, major plus! Maybe someday I’ll get premium...
  • Yelp - Everyone’s favorite review site, perfect for figuring out the best places to eat on your trip. Great for finding some awesome hole in the walls in your hometown too.

       

Shopping

  • Shopkick - If you shop a lot or just have a ton of binge trips to Target, this is app is a must have! There are three ways to earn kicks, which are points that can be redeemed for gift cards. All you have to do is walk into a store, scan products, or link a card and earn kicks for purchasing.
  • Cartwheel - calling all Target shopaholics! On top of your 5% Redcard discount, and manufacturer’s coupons, you can find even more discounts on this app. With hundreds of offers, you get to compile everything you're interested into one barcode. All you have to do is scan your phone at checkout.
  • Vinted - My favorite selling/buying app. If you have way too many clothes you don’t wear and need some extra cash, Vinted allows you to sell, swap, and buy from your phone! I love the sense of a social site integrated into a selling app. There’s a forum, where you can talk about anything! Other than that the community is filled with fashionable girls who are always looking for a great deal. I’ve made over $2000 on here.

       

Productivity

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  • Starbucks - I'm always more productive at a coffee shop compared to my desk at home. When I go work on stuff I always use my gold card on the app to pay. Take advantage of free coffee refills while you’re there. They have plenty of opportunities to earn stars, so one you reach that 12th one, treat yourself to a Venti secret menu recipe frappuccino!
  • 2do - My favorite productivity app. I use this as my daily to-do list, calendar, reminder list, and even as my bucket list! You can make any list possible, it’s so satisfying checking things off when you're done.
  • Soundcloud - I listen to EDM a lot when I’m trying to work, but whenever I’m on my Itunes Library I tend to skip like 10 songs till I get to one of my favorites. I prefer Soundcloud because some DJs post their hour long radio shows or podcasts, which allows me to listen without distractions or ads.
  • Battery Doctor - Helps clear up cache and junk files on your phone.

       

Chill

Social

  • Netflix - $8.99 membership and hundreds of shows to binge watch. SOLD. I use Chromecast so I can watch everything on my TV. But besides that, Netflix is a good time killer if you have a connection to wifi.
  • YouTube - Perfect for watching random videos of puppies and random tutorials, am I right?
  • Facebook / Messenger - Keeping up with everyone’s lives is kinda hard without Facebook,  of course  there’s other useful features such as events, groups, and even messenger. Sort of like texting but with cute stickers!
  • Instagram - My favorite social app! I love posting my favorite photos on here, I treat it like a photo diary. There’s a lot of opportunity to get noticed too, by tagging with a hashtag or tagging a company’s account. The photo editing on the app has gotten so much better too!
  • Pinterest - Perfect for finding inspiration no matter where you are.

 

Finance

  • Mint - Easiest budgeting tool. This allows you to set goals, see how much you’re spending in certain categories, and shows how much money you have in the bank. It helps control impulse buys!
  • Venmo - Splitting the bill at restaurants gets confusing sometimes, especially with a big group. Let one person pay and then they can request the right from everyone all through the app. It’s great for paying bills, or paying back a friend.
  • Paypal - Another app where you can request and send money, it’s super easy. Plus you can make shipping labels on the website.

        

Photo editing

  • VSCO Cam - I love the preset filters on this app, you can also purchase filters through their library.
  • Pic Design - this app has super cute design overlays. Little doodle, phrases and shapes can definitely complete a picture. To get full access to more art you need to purchase the app for only $2.99

   

Comments (1)
archel

Best way to stay productive? Create a playlist so that you don’t have to waste time skipping songs you aren’t into. Curate some tracks that help your creative flow. Music plays such an important in everyone’s lives, it can evoke different emotions, transport you to a different world, keeps you grooving and moving, the list goes on. Of course, we all have to work hard in order to play hard (summer festivals coming up *cough*) the best way to stay concentrated on studying or whatever project you’re working on is to distract yourself from the outside world. Whenever I work on stuff I usually create a playlist of my favorite tracks to help me get through at least an hour of productivity!

I’ve been able to keep my composure even when I’m stressing out about due dates and deadlines with the help of music. Enjoy my top 20 picks to help you study!

  1. Faded – Alan Walker
  2. Roses – The Chainsmokers
  3. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie ( Collin McLoughlin Remix)
  4. Gold Dust – Galantis
  5. Genghis Khan – Miike Snow (Louis the Child Remix)
  6. Hold On – Moguai ft. Cheat Codes
  7. Until the End – Dirty South ft. Joe Gil
  8. Sun is Shining – Axwell ^ Ingrosso
  9. What You Waiting For – Gazzo ft. Sugarwhisky
  10. Pillowtalk – ZAYN (Stwo Remix)
  11. Stressed Out – twenty one pilots
  12. Sugar – Pep & Rash X Shermanology  
  13. Because of U – RL Grime
  14. Payback – Dimitri Vangelis & Wymna & Steve Angello
  15. Five Hours – Deorro ft DyCy
  16. One Last Night on Earth – Dada Life (Speaker of the House Remix)
  17. Gold Skies – DVBBS
  18. Heroes – Alesso
  19. Sea of Voices – Porter Robinson
  20. Up We Go – Lights

My favorite music platforms are Soundcloud and Spotify! If you're willing to splurge the subscription services are definitely worth it! Let me know in the comments if you find your new favorite song! 

  

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