Sweet Summertime Fun

Adulting, Author: Claire Greene

Let’s face it: summer weather isn’t for everyone. There are some who live for days at the beach, while there are others who live for central air conditioning. But there are some ways to enjoy the spirit of summer, even on the hottest day.

Summer is the perfect time to relax, experience new things, and make lasting memories. Let’s get to it!

Go for a hike
Looking at all the different shades of colors, waterfalls, cliffs, and maybe even an animal or two, can really have a calming effect. Even listening to the gentle rustling of the leaves, the babbling of the brooks, and the calls of the birds is quite serene. The tall trees provide shade as you move amongst dappled leaves. Hiking is great any time of the year, but summer means longer days and later sunsets. It also means you won’t be shivering! Plus, summer nature truly can be a beauty.

Have a s’mores night
Who doesn’t love a good campfire and s’mores? There is something about the sounds of the crackling bonfire, the sweet smell of toasting marshmallows, and the melting chocolate that makes me relive all of the great times enjoying the night outside with friends, and eating every morsel of that sweet summer dessert.

Go for a drive
Sometimes, there is just nothing like driving to a great beach town with the windows down, blasting music and singing at the top of your lungs. There is something very freeing about having the wind blowing in your hair and feeling that summer breeze, your voices hoarse from singing so loudly. Everyone should have this experience at least once in his or her life.

Explore a city you haven’t seen before
It is rather exciting to step out of your comfort zone and explore an area where you’ve never been. It awakens all of your senses, with the smells, the sights, and the symphony of noises. Each city takes on a completely different feel and energy. Who knows what you’ll meet, or what you’ll experience. Summer is a great time to explore and travel, and you can do it on a budget, too. Be sure to take advantage of different places to eat while you’re there — you never know how different cities do bottomless brunch. It could surprise you!

Stargazing
Warm nights are the perfect time to just lay outside and look up at the sky. Grab a blanket and a pillow, and start making out different images in the stars. It’s a great way to clear your mind as well, and re-focus.

Have a beach day
For those who do prefer the heat of the summer, use one of your vacation days and head to a local beach for the day, even if you make it a solo trip. Grab a book, bring some headphones, whatever you need to help you relax — it’s a perfect way to make time for self-care!

Get some water
If you’re not a beach person but still want to enjoy spending time outside, make the most of your area pools and water parks. Both are fun ways to cool off, either alone or with a group. Local pools won’t break the bank, and many water parks offer season passes and packages.

Plan a gathering
Whether it’s a BBQ in your backyard or a pool party, who doesn’t love a good party during the summer? Bring your group together. Be the organizer — there’s truly no better time to make memories than the summer, even if you do have to wait for the weekend to do it!

Enjoying the Holiday Season as a Twenty-to-Thirtysomething

Adulting, Author: Gauri Bhatia

Ho, ho, ho, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc., etc.

The holiday season is filled with exciting and fun things to do! I won’t get into the actual religious celebrations, as I only celebrate them insomuch as I get presents. But here are a list of fun things to do this month to end the year on a great note!

  • If you get the chance, spend some time with your family. Talk, play cards, play chess, watch holiday-inspired movies…all of it!
  • Bake cookies! I personally love to go to my best friend’s parents’ house and bake corn flake wreaths, thumbprint cookies, or really whatever her mom lets me make!
  • Listen to Christmas music, some of which is featured in this issue!

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  • Go and see the windows on Fifth Avenue (or your home state’s version of it)! Nearly every store has a window display and I assure you, they are magical. Saks Fifth Avenue does a sort of laser light show on the windows, which is spectacular. Macy’s has two displays this year, one centering on the new film, Trolls, and their usual one around “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” Bloomingdale’s has a “Sing” centered display, and the Cartier building is usually wrapped in a bright red bow. If you can’t make it to New York, we even found a directory of holiday celebrations in other major U.S. cities just for you.
  • Go to a tree lighting! In New York, see the tree at Rockefeller Center. It is always amazing, with the ice skaters all around and with a bit of a chill in the air. We’ve also provided a list of tree lightings in other major U.S. cities.
  • Ice skating in Rockefeller Center, Central Park, or Bryant Park…or your hometown equivalent. All are amazing!
  • Sit back and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate or eggnog. I am not a huge fan of eggnog, so I can’t give you any advice there, but Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate is to die for. A must-have holiday tradition!

Happy Holidays, everyone! And Happy New Year of course!

Best Group Activities to Do With Your Significant Other

Author: Kristin Frappier, The Dating Game

We know, group outings are really awkward.

Choruses of “what do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” are commonplace. Now, try throwing your significant other – and the significant others of your friends – into this type of situation.

What are you going to do? How am I going to make everyone happy? Can we save the evening? 

While we can’t guarantee that they will keep everyone happy, we have a few ideas for some out of the ordinary group outings right here that will bring new meaning to the group date.

A dinner party- with a funky drink of choice and a fun meal.
A cool twist on getting together at a restaurant. This could bring a level of individuality to your next event, because every group like something a little bit different.

A game night- get away from the devices and go old-school – play a selection of your favorite board games!
This keeps everyone on their toes with a combination of strategy and teamwork. You know that Monopoly game will go on for hours, but will create even bigger memories.

Hibachi- meal and entertainment all wrapped up into one.
Visit the ever-popular Benihana, or a local favorite – just be prepared to make a reservation!

A movie night, because after all, who doesn’t love popcorn and snacks!
With so many services like Netflix and Hulu who needs to wait in a long line at the movies! Of course, check out our lists of movies from before we were born, Bollywood movies and sports movies to get some more ideas.

Bowling, as a way to introduce friendly competition into your social group.

Go on a road trip!
You don’t have to drive far. Take a day trip to a local attraction- as a way to add adventure, new place and chance to make new memories. And don’t forget to plug in your phone for some tunes – our list of best classic rock playlists even includes one called “Classic Rock Road Trip.”

Dinner theater adds diversity to everything.

Paint and Vino
Ah, the ever-popular paint night! You can do it as a group, but everyone’s painting comes out a little different. Everyone takes home a one-of-a-kind piece. Paint nights are easier to find, too – just check out Muse Paintbar.

Making the Most of Autumn on a Budget

Adulting, Author: Gauri Bhatia

Ahhhh, autumn. Crisp leaves, brisk wind, the smell of… pumpkin spiced everything, even Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (I see you, Trader Joe’s)! We know how to make the most of fall, but now let’s make the most of fall on a budget.

 

Leaf peeping
The grand old tradition of watching some leaves change and enjoying the vibrant reds, oranges and browns that come with the change of the season.

For those in the New York area:

  • Central Park: that’s free and absolutely gorgeous!
  • The High Line: that’s also free and beautiful! And fun!
  • Head upstate along the Hudson and enjoy the views. The leaf changing happens north to south, so right now is the perfect time to head north of Manhattan!
  • If you’re not in the New York area, here’s a great list of places across the country to see leaves changing.
  • If you wait until November, you should see the leaves change around the Washington, D.C./Virginia area.

Pumpkin spiced coffee
No need to go to Starbucks for your PSL fix. Trader Joe’s sells a box of Pumpkin Spice Coffee K-Cups for around $5 and a can of the coffee grounds for around $10! Equally delicious, but way less expensive!

Pumpkin everything else!
Pumpkin pie!
Pumpkin cookies!
Pumpkin ravioli!
Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds!
Pumpkin Beer and Cider!

Pumpkin and apple picking
It’s not free, but it’s quite cheap! Just google where they are in your community, or go for a drive and stumble across one — we’re sure you’ll see some beautiful foliage as well.

 

Give back to the community

  • Collect cans for those in need.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  • Start a coat drive in anticipation of the winter.
  • Get creative — there are a variety of ways to get involved! Check your newspaper and the internet for more!

Enjoy the season by simply sitting outside!
Preferably by a fire pit with s’mores but really anything will do!