Get free Schlotzsky’s for a year!

As a college student, it is hard to pay for luxurious meals. Most of the time you are eating Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now Schlotzsky’s has announced a guest appreciation day when they will be giving away free Schlotzsky’s for a year! There is a catch: you must be one of the first 100 guests to purchase a 6-pack of Cinnabon Classic Rolls. You will then receive a redemption card for a free small Original sandwich per week for 52 consecutive weeks.

This opportunity is only available at Schlotzsky/Cinnabon locations and, fortunately, we have one! The Texarkana store is located at 3652 Richmond Road near the Walmart.

I participated in this promotion when the location first opened and I didn’t regret it. It is definitely worth the price of a 6 pack of Cinnabon Classic Rolls. I saved so much money that I was able to try all of the soups and anything else I wanted. I recommend waking up early so you are ensured that you are one of the first 100 guests that receive one. Also, be sure to bring a lawn chair and some headphones so you can wait comfortably.

To find out more and RSVP, click the picture.

 

Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions are about more than just celebrating a season.  They are about celebrating family and keeping the magic of Christmas alive for generations to come.

Christmas is my favorite time of year, and though my family gets busier and busier, our traditions bring us together and keep us close.  We always make a big deal out of Christmas.  However, the gifts are not the main focus of the holidays for my family.  Keeping the magic of the season alive is the most important thing.

Today, I am sharing a few of my most precious Christmas traditions. These traditions truly make this the most wonderful time of the year.

  1. During the Great Depression, money was tight.  That didn’t stop my mother’s side of the family from giving the gift of love.  On Christmas Eve, and again on Christmas Day, the family members would hug each other and say, “Christmas Eve Gift” or “Christmas Gift.”  In fact, it became a game to see who would be the first to offer their Christmas Eve or Christmas “gift.”  The tradition has evolved over time, and now we race to be the first one in the family to greet someone with Christmas Eve Gift or Christmas Gift.  We even wake people up at midnight with the greeting, just to win the game.
  2. Christmas isn’t just about gifts in my family.  We celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by helping others.  We all try and help others all year round, but at Christmas, we try and make it extra special.  We want our children to be grateful for what they have and to always have a giving heart.  With that said, every year, we, along with the Texas High School Tigersharks, adopt a family for Christmas.  We all buy gifts for the children and adults alike and provide them with a full Christmas dinner.  If the children we adopt are young enough, my dad even volunteers to play Santa and pays a visit to the children personally.
  3. My family and I get a real Chrismas tree from Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm.  This tradition started about 5 years ago because my husband was frustrated trying to put up our fake tree.  We drove out to the lot, picked a tree, and watched as they cut it down and shook all the lose needles out of the tree.  The kids LOVED it.  We drink cocoa with the family that owns the tree farm and huddle by the wood burning fire inside the barn.  But the most special part of this tradition is finding random golf balls, from the nearby golf course, throughout the farm.  Each year, we bring home a golf ball and write the year on it and hang it from our tree.
  4. This tradition is very messy, and not for the faint of heart.  Every year, we buy each person in our family a package of tinsel.  But before we put it on the tree as decoration, we have our annual icicle fight.  We run around the house, jumping over dogs, furniture, and occasionally each other, throwing tinsel at each other, like snowballs.  It is not uncommon to find tinsel buried in the couch in February.
  5. Christmas Eve night, we make cookies for Santa and reindeer food to scatter outside for Rudolph and the gang.  Here is the recipe I use for reindeer food.

    Photo courtesy of http://www.amodernmrs.com/2013/12/magic-reindeer-food-recipe-and-poem.html

    6. During the day on Christmas Eve, my sister and I “plant” individually wrapped peppermints in a soil-filled small pot, with my three-year-old nephew.  When wakes Christmas morning, the peppermints have magically grown into candy canes.

    Photo courtesy of Pinterest

    7.  Lastly, on Christmas Eve night, the kids are allowed to open one gift each.  Each of them gets new pajamas, house shoes, and a coffee mug.  After they open the gifts, I make homemade hot chocolate, while they change into their new pajamas and we all sit down to watch a Christmas movie before bed.

These are just a few things that make Christmas extra special for my family.  I hope the traditions are passed on when my kids have children of their own.  What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

College Student Discounts

Between paying for tuition, books, the dining hall, and a dorm room your budget probably seems a little slim. What if I told you there are tons of discounts you can get just for being in college? From everyday essentials to specialty items, these companies want to treat you to savings created specifically for college students.

Also, don’t forget to pick up a personal discount card designed for Texas A&M University-Texarkana at the front desk of the University Center. It has great deals for businesses in the area.

FITNESS

Anytime Fitness

  • One Week Free Trial

Legends – State Line Texarkana

  • One Week Free Trial

Sportsplex By Health Care Express 

  • $42 Student Rate

FOOD

Chick-Fil-A

  • Free Drink with Student I.D.

Chipotle

  • Free Drink with Student I.D.

Gusano’s – Texarkana

  • Show Student I.D. and Discount Card for 10%.

Subway

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

Taste & See

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

Twisted Fork – Texarkana

  • 25% off All Pizzas with school discount card.

Waffle House

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

General 

Amazon Prime for Students

  • 6 Months Free
  • 50% off Prime Membership After Trial
  • ALL Prime Benefits including FREE 2-Day Shipping
  • Added College Deals

FedEx Student Discount Club – With Student ID

  • 20% Off Envelope Shipments
  • 30% Off Package Shipments
  • Available at FedEx Stations

Sam’s Club

  • Offers Student Membership and Benefits
  • See Local Club

UPS – Richmond Texarkana

  • 10% Off Printing Services

MUSIC

Spotify Premium For Students

  • $4.99 a Month
  • Includes FREE access to Hulu.

Services

Geico

  • Students can save up to 15% on select coverages with a minimum of a B average.

Nationwide Insurance

  • Drivers up to 24 years in age can get discounts with a minimum of a B average.

State Farm

  • Offers up to 25% off insurance for students in good standing.

TECHNOLOGY

Adobe Creative Cloud

  • 60% Off Creative Cloud Application Bundle
    • Includes PhotoShop, Lightroom, AdobeXD, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro, 20+ Desktop and Mobile Apps, Free Tutorials, Regular Upgrades

Apple Electronics – https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop 

  • Student Pricing available for current and newly registered college students.

Be Still…

“The body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness.” (Sakyong Mipham)
One may stress the importance of staying physically active and the benefits it has on the body but I think society forgets that taking care of the mind is just as important. In a world, full of things that are out of one’s control, natural disasters, and mass shootings it is difficult to find peace within the mind. When the body become overworked, the mind becomes stressed and that can lead to a person feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, and frustrated. Personally, I find comfort in meditation, something I recently started doing this year in August. Meditation is so much more than “turning off” your thoughts but more so of allowing yourself to feel okay with whatever emotions that are trying to come through at that present moment. Some may find themselves “busy” from the time the sun rise and way after the sun sets thinking there is zero time to carve out to meditate. However, meditation doesn’t have to require taking up most of your time a quick ten to fifteen minutes every day could make a big difference in your life.

Being honest and vulnerable with yourself is the key to being happy. To an extent this is why most people are unhappy or confused about themselves and about life, because instead of dealing with their emotions it’s “easier” to let things fall by the wayside. People tend to keep doing this until it finally begins to affect their daily living. I recently came across a website (www.howtomeditate.org) it says, “Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition.”

“The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions.”

Meditation is learning how not to let everything that doesn’t go your way affect your emotions. Sure, life is sometimes unfair and the bad things that will happen to you are sometimes inevitable, but you also have to remember that one’s attitude play a significant role in that as well. I’ve always heard that, “life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how you react to it,” do you agree with that? Referring back to the website I mention earlier it states that, “By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency.”

“Peace; it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” –unknown

How Do I Look?

I stood in front of the closet with my arms folded and let out a long sigh. I do not usually put extra time and effort into planning my outfits, but this was a special occasion. I was going to a communications conference that Saturday and had no idea what I was going to wear. When I asked my mom, she told me to dress business-casual. I looked on Pinterest for outfit ideas, confused when I saw outfits that I had always been advised against. I had always been told to stick to neutral colors, but the outfits I saw had a mix of colors and patterns. This was when I noticed that the rules had changed.

Business-casual is a new term in fashion, only dating back to around the 1980s. It was used in companies where the employees did not spend as much time in front of consumers and spent more time in the office. It became a way of expressing yourself and still maintaining a professional attitude without the formality. What is business-casual?

Robert Johnson, executive team leader of human resources at Target in Texarkana, said “Business casual for me would be a nice pair of jeans, a nice polo shirt. For ladies, there are several variations of blouses and shirts that are definitely appropriate for an interview. When I dress business casual, I wear a long-sleeved button-up and slacks or khakis.”

For men, this is a simple take on business casual that is always acceptable. The look is easy to replicate and there are many different variations to it to make it more unique. 

Business casual has changed over time and pieces considered unacceptable like jeans or sneakers can be dressed up to look more professional. Overall, business casual is a step above what you would wear on a typical day, but not fancy enough to be formal. Blazers and sports jackets can pair with chinos, khakis, or nice jeans. When choosing a pair of jeans, it is best to stay away from overly distressed jeans and wear a dark pair.

It is also important to remember that business casual depends on the workplace or the event. When going to an interview Johnson said you should present yourself at your best.

“I’ve been doing this for several years, and you can tell when a person is presenting themselves to the best of their ability or not. I say this because you could have someone from a scheduled interview come in whatever they were wearing that morning. Their tennis shoes are not laced up or tied and you can tell if they could have done better than that,” said Johnson.

The dress code at Target is more relaxed than other businesses and it is not a deal-breaker for you to come into an interview with jeans. However, there are times to keep jeans in the closet. If possible, it is best to overdress a little for an interview than underdress. The interviewer will be able to tell if you have spent time on your appearance and it will make a good impression on them.

Women have a variety of clothing options to choose from, which is part of what made my outfit decision for the event difficult. I did not know if I should wear a skirt, dress, blouse, heels, pants, or flats. In Vanessa Rodriguez’s article, “What is Business Casual Attire for Women? Outfit Tips, Advice & Ideas,” she writes a list of tips to help women pick the right outfits. One of the safest options is khakis or dark pants with a button-down shirt. Sweaters are also a very good choice.

An important tip for women to remember is to pay attention to the types of shirts and skirts or dresses they wear. It is considered inappropriate for cleavage to be visible. If a blouse is a little sheer, make sure to wear a camisole underneath. Skirts and dresses should stay at knee length or longer. Clothes that are too tight also can send the wrong message to a potential employer or business connection.

With many options out there, the most important idea to remember is that there is no simple answer for what to wear. Your outfit will depend on the environment and the nature of the event. No matter what, take your time to pick the outfit that makes the best impression.

Random Acts of Kindness

The holiday season is upon us.  Rather than adding to your wish list, or stressing over the trappings of the season; find your joy by doing random acts of kindness.

Random acts of kindness are selfless acts of kindness directed at complete strangers, with the sole intent of spreading love and kindness.  There is no better way to celebrate the joy of the holidays.

Below is a list of easy and fulfilling random acts of kindness.  Give them a try and see how they improve your holiday season.  You might just want to make them a part of your everyday life.

  1. Buy a stranger’s coffee.
  2. Leave some change in a vending machine, so that someone can get a free drink.
  3. Take some homemade treats to nurses, firefighters, teachers, or cops in your community to thank them for all they do.
  4. Leave a big tip for a waiter or waitress in need.
  5. Make treats and put them in the mailbox for the mailman.  Be sure to leave them a note, so they know the treats are for them.
  6. Take pet food, old blankets, and pet toys to your local shelter.
  7. Take flowers to a local hospital and have a nurse give them to a patient who needs to be cheered up.
  8. Donate food, books, toiletries, and warm clothing to the local homeless shelter.
  9. Do chores for a friend or family member.
  10. Adopt a deployed soldier and send him/her some much needed holiday cheer.  Here is the website:  http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/
  11. Give someone your place in line.
  12. Visit a nursing home.  Just talk to the residents, play board games with them, or get some friends together to sing Christmas carols and hand out Holiday cards.
  13. Give a hot drink to a Salvation Army bell ringer.
  14. Give a gift card to a stranger at the grocery store.  Any amount shows you care.
  15. Take classroom supplies to a teacher or two.  If you have Dr. Morton, then you know he always needs dry erase markers.
  16. Adopt an Angel from an Angel Tree.  Most of the time, these children aren’t asking for a lot.  I personally have adopted several angels over the years, and each time it cost me around $50.

Above all, this Holiday season and all year round, show kindness, compassion, and love for your fellow man.  Restore your faith in humanity by blessing strangers with random acts of kindness.

How To Get More Sleep?

Sleep, what is that? Might sound like a foreign word to a vast majority of people worldwide, especially college students. It is said that people should get at least eight or more hours of sleep, but when you’re in college that is something most can only wish for. So, what is stopping students from getting an adequate amount of sleep? I’m here to talk all things sleep, how to start getting more of it and tips on sleeping better at night.

As you can probably imagine pulling all-nighters is nothing new for students and in doing so it throws off sleep patterns. So, of course, for some college students getting less than eight hours of sleep before having to report to class is the new norm. However, the real issue is that it’s not healthy for the brain or body. According to my own personal sleep diary AKA my fitbit, it tracks my sleep pattern. Some nights I’ve gotten as little as 2 hours and 43 minutes of sleep while other nights I’ve gotten closer to six hours. Either way it’s still isn’t enough to really be productive throughout the day. So, what is the secret to college students getting more sleep, here are a few tips.

1. POWER DOWN: An hour before going to bed turn off all electronics. In fact, if you have an iphone there’s a ‘do not disturb’ feature that allows your phone to not make a sound or even vibrate when that feature is on.

2. LIMIT YOUR NAPS: On average a person should keep their naps at a minimum, less than 20-30 minutes.

3. ROOM TEMPERATURE: It is said that people sleep best when the room temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees.

4. SET YOUR BODY CLOCK: Going to bed and waking up at the same times every day even on weekends are keys to a healthy sleep.

5. EXERCISE: I know that this is something that many people despise but it can be very beneficial to getting a good night’s rest. Try working out three to four hours before bedtime.

6. LISTEN TO WHITE NOISE: There are many apps and machines that offer oceans waves crashing, rain, thunderstorm, or soft classical music.

7. FREE YOUR MIND: Try meditating or writing in a journal two hours before bed. By doing this it can help relieve stress or anything that is on your mind. Also, try seeing a counselor to talk about your problems.

8. STAY HYDRATED: Sometimes if your body is dehydrated that can lead to not being able to sleep or fatigue.

9. DECLUTTER YOUR SLEEPING SPACE: Clean and declutter your room. Sleeping in a clean and organized room can actually help put the mind at ease. Also, lowering the lights and use darkening curtains.

10. EAT BETTER: Avoid eating heavy foods, if you’re going to eat something let it be a light snack two hours before bed. Try something like fruit or crackers.