Tips for making the best iced coffee at home

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Home for school forever means no more iced coffee on my meal plan and being a post-grad means being responsible enough to not waste big bucks at Dunkin Donuts everyday (#adulting, right?). Well, for someone who hates hot coffee, this leaves me in quite the tizzy.

Brewing a coffee in the Keurig and then pouring in ice never worked right, which led me on a mission to find a way to make iced coffee at home, without going for broke. This led me to finding the Primula 50 oz. cold brew iced coffee maker at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

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It’s super easy to use the Primula iced coffee maker…..

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First, you fill the middle container with any coffee grinds of your choice.

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Then, mix in water until the coffee grounds are damp.

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Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water. This will allow for all of the coffee grounds to mix in properly.

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Refrigerate the pitcher for 12-14 hours. I always make my coffee when I am cleaning up the kitchen after dinnertime. That way, when I finish my nightly routine, I don’t have to worry. Then, in the morning, I already have my coffee ready!

All I need to do is pull the pitcher out of the fridge, add ice cubes, my favorite Dunkin Donuts creamer, and Sweet and Low.

Super easy right? 

Plus it was only $29.99 and with all the coupons Bed, Bath, and Beyond always has out – it’s even cheaper. I was able to use a 20% off coupon on it.

But what else makes this product so great? Let’s say you wake up to a text message from your co-worker saying that she wants to meet you at Starbucks to go over talking points for your big meeting that day. No worries! Your coffee is good for 14 days! Ev

Now go drink up, my coffee lovers, drink up…..

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Image via Tech Times

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Sami’s Holiday Gift Guide: An On Location Tour

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own. 

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Blogmas, readers!

So, it seems that all my professors have gotten together and decided that they were going to make the week BEFORE finals week when everything would be due. Of course, that would be successful if not every one of my professors decided to do that, but well, we can’t change some stuff in life, now can we?

In the meantime, I have been holiday shopping for all of the special people in my life. After last year’s successful holiday guide, I decided to bring it back this year! So if you’re looking for a craft, a new phone case, or more, last year’s gift guide has got you covered.

And for all you little elves this year, we’re kicking off with something for your favorite movie buffs or someone who loves an experience rather than an item.

On Location Tours offers just that!

My mom and I went on the New York City TV & movie tour earlier this month and had such an amazing time! For only $43 a ticket, you can travel all around NYC for 2.5 – 3 hours checking out where some of your favorite TV shows and movies have filmed. We even got to see where they were going to be filming an upcoming CBS show, how cool?!

During that time, my mom, myself, and the others on our tour bus were taken all over New York City to see the sights of where some of the best movies have filmed. Throughout the trip, our tour guide will tell us about the films that have taken place at the locations, show us clips, and tell us insider secrets about the different locations.

Check out the pictures from the trip. Do you recognize them from some of your favorite movies and TV shows? Hint, hint you should recognize some of them from Gossip Girl, Friends, Sex and the CityGhostbusters, and New Year’s Eve!

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For big fans of Seinfield, Gossip Girl (a.k.a. my current Netflix obsession), or Sex and the City, On Location Tours offers tours specifically geared to those shows. Other speciality options include Turner Classic Movies, Central Park, and the Holiday Lights & Movie sights.

Not in the NYC area? Boston and Washington D.C. also offer tours geared to their areas.

Tickets can be purchased online or at  (212) 913-9780.

Stay tuned for what will be next in my holiday guide! If you end up purchasing tickets, comment below and let me know.

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Rocksbox Look: a.v. max Mock Lariat Necklace in Gold & SLATE Crystal Spike Earrings

Happy Black Friday, readers!

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving with your family, remembering what you are thankful for as you eat your weight in mashed potatoes. My list included my sorority family, my best friend, Paul, boxed wine, and all of my readers.

And as my way of saying thank you for being so amazing, I wanted to remind you all about some awesome ways to celebrate Black Friday in a Sparkle and Shine type of way! You can get 10% off of a single shirt order from Greek Streak by using code SPARKLESHINE and you can get 10% off The Collegiate Standard with code SAMI10.

And one of my favorite discounts I can offer is a free month of Rocksbox!

When registering for the site, enter coupon code sparkleshinesamxoxo to get your free month.

As may you remember from a previous last Rocksbox post, I am loving the designer jewelry subscription box company and want you to all experience it, too!

For $19 a month, you will be able to have unlimited access to designer jewelry shipped right to their door. After selecting items and adding them to your wishlist, your personal designer will send you three items that average of about $200! You can swap pieces at anytime. There’s zero effort and no commitment. Shipping is free and pre-paid both ways.

In one of my recent Rocksbox sets, I received the a.v. max Mock Lariat necklace in gold and SLATE Crystal Spike earrings.

Thanks to the photograph skills of my awesome resident, Caitlin, check out how I styled the pieces.

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Sweater: Now only sold in plus-size Cutout Cable-Sleeve Sweater from Forever 21 | Leggings: Hi-Rise leggings from American Eagle

Boots: No longer sold (Similar from DSW) | Ring: Love & Kisses ring from Tiffany & Co.

With the holiday season officially in full swing, I recommend jumping on the Rocksbox bandwagon. Why not have the hottest pieces for Christmas and New Years Eve? Especially, when it’s all free!

Happy Black Friday shopping and enjoy wearing the jewelry. Make sure to tag me on Instagram at @sparkleshinesam when you post your favorite selfie featuring your Rocksbox look.

 

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Underwear, not under there?

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own. the (1) Hey, readers!

For my internship at TheCelebrityCafe.com, I spend hours going through images of celebrities to find the perfect photo for my story. More often then not, I am browsing through their outfits to try and get inspiration for my next look. A very common look I was starting to see was intimates as outwear.

My reaction to wear just a bra as a top? Oh, no no no.

When it comes to this trend, it is just not for me. I don’t know what Kim Kardashian would wear if she couldn’t wear bralet like crop tops and skintight pencil skirts and I would be lying if I said I didn’t completely girl-crush on Demi in her Cool for the Summer music video. But, I’m not Kim K and I’m definitely not Demi Lovato. Instead, I’m just 21-year-old Sami who prefers not to wear a top that feels like a bikini top with no beach around.

However, Freshpair, the founder of National Underwear Day, has made me realize that there are different levels of the intimates as underwear trend that do not have to be taken to the extreme. The company helped show me that it is now the norm just simply have a corset, bra, or bandeau peeking out from a top and still be considered an underwear for outerwear look. Once the company helped me realize that only showing some of my undergarments was still considered the look, I decided to hope on board with the trend.

To put the post together, I didn’t directly have any outfits of my own that I could photograph in the look. I’m much more of a “there’s more to meet the eye” type of person, who was taught my mother/grandmother/aunts (hey guys!) that it is better to leave a little mystery. And with my top part of my body truly being my, er, assets, I always make sure to stay covered and only show a little something-something. So instead, check out some looks I found on Pinterest that I would be willing to try that stay with my personal style, mixing with Freshpair‘s intimates. All of the looks below still leave the air of mystery without being too exposed, whether it be thanks to an over-sized sweater or a cute, flowy kimono.

To pin the outfit to your own account, just click the ‘Pin Me!’ link in the caption below each photo.

Comment below and let me know what you think of this trend! And if you want to see more of what I am actually wearing, head on over to my Instagram and throw me a follow!

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Thanks Square Cash for making going out so much easier!

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own.

Thank you Her Campus Media, Inc. and SquareCash for the opportunity and compensation for this post.

I’ve got to admit something to you, readers. Sometimes, going out is hard.

No, I’m not talking about the hours you spend doing your hair and makeup, the dozens of pictures you send of potential outfits in a GroupMe to your best friends (only to wear the first outfit, of course), or deciding whose house is going to be the first stop of the night before even heading out.

I’m talking about figuring out the monetary aspects.

Whose going to pay for the Uber this time? Who paid last time? And of course, Jackie forgot cash for the cash-only club’s entrance fee, so now what?

Why would I not just pay for everyone’s drinks since I got to the bartender first and we are totally on a first name basis, right? Or the fact that Dominoes is so not about to break up a $100 dollar order for your drunk pizza onto ten different debit cards, so who just got paid last and can throw it on their card?

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

And want to know what else is familiar, when all of the calculations for who was going to pay who and how much really goes out the window when the third margarita is served and the newest Nicki Minaj jam is bumping through the bass.

Now you don’t need to worry because Square Cash has made it easy for you!

ACTUAL USE

Square Cash is a free app that allows anyone to quickly send money between their friends or even get paid for doing business. There’s no “cashing out” which means that the money gets deposited right into your bank account. This means that if the mom of the kid you are babysitting for wants to just send you your payment over the app, she will deposit it directly into your bank account from her bank account. No need to stop at the ATM! Plus, it is free to use between friends!

Not only is it super simple to use and works exactly how it should, it’s safe and secure. Plus, in a world where we want to get everything done quick, using this app is the quickest way to pay your friends! All you need to do is download the Square Cash app, link up your debit card, then start sending money to your friends. You can even request them to send you the funds.

So how do I know that this is all this super easy? Because my friends and I use the app! We all downloaded it because as I mentioned above, we got tired of always trying to figure out who owed who what and then trying to backtrack ourselves during breakfast the next morning to figure out who owed who what. Sometimes there is just not enough coffee in the world to help you do math! So now, we would have someone put it on their card, quickly divide the amount spent on our phone’s calculators by the amount of people it was split between, and then send the money right on over to whoever it belonged to. It was so quick and easy we were able to do it in while waiting on line for the bars, waiting on the bathroom line, or even on the dance floor after we checked our text messages. Going into my senior year, I know that this app will definitely be a necessity on my phone and should be on yours, too!

To find out more, check out the app‘s Twitter and Facebook page!

And to see exactly what it’s like to go out with my friends and I, stay tuned for another video blog coming very soon! This one will detail our recent trip to Atlantic City for our friend Jamie’s 21st birthday. Catch a preview from the pic I posted on my Instagram.

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“Dirty Rush” – True depiction of sorority life?

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own.

Thank you to Total Sorority Move, Total Fraternity Move, and Shelton Interactive for the opportunity.

Oh hello, my fabulous readers!

Have you been looking for a summer book to read? Well drop whatever you’re doing – and yes, I mean everything- because I have just the book for you!

Babe Walker and Taylor Bell have brought to the world the most hilarious book out there (after Babe’s other books, of course). It’s what every girl who read the TFM book is looking for. It’s called Dirty Rush and will have you laughing until you loose five pounds.

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The novel follows Taylor Bell as she goes Greek.

Taylor never wanted to go Greek – and she especially never wanted to go BZ. The legacy wanted to not fall into the footsteps of her sister, mother, and grandmother of becoming a Beta Zeta. However, after meeting the most fun girls she has ever met, Taylor decided maybe Greek life isn’t what she thought it would be.

Well, Taylor seems to be very wrong… very, very wrong. I mean more wrong than wearing white before Memorial Day weekend or trying to rock a Juicy Couture velour sweatsuit in 2015.

Taylor’s fairy tale of Greek life becomes an X-rated Kardashian-style nightmare before you can even shotgun a beer. After a very risque video of what seems to be Taylor has gone viral, all of the hard work (partying) she has put into becoming a BZ may have been worth nothing.

Overall, Dirty Rush left me flipping every page and wondering what was going to happen next. It was a pretty easy read because I was constantly curious as to what was going to happen next. The entire time I was laughing til my water-proof mascara was streaking down my face. I recommend it for anyone who wants a good laugh and not necessarily someone who is looking for a true portrayal of Greek life.

Greek life for me hasn’t been an X-rated Kardashian-style nightmare- sorry readers. However, I can connect to Taylor on one level – that it is my sorority sisters who will always have my back – no matter what kind of trouble, heartbreak, or adventure I find myself facing. Taylor is quick to call up a sister, at any time of day or night, and they will be there. Her sisters will be there with love and unconditional support. They are there for more than just throwing what you know on Instagram pictures or long heart-to-hearts in frat bathroom’s that you’ll barely remember the next day.

They’re there for the long-haul and all the Grateful Deads.

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Because remember, sorority sisterhood blood is thicker than even the most expensive vodka.

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Making R.A. Duty a Total Sorority Move, thanks to Gone Greek!

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own. 

One of the most rewarding experiences of my life is being a Resident Assistant for freshman. However, that means long nights and some even longer nights that expected.

During the week days, we don’t need to wear our university official polos. Last night, I decided to add a little sass, like a true sorority girl, by throwing on pearls and a monogram for duty!

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Yoga Pants: Victoria’s Secret PINK| Headband: Victoria’s Secret PINK

Half Zip: Gone Greek

If you are just as obsessed with this half-zip as I am, head on over to Gone Greek! I promise you, you won’t be sorry!

This half-zip is one of the comfiest pieces of clothing in my closet and trust me, there is a lot of clothes in there. It’s super cute and the site ships very quickly.

Gone Greek offers clothing and accessories for both sorority women and fraternity men. For those who are not affiliated, the site even offers super cute clothing and accessories with monograms.

You can even purchase in bulk through their chapter orders category.

When checking out, use code checkout10 to get 10% off. Super cute monograms, sorority gear, and savings? Please tell me what could possibly make this sorority girl happier? Oh wait, nothing!

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