Author Archives: rachelknoop

How to Have the Best Spring Break of Your Life

7b5d15bbb8cda290f4c9db822f72177dWell, friends, it’s almost here. The moment every college student has been waiting for since…well…since Christmas. That’s right. Spring break. Students everywhere are buzzing, making plans and counting down the days until they can board their plane, train, bus, etc. and embark on the greatest adventure of the year. It’s an exciting time, really.

If you’re anything like me, however, planning an elaborate spring break trip can be daunting. Great ideas can seem too expensive or overwhelming and are often not accomplished. In that case, spring break can leave you spending excessive hours on Facebook or watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and every Animal Planet documentary ever made. If that’s you, these two words will put the movie-watching days behind you and will instead launch you into the best break of your life. You ready for it?

Road. Trip. 12-guide-to-typefaces-with-life-quotes-in-creative-typography

A road trip is an awesome way to spend your break because you can plan as much or as little as you want, go where you want, and be gone for as long as you want, all without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for making your trip as inexpensive (and exciting) as possible.

1) Pick a destination where someone has family or friends that would let you stay and you’ll cut costs incredibly. Whether you go to a friend’s house in Georgia, your second cousin’s house in Colorado, or your Aunt Lorraine’s house in Wisconsin, it’s guaranteed to be an adventure.

2) Pack sandwich materials and water and eliminate food costs almost entirely. Pack snacks that don’t need toRoad-Trip-Snacks- be refrigerated such as trail mix or fruit snacks, and you can avoid the fast-food joint altogether.

3) You don’t need to make expensive, elaborate plans. Half the fun is not having an agenda and taking advantage of the little adventures that pop up. If you get lost, that’s OKAY! In fact, it will probably even add to your experience and make your adventure that much more memorable.

4) More people means cheaper gas expenses. It’s okay to be a little squished in the car. By going with a group, not only will you have an awesome bonding experience with friends, you’ll also have more people to split the cost of gas, and make your trip cheaper.

So there you have it, friends. Grab your best travel-buddies, make a great playlist, and just go! Whether you’re gone for a week or a day, a road trip is bound to be an adventure you’ll never forget.

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Crisis in Ukraine

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably heard about the political unrest in Kiev, Ukraine. In case you’re not sure what the situation is, click here for a brief overview of Ukraine’s political history, and the most recent news updates.

g5tfhydihmyr7zcmo6xsEssentially, tension between the president and rioting civilians regarding the country’s political future has erupted, leaving Ukraine’s capital plagued with riots and protests, and balancing on the brink of a civil war. Fires have been set, bombs have exploded, statues have been torn down, government officials and civilians alike have been seriously wounded or killed, and while the violence has ceased, peace in Ukraine is far from accomplished.

As of today, the former president, Viktor Yanukovych, is in hiding with a mass murder arrest warrant on his head.  Parliament has issued elections to be held on May 25, but with Russia breathing threats, the future of Ukraine is still very uncertain.

33f206d4e7495aff178c77c139b45b04With plans to travel to Ukraine in May, I have been pinning beautiful photos of Kiev, the country’s capital, on Pinterest and dreaming of what it will be like once I get there. However, what used to be a city marked with historical pride and beauty is now a city covered in ash and flowers remembering those who lost their lives. A romantic and adventurous city now carries an aura of death and fear and uncertainty.

Although Ukraine is marked with pain and hurt, it is also marked by the bravery of those who love their country and have the courage to fight, and maybe even die, for what they believe in. Each flower and cross that lie in the square in Kiev remember a man or woman who gave their life to defend what they love.

Pray for Ukraine, friends. Pray for their future and pray for peace.

The Olympic Games Workout

Well, the Olympics are here and if you’re anything like me, you could sit for hours and watch as young athletes twirl, jump and shoot their way to victory.

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It’s exhilarating, really.

Isn’t it ironic, though, that we while we admire the work and dedication that carried these men and women to achieve their Olympic dreams, we sit on our couches eating potato chips and sipping a Coke?

Instead of letting the Olympics turn us into couch potatoes, we should let them motivate us to enhance our own physical fitness! Here’s a really fun Pinterest discovery that turned my Olympic TV time into an awesome workout.

->Olympic Games Scavenger Hunt<-

This idea is so fun because it’s a scavenger hunt workout. Watch for crying moms, listen for your national anthem, or the president of Russia, for example, and do the correlating exercise. This was an awesome way to spice up my exercise routine and make it really fun. (Bonus: the longer you watch, the more exercise you do and you’ll be on track for your own Olympic glory come the 2016 Rio Olympics!)

This is also way more fun if you have a workout buddy, so I recommend finding a spacious area where you and your friend will both have room to do some burpees and lunges. If you don’t have the space, though, you can take turns or do different exercises that your space allows. Whatever you do, try to get your heart rate up and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

So, friends, it’s your turn. Even if you’re not a gold medalist in Sochi, you can still work hard and achieve your personal fitness goals. Go ahead and play your anthem, whatever it may be. You earned it.

Citius – Altius – Fortius.

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If You Can’t Beat It, Join It: Finding Ways to Enjoy the Snow

The first snowfall of the 2013-2014 winter was on October 20 – 114 days ago. During that time, many Minnesotans have also experienced the coldest temperatures of the century. I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s time for the snow to melt, the trees to bud, and the flowers to replace the frost-bitten snow. Unfortunately, tonight’s forecast predicts…snow.

You’ve heard the phrase, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Well, I think it’s safe to say that the snow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so we may as well embrace it. With that in mind, I began searching Pinterest for some fun snow activities, and once again, Pinterest came through. Here’s the Pin -> Snow Activities

I know what you’re thinking. “I haven’t done this stuff since I was in middle school.” Maybe, but trust me, friends, they haven’t lost their element of fun. So grab your snow gear, grab your friends, and head outside. Here are some of my favorite snow activities.

1) Sledding! If you don’t have a good sledding hill, having a car pull a sled is equally as fun. If you don’t have a sled, use a food tray or  even an old cardboard box!

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2) Build a snowman/snow fort. This can be time consuming, but it’s totally worth it. Try a snowman contest with some friends.

3) Snowball fight. Ready. Aim. Fire.

4) Snow angels! You’re never too old for this.

5) Ice skating. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or you’ve never touched a pair of skates in your life, it’s guaranteed to be a good time.

There are so many more ideas of fun things to do in the snow, but here are just a few to get you started! I’d love to hear your ideas as well. The snow’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so get out there and make the best of it.

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Reinvent the Necklace in Under 60 Seconds

Time Commitment: Under 60 Seconds

Cost: $2.50 if you need to buy ribbon

Ease of Activity: 10/10

“Re-Pin” Worthiness: 10/10

I like recycling. I like thrift shops. I like adopting pets from the animal shelter. Basically, I like giving things a second chance in life.

DIY-Pearl-Necklace-In-SecondsThat’s why this project is so wonderful. As I was looking through my jewelry, I realized that there were several pieces that I don’t really ever wear. I thought about throwing them away, but instead I thought I’d check Pinterest to see if there were any fun ideas of how to turn them into something better, and let me tell you, friends, Pinterest did not disappoint! So, if you have some old jewelry lying around, give this a try. Maybe you’ll create something wonderful!

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I really liked this project because it’s so easy and simple, but it’s cute and can be worn several different ways.  Dress it up for work or dress it down and wear it with jeans. Take a couple of your old necklaces and start putting them together. It helps if they’re similar in length, but not completely necessary. I had to play around with some different styles before I found what I really liked.

This is an awesome project because it is so quick but also so inexpensive. The only cost is if you have to purchase the ribbon. You could switch the whole look of the necklace, too, by trying different color ribbon. You could even try using some lace or hemp, depending on the style you’re going for and what necklaces you’re using.

Here’s the link to the pin -> DIY Necklace in Seconds

Tell me what you think!

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Snickers Muddy Buddies: Your new favorite Super Bowl snack

Let’s face it. People enjoy Super Bowl Sunday for three reasons: 1) Football 2) Commercials 3) Food.

As the 100 million Super Bowl viewers realized on sunday, sometimes the game itself can be disappointing. The commercials may or may not be funny, the halftime show will be controversial, people will complain that the referees are biased, but the food will always be amazing.

I heard a statistic once that 10 million total hours are spent in food preparation on Super Bowl Sunday. That is equivalent to the number of hours that went into the making the movie Avatar. Let that sink in. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a yummy snack that could be made quickly so we could all spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the living room, arguing about the halftime show and complaining about the refs?

Well, friends, I’m glad you brought it up.

This is a recipe Puppy Chow that I found on Pinterest. It claims to only take 5 minutes. I’d allow for more like 15, but it was still really easy and a really big hit! Here’s the link for the actual pin -> Super Bowl Snack

IMG_4057IMG_4061INGREDIENTS

7 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
12 oz milk, semi-sweet or dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Snickers bites, chopped

                                  INSTRUCTIONS

Melt chocolate over double boiler.
Pour melted chocolate over Chex cereal, stir until evenly distributed.
Toss chocolate covered cereal with powdered sugar.
Add chopped Snickers and peanuts to mix, allow chocolate to set.

*I also bought a  bag of M&Ms, picked out the team colors of the Seahawks and the Broncos and mixed them in, just to add some color and some festive flair.

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Time Commitment: 15 minutes
Cost: $12
Ease of Activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 9/10

Overall, this snack will help you kiss those hours of kitchen prep goodbye and have time to go join your party. If you’re going for healthy and cheap, keep looking. However, if you’re looking for yummy and fast, consider this a touchdown.

Can You Say Karaoke?

Do you ever have those nights where you’re just craving a night on the town but you don’t have the time or the resources to make it work? Well, friends, I have a solution that will make that problem a thing of the past. Karaoke. That’s right, grab some friends and make a night of it.

Now, I wasn’t pinterest-inspired because of a list of karaoke tips or because my favorite pinner said it would be a great idea. No, I was actually browsing pictures of cute animals and there it was – a picture of a kitten with a microphone. BAM! Inspiration. See the actual pin (and many other cuties) here ->Karaoke Kitty.

Cat I’m going to be up front with you right away. This idea doesn’t work unless you’re willing to use a little imagination. With the right attitude, though, this can be a TON of fun. If you have access to a karaoke machine, wonderful. However, if that’s not an available option for you (as I imagine would be the case for most people), you can improvise and use a laptop, tablet, cellphone, etc.!

While I’m sure no two karaoke experiences are the same, we had a great time experimenting, and I’m sure you will, too. We packed up our laptop, picked our favorite songs, and headed over to our school’s black box theatre. We used (with permission), a fake microphone from the prop box and sang our hearts out. IMG_4056

If there’s not a theatre nearby available for your use, get creative! Use your dorm room, your living room, or even a nearby student center! You never know who may want to join you.

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So, if you’re a tight budget, in a time-crunch, or are just in an adventurous mood, why don’t you try channeling your inner rockstar and make a night of karaoke? It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s  a crazy fun time.

Grab a friend, pick your favorite tune (I recommend “Surfin’ USA” and “Don’t Stop Believing”), and go have some fun! Until next time, friends, rock on.

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Relax – And Do Yoga

As you’ve probably noticed, yoga is all the rage right now. Its benefits are said to include greater flexibility, better physical and mental health, and relaxation of the body and mind. As a college student, this sounds wonderful, so I decided to grab a friend and give it a try. I turned to Pinterest to find an effective yoga routine.

RoboLikes <- Check out the link here

The one I found promised great results in a short amount of time. As a yoga beginner, I was also looking for something relatively easy, and after glancing at it quickly, this routine didn’t look so bad.

Looks are deceiving, friends. While some of the poses were relaxing, others earned remarks such as, “You cannot do this unless you are a robot or have no bones.” Another common phrase was, “My body doesn’t bend this way. NOBODY’S body bends that way.”

Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a quick photo recap of our favorite and our not-so-favorite poses.

“Hands to Feet” – Our hands weren’t quite to our feet, but it was still a good stretch and didn’t leave us feeling like we broke a bone or tore a vital organ in our body.

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“Balancing Stick” – This was another good one that made us feel like yoga professionals.

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“Locust” – This is where things started getting challenging.

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“Bow” – They told me that yoga would be relaxing. They lied. This was about as relaxing as getting run over by a truck. Even with the assistance of my workout partner, Maddi, I’m fairly certain this is impossible.

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“Wind Removing” – This one, friends, is absolutely the best. Anyone can do it. Although I can’t say it increased my flexibility a great deal, it was certainly relaxing.

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Overall, if you’re looking for a truly relaxing routine for your workout, I wouldn’t recommend it. If, however, you’re looking for a good laugh with some friends, by all means, grab your yoga mat and go.

Meet Rachel :)

Hello, friends! My name is Rachel Knoop (pronounced kuh-nope) and, as seems to be the trend, I’m a senior PR major at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. That’s basically where the similarities end, though, and I’ll be honest, when Sarah O., Sarah M., and Emily suggested the idea of a Pinterest blog, I had a mini heart attack and aCOLOR RUNll of my feminine shortcomings flooded my panicky mind.

  • I don’t have an artisticbone in my body
  • My cooking skills, well, they leave much to be desired
  • Unless you’re particularly fond of jeans and tye-dye, my fashion sense is about equivalent to that of a hamster

However, what I lack in culinary skills and artistic thinking, I make up for in crazy ideas and an adventurous attitude.

I love the outdoors, playing sports, exploring, travelling, and trying new things. My dream job is to be a stuntman for Red Bull. I’m also especially fond of orange juice, books, and mixing M&Ms with my popcorn.

Lucky for me, upon further research, it has come to my attention that Pinterest is more than just crafts and fashion trends and is, in fact, chock-full of fun ideas and exciting new things to try. I can’t wait to share some of them with you! As my favorite explorer (Russell from “Up”) once said, “Adventure is out there!” Here we go!

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