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With move-in day looming on the horizon, a mere two weeks away for most of you, I’m sure you’re completely bogged down with lists of essential college items. Well, while we have a list of stuff like that here, this list is going to be a little different. In fact, this is a list of stuff you should leave at home. 

To be fair, everyone’s college experience is different. So, I can definitely think of situations where someone might need most of these things. For example, if you’re rushing a sorority, you might need more formal clothes than the average GDI. If your goal is to have the prettiest dorm on the floor, knick-knacks might really be an essential college item. That being said, dorms are veryfuckinsmall. If it’s feasible for you to at least leave any of these things home until you need them, that’s probably a good idea.

Related: 14 Tips to Eliminate Stress in College Students 

“Essential College Items” You Don’t Actually Need

High school t-shirts

I guess these land on your essential college items lists because they remind you of home. But honestly, bring your favorite and leave the rest at home. You’re going to get so many free t-shirts that your drawer will be stuffed before you know it. And just like with ex-boyfriend t-shirts, fully moving on from high school involves leaving the past in the past. No one wears high school t-shirts in college. You’ll thank me for this.

Clothing that needs to be ironed

Some college lists will tell you to bring some nice clothes. It’s true, you might need to dress up for things like job fairs, sorority recruitment, etc. But until that one day, they’re folded away somewhere getting wrinkly

On that note– an iron and ironing board.

We just discussed how you won’t use it and honestly, you don’t have the space for it anyway. If you need it once in a semester, someone on your floor will have one that you can use. These do not qualify as essential college items in my book.

A printer

Your tuition already covers a certain amount of printing pages per week. Bringing your own printer is like buying a product that’ll help you waste your tuition money. Plus, once you run out of ink once, it’ll be a giant clunky dust collector for the rest of the year.

A ton of decor

Like printers, lots of decor sounds like a great idea until you realize the only purpose it serves is to give you something to dust. Knickknacks that don’t serve a purpose will eventually just clutter your brain in such a small space, and you don’t want that.

Nice luggage

Nice bags don’t qualify as essential college items because you’ll only need them twice– for move-in and move-out. And hopefully, your parents can bring them for you. Just keep a couple duffel bags you can roll up real small and take out for weekend trips home.

DVDs

I had an entire bin of DVDs in college, and I thought they were essential because it was only the very beginning for Netflix. But now that you have Netflix and Hulu and Prime Video, etc., this is somewhere you can save space as well!

Tons of food

Many lists of essential college items will tell you to load up on snacks, but I’d take this with a grain of salt (some snack humor for ya). Don’t fill up on snacks when you or your parents are already spending thousands on a meal plan. Unless you have allergies, maybe devote one drawer to your absolute favorite snacks that aren’t available in the dining hall.

Kitchen stuff

When I was shopping for school, Bed Bath and Beyond was advertising plastic plates and silverware as “dorm essentials,” and I fell for it. My mom warned me, but for some reason I never thought of how weird and gross it would be to wash dishes in a dorm bathroom. They collected dust for the entire year. I didn’t use them once.

Of course, the exception to this is if you’re moving into a full apartment rather than a little dorm. Or if you’re very environmentally conscious and don’t feel comfortable using paper plates and disposable cutlery.

Excessive numbers of pleasure books

You just will NOT have time unless you’re literally the most avid reader out there.

A toolbox

Like nice luggage, you’ll only use a toolbox on move-in day and move-out day. Your parents can bring this for you.

Anything the roommate already has

Coordinate with your roommate!! Everyone’s dorm lists say to bring a fridge, but duh, you only need one per room. So check with your roommate to make sure you’re not both wasting a ton of your money on things the other already has.

Vacuum

You like to think you’ll vacuum every week. You probably should vacuum every week. But you won’t. With everything on your plate in college, if you do it once a month, that’s pretty good. And someone on your floor will have taken their dorm lists seriously enough to have brought one you can borrow.

Extra furniture

The reason they don’t give you more is because the room doesn’t fit any more. Don’t bring extra chairs, futons, etc., until you’ve seen the room and know you can fit it.

Out-of-season clothes

You don’t need to pack your winter coat on move-in day when you won’t be needing it until November. Ask your parents if they can ship seasonal clothes to you, or bring them back from a weekend at home. Don’t try to store every clothing item you have in that tiny closet.

Bulky storage containers

Some type of storage container is definitely going to be a college essential, but don’t bring it until you’ve seen the room and gotten some measurements. You don’t want to have to lug a giant storage box back down four flights of stairs after finding out it doesn’t fit under your bed after all.

Cleaning supplies other than Clorox wipes

Clorox wipes are actually essential college items. Seriously, they’re so versatile. They’re good for quick dusting and sanitizing, they’re cheap, and you can use them on almost every surface in your dorm room, especially if you have shared bathrooms that get cleaned by an employee. You really don’t need anything else!

Closet organizers

*See bulky storage containers*

Sports equipment

My freshman year roommate brought her field hockey stick or lacrosse stick or whatever she played, and it stood up against the wall for the entire. year. It moved once on the first nice spring day, and only so she could take it around the hall and ask it anyone wanted to play with her. She ended up putting it back because no one else had one.

Stuff with exposed heating elements

Candles, obviously. But also some coffee pots, candle warmers, etc. Some schools even have limit on microwave and lamp wattage. My school suffered a fatal fire a few decades ago, and they no longer allow tapestries or anything with cloth minus bedding. Check the rules, folks! What one list calls essential might be totally against your school’s rules.

Excessive school supplies

College school supplies are not like high school. You won’t need a there ring binder, notebook, and folder for each class. Get one five-subject notebook, some colorful pens for color coding notes, highlighters, and post-it notes.

All four of your high school year books, three of which you don’t make an appearance in

Just…space.

Any other collections you have

Harry Potter books, shot glasses, Disney pins, leave ’em. Aside from the space issue I’ve made abundantly clear, shit happens in college. You don’t want shit to happen to something you’ve been building for years.

 

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Its officially August! And if your parents are anything like mine were when I was in college, they’re already asking what you need for school. If you’re an incoming freshman, you’re probably thinking about some things that’ll help you make friends in your building, and things that’ll remind you of home. In addition to that, this list also reminds you of a lot of things you’ll need, but I promise you won’t want to spend your own money on. So, here’s a list of all the things your parents can send you in an awesome college care package. The stuff on here will keep you warm, fed, un-homesick, clean and cozy for the whole year.

Related: Secrets from a College Tour Guide

It's August, which means parents are asking what you need for school! Hand them this list of college care package items, and be done with it in one shot ;)

College Care Package Ideas

Fuzzy Socks

Fuzzy socks are a great college care package item because they’ll keep you warm on those long winter nights, they’ve got tons of personality, and they’re easier to wash than slippers. Plus, you can wear them around your hall while you’re participating in all your dorm shenanigans.

Blankets

You can never have too many blankets. Bonus points if it’s super soft, in your school colors, or handmade. I’ve included a link to a nice fleece one that comes in different colors. It also comes in twin xl, so it’ll fit your weird-ass bed!

Easy Mac

Easy Mac was basically all I ate in college, even when I got an apartment with a stove and oven! I love this stuff. I love it more when my parents buy it for me. I’ve included a link for a big 8-pack you can get from Amazon! Usually they sell in packs of 4 at a regular grocery store.

Ramen

Another food item for your college care package, along with the easy Mac, is ramen. Ramen is one of the cheapest foods out there, and it’s got a ton of flavor! The link above is to a variety pack of ramen flavors plus a microwavable bowl.

Vitamins

Based on the Easy Mac and ramen, you might’ve gotten the clue that the dorms are not the healthiest place. That’s why your parents’ college care packages to you should also include vitamins. Of some kind. But the ones I linked to are great. They’re the ones I personally use, and they have 125% of your daily recommended vitamin C, 100% of your vitamin E, and 50% of your vitamin A, to name a few. And they’re gummies and they’re delicious!

Tissues

You’re going to get colds, your room is going to get dusty, you’re going to run out of makeup wipes and need an emergency option. Your friends will get colds and dusty rooms and need an emergency option for makeup remover wipes, and you’ll have them. In fact, you can have a sixteen pack. If you have the space, it’s almost always better to go bulk than have to keep buying.

Makeup Remover Wipes

In order to save on your tissues, ask your parents to keep you stocked up on makeup remover wipes! Trust me, taking this five seconds at the end of the night to use these is the difference between feeling super ratchet on Sunday morning and…well…not.  I use Neutrogena, and this twin pack will keep you fresh-faced for fifty Sunday mornings.


Related: Things You DON’T Actually Need for College


Tide Pods

Obviously for laundry, not eating, you little mess of a Gen Z-er, you. Your college care package should consist of this giant pack of sixty tide pods, which I am CERTAIN will get you through your entire fall semester, if not your entire year. For $20. All your laundry for the whole year, twenty bucks.

New Toothbrush

Did you know you’re supposed to replace your toothbrush every six months? A care package with this ten-pack of toothbrushes will set you up for your entire four years, plus two to give away to some unfortunate soul on your floor who is brushing their teeth with a two year old toothbrush.

Protein bars

The purpose of having protein bars in your care package is twofold. For one thing, you need to balance out the Easy Mac and ramen. And the late-night Papa Johns and loads of dining hall food. But also, you’re going to be on the go a lot. You’ll need snacks that keep you full and energized. And that taste good. Luna bars are a great combination of all three of those things. My favorite flavors are the chocolate dipped coconut and lemon zest.

If you’re willing to sacrifice taste a little for double the protein, Think Thin bars are also great. They’re a little more bland, but they pack a whopping twenty grams of protein.

Gift cards for food outside campus

Starbucks, Dunkin, Chipotle, Papa Johns, Dominos, etc. A little restaurant in town, or some comfort food from home. You’re going to get sick of dining hall food, so it would be really great of your parents to drop these in the care package!

Hair ties

Again, trust me. 200 hair ties will find a way to disappear.

Some books about college

If your parents want to do a book-themed care package, this is a great set of three, or they can choose based on who YOU are.

The Naked Roommate– And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College. This book covers a wild range of topics from roommate troubles to greek life to classes and even sexual assault. It was written in 2006, so there are some older topics in there like Myspace (*GASP*) but it has been updated.

Her Campus Guide to College Life– This book is much like The Naked Roommate in that it covers a huge variety of topics, but it’s geared more toward women.

1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know– a third college bible, but the cheapest of the three options! If your parents are looking for a budget-friendly guide to college, this is it.

Extra long phone chargers

Unfortunately you can’t choose your room based on outlet placement. Ask for a ten-foot charger in your next care package! This one comes in red and black for a little extra personality.

Games

Your parents can put these in one of your care packages to help you have the most fun room on the floor!

Cards Against Humanity– a fun, dirty card game that is SURE to loosen everyone up.

What Do You Meme– Very similar to Cards Against Humanity, but with memes, which makes it all the more fun and millennial-friendly

Quelf– My roommate freshman year had this game, and I cringed every time she pulled it out. Essentially, you draw a card and have to do whatever it says. Sounds simple, until you have to put ice down your pants. Or until you’re a 20 year old man dancing like a ballerina. But I have to admit, we got some fun video and I never laughed so hard (when it wasn’t my turn)

Seasonal Decor

I’ve seen lots of college care package guides that say not to bring seasonal decor because it takes up space, which is a valid point. However, holidays in college are seriously bleak without decorations. I still get warm and fuzzy when I think of the mood shift I felt after I hung paper snowflakes from my freshman dorm room ceiling. And when I think of how nice people were to us while this was up on our door 😉 If you can, just have your parents send you your decor as needed so it doesn’t take up space and you still get some Christmas joy.

college care package

Medicine

When I was a sophomore, I got a stomach virus and my mom felt so helpless that she called the health center and asked them to do something. When I finally called, they were like “are you the one who’s mom keeps calling?!”

So, let your parents have a hand in your self-preservation for the sake of their health. Ask them for some of this stuff in your next care package:

Pain Relief– Advil is my drug of choice, and 200 is a good number for the price. You can also get a pack of 360, but it’s pricey and if you need more than two hundred Advil in a semester, see a doctor.

Cold Relief– DayQuil got me through so much crap in college. More specifically, colds.

Cough drops– these are MAGIC. Seriously. Their flavor is strong for sure, but I’ve actually grown to really enjoy it, maybe because they’ve made me feel better so many times. I could snack on ’em.

Stomach Pain– Tums come in these chewy bites now. You don’t have to deal with that weird, chalky texture. And these berry ones taste great.

Razors

Just something you don’t want to have to spend your own money on. It’s well-documented that men’s razors do a better job, so I’ve linked the ones I use above.

Cash or Amazon Gift Cards

If all else fails, if your parents ask what you need, money is a great answer.

What are your college care package essentials?!

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As you may recall from my birthday haul post from last week, my sweet sister bought me the Magnolia Table Cookbook for my 24th (after only the gentlest of nudging from me, of course). It has 125 recipes that she cites as great for gathering, whether that means you and your partner, or a big party. And while I can’t say they’re all the healthiest of recipes (see: mac & cheese loaded with panko breadcrumbs) they do add a certain southern charm to our grownup recipe rotation. The first recipe I tried was Joanna’s White Bean Hummus, which was a major hit at my 4th of July gathering. Even, I might add, amongst people who claimed to not like hummus at all.

In addition to being a rousing success, the other great thing about Jo’s white bean hummus was how easy it was. All you needed was a frying pan, food processor and the ingredients.

I know what some of you are thinking. A food processor?! How dare I call this recipe easy when you need fancy stuff like a food processor?! I know, I was thinking the same thing when I first got Magnolia Table and saw all the kitchen tools Jo has. But as it turns out, there are manual food processors you can crank by hand and get awesome results (plus a lil’ workout). And they’re only $30 compared to $60 and up for an automatic one! You can get mine right here from Amazon. It even has a suction cup on the bottom so it doesn’t slide around while you’re churning!

magnolia table white bean hummusmagnolia table white bean hummusMagnolia Table White Bean Hummus

So you’ve seen the gorgeous result and heard the rumors that it’s delicious and simple. Now, how do you make it yourself?

I’ll start by throwing it out there that you probably have most of the ingredients in your house already. It calls for two cans of Great Northern beans, which are the base along with the nuts. Then you really only need lemon juice, salt, garlic, garlic salt, and olive oil! If you’re missing any of those kitchen staples, allow me, as your twenty-something guru, to say you’ll need them in your future of adult cooking, so invest in them now.

Now, the Magnolia Table official white bean hummus recipe calls for roasting two heads of garlic. If you have two heads of garlic and a half hour to spare, this is what you should do first. It takes the longest, and you can get other things done while you wait, like toasting your pine nuts. If you’re going by the book, follow these steps right below. If you’re using chopped garlic from your fridge like me, skip past the bullet points!

Roasting Garlic:

  • Preheat oven to 400 (or use a toaster oven)
  • Peel the crispy outer layers of the garlic heads and cut a bit off the tops, just exposing each clove
  • Place them in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and cover the exposed top with tinfoil
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until slightly soft if you press on them

If you’re skipping that, or while you’re waiting, toast your pine nuts. Just dump ’em in a dry frying pan and put them on med/high heat. This should take ten minutes or so, until they start getting  brown. Shake ’em around a couple times. This process gives them a smokier flavor that adds depth to the rest of the hummus.

After you’ve done this bit of prep, all you have left to do is dump everything (minus garnish) into your cheap and wonderful food processor, and process away! You top it off with more pine nuts, roasted red peppers for some color, and some fresh parsley! Another great thing Magnolia Table told me about Jo’s white bean hummus is that the longer it sits, the longer the flavors blend together. So, you can hold onto your leftovers or send them home with your friends and family. Graciously offer your gorgeous creation to those poor twenty-something souls who don’t read Uninspired for easy recipes from the hottest cookbooks.

And then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

The Magnolia Table White Bean Hummus is the newest addition to your grownup recipe book.

Magnolia Table White Bean Hummus
 
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This white bean hummus recipe belongs to Joanna Gaines and can be found her new cookbook, Magnolia Table. You'll love how it hits all three points on the holy trinity of twenty-something cooking: it's not bad for you, it tastes good, and impresses friends and family 😉 Enjoy!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6; 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 15oz cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed & drained
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ c extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ c chopped roasted red peppers, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp parley leaves, for garnish
  • fresh veggies
Instructions
  1. Grind up the beans, half the toasted pine nuts, the lemon juice, garlic, garlic salt, regular salt, and olive oil in your food processor.
  2. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and add your garnish- the peppers, other half of the pine nuts, and parsley. Serve with fresh veggies.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to four days.

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Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s already time for the July Tinder Files. This month we’re focusing on the cringey pickup lines. The ones that make you go, did that thought really fully formulate in someone’s brain without a single filter catching it? You’ll totally see what I mean in a few minutes. Real quick before we start though, let me give you the rundown of what this is all about.

Beyond laughing at cringey pickup lines, The Tinder Files actually serves a higher purpose.

You can read the long version of it in this post, or keep going here for the Sparknotes. Basically, in doing some academic research on dating apps like Tinder, I’ve come to find that we don’t really have established social rules for online dating like we do for real, person-to-person dating. We know not to walk up to a girl in a bar and tell her we’ve been staring at her intensely for an hour, just admiring her heavenly blessed beauty. But a real life human has actually sent me a twenty-line message on an app saying exactly that.

My professional opinion is that online dating just hasn’t been around long enough yet for those social norms to be established. We’re really confident with a screen separating us from others, so we’re pretty brazen about testing our limits. The Tinder Files, while often funny ,serve as a reminder of what’s okay and not okay to say on a dating app.

I do have some rules I follow to make sure this doesn’t descend into me just being a jerk and putting people on blast. If I’m a douche, the whole thing kind of implodes, doesn’t it? So, I’ll never post about anyone based on anything they can’t control such as their appearance, race, ethnicity, or gender identity. I’ll also refrain from posting about people who seemed to have good intentions. Finally, I’ll try to keep people’s information private to the best of my ability.

So, with all that out of the way, enjoy the cringey pickup lines in all their horrible glory.

Related: Weird Pickup Lines for June, 2018


July 2018: Cringey Pickup Lines

1. Dumbledore

All this makes me picture is Dumbledore giving head which does not get me hot.

 

2. Rapid Fire

Oh, wow. I get my choice of three cringey pickup lines here. If I don’t like one, I can just look at another and repeat as needed.

 

3. Mind Flower

I just…I don’t know where that is….

 

4. Stumped

GET IT???/?? CAUSE THAT’S A TREE WORD

 

5. Brownies vs. Cheesecake

Bruh, the only thing that would make me less intelligent regarding this choice is actually picking one over the other. Including apple pie.

 

6. Worst Night of Your Life

What a way to start things off. He’s either really nailed down the self-depreciating humor or he’s extremely confident, to the point where he thought this would clearly be a joke. I’m cringing because it is not clear.

 

7. Medusa

I don’t want to know the state of your dick in your greeting to me. 

 

8. Save the D for Later

At least he’s saving it for later.

 

9. Dirty Girl

I don’t know what’s cringier: the fact that he thinks snapping is inherently dirty or the fact that he called me a dirty girl like it would convince me.

10. Most Blunt Message

I mean, its kinda blunt I guess?? Cringing because he clearly has no idea what goes on on these sites. Blunt on dating apps is being told someone would like to fuck you against the wall. Or that they’re a porn star looking for a new start. Being told you want to spoil me at sporting events is not a winner, my dude.

Leave some of the cringey pickup lines YOU’VE gotten in the comments!

Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!
Why am I posting cringey pickup lines on the internet? Sure, they're funny. But they have a higher purpose. Click to find out what it is!

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The other day, I sent an email out to my VIPs about how we should embrace being extra, and it was all centered around how extra my sister thought I was about her high school graduation party. While you don’t get all the nuggets of wisdom without signing up for my email list, you do get to see exactly what extra looked like on me that day! The big hit of the party was my version of a recipe I found over at Erica’s Sweet Tooth for alcohol infused cupcakes. Real Blue Moon is baked in them!

These summery cupcakes went along perfectly with the blue theme of my sister’s party, which is why we’re focusing on the Blue Moon version today. However, what makes alcohol infused cupcakes awesome are their versatility. Instead of using Blue Moon and orange, you could try Corona and lime! Or, you could get really creative and use craft beer and the garnish of your choice.

Alcohol infused cupcakes are the wave. Get on it. Surf it. Drown in the sheer brilliance of it.

Related: How NOT to Bake a Mille Crepe Cake

Alcohol Infused Cupcakes

While I’ve gotten compliments on these from people of all ages, I chose to share them with my twenty-something audience because millennials’  love for beer is like nothing I have ever seen. My insta feed is full of boys in pastel shorts at breweries and taprooms, holding pints and claiming Saturdays are for the boys. Every shoe that ever touched the floor of a frat house is still faintly sticky with the stuff. I am regularly followed on Twitter and Instagram by craft beer reviewers. Beer is like a religion to my peer group, which is why this recipe is always such a hit at parties.

Even if you’re up against a partygoer who doesn’t like beer, the flavor is subtle enough that they’ll still enjoy the cupcake, and your creativity. They’re as sweet as a regular cupcake, but with a little extra of what I would call a bread-y flavor. If you’d like the beer taste to come through even more, you can poke holes in them while they’re cooling and brush some extra on top.

So, how do you make ’em?

I gotta be honest, alcohol infused cupcakes do not meet all three points of the twenty-something cooking trifecta. They are impressive and delicious, but they’re pretty labor intensive. Not difficult per say, because they don’t require any crazy ingredients or gadgets, but burdensome.

Start by choosing a light beer you like to drink. You only need one for the whole recipe, so you’ll be drinking about five. And light beer goes better with this recipe’s vanilla cake. I’d also select one with a fruity companion like orange or lime so you can add it to the frosting. And have a built-in cute garnish!

alcohol infused cupcakes

Related: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Prep

First, get your prep out of the way. Set out your butter and eggs so they can get to room temperature. This allows them to trap more air, which makes a fluffier baked good. Then, zest your citrus. Unfortunately, my zester is only sharp in one tiny corner, so this was a tedious task, but it doesn’t have to be. Snag this one from Amazon that’s dishwasher safe, also grates cheese, and is only $10.

While you’re prepping your citrus, you can also slice them for your garnish. Slice thin, round pieces, and then cut them into sixths. After that, sift your powdered sugar. This is definitely tedious. But then you’re ready to go!

Actual Baking

First, mix your flour, baking powder and salt in a big bowl and set it aside. In another big bowl, beat your sugar and unsalted butter with an electric mixer. You don’t have to have a fancy stand mixer, you can use a cheap handheld one. Add the eggs one by one, beating in between, then your vanilla and zest.

Next, you have to do a gross thing. Mix your beer and milk. Just do it and get it over with. Then alternate adding that, and the flour mixture, to the butter mixture. Once everything’s mixed well, it’s time to scoop it into your liners!

The first couple times I made alcohol infused cupcakes, I made them full-sized. But I kept getting feedback that they were too dense to finish. This may be partially due to the fact that I never waited for my ingredients to get to room temperature. But it could also be that beer changes the chemical composition of a cupcake just a little. So, this time I decided to make minis. I got 72 cupcakes from this amount of batter, and your partygoers can choose to have two or three if they’re feelin’ wild.

If you’re making minis, you’ll have to adjust the cook time from Erica’s recipe. At 375, my little guys took about 12 minutes instead of 18. While they cook, whip up the frosting!

Related: How to Make Joanna Gaines Famous White Bean Hummus

Frosting

This part is super easy if you already sifted your powdered sugar. Just blend your butter and cream cheese, then add the sugar a little at a time so you don’t make a mess with it. Once that’s all light and fluffy, add your orange juice and zest, and mix until it’s smooth! I suggest keeping it cold so it stays firm.

I have this fancy contraption for frosting but if you don’t have a real piping bag, you can transfer your frosting to a Ziploc bag and cut a small bit off the corner. Then just pipe away and add your garnish!

Voila! Alcohol infused cupcakes.

Gorgeous and grownup!

alcohol infused cupcakesalcohol infused cupcakes

 

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Blue Moon Alcohol Infused Cupcakes
 
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Alcohol infused cupcakes are the wave. Get on it. Surf it. Get completely knocked down by the sheer brilliance of it. And when you get back up, try my Blue Moon version inspired by Erica's Sweet Tooth!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 48
Ingredients
  • ¾ cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1-3/4 c sugar
  • 2-1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp orange
  • 1 Blue Moon; 1 c to be baked in, the rest for brushing on top
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Orange wedges/zest for garnish
  • For Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 12 oz cream cheese, cold
  • 6 tbsp butter, room temp
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. For Alcohol Infused Cupcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 375 and line your mini muffin tin
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt
  4. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light & fluffy, 2-3 mins
  5. Add eggs, beating after each addition, and then add the orange zest and vanilla.
  6. Combine milk and beer, and alternate adding this mixture and the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake 9-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven, poke a few holes in the top of each with a toothpick, and then brush Blue Moon over the tops.
  9. For Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting:
  10. Cream together cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 2-3 mins
  11. Add orange juice and zest, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, about 2 mins.
  12. Transfer frosting to a piping bag and, once cupcakes are cooled, pipe frosting on.

 

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Happy belated birthday to me! My big day was June 27th, and I wanted to share my birthday haul with you because I realized that they were all great birthday gifts for twenty-somethings.

I’d say good birthday gifts for twenty-somethings are anything they don’t want to spend their own money on, even though they’re useful or fun. We spend so much time working, and we get so anxious about the future that we always forget life is happening now. So, any gift that allows us to remember that is great! For example, paying off my $60,000 of student loan debt would’ve been awesome, but unfortunately no one took that bait.

Just kidding. But seriously. Anything fun, or taking care of needs like clothes or a bill payment so we can use that money for fun, is all helpful. We’re not picky.

So, below is a look at my birthday haul! In it, you’ll find some great birthday gifts for twenty-somethings, but also some things you might want to splurge on for yourself! While it’s true that not all these items are highly practical, it’s also true that none of them are over $30. If you don’t have $30 in the budget to buy something that makes you feel good once in a while, I highly suggest revisiting your spending habits! With that in mind, here’s the list!

The best birthday gifts for twenty-somethings are things they don't want to spend their own money on. My birthday haul included clothes, games and books!

Related: The ULTIMATE LIST of Birthday Freebies

Birthday Gifts for Twenty-Somethings

What Do You Meme

birthday haul birthday gifts for twenty-somethings

WARNING: Though memes are a universal language, this game is not for kiddos. That’s how it made it’s way to a list of birthday gifts for twenty-somethings. 

If you love Cards Against Humanity, you’ll love What Do You Meme. It’s the same concept, but instead of the black cards, you have memes. You have to create the best caption to win the meme (decide with your group if you’re going for funniest or most logistically correct) and whoever collects the most meme cards by the end wins!

The best birthday gifts for twenty-somethings are things they don't want to spend their own money on. My birthday haul included clothes, games and books!
Gotta be able to laugh at yourself sometimes!

Forever 21 Sundress

I’ll be honest, I’ve gained some weight since moving back home from college. In school, I walked everywhere and I was busy all the time so I never thought about snacking. Now, its all I do. I study in my kitchen and when I’m bored, I snack. And when I’m between class and internship, I stop at Panera. or Smashburger. Or Chipotle. I’m starting to change my habits, but in the meantime, I need summer clothes that fit. So my mom took me shopping and I got this adorable dress (in pink) and the romper below.
I love how this dress accentuates the curves of my waist and hips but minimizes my pasta belly. One of the best birthday gifts I could ask for is a flat tummy, and this dress gave it to me! The best part is that I didn’t even feel bad asking my mom for buy it for me, because it’s under $20.

Forever 21 Romper

Rompers are really hard for me to wear, ’cause I’m smaller on top than I am on the bottom. I know I’m not the only girl out there with this problem, so ta-daaa! I found you a great option. While it’s great that it actually fits my top and bottom, the ruffle actually adds a lil’ somethin’ to the top, which makes me look more balanced. I literally love it.

Again, I didn’t even feel bad asking my mom to buy this for me, because it’s under $20, and it’s comfortable and versatile and super pretty. So, while I wait for the bod of my dreams to kick in, I’m just gonna use amazing clothes like this to trick people into thinking I have it.

Magnolia Table Cookbook

birthday haul birthday gifts for twenty-somethingsIf I could drop everything I’m doing– school, internship, even this blog– to be the Joanna Gaines of the northeast, I would probably do it. I love everything she’s ever done, from her houses to *ahem* her hubby. But while the embodiment of Jo’s spirit would have been a great gift, again, no one offered me that. Instead, I got her brand new cookbook, Magnolia Table.

So far, I’ve only tried her White Bean Hummus because it’s healthy, versatile and easy. The holy trinity of cooking when you’re broke and lacking a fully-stocked kitchen. But there are a LOT of recipes in here that make this book a great birthday gift for twenty-somethings. Next, I’m thinking of trying her Mac and cheese with panko breadcrumbs for a nice comfort recipe. Or her perfect roast chicken to add another adult meal to my arsenal.

Related: Lemony Arugula Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Barnes and Noble Collectible Fairytales

birthday haul birthday gifts for twenty-somethingsThis one’s really personal, but I included it for nostalgia’s sake. And to show it off. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’ve always had a thing for fairytales, especially Beauty and the Beast. I want my wedding theme to be a Tale as Old as Time. How romantic, right? Don’t steal it.

So, they always have this big display of these gorgeous collectible fairytales in Barnes and Noble, and I always sigh as I walk past, knowing they’re not practical purchases but still admiring their beauty. My mom has always noticed and urged me to buy one, for the same reasons I cited earlier. If I can’t spring $20 for something I’ve loved for years, I’m budgeting wrong. But something always seemed more important, until I called it a birthday gift!

Yup, I bought this one for myself, along with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, because they were on sale. And their silver lined pages and leather-bound covers and the ribbon bookmark thingies in the middle are all worth it. They’re displayed prominently in my bedroom, bein’ all pretty n’ stuff. The best birthday gifts for twenty-somethings are things they don't want to spend their own money on. My birthday haul included clothes, games and books!The best birthday gifts for twenty-somethings are things they don't want to spend their own money on. My birthday haul included clothes, games and books!

Related: Books from High School to Re-Read in Your Twenties

101 Secrets For Your Twenties by Paul Angone

birthday haul birthday gifts for twenty-somethingsThe last item in the birthday haul is 101 Secrets for your Twenties by Paul Angone. I haven’t finished it yet, because I took it to the beach the other day when it was about a hundred degrees out, and the binding actually melted. Literally melted and some pages were falling out. So, I’ll finish it at home where the loose pages won’t fly away.

Still, the few nuggets of wisdom I’ve received so far are already giving me a swift kick in the butt. For example, how embarrassment and greatness exist together. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great. A little harsh, but very, very real.

Something to note is that, while there is a lot of valuable information, Angone doesn’t always offer answers with his presented problems. They’re more something to help twenty-somethings not feel alone. Also, there’s a bit of a Christian angle to it. There are several places where he suggests you look to God to find your answers. If that’s not something you believe in, you might not find as much value in this book.

Related: What to Read: Summer 2018

Birthday gifts for twenty-somethings aren’t so hard to find if you know what they need! What are the best birthday gifts you’ve gotten?

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If you’ve been to Uninspired before, you probably know how passionate I am about online dating. I talk about it a lot because I think it’s really important that we use this advance in technology to our advantage rather than our detriment. Normally, I do that by writing about etiquette in messages. Today, I’m going to tell you my rules for staying safe on an online date. They’re the rules I personally follow, and since I’m still here to tell you about them, you can trust me!

Staying Safe on an Online Date

For me, saying safe on a online date involves following five rules. They are 1) tell a trusted person where you’ll be 2) tell someone at your date location you’re meeting an online date 3) don’t let him pick you up 4) go somewhere familiar and 5) be honest with yourself. I’ll explain each below.

Today, I'm going to tell you the five rules I personally follow for staying safe on an online date. Super important if you're meeting an online stranger!

1. Keep a trusted friend or family member in the loop.

This is important for staying safe on an online date because, duh, if something goes wrong, someone can find you. In addition to telling someone where you’ll be, you may also want to come up with a safe word or text. For example, sending a quick “!” could alert the person to come get you, call the police, etc. Or something that looks innocuous like “did you feed the dog?”

You should also give them a time to expect you to check in, so that if you don’t, they know to check on you or get help.

2. Tell the bartender or hostess your situation.

Many bars have a system specifically for situations like this. Ordering an “angel shot” for example could really be a signal for the bartender to get security or call police. Try to arrive early so you can speak with someone about this before your date gets there.

If your date location doesn’t have it’s own system, you should still ask for someone to keep an eye on you. You can even set up your own code! For example, Starbucks probably doesn’t have anything in place, but you should ask your barista if they can call police if you come up and ask for more almond milk. It might seem extra, and of course chances are slim the guy is actually a serial killer, but this is a classic case where you should rather be safe than sorry.

3. Don’t let him pick you up, especially not where you live.

While all these rules are important for staying safe on an online date, I think this one’s the most important. I’ve seen so many women not follow it. Ladies, never get in the car with an internet stranger.  Just do yourself a favor and take control of your fate in that tiny way. Even if you trust him completely, which you shouldn’t if you’ve never met him. Even if he’s just trying to show off his chivalry. Real chivalry means respecting your need to feel safe. Once you’re in his car, he could take you anywhere.

Part II: if you’re going to ignore me and let him pick you up, at least be at a neutral location. For the love of God, don’t give an internet stranger your address. Again, if he respects you and/or understands women’s safety concerns, this won’t be a problem. If you’re afraid it will be, that’s a big red flag that you shouldn’t go. As a matter of fact, he should respect you more for sticking to your boundaries and morals.

4. Go somewhere you’ve been before.

Sure, it seems really romantic for him to suggest that trendy bar you’ve been meaning to try. Or adventurous to go to dinner in a new neighborhood. Until he’s driving you there (which he shouldn’t be!) and you don’t know you’re not headed in the right direction until you’re at a poker game in an abandoned insane asylum. Or until he turns out to be a total creep and you don’t know where you are to get yourself out. Again, just save the adventure and chivalry for the second date. If you’re afraid you won’t get to the second date, you probably shouldn’t go on the first one.

5. Listen to your gut and be honest with yourself.

Let me put it this way: if you get red flags from someone’s online dating profile, where they have every opportunity to showcase themselves as positively as possible, it’s in your best interest to heed the warning. I don’t care how cute he is, or how long you’ve been single. This risk is not worth the reward.

Just a few weeks ago, I came across a very cute guy on OKCupid. Red flag #1. Just kidding. (Am I?) But I ignored my better judgement and messaged him. We shared quite a bit of witty banter, then it abruptly stopped. I checked his bio, and there was a whole new section listing things he didn’t want his matches to do, and I’d done all of them. It was like he wrote it out of frustration with specifically me. Red flag #2. Then after two days, he continued our conversation like nothing happened, and those things all disappeared from his bio. Red flag #3. I still decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, until this: Today, I'm going to tell you the five rules I personally follow for staying safe on an online date. Super important if you're meeting an online stranger! Today, I'm going to tell you the five rules I personally follow for staying safe on an online date. Super important if you're meeting an online stranger!

So seriously, listen to and be honest with yourself. It’ll keep you out of remote cabins in the woods. 

Staying safe on an online date is so important!

For real. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but for women, not following these rules can be the difference between life and death. And honestly, it only requires a little common sense and self-control on your part. Nothing you don’t already have! So, next time you’re on Tinder and you stumble upon someone you’d love to hang out with, keep this list in mind and staying safe on an online date will be as easy as swiping right!

Did you guys know I accept guest posts on other topics aside from mental health? I just love when you guys share your expertise with each other. It means we get a wealth (that pun’ll make sense in a minute) of knowledge based on the real personal experience of a whole bunch of people, not just me. It makes Uninspired a really diverse collection of information for people in their twenties. In the spirit of that, today’s guest post is about how to set a budget that will help recent graduates pay off their student loans!

Our guest, Jamie, is a finance enthusiast who loves her job teaching young adults about financial independence. Here’s her take on budgeting for recent graduates!

Related: Side Hustles to Boost Your Financial Independence

Jamie from Earnest is visiting Uninspired to tell us how to set a budget that will help us pay off our student loans more quickly


Budgeting 101: Recent Graduates

When you graduate college there could be so many emotions and thoughts going through your head. Maybe you are excited about the future but questioning what to do next. You may know exactly what your next move is. No matter what it is, they are fine places to be because you graduated and it is your time to shine.

But there may be a slight problem you haven’t figured out yet… how to set a budget. It may not be something you have had to deal with, but you are going into the real world and will be dealing with real-life expenses. So that means it’s time to learn to budget!

Go over your expenses

Start to think of what you pay for now and what you’ll have to start paying for in the future. The now payments could be anything from groceries, streaming services, and clothes. The future will be a long list of bills like rent or your student loans. (gasp!) Yes, those student loans will have to be paid for now.

Now you will ask yourself two questions about each expense:

  • Do I need this?
  • Can it be cheaper?

I know we would love to say yes to the first question with some bills but sadly, we cannot do that. What it really means is do you need to shop every week for clothes or do you need both Hulu and Netflix to watch your shows. Going over these costs and cutting out the unnecessary ones will help you save some extra money.

The second question will apply to every expense you have because everything could always be cheaper, even your bills! Make a plan before you hit the grocery store, clip coupons and scope out what is on sale that week. When you have to shop for clothes, shop the sale racks to score the best deals, or even check out your local consignment store. When it comes to bills, there are ways to lower your monthly payments depending on what it is. Student loan debt is something college grads struggle with when it comes to their monthly expenses. This article talks about small changes you can make to pay off your student loans faster. Make sure you’re in good standing with your landlord, some apartment complexes have specials to lower your rent for upcoming months. Some even offer a month’s rent free when you are a new tenant.


Related: Saving Money in Your Twenties


Set a budget

Now that you know exactly what you spend each month, it is time to set a monthly budget. Pick a number that allows you to pay for the essentials listed above but doesn’t use all of your paycheck. The budget will be here to help you save money for the future. Some people can be wrapped up in the savings so try to be rational. It is okay to not live completely off the grid and to treat yourself sometimes! Also, when you set a budget it does not have to be concrete. The budget can change to work with your lifestyle each month.

Organize

Once you have gone through your expenses and gotten rid of and/or lowered what you could and set your actual monthly budget, it is time to organize. Setting a budget is easy but sticking to it is difficult. The best way to handle this is to make or use budget sheets. (I have shared some of my favorite worksheets here.) By using these worksheets it will be easier to keep track of where your money is going and if you are off budget.

If you do not want to use these sheets, there are other ways to track your spending and to stay on budget. First, have a calendar and a journal. On the calendar, at the end of each week, calculate how much you can spend to stay on budget. During your day, write down everything you pay for whether it was lunch, a bill, or coffee. At the end of the day add up your total and mark it on the calendar. You will be able to see by the end of the week if you stayed on track! If you didn’t, you will have to lower your total on the next week. If you did, you can either keep it to save extra money that month or add it to the total next week.

This will be hard to do at first, maybe even stressful. But don’t give up, it will get easier as time goes on and you see your savings grow!


Related: Earn a Stable Monthly Income with Patreon


Things to remember

You can do endless research on budgeting and you will get different answers every time. Everyone has different lifestyles and chooses to save differently. Something you try one month may not work for another! Try to remember that budgets are not set in stone and  they can change. Do not get discouraged with this. It took you years to learn your craft in college, it will take time to learn your budget and new lifestyle. It will all be worth it in the end when you are a budget guru and have tons of savings.

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Can you guys believe June is almost over already?! I always spend all month waiting for my birthday and then when it’s over, I inevitably feel like I wasted all of this gorgeous month waiting for my one day at the end. It’s so silly. But now, the end is here, which means it’s time for the Tinder Files again! Every month, I post the weird pickup lines people send me on dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid. You can check out the long explanation as to why I do this, or you can stick around here for the Sparknotes.

Of course, weird pickup lines are funny. They make people laugh and cringe and potentially even feel like they’re not alone in being preyed on by douches. Basically, I’ve been doing some academic research on dating apps, and it’s really hit me how different the rules are from traditional dating. As I’ve learned more, I believe I’m really starting to hit on why that is.

Compared to traditional dating, Tinder and OkCupid and POF haven’t really been around that long. And because of that, we haven’t had the time to fine-tune the rules like we have for traditional dating. We know that in a bar situation, it’s a little iffy to walk up to a woman and ask her where her soul rests (see #7). You’d have security on your ass for sure if you walked up to her and said: “[I] want to pin you up against the wall and fuck you hard” without so much as a greeting. But on dating apps, people do it anyway. I believe it’s because we don’t know the rules yet.

So, the Tinder Files hold people accountable for their online dating behavior.

In addition to being funny and relatable and all that stuff from before, The Tinder Files also strive to help make clear what’s okay and not okay to say on dating apps. I’m trying to push along this process of setting the rules! But I do have a few guidelines I follow myself in order to keep this from being a free-for-all of just making fun of people.

For one thing, I would never post about anyone based on their appearance, race, ethnicity, or any other characteristic they can’t help. I’ll also never post negatively about anyone who seemed to have good, pure intentions. Finally, I’ll try to blur out locations and other identifiable things if I think someone could hunt the person down using it. This isn’t about ruining the lives of douches, it’s about turning bad behavior around. And laughing at some weird pickup lines.

Weird Pickup Lines: June 2018

1. Dinner This Upcoming Weekend

I like to post some of the silly and cute lines too, because I like to instill hope that there are some funny, witty guys out there, too! There’s nothing inherently wrong with this one for me, it’s just a little cringey.

weird pickup lines

2. Without Your Phone Number

Don’t look directly at all that confidence, it’ll burn your eyes.

weird pickup lines

3. BTW

By the way of what?? This was our only message.

weird pickup lines

4. Pulled Over

Claps for the creative writing major over here.

weird pickup lines

 

5. The Other Chopstick

Were you worried there weren’t going to be enough weird pickup lines in this post? Don’t worry, we were just startin’ slow.

weird pickup lines

6. If You Were a Vegetable

This one’s weird but somehow a little cute still?? I dunno, I thought this was funny. Let me know what you think in the comments!

weird pickup lines

7. Where Does Your Soul Rest?

Physical beauty doesn’t impress him anymore, and yet if I looked through his messages I feel like I’d be hard pressed to find anyone unattractive.

weird pickup lines

8. Is a Hotdog a Sandwich?

This is weird but it’s also a HOT BUTTON ISSUE. A hot dog is not a fucking sandwich. Don’t @ me. weird pickup lines

9. Not Compatible

I said fine and unmatched him. If that was a joke, it backfired!
weird pickup lines

10. Zero APR Loan

Oddly specific and yet so…correct. weird pickup lines

Have you gotten any weird pickup lines lately? Share them in the comments!

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.
Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.
Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

Every month I post ten of the weird pickup lines I've gotten on dating apps. It holds people accountable for their online behavior and honestly, it's funny.

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My birthday is this Wednesday! I’ll be 24, and people keep telling me to enjoy it because apparently it’s one of the last years I won’t have the screeching sound of existential dread drowning out my excitement. Well, joke’s on them ’cause that started after 21. But anyway, I wanted to do something special for you guys for my birthday this year, and this is what I came up with: a giant list of birthday freebies! I think it’s a great way to give you something awesome and also make me feel better about inching closer to that quarter-century mark.

So, this list of birthday freebies and deals has been compiled from all over the internet. I organized it starting with whether the deal is no strings attached or a coupon. Then, it’s organized by what it is: food, retail, or other.  It’s also in alphabetical order within each category! The hardest part about this will be choosing only a couple things to do. But fret not– you can always pin it to Pinterest and use it again next year!

Related: 20+ Ways to Save Money Without Skipping Your StarbucksMy 24th birthday is coming up this Wednesday, and to honor it, I want to give YOU a gift! In this post, you'll find the ultimate list of birthday freebies.

135 Birthday Freebies and Deals:

Please note you’ll need to sign up for email lists or VIP clubs to get mosts of these offers! How else will they know your birthday?! And since these birthday freebies change with time and vary by location, you’ll want to call and check each one before using!

Birthday Freebies

Food Birthday Freebies

Au Bon Pain choice of free sandwich or salad

Auntie Anne’s free pretzel

A&W free root beer float

Baja Fresh free burrito

Baskin Robbins free scoop

Ben & Jerry’s free scoop AND $3 off ice cream cake

Benihana $30 gift certificate

Blue Bell Ice Cream free ice cream

Bonefish Grill free bang bang shrimp or dessert

California Pizza Kitchen free small plate

California Tortilla free burrito

Caribou Coffee free medium drink

Carvel free ice cream

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse free $10 dining voucher

Cheesecake Factory free “scoopette” of ice cream

Chick-fil-A free milkshake

Chili’s free brownie sundae

Cinnabon free iced coffee

Cracker Barrel free dessert and SONG!

Denny’s free Grand Slam

Dunkin Donuts free drink any size

Einstein Bros Bagels free bagel and shmear

Firehouse Subs free medium sub

Friendly’s free medium sundae

Fuddruckers free 1/3 lb burger

Golden Corral free all-you-can-eat buffet

Grotto Pizza free jr. cheese pizza

IHOP free Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity pancakes

Jack-in-the-Box free dessert (no signup, just bring coupon & ID!)

Jamba Juice free juice/smoothie

Jersey Mike’s free regular sub and 22oz drink

Krispie Cream free doughnut AND free small coffee/drink

Lone Star Steakhouse free appetizer

Long Horn Steakhouse free dessert

Manhattan Bagel free egg sandwich

Melting Pot free chocolate fondue for two

Moe’s Southwest Grill free burrito

Movie Tavern free movie ticket

Nestle Toll House Cafe free cookie

Olive Garden free dessert

On the Border free dip trio or brownie sundae

Outback Steakhouse free dessert

Panera free pastry

Perkins free Magnificent Seven

PF Chang’s free starter, small plate, or dessert

Pinkberry free small yogurt with toppings

Red Robin free burger

Ritas free regular ice

Ruby Tuesday free burger or garden bar

Sprinkles Cupcakes free cupcake

Starbucks free beverage OR food item

Subway 20 free points (enough for 2 free cookies, a bag of chips, or small drink)

Texas Roadhouse free appetizer

TGI Fridays free dessert

Waffle House free waffle


Related: The Best Birthday Gifts for Twenty-Somethings


Retail Birthday Freebies

Aveda free composition oil

Bare Minerals free matte lipstick

Benefit Brow Bar free brow arch

Kiehls free lip balm

Kirkland’s 25% off coupon

Kmart $20 worth of free points

IKEA free meatball entree with almond cake or DAIM cake AND $15 off your purchase

L’Occitaine surprise free gift

Office Depot $2 of reward points

Payless Shoes 20% off purchase

Sephora mini beauty bundle

Smashbox different gifts at different “levels” of reward program status

Tarte 20% off your purchase

Ulta UltaBeauty lip mask and juice infused lip oil (changes quarterly)

Activities and Other Birthday Freebies

AMC Theaters free large popcorn

AMF Bowling free game

Dave & Buster’s $10 in free game play

Disney Movie Rewards 100 free reward points

Disney World free birthday pin

Redbox free movie rental

Swagbucks free 50 SBs


Related: Make More Money by Starting Your Own Blog


Birthday Deals

Food

Applebees free dessert with entree purchase

Arby’s free small milkshake with purchase

Boston Market free dessert with purchase of create-your-plate meal

Buffalo Wild Wings $5 off $25+

Carrabbas Italian Grill free dessert with entree purchase

Cold Stone Creamery BOGO free Coldstone Creation

Dairy Queen free blizzard

Famous Dave’s BOGO half off entree up to $15

Godiva $10 off $10+

Hard Rock Cafe BOGO free entree

Johnny Rockets free burger with purchase of any entree and drink

Maggiano’s Little Italy $10 off $30+

Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream/Marble Slab $5 off sheet cake

Medieval Times BOGO free admission

Mooyah Burger free burger with purchase of fries and drink

Orange Julius BOGO free juice or smoothie

Papa Johns 10 free Papa Points

Pizza Hut free cinnamon sticks with online order

Qdoba BOGO free entree

Quiznos free cookie with purchase

Red Lobster $4 off 2 adult entrees

Sbarro free cheese or pepperoni slice with drink purchase

Smashburger free shake with entree purchase

Sonic free medium tater tots with purchase

Wendy’s $1 off premium combo

Retail

Aerie 15% off purchase

American Eagle 15% off

Anthropologie 15% off

Armani Beauty Rouge D’Armani Sheer lipstick in shade 502

Best Buy $5 off

BirchBox $10 off $50+

Crabtree & Evelyn 15% off

Charming Charlie $5 off

DSW $5 off

Estee Lauder deluxe Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Creme AND Eye Creme with purchase

Express $5 off

Famous Footwear $10 off

Hallmark free card AND 20% off

Hot Topic $10 off $30+

Kohls $5 Kohls cash

Lancome 15% off $49+

L’oreal $2 off

Mario Badescu $10 off $10+

Michaels 50% off one regular priced item

Neiman Marcus 10% off

New York & Company $10 off

NYX Cosmetics $5 off

Old Navy $10 off $50+

Payless 20% off

The Body Shop $10 off (but it costs $10 to sign up for the rewards program)

Things Remembered $10 off

Torrid $10 off $10+

Too Faced free makeup bag with $50 purchase

Urban Decay free full size single-shade eyeshadow with purchase

Urban Outfitters 20% off $50+

Vera Bradley $20 off $20+

Victoria’s Secret $10 off

World Market $10 off $30+

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Baby oll in Fetish Black with $75+ purchase

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