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A Collegiette's Guide to Life

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    Sure, it's almost finals season, but that doesn't mean you can't take a break every so often with a little bit of Netflix. (Just kidding, focus on your studies!) 

    In order of release, here are five shows and films you should watch on your next Netflix binge:

    1. Dumplin' - December 7

    A comedic drama starring Jennifer Anniston with a female director AND screenwriter behind it? Count me IN.

    This adaptation of the young adult novel written by Julie Murphy is about Willowdean Dickson, the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen who signs up for her mom's pageant as a protest and inspires other contestants to follow in her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

    2. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle - December 7

    This Warner Bros. Pictures film adapted from Rudyard Kiplings' classic, The Jungle Book, follows Mowgli, a human child raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the harsh rules of the jungle, with the company of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. In this moment of acceptance, Mowgli comes face-to-face with his human origins and struggles finding his place between nature and humans.

    The film is star-studded, featuring the voices of Andy Serkis (Baloo), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Christian Bale (Bagheera), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), and Naomie Harris (Serkis).

    3. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale - December 14

    Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is coming back to Netflix for a holiday special and December 14th can't come soon enough.

    According to W Magazine, the series will follow the Church of Night’s winter solstice celebration, featuring pagan rituals and haunting tales, and flashbacks to a simpler time—before Sabrina Spellman ever had to face the decision in pledging her soul to the Dark Lord.

    4. Bird Box - December 21

    If The Quiet Place feared sight rather than sound, you'd get post-apocalyptic horror film Bird Box.

    According to Netflix, the film follows Mallory, a survivor, and her two children as they make a desperate bid to reach safety five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide.

    With a cast featuring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Rosa Salazar, Jacki Weaver, Sarah Paulson, Lil Rel Howery, and Machine Gun Kelly—plus female director Susanne Bier—it's a must watch.

    5. Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War - December 25

    Talk about a Merry Christmas! If you haven't seen one of the most-talked about Marvel movies of the year (don't worry, I haven't even seen it either, whoops)—Netflix has your back.

    In the latest Marvel film, the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet, the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality.

    Check out the rest coming soon on Netflix:

    Dec. 1:

    • 8 Mile
    • Astro Boy
    • Battle
    • Bride of Chucky
    • Christine
    • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
    • Crossroads: One Two Jaga
    • Friday
    • Friday After Next
    • Hellboy
    • Man vs Wild with Sunny Leone: Season 1
    • Meet Joe Black
    • Memories of the Alhambra (Streaming Every Saturday)
    • My Bloody Valentine
    • Next Friday
    • Reindeer Games
    • Seven Pounds
    • Shaun of the Dead
    • Terminator Salvation
    • The Big Lebowski
    • The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass: Season 5 Masterclasses
    • The Last Dragon
    • The Man Who Knew Too Little

    Dec. 2:

    • The Lobster

    Dec. 3:

    • Blue Planet II: Season 1
    • Hero Mask
    • The Sound of Your Heart: Reboot Season 2

    Dec. 4:

    • District 9

    Dec. 6:

    • Happy!: Season 1

    Dec. 7:

    • 5 Star Christmas
    • Bad Blood
    • Dogs of Berlin
    • Dumplin'
    • Free Rein: The Twelve Neighs of Christmas
    • Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
    • Nailed It! Holiday!
    • Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas
    • Pine Gap
    • ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?
    • Super Monsters and the Wish Star
    • The American Meme
    • The Hook Up Plan (Plan Coeur)
    • The Ranch: Part 6

    Dec. 9:

    • Sin senos sí hay paraíso: Season 3

    Dec. 10:

    • Michael Jackson's This Is It

    Dec. 11:

    • Vir Das: Losing It

    Dec. 12:

    • Back Street Girls: Gokudols
    • Out of Many, One

    Dec. 13:

    • Wanted (Season 3)

    Dec. 14:

    • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale
    • Cuckoo: Season 4
    • Dance & Sing with True: Songs
    • Fuller House: Season 4
    • Inside the Real Narcos
    • Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 3
    • Prince of Peoria: A Christmas Moose Miracle
    • ROMA
    • Sunderland Til I Die
    • The Fix
    • The Innocent Man
    • The Protector
    • Tidelands
    • Travelers: Season 3
    • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 8

    Dec. 16:

    • Baby Mama
    • Kill the Messenger
    • One Day
    • Springsteen on Broadway
    • The Theory of Everything

    Dec. 18:

    • Baki
    • Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
    • Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 5

    Dec. 21:

    • 3Below: Tales of Arcadia
    • 7 Days Out
    • Back With the Ex
    • Bad Seeds
    • Bird Box
    • Derry Girls
    • Diablero
    • Greenleaf: Season 3
    • LAST HOPE: Part 2
    • Perfume
    • Sirius the Jaeger
    • Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski
    • Tales by Light: Season 3
    • The Casketeers
    • Wolf (BÖRÜ)

    Dec. 24:

    • Hi Score Girl
    • The Magicians: Season 3

    Dec. 25:

    • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: Season 11
    • Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War

    Dec. 26:

    • Alexa & Katie: Season 2
    • YOU

    Dec. 28:

    • Instant Hotel
    • La noche de 12 años
    • Selection Day
    • When Angels Sleep
    • Yummy Mummies

    Dec. 30:

    • The Autopsy of Jane Doe

    Dec. 31:

    • The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man 

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    You guys, Miley Cyrus is back with another bop!

    Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson’s new song “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” dropped on Thursday night with a music video that powerfully touches on the political culture we are currently in. It definitely looks like Cyrus, Ronson, and the entire team put so much thought and attention to the details in this video. While the song seems to explore the heartbreak at the end of a relationship, the music video really delves into Cyrus’s political and social heartbreak. 

    There’s plenty of socio-political commentary in the music video about important issues such as police brutality, gun control, and sexual assault. The video opens with a child wearing headphones and playing with bullets like they were toys. The scene then jumps to Cyrus, who is seen speeding down the highway with multiple cop cars behind her. The chase appears to be a distraction from other larger issues as the “Malibu” singer drives through a group of priests at a strip club, a gun range where kids are shooting at children’s outlines, and a group of football players who are kneeling. The children at the shooting range actually hit Cyrus’s car window, with one bullet souring directly in front of her face. There’s no reaction, not even a flinch, to the bullets. It’s definitely discomforting to watch, but it’s a powerful statement on how guns and gun violence has become too much of a norm in American culture. 

    “This world can hurt you/ It cuts you deep and leaves a scar,” Cyrus sings. “Things fall apart/ Nothing breaks like a heart/ Nothing breaks like a heart.” 

    There are also a ton of Easter Eggs in the video that are hard to notice, unless you are really paying attention. When Cyrus’s car flips at the end, for instance, you can find condoms, tampons, and a vape pen. She even pays tribute to all her past eras. 

    According to ENews, Cyrus returned to Instagram three days ago after a four-month break to promote the new song. Her account had been wiped, and she posted a picture of a cracked heart-shaped disco ball. She continued to post bits and pieces of the tracks title, sneak peek videos of the official music video, and audio previews of the song. Those sneak peaks have since been cleared and replaced with the music videos announcement

    Cyrus and Ronson are set to perform the single on Dec. 15 on Saturday Night Live

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    In the past 10 days, there has been reported cases of anti-Semitic vandalism and hate speech on two other college campuses. Just last month, 11 Jewish worshippers were killed in a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg. Now, the Columbia Spectator reports that a Jewish professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College arrived at her office yesterday only to find it completely vandalized with swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs. 

    Elizabeth Midlarsky, 77, is a professor of psychology and education at Columbia. She’s taught at the college for the past 28 years, where a lot of her work focused on the Holocaust. When Midlarsky arrived at her office Wednesday afternoon, she found two large swastikas and the word “Yid” spray-painted on the wall. 

    “I opened the outer door and almost passed out,” she told CNN. “I was so shaky I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.” 

    Teachers College President Thomas Bailey said the school is working with the police to find out who is behind the graffiti. 

    “We unequivocally condemn any expression of hatred, which has no place in our society. We are outraged and horrified by this act of aggression and use of this vile anti-Semitic symbol against a valued member of our community,” Bailey said in a statement, according to the Huffington Post

    This is not the first act of anti-Semitic vandalism at Columbia’s Teachers College, CNN reports. Midlarsky had previously been a victim of an anti-Semitic hate crime in 2007. A swastika was painted on her office door, and anti-Semitic flyers were left in her mailbox. According to the Columbia Spectator, Midlarsky attributes the violence to the rising intolerance and hate crimes against Jewish communities.

    “Anti-Semitism is really in the wind now,” she said to the New York Post. “I didn’t expect to be a personal target right now. I’m not standing up there waving banners. I’m not out there making announcements publicly.”

    The NYPD is currently investigating any possible suspects and leads.

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

    Flash Floods & MudSlides Cause California Residents Devastated By Wildfires To Evacuate Again 

    Less than a week after firefighters contained the Camp fire that killed 88 people, burned more than 150,000 acres and destroyed 19,000 buildings in Northern California, residents and officials prepared for a powerful storm that has resulted in destructive flooding and mudslides. The Associated Press reports that some residents will now have to evacuate again. 

    A flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service on Thursday for the Chico and Paradise area. Heavy rain that afternoon caused the rivers and streams to quickly rise, trapping over 150 cars on bridges and roads. According to BuzzFeed News, Butte County officials were sent to aid residents and later evacuate dozens of homes. 

    Heavy rain over wildfire-scarred areas can be incredibly dangerous. According to the Associated Press, freshly burned land can’t properly absorb water, which could lead to mudslides and debris flows.  Between one and two inches of rain fell in the Chico and Paradise areas, and over a the past eight days a total of 10 inches of rain has fallen across California. The rainfall has caused flooded roads and closed at least two major highways, CNN reports. 

    Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress About Trump Real Estate Project 

    President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in federal court on Thursday about planning to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016. 

    Cohen appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday morning. He admitted to lying to the Senate intelligence committee back in 2017 about how long negotiations were for the Moscow project and about Trump's involvement during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the New York Times. The Moscow real estate project has been one of the main focuses of the FBI’s probe into Trump and Russia. 

    In exchange for a guilty plea, Robert Mueller’s special counsel agreed to not include additional charges against Cohen. BuzzFeed News reports that Cohen would not face additional charges “for any other false statements” to Congress, or for obstruction or perjury.  Cohen faces anywhere between zero to six months in prison and a fine between $500 and $9,500. 

    Cohen will appear in court again for sentencing for a previous guilty plea. It is unclear right now how both pleas will affect the president and Mueller’s investigations. 

    Trump Administration Announced New Guidelines To Give States Freedom To Create Health Care Plans Outside Of The Affordable Care Act

    For the first time ever, the Trump administration announced new rules on Thursday that will help states develop a “free and open healthcare market,” according to NPR. Part of Trump’s biggest mission in office was to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

    The ACA has strict rules for guaranteeing access to health care and covering a broad range of services. It also has a system for exemptions known as 1332 waivers, which allows states to possibly make changes, according to The Hill. The new guidelines would enable states to create more lower-cost coverage options. The ACA subsidies would, thus, be used to pay for unregulated health insurance plans. This tends to result in higher out-of-pocket costs and fewer services covered. NPR reports that the guidelines also allow states to have more leeway in how it uses public funds to decrease premiums.

    But the Trump administration made it clear that already established protections will not be rewritten in the ACA. “The Trump administration is committed to empowering states to think creatively about how to secure quality, affordable healthcare choices for their citizens,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to BuzzFeed News.

    What to look out for…

    Be on the lookout for when Ariana Grande drops her highly-anticipated “Thank U, Next” music video today! The level of excitement we have for it is overwhelming, and we cannot wait to see the star-studded cast recreating some of our favorite movies.

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    OK, let's face it — clothing and accessory gift-giving can feel tough AF. Everyone has their own sense of style that can be hard to pin down and trends seem to come and go as fast as the holidays do. However, I'm here to bust the myth that shopping for style pieces is next to impossible. It's actually a pretty damn good gift once you find the style pieces that can work for any and every fashion aesthetic.

    Lucky for you, I've scoured your fave shops to find the cutest clothes and accessories to gift this holiday season. Whether it's for your hometown BFF or for a random Secret Santa recipient, these stylish gifts will be sure to win them over.

    1. Tortoise resin earrings for a sprinkle of sophistication ($28)

    These earrings are perfect for any BFF with a retro vibe or a friend who's been looking to up her accessory game. It's no surprise that resin earrings have been absolutely dominating the earring scene right now — '70s fashion is going strong well into the last part of 2018. This pair from Free People is so easy to pair with any outfit, no matter the aesthetic or color palette. Whether you go for a classic hoop or a super funky square pair, there really is no wrong way to gift this earring. Any lover of vintage accessories is guaranteed to fall in love with a pair.

    2. Warm up to a blanket scarf ($24.95)

    TBH, blanket scarfs are the gift to give this season. Think about it — it's basically a blanket that's acceptable to wear outside the house. You truly can't go wrong with this fashionably cozy piece. We're loving the simplicity and versatility of this blanket scarf from American Eagle. The tassels at the bottom add a little more texture and detail to the scarf and are super cute. For your friend that prefers a bolder accent scarf, try this striped blanket scarf from Express or this tartan print blanket scarf from J. Crew.

    3. All the scrunchies, please ($12)

    These on-trend hair accessories are still cool, we promise. Scrunchies are the perfect accent for a quick top knot, party ponytail, or for resting ever-so-casually on your wrist. Urban Outfitters is a go-to for every color, pattern, and texture you could ever want in a scrunchie (and comes in beautifully curated packs that all complement each other). If you want to switch it up on the classic scrunchie, try a pack of hair coil scrunchies, perfect for the trend-setting friend who's been dying to try these out — these pastel hair coil scrunchies from Francesca's are the stylishly subtle hair accessory. 

    4. A dainty detail with a cute message ($32)

    Whether your friends prefer a statement-making bangle or stick to a simple, everyday watch, they'll be guaranteed to love a dainty bangle with an encouraging message. Is your friend star-sign obsessed (TBH, who isn't)? Gift your favorite Sagittarius or Capricorn an accessory that shows off their ~astrological love~. Or, if you want to get even more personal with your gift, try an engraved paved bracelet where you can add a name, date, or even coordinates of your fave place on campus or sorority house. S'cute and sentimental, your BFF will totes cry. 

    5. Stunt in snakeskin all season long ($42.90)

    Tall, go-go style boots are not only so on-trend right now, but they'll keep your legs super warm during those chilly months (because, yes, winter is coming). These snakeskin faux leather boots from Windsor are a must-have for your friend with a style Instagram or blog — she'll be showing these bad boys off in no time. If you're feeling something a little more low key, check out these casual snake print ankle boots from ASOS.

    6. Vintage sunnies are always the move ($9.90)

    Just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean you have to forget about your fave summer accessories. While receiving cozy gifts makes the heart warm and fuzzy, receiving some must-have sunglasses is just as appreciated. Give your stylish friend a pair of vintage-style sunglasses, like this pair from Forever 21, for an added edge to their look. If cat-eye sunglasses aren't your BFF's cup of tea, try some pastel oval lenses to really elevate her next 'fit.

    7. Pretty in pink? More like pretty in plaid ($68)

    You heard it here: plaid will be taking over this winter, so do your BFF a favor and get her ahead of the plaid skirt trend this season. The grey mini skirt, like this one from Tobi, will be the one to look out for when gifting your friends. For fun twist on this neutral skirt, try this paper bag-style skirt from Express for the perfect day-to-night staple or this asymmetric, wrap-style skirt from Revolve

    So go ahead and give the gift of ~style~ to your closest friends and family — they'll be so glad you did. Try mixing and matching these pieces or even building an outfit this holiday season. Your friend will be oh so thankful for these new trendy additions to their closets this holiday season. 

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    One of the best ways to show how much you appreciate someone is to gift them something you made yourself. The time and dedication taken to create something special for someone else is worth much more than any store-bought item. And don't worry – most DIY gifts aren't actually all that time-consuming, making them perfect for the girl boss who needs to keep an eye on the time and her wallet. Here are seven different DIY gifts that are sure to give you some inspiration this holiday season.

    1. Mood-boosting room sprays 



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Hello Glow (@helloglowblog) am

    Things can start to feel gloomy in the cold, winter season, making these Mood-Boosting Room Sprays by Hello Glow the perfect gift for anyone who starts to feel a little bit blue. You only need four things to make a batch (water, alcohol, essential oils and several little spritz bottles), making this gift an easy option anyone can make. There are tons of different oil combinations as well, so definitely get creative and show your friends how well you know them through the scents you choose. 

    2. Lotion bars



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Stephanie Rose (@garden_therapy) am

    We all have that one friend who constantly suffers from dry skin. Instead of going out and spending a fortune on fancy lotions, try making some lotion bars. You will have total control over the size, smell and feel of the bars, making them the perfect gift to show your friend how much you know them! Garden Therapy's Vanilla Bean Winter Lotion Bar is a perfect starting point, but feel free to get creative with the molds and any additives.

    3. Personalized chocolate goodie bags



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Wilton Cake Decorating (@wiltoncakes) am

    This is a type of DIY gift I have been giving since high school – it will never grow old. First, you start with some chocolate (either chocolate bars, chips or my personal choice, Wilton Candy Melts), which you can melt on the stove or in the microwave. Then all you need to do is pour the chocolate into a mold, again Wilton has a lot of options, add your fillings (peppermint, nuts, caramels, etc.) and wait for the chocolate to set. I always went around my entire friend group to get their chocolate preferences in order to make each bag super personalized, but you can also just make some set batches of the most popular chocolates. 

    4. Geode bath bombs



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Whipped Up Wonderful (@whippedupwonderful) am

    Everyone loves bath bombs, my roommates included, making these a great DIY gift option. For a unique and honestly beautiful bath bomb, you can follow this recipe from The Makeup Dummy, which are half salt melt and half bath bomb. Your friends are sure to appreciate this lovely gift and you won't have to spend a lot of money buying similar, more generic options from Lush. 

    5. Shell candles



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Pip Hayler (@piphaylerphotography) am

    If you're anything like me and my friends, you love candles. They make your whole apartment smell great, but unfortunately they often get quite expensive. Luckily, it's not actually that hard to make your own candles! This holiday season, merge you love of candles with the ocean using this candle recipe from Burkatron featuring shells. You can also use this handmade shell candles as stocking stuffers or as one part of a larger collection of gifts for your BFF. 

    6. Nail varnish marbled coasters



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Swathi Ravinthiran (@swathiravinthiran) am

    The marbled look, dare I say it, does not seem to be going out of style anytime soon. By gifting these marbled coasters, following Mum in the Mad House's instructions, you can help a friend dress up their apartment a little bit in a way that's functional as well. The best part is, it's created using nail polish, making it super easy and fun to do – just make sure you wear some gloves.

    7. Agate hair clips



    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Laurel / DIY & Party Shaker (@abubblylife) am

    These hair clips by A Bubbly Life are the perfect gift for that friend who loves crystals. Agate slices are easy to find and come in a multitude of colors, meaning you can create a whole collection of clips personalized with your friend's favorite colors in mind. All you need to do make them is to glue the hair clip onto the agate slice and wait for it to dry (this last step is crucial!) and then just find a pretty box or bag to stick it in for gifting. 

    There are so many amazing DIY products out there that you can make to give a more meaningful gift to the people you love. Hopefully these seven ideas inspire you and remember to have some fun yourself as well! Turn up the music, grab some hot cocoa and start DIY-ing.

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    Being a busy student brings lots of stress, and especially during the holidays, it’s important to treat yourself and those around you to gifts that will keep you happy and healthy all year long. Whoever you're shopping for, self-care gifts elevate your gifting to the next level. These things are meaningful, and especially after long months of trying to balance everything,

    I love shopping for surprises like these to treat myself. For the holidays, I always enjoy putting together little self-care themed gifts for the people I love. These are the products that always make wellness fun, easy and luxurious.

    1. A yummy-smelling Lush bath bomb (price varies)

    Lush Cosmetics always has been and forever will be one of my favorite beauty brands. A nice, luxurious bubble bath melts stress away with ease. With Lush, you know you’re getting the highest quality products. Lush offers great holiday gift sets that are already put together and beautifully packaged, but it’s easy to create your own gift set using products you know and love. Some of my favorite bath products to gift include the Pearl de Sel bath bomb ($6.95), Butterball (and its Butterbear counterpart, both $4.95), and the Milky Bath Bubble Bar ($7.95).

    2. Relaxing candles to soothe you (16 oz. jar $22, 9 oz jar $16)

    Going right along with a relaxing bubble bath is lighting a comforting candle and settling in for the night. Candles set the mood for relaxation, and make a great gift because most people don’t treat themselves to nice candles. These soy wax candles are an even better gift because they’re so much healthier for you, and self-care should make you feel good inside and out. A small business I love for soy wax candles isCandelles. They hand-pour their candles in small batches and pay so much attention to detail in capturing the perfect scent. 

    3. A nail polish gift set with ALL the colors ($12.50)

    Doing your nails is a great form of mindless relaxation, and gifting someone (or yourself) some new nail polish and a top coat can spark a night of self-care. OPI has such quality polish that doesn’t chip for days and looks amazing on different skin tones. OPI also has great gift sets at Ulta Beauty, like this holiday mini set.

    4. This meaningful happiness journal ($16.95)

    This list-based journal is so cute for staying grounded and mindful. Writing and journaling are always super therapeutic, but this journal is targeted towards bringing out light and happiness, perfect for a thoughtful holiday gift. If you wanted to gift someone a normal journal, though, some of my favorites to give are from Kate Spade New York, like this beautiful floral-printed one with a sweet quote ($18).

    5. A cute and cozy coloring cookbook ($9.48)

    I received this last year for the holidays and it has been so much fun. This is basically the cutest cookbook ever from blogger Adrianna Adarme, who combined the soothing powers of an adult coloring book with amazing recipes and photos of her cute corgi, Amelia. What more could you possibly ask for? With 40 recipes, ranging from chocolate chip cookies to spaghetti and meatballs, you'll have endless amounts of culinary therapy, plus art therapy. Add a nice pack of colored pencils and you have an awesome gift for anyone in your life. 

    6. The sweater that's also a literal blanket ($40)

    Throwing on an old tee shirt and heading off to nap on the couch is fine, but nothing feels nicer than going to lounging in a soft, luxurious Comfy. Yes, this magical sweater called The Comfy is also a blanket and literally the softest, warmest thing you can wrap yourself in this winter. IThey come in all sorts of colors and make a lovely gift, especially if you add a pair of fluffy socks. 

    7. This gimme s’more chocolate gift box ($60)

    I know what you’re thinking: Who in their right mind would spend this much on candy? Trust me, it’s worth it. Lolli and Pops is a gourmet candy shop that is cute as can be and just as delicious. Their website offers tons of beautifully packaged, handcrafted candy gifts, but my favorite of all time is this s’mores one. For the value, it’s a great price. Plus, if you’re giving this as a gift for someone else, it comes in a lovely package and saves you some time from wrapping.

    If you’re shopping for someone who loves chocolate, but don’t want to blow your whole budget (I get it – I’m the same way!), I love Cadbury’s chocolate ($1.99 each). To create a simple but adorable gift, I’ll stack a few bars together with a pretty bow and a sweet note.

    8. A nourishing oatmeal sheet mask ($2.32)

    This is my all-time favorite sheet mask. Saturated with 100 percent natural oatmeal extract, this mask soothes skin and leaves it soft and smooth. I use this mask all the time because it’s so affordable and lovely. As someone who has really sensitive skin, I love products like this one that really work without being over-the-top or expensive.

    Whoever you’re shopping for this holiday season, pamper them or yourself with some quality self-care gifts. Spreading self-care and de-stressing your friends and family will keep the season merry and bright for everyone, plus help you start the new year off right.

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    2018 was the year of memorable television and movie moments. From April Kepner’s devastating car crash on Grey’s Anatomy to Jack Pearson’s death on This Is Us, avid television watchers have been through the wringer this year. Most college students are experts at binge-watching over breaks, but find that the school year is usually too busy to sit down and even watch one episode of television.

    However, we all have that one friend who has watched everything that has come out this year. Ask her the plot of any film or television show and she can rattle off the characters and storylines as if she's an IMDb page. If your best friend is a streaming obsessive, you may have been forced to hear about all of the TV spoilers this year. But if you’re searching for the perfect gift for your binge-watching BFF, these gifts should do the trick!

    1. This Riverdale iron-on patch worthy of the serpents ($42) 

    Does your best friend wish she was a member of the Serpents? If she spends her days bugging out over Bughead or stalking this fabulous cast on their Instagrams, this iron-on Serpent patch will be the perfect accessory to her favorite leather jacket. 

    2. A shirt for the biggest Peter Kavinsky stans ($33)

    Let’s be real, Peter Kavinsky (AKA Noah Centineo) stole all of our hearts this summer in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. If your friend is the head-over-heels romantic type and wants to send out a few letters of her own, this shirt steals one of the favorite moments from the movie and turns it into a cute design. Fulfill your bestie’s rom-com dreams with her own Kavinsky shirt.

    3. Broad City mugs for a best friend duo ($14)

    We all want a friendship that’s as wild, crazy and nurturing as Abbi and Ilana’s from Broad City. The kooky duo from New York City gives us ideas for anything and everything to do with our best friends (albeit, maybe not the best ideas) and they are total feminist, friendship goals. If you’re trying to think of something for the rational Abbi to your risk-taking Ilana, these mugs are a perfect way to commemorate your unique and valuable friendship. 

    4. A Star Is Born art print for when your friend feels extra ($5.30)

    In the film that emotionally wrecked us all, A Star Is Born starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper really set the tone for tragic love stories in 2018. Besides being a box office hit and a pop culture phenomenon, the killer soundtrack has also inspired a bunch of gifts this holiday season. If your BFF can’t help but tear up at the mention of Jackson and Ally Maine, this framed print of the lyrics from “Shallow” will be sure to move her.

    5. A mug...can you believe? ($17)

    If your best friend swears by the rules of Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Berk, this mug will be the perfect thing to sip on through even the most tear-jerking of episodes of Queer Eye (season 2, episode 5, I’m looking at you). We love, henny! 

    6. Infinity War bath bombs to enjoy in the tub ($15)

    If your friend is really into the Marvel Cinematic Universe films but isn’t the type to wear the merchandise, these Infinity War-inspired bath bombs will let her know that you’re thinking of her interests and giving her the most unique spa days possible. Inspired by the Infinity stones in the film, your friend can kick back and relax watching one of the highest-grossing movies of the year, as it starts streaming on Netflix in late December.

    While you may sometimes think you need to wrench your BFF’s computer and Netflix password away from her, indulge her guilty binge-watching pleasures this holiday season with these gifts!

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    Are you and your bestie often found at the nearest march, repping gender equality signs and chatting with other passionate activists? Do you find yourself discussing reproductive rights, the wage gap and everything else women face in their daily lives? Whether you two been passionate feminists for years or came into your ~true form~ during the phenomenon that has been 2018 – stores are here and ready to accommodate your hunger for feminist merch. Here's a list of gifts from small shops and other brands that are all about a female future. 

    1. This super cozy RESIST beanie ($24)

    “Respect my existence or expect my resistance,” has been one of the rallying cries of the recent resurgence of the feminist movement. If your BFF wants the world to know that sexism is unacceptable, gifting her this hat will help her make a statement whether she’s walking to class or heading to a panel on inequality.

    2. A chic hat that celebrates vulvas ($25)

    If your BFF can always be found at a repro rights talk and is constantly calling her senator about health care, celebrate her passion by giving her this hat. It comes in pink or black depending on your mood, and a portion of the proceeds are donated directly to Planned Parenthood. There's nothing better than literally wearing your support of all things vulva. 

    3. An adorably illustrated Women’s March mug ($15)

    We stan the way the Women’s March has become an annual event to fight bigotry and oppression. Gift your friend this mug to get her hyped for January 19, 2019 when it all happens again. Whether you're planning to be right there in Washington D.C. or participating in a sister march in your college town, this is a special way to commemorate the impact made two years ago and every intersectional moment since. 

    4. This feminist girl gang phone case ($20)

    Want a subtle, but brilliant, way to show off your passion for gender equality? This phone case features a group of famous women ranging from Malala Yousafzai to Michelle Obama to Susan B. Anthony. You can pay homage to some of the greatest change-makers in history by simply scrolling through your feed or taking a selfie. Definitely a win. 

    5. A very necessary RBG care package ($35)

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, A.K.A. Supreme Court Justice, A.K.A. one of the most powerful icons in the United States right now. While you're not busy starting up Go Fund Me fundraisers to donate ribs to our favorite Justice, you can gift this nice care package to a friend who is feeling the Ginsburn. She will not be dissenting when she opens this present.

    6. A simple tee to wear at all feminist functions ($16)

    The 2018 midterm elections only proved that women belong in the House of Representatives AND the Senate. With the historic elections of the youngest female representative in Congress (we’re talking about you, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and the first female Senator from Arizona (Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ), 2018 has been the year of women pushing back and earning a place at the political table. If your BFF has political aspirations to change the world, get her this shirt to remind her that it’s all possible.

    When you’re buying one (or all) of these gifts for the badass women in your life, remember that feminism is about action – not merchandise. If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk! That’s the ultimate move you can pull this holiday season.

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    Wine nights with your girlfriends are without a doubt the best evenings you'll have in college. Whether you're grabbing the $5 stuff from Trader Joe's or shopping online for something ~fancier~, and whether you're a white wine drinker or bitch for red, we can all agree that bevs are an integral part of the holiday season. Below is a list of all the wines the blew my mind this year that your BFF, your mom, your grandma – whatever – will totally appreciate finding in their stocking. There's something here for everyone – enjoy bbs! 

    1. Diving into Hampton Water Rosé ($25)

    If you have a friend who loves to flash her boobs every time "Livin’ on a Prayer" comes on post-midnight at the bar, get her this Rosé IMMEDIATELY. Though the song is subpar at best, this wine is fab. Inspired by Bon Jovi’s summers in the Hamptons, Diving into Hampton Water Rosé is actually brilliant. The packaging has become a collector’s item - instead of a traditional cork, the bottle is sealed with a millennial pink, reusable glass stopper. And the wine itself is amazing, with aromas of red fruit and citrus, it’s the perfect endless summer wine to be shared at any time of the year.

    2. San Simeon Pinot Noir ($22)

    If wines could be best friends, I think San Simeon would be mine. Hey San, wanna go out and get weird on a Monday? Wanna go to a fancy dinner at my mom’s? Wanna binge Netflix alone with no pants on? The answer is always yes because this wine is versatile as fuck. It’s just cheap enough to afford on a budget, but classy enough to admit that you actually drink it. (I’m looking at you, Barefoot lovers. You know who you are.) It’s deep, aromatic and delicious. And you get in your daily serving of fruits. Not just grapes - but black cherries and raspberries too. Your childhood doc would be so proud.

    3. Happy Bitch Rosé ($13.99)

    Does this Rosé even need an introduction? Just buy it and make a bitch happy already. God.

    4. 19 Crimes: The Uprising Red Blend ($13)

    If Hampton Water is the tits, 19 Crimes: The Uprising is definitely the balls. Aged in rum barrels with a dark brown sugar finish, this wine is deep, brooding and truly sinister AF. What’s creepier is that each 19 Crimes wine tells the story of a criminal sentenced to exile during the Industrial Revolution. Download the app to hear the chilling tales, and share this wine with your true crime-obsessed bestie so you can both satisfy your morbid inner maniacs.  

    5. Sweet & Sassy Middle Sister Moscato ($12)

    As a middle and totally attention-starved sister myself, I obv need a wine that’s all about me. If you’re also doomed to be stuck in the middle, screw everyone else and snatch this smooth deliciousness up for yourself. Or gift it to your own middle sister or middle-cursed BFF and watch her drink it like the sweet little tarte she is.  

    My mantra is that the holidays are better with bevs. So pour yourself a biiiiiig glass, cozy up with the fuzziest blanket, and watch a holiday movie while getting lit with the ones you love. 

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    Perfume is my thing, NGL. It makes me feel sexy, or transports me to a tropical paradise, and my personal collection of scents just gets bigger every year. For the holidays, I'm giving all the babes in my friend group and family different fragrances. While gifting scents to other people can be hard because you don't know whether they're going to love it or hate it, I'm pretty confident these are going to be winners. Tried-and-tested by me personally, these were the magical-smelling perfumes that blew me away and everyone needs to know about. You're going to want one, trust me. 


    Scent 1: Secret Genius ($24)

    This is the most deliciously confusing scent I’ve ever smelled. You know that hot, leather-wearing girl you can’t decide whether you want to be or be on top of? Regardless of the answer, she 100 percent wears Secret Genius. A spicy mix of caramel and vanilla, this scent is equal parts sex and mystery, and all parts amazing.

    Scent 2: Sun Saint ($24)

    If my mid-July self had a scent, this would be it. I’m tan as hell, my vitamin D levels are off the charts, my hair has this golden tousled post-sex look and I’m miles away from pimply pubescent boy skin. I mean, I’m fucking glowing. With notes of coconut and sandalwood, Sun Saint is “summer best life” in a bottle.

    BONUS: Best Travel Perfume Ever! ($24)

    Why have a signature scent when you can smell like whatever the fuck you want whenever the fuck you want? This is the luxury that Pinrose’s travel perfume pack affords you. 20 perfectly sized towelettes in all of Pinrose’s best scents that you can take with you wherever you go. Now that’s versatility, babe.

    i smell great

    Scent: Wild Honey ($34)

    You’re making funfetti cupcakes and get inspired to drizzle honey all over the frosting. This is that scent. With notes of (you guessed it!) wild honey and tahitian vanilla, you will have a hard time keeping your partner from just...licking you. Which isn’t a bad thing.

    Malie Organics

    Scents: Multiple ($32)

    Close your eyes and picture yourself on a Hawaiian island, surrounded by lush greenery, getting massaged with warm scented oils. Now open your eyes and realize it’s cold as fuck, you’re forever alone, and you’re totally miz. But wasn’t that moment of zen SO luscious? Don’t ya just wish you could capture it in, say... a roller-ball? Malie Organics perfume oils are the perfect little gifts for yourself or friends who just need a bit of island in their lives.  My fav is Koke’e, a true greenery scent with notes of Jasmine and Amber. It layers beautifully with other Malie scents like Mango Nectar and Plumeria — all must-haves for this cold holiday season.

    I hope all you friends and fam loves these perfumes as much as I do, and that they feeling like goddesses wearing every single one. Happy gifting! 

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    I was never one to take astrology very seriously, but this year everything changed and now 90 percent of my Instagram feed is zodiac-inspired memes and I'm constantly spitting words like "Scorpio energy" at people. This is just who I am now, and I'm totally OK with that. Because of my newfound love for ~the stars~, I'm giving everyone in my friend group, from roommates to coworkers, holiday gifts based on their astrological sign, so it doesn't feel like I'm just taking a shot in the dark. These are all tailored for each person's sun sign, and that's not to say every Libra is going to want the same perfume, but it's a starting point for streamlining the gift search process. 

    Here are my top picks for every astrological sign in my friend group, that your BFFs will love just as much as mine do. 

    Aries: The brightest highlighter ($34)

    Aries women can be a little in your face, and I love my friends even more for it. Each of them has a big personality, and I’d definitely say they’re the outspoken leaders in my friend group. I’m a big fan of any woman that can somehow convince us to go rock climbing or participate in bar karaoke, fooling all of us into thinking we’re outgoing.

    For the holiday, my Aries BFFs are each getting a variation of this gorgeous Fenty Beauty Killawatt highlighter, to add even more sparkle to their already bold personality.

    Taurus: Milk Drinking Chocolate ($22)

    My roommate is a Taurus, and her weekend routine usually involves wrapping herself in a blanket on the couch and stuffing her face with expensive chocolate. This girl is about the luxury and she appreciates a splurge when it comes to 1) food and 2) comfort. I’m gifting her a v tasty bag of milk drinking chocolate from L.A. Burdick, so she can cozy up with literally the best cup hot chocolate ever and live her best life.

    This stuff is soooo good, you guys. It’s basically a bag of tiny chocolate shavings – there’s truly nothing more decadent for a Taurus gal.

    Gemini: Mini photo printer ($99)

    Gemini people just kind of get along with everyone. It’s highkey unsettling (and maybe makes them untrustworthy?), but I stan having an easygoing BFF that’s able to hang in different social circles. Since they’re constantly out and making so many friends, this IVY mini photo printer from Canon is a super-fast way to print the best memories and keep them forever IRL. 

    Yes, I know this is expensive, but like, it lasts forever, and you can definitely reap the benefits of having cute little photo squares to tack up everywhere on your fridge and wall.

    Cancer: Eye and cheek gloss ($20)

    My Cancer friend is a true Instagram QUEEN. She taught me everything I need to know about selfies: how to find the perfect lighting and how to edit my photos like I’m basically an influencer.

    I’m sending her this ultra-cool Flesh Pot from Flesh Beauty, which is basically your typical highlighter, but elevated. It’s the fastest way to make your cheeks, lips and eyelids dewy – and it’s going to look so great in her feed.

    Leo: Prose hair care set  (starting at $25)

    It’s a bit that Leo’s are all about appearance, but that’s also not a lie at all. This holiday season, I’m feeding blatant Leo vanity by gifting my friend Prose, the first in CBD hair care. The whole package is definitely on the pricier side, but you can get a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask totally customized for you hair’s needs.

    I used it for a month myself, and my hair has honestly never been healthier, so I can’t even imagine how my Leo friend is going to geek out on this once she tries it.

    Virgo: Hydrating face mist ($32)

    I love my Virgo BFF with my whole heart, but the girl needs to take more moments to just breathe. For Secret Santa, I’m surprising her with this extra soothing rose facial mist from Herbivore Botanicals. When she’s feeling stressed, she can just pull this out of her backpack and spritz for a mini self-care session.

    Also, rose is just deeply hydrating for your skin, so this mist will give Virgos the ultimate glow.

    Libra: Pretty N’ Punk perfume ($60)

    Your creative, eccentric, scrunchie-wearing Libra friend needs a gift that can keep up with all she’s got going on. I’m gifting Libra babes his Betsey Johnson perfume, Pretty N’ Punk, that’s all about fruit, champagne and rock n’ roll. She can spritz it on for her everyday scent, or just when she’s feeling unapologetic AF.

    Scorpio: Bean vibrator ($36)

    I have yet to meet a Scorpio that doesn’t appreciate some masturbation TLC. Unbound is the ultimate destination for any sexy Scorpio gift, but my favorite sex toy there is the Bean, a tiny vibrator with an approachable soft, mint green or quartz pink design. But don’t be fooled its appearance though – this Bean does a lot for your bean.

    It’s cute and teensy, but still ~sultry~. I’m obsessed. Your friend needs this vibe in her stocking ASAP.

    Sagittarius: Chic neck scarf ($12)

    Every Sag in my life emanates major wanderlust vibes and takes their weekend getaways very seriously. I’m gifting my friend a chic, French-girl bandana from Madewell because I can just picture her wearing this with super skinny sunglasses while driving in a convertible with the top down. She can also tie it around her purse, up in her hair, or on the handle of her suitcase.

    Capricorn: Book of the Month subscription (prices vary)

    The best thing you can give a Capricorn is acknowledgement of their intellectual superiority. My moon is in Capricorn and I love things like organizing my planner and reading for fun, like, actually. For the holidays, the Cap women in your life will go weak in the knees over a Book of the Month subscription (you can either gift them three months, six months or nine months depending on how generous you’re feeling), where they can choose from five different books a month and escape into the pages for a bit.

    Aquarius: Billie kit ($9)

    My Aquarius friend is spending her holiday season marching, arguing with her conservative uncle at the dinner table, and tweeting about repro rights. Her ideal gift is something that caters to her witty, political side and that adds to her general aura of badass. I’m obv gifting my friend a starter kit from Billie, the first razor brand to ever show female body hair in an ad that celebrated and normalized female body hair. ICONIC.

    Pisces: Holographic foil eye mask ($4)

    My mom and I are both sensitive lil’ Pisces babies, and we appreciate a gift that’s both from the heart and a little bit whimsical. This year I’m literally gifting myself a dozen of these holographic foil eye masks from Bliss Spa. They’re decorated with tiny stars, and the serum packs a punch on my dark circles. It’s the perfect combination of self-care and whimsy that Pisces ladies love.

    Gifting according to someone's astrological sign is a whole new level of dedication, but I'm extremely here for it. Hope your BFFs love these gifts and that even the pickiest Capricorns and dreamiest Pisces are satisfied. 

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    In 2018, I became an intense skincare obsessive, and that means I'm at the point of masking pretty much every day. Yes, really. When I come home from work, I put on a sheet mask. Before I hop in the shower, I slather a mask onto my face, neck and chest. And because I've been masking round the clock, I've had a lot of time to figure out the best face masks on the market. 

    If you have a beauty guru friend that's as obsessed with skincare as I am, these three masks will blow her freaking mind. All at different price points, they are the perfect stocking stuffers or a worthwhile investment into a glowing New Year's complexion. I'm so here for friends gifting friends beauty products, and I hope you have as much fun with each of these lil' beauties as I regularly do. 

    1. My holy grail overnight watermelon mask ($15)

    This mask is my heart and soul. I started using it for the first time over summer, and it honestly had changed the way I do nighttime skincare so much. This reviving and de-stressing overnight mask from Bliss Spa is packed with potent watermelon fruit extract and ingredients that overhaul your skin for a totally refreshed complexion.

    When I first apply it, my skin looks so fresh and dewy, and I swear the glow lasts a few days. This will be a game-changer for your BFF, and once she goes What a Melon™, she'll never go back. 

    2. The ultimate charcoal detox for your skin ($49)

    If you're not tuned in to all the benefits of charcoal, you definitely should be. Charcoal masks are key for extracting dirt and debris from your face to clarify your complexion. Wear a charcoal mask, and the next day you'll be new. My fave mask this year was the Love + Charcoal Masque because it's extremely powerful, and one of the few that's certified totally natural.

    I love using a product where I can rest easy about the impact that it's having on the environment, reducing my beauty footprint as much as possible. Too, the natural ingredients like cupuacu butter and alpine rose make this mask smell so earthy whenever you open the pot. I go heavy when I apply this one – I just can't resist. 

    3. The best hydrating exfoliator that makes your face baby-smooth ($62)

    I'm a firm believer in exfoliating regularly. My skin is pretty durable, so I don't worry as much about creating micro-tears, but this exfoliating and hydrating Sugar Face Polish from Fresh Beauty is actually so gentle and lovely. Fresh was one of the very first brands that ever included sugar in their products, and it absolutely revolutionized the skincare industry. The special thing about this mask is the plum seed oil and grapeseed oil that leave your face feeling so soft, you're almost...slippery. It's heaven in a jar, and well worth the splurge to have a face mask that's basically a facial in a jar. 

    Skincare obsessive friends will quickly fall in love with all these masks, but they're also great intro products for the babes in your life still trying to figure out their personal regimen. My wish for you over the holidays and 2019 is the glowiest, healthiest skin you've ever had, and I hope these masks bring out your best no-makeup selfies. 

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    Ah, your vagina. It's a weird, cool, fun body part. So let's celebrate it this holiday season, shall we? Your vagina deserves a holiday gift just as much as your friends do. Think of everything it brings into your life: the good, the bad, the extremely awkward, the extremely ~enjoyable~. All of the orgasms, all of the periods that sucked less than you thought, all of the surprises that made you feel a little bit closer to your body and yourself. Why not celebrate that?

    Regardless of your relationship with your vagina, if you want to buy it a gift, we're here for it. Here are a few of my favorite gifts for my own vagina. May yours enjoy them as much as mine has. 

    1. This shaving kit that will save you from ingrown hairs ($55)

    Is this cheap? No. But your bits deserve the best of the best, and trust me, this is the best. We all know that bikini ingrowns are literal hell. Coming from someone who absolutely HATES shaving, it means a lot that I kind of dig shaving my vulva with this adorable 3-step kit. You start with an oil, which softens your skin all up and preps it for the shave, and then you layer that with the foam, which gives you the easiest shave of your life. Post-shave, use the balm, and your vulva will honestly be so pleased with you.

    Do you need to shave? Not at all. Some months, I don't shave at all. Other days, I go ham. Live your life. 

    2. This vagina ring that honors your vag ($42)

    Show your vag just how much you love it by decking your fingers out in little gold vaginas. It's super cute, and def a conversation starter. I, for one, would be proud to rock this tiny vag all over the place. What a way to make friends, you know?

    Honestly though, in a world that expects us to be ashamed and awk about our vaginas, this gorgeous ring feels like a great way to give the finger to the patriarchy.

    3. These adorable organic tampons ($7.50)

    Organic tampons are the future. Please stop putting weird things in your vagina. If your vagina could speak, it would say it doesn't want to go to near bleach or other nasty chemicals, and these organic cotton tampons from Athena Club are free of harsh chemicals, chlorine bleach and dyes.

    As an added bonus, you can get a subscription and have them automatically delivered, and then you never have to think about buying tampons again. 

    4. This waxing kit that won't make you want to die ($12.99)

    Again: You don't need to pluck, wax, or shave anything if you don't want to. Like I said, I shave at random when I feel like it. And when I feel like a wax, I reach for this beloved wax from Bliss. It takes such minimal effort, and is great if you're too shy, or too cheap, to go to an official waxing person. I've never had any issues with this wax, though read the reviews for some tips as far as how long to microwave it. 

    The chamomile oil in this is verrrry soothing, which is necessary when you like, wax your own asshole. Trust me. 

    5. These yoga pants that also act as period underwear ($109)

    I'm obsessed with these yoga pants, which also function as leggings, AND function as period underwear. Period underwear are a recent obsession with mine, but I've struggled to find something comfy to wear to the gym. There's nothing quite like squatting with a giant, blood-soaked pad or tampon between your legs. So when I realized Dear Kates had leggings, I had to grab some.

    While they're on the pricier side, you won't have to buy these often. Just wash them on cold and let them air dry, and these will be your go-to for years to come. Plus, they hold up to 1.5 regular tampons' worth of blood, so they should get you through your average workout.

    Maybe you'll grab one of these, or two. Maybe you'll be sweet and get one for your friend. Either way, we hope you and your vag have a very chill and happy holiday. 

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    I regularly give my friends sex toys for the holidays. Sometimes they're for them and a boyfriend. Sometimes they're just for them. The point is that I'm a weirdo and I love my friends and I want them to experience all good things in the world, orgasms included. And what says orgasm quite like unwrapping a present and seeing an adorable vibrator, just for you? Plus, talking about sex toys without shame is still just not common enough for me, so with each gift, I'm helping to fight the weird stigma around 'em. It's a cause I believe in.

    Naturally, I decided to try out a ton of sex toys in the name of the season of giving. These are sex toys that I personally just really, really love. These are also from companies that I generally support. Nothing like buying a vibe and supporting Planned Parenthood, am I right? 

    1. This vibrator necklace for your ~risk taking~ friend ($79)


    This is by far the most chic sex toy I've ever seen in my life. It's a freaking necklace. WHAT. When I first learned about this badass vibe, I was like, gimme. What's fun about it is that it's not just about sex. It's about the message. A woman wearing a vibrator around her damn neck is the biggest "fuck you" to shame and sex toy stigma I can think of. She's pricey, but she's multipurpose, and comes in rose gold.

    2. This oral sex simulator that looks like a freaking penguin ($49.95)

    Many women just love oral sex. Why wouldn't we? Tons of women only get off from clitoral stimulation, and so the rise of oral sex-simulating vibrators has been game-changing for many of us. I have a few oral sex vibes on this list, but this one is stand out because IT'S A PENGUIN. It has a bow. That's really all you, and your BFF, need to know.

    3. This strangely beautiful lube ($10)

    I need us to talk about lube more, and this lube is a great intro. It's cute, it's non-threatening, and it comes in a tiny travel size so you can shove it in your underwear drawer and take it out to live your best life. Just spritz it on your fave sex toy, or on your bod, and get slippery. 

    4. This flexible vibrator that'll change her life ($35)

    We all need a hot pink vibrator. It's a rite of passage. But what's special about this one is that it's kind of like, floppy? In the best way ever. It's flexible, which means there are a ton of ways that you can have sex with this thing. It's a classic rabbit vibrator, but with two motors, so you can have one piece on, one piece off, or you can have both pieces on and really just go for it. 

    5. This beauuuutiful massage stone ($25)

    A massage doesn't have to be foreplay – sometimes it's the whole damn thing, especially with a massage stone like this one. Not only is it gorgeous enough to just hang out on your bookshelf and look pretty, but it's also shaped perfectly for your hand so you can use it on your own body, or someone else's. I've used this just to relax, and had zero regrets. Pro tip for your BFF: Tell her to mute the fuckboys blowing up her phone, light a candle, and get to massaging. 

    6. This sex toy that looks like a lipstick ($10)

    This is a truly beautiful gift for your friend who wants to try a sex toy, but is feeling a little shy. It's super subtle. Not only is it palm-sized and easy to hide, but it also looks like a lipstick, making it a piece of cake to stash in your bedside table or even in your makeup bag without raising any eyebrows. The affordable price tag also makes it a safe one to try out and see if you're into vibrators to begin with. ​

    7. This vagina-shaped vibrator that you can place and ignore ($40)

    Some of us like lazy orgasms, and if that's your BFF, this is allll her. The shape of this is such that you can really just put it in place and ignore, and it'll do all the work. 

    8. For your friend with a partner who wants to ~mix things up~ ($40)

    Having a partner doesn't mean you can't use a sex toy. What I love about this sex toy is that it's really multi-use. You can use it if you're straight, you can use it if you're not straight, you can use it with a partner, or you can use it solo. The shape of it is super cozy, and the structure is easy enough that you're not messing with a ton of buttons in the middle of sex. Just pop it in place, and get going.

    9. These handcuffs that are also bracelets ($36)

    Can you tell I like sex toys that are also accessories? Not only is Unbound literally one of my fave sex toy brands of all time, but these handcuffs are honestly a work of art. I want to give them to everyone I own. Not only are they 1000 percent Instagrammable, but they're also functional. It's a win all around, especially for your cool, edgy friends who have all of the mainstream sex toys already.

    Talking about sex with your friends should be fun and empowering, not some weird shame spiral. Whether you're new to talking about sex, or have been talking about sex for a decade, gifting a super cute sex toy is a great way to get the ball rolling. Enjoy the good vibes. 

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    Recently, I've become fascinated with home decor. I'm design obsessed, and I can't lie. It's like I'm nesting, constantly, and I don't know what for, but all I can say is that my budget for cool trendy things, like clothes and makeup, has drastically shifted toward home decor and cleaning supplies.

    I don't care what my outfit looks like. I want an apartment loaded with plants in gorgeous, artsy vases, art on every wall, and tons and tons of chic, fluffy blankets. I don't know what's happening to me, but there are worse things I could spend my money on. Here are my absolute fave decor pieces from the year that would make a great gift for your BFF or a treat for your mom. 

    1. Expensive, cozy blankets, like this Ecuadane work of art ($149) and this fuzzy masterpiece ($89)

    When winter comes along, there's only one thing I want to wear: a blanket. Ever since I was a kid, I've spent October through March wandering the house in a blanket, and honestly, that hasn't changed now that I'm in my 20s. If you want a ridiculously comfortable (but p pricey) blanket that'll serve as home decor in itself, I'm obsessed with these ones from Ecuadane. They make me feel so fancy, and they aren't at all itchy despite the heavy fabric.

    My other fave is this throw blanket from Summer and Rose. It's the fuzziest blanket I own, but it somehow never starts pilling, no matter how often I wash it. My guests always want to curl up in it. 

    2. Dishes, but cute ones, like these stemless wine tumblers ($60)

    I've had a ton of mismatched dishes for a long time, but for literally no reason at all I've been craving a pint glass set. I want to serve beer to my guests in an Insta-worthy glass. Again, where does this craving come from? Who am I turning into?

    I found these glasses from UncommonGreen, and, wait for it: They have your freaking college town's map on them. It's like school spirit, but way, way more chic. I want EVERYTHING.

    I also got these stemless wine glasses from Chic & Tonic, which clearly knows that we ~millennials~ love a good bar cart. My favorite thing about them is the color, because rose gold is obviously a thing right now. I'm also very happy with the size, and the fact that you can check yourself out via your reflection in these glasses at any time. They keep your drink nice and cool, so I enjoy them for water just as often as I use them for wine. 

    3. This natural air freshener combo, feat. room spray ($12) + sachet ($9 for 3)

    I love when my place smells seriously yummy, but I just can't with typical candles and fragrances. There are so many sketchy candles, and just make me nervous. Plus, I have a kitten, and want her tiny lungs to be happy and healthy. My go-tos right now for a healthier living space are this Air & Fabric Freshener by Grow Fragrance, and these Scented Sachets from Floral Simplicity.

    I know these are, like, ultimate suburban mom essentials, but I kind of am turning into an ultimate suburban mom. So, if scrunchies and mom jeans can be in, so can scented sachets. My fave pairing is the Pumpkin Spice ones, because I'm also a proud basic. 

    4. Weird, trending tech accessories like this air purifier, $109

    Okay, stay with me here. When I say tech, I don't mean I'm going to start rambling about some computer you need. I mostly mean the unexpected pieces of tech that seriously ~adult~ up your living space, like this air purifier that's honestly made with Instagram in mind. It's called a Blue Pure 411 from Blueair, it has cute little sleeves as pre-filters to keep your air clean, and it's beyond compact

    I'm very paranoid about bad air and it ruining my health (and, tbh, my skin), so I keep this guy going all day long. An added bonus: It's basically silent, so it won't piss off your roommate. 

    5. This neon light shaped like an Instagram heart, $65

    If you've missed out on the neon light trend, I don't even know what to tell you. It's everywhere. Real talk: I've been looking for a neon light for a long time. My main issue has been being paranoid that they're going to just like, stop working in a week (which seems to be a major issue with most neon lights), and on the flipside, that it's going to go TOO HARD and catch my house on fire. So while this neon light from American Dream House is pretty pricey, it's worth it to me to know it's a legit product that's not going to overheat. It also turns my entire living space pink. I don't hate it. 

    6. Everything from Opalhouse at Target, like this randomly beautiful basket ($25)

    I can't stop shopping from Target's new Opalhouse collection. I know it might be weird that I'm so obsessed with Target that I know every single new collection they have, but Opalhouse is soooo dreamy. Everything is bright, but more boho than preppy, and I'm going to just keep shopping the collection until I own the entire thing. Including this basket, which has been on my wish list for months. Sorry, bank account, we buy baskets now. 

    7. Wall hanging that make me feel ~elevated~, like this artsy piece ($65)

    I can't stop talking about Lorena Canals and their absurdly artsy handmade pieces. If I didn't have a cat, every single wall in my place would be covered in colorful, yet muted, works like this one. I never would have expected to be so sucked in by strings and color, but it's so nice to have something to give some LIFE to your blank walls and feel like you kinda sorta live in an art gallery. 

    8. Prints that aren't just crappy paper posters, like this print that tracks your travels ($59)

    In my desire to be a more "adult" human being, I've gotten pretty into scrapping my $5 posters that are torn and faded and replacing them with nice prints. You know, ones with frames, or ones on canvas. Real Grown Up Human Artwork. I've traveled a pretty decent amount, so I love that this print allows you to literally interact with it and note your trips and adventures around the U.S. You just use the little stamper that comes with it, and mark where you've been. It's a good conversation starter, and if you have friends from all over, they can stamp where they're from, too. 

    I hope you enjoy shopping for home decor and being your very own Chip and Joanna Gaines as much as I do. Maybe I can't afford the house of my dreams, but I can afford a few decorations. Happy customizing your living space! 

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    A Louisiana private school has become embroiled in national controversy following the publication of an investigation completed by The New York Times, alleging the school doctored college applications and abused its pupils.

    T.M. Landry College Preparatory School in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, has been lauded since its opening in 2013 for sending marginalized, black students to top-notch universities—with students attracting national attention through viral YouTube videos and Ellen appearances

    However, the apparently high-achieving school was a façade for a much darker mission, supported earnestly by T.M. Landry’s founders, Michael and Tracey Landry.

    In interviews conducted with 46 students, parents, teachers, and law enforcement agents, The New York Times discovered a pattern of abuse and lies that had enabled the Landrys to intimidate their students into compliance. One student, Bryson Sassau, stated that once he had been accepted to St. John’s University in New York, he reviewed his application.

    He realized that the Landrys had not only doctored his transcript, but they had made up a supposed non-profit he had founded. To further add insult to injury, they played into racist stereotypes, claiming that his father was an absent and abusive drunk who withheld money from Sassau’s family. Sassau claims that his father has always paid child support, and he has never endured abuse at his hands.

    Additionally, The New York Times article exposed the cycle of abuse at Landry—with reports of Mike Landry hitting and even choking students who were performing below academic standard.  Even more disturbingly, there were several reports of Mike Landry bullying students with disabilities—going so far as to lock them in a closet.

    According to the investigation, Landry’s control over the families does not stop even after students choose to leave T.M. Landry. He has withheld transcripts and doctored grades, making it hard for students to find a better school for their needs.

    Landry reportedly told The New York Times that their investigation was saying, “black students didn’t deserve the best.” Many parents of former Landry students disagree.

    According to The New York Times, Landry parent Adam Broussard became concerned when he realized his eight-year-old son wasn’t writing well. After getting him academically tested, he was informed that his son was performing two grade levels behind—a common theme among younger Landry students. Some families even felt as if they were “paying for a high-price babysitter,” (Landry’s tuition is $7,200 a year). 

    And even though Landry’s is a college preparatory school, they reportedly do little to prepare their students for the actual rigors of university life. According to their former students, the learning is very standardized-testing oriented—with pupils stating that “if it wasn’t on the ACT, you didn’t learn it.” One young woman, Asja Jackson, even reached out to Michael Landry about her academic struggles at Wesleyan University. His only advice was to “stick it out”—for the reputation of Landry.  She left after one semester.  

    Since the article was published, the story has inspired conversations about the kinds of narratives marginalized students are expected to follow in order to get the attention of prestigious universities. More and more Twitter users have addressed how these schools play into larger cultural biases about black students — particularly those that keep these high-ranking colleges fairly homogenous while encouraging predatory schools promising access to them to grow at the expense of their students .

    Despite public outcry, neither Michael nor Tracey Landry have responded yet to The New York Times investigation.  

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    I Did A Thing is our weekly advice column where the Her Campus editorial team helps you out when you ruin your own life (hey, we've been there). Email for any and everything you need help with. We’ll answer you (anonymously!) on so we can all learn, together. We’ve got your back.

    EverythingisRent: I first met my roommate in the dorms freshman year, and we really hit it off so we decided to live together again for our sophomore year. Flashforward a year, and my roommate's grandma actually bought a condo a short walk from our campus, but she only uses it for the summer. My roommate's mom asked me if I wanted to rent one of the bedrooms, and my parents told her that we wouldn't be able to afford it and that we could only afford to pay the same as the dorms. She said it wasn't about the money and just wanted to keep us together, so she lowered the rent significantly.

    However, she emailed my mom a day before I was supposed to move in this year and said that the rent would be raised back up to 800 a month. This wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that I rely completely on school loans and my parents 401k to pay for college, and it's too late to take out any more money. I told her that I would only be able to pay for the next month and then I would have to move out, but now her mom is sending hateful emails to my mom and my roommate isn't talking to me. They're calling me a freeloader, and saying that I am abusing the generosity the showed me for the past couple of years. I don't know what to do, because although I don't have a choice due to money issues, it's not like I want to move out. I also don't want to lose my friend. Can you give me any advice?

    helpmehc: What you've got here is a two-pronged intersecting problem of your financial and personal life. The former is, believe it or not, probably a bit easier to deal with than the latter. So let's start with that.

    Depending on your state and the details of your rental agreement, the last minute rent raise is potentially not a legal thing. If you had a formal lease agreement set at the lower price, your roommate's mom has certain responsibilities (depending on your state) to give you notice for the rent increase (often it's 30 days). So the sudden change with next to no notice, is typically not a kosher thing to do and you are by no means a freeloader for not following through on a financial obligation that's different/beyond what y'all previously agreed to. If your agreement was more informal and a tenancy-at-will sort of situation (super common, especially for young people!) y'all likely defaulted to a month-to-month tenant situation — which, again, typically requires landlords to be given a certain amount of notice before you move out and for you to be given notice before your rent goes up. Check out your state's tenant laws and make sure you're super familiar with their ins and outs whenever you enter into a new living arrangement. It is so scary and complicated trying to rent and live and afford it all —  which is why doing your research and watching your back is so, so important (especially when you're living with friends!)

    For future living arrangements, even if it's with your close friends, it's essential that you always, always get something solidified and in writing defining your rental/sublet agreement. I am always screaming this at all of my friends, all the time — but things need to be in writing and you need to be aware of the tenant/renter laws in your state in order to protect yourself (and your landlords, friends, leaseholders want to do the same to protect themselves too.) There are rules in each state that require renters and landlords/leaseholders to do right by one another and a huge part of that is taken care of through transparency and documentation of your expectations and responsibilities. I know it seems corny and dumb when you're with your best friend (and like weird and overly formal considering you likely sit around in your underwear and watch Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat together & little else), but pulling together an email that just says "We agree to XYZ terms for X period of time" with some acknowledgment of when and how payments will be made can save your whole life if something goes south. Plus, it makes it less likely that any party in the written agreement will get f-cked over. 

    (Example: I had a sublet room in Brooklyn a few years back with a co-worker and friend. She was awesome and super responsible and sent me a short email when we agreed to live with one another that just said that by moving in we each agreed to pay (and our method of payment), our terms for if someone wanted to move out and any other important details that we were agreeing to as roommates with a note to keep that email for both of our files. I sent a reply that I agreed to the terms and it was done. Back to eating pasta on the couch and being chill. When the time came that I needed to move out, I gave her a month and a half's notice, because it's what I could do, and we were all good. But if either of us had tried shady shit, it would've been way harder to leave one another hanging or adjust the rent or do anything messed up because the documented agreement could be used in small claims court or following emails to show what our legal obligations were. [We stan documentation of everything in this🏡.])

    In your case, it sounds like you were either mislead or misinformed about the terms of the living situation from the get-go and that is very much on your friend and her parents/grandparents for not setting clear terms. But it's also super important to advocate for yourself, get everything in writing and make sure your best interests are protected (because sometimes even your best friends can be dicks when it comes to money and life stuff.) 

    As for your friendship, that bit is a lot harder. While they may not be taking legal action against you, the emotional burden (and the toxicity) of living with that kind of energy is unreal. This friend sounds incredibly inconsiderate of your financial situation and needs and grossly sanctimonious for talking at all about their alleged "generosity." They seem not only not generous, but manipulative in this regard for not stating explicit terms and sticking to them and doing everything on the up and up. But I understand missing your friend and roommate and just wanting to just have your person back. Like we've said in other convos about salvaging a friendship from a bad fight, it's important to get over and out of the initial conflict (a complicated financial situation and toxic living situation) in one piece and get to a place where you can hopefully have some frank, kind and productive conversations about how you value your friendship more than this argument, how you obviously never intended to dip out on your friend but have your own financial limitations, and how y'all can communicate and grow back together in the future.

    Just please, please look out for yourself and your personal, emotional and financial well-being first. I know you love your BFF, clearly. But you do deserve better than a friend willing to pull shady rental/slumlord crap with you.

    I'm rooting for you.

    Check out more advice from @helpmehc. We've got your back.

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    Amazon Alexa will soon be able to tell when your relationship is dying, The New York Post reports.

    Experts say the device will be able to listen to a couple’s conversations, and by 2021, use this data to predict the chances that the relationship will last. It’s expected to be 75 percent accurate, so not quite as intuitive as your BFF, but a pretty close second.

    According to the Independent, Alexa isn’t going to be a quiet bystander. It’s going to use what it hears during conversations and arguments to intervene and try to resolve issues.

    Researchers suggest this could be especially beneficial for straight women.

    Aparna Sasidharan, a researcher at the Imperial College Business School, tells the Independent that men and women often differ in the ways that they communicate. Men, he says, often cling to “report talk,” a logical, analytical way of problem-solving. This prevents them from engaging in many women’s preferred method of communication, “rapport talk,” which focuses on building and strengthening relationships.

    Saisidharan says AI will “identify optimal ways to discuss common problems and alleviate common misunderstandings based on these different priorities and ways of viewing the world.” He suggests that Alexa may be part of a gender revolution in the next 10 years.

    Obviously, this perspective doesn’t touch on any kind of relationship besides heterosexual ones, and it seems to presume inherent differences in men and women, so it may be important to take this revolutionary claim with a grain of salt.

    If all of this isn’t weird enough for you yet, consider the fact that Alexa may also be able to predict how compatible people are before they even start dating.

    The Independent says scientists hope to combine physiological data on heart rate, eye contact, and physical touch with gene analysis, which will allow AI to eventually predict compatibility.

    Research predicts that within a decade, this will be able to happen before two people ever even meet.

    I just have one question: Have these scientists never seen Black Mirror? This is literally the beginning of “Hang the DJ,” which was cute and all, but I’m not sure I want to live it anytime soon.

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    Men who feel insecure in their masculinity were more likely to vote for Donald Trump in 2016, according to a study by The Washington Post.

    The Post collected search data from Google on how often people in the U.S. searched for topics like “erectile dysfunction,” “how to get girls,” and “penis enlargement,” among others. The list of topics was compiled by asking a sample of 300 men whether they have or would search for these things. Those who said yes were more likely to feel less masculine than their male friends.’

    Many of the same parts of the country where support for Trump was highest also displayed the greatest sense of fragile masculinity.

    This correlation continued in 2018, when these same regions were still more likely to vote for Republican candidates, The Post adds.

    The masculine overcompensation theory provides some insight into these results. Researcher Robb Willer conducted a series of experiments with Cornell undergrads in 2004, where students were first randomly placed on a scale showing how masculine or feminine they were.

    In subsequent surveys, men who’d been told they were more feminine overcompensated by displaying more homophobic attitudes and more support for the Iraq war. They were also more likely to want to purchase a large SUV, and for a higher price, than other respondents.

    “Masculinity-threatened men also reported feeling more ashamed, guilty, upset and hostile than did masculinity-confirmed men,” Willer told the Cornell Chronicle.

    This seems to fit with The Post’s results. Trump is bombastic, over-confident, and aggressive, traits that men who feel insecure in their masculinity may strive to channel in themselves.

    Because dominant masculinity has such rigid standards —n the U.S., it means straight, white, wealthy, and attractive —there are likely a lot of men who feel like they aren't masculine enough.

    These findings may have some majorly dark ramifications: Studies also show that men who feel their masculinity is being threatened are more likely to commit sexual assault or harassment, as a way to assert their dominance over women. Fragile masculinity is also implicated in many mass shootings.

    Society cannot be a safe place for everyone until men are no longer punished, by themselves or by others, for failing to meet the impossible standards set by idealized masculinity.

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