Tagged with 'Holidays'

The Perfect Gift Guide for College Students

Gift Guide for College Students - PUR Filters

Choosing the perfect gift for a college student doesn’t have to be as hard as Calculus II.

Are you overwhelmed by too many gift possibilities? Use this two-step approach to narrow your options: 1) consider where the student lives during school, then 2) check out the short, curated list of gift ideas below. Each gift idea includes a link to experts’ top picks and reviews.

Does the student in your life live in a dorm? At a sorority house or shared apartment off-campus? At home with the folks? The answer will help you settle on a gift you might not have thought of but one the recipient will use frequently.

Gift ideas were selected independently by the author. No commissions will be earned from purchases made using the links.

 

Truly Effective Earplugs

Reusable earplugs block distractions when studying or sleeping, and protect healthy eardrums against loud noise — a must for concert-goers. We’re not talking about your old-school foam cylinder earplugs. Earplugs have evolved into highly engineered devices that surprisingly don’t break the bank. And because they’re reusable, they won’t break the Earth.

Perfect for students who… are poor sleepers; have raucous roommates; study in noisy coffee shops; play in bands, or date people in bands.

They’re perfect because… earplugs can promote focused studying and restful sleep. They’re much less expensive than most noise-canceling headphones — so inexpensive that losing them won’t be too big of a deal, but just expensive enough that they’ll be a gift that’s much-appreciated.

Link: “The Best Earplugs for Gig-goers, Insomniacs, and Anyone With Ears,” Wired.com

 

Trendy Shower Shoes

Athletes aren’t the only students susceptible to athlete’s foot. The fungi that cause athlete’s foot can hang out in any warm/damp/humid/sweaty environment–not just the locker room. Shower shoes (also called shower sandals or slides) protect wearers from germy, wet floors in shared bathrooms, limiting exposure to germs.

Fashion-conscious students desire some brands’ shower shoes as casual-wear staples. Think of them as designer flip-flops worn around the pool or dining hall. 

Perfect for students who… have more roommates than bathrooms; live in the gym; are fashion influencers.

They’re perfect because… they’re practical while being stylish and sporty. There are many inexpensive options.

Link: “The Best Shower Shoes for Men & Women in 2022,” Travel + Leisure

 

A Water Pitcher for Overall Health & Wellness

Every college student owns a surplus of water bottles, which is ideal! Staying hydrated wherever they go is vital for their comfort and health. Have you thought about what goes into their bottles? A PUR Filtration Pitcher will provide great-tasting water to take to class, the gym, or a hike. Just remember to include genuine PUR pitcher filters with your gift. Only genuine PUR pitcher filters are certified to reduce lead and other contaminants in water.

Perfect for students who… take a water bottle everywhere; are concerned about what’s in the water they drink; don’t want to add more disposable plastic bottles to the environment.

It’s perfect because… it can provide cost-savings compared with constantly buying bottled water. PUR Filtration Pitchers come in sizes to suit any fridge and color accents to suit anyone’s style.

Link: PUR Pitchers

 

Safety Lights for Cyclists and Runners

“See and be seen” isn’t a mantra reserved for the cool kids. It should be on students' minds when bicycling or running. Modern lights are powerful, sophisticated devices, light-years beyond reflectors used in the past.

Perfect for students who… bike or run competitively or for fitness; commute to class or a part-time job by bike or on foot; are often outdoors early in the morning or late at night.

They’re perfect because… they’ll help keep your student safe.

Links: “The 14 Best Bike Lights for Every Kind of Ride,” Bicycling; “10 Best Running Lights for Safer Nighttime Runs,” Runner’s World

 

An Upgraded Webcam

Virtual lectures, meetings, and study groups. College has changed. What hasn’t changed is the need for professors and students to see each others’ faces. A high-quality camera will do the job better than the tiny one built into your student’s laptop. Ask anyone who’s been on the other end of a low-res video call with fuzzy audio.

Perfect for students who… collaborate with peers in other locations; attend lectures remotely; are finishing up their graduation requirements through distance learning.

It’s perfect because… of all of the above. Plus, parents will see their kids with superior video quality during weekly calls.

Link: “The Best Webcams 2022: Top Picks for Working and Streaming,” TechRadar

 

If you’re a parent, you know your college student needs more than just your streaming passwords and gas card. If your next gift contributes at all to their success in and out of the classroom, that would be perfect.

 

Cheers! A Hostess' Guide to Cocktails and Mocktails for Big Parties

PUR Pitcher for Cocktails and Mocktails

Take some of the stress out of entertaining with large-batch alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that are sure to wow your guests.

Parties are meant to be fun, not stressful, but if you’re stuck mixing drinks rather than mingling with your guests, finding a moment to enjoy yourself as the host can be tough. Rather than stock the bar with every spirit and mixer imaginable or make made-to-order drinks throughout the event, take some of the heavy lifting out of your next soiree with make-ahead drinks that can be crafted in bulk.

We’ve gathered 8 tasty large-batch beverages that are sure to keep the party going while keeping stress levels to a minimum. And if you’re catering to those who don’t imbibe, not to worry! We have some delicious mocktail recipes. too.

But before we start with the fancy drinks, make your guests stay well hydrated by setting a pitcher of fresh filtered water out where everyone can easily pour themselves a glass or three throughout the night.

 

 

Cranberry Moscow Mule
You might be familiar with the popular Moscow Mule, traditionally made with vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. This is a tried-and-true classic, with a cranberry twist.

You Need:

For the Cranberry Simple Syrup:
1 cup filtered water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries

For the Cocktails:
2 ½  cups vodka
2/3 cups Cranberry Simple Syrup
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4 cups ginger beer

Directions:

For the cranberry simple syrup, pour 1 cup filtered water into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of sugar, stirring constantly over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and let simmer on low until cranberries burst and the syrup begins turn red. Remove from heat. Once cool, remove the cranberries using a sieve.

Combine the cranberry simple syrup, vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer and serve over ice.

 

Slow Cooker Hot Toddies
When hosting a party, anything cooked in the slow cooker is a big win for reducing stress. Perfect for winter gatherings and cold nights, this spiced-infused hot, boozy beverage is sure to make spirits bright.

You Need:

Slow Cooker
12 cups of filtered hot water
2 lemons thinly sliced
1 orange sliced
5 star anise
10 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 “nobs” of raw ginger
Bourbon for serving

Directions:

Add everything but the bourbon to a slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours. To serve, add 1.5 oz of bourbon mug or teacup (leave out for mocktails) and ladle warm mixture on top.

 

Sangria
Fruity, refreshing and surprisingly adaptable for parties throughout the seasons, sangria makes our list as a near-perfect drink for large parties. You can choose red, white or even rosé wine as your base, but we like a traditional Spanish Red Sangria since it’s a favorite throughout the year. Note: We’ve opted for more traditional ingredients, but feel free to mix up your fruit to include pineapple, strawberries or grapes.

You Need:

½ cup chopped apple
½ slice orange
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup orange juice
1 bottle Spanish red wine
⅓ cup brandy
1 large pitcher

Directions:

Muddle fruit with sugar at the bottom of a pitcher. Add juice and brandy and muddle again. Add red wine and stir. Store in a fridge to chill and serve in a glass over ice.

 

“Eggnot”
There’s no question that eggnog is a holiday party favorite, but it can also be a bit labor intensive. Instead of breaking out the standing mixer and separating egg yolks, opt for this eggnog hack that is still sure to be a crowd pleaser.

You Need:

1 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 cup bourbon
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cinnamon sticks for garnish
1 can whipped cream
Nutmeg, to taste

Directions:

Add ice cream to a punch bowl and let melt at room temperature. Once melted, add bourbon and chill in the fridge. To serve, ladle into glass and garnish with whipped cream, grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

 

Mulled Wine
If you’re looking for an easy, cozy drink for a wintertime party, try putting on a pot of mulled wine. Also known as “spiced wine,” this delicious sipper combines red wine with aromatic spices (aka mulling spices) and, similar to sangria, can be spiked with brandy.

You Need:

1 bottle of dry red wine
Mulling spices (or if unavailable, add 8 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 star anise)
1 orange sliced
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup brandy

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a large pot and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat to a low simmer. Drop heat to low and cover. Simmer for at least 15 minutes to fully infuse flavors.

 

Hot Chocolate Bar
Planning a family affair? Delight the kiddos (and even the grownups) with whimsical hot chocolate bar with all the fixings.

You Need:

1 gallon whole milk
1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup hot water
1 bar dark chocolate

Toppings: Sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chips, peppermint sticks, whipped cream

Directions:

Whisk together cocoa, sugar and salt in a large soup pot. Place over medium heat and add hot water and a broken up chocolate bar to melt. Once heated, bring to a simmer and slowly whisk in milk without letting it curdle. Serve in a large hot beverage dispenser with mugs and toppings alongside.

 

Apple Cider
If you’re looking for a large-batch beverage that you can serve as a cocktail or mocktail, look no further than apple cider. Not only is apple cider a favorite amongst guests, but this deliciously aromatic recipe also doubles as a home fragrance system.

You Need:

1 gallon apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 orange sliced
1 cup dark rum (optional)
1 cup cinnamon schnapps (optional)

Directions:

Add cider, spices and orange to a pot and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 hours. If serving as an alcoholic beverage, add rum and schnapps to cider mixture and strain out aromatics before serving in a mug with a cinnamon stick as an optional garnish.

 

Elegant Lemonade
Daytime parties and lemonade go hand-in-hand, but if you want to level up this lemon-infused beverage without a lot of effort, add a splash of vodka, a handful of berries and a sprig of mint to instantly elevate this classic beverage.

You Need:

2 cups sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
2 cups water (for the simple syrup)
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
Vodka (optional)
Fresh mint
Blueberries

Directions:

Start by making a simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer to fully dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and set aside. Juice lemons and combine. If too sweet or too sour, add filtered water to taste. Serve over ice with fresh blueberries and mint. Add a splash of vodka if desired.

6 Clever Ways to Drink More Water This Holiday Season

Did you know a whopping 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Add in the stress of the holidays — the travel, the events, the general chaos — and dehydration may persist all season long. 

The benefits of drinking water are extensive, and we know dehydration may lead to headaches, fatigue, and dizziness, while long-term dehydration can have serious consequences like the possibility of kidney failure. [3] [4] Naturally, we want to feel our best every day, but it’s even more important we feel good and stay hydrated during the holidays. What a disappointment it would be to miss your favorite holiday party because of dehydration!

With a little planning and intentionality, staying hydrated during the holidays can be an easy way to help keep you feel your best all season long with these hydration tips.

 

At Home

1. Holiday Spa Water

Most often, when we think of a bright, sophisticated spa water, we think of cucumbers, strawberries, and mint — flavors that typically appear in spring and summer. Alas, there are many ways to elevate a simple pitcher of water that feels cozy and joyful during the winter months. And the more enjoyable it is, the more likely we are to drink it!

One easy way to elevate a pitcher of water for yourself, your family, or for guests is to simply add a handful of pomegranate seeds to the water for a bit of flavor and vibrant color. You can even muddle them a bit in the water if you’d like so the pomegranate juice mixes with the water.

Another refreshing spa water idea that feels festive and cozy is to add orange peels and a few whole cloves to your pitcher of water. After sitting for a few hours in the fridge or on the counter, the oils from the orange peel — a traditional winter holiday fruit — will seep into the water, making for a slightly sweet, subtly spicy spa water. 

2. Upgrade Your Tea Ritual

While many people may tend to think of cocktails and glasses of champagne come holiday season, there’s an understated beauty in the ritual of tea. Ahead of the holiday season, invest in a beautiful tea kettle you’re proud to display for guests. If you’re spending time in a winter wonderland, consider stocking up on sleek Hydroflask mugs to keep your tea the perfect temperature for hours at a time. 

To elevate your tea ritual for guests (or for yourself after an evening of wrapping presents in pajamas), use a Cut and Keep Silicone Lemon Saver so you can easily add a squeeze of lemon to each cup of tea you enjoy.

3. Keep Water Accessible

Whether you’re busy prepping and planning, packing for travel, or hosting a holiday event, you’ll want to keep a fresh pitcher nearby. Considering purchasing a PUR pitcher for each main living space. PUR even has pitchers in a variety of beautiful shades you can choose from to complement your home decor! Having a fresh pitcher of water nearby when you’re busy packing, cooking, or wrapping gifts in preparation for the holiday celebrations can save you time from having to stop and locate your stray water bottle or glass. 

4. Change Your Water Filters

The best way to ensure your water tastes fresh and delicious is to make sure your PUR water filters have been replaced within the last 2-3 months. Before the holiday season really gets going, ensure you’re serving your guests (and yourself!)  crisp, refreshing water with a new filter. 

 

Water on the Go

5. Water Canteen

We are much more likely to integrate a habit — like drinking water — if we make that habit easy to achieve. If you take a good, hard look at your hydration habits, you’ll likely discover minor ways you’re kept from drinking enough water. For example, when you’re driving, does your travel water bottle fit in your cupholder or does it sit out of reach? Do you often travel on foot and find yourself without a sealable water bottle you can toss in your backpack without leaking? 

6. Holiday Water Game

When you’re out and about running holiday errands, you’ll often encounter a new set of holiday tunes blasting out on a speaker nearby. Use this as a reminder to take a sip of the water bottle you brought with you from home! Treat it like a game to help ensure you’re staying hydrated.