Texas A&M Football Calendar Wallpaper

Happy Monday! As the new college semester approaches, that means we are that much closer to college football! Our very first Textbook Solutions location was founded in College Station, TX – the heart of Aggieland and Fightin’ Texas Aggie football! We love our school here and to show our Aggie pride, we have created a desktop and cell phone wallpaper with the A&M football schedule. The beautiful photograph for this was taken by Rebecca Griffith Photography, and her website can be reached here.

Click on the image above to save and download the Desktop Wallpaper.
Click on the image above to save and download the Cell Phone Wallpaper.

Summer Wind Down: Last Minute Vacations

It’s the end of July…can you believe it?? 2 months have gone by and you feel like you’ve done nothing all summer! There’s still time to book that last minute vacation that will lift your spirits and won’t leave you feeling bummed out. Here are 4 cheap, last minute vacation ideas!

Hiking and Camping

What better way to spend your last weeks of freedom than by enjoying beautiful nature? You can find some amazing sites near the mountains, water, or wooded areas – whatever fits your style! There are so many camping grounds and hiking trails that you can find for incredibly cheap prices for a couple of nights.

Not sure what to bring on a camping trip? REI has a great camping checklist you can use here! Make sure you check out what activities there are to do at your local campgrounds, such as hiking trails, kayaking or canoeing, or even rock climbing. Besides these fun options, you can bring your own entertainment! Outdoor games such as cornhole, frisbee, and other sports are always a hit. Board games and cards are great for some time outside of technology. And don’t forget the s’mores!!

Home Rental Sites

If you want to get out of your own house for a few days, home rental booking sites are always a good option to experience a new place in a cost-effective, welcoming, home environment! There are quite a few companies that offer this service, such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Just figure out where you want to visit, and search Airbnb or Vrbo for great deals in that area.

If you have never used a place like Airbnb or Vrbo before, it is a service where homeowners put their properties up for others to rent for a few days on vacations or trips of any kind. They have wonderful accommodations and provide a cheap alternative to expensive hotels! There are plenty available in most places nowadays and many of them are less than $100 a night! If you have friends that can chip in, you can stay almost anywhere for dirt cheap!

Beach or Lake Trip

There are not many places more beautiful than a beach or lake at sunset. Before heading back to school in August, visiting the water may be the perfect way to escape and have fun. If you live near a beach or lake, it can make for the perfect day trip and hardly cost anything! If you don’t live close to a body of water, grab some friends and make a road trip weekend out of it.

Some exciting things to do out on the water include kayaking, canoeing, riding jet skis, or attempting to surf – if you’re brave enough! Most beach and lake locations have rental spots where you can rent various equipment for a couple of hours. Bring a volleyball and have some games in the sand, and a cooler for your drinks and snacks. You’re all set!

Theme Park

Theme parks may not be the most relaxing getaway, but they sure are exciting! A theme park doesn’t have to be a huge tourist spot like Disney World – see if there are local water parks, go-kart racing, or other attractions in your area! A theme park, whether large or small, will have tons of activities for you and your friends and family to participate in.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun and go soak up your last few weeks of summer!

Sweet Summertime Treats

It’s the middle of summer, and we’re hitting those triple digit temperature numbers! You are probably craving something sweet, juicy, or cold – and if you’re like me, summer is my favorite time to be creative and try something new! What better way to practice those creative skills in the heat of summer than by trying a new recipe? Whether you’re in the mood for something creamy and cold, fruity and juicy, or sweet and refreshing, we’ve got some great recipes to try this summer!

Lemon Icebox Pie

This is actually my great-grandmother’s recipe! I remember being so excited for her famous lemon icebox pies as a kid. Who knew they were so easy?? All you need is:

  • 6 ounces of frozen lemonade (let it thaw for a few minutes)
  • 8 ounce container of cool whip
  • Can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Graham cracker crust

Whip the first 3 ingredients together, pour it in the crust, and let it freeze for a couple hours. It’s the best remedy to those hot summer days!

Dairy Queen copycat orange julius

Photo from Simplee Thrifty

Those delicious Orange Julius treats from Dairy Queen are famous for a reason! You can make one from the convenience of your own home with just 7 easy ingredients. Check it out at Simplee Thrifty and try it today!

Watermelon ice cream

What screams “summer” more than these words? Watermelon is one of the most refreshing things to eat on a hot summer day – mix that with ice cream and I’m sold! Try this delicious, fruity, and healthy recipe from Easy Peasy Creative Ideas.

Healthy fruit salsa

Photo from What Molly Made

I don’t know about you, but “fruit” and “salsa” would not be something I would put together…until now! This healthy fruit salsa recipe from What Molly Made is a fruity dessert that is good for you and satisfies that sweet tooth at the same time. It also includes a recipe for cinnamon sugar pita chips, the perfect crunchy chip to dip into the fruit salsa!

Strawberries and cream magic bars

Photo from Tidy Mom

Get your baker’s hat on for this awesome recipe! It has strawberries, cream cheese whipped cream, and a cookie crust – sounds pretty magical to me! Check it out at Tidy Mom and make some for your next get-together.

Peach Cobbler

Photo from Pinch of Yum

There aren’t many things more American or traditional than peach cobbler on a summer’s day. This recipe from Pinch of Yum is so low maintenance and delicious, you won’t believe it takes only 15 minutes of prep time!

Frozen oreo pudding cake

Photo from Lil’ Luna

Were you wondering when I’d get to some chocolate recipes? This one is perfect for those chocolate lovers in the summertime! Lil’ Luna has an awesome recipe for this that just makes my mouth water!

No Bake Summer berry Lasagna

Let me tell you, this recipe from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts is the real deal. It’s perfect for the summer and 4th of July with it’s 3 layers: red (graham cracker and strawberry jam), white (cheesecake with strawberries), and blue (blueberry jello salad). Top it off with more fruit and white chocolate, and you have the perfect combination.

s’mores bars

S’mores are the perfect summer treat and always make me feel like I’m at a campfire! These s’mores bars bring together everything you love about s’mores, without the need to build a fire. Try it today from The Baking ChocolaTess!

Sheet pan fruit pizza

Here’s another (semi) healthy yet delicious and sweet fruit recipe! Just cut up all the fruits you want, and pile it onto a sugar cookie crust. You could even drizzle some chocolate or caramel on top…the possibilities are endless! Get it from Jamie Cooks It Up.

The next time you have a family event or get-together with friends, whip up one of these amazing treats and enjoy the summer!

10 Ways to Sell Handmade Creations

Are you a crafting fiend with an obsession for DIY projects? Crafting is a hobby that many people enjoy because it is relaxing and a way to express yourself! If you have a passion for crafting and making your own creations, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make some money at the same time? We have found some great websites and resources available to help you sell your works of art! If you have a love for creating and crafting, check out these platforms that help you get your handmade items out for the world to love and buy.

  1. Absolute Arts. This website is perfect for artists and sculptors! It is free to sign up, and you can list up to 20 pieces of art for free. They have a huge community of artists and even help with marketing your items.
  2. ArtFire. This is a pretty well-known website and community for artists and creators to sell their products! They have boutique accounts for more commercial products, and also handmade artisan shops with one-of-a-kind items. They offer free seller accounts with various upgrades that you can purchase as you become more experienced.
  3. Craft fairs or farmers markets. Most cities have multiple craft fairs or weekly farmers markets that are great opportunities for local crafters and artists to set up a booth and sell their creations. Do a google search for your area and you can easily find how to sign up to become a vendor!
  4. Cratejoy. This is a little different than the others because it turns your products into subscription boxes! Subscription boxes are becoming more and more popular, and this website helps you get your small business started by creating your own subscription boxes with your items and reaching a wide audience of customers.
  5. eCrater. Here, you can create your own online store for selling your items – for free! It’s very easy to set up and you can customize the website and add your own logo and photos.
  6. Etsy. If you haven’t heard of Etsy, you’re missing out! Etsy is probably the biggest online shop for handmade, one-of-a-kind products. You can find almost anything on there and it reaches a wide variety of needs and people. It is great for crafters who want to try to sell their work because you can set your own prices and sell as many items as you want. It is free to open up a shop, and while there are some listing fees, they are pretty small.
  7. Facebook Marketplace. Facebook is such a great way to reach a lot of people, and the Marketplace feature helps you sell items when you don’t really know where else to go yet and are just getting started. It also targets your specific location, making it easy to find people near you who want to buy your products!
  8. iCraft. For the crafters who make their own unique creations from scratch, this is the website for you! iCraft is only for original, handmade creations – they do not allow vintage items or commercial products. They offer resources and tools to get your small business going and give sales tips if needed. You can start selling on here for just $5 a month, with multiple business plans to choose from.
  9. Shopify. This is another great option for your creations! For just $9 a month, you can create your own online store and customize the theme. They offer many helpful resources and tips for how to start your own small business, such as creating a logo and building your online presence.
  10. You Can Make This. This website is also different from the others because instead of selling your items, you are creating tutorials on how to make different kinds of handmade items and then selling the tutorial! Your product/idea has to get approved, but then you can start creating your tutorial and including all of the details for this product. People can purchase your tutorial online and you make 50% of the sales.

What Does Our Body Language Say?

Our body language and facial expressions make up so much of what we say – experts suggest that it may make up 50 – 70% of all communication! If we use it so much in our daily lives, have you ever wondered: what exactly am I saying with my body language? Here are some common movements and habits that people have and what we might be saying without words!

Eyes

  • Eyebrows: your eyebrows can say a lot about your emotions! Furrowed or scrunched up eyebrows typically mean frustration or confusion, while raised eyebrows shows interest, curiosity, or surprise!.
  • Blinking: most people blink an average of 6-8 times per minute. If you’re under stress, you blink a lot more. You can tell if others might be stressing out by how much they’re blinking.
  • Looking up or to the side: this tells a lot about how our memory works. If you are trying to remember something you’ve seen before, you will typically look up like you’re trying to picture it. If you are trying to remember something you’ve heard, you will look to the side towards one of your ears, like you’re listening for it.
  • Lowering your eyes: can you picture little kids doing this when they feel sorry or want something? Lowering your eyes is a common human response to wanting the support of others or needing some empathy.

Mouth

  • Smiling: there’s a reason people say smiling is contagious! When you smile, it sends signals to the other person that they should be smiling, too.
  • Chewing on your lip: many people have a habit of biting or sucking on their lip when they’re in an awkward situation or feel uncomfortable. It could be because they’re trying to soothe themselves!
  • Tense lips: pursed or tensed lips are often a sign of anger or annoyance. Be sure to pick up on this cue and try to alleviate the tension next time you’re around some with pursed lips!

face

  • Scratching your nose: this is often associated with telling lies. This is because when someone tells a lie, they get a small adrenaline rush which causes your nose to itch! So watch out for people itching their nose when saying something suspicious.
  • Tilting your head: this is a sign of interest and engagement. We do it out of habit when listening to a friend’s interesting story, both out of intrigue and also it helps us hear better when we angle our ear towards them.

body

  • Angling your body: we will usually angle our feet towards those we are paying close attention to or respect. For example, you may angle your body towards your professor when listening to a lecture. It’s also a sign of acceptance when a friend walks up to join your group and you angle your body out to welcome them in!
  • Slouching shoulders: doing this too much can make your body hold on to stress and feel sad or weighed down. Try to stand up straight and you’ll feel more confident and positive!
  • Rocking from side to side: when you shift your weight back and forth between your legs, this is often a sign that you are anxious and are trying to comfort yourself.

hands

  • Handshakes: some people say the way you shake hands says a lot about you! A firm but nice grip implies that you’re outgoing and confident, while a limp squeeze or too quick of a shake could mean you are shy or unsure.
  • Gesturing when you talk: research shows that those who gesture more with their arms tend to be energetic and agreeable, so if you are trying to make an impression or be more memorable, try to use your hands when you talk. But don’t overdo it! Too much arm movement can seem overly excited or out of control.
  • Picking at your nails: this is a sign of low confidence or stress. Instead of messing with your nails, try finding something else to do with your hands such as a stress ball, fidget object of some sort, or folding your hands together so you’re not able to reach the nails.