5 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit at College

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Here at 4E, we rejoice in all things Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza-related. Not even the soul-crushing Grinch that is Lau during finals can bring down our holiday spirits. This week, we did some Pinterest trolling (instead of our long list of papers) for the best DIY ways to celebrate the holidays at college and spread some joy.

tumblr_myckldVOnf1rawb5do1_5001.  Drink Nutella Hot Chocolate

Why waste precious Facebook stalking study time on the last-call Mug line (#ugh) when you can make your own unbelievably good – and easy – hot chocolate? Seriously, this is doable even in a common room kitchen. Just heat milk until steaming in a saucepan on medium-high heat, then whisk in two tablespoons of Nutella until dissolved. Pour in a thermos, add some whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and you’re ready to go! Buddy the Elf approved.

nutella-hot-chocolate-tall2 2.  Make Holiday Cookies

This next one is slightly more complicated, but equally delicious. Nothing says “Ho Ho Ho” quite like Christmas cookies. If you don’t lose your self control at the sight of Pillsbury’s holiday themed slice-and-bakes, something is wrong with your childhood (or you’re just not an obese American #sorrynotsorry).

tumblr_lebsdnhbUK1qfpcniFor those with more gourmet tastes, we recommend these hot cocoa cookies with chocolate chunks and marshmallows melted on top. Find the recipe here, then wipe the drool off your face.

hot-cocoa-cookies-final-1-f 3.  Create a DIY Christmas Tree from Lights

The drab plaster and fluorescent lights of most dorm rooms can sometimes make it hard to feel like you’re walking in a Winter Wonderland during the holiday season. Get two for the price of one by building a Christmas tree on your wall out of twinkle lights! Bonus points if you hang up some homemade ornaments.

12b283f32f8f9c77ee5c87b26ce344414.  Build a Solo Cup Wreath

In case your neighbors didn’t already know you #rage, make a holiday wreath from red solo cups to hang on your door. Tape cups together in the arrangement of your choosing and finish it off with a nice big bow. Also, it’s a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle!d4dadf667bb09380eabd8bdaeac77f135. Take a Christmas Card Instagram

Like Friendsgiving, but with the extra ego boost that is breaking your likes record. Get your closest friends or roommates, grab some Santa hats and ugly holiday sweaters, and gather round for a snapshot in the jolliest pose you can think of. Nothing says, “We know the true meaning of Christmas,” quite like fighting over which filter makes you look most tan.

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So bring some cheer to your finals season the 4E way. When in doubt, quote Elf and eat tons of chocolate.

Images/GIFS: tumblr.com; feedly.com; pinterest.com; pandawhale.com; http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/nutella-hot-chocolate/; http://d12vb6dvkz909q.cloudfront.net/uploads/galleries/16600/elf-1.jpg

Einstein’s Is Going Off the Deep End

Einstein's Problems

As a New Yorker, I personally have always maintained a love-hate relationship with Einstein Brothers’ Bagels. I came to Georgetown full of contempt for the institution and the subpar baked goods it stands for, but gradually carb cravings and meal swipe desperation wore me down – the “Darn Good” bagels found a place in my (guilty) heart. Though it goes against my better judgment, you will find me sitting in the Car Barn location from time to time every single day.

Unfortunately, there has been a recent change in operations that has left even the most devoted Brother Lovers unsatisfied. Einstein’s Bagels is going off the deep end. Maybe you can relate.

McKayla-Maroney-Not-Impressed-Face-Receiving-MedalGrievance #1: No More Iced Coffee (#whitegirlproblems)

The Einstein’s in Car Barn used to offer premade vanilla hazelnut iced coffee, and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me at this school. This year they stopped making it, and it was one of the worst. Newsflash, Einstein’s: pouring boiling hot coffee directly onto ice in a small plastic cup is NOT THE SAME THING.

Grievance #2: Cream Cheese Rationing

One of Einstein’s most redeeming qualities was the fact that they were heavy-handed with their spreads. Their so-called “thin-tastic” (read: pitiful) bagels are a lot more satisfying when they have the double-whipped cream cheese oozing out of the sides.

giphyApparently, now Einstein’s is on some sort of minimalist regimen, and they are instructing their employees to scrape off all the shmear when they serve you your bagel. If I were trying to diet, I’d order some oatmeal – okay?

Grievance #3: New Meal Swipe Policy

If it wasn’t bad enough that we are exchanging a $15 meal swipe for a $1 bagel and a $3 coffee (and maybe a free apple, if it’s a good day), we are now being told exactly when and where we can throw away spend our money. Georgetown’s new restrictive meal swipe policy means that you have to wait, like, 20 minutes before you can use a second or third swipe for your water and your fruit cup. I do have places to go, you know.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-30082-1374242530-31Grievance #4: Weird Seasonal Cream Cheese Flavors

Returning to the complex issue of cream cheese, I have to ask: Einstein’s, what are you trying to prove with all these weird seasonal shmear flavors? That you’re gourmet? No one actually wants pumpkin cream cheese on her bagel (#basic, much?).

One time, I accidentally got pumpkin cream cheese at the Regents Einstein’s because I thought it was peanut butter. It was awful.

Grievance #5: Limited Real Estate

The lack of real estate in the Car Barn Einstein’s is nothing new, but as long as we’re complaining, I might as well cover all of my bases. There is nothing more unpleasant than the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that comes when some rando stranger (or that annoying girl from your freshman seminar) interrupts your deep scholarly thoughts and asks if they can share your table. Can you not see that I only have three square feet for my computer, textbook, notes and assortment of highlighters?     hyperorlando.com

Although I do love Einstein’s – and I will continue to go there frequently as I hate Leo’s and am stuck on a 10 meals per week plan – it has been seriously disappointing this semester. I sincerely hope, for all our sakes, that it soon returns to its old standards. Or at least just brings back the iced coffee.

Gifs: Gifrific.com, tumblr.com, giphy.com, buzzfeed.com, gurl.com, hyperorlando.com; Photo: nutritionix.com

Hump Day Chomp: Local 16

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Hump Day Chomp is a new weekly posting that intends, perhaps unsuccessfully, to make your Hump day a bit less humpy. We’ve found restaurants that are (mostly) cheap, rarely visited by our Georgetown amigos and, above all, pretty freaking good to get you through the week. 

To get you over this week’s hump, 4E is giving you some weekend plans worthy of day-dreaming about in Lau: A trip to our latest cheap restaurant pick, Local 16.

Although Local 16 describes itself on its website as serving, “the seasonal best from local growers with emphasis on organic meats and sustainable agriculture,” being the savvy, stressed-out Hoyas we are, we know the real reason to go there is the $23 Bottomless Brunch.

Dark and full of velvet, Local 16 appears to be a classic restaurant and bar upon entry, but if you go upstairs, you’ll find an open rooftop deck with lots of sunshine, foliage and a great view of D.C. — the perfect ambiance for an easy, breezy brunch.

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Bottomless Brunch ends after two hours at the table, so we recommend that you know your order before you get there -—you have more important things to do, such as consuming as many Bellini’s/Mimosas/Bloody Marys* as you can get your hands on.

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Note: Plan to spend at least five minutes of your precious aggressive drinking time freaking out over the fact that the mimosas are served in giant Mason Jars.

Local 16 offers all your brunch staples, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.  I myself am a classic eggs, bacon and rye toast girl, but I was seriously tempted by the cheeseburger with home fries and the breakfast and chorizo pizza (featuring a fried egg in the middle).  If you’re already full from your mimosas, they also have granola and yogurt or an awesome grilled vegetable sandwich.

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So as you sit in your sad cube in Lau, miserably contemplating the large collection of dried gum under that little shelf, take a minute to get together some friends for a reservation at Local 16. After all, there’s no better Hump Day motivation than the wise words of Blair Waldorf: “Have a little faith, and if that doesn’t work, have a lot of mimosas.”

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Local 16
1602 U Street NW (To get to U Street, take the Metro to the U Street-Cardozo Station on the Green Line. Or Uber.)
(202) 265-2828

Brunch:
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

* For underage Hoyas, Local 16’s Bottomless Brunch offers juice, iced tea, or coffee instead.

Gifs: huffingtonpost.com, youcankissmysass.com; Photo: localsixteen.com

Mastering the Movie Night

Movie Night

Every now and then, even the most self-possessed Georgetown students will come to find themselves at the point where they just. Can’t. Even. Whether you’ve been #raging every night or you’ve spent so much time on Lau 5 that you’re starting to develop a fluorescent glow (’cause you know, here on the Hilltop we’re all about the Work-Hard-Play-Hard), what you really need is a healthy dose of downtime. Here at 4E, movie nights are one of our favorite ways to chill out after a long week on the daily grind – and we’re bringing you a list of the best ones, and how to do them right:

The Binge Night

Everything you do on Binge Night must be to absolute excess. Bury yourself in a mountain of pillows, then pick a classic series like Harry Potter or something absurd thrilling like Saw (things really pick up around number IV) and watch it through from start to finish. If you don’t consume at least 4,000 calories – I’m talking a large Domino’s pizza, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s per person, all the Wisey’s cookies (even oatmeal raisin) and a never-ending supply of cool ranch Doritos – you’re doing something wrong. Binge Nights typically end around 4 in the morning, when the last kid standing feebly finds the remote under one of his snoring friends, hits mute and promptly passes out on an empty box of donuts.

Also recommended: the Bourne series, The Fast & The Furious, Mission: Impossible, Transformers, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, the Scary Movies, James Bond

The Disney Night

Coming home to some milk & cookies and a Disney movie is just as satisfying after midterms week as it was back in the 90s after an arduous half-day at kindergarten. Take a trip down memory lane with a timeless pick from the Disney vault like The Lion King, or stay young and hip with the more recent hits like Up, Tangled, and Frozen (FYI: resisting Frozen does not make you cool/hipster). If you’re not into cartoons, there are plenty of awesome Disney Channel Original Movies (#tbt to the kids jumping on the blue film roll) that will make you wish you were ten again, when all your favorite celebs had yet to check into rehab.

Also recommended: Finding Nemo, The Parent Trap, Pocahontas, The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical, The Aristocats, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Holes, The Princess Diaries, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Book

The Girls’ Night

Girls’ night is romantic comedy central. Grab your closest galpals, bust out the facemasks and copies of Cosmo, and snuggle up to a three-hour gossip sesh/pity party set against the dulcet tones of Dirty Dancing or Sweet Home Alabama. As awesome as Girls’ Night is, tread with care: it will inevitably leave you at best bemoaning the lack of Brads/Leos/Channings in the general DC area, and at worst texting that only semi-attractive kid in your Calc class with the hopes that he might be the Aaron Samuels to your Katie Cady Heron.

Also recommended: The Breakfast Club, Bridesmaids, Step Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, She’s the Man, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, John Tucker Must Die, Pretty Woman, Friends With Benefits

The FTB Night

The male equivalent to the RomCom fest, #ForTheBoys Night involves spending some quality time with your number one bros – no chicks allowed. Testosterone levels will be through the roof once everyone starts doing the Matthew McConaughey Wolf of Wall Street chant in unison whilst snacking on beef jerky.

Also recommended: the Batman trilogy, The Godfather, American Pie, Scarface, Superbad, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Animal House, Wedding Crashers, Remember the Titans, Gladiator

The Cultured Night

Cultured Night is the perfect opportunity for you and your friends to revel in the fact that you’re fancy and intellectual, because hey – you’re in college now! Gather round an obscure indie (or something slightly more mainstream) flick like The Grand Budapest Hotel, and dive into some fair-trade organic Trader Joe’s popcorn (the Kettle Corn is seeerrrriously good). You don’t really gets what’s going on, but you still feel really impressed with yourself because would you look at this artsy movie I’m watching!? If you’re feeling really brave, you might just even go foreign. Did someone say Sundance?

Also recommended: Chef, Rust and Bone, Her, The Master, El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth), Mean Streets, Le scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

The Wine Night

For those who are 21 and up, wine can be the perfect complement to a movie night at home.  Just as you drink different kinds of wine with different meals, so too must you carefully choose your grape in accordance with your featured genre.  That said, there is one specific wine-movie pair that stands out above the rest: Reds and Romance.  Let’s face it – it’s a cliché for a reason: crying hysterically over Titanic is so much more rewarding if you’re a little (or a lot) drunk.

Also recommended: The Notebook, Romeo & Juliet, The Last Song, Casablanca, The Fault in Our Stars, The English Patient, P.S. I Love You, The Time Traveler’s Wife

(Note: The principles of the Wine Night can be successfully applied to any of the nights mentioned above).

So those are some of 4E’s tested and approved movie nights. But feel free to gather your friends, grab some snacks and begin your own special movie night tradition!

Gifs: gurl.com, tumblr.com, elitedaily.com, reactiongifs.com; Photo: edu-cdn.com