Why Every College Student Should Get a Starbucks Gold Card

Those who know me, and even plenty who don’t, know that I am rarely caught without a Starbucks cup or tumbler in my hand. Why? Because I love Starbucks coffee. Black coffee, coffee with cream, iced coffee, macchiatos, lattes, frappuccinos, chai, green tea lemonade, holiday drinks and more — I am obsessed.

So I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’ve held a Starbucks Gold Card since 2009, when I was still in high school. And as much as that obviously makes sense for a Starbucks lover like me (Taylor Swift, anyone?) I believe it also makes plenty of sense for anyone who goes to Starbucks…like, ever!

ZT0gp2H

If you live under a rock or somehow otherwise don’t know what a Starbucks Gold Card is, allow me to explain. The Starbucks Gold Card is the highest level of the Starbucks Rewards program. Registering for the rewards program costs nothing, and requires customers to simply enter the code on the back of any Starbucks gift card online. Customers can reload the gift card with more money at any time, and each time the card is used to purchase either a drink or food item, the customer earns a star. Earning thirty stars in one year qualifies customers to become Gold Card holders, for which they will receive a personalized Gold Card in the mail. Who doesn’t love something with their name on it?

Gold Card holders are entitled to some sweet perks, such as free drinks or treats on their birthdays, customized member-only offers via email, free in-store refills on hot or iced brewed coffee and tea, and, my personal favorite, a free food or drink item for every twelve stars earned.

giphy-2

How great is that? Not only does it cost nothing for customers to sign up, the rewards program gives customers free food or drinks based on their purchasing frequency. In addition, Gold Card holders receive regular promotions and free refills. The rewards program is essentially no-risk and high reward.

It’s often been said that college is the time when many people get addicted to coffee, due heavily to finals, term papers, and all-nighters. Most college students have a Starbucks Coffee near, if not on campus, meaning the likelihood that the average college student will drink Starbucks Coffee at some point in his or her college career is extremely high. To me, it seems like a no-brainer to sign up for the Starbucks Rewards program; the more coffee you drink, the more coffee you get in return.

giphy-3

What drink would you buy with your first free Starbucks Reward? Tweet me a picture of it and I might retweet you!

Signature

101 Ways to Enjoy Christmas Break

1. Listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” even if you have to play it on the jukebox at your local watering hole. Definitely not a true story…

2. Make a gingerbread house.

3. Read The Polar Express.

4. Go shopping for Christmas presents. Buy a little something for yourself.

giphy-11

5. Bake some snicker doodles.

6. Watch my all-time favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

giphy-1

7. Wear one of those stupid ties with the Santa Clauses on it.

8. Find the perfect Christmas tree.

giphy-3

9. Decorate said Christmas tree.

10. Send hand-written Christmas cards.

11. Wear an overwhelming amount of tartan.

giphy-12

12. Make some peppermint bark.

13. Go see The Nutcracker Ballet live.

giphy-2

15. Drink some warm apple cider. Fireball optional.

15. Sit on Santa’s lap.

16. Have a snowball fight.

giphy-13

17. Turn off your television and have a real conversation with someone.

18. Bake a cranberry swirl cheesecake.

207715_10200360279395731_787470311_n

19. Write and send your Christmas wish list.

20. Decorate you home with Christmas lights.

giphy-6

21. Bake shortbread.

22. Make snow angels.

giphy-14

23. Hang a wreath on your front door.

24. Watch Frozen. Bonus points if it’s the sing-along version.

25. Attend an ugly sweater party. Because that theme isn’t overdone or anything.

149333_10200442288405905_1275406698_n

26. Make Christmas tree ornaments.

27. Listen to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song.”

28. Roast chestnuts on an open fire.

29. Give away unwanted coats, socks, etc. to the less fortunate.

30. Catch snowflakes on your tongue.

giphy-15

31. Drink egg nog. Whether or not you spike it with bourbon, make sure you don’t buy any of that low-calorie nonsense.

32. Watch Love Actually. Tissues recommended.

33. Take a stroll down Main Street all decked out in holiday décor.

unnamed-1

34. Bake a fruitcake. Realize how disgusting it is. Throw it away. Wonder why that is a Christmas tradition in the first place.

35. Reminisce on Christmases of the past.

unnamed-3

36. Wrap Christmas presents for your loved ones.

37. Cozy up by a fire.

38. Eat a whole box of candy canes.

giphy-16

39. Go see a nativity play.

40. Listen to Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” and dream about a holiday on the islands.

41. If you live in New York City, take in all the wonder of Christmas in NYC. If you don’t, just dream about it.

42. If you can, go see the Rockettes live in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Otherwise, watch it online.

43. Watch Home Alone.

44. Watch Home Alone 2. We all know the second one was better, anyway. I mean, how jealous of Kevin McCallister were you during this scene…

giphy-8

45. Bake some gingerbread men.

46. Give presents to your neighbors, your mailman, your paper boy, the security guard in your office building, and so on. Tis’ the season.

47. Go sledding.

giphy-18

48. Go to your hometown’s Christmas parade.

49. Bake an apple pie.

50. Wish “Merry Christmas” to everyone.

giphy-5

51. Play card games and board games with your family, like this Christmas trivia game.

52. Watch A Christmas Story.

53. Catch up with old friends over a drink.

giphy-19

54. Decorate your home with fresh garland, Christmas decorations, and scented candles.

55. Watch the cartoon version of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas.

56. Drink some hot cocoa.

unnamed-2

57. Attend a white elephant gift exchange party. If you don’t know of any, host one for your friends!

58. Watch Elf.

200

59. Drink some Bailey’s Irish Cream.

60. Hang some mistletoe. You never know what could happen…

giphy-10

61. Dress up your pets in silly holiday attire. Laugh. Snapchat it. Laugh some more.

62. Find a container of these cookies. Eat three before realizing they’re kind of gross. Wonder where they came from. Repeat.

tumblr_m83rq9EGF71qmc07eo1_500

63. Watch Jingle All the Way. Wonder how Arnold Schwarzenegger ever became a governor.

64. Bake these yummy oatmeal butterscotch cookies from my friend’s blog, Fit Foodie Life.

65. Go ice skating.

giphy-22

66. Keep an advent calendar countdown unit Christmas.

67. Donate to Toys for Tots or adopt an angel through the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas tree program.

68. Listen to Bobby Helm’s “Jingle Bell Rock.” Do the dance from Mean Girls. Or don’t. Whatever flies your sleigh.

69. Watch the cartoon movie Frosty the Snowman.

70. Build your own snowman.

71. Take embarrassing holiday photos with your family.

72. Pop lots of corn to make popcorn balls and popcorn garland. Try not to snack on the popcorn along the way. Fail miserably.

73. Watch The Santa Clause.

74. Drink a holiday-inspired Starbucks drink from one of their infamous red cups.

21897_10200165704171472_1632195042_n

75. Warm up some mulling spices to give your home a cheerful aroma.

76. Find out where Santa Claus is right now!

77. Bake a pecan pie.

78. Watch the black-and-white version of Miracle on 34th Street.

giphy-23

79. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Have no shame in doing so.

80. Hang your stockings by the fireplace.

81. Go Christmas caroling.

giphy-20

82. Make fudge from scratch.

83. Eat peppermint ice cream. Realize how terrible it is. Switch back to candy canes.

84. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

85. Stock up on holiday-inspired beers.

sierra-nevada-celebration09

86. Watch Die Hard, if that’s your thing. I’ve never seen it, but apparently it has some Christmas-y elements?

87. Go skiing or snowboarding.

88. Listen to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

89. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.

90. Pretend you’re a kid again and leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus. Believe.

91. Read The Night Before Christmas.

92. Attend a Christmas Eve service.

93. Watch Disney’s Christmas Day Parade on tv.

94. Spend quality time with your family. After all, Christmas is all about togetherness.

homealonereunion

95. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

96. Drink some mulled wine.

97. Savor a lovely Christmas dinner with your family.

giphy-4

98. Score some amazing deals by shopping the day after Christmas.

99. Start planning out your new year’s resolutions.

100. Ring in the new year with good friends, a sparkly dress, a midnight kiss, and lots of champagne.

giphy-27

101. Relax and enjoy having no homework!

What are your favorite ways to spend Christmas break? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

Signature

A Look Back at This Semester

It seems like just yesterday that I returned home from Washington, D.C., moved into my first apartment, and embarked upon my last Fall semester as an undergraduate. Sometimes, we all get so caught up in school, work, clubs, our social lives, our families, our relationships, and our daily to-do lists that, before we know it, an entire 16-week semester has passed us by.

If you read this post, you know that I love taking time to reflect. So, in the spirit of personal reflection, let’s recap this semester, shall we?

There were new beginnings…

unnamed-88

My bedroom in my new downtown apartment

And chapters closed…

unnamed-104

I turned 22…

unnamed-5

unnamed-1 copy

Oh, Zephyr Cove

unnamed-29

unnamed-33
unnamed-32

And caught up on much needed beauty sleep…

unnamed-99

unnamed-110

There were surprises…

unnamed-96

unnamed-1

Celebrations…

AP_Giants_Madison_Bumgarner_bc_141029_16x9_992

us-midterm-election-results-2014

And remembrances…

unnamed-36

In memory of the lives lost during the 9-11-2001 attacks

unnamed-38

There were big moments…

unnamed-69

Serving as the Chapter President for the College Republicans

With Reno's Mayor at the time, Bob Cashell

With Reno’s former mayor, Bob Cashell

unnamed-101

At the Nevada Governor’s Mansion before walking in the Nevada Day Parade

unnamed copy 3

With Nevada’s 2nd District Representative, Congressman Mark Amodei

unnamed-62

Presenting my “idea worth spreading” to the University of Nevada

Little moments…

unnamed-4

unnamed-95

unnamed-97

unnamed-98

And sassy moments…

unnamed-80

unnamed-1

unnamed-118
unnamed-71

There were group projects…

unnamed-123

unnamed-90

Early morning classes…

unnamed-93

unnamed-24

Long days at work…

unnamed-100

Long days in the library…

unnamed-94

unnamed-107

And lots and lots of Starbucks…

unnamed-55

via Twitter

I spent far too much time with this guy…

unnamed-7

And not enough time with these guys…

unnamed-92

unnamed-60

unnamed-59

unnamed-117

There were quiet indulgences…

unnamed copy

Christening my new apartment with a margarita

unnamed-43

unnamed-115

And rambunctious ones…

unnamed-1

unnamed-22

unnamed-9

unnamed-20

unnamed-79

unnamed-27

unnamed-40

unnamed-47

unnamed-82

unnamed-54

There were Sunday mornings in church…

unnamed

And Sundays watching football…

unnamed-106

There were campus events…

unnamed-13

unnamed-17

unnamed-14

Football games…

unnamed-64

unnamed-6

unnamed-68

unnamed-8

unnamed-83

unnamed-75

unnamed-10

unnamed-84

unnamed-65

unnamed-72

unnamed-85

Weddings…

unnamed-49

unnamed-53

unnamed-52

Festivals…

Reno's annual Italian Festival

Reno’s annual Italian Festival

unnamed-86

And birthdays…

unnamed-5

I added to my stuffed giraffe collection…

unnamed-42

And had a few good laughs…

unnamed-3

unnamed copy 4

unnamed-4

There were new places…

unnamed-111

unnamed-113

Familiar faces…

unnamed-121

unnamed

unnamed-7

unnamed-18

unnamed-87

unnamed-26

unnamed-77

unnamed-73

unnamed-16

unnamed-66

unnamed-102

unnamed-109

unnamed-103

unnamed-45

New friendships were formed…

unnamed-74

unnamed-120

unnamed-122

And apparently I took a selfie to commemorate it all!

unnamed-76

Looking back, I’m reminded of all the wonderful memories I made this semester. When all is said and done, I think this semester was a successful one, and maybe even one of my favorites. Clearly, I had a lot of happy moments, and I learned from my moments of doubt. I reminisced on the time I spent in D.C., and I made a little home in my new apartment. I must say, however, that my favorite part of this semester was being surrounded by such incredible people.

Now, I have one final semester of college to look forward to! Ahhhh, that feels so weird to say!

she-wasnt-ready

What was your favorite part of this semester? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

Signature