Posts Tagged ‘Jon Gregalis’

As you peer around your room, you find that the walls are looking slightly bare. The collection of high school photos you brought with you to S.U. have begun curling at the corners and some have fallen off altogether. Turns out, the dry air in the dorms have crumbled the tape you used to hang up your posters at the beginning of the year, leaving your posters to peel at the corners. Your room is just one, hot holy mess. With spring around the corner, it’s time for spring cleaning and spring redecorating!

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Sure, you did the right thing by recycling that Solo cup and bottle of Mountain Dew, but take a look in your recycling bin. You may be surprised to find that you have created a sea of colorful plastic and paper products. Those recycled goods, which would typically head to a plant to be melted down and reclaimed, have the ability to become something else. Art! Before emptying your overflowing recycling bin, put aside a few of the special or unique bottles, tops, or any items that you think have artistic potential. Disregard any sanitary thoughts you may have and take green living to a new, more artistic level!

Check out these green ideas after the jump:

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As the heat of the oppressive sun rays caused us to break out in a sweat during our childhood outdoor activities, we were often met with a cone or dish of refreshing Italian ice. The colorful and sweet crunch satiated even the worst thirst.

Yet the days of running around playing outdoors have given way to laying out by the pool in hopes of a brazened appearance. But one thing remains: the adoration for Italian ice.

We have grown out of the days of blue raspberry and cherry ice syrup. I now offer you the grown up version of our beloved Italian ice: alcoholic granita. Granita is an Italian term defined by Dictionary.com as, a “semi-frozen dessert of sugar, water, and flavorings.”

I was introduced to these recipes by the Food Network’s gorgeous and renowned Italian chef, Giada De Laurentiis. The basic granita recipe can be prepared in matter of minutes, but it’s the grueling wait process that will have your mouth watering. As the spring weather approaches and you find yourself browning and burning within the confines of the Quad, don’t forget to pack this refreshing treat for you and your fellow bronze-goddesses. Warm rays of sun, a vodka slushy, and the prospect of tanned skin is the perfect recipe for a memorable spring day.

Cranberry Granita courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

  • 2 cups cranberry juice (one 16 oz. bottle from a vending machine will suffice)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice (this can be procured from a half of a lime; perhaps the other half will accompany a buddy’s Corona?)
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, whisk together the cranberry juice and sugar. Continue whisking the sugar and juice until the juice has been completely incorporated. This should take no more than a few minutes. When the sugar had dissolved, pour the liquid into a freezer-proof container. A baking dish works best, but an elongated dish, bowl, or pan could suffice. The deeper the liquid is in the dish, the longer it will take to properly freeze.
  2. Once the cranberry-sugar liquid has been poured into the dish, add the vodka and lime juice and whisk together lightly. That’s it! Place your dish in the freezer for approximately two hours or until the liquid has become a slushy consistency. The wait is tedious and tempting, but the reward is great!
  3. Once the liquid has become slushy, take the dish out of the freezer and break up the granita with the prongs of a fork. Scoop into small glasses or to-go containers and you’re ready to enjoy!
  4. Looking for another twist? Try the lemon version of this same recipe by using lemon juice opposed to lime juice and limoncello (an Italian lemon liquor) in the place of regular vodka. Two different flavors for you to share and enjoy!

– Jon Gregalis

A must have for all cuse headphone junkies

Looking to spice up your dorm room this spring? Will a cardboard animal head or gel cling window clock do the trick? Perhaps you’re in need of a condom dispenser, 60-hour candle or a shower curtain with yellow police line tape printed across it. Uncommongoods, an on-line home decor and accessories store has thousands of unique and fun items that are sure to start a conversation when spotted!

For instance, you’ll find “his and hers” key holders, which allow you to insert a key into the “private parts” of the man or woman holders. This is just the start of the many clever and amusing items that you’ll find at Uncommongoods.

Having a classy cocktail party this weekend? Make it an eco-friendly event. Serve your cocktails in glasses that are crafted from recycled glass. They are colorful and unique while ranging in price from $40 to $95. That’s not all though! You can start the night right drinking from moose head shot glasses. Uncommongoods is a one-stop shop where you can find anything you may need to make your next party great!

While prices range from inexpensive to over-the-top (i.e. $2000 for a peace sign made of license plates), this on-line shop is not only a solution to your decorating woes, but a great way to find gifts for friends!

Whether it’s a sunken Titanic piggy bank, a “cry-baby” tissue box or globe with peace written over it, you can find it all at www.uncommongoods.com! Check it out!

– Jon Gregalis

Sakyong Mipham once stated, “Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don’t even notice it.” However, we are fully aware of what a bitch karma can be when things aren’t going our way! Therefore, here are some ideas to get on karma’s good side.
March is finally upon us, which means that you will only be living with your neighbors for just a few more weeks! That statement will either elicit a feeling of sorrow or a feeling of joy. Either way, maintaining good relations with those around you ensures that vindictive neighbors will not interrupt your daily routine and life.
Here are a few of my suggestions in order to keep the peace:

• A check-in note: After a long and challenging day, it’s great to be welcomed home with a handwritten (or typed) note from a neighbor. Having given and received notes, I know that I, along with my neighbors, are appreciative of the time someone took out of their busy day in order to make you feel better. Even if you leave a little note on someone’s white board, you never know what kind of impact it will have on them!

• A sweet surprise: Who doesn’t enjoy the taste of some chocolate? Leaving a snack for someone will most definitely be a welcomed gift for anyone who is coming in after a busy week. If you’re unable to leave the present in the person’s room, attach a little, “Come see me note” or something similar (…this could turn sexual). For Valentine’s Day, my neighbors and I left lollipops and a foil-wrapped candy on each other’s doors, which we fastened on with tape. As Rachel Ray has said time and again, “The way to anyone’s anything is through their stomach.”

• Wrap it up!: One of the most memorable presents that I have ever seen affixed to anyone’s door was over a dozen brightly colored condoms that had been arranged in a particular way (interpret that as you may). Use your creativity! Urban Outfitters sells fetch little notes that either encourage or disparage the receiver depending on their behavior. Leaving a little “Pep Talk” note or even a contraceptive will be a welcomed surprise for your neighbor when they return. Especially with the contraceptive, it will most likely be well received (again, you catch my drift).

As Spring approaches and the uplifting weather (I’m being optimistic) arrives, channel all that glee into surprising your neighbors with a little “thinking of you” note or gift. Not only will this create stronger relationships between you and your neighbors, but you just never know what surprising and wonderful things you may get in return! Avoid karma and give!

…If for some reason you absolutely abhor your neighbors, disregard all 500 words of this and go about giving everyone the stink eye as you anxiously await May.

– Jon Gregalis

Curing the Winter Woes

Posted: February 23, 2011 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives
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Perfect Comfort Food for a Chilly Day

While the snow and frigid air continues to hang around, beat the chill by baking a belly-warming pasta dish! Check out Martha Stewart’s homemade version of this dish, but realistically, does anyone really have time to slave over their own tomato sauce?

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Shot glasses are a nice touch on your bookshelf

Typical dorm decor includes: posters, pictures of friends, and the occasional Syracuse University banner. All of which makes for lovely wall art. On the other hand, when you walk into my room, you are quickly greeted by my collection of shot glasses that adorns my bookshelves. Many get a good chuckle at this spectacle, but my question is, “why not use them as decorations?” As you can see in the photo, I have some lined up alongside my “big boy glass” and have others scattered alongside picture frames and other memorabilia.

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Anxious for spring and summer to arrive during this weekend’s heatwave?  Capture the feeling of spring and summer in your cocktails any time of the year! Here are two drinks that I think will have you running around in shorts and sandals!

Not your grandma’s fruit punch:

Makes four drinks:

4 cups water

2 TAZO passion tea bags

4 ounces (4 shots) Bacardi Torched Cherry Rum or similar fruit alcohol

4 cups club soda (Schwepps or Canada Dry)

Ice

In the microwave, heat the cups of water until hot and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep for about five minutes if you desire a strong tea flavor. For weaker tea, let the tea bags steep for two minutes or less.

Let the tea come to room temperature before pouring over ice. Divide your ice evenly into four glasses and measure the tea evenly into each glass. Add one shot of the cherry rum and top off the glass with roughly a cup of club soda. Depending on the size of your glasses, feel free to add more or less of any ingredient depending on your taste!

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When we think of Valentine’s Day gifts, we always think of: boxes of chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals, and maybe a nice dinner out. These are the standard gift, wouldn’t you agree? Once in a while, someone will really go the extra mile and purchase their valentine a fine gem (these are the kind of valentines that you want to keep around!). Fact is, Valentine’s Day gifts have been become extremely generic and lackluster.

So why not shake it up? Bring fun and creativity back to Valentine’s Day gifts! The following are a few ideas I had for memorable gifts:

Dance Lessons: perhaps salsa or tango?

A scrapbook, capturing the images of your wonderful relationship.

Tickets to a musical concert, speaker, or special production.

A road trip in which you travel around your area for the day, exploring various stores and hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

However, I took the crafty approach and decided to make my valentine a picture that they could have forever. The basic idea is something that you could recreate from any graphic image you find online. For mine, I found the image of a pair of lips (puckered up of course!), blew it up on the page (without distorting it), and set it to fifty percent opacity. That way, when I went to go write on the image later, you could see the text clearly. I printed the image on quality card stock (thicker paper) and stenciled out what I wanted to say in pencil. That way, if I made a mistake, I could still alter it! I chose to write “love” in three different languages: English, German, and French. For your picture, you could use other languages, you could write “I love you”, or you can use a memorable quote. I chose to glitter “love” in my picture because I wanted that to the prominent feature of the picture, while the other two were written in red ink. Putting the finished product in a silver frame, kept it modern and timeless. This Valentine’s Day, surprise your lover with a unique, creative, and memorable gift!

How about you make your own Valentine’s Day card?

Love is in the Air

Posted: February 13, 2011 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives
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Homemade Valentine cards are just the right touch to let your significant other know you care

Inadvertently, year after year, we find ourselves scouring through the card racks at Hallmark searching for the “perfect” Valentine’s Day card. While these cliché cards are cute and suiting for the situation, what happened to making your own?

What many fail to realize is that making your own card is actually cheaper and shows the other person that you really thought about them. In the time that it would take you to scour the card rack at Hallmark, you could have made your own!

Here’s how I made mine:

Sparkle Kiss: Who doesn’t want to receive a kiss on Valentine’s Day? I found the image of kiss marks online, copied them to a text document (you could also use Photoshop) and scattered them on the page. Print it out, glitter as many of the lips as you like, although just one set makes it really “pop.” I chose to write “kisses” along the edge of the smaller card and added “pucker up” and “xoxo” to the larger card.

(Time to complete: 10 minutes)

Hearts galore: Keeping the Valentine’s Day color palette in mind, I utilized white, red, and pink construction paper to make these cards. The hearts were simply constructed by folding a small piece of scrap paper in half and cutting a half-a-heart shape out. Open it up and you have a perfectly symmetrical heart! When you have cut out enough hearts, arrange them any way you like on your card and feel free to glitter one for a little extra pizzaz!

(Time to complete: 5 minutes)

The creativity doesn’t have to stop there! You could make a card and draw a bouquet of flowers on it or make a card with a photo of you and your lover on the front. Anyway you create it, no matter how much time or effort you put in to it, the other person will most definitely be impressed by your efforts and thoughtfulness! Remember, the more effort you put in, the sweeter the reward for you will be!

Wanna spice up your last minute v-day gift?