Posts tagged “Tips

Back to School Gifts for College Students

It’s that time of year again for the college students to head off to school—this can be exciting, but also nerve racking. Help ease their minds and get them prepared for the year with some fun gift ideas from Dawn Bryan, founder of The Qualipedia.

Fund Their New Expenses:

  • Coin bank filled with quarters for laundry or parking meters
  • Car parking fee for the first semester
  • Gift certificate to school bookstore for books and supplies
  • Coupons for local carwash

Select Necessary Items for Their Dorms or Apartments:

  • Gift certificate to a shopping website or local store for bedding and other linens
  • Footlocker or chest for storage, which can also be used as a table
  • Laundry bag with supply of detergents
  • Cooking basics, such as frying pan, knives, and mixing bowls

 Help Them Keep in Touch:

  • Subscription to hometown newspaper or magazine
  • Framed photos of loved ones and friends
  • Calendar marked with birthdays, anniversaries, etc. of family and friends

Give Them Some Fun:

  • Season (or single) tickets to school games
  • Passes to local driving range, movie house, or concert
  • Membership to a local museum, sports club, or gym
  • First shares of stock, along with a subscription to investor news

Going off to college is a big transition for anyone, but with these thoughtful and fun gift ideas you’ll surely make your favorite student’s transition much easier.

Happy back to school shopping from The Qualipedia!

Select, Clip and Arrange the Prettiest Flowers and Keep Them Fresh

Summer is in full swing and there are still many weeks left to enjoy the bounty of beautiful, wild, and not-so-wild flowers that the season has to offer. However, knowing how to pick flowers in nature or at your local store can be a little tricky, and keeping them fresh and healthy for any extended amount of time can be even trickier. Dawn Bryan, founder of The Qualipedia, gives some great advice on how to pick, clip, arrange, and keep your fresh summer flowers looking lovely for these long summer days.

Selecting Your Flowers:

· Look for firm stems, healthy leaves, and plump flowers with upright petals

· Select flowers with petals that have the most brilliant color and that are erect

· Choose flowers that are just beginning to show signs that they are opening

 Prepping Your Flowers:

· Cut your stems under running water at an angle using a sharp knife

· Remove leaves, that will be submerged, to prevent bacteria from forming

· Place your flowers in clean cool water (to slow their growth) or in warm water (to encourage them to open)

 Caring for Your Flowers:

· Keep flowers out of direct sunlight, heating/air conditioning vents, and objects that have a tendency to emit heat

· Trim the stems and replace water in your vase with fresh water every couple of days

· Remove wilted flowers from the arrangement to keep the rest of your arrangement looking fresh

There are also many health benefits that come with keeping fresh flowers around you. Flowers help to improve emotional health and relieve stress. A team of researchers at Rutgers University explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction. They recently published a study that showed that: flowers have an immediate impact on happiness (apparently this is universal reaction); they have a long-term positive effect on people’s moods; and their presence has been shown to increase contact with family and friends. They also concluded that flowers are a symbol for sharing, especially the sharing of space.

So spruce your home for the summer with a gorgeous arrangement of fresh summer flowers and improve your mood and your view!

Happy summer from The Qualipedia!

Mouth Watering Watermelon Tips

Watermelons are considered to be the quintessential summer food staple. With so many choices out there, finding, storing, preparing, and serving a melon can be daunting. Here are Dawn’s tips:


  • To find your juiciest watermelon you first must look at the coloring: it should have bright firm skin, be symmetrical, and free of cuts, major bruises and scars
  • Pick up the watermelon to feel whether it is heavy. The heavier the melon the more water it contains, which translates to a very luscious fruit
  • Make sure that you pick a melon that is the right size for your needs — you don’t want to waste any juicy bite
  • The last test you need is the thumping method. You want to hold the watermelon close to your ear, thump it, and listen for a hollow sound. This means that you’ve got yourself a good melon


If your watermelon isn’t quite ready to cut open and serve, make sure that you store it at room temperature, giving it time to reach its prime ripeness. However, if you have a melon that’s ready to eat you can cool it off in your fridge for a couple of hours so that when you’re ready to serve it, it’s ice cold and delicious. Be sure to wrap all your leftovers in plastic and keep them in the refrigerator.


There are a variety of ways you can eat– and drink—this tasty fruit. While biting into an icy chunk of watermelon is very refreshing, there are also new recipes you can try to spruce up the ways you enjoy this summertime staple. Here are a few recipe links to help you cool off on these hot summer days:

Watermelon Mojito Popsicles so you can cool down and cut loose

Watermelon Keg great for those late evening outdoor soirées

Watermelon Smoothie that help brighten your skin and your day

Watermelon and Feta Salad a light and refreshing summer meal

Now that you have the know how on picking, storing, and using your watermelon get out there and embrace the summer heat with a slice or a sip of your mouth-watering treat.

Have a delicious summer from The Qualipedia!