Happy Cheesecake to You!

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Let’s start with one basic birthday rule: do not call your baby first thing in the morning with a joyous round of “Happy Birthday” from the family. It may have been effective in high school but you must utilize a new technique for college students who guard their R.E.M. sleep the way you guarded your daughter at prom.

The unfortunate aspect of college birthday celebrations is that they are built around deadlines, work, and friends’ schedules. As a result, festivities may not commence on your daughter’s actual birthday. Beat those triple threat delayers with the following techniques to ensure an unforgettable birthday…on the actual day of her birth.

  1. The Cheesecake Factory Fund: No matter what the age, girls delight in playing dress up, dining with excellent company, and devouring cheesecake bigger than their heads in a not-so-lady-like manner. Transfer or mail your daughter the appropriate amount of money so that she can treat herself, and her posse, to a gourmet dinner that would have broken the bank otherwise. She will love your thoughtfulness in including her friends, and her friends will love your thoughtfulness in letting them off the “you’re the birthday girl, you can’t pay for this $30.00 meal!” hook. The dinner location may change, but the gratitude will linger far beyond leftovers.
  2. A Big Show: University dining commons almost always put together lovely birthday bundles at your request. These include, but are not limited to, an embarrassing amount of helium balloons, decorated cake/cookie cake/cookies, your personalized note, and even a care package with sweet treats. Bundles are delivered on the special day and are so conspicuous that the entire dorm can soon identify the birthday girl. Your daughter will be a celebrity for the rest of the day partially because of the colorful display and partially because of the potential for free cake. Research your options on the university website and make your birthday girl famous for her generosity with baked goods. 
  3. Ornamental Orchids: Floral arrangements are an unmistakable focal point in a small dorm room. Orchids bring an exotic air of elegance that will complement your young woman perfectly. Their easy maintenance, longevity, and conversation starting abilities will make this birthday especially memorable.

Birthdays away from home call for new traditions. Jump start your daughter’s big day with these three suggestions, then kick back and enjoy one long phone call detailing every delicious morsel of an extraordinary event.


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College hunting: The Excel File

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College hunting is serious business. State of the art gyms and dining commons have allure, but do the academic challenges rise above? Use one Excel file to keep yourself in line and organize deal breakers and shiny attractions of the Universities at the top of your list. Then, navigate overwhelming University websites with ease and focus. These tips will leave you calm, cool, and collected in the midst of accumulating brochures and looming decisions.

The Fundamentals of “Patty-Cake”

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Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can. There I am, sitting in my dad’s lap with legs crossed, rolling and patting the dough. I wriggle with excitement as my favorite part gets closer when Dad will “mark it with a ‘K,’ just for me.” As he traces the first letter of my name into the imaginary cake, I grab his finger and imagine the letter on its surface in bright pink frosting, which I always tell him to use. Now put it in the oven for Daddy and me.

College Visits: Be There to Show You Care

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Oh, the joys of college visits. Parents drive for hours while their teenager snores in the backseat until they reach the campus. Then they attend an informational meeting led by a peppy college student who is employed by the admissions office, and this person cleverly highlights the college’s bright spots and manages to answer any question thrown his or her way, even if the answer has little to do with what was asked. Parents listen intently, especially when tuition is mentioned, and the potential students yawn and glance at cell phones. After a half hour or so, everyone is whisked away to tour the campus, which, they are assured, is the most picturesque, the most accessible, the safest, the greenest, etc. Tour guides point to buildings and give them apparently meaningful names and present a recently cleaned dorm room to the group’s inspection.

You’ve Got Mail

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A lot has changed since your little girl moved away from home. But a lot has stayed exactly the same. Believe it or not, young women in college still color in Disney Princess coloring books. They still frequently dream of prince charming, despite your reservations, and they love magical surprises. The “let’s get down to business” attitude of the day comes to a standstill with three simple words: “you’ve got mail”. Suddenly, the young woman on the brink of adulthood is frantically ripping open a cardboard box with childlike enthusiasm, giant smiles, and a burst of sparkle unhindered by academic anxiety.  Send your soon-to-be corporate princess some glitter in the midst of her daily to-do list by assembling a quick and easy care package she is sure to adore more than Prince Charming.

Tricks and Treats of Move out Day

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The dizzying atmosphere of sleep deprived college students moving out is the polar opposite of move in day. With finals over and friends saying goodbye, the last thing a college student wants to do is linger and be the last one to leave. Simplify move out day with these tried and true tips....

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