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Food and Dining

Bringing Autumn to Sunny LA: Trader Joe’s Edition

Some foods just put me in a festive, wintery mood: chocolate, peppermint, anything ginger. Here in Los Angeles, however, we’re missing out on the cold/rainy/snowy weather, and this poses a problem, but not for long. Here are some food options under $5 from Trader Joe’s that will overcome the bright sunshine and bring winter to Los Angeles.

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First of all: these ginger snaps. They’re amazing. They embody festiveness. Plus you get so many; they’re only $3.99!

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The best part of winter is by far all of the amazing drink options, and I would highly recommend the spiced chai from Trader Joe’s.

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These little gingerbread men are perfect for the holidays, and taste fantastic. For $2.99? So worth it.

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If you’ve never had a chocolate orange, you are missing out. Once you take it out of the box, it’ll be wrapped in foil. Stand on a hard floor and drop the orange onto the floor while it’s still wrapped. When you unwrap it, it will fall open into chocolate orange slices. Proceed to eat the entire thing.

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Last, but not least, these candy cane Joe-Joe’s (read: candy cane Oreos) are so tasty. You can’t turn down anything with candy canes during the holidays.

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Tips for Spending Thanksgiving on Campus


As Thanksgiving approaches, most students are looking forward to enjoying a few days to celebrate the holiday with their family and friends, catch up on schoolwork and maybe even squeeze in some time for Black Friday shopping. For some international and out-of-state students, however, the trip home is too far to go back for only a couple days, so they opt instead to stay on campus. If you’re staying on campus for Thanksgiving this year and want to make the most of your holiday, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Have a “Friendsgiving”

Round up all of your buddies who are also staying here for the week and invite them over to your dorm or apartment for a ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner. Make this casual get-together a potluck, so everyone can contribute something to the meal. The best part about ‘Friendsgiving’ is that you can bring anything – from pumpkin pie to sushi – because the main objective is to gather the gang together and enjoy each other’s company. If you want to pick up some groceries, napkins, utensils or decorations the day of, the Whole Foods in Westwood will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Target will be open from 6 p.m. onward.

Note: The dining halls will all be closed on Thanksgiving.

Organize a Pickup Game with Friends

What’s Thanksgiving without a pickup game of flag football? Organize your friends on campus for a quick game of football, soccer or any other sport – whatever floats your boat.  You’ll burn some calories before eating, and have some fun at the same time. It won’t be hard to find a nice grassy spot to play, and Thursday is forecasted to be nice and sunny.

Catch up on … 

Take advantage of those two days off from class! If you’re staying here, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to catch up on TV shows that you’ve neglected during midterms. Take the opportunity to get a full 11 hours of sleep for once and prepare for the week ahead. Maybe even catch up on some reading you didn’t get a chance to do or start studying for that quiz that’s conveniently scheduled for Tuesday. If you’re like me and haven’t gone to the gym in who knows when, you can use this time to catch up on exercise and go on a run in the brisk autumn air.


Have any other ideas for spending Thanksgiving on campus? Comment below!

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Mojo Asks Students

Is It too Early for Christmas Music?

Every year on the first of November, all the Christmas merch comes out from hiding and forces the holiday cheer on you. Stores and coffee shops across the country begin to play carols and other Christmas classics for your enjoyment – or lack thereof. But where do you stand on the issue of Christmas music before Thanksgiving? Should our headphones be blasting “Jingle Bell Rock,” or does this make both holidays less special? We asked a few of you to weigh in.


Mojo: “Is it too early for Christmas music?”


Kristen Pojunis, third-year microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics student: “I’ve always followed the ‘no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving’ rule. I think it makes the holidays more special when you sort of separate them and celebrate each individually.”

Spencer Kieu, third-year environmental science student:I think it’s a little early for Christmas music. I think the beginning of December makes more sense. I associate November with Thanksgiving, I guess. And it’s still technically fall.”


Matt Gillum, third-year anthropology and biology student: “Until someone starts writing Thanksgiving music, no, it’s not too early. But then again, I’m from Washington, and I just start to celebrate Christmas whenever it starts snowing, so it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving for me.”

Kimberly Paredes, third-year psychobiology student: “December is literally just less than a week away, so I think it’s just the perfect time! I’ve listened to a few Christmas songs like ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside.’ I don’t know if that counts, but it gets me in the winter ‘Christmas-y’ feel.”

Savannah Aleman, third-year music history student:I love Christmastime and colder weather, so starting Christmas music early just makes me get more into the Christmas spirit. If it were up to me, we would skip Thanksgiving and go straight into Christmastime after Halloween!”

UCLA students seem pretty divided on this issue, but what do you think? Let us know by tweeting us @dbmojo or commenting below.

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5 Ways to Survive Thanksgiving Travel

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and to be surrounded by family, friends and food. Should we all just take a moment to appreciate eating bottomless amounts of turkey and pumpkin pie without worrying about conserving swipes? As great as this all sounds, the only way we will be able to completely enjoy this magnificent holiday is first by traveling home. Dealing with the masses of people also attempting to get home for the holiday can really test your patience. Whether you’re driving home, taking public transportation or flying like me, here are five tips for surviving the treacherous travel home.
1. Confirm Your Travel Plans
OK, now I know this one sounds obvious, but with how hectic it is to pack for your trip, it can be very easy to let the confirmation of travel plans slip your mind. Set a reminder on your phone to go off (at least) one day before your drive or flight so you remember to call and make sure that ticket is still yours. If you’re flying, checking in early is especially helpful because you can usually reserve a seat closer to the front of the plane. You’ll definitely be one of the cool kids when they call everyone up to board.
2. Bring Food 
No matter what you eat before leaving for your trip, you will get hungry on your way. Being hungry leads to being irritated, and that’s not the first impression you want to make when you get home to your family. I recommend taking a quick stop at Target here in Westwood and grabbing everything in sight. Consider it practice for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Phone, iPad, laptop, extra battery pack. Sure, you brought books to read and homework to do, but we all know catching up on your Netflix show and scrolling through your Tumblr dash is all that you will get done. Do yourself a favor and charge everything, because there is nothing worse than seeing a dead battery icon.
4. Look for Travel Deals
If you haven’t set up your travel plans yet, hurry! There are many deals that happen for Thanksgiving travel, but there are also outrageous prices since companies know you have no other choice. Fortunately, UCLA Transportation is even offering a deal from the Hill to LAX for just $5, which also includes a ride from Lot 32 after you take a Flyaway when you get back. It’s a great alternative to Uber and Lyft, and taking the bus with a bunch of other students excited to visit home can’t be too bad either.

5. Pack Lightly
Speaking of deals, we all know what happens the day after Thanksgiving. There is nothing that truly sums up the hysteria of the holiday season than Black Friday. You can turn it into a bonding event as you and your family defend each other against the masses of people also trying to score a deal. If you’re planning to spend all the money you don’t have on clothes, that coincidentally aren’t that cheap even on sale, make sure you at least have room in your suitcase to haul them back to UCLA. It’s okay, we won’t judge. Pre-shopping planning is just a sign of good preparation (or that’s what we shopping addicts like to say).
Just remember Thanksgiving is all about enjoying your time with your loved ones and being thankful for everything you have. Keep that in mind if travel-induced stress ever gets into your head.
 If you have any other travel suggestions, let us know in the comments.

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The Secret Menu At Jamba Juice

It was a normal Monday afternoon. I walked into Jamba Juice and was minding my own business, next in line, ready to order my usual medium Razzmatazz with an Energy Boost. My whole life was content, then all of a sudden, I look up at the menu and I see that everything has changed. There were new flavors, Acai Bowls (whatever that is), and everything was rearranged. A rush of panic ran over me and I began to contemplate my entire life. Am I too basic for never trying anything new in my life? Is the cashier judging me for ordering the same thing my entire three years here?

Well, if you are having an existential crisis like me, here is a list of some of the popular drinks on the secret menu at Jamba Juice in case you’re looking to spice up your smoothie life.

Andres Surprise

– Nine ounces of orange juice

– One ounce of raspberry juice

– Two scoops of orange sherbet

– One scoop of pineapple sherbet

– Mangoes and peaches

Gummy Bear (Red)

– Six ounces of raspberry juice

– Four ounces soy milk

– A scoop each of lime, raspberry, orange and pineapple sherbet

– One scoop of strawberries

Berry Lime Sublime

– Twelve ounces of raspberry juice

– Nine ounces of orange juice

– One scoop each of strawberries and raspberries

– Two scoops of raspberry sherbet

Dream Machine (Lemon)

– Six ounces lemonade

– Six ounces soy milk

– A scoop of lime sherbet and frozen yogurt, blended with ice

Gummy Bear (Green)

– Eight ounces of lemonade

– Two ounces of soy milk

– A scoop of pineapple sherbet

– A scoop of peaches

– Three scoops of lime sherbet

– Ice

Orange Whip

– Twelve ounces of orange juice

– One scoop of orange sherbet

– One scoop frozen yogurt

– Ice

Orchard Oasis

– Twelve ounces peach juice

– A scoop of pineapple sherbet

– Blueberries and strawberries, blended with ice

Pina Colada

– Twelve ounces pineapple juice

– A little coconut

– A scoop each of pineapple sherbet, frozen yogurt and bananas

– Ice

Pink Starburst

– Six ounces lemonade

– Six ounces soy milk

– A scoop respectively of raspberry sherbet, plain sherbet and frozen yogurt

– Two scoops strawberries

– Ice


– Twelve ounces lemonade

– A scoop respectively of lime sherbet, frozen yogurt and strawberries

Sour Patch Kids

– Twelve ounces of lemonade

– A scoop of lime, orange, pineapple, and raspberry sherbet

– A scoop of blueberries

Tropical Awakening

– Twelve ounces of passion-mango juice

– A scoop each of mangoes and bananas

– Ice


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