Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Method Behind My Madness: Part 1

Disclaimer: I'm a little bit of a nerd. I like learning, and school, and sticky notes, and notebooks, and planners, and.... you get the point. Starting college this fall meant that I had the opportunity to research different organizational and study methods to figure out what would work best for me because I wasn't going to be able to use quite the same systems that worked for me when I was homeschooled. Since you might not probably aren't as into reading study blogs and watching videos on YouTube about setting up planners as I am (I wasn't joking about this nerd thing), I thought I would share just what I found that works for me. These methods have helped me to stay organized, maintain good grades, and keep stress induced freak outs to a minimum. This is not to say that my roommates and I have not been heard singing Jesus Take the Wheel at 2am while trying to finish assignments. It's college, it happens. (If you're not in college yet, you'll learn this eventually. And these tips are just as helpful for those of you in middle school/high school :)) Because this is a lot of information, I'm going to divide it into a multiple post series. Today's is all about scheduling/planning...

Keeping track of all your assignments and to-do's can be one of the biggest challenges in college. Unless you're professor is constantly reminding you about when things are due, you have to know your syllabus and keep track of everything yourself. I've found it extremely helpful to have a visual of what I need to do each month, week, and day and have different methods for each that all work together. First, at the beginning of the semester I copied all of my assignments from my syllabus into my calendar. I know this seems like a lot of work but it took me less than 2 hours, I watched tv while doing it, and it's saved me a ton of time this semester. 
At the beginning of each month, I transfer the tests and major assignments (essays, projects, etc.) to the whiteboard over my desk so I can easily see what's coming up.
At the beginning of each week (usually Sunday night), I plan out how I'm going to divide up all the work that's due and make a plan for the week. I got this notepad in the dollar aisle at Target and it was a great find. I've seen different variations of this since then at Target, but you can also find notepads like this on Amazon, such as this one. Or you can just write it down on a plain piece of paper if you don't feel like being so fancy ;)
Finally, there's my system for daily planning. I'm a to-do list girl, checking boxes is extremely satisfying, which is why a bullet journal works best for me. If you've never heard of bullet journaling, a quick google search will give you tons of information (, but here's the basics/my bullet journal. (Disclaimer: mine is super artsy because I'm into that sort of thing, but yours can be very basic and will be just as useful) Before I get into my daily spreads, this is how the beginning of my bullet journal is set up...
I use a large squared black Moleskine but you can use whatever kind of notebook works best for you. I just like the size of this notebook and I like graph paper, which is why I chose this one. 

 Each day, or more often the night before, I will transfer all of my school assignments from my weekly plan into my bullet journal, as well as anything else I have to do, using the corresponding color. So basically, what I end up with is one big consolidated to-do list that I carry with me everywhere instead of a bunch of random papers. 
Because I always have my bullet journal with me, it's a helpful catch all for other information too. I have a page that I record my times on the rowing machine, a page for blog post ideas, and I use the inside front cover to hold sticky notes of other random lists/reminders. 

Some people also create a monthly calendar in their bullet journal instead of having a separate planner/calendar but I prefer to use both, it's just whatever works best for you. 

My bullet journal, combined with this planning system has been a life saver this semester in keeping me organized. If you have any questions be sure to leave a comment and I will make sure to answer them :) Also stay tuned for the next installments of this post series which will be on time management and test prep. If you have any questions you want me to address in those posts, also leave a comment below. I hope this was helpful for you!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Favorite Fitness YouTube Channels

Hello yes I have returned from the dead---- errrr a busy summer and the start of college. I have missed working on this blog so I'm going to do my best to make time for a few posts a month, starting today :) 

YouTube is a great resource for free workouts and healthy eating inspiration. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite channels with you. 

Cassey Ho aka Blogilates is one of the best fitness channels on YouTube. Her Pop Pilates workouts are quick and challenging without being impossible. A lot of them are less than 10 minutes long, but she makes you work hard the whole time. Additionally, she has great healthy recipes and I have tried a lot of them.

Her are a few of my favorite videos...


Friday, March 13, 2015

NYFW: Fall 2015 RTW 1

As usual I'll be sharing some of my favorite looks from the New York Fashion Week Runways. Right now the Fall Ready to Wear collections are being shown...

Alice + Olivia
Stacey Bendet was inspired by the 60's and 70's for her fall Alice + Olivia collection and the result is a variety of super fun retro, boho, glam looks. Statement coats, rich, luxurious fabrics, and gilded metallics are some of the highlights. I love all the black and gold looks because that is one of my favorite color combos. Here are a few of my favorites....


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Birthday Shopping Haul * New Clothes Yay!

Friday was my 18th birthday and I got to do a little shopping so I wanted to show you guys what I got...

 I got these 2 dresses from Target and I think the second one is going to be my Easter dress. I love simple, fit and flare dresses like these that can work for all seasons. Just throw a cardigan or jacket over them and they're perfect for cooler weather. 
 This dress I found at a local boutique and it is an absolute statement piece, I'm planning on wearing it when I go to see Wicked on Broadway in April. It has a really cool retro mod silhouette and the whole thing shimmers with emerald green sequins. I've been on the hunt for the perfect chambray shirt for a while and I found this one at Target. I love the light wash and I got it a couple sizes too big so it would have a relaxed oversized fit. 
I found this shirt at another one of our local boutiques and I loved the quote on it. It's super soft too! The leggings are from Target and while I won't be wearing them out and about (they're a little crazy :)) they're a perfect addition to my yoga gear.

So yeah, that's what I got :) I've never really done a haul post like this before but I know I always like to watch haul videos on Youtube and stuff, so let me know if you like to see posts like these or not...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What's the Deal with Face Masks?

You've probably at some point seen a movie or tv scene that goes something like this... girl is prepping for bed and has slathered her face with a (the most popular is) green concoction when suddenly, there's a knock on the door. Girl opens door and the person on the other side screams (ahh who is this monster with a green face!) which causes girl to scream back. Maybe I'm just imagining this I don't know. Anyway, there are more benefits to face masks than scaring your friends :) Let's talk about some common ingredients in face masks and what they can do for you...

The Detox Squad: Clay, Mud, and Charcoal

These ingredients get the gunk out of your pores. If you struggle with blackheads and pimples look for a mask with one of these as the main ingredient. Also if your skin is oily these will help to soak up the grease.

The Soft and Soothers: Peppermint, Avocado, Aloe and Oatmeal

If you have dry or sensitive skin these ingredients are your friends.Use a mask with one or more of these and your skin will feel so nice and soft afterwards. Peppermint is really cooling too so I like to use my minty masks in the summer to leave my skin feeling refreshed.      

Some of my favorite masks...

Freeman Avocado and Oatmeal Clay Mask: You can find this one at most drugstores or Ulta and it is my go to during the winter when my skin is a crazy combination of super dry and oily. The clay keeps my pores clean and the avocado and oatmeal take care of the dry patches. The only downside with this mask is that it has parabens in it so if you get freaked out about them this probably isn't one you want to use. That's something that is common with the cheaper masks so if you're willing to spend a little more cha ching for a 100% pronounceable ingredient list here are some more natural options....

InstaNatural Dead Sea Mud Mask: This is a new one for me that I've used a couple of times this week and so far I'm really pleased with it. My skin has really started to clear since using it. Who knew that mud from the Dead Sea could cleanse your skin? Actually I'm now remembering the episode of 19 Kids and Counting where they went to the Dead Sea and the girls were spreading the mud all over themselves so I guess I did know that :) Also while writing this I read the back of the container a little more closely and discovered that you can use it over your whole body and it helps with sore muscles?!? So cool, I'm definitely going to give that a try and update you on how that works in a later post. I also appreciate that all the ingredients in this mask are natural and weren't concocted in a lab, so bonus points for that. Here's a link to where you can purchase this mask. Oh, and it comes in a huge 16oz tub that will literally last you forever so I think it's a pretty fair price when you compare it to other drugstore masks. (This is the one I have on in the picture above :))

Lush Mask of Magnaminty: This mask is absolutely amazing and makes your skin feel all tingly and super clean. It's clay based so it cleans out your pores and it also contains peppermint which is what gives it that cooling tingly feeling. Additionally it has ground adzuki beans so it exfoliates your skin while you scrub it off. The major downside to this one is that it is so expensive you basically have to trade your firstborn for this stuff. I probably won't repurchase it no matter how awesome it was, but if you're looking to splurge on a little treat for yourself, your skin will love you. 

Okay so I have my mask, now what???

Normally I use my masks 3-5 times a week depending on my skin and what kind of time I have. I like to put mine on before the shower because I find the best way to scrub them off without creating a giant mess is to do it in the shower. I'll slather my face 5-15 minutes before I plan on hopping in (read the directions on your mask so you know how long to keep it on) and if there is an exfoliant in the mask I just scrub it off with my hands. If there isn't a built in exfoliant, I'll sometimes use a washcloth to rub it off for some dead skin sloughing action. That's it, easy peasy.

What about sheet masks???

Not all masks are of the creamy, muddy, variety. Sheet masks are basically a thin sheet of cotton or some other fiber that's shaped like a face and soaked in a skin loving formula. You pull it out, press it to your face, and then peel it off once the time indicated on the package is up. I don't have too much experience with these, I've only tried like one, so that's about all I can tell you about those. 

The people at InstaNatural are super awesome and sent me the Dead Sea Mud Mask so I could give it a test run. All opinions are 100% my own as always though!

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