Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On The Go Essentials

We all have those things we just can't leave the house without. Being on the go all the time to classes, study sessions, and a few fun things in between, these are my must haves for when I'm out and about.

Travel Mug. I'm always thirsty and I just like having a drink to sip on.

Chapstick. Because dry lips are never fun.

Wallet. You never know when you'll need to buy something or an emergency will happen.

Phone. Because who leaves the house without it?

Ear buds. For listening to music or watching a video clip.

Camera. A picture perfect moment can happen at any time.

Bullet Journal.  There's always something to add: a song to listen to, a new assignments, something to buy.

Sunglasses. Bright sunny spring days call for sunnies.
Pen(s). You always need one.

Hand sanitizer. For clean hands.

What are your essentials when you're out and about?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lessons I've Learned in College

Finals are coming up next week and that means the end of another school year is nearing. As I'm ending my third year of college, I've been super busy and I've honestly been more focused on school than taking care of myself and doing things that I enjoy.

I've also been thinking about all of the things I've learned in college. I've learned a lot in my classes, sure, but I've also learned a lot about life from living on my own, growing, learning about others, exploring, and seeing the world. 

These are some of the lessons I've learned in my three years of college:
  • No one feels like an adult.
  • No one has it all together.
  • It's okay to ask for help.
  • It's okay to not have all the answers.
  • Don't take things to seriously.
  • Consider how your words and actions will make others feel.
  • It's important to take breaks from work and balance work and personal life.
  • Make time for yourself and to do what you enjoy.
  • Everyone you meet knows something you don't. Really.
  • Everyone is learning as they go.
  • There's nothing wrong with making mistakes.
  • You don't know if you can do something until you try.
  • Being passionate about what you do and what you find interesting doesn't make you a dork. It makes you an enthusiastic person who's found something they love and that's a great thing.
  • Everyone wants to feel like someone cares about them. And you can be that someone.
  • The future is full of possibilities.
  • Everything will work out.
  • You can't control the future by worrying about it.

Hopefully this moment of reflection will stay with me throughout the next week and into the future. I always struggle with trying to move on to the next thing rather than enjoying the moment and appreciating what I've accomplished, how I've grown, and what I've really learned in the past few months. 

I've taught at 2 schools this semester, learned so much about the intellectual history of the United States (aka how thoughts and society have changed), reconsidered what I believe and why, realized there are lots of different ways of thinking and none is really better or more valid than the other, my relationship with my family has changed and grown more mature, strengthened my friendships, and grown more self-aware. 

Before this semester, I really hadn't considered how my ethnicity and upbringing have affected and shaped me. I hadn't realized how unique my background is. I hadn't challenged my thought process and belief systems for awhile.

I've also started this blog, bullet journaling, gotten involved in the planner community, taken control of my mental health, grown as a teacher, and I feel I've become a better person.

I hope you take a moment to consider what you've learned and accomplished recently. I hope you reflect on how you've grown and changed in the past few months.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

  1. Recycle. Recycle absolutely everything you can today. Paper, plastic, aluminum, everything.

  2. Try to take a shorter shower than usual.

  3. Turn off the lights and air conditioner and enjoy the natural lights and open windows to reduce your energy footprint.

  4. Plant a flower or a tree. If you live in an apartment you can always try potted flowers or a house plant.

  5. Upcycle one thing you were thinking of throwing out. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Favorite Quotes from At Fault

I have been in love with Kate Chopin and her writing since I read several of her short stories in a high school English class. I absolutely love her writing style and word choice. I'm amazed at her bravery for the topics she wrote about at the time (1890s) - women seeking (physical) love outside of their lifeless marriages, women who were single and full of life, women who couldn't be tamed, women who rejected marriage.

At Fault available on Amazon

Basically, Kate Chopin is my literary and historical hero. At Fault is about a "complex love triangle amid the tensions of the rural post-Reconstruction South.Thérèse Lafirme is a young Creole widow in love with a divorced St. Louis businessman, David Hosmer. The moral and religious constraints thrust upon Thérèse prevent her acceptance of Hosmer's wedding proposal, setting the two on a treacherous path that involves Hosmer's former wife, Fanny." There's also a story of young love between Melicent and Grégoire. Grégoire is adamantly and completely in love with Melicent who is unsure of her feelings for him and does with him as she pleases. Sounds like a modern love story.

Now for some of my favorite quotes from the novel:

"Her eyes were blue, as certain gems are; that deep blue that lights, and glows, and tells things of the soul."

"If you were to go away. Oh! It would take the soul out of my life."

"Do you know that woman is an angel? She's simply the most perfect creature I ever knew."

"I can't let the night go by without telling you that I love you."

"A certain mistrust was creeping into her heart with the nearing darkness."

"Our love must be something like a sacred memory -- a sweet recollection to help us through life when we are apart."

"It pleased her to indulge in a short dream of what might have been."

**Cover and aummary of At Fault by Dover Thrift Edition which sells a paperback copy of the book for $4 on Amazon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Current Favorites

Life is so busy right now! I had a test this morning, a project and paper due tomorrow, Friday is my last day teaching for practicum and I'm going out with friends for a birthday, and Saturday I have my brother's high school soccer game to go to. Phew!

Here's 5 of my current favorite things during this oh-so busy end of the semester rush:

1. Listers Gotta List Challenge

I really like this challenge mad by +TheResetGirl because it can be as simple or as uber-creative as you want it to be. I can write/make my list and photograph it in 5 minutes or I can spend a half hour getting it just the way I want it. Plus, I love seeing everyone else's lists.

2. Pretty planners

I recently found out about the planner community and am very excited that other people share my addiction to planning and stationary supplies. Since seeing all of these beautifully decorated planners, I've been decorating mine and I have to say it makes looking at what I have happening that week/month so much better (and prettier).

3. The first signs of Spring

I am loving walking to class and noticing that the bushes are green again, how vibrant the grass is, and the buds on the trees. It's wonderful.

4. Small Town Architecture

On my drives from college to home, I pass through a lot of small towns. Lately I've been noticing all of the little details that make the buildings downtown so unique.

5. Studyblrs

I enjoy looking at what other people's study spaces look like and the mess of notebooks, textbooks, laptops, coffee, and notes. Studyblrs (aka Tumblrs focused on studying and school) are a really good way to get inspired and motivated.

Let's Ace Them

What are your favorites at the moment?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

5 Ways to Simplify

Simplifying is wonderful and makes life a thousand times easier. I've been trying to simplify my wardrobe and my life the last few months, so I thought I would share 5 easy ways to simplify with all of you.

Make a life binder to simplify papers.  I enjoy journaling, doodling, making lists, and planning. Sometimes this means I have 5 different notebooks and lots of random papers. This year I've been creating my own life binder in which I have different sections for schedules, homework for the week, lists, journal pages, and random things I want to hang on to. It really helps to keep everything together!

Only buy what you love. It's easy to go shopping or even make a quick run to the store and pick up random tidbits. Having a closet full of clothes can be more of a problem then a dream come true if you don't even like or feel good in half your clothes.

Say no. This is one I struggle with, but I try to remind myself often of it. It's perfectly okay to say "No." You don't even have to explain yourself or give an excuse. It's okay to say no to volunteer work, organizational roles, study groups, and even friends or family.

 Limit your time online/on social media. Time doesn't exist online. I can go on Pinterest to look for a craft idea I pinned a day ago and end up on there for 2 hours without feeling like even 15 minutes have passed. Set a time limit for how much time you can spend online. It will make you more aware of where you spend your time online and stop you from wasting your day away on the web instead of experiencing real life.

Let go. If you never use something or hate wearing it, let it go. Donate clothes, sell them at a garage sale or to a second hand store, pass them on to a friend or relative who could use them, or just throw it away. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Study Space

It's my third year in college so I do a LOT of studying. I spend a ton of time at my desk in my bedroom. I prefer studying in my apartment to the library or other places because I have all of my supplies here and don't have to worry about forgetting anything important (like a laptop charger or textbook).

To make my study space nice and more inviting, I have a Page-A-Day calendar with inspirational quotes and my bulletin board behind the desk has cute little doodads like quotes, a cute owl, and some advice I need to give to myself more often.

I also have a little seasonal corner which I change up for different holidays. I currently have a Spring-y set up with an art print I made with stickers from Target's dollar spot and a cute little quote on my white mug filled with pens.

Another thing that I really like about studying at my desk is that I have enough room to spread out a little and have a textbook and notebook on my desk or a laptop and notes.

I also like to keep things organized so I have a little dashboard area to my right when I'm at my desk so I can add reminders and make to-do lists as I work and know what's on the agenda for the day. I got all these notepads from Target's dollar spot so I only spent $3 on these lists that I use everyday.

I also have my planner out and on my desk so I know about any important days or appointments I have coming up.

That's how I keep my study space so I can not (totally) hate my time studying for classes, get a little inspiration and motivation throughout the day, and stay organized with all of the things going on in my life. What does your study space look like?