Sunday, August 31, 2014

Field Notes: August 2014



Did you miss July's Field Notes

A few of the things we loved this month.

There's an entire pinterest board dedicated to smores. Why didn't I think to do that?

A few extremely helpful note taking tips. Even though I am no longer in school, I still take plenty of notes. It's a habit.

This one absolutely blew me away. Hannah Breacher wrote a post for all the girls who want to change the world.

Another one for the girls. If you have not heard Marie Miller's song 6'2, you are missing out.

For a healthy dinner try roasting vegetables.

We love cake (no surprise). Like this red velvet poke cake.

You know what is cute? A bunny! Their ears, their noses, just everything about them in general.

We finished watching all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. So wish that there were more.

Also, I read Divergent and Insurgent. I was concerned that it would just be a Hunger Games copycat, but this series is interesting. There is more violence than I would like though. Still, I will be reading the third one when whatever person who has kept it overdue from the library for entirely too long decides to return it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Drug Store Beauty Favorite: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Drug Store Beauty Favorite: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser



I have super sensitive but oily skin, so I'm always on the lookout for a facial cleanser that is gentle, doesn't strip my skin, and will work with my clarisonic. Most cleansers either make my skin feel tight after I use them or make my face turn red. I was really pleased with CeraVe's Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin though. It reminded me of Cetaphil but my skin felt less dry after this cleanser which means less oil later in the day. It is a little pricey if you buy it from a drugstore. I paid about 15 dollars at Walgreens, but you can actually get it from Amazon for 10 dollars. That's definitely what I'll be doing next time. I'd recommend this cleanser to anyone with sensitive, oily, and blemish prone skin. There's a reason this foaming facial cleanser is a bestseller on Amazon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

20 More Tips for College



Last week we shared 30 Study Tips for Success in College. This week we wanted to share some more tips that we have for those who are just starting college. We are discussing advice for your social life, what to wear, and living in a dorm room.

Social Life

1. Make an effort to meet people when you first get to college. Yes, things might be awkward at first, but things are awkward for everyone. Just talk to people, and you can all be awkward together. You will eventually find those special people who will become your friends.

2. You don't have to drink and party if you don't want to. Not everyone does. Trust us, our school was ranked the #2 party school in the U.S. during part of the time we were there, and it was never an issue.

3. Having a bunch of girls over to watch 27 Dresses and eats lots of ice cream totally counts as being social.

4. Check out the organizations on campus. Getting involved in activities is a great way to meet people.

5. But, make sure you don't overload yourself with activities. It is ok to say no to some things. In fact, you will have to say no to some things.

6. Read your school's newspaper to find out about events that are going on.

7. Athletic events are worth checking out with friends. Try to attend some of the sporting events that don't get as much attention. You might be surprised by how much fun you have sitting on a blanket cheering for your school to win some sport you've never watched before.

8. Make a point of finding a support system like a campus ministry, church, or other group.

9. Some of the friends you make freshmen year won't be your friends later in college because you will all be growing so quickly into different people. But some of your freshmen friends will stay your best friends throughout college and later in life. It all evens out.

10.Don't worry if it takes time to make really close friends. Keep trying. Those people are worth it, and you will find them.

Wardrobe

11. Do not buy many new clothes before you start your first semester at college. Once you're there, you will be able to see what people wear at your school, and you will have time to decide what clothes you want to buy.

12. In regards to the advice above, please remember that you do not have to look like everyone else. No one pays nearly as much attention to fitting in as they did in high school which is a good thing.

13. Your shoes must be comfortable. Chances are you will be walking around a lot from class to class. So, regardless of how cute a pair of shoes might be, if they are not comfortable enough to last through an entire day  of running around campus, you should not wear them.

14. No pajamas. Ever. If you know that you will not wake up in time to change out of what you slept in, then sleep in sweatpants or yoga pants. Those options are not incredibly put together, but they are more acceptable than pajamas.

15. Keep a small trashbag inside your backpack. If it suddenly starts to pour down raining, wrap the bag around the books that are inside your backpack before heading out into the rain. You do not want your (very expensive) books to get wet.

Dorm Living

16. There are going to be lots of people living near you, and everyone has a different sleep schedule. Regardless of whether you are a night owl or an early bird, ear plugs and a sleep mask might help you sleep better. A fan helps block out noise, too.

17. Talk to your roommates before small issues become problems. Communication is the only way that living in a tiny room together will work. Remember that you are sharing, so sometimes you will have to make compromises.

18. At Christmas break bring home the things from your room that you've realized you do not really need at college. Your space is small so do not keep it packed with things that you never use. Also, it helps to keep a list of things that you want to bring back with you when you go home at Christmas.

 19. Spend 5 minutes cleaning up your room before you go to bed. Just 5. It's not much, but it will keep your tiny dorm room from becoming an overwhelming mess.

20. Before you buy dorm room decorations, think about how long you will probably stay in the dorms, If everyone at your college moves out of the dorms after freshman year, you will want to spend less on items that can only be used in a dorm (i.e. xl twin bedding, mini-fridge, etc). If the opposite is true, then feel free to spend a bit more to buy items that will last during the four years you will be in a dorm.

If you missed the previous post, here's 30 Study Tips for Success in College.

Do you have any more advice for students going to college this fall? Share it in the comments.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good Grades: 30 Study Tips for Success in College


With the summer coming to an end, we're thinking about back-to-school time here at Life of Lovely. Last week Jennifer shared her list of Back to College Essentials. We had originally planned to share some advice for recent high school graduates going off to college for their first semester, but we ended up with way more than we had thought. We're going to split it up into two posts starting off with advice on how to get good grades. Jennifer has a medical background with lots of science and health and a bit of nutrition, and I have a liberal arts background concentrating on languages, literature, and international studies, so we hope that there's something here for all majors.


1. Go to class. (Obvious, but a surprising number of people skip class, and then panic later when they realize they are going to fail the course.)

2. Talk to your professors if you are struggling. Professors have office hours for a reason. So, make an appointment to speak with them about points that you do not understand during class. Do not wait until after the test.

3. One of Jennifer's professors assigned a book called the The A Game: Nine Steps to Better Grades for class. If you want to make A's, read it and follow it.

4. Take advantage of tutoring services like the writing center and supplemental instruction especially for extremely difficult classes.

5. Find a study group. Studying with other people can help you understand the material.

6. On the other hand, if group studying is more distracting than helpful, study alone. You don't have to go to a group study session just because everyone else in your class goes.

7. Try out studying in different places. Can you study well in your dorm room, in the library, in a coffee shop, or another place around campus? Figure out where you study best.

8. Get a planner. Use it.

9. Google chrome has an app called Stayfocused that kicks you off social media. Set a time limit for yourself if you know that you will waste hours on social media when you should be using your time in better ways.

10. If your professor assigns reading to be read before class, actually read the assignment. The material will make more sense when you go over it in class. Plus, you will remember the material better when test time comes.

11. Pulling all-nighters is usually not effective.

12. Study every day. It doesn't have to be a lot every day, but a few minutes looking over materials means that you will be less stressed before a test. Look over your notes the night after class.

13. Set goals for each study session so that you know you have accomplished something when you finish.

14. Do not wait until the last minute to write a paper. If you get stuck every time you try to start typing, then write an outline or some ideas on paper first (you should probably start out by doing this anyway). Start early and let your ideas have the time they need to develop.

15. The best way to learn material is to teach it to someone else. Since you probably don't have a willing audience for this, here's an alternative that works incredibly well. You can write on mirrors with expo markers, so use your mirror as a board, and pretend that you are teaching a class. It is perfectly ok to say things in your head instead of aloud if you feel silly. Your roommate(s) will most likely appreciate it if you use the teaching method while they're not in the room.

16. Schedule your studying time for longer than you think it will take. Because it will always take longer than you think it will take.

17. For literature classes, take notes while you read. These notes should include basics like plot, setting, characters, and theme as well as points you found particularly interesting. If you can't think of anything, then pick something and ask yourself why it's in the passage. You want to have something to talk about during literature discussion.

18. Faculty advisers are really helpful, but make sure that you keep up with what you need to take on your own too. Have a list of the required classes for your major. Mark off the classes as you take them, and have a general plan of how you will fulfill all the requirements.

19. Keep extra scantrons and blue books in your backpack. You do not want to forget to get one before the test.

20. Other things to keep in your backpack are highlighters, an umbrella, extra pencils, and post-it notes.

21. Also, while we're talking about it, keep a water bottle and a small snack in your backpack.

22. Computers can be helpful for taking notes in class. However, if you know that you will spend all class period on pinterest (or your preferred social media site), then forget the laptop in class and stick to paper.

23. Sit in the front during class. If you are not comfortable sitting directly in the front, sit a few rows back. Just don't get lost at the back of the classroom.

24. It's easier to start off with a high GPA than to try to raise it later.

25. You might want to try hand writing your notes in class and then, typing them up later. You'll get to review the material a second time, and your notes will be in a format that's easier to study. (Neither of us did this, but it worked well for some of my friends.)

26. You can try studying the way you did in high school, but if it doesn't work, then you need to try something else.

27. Stay off your phone during class. No matter whether the class is boring or not, it's just rude.

28. Ask for advice from people who have taken the course before. They may be able to tell you what to expect to work the hardest on and what strategies worked for them.

29. Over prepare for the first big grade in each class. You'd much rather spend too much time studying at first, than be forced to make an almost perfect grade later to bring up your first grade. Plus, you'll be a whole lot more stressed during finals weeks than during midterms.

30. Remember that you are capable of doing well. Good luck!



Want some more tips for college? Check out our collection of posts about college.

Or take a look at Jennifer's list of Back to College Essentials.




Do you have advice of your own for success in college? Share them with us and our other readers in the comments.


-  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to College Essentials



This summer I started my first semester of graduate school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. It took three years of hard work to get into the occupational therapy program here. Along the way I've picked up on a few things that I hope will make your college experience a little easier whether you're a freshman or someone starting graduate school.

1. A Big Backpack
It's always frustrating when you're trying to pack up your backpack and all your books don't fit. If you're like me, trying to lug the loose book around campus probably means you'll end up leaving it somewhere. Finally, my first year of grad school, I've found a backpack that can actually accommodate more than one book and binder. I love this backpack! It has two huge main compartments and a couple of little ones for knick-knacks. It's also really durable and comes in fun colors. My pick is the red tape. I managed to snag mine for 50 dollars from Amazon which seems reasonable for the three years I plan to use it.
Our pick: Jansport Big Student Backpack

2.  A Tablet and Keyboard
I am very low-tech, but because I have a dinosaur phone that doesn't connect to the internet I finally had to breakdown and get a tablet. It has been one of the best purchases I've made for college. A few of the scholastic things I like to use my tablet for is taking notes, checking email, studying flashcards, and playing study tunes.

There are probably better tablets for school use, but I have a Samsung Galaxy and I have no complaints. Definitely find a tech savvy friend or drop by a BestBuy to talk to someone about what you want in a tablet to figure out which type of tablet you need before you buy one. To help me take notes, I also bought a mini-keyboard. It wasn't the best quality. I often mistype things using it, but it's good for rough notes. Plus I always get compliments on how cute the pink case is!
Our picks: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4Pink Leather Case with Keyboard

3. A Happy Coffee Cup or Water Bottle
I guess I might be a little high maintenance, but everyday I like to fix myself a morning coffee or tea and a bottle of water to bring with me to school. Little stuff like having a cute mug or water bottle makes me happy. Plus, you can save a ton of money fixing your own drinks at home instead of buying them from a coffee shop or vending machine. I try to use minimal plastic products because being a former nutrition major and current aspiring occupational therapist has made me a little paranoid about plastics. So instead, I try to buy mostly ceramic or glass bottles like these.

4. Comfy Cute Shoes
Chances are you're going to be doing a ton of walking to get to and from classes and the parking lot. If you're like me, you want shoes that look cute but aren't going give you blisters or slow you down. My solution is Keds. If you need some inspiration about how to wear them, just google "Taylor Swift Keds."
Our pick: Keds Women's Champion Dot Fashion Sneaker

5. A Fun Planner
Unless you have a fabulous memory, you're never going to remember everything. So you might as well get a cute and fun planner to help you out. I know for me I feel a lot less panicked when I have all my assignments and obligations written out in my planner. There's a reason that about half of the girls at the University of Mississippi have a Lilly Pulitzer planner. They're so bright, colorful, and fun. And as a bonus they come with stickers which lets you relive your childhood of putting Lisa Frank stickers on all your school stuff! If Lilly is too mainstream for you, there are plenty of other unique planners out there. Just make sure you get a planner that has pages for both the months and individual days of the month.
Our pick: Lilly Pulitzer 2014-2015 Agenda 

Looking for more college advice? Check out 30 Study Tips for Success in College.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Drug Store Beauty Favorite: Garnier Fructis Moroccan Oil

Drug Store Beauty Favorite: Garnier Fructis Moroccan Oil


Whenever I go to the drugstore, I'm always torn between trying something fun and new or sticking with something I know works. It seems like drugstore products can be very hit or miss. Lately, I've been pretty lucky with my finds, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

My newest favorite is Garnier Fructis' Sleek and Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment. I love how light this oil is. It really does absorb into my hair without looking oily. I also like how soft and shiny my hair looked after a couple uses. Plus with the price I don't feel like I have to be stingy with it. I've started using it on my dry hair before bed and also smoothing it into my ends while my hair is wet before I style it. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone but especially for girls with curly hair. It can be so hard for curly girls to get soft shiny hair, but this product really does help! My only complaint is that I wish it came in a spray bottle so that when I wear my hair curly I could spray it in without disturbing my wet curls. Overall though I was pleasantly surprised by this Moroccan Oil Treatment and can't wait to try other Moroccan Oil products.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Field Notes: July 2014



Inspired by a Hannah Brencher post, we want these field notes to be a place where we can share our favorite awesome posts, music, videos, ideas, sites, and general miscellany that we've come across during the month.

Always thought that crowns braids were too difficult for me to try, but I can actually do this crown braid bun. Yay for youtube hair tutorials!

While we're on youtube...I thought I was over these videos, but then I saw the #HappyMS version of Pharrell's "Happy."

I've made this baked macaroni and cheese so many times this summer.

Finally watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. Light-hearted, classic movie.

For a newer movie, try The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. You'll immediately be inspired to go out and do something incredible as soon as it finishes.

Have you heard of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls? It's definitely a movement worth getting behind.

Here's a thoughtful article about How to Encourage Without Comparing.

Learning a new language is fun, but it's hard to remember to practice consistently. I've been using duolingo to brush up on French.
 
My laptop's desktop is now pretty and function thanks to this desktop organizer. For those who always have to be organized.

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