December 30, 2014

Goodbye 2014! An Overview and Reflection of the Year

This year has been full of change for me, both good and bad. I transferred from my two year community college to a 4 year university. I moved to a new town. I lost loved ones and found new friends. Through the stress and grief that 2014 brought me, I gained more determination, discovered a new outlook on life, and learned to accept that somethings are out of my control.

The strongest people you know can also become the weakest people you've met. And people who have always seemed invincible to you will eventually pass from this world. But this is how life works, and it is okay.

Despite the pain of the year, 2014 somehow still manages to also be the best year of my life. Not only did a debt free education become a reality for me, but through the scholarship I received I have also become part of an amazing foundation and community of friends.

I am grateful for everything that 2014 has had to offer me. Even the darkest of moments have the ability to transform you for the better.
I look forward to the New Year and believe 2015 will only bring more amazing moments and opportunities to learn and grow.

I hope 2014 has treated you well and the new year will bring even more wonderful moments.

December 29, 2014

Burgundy and Cream Winter Outfit

It was perfect weather to spend the day at the park. The day was bright and sunny, it seemed more like early fall than the end of December. I even found a handful of pecans.


Outfit Details

Cardigan: Charlotte Russe
Dress:  Monteau Los Angeles (purchased at Marshall's)
Tights: Merona
Boots: Mossimo

December 25, 2014

My Small Apartment Holiday Decor and Ugly Christmas Sweater

Happy Holidays! 

I live in a apartment without a lot of extra space, so I keep my holiday decor small and simple. This year, I set-up a small Christmas display on my kitchen cart. For trees, I have a box wood topiary and a potted Italian Stone Pine.

Outside I have my "winter" wreath, which I added a red bow to make it look more Christmas-y. 

This photo was taken prior to heading out to my work holiday party. We were encouraged to wear tacky Christmas sweaters, so I pulled out this cardigan that I glued Christmas ornaments onto. We had a potluck, played holiday themed charades, and exchanged gifts. It was a lot of fun.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season.

December 17, 2014

Gold and White Living Room Decor

Hello! Today I would like to share with you my current living room styling. I recently moved to a new apartment and have been working on getting everything all settled in. I have gotten one side of the living room all set, but I am still working on the entertainment center set-up.

Because I rent, the changes I can make to the apartment are limited. Therefore, I have to stick with renter-friendly decorating methods.

The sunburst mirror was a DIY project. I used wooden dowels, liquid gold leaf, a mirror, and some hot glue. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I purchased the wall decals from Target and really like them. They don't peel off on their own, but are still easy to remove. When removed, they do not damage the paint or leave a sticky residue. At the wrong angle, the gold foil feathers look a little bubbly due to the textured walls, but overall it isn't too noticeable.

I love the way the foil feather wall decals are reflected in the mirrors of my end tables. For the end table styling, I chose a candle and terracotta pot that I gold leafed. I added the terrarium to give it a pop of color and bring some life to the space.

I found the ceramic jay figurine and the vase at the thrift store and paid under $10 for both. They are probably my favorite thrift store finds ever. The gold drink coasters were also purchased from a thrift store.
The jar is filled with pebbles, fossils, and shells.

And that pretty much wraps up this side of my living room. Hopefully it won't be too long until I get the other half situated.

How long does it usually take you to get settled into a new home or to redecorate a room? Do you have any tips for speeding the process up?

December 9, 2014

November 25, 2014

Tips For Rewriting Your Lecture Notes

Its hard to believe that the fall semester is almost over. In just a few short weeks, finals will be upon us.
In preparation, I would like to share with you the benefits of rewriting your lecture notes and a few tips.

I find that rewriting my notes is a great study strategy that helps me remember more material and gain a better understanding. I find this especially useful for courses that require you to know a lot of details. While it can be time consuming, I believe it is time well spent.


 As soon as possible! Don't wait until chapters have accumulated. Instead, rewrite notes the same day, while the lecture is still fresh in your mind. This way, you will easily be able to elaborate on concepts that you skimped on for the sake of keeping up.

When rewriting notes soon after lecture, you will also find that you can more readily make connections within the material. Be sure to jot down these connections in your notes. Remember, concepts in a subject all relate to another in some way. Being able to make the connection will help you better understand the material.


Organization. Sometimes professors skip around, especially if students asked questions or asked for clarification. By rewriting, you will be able to organize your notes.

Better readability. During lecture, you're likely writing quickly and sloppy. While this helps ensure you capture as much info as possible, it also tends to make your notes difficult to read.

Revision. Sometimes all you get down is one word before the professor is onto the next subject, while other times you have included too much irrelevant information. By rewriting notes, you can address both these issues.

Combine lecture notes with textbook notes. This way all relevant information is in one place and all tied together.

A study mechanism. Studies have shown that writing information down helps you remember it. By rewriting your notes, you are helping to ingrain that information into your memory. Additionally, by revising your notes, you are reviewing the material.


Read through your notes to help gain a better understanding of the full picture. Mark any parts of your notes that are unclear.

Design a general outline. Identify the main topics, subtopics, and key concepts of the material.

Draw a connection between what is in your lecture notes and what is in the textbook. Add additional clarification from the textbook to your notes.

Rewrite, doesn't mean recopy. One of the reasons rewriting your notes is a helpful study strategy is because you spend more time critically evaluating the material and processing the information. Thus, you do not want to simply recopy your lecture notes. Instead, follow the outline that you created and bring everything together by writing in the details.

Have you tried rewriting your notes before? If so, did you find it beneficial?

November 19, 2014

7 Math Study Tips to Help You Ace That Exam

how to succeed in math

With nine college mathematics courses under my belt, I have come up with a set of strategies that has helped me do well on my math exams.

Today, I would like to share with you my top tips for studying math and boosting your test grades in your mathematics courses.

1. Read the textbook before class

Don't worry if you don't fully understand, you will make the connection during lecture.

2. Take both lecture notes and textbook notes 

After we've covered a section in class, I neatly rewrite lecture notes and add notes from the textbook for further clarification. Besides having easy to read notes to study from, you are reviewing the material when you rewrite your notes.

3. Review daily

Even if it is just for 5 minutes, regularly reviewing your notes and doing an extra exercise here or there keeps the topic in your mind and will make it easier for you to recall this information during a test.

4. Do your homework, the right way.

Don't procrastinate! Do the homework the same day the material has been covered. Because the material is still fresh in your mind, it will be easier to recall important steps and concepts. Additionally, it will be less stressful.

When doing homework, try to complete all the exercises without looking at notes or references. However, don't spend too long on one problem. If you get stuck, move to the next exercise. If you don't know how to solve this one either, then go ahead and pull out your notes.

If possible, check your answer in the back of the book. If you did not get the correct answer, try to understand why you did not reach the same answer.

5. Practice makes perfect

Be sure to mark any problems you were unable to solve on your own. Once you've finished everything, go back to those questions and re-solve on your own. At this time, you should also redo any exercises that you did not answer correctly.

 For any exercises that you find difficult, do additional exercises that are similar. This will give you the practice you need to master the concept.

6. Make a formula sheet

Write down all formulas, theorems, and definitions of a chapter onto a separate sheet of paper. This way you can quickly reference this page instead of looking through your notes.

7. Keep a positive attitude!

In order to learn any subject, you must want to learn. If you have a negative mindset, you have shut down the potential for learning. If you think to yourself "I will never get this", then you won't. Instead, go into class believing in your own potential.

There is a misconception among many individuals that in order to do well in mathematics, the subject must come naturally to you. This is in part fueled by the negative attitude towards mathematics that our society finds acceptable. But guess what: it is not true! If you put in the effort, you can excel in math.

A final note

If you are continuously struggling in math, there is the possibility that a math learning disability, dyscalculia, could be the at the root of them problem. If you suspect any learning disability is hindering your ability to do well, I encourage you to contact your school's office of disability services.

November 8, 2014

4 Gold Foil Prints for the Home Office

I love gold foil prints, especially for brightening up a home office. Who wants to sit at a boring desk?
Currently, I am shopping  for new art and prints to spruce up the wall space above my desk. Having a collection of artwork and inspiration quotes makes a home office more welcoming. I would like to share with you some of my favorite gold foil prints I have found so far.
3. Bonjour 3. Hustle

Do you have a gallery wall above your desk?

October 30, 2014

Plan it out! Student Planners and Time Management

     An agenda is your best friend when it comes to managing your time and school work. That is, if you use it consistently. Today I would like to share with you a few tips for effectively using a student planner.

     Proper time management is important for academic success. While it may be tempting to procrastinate your school work in order to binge watch that new series on Netflix, the resulting stress when you are frantically trying to finish a project the night before it is due is not worth it.

     Instead, use your planner to schedule both your study time and your free time. Then, stick to the schedule you have established. Look at your planner daily and include weekly goals and master to-do lists.

Time Blocking 

In order to have a good visual of your day, color in block of time according to activities. As you can see from my agenda, I use a highlighter to block out the time frame for study sessions and work shifts. This way I can quickly access how busy my day is and how much free time I have available.

Color Coding 

By color coding your planner, you can quickly see important dates and what type of engagements you have for the week.
  • Write down and highlight all of your assignment due dates and exam dates. 
  • Next, use a different color to record appointments, meetings, and work shifts. 
  • Using a third pen color, write down any personal commitments.

What to Look for in a Planner 

Academic Year vs. Calendar Year:  

As a student, I prefer academic year, that way I have one planner for the entire school year.

Daily vs. Weekly vs. Monthly: 

I don't like the monthly planners. For one, most daily and weekly planners also include a monthly overview. Secondly, it doesn't give me enough room for detailed planning.

     Personally, I think that weekly planners are the way to go. I am able to see an overview of my entire week, plus a daily breakdown. Because daily planners only have two visible days on a page, I find that it can be more difficult to plan ahead.


I suggest considering how often you will be carrying it with you. If you just plan to take it to class, then a larger planner will work great. However, if you want more portability, you might want to consider a smaller size.

 My current planner is small enough that it fits into my purse, yet large enough that I am able to write everything down in.

Visual Appeal 

When purchasing a planner, don't forget to consider looks in addition to functionality. By picking a planner with a visually appealing design, you may find yourself more inclined to use it often.

I currently have my eye on these planners for next year:

October 21, 2014

TUL Liquid Highlighter Review

My most recent office supply purchase is this 5-pack of TUL Liquid Highlighters. In my opinion, highlighters are essential tools for taking notes and studying.

Note: this is not a sponsored post, I receive no compensation for this post, and all opinions are entirely my own.

The cap design is both visually pleasing and functional. The loops are useful for putting the highlighters into the rings of binders. 
They could also be used to attaching them to a lanyard.
I don't use pen clips, but I know a lot of people find them useful.

The chisel tip is convenient for underlining and writing.

Here is what the highlighters look like in action:


Overall, I really love these highlighters. Their slim design makes them comfortable to use. The ink dries quickly and the colors are bright. I also really like the transparent barrel, which allows you to easily see the ink levels.

Favorite Features:

  • slim design
  • comfortable to use
  • chisel tip
  • quick drying
  • bright, fluorescent colors
  • visible ink supply
  • no strong odors 
Have you used TUL liquid highlighters? What did you think of them? If not, do you have a favorite set of highlighters?

October 6, 2014

Let's Talk About Pens: Write Dudes Ultra Glide Gel Pen Review

 I'll admit it, I am a writing utensil addict. I might be on the verge of pen hoarding.
But, finding a good pen isn't always easy. Different tasks warrant different pens, and sometimes it can be difficult to find the right pen for the job. (Or am I just making excuses in order to justify my pen obsession?)

Today, I would like to share with you my most frequently used pen set.

Note: this is not a sponsored post, I receive no compensation for this post, and all opinions are entirely my own.

I decided to pick up a pack of Write Dudes Ultra Glide Roller Gel pens two semesters ago and have been using them for my lecture notes ever since.

I really enjoy this ink. It is bright, colorful, and writes smoothly. I especially like the blue and pink colors.

Based on the pen cap color, I was worried the green was going to be a light yellow-green. I was pleased when I discovered it is actually a nice dark green color.

Below is an example of writing on both sides of standard notebook paper.
As you can see, there is some bleed-through, but it isn't too terrible.

Favorite Features:

  • Smooth writing.
  • 0.5mm tip for fine writing.
  • Brightly colored ink.
  • Inexpensive.

Room for Improvement:

  • Can't easily see ink levels.
       - I wish that either the pen body was clear or there were a window.
  • Grip could be wider, offering more comfort.
  • There is some bleed through, but that is to be expected with rollerball pens.
Have you used these pens before? If so, what did you think of them?

October 2, 2014

First Post

I am pleased to announce the launch of Curiosity and Charm!

     This week has been intense. Honestly, I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided midterm week was the week to take on the project of creating a blog. But here I am. I met my deadlines, had marathon study sessions, feel confident about my test performance, and didn't go crazy.

    I look forward to sharing my tips for studying, note taking, and time management. In addition, I will also include tidbits on fashion and home decor. I am excited to begin my blogging journey, which I believe will be a path for my own personal growth and discovery, and hopefully I can inspire you along my way.