October 15, 2015

Sharpie Pen Review

Note: this is not a sponsored post, I receive no compensation for this post, and all opinions are entirely my own. 
Currently my favorite writing utensil is the Sharpie Pen. I especially love the green and pink colors.
These felt tip pens do not smudge while I'm writing and have minimal bleed-through. I am able to write on both sides of notebook paper without issues.
Since it is felt tip, I do not even have to wait before the ink dries to use my highlighters. The ink also does not smear when I highlight over it.
written with sharpie pens
The fine tip works well for small handwriting.

Favorite Features:

  • slim design
  • fast drying
  • comfortable to use
  • fine felt tip
  • bright, cheerful colors
  • minimal bleed-through

September 16, 2015

4 Things Overachievers Should Keep In Mind

I have recently taken the time to self-reflect and evaluate the unhealthy aspects of my overachiever tendencies. Here are four things I have discovered.

1.) Perfectionism doesn't equate competence

If you are like me, you strive for everything to be perfect. It is important to remember that no one is perfect. Just because you did not make a 100 on that assignment doesn't mean you don't know what you are doing. I often find myself being disappointed in myself for silly, insignificant things.

As an example, while studying with a classmate today I casually said "Oh, I didn't do too well on assignment 1." I received a score of 91 on the assignment in question. My classmate thought this was absurd. And you know what, it is!

2.) You don't have to be the best

I have a compulsion to be the best. If I don't have the highest test grade, highest overall average in the course, or something similar, I once again feel like I have let myself down and I am not good enough. But life doesn't work this way. You can't be the best at everything, and that is okay.

3.) You deserve the recognition you receive 

Often times, when I have won an award or some other recognition, I often feel like I don't really deserve it. I devalue the awards I receive and find myself thinking that I was awarded because it is a really easy award to earn. Other times I wonder if the only reason I won is because I am a woman in my field. Both conclusions are unwarranted. All your hard work has paid off, instead of questioning yourself, go celebrate!

4.) Setting unrealistic goals is of no benefit

You should be setting goals that are high enough to challenge you, but low enough that they are attainable. If you are setting unrealistic goals, you will often find yourself falling short.

Remember, it is important to keep your well-being in mind.

June 17, 2015

5 Tips for Packing Everything in a Carryon

Today I would like to show you how I packed my bag for my summer internship. Although I will be here for 10 weeks, I still chose to pack light. I just don't like dealing with a lot of luggage.

1.) Figure out exactly what you will be taking. If feasible, I suggest picking clothing items that are made of thin fabrics. Select items that can be mixed and matched for the widest range of outfit options.

2.) Don't fold. Instead, roll all your clothing.

3.) Now start putting your clothing into the suitcase in layers.

4.) I forgot to take a photo, but all my solid beauty/personal care items were placed in a makeup bag that I put in the center of the suitcase with a "wall" of clothing on all four sides. Any liquids were placed in a ziplock bag and put into the front pocket for quick retrieval. Don't bring items that you can inexpensively purchase at your destination (such as sunscreen and toothpaste).

5.) I put my notebooks, folders, and tablet on the top since flat items tend to fit really well here. I wore my bulky shoes with me to the airport the white shoes shown in above photos were placed on top of the notebooks.

That is pretty much how I pack for any trip. Do you have any special methods you use for packing?

June 10, 2015

9 Tips for Saving Money In College

Money is often a concern for many full-time college students. Paychecks from part-time jobs aren't much. Luckily, if you play it smart you can make that money last and avoid becoming completely broke.

 1.) Don't live on campus.

After your freshman year, consider finding a place off-campus. Chances are, you can find an apartment or room for rent that is less expensive than on-campus housing. Additionally, you will no longer be required to have a meal plan.

2.) Eat at home.

Save money by cooking your own food instead of eating out or getting delivery. No time? Get a slow cooker and dinner will be ready when you get home from classes.

3.) Take the shuttle. 

Skip the expensive parking pass and save on gas. The shuttle fee is typically already included in your student fees, so you might as well use what you are paying for. Another perk of taking the shuttle: your commute becomes additional study/social media time.

4.) Avoid coffee shops. 

Instead, make coffee at home. I am super into espresso drinks, so I invested in an espresso machine for under $100 and an inexpensive coffee grinder. They paid for themselves quickly in terms of how much money I saved. Other coffee making options include drip coffee pots and french presses.

5.) Limit entertainment spending.

Look for options that won't cost you anything. See if there are any free events, such as festivals, plays or concerts, being put on by the city or your college. Instead of going to the movie theater, take advantage of any free movie nights offered at your college or rent a movie.

6.) Shop smart for textbooks. 

Buy books early, look around to find the best price, and look into economical options such as loose leaf bundles and old editions. Decide if renting really will save you money. Often times the rental price is within $10 of buying a used copy. If this is the case, buy the book and you will recover most of your money when you resell.

7.) Apply for scholarships.

If you didn't get a scholarship your freshman year, don't be discouraged. Continue to apply for scholarships throughout college. There are ton of scholarships that don't require you to be an incoming freshman. Also, don't take out any loans that are not absolutely necessary. If you do have to take out loans, stick to direct subsidized loans and avoid private loans.

8.) Take advantage of student discounts. 

Need a haircut?  Look around for a salon that offers a student discount. Same goes for tailors, movie theaters, museums, and more. Get the most out of your student ID!

9.) Cut back on impulse spending. 

Create a monthly budget and stick to it. There are a lot of apps available that can help you track your expenses and spending habits.

Of course there are plenty of other ways to save; what tips do you have?

June 5, 2015

Tips for Effective Time Management

As I mentioned in my previous post, the past couple of months have been extremely busy for me.

I had a lot of tests, presentations, projects, papers, and speeches for all my classes. Additionally, I was working on wrapping up my research for the semester and getting a poster ready to present at a research conference. Then there were finals. Because all my time was taken by the aforementioned, I had to prioritize my time and give up some non-essential activities, blogging unfortunately being one of those.

Now that everything has settled down for me, I want to share some tips with you on how I managed my time. Without time management, I would not have been able to get it all done.

1.) Once a week, set aside time to plan out the upcoming week

2.) Write a to-do list of everything that you want to get done for the week.

3.) Prioritize the list

4.) Begin dividing the tasks among the days of the week, starting with the high priority tasks.

5.) If you do not have time for all the tasks, you will need to determine which tasks can either be moved to the following week or dropped all together.

6.) Now write down everything in your planner.

June 1, 2015

I'm Still Around

Hello all! Sorry for the long hiatus, the past couple of months have been extremely busy for me. Unfortunately, there are times when you just can't do everything you want to, and for me it was blogging. Part of being effective at time management is prioritizing tasks and recognizing when an activity just isn't in the time budget.

Here is a brief update regarding what has been keeping me so busy:

  • College, of course (ended the semester with all A's).
  • Working on my research project.
  • Getting ready to present at a poster conference.
  • Applying for summer internships.
  • Moving to Colorado for the summer! (for a research internship)

I hope everyone had a wonderful end to their semester and that your having the summer of your dreams.

March 19, 2015

How To Effectively Prepare and Study For Midterms

7 tips to help you do your best

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've had a lot of schoolwork, tests, and work-related stuff taking up most of my time.

This week was my spring break, which finally gave me a little extra time to just relax. It is also about half-way into the semester, which means it's time for midterms. Half of my midterms fell on the week before spring break, and the other half are the week after spring break.

Today I would like to share some tips on how to prepare for midterms. I follow these seven steps, written in the order that I do them, for every test. By doing this, I find that I am able to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.

1.) Make a study plan

Time management is crucial. Write a list of all material that will be on the exam. Next, write down all the tasks you need to do in order to review the material. In this list, you should also include an estimated time to complete each task. Once you have done this for all your upcoming midterms, transfer the tasks into your day planner. Be sure to schedule the most important tasks first and include time for breaks, classes, and work.

2.) Read the chapter outline and chapter review

This helps jog your memory of the material you are reviewing. For each headline of the chapter outline, you should be able to explain its key concepts. A good way to do this is to turn the headline into a question and be able to provide an answer. If you can't answer the question, you should mark it as a section that you need to re-read.

3.) Do the chapter quizzes

If your textbook has end of chapter quizzes, make sure and do them. I use them to determine how well I know the material before I start studying. If I score low, I know I need to study the material more in-depth. In contrast, if I do well on the quiz, I will only lightly review the material.

4.) Read your lecture notes

If you revise your notes on a regular basis, your notes should be well organized and this step won't take much time. If not, it will take more time to read and sift through all the information.

In my notes, I always put a star next to anything the professor said is important to remember or makes any hints that it will be on the test. When I review my notes, I focus on these concepts and write them onto a separate note card for quick reference.

5.) Go over in-class examples and old homework

Exam questions are often similar to homework questions and any examples done during lecture. Therefore, it is important to make sure you fully understand how to answer these questions.

6.) Write a study guide

This should be a condensed version of your notes that contains key concepts and terms. I also include any helpful diagrams or drawings.

7.) Use flashcards

Flashcards are especially useful for foreign language courses, classes with a lot of vocabulary you need to know, or for memorization of formulas. Don't forget to keep them organized.

Lastly, don't panic!

While a small amount of stress can be good for keeping you motivated, stressing out too much can make it difficult for you to study, recall, and retain information. While you're studying, be sure to take short breaks, such as getting a cup of tea, a snack, or going for a quick run. If you are struggling with a specific concept, instead of getting frustrated, mark it for later and move onto the next concept.

If you get test anxiety, take a moment to clear your head before the test by writing down everything that worries you and then throw the paper away.

Good luck on your exams.

March 5, 2015

Outfit: Black Bows

I bought this dress the last time I went to the secondhand store and I've been waiting for a nice sunny day.  Last week I finally got my chance on a warm and breezy February day. I love living in a warm climate during the winter.

I picked black accessories in order to help balance the outfit.
Other than the bow pattern, my favorite aspect of this dress is the ruffle collar.

Outfit details:
Dress: Maude (Secondhand)
Tights: Ann Taylor
Necklace: Hobby Lobby

February 19, 2015

Pilot FriXion Light Erasable Highlighter Review

At the beginning of this semester I purchased these pastel FriXion light erasable highlighters, made by Pilot, off of Amazon. I've been wanting some highlighters that are more subdued than the typical fluorescent ones.

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

I purchased the "soft color" set, which contains 6 colors: Soft Pink, Soft Orange, Soft Yellow, Soft Green, Soft Blue, and Soft Violet.

They have a good chisel tip that is narrow enough to write with.

Additionally, the highlighter ink doesn't bleed much and isn't easily smudged. For highlighting, they have the tendency to smudge roller gel pens, but work great on everything else I've tried them on.

The ink goes on smoothly, dries quickly, doesn't bleed through, and doesn't smudge easily.
The ink is thermosensitive. To erase the ink, there is a rubbery "eraser" tip that generates heat from friction, causing the ink to disappear.

If you didn't use the highlighter over other ink or only over printed text, it erases very easily. But, if you used it on roller gel, things get a little messy. Also, it doesn't erase pencil, but it does smudge the writing a little bit.

Overall, I really enjoy these highlighters and would recommend them.

Favorite Features:

  • Ink colors.
  • Erasable.
  • Comfortable to use.


  • Doesn't work well over roller ink.
Have you used these highlighters before? If so, what did you think of them? 

February 12, 2015

How to Keep Your Flashcards Organized

Hello, today I would like to share with you a few tips for keeping flashcards organized.

1.)  Get an expandable coupon file

Use a coupon file to keep all your flashcards together. It is great for transport because it prevents cards from becoming bent or lost. Additionally, the tabbed pockets make it easy to keep everything organized. You might want one for each course you are taking.

Using coupon files for flashcards

2.) Color Code

Use highlighters or colored pens to color code flashcards into sets based on their material. This is really helpful to quickly sort cards if they've been mixed up. It is also nice to be able to visually identify what set the cards are from. There are a couple different ways I implement color coding, depending on the class.

- One way is to color code based on chapters. I find that this method works well for classes that cover the chapters in order. It is also good for classes that have heavy textbook use. The downside is if there are a lot of chapters, you might end up having to repeat colors.

- Another method, which I think is good for classes where the professor uses PowerPoint, is to color code based on lectures. If I have a copy of the slides, I mark the corresponding card color at the top. Otherwise, I mark the both the beginning and end in my handwritten notes.

Color coding flashcards
 I had a biology test this week and I used the lecture PowerPoint method to color code and organize my flashcards. I also have a post about the highlighters pictured above.

3.) Use an App

Another option is to ditch the hard copy approach and use a flashcard app. Besides being able to sort your cards into sets, it also helps you stay clutter-free. The only downside to this approach is that typing your flashcards may not be as effective for helping you remember the material as handwriting them would be.

Do you use handwritten flashcards or do you type them? How do you keep your cards organized?

February 5, 2015

Valentine's Day Free Printables

Hello! I created these Valentine's Day printables for making cards and wanted to share. Lately I've been getting into typography and creating subway art. It is so much fun!

 Download the PDF files:
1. White with pink text   2. Pink with white text
3. Red with white text  4.White with red text
 Free for personal use. Not to be redistributed. 

January 29, 2015

Casual Grey Outfit with a Girly Touch

Hello! I hope everyone has been doing well. School and work has been busy for me the past week, so this week's post is short and simple. I would like to share with you one of my favorite outfits from this month.

This grey sweatshirt is very soft and I love the girly touch that is added by the embroidery. It is perfect for a laid-back outfit for the library.

For jewelry and accessories, I continued the girly theme by including a silver kitten necklace, rhinestone studded shoes, and a Betsey Johnson purse that features small golden hearts.

January 22, 2015

The 5 Best Studying Apps Every College Student Should Have

Today I would like to share with you my favorite and most used free apps for studying/school. I have an android device, so all the apps I am familiar with and can recommend are mostly for android devices.

These apps help me stay organized, keep track of assignments and grades, and study on the go.

1.) Quizlet  [Android & iPhone/iPad]

Quizlet Turn your morning shuttle ride into a study session! While you can create sets using the app, I prefer to create my sets using their website, then study on my phone. I find this method easiest simply because I can type faster using my laptop and copy and paste directly from lecture slides.

2.) Studious  [Android]


Studious Keep track of assignment due dates, exam dates, and your class schedule.

While there are similar apps with more features, I love the simplicity of this app. It is easy to use, has a clean layout, and the ad placement is not distracting (I barely notice them). I like that you can set a color for each class, making it easy to see which classes have upcoming assignments when viewing the calendar.

Additionally, you can avoid those embarrassing moments when your forgot to turn off your phone by selecting the option for the app to automatically silence your phone during class time.

3.) Grade Tracker Pro  [Android]

Grade Tracker Pro Easily keep track of your grades and GPA throughout the semester. This app is great for seeing where you currently stand and setting clear goals. Features include weighted grade categories and custom GPA grade scales. This app also allows you to input old GPA from previous semesters.

4.) Mathematics  [Android]

Mathematics This app has pretty much everything you'll ever need for math! Solve linear equations, graph functions, take derivatives and integrate, unit conversion, and more. I love using this app as a graphing calculator and for checking my answers on homework. You can even do 3D plotting with this app (super useful for Calculus 3).

5.) Thesaurus Free  [Android]

Thesaurus Free Stop using the same old words. Instead, expand the vocabulary in your essays and papers by utilizing a thesaurus. With this app, you can effortlessly look up synonyms of words from your mobile device.

What are your favorite apps for school?

January 12, 2015

Preparing for the New Semester: 6 Tips for a Stress Free Start

With the new year comes the end of winter break and the start of a new semester. Personally, I am looking forward to this semester and excited for the opportunities it will bring.

Each semester I follow a few simple steps in order to help ensure I have a stress free start to my semester. By preparing early and getting organized, I give myself enough time to address any issues that may arise and prevent any last minute scrambles. The semester will be here before you know it. Are you ready?

How to Get Ready for the New Semester

1.) Download Syllabi

As soon as a class syllabus has been made available, I print it out and review all the information. Highlight any important dates, deadlines, and other important details. This is also a good time to copy all the dates into your planner.

2.) Email Professors

If you have any questions, it is a good idea to send an email to your professor a week or two before classes begin. In my emails, I introduce myself, ask any questions, and find out if the textbook is actually required and/or if an older edition is acceptable.

3.) Buy Textbooks

By this point, I have already shopped around and have everything bookmarked. Then, as soon as I find out what textbooks are actually required, I start buying them. You can read my tips for purchasing textbooks over here.

4.) Gather Supplies and Required Materials

Make sure you have a good supply of notebooks, loose leaf paper, pencils, ect. Make a list of any supplies that need replenishing, as well as required course materials, then hit the stores.

5.) Organize

Create folders on your computer for all your classes. Put together three ring binders for each class, with dividers, clean paper, and any course material you already have.

6.) Adjust Your Sleep Cycle

If you are like many college students, chances are your normal sleep cycle might be out of sync after the break. If you've gotten into the habit of sleeping in during break, you should begin adjusting your sleep schedule a week or two before the semester starts. By resetting your sleep cycle, it will be easier to wake up the first day of classes and you'll be less likely to be tired at the start of the semester.

How soon do you begin preparing for the new semester? What steps do you take?

Wishing you your best semester yet.

January 6, 2015

6 Tips for Buying Textbooks

The average cost of textbooks is $1,270 per year according to the College Board's 2013 report.
Luckily, if you shop smart, you do not have to pay nearly that much. My average book cost per semester is under $200. Last fall I was enrolled in 4 classes and I managed to spend only $92 on books. Here are my tips on how I save money buying my textbooks.

1.) Email your professor.
Often times a book that is listed as required on the syllabus is not actually required by the professor. Additionally, the professor might allow an older edition. Also, I have had professors who list the textbook, but do not actually require the book.

2.) Shop around to find the best price.
I usually end up buying my books all from different sources. Just because somewhere has the cheapest price on one book doesn't mean they have the cheapest price on all books.

 Be sure to check ebay, amazon, and craigslist. These are the places that typically have the lowest prices on used books. When checking ebay, do a search using the ISBN numbers as well as a search using the title. Often times you will get better results with one versus the other.

3.) Look for loose leaf packages.
Because it uses less materials, the publishers charge a lower price.This is a good option for brand new editions for which used copies are not available.

4.) Buy early.
The longer you wait, the more expensive books become. Many Amazon sellers and websites like Chegg raise their prices the closer it gets to the start of the semester. On top of that, most of the cheap books have been bought up.

5.) Don't buy access codes directly from the publisher.
If your class requires a student access code, don't automatically buy the book new or purchase the code from the publisher's website. Instead, carefully review the exact product you need, then head over to ebay.

I have purchased my student access codes from ebay sellers who have unused codes that came with their textbooks. I have done this for 4 different classes over the years and have never had any issues. And the best part, I saved around 50% each time.

6.) Look into rentals.
Renting your books instead of buying can save you a lot of money, especially if the book is not available used. Don't forget to figure out if it is more economical to buy the book or rent the book. If you can purchase the book for around the same price (within $10) as it costs to rent the book, buy it. You can recover some of your money when you resell it at the end of the semester.

January 3, 2015

A Winter Walk By The River

Today was another beautiful, clear day. I'm enjoying the last remaining bit of my break before school starts up again. Around sunset, I went for an evening walk near the river. Days like this make me happy that I live in a climate that has mild winter weather.


Hope life is treating you well.