Hell Week?

If you are a college freshman, this is probably a new term for you. Or if you’re finishing out your senior year, like me, hell week is a little old hat. Technically, it’s the week before finals at your university. No matter who you are, this is the most stressful time of the year.

For me, this has been hell month. This is the first week since the week of September 12th that I don’t have a single test. Projects, homework, quizzes, and exams. I am so ready for these last seven days to fly by and then the four finals to be over. So ready for the semester to be over.

So here is how I plan on doing it. LOTS AND LOTS OF LISTS.

How are you doing? Is it hell week for you? What do you do to get by this time of year?

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All I Want for Christmas is…

As I get “older,” I’m finding that I don’t want as much for Christmas. And I definitely don’t want to ask for it. I feel that since I have a job and an ability to work for the things I own, I shouldn’t ask other people for things.

However,

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  1. These earrings from Target
  2. Book – The Women in Cabin 10
  3. Books – Game of Thrones series
  4. This necklace from Target
  5. Books – Miss Peregrine’s Series
  6. Book – Not That Kind of Girl
  7. These shoes from Payless
  8. Book – The Last Lecture 
  9. This beautiful aromatherapy diffuser (that my husband will roll his eyes at)
  10. One of these cute bookshelves (I think the squares are classy)
  11. Book – Golden 
  12. Some leggings (doesn’t have to be these ones, just leggings)
  13. A patagonia sweatshirt (I’n not big on name brands, but I’ve heard good things)
  14. This cute shirt!
  15. This cute necklace from Target
  16. Tennis Shoes! I need two pairs, one for the gym and one for wearing.
  17. Book – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I could keep going, but, let’s be honest, there is only so much technology I can handle. Here are some more general ideas for a twenty-something nerd:

  • Daisy perfume by Marc Jacobs
  • A planner for the new year
  • Fluffy blankets!!
  • Sweaters – who doesn’t love a bulky, cute sweater?!?
  • Board games (Uno!, Scrabble, Monopoly)
  • Scarf/mittens/hat
  • Movies
  • Victoria Secret gift card (or any of her favorite stores)
  • Jewelry is always good
  • A new bag or purse 🙂
  • Candles (add a new lotion, a bath bomb, and fuzzy socks and you’ve got a spa set)

 

What do you want for Christmas??

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My “Happy” Playlist

I suppose it depends on who you’re talking to, but music is a very important part of life. My life included. I do EVERYTHING based on what I am feeling. Unfortunately, my mood determines a lot of things in my life – what music I am listening to, what book I am reading, and what food I am eating. So today, I am going to share my HAPPY playlist. I listen to this playlist when I’m getting ready in the morning and sometimes when I need a mood lifter. So here it is:

  • 22 – Taylor Swift
  • Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows
  • Alice – Avril Lavinge
  • Alive – Energy Club
  • All Star – Smash Mouth
  • Backwards – Rascal Flatts
  • Brave – Sara Barilles
  • Cheerleader – Pentatonix
  • Classic – MKTO
  • Everything Is Fine – Josh Turner
  • Firecracker – Lipps, Inc.
  • Geronimo – Sheppard
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
  • Hey Mama – Mat Kerney
  • Hot Hot – Byron Lee
  • I Don’t Dance – Lee Brice
  • I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  • I’m a Believer – Smash Mouth
  • Keep Your Head Up – Valleyhill
  • Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
  • Lucky – Jason Mraz
  • Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of..) – Lou Bega
  • Medley: Follow de Leader/Boiswande/Feeling High – Byron Lee & the Dragonaires
  • Mine Would be You – Blake Shelton
  • MMM Yeah ft. Pitbull – Pitbull/Austin Mahone
  • New Year’s Day – Pentatonix
  • No Matter What – Papa Roach
  • Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
  • Raging Fire – Phillip Phillips
  • Route 66 – the Rolling Stones
  • Secrets – Mary Lambert
  • Send it On – Disney’s Friends for Change
  • Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
  • Stand – Rascal Flatts
  • Stand in the Rain – Superchick
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Alfie Silas/AudreyWeichman/ Lebo M (etc.)
  • The Man Who Can’t be Moved – The Script
  • The Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
  • The River – Garth Brooks
  •  Then – Brad Paisley
  • These Are Days – 10,000 Maniacs
  • Thunderstruck -ACDC
  • Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Waka Waka – Shakira
  • Whenever We’re Alone – Brantley Gilbert
  • White Lightnin’ – Big Bopper
  • Why Don’t We Just Dance – Josh Turner
  • Wild Thing – Tone-Loc
  • Would You Go with Me – Josh Turner
  • Your Man – Josh Turner

That’s it. All in all it’s only 3 hours long, but I love this crazy conglomeration. It’s a strange mix – some of the songs are on the happy list because they remind me of when I was little and did something silly (Shrek soundtrack) and some make me happy because I danced to them at my wedding (Then).

Do you do things based on your mood? Do you have a billion playlists? Are any of these songs on your happy playlist?

Let me know what you think!

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Sunday Reset

When I start to feel overwhelmed, I go into organization overdrive. I spend hours making lists and looking up “how to be productive” and “motivation” on Pinterest. I try my best to gain control through organization. Sundays tend to get me in the “ohmygosh I have soooo much to do this week” mode. And then I try to go into overdrive, and that just ruins the whole relaxed weekend vibe.

Instead of freaking out, I’ve been working really hard to USE my Sunday and get ready for the week ahead in a methodical way. If you’re like me here are my best “get it together tips.” If you’re not like me… HOW DO YOU DO IT?

 

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1. Clean the house. I find that starting the week off not having to a bunch of house chores is crazy helpful. I think I read a study once that warned that people who live in an organized place are generally less stressed than those who live in a mess.

2. Make a Mega To Do List. I love this one (list are kinda my thing). I like to make a list of the important things I have going on each day – tests, work, assignments, and gym. (I find it’s really helpful to schedule in gym time). I find that it also helps to cross off at least one thing before the week starts (like wash dishes or set up coffee pot).

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3. Get ahead (if you can). I try to use my weekend time wisely, but the weekends just go by SO fast. I try to get ahead (scheduling blog posts rather than writing them the day of or reading through the chapter ahead).

4. Clean the kitchen. This one is harder for me because I don’t like cleaning the kitchen, but sweeping the floor, wiping down the countertops, and  washing all the dishes really helps me feel like I’ve got it together. I also really enjoy cleaning my coffee pot. Just a little soap and water gets rid of that gunk, so it looks brand new.

5. Meal prep. Okay, okay. I know that not everyone has the time to do this, but if you do it can be a huge lifesaver. A couple of weeks ago I made 22 meals and froze them, so meal prep is easy for me right now, I just decide what I am pulling from the freezer and when.

6. Pack your bag. This might be different for everyone. I like to go through my backpack and straighten all the papers I didn’t have the chance to put away throughout the week, and put all my Monday things in my bag. When I had an internship (a grown-up job), this was taking all the garbage out of my purse and sliding in a book (just in case). For others, it may be packing your gym bag. Either way, Monday will be much smoother if you don’t have to hunt for things.

7. Take some you time. I know that this sounds cheesey, but it is Sunday. It is a day off. Enjoy it. Take a picture and share it (#sundayfunday).

8. Don’t let your sleep schedule get crazy. This isn’t exactly a Sunday thing, it’s a whole weekend thing, but I think it’s important to mention. Getting up at 6:00 is more difficult Monday if you slept in until 10:00 on Saturday and Sunday than if you woke up at 6:30 or 7:00 on the weekend. Sleeping in is actually harder on your body than waking up early.

9. Set out your clothes for Monday. I always thought this was stupid: “How will I know what I will feel like wearing tomorrow?” But it SERIOUSLY helps make the morning go smoother to not stand in front of my closet for 10 minutes trying to pick out something to wear.

10. BREATH. Relax. Keep calm, it’s just another week. Maybe kick back with a glass of wine and a bubble bath. Or take 10 minutes to do a little yoga (you can find my favorite video here). Or read a book for 30 minutes before bed. Whatever it is relax, you’ve got this!

Does this help you? What do you do in preparation of the week ahead?

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What I’ve Been Up To

I’m not sure that it’s fair to say that this was much of a blog before I took that little sabbatical there, but it’s been awhile since I last wrote. Not to mention, it’s been a little busy. So here is what I’ve been up to (some of the big stuff anyway)…

  • I’m getting ready to apply to graduate schools  – yes, that means I took my GRE (EW!). It went well enough that I am still applying to schools :), so I suppose that’s a good thing. I’m currently trying to write my personal statement, which is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Slow and steady wins the race here. Any tips?
  • Zach and I hiked Harney peak. The tallest point east of the Rocky Mountains until Europe, and we did it 🙂 It was a long hike, beautiful. And TOTALLY worth it.

     

  • School. And lot’s of it. It’s the last semester of my senior year – my last chance to improve my GPA, so I am working my butt off! (You may remember the 4.0 challenge) I’m still going for it! Between work and studying, I pretty much don’t do anything else.
  • It’s going to be a homemade Christmas for us this year, so I am working CRAZY hard to come up with things that I can DIY to give to our families and friends (and Zach). I’ve got a couple things done, so look out for posts about those beautiful items.
  • Reading!! I feel like I have been reading a lot the last couple weeks. When I think about the books I’ve finished, it feels like I shouldn’t be reading as much as I am. But, to be fair, I allow myself to read whatever I want at the gym. So that’s an hour and a half every other day that I can eliptical and read 🙂 I’ve been having a really good time with all the books I pick out, so that a HUGE bonus. Since we last talked, I’ve read:
    • The Red Queen
    • The Glass Sword
    • A Torch Against the Night
    • Jamee Magee’s Insight series
    • The 5th Wave (I’m on hold waiting for the second and third books at the library, ugh!)
    • Leaving Time
  • I work. Well, I don’t know if it counts as work. I do undergraduate research with a professor o my campus and I love it so so much! I learn skills that will help me in my future. Such an amazing opportunity.
  • Zach and I went to Omaha with my family to visit my cousin (this was before the semester even began) It was a lot of fun to go to the zoo again, shop, and eat!
  • We celebrated our one year anniversary <3. It has been an amazing year. I know that a lot of people think we got married to young and that being married in college isn’t a good idea. But we thought we were ready, and I think we were right. It was important to us before we lived together. I have to admit, it’s way easier to live together than always shuttle back and forth.

I think that’s about it right now 🙂

XOXO,

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Why I Struggle to Keep My Blog Alive

I find that I am guilty of jumping from one thing to the next without finishing the first task at hand. In fact, that’s one of those things my dad fought with me about all the time while I was growing up. He would say, “If you’re not going to do it right the first time, don’t bother starting.” But I have to start.

This is the reason my mom and one of my best friends only have one handmade mitten. I started, crochet one BEAUTIFUL mitten, and moved on to the next task. (started a scarf, blanket, hat, etc.)

I’m sure everyone is guilty of this, at least a little bit.

And then there are those things that you start and have to finish. Like college. I do not pay $900 a semester to drop out halfway through a class, so I can’t give up. Is that stubbornness or motivation?

Where does THAT effort come from? There is a point that I hit about 2 weeks ago where I just lose it. I am no longer on top of my classes, but rather trying to go through each class one day at a time. Instead of having the entire chapter read before class, I have the section we are talking about today done… And, yes, I read it while I ate my breakfast 30 minutes before walking to class.

Where do I start to look to find the motivation to keep up with a  blog that has a grand total of 8 views in its entire life (only 4 months, but still)?

Do I write about boring things? Is my blog too general to get attention from a “niche of readers”?

All you successful writers out there.. SOS?

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