14 Resolutions for 2014

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Fashion, Beauty, and Hair:

1. Participate in 3 fashion challenges.

2. Post 52 Outfit of the Days.

3. Develop 5 go to makeup looks using products that can easily fit into my snake-print makeup bag.

4. Learn how to curl my hair.

Family, Friends, and Love:

5. Visit my parents twice in Mexico.

6. Have 6 dates with Mr. BMW that are not “dinner or movies at theater”.

School and Geekery:

7. Get over 65% in all my classes second semester and 68% in all my third classes third semester.

8. Finish all the Supernatural seasons on Netflix (up to the end of Season 8).

9. Listen to 14 audiobooks.

10. Read 4 books (either paperbound books or ebooks).

11. Develop a class notes and study notes system/routine that is more effective by the end of the second semester.

Organization:

12. Minimize my belongings (including clothes) so that I can live more simply (throw out 100+ unnecessary items).

Health:

13. Drink more water and less soft drinks (only 3 soft drinks per week).

14. Add more fitness to my daily routine (i.e. park further away to walk further to class, daily stretching, etc.)

Thoughts on My First Semester of University

On December 13, I had my last final exam for my first semester of Animal Biology. I have learned a lot of important foundational information for future courses and a lot about myself as a person. Here are some of my realizations:

1. The social experience of school is just as important as the educational experience.

Both years that I was in college, I lived in dorms and had a very small class size of approximately 40 people who I had both lectures, kennel duty, and labs with. This made making friends relatively easy for a semi-awkward person like me.

This year, I am living in an apartment with one of my friends from college. Because of the lack of closeness that I felt at school, I have not made any new friends in university. This does not bother me very much, but I found that even when my friends invited me out, I had to say no because of assignments due the following day or late night labs.

Even my relationship with Mr. BMW was impacted by the school experience. There were many weekends that I had to stay at my townhouse rather than visiting home because of the amount of schoolwork. And even when I was visiting him at home, I spent the majority of the time doing homework frantically last minute.

Hopefully this upcoming semester I will be able to spread my schoolwork out more evenly throughout the week, so that I can have a better social life.

2. I should have kept on top of the school work from the beginning for all my classes.

This is a big one. There was absolutely no reason for me to be still making study notes and class notes during the two weeks of exams. I should have just had to review my study notes and do practice questions.

Instead, I was frantically trying to finish my study notes, look up the most important information, and to do practice questions that were assigned throughout the semester. This is not a way to learn at all. This was a waste of my tuition because rather than actually take the time to learn the material, I was cramming it into my mind at the last minute. When final exams are worth 35-50% of your mark, this is not the way to study.

Next semester I need to do my best to stay on top of all my school work from the beginning. This should hopefully be easier with only four classes and none of the classes based heavily on reading in my own time (last semester I had to read and make notes on two 250+ paged books which took up a lot of my own time). I know that I will eventually fall behind but with three day weekends, a lot of time between classes during the day, and a winter break; I can hopefully be caught up by the time exams roll around.

3. My most interesting class was my elective.

The only class that I consistently stayed on top of during the semester was “Introduction to Anthropology”. This class has nothing to do with my major and was a social sciences elective. I both loved and hated this class – I found it extremely interesting but I disliked the professor and the class required the greatest workload during my personal time.

This class has shown me that if I put in the work throughout the whole semester, than I can get excellent, competitive marks in university, I just have to work for them.

4. Netflix, Hulu, and Audiobooks saved my sanity.

When trying to do school work, I find the internet to be very distracting. I will find any excuse to take a break during school work which eventually causes me to either procrastinate for hours on end or to give up on the school work all together.

This semester, my most productive days were the days spent on our couch with a TV show, movie, or Audiobook playing in the background. I learned that if it was not for Netflix or Hulu or Audiobooks, that I would have succumbed to the temptation to surf the internet the entire day and not gotten any school work done.

5. I need to develop my ideal note taking and study habits.

University is nothing like college. In college I only needed to attend lectures and labs in order to learn what the most important information is for each class. In college all of the notes were formatted relatively consistently and were easy to read. But that is not how it is in University.

In University, all lectures are formatted differently. In some classes the teachers will give you all the relative information and plenty of practice examples. In other classes, the teachers give you the general, overall picture and expect you to do all the readings to get the information.

I have found that the note taking and study habits that I developed in college will not work in university. I used to type all of my study notes but now I prefer to type out all my notes initially and then transfer the most important information by hand into a spiral notebook. During exam week, I found that even this method was inefficient for me and discovered that the best method so far is taking very condensed notes on graph paper from my previous notes.

Next semester, my goal is to fine tune my note taking habits to find one that I can keep up with consistently without it taking the extra time to make three separate sets of notes.

Teal Pants for Fall and Winter

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Teal Pants Outfits

Teal Pants Outfits

I bought a pair of teal pants from Old Navy in September and they have quickly become a closet staple. The problem is I am still unsure of how to wear such bright pants except with black or white. Luckily, I have lots of neutrals in my wardrobe to experiment with.

These are some of the few ways I have worn my teal pants with a few additional accessories I hope to add to my wardrobe in the future.

1. Baby It’s Cold Outside

For cold, late-fall and early-winter days I like to pair my teal jeans with an oversized white sweater and my black high tops. This outfit is cozy and warm for studying at home or for early morning classes. The addition of a teal patterned scarf to my wardrobe will definitely help me find more outfits with the items I already have in my closet.

2. Where Your Spots on Your Sleeve

For date nights with Mr. BMW I love to pair my teal pants with a leopard button-up top. I always finish this outfit with my black cap toe flats and a black cross body purse.  This outfit is perfect for a movie or dinner at a casual restaurant.

3. Layering Up

A quick outfit that I love to throw on for class with my teal pants is a simple white tee (either a plain white tee, peasant top, or lace tee) with a black drape cardigan and my black boots. The outfit is very warm and comfortable while still looking put together. The addition of a teal beaded necklace would be the perfect accessory to tie this outfit together.

Sweater Weather TAG!

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I absolutely love the fall – back to school, the hot summers are cooling down, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and fall fashion! I love everything about the fall except late fall when it feels more like winter than fall…

Today I am doing the Sweater Weather tag. I have seen this all over Youtube and I thought it would be the perfect, quick post for a sunny but cold Thursday.

Favourite candle scent?

I have never been big on lighting candles. I was never allowed them in my room when I was younger and in college I was not allowed them in my dorm room. Now that I am in my own place, I just do not have the money to buy pretty candles. I have started using wax melts but I find that the ones I have tried are not strong enough to notice them. Hopefully I will be able to melt more now that finals are coming up and I will be spending most of my day in my room.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Definitely hot chocolate! I drink one almost every Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays after my biology class. The only drink with caffeine in it that I can stand are iced cappuccinos.

Do you switch up your makeup routine for the season?

To be honest, I hardly change up my makeup routine other than wearing lighter weight foundation in the summer than in winter. And to be even more honest, in University I value sleep over waking up earlier to put on makeup. These days I only put on makeup when I am visiting home or am going out for the day.

Favourite Thanksgiving food?

Mashed potatoes without skins, turkey, pumpkin pie, and Yorkshire puddings.  

Hats or Scarves?

Scarves! I only ever wear a hat to protect against the cold weather whereas I have endless numbers of scarves. I find that scarves are far more versatile and they do not ruin your hair and you do not have to remove them indoors!

 Most worn sweater?

Currently I do not have a most worn sweater. I have plenty of sweaters and I try my best to rotate through them since they only can be worn for a few short months every year. This fall I bought several new sweaters and school spirit hoodies. My favourite knit sweaters are from Old Navy and American Eagle Outfitters and my favourite hoodies are bought from my local bookstore!

 Must have Fall nail polish?

I do not paint my nails. I never learned how to paint my nails neatly when I was younger and in college I was not allowed to wear nail polish in labs (it would contaminate samples). The very few times a year that I do paint my nails, I normally take the polish off by the next day.

Football games or jumping in a pile of leave?

When I was younger, I loved jumping in leaves but I do not anymore sadly. I have never been a football fan.

 Skinny jeans or leggings?

I would definitely say skinny jeans. I do not have a lot of fall or winter tops long enough to cover my butt. Not to mention I find it far too cold to wear leggings in the fall. I wear leggings more often in the summer when it is too hot for jeans.

Boots or Uggs?

Definitely boots! Back when Uggs became popular in my hometown, I had a pair of Ugg-knockoffs and they got destroyed by the salt. I find them not only not very fashionable but also they were not as warm as a pair of sturdy winter boots.

 What is your #1 favourite thing about Fall?

Fall fashion! I am definitely a shopaholic and I always stock up on clothes in the fall. Even though I have more time to shop during the summer, summer clothes in my mind are flats, shorts and short sleeve or sleeveless tops. Whereas in the fall there are countless of sleeved shirts, sweaters, cardigans, boots, and brand new jeans (every fall I replenish my jean collection since I wear them almost 75% of the time).

Do you have a song that gets you in a fall mood or just a song you’re loving at the moment?

I do not have specific fall songs whereas I have a lot of summer or winter songs that I listen to every year. Some of my favourites right now are: Hey Brother by Avicii, That’s My Kind of Night by Luke Bryan, and Take the Week Off by Deric Rutton.

What is the Fall weather like where you currently live?

Early fall tends to be hot but mid to late fall can be very cold. We have already seen snow in my current town and my hometown has snow on the ground. The leaves have changed and fallen in October and every day I have to wear a coat, hat, and scarf or spend the day wishing I had.

Budgeting Bloggers: October 2013

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I have already gone insanely over my budget for the year but I had a $30 Old Navy Supercash off of a purchase of $75 and I could not pass it up! My original plan was to buy a few things for myself and use the rest of the $75 to buy Christmas gifts. Instead Mr. BMW found two pairs of sweatpants that he really liked and I got a few pieces for an amazing deal.

All of these are pretty great basics so hopefully they will get a lot of wear – then again my whole wardrobe is essentially basics. But after completing #StyleMeOctober, I feel like I know my style and the pieces that works for me much better. So hopefully I will be able to start paring my wardrobe down to only my personal favourites and essentials but that will be at least a few months down the road.

OctoberBudget

1. 2. & 3. Old Navy Long Sleeve Ruffle Henley in Black Dots, Robbie Red, and Blue Stripe – ($6.00 each (originally $14.50 each) = $18.00 + tax)
These three were a great purchase at only $6 each plus tax! Unfortunately the first time I wore the white with black dots one I dripped a fudge popsicle on it in a place that is not easy to hide with a scarf. Luckily the spot should be easy to hide under a cardigan. I have not washed it yet so maybe the stain will come out! I still have not worn the red or blue striped shirt yet.

4. School Spirit Wear Sweater – $50.00

I could not help but buy another school spirit sweater – the fact that our mascot (a gryphon) was on the hood is what sold me on it! Also this is the perfect school sweater.

5. Old Navy Printed Chiffon in Warm Combo – ($32.94 – $30.00 Old Navy Supercash = $2.94 + tax)

I could not put this shirt back. I passed it twice and Mr. BMW hated it in on the rack but I knew I had to try it on. And I am really glad I did – this is the perfect autumn-inspired top and I plan to wear it in a lot of different outfits. In fact I wore it the day after I bought it!

6. Old Navy Boho White Tee – ($7.97 (originally $18.94) plus tax)

I have had a white, casual blouse on my shopping list for months and I finally found one for a really great price.  I could not pass this up when I tried it on – it looked wonderful and I can not wait until the spring to wear this!

7. Old Navy Crepe-Pocket Tank in Goodnight Nora – ($6.97 (originally $21.94) + tax)

I really did not need to add another tank top to my collection but I could not resist. This is the perfect neutral blouse that can be worn with everything. If this sees a lot of wear then I might add a similar tank in white and/or black.

October Total: $90. 54 (Original Price: $182.57; Total Savings: $92.03 )

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As always I am linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers. I am making no goal for November because I know that I will have very little shopping time this month with final assignments and participating in NaNoWriMo. Who am I kidding – I will probably end up buying something!

 

Wear It or Toss It! Pants Edition

I am not the first person to admit that I have too many clothes – in fact my mother has been pestering me for years that I need to stop buying clothes. But do I listen? Of course not.

So in an attempt to help pare down my wardrobe further to only the pieces I love, this month (November) I vow that if I want to keep a pair of pants (fall pants – all my summery pants are packed away) they must each be worn a minimum of 3 times. Since I almost exclusively wear pants during the fall and winter – I should have a maximum of 10 pants and a handful of sweatpants remaining by the end of the month.

BUT I do have the right to veto up to 3 pairs of pants for sentimental reasons or out of necessity (i.e. I rarely wear any dress pants but I need them when business-casual occasions such as interviews come up).

At the end of the month I will update you on the pieces that did not make the cut and why.

Tag: Halloween Tag

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1. What is your favorite Halloween movie?
My favourite Halloween movies are the Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas (I know this one is technically a Christmas movie but it always seemed more like a Halloween one for me).

2. What is your favorite Halloween scent?
Hmmm I don’t have any fall themed candles but I do love the smell of cinnamon sticks. I bought some wax melts from Target that came in three scents last weekend and the cinnamon scent has been the best so far.

3. What is your favorite Halloween tradition?
I don’t have any Halloween traditions as far as I remember.

4. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?
I have school on Halloween and a late night Biology lab, so I might wear my cat-face sweater but that is as far as I will go.

5. What are the advantages and dis-advantages of going trick-or-treating?
Pro: free candy + dressing up like your favourite animal or character
Con: people do not go all out for Halloween like they used to when I was younger

6. Do you go to a haunted house every Halloween?
I have only gone to a few haunted houses – but I do try to do something Halloween-ish every year in October. Normally it is either going to a corn maze or a Halloween dance. This year, Mr. BMW and I went on a Haunted Hayride at our local Pioneer Village.

7. Candy corn or chocolate? Skittles or M&Ms?
Candy corn! And I like both Skittles and M&Ms so it depends on whether I want candy or chocolate.

8. Vampires or werewolves?
Werewolves definitely.

9. Favorite Halloween candy?
Candy corn. But when I used to go trick-or-treating I loved to get tootsie rolls.

10. Do you eat pumpkin pie every Halloween?
I normally have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

11. Do you carve pumpkins?
Not since I was younger.

12. Do you decorate your house outside for Halloween?
My mother did when I was younger but now that I am on my own I don’t. We aren’t giving out any candy this year :(.

13. Who are you going trick-or-treating with this year?
No trick-or-treating for me! I’m a little old for that.

14. Haunted house or haunted maze?
Definitely haunted maze. I feel like you could get away easier in a Haunted Maze.

15. Ghosts or pumpkins? Skeletons or witches?
Pumpkins – seems more festive. And witches because they have the best movies.

#StyleMeOctober Day 10: Classic White Shirt

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White Button-Up Blouse from H&M // American Eagle Tan Knit Sweater via Old Navy // Aeropostale Skinny Jeans // Tan Skinny Belt from dynamite // Black Brogues from Payless

When: October 10, 2013

Where: Introduction to Anthropology lecture

Style Notes:

I am not one to wear white button-ups very often – they feel too formal for everyday wear especially for school. Also, I am unsure about the colour of this sweater against my fair skin tone – I feel like it washed me out.

This outfit was definitely not my best one this month but I am glad I tried it. I will definitely try to work this sweater into other outfits – after all it was only $16 and it is a wonderful basic.

A Steal of a Deal (#StyleMeOctober Day 9)

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Ardene’s Sweater Dress // Old Navy Coral Rockstar Pants // White Necklace with Charm // Slip On Converse

When: October 9, 2013 (#StyleMeOctober Day 9)

Where: A long day of lectures

Style Notes:

Believe it or not, this entire outfit cost me no more than $40 out of my pocket and everything was purchased new! The sweater dress was bought this past summer for $12.50 (70% off the original price), the coral/pink pants were bought a Old Navy last month for an extra 30% off of their clearance price making them less than $10. The necklace was also bought on clearance for $1.50 and the Converse were bought at a store closing for $15. Now if only my entire wardrobe could be this affordable.

I am still getting used to my bright pink pants and feel like I stick out like a sore thumb whenever I wear them. I am definitely glad I decided to buy them though because they make remixing my wardrobe more interesting than with my boring denim jeans.

Polka Dots + Animal Spots (#StyleMeOctober Day 8)

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October82013

Old Navy White Leopard Sweatshirt // Black Ruched Side Tank Top from Suzy Shier // Teal the Rockstar Pants from Old Navy // Black Brogues from Payless

When: October 8, 2013 (#StyleMeOctober Day 8 – Polka Dots and Animal Spots

Where: morning lecture + all day studying

Style Notes:

I wore this outfit weeks ago and can barely remember the details of it. I’ve been meaning to post more consistently but last week and this week I was hit with endless midterms and quizzes.

I am loving my Rockstar Pants from Old Navy – they are definitely my favourite purchases of the fall. I most likely will not buy any at full price but I definitely plan to add more colours to my wardrobe when they are released!