Friday, March 16, 2018

Podcasts I've Been Loving (Spring 2018)

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to share with you all some podcasts I have been loving to listen to lately!  I noticed as I was compiling this list that they're all kind of dark; having to do with ghosts and murders, plus a supernatural TV show.  This was not intentional!  I didn't even realize that most of what i listen to is dark and scary until making this list.

I definitely understand that this might not be your jam, so I'm sorry if this post isn't very beneficial to you! I promise next week's post will way more lighthearted.

Every podcast listed in this article is available through iTunes; if you use any other app to listen to podcasts, you'll have to check their respective pages to see if they're available.

If you've been keeping up with my recent posts, you'll know that I've been watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer recently!  One of my favorite things to do is watch an episode, and then listen to Lani and Alastair talk about what happened in the episodes, analyzing every little detail, and rate it versus other Buffy episodes.  If you love Buffy just as much as I do, I highly recommend checking this podcast out!  If you've never seen it but are interested in a detailed breakdown, I'd suggest watching an episode and then listening to them.  They also cover the show Angel as it fits in based on publication date.

Unfortunately, this podcast has been abandoned and will not be continued, however, Lani is doing her own analysis on the podcast "Still Pretty", that picks up where Dusted left off.  I have yet to listen to it, as it starts in season 6 of Buffy and I'm not that far yet, but if you are, you can continue the listening there!

One thing I'm shamelessly interested in is serial killers.  I was looking for a good podcast to listen to that talked about them, and this is what I found!  Every Monday, a new episode is released.  Each serial killer has two episodes; one that discusses their childhood up until their first kill; sometimes they talk about more.  The second episode is more on their crimes and how they were caught.  It's super interesting, and they find a ton of information that is honestly really scary to think about!  It is very detailed, so if you're squeamish when it comes to hearing gory things, I would suggest passing or heeding their warnings, as they always tell you when it's about to get especially gross.

This is actually a podcast I started listening to because I enjoyed the hosts of Serial Killers so much.  It's hosted by Greg, who is the male host of Serial Killers.  Every Thursday there is an episode released featuring the ghost stories of famous places around the world.  There is a lot of fact and fiction mixed into this podcast, as you'll usually jump in with a story, learn the history of the location, and again hear more stories.  I really love the way this is set up, and it's kind of creepy without being too scary!

My Favorite Murder is a must-listen-to podcast for any true crime fans, especially women!  Karen and Georgia are hilarious, they swear a lot, and provide incredible advice.  Every week, a full-length episode comes out, that has both woman researching and sharing a true crime story they've chosen each.  They also have "minisodes", which are hometown stories sent in from fans that are chosen and read; usually 4-6 an episode.  These topics range from hometown murders, to crazy survivor stories,first responder stories, and anything else deemed interesting.  I'd recommend this if you're looking for a more personal podcast that feels like listening to two friends chat versus a fact dump.

If these podcasts aren't your thing, I completely understand!  I've been pinning a lot of new podcasts I want to check out, so hopefully next time I share my favorites they'll be more your tastes!

Do you listen to any podcasts? What's your favorite?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Self-Care Ideas for When You Need a Quick Pick-Me-Up

Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to share with you some quick pick-me-up ideas for when you need to take a little time to be you!  Self-care is something that I am so passionate about, and everyone should take part in it!  There's not a limit of who can do it, and there's not a certain type of person who should or shouldn't.

This list is meant to be self-care ideas for when you're really feeling down, or overwhelmed, or just in need for a little you time. A lot of the lists I saw had things like "book a vacation" or "go to a new city".  Those sound amazing, but they don't really help in the immediate time for me personally, plus I can't afford to take time off of work or booking a vacation, so these were more realistic to me!

There are a few very popular ideas that you may notice are missing from this list, like reading and working out.  While those are certainly important, I didn't include them because I feel like they should be habits more than they should be things to do when you need some self-care. Of course, this is all personal preference! If reading is what really helps you feel better, by all means do it.  But I would recommend setting aside time every day for reading, journaling, and working out, as it will help you feel better in the long run!

I hope you enjoy these self-care ideas, and feel free to save this picture and use it whenever you need it!

What do you do when you need some self-care?  Are any of these habits of yours? Let me know!

Friday, March 2, 2018

February 2018 In Review

Hello everyone!

I'm here to bring you a recap of how February went for me! Honestly, I'm in shock that it's already over.  I know it's the shortest month of the year, but come on!  I had a lot going on for school this month, but that's not really something I think ya'll would be interested in hearing about, so I'm sticking with the slightly more interesting stuff.

I slacked a little bit on reading this month! It's not that I wasn't reading at all, it's just that I didn't read enough to finish anything.  I was also reading stories online, so I don't count them as actual books.

I started The Picture of Dorian Gray because one of my groups on GoodReads chose to read it as the classic of the month.  I didn't think it would take me the entire month and have me still not finish it!  I am pretty close to being done, but right now I'm really swaying between liking it and just wanting it to be over.

This is required reading for my Management Information Systems class, and I have to say, I am really enjoying it!  I don't read it unless I have my assignment open, as there is a question to be answered for every chapter, but I binge about 10 chapters when I do read.  It's super easy but so interesting, and something that I honestly really love. I'll give a full review once I'm finally done (hopefully in March!).

I only watched one movie this month, and that was Fifty Shades Freed!  My sorority sisters and I went to the movie together and watched it.  Between this one and the second, this had much more action and plot, and a little less naughty stuff.  Squeezing everything into two hours made the movie feel rushed, as there was so much that didn't get addressed in much detail that could have used it.  That being said, it was still cute and steamy and something I'm glad I went to!

TV Shows
The shows I watched this month were the same as last month!

I got over my fear of being heartbroken and watched the episode that was holding me back, so I ended up seeing episodes 17 - 21 this month!  Only one left until I finish season 2 of Buffy and can move on to season 3, which is on my 18 in 2018 list.

I'm so close to finishing this too!  I watched episodes 17 - 24, and so I only have 3 left.  I can't wait to also mark this off of my list!
I found some super amazing printables by Messy and Brilliant that I put all of the TV shows I want to finish on!  I'm so excited to have this, as it's super cute and fun for me to color in the squares as I go; like a habit tracker, but for TV!  If you like the look of this, please go to her original post and download it!

The events that I had this month were very social in nature!

First, I started going to something called "Tap Room Trivia", which is basically just a trivia night at a local brewery.  I was invited by two of my friends, and actually really enjoyed going!  Now, every time I'm free on Thursday nights I'm going to head there and hang out while trying to win some free drinks! It's a really popular event, so I probably won't have much luck, but at least it's fun.

My sorority also hosted a "Ladies Weekend" this month!  The big thing for me during this time was Canvas night, where some family and I went to a campus building and were lead through designing our wood boards.  We were given stencils, and got to paint the board any color we wanted, then paint over the stencils.  I did this last year too, but it was much more fun with people this time!

This month, I was introduced to a website called Positivity Space.  It's basically a website that has options for you to write your positives for the day, do breathing exercises to help relax, and a space where you can vent if you're having a bad day.  It also tracks your usage of the website, so you can see how often you're actually reflecting on your day!

I love the simple layout and how I can bookmark this to my homepage to fill it out every time I see it.  It also forces you to reflect on your day and think about the good, even when it's hard to.

Well, that's it from me!  February went so quickly for me, and I'm excited to see where March takes me!

How was February for you?  Have you done anything that I have? Let me know!

Friday, February 23, 2018

My Current Nighttime Routine

Hello everyone!

This week I wanted to do something a little bit different!  I've always been focused a lot on beauty, but I've found that I actually enjoy writing about things going on in my life more! It feels like it's more what I do on a regular basis.  Surprisingly, I don't wear makeup very often!

I've never set up a routine for myself until this year, and I do have to say I enjoy it!  It's nice to be able to look forward to something at the end of the night, no matter what my day was like. I've been a little lax about following it to a T, so I think I'm going to work harder at keeping myself on track with using it!

I typically start my routine at about 10:00pm.  To some people, this is super early, and to others they're already asleep - if you're interested in using a similar routine, make it work for you!  I have found that I want to be in bed ready to sleep at 11:00, so starting it an hour before usually works pretty well.  Before I start, I always have my Christmas lights on instead of the harsh overhead light to give a more relaxing ambience to my room.  This is totally optional, but something I really love!  This is also the time where I shut down my computer for the night.

 1. Skincare
The first thing I do is head into the bathroom to do my skincare routine.  I start with a cleanser that requires wetting my face, rubbing it in, and then washing it off. This helps me feel like my face is fresh and clean!  I then move on to my serum, my eye cream, and my moisturizer. Typically, I like a thicker cream moisturizer that will sink in and really feel hydrating.

I have combination skin, so this routine is what helps me feel like I'm on the right track with taking care of it properly.  If you have your own routine that works, use it!  It all depends on what feels like it's working best for you!  While doing all this, I also like to have either the Podcast episode I'm listening to or a playlist on Spotify going so I have something to listen to as I go through the motions.

2. Planning & Reflecting
After I finish my skincare, I brush my teeth and then head back into my room!  This is usually around 10:15, but it could be more or less time.  Once I get back to my room, I like to grab my planner & journal out.

Usually, I plan my next day out first.  I migrate any tasks I didn't complete to tomorrow, and write out my schedule. I have also been including a daily goal lately! As you can see, I have a planner with a page for each day that lists the times along the side & has the notes section where I put my to-dos. I bought mine from Target, but when I looked online I couldn't find the same style.  If you love it, I would suggest going to the store and looking!  It's a Blue Sky planner.  I personally think this style of planner works best for me, as I can have a visual of what's going on in my day.  I've tried so many types of planners, and this is the one I always come back to.

After I finish filling out my plans for the next day, I move on to my journal.  In January, I tried to just write about what happened and how I felt, but this didn't feel like something I was really utilizing and wasn't helpful for me. Instead, I have a small list of different prompts that I like to use to talk about my day.  These include things like my mood, highlights of my day, productivity, daily gratitude, random thoughts, something I really loved, anything!  It's whatever I feel like putting down.  I also like to write a small blurb about anything big that happened that day, or expand on my mood at the bottom.  I didn't show a complete page since I don't necessarily want to share my innermost thoughts!

On Sunday, I look at my assignment planner and write down everything that needs to be finished in the coming week.  If you're not in school, you can skip this step, or you can write your weekly goals down, have a to-do list without deadlines, etc., and write down all of the things due for the week ahead on a separate piece of paper.  I actually do this because I don't like writing due dates in my daily planner!  Since I plan one day in advance, I'd rather see an overall weekly view and get my assignments done before they're due.

 3. Reading & Unwinding
Planning and reflecting can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on how focused I am and how much I have to write.  After I finish all of that, it's time for me to kick back and relax until I fall asleep.  I usually try to read whatever book I'm currently on, but sometimes I play games on my phone or check Instagram. It's really free time for me to do anything I feel like!

Well, that's my night!  This is always a work in progress, but I enjoy being able to know exactly what I can expect out of my night and enjoy the ritual that comes with that. 

Do you have a nightly routine? What do you look forward to before bed? Let me know!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

January 2018 In Review

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to bring you my update for the first month of 2018!  Wow, can you believe it's already over?  I'm a little bit in shock if we're being honest; where did all the time go already?!

So, I kind of struggled with whether or not I wanted to post this for you guys!  Since I'm doing my 18 in 2018 project, I didn't want to just constantly write about the exact same things over and over for you.  However, there are things I'm doing in my life that aren't on that list that I still wanted to share! There might be some repeats, but I'll link any reviews in my 18 in 2018 post back to these so I'm not actually repeating myself!

The biggest part of January was that school started again!  I've been in classes for over a month now, and I have to say with the exception of one class, I'm really loving how it's all going!  My classes are 1 1/2 hours instead of just 1 hour, so I have class four days a week versus five.  I get to have my Fridays off to catch up on homework or get ahead!  I really love the way my schedule ended up being, even if it does mean I'm on campus for 10 hours on two days. 

I also bought a new Keurig this month!  I've made a conscious shift in my spending habits and was using an old Keurig my dad gave me instead of buying coffee every morning.  Unfortunately, it decided to stop working so I had to invest in a new one.  In the end it all worked out, because I absolutely adore it!  It's got a touch screen and water reservoir, so I don't have to fill up a cup every morning, plus it fits my travel mug so I'm not pouring coffee from a small mug to my larger one. 

Finally, I went through my entire GoodRead's want-to-read shelf and cleared it out!  I used to have over 2,000 books on my shelf, most of which I haven't even heard of.  Why were they even on there??  I'm so happy to say that I'm now down to 827 books.  This is still kind of a crazy huge number, but at least I know that all of the books sound like something I would be happy to pull off of my list and read!  Plus, a lot of them are books I own either physical or digital copies of. 

The first book I finished this month was Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing.  It was a required read for my Buyer Behavior class, which of course I did not read during the semester, but I thought was so interesting I wanted to finish it.  It's a very information heavy read, but something I'm glad to have finished!  I enjoyed learning about how the unconscious part of our brain controls so much of our daily lives as well as our spending habits and how to connect with it as a marketer.  I ended up rating this at 4/5 stars.

While I'm definitely old enough that this doesn't really count as an actual book read, I wanted to give it a quick go before I passed it on to my 8-year-old sister.  Hopefully she enjoys it; I know I did!  The Pony Pals is really a standout series, as it's not just about the horses, but about the young girls and how they all learn from their experiences.  I'm surprised by how much it really appeals to me.  I gave it 4/5 stars as well.

The Hangman's Daughter was the most disappointing book of the month.  I enjoyed the concept of a man trying to prevent a witch hunt, but the writing really threw me off.  It was super interesting in the beginning and end, but was so slow in the middle. There could have been about 75 less pages in this and the same resolution would be had.  I was also super uncomfortable with the way they treated the title character, Magdalena.  She wasn't in 3/4 of the book, and when she was, I did not like her as a character in the beginning and didn't like how everyone else interacted with her in the middle and end.  I'm okay with the resolution, but there was just so much more that could have happened with this that didn't. I gave it 3/5 stars.

TV Shows:

Alright, so Total Drama Island is a show from my younger years that I really loved!  When I was browsing Netflix I saw that this was on there and I added it to my 18 in 2018 list, and then I decided that this was the show I wanted to watch after taking a pause on Buffy.  I got from episode 1 to 17, which is pretty great! There's only 9 episodes left in the season, so I could get through it in February if I really wanted to. We'll see!  It's a really funny show that's surprisingly adult for being on Cartoon Network.

Before I can start on Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I have to get through season 2 and let me tell you guys, I've already seen it and I got to the next episode and had to stop.  It's a really heartbreaking one, and I just didn't feel like putting myself through the emotional wringer. I started on episode 13 and got to 17.  If you haven't seen this show, try to watch it! It's so great, I can't wait to keep going in February.

Things I Love this Month:
If you're looking for music to help you focus or relax, this is it!  This playlist has been on repeat all month and will probably continue to be.  I use it when I'm working on homework because there's no words and I really love the calming nature of piano music.  I highly suggest listening to this if you need to focus your mind on a task and struggle to do so!

Well, that was January for me!  February is likely to be a busier month school-wise than January was since we're getting into the bulk of learning now.  I'm hoping I'll have some interesting stuff to share with you all!

How did January treat you?  Did anything fun happen? Let me know!

Monday, February 5, 2018

My Low/No-Buy Goals for 2018

Hey everyone!

I'm wrapping up my 2018 posts with some low and no buys that I'll be working on maintaining throughout the year!  If you haven't already, be sure to check out my 2018 Goals and Resolutions post, where I mention my desire to do a makeup low-buy.

A low buy is when you set a limit of either amount of purchases or amount of money spent in a time period; this could be as small as a day, or as large as a year.  If you want to do it for even longer you can, it just might get harder to track.  A no buy is when you set a time period and don't allow yourself to purchase anything.

Since my word of the year is Mindful, I thought that a low and no buy would help with that a lot.  Not only will it help me control my spending, it'll also keep me from bringing in more stuff and help with my "less" mindset.

Makeup - Strict Low Buy
I've talked a lot about this already, so it's pretty clear what I plan.  I'm allowing myself 12 makeup purchases in the year of 2018.  I chose 12 because it's one a month, but I don't necessarily have to only buy one in one month.  If I find 3 things I like in one month and nothing for the next four months, that's okay!  I'm hoping that by the end of the year I purchase less than 12, since I don't count Ipsy in this total.

Stationery - No Buy
If I showed you my stationery collection, you guys would freak out!  I don't want to count totals or try to track down all of the notebooks, sticky notes, notepads, etc.; it would be insane.  I should also include writing utensils and office supplies in general, but I'm not as bad about buying them as I am about buying paper products.  This year, I'm not allowing any purchases so that I can actually use all of the stuff I own; I'll probably never need to buy another piece of stationery in my life!

Stickers - Strict Low Buy
Another thing I own way too much of is stickers.  I don't use them nearly enough, either!  This year, I'm putting a strict low buy on them by only allowing myself to purchase a monthly sticker kit each month for my Happy Planner.  This isn't even something that I really need, so I'm waiting until I feel like I have enough disposable income to buy them again.  This may not be until I have my first adult job!

Clothing - Low Buy
The most difficult decision for me to make this year was how I wanted to allow spending on clothing.  I have a lot of clothes; this is something that I have definitely acknowledged and I'm trying to declutter them as I go this year.  As I am starting to move into the workforce, I'm sure I will find that I need a lot more professional clothing options.  I'm saying low buy because I want to be conscious about what I bring into my closet now.  I don't want to purchase casual clothing anymore because I certainly have enough of it! 

Restaurant Meals - Strict Low Buy 
This is a weird one, but I didn't know what else to call it.  Last year I had the problem of going out to eat way too often; like at least once a week.  This wasn't good for my bank account or my weight.  This year, I'm going to limit myself to going out to eat twice a month, max.  If I don't have to pay for it I might make an exception, but I'll play it by ear!  This also includes any restaurant, so anything from McDonald's (fast food) to Dominoes (delivery) to Perkins (sit down).  Any order where I'm buying prepared food when I could eat at home!

I certainly didn't include everything I spend my money on, but these were the categories I have the most problems with, and what I wanted to focus on controlling.  In general, I'm trying to pay attention to how much I'm spending and what it's on this year.

Are you doing anything to curb your spending habits? What do you have too much of? Let me know!