Finals Survival Guide 2017

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that many of my readers have either already taken their final exams or will do so very soon.  My exams are next week and the anxiety is already starting to kick in.  Obviously finals have the potential to be super stressful, but they don’t have to be!  Today I’m sharing my tips for studying, avoiding procrastination, essay writing, relaxing, and test taking and at this stressful time of the year!  Let’s get started!

Tip #1: Study in a clean, quiet environment.

This might seems super obvious, but you’d be surprised how many of my friends struggle to get work done or study successfully because they refuse to do homework anywhere beside their kitchen.  I typically choose to do my studying alone in my room, often on my bed, with a candle lit.  I keep my phone downstairs while studying or doing homework because it’s so easy to take a “quick break” that ends up being an hour of Instagram stalking.  If music helps you focus, try to play it off of your computer or tablet, something you’re less likely to gravitate towards and become distracted by.

Tip #2: Give yourself a break every once in a while.

Every hour or two, take a break from studying and reward yourself with a healthy snack or allowing yourself to make a short call to a friend, take a shower, stretch, clean up your room, or color in an adult coloring book.  Playing music during your little study break and getting up to dance has also been proven to be reenergizing and therefore make your studying more effective.

Tip #3: Don’t push off studying until the last minute.

Yes, I’ll admit I’m a chronic crammer, but pushing off studying for an exam or end of course test will only hurt you.  If the idea of studying for the big test seems overwhelming, that should be a sign that you’ll need ample time to cover everything thoroughly.  Start studying up to a week ahead of time and cover little sections every night, making flashcards of ideas that you think are the most important from each unit.

Tip #4: Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and don’t skip meals during exam week.

How much does eating healthy really help your brain?  I’m honestly not so sure, but it certainly can’t be bad for you.  You always hear “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and that phrase shouldn’t be taken lightly.  I’ve been told to have a better than usual breakfast the morning of test day since end of grade tests in third grade, and there’s obviously a good reason for that.  Eating properly will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay focused.  Remember to stay hydrated by drinking tons of water starting as much as a week in advance.  Staying hydrated helps your overall health, makes you more awake, and will keep you from being distracted by your thirst during the actual test!

Tip #5: Be a smart essay writer.

When writing essays for your final exam or important end of term papers it’s important to note that there are tons of hacks that can make your typed essays appear longer.  When typing an essay, always make sure to double space your paper when the teacher allows you to.  Double spacing significantly increases the length of a paper, helping you reach those long length requirements.  You can also increase the length of your essays  by a couple lines by increasing the size of your periods by one or two points (I have never done this but a lot of my friends do).  Another easy length-adder is using two spaces between a period and the start of each sentence.  I was actually taught in a digital literacy (keyboarding) class to have two spaces between sentences, but I’ve found that many of my peers didn’t know that was actually an academically acceptable thing to do.  You might not have even noticed that I’ve done that in every single blog post.  The combination of these last two tricks can increase your paper length by as much as a paragraph.

Tip #6: Use summer’s coming as an inspiration, but don’t let it distract you.

 Often I find myself telling myself something along the lines of “you can do it, just one more week then you’ll be on summer vacation.”  There’s nothing wrong with that, but when I turn that into Instagram stalking locations I’m planning on visiting, searching for caption ideas for twenty minutes that just aids my procrastination.  If you find yourself getting side tracked, remind yourself to stay focused.  If you’re still having a hard time, maybe take a super short break to light a candle or hang some clean clothes laying around your room.  This problem might be specific to me, I really don’t know haha.

Tip #7: Make sure all your study dates are actually effective.

 Like most teenagers, I love any excuse to hang out with my friends, study dates included.  However, if you decide to study with friends make sure you’re being productive.  Study somewhere you’re sure to stay focused and do not let yourself get side tracked with gossip or other typical friend talk.  Stop yourself from saying anything not related to your study topic and politely remind your friends to stay focused if they start to talk about something else.  Make your conversation dedicated to questions and answers and put your phones away!

Tip #8: Don’t go to bed later than midnight.  Just don’t.

I’m definitely a late night cramming type of gal, but this strategy is usually not very effective and should not be used during the wee hours of exam week nights.  Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it!  If you go to bed at 8:00PM every night you should go to bed even earlier, you don’t want to show up to exams any more exhausted than you’ll already be just from taking them!  Let’s be real, no one performs well on anything when they’re barely keeping their eyes open.

Tip #9: Utilize your study tools.

If you know what works for you, stick to it, but don’t neglect study tools provided by your teachers or recommended by friends!  I personally adore Quizlet, an online flashcard program that you can use from your computer, iPhone, or tablet!  I especially love using Quizlet to memorize vocabulary terms, foreign language translations (because I couldn’t imagine taking Spanish without it), and formulas for math and science.  Aside from Quizlet, old school flashcards and handwritten study guides are also great study tools!

Tip #10: Relax.

Of course, exams are important, but don’t stress too much over them.  Allot yourself some time each night to relax.  For you this could be taking a bubble bath, watching a few episodes of your favorite Netflix series, going on a run, or even hanging out with your family.  If you’re actually studying and putting your best into all of your exams you should be fine, don’t let this one week of tests make you too anxious!

Thanks for reading!

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Outfits of the Week: First Week of School

This week was my first week back to school, and as bittersweet as it was for summer to end, it was nice to see my friends and establish a regular daily routine again.  This week I photographed my outfits every day after school so I could put together my first ever Outfits of the Week post!  This will be the last of my back to school posts for this year, so be sure to check out my others here if you missed any.  Now let’s get into today’s post!

Monday

This was my first day of school outfit.  I obviously put a lot of thought into this one and I love how it turned out!  This maroon peplum from LOFT is made with a light sweater-type fabric in the top and a sheer material in the peplum at the bottom.  For some reason it isn’t online, but I linked a couple other cute maroon tops from LOFT below.  I’m obsessed with this Elliotborough tassel bracelet from The Tiny Tassel!  The tassel itself is adorable plus it’s accented with the cutest little porcelain bead.  You can get the same bracelet or any of the other adorable pieces from The Tiny Tassel here 15% off with my code “prep15”!  Also, I wore my favorite Jack Rogers sandals in this outfit, sorry they didn’t make the picture!

top (similar here and here) // white jeans // sandals // tassel bracelet // watch (similar) // charm bangle // pendant necklace // rice bead necklace // ring // hoop earrings

Tuesday

This top is so comfortable, and I love the white collar!  You can’t tell in this picture but the top is also an inch or two longer in the back.  Sadly I was unable to link the top, stone necklace, and earrings in this outfit because they were all from boutiques!  However, I did link these adorable sandals from Target that are less than $20!  I’ve had these sandals since spring break and I’ve found them to be great quality plus they’re a super affordable way to hop on the lace-up sandal trend!

jeans // sandals // watch (similar) // crystal bangle // pearl bangle

Wednesday

On Wednesday I wore this adorable embroidered navy racerback tank with a bralette, jeans, simple jewelry, and my Jack Rogers sandals.  I personally love the bralette trend!  Bralettes are super soft and I think the lace is a classy alternative to bra straps peaking out of your shirt.

top // jeans // bralette // necklace // sandals (not pictured) // crystal bangle // pearl bangle // watch (similar) // hoop earrings

Thursday

This top is seriously one of my all time favorites.  It has the comfort of a plain tee with the cutest hemline!  I love how it looks with jeans, cute jewelry, and fun sandals.  Also, it was originally $104 (ouch) but I got it for less than $30 while I was in Texas over the summer, and you can too!  I linked it on the Neiman Marcus Last Call site below so you can get the same deal I did.

top // jeans // sandals // crystal bangle // pearl bangle // watch (similar) // necklace // earrings

Friday

Honestly, on Friday I wore a big Life is Good tee shirt with jeans and my Chacos, and I had a doctors appointment right after school so I completely forgot to take pictures.  However, Friday night we had our first high school football game of the year and it was America themed!  I did take some pictures with my friends there, so I added the pictures you could see my outfit best in.  I wore one of my favorite patriotic Jadelynn Brooke tees with some stars and stripes shorts from Lauren James (I know you can’t see them, but they’re super cute for anything America themed so I linked them below anyways!)

top // shorts (not pictured) // converse (not pictured) // necklace

Thanks for reading!

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The bracelet from The Tiny Tassel featured in this post was sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

10 Back to School Essentials

Today I have another back to school post!  If you haven’t read my last two posts, they were back to school themed as well, and you can view them (as well as the rest of my back to school posts from last year) here.  This post is a list of ten necessities for going back to school, from backpacks to sweatshirts to study tools.  Every product you see will be linked, so you can shop by clicking on the image.  Let’s get into it!

1. A Good Backpack

To me, the primary goal of purchasing a backpack is finding one that is cute, functional, and durable.  I have had a North Face Borealis for the past two years and I’m using it again this year because I’ve found that it fits all of my personal requirements.  I also adore the Jadelynn Brooke backpacks, they’re super cute and seem to be pretty functional as well based on the description.  Also, be sure to use my discount code “FLSHS16” for 15% off when shopping at Jadelynn Brooke, I’m a high school ambassador!

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2. An Agenda

Since seventh grade, I haven’t started a school year without an agenda.  I’ve always used a large Lilly Pulitzer agenda, but this year I’m trying one from Kate Spade.  I’ve also heard great things about the Day Designer.

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3. Effective Chapstick

My lips seem to get dry during the school day all the time, and maybe it’s just me, but the oh so popular EOS lip balms don’t moisturize my lips at all.  Over the years I’ve found some great lip products and some that are way overrated.  My favorite chapstick for the past couple years has been the Candy Cane ChapStick, which I buy in bulk during the holiday season, however you can also find it year round on Amazon.  I also really like the Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm.

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4. A Good Quality Water Bottle

One thing I can’t live without during the school day is a bottle of water.  However, I have gone through many water bottles because many have broken or have leaking issues.  My two favorite water bottles are the CamelBak Eddy and the Nathan Sports 32 oz BigShot Hydration Bottle.  These water bottles are great quality and don’t leak much (if ever!)

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5. An Emergency Kit

It stinks to randomly get a runny nose in the middle of class or have no deodorant after a vigorous period of gym.  My solution?  Find a small cosmetic bag and fill it with your necessities such as lip balm, a travel pack of tissues, lotion, hand sanitizer, a rollerball perfume, a contact case (if you wear contacts,) some ibuprofen, deodorant, etc.  Keep this emergency kit in your backpack and you’re set!  SCOUT and Kate Spade both carry adorable cosmetic bags, my favorites are pictured and linked below.

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6. A Go-to Tee

Tee shirts make for great, super comfy go to outfits throughout the school year.  Be sure to pick up a few to wear with Nike shorts, leggings, or jeans for an easy outfit.  Some of my favorite tees are from Jadelynn Brooke, they’re adorable and super soft!  Don’t forget to use my code “FLSHS16” for 15% off!

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7. Earbuds

Earbuds are a requirement at my school because we have MacBook Airs, but earbuds are a nice thing to have at school in general because some teachers will let you listen to music as you do your work in class.  I usually use my Apple earbuds that came with my iPhone, but I also have an adorable pair of Lilly Pulitzer earbuds that I like too.

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8. A Wristlet or Purse

Many schools require you to carry your school ID and I’m sure most of you like to have your phone on you while at school.  Wristlets and small purses are great ways to keep these items as well as other necessities like cash and contact cases.  Some of my favorite options are from Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade.

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9. A Quizlet Membership

I mentioned Quizlet in my advice for high school freshmen post, but basically Quizlet is a free online flashcard website that allows you to create sets of terms and study them in a few different ways.  I’ve been using it since seventh grade and I’m obsessed.  Quizlet is my favorite way to study and I really think it helps me perform better on tests and quizzes.  It’s not only a website, but an app as well so you can study from your phone, computer, or tablet!

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10. A Sweatshirt for Chilly Classes

In my school, a lot of my classes are freezing cold.  Keep a sweatshirt in your locker or backpack to get out before your cold classes so you don’t spend the whole period distracted by your temperature!  I found this Lilly Pulitzer appliqué monogram quarter-zip sweatshirt that I think would be perfect to keep you warm and cute!

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Thanks for reading, have a great school year!

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BTS Collab: Back To School Lookbook 2016

Today I have a few looks that follow most school dress codes for a back to school lookbook!  My favorite part of going back to school is coming up with some cute outfits composed of pieces I’ve picked up over the summer, so I love writing these posts!  This is actually the second back to school lookbook I’ve created, so be sure to check out last year’s (here) for more outfit inspiration!  This post is also my second back to school themed post this year, so if you didn’t see my last post, My Advice for High School Freshmen, you should definitely go check it out here.  Many of the tips apply to most middle and high school students, so you could probably get something out of it even if you aren’t a rising freshman.  On another note, this post is a back to school collaboration with a really sweet friend of mine I’ve met through blogging; Fiona of Preppy NYC!  Today Fiona is posting a backpack guide, so be sure to check her post out too, it’s linked here!  Without further adieu, let’s get into the lookbook!

Plain in Periwinkle

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The first outfit is super simple and comfortable, plus this soft v-neck from Forever 21 is less than five dollars!  I dressed the tee up a bit with gold Jack Rogers sandals, my favorite Kendra Scott necklace, and a couple bracelets.  This outfit could easily transition into cooler weather by adding a cardigan and trading the sandals out for a pair of Converse.

top (not available online in the color shown) // jeans // sandals // necklace // watch (similar) // pearl bangle // ring // hoop earrings

Pink, White, and Gold


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Light pink has to be one of my favorite colors and I love the way it looks on this top over the white jeans in this outfit!  I think this gorgeous necklace from Boho Belle Jewelry adds a bit of a boho vibe to the outfit and even though that’s a bit different for me I think it looks really nice.  I personally love the double wrap necklace trend and this necklace is definitely one of my favorites that I’ve seen so far.  Be sure to check out Boho Belle Jewelry here for more pretty, trendy jewelry!

top // white jeans // sandals // necklace // watch (similar) // clear crystal bangle // pink crystal bangle // bow bangle (similar) // ring // hoop earrings

White Embroidery and a Pop of Color

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I’ve recently discovered I have a bit of a fetish for embroidered white tops, and this shirt definitely falls under that category.  I love the simplicity and versatility of the color white but also the cute details of the cutouts and embroidery!  I paired the white top with a pair of bright red jeans to add a pop of color along with a starfish bracelet with coordinating red beading.

top (not online; another cute white H&M tee is linked) // red jeans // monogram necklace // bracelet (Lilly Pulitzer GWP a year or two ago, listings on eBay linked) // watch (similar) // ring // sandals // hoop earrings

Thanks for reading!  Don’t forget to check out Fiona’s backpack guide here!

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The necklace from Boho Belle Jewelry featured in this post was sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

My Advice For High School Freshmen

One thing I remember very clearly about freshman year was how insanely nervous I was in the beginning.  I was scared out of my mind to start high school in a new building with hundreds of new classmates from the other middle schools.  Looking back, I actually had a great freshman year; I made many new friends, joined YoungLife, went on a school trip to Chicago, became a member of a few school clubs, and played lacrosse while keeping all As and Bs in every class.  Still, I was terrified and I wish I had some source of advice going in.  Today I’m sharing eleven tips for high school freshman.  I think this advice will be especially helpful for high school freshman (I know my year would’ve been a lot easier if I had done all of these things), however I think it could be helpful for anyone entering high school – whether you will be a freshman this year, in a few years, or you were a freshman a couple years ago.  Now, let’s get into this post!

1. Walk your schedule a few times before the school year even starts. – Once you get your class schedule, invite a friend to go to the school with you and walk your schedules before school starts.  The more you walk it, the more familiar you’ll get with the building and the less likely you will be to get lost on the first day (not fun.)  Plus, you might run into one of your new teachers and you could have a chance to meet them early and make a good first impression.

2. Talk to new people. – For some people, this comes naturally, but personally I have a hard time talking to people I don’t already know.  Make conversation with people in your classes by complimenting them on something like their outfit or hair, asking them about their other classes, or just flat out introducing yourself.  One of the only things that make school fun is having friends, so make some new ones in the first few weeks so you can build relationships throughout the year!

3. Go to football games and participate in other school activities. – At many schools, football is a pretty big deal.  Everyone attends the football games on Friday nights, so carpool with some friends and go!  High school football games are a huge part of the high school experience and I think while you’re in high school you should really try to soak up all the activities while you can.  Other activities might include going to other sporting events throughout the year, participating in a powderpuff game, or being on a committee to prepare for things like a dance or homecoming parade.

4. Use Quizlet. – Quizlet is a free online flashcard website that allows you to create sets of terms and study them in a few different ways.  You can make private sets just for you to study, or you can make them public and share them with your classmates so they can study too.  It’s not only a website, but also an app, so you can study for that vocabulary test on the way to school or any other time on the go.  I’ve been using this program for three years and I can honestly say it has helped me a lot.

5. If you’re a Christian (or want to be a Christian) join a youth group near you. – Where I live, and also throughout the world, there’s an organization called YoungLife.  YoungLife is a Christian program led by church pastors and college students that want to bring the word to teenagers, despite their background or response.  We meet on Monday nights and each meeting (called “club”) has a theme such as pajamas, ice cream olympics, America, etc.  The college student leaders hang out with many of the teens who go to YoungLife and try their best to create personal relationships with the students – I have Snapchat streaks with all of my leaders and I’ve been writing them all summer.  It’s having best friends in Christ that you can always go to.  It’s great.  We also go to super fun camps throughout the year that include zip lines, lakes, horseback riding, and more (check my post from Windy Gap last year here).  If you don’t have a YoungLife club near you, there are other youth groups in every town.

6. Make a good playlist for the mornings. – While getting ready, I personally wake up more and get twice as excited for the school day when listening to music.  A good playlist for school mornings sets me in the right tone and really gives me an extra boost of confidence to start the day.  Check out some of my playlists here.

7. Create an organized and calm work environment. – Before the school year begins and everything gets hectic, decide on a good place to do your homework that is quiet, calm, organized, and will keep you focused.  I personally usually do my homework while sitting on my bed with a candle lit beside me, but many people work better with a desk.  Make sure the area has good lighting, whether you’re doing your homework at 3:30 right after school, or at midnight.  Also be sure that the area stays clean and organized throughout the school year.

8. Join clubs and/or play a sport. – A great way to meet new people is to join clubs and sports teams.  This past year, I joined Anchor Club, Beta Club, and International Club.  I was also part of the chorus and I played lacrosse.  I joined all of these clubs and teams alongside many friends and I found being a member to be a great way to make new friends, plus the clubs and sports will look good on college applications later on.  Clubs and sports vary from school to school, but you’ll probably find something that interests you, whether it’s band, student council, volleyball, or International Club.

9. Set some goals for your year. – Before the school year starts, make some goals for yourself.  Maybe you want to have a 4.0 GPA, or finally get an A in math.  Your goals could also be nonacademic; score six goals this soccer season or make ten new friends by next summer.  Write these goals down in your planner or somewhere in your room.  These goals will keep you going throughout the school year and remind you what you’re really working towards.

10. Use an agenda. – While extracurriculars are great, be sure to keep your priorities in check and put school work first.  I’ve been using an agenda since seventh grade and I find them to be a super helpful way to stay organized.  Use your agenda to mark due dates, games, club meetings, social plans, and jot down homework.  I personally love the Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, and Day Designer agendas.

11. Have a positive attitude going into the school year. – If you go into the school year thinking “This year is going to be awful!” you might just convince yourself to have an awful year.  Be positive.  If you go into the year believing in yourself, giving every person you meet a chance to be your friend, and giving your teachers some time before you decide they’re all mean and awful, you’ll have a better year.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it helps you ease your nerves going into the school year.  Have a great year!

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Back To School Lookbook 2015

It’s time to walk your school schedule, go to office supply stores to pick up notebooks and number two pencils, start waking up early, and buy some better fitting jeans.  Yep, it’s almost time to go back to school, and today I have four outfit ideas to help relieve the pressure to find the perfect first day of school outfit that we all feel deep down.  I love all of these outfits and I think they would be perfect for making a good first impression on your new teachers and classmates.  Plus, I’ve gathered some of my favorite accessories at the end for those of you who have to wear a uniform to school!  So, let’s get started!

Sassy in Seersucker

If you’re looking for a classic prep look, this is the one for you.  I absolutely adore this skirt, it’s seersucker and scalloped (insert heart eye emoji here.)  Paired with a nice oxford, you’ll give off a classy and sweet vibe to everyone you greet.

oxford (different color) // skirt // sandals // watch (similar) // gold bangle (similar) // pink crystal bangle

Lilly On White

I think that we all have one particular favorite Lilly Pulitzer item by the end of the summer, so why not bring it into the school year?  I’ve been loving this Elsa lately and I think the fun colors are bound to brighten any dreary school day.  You can make just about any Lilly piece casual enough for school by pairing it with a basic solid like white jeans or a plain tee.

top (different print) // white jeans // sandals // watch (similar) // monogram necklace // gold bangle (similar) // pink crystal bangle

Sweater Weather

Even though it’s not quite time for cable knits and vests, there’s no reason you couldn’t wear a light sweater like this one on a cool day.  You can dress up sweaters easily by adding nice accessories like this precious tortoise bow headband from See Blair.

sweater // jeans // sandals // headband // monogram necklace // watch (similar)

Blair Waldorf-ish

This look was inspired by none other than Queen B herself.  A simple but fancy white oxford paired with some light-wash jeans and nice flats seem a lot like something Blair might wear to school in the Upper East Side if it weren’t for her uniform.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Blair Waldorf-inspired outfit without a nice headband, and this hot pink “Blair Goes To The Beach” headband from Bows & Kites is sure to do the trick.

oxford // jeans // flats (similar) // headband // purse // watch (similar) // bangle (similar) // earrings (similar)

Accessorizing A Uniform

As you can probably tell based on the fact that I have a fashion blog, I love clothes.  I love having the freedom to wear whatever pretty much I want to school and quite honestly I would hate wearing a uniform.  If I did go to a school that required me to wear a uniform, I would cope with some fun accessories!  Below I’ve linked a few I think you might like.  Click on the product image to shop!

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Thanks for reading!
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