Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tips for how to stay organised while studying

For the past two weeks I have been on break which while refreshing I am more than ready to get back into routine and organise myself. As someone who relies on routine and organisation (mainly because it helps keeps my anxiety in check), I like to think I have a good idea on how to get and stay organised and hopefully these tips help.
Here are my tips and tricks on how to get into a good routine and stay organised this semester:
  • Keep study stuff separate from everyday life stuff - yes I carry a well stocked pencil case in my handbag (you wouldn't believe how often it comes in handy!) but I also have a separate pencil case for my studies that stays in the bag I use for studying. The pencil case contains: pens, highlighters, whiteout and a small stationery kit I got from Kikki K (which contains a mini stapler, hole punch, ruler etc. like this one and this one) and I only use it for studying. I also have a separate bag for my study items that I take to class along with my handbag that way it can be left in the room during quick breaks. 
  • Colour code things where possible - for me its easier to have an individual folder per day I'm on campus (my classes are clustered according to subject and TAFE organises the timetable for us so we just turn up) and each are different coloured or have some identifying marker (I used this glitter tape for my two folders this semester but washi tape is also good) so I can tell the difference easily. I also have a different coloured notebook in each, so that way if I take it out I can work out what subjects it belongs to. 
  • Sort out lunches and snacks a head of time - as I'm on campus 2 full days that means I need to take lunch 2 days and while leftovers are great I like to have variety. Every 5 or so weeks I make up a batch of savoury muffins, mini quiches or if I'm making pizza for dinner I make a couple extra and cut up into slices, I then freeze these in containers and can grab out a few or a slice for lunch. It saves me on those days when I can't be bothered to put much thought into lunch and I am less likely to spend money at the cafeteria. For snacks I try to take something savoury and something sweet, I often just eat one of the snacks but I like having the variety and options. For the savoury options I like veggie chips, tortilla chips, bagel chips (noticing a pattern I like chips!) or popcorn, as for sweet its 2 parts almonds to 1 part m&ms and sometimes if I have been baking I include a piece of that too. 
  • Take note of any assignments - after the first 2 days of class once we have been given all our assignments and other important dates I sit down with a semester calendar (we get given one by the prac lecturer) write them all down and then photo copy it. I then highlight all the ones applicable for that day's classes and put it in the front of that folder. By doing this this I can plan a head and what assignments I should be working on. 
  • Work out a study plan - block out times when you can study and make sure you do it. Last semester I blocked out Sunday morning (as the house was quiet), Mondays and Wednesday morning (as I had class in the afternoon) for studying and I did my assignments then. Saying that I allowed some flexibility depending on appointments and other commitments. I also find for me it helps to have a few assignments on the go so I can mix things up while still being productive. 
  • Schedule in self-care - this is a big one for me once things start getting busy with assignments and life it can be hard to find time to recharge. I make sure to schedule in self-care now, for me it can be something as simple as watching my favourite shows, reading a book or doing some window shopping for a couple of hours. Whatever your form of self-care is make sure you set aside time and actually do it even when life gets hectic it's always worth it. 
At the end of the day it's all about working out what works for you and figuring out ways that you can stay organised, hopefully these tips help.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

I've had a great first week of break, catching up with friends, relaxing and binge watching whatever. I have also been slowly easing out of my moon boot, at this stage I tend to just wear it when I am out and know I will be doing lots of walking.

Moving onto Friday Favourites:

The Hate U Give movie trailer - I really loved the Hate U Give book, it was just an amazing insight into the black American culture and what happens over there. The movie trailer has just come out and looks really good and it will hopefully be a good tie in to the book.

Tarte Hydrate and Glow Beauty Getaway Set - I LOVE Tarte, it is honestly one of my favourite make up brands. I had been eyeing off this set for ages so when a 30% coupon landed in my inbox I had to buy it. I love the eye shadow palette and find the colours are perfect for everyday wear, they are also amazing quality and blend amazingly. I have quite a few palettes (most of them Tarte) that are quite dark so it's great to have a light one to throw into the mix. I have yet to use the face cream, setting spray or lipstick in the kit but I am looking forward to using them and they are the perfect sizes for travelling.

Planet Shoes Base Black Pump - I saw these shoes online and really liked them, my mum has got me onto Planet Shoes and the brand does amazing leather shoes that last. So when Myer had a 30% off midyear sale on Planet Shoes I tried them on (or one on as I was in my moonboot) and they were so comfy. When I tried them both on at home I found they supported my ankle well and I couldn't believe that not only could I walk in them but I didn't feel unstable on them at all and it was almost like wearing flats.

One Small Thing by Erin Watt -
Blurb reads:
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.
Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…
Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.
Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again
This book really surprised me in a good way. I was drawn to the characters immediately and just loved how the story evolved. I really wanted to give Beth a hug throughout the book and also liked the way how Chase was represented. Both Beth and Chase had their issues and while they didn't want the labels they got they had to acknowledge them in order to move forward. I liked how their paths kept crossing and despite Chase's hand in killing Beth's sister, Beth just couldn't seem to hate Chase and wanted him to forgive himself. This was a good YA read and while I did find it dark in places the story flowed really well and I didn't feel like there was any gaps missing (or when I did wonder about things there were answered within the next few chapters)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord -
Blurb reads:
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

Another book that surprised me, this was a bit of a longer read but I loved the characters and didn't want it to end. It had lots of layers to the story and just when I thought I had it figured out something else would be uncovered. Dee (or Lilah as is her stage name) and Reagan were the definition of BFFs and it was great seeing just how much their friendship meant to each other. Matt was a great addition to the duo and it was great how his storyline intertwined with Dee and Reagan's. It was also great in showing that no matter what your background is we all go through struggles and moments of change that we don't like but have to go through. This book reminded me of early Taylor Swift songs and a long summer road trip which was a perfect escape from the wet Winter weather we have been enduring lately!

***I received a copy of both these books thanks to NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Finished with my Cert. 4

If you had asked me this time last year that I would be finished with my Cert. 4 in Community Services and about to start my Diploma in Community Services I would've laughed and said you were crazy. But here I am enrolled in the Diploma of Community Services and my Cert. 4 in Community services completed and it feels right.
At the start of the year I had intended to get a Cert. 4 in Computer Systems Technology then go straight into the work force but God had other plans. I had a panic attack on the second day and knew that it wasn't the course for me, then I got directed to enrol in Cert. 4 in Community Services and I felt at home. I fell in love with the course and looked forward to going to class each week, the assignments challenged me in a good way and I loved the class discussions that happened each week about various topics.
One of the highlights of this semester was during a psych appointment my psych made the comment that she hadn't seen me this mentally healthy before. She commented that while I was still having ups and downs I seemed more balanced and I clearly loved what I was studying and I was so animated when I talked about my studies. It just really confirmed that I had found my niche and would be qualified to soon work in an area I loved.
I didn't want the course to end so the idea of maybe doing the Diploma in Community Services started to grow in my head, I didn't tell anyone and prayed about it. Once I had made the decision to continue studying I knew it was what my next step should be.
The reality is that studying is a welcome break from unemployment and the thought of looking for work is exhausting. I want to build up my skills so I can get a job that will be the perfect fit for me and continuing to study will help me achieve me that. I have no idea what area of Community Services I see myself working in, I love the area of mental health and it's something I have lived experience and volunteer experience in but at the same time I also feel like I would be suited to student support services as I not only have personal experience in that area but I love to help people and it would be great to advocate for those who are struggling. What I do know is that God has the right job out there for me and I will get it when I am ready.
Today after I had submitted my prac workbook and other evidence and my lecturer had told me I had received my Cert. 4 in Community Services I wanted to dance and scream about it, because I had survived so much and for someone like me any achievement deserves to be celebrated.
I now have a two week break to recharge before I start my Diploma, I know that while the next two semesters may be challenging I can face anything head on and I am ready to learn more.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

Well I am almost done with my prac! I have 3 days left and then I am done :) I had 2 visits from my lecturer this past week and she is really impressed with what I have been learning and taking on. I have also passed all my assignments which is great. Week 2 was much the same as week 1 but I was a bit more at ease and more confident.
Next Friday my course coordinator officially signs off on my work and I will have completed a Cert. 4 in Community Services, I then have 2 weeks break and then I start on my Diploma. I'm really looking forward to going into more deeper subjects and learning more about Community Services but at the same time its scary as its a step into the unknown.

Google Chromecast - my parents just got one of these for the tv and it's a game changer! We are now able to watch Netflix (youtube, abciview ...) on the tv just using our phones. For what it does it's great value and saves us having to upgrade to a smart tv. A bonus is that anyone can us it as long as they are connected to our wifi and have a streaming service app with casting ability.

Drake I'm Upset video - this video has been going viral mainly because its a Degrassi Next Gen reunion! I am so stoked and I love seeing all the behind scenes instagrams from the cast too as it looked like such a fun video clip to make. I like to remind people that Drake got his start on a show called Degrassi Next Generation and to me he will always be Jimmy Brooks first.

Incredibles 2 - on Monday night it was decided we would go watch this as a family for Mum's birthday and we all loved it. It was actually the first time we had all gone to the movies as a family as it's just something we never do (no idea why) but we had a fun time and it was great movie for everyone to see. If you loved the first film you will enjoy this one, I will say that it is more action packed than the first and a bit more darker but Edna is still a scene stealer and the quality of the animation is amazing.

Cadbury Caramels - these are addictive and a bag does not last long in this house to say the least! There is something about their smooth chocolate coating and sweet chewy caramel filling that makes a perfect pick me up and once you have one you can't stop. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to discover these but I am already planning on incorporating these into my loaded brownies.

Magnolia Table cookbook - every Sunday night my sister puts on Fixer Upper and I have to admit like most of the population I love Chip and Joanna. I also love cooking so it was a no brainer to order Joanna's cookbook and I found myself on Monday night buying it (mainly because during prac I have no time to shop so online shopping is what I do haha). I am looking forward to cooking my way through it and finding some new favourite recipes.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Week 1 of Prac

Week 1 of prac down 2 more weeks to go! I eventually got a placement at a nearby community centre that runs programs during the day along with a food bank and other community services. It wasn't my first choice but I am enjoying it and seeing how a small centre can make a big impact on the community and how varied the people are who use the centre. No two days have been the same and I have gotten to participate and get involved in a variety of activities including; art therapy, playgroup, giving out food parcels and helping out at an after school homework club. It's also nice not having to worry about proper business wear (yay for no black pants!), I am able to get away with smart casual which has been black jeans, a nice long sleeve top with either my black jacket or black trench coat, a scarf if I'm feeling it and of course my moonboot (#notafashionstatement) and my black boot. I find changing (or removing or adding) a scarf or jacket can mean I can wear the same base clothes and no one notices me wearing the same top 3 days in a row haha!
I am so exhausted and I don't understand how people can work full time. I got home on Monday and just zoned out, despite not feeling like I had a full on day and the rest of the week was much the same. I would come home and crash, do some self-care and get ready for the next day (pack my lunch, work out what to wear...).
My current self-care choice is chocolate and something mindless on Netflix, I do like to watch intense shows (911 is on my to watch list but it will have to wait for my break) but at the moment I need something light and it's ok if I zone out while watching it. At the moment it is The Next Step as the episodes are only 20 minutes so I can watch a few episodes at a time. I have also been watching Younger and The Bold Type which are shows that just make me happy.
I think being in a moonboot hasn't helped and it's just another obstacle to deal with, I find that everywhere I turn there is a new area to work out how to manoeuvre around or someone asking what happened then looking at me in disbelief as I tell them (yes I fell down 3 steps and broke my foot, I'm clumsy what can I say?).
I am so thankful that my prac placement was only 5 minutes drive away as it makes thing easier, its nice to be able to leave at 8.20am to get to the centre at 8.30am with 5 minutes to spare. Also it's nice to finish the day at 4.00pm and realise that I will be home at 4.05pm so I can relax and switch off.
I turned off my alarm when it went off at 6.30am on Thursday and immediately went back to sleep and slept for another hour which was not ideal! But I was still able to get to work on time and no one was none the wiser that I had been a bit rushed.
This time in 2 weeks I will be done with my Cert. 4 I can't believe it, bring on the diploma (or maybe not haha!).
*I feel I should note I have had this song stuck in my head all week and I have no idea why please send help.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Five Friday Favourites (a day late)

***I meant to post this yesterday but I completely forgot so can we pretend it is still Friday?***
Another week is over! It's been super rainy here and it's not set to clear up until early next week, I will say it makes having a moonboot a bit more difficult especially when I am getting in/out of my car and need to get the boot on/off.  I finally start my prac on Monday which I am excited about but also nervous about too, it's 5 minutes drive away which is great but as I am doing it full time it will be a full on 3 weeks. I will be practicing a lot of self-care and have told people don't expect anything from me.
My car got new front tyres on Thursday, I always find you go through times of spending and times of saving and I am in times of spending, I have just had to pay for so many things! Thankfully God does provide and I will say I am reducing my spending and increasing my savings which is great plus being on prac for 3 weeks means less time to shop haha.

Planet Shoes Town 2 Black - last year I decided to invest in a good pair of black leather boots to last me more than one season and these were what I bought. Over a year later and they still look new and are holding up great! They offer great support and are the perfect boots to take you through all of winter. I am currently wearing mine with my moonboot and they are the perfect height for a moonboot which is welcome bonus so I'm not hobbling as much :)

Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookies - Winter has hit this past week and it's been raining
everyday this week. Thankfully rainy weather means the best baking weather so I whipped up a batch of these on Tuesday and they are so good! I made half with pretzel pieces and half without and they turned out amazing. A bit more involved than the traditional choc chip cookie but it's worth it and the caramel centre is a nice surprise. I used Cadbury Caramels which I cut into 3rds and were the perfect size plus being coated in chocolate is a nice extra.

MOR Perfume Oil Bohemienne - this is one of my recent favourite scents lately! It's not super sweet or too heavy which I love and its the perfect everyday scent. I find it lasts all day and the oil feels so nice to apply to your pressure points. I've mentioned these oils on here before but they are amazing and great perfumes when you don't want to break the bank plus the perfect size for your handbag or when travelling.

Kikki K sale - I have been to Kikki K twice this week and the sale has really been helping me not spend a heap while also getting my shopping fix. I bought a quite a few cards, some pens (my favourite pen is down to $2 so I made sure to stock up!), this small journal as I already have the bigger version which I love and a few other bits and pieces. Also you know it's bad when the workers know you by name so you can stop for a chat when you shop haha!

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck - if you ever want me to be quiet give me a good book to read (or chocolate to eat or a cat to cuddle they all work!) and Rachel's books will keep me quiet for a long time. I love her books and they are the perfect books to read on a cold Winter's day. Her latest book is no exception and an amazing read!
The blurb reads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.
Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.
I loved Chloe and Jesse they were wonderful characters and I loved how Rachel brought them together and how their story wrapped into Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow's story. It was amazing how the past and present blended together to create such a wonderful story.
I could not put this book down and just when I thought I knew what would happened next something else happened.
I found myself drawn to Chloe and how she was determined not to let her past shape her future all while clinging onto true love and her views of marriage (and love) despite society telling her otherwise.
The other characters we really well portrayed as well and I loved seeing how their stories played out on the pages in front of me.
It's a book that will have you trying to read it as slowly as possible to absorb all the whole story and not miss any key details.
The Love Letter is out June 12th and the perfect Winter read.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

Another week complete! I should've spend the past 2 weeks on prac but the placement I thought I would be at had a miscommunication (and fell through though it was never set in stone) and my lecturer hasn't been having much luck finding me (or anyone else for that matter) a placement. My anxiety has been rampant because of this and I haven't been sleeping well, my appetite is weird (breakfast just doesn't appeal to me at all) and I've been stress eating chocolate. I know God is in control of this but for someone who likes to know what is going on these past 2 weeks have not been fun at all.
I only have another 3 weeks for prac and in order to get my hours up (I need 100 but I've already done 30 due to ReachOut work) I will need to do a minimum 4 days a week which will not be fun for my anxiety. If you guys could please pray that I get a placement ASAP that would be amazing!

I saw my doctor on Tuesday and guess who gets to keep wearing the moonboot for another 5 weeks? Unfortunately me! Honestly this ankle is no fun at all and I have caused major damage all because I fell down 3 steps. I am allowed to have moonboot free days if I keep it strapped but they need to be far and few between and I will pay for it the next day. I had so hoped I would be out of it by now but between a tiny fracture, ligament damage and bruised bones its a complex injury to say the least.
I have a wedding next Saturday afternoon so my plan is go without the boot then but keep it in the car and put it on before church (the wedding is at my church and finishes at 3.00pm and as I can't see the point in driving 20 minutes home before having to be at church at 5.00pm anyway, I'm going to go to a café 5 minutes away to kill time between). I bought a beautiful blue striped dress to wear, I wasn't intending on buying another short dress (I need more maxi length dresses) but when I tried it on it was perfect and I like how I can wear it with stockings in the cooler weather if required.

Onto Friday Favourites:

Glitzee Glitter in Crystal White - in case you haven't realised I LOVE glitter. I need the sparkle in my life and the same goes for crafting. I love superfine glitter as you don't need much to make an impact and it captures the light amazingly. This is my go to glitter and while I am aware that $5 for a small tube is a lot it's of great quality and a little goes a long way. I will say that it sticks to everything so be prepared to find it in places for a long time (but is that really a bad thing?).

Olivia Burton Lace Detail watch - so after much thought and deliberation I decided to take the plunge and buy this watch. I just kept coming back to it and loved how classic it was with the fun detail in the lace. I got it last weekend when Myer had 20% off watches as I would much rather pay $160 instead of $200, but I'm not allowed to wear until after my course is finished. I'm looking forward to wearing it and reminding myself just how far I've come and using it as motivation to complete my Diploma in the next 2 semesters.

Smash Paint Play Stationery Range - I always find fun stationery makes studying fun and when I was on the hunt for some new folders for next semester this range caught my eye. I like that while it is targeted to adults it's still fun and will add some much needed colour and print into your study sessions. The prices are reasonable and won't break the bank, which is great when you are on a limited income and don't want to spend a heap on stationery.

STILA Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Perlina - never let me shop when I am in a retail therapy mood, I walked into Mecca today and within 5 minutes I had walked out with this. I already have 3 of these eyeshadows (my sister got me a gift pack of 3 half sizes for Christmas) and they are amazing! I wear them almost weekly and get so many compliments they are also super long lasting and have minimal fallout. I had been eyeing off this colour on the Mecca website for a few weeks now (I thought it was an online exclusive) but just didn't want to pay for shipping so the moment I saw it in store I knew I had to buy it. It's a beautiful sparkly crystal pearl white and one you can wear with anything.

New Amsterdam TV show (trailer) - it's the time of year when networks cancel TV shows and release trailers for new ones and I've been enjoying seeing what new shows the networks will be releasing. New Amsterdam has caught my eye as I've been on a real medical show kick lately (The Resident and The Good Doctor are shows I can't wait to return) and this one looks like it will be a good show to throw into the mix.