5 Ways to Prepare for a New Semester

It's a new year and a new semester is upon us! Back-to-school season has always been my favorite time of the year. I've always been that nerd who loves preparing for school. There's something about getting to stat fresh that motivates the crap out of me. 

Everyone has different ways of getting themselves ready, or little preparing by buying certain things, but there are a few things I think we all could do before starting a new semester. 

Purge

Last semester you collected a lot of things. Notebooks, post-its, random reciepts, none of which are important anymore. And, unfortuantely, during finals we're all so concerned with finsihing our exams and leaving that we don't take the time to go through our space. 

If you have the luxury, spend the day before classes start, or an afternoon during syllabus week, going through your dorm or bedroom and decluttering all of last semesters junk. 

Get New Supplies

MY FAVORITE PART. I love getting new colored pens, highlighters, and my three different kinds of black pens. (clearly I have a problem) After purging from last semester you'll know what you need to replenish and you can take a trip to Target [heaven] and stock up. 

Add Important Dates to Your Planner

I prefer to do this before classes start, but some professors don't release their syllabi until their first class. Whenever you get access start adding your assignments to your planner and shoot to have it finished by the end of sylllabus week. 

Also add in any exersize classes you know you'll be attending or any conferences or networking events you know you want to go to this semester. 

Clean Up Your Computer

You know how at the end of every semester it feels like your laptop is dying a slow painful death? It's because you've downloaded/uploaded/used on a soft surface/used for too many consecutive hours/etc. etc. etc. 

Take an hour and delete any documents you don't need. Transfer anything you want into an external harddrive, or dropbox, and go through your downloads and see if anything can be deleted. Also be sure to go through your applications; I noticed I had downloaded a bunch of apps onto my computer years ago that I don't even use anymore that have just been slowing it down. 

Go Snack Shopping

Stock up on some healthy grab-n-go snacks that you can bring with you to class. I always feel more prepared for the day when I know I have a seltzer and an Odwalla bar in my bag just incase so I don't have to buy something on campus.  

How are you preparing for next semester?

xoxo

AME

2017 Fitness Goals

If you've been keeping up with my blog for a while you'd know I've gone through several fitness adventures, and every single time I never achieve what I hoped to out of them. But this year I've decided that rather than set a goal for a specific number on the scale or a pant size, I've set a new kind of goal. 

In 2017 I want to learn how to love exercise. I want to be one of those people who looks forward to going on a run, or meeting their friend at a fitness class. 

How Do I Plan to Learn to LOVE Exercise?!

Well, back in October I made the decision to give up soda. Aside from general health reasons, I gave up soda mostly to help my chronic migraine. I had attempted to give up soda probably 400x in the past and failed, but I've actually been successful this time. As someone who use to drink 3 or four sodas a day, I quit cold turkey and haven't had more than one sip of soda since. 

I did this by following the mentality that it takes 21 days to break or make a habit. So that's how I'm going to start with exercise. 

| STEP 1: Making the Habit | 

I move back to campus on January 21st, and I will spend the next 21 days incorporating a form of exercise into my daily life. (That's only 3 weeks of daily exercise, I can do this!) After doing the Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guide, and really liking the weekly set up, I'm going to follow a similar schedule and do 2 or 3 days of just cardio and 2 or 3 days of strength training with 2 rest/restore days that I will fill with yoga or pilates. 

| STEP 2: Finding What I Love |

 As much as I love yoga and I tolerate the elliptical, those aren't really super motivating things. There are no great [free] yoga studios near my school, and my campus gym offers a very limiting number of yoga classes. BUT, they do offer a ton of other classes that I've always been to scared to try. SO, I'm taking a piece of advice from Shonda Rhimes book, Year of Yes, and I will be saying 'yes' more to new things this semester. 

| STEP 3: Loving Exercise | 

This is the part I'm excited for! I can't wait to start doing things with friends, and going to fitness classes and just having fun! I've always secretly wanted to be one of those girls and her friends who go shopping after they've been to a barre class. (ok, I'm a little weird.) And as a reward to myself for finding what I love I will invest in either a new Fitbit or and Apple Watch at the end of the semester if I can successfully accomplish this goal and know that I anticipate keeping up the habit. 


Have you set any new fitness goals for 2017? And if you have any recommendations for fitness classes or fitness apps please let me know!! 

xoxo

AME

J.Crew Factory Basics Haul

I love going shopping in the new year (I mean come on, THE SALES!) But normally when I shop after the new year I end up buying a lot of random trendy things that I end up barely wearing and eventually donating. This year I've been planning to buy some much needed essentials. 

| Black Toothpick Jeans - $49.50

I've been in desperate need for a good pair of black skinny jeans, and I've been eyeing these ones. The ones I currently own Im pretty sure are leggings from American Eagle 5 years ago, so it's safe to say I was in need to an upgrade. These jeans retail for between $110-$125 but they fit amazingly, so finding them for under $50 made me know I HAD to get them. 

| Black Schoolboy Blazer - $110

As a business student, having a black blazer is kind of essential. I'm going into my second semester as a junior and I still didn't have a black blazer, let alone a decent blazer of any kind. This one is a classic and I can wear it with jeans or dress it up when I need to. Being a marketing major I won't need to have a ton of suiting apparel, but a fun blazer will be necessary. 

| Denim Jacket - $34

Every denim jacket I've ever owned either had a bunch of holes in it, had sweatshirts for sleeves, or didn't fit properly. All I've wanted was a good denim jacket that I could wear with anything and keep as a staple in my closet. I love this one because it has some stretch in it and it's just a classic colored denim. 

| Crystal Necklace - $24.50

I can never leave the J.Crew Factory store without buying a necklace! I love all of the simple statement necklaces and this one is no different. For only $25 I couldn't say no. 


Overall I left feeling like I had bought basics that I will actually use so often and that will last me a long time! If you want to shop what I'm currently wearing check out my new "Shop My Closet" page. I'll be updating this page as often as my wardrobe changes! 

Find any great basics lately?

xoxo

AME

January Reading List

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"The Name Therapist" - Duana Taha

Every time I take a trip to the bookstore I always get one book solely based off of the cover. Clearly this book drew me [coffee addict], but when I picked it up it seemed like a genuinely interesting book. It's a combination of an autobiography and a self-help book about discovering who you are. 

"Year of Yes" - Shonda Rhimes

I have been DYING for this book. Shonda is a goddess, and I know this book is going to be my 2017 inspiration book! 

"Bones are Forever" - Kathy Reichs

I have been obsessed with the show Bones since my junior year of high school. Whenever I'm anxious, or starting to feel like I'm slipping up in school I rematch the show on Netflix and wait for new episodes to come up on Hulu. I had no idea the show was based on this book (let alone a series of following books) and happened to see it in the bookstore the day that Season 12 premiered! It was obviously destiny. 

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" - Marie Kondo

Over the summer I had read a few articles and blog posts on this book and got so inspired, but I was in the process of moving and didn't want to order it, and I couldn't find it at any of my local bookstores. Coincidentally my bookstore had received a shipment of them the day that I was picking up a few books. Again, destiny. This book is all about decluttering your life to live more joyfully! And if you watched the Gilmore Girls Revival, Emily Gilmore even took a crack at it for a second. 


What's on your Reading list this month?

xoxo

AME

2017 Goals

It's 2017! I love this time of year because everyone is so motivated and it feels like a breath of fresh air. 

Rather than making a resolution this year, I'm setting some goals for myself. I always feel like resolutions are telling yourself that you can't do something anymore instead of being something positive that you can look forward to.  

Goals: 

| Start Journaling | 

When I move back into my apartment for spring semester I'm going to start a journal. I'd like it to be a daily journal but I'm going to call it a "whenever I can" journal. Leave a comment if you journal, your favorite kind of journaling, or where you think I should buy my journal! I love this one, but I can't decide if I should do spiral bound or hard cover. 

| Watch More Documentaries |  

The only documentaries I've watched recently have been for class so I want to start watching documentaries for fun again. I've already watched 3 and it's only January 4th! At the end of the month I'll be doing a post about my favorite ones from that month. 

| Discover How I Like To Exercise |  

I always start the new year saying I'm going to work out 3x a week, or that I'm going to go to yoga every Tuesday and Thursday,  or something restrictive like that. But this year I'm setting a goal to learn how I like to exercise. I need to branch out from the elliptical and my same group fit class and find something new. 

| Be Fiscally Responsible |  

I have to start saving my money. I'm almost a senior in college and have no savings, it's time. My dad gave me a budget journal for christmas and I'm fully taking advantage of the Mint app!


What're some of your 2017 goals? 

xoxo

AME

 

 

20 Things I've Learned Before I Turn 20

Let's start by saying yes, I'm a 19 year old junior in college who STILL hasn't turned 20 yet. My birthday is December 29th and I can honestly say that I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it. Every year for the past 19 years I've been so excited for my birthday, but now I'm no longer going to be a teenager, and I'm one year closer to having to pay for insurance and cable and that's scary. 

anyway..

In my current 19 years of life I feel like I've accumulated enough knowledge on getting through life that I want to share it! 

1. your parents may just be your best friends

Growing up I definitely took my parents for granted. My parents are divorced and remarried so I have four wonderful parents, and in high school I was so concerned with spending time with my friends that I didn't get to know my parents. Obviously I knew my parents, but I didn't spend time with them as much as I should've, or realized how close we could've been if I had spent more time with them. 

2. save your money

When I got my first job in high school I literally spent my entire first paycheck on a Backstreet Boys concert ticket. That trend basically carried until my sophomore year of college. I was not a saver until I became dirt poor and had no choice. Save your money early - poor college you will thank you later. 

3. make time for yourself

It's great to join 3 clubs and play a sport and take 2 APs, but don't forget to take time for yourself. Freshman year of college I tried to do it all and everything crashed and burned around me. Having 2 hours for yourself is going to be so much more valuable then being able to add your name to one more club. 

4. don't over plan

We all know I'm obsessed with my day planner, but over-planning and over scheduling can sometimes put more of a burden on our lives then it can be helpful. I love block scheduling my free time for studying but I was getting to a point where I was literally scheduling when in the day I was going to brush my teeth. When I got to that point breaking my schedule gave my anxiety. Its better not to overplay your days and give yourself unnecessary anxiety until you need that. 

5. spend more money on experiences

Stop saving up for another purse you don't need or those trendy jeans you want and save up for a plane ticket! I regret how much money I've spent on items I don't even have any more and how little of the country (let alone the world) I've seen. 

6. your friends will change and thats OK

This one was the hardest for me to grasp. I always thought my true few from high school would be my ride or die, but my parents were right. Their still my friends, but we talk like my parents and their old friends do (not often). And overtime we see each other its mostly just catching up and "we'll have to do this again's." It's OK to have your friends change. It might be scary, and you may feel lonely for a while, but its ok. 

7. its not the end of the world to fail

When I got to college I was convinced I'd get the same grades I got in high school (A's + B's). No. That's not what happens in college. I actually failed a class and it almost killed me. But it took a long time to realize that it wasn't the end of the world. 

8. don't let one setback break you down

Going back to failing^^ I was so let down after that that I thought I should transfer schools. Letting one setback get to you like that rather than letting it empower you will break you down. Turn these mini downs into motivating factors to get you doing better in the next thing you're doing. 

9. making coffee at home will save you

I recently discovered how nice it is to not have to leave my apartment to get coffee that tastes great and costs half as much. It's so nice and my wallet is a fan. 

10. don't forget to take pictures of yourself

In the day and age of Instagram aesthetics, we sometimes get so caught up taking pictures of places, things, other people, that we forget to get in the picture and we forget to ask people to take our pictures'. Take your picture, take a picture with no makeup on, with a crappy outfit, just goofing off with your friends; because you're gonna want to remember those memories a lot more than you're gonna want to remember your 3rd iced vanilla latte of the day. 

11. waking up early makes the whole day feel more productive

I started waking up around 6/7 every morning and it has literally felt like I've added a second day to my life. Mornings are now my most productive time, and you just get so much more stuff done, even if you just wake up an hour earlier than you normally would. 

12. drink more water

Standard life advice. It's good for you. 

13. it's ok to stay in

I'm not a partier, and I always used to feel guilty when I politely declined going out, but it OK to stay in. Even if you love going out but you need a night to yourself, or if our like me and you go out to be with your friends but its not really your thing. Its ok to stay in. 

14. don't wait until your gas light comes on to get gas

We all know when we need to get gas, just go get it. Don't be lazy and wait for the light to come on, one day you're gonna run out of gas on the highway and AAA won't be there to save you. 

15. keep your room clean

This is especially relevant if you life in a small university provided bedroom. Keeping your room picked up, things off the floor, and your desk relatively clean makes your mind feel so much clearer. 

16. you can't please everyone

Attempting to be a people pleaser will stress you out. Do the best you can, and accept that not everyone is going to love everything you do. 

17. don't paint your nails before you go to bed

No matter what you think, they will get smudged. Just wait until morning. 

18. say yes more

Don't be afraid of new opportunities. Say yes to more things that you'd typically be afraid to do. (example: I conquered my irrational fear of avocados this year, and now I love guacamole.)

19. don't be afraid to say no

This is similar to make time for yourself. If you're someone who says yes to doing everything needed for everything and everyone, its ok to say no. Someone else can handle that part of the group project. And someone else can bake the cupcakes, and make the banner, and pick up the groceries, and do everything else. 

20. be yourself

Always stay true to who you are. Wear what you like. Eat what you like, when you like. Watch the shows you like and hang out where you like. Don't let anyone else determine what you should be doing with your life. 


xoxo

AME