Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Organized Chaos

Moving to a college is a big change. One of the changes is the amount of room you have to live in. Whether living on or off campus, apartments can really limit your space, making it tough to stay organized. Here is a list of tips to help you get organized and stay organized.

Tip one: Start small. Cleaning and organizing a room can seem like a big job, but start by taking 10 minutes out of your day and dedicate it to cleaning. Start with one shelf or one drawer and after a week you will see a huge difference.

Tip two: Throw stuff away! As hard as it may be, loose what you don’t use. If you have clothes taking up space and you haven’t worn them in a year or two, donate them.

Tip three: Make a plan. If you want to stay organized you have to put in the effort. Continue to set goals for yourself such as, getting laundry done, folded and put away by Monday or vacuuming every Wednesday.

Tip four: Once you get your room clean, you can start organizing in order to stay clean. There are plenty of dollar store options for college students on a budget. Often times, you can even use recycled boxes to store your stuff. You can even get fancy and decorate your storage containers with fabric or wrapping paper.
Tip five: Stay conscious about how much space you have. It’s easy to get carried away and fill a room with all your stuff from home but it’s unrealistic. If you have a bunch of items that you just can’t live without, invest in a small bookcase where you will be able to stack things vertically, allowing you to free up floor space.

Now you have five steps to get you started. Living in a clean and organized space can reduce stress as a messy space can make you feel hopeless or out of control. Getting and staying organized not only helps you find things but also helps you feel more accomplished. Once you have gotten organized and you are happy with your results, your apartment can start to feel more like a home. Here are some additional links that list more organizational options.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Single Person's Awareness Day Tips

Ridin’ solo this V-day? Don’t sweat it! Here are some fun ideas of things you can do with friends and some that you can do by yourself! Disclaimer: some ideas may be better suited for the ladies.

Go See the New 50 Shades of Grey Movie
This activity can be done with friends or by yourself! The new flick is bound to be the talk of the town next week, so why shouldn’t you spend your Saturday staying “in the know?”

Go Hike Kennesaw Mountain
Craving getting fit for your spring break? Treat yourself to a relaxing hike up Kennesaw Mountain this Valentine’s Day! Who needs a date when you can get those endorphins? The weather has a high of 55° expected for Saturday.

Do Unto Others
Spend time helping out at a children's home, senior citizen center, or battered women's shelter. Giving back to the community by playing games or cooking a special dinner for people in need can really warm your heart on Valentine's Day.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
Get a massage, a facial, or a pedicure – alone or with some girlfriends. Make yourself feel special and pampered!

Have Family Fun
Got nieces or nephews? Be the "cool aunt" and volunteer to babysit. Take the kids to an indoor playground, and then go out to eat junk their parents never let them have. They'll love you forever!

Throw an Anti-Valentine’s Day Movie Night
If you are just so over this card-company created holiday, you can host an anti-valentine’s day gathering for you and your friends. Break out the best horror film that Redbox or Netflix has to offer and bring a new meaning to wearing red on Valentine’s Day. Redbox coupon code: Text EMAIL to 727272 for a free 1-day DVD rental and reply back with your email address. The Redbox code will be sent to your email address and it expires two weeks after receiving.

Hit the sale rack
Valentine’s Day shares a weekend with Presidents Day, a big sale holiday, which means clearance winter apparel will be even more of a steal. You are even likely going to be able nab a new arrival for 20% to 30% less thanks to the sales.

Host a BYOF Party
Host a get-together and ask all of your friends to bring a friend of the opposite sex — making the party a great way to expand your network of friends, as well as potential pool of dating partners.

Get Dressed to Impress
Get into the outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks and go out to a hot new bar or club. Challenge yourself to strike up a conversation with five guys (or gals) you'd never normally approach. Take a chance – you might introduce yourself to someone amazing!

Speed dating
There’s nothing like a good game of speed dating or other singles events on Valentine’s Day. Look online or in your local newspaper for activities for singles close to home. It’s a fun, inexpensive way to meet people. The added bonus of such events is that cuddly, kissing couples won’t be crossing your path at every turn.

Do Something Crazy
Have you been a chicken about that new tattoo or nose ring? This Valentine’s Day, step outside of your comfort zone and do something kind of crazy! You could also go caving, bungee jumping, or even something as wild as sky diving! Take your fears, and conquer them!

Get Weepy
If you need to have a cry or even a little pity party, indulge – for a minute. Time yourself. This is especially important if you got out of a relationship right before Valentine's Day, because that sucks. Let yourself mourn or feel bad, but don't let it consume the entire day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Avoiding Flu Season

 Want to avoid getting sick this semester? It's that time of year where everyone is sneezing and

coughing and you're thinking I really hope I don't get sick. Getting sick can mean missing class and feeling miserable and no one wants that. Listed below are some simple and easy ways to make sure you don’t get sick this semester!

The first thing to remember is to make sure you are washing your hands properly. It is important to do this after touching your face, or touching common objects. Most people learn that if they sing the Happy Birthday song twice they have washed their hands well. But just in case you never learned that way here are three simple steps to make sure you are washing your hands properly!

Step 1: wet your hands then apply soap
Step 2: rub hands together for 15-20 seconds
Step 3: rinse and then dry your hands

These are very easy and simple ways to make sure you wash your hands properly and that can help you avoid getting sick. If you not near a bathroom, hand sanitizer can work as well. 
Another way to make sure you don’t get sick is to try and eat healthy and get a good night’s rest. Also, try to make sure you keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth, to avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary germs. When you cough or sneeze, it is best to try and use a tissue to prevent the spread of germs.
If you are comfortable with needles, you can also stop by the nearest clinic or pharmacy and get the flu shot. You can find many more tips online about how to prevent getting sick, or you can stop by the clinic on campus and find out more information.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Start S.M.A.R.T

It’s that time of the year again! Three hundred and sixty five days have passed and by December 31st we are all patiently waiting for the countdown to midnight. Not only does this provide an excuse to party as well as share the ending of the previous year with our loved ones, the countdown to many symbolizes a fresh start. Theoretically, it is the beginning of a blank canvas and it is up to us to paint the perfect picture. Though we are not Picassos, we all surely do strive to set high goals and even higher expectations of the year to come. In efforts to start fresh, some great genius from back in the days decided to create “New Year’s Resolutions.”
So what makes these resolutions so difficult to keep?  We’ve all fallen victim in our attempts to combat the second month slump. We set very high goals, yet we begin to fall back into old routines half way through January. After doing this over and over for several years, I deem this the year to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Timely). There are various examples and different words to represent S.M.A.R.T. These words can be altered to fit your specific needs in setting a goal.

The S:
To begin setting your SMART goal, start with making your goal as specific as possible. Setting vague goals leaves too much room to give up when something unexpected occurs. For example, setting a goal to lose weight is very vague. How many pounds would you like to lose? What is your reasoning and ambition behind this goal? Without this specificity, motivation to fulfill this goal will not be as strong.
The M:
After setting your very specific goal, make sure that this goal is also measurable. Having a measurement for your goal provides feedback in knowing how your goal is coming along as well as when your goal is complete.
The A:
Who is this goal created for? Some times we create goals for not only individuals, but also groups. In a group setting, if a goal is not specifically assigned, it is less likely that people will take initiative. Also, when creating goals for individuals it is great to state that this goal is specifically for you. This allows some ownership and helps to keep you on track.  
The R:
Now you know yourself more than anyone else! You’re setting a goal to lose 30 pounds in two weeks, yet your go to food is a whopper, the biggest fries available, and a side of soda. Not only is it not realistic to lose 30 pounds in that short amount of time, keeping the same eating habits will definitely hinder any chances of this happening. To make your goals more realistic start small! How about beginning with cutting out food items that are bad for you? Try giving up soda for a month, if that month goes well then aim for two, then slowly add more veggies to your diet on the third month, reduce portion size on the fourth, and so on.
The T
To complete your smart goal, be certain that it is timely! Make your time frame aggressive; yet also be as realistic as possible with this time frame! Two weeks to lose 30 pounds is aggressive, but definitely not realistic…or healthy. Be realistic with your self and with your goals. If you want to set life changing goals you have to start somewhere, but also remember how you execute things, and address unexpected set backs.

Check out my example below and master the art in setting your own smart goals!
Reminder: If you’re not a goal setting person and you do well with just checking things off a list then plan a grand to do list for every year! Similar to a bucket list, but for realistic things you would like to accomplish for the year.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Simple DIY Wickless Candles!

It's almost Valentine's Day! In my opinion, candles can be useful on this night in one of two        ways:
 1. Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with a significant other.        
 2. Taking a solo candlelit bath and pampering yourself while embracing your independent (single) self.

If you're an on-campus resident, you probably know that burning candles is not allowed because of fire safety issues.  However, you can still have, and even create, apartment friendly candles! This blog will teach you how to make wick free candles that you can burn anywhere with a candle warmer!

Hint: Even though I rarely do this, I would suggest
reading over this beginning to end before starting for
safety and efficiency.

You will need:
-beeswax (found in blocks at craft stores)
-large pot
-small saucepan with handle
-essential oil of your choice
-small jar (or espresso cup or other small cup-like container--be creative!)
-candle warmer

Step 1: This is probably this hardest part of the process.
Starting with your block of beeswax, you'll need to cut it down into thin shavings for melting. This can be done with a kitchen knife or a grater and a cutting board—just be careful! Cut until you have about a cup of dried wax, and then you can move onto the second step for what you have. Keep in mind that beeswax can be very hard to get off of things, so don't use your favorite or daily use water will eventually work though.

Step 2: Fill your large pot about halfway with water and bring to a low boil on the stove. Lower the temperature once you see bubbles so that you don't burn yourself. Place your dried wax that you just cut into your small saucepan, and place the sauce pan into the water. DO NOT put beeswax directly into boiling water.  The wax should melt fairly quickly depending on how small your pieces are, so watch it very closely. Pour a few drops of your essential oil (lavender and jasmine are popular, and eucalyptus is super relaxing...remember that bath I mentioned earlier?) and let the oil melt into the wax.

Step 3: Take your small container (which can really be anything...think mugs or teacups...) and carefully (!!!) pour your melting wax mixture into the container. And that's it! No really, repeat for more but you're done!

Step 4: Well, technically not quite. Place your homemade candle on your candle burner and use it to make your room smell better or for whatever Valentine's plans you choose.