Living, Learning, Dreaming

LLD is Now on Bloglovin’!

By January 6, 2016 Uncategorized

I am pleased to announce that my blog is now part of Bloglovin’!! Thank you all for your support!
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5 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

By January 6, 2016 Dreaming

In a world of busy schedules, it’s acceptable and sometimes encouraged to sacrifice sleep in order to get work done. This is  not okay! A consistent lack of sleep can have negative effects on your health. Dorm living can make getting enough sleep especially tricky. My roommate used to lay in bed for nearly two hours before she fell asleep! Whether or not you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours per night there are some things you can do to make sure the sleep you are getting is truly restful.

#1 Get into a routine

Routines are important. When you are exhausted from the day, it’s super tempting to just flop into bed. Taking the twenty minutes to wash your face and prep for the next day will make a huge impact on your morning. Packing your backpack and picking out your outfit will help you to start off a new day on the right foot.

#2 Change your environment

If you are a light sleeper like me, all it takes is one loud noise or a roommate flicking on a light to wake you up. When you are going to bed, make sure your room is quiet and dark. If you share a room invest in a sleeping mask!! (Here is the one I use and love!) This makes things easier for you and your roommate. They don’t have to get ready for bed in the dark and you won’t get woken up. I also have a hard time falling asleep when people are loud. Let’s face it, not everyone respects quiet hours. I’ve found it helpful to have a fan blowing next to my bed. The noise of the fan drowns out the other people in the dorm.

#3 Avoid electronics

This is super important! At least on hour before bed, stay away from your computer, TV, phone, e-reader, and any other electronic device you own. They emit high frequency light that messes with your brain and keeps you awake longer. If you absolutely must finish that paper before bed,  use an app such as f.lux to convert the light to a lower energy wave. This will reduce the light’s impact on your sleep.

#4 Learn to love lavender

This tip is a bit unconventional but, it really helps. I’m a big fan of essential oils and have been a member of Young Living since May 2015. Trust me when I say it’s worth the hype. Diffusing lavender into our room has helped me and my roommate get a much more restful sleep in the dorm. A word of warning: be careful of the supplier. There are different levels of quality surrounding essential oils. Be sure to get them from a supplier whose quality you trust. (I am obviously biased toward Young Living but, there are a few other companies out there that offer high quality.)

#5 Relax

If you have a hard time falling asleep, there are some techniques you can try to help you relax before bed. A lot of the time the worries of the day and long list of things to do tomorrow will race through your head. Keep a notebook by your bed to write down whatever is on your mind and commit to checking it each morning. This way you can stop focusing on the chaos and give yourself permission to go to sleep. If the stress of the day is still bothering you, you can meditate before bed. You may also find it helpful to get into bed and tense all of your muscles. Then, slowly relax them starting from your head and moving toward your feet. This will help your body to let go of all the stress you’ve been holding onto.

Follow these techniques and you are well on your way to a good night’s sleep! Happy dreaming!




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How to Set a Goal and Follow Through

By January 3, 2016 Living

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! It’s that lovely time of year where everyone is reminded of the importance of taking a step back and creating a new list of things to accomplish this year. If you are like most people, this years list includes several items off of last year’s list which was probably mostly items from the list of the year before. Sound familiar? A New Year starts off with many grand intentions that usually fall apart by the middle of February. There a few steps you can take to help you achieve your goals this year.

#1 Start small

As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect to lose 50 lbs in a month or “get healthier” in a week. You need to set small, easy to accomplish goals that are realistic. If you are like many people looking to lose weight, work toward 1 -2 lbs per week rather than worrying about looking good for the summer trip to the beach. If you aim too high too quickly, you will likely be overwhelmed.

#2 Be Specific

How do you know when you have gotten healthier this year? more organized? closer to God? Your goals need to be measurable. What does healthier look like? For example, I don’t eat enough vegetables every day so, I’m not getting all of the nutrients I need to be healthy. For me, being healthier would mean this week I will try to get one serving of vegetables a day then next week two and so on until I’m getting the 3-5 I should be.

#3 Have Accountability

Change is difficult to make. It takes nearly a month to form a habit and the first week is always the hardest. Don’t try to rely on your own strength. I promise you will fail. Instead, share your goals with someone and ask them to help keep you on track. Give them permission to be honest with you and give you some tough love. Whether it is a friend, relative, or even an roommate, accountability is essential to achieving your goals.

Following these few simple steps will make achieving your goals possible. Come February, you will be able to proudly state that you are still following through on your New Years resolution!

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Chasers of the Light

By December 29, 2015 Dreaming

As part of my Christmas present, my mom said here is some cash to spend at the mall. The trip to the mall brought me to Barnes and Noble and resulted in me buying books until I could no longer carry them all. (If you are a book worm like me, then you can probably relate.) During this adventure, I decided that I need to read something outside of my comfort zone. After about a half hour, I finally left the history section and headed on over to fiction. This is where I stumbled upon a magnificent end cap displaying poetry. When I was younger, I loved poetry but, too many years of honors English had made me reluctant to pick it up again.

And that is when I found “Chasers of the Light” by Tyler Knott Gregson

I flipped through the book and saw some cute pictures and noticed that everything looked like it had been done on a typewriter. It was a short book and relatively inexpensive for a hardcover so, I bought it.

Buying this book may have been the best choice I made in 2015. It was so refreshing to read a work that felt incredibly honest. This book was filled with poems of encouragement and romance. It is unlike anything I have ever read. Even if poetry isn’t your style, give this book a chance to speak to you. I promise it is worth the read.

To give you an idea of what you are missing out on, I will add one of the poems:

2 sometimes

I cannot say enough good things about this collection of poems. Everyone reading this should go buy it!! 🙂




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How do I Choose a Major?

By December 29, 2015 Dreaming

First of all, don’t panic if you have no idea what you want to do with your life. It’s totally normal! Most colleges will let you come in undeclared anyway. For financial aid purposes, you will typically need to declare a major by the end of your sophomore year.

Don’t be afraid to declare. It is perfectly okay to switch majors! This decision is typed onto a page, not chiseled into stone. The average college student switches majors 5 times throughout their time as an undergrad.

So, what do you like to do? Take some time to explore different classes. Discovering what subjects interest you and what ones don’t will help you narrow down your options.

Do you have a career in mind? Do a little research to see what majors are most helpful for this area.

One website I found helpful when I started this journey is This website is designed to help you identify potential majors/programs to consider based on what classes you liked and were good at.

Maybe you already have a major in mind, but you have no idea what to do once you graduate. Good news! There is a site that you can use to start exploring careers! has a large selection of majors to choose from and provides a variety of different careers to consider in relation to those majors.

I hope these sites will help give you the stepping stones you need to start off on the right foot. If all else fails, talk to your advisor. They are there to help you (just don’t expect them to make this decision for you)!

Whatever you decide, make sure it is something you love because you deserve to live our your dreams.

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How to Read a Textbook Efficiently

By December 29, 2015 Learning

If you are anything like me, then you know textbook reading can be slow going. For some of my science classes, it can take me up to 10 minutes to read a single page! So, I want to share my favorite method for reading/understanding textbook chapters with you.

Step 1: Survey

The main point of surveying is to get a preview of what is to come. Be sure to read over any titles, headings, and subheadings along with the introductory paragraphs. Look at the diagrams and tables read their captions. This step should take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

Step 2: Question

Rewrite each of the paragraph headings as a question. These questions should help you understand what information to focus on and will later serve to format your study guide if you choose to make one.

Step 3: Read

Yep! That’s right! You actually have to read your $200 textbook. While you read, try to answer the questions you made in step 2.

Step 4: Recite

For this step, begin by saying aloud the important details of what you read. Go over this information several times. (This can be a bit embarrassing in the dorm, so you may want to find a study room you can have to yourself or a partner in the class.) Don’t forget to write down the key points into your notes. They should answer all of the questions from your title headings.

Step 5: Review

Take the time to study at least a half hour a day. I promise this will pay off in the long run! Try to answer all of the questions you made in a few key details.


Implement this technique at the beginning of the semester and you will be well on your way to an A.

Good luck and happy studying!


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Essential Apps for College Students

By December 28, 2015 Living

Hey guys! I wanted to take some time to share my favorite apps with you. Some of the most common New Years goals for students involve losing weight and becoming more productive. These apps will help you successfully achieve these goals.

Chrome Apps/Extensions

  1. Momentum: This program is designed with productivity in mind. I love it because it replaces your new tab in your browser with a beautiful picture and an inspiring quote. It always greets you by name. (Right now, mine says Good evening, Tina.) My favorite thing about Momentum is that it challenges you to identify your main goal for the day and provides a task bar that helps you recognize the specific steps you need to take to achieve the goal.
  2. StayFocusd: This app blocks sites during a the time you set to help you stay focused on work. For example, mine is set to block Pinterest from 8am-7pm M-F so that I won’t be tempted to be on Pinterest during my classes. The best/worst part about StayFocusd is that you have to perfectly type in a paragraph to change the settings. This prevents you from changing the settings to allow you onto your time waster sites everyday.

Phone Apps

(These can all be found in the PlayStore and work on Android phones.)

  1. Fabulous: Motivate Me  This app is like having a personal coach. It motivates you to make small, easy changes that ultimately promote healthy living. It has everything from encouraging you to have a positive self image to giving you tips to sleep better at night.
  2. Water Drink Reminder: This app does exactly what the name says. It calculates how much water you should drink based on height/weight/activity and reminds you to drink more when you get behind. There are so many benefits to drinking enough water and it is one of the easiest ways to get healthy in the new year.
  3. Headspace: Headspace is a meditation app that is perfect for beginners! It guides you through the basics of meditation and contains a variety of programs. The app itself is free, but anything beyond the beginning lessons will cost extra.

I hope these apps help you start off the new year on the right track!

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Tips for a Great Start to a New Semester

By December 26, 2015 Learning

New semesters are the best time to set new goals. It’s time to evaluate what went wrong last semester and make a new plan to tackle the upcoming challenge.

Before the semester starts, there are some simple things you can do to ensure you start off on the right foot.

  • Take some time to get organized.

What supplies do you need? What do you need to stock up on? If you are like me, then your supplies of sticky notes and index cards are precariously low. It’s time to put some of that Christmas money to good use.

  • Get your textbooks.

If you have a chance, check with some upperclassman to see if you really need to buy the books, or if they would be willing to sell them to you. Don’t put this one off! Snatch up the used books right away before companies increase prices or run out of used books.

  • Make a plan

Never underestimate the power of a daily planner! I would be lost without my agenda. Take the time to plan out your schedule hour by hour for each day of the week. Once the semester starts, you can adjust it accordingly, but it will help to go in with a rough plan. Schedule your time efficiently. There are only 24 hours in a day and you already lose 1/3 of them sleeping. Efficiency is key!

Plan your harder subjects first and at a time when you work best. Do you have an hour break between classes? Don’t waste it watching Netflix. Try working out or reviewing your notes instead. Pay attention to the biggest time wasters of last semester and be sure to replace them with more productive activities next semester.

Don’t forget to schedule breaks too! Commit to an hour of work and reward yourself with a quick social media check. Just don’t let 15 minutes of Tumblr turn into an afternoon 🙂

Good luck!

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Destressing After Finals

By December 25, 2015 Living

Hi everyone!

I don’t know about you, but finals week stresses me out beyond belief. It is really important to take some time after the stress to unwind and rejuvenate. Here are some of my favorite ways to unwind for a few days and get ready for a new semester.

  • Read for fun

The entire semester is filled with demands to read various textbooks, novels, journals, and articles. It’s time to sit back and dive into some lighter reading. Whether you are rereading a favorite or catching up on the latest must reads, reading a book on your own terms is a great way to escape from the daily grind.

  • Catch up with old friends

Sometimes texting just isn’t enough. You need some quality time with your friends to help you refocus on what’s important. Try going bowling or finding another inexpensive activity. You don’t have to break the bank and let’s face it, we don’t have much in there to begin with!

  • Cuddle your pets

For me, the worst part about college is that my dog is no where to be found. Take some time to snuggle and play with your pets. Lets face it, they’re the main reason we Skype home anyway.

  • Watch your favorite movie/TV show

All semester you’ve had to ignore TV while you studied. It’s time to binge! Go ahead and indulge! You don’t have any exams to study for or homework to do. Instead, you can watch your stories guilt free. (If you are looking for a new show I would HIGHLY recommend Arrow!)

I hope you all have  a relaxing break and will feel refreshed and ready for the next semester! Don’t forget to take time and get organized for next semester.



Living, Learning, Dreaming is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


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