My September Favourites

This was originally supposed to be an August favourites, but as we are half way through September I changed it to that. I have not written a post in several months now though so I really need to get back into it! University has been super hectic for me and then over the break I was too busy seeing everyone. I’m back now though, and hopefully I can keep this up. So here is my first ever favourites post! I love reading these so I am excited to do my own!

 

Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Palette Decadent 505

I went home over the holidays so I left a lot of my make up at university. Instead I reached for this palette again which I have only really used a couple of times. I don’t use eyeshadow particularly often but I was working so I applied it every day. For those who want a really bold look, this might not be enough for you, however as I am still new to makeup I liked the subtle colours. My favourites were probably shades 1 and 3, the pinkier shades. The other two could be good for a night out for me, but I wouldn’t really use them for an everyday look.

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Genius Ways To Rescue Your Baking

Everyone that knows me is well aware of my lack of skill in the kitchen. However, I am also infamous for finding genius ways to save my baking, mostly out of sheer desperation. I am not here to teach you how to make extravagant baking…..unfortunately I don’t have that skill. What I can teach you is how to save that baking when you make mistakes. Trust me, I have had to do that too many times to count. I can’t promise it’ll always work, sometimes there is just no saving it. But when its already ruined, its certainly worth trying!

Soften Hard Baking

I have overcooked baking more times then I can count. One genius way I have discovered for restoring hard baking is to place it inside a sealed container along with slices of bread. Don’t ask me how this works, I have no idea myself, but leave it for a couple of hours and it’ll be nice and soft. I have used this one to rescue cookies a few times, but I’ve heard it works with cakes too.

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Travel Tag

Recently, I saw Ella May Garrett do the Travel Tag on her blog and I wanted to do it myself. I love travelling, and have visited many places over the years, both at home in New Zealand and abroad. I am excited to share my experiences and hope with you.

What is your favourite place that you have ever visited?

Montreux Switzerland

We got to look around this place for a bit, it was so beautiful!

 

I love Switzerland. My favourite place would have to be the town Montreux in the French region, famous for its food and music. I had the pleasure of visiting there for a week in 2013 and fell in love with the beauty of the area, which is so similar to my home country. My favourite part would have to be the old medieval castle, which ignited the fantasies I had of knights and queens that I held as a child and reminded me of my more recent loves of the TV shows Merlin and Reign.

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My 2017 Goals-July Anaylsis

This year was full of a lot of changes for me. I moved half way across the country to attend university, leaving behind my family, friends and boyfriend. I do not regret this for a second! I am so happy with the decisions I have made so far this year. However, at the beginning of the year, I was pretty worried. Hence why, I came up with a list of goals for the year. These aren’t measurable, and a lot of them aren’t goals that have a finish. They are just ways I wanted to improve myself. I’ll evaluate how I’m going here and set some plans up for the future.

 

Be More Confident

This was definitely something I wanted to work on this year, and I am getting better at talking to new people. However, I am most certainly an introvert, and it is obvious a lot of the time that I am not comfortable. This even extends to my friend group. There is a huge group of us and walking into a room they are all in can be nerve racking.  I can relax once I get in there and start talking to someone, but I have to encourage myself to go and socialise.

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Preparing for my First Ever University Exams

I’m sorry I haven’t posted on here in awhile, things have been rather busy in my life. My last two weeks of university were a whirlwind of essays and tests, then it was exam time! These were my first exams at university, so needless to say I was stressing over them. They are all over now though!! What a relief!

I have had plenty of practice over the past month in preparing for my upcoming exams. Whilst this does not make me an expert in examination prep, it has given me a few ideas and tips. Just because these worked for me does not necessarily mean that they will work for you, though often you can adapt them to suit. So here is how I studied for my exams.

 

Know Your Exam Schedule!

My exams were really well spaced out. This allowed me plenty of time to study for one, do the exam, and then study for the other. I was really fortunate in this aspect, however this isn’t always the case. I even had one friend who had two exams on the same day! How unlucky can you get! It is super important that you know when your exams are and plan accordingly. Don’t be that person who doesn’t check their exam date and needs to ask their friends mere days beforehand. The location is super important too!! I always made sure I knew where my exam room was ahead of time so that I wasn’t stressing on the day. There’s enough stress as it is!

Use a diary to plan out your day’s study

Plan How You Will Study

Plan when you are going to study and stick to it! It is super easy to plan a rigorous study schedule a week in advance and then when the day comes it is much easier to sleep in till noon and watch Netflix in the afternoon. You don’t have time for that! Hold yourself accountable. Sometimes I will tell myself if I can get through a solid day of study then I can take the night off to relax and watch tv. Other times I will force myself to go to the library so that I am stuck in a studious location, away from my warm bed and secret chocolate stash to tempt me.

My daily study schedule

7.45am Wake up and prepare for gym

8.15-9.15am Cardio workout

9.30-10am Breakfast and get ready

10-12pm Study

12-1pm Lunch

1-5pm Study

5-6pm Dinner

Study afterwards depending on how much I got done during the day.

Take short breaks of fifteen minutes when required

Record your study in a diary like this one
Little Papeterie, 2017 Diary, $23.60, available on Etsy.

Plan What You Will Study

Look through past exam papers and check for any recurring themes. If it has been in there before, it is likely to be in there again. It is also super important to pay attention in class to themes that the teacher stresses. If the lecturer spends ages on a particular point, or even hints that it’ll be in the exam, I put a huge asterisk beside the note and make sure to learn it.

Our PASS leaders also advised us to go through each lecture and find the top five main ideas. These we were advised to learn by heart. While it is important to look through all notes and understand them, the key ideas are the most important part and those should be prioritised. If you have time to study absolutely everything in your course, then good for you, but for the rest of us, pick the important stuff.

Work out what days you will study what stuff and make sure you get it done. I spent far too long making cue cards on Quizlet, which were helpful, but meant I had less time to spend on other, more important study. Sometimes I would need to put in extra hours on a day to make sure I completely covered the topic. If you find yourself spending too long in one area, move on. Make sure to cover all material.

Study Alone and In a Group

There are pros and cons to each of these. I really enjoy studying in a group as it is fun, and it means I am less likely to turn to Facebook or give up altogether. You can also hold each other accountable to make sure you study each day. However, these sessions can quickly turn into social groups where we would talk a lot, but not get much study done. I recommend a mixture of both. Usually I studied by myself in the evenings and spent the day with my friends.

Group Study

You don’t necessarily have to study with people from the same class as you, but this can be useful! Make sure you appoint someone to keep everyone else on track. A method that works is you work for thirty minutes on and then ten minutes off. Some people recommend longer or shorter times, but this is what we found works best for us. However, a lot of the time we just study and talk as well which can be distracting but more fun. Study can be boring! For this reason, when studying in groups I find it more beneficial to study flash cards or practice tests so it is not so distracting if someone talks to you.

Individual study

During this study time I make sure to focus harder so that I don’t have to study for as long. This is when I take notes and memorise stuff, learning and relearning the material. I try not to take any breaks, since I have a habit of turning a two-minute break into two hours. I also don’t use music as I find it too distracting.

Studying with friends can be fun-just don’t get too distracted!

Have an Exam Day Plan

Know exactly what you will do on exam day and plan actions that you will take to make sure your day runs as smoothly as possible. Everyone is different so I cannot really help you here. You must know what helps you feel distressed and mentally ready. Sometimes it pays to do a practice exam day as well if you like.

My Exam Day Schedule

My exams were at 2.30pm so this is what my day looked like

7.45am Wake up and prepare for gym

8.15-8.45am Light Cardio-Exercise is supposed to be helpful on exam days to boost your memory, however I just like working out before exams anyway. Only do this one if you work out regularly (which you should) and take it easy.

9-9.30am Get ready

9.30-10am Breakfast

10-12pm Study

12-12.30pm Lunch

12.30-1.30pm Read over notes. Don’t try and learn anything new.

1.30pm Pack bag and relax

2pm Walk to exam room, arriving at 2.15pm ready to start at 2.30pm

So yeah, that’s how I prepared for my exams. How does everyone else like to study? Comment your tips down below so we can all help each other out. Now I’m off to relax because I don’t have to study anything anymore for two whole weeks!!

Cheers x

Turn Your Daily Home Life Into A Workout With These Genius Ideas

The last two weeks I have been on my mid-semester break which was fantastic. I’ve been able to see my boyfriend, my cat and my family. I have been able to sleep in every day, and I have eaten a lot of Easter chocolate. Far too much. Being away from university also meant that I was not able to utilise the gym or stick to a routine. Now this is absolutely no excuse. Working out in the comfort of your own home is so easy! All you really need is a bit of space to do it. But I am notoriously lazy. I tricked myself into thinking that since I was on holiday, I didn’t need to workout. I could just relax, watch TV and hang out with my friends from home. Now that was a mistake!

I had no intention of doing any workouts. However, I did come up with some ways to exercise which meant I was still being a little active, even if it did not compare to the hour long spin or weight lifting sessions I do while at university. The below list is not a workout. It will not help you lose lots of weight or make you feel good. This list is designed for people like me who simply did not feel like doing much over their holidays but still wanted to get a bit of movement into their day. So if you fall into that category, then read on. Even if you don’t, these can be nice to include into your daily life anyway so that you can be that little bit more active.

 

Lazing at home all day? Try these
Exercising can be a struggle. Sometimes your just not in the mood. Here’s how to get active without too much effort

Get Out The Vacuum

If your house is anything like mine, it gets dirty pretty easily. That’s the problem with three younger siblings as well as a horse and chickens. If your mother is anything like mine, she sees the return of her eldest daughter from university as an extra servant. So rather than let me completely laze about, I have been using the vacuum a lot. This has its perks however, because it is a great way to get a workout in, especially if your house is pretty big.

Go Manual

Now I have a confession to make. I love using those manual hand egg beaters. The type with the handle that you pump round and round. I generally use this when I am whipping cream, but of course there are tonnes of other uses. It works similar to the hand bike that you sometimes see in a gym. I love racing myself to see how fast I can go, only stopping when the cream is whipped perfectly. This usually takes about ten minutes. I try and mix up which hand I use so they both get a bit of a workout. While this one probably isn’t practical unless you are actually using an eggbeater for something, it can be pretty fun!

Calf Raises

Before going to university this was my favourite workout. Its simple. All you do is stand and raise up onto your tip toes and then lower down again without letting your heels touch the floor. You can do them fast or slow, but they don’t require any extra equipment. Climbing the hills to university works my calves far too well, but I used to do these so often. Generally when I was waiting for something (like the microwave) or while brushing my teeth. They are so good to throw into everyday life and you can really tell if they work when you can’t walk easily the next day!

Wall Sits

These can be done in the same sorts of situations as calf raises. Generally just when you are waiting for something. This one is a bit more obvious though so perhaps not the best to do if you are out somewhere, just stick to doing it around your home. Basically you find a wall and stand in front of it, sliding down the wall as if you are sitting on an invisible chair, with your back to the wall. Don’t worry if you can’t hold them for very long at first. Practice makes perfect and all that. Or it builds muscles at least.

The Couch Superman

In case you haven’t already realised, the “couch superman” is a name I made up. Who knows what its actually called, if it even has a name. This one is simple to do when you are sitting on the couch watching TV. You sit on the edge of the couch and raise your legs up in a flat 90 degree angle  so they are straight out in front of you and not touching the floor at all. Use your muscles to keep them there!! You can even add in some variation by doing little flutter kicks

Clean Your Home

As much as you loathe them, chores are a great way to do exercise. Extra points for outside jobs, such as gardening or car washing, which are more strenuous. In fact washing the car can burn as much as 143 calories (600kj) in just thirty minutes. However, cleaning of any sort counts as exercise. Even the simple act of cleaning your room, as long as you are actually cleaning it and not just looking at all the cool stuff you’ve found.

Try A New Hairdo

We all knew this one already, but I can confirm that styling your hair does count as exercise. I heaved a sigh at that one because it turns out that I am not just weak, blow drying your hair does actually work your arm muscles. I probably still won’t blow dry my hair that often because it is far too much effort, but I included this one so we can all feel better about ourselves.

Walk the Talk

Who else randomly walks around their home while talking on the phone? Don’t ask me why I do this, especially in my house because the reception is so bad that literally I have to keep calling people back because I walk into an area without service. Awkward. However I won’t be stopping anytime soon, especially when walking allows you to get your step count up. I’ll have to try and remember this one when I am back at university because I really should call my mother more often.

 

Lazing at home all day? Try these
Exercising can be a struggle. Sometimes your just not in the mood. Here’s how to get active without too much effort

 

I will probably still complain about cleaning just as much as the next person. And I probably won’t use my hair dryer much more either. However, I will be using the rest of these as often as I can because little and often is far better than nothing. Just you wait until I get back to university and I am complaining about how unfit I am because I haven’t been properly working out in the past couple of weeks. But hey, its the holidays and this list can do me till then

Anyone else facing the same predicament? Do you have any other ideas I could use? Let me know in the comments below and we can all chat about how lazy we are, yet still be please that we are engaging in a fitness discussion. You get points for that right?

Cheers, Alura xx

10 Items To Take Back to University After The Break

These last two weeks I have been able to relax at home over the mid-semester break. This has been fantastic. I have been able to see my friends again, my boyfriend and my family. Of course there have been many other perks too. These include my grandma’s amazing baking and access to stuff I don’t have in my dorm such as lemons. Unfortunately these things can’t last forever and tomorrow I am returning to university.

I packed pretty well the first time I went to university-you can check my packing list https://www.petitechai.com/2017/03/03/college-packing-list/. Despite this, there are a few things that I didn’t anticipate that I would need, and others that I left behind on purpose. So since I am returning to university, I am going through all of the remaining stuff in my bedroom, as well as the cupboards around home, and choosing what I am bringing back with me.

Take a look at these ten items that I am bringing back when I return to university after the break

Ten Items To Take Back To University

Unfortunately I am unable to bring a suitcase back with me. These take up too much room in the dorms, and it would be too difficult to bring on the bus. Plus I am far too unfit to be walking the twenty minutes from the bus stop to my dorm with a heavy suitcase, especially since its directly uphill. So I will be piling everything I am taking back with me into a large backpack. Read on for my list of ten items that I am bringing back to university with me.

  1. A large fluffy blanket

    I received an amazing throw from my grandma for Christmas. It is blue and fluffy and super warm!! Now that it is getting colder, I definitely want something for my dorm room to keep me warm. Blankets are amazing because you can use it on your bed, or wrap yourself up when it gets cold.

  2. Shampoo and Conditioner

    This is kind of a cheat because it is actually two items, but these things always go together anyway. I timed my shower product usage perfectly as I had barely any left when I got home. I’ve always believed in using good products in my hair, however this does make it slightly expensive so I am happy I can bring these back up with me.

  3. Ugg Boots/ Slippers

    When I am at home I live in these! However I didn’t think that I would use them when I got to university. How wrong was I! In the mornings, especially when I don’t need to get ready to go anywhere, I don’t like putting on shoes. It is so much extra effort. Plus I don’t like putting on socks unnecessarily when I am the one doing the washing. Having slippers to put on is going to be so much nicer than wearing jandals, which can be pretty cold in winter.

  4. Easter Eggs

    My mid-semester break coincided with the Easter holidays. This was nice because I got to be home for Easter. I have younger siblings so we always have an Easter bunny hunt. Aside from being pretty fun, this is a great way to stock up on chocolate for a chocoholic like me. I still have plenty left over so I am definitely bringing these back up with me. Can’t be letting one of my siblings have them now can we.

  5. Face Wash

    The first time I went up, I made the mistake of bringing with me a face wash that exfoliates your skin. While this is nice, and definitely good to use once or twice a week, you can’t use it everyday. As a consequence my skin got pretty oily because I didn’t have anything else to wash my face with. Since these things are pretty expensive, I decided to wait until I got home to grab my usual face wash, so I am hoping to keep my acne under control now. If anyone has any cheap, university dorm friendly acne remedies, please comment them down below. Much appreciated!

  6. Drivers Licence

    I was on the plane up to university back in February when I realised something major. I had forgotten my drivers licence! Luckily I had my passport to use as ID, however I would much rather have my drivers licence with me to carry round rather than my much larger, more valuable passport. I wasn’t able to get it before the mid-semester break so I am happy to have the chance to get it now. Lets hope I don’t leave it in my car again!

  7. Warm Sweaters

    I made the dumb decision to not bring my warm jerseys with me the first time I went up, believing it wouldn’t be that cold. Huge mistake! This time I am taking as many as I can. I absolutely love knitwear and jerseys though, and I plan to be purchasing a few more for the winter season, such as these cheap and comfy pieces from Sheln.com

  8. Basic Healthcare

    I am lucky that I haven’t got sick yet, however it can only be a matter of time. It is so much easier to bring all this stuff up with me, rather than to be purchasing it once I am already sick. Included in this list is tissues and Vicks, and I’ll bring a few more painkillers and sanitary items with me as well to restock my supplies.

  9. Birthday Gift

    While I was at home over the break, it was my friend’s birthday. As a birthday gift I am bringing her back some fancy body wash and an arty/design gift. Since she loves magic and fantasy as much as me, I decided to bring her back a unicorn card. It is for four year olds, but hopefully she won’t mind!

  10. Shoes

    I do a lot of walking at university. My daily average is 12,000 steps, with my record so far at 33,000. The consequence of this was that my shoes got wrecked. They were pretty old anyway, but I have worn the backs out of them now, so much so that there is a whole in the back! I will be purchasing two pairs of shoes to bring back with me after the break.

    Take a look at these ten items that I am bringing back when I return to uni after the break

So hopefully I’ll be able to fit all of this in my backpack to be coming back with me. If not I might just have to wear tonnes of clothes on the plane! I also have to fit my textbooks and laptop in there as well, and they are most certainly not light!

Wish me luck guys!

Alura xx

Overcoming Struggles in a Long Distance Relationship

My boyfriend and I are both rather shy, busy and indecisive people. The combination of these factors meant that unfortunately we began dating with only two months left of our final year of high school. Initially, I agreed to go out with him on the condition that we separated before I headed off to university. I didn’t want to do long distance. I had never been good at keeping in contact with people and I didn’t want to ruin the great relationship I already had. While initially we agreed on this, the date began to draw closer and my boyfriend began to make it clear to me that he wanted to keep our relationship. And, despite my worries and fears, I did too.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact there has been a couple of times where I have seriously considered breaking up. But we are still together and going strong. I’m writing this post to prove today that it is possible, but you have to be prepared to put in the time and the effort.

Here is what you need to do to maintain a long distance relationship.

Read on for my tips to make your LDR work
LDR’s are difficult! Heres my experiences and how I’ve learnt to make my relationship work.

Make Time For Communication

Communication is really important. Seriously. Of course the frequency of your communication depends on how busy you both are. You have to make time for it though. When I first moved to university I was super busy, getting to know everyone and enjoying my new freedom away from home. I admit that in that first week I neglected our communication quite a bit. However, previous to that I had been spending all day at home, waiting for my boyfriend’s occasional texts that he sent from work. So of course I was never going to respond with that frequency now. It was a change we both had to learn to accept.

How to do it

A lack of communication can lead to break ups. The other person will feel so far away and unreachable. So you have to make time for it. My boyfriend and I find that texting as often as we can throughout the day is the easiest way to keep in contact. However it is important that if you go this route then you tell your partner if you are going to be absent for a few hours so they understand. We also try and call at nights as often as we can, often on the phone for several hours.  I cannot stress how important communication is in a relationship. Work out what works best for your relationship but NEVER go a full day without some form of communication unless it is unavoidable and if so tell the other person in advance.

Stuck for an activity idea? Watch a movie and text
Technology is a great way to keep your relationship strong

 

Talk About Your Feelings

This was something I really needed to work on in our relationship. I like to come across as tough. If something is bothering me, I will just bury my feelings. We all know this is super unhealthy. Especially in a relationship. Your partner isn’t there beside you. They don’t know that you are upset unless you tell them. If they have done something you are not happy about, they cannot apologise or talk it over with you if they don’t know about it. There was one day that I was a little sad. I had gotten up early so that I could talk to my boyfriend on the phone, but he didn’t call for over an hour. When he finally did I was pretty unhappy. Initially, I tried to hide it. In the end I just told him and we could talk about it. We both promised to be more accommodating in the future.

How to do it

Whenever you are unhappy, no matter what it is, you have to tell your partner. Especially if it is evident in your texts or phone calls. If your partner has done something you don’t like, tell them! It is likely that they will not have realised, and this gives you the opportunity to discuss it together and reach a mutual understanding. Regardless of who or what caused it, telling your partner how you are feeling is a great way to grow closer together. I always feel so relieved after these sorts of conversations because I feel like my partner trusts me enough to confide in me, and we can approach this problem like a team. I promise you are not a burden to them! They want to know.

Always Be Honest

When you are not with your partner daily, they do not know what is going on in your life. So it can be easy to avoid telling them about areas that aren’t easy to discuss. An example of this occurred near the beginning of my time in university. I was out late with some friends and I started talking to another guy since we were the only two sober people there. I was tired and asked him to walk me back to my hall. A few days later he began texting me. He was friendly, so I didn’t want to be rude and ask him to stop, and in the short time that we were texting we only discussed casual university stuff. However, I still felt guilty, especially as I could tell the guy liked me so I stopped our conversation. I wasn’t sure what to tell my boyfriend. I didn’t want him to worry because nothing had, or would happen. In the end I just told him everything, showed him our texts and promised nothing had happened. I felt so much better afterwards and I feel like he trusts me more now.

How to do it

If you ever feel slightly guilty or uneasy about anything that has happened, then just tell your partner. Explain what happened thoroughly and answer any questions they might have. While it is really important that you never cheat or do anything to betray your partner’s trust, there are grey areas sometimes when nothing happened but you still don’t feel happy. When that happens just talk to them! Trust is key here. If your partner ever tells you anything, you must believe them and trust in their account unless you have good reason not to. And if you aren’t happy with their actions or their story, talk to them! Jealousy can break up relationships if you let it.

Find Ways To Connect

There are so many LDR resources out there for “date nights” and activities to try. My partner and I haven’t actually used any of these yet, however this is something I really want to do. It allows you and your partner to make memories and have fun together even though you might be hours away. Another way to form connections is  to constantly be searching for ways to meet up. If my boyfriend is going to be in my city for a couple of hours, of course I am going to go see him. Then during my holidays, I am going home, no matter what. It is important to make memories together because when you are alone and they are far away it is all you have.

How to do it

Check out LDR resources online for activities you and your partner can do together. Some common ones include 20 Questions or watching the same movie at the same time. Try to regularly have a date night where you call or video chat and have some fun together. The most exciting part of any Long Distance Relationship is when you finally get together again so you should constantly be searching for ways to make it happen. Be on the look out for cheap transport options or days off where you can see each other again. Mark it on a calendar and look forward to it! The most exciting part of a LDR relationship is when you can finally see your partner again!

Read on for my tips to make your LDR work
Click to Pin and refer to when you are struggling.

Good luck to all of you in a LDR relationship. I would love to connect with you all. Maybe you could comment down below and we could discuss other challenges that we have or ways to make everything easier. It definitely can be tough sometimes. For all those who are considering an LDR, I won’t pretend it is easy, and I won’t promise that you will succeed. But if you are committed enough and you follow the above rules, then you’ll be fine.

Cheers Alura xx

How to motivate yourself to get up in the mornings and all the reasons why you should

All The Benefits to Waking Up Early + The Secret Way To Do It

I have always been a morning person. I blame my mother for this one. We used to have a rule in our house where we were only allowed to watch TV in the mornings. I think when mum developed this rule she intended it to be for about thirty minutes while we ate our breakfast.

However, she did not anticipate my brother and I getting up at 6am every day to watch cartoons before school. When I was twelve, I began 5am morning trainings. So while other teenagers where lying in bed, savouring those last few minutes before getting up for school, I was already swimming laps in the town pool. Even now, I like to wake up early. It’s a habit. A rather useful one. One I want the rest of you to develop. So read on to learn the vast benefits to waking up early and how to do it effectively to get the most out of your day.

How to motivate yourself to get up in the mornings and all the reasons why you should
Most people find waking up early a chore. Makeover your mornings and get up easy.

Benefits to Waking Up Early

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t like actually waking up or getting ready. When my alarm goes off in the morning there is nothing I would rather do than turn it off and go back to sleep. The only thing that stops me is the mere fact that I have to get up. There are too many benefits to waking up early that I don’t want to miss out on. These include…..

  • Getting up early makes you more productive.

    If you are waking up at 6am, there best be a good reason for it! I always use my mornings to go to the gym or workout, however I have also found it is a good time to study. Many people also use mornings as a way to improve their wellbeing. I haven’t really tried that yet but it is definitely something you should look into. Pick a reason to get up and use it as motivation!

  • Better Sleep Patterns.

    The thought of getting up early is a great motivator to make sure you are in bed at a reasonable hour. When I was a swimmer, I used to be in bed at 8pm every night. While I am much more relaxed about my bedtimes now, I always ensure I get at least seven hours sleep. Which means going to bed before midnight

  • More Peaceful Morning

    Very few people want to be up before the sun. Which is excellent for us morning folk. The gym is always quieter, there is barely any traffic (depending on where you live) and you don’t have to fight anyone for the shower. As a shy introvert myself, the thought of less people around is a great motivator to get up.

  • Everyone Has A Purpose

    You will not see anybody wake up at 6am and then spend the next few hours lazing around. People up at this time are healthy, motivated and energised. This makes it a great atmosphere, especially if you are feeling particularly tired. There won’t be anyone hogging the spin bikes while they sit on their phones barely pedalling. And there is not likely to be anyone around to distract you from your work, either at home or in the office.

  • Less Likely To Rush

    We’ve all been there. Woken up with only a few minutes to throw on some clothes and run out the door. For some this can even be a daily event. Not when you wake up early though. When you have several hours to get things done before work you are able to relax, take time for yourself, and feel better. Spend time making yourself a delicious healthy breakfast. Have a few extra minutes to style your hair or pick out some nice looking clothes instead of the first ones you can find. You will feel better!

All the secrets to starting your day in style
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So How Do I Get Up Early?

That’s the real question isn’t it. With over ten years of experience under my belt, I know what works for me. Play around with these ideas though. Find something that gets you up and going.

  1. Know why you are getting up and what you want to accomplish in the morning
  2. Put out everything you need the night before
  3. Make sure you get enough sleep
  4. Have a nice alarm sound
  5. Get out of bed the moment your alarm goes off-it makes it so much easier!
  6. If the sun is up then open your curtains. Natural light really helps!
  7. Keep busy-don’t give yourself time to fall back asleep
  8. Have a delicious breakfast planned to look forward to.
  9. If you like noise in the mornings, have an inspirational playlist ready. If not, try and limit the sound around you.
  10. Be positive! This time will prepare you for the rest of the day. Only think happy thoughts
  11. Learn to enjoy your morning-find little things you love about waking up early and use those to motivate yourself in the future.
  12. Brag about your achievement. Not only will this make you feel proud, it will mean you have to keep doing it.
How to motivate yourself to get up in the mornings and all the reasons why you should
Most people find waking up early a chore. Makeover your mornings and get up easy.

So there we go. All the benefits to waking up early and the secrets to help you get there.Are you guys morning risers too? Let me know in the comments below if this has helped anyone create a brilliant start to their day.

My first day of University!

How I Handled My First Day of College

I’m currently writing this at the end of my third week, and I must say that, on the whole, it has been a pretty good experience so far! My first day went really well which surprised me because, in the month leading up to it, I really psyched myself out. I was so worried that I wouldn’t make any friends, that the work would be too hard, that I wouldn’t be able to adjust to the new environment. Safe to say that none of my worries have happened! What a relief! I know lots of you out there will be in the same boat as I was, scared to go to university, wondering what it’ll be like. So here is an hour by hour look at my first day of college.

My first day of University!
So I am officially a university student!!

Timetable For My First Day

8.28am Wake up and shower. I don’t really spend too long getting ready in the morning, just shower, throw some clothes on and brush my hair. Unfortunately, I am too lazy to spend any more time than that. As long as I look decent I don’t mind. I envy those of you who can put the time and effort into looking good in the morning!

9 am Breakfast time! I had some muesli with tinned peaches and a hot chocolate. Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day so I always make sure to give myself plenty of time to enjoy it.

9.30am Left for the university. It takes ten minutes to get to class, and the walk was completely uphill, so I was pretty tired when I arrived!!

9.40am Arrived at the university. I expected to start chatting to people and make a few friends before my lecture started. This didn’t happen. Instead, I just stood there awkwardly. Not a great start!

10 am I was expecting an easy lecture….nope! Political science first and the lecturer went straight into it.  I found I really had to focus to keep up, and didn’t get all the notes down. The lecturer made it clear that he was taking note of those who was contributing, so I tried to get involved in the debate. I came out of that lecture feeling very overwhelmed, but I did really enjoy it!!

11 am Study Time! I went to the library to catch up on the notes I didn’t get and to clarify things I didn’t understand, so I felt caught up by the time I finished. Really enjoyed working in the library, especially since I didn’t really have time to go back to the hall between my lectures.

12 pm My second lecture was anthropology. Again I didn’t talk to anyone before we went into the lecture theater, which was disappointing. However, I ended up chatting for a bit to the guy I was sitting beside, who was quite nice. Anthropology seems quite chilled so I am looking forward to it. Left that class feeling better!

1 pm Back to the hall for lunch. It was such a relief to return to the hall amongst people I knew. I hadn’t seen any of my friends while at university so we all caught up on how our day had been so far.

2.10 pm My final lecture of the day was International Relations. I finally had a breakthrough in terms of my search for friends, in which I got to know the girl beside me pretty well.

3 pm Back to the library to do some study and make sure I understood all of the content well. I love the comfort of the library and although it is a bit busy in the afternoons, it is a great place to get some study done.

4 pm After finishing off my study at the library, I headed over to the gym. I only had time for a short workout, but it was so good to push myself.

5 pm Back to the hall for tea. As usual, the line was long, which gave us plenty of time to catch up.

6 pm No one had any study yet so we decided to watch a movie and just chill.

10 pm Headed back to my room and got ready for bed. Since I am in a long distance relationship, I always spend a few hours before bed texting my boyfriend. This gives us plenty of time to talk properly since we are both too busy during the day. Anyone else in a long distance relationship? Comment down below, I would love some tips on how to manage our relationship!

12 am Sleep time

It is crazy how quickly you adjust to a rhythm. I have loved my experiences so far. Looking back now, I find it so strange that I was so worried about going to university. I have an amazing group of friends, I love the stuff I am learning and I love my new city. Bring on the rest of the year!

My first day of University!
So I am officially a university student!!

Cheers Alura xx

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