Friday, 24 July 2015

My 2015 Goals Re-Visited!

We're (more than) halfway through 2015, and I thought I'd do a quick catch-up on the goals I wanted to achieve this year. If you cast your minds back to this blog post, you'll remember I gave myself 5 goals to achieve by December. 

1. Save money
I... unfortunately have failed on this one! I did manage to save every £5 note I had, if only for 3-4 weeks, before spending the money on food or nail polish. Terrible, terrible, I know. I guess I'm not so cut out for long-term saving.

2. Bake more.
Here's one I managed to keep! I baked a ton more this year than other years. I made more of this cake, as well as more of this one! I've made a playlist on YouTube dedicated to my favourite baking videos, as well as a Pinterest board! I've wanted to make more cupcakes, which I plan on doing once winter hits the UK.

3. Stop procrastinating!
I managed to do this really well through the first few months of the year, but the sensation ebbed once my exams were over. Now, it takes even longer to get me to stop procrastinating than it did before! I am trying to quit this bad habit, because my second year of A Levels is nearing every day, and if I don't get into the habit now, it'll be harder for me in September. 

4. Be more hardworking.
This one goes a bit hand in hand with the previous point but, strangely enough, I've managed to keep this one. If I do stop procrastinating, I manage to give whatever task I do 100%. Recently, I've been focused on narrowing down universities, thinking about my course, writing my personal statement, as well as trying to get my EPQ going. I think for me to give 100% I definitely need to stop being lazy, and work hard all the time! During the first half of the year I did work hard, giving 110% in all of my exams. It's just a matter of continuing with it at the rate I'm at. 

5. Be more confident.
This one has been 50/50, I have to admit. I managed to push myself out of my comfort zone and made new friends earlier this year, but really nothing has changed much; I'm still painfully shy and impossible to talk to at social gatherings. I do have hope for the rest of the year, though, and I am confident (haha) that I'll manage to achieve this goal by December.

So, my goals have been more or less, a failure 7 months into 2015, but I do know I will work on these for the next few months.

Thanks, and I'll see you in the next one!

Monday, 13 July 2015

New Planner!

Trust me to completely nerd-out over things like this, right?

I got a new planner, and I'm super excited about it! I wanted a change from my notebook which I turned into a planner since last year. It was a close call between this one by Letts, or another one by Collins, but I decided to go for this one in the end.

Firstly, there were only neon colours available, and only a selection of three. I chose green over pink and orange. But it's the features that I like most about this planner. There's a 2015 and 2016 calendar, a quick summary planner for both years, useful UK websites, a notes section, a conversion table, music scales... basically a bunch of things you never think you need, until you actually need them.

I also love the day to a page format, as it helps plan out my day more efficiently, not to mention that these pages also have little times in the margin for even more efficiency.

The only downside to this planner is that it doesn't officially start until the 31st July, so it's a bit of a long wait until it begins to be fully exhausted!

I'll see you in the next one!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Currently Reading...

I picked this up a few days ago, and have to say, I am very happy with my choice.

'The Feminine Mystique' first came out in 1963, and is considered one of the most important pieces of feminist literature, still to this day. I've really wanted to read this book for a few months now, and I'm so glad to finally be reading it!

Unfortunately, the Wimbledon finals (go Serena!), and season finales of some Netflix programmes have kept me from delving deeply into this book. However, two and a bit chapters in, and I'm liking what I'm reading.

The book gives a great insight into women's lives, and the feminist movement of the 60's and 70's USA, which is great as it inspired a whole generation of women following on from this book.

Can't wait to keep on reading!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Writing an Effective To-Do List

I don't know about you, but I cannot get through a day without referring to my to-do list. What started as small scribbles on my hand have evolved into long lists in my notebook, that (hopefully!) by the end of the day are ticked, highlighted, or crossed off. Now, I think I have mastered the art of making effective to-do lists.

1. Important things on top.
I know I began my to-do lists in an unproductive manner - important things were somehow at the bottom, and the smaller things were at the top. By the end of the day, I hadn't accomplished the serious stuff I wanted to. By placing the important bits at the top of the list, you make sure the serious stuff is out of the way. "Walk the dog" may need to take priority over "laundry", depending on your day schedule. If by the end of the day you don't end up walking the dog, you feel as though nothing was done! By doing the things that require more attention, you make sure you feel accomplished by the end of the day.

2. Highlight, highlight, highlight!
... And highlight some more! By highlighting the things you've done, it makes you feel better about doing things. You're able to visually see what it is that you've done, not to mention having a very pretty page by the end of it.

3. List in Advance.
I usually plan my to-do lists the day before things need to be done. But, I also write up things I need done a month before, and six months before. this may seem excessive, but i do like making sure I don't miss out on something important. There's nothing like being on the brink of slumber, and realising you haven't finished off one other thing. When listing in advance, I use my phone, and physical calendar to do this. Then, I set reminders for 1 week in advance just to cover all the bases. This way, I remember what I need to!

4. List on the go.
Honestly, there are no limits as to how often you need to amend your to-do list. Personally, I cover all the bases the night before, and rarely add anything onto my current list (if I do, I use the notes section on my phone). But, and it is inevitable, you may forget to add something onto your to do list. So, your to-do list becomes more effective by you adding bits in that you feel need to be on there as the arise.

5. One task at a time. 
To do lists are meant to make your life easier, not even more difficult! Make sure you complete one task at a time, unless you're absolutely convinced you can kill two birds with one stone. By completing one task, you save yourself from being sucked in with a lot of things to do all at once. Do one task at a time and watch your productivity increase! 

I'll see you in the next one!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Homespiration Monday #5!

Parisian decor, anyone?

This week's Homespiration is inspired by, obviously, Paris! I have a huge love for Parisian style, especially the homeware.

The picture on the left is an actual dream come true. The chandelier is so beautifully elegant, and the paintings on the wall make the room come together beautifully. I love the rustic look the wardrobe on the right gives the room. It looks casual and thrown together, but also very well put together. The large mirror above the fireplace is also a very nice touch. 

These photos are especially beautiful. I love the big windows, and simple wall colour. It's plain, but can be really made pretty by the decor you put on the walls. I especially love the pops of colour from the cheetah print, and pinks. 

And this office seems to have a brown theme happening, which I think I could work with. I would also add a hint of another colour, such as mint green to this room. I love the big doors, and big windows, which let in a lot of natural light. I think it's very obvious by now that I am a huge fan of big windows and natural light!

I also love the long curtains in the picture on the left, as well as the crisp white theme in the room on the right. A crisp theme is a must!