Staying Organized and Productive

Q: Describe school in one word.

A: Busy

School has been ridiculously busy since it started up in September.  Grade 11 is no joke.  Homework has ridiculously increased (last year’s Grade 10 was pretty much a joke as far as school work goes – but that’s another story), volleyball has started up, piano is on the go, dance is on, and on top of that, I have started tutoring a few different kids and am now one of the executive on my schools SRC.

To be honest, I am pretty much barely managing to get everything done.  I am expecting one of these days to end up having a major meltdown.

Until then, I just need to improve on being organized and productive (most teenager’s least favourite words, I think).

Here are some of my tips on managing your time wisely (hey, maybe if I write some down I’ll actually follow them).

1.) Keep a planner/calendar.  I would easily say this is the smartest thing you could possibly do.  Whether you put everything into your phone, keep a calendar, or log it in a planner.  Write EVERYTHING down.  You do not know how many times I have had to scramble to finish up my math questions because I did not remember they were due next period.

I write in a journal.  It is mostly filled with to-do lists that I write every morning before I go to school and than I jot down any other thoughts that may be accumulating in my head.

For the past couple of months I have also been printing off online monthly calendars I find on various places on the Internet.  I find this super helpful because I can jot everything down for the whole month and always know what’s coming up.

2.) Get it done.  I am extremely guilty of this (especially lately) of using up my spare time to just watch TV or do who know’s what.  Then, I end up having to cram and finish everything quite poorly around ten at night because it’s due the next day.  Plus, I always end up frustrated and tend to blame everyone else for why it’s not done.  Why would my teacher set due for the next day?  I have so much stuff due tomorrow – it’s so unfair!  I’m just not going to do any of it because I think it’s unfair.  That type of stuff.  I have to learn to stop complaining (it’s not unfair at all, it’s school, and I’m just lazy) and just get it done.  Something that I have vowed on this year is trying my hardest on all of my assignments, something I have not previously done.  I am still trying to work on this, but it’s always a good feeling, even if you don’t do so great on it, to know that you completely deserved your mark.

3.) Ask for help.  This I need to start putting into action.  The first month, being our school’s activities director, I thought it was solely my responsibility for planning one of our school events (a school-wide game thing we call survivor) and completely stressed myself out about getting it done.

It went over well, but I realized at the end that there are people who are willing to help me out and that if I do mess up on something, it really isn’t the end of the world.  Thank you SRC for helping me realize this.  We have a great group this year. 🙂

4.) Decide what’s important.  Sure yearbook and inMotion would be nice to join, but I do I really want more things on my plate?  Learn to say no because it’s important not to spread yourself too thin.

5.) Don’t forget to have fun.  If you have a ton of assignments due the next day, then be realistic about how much time you can spend on yourself.  Instead of spending three hours of watching TV and surfing the web, spend maybe half an hour or an hour depending on what your situation is.  Maybe watch a couple funny Youtube videos to boost your morale or give yourself a facial and nice shower.  You’ll thank yourself later.

Do you have any tips for surviving school?

My Future

I found this written last June and thought I should share it.

Today in English class we wrote letters to ourselves in ten years and created bucket lists. I made each pretty light hearted, but both have really gotten me thinking about who I am and who I want to be. I’ve been thinking about my future a lot lately. The #LiveLikeEric story has really inspired me. He was an adventurer (and on The Bachelorette) who recently died this year. They said he made the most of every moment. His goal was to travel to 195 countries in under 3 years and 3 months to beat the world record. Sadly, Eric didn’t get to finish. It makes me think about what I want to do in my lifetime and reminds me to make every moment count. There are so many different paths for me to take and I can really do anything I like. Until then I have to try my hardest in everything, make every moment special, and #LiveLikeEric.

To check out the #LiveLikeEric foundation click HERE

Do you know what you want to do in your lifetime? Has someone’s storytelling touched you?

Back to School

Back to School

 

I’ve decided to make a little inspiration board for back to school.  Click the link above to view the items I used.  I went with a lot of blues in this set but the colours could be adjusted to whatever you like.  I thought they were all very simple pieces which I like for school because it’s easy to look at and gives off a very clean, organized vibe.  I really like taking two pencil cases to school.  I go to a small school so I have a home classroom that I have the majority of my classes in so I have my own desk and locker in that room and it stays like that all year.  I like to bring a small pencil case to put pencils, erasers, and pens in for very quick access and so that if I ever have to go to a classroom, I can just bring the things I need.  I actually am currently using a LUG cosmetic bag as my big pencil case that stores my scissors and calculator and whatnot.  It’s actually really cute and you’d never know it was a makeup bag from just looking at it.  It’s great for keeping stuff organized.  I’ll put a link down below.
 
Hope you like it!  What are some of your back to school essentials?
 
For the LUG cosmetic bag I use as my pencil case click HERE

 

What to do When I Feel Insecure

1. Prioritize – Realize insecurities are not the end of the world (good way to do this is to watch the news and realize what is going on in the world)

2. Do something special for myself

3. Exercise 

4. Try something new (ex: hairstyle, food, book, etc.)

5. Watch a feel good movie

6. Talk to someone

7. Play piano

8. Eat something delicious

9. Think of things I am thankful for

10. Do something nice for someone else

11. Clean

12. Let it out

13. Wear comfy clothes

14. Wear my favourite outfit

15. Sleep

16. Have a fresh start

17. Come up with a mantra

18. Think of my role models

19. Do something fun

20. Learn to love myself

 

My Week in Alberta: Nature at Its Finest

I just spent a week in the mountains in Alberta on a quading trip with my cousins and aunt and uncle. I went last year with them, too. We stay with my uncle’s old friend in his little log cabin in the middle of nowhere! He is a goat farmer and has around twenty goats roaming around. There is no Internet or phone service, either. We went quading in the mountains almost every day and I even got to see my first rodeo!
I feel bad for those who don’t get to experience nature in its finest. Concrete and skyscrapers just don’t cut it. We went on trails that probably no one had ever been on before. We were discovering things for the very first time.
I think that nature is very good for the body, mind, and soul. It can destress you and leave you feeling very calm and refreshed. I was feeling very overwhelmed before I went because I’ve been working a lot and was left feeling exhausted. As soon as I got a view of the mountains and smelled the crisp, fresh air, my worries went away. I think that nature has this affect on people because it’s so simple. There aren’t any complicated wiring on a tree; your mind isn’t focused on a new reality show; it doesn’t smell like a mixture of sweat and fast food (haha, thank goodness). Nature lets your mind wander and be free, which is one of my favourite parts about being in the Alberta rockies.
Nature also allows you to experience new, exciting things (much more exciting than going up a level in your new app). I got to cuddle with a baby goat, swim in a river (which was ridiculously cold, btw!), get stuck multiple times while quadding, see some amazing views, and we even got the chance to see some wild horses!
I think that everyone needs to take some time in their life to spend it in the outdoors. I mean, the real outdoors. Not just your fenced in backyard. Go hiking or have a picnic by a river or pond.
Taking in all of nature’s beauty also had a different affect on me. Get hands on experience really makes you want to save nature and the forests. We got to view a few areas that had been clear-cutted. It’s not very impressive or nice. It gives you a new respect for the earth and how important it is.
I implore you all to go spend some time outside and away from technology!

Role Model Profile: Misty Copeland

Name: Misty Copeland
Age: 31
Birthday: September 10, 1982
Occupation: Soloist at the American Ballet Theatre

Why Misty Copeland is special: Misty is the first black soloist with ABT, one of – if not- the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. In a world where you are judged on your body and not just your talent, Misty overcame the odds and followed her dreams. Misty had a difficult life growing up as well, with a mother who dated and lived with multiple men. Their family packed up and moved many times when things got difficult. They never had enough money either. Misty discovered ballet at the Boys and Girls Club when she was thirteen, which is an incredibly late start for dancing. She worked hard and improved very quickly, while facing many hardships. Misty never gave up and continued to reach for her goals despite difficulties in her life.

Why I love Misty Copeland: I’m no aspiring ballerina. I’ve taken casual dance classes over the years which I have loved. I am hoping to pick up ballet next year again. Misty is one of my fitness role models for sure. She is so active and fit and healthy and flexible. She is a gorgeous dancer. Those are qualities I would love to have and she inspires me to push harder for them. Asides from that though it’s Misty’s determination and passion for ballet that makes me look up to her. She is the epitome of a strong, independent woman, which is something that I aspire to be.

Lessons to be Learned from Misty: Always put 100% effort into what you are doing, never lose sight of your goals, push through the hard days, and keep your family close. (I have a picture of Misty up in my room to remind me of these things.)

If you haven’t already, I totally recommend you to read Life in Motion, Misty’s new book about growing up and becoming a soloist.

(P.S. Check out Misty’s new ad for Under Armor!)

 

Movie Review: Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight

I know I’m probably too old to still be involved with American Girl, but though I don’t play with my old Emily doll anymore, I still love the movies.  They give off good messages and always make me feel happy once I’m done watching them.

Last night I watched the new AG movie, Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight.  I love dance and so I was really looking forward to it.  I really enjoyed this movie.  Some bits, like most American Girl movies, are pretty cheesy, but it was totally relatable.  I always compare myself to other girls and dancers and think they have it easy because they are really pretty and flawless.  It was cool to see that Isabelle went through that too and how she handled it.  It was nice seeing Jade and Renadda let their “perfect” walls down so we could really see who they were. 

This is a great movie for today’s society where we all strive to be perfect.  It lets girls know that making mistakes is not a bad thing, it’s what makes us who we are.  

I’m going to summer camp in a couple of weeks, and I’ve been thinking lately how everyone is so good at something, and I just feel so mediocre and boring compared to everyone else there.  This movie is helping me realize that everyone shines in their own way, and that I should recognize my talents and focus on them.  It might not be dancing, but maybe it’s something like staying calm in tough situations. 

I loved the ballerina, Jackie Sanchez, too.  She was such a great role model for Isabelle and Jade. She really did care about Isabelle’s problems.  I think that it’s very important for everyone who has someone to lift their spirits and make them feel like they are worth it.  I also think it’s important to be this kind of role model for someone else.

This is a great movie about self confidence, growing up, family, and friendship.  Definitely check it out!

Product Review: FAB Daily Face Cream

Today I am reviewing First Aid Beauty’s Daily Face Cream which is a moisturizer in simple terms. A very good one.
I have had my fair share of moisturizers. My first, an acne one by Merle Norman dried out my skin, made it sting and was no help at all. My second, by Clean Start, is great, but it has SPF and I don’t like using it at night. This is my third and it fits all of my needs.
Now, I use this one at night and sometimes apply it in the afternoon since it’s winter and my skin will occasionally dry out (I’ve never had super dry skin), and I use my SPF one in the day. I really like this one, because there isn’t much of a smell to it, besides that it’s fresh, and it is very lightweight but still does it’s job. It’s also oil-free (to be honest, I didn’t know moisturizers could have oil in them). If I ever get a patch of dryness, it’s usually gone within a day or two. So it isn’t instant, but it’s consistent.
I also like the design of the bottle (you’d think that wasn’t important, right). This is one I can throw in my purse and don’t have to worry about it leaking because of the twist lock on the cap. Perfect for me.
I would definitely recommend this product to anyone!

Role Model: Payson Keeler from Make it Or Break it

Name: Payson Keeler

Status: Fictional Character from ABC Family show Make it Or Break It

Occupation: Training to become an Olympic gymnast

 

Why Payson Keeler is special: Payson is special because she is so dedicated and passionate about her sport.  In the first season, she is the top gymnast due to all of her hard training, but then she suffers a life-changing injury.  We watch Payson defy the odds and climb her way back up to the top, despite what anyone believes.

Why I look up to Payson Keeler: Her work ethic is amazing.  She won’t stop until she reaches her goal and she always gives her whole effort.  Payson also is an awkward teenager (very much like myself).  Even, being a top gymnast, she has body issues and troubles with boys.  It is nice to have a TV character so relatable.  Payson is a good teammate and friend, too.

Lessons to Learn from Payson: Give it your all, don’t stop until you’ve reached your goals, dream big, and believe in yourself – I like to apply some of these things that I’ve learned from Payson to when I play volleyball.  Whenever I get really tired, I just think to myself: Would Payson quit?  I think it’s a great motivator.

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Gossip and Rumours

I just finished read Beacon street Girls 10 Just Kidding and it made me think a lot about rumours and gossiping and teasing.
I am one who believes we can’t ‘bubble wrap’ ourselves from any harm or danger and that we have to go through challenges in order to grow.
That being said, we should also be learning how to be better, greater people.
One thing that I think makes a great person, is being kind. People who gossip and choose to talk about other people private lives aren’t being kind.
We’ve all gossiped before. I have. It is sort of fun and interesting and sometimes it’s all you have to talk about. What’s bad is when it turns negative and you start spreading it around. The truth can get twisted and can really hurt people.
What also hurts is making mean comments and then adding ‘just kidding’ to the end. Of course friends will always tease, but some comments can really bring people down and if you don’t laugh it off, then people assume you have no humour.
I have one really good friend who I like to tease a lot. I never meant any of it, but I sort of knew that she didn’t find it funny any more. One day she told me that she was sad because of the mean comments we hadn’t even really realized we’d been making. We felt really bad an apologized and stopped. We still tease one another, but we’ve learned to bring it down a notch so it’s not hurtful.
I like to think that people who actively gossip and spread rumours must have very boring lives if they have to spend time talking about others.
Always remember if you are being gossiped and having rumours spread about you, that you should remember who you are. Rumours don’t define you. If it’s a close friend talking about you, confront them instead of talking behind their back. If it is someone who barely know, who cares? They don’t know you enough to know the truth.
If you are gossiping or with a group of friends, try to stop. Change subjects or just stay quiet. Think how you would like to be treated.
You can either choose to be a better person or sink down to others levels.