Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moving In

Hi loves! I'm moving into my apartment/getting through back-to-school craziness right now, so I won't be posting as regularly as usual for a few weeks.

I've been cooking (if you count making pasta and slice-and-bake cookies and toasting frozen pumpkin spice waffles as cooking), decorating, and becoming friends with the building manager and the Orkin man (we have a small ant problem in some of the rooms).

I can't wait to share my apartment decor with you all when it's finished, but until then, it looks like a Sims house before you use the "Motherlode" cheat. Boxes and small lamps everywhere. But it's cute and homey and has air conditioning. So I'm good.

Here's to a new home and a new school year.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fall Subway Art for You

I love words. I think handwriting and fonts and written words are all beautiful. So it's no surprise that I love the "subway art" trend that's been all over Pinterest recently. I don't know why it's called subway art, because I've never seen anything like it on the L, but that's beside the point.

My one qualm with much of the subway art pictures I've seen is that they include too many colors. They give me flashbacks to introductory psychology: remember that test where the names of colors are printed in different colors and you're supposed to say the color of the words, not the printed words? It's called the Stroop effect, btw. #themoreyouknow

Anyways... I made my own subway art. I used PicMonkey + fonts I've downloaded to make this fun subway art for fall.  Feel free to download it, print it out, share it on your blog, whatever as long as you give me credit by linking back to this site. And please don't sell it. That's just rude.

Here it is in orange.

And in brown.

Enjoy! And Happy September!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder Review

I've been looking for a new pressed powder for a while now. I love my BareMinerals foundation powders, but I've been looking for something with a bit more coverage. Like all makeup, there are WAY too many foundation options. I usually think of my must-haves for a product, then go from there. I needed a pressed powder that is good for my skin, lasts all day, and looks natural. Neutrogena is usually a good bet for products that won't clog my pores. And when I saw Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder, I figured it was worth a try.

Here's a description of the powder from the Neutrogena website:
Neutrogena SkinClearing® Mineral Powder is the first and only gentle powder to blend soothing minerals with MicroClear® technology that cuts quickly through oil to speed the delivery of maximum-strength acne medicine straight to the source of breakouts. SkinClearing Mineral Powder works quickly to treat and help prevent breakouts blemishes without the dryness or flakiness of other acne treatments.
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Gentle, non-irritating
  • Dual-sided applicator gives the perfect level of coverage

  • Unlike most powder foundations I've tried, this one doesn't flake off or dry out my skin. My skin feels moisturized: it's like I'm not wearing makeup at all!
  • I don't know if the powder clears my skin because my skin is pretty clear to begin with (knock on wood!), but I like knowing that this product helps prevent blemishes. We all know what they say about an ounce of prevention!
  • The foundation really lasts all day. It looks the same when I put it on in the morning as it does when I take it off at the end of the day.
  • I love the dual-sided applicator puff. One side is a regular foundation puff, and the other side is made of red spongy material. I use the red spongy side which, according to the powder package, offers lighter coverage.

  • This powder doesn't come in very many color options (there are 8 total). The colors range from "classic ivory" to "tan." I picked up "Classic Ivory" and it looks very natural on my skin, but it probably won't match all skin tones. Boo.
  • The package doesn't come with very much foundation in it. Misleading packaging is one of my pet peeves! 
Overall, I'm a big fan of the SkinClearing Mineral Powder. This review isn't sponsored (as in, I bought the foundation with my own money and I wasn't compensated for writing this review). I just really like this product and I like sharing my finds with you!

What is YOUR favorite powder foundation?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School Shopping at Nordstrom Rack Online

Yes, I am in college and I still love back-to-school shopping. And if I go to graduate school next year, you better believe I'll treat myself to a few new back-to-school items, too. There's something about a new outfit, bag, or pair of shoes that makes going back to class more exciting.

Turns out it's been possible to shop Nordstrom Rack online since May, but I just found out about it today! Here are some of my Nordstrom Rack picks for Fall/back-to-school.

Daniel Rainn Rolled Sleeve Shirt Dress // $34.97 // I love this basic shirt dress for class. In Chicago, it's cold for most of the school year, so neutral dresses are perfect to wear all year. Wear this dress on its own when the weather is warm, or with leggings and boots for cold days. It's also available in blue.

J. McLaughlin Charter Stripe Pullover // $49.97 // This cardigan comes in four cute color combinations, and they're perfect with jeans and a long necklace. It's great for cool weather layered with a puffy vest.

14th & Union Tortoise Link Necklace // $15.97 // I've been loving tortoiseshell jewelry lately, and this chain link necklace is adorable! It would look great with a white blouse or the shirt dress featured above.

Me Too Kayley Flat in Driftwood // $29.97 // How cute are these patent leather flats? I love neutral ballet flats because they're so versatile: you can wear them for almost any occasion, from class to interviews to parties. These flats are cushioned, so you can wear them all day!

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. I just really like Nordstrom Rack, and I want to share my finds with you!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Study for the GRE

I took the GRE a little over a month ago, and I was surprised at how few guides there were that offered simple tips for studying and taking the test. So I wrote my own. I hope this guide helps you if you're planning to take the GRE!

1. It's not the SAT or ACT.
While the content areas (verbal reasoning = reading and vocab, quantitative reasoning = math, analyze an issue/argument = writing) are the same for the GRE as they are for college entrance exams, the content itself is different. The GRE is difficult: it's meant for people who are finishing college, not for people who are finishing high school! If you know how to handle each type of question (and there aren't very many types) then you'll feel much more confident on test day. 

2. Get the Kaplan review book.
I got this book after I saw my co-worker reading it. She's super smart, and I know she researched the book options before getting one. I really like the book, and I love that it comes with online resources, too. I did all of the book review questions, online review questions, and practice tests. The questions in the book are very similar to those on the test, if not a little bit harder. And that's a good thing: confidence is key!

3. Make a study schedule... and stick to it!
I started studying with the Kaplan review book in May, but I didn't seriously start studying until I finished school at the beginning of June. I made a study calendar that outlined what I would do each day leading up to the test on July 14. I studied for about 45 minutes on days when I had work (3 days a week), and 2-3 hours on days when I didn't have work. I took one day off from studying each week. I mostly stuck to my studying plan, but I know that if I didn't make one, I would not have studied as productively as I did.

4. Use the ETS online resources.
When you register for the GRE through ETS, you get access to two timed, scored practice tests. These practice tests are SO accurate at predicting your score, so take them as close as possible to test day. I took one on the Thursday before my Monday test, and another on the Friday before. I took a study break on Saturday and Sunday.

5. Don't worry about the writing sections.
I read some guides online about how to structure the essays (this one by ETS is great), but I didn't practice writing any. The essay sections are much less intimidating than you think, especially because you get to type your essays on the computer, making it much easier to write quickly. For the "Analyze an Argument" essay, my biggest tip is to literally rip the argument apart. The essay readers want you to think critically, and the arguments will be flawed, usually in many ways. Address everything that is wrong with the argument (in a polite way, of course) and you'll be fine!

5. Bring snacks and drinks to the test.
You can't eat or drink anything in the test room, but you do get a 10 minute break in the middle of the test. I brought water, orange Powerade Zero, a KIND bar, and multi-grain tortilla chips. I wasn't sure what I would be in the mood for, so I brought a lot! Don't be afraid to overpack your snack bag: bring plenty of options!

Have you taken the GRE? I'd love to hear your study tips, too!

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