Motivational Mantras

Hello, loves!

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, I am currently studying. Attempting to study. Okay thinking about study. Okay, you got me, I’m procrastinating from studying by writing a blog about how to motivate yourself to study. The irony am I right?

But, in all seriousness, when I know the pedal needs to hit the metal, or more accurately the fingers need to hit the keys, these are my top ten tips to get that happening.

  1. Clean every inch of my workspace. At first glance, this may seem counter-productive but trust me that 30 minutes (or if you’re as messy as I am the hour) you spend cleaning that workplace will pay you back tenfold in blissful concentration. Tidy workspace = a tidy mind that is organised and ready to soak in all that knowledge and spit it back out in beautiful, almost Shakespearean-esque writing that your lecturers will weep with joy to read. Maybe.
  2. Aromatherapy. When I am sitting at my already spotlessly clean work desk (see above) and I can feel that “I’ve been working for 15 minutes straight” slump coming on, a nice smelling pick me up can be the trick to shove me back into concentration mode. For some people, this is a candle (I would recommend fresh scents like tomato leaf or citrus as opposed to cosy, sleep inducing vanillas and lavenders) but for me personally it’s a scented face spray. My current favourite is this vitamin C spray from the Bodyshop Find it here!. It’s a double whammy of gorgeous, revitalising citrus scent and also a refreshing mist of cool water that can snap you out of a concentration funk.Warning: Spraying this on your face can become very addictive.
  3. Classical music. This won’t work for everyone, I know people who cannot stand working with any sort of noise whatsoever, I tend to flick between these two views depending on my mood. Sometimes the soothing sounds of Mozart of Beethoven can just hum the afternoon away while I work really well. I could never work work work work work to Rihanna (despite that fact that I adore the woman) but I can essay write to Plachabel any day.
  4. Hydration. Staying hydrated is so important. This is very much pot calling the kettle black here because I am the worst at remembering to drink water, but a trick I’ve found is to have a glass or water bottle that you actually enjoy using. I recently bought some totally Pinterest drinking jars from Kmart (total bargain) and because I like the glasses I’m much more likely to want to use them and drink water. This then hydrates my body meaning I can concentrate!
  5. Exercise. I’m definitely an exercise noob but having worked out in the mornings now for just over six months I can confidently say that I notice a difference when I do not do this. I’m a member of the toneitup.com programme and they post free weekly workout schedules on their website which I am a huge fan of. It takes all the guess work out, I know I’m working out effectively and I get my endorphins every morning. It also helps me feel like I’ve achieved something before I’ve even had a shower or breakfast which is a really empowering way to start the day.
  6. Visualisation. Sometimes if you have a huge thesis or essay looming in front of you it’s just too daunting to start. Visualisation is such a powerful tool where you take 5-10 minutes to sit quietly with your eyes closed and just imagine yourself finishing your work at a specific time. Really feel it and try to imagine as much detail as you possibly can. Studies actually show that this makes you much more likely to achieve what you’re visualising than someone who does not do this.
  7. Eating well. This ties in with exercise and drinking as being healthy in general are good for concentration. As tempting as it is try to leave the chocolate biccies as a reward for after you’ve nailed your assignment. When you’re studying you should be snacking on fruit and nuts, things with long, slow burning energy sources that will keep you going for longer without the spikes and crashes from high sugar foods like chocolate. However once you’ve finished your work… 😉
  8. Take breaks! This may seem like an odd one but I find that I can only study for max 50 minutes at a time before I need a break. The trick is not to let your  break turn into the rest of the afternoon off. Try to set a time for 10-15 minutes so you can chill, read my blog, watch a youtube video, whatever you want but as soon as that timer hits you need to get right back into it! There are apps out there to help you, a friend of mine recommended Pomodoro which is really useful at structuring your study and break times.
  9. Make your non-study time actually relaxing. This is super important for me. When I do decide I am done for the day I make a conscious effort not to pick up or think about my work again. I make sure that I hang out with my boyfriend, read a book or watch a TV show (currently Vikings FYI) so that I’m not subconsciously still trying to work on my assignment. This can be easier said that done but when you feel like your downtime genuinely is downtime it’s much easier to get back into work mode when you feel genuinely refreshed and ready to go.
  10. Last but not least, be organised. It’s so hard to study off notes that are all over the place or from bits of paper or when you can’t find the information you need. Always make a plan before you begin your study session so you know what you’re there to achieve, what you need to do it and give yourself a goal of say “I want to write my first paragraph by 11am” so that you have some sort of structure and goal to work towards. When I don’t do this I find I end up going over a lot of the same ground or not really achieving much in comparison to when I sit down to my study with a plan of action and a specific goal that I can feel successful when I have achieved it.

 

I hope these ten tips help any of you who, like me, are currently battling through work or assignments and can find it quite easy to drift off topic. Speaking of which I suppose I had better take some of my own advice!

Let me know what helps you to get into your concentration zone 🙂

 

Love,

Ellie x

 

Lest we forget

Good morning!

Today I am up VERY early because it’s an extremely important day on my calendar. April 25th in New Zealand and Australia is ANZAC Day. This is the day to commemorate the New Zealand and Australian soldiers that have served and are currently serving in the armed forces.

Traditionally on remembrance days people tend to think of the old veterans of the World War, and while I too think of them and appreciate all they sacrificed for the future of our planet, for me ANZAC day is a lot more personal.

My short-lived time in the armed forces brought a lot of amazing people into my life, one of which is now my partner in crime. Some of them have left like me, but plenty are still serving in the military and ANZAC day is a time for me to think of them and thank them for everything they do.

It is so easy for people to blame the military for all the negative things in this world, or to cover the faces of those individual people and just call them ‘soldiers’. They are so much more than that. They’re sons, daughters, wives, husbands, cousins, brothers, sisters. Whatever your feelings are towards how humans interact with each other and in particular about war as a ‘solution’, ANZAC day is not the day to focus on those negative thoughts.

ANZAC day is a day to think about those young people who chose to sacrifice their freedom, choices, families and sometimes even their lives so that all of us could live the life we want. Whether you agree with their choices or not, we can all admire the courage it takes to truly follow through on how you believe people deserve to live their lives and literally put your life on the line for it.

Thank you, to every soldier and the ANZACs that are willing to fight for the life they think we all deserve to have, thank you to all my military and ex-military friends for making my short time there one of the most memorable in my life and for still being some of my best friends – I am so proud of you.

So please, today wear a poppy and appreciate what we have because of what so many gave up.

Lest we forget. x

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Photo credit: www.methvenmthutt.co.nz

 

 

How was your week?

Hello, loves!

I thought it would be fun to upload a ‘weekly roundup’ on a Sunday morning of how my week has gone!

This week has been University holidays for me which sounds like it should be a time of blissful reflection in the gorgeous autumn weather we’re having but is actually a time of me being stressed and compounding that stress by not doing the many assignments my lecturers have kindly given me for the holidays. “Holidays”.

In saying that though my parents were down for the weekend and left on Monday so we had a really nice day wandering through the Christchurch Art Gallery (which you should definitely go and see if you haven’t been! http://christchurchartgallery.org.nz I can highly recommend the room with the little world made of sugar! It’s only there till June I believe so go quick!) I love the art gallery. I wouldn’t call myself an ‘art lover’ per se but I do enjoy looking at it and appreciating how difficult and technical some of the work is. Modern Art has got to be my favourite for all the wrong reasons. There’s literally an exhibition right now that is a plastic container turned on its side. I’m sure it has some deep meaning but being the common folk we are my dad and I had a good old laugh about this ‘art’.*

After that we went to my absolutely favourite cafe in Christchurch ever – C1 Espresso. It’s got the best vibe, curly fries (need I say more really?) and not only do they have the best curly fries but they SHOOT TO YOUR TABLE VIA A BIG PLASTIC TUBE! Exciting. Please if you’re in Christchurch go and experience the wonder of flying fries. http://www.c1espresso.co.nz.

After Mum and Dad left life resumed as normal for me really, procrastination, 10 minutes of study, 3 hours of study break, chores, cooking dinner and sleeping with some work scattered in there.  Thursday night was wonderful, I am President of the coolest club in the entire world – 180 Degrees Consulting and we had an exec catch up. I am so blessed to be working with five of the funniest, smartest and most wonderful people ever and we have already achieved so much in the short time we’ve had so far. They make me so excited and proud of what we can achieve this year.

I got to punctuate Friday by going out for some vest shopping time with a good friend which was awesome, even though I was 15 minutes late (as per usual really – so sorry!). Does anyone else really struggle with being late for everything? Or is it just me?

This weekend will, unfortunately, have to be dedicated to the assignments I’ve been avoiding because I want to be really free for ANZAC day on Monday! If you’re not a Kiwi or an Aussie, ANZAC day is our version of remembrance day where people go to Dawn Services and appreciate the soldiers past and present who have served our country. I personally am an ex-soldier (albeit I’ll admit I was in for around 2 seconds) but I have friends still serving so ANZAC day is an extremely important day for me personally. I love the atmosphere of the Dawn services and I do really look forward to going.

 

So that’s how my week went!

I would love to hear about yours ❤

 

Ellie x

 

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Some of my favourite moments from the art gallery and the gorgeous early grey tea set from c1 espresso ❤

 

 

*Disclaimer: No offense to artist intended, I am completely uncultured.

Chanel Foundation Review

Hello, Loves!

Today I am doing something non-clothes related because I have a new foundation and having used it for a couple of months, thought I’d add my thoughts on it to the mix.

The foundation is the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup. I have really enjoyed using this, I’ve never had a Chanel foundation before and so was very excited to step up my makeup game from the drug store and experience a touch of luxury and class on my face.

While it didn’t make me look as perfect as Coco Chanel herself, it did do a pretty great job! The smell is so nice, I don’t know if this is a thing but it smells luxurious. Very fresh and floral to try and put it into more English words.

The consistency is, as the name would suggest, very fluid. If it wasn’t for the suction-ey type lid on the bottle it would literally just pour out. This means you do have to shake it up prior to every use or it can separate, but that is not a huge hassle.

Coverage is light-to-medium but it is buildable. I have tried applying it with both a brush and a beauty blender and personally I prefer to use a fluffy brush in a buffing motion to blend it in. It sinks into the skin really nicely leaving a very natural effect, for everyday wear I tend to stop here but if I wanted to look more #flawless than I could definitely add another layer of foundation. It gives a very dewy finish which when I first started using it I didn’t like because it was summer and I was already hot and shiny as it was, but now the weather is cooler I am really appreciating that glowy finish.

I find that the coverage lasts well all day however without a primer it does tend to go a bit patchy by the late afternoon – end of the day period or earlier if I’ve been particularly active that day. However, often I pop on some Benefit PoreFessional prior to this and that works wonders in terms of staying power.

Being from a hot climate in New Zealand, even though we’re heading into winter the UV rays are still out to get us so I really like that this makeup has an SPF 15. I wear a separate SPF every day anyway but it does make me feel good knowing I’m extra-protected!

It is sadly not a cheap foundation, here in New Zealand I believe it cost me around $100 – but I did use my Ballantynes Beauty Points to buy it so I didn’t actually pay the entire price. So that’s quite pricey for 30ml of foundation – albeit very good foundation.

Pros

  • Smells amazing
  • Feels luxurious
  • Buildable light coverage
  • Blends Well
  • Lasts well with a primer

Cons

  • Very expensive in comparison to other drugstore brands
  • While it is good, I feel that 20% of the price is purely for the awesome-factor of owning a Chanel product (which does feel awesome when I see it on my dresser)
  • Needs a primer to get that extra mile out of it
  • If you had oily skin this would probably be a shine freak out foundation for you.

Final Thoughts

Assuming I have the money, this is definitely a foundation I would repurchase. However, on my current student budget, I don’t see myself rushing out to buy it. It’s good but I didn’t feel it was so much better than Nars or even Revlon that it was worth shelling out my food money! However, if you have a higher budget then would definitely recommend as it does just add that extra touch of glamour to your every day that I have really enjoyed. Also – who doesn’t love casually being able to answer “what foundation are you wearing?” with “Oh? This? It’s just Chanel” *hair flick*

Have you tried this foundation? Let me know what you think or what your fave foundations are so I can try them too! ❤

Chanel Foundation

Chanel in all her glory ❤