Dorm Safety with SABRE {+ Giveaway}

Back in August SABRE reached out to me asking about safety on my college campus. (Originally I was really interested in their pepper spray/drink test duo kit, but unfortunately you can't mail pepper spray to Massachusetts)

I ended up getting the chance to try out their Dorm/Apartment Kit. It's basically 3 intense alarms: one personal, one window, and one door. 

The door alarm looks just like a door stop. You slip it back behind a closed door when you don't expect anyone to come into your apartment or dorm. Because there are 4 people in my apartment, once everyone is home for the night we can place the alarm by the main door. And on weekends when people go home or go out I can place it just on my bedroom door. When the door is opened unexpectedly, it pushes down on the stop which sets off the alarm. 

The window alarm can also double as a door alarm. It's a white box that has two part and whenever the door or window is opened (once activated obviously), the alarm goes off. I have mine on my bedroom door for when I don't use the doorstop since the windows at UMass are pretty difficult to open from the inside, let alone the outside. 

The personal alarm is honestly the coolest! I have it on my keychain and I bring it with me everywhere! Since I couldn't get the pepper spray, I figured this was the next best thing, and I feel a little more safe with it. If the pin is pulled, it sounds an alarm! 

The point of all of this is personal safety. Whether you're already in college or just applying, personal safety on campus is huge. I can't tell you the number of times my friends or I have felt unsafe just walking around in broad daylight let alone at night, and it can be scary being in a dorm or apartment with a new roommate for the first time. 

I would highly recommend if you can to invest in a personal alarm, pepper spray and most importantly a drink test kit! They aren't expensive and can give you peace of mind and even save your life. 

Win a Dorm/Apartment Kit

SABRE was kind enough to send me a second kit to give to one of my readers! Enter below for your chance to win! Winners will be announced on October 5th! 

How I Study

Going into my third year of college I've finally perfected how I study. Developing a study technique for college can take a while, you have to decide what works best for you. That's why I titled this post "How I Study" and not "How to Study". 

If in high school you were like me and didn't really need to study to do well, take some time to try different techniques before you find what really works for you!

What I Use

You can read about the specifics of everything I bought for school here, in my school supplies haul, but for studying purposes I use:

  • 5x7 index cards
  • my notebooks
  • Google Drive (docs)
  • highlighters
  • black pens
  • colored pens

What I Do

I take my laptop with my to classes, but I only use it in classes that we're required to have it. I take all my class notes in a lined notebook. I find that I get less distracted in class when I have to write everything down. 

After class I type all my notes into Google Docs. Because all my classes use 3 different online sites I have all of their readings downloaded and synced to Google Drive and organized by class. Once I type my notes in they go into a Class Notes folder. Having everything accessible on Google Drive means I can look up anything on my phone if I need it. This is perfect for last minute studying, or answering questions for classmates. 

All of my classes have required or optional reading. I've found that professors find a lot of exam questions through optional readings so I now just do all of the readings. And I treat them like lectures: I old-school outline all of my readings and hand-write them into my notebook, then when I have free time I'll type them into my Google Drive. The repetitive copying and rereading of my notes really helps me remember all of the information. Now that my classes are all business related understanding the topics clearly are important for not mixing up the classes. 

While I'm doing the readings or typing in my notes I take any key terms or things my professor has said was important and put them on an index card. I like to use the larger index cards because I can draw diagrams, or extended definitions without using multiple cards. 

By doing all of this as the semester goes, I don't have to craw when exams come around, and all my study materials are pretty much created! I can build study guides out of my typed notes based on the specific exam details and study only what I need to closer to the exam. 

If you're interested in a "What's in my Backpack" Youtube VIDEO let me know in the comments! 



BioClarity Skin Care

disclaimer: this product was given to me for promotional purposes, but this post was not paid for by BioClairty and all thoughts are my own. 

Being in college, keeping my skin clear can be tough. I've never been someone who struggled with severe acne, or cystic acne, but waking up with acne never leads to a good day.

When BioClarity reached out to me I was a little skeptical. I can never use natural products because I'm allergic to Tea Tree Oil and it's in almost EVERY natural based beauty product out there. But once I found out there wasn't any type of oil I could have an allergic reaction to, I figured, why not!

BioClairty has 3 steps: Cleanse, Treatment, and Restore Gel. The instructions recommend doing all three steps twice a day (in the morning and before bed). But because I didn't always have acne, and may major problem is redness I only did steps 1 and 3 everyday and added the second step in when I noticed my skin acting up. 

My biggest problem with my skin is redness. Right on my nose and over my cheeks are always red - it basically looks like I always have a sunburn. But Step 3 is literally dark green, and acts as a green concealer. it calms the redness to the point where I don't have to put regular concealer on to block it. Not having to wear a ton of makeup to feel great makes me feel so confident! 

I continued to use my microdermabrasion system in conjunction with the BioClarity just to help get any extra dead skin off of my face once a week.  

Overall, I really love the cleanser and Floralux Gel, and I loved the treatment as a spot treatment! If you're looking for an easy on your skin, and easy to use, system you can use the code ALEX to get 50% off your first month!

What's your go-to skin care product?



Iced Coffee Hacks

It's been 2 weeks since I moved into my Junior Year apartment and coffee has been an essential component of these last two weeks. Now that I live in an apartment, and have to pay for things like groceries, I've been looking for ways to supplement my coffee addiction that don't involve driving to Starbucks and being late for class. 

My real experience with coffee up to this point has been through Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, or random coffee shops, I've never really been one to make my own coffee. When I got to college our dining halls gave out free coffee before 10:30 and there are 2 Starbucks and 2 other coffee shops on my campus that accept dining dollars (meal plan) for later in the day. 

Now that I don't want to drive to Starbucks, and don't have an unlimited dining plan for the on-campus locations, I had to come up with options.

Tools Used:

My amazing grandmother bought me the white Keurig 2.0 as an apartment-warming gift, and one of my roommates brought an actual coffee pot

*you in no way need to own both a Keurig and coffee pot, you can make all of these recipes with either.

Items Needed: 

  • reusable to-go iced coffee tumblers
  • ground coffee
  • k-cups
  • flavor shots

Every morning I would get an iced coffee, an iced vanilla latte or an iced caramel macchiato. Its well known that the standard Keurig does not make iced coffee. So to achieve the iced coffee dreams we came up with options: at home cold brew and regular. 

Iced Coffee

| For The Individual |

If you're trying to just make one cup of iced coffee before class your first step is to brew a cup of hot coffee. If you have a Keurig when you wake up put your favorite flavor of k-cup in and let it brew and sit until it's room temperature. If you have a regular coffee pot you may be able to program it to automatically begin brewing at a specific time (this is awesome). Once your coffee is brewed and room temperature pop it in the fridge. While your waiting for your coffee to get nice and cold you can go about the rest of your morning routine. 

Right before you leave for class grab a reusable tumbler fill it with ice and pour in your coffee. I always add a teaspoon of sugar, half&half and a little almond milk to my iced coffee! 

| For The Week | 

If you're obsessed with iced coffee like I am, one cup will not suffice. By making a full pot of coffee, with either a coffee pot of a Keurig Carafe, and letting it cool then storing the entire pot in a plastic iced tea jug. you'll have coffee for at least a week. One of my roommates makes a pot every other day (shoutout to Kenzie for supplementing my coffee addiction) and we never run out. 

Cold Brew

Making cold brew at home is surprisingly easy.

  1. Simply take your loose coffee grounds and water and pour them into a tupperware container, stir and store overnight.
  2. The next day take a micro strainer or place cheese cloth over a traditional strainer and place a second tupperware underneath. 
  3. Pour the stored coffee into the strainer until just grounds are left in the strainer or cheese cloth. 
  4. Then you have cold brewed coffee! 

You can do this for both individual and several servings. 

bonus hacks

| Coffee Iced Cubes | 

Pour coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze to make iced cubes that won't water down your coffee. When they melt, your iced coffee will just be filled with more coffee!

| Flavor Shots | 

If you don't have a Keurig, and can't buy flavored k-cups, flavor syrups are awesome. We buy Folgers coffee for our coffee pot and Folgers also makes flavor enhancers that you can add to full pots or individual cups. 

How I Organize My Planner for College

My Day Designer obsession has reached astronomical levels. Over the summer I purchased a second Day Designer (one of the daily Day Designer for Blue Sky ones) solely to use to organize all my syllabi. I still use my classic Day Designer, I have an old post on how I used to organize it here, but I use it in a slightly different way now that I have a second one just for my classes. 

Why did I buy a planner just for class? 

I have so many club meetings, meetings for my annual conference, dates I need for work, and just general things like classes I want to take at the gym, or blog posts I want to write, that just can't fit with all of the assignments I have for my five classes. 

Why the Day Designer for Blue Sky?

I love love love my day planner. Last year I carried my day designer in my backpack everyday and it got completely ruined and I ended up not bringing it with me most of the day because I didn't want it to get worse half-way through the semester. 

When Blue Sky came out with their Day Designer collaboration for this year and they had a daily edition I nearly died! It was the same thickness as my day planner, but flexible and with a slightly different daily layout that was almost more perfect for school. 

How I Organize It

The planner is set up almost identical to the traditional Day Designer. It has a Daily schedule from 6am to 8pm (broken up into 30 minute segments instead of every hour), a Top Three and To-Do section, a Notes and a Daily Gratitude. The biggest difference is the lack of the Dinner, Dollar, Don't Forget, Due section, an addition of a Tonight section, and the Notes section is expanded and lined. 

Today's Schedule

In the Today's Schedule section I have all my classes pre-written based on my academic calendar until the end of October (we got a snow day in October once so I don't want to write it in too early.) In this planner I have all my classes color coded whereas in my regular Day Designer I only use black pen. 

Having all my classes color coded helps me see where I have to be during the day and also what I have to pack in my backpack the night before without really having to think about it. 

I add other events like classes at the gym, work, or meetings in the Sunday night before the week starts. These are all in my main planner. I also try to add all of these to my Google Calendar on Sunday nights. Having everything connected with my Google Calendar and Drive makes me feel so on top of life. 

Top Three & To-Do

Under the To-Do section I literally list all of the homework due for the entire week on one day (Monday.) Then in the Top Three section I list the three assignments I HAVE to get done that day. Anything I don't finish I just move over to the next day, and any assignments that reoccur every week that I finish (we have a weekly online assignment for an accounting class) I'll re-add to the list, but for next week. 


Now that I live in an apartment and have to cook for myself, this is where I write what I'm gonna make for dinner. 


If I have to go grocery shopping, or I have some blog posts to write, I'll write random notes here. Sometimes it'll be a grocery list, or sometimes even notes from a quick meeting. 


I never used to know what to write in the gratitude section, but now I just try to write one good thing that happened that day. No matter how long the day was, or how bad you feel, something good happens everyday and it's good to acknowledge that! Plus going back and being able to look at all the good things that happen can really lift your spirits on a bad day. 

What planner do you use for school?