Wednesday, January 29, 2014

College Survival Guide - Textbooks

Lets talk textbooks! Next to the mob college book stores make so much dang money from students it should be considered robbery! So here are a few quick tips to save money on your textbooks from now on:

1. Rent your books. I know this seems rather simple, however renting saves you a lot of money and you don't have to worry about having a textbook you aren't going to use anymore lying around your house. Plus, now you don't just have to rent from your college book store but you can rent from online sites like Chegg, Barnes and Noble and really all over the place. It just takes a simple Google search.

2. Buy your books from discount websites. I personally am a huge advocate for Half.com through eBay because I have gotten almost all of my textbooks for under $20 each. (Which is a landslide in comparison to the $100-200 average at college bookstores.) However, this isn't the only option. I know a lot of people who swear by Amazon.com, Chegg or Cheapbooks. It all depends on where you can find the best deal for your specific needs.

3. eBooks. If you have a Kindle, Nook, or any other ebook reader (or even your laptop) you can download this type of book for generally cheaper and you don't have to worry about lugging around a bunch of heavy textbooks each day to class. Also, you can often find cheaper PDF versions online. The down side is that you can't resell these back to the bookstore.

4. Buy from a friend. Chances are you will find people who have taken the same classes that you will be taking so they probably had to buy the same books you did. So if you can borrow it from them or just buy it for really cheap then go for it!

5. Library. Or you can do this the cheap man's way and just go to your campus library and read the books at the library or photocopy your chapters (just make sure they have the books you need!) If the library doesn't have the books you need then you can go the really broke people way and sit in the book store and read the chapters! haha

These are just some suggestions to make you aware of all the ways you can save money instead of being put into debt simply from buying your text books. I hope this helped in some way :)

Huge hugs from my computer to yours, and good luck!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Updated: Who am I and why am I here?

Hi everyone! So I am participating in the "Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog" challenge, I guess you could say challenge, through The Daily Post blog. I already did a "Who am I" post which I will link here and I just wanted to update it now that I am blogging more consistently and making a goal to do so. So I've got some basic questions to answer just to give you guys a better perspective.

First off, who am I? Well, my full name is Kimberly Elise Clark. I was born June 11, 1995. I am a college student double majoring in psychology and business. Life is kind of complex. I am working and am basically financially independent, going to school full time, and dealing with a hectic home life. Sounds like tons of fun right? Long story short, life is crazy and there are lots of hardships I've had to face throughout my life. On the bright side I have learned a lot and grown as a person.

Why did I start blogging rather than keep a diary? Honestly, I've tried keeping a diary before and I would always just forget or never be sure what to write and I would always just stop writing shortly after I started. When it comes to blogging, I love to write and I can just write about so many random things and to me it is kind of like I am writing to a virtual best friend. That way whoever reads my blog feels like my friend and can get to know me better verses some sterile and boring post.

What should you expect from this blog? One word: RANDOMNESS!!!!! Hahaha. As I touched on above, my life is constant chaos and this blog is basically a "come along with me" in my crazy life. I write about how to survive college, crazy things that happen in day to day life, growing up, and some other misc stuff along the way. Essentially, I want to share the journey I am embarking on and I hope you guys come along with me for the ride!

If I blog successfully throughout 2014, what would I have accomplished? Well, I started this blog about 2 years ago and I would never really call it successful. It was more of me writing an occasional post here and there when I remembered. But by doing this I would feel like I somewhat broke my bad habit of not being able to follow through. (A horrible trait I adopted from certain people I shall not name). However, overall, I just want to create an interesting a fun blog for those of you out there in the blogsphere and be able to create new friends and just be able to do something fun and maybe brighten someone else's day.

Be sure to check out The Daily Post's Zero to Hero challenge here: Click Me! Also, browse around for other interesting content! (They are also in my blogroll!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Years Resolutions!

I know its already almost through January and I am probably really behind on getting this post out but that is ok. I talked a little bit about my resolutions on my happy new years post but after reading/watching Michelle Phan's post/video on her resolutions I relized that it would be a helpful idea to write out my goals in detail and if I post them up here then I really have a reason to keep going. So here they are:

1. Get in shape. I know this sounds like everyones new year goal of "I'm going to get in shape and loose x amount of pounds and blah, blah, blah" so superficial and it often times falls through. However, with this in mind I have set my stepping stones for achieving this monumental task and I have a final goal for this one as well! My plan is to follow the monthly workout calendar put out by Blogilaties and I was thinking of fixing up my bike and riding it to work. The reason behind this is because I want to be able to complete to Spartan Run Trifecta with my dad. Plus I overall want to be healthy and fit.

2. Be thankful for everything around me. I've talked about the book "The Magic" before, and I am going to start the 28 day process from the beginning and continue through it after that. How often do we take the time to appreciate what is around us? How often to we let someone know we appreciate them. My goal is to be thankful for everything I have, every day. I want to make myself and my life better through gratitude.

3. Do well in school. Pretty self explanatory on this one. Also, I want to save up so I can go back to a four year and get into an absolutely amazing school!

4. Put myself first in my own life. For such a long time I have always had the tendency to put everyone else's needs and happinesses above my own. BUT I've come to understand that I need to focus on making myself happy because at the end of the day I have to live MY life and I can't do that if I have completely neglected myself. Some may say this sounds selfish but whatever. I've learned that if you aren't happy then its not really worth it.

5. Let go of the past. I tend to let so many things from my past haunt me and continue to bring me down and make me unhappy. I want to figure out how to let those things go, accept that they happened and move on so I am not bogged down for the rest of my life. The new year is a time to start with a clean slate and I finally want to give myself that. Two quotes that I thought of while writing this were: "Regrets are a waste of time. They are the past crippling you in the present." - Under the Tuscan Sun, and from Kung Fu Panda, "There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the 'present.'"

Monday, January 20, 2014

College Survival Guide - Organized and Prioratized

Unlike high school, in college you are responsible for everything! There are no teachers to baby you and your parents aren't going to be there to look over your shoulder asking if you got your homework done. So, how do you accomplish everything, you ask?

The answer is, ORGANIZATION!!! Organizing not only helps to keep your things together and where they should be, but also helps keep your life in order and can help you not be quite so overwhelmed. So where do you start? Like a lot of things you can dive into a Google search and spend some time clicking through the thousands of search results. However, since I have done that whole song and dance and plenty of research I will just give you the summary, k?

When it comes to getting organized there are so many ways you can do it that it gets so confusing you want to just turn off your brain. So to make it easy I've broken it down into a couple key points:

1. Write everything down! Calendars are your friend (haha)When you are in college and working or anything really it is important to schedule things out. It really helps put your days into perspective and helps you to manage your time much better. The best way to schedule is by starting with your concrete blocks, the things that you do regularly (ex. classes, church, your work schedule, etc.) This way you have the major blocks carved out and you know where you have open time. Now when you are going in to schedule fun time or anything else you can have everything laid out in time blocks. Here is a picture of my scheduling, it is a screenshot of my iCal during finals week:
I'm not telling you to go this extreme but I'm just trying to show you how scheduling can help. This may look like a disorganized crazy blob but it really helped me with studying by knowing exactly what I needed to be doing and when.

2. Color code and label. When it comes to putting school stuff in my schedule I usually do a basic color code with yellow, green and pink highlighters (kind of like a stop light system). Green is for simple homework due dates, a "work on paper" session, basically simple stuff that your whole schedule doesn't have to stop for. Yellow is for papers and quizzes because you have to slow down for them but you don't completely stop. Finally, red is for exams! This is just a basic system and you can find what works best for you but the important thing is to use it! It helps so much so find what works best.

3. Prioritize: The Three File system. This system was introduced to me last semester by a councilor at Concordia and now, I swear by it! It is a lot simpler than other systems with a whole bunch of steps and processes and labeling. In this system there are only two labels: FIRE and To Do, and you only need three things: a large In-Box, and a tray for fire and to do.

4. Backwards Planning. Backwards planning sounds like a strange being however, it is really simple and useful. Take your syllabus (I can't stress how important it is to read your syllabus thoroughly! It has pretty much everything you need to know) and write down all your due dates in your calendar/schedule. I know you are probably thinking "that is the most basic thing ever and just regular scheduling" but, here is where the backwards part comes in: Say you have a project due on a friday, backwards planning is setting a your own personal due date for that project on say that Tuesday. Make sense? By doing this you are forcing yourself to get your work done in a timely way so that you don't fall behind.

5. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Nothing ruins your organization more than loose papers and crud all over your work space, your room and in your backpack. The goal of this process is to find where everything belongs and create a place where you know where everything is and it is neat and clean. For example, you could have a binder for each class with a new tab for homework, notes, handouts, etc. OR you could have one big binder with the same tabs and just something to separate each class OR you could have just a spiral notebook for each. The possibilities are endless but the goal is to find a system that works for you.

For more helpfulness click here: Click Me!

Friday, January 17, 2014

IMATS LA - Kandee Johnson's Class!

OMG!!! Today I got to go to a master class at IMATS LA to see Kandee Johnson's class on make up and it basics. She is so incredible and amazing! She is my hero and I can't believe I got to go to this class and meet her in person!!!

She shared so much wisdom and knowledge from her experience as a make up artist to help anyone else. We got to ask her a lot of fun questions and just things you don't get to on videos because we could have real time responses to every question. 

She was so sweet and so nice in person! My heart was beating so fast and I almost started crying at the fact that after years of following her on YouTube and on her blog I was actually in the same room as her and able to hug her!

She is a truly genuine person. I watched her give away one of her Imoshion purses to a girl with a heart condition who drove down just for her class. She is so incredibly kind, sweet and funny and I just cant describe how amazing this experience was!

I am so honored to have been able to meet her and I hope I might be able to keep in touch with her.
Love you Kandee!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday - When I was first installed as South Bay Sweetheart!

I was installed as Sweetheart of South Bay Chapter - Order of DeMolay in July of 2009. Those guys were my best friends and my family and I was so happy to be able to represent them as their Sweetheart.
This photo was the night I was installed and I took it with all the other sweethearts within the league.
Fun Fact: I was wearing my friends dress at the time.

Couple things to know about this photo: 
1. This was at our Conclave Convention.
2. This was the convention where I met one of my best friends Amber
3. This picture was taken at the breakfast for Master Councilors and Sweethearts


Monday, January 13, 2014

College Survival Guide - The Main 10!

To kick off the College Survival Guide Series I wrote just a really broad list of the top 10 things you need to know to survive in college. Here we go!

1. Go to class. I know this seems like a silly tip but in college you are paying for school and your classes, so if ever you decide to skip class you are basically throwing away your own money. So unless you are deathly sick in the hospital

2. Develop good study habits. This is one of the most important things to develop because you are going to be studying all the time whether it is for quizzes or your final exam. Quiz, test and exam grades usually weigh very heavily on your overall class grade so do yourself a favor and take some time and Google "good college study habits" because it will make a world of difference.

3. Get organized. Nothing is worse than having a pile of stuff to do and it is all over the place and there is no starting point. Getting organized will help keep you from falling behind on your assignments and things to do. It will also help you in developing your own routine.

4. Take advantages of the resources on campus. Make sure you take some time to figure out what resources are provided on your campus like writing centers, librarian help, or study groups and research help. Believe me, getting help makes life a lot easier than trying to do it all on your own.

5. Don't procrastinate!!! Ok, I will admit that I suffer from this too, but procrastination is one of the worst habits you can fall into because it will seriously drag you down on your school work and getting important things done.

6. Balance your time. Remember the saying "all work and no play makes me a dull boy"? Well its true. You need to make sure to balance out your work with your relaxation otherwise you will completely fry your brain and burn yourself out. Give your brain and yourself time to unwind and step away from your work. whether it is spending one day a week watching a movie with friends or just simply taking 5-10 minute study breaks to refocus, it is crucial to have a balance here.


7. Get some sleep. Going off of what I just said, not only do you need time to relax but you need time to sleep.Lack of sleep can cause health problems and your brain can actually work and remember things better after you have gotten sleep. So if you stay up all night before a big test cramming, chances are you will forget a lot of what you studied.

8. Find your friend group. College means that you are moving on from high school. And while I'm not saying to completely forget about your friends from high school you can't cling to them either. You have to branch out and find a friend group at your school that can help you with the transition and also help you feel more comfortable.

9. Get involved. Especially in the first month or two of college you basically have to force yourself to be outgoing because that is when friend groups form and you meet most of the people you will know and hang out with. And if you live on campus, don't be a dorm rat! Get out and have fun! There are lots of clubs and student activities on campus. Use it as a way to balance study with fun but remember not to over commit.


 10. Schedule your classes in a smart way. You want to make sure to schedule your classes in a way that is helpful not hurtful towards your success. For example, if you are not a morning person, don't take morning classes, or if you don't like to feel rushed, don't schedule back to back classes and give yourself some time in between. Simply making minor scheduling errors like this can set you up for success. Remember, you are in charge of your schedule now, make it to your advantage.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Doctor Who Season 1

I officially completed the first season of the Doctor Who reboot with Christopher Eccleston.

I have to say I really liked it. At first I wasn't sure what I thought about it and it took me till about the third episode in to really get into the show and to find myself wanting to know what happened next. The characters we meet are fun and exciting even though a lot of people screw up in various episodes. I really liked Jack Harkness, the whore of the universe lol. He flirts with everyone and screws everything that moves haha but he adds a good balance to the gang.

As for the Doctor and his companion: I liked Eccleston as the Doctor and how bipolar he was because it shows how haunted he is by his past and but he still tries to be fun and happy despite everything that he has been through. As for Rose, I think she can be a bit annoying at times but she has good chemistry with the Doctor.

I'm really looking forward to the next season and seeing David Tennant as the Doctor since he is a favorite for a lot of people.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Series on Lost in Wonderland!

Hi interwebbies! So I'm super excited to be starting writing series on my blog. I figured since this was a blog about my life through college then I might as well write about how to survive it!


In my "College Survival Guide" series I will be writing about tips, tricks and everything from the big stuff like study habits and classes all the way down to doing laundry in the dorms. I haven't decided on a schedule for the postings of these. Do you guys have any suggestions? Once a week, twice a week, and what days? Or even if you just have any suggestions for writing series, let me know in the comments if you read this please. I would honestly love to hear from you guys out there!

So I am in the process of writing the first few posts in the series. The first post will be just an overview of the major tips to survive college, and from there I will be going more and more in depth. If you have anything you would like me to write about please let me know that too. - Super excited for this and I hope you guys are too!

Sending big hugs from my computer screen to yours!

Tis the season...for being sick :(

Gah! I hate being sick! I caught the bug going around this year and it is a doosey! The two days after Christmas I spent in bed, coughing with a fever of over 100 degrees! The cough was still hanging around but I thought I had gotten over this cold...oh how wrong I was... Wednesday my fever spiked again and I had to stay home from work because of how crummy I was feeling. But on the bright side, after I finally woke up, I got to spend the day watching Doctor Who with my boyfriend. He even took me to go get a cinnamon roll from Cinnabun! So even though I was sick again it was a fairly relaxing day. Advice to all, get your flu shots because you do not want to get sick! And if you do: get lots of sleep and get cold medicine that tackles a cough! Sending hugs from my computer screen to yours, have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing new years! I got to spend it with my extended family (the Baileys) and I spent the night over at their house.

At first it was kind of boring to be honest with you and I was a little bit upset because my friend Matthew (the son of the house lol) basically he bailed on us and ditched to go hang out at another friends house after we had already discussed and made plans. >:P so meh, yeah that was a bit upsetting.

Other than that we watched a lot of movies and had fun just sitting around the fire place. It wasn't like a "rager" but it was very relaxed and just close, family setting.


So on, are you guys excited for the new year?

I can't believe that it is already 2014. This past year just went by so fast and a lot of amazing things happened as well: I started college, I bought a car, I got the most amazing job from applying on a whim, I made so many new friends, got to finish living out a dream I have had since I was 14, my boyfriend and I celebrated one year and I'm really excited that I got to reconnect with my dad. I am so happy to finally be making up for lost time and rebuilding my relationship with him.

Now, lets talk about new years resolutions! I know, you are probably thinking resolutions, smesolutions (lol I don't even know what I just typed!) those things last for about a month and then disappear into thin air.

Now, while this can be true for most, another thing that really counts is that you truly can do anything you set your mind to. Honestly, one of the main reasons that new years resolutions, or really any goals, fail is because we set these huge goals that we want to achieve then get so overwhelmed. Well luckily I have figured out how to change all that.

One thing that I learned is that just like walking up stairs to get to the next floor, you have to map out stepping stones to your goals. So take just a few minutes, sit down and map out a goal that you truly want to achieve and the steps of how to get there and you will find it is a lot easier to achieve a series of small goals rather that attempting to achieve one massive one.

My list is to do well in college, save up for school, be healthy and in shape because I want to be able to complete the Spartan Run Trifecta!



So what are you going to try to accomplish in this new year? Whatever it is just know that even when you feel down and like you want to give up, remember the list of reasons why you started in the first place, and even if you feel like no one believes in you and is supporting you know that I believe that you can do anything and that all of you out there are strong and amazing people! And in the words of one of my favorite internet guru's Kandee Johnson, as she says at the end of her videos, "you are more beautiful than you know, you are more talented than you even think and you are more loved than you could possibly imagine, even if it just from me!"

One of the best things I love about starting a new year is that you can make it a completely fresh start! Forget about the things that brought you down, mistakes you made or things that you regret. If you hang onto them all you are doing is dragging yourself down with unnecessary baggage. Make this year something special to you! Don't let yourself forget that while you can't decide how your life will play out you can decide how you will react to the things that happen in your life. React in a way that will build you up and make your life better, not worse!

I hope you all have a truly amazing year and achieve all that you set out to and have wonderful times that you will cherish!

Take care, sending big hugs from my computer screen to yours!