Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Survive Nursing School | 7 Tips for Success

As summer comes to an end, and the new school year approaches again,  I figured that it would be appropriate to share some of my tips and tricks for how to survive nursing school. Nursing school is a roller coaster and it is both rewarding and overwhelming at the same time. In the past three years, I have gone countless hours without sleep, spent almost all of my of time stressing and even had some mental breakdowns here and there. Although being a nursing student is tough, you CAN make it, and you WILL become a nurse if it is something you're truly passionate about. So, without any further ado, here are my top ten tips for surviving nursing school, and for being successful.
  1. Plan and organize - planners AND calendars are your new best friends.  As soon as you get the syllabus for the semester, go grab your planner and start filling in assignment due dates, tests, or quizzes. Look at your planner daily and cross of the things you've already completed and make sure you are aware of upcoming assignments and due dates to ensure that you're on top of your coursework. In addition I would also color code your planner and binders. I pick one color for each class and write all my assignments for the class in that color in my planner. Try using similar colors for your binder, or notebook for that class as well to keep things organized. Speaking of binders, organize those as well (with some dividers). Make different sections for homework, lectures, notes, and study guides, or whatever you can think of so your work is easy to find.

  2. Prepare for class AHEAD of time - read the designated chapters and take notes on them before class. This
    is something that I cannot stress enough and is something that has helped me immensely throughout my nursing school journey. Being prepared for class ahead of time will help keep you focused during class so that you can keep up with the teacher. If the assigned chapter is short read it the night before it's due. On the other hand, if it's long, do a few pages each night the week before you cover the reading in class. Even though it can be tedious to read such long chapters, it will really prepare you when you have to take tests, because you have not only read the material, but you learned it in class as well. In addition, take notes on the required reading. Even though you may want to take notes on the entire chapter (because let's face it, everything is important in nursing), just write down the main points. Many textbooks have objectives that are at the beginning or end of each chapter that are helpful guidelines of what content is most important.
    If your teacher uses powerpoints, print those ahead of time and take notes on what the teacher says that during lecture that is not on the slides. Trust me this is what nursing instructors will test and quiz you on! 

  3. Actually spend time studying - l have met A LOT of people who think that they can get away with studying the night before a test in nursing school and let me just say, that will NOT work and you will do poorly on your exams if you study the night before a test. Exams in nursing school contain a LOT of information, all
    of which you cannot memorize in a day. The best way to ensure you're spending enough time studying is
    to create a schedule. Write down goals for yourself for how many, and which chapters you plan to review that day or week while studying. Instead of trying to memorize all of the material in one night, study 3 - 4 hours a day a week or two prior to the test, depending on how much information the exam covers. If you put the time and effort into studying you WILL do well on your exams and get the grades you worked for. 

  4. Meet with your teachers - I know that meeting with teachers can be a scary thing and I've been there too.
    I used to never meet with my teachers (even when I was not doing my best), because I was afraid of what they would say. As of recently I have learned that teachers want you to come get help if you need it. Your teachers have office hours for a reason UTILIZE THEM! It will not only help you academically, but going to office hours often will show your teacher that you are really making the effort to succeed in a given class. 

  5. Go to study sessions - Over the past few years, I have found that study sessions or groups are one of the most effective ways to study. Many teachers hold study sessions themselves or have the TA or tutor hold the study session. You can also get a group of friends together and study that way. Nursing requires a lot
    of memorization as well as critical thinking, so getting together in groups and quizzing and teaching each other the important material is an effective way to study for the exams. You can cover the same material
    or break up the content by chapter, and then teach each other the most important topics you've learned. 

  6. Utilize social media - Both YouTube and Pinterest have many helpful resources for nursing students. You
    can find videos explaining how to place an IV, how to take blood pressure and so much more on youtube and watching them will become your new best friend. When you learn these skills in class the best way to review is to practice or watch videos. Pinterest also has a LOT of great study resources. Create a pinterest board filled with numerous study tips and tricks and some for specific topics. I find this extremely helpful because a lot of people post helpful memorization tools, mnemonics, charts, or pictures on Pinterest that are helpful study tools. You can find my "Study Tricks" Pinterest board HERE if you need some inspiration. 

  7. Practice, Practice, Practice - one of THE MOST effective ways to be successful in nursing school is through practice. Many of the skills you learn require practice to learn such as giving an IV, taking blood pressure, taking vital signs etc. Not only that, but studying for exams requires practice as well, especially the HESI's and NCLEX exams. Study for HESI exams, and in class exams by finding practice questions online, in your textbook or buy a practice HESI book (I recommend the "Success" book series or Reviews and Rationales
Those are all of my tips for surviving nursing school. Hopefully some of you found this helpful! Good luck nurses!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review | July Birchbox

I cannot believe that it is almost the end of August, and that summer is basically over already.  This morning I was going through some of the pictures that I took for my blog and realized that I totally forgot to post my review and thoughts on my first Birchbox! The first box I got was the July Birchbox. So far I have recieved the July and August boxes, but I forgot to photograph the August box when it came in the mail so I will not be reviewing it this month. As I've mentioned before, I decided to try out both Birchbox and Ipsy to see which I liked better between the two. So far I have received two Ipsy bags, and two Birchboxes. Personally, I think I like the Birchboxes better, and I am considering canceling my Ipsy subscription. You get larger sized samples with the Birchbox, so in my opinion it is worth the money while Ipsy is not (I might post a comparison of the two later). so, what was in my July Birchbox?: 

  1. Supergoop! Anti-Aging city Sunscreen SPF 30 - this was the perfect product to receive for the summer. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have very fair skin so I need to be really careful when spending time in the sun, and that means applying lots of sunscreen. Since it was a small tube of sunscreen, I mainly used it on my face, though it doesn't specify if it's a facial or body sunscreen. I used this every day when I was in new jersey last week, and I didn't get sunburnt at all. Not to mention, it isn't oily and didn't break me out either. 

  2. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Hair Primer - this is by far my favorite product that came in this months box. I got a sample of this a month or so ago as a point perk from Sephora but I didn't end up trying it out until I got a sample in my Birchbox too. You apply this to your hair when it's wet or damp, and
    it protects from heat damage from styling tools AND UV rays, which is pretty awesome. I not only style my hair a lot, but I also spend a lot of time in the sun during the summer and this was great for protecting my hair from any kind of heat damage which would cause my hair to break and become even more damaged. I'm actually considering purchasing the full size bottle of this product sometime soon since I really loved it. 

  3. Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator - I actually haven't gotten around to trying this yet since I just started a new skincare regimen that has been working out well for me. My dermatologist also told me that I avoided facial scrubs, because they tend to break you out more, but when I try it, I'll let you all know.

  4. Harvey Prince "Hello" Perfume - I actually really liked this perfume. I am very picky with my perfumes, and tend to go for floral or citrus scents when picking them, and this was just that, a perfect scent for summer.

  5. Stila Look at me Liquid Lipstick in "Beso" - I've been obsessed with liquid lipsticks as of lately, and I ADORE the Stila ones. These typically come in a set of three, but you get one of the three colors in your box. I got the color "Beso" which is a gorgeous bright coral color. They are very long lasting and have amazing color.
    I'll definitely be buying the full-sized versions of these in a variety of different colors in the very very soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Influenster Vox Box Unboxing | Sunshine Vox Box

I was recently selected to receive the Sunshine Vox Box from Influenster. If you don't know what Influenster is, it's a free website that you can join, where people review products. You can review products from fitness products, to food, beauty products, pet care, electronics and so much more! The more reviews you post, social media accounts you link, and questions you ask, the more likely you are to receive one of these Vox Boxes. You qualify for the Vox Box based on the type of reviews you post so, if you review mostly beauty products, you most likely will get a box filled with beauty related items. This is the third Influenster Vox Box I have received so far and I love these! This is also the first one I have reviewed since I have been so caught up in school. I filmed a YouTube video which will be going up tomorrow reviewing all of the products in this box, but here is a brief summary of each of the items I got:
  1. Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds (not pictured) - my boyfriend and I ate these as soon as I received the Vox Box in the mail. I'm not really a huge fan of anything spicy, but these were pretty tasty. I think my boyfriend liked them a lot more than I did. If you like spicy things, I would totally recommend trying these out though! 

  2. Bark Thins (not pictured) - This box also came with a coupon to get a free bag of Bark Thins, which are very similar to brownie brittle. I thought that they came in the box, but they actually give you a coupon to select the specific flavor you want. I haven't ordered mine yet, but I can't wait to try them because they look good. 

  3. Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Cleansing Cloths - these work as both a makeup removing wipe, and facial cleanser all in one. I think these are great for traveling or if you are on the go a lot. I haven't tried them yet, because I want to finish my other makeup removing wipes first, but I'll post updates here when I try these!

  4. Sinful Colors Nail Polish in "Beverly Hills" - I LOVE the Sinful Colors nail polish line. They're the same quality as Essie and OPI nail polishes, but are A LOT cheaper at only $2 each (you can also find them for $1). To be honest, I didn't really like the color I received very much but I would recommend the Sinful Colors polishes.

  5. Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer (Aloe) - I am obsessed with spray moisturizers. They are another product that is great if you are on the go. I personally am not someone who likes to spend time putting on lotion which is why I think these are great. You just spray it on, and you are good to go. It's not greasy, this smells great, and is really soothing, especially on sensitive skin. I'm especially prone to getting burnt in the summer, so this product is perfect to apply after I've spent the day in the sun to relieve itching or irritation. 

  6. Infusium 23 Smooth Moisture Replenisher Leave-In Smoothing Cream - I REALLY love this. It's essentially a leave-in-conditioner that keeps your hair silky smooth and frizz free. You apply it to wet or damp hair after you shower, brush it through your hair, then let it do it's thing and it leaves your hair feeling really smooth. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

As of recently, I have joined a couple of Facebook groups for bloggers to learn a bit more about the blogging community and to meet some new bloggers. If you're a blogger you're probably familiar with the way some of these Facebook groups work. If not, these groups are basically a community of bloggers (all different niches), who give each other advice, ask questions, share thoughts, and provide opportunities for each other such as tags, giveaways, etc. Anyway, I was tagged to do the "Blogger Interview" by Johnny at Jonathan's Studio and thought that it would be a great opportunity for my readers to get to know a bit more about me since I'm new! 

How did you get into blogging? 
Back in high school, some girls in my graduating class had created blogs and my best friend I felt inspired to do the same, so we both made our own blogs on Tumblr during a class, and I have stuck with it ever since that day. 

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out? 
The best advice I can give to anyone who has just started a blog, is to be yourself and be original. There are SO many bloggers out there who post about the same topic, so make your blog unique and post about things that truly interest you. I would also try joining Facebook groups or Blog Networks to connect with more bloggers. If you're just starting out, it can be hard to figure out how to blog, what topics to post about, or who to follow, so Facebook groups and other networks are a great way to do that (plus it's really fun to make some new friends).

How has your blog changed since you first started writing it? 
To be honest I don't think my blog has changed much since I first started writing it, but it's hard to say because
I only started posting on this blog about a week or so ago and since I was on Tumblr before I didn't write much. 

What would be your dream campaign? 
This is another question that I think is hard to answer. There are so many campaigns that I've always dreamed 
of doing. I'd have to say that I'd love to work with my favorite cosmetic companies since I'm a makeup hoarder.

What advice would you give to PR's wanting to approach you for a campaign? 
I would say not to be afraid and to ask me. I am always looking into new companies, and trying new products! 

Do you have a plan for your blog? 
Other then a regular posting schedule, not really. I created this blog to post about the things that interest me, 
and hopefully I can meet other people with similar interests, and share this knowledge with all of my readers.

What do you think about rankings? 
This may sound weird, but personally I don't think they matter. I LOVE seeing that people are interested in my 
blog, but I'm not here to gain views and followers. I think people should create a blog to post about what they
love, not for the purpose of gaining followers, or becoming "famous." I mean, what's the point in that anyway? 

I tag the bloggers listed below to complete the "Blogger Interview" tag and if any of my readers complete this tag, I would love to read your answers, so please post a link to your in the comments section below! Thanks! 

Jaclyn at whatilovefor
Moritz at lifestyleapex 
Liz at lizwaeltzart 
Emily at somethinggoldsomethingblue
Leah at lifelemonsandlemonade
Trielle at fashionkeeper
Soeun at sparkspiration
Jessi at haynesherway
Sharmane at littlepinkdiary
Mandi at noshandnurture

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review | Kat Von D Everlasting Lipstick

I just got an order in from Sephora that included these two beauties. I've actually been wanting to try these out for a while now especially since everyone has been talking about how amazing liquid lipsticks are recently. I have also heard a lot of amazing things about Kat Von D cosmetics, so I decided to finally give these a try when I ordered my Becca highlighter in "Champagne Pop" a few weeks ago. These are actually the first products I've bought from the Kat Von D line at Sephora but I can confidently say that I will be purchasing more of her makeup in the future. I've tried a few different liquid lipsticks before, but none compare to these. I did a bit of research before buying these, and found that these were the two most popular colors. "Vampira" and "Lolita" are also very popular colors that I would like to try, but they were sold out. There are so many beautiful colors to choose from, but naturally I chose the bright shades. I got the shades "Bauhau5" and "Backstage Bambi." "Backstage Bambi" is a hot pink color, and is very similar to "Candy Yum Yum" by MAC (one of my favorites) and"Bauhau5" is bright plum color. These liquid lipsticks have amazing color pigmentation and dry completely matte. I'm a huge fan of matte lipsticks since many lipsticks, especially those in bright colors, tend to rub off throughout the day. The "matte" lipsticks I've tried from MAC, including "Candy Yum Yum," do not dry completely matte, so I'm really happy that I found these. These dry completely matte (I'm talking all you can eat and drink and these lipsticks will stay put). I wore "Backstage Bambi" out to dinner with my mom last week and it didn't fade at all. I would recommend these if you are a fan of bright lipsticks, or just want a lipstick that will stay on all day without budging. I'll be purchasing more of these for sure! Have you guys tried the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks before, and if so which shades are your favorites?

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