Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Week on Instagram #47

I'm cheating here a little bit and combining posts from two weeks so the post is a little more full. This week's post is pretty much all birthday posts all the time. Here we go!

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It was my sister's 9th birthday and I wanted to post something because I couldn't physically be with her on her birthday. This picture is from last summer at Universal Studios Hollywood and I love it, but hadn't posted it previously. 

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Fun fact: Both my mom's birthday and my friend Shivani's birthday are on the 19th. This post was for Shiv's birthday. It was taken at her birthday party, which was on a Thursday (hence the caption)!

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This was my dad's birthday, but I posted a picture for both him and my mom. This picture was taken last month at the top of a hike that we did. 
If you've missed any of the previous My Week on Instagram posts, you can see the full archive here! Also, make sure you're following me on instagram @miss_sienna so you don't miss any pics in the future. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The One App You're Not Using (But Should Be)

Pre-loaded apps are sometimes a pain in the butt (I'm looking at you, stocks app)! But there is one that is not only completely useful, but also highly used on my phone. I'm talking about the News app! Here are a few reasons why you should be using this app. 

1) It curates content for you
When you first set up the app, you pick through a bunch of topics and news outlets that are most relevant to you. Then, every time you open the app, it only shows you things that you probably want to see. This is a more efficient way to read the news instead of relying on your facebook feed or checking multiple websites. There's also tons of news outlets to choose from including CNN, Buzzfeed, Vogue, and more!

2) You can get alerts
It is really hard to stay on top of breaking news when you're busy. You can set alerts for certain news outlets (like the WSJ or CNN) and get push notifications when breaking stories come out. If you have an apple watch, you can also get notifications on the watch!

3) It's a good use of your time
Scrolling through a list of news articles is a better use of your time than scrolling through instagram! This has become one of my most used apps because I like reading in my free time instead of mindless scrolling. 

Let me know what underrated apps you love in the comments below! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What I'm Reading: February 2017

The other week I posted a list of 17 books that I wanted to read in 2017. Doing the math, this leaves just about three weeks per book. Already in 2017 I've read the Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I thought I'd do a monthly "What I'm Reading" post to keep you updated on my progress as well as recap what I've read in the previous month. 

Last Month's Book: The Beautiful and Damned 
I really enjoyed this book. This book starts slow and then slowly builds and builds. It was written during the jazz age, but a lot of themes like love, money, superficiality, disillusionment are still relevant in modern times. This book was harder for me to get through that Gatsby, but I think I like this book overall more than the Great Gatsby. I think these characters are infinitely more relatable and flawed, which I enjoyed. 

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
I am so close to finishing this book, and that is my first priority this month. So far, I've liked this book a lot, although I enjoyed the Italy portion of the book way more than the India section (I'm reading Bali now). Next month I'll give my final thoughts on this book because I'm still undecided right now. 

On the Road - Jack Kerouac
This is by far my all time favorite book. I read it in high school multiple times, but have not read it at all these past couple years. I gave my hard copy away to a friend (such a mistake), but I found an online PDF of the book for free, so I'm going to download it to my iPad to read. 

Let me know in the comments what books you're reading this month! Also make sure to follow this blog on bloglovin to stay updated on all the new posts!

Monday, February 13, 2017

5 Ways to Start the Semester Strong

I'm three weeks into the Spring semester and have just started to get into a routine. This semester I'm taking three labs, 16 credits, and nearly all upper level classes so my workload has increased dramatically from previous semesters. I've come up with five ways to stay on top of my school work and start the semester strong. 

1) Plan
The first thing I do once I receive my class syllabus is go to my planner (it's a weekly layout) and insert big dates. These are class cancelations, test, paper, and project due dates. Then weekly I write down big dates on my whiteboard in my room. These are smaller things such as "pre-lab due on tuesday" or "chapter 18 for friday." I'll do a whole video on my personal planning, but just any planning will make your life easier. It helps you see where your big dates are relative to other big events and also helps you use your time wisely. 

2) Make Friends
Once you start getting into major specific classes or upper level courses, it is so important to make friends. These are the people that will study with you, explain things to you, and will be around for the next few years. On another note, if your classes are in huge lecture halls like mine are, it's also nice to have people that can save you a seat if you're running late! 

A lot of times the semester starts slowly then builds and builds and builds. It is so much easier to do well when you have a solid base of information. Stay on top of this material and maybe even try to get ahead. USE YOUR TEXTBOOK. Especially if you have questions or need extra problems. 

4) Ace the First Test
Most of my classes are graded solely on tests. If you can ace the first test, you already set the bar super high for yourself, but you also give yourself a bit of wiggle room in case you mess up on a future test. The material on the first test is usually the introductory/review material, so if you can get a good grade with the easy stuff, you're setting yourself up for success. 

5) Get into Good Habits
Maybe your workload is really low right now. Maybe it's insane and you have a ton to do all the time. Either way, start getting into habits that will set you up for success further down the line. This might mean getting homework for certain classes done on a certain day (i.e. I do all my physics hw over the weekend) or getting all of your homework done before a certain time (I try my hardest to not have to do homework after 9pm). If you're already burning out and pulling all nighters, you will not have a fun semester. Get into good habits and start setting some routines that will help you be successful. 

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips to start the semester strong! Also, follow this blog on bloglovin for more lifestyle, beauty, and college related posts!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

5 Reasons to Go to A Party Alone

For some, going to parties alone can be terrifying. Especially parties where you don't know many people. That was how I felt about going to parties alone a year ago, but now that's all changed. Here are 5 reasons to step outside of your comfort zone and head to a party solo.