Thursday, March 30, 2017

My Morning Wellness Routine

Mornings can be rough. For me, there is no worse way to start a day than to wake up late and rush out the door looking and feeling like a mess. Lucky for me, I am a morning person and have no problem waking up early to do my wellness routine. Here is a sample weekday morning. 

7:00am My alarm goes off and I hit snooze. I don't go to sleep, but spend the nine minutes before my alarm goes off again meditating. Sometimes this is done sitting cross legged on my bed, other days I meditate in savasana so I can stay under the covers and warm. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Smores Brookies! (The Easiest Party Dessert EVER)!

I always like to bring something to a party. Usually that ends up being a dessert of some type. Cookies are great, but it takes FOREVER to bake, even with multiple pans in rotation, but brownies from a box can be a little boring. Here's where the Smores Brookie comes in! Part Smore, part brownie, and part cookie, it is the best thing you'll ever eat! Here's how to make it. (Also, excuse the pic, snapchat saw it first!)

What You'll Need

Cookie Layer (if making from scratch): 
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
whatever else you want to add in (i.e. nuts or peanut butter chips)

Brownie Layer:
Packaged brownie mix prepared (but not baked)

Marshmallows (I used mini, but any size works)
9X13 pan
Parchment paper

Prepare the cookie layer: Cream butter and sugars together. Add egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and combine. Fold in chocolate chips and whatever extras you want to use. 

Layer: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the 9X13 pan with parchment paper (so it's easy to get out). Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. It'll be very thin, but work with it until you get a mostly even layer. Pour brownie layer over the top. Bake for 40 minutes or so (keep an eye on it, and test with a toothpick). Add marshmallows, broil until marshmallows are melted and browned. Cool fully before cutting. 

*Note: it is way easier to use a tube of cookie dough at room temperature in place of homemade cookie dough. Layer the same way as above, baking time should be the same, but check with a toothpick!

This is seriously the easiest dessert to make and is foolproof! It also looks insanely decadent and fancy. If you're going to make this for a party, I highly recommend baking it a day in advance, letting it cool completely, and then cutting it. If the marshmallows are still warm when you're cutting, they will stick to everything, and it will be a mess (a yummy mess, but still, a mess). 

Let me know in the comments if you try this out and what your thoughts are! You could totally modify this with a peanut butter swirl or layering oreos between the cookie and brownie layer for a slutty smore brookie! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

20 Ways You Can Improve Your Life in 20 Minutes

Most people waste their 20 minute breaks. They think that it's too short of a time to do something meaningful, and end up watching tv or scrolling through their phone. I'm here to tell you than 20 minutes of nothingness are one of life's greatest blessings. Here are 20 things you can do in 20 minutes that will definitely improve your life. 

1) Speed Clean
When you're environment is chaotic and messy, so is your mind. Pick up things off the ground, clean your bathroom, vacuum or mop, or just tidy up around the house. You can even do this with music or the tv on in the background!

Monday, March 20, 2017

3 Types of Wallets For All Occasions!

I love a nice wallet. Wallets are such an everyday staple piece, but can look terrible if overstuffed and full of receipts. Lately, I've been embracing a more minimal wallet, just using a yellow coach keychain pouch for my money (similar to this one) and keeping my cards in my phone. No matter if you like a full wallet, half style, or even a card carrier, I've got you covered! If you see anything you like, click on the image to purchase!

Row 1: These are going to be the tri-fold or half sized wallets. These are the types of wallets that I used when I was little, but haven't used in years. If you don't mind your cash folding and don't carry many cards, this is perfect! They also fit in any purse and you can even stash it in your coat pocket on the go! 

Row 2: These are even more minimalist than the small wallets! If you use primarily cards, this could be perfect! Stick a $20 for the times that you can't use a card, and you're all set! This has all the benefits of the small wallets with the added benefit of being able to fit in a jean pocket. 

Row 3: These are the full sized wallets! If I'm going shopping and need the full spectra of gift cards, this is the type of wallet I'd use. I really like full sized wallets that can double as clutches (and all of the ones above can), because it serves double duty! 

Let me know in the comments what type of wallet you carry and which one of the ones above is your favorite! Also, make sure to follow SIENNA on Bloglovin to stay up to date on all the new posts!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

How To Love Learning

I have always excelled in the traditional academic environment. I am a decent test taker, learn well through lectures and textbooks, and have always enjoyed a classroom setting. Most people aren't like that. We can all agree that the American school system has systemic flaws, the worst being that it causes people to fall out of love with learning. Learning is great! It's what allows people to change the world, build companies, and live purpose driven lives. Here are a few ways to re-fall in love with learning. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

5 Ways to Be Productive Between Classes

This semester, I have a lot more breaks in my schedule. These breaks are usually an hour or two, which isn't quite long enough for me to run home and come back. Instead of scrolling mindlessly on my phone or online shopping, here are five productive ways I like to spend my breaks. 

1) Homework
This is a big "duh" but needs to be said. I try my hardest to make my breaks a fun experience for myself, which means that I try not to leave last minute homework to do right before class. Instead, I try to get ahead on homework for the week, whether that's doing some reading for a class or working through some practice problems on my own. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Put Yourself Out There

In life and relationships there are often two schools of thought: what's right for you will eventually come to you, and you have to put yourself out there. Through the years I've tried both, but prefer the latter. No matter what your goals are personally or professionally, here's why you should put yourself out there. 

It's Active
While it might be true that you'll eventually get what's right for you in life, I prefer the active nature of putting yourself out there. Hustling and trying to fight for what you want and think you deserve is a great thing. Being vulnerable, trying new things, and taking risks are all things that will make you a stronger person in the long run, regardless of if you achieve your goal or not. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

How to Find a School and Social Life Balance

The school, work, and social life balance is one of the more difficult aspects of being a college student. You want to make sure you're getting decent grades (especially if you want to go to grad, med, or law school), but you don't want to stay in every weekend and feel like you're missing out on the college experience. Here are a few ways I've found my school and social life balance. 

I am a notorious planner. I have a daily planner on me at all times and in my room I have a whiteboard with a weekly layout of my week. By staying extremely organized, it becomes a lot easier to maneuver plans and responsibilities and make time for social outings. Granted, a lot of parties and plans are last minute, but if you know of events ahead of time, this is one of the best ways to prioritize going out. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What I'm Reading: March 2017

One of my New Year resolutions this year is to read more books. In January I made a list of 17 books I wanted to read this year and each month I share what I'm reading and recap what I've read the previous month. If you missed February's What I'm Reading, you can read my thoughts about The Beautiful and Damned! 

Last Month's Book: Eat, Pray, Love
This book was a let down for me. For years I've had friends and other people tell me that this book was life changing, and while it might be for them, it was underwhelming for me. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, it's pretty much the story of a woman that gets a divorce and spends the next year traveling through Italy (eat), India (pray), and Bali (love). The way the book was written, I never connected with the author/narrator as much as I probably should have. I didn't sympathize with her, didn't form any sort of emotional bond, and didn't empathize with her, so it all ended up feeling melodramatic and out of touch. I know plenty of people that love this book, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I don't regret reading this book (I never regret reading a book), but I don't think I'll need to read this book ever again. 

On The Road - Jack Kerouac
This book has been my all time favorite book for years, but I haven't read it in a while. I started this book in February and plan on finishing it sometime this month. On the Road always seems to fill a void within me, whether that's my wanderlust, lust for the past, or love of beautiful prose. If you've never read this, I highly recommend it. In my opinion, there is no better book than this. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
This is the first business/self help book that I'm reading this year. I have never read this book, but I see this book on lists of top books that successful business people and entrepreneurs read. I've only ever heard great things about this book, and I'm excited to learn tips and tricks to improve my personal connections. 

Let me know in the comments below what books you're reading this month! Also, I want to know your thoughts on Eat, Pray, Love! Was I really off with my interpretation of it or do you think it is overhyped as well? 

Current book count: 2/17