Browse Author by taylorrpittman@gmail.com
Student, Uncategorized

8 Study Habits For People Who Can’t Sit Still

Don't be selfish:

I don’t know about you guys, but I HATE studying. Up until maybe a year ago, I really never needed to study to make good grades. Even freshman and sophomore year of college I did not need to study much, but after that… I found that just skimming the notes was no longer going to be good enough.

So, how do you start studying when you’ve never really had to?

Through some trial and error, I found these practices worked the best for people who have a hard time sitting still (raises hand). However, these practices may seem a bit weird. To find them, I combed through all kinds of blog posts and advice (let’s just say reading and taking notes doesn’t work well for me) in order to find a few tips that could give me an edge, without boring me to pieces.

1.Take adequate moving breaks

Nope, this doesn’t mean check Facebook. It means get up and do some jumping jacks or squats, start a load of laundry, fold laundry, anything to get your mind off of studying and get your body active. I take a break every 25 minutes for 5 minutes, then at the hour mark take a 10 minute break.

2. Drink lemon water

Keeping your energy up is key. One way to do that is to stay hydrated. The lemon helps keep your energy up and keeps you from reaching for the can of coke in the fridge.

3. Lay out note cards like a map.

It’s kind of like creating a real life scavenger hunt for your notes; You make cards with their definitions and lay them around your house or dorm on top of things you can make a connection to, or in the order you need to remember them. For example, the amygdala has a lot to do with memory-I had a stuffed elephant in my room and an elephant never forgets. Making connections helps you remember things easier, the weirder the better.  I also am very good at reading maps and navigating, therefore, when I study I like to go through and make a map of my house. I take the terms or concepts and put them in rooms. Think mind palace from Sherlock. (Learn more about the mind palace, here).

4. Do your notes in class like this:

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I know, my notes are never that color coordinated (who seriously has time for this!?!?!) but the concept works SUPER well.  That way, you’re not taking notes exactly from the power point or lecture, instead you focus on key points. These kinds of notes are very easy to follow and even easier to study later on!

5. Keep a fidget gadget

We all fidget, some of us more than others. There are a few different fidget gears out there that are specifically made for people who need to be doing something with their hands, however I have found that something as simple as playing with a tube of chapstick (like EOS) or even playdoh helps! It let’s my hands move while still paying attention, or it lets my left hand move while my right hand writes.

6. Mix it up

Don’t study one particular subject for more than an hour or so. Make sure to add a few different subjects in there to at least review, that way what you’re studying doesn’t just become white noise. I know, I know, you’re like me and you’ve waited until the night before the exam to study, but trust me here. If you can’t sit still for long, more than likely you can’t focus for long either. Make sure to do this after studying for at least sometime and DON’T study two topics at the same time.

7. What about sleep?

DO IT. College is NOT just about pulling all night-ers, it’s about learning how to manage your time so you DON’T have to pull all nighters. Your memory gets extremely impaired after one 24 hour period of being awake. It actually has the same affect on your body as drinking two glasses of wine. Tip: Don’t take a test while intoxicated, thus don’t take a test when you haven’t slept.

8. IF you must study more…

Believe it or not, the earlier you are, the better you study
Believe it or not, the earlier you are, the better you study

 

Go to bed, and wake up EARLY. I’m talking 4 a.m. early! Don’t believe me? 4 a.m. is a time where our minds will have no other demands or distractions, meaning you are more likely to focus (if you’re not falling asleep, of course). Making a habit of getting up early will allow you to start your day without any kind of hurry or distraction: what better time to study!

There you have it! Do you have any other study habits that have worked for you? Let me know!

 

Happy Semester Everyone,

Tay.

 

Don't be selfish:
Hair and Beauty

Hair Mask To Beat All Other Hair Masks?

Don't be selfish:

We all want great hair.

I like my hair overall… but occasionally it needs a bit help

One way to get great hair is to avoid the sun and to not introduce it to salt water, but I like to enjoy the beach, and instead I let it soak in those bright rays and brine for a good 10 days. My hair did not appreciate what my soul loved. Can’t please everyone I suppose.

Before:

Sorry, it was late, I was tired.
Sorry, it was late, I was tired.

To stop further breakage, I decided to look up a deep repair mask on Pinterest. It’s already a jungle, but when you ask for a recipe for a hair mask? Millions and millions of un-sourced pins that say everything from soak your hair in honey and eggs to let it sit in 5 different kinds of obscure expensive oils. I have five dollars to my name.

Where to begin?

I wanted to find one where I could still stay at home in my pajamas and not go to the grocery store. So I searched for pins that seemed to pop up the most, and the one I chose was this one here. I am unsure if this is the exact source for this recipe, given how many times it popped up under different sources.

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It’s simple enough with 4 ingredients: honey, 1 egg, coconut oil, and olive oil. It kind of sounds like I’m finding the ingredients to make some kind of weird sugar free pancakes but I picked it anyway.

Not my best idea.

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So, the prep goes like this: mix all the ingredients together, massage into your hair, then wrap your hair in a hot towel, and sit. Sit for at least 20 minutes, or as long as you like. I finished part of this blog in that time. Multi-tasking!

This is what the mask looks like in your hair:

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Flattering right?

After two different shampoos, and two days, I finally managed to get all of the mixture out of my hair. I should have thought about the fact that this would be horrible to remove. And the smell…I love olive oil in food. I despise the smell in my hair.

After two shampoos I ended up with hair that was greaser than Michael Jackson’s Jerry curl. Two days later when I finally no longer looked like my hair was wet (though it was dry), I hoped for magic: shiny beautiful thick and manageable hair. The result? Maybe a bit tamer, but I think that hinged on me wanting this to work. I managed the mane maybe just a bit more.

The Results:

Do you see a difference?
Do you see a difference?

That was a lot of work for not a lot of success. Later on in the week I tried a mix of olive oil and coconut oil, using the same process and it worked much better.

The moral of the story is to just stick to simplicity. The less ingredients the better right?

 

 

 

Don't be selfish:
Uncategorized

Maybe the Best Apple Pie

Don't be selfish:

We’ve had a bit of a trash problem for the past few days- so I exchanged trash service for pie.

Beautiful, delicious, pain staking homemade apple pie.

Actually, if I’m being honest it’s been the last few weeks, and it’s all because I was very stubborn and refused to get a trash service. I like to save money, not spend it, and up until a few weeks ago we used Derr’s father’s truck to take trash back and forth. It was a great system, until someone else decided to use to the truck.

About 2 weeks go by, the trash mostly forgotten, begins to rot. Bad. Oh the smell emitting from that trash can was absolutely horrible. Worse than that? Maggots.

I like gore, but I HATE maggots. My husband is a mighty good man.

Needless to say though, he hates maggots too, and gave me an option: trash service, or a truck.

Well, then I went on vacation, promptly forgot, and by the time I got back we were in the same pickle again. Maggots, rot, all of it. Needed a truck, then and there. Fortunately, one of Derr’s work buddies had a truck and was willing. I felt so bad though, because it was putrid, that I offered to bake a pie.

Here we come, Pinterest!

Apple pies aren’t difficult to bake…ish. Sure, I could have run to Walmart and bought an apple pie, but where’s the fun in that?

So I embarked: homemade crust included.

And I found a recipe titled “The Best Apple Pie EVER.“that I found on Audrey’s Apron.

I followed both the recipe for the pie crust and the pie itself… this is not a small endeavor.

Full disclosure: I’m a decent cook but a baby baker. I’ve made cookies by myself, and a few cobblers under elder cook supervision, but this is my first completely homemade apple pie. Now I understand completely why my grandmothers all said that pre-made pie crust was the best invention ever.

There’s a first for everything right?

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3 sticks of butter- just for 2 crusts!
I doubled the recipe for the crust because it’s unfair to send a homemade pie and have none for yourself. What if it tasted horrible?! I couldn’t risk that…

However, note from the picture above that I have deviated from the directions:

  1. I don’t have a food processor- so I used my Ninja.

I.. don’t recommend this. Instead of being the one minute pie crust, this turned into an hour long ordeal. I did mess up and try to do all 2 batches in the blender at one time, but the blender still did not do absolutely great.

2. I put it in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.

This is a good idea if you’re crunched for time, not such a great idea if you totally forget about it and leave it in the freezer for more than an hour. Luckily, this didn’t end up too too bad as it thawed pretty quickly after my mistake.

I did one traditionally rolling it out on my counter with flour, and one with the floured plastic wrap- do the floured plastic wrap whenever possible. So much easier, so much less mess.

Moving on…

Everything else about this recipe looked like it was going to go off without a hitch! Sugar, brown sugar, an ungodly amount of butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and apples. Except… I forgot to check to see if I had brown sugar. Pro tip- before starting a recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients. Baking 101 right?

Now, there is a sub for brown sugar. For every cup of sugar, use two table spoons of molasses- I had that! I know, molasses but no brown sugar…

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Shamelessly want to lick the spoon
I may or may not have snuck a few caramel apples…

15 minutes at 425 degrees, then another 35 at 350, and voila!!

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So… I will say, this was a fantastic pie. Flaky crust, sweet but not overwhelming filling… all the good things. However a few pointers.

  1. I would like to make a bit more of the pie crust- I had enough to make one pie, with a double crust, and I should have followed the advice and made a bit more just so I could make the lattice better
  2. Use brown sugar? I mean it still tasted pretty sick, but for purely scientific purposes…
  3. Instead of using the caramel glaze over the lattice, I would probably use a simple butter and cinnamon mix on the crust- it was almost too much with the caramel glaze.

If you want a great go-to apple pie recipe- this is it. This pie is delish cold and hot. Just make sure you have brown sugar.

Next time,

Tay

 

Don't be selfish:
How-to Home

Painting the Cabinets with Chalk Paint- Part 2

Don't be selfish:

It’s finally time to start painting!

This week I mainly focused on painting my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint. My goal was to bring them from the 80’s to today. In case you recently joined us, here’s the link to what we have done to get here:

Before:

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After:

The final product!
The final product!

I tried to find one post that would highlight exactly my plan of action and show me some results closest to the idea I had in mind, but to no avail.  I settled for using several different blogs and combining their approaches all into one idea. I found chalk paint ideas nearly everywhere (it’s a DIY’ers dream, for sure), however very few bloggers tried to paint their own cabinets with chalk paint. So, I found what I could, and went from there.

First, I used this to learn the do’s and don’t’s of painting kitchen cabinets, which helped me get a good idea of what I was going up against. The numbering of the cabinets saved me a lot of time, because I then just had to play basically a game of Go Fish, cabinet version. The mohair rollers are tried and true and fabulous- they’re a bit more expensive but totally worth it in the long run. The project definitely needs coffee, the right sandpaper is a must, and yes, it will get worse before it gets better.

I am just thankful to have a small kitchen.

The first day I recruited minions, specifically my mom and my sister. My mom paints by nature, but had never worked with chalk paint, so she wanted to see how the results would turn out as well. Every post I found did not do a step-by-step walk through of how to paint the cabinets, so I just combined what I thought were the best ideas.

  1. Chalk paint does not require sanding, stripping, or a base coat- but that does not mean it’s work free.
  2. Use the correct brushes for the job- Get the real wax brush, not just a regular paintbrush
  3. Don’t freak out when the first coat does not look picture perfect.
  4. Dry dry dry! The stuff says it only takes 30 minutes, but paint works differently in different environments. If you live somewhere humid (like I do), be safe and give it an hour.

Painting kitchen cabinets takes time. I thought honestly that choosing chalk paint would speed the process along, but even with a small kitchen, it took me the entire weekend, as noted by a few others.

I used the blogs mentioned to go ahead and dive into the project. Fun fact- when we pulled out the drawers we found Arby’s coupons from 1987. I’m gonna try to see if they’ll work ;). This project will make you hungry, tired, and dirty!!

Day one after removing the doors and painting the cabinets:

Two excited painters
The tired and hungry help. In the background you can see that I chose to leave everything in the cabinets and cover it up with plastic grocery bags- what a better use for them than sitting all bundled up in my pantry!

Day two involved painting and sanding the doors and drawers of the cabinet. I started at 8 AM, took a break around noon or so, and worked until 6 PM. Luckily, I only needed to do 16 doors. Again, small bonus of a small kitchen:

painted cabinets!
painted cabinets!

This was after 2 coats. Honestly you can’t tell from the pictures but even with two coats you still see quite a bit of the wood underneath- I wanted that.

Day three made me sweat the most because I needed to sand and distress, so by the time I came back in the house covered in wood and paint dust, I wanted to just fall asleep in the floor. I used a sanding block to keep my hands from hurting too bad. I used 100 grit sandpaper, despite other bloggers using 280 and up, because I wanted a very specific distressed look. Apparently that look is not popular? I never found exactly what I had in mind.

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I wanted a heavy distress- not really antiqued. Hard to find, so hard to repeat.
Finally, after four days, I finished and I LOVE the result.

Painting the cabinets white did wonders for the look of space in my kitchen. Before the entire area felt dark, though there was plenty of natural light. The wood absorbed all that light, rather than reflecting it. My husband noted that it made the entire space feel bigger, yet more home-like. It completely changed the entire space.

A few suggestions:

  1. Use good chalk paint. I chose to use Amy Howard and I’m not sure if I love it. I loved the wax though, it applied easily and gave the perfect matte look to the cabinets.
  2. Watch out for drips! Chalk paint is no joke after it dries.
  3. Do not do this without drop cloths and do not sand inside if you can help it
  4. I may possibly apply a coat of polyurethane, or some other sealant, because I feel that over time it will protect that paint job more than just heavy waxing.

Stay tuned for later this week when I try a new recipe on my grandma! It’ll be a surprise for both her and I!

 

Tay

Don't be selfish:
How-to Home

The Secret To Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

Don't be selfish:

Does anyone out there enjoy cleaning?

If so, I invite them to come help me. Derr and I moved into old Mrs. Perry’s house almost a year ago (really? time flies), and we have come a long way. The little duck dotted wallpaper no longer exists in the bathroom, where the hurricane toilet used to sit now sits an efficient (but annoying) new one, and this week we replaced the 40 year old A/C unit with a much quieter and better system.

We have come a long way.

So today, I sit in a very cool house, currently working on cleaning the kitchen cabinets. I shall mention again how much I hate cleaning.

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Cleaning these cabinets is a beast- years of grease, stains, and God knows what else, made layers of filth. The corners of the cabinets were black, while as you can see, the rest of the cabinet is that standard 80’s builder grade look. I doubt anyone ever cleaned the cabinets even to get the dust off, much less use a bit of elbow grease for the actual grease. I tried just my regular vinegar solution cleaner but that fared no match against these cabinets.

I needed something different, because I was not about to dedicate my entire afternoon to scrubbing.

I searched to see if I could find someone claiming to have the “best homemade cleaner” out there for kitchen cabinet grease, and I choose this one. I chose it because the picture showed cabinets that looked very similar to mine, the easiness of the ingredients of the recipe, and the results shown. Also I chose it because I had all the ingredients on hand.

The Results:

Before:

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All the black edge is grease. Not shadow, grease.

After:

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What a difference cleaning makes!

 

(I know there’s a little bit of a flash, so it’s a bit hard to tell) I really need you guys to be able to feel them– no more sticky nasty corners.

The recipe I used consists of dawn (blue) dish soap and vinegar. You must use Dawn blue, however I already knew this from past experience (I have no idea what they put in the specifically blue kind that makes it different, however no other dish soap, not even another Dawn dish soap, comes close). She adds that you can add borax to the solution if you need a bit more cleaning power (I needed it). I liked it because I don’t love the smell of other cleaners, and I hate to clean. The borax really cut through the grease well.

The Verdict:

Use it. I finished thoroughly cleaning the cabinets in under an hour, including dusting (this could be attributed to my small kitchen too). However, I tried the cleaner on some of the tough stains on my cabinet tops with little success. I suppose the turmeric stains never come out, but I will keep searching for something to clean those soon.

One small thing- borax, though effective, irritates some people’s skin. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend omitting the borax, using baking soda, or wearing gloves.

With the good weather tomorrow, I plan to start painting using a few different pins I found for inspiration. I wanted a very different look for the cabinets and I struggled to find exactly what I was looking for, so I ended up using a blend of a few different things.

Updates will be up later this week. ,

 

Tay.

 

 

 

 

Don't be selfish: