In life

Review: It Follows (almost no spoilers)



     My boyfriend and I coughed up $20 to see this movie at AMC instead of our usual $5 groupon spot. This film has won many best film awards on the festival circuit, and I (not that I consider myself a huge movie buff) couldn't agree more. The movie follows 19 year old Jay who gets arguably the worst STD of all time, the kind that sends urinating strippers, insanely tall guys, your dead dad, or any other terrifying person after you.

     Side note: I have never been carded to get into a Rated R film, I generally look WAY older than my age so I was a little shocked the guy though I was under 17.

     The gist of the story line is Jay get's a sexually transmitted stalker that takes the form of a person who slowly walks towards its victim. The opening scene is likely one of my most favorite because you see a teenage girl bust out of her house running full speed in six inch heels, which I find terrifying in itself. The only way to get rid of your zombie like follower is to pass it on by sleeping with someone else. 

    Side note: I'm quite certain the whole story behind the movie is an absence scare tactic.


     I loved close to every minute of this film. The eerie 8-bit synthesizer just might be one of the scariest soundtracks I've seen in a long while. The whole film has a dream-like vibe similar to that of Drive. A lot of other reviews compare it to a classic '80s horror film, but I haven't seen many of em, so I couldn't say.

     I will admit there are very few terrifying moments in the film, but like many great horror films the build up is often the scariest part. However I wouldn't say there's a good balance between buildup and payoff. Films like the Insidious series are more my flavor of horror, the shock and awe factor.

     The composition of the film was amazingly artful, almost every scene was screenshot worthy. I will admit the quality was a little subpar; the film became noticeably blurry during scenes with heavy movement, which really took away from the overall beauty of the film.


     One of the characters in the movie has an '60s shell compact/e-reader, that was insanely cool. Needless to say as soon as I got home I went looking for it online. Turns out the director literally put it in there just to confuse people. Lame.

     Overall I really enjoyed It Follows. It's story line is a little weak and there aren't many in your face scary moments. But the artful composition, slightly twisted love story, and retro soundtrack make the film definitely worth the $20.

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In life school

Taking Stock: March week 3 and Links I love



     Hi lovelies! I was accepted into the Her Campus Blogger Network this past week, and I've met so many amazing bloggers (a lot of them are featured here). Spring break was exactly what I needed, but all these midterms this week have me pulling out my hair. Anyway, this Alt-J music video has me DREAMING of summer in only 7 more weeks!!


Wanting: To start my second bullet journal even though my first is only half full

Reading: Nothing... I kinda gave up on The Longest Ride after a particularly cheesy line
Bookmarking: A letter to the slow runnersFeeling: Like I'm having a panic attack...all the time.Planning: Summer Vacation plansLoving: Detox waterWatching: The walking DeadWearing: All my shorts from last year (which I wouldn't be able to afford without my generous employee discount)


Here's what I've been reading this week:















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In fashion life

Spring Wardrobe Favorite

Forever 21, fashion, spring, wardrobe,

     I'm so excited for the weather to finally start warming up. Last weekend I pulled all my summer clothes out of hibernation, needless to say I spent all last week in shorts. My wardrobe is normally monochromatic during the winter. For spring I have a weakness for colored bottoms, and we've been getting tons of spring colored pants and shorts so it's been difficult to contain myself. Both my shorts and capris were from last season, but these shorts and these pants are really similar. My first outfit is really casual, but add some pearls, a watch and some dressy flats or wedges and it's work ready.

Forever 21, wardrobe, LOFT, fashion, spring


Forever 21, spring, wardrobe, work, college,

     This outfit is a little more refined. I got the top final sale at Ann Taylor outlet for $10. I've really been loving the two-in-one tops. This one has an attached white collar and sleeves. During the winter I'd layer this type of thing by hand, and my outfits would get so bulky and hot. With the two-in-one tops I get the same dressy look without feeling uncomfortable.

Forever 21, Spring, Wardrobe, LOFT, work, college



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In health home life school

How to be a Bullet Journaling Wizard

Bullet Journal, planner, college, planning,
     I'm a planner person, type A, OCD, list-making, calendar plotting, color coding type of planner person, and quite frankly in college you have to be.

     I've tried a few organizational systems throughout my education. As a junior in high school I use to use a page-a day-moleskine book and a note card with tiny tiny tiny writing with everything I had to do for the week. My senior year, I made my own planner with InDesign before jumping on the Erin Condren Bandwagon. For my first semester in college I tried to carry over my Erin Condren system. When that didn't work for me I tried passion planner (which I preordered and waited a good three months for) only to decide I wanted something with more flexibility. Then I discovered the Bullet Journal system.



     Take a few minutes to watch the video above, which explains the basics of the system. What I like about bullet journal is any notebook can become my planner, and I can create my planner to be as flexible as it needs to be. I'm using a green, large, lined moleskine for my bullet journal. Honestly, it was a notebook I just had lying around and converted into my number one tool for college. The bullet journal is great because I can use a page for meeting notes then jump right back into planning my day.

     One thing I didn't like so much about the Erin Condren system was the amount of effort I felt like I had to put in to decorate it and make it look pretty. Because the planner itself was happy and colorful, I felt like I needed stickers and colored pens and all the washi tape in the world. I'm only crafty when I need to be, and I just didn't have the time to decorate and make a page look nice, only for it to bulk up from the sheer number of stickers I had in the book.

     In addition to my bullet journal I use a cheap small notebook from staples to keep track of long term dates. One problem with the bullet journal is you create your month at a glance pages as you need them, so if you get a date you need to remember two or three months from now, it's hard to log that. So with the small notebook (or with the moleskine page-a-day book I just got for 50% off), I can write out long term reminders and todos. This systems works wonders with Cal Newport's system for keeping up with homework.

     Needless to say I've done some extensive research on ways to improve my bullet journal. I'm finally getting to a point where my planner is showing some signs of consistency, because I've just been experimenting with how I want to set everything up over the past three months. As a result I've curated some of the best links and videos around on the whole bullet journal topic.








     Some good info on the 80/20 Rule which Is a good reminder when attempting to approach a mountain of work




     Let me know how you use the system or if you pick up the system and like it.  I'd love to talk tips on twitter (@that_cool_girl) or in the comments.

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In career health home life school

Knowing when to call it quits

college, dating, advice, work,

     It can be hard figuring out when you need to quit something big like a job, or a relationship. I'm the type of person to stick it out and see if things will get better in time. However, I'm starting to realize there's a time when you can only put in so much work and you should just move on.
     Here are three signs that it's time to call it quits.

     1. You aren't learning or growing anymore - I'm going to use an example of a job for this post, because it's something I can relate to a little more. At this age and time in our career, we take on jobs, internships or volunteer opportunities we do it for the experience. It feels pointless to spend time in a job or relationship when you aren't getting anything out of it. But wait Hannah-Beth isn't that insanely selfish. Thanks for asking other me. No, it's not selfish to think of yourself when considering a job or relationship. You are 1/2 of a relationship and you're the one spending 20+ hours of your time in a job. While it is selfish to only consider yourself when making some decisions you're the one in the relationship and you're the one working the job.

     2. You dread it - If you take the time to intentionally avoid going to work, then it's probably time to cut the chord. If you're avoiding checking on something, then it's also probably a sign you should, same thing applies to deciding to quit a job or end a relationship. If your job is causing you so much angst or stress you need to quit. You might not think it, but you not wanting to do something is a legitimate reason for you to quit. 

     3. Your life would be better without it - If your job is causing you an insane amount of stress because of the work hours it may be time to call it quits. If a job or relationship is having negative effects of your physical or mental health it's way past time to call it quits. Think of your situation objectively as possible, in most instances, ending the job or relationship wouldn't change your entire life. Sure finding a new job is change but in the end the work required to quit your job will be well worth it if your sanity is at stake.

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In career life school

5 Things to do before spring break is over

tips, spring break, spring, break, college,

     I'll admit I was insanely less productive over spring break than I had hoped to be. But that's ok! Today I'm organizing myself to keep up with my classes, extracurriculars and everything else I'm involved with. I've come up with a little check list for myself of things to do before the Monday after Spring Break.

1. Get your sleeping schedule back on track - When I was in high school I'd spend the summers waking up around 2 in the afternoon and staying up until all hours in the morning. After my week off from morning obligations, I've noticed my sleeping schedule has slipped a little. I'm talking waking up around 10:30, no where near 2 p.m. But still this sleeping schedule isn't going to be doing me any favors next week for my morning classes and meetings. I've started taking melatonin around 9 p.m. to help me feel drowsy at a normal bed time. I like melatonin because it's all natural and non-habit forming. It's made to combat jet lag, which when you're staying up late is basically what you're doing to your body. Melatonin won't completely knock you out, but it will help you turn off your ipad for a few more hours of shut eye.

2. Clean out your purse and backpack- I like to think of myself as a generally tidy person. However, over time I do start accumulating things in my purse and backpack. Start by dumping everything from your bag, including the side pockets and zippers. Then toss, organize and pack your things again accordingly. You'll start the second half of the semester with a little clearer mind knowing you haven't lost your favorite exam pen or that pack of scantrons you got a few months ago.

3. Liven up your wardrobe - A little spring cleaning goes a long way, especially in your wardrobe. I spent an afternoon sorting through all my clothes. I decided to sell the things I was waiting to lose weight to get into and organized everything. I also took the time to organize and catalog my wardrobe into an app called Stylebook. I like the app because I can snap pictures of my clothes and make polyvore-like outfits that I can easily log. I've also been planning my outfits for the week on Sunday nights, so it's really easy logging everything once and being done. Since I've started using the app I've found new ways to wear the clothes I already own and noticed some holes my wardrobe was missing.

4. Double check your Syllabi - I'm in the middle of switching planners so I was doing this anyway. But take some time to go over your syllabi. This will help you keep up with any projects you should have been working on or readings that you still have time to catch up with. My midterms are right after spring break, so because I double checked my syllabi I'm creating a study plan to blow my midterms out of the water.

5. Revisit your goals - Spring break is near the middle of the semester, so it's a great time to reflect on your goals. How far have you come? What else could you be doing? and so on. Check out my post here about how to get on track towards your goals. 


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In books life

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Reading, book, review,

     The Martin by Andy Weir just might be the best spring break read for 2015. The book follows Mark Watney's attempt at survival on Mars after being left behind by his crew mates. Over all I gave this four out of five stars on good reads.

****Spoilers obviously****

     I'll go into what I liked about the book first. One of the cool things about this book is its technical lingo that Watney goes into explaining his survival. Watney has all kinds of technical problems thrown at him, and Weir does a good job of explaining those things to us. I felt a little smarter reading up on growing potatoes in a vacuums and how to fix regulators and habs and so on, but that doesn't mean I understood it all.

     Another awesome thing about the book was Watney's sense of humor. Sure he could be seen as cynical jerk, but I feel like Watney was just making the best of the situations at hand. I'll admit some of the puns and jokes were bad (space pirate? Really?), but they were entertaining none the less. These light hearted jokes make the book a good spring break read, over all there's tons of action, it's funny, and plausible (at least it seemed that way to me).

     One of my favorite parts of the book is Watney's relationship with his fellow crew mates. I sort of wish we would have gotten to see that relationship before he's left behind.

    Now what I didn't like about the book, the characters were all a little shallow. We follow Watney's entrys for over a year but I still feel like we don't know who he is as a person. Honestly I feel like we know more about his crew mates from their Agatha Christie novels and 70's music than we do about Watney. There are very few parts where Watney basically brakes down (as I imagine myself doing) because of his situation. Very little is mentioned about his family except for the fact that they're from Chicago, and they hug a NASA representative when he's safe. Once he's safe, I have no clue how Watney has grown from his experiences (except for that last monologue about him realizing not everyone is a jerk).

****End Spoilers****
   
     Overall it was a really entertaining read. The book is action packed, funny, and leaves you with a warm feeling about humanity. It's not a novel you'd write a thesis on or put on a list of literary classics, but it is an easy read that will get you back in the habit of reading for pleasure.
   

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In career health life school

Taking Stock: March Week 2 and Links I love


I'm so obsessed with this song, it came out a while ago with the latest Hobbit movie, that my boyfriend took me to. I haven't seen any of the other movies so I was a little lost the whole time, but I loved this song none the less. Here's what I've been up to this week.

Wanting: A second stackable book shelf even though I doubt I have much more room in my tiny office
Reading: Madame Brovary by Gustave Flaubert and The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Bookmarking: How to become a freelance Writer
Feeling: So relaxed because of the obligation free week ahead
Planning: A trip to the Zoo with my family
Loving: My Q&A a Day journal
Watching: Last man on Earth

Wearing: New (desperately needed) sweats from Victoria Secret

I'm basically camping out at my desk for spring break, here's some links I've been on this week.

Fancy vocabulary words that you'll be waiting to drop into a conversation after you learn.

Here's what we're going to be doing to our hear this year.

Where has Pizza soap been all my life? PIZZA SOAP!

In case you're feeling crafty this spring break

Hacks for Social interaction, because I'm basically awful at it

This just might be my new online shopping obsession. I can always spare $15... well almost always.

Because there can never be enough hair tutorials

What are you doing this summer? Now's the time to start planning.

Nighty Night

Some of my posts you might have missed My spring Break Bucket List, How to get back on track toward your goals, and Seven small habits to get you an A.

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In college life spring spring break summer

An Introvert's Spring Break bucket list

Spring break, college, introvert,

     Spring break starts today and I have made very little to no plans for the week. I'm definitely an introvert, I'm just really good at hiding it. Anyway, I started thinking about what I'd be doing next week and came up with a quick list of stuff. Writing it down I realized how nerdy I really am, but I've decided it can't be helped.

1. Finish reading 4 books - normally I'll try and read 4 books per month, but the extra time from school will give me plenty of reading time. You can check out what I'm currently reading on my GoodReads, and also check out my Ultimate College reading list.

2. Learn a new recipe - I'm not a terrible cook, but only because my dad taught me some basics and I can follow a recipe. I want to try something fancy and delicious, like these or these. I've even been considering getting an adorable (but slightly unnecessary) apron like this one.

3. Pamper myself - Sometimes I'm so busy I forget to take care of myself, I mean like I always make time to shower, gross. I mean like taking a real spa day, do my own nails, use some expensive Lush bath bomb I drove an hour to Dallas for, the whole nine yards. Once classes start I'm not going to have time for a weekly soak, scrub, buff and shine.

4. Finish a project - I bought a rubik's cube a little while ago. When I was around 12 my dad bought me one after we visited my cousin. She could/can solve a rubik's cube in two minutes flat...not that I was/am jealous or anything. Anyway, I recently got one myself and haven't memorized how to solve it all the way yet.

5. Watch Grey's Anatomy - I always want to change my major a little after a Grey's Anatomy binge. I've realized I'm way too squeamish for anything in the medical field though.


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In fashion life

Snowed in

     Texas is really pulling a number this time. It's snowed/iced enough to close school three times in the past week. For a while I was doing my best to stay productive, but now I'm settling in and relaxing on my unexpected break. I love being able to sit at home with my books and TV instead of school work but I'm sure it'll come back to haunt me later.


1. Cozy Camp socks // 2. Motivational Mug for coffee or hot chocolate...or wine // 3. House of Cards season 3 // 4. Spring Nail color to remind you one day it will defrost // 5. A good Book  // 6. Sweats

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In career health school

How to get back on track to your goals

goals, planning, college, weight loss, lose weight,

     These past few snow days have thrown me off my grove. I was doing so well, reading ahead, getting my work done, all of it. But a few days from classes (thanks snowpocalips 2015), a new season of House of Cards and a weekend of loafing around any I'm off of track. It's like all of a sudden I'm behind on everything and my motivation to get going again is gone. This has happened many times before, and this is a major reason I've not reached goals in the past.
     This is around the time when New Year's resolutions have gone out the window and we all need a good kick in the pants to get back on it. Consider this your kick.
     When I notice I'm getting off track from my goals I need a revival or sorts, whether I'm working toward better health or better grades, here's how I'm getting back on track to my goals.
   
1. Breathe - Set a timer on your phone for five minutes, sit on the floor and meditate. Some people meditate every day, but I've found meditation really helps me when I'm feeling particularly stressed. Don't worry too much about technique, but rather were your mind goes. The most important thing is breathing, not letting your thoughts interrupt focus on your breath. A quick meditation session will help you clear your mind and allows you to focus on what you need to.

2. Backtrack to remember why you started - I try and keep a solid habit of journaling, and while I don't do it as often as I'd like I still find it very helpful when getting back to my goals. Many times I'll journal about my goals and why I want to achieve them. I'll also brainstorm goals and plans in my journal, so when I'm feeling unmotivated I go back and reflect on why I started a goal in the first place. If you'd like to get into the habit of journaling, you can check out my post here with some tips.

3. Create a game plan - At some point on your path to your goals you made mistakes. Now's the time to figure out exactly what those mistakes were and how to avoid them in the future. For my goal of making all As I fell off recently when I stopped my weekly study sessions. It's the little things that make the grades (check out my post on it here), but missing out on a solid chunk of studying really hurt me this past round of tests.

4. Change things up - This may sound like it doesn't really matter, but I like to change my environment when I'm realigning myself with goals. I'll change my phone background, or move around my furniture in my office or something or the sorts to give myself a fresh start.

5. Actually do it - All the planning in the world is pointless unless you actually do it. Make a commitment to yourself to make steps toward your goals, and at the end of the week reward yourself if you've accomplished them.

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In career life school

seven small habits to get you an A

habits, college, grades, planning, calendar,

     I've made a resolution to get all As this semester, and I'm starting to realize it's not about the big things you do it's the tiny ones. Midterms are just around the corner and now's the time to get on top of assignments and get your A. Here are seven small habits you can do to get yourself an A.

1. Make some flashcards - It takes almost zero brain power to make flashcards. I usually make mine while watching TV or something. But the thing is, you're not going to want to study them right after you made them. So set aside separate times to make and study your cards. (btw check out my post on how to study flashcards like a boss).

2. Study A little bit every day - I bring flashcards with me everywhere I go and study in 2-3 minute chunks on the way to dinner or waiting in line. I also read during this time, but when I have a Spanish quiz coming up or something I'll switch out the Kindle for notecards.

3. Take awesome notes - Put away your washi tape and colored pens and learn how to take some actual notes for once. Spending too much time during a lecture worrying about the format of your notes can really hinder you from getting the information you need. I use Cal Newport's method for notetaking as explained in his "How to become a Straight A Student." During class, I set up my notes in a question, evidence and answer format. This allows me to instantly turn my notes into a study guide, not wasting any time fussing over how they're written.

4. Organize yourself - I have a pet peeve when it comes to planners. I've gone through so many planners from Erin Condren to Day planner and everything in between. I can't stand when people spend more time decorating their planners than actually using them. Yes, you should have a planner, but it should be something that's functional first and pretty second. It's also important that you actually use it. I guarantee that you will NOT remember, and you could save yourself all the trouble of forgetting an assignment, rushing to do it then turning in something your not proud of with two seconds of proper planning.

5. Check in- When I was a reporter last semester I figured out you should contact people early and often when working on a story. I feel the same way about grades. It's vitally important that you know what is need for a good grade in a class. I use an app called Grades for exactly that, it's probably the best $2 I've spent in the App store.

6. Stay ahead - My math class is set up with a 1 hour lecture on Mondays, then two 1.5 lab sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. Labs are weird where you just sign in and work at your own pace and leave when you're done. I'm basically paying tuition to teach myself on a computer. Anyway the point is I'll finish my work for the week and could easily leave. Instead I start work on the other sections since it's time designated for it anyway.

7. Have a scheduled time to study - Make it a time in the morning before classes, but not so early that you won't wake up. On Tuesdays my lab doesn't start until 11 a.m. by waking up at my usual time I can get dressed and get to the library to get the bulk of my studying done. It's also important to know what you're going to study during this time. You can't just show up at the library and sit on Pinterest all morning, that's wasting your time. The night before, write up a quick plan of what you need to do based on your upcoming tests and assignments.

What are some other small habits or study tips you guys have?

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In home life school

March

     Once upon a time this was a graphic design blog. I've recently been thinking about changing my major to visual communications (among others) so I though I'd pick up making monthly calendars again.




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In fashion life

Taking Stock: March and Links I love



I'm a sucker for good TV, and after basically devouring Season 3 of House of Cards I'm very anxious for Game of Thrones to come back. Towards the end of last year I was doing a link round up and a weekly taking stock. I figured two birds with one stone. We missed a good three days of classes last week because of the ice. I personally despise the cold and wet and the snow, so I literally camped inside and didn't leave until absolutely necessary (we ran out of junk food eventually). I took a single picture in the snow and it was on my short journey from apartment to car the Wednesday we actually had class. Needless to say I've very ready to get back into the swing of things. Don't get me wrong, I could sit inside reading and blogging all day, but the cold makes my bones hurt and I've been feeling very unproductive recently. Here's what I've been up to.

Wanting: A sexy dark purple lipstick
Wearing: My very worn J. Crew Flannel
Bookmarking: Things Ze Frank Learned in College
Feeling: Like running, but I'm sure that will wear off soon
Planning: Blog posts for the next month
Loving: My new Invisible bookshelf 
Watching: House of Cards Season 3

Anyway here are some links I've been on this past week.

I'll never make normal rice again, this recipe for Chipotle rice was SO easy and insanely good.

Just bought this girl's book 

Hair muse for the week

Buying this

My sister said I'm wasting my money when I told her I signed up for a subscription box for stationary. Someone's not getting a cute card for graduation...

These are really cool but they also make me very uncomfortable

I really want this T-shirt, I just don't see paying $28 for it

Did you check out my Ultimate College Reading list from last week?

And here's how to get it all done

Spring Cleaning

I hate group projects. I hate group projects. I hate group projects...


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