How To: Use a Planner

Hi everyone!  In today’s post I’m going to be talking all about my planner!  In college, I wouldn’t survive a day without it.  With being involved with multiple campus organizations and keeping up with classes and my social life, my planner helps me stay on top of everything! When first starting out with your planner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so I’m here to help you sort it out!

You can begin with whichever planner you want/have, all of them pretty much maintain the same, basic layout.  The planner I currently use is the Lilly Pulitzer, medium sized, 17 month agenda.  I love this one in particular because it’s compact but also pattered and colorful, which is a lot more exciting to look at than a white piece of paper!  This planner includes monthly calendars and day-by-day spaces to write your daily schedule in… I use both!

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In the monthly calendar sections, I jot down when I have tests, meetings, presentations, and other events that I know about in advance.  This is a good way to be able to know your availability at a glance and also to be prepared for your upcoming tests and projects.  Before coming to college, I under-estimated how busy I would be and how easy it would be to forget things.  Once I started consistently using a planner and was then able to lay out my month, day-by-day, it got a lot easier!  It’s also nice to be able to whip it out when people ask when you’re available to meet for coffee or for a group project!

I use the day-by-day spots to write my homework down for each class.  This is what works best for me because, this way, I know what day I was assigned each assignment and it helps me break up my time accordingly.  At the end of the day, it’s easy to look back at the day’s classes and see what needs to be done first and what can maybe wait until the next day!

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This section allows more than enough room to write down your work for all of your classes!

Overall, a planner is a very useful tool to help out any college student and can really help your stress levels if you’re the kind of person who stresses about everything, like me!  I hope you enjoyed this post and gained some useful tips for beginning your planning adventure!  Make sure you check back next Tuesday for a brand new post! 🙂

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College Date Ideas

Welcome back!

In this post, I’m giving some fun date ideas for when you’re living in a college town!  Constantly coming up with new things to do when you’re stuck in one place for months can be challenging, so I’m going to share some of the things my boyfriend and I like to do when he comes to visit!  Keep reading to find out my top 5 date ideas!

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Our first visit to Switzer!

The first activity we always like to do is go hiking.  If you go to university in the mountains like I do, there are plenty of beautiful trails to choose from!  A hiking date works well for a first date or for couples who have been together for a while.  You’re doing something active, but consistently have changing scenery, so there’s always something to talk about!  Plus, when you get to the top, you have a gorgeous view (of both the mountains and your date!).  If you go to school in or near the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, I recommend the High Knob Fire Tower trail or going to Humpback Rocks!  If you go to High Knob, definitely check out Switzer Lake on your way – you won’t regret it!

 

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My second activity is going downtown!  Unless you go to a very, very small school, your town or city probably has a pretty established downtown nearby.  In the downtown by my college, we have restaurants, places to take art classes, and tons of cool shops!  This is the perfect date opportunity because it’s a very laid back atmosphere and you can spend as long (or as little) time as you want there!  In Harrisonburg, VA, where my school is, we have a couple antique shops that we always love checking out every now and then!

 

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It’s fun to visit a college that neither you or your significant other go to!

The next date idea that I have for you is to check out a different college campus.  We’re so used to our own campuses that sometimes it feels worn out when we’re trying to find new things to do, so why not go somewhere where everything is brand new?  With Charlottesville only being an hour away from James Madison, my boyfriend and I have gone to the University of Virginia campus on a weekend and spent the day pretending we were students there!  It was fun to experience the different culture that they have there and get a taste of what it would be like to attend another college!

Something my boyfriend and I have wanted to do for a while now is go to a drive-in movie! We haven’t gotten the chance to go, but we are so exited for when we finally do.  Depending on where you go to school, you might not have one close, but the two I know of that are relatively close to JMU are the Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City, VA and Hull’s Drive-in in Lexington, VA.  With movie tickets being so expensive, this is a nice (and cheaper) alternative to sitting in a normal movie theater!

My last date idea for this post is going on a picnic.  It sounds so simple, but with spending half of the year trudging through the snow and rain, when a nice day comes along, you have to take advantage of it!  Grab a blanket, some take-out, and your special someone and head to a good lookout spot!  It’s a nice getaway from studying AND you get to spend good time together!

Thanks for reading about my college date ideas, I hope you got something out of it!  Be sure to check back for another blog post, coming soon!

Things I’m Loving Right Now: March 2016

Hello everyone and happy mid-March!  I can’t believe almost three months of 2016 have gone by already, life is happening so fast!  For this week’s post, I want to share a couple products with you that I’ve been into for the past little while.  Keep reading to see what they are!

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My top 5 products from March!

 

If you took a look at the picture above, you’ll see the five products I chose to include in today’s post.

The first product I’d like to talk about is a skirt I recently bought from Express.  I have an internship this summer in a corporate setting, so I was shopping for more professional looking clothing and I came across this!  What really drew me to this skirt was the fact that it’s trendy and “in” right now but perfectly acceptable to wear to work.  It’s an a-line fit and has silver buttons going down the front, which plays well with it’s rich navy color.  I’ve actually already worn it a few times (pictured below) and can’t wait for more opportunities!

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The second product I’m going to share is my anti-brassy shampoo, made by Rusk.  I’ve been dying to go blonder for years but I’ve always been so nervous to do anything to my hair, so a couple weeks ago, I decided to just go for it and I couldn’t be happier with the results!  To keep my hair from losing some of it’s tone, my hair dresser recommended using a purple shampoo when I wash my hair, to counteract the fading.  After researching different shampoos, this one seemed to be the best one in my price range.  I’ve been using it for three weeks now and it’s worked exactly as it said it would, keeping my blonde ashy!  Definitely recommend this product!

The next product is my lash serum.  I was hesitant to purchase this because I really didn’t think it would work but I was desperate for better lashes.  I’m so glad I did!  It has not only made my lashes thicker, but so much longer as well!  With all the tugging on my eyes that comes with using makeup wipes, my lashes were pretty short and this serum has completely changed that!  I recommend using it for at least a month before looking for any results.

Next, I’m going to talk about Batiste dry shampoo.  I have to admit, I’ve had this bottle for about a year but never used it because it got lost in my hair products drawer!  Over winter break, I was organizing and came across it at the perfect time.  Being in college means being super busy and it’s nice to not have to wash your hair everyday.  It’s so convenient to quickly spray it in your hair and it’s like you have freshly washed hair!  Perfect for girls on the go!  I got mine from Target but I’ve seen Batiste products all over, so I’m sure you wouldn’t have trouble finding it!

The last product I have to talk about is a necklace I purchased from Nordstrom over a year ago.  It’s by the brand Nadri and still available in stores and on-line!  When I got it, I wore it all the time but soon forgot about it.  I started wearing it again this past month and wear it everyday – it goes with everything!  It’s small enough that it doesn’t get in the way but it’s big enough to add just a little something to your outfit!  I love it!

Those are all my favorite products I have to share with you today, but check back next week for another post!  Have a great day!

 

How To: Create a Successful Instagram Theme

One of the things that has constantly been on the minds of millennials the past few months is, without a doubt, their Instagram theme!  Whether it be as extreme as only posting white-based photos or something more relaxed like using the same filter for your photos, people have been trying very hard to achieve, what they consider to be, the theme of all themes.  I’m here to help you achieve that!

There are a few approaches I’ve thought of to go about choosing a theme for your Instagram.  I will explain them in further detail below, but basically the three ways are: 1) choose a main color to include in all your photos, 2) use the same filter on every photo, and 3) post pictures of similar things.  Keep reading to find out more about each one and how I keep up my theme!

Choosing one color:

This method can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be.  Starting out, I recommend choosing a color scheme instead of a specific color, such as neutrals or bright colors.  You can decide what’s best for your Instagram by thinking about different things such as where you live.  If you live in a climate that’s always warm, a bright colored theme might be just what you need because it would be easy for you to capture the natural color saturation!  If you want to go for one specific color, you have to be very diligent in keeping your eye out for everything that could make a good picture!  It might be hard to keep up a single colored Instagram, but after a while, you’ll get the hang of it!  One of my favorite people who nails this method is Meghan Rienks.  Check out her Instagram at @meghanrienks to see a beautiful, mostly white feed!

Using the same filter:

This is a relatively easy way to keep your Instagram feed looking good!  Any popular iPhone app will do the trick without much effort on your part.  My favorites are VSCO and Afterlight!  Both of these apps allow you to change the contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc.  If you edit every photo basically the same way, your feed will look like you had consistent, perfect lighting for every photo!  This will create a very fluid and cohesive feed and you can make almost any photo work!  This is the method I use, so check out the section below, titled “What I do,” to find out more!

Taking pictures of similar things:

This one requires a little more dedication.  Your topic could be anything from food to makeup to taking pictures of cities.  Whatever you chose is fine, but stick with it!  You will gain followers based on whatever your topic is and they’ll be loyal to you because you’re posting what they’re interested in!  Be sure to pick a topic you are able to keep up with.  This is a very flexible option so have fun with it!  A perfect example of this method is Erin Stamper (@erriiinns on Instagram).  She maintains a beachy, aquatic theme and I’m always on the look out for her photos!

What I do:

For my Instagram theme, found at @allisantmyer on Instagram and also linked in the sidebar, I use the technique of using same filter for all (or most) of my pictures.  I’ve been using the app called VSCO for years and am still in love with it today.  I usually apply the F2 or T1 filters, as well as kicking up the contrast and saturation a bit.  There are a couple photos where I have strayed from that but, for the most part, this is my go-to.  I believe that it’s helped me create a very dynamic looking feed!

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Thanks for reading this post and good luck with your Instagram theme!  It’s gonna look great!

Adventures on the Massanutten Storybook Trail

I’ve been away from college for the past couple of weekends, traveling different places, and, with this weekend being the first weekend I’ve stayed at school in about a month, I was dying to adventure!  Luckily for us, it got up to 70 degrees and we had such a beautiful day!

We first decided to go to Seneca Rocks, which is about an hour and a half away from JMU.  Fifteen minutes into our ride, we realized it was probably closed because it’s only February!  I guess the warm weather got to our heads a little bit.  After calling and confirming that it was in fact closed, we decided to head to a place we had heard a lot about but never had the chance to go to – the Massanutten Storybook Trail!  Heading north from JMU, it only takes about 35 minutes to get to and it’s a beautiful drive, no matter what time of year.  There’s a small parking lot at the head of the trail and we didn’t have any trouble finding somewhere to park!

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The beginning of the trail!

The trail is paved and only about a mile long, out and back, so if you’re looking for a little nature walk with killer views, this is absolutely perfect for you!  It’s especially perfect if you have children or grandparents that you’d like to bring with you.  After crossing over a wooden bridge and walking along the path for a little while, you come to a lookout area where you have one of the best views of the valley I have ever seen!  We were amazed at the views we could get with such a short drive and “hike.”

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The lookout area is surrounded with beautiful pine trees!

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can venture off the platform that the park has created and soak up some views from other viewpoints!  Turning to your right, you can go off of the platform and walk to some flat rock areas, where it would be nice to eat lunch, take pictures, or just relax!  My roommate and I were definitely wishing we had brought a blanket and some lunch to eat while we sat and hung out.

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There are so many flat rocks that are perfect for looking out!
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One of the areas that would be good to have lunch on!

We ended up staying for about an hour and a half and, while we were there, we probably saw about 20-30 people so it wasn’t crowded but we definitely had some good company!  We saw everyone from babies to grandparents, so it’s very safe for all ages.  With the trail being paved, even people with low mobility might still be able to come!  I definitely recommend this for a quick, scenic treat if you’re in the mood for some fresh air but don’t have the time or energy for a full-on hike.  We had a blast!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you’re able to check out the Storybook Trail sometime soon!