Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 19 | How to Make Waking Up Easier

I am not a morning person. Getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle. Getting up and going is yet another struggle since I move at glacier speed when I'm tired. I have to get past these morning struggles quickly though because I have to be out the door shortly after 7 am. These are a few tricks I've learned to help make waking up a bit easier.

4 ways to make waking up easier

Turn on a light

Waking up is hard enough, let alone in autumn and winter when you're waking up when it's still dark out. Turning on a light, even just a small lamp, helps convince your brain that it is indeed morning and time to wake up. Last year I even had my lamp on a timer so it would turn on 15 minutes before my alarm went off to help me wake up a bit more naturally.

Play music

In the morning I like to play an upbeat playlist, especially one like my Throwback playlist. It's hard to stay in bed when your favorite song is playing and making you want to dance. It also makes getting ready so much more fun.

Use alarms

I have 4 alarms go off every morning. Excessive, but they're for different reasons, not just to get up! The first alarm is my "If I wake up now I can check my phone for a few minutes (or I can sleep)" alarm. My next alarm goes off 15 minutes later and that alarm means I have to get up and going. I have a third alarm that goes off and when that one goes off I should be halfway ready. If I'm not it's time to speed it up! My last alarm is to push me out the door. The alarms help me since I'm not usually looking at the clock while I'm getting ready and since I live alone I don't have anyone to tell me I'm running late and need to get going.

Think of something to look forward to that day

This is a tip a mentor gave me once, and its one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten. Having at least one thing to look forward to each day, even if its something little like a new episode of your favorite show or what you're having for lunch, helps you be a bit more positive and excited about your day. And if you're excited about your day, you want to get up and going!

Are you a morning person? How do you make waking up easier? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Blogtober 18 | 5 Apps You Need To Have

Like any other 20-something, I rely too much on my phone for just about everything. When there's an app for everything, how could you not? I'm always trying new apps, so today I'm sharing some of my favorites here. Best of all, they're all free!

5 Apps You Need to Have On Your Phone


I take tons of photos on my phone, but as we all know every photo could use a little touch up. Snapseed is the best free app for editing photos that I've found. It's easy to use and has a ton of options for editing photos so you can get just the look you want.


I could not live without Spotify on my phone (okay, slight exaggeration). I have so many playlists I love listening to to get me out of bed in the morning, in the car, and to help me relax in the evening. If you don't know what the draw to Spotify versus other listening services might be, unlike some others like Pandora, you can create your own playlists even using the free version. You can also listen to pre-made playlists and podcasts.

TV Guide

I like to watch TV in the evenings, even just on in the background while blogging or working on some lesson ideas, but I hate flipping through channels. It takes forever to find a show worth watching and if its a commercial break you don't know what's on anyways. I downloaded the TV Guide app and it's so nice to see what will be on my channels and what I want to watch or if I should just watch Netflix. instead.


It seems like most people would like to learn a new language and people like me are just always interested in dipping their toes in different languages. Duolingo is great for this. They quite a few different languages to choose from including lots of European and Asian languages and Swahili. With Duolingo you learn the language like a game rather than a vocab list you memorize. My only complaint is it's difficult to take it from the app to actually using the language, so that's something you just have to put effort into on your own. I'm using Duolingo to brush up on French which I learned in college and to learn Irish Gaelic.

Stop, Breathe, and Think

This app is amazing for managing your mental health. I think we've all heard how great meditation is for mental health, but it can be really difficult to start doing. How do you quiet your mind when you have 50 million thoughts running through your mind? This app helps you get started with meditating and track your moods before and after meditating so you can easily see the benefits. When you open the app you do a quick check in to assess how you're feeling and the app generates a list of meditations for you based on your mood. You choose the meditation you want (it even gives you the length so you can choose a shorter one if you're just starting) and the app talks you through the meditation. I always feel more calm and balanced after using this app. I've even used this app with a bunch of crazy 8th graders and even they were able to concentrate on the meditation and felt more calm after.

What are your favorite apps? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

6 Free Things To Do When You Have No Money

I grew up being taught to be aware of how much money you have, spend less than what you make, and other good money management techniques. Now that I'm a "real adult" (kind of), I'm trying to actually use those techniques and I'll admit, it's more difficult than I thought! I have had to let go of some extras and find more free things to do, especially on a new teacher's budget! If you're in the same spot as me, I have a few ideas of free things you can do when you have no money to spend on extras.

6 Free Things To Do When You Have No Money

Watch a movie

Watch a movie you own, but haven't seen in a while. Make it an event by pulling out some snacks, setting up all the blankets and pillows, and turning off the lights.

Visit the library

Visit your local library, walk up and down the rows and rows of books, and find a good book to read. I'm able to find a lot of the books that I want to read at my library and even find some other titles that catch my interest and find their way on to my reading list!

Visit a park

Head over to a nearby park and go for a walk, take pictures, or just hang out. To me, nothing sounds better than enjoying some nature, doing something (mildly) active, and finding some beautiful views to photograph.

Read outside

There's nothing better than sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine (while it lasts) and reading a good book. In summer and early fall I like to sit outside on my porch and read one of the books that have been sitting on my shelves.

Take some selfies

Not just weird faces to send your best friend (although that's good, too). Get all dressed up and then master the art of the selfie. You'll have some nice, new pictures to post to Instagram or to use for a new profile pic.

Learn about something that interest you

With the internet and all the free resources it offers, there's really no excuse to not be learning something new, even if you're low on cash. Whether you prefer learning via YouTube videos, podcast, or articles anything that interests you is just a search away.

What are some other free things you like to do? Are you going to try any of these ideas? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Blogtober 16 - Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was a bit special since it was my dad's birthday, my siblings in college were home, and my youngest brother who's a senior in high school had one of his last band competitions. 

Weekend Wrap Up for October 13-15


Friday was my dad's birthday, so after work I stopped at my apartment just long enough to pack a little bag, get his gift and my cat, Maya so we could head to my parents' house for the weekend. I feel so bad leaving her all week that I feel like I have to bring her with me, especially since she loves playing with their cat. By the time I got to my parents' house, we only saw each other for a little bit before I went to bed.


Saturday all my siblings came home from college and we all went to my youngest brother's band competition. Luckily there was one other school's band between his and the school I teach at so I got to see both my brother play and some of my former students (since I'm now at the middle school, not high school).  We went out for lunch and then we watched a movie when we got home. Later, my dad opened his birthday gifts.


I slept in, did a little bit of blogging, and spent time with my family before heading back to my apartment. When I got back to my apartment I did some planning in my bullet journal, did some chores, picked out my outfits for the week (very important as it's parent-teacher conferences!) and cooked dinner. Did a bit more blogging and watched Poldark, which is a great drama I've gotten into watching this month.

How was your weekend? What do you do to prepare for a busy week? Let me know in the comments!