Wednesday, April 30, 2014

7 Test Taking Tips

I am no expert on the perfect test taking skills. But this is what works for me, and I don't end up too stressed, and I do end up with the results I would like. I thought it'd be a good post, especially with AP tests coming next week and finals coming soon.

1. SLEEP. I know a lot of people think that studying late will be more advantageous, but really, you need sleep. I can't stress that enough.
2. Work in a place that won't be distracting, and don't work in your bed. It'll be harder to sleep later, and you'll be more fatigued if you do work in bed. Don't have any temptations like a TV or phone around. 
3. Food. It's okay to eat a lot while studying hard. As long as it's healthy, it will give you tons of energy that will help you keep focused. Try to stay away from junk food (except a little sweet now and again :D) Try to drink a lot of water too.
4. You don't need to go over things you absolutely know. I always only look over stuff I know I'm unsure about, especially if it's a lot of material.
5. Taking a break is okay. Don't worry that you need to spend hours studying. I will usually do 30 minute intervals of a break and studying, more or less.
6. Your friends are a great resource. As long as you guys hit the books, it really helps. I would be failing physics without my friend and I studying together for each test. 
7. Choose a motto. I like "you know more than you think you do." It helps me de-stress.

Hope this gives a little encouragement. Everybody works differently, so cater your studying to what you need. One more little tip, if you want to scream, scream. As my mom says, it releases endorphins (oh mother). Just remember it's all going to be okay, and good luck!! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Reminder

My community was hit pretty hard yesterday. A sudden sonic boom was felt miles around town, including my house that was shook pretty hard. Around 10:30, a house exploded. And it was huge enough to make a sonic boom. Nothing is left of that house, and the homes around are damaged beyond repair. Even though nobody was seriously injured or killed (which was a miracle itself) it still reminds me that I have to tell everyone that I love them and be thankful for what I have especially my friends and family. It's not quite Thanksgiving, but waiting for a holiday may be too late. Just a quick message will do it, but it will last a life time. Photo taken from the Sun Times

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lucy v. Lululemon

I love a good pair of athletic clothes. Seriously I won't even be working out, and their just comfy to wear. There's two popular brands of athletic clothes that are really similar, and I like things about both of them. Here's what I like and dislike about each brand.

Shorts: Lulu about $54-58. Many different styles and colors to choose from. They fit me pretty well. Only complaint is the weird holes in the speed short (far left). The other pair I have is without the built in undies. They are really comfortable but show pantie lines like crazy. Lucy typically $49-59. Again, many styles but not as many as Lulu. The one with the built in underwear is really comfy but has the ugly elastic things. Great to look for shorts on the sale rack (where I got mine, around $25). Overall Lulu get's my vote on this one.

Tops: Lulu mostly $48-58. Like their shorts, many styles and colors, especially in store. The straps can sometimes be uncomfortable and dig in my shoulders, but overall really cute and fun styles. Lucy $49-65. Even more styles and colors than Lulu, and typically more support. The darker blue you see in the bright blue Lucy top is a mesh back that allows a lot of air which I LOVE. Also has a decent sized pocket to hold a phone. Straps are pretty nice as well. Lucy wins this category.

Leggings: Lulu $82-92. Nice thick and stretchy fabric (Luon). A lot of different colors in the waistband. I found that I had to size up because the thighs were so tight but the waistband is now pretty loose, and its always falling down. Lucy $98-108. Not as many colors but a lot of different fits and styles. Favorite style is Perfect Core which has a higher waist. I discovered those, and will never buy from anywhere else. Similar fabric to Lulu, but I absolutely vote Lucy for this one. 

My sports bras and my thin athletic jacket are from Lulu, so I can't really compare them but I'm a pretty big fan. The jacket is so versatile and I wear it everywhere. The sports bras are pretty nice with lots of support and fun colors to choose from. I also have an actual winter coat from Lulu that is practical for freezing winters, but also light enough that it's not cumbersome to carry around in school. It also has a cute fabric which is hard to explain, but I really like it. Lucy generally has really good sale items too, and I think mostly everything I have except the leggings are from the sale rack. I would check in store too if you want a good sale. But that's it! Hope you can get some use out of this! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movie Review #1

So through the last two weekends I saw both Divergent and Captain America the Winter Soldier with some friends and I'd thought I'd share my reviews since professional critics seem to have different opinions than a lot of high schoolers. Anyway I won't do any spoilers (hopefully) so enjoy!
I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. A lot of people said if you read the book you won't like it, but I read the book and liked it. Besides some bits and bobs here and there that are different, I thought the movie did pretty well in keeping true to the main premise of the book. It captured Tris's emotions and Shailene Woodley did a pretty good job with acting out those emotions and besides casting Theo James for all the fangirls (me included), I thought that he did a good job with the tough yet caring personality. I would give it an A-.
Captain America:
I'm a big Marvel movie fan, so I was really anticipating this movie. It has a complicated story line with a lot of *gasp* moments, but it was also a lot more violent than the last Captain America, and even the Avengers. It did have a few one liners that I loved and of course a Stan Lee cameo (the creator of many Marvel comics back in the day). The introduction of the Falcon was a nice addition too. I also liked how it connected a lot of the plot to the last Captain America and the events in the 1940's. Overall I give it a B because it was sometimes hard to follow and a lot more violent than other Marvel movies. I can't wait until the second Avengers though!

Monday, April 7, 2014

My School Day Makeup Routine

I'll be honest doing makeup is probably my favorite time of day. I try to keep it pretty short, seeing as I don't have too much time before racing out the door. I think it's a great, not-too-heavy look, perfect for school too. I will sometimes have variations, such as liquid liner and adding eyeshadow, but this is absolutely my go-to look. Hope you like it! 

1. I'll start off with the basics: I'll first moisturize my face with a lotion my dermatologist gave me, so I'm not sure if it's over the counter, but I love it! It has the lightest of fragrances that smells really pretty and floral like. I'll then use one pump of Mac Prep & Prime primer so my foundation really sets in. Both of these I'll just use my hands to rub in. Then I use my Sephora concealer (see pic below) in medium #6 to cover blemishes and red spots, particularly my nose. I then combine my Mac mineralize foundation in the color NC25 with my Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer in light to medium. Combined, they make the perfect color for my face. I'll buff that in with the Mac 159 brush.

2. Then comes the powders: Since my foundation makes my face pretty shiny, I use bareMinerals Ready foundation powder in fairly light with my Sephora 43 brush (which I absolutely love!). After brushing that on for a while, otherwise my face looks cakey, I'll use Mac bronzer in their matte color. It's a pretty light powder which is perfect for school and just giving my cheeks a little definition. I'll use the Mac 150 brush for that, which is big and fluffy, perfect for creating a nice natural look. Then I use the Clinique eyebrow powder in soft brown. It's a lot lighter and more orangey than I thought when I was buying it, so if you have eyebrows like mine I'd probably go the darker color. It has its own eyebrow brush which is really nice though, and it goes on really well. 

3. Last but not least, I use light, short strokes of my Maybelline brow pencil in deep brown to really give it a nice shape and texture. Using my Tarte eyeliner in golden tiger's eye, which is pretty much the color in the picture, I spread a thin line above my lashes from about 3/4 of the way in, all the way to the outer corner. It has a built in smugger, but I'll usually just smooth the line out with a finger. It's great because I don't usually reapply, and it lasts forever. I've recently discovered the Tarte inner eye brightener which I LOVE. It's basically a bright pencil concealer that I put in the inner corner and gently buffer, and it creates such a bright open eyed look. Because I am in no way a morning person, it really makes me look awake. I finish off with Benefit mascara on my upper lashes and swab on some lipstick with whichever color I feel like for the day, and I'm ready to go!

So this is another really long post, and I promise they will be shorter. I know this was more of an overview, so actual tutorials will be coming later. Hope you enjoyed this though! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

50 Random Facts About Me

1. My full name is Alexandra Elaine

2. My birthday is July 5th

3. I'm 5'9"

4. I'm a 4-6 in pant size

5. I'm a shoe size 10

6. My hair is naturally brown but ombre on the bottom

7. My eyes are a dull blue

8. I live with both my parents and have a 20 year-old brother

9. I have a dog Sparky, a chinchilla Ellie, and a snake that is just The Snake

10. My favorite food is pasta with spicy red sauce

11. I have no willpower agains chocolate PB ice cream and peanut M&M's

12. My favorite color is a light blue

13. I'm a vegetarian, and have been for about 3 years

14. I've known my best friend Ray for 13 years

15. My favorite season is the summer

16. I want to be a marine scientist

17. I want to attend the University of Miami 

18. I want to go to Australia and study abroad

19. My bedroom is painted a coral color

20. I hate cold weather

21. I eat pretty healthy but...

22. I hate to exercise 

23. I wish I could go to London

24. My favorite book series is Harry Potter

25. My favorite book as a kid was the Friskative Dog

26. My high school has 4000 students

27. My favorite subject is photography and science

28. I dance ballet, pointe, and lyrical

29. I didn't make my sophomore volleyball team

30. I get A's and B's

31. I hate when people touch my head

32. I lost one of my best friends to a boy

33. I have 1 kidney

34. I love to eat clementines outside when it is starting to get warm

35. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people chomp on their gum

36. I can't wait to decorate my own place

37. I have anxiety

38. I can't stand needles whatsoever 

39. I have never broken a bone

40. I got interested in beauty after watching lots of Youtube and reading books (yeah I'm old school)

41. I love the Sims I will admit it

42. I have 30 cousins and counting

43. I love storms

44. I always wanted a sister

45. Flowers always cheer me up

46. I'm really excited to be a mother

47. I love roller coasters 

48. My mom and I share shirts (she's actually quite fashionable)

49. I hate to put things in and take things out of dishwashers. I don't know why.

50. I'm super excited about starting my blog! 

Hope you enjoyed that! Even if you didn't get through it all, which is understandable (LOL). 
Shirt from Express. Yes I look like I have a really short neck but I couldn't find my tripod so I had to improvise...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

For almost everyone, spring is in the air, flowers are starting to bloom, and the weather is starting to turn warm. And while everyone is enjoying spring, winter and 34 degrees just wants to linger near me. Anyway, here are some spring favorites that cheer me up from the cold!

1. New bathroom organizing: we recently redid our bathroom from a dark blue to the sandy brown. I saw the sand at Michaels and instantly thought of using the vases. I absolutely love the look to hold my brushes, lipsticks, and pencils.
2. My mom surprised me with the warm Mac palette, and I love the colors! They look great with my ombre hair, and the palette is really versatile. 
3. Fruity candles! They smell great for spring. These two are my two favorite fruity smells from Yankee Candle: Bahama Breeze and Citrus Tango.
4. Some other things I love that aren't pictured: Mangos! They are my absolute favorite fruit right now and I've gotten lucky in picking some good ones. Also, Bath and Body Works Sweat Pea body butter. Since it's still really dry out, lotion is a must and I love the thicker lotions. The floral smell of this body butter is great for spring too. 

Anything else you suggest? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Luce Del Sol: it means sunshine in Italian. Who doesn't love a little sunshine in their life? I started this blog to share some of my life. Beauty, fashion, photography, and basically getting through young adulthood while trying to remain sane. I'll be posting pretty often so I hope you all enjoy! 

Want to find me on Bloglovin'? Just click here!