Tips and tricks

4 Tips to Help You Save Money at Starbucks


Hello, lovelies!

Coffee is one of my favourite things. I drink it daily and it gives me the perfect energy boost. I am a frequent Starbucks customer, and enjoy trying new drinks and food items. Starbucks can carry a heavy price tag, so today I’m sharing my favourite tips to save money on your daily cup!

1. Join the MyStarbucksRewards Program 

This program involves earning Stars for every purchase. With each Tier of the program, you earn can earn free food and drinks after every 12 purchases. If you buy coffee daily, you’ll earn a free food/drink every two weeks! The program also has special promotions and Double Star Days to help you earn rewards quicker.

2. Create your own latte for the price of an espresso 

Order 2-3 shots of espresso hot or over ice. Add your own milk afterwards to create your own latte for less.

3. Bring your own cup 

I often bring my travel mug to Starbucks when I have a long study session ahead. Starbucks gives you a 10-cent discount when you bring your own reusable cup.

4. Brew your Starbucks coffee or tea at home 

I recently discovered the variety of Starbucks K-Cups that exist for my Keurig. I buy a 12-pack of K-Cups for $11.99. My at-home coffee is still Starbucks brand, but it only costs about $1 per cup.

 Do you visit Starbucks? What is your favourite tip to save money on your daily coffee?

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About Me

4 Easy Ways I Upgraded My Morning Routine


Hello, lovelies!

I’m definitely a morning person. I like to wake up early, and sip my coffee while gazing out the window before anyone else in my house stirs. (Plus, waking early gives me adequate time to get ready each morning without becoming late!) I adapt my morning routine with each new season, and these are a few of the easy adjustments I implemented when September began:

1. Wake up 10-20 minutes early 

I set an alarm for 6:30 on mornings I have class. My body usually wakes naturally about 10 minutes before my alarm even buzzes. These few extra moments offer me extra time to do another productive activity before I leave the house. (This usually means a second cup of coffee, so it definitely leaves me energized for the day!)

2.  Make my bed 

Most of the time, I simply toss the comforter over my pillows. I’ve recently begun to give myself time to properly make the bed, and it really makes a difference. This small step in the morning gives me an extra boost of accomplishment to start the day.

3. Drink two glasses of water

Staying hydrated is an important part of my morning. I drink two glasses shortly after I wake. Skimping on water in the morning often leaves me feeling tired, even when I know I’ve slept well.

4. Read for a few minutes

I notice this small adjustment sets a relaxed tone for my day. I often don’t have a physical book on hand but I’ll take a few moments to read an article online. This is usually a piece from Cosmo, though it lets my brain relax for a little while.

 

About Me

I Tracked My Sleep for a Week Using FitBit… Here’s What I Learned


Hello, lovelies!

love my FitBit. This wearable fitness tracker became my favourite accessory within a few days of buying it. It has various features for tracking sleep, nutrition, and exercise. The feature I am most interested is the Auto Sleep Tracking. I decided to intricately track my sleep for one week to answer this question: Just how much sleep am I getting per week? 

The Fundamentals 

I set my tracker to record my sleep. It automatically detects when I fall asleep and when I wake. This function is surprisingly accurate. The tracker records your sleep data and sends it to the FitBit App on your phone using Bluetooth technology. The graph created displays your Sleep Pattern – including time spent asleep, the time you went to sleep + woke up, and the number of times you were awake/restless.

My Sleep Patterns 

Below is the graph FitBit generated of my sleep patterns from the past week.


I gained important insights from tracking my sleep. I sleep for shorter periods of time throughout the week, but I catch-up on this on the weekend. My lifestyle patterns affect the length of time I sleep and the time it takes to fall asleep:

  • Any alcohol I drink before bed impacts my sleep quality. My total hours of time sleep decreases if I drink a glass of wine in the evening. Just one glass causes restlessness throughout the night. I sleep less, and feel fatigued the next morning.
  • I sleep for longer periods on weekends. I catch-up on my sleep on Saturday and Sunday. I sleep longer into the morning to reset my sleep schedule. Without an alarm clock to wake in the morning, I sleep for a longer period of time.
  • My sleep is restless when there are interruptions at night. My tracker detects higher periods of ‘restless sleep’ on nights I sleep with a television left on, or am woken by my beloved pet. According to FitBit, I sleep best on nights when my room is quiet and dark.

 

What is your favourite feature to use if you have a FitBit? Do you track your sleep at night using the device? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips and tricks

Wine 101: A Guide to Choosing a Type of WineΒ 

 

Hello, lovelies! 

Inspiration for this post came while I sipped on a glass of my favourite white wine. Have you ever wondered what different types of wine are out there? Check out this guide to 6 types of wine! 

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is derieved from full-bodied red grapes. It is flavored with bold tannins. (Describe). Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with flavorful meats (e.g. Lamb, smoked meats) and firm cheeses (e.g. Aged cheddar)

2. Shiraz

A full-bodied wine with intense fruit flavors. Shiraz often has a meaty quality. It pairs with beef, lamb, and firm cheeses.

3. Zinfandel 

White Zinfandel is my personal favourite. Flavor notes are aromatic, exotic fruits (e.g. Strawberry, lemon)

4. Pinot Noir

A light-bodied red wine with high acidity. It is dry wine with tasting notes of red fruits. It pairs with chicken, pork, and cream sauces.

5. Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a dry, full-bodied white wine. Two subtypes of chardonnay:

  • Unoaked: Unoaked chardonnay has a lighter flavor profile. Ir is zesty with apple and citrus notes.
  • Oaked: An oaked chardonnay will contain spicier notes.

Chardonnay pairs with seafood, chicken, pork and cream sauces. 

6. Reisling 

Reisling is a white wine that is floral. It contains notes of cirtus and stone fruit (e.g. Peach). Reisling is aromatic with variable sweetness. Pairings include chicken, turkey, fondue, and Thai cuisine. 

Tips and tricks

3 Easy Tips to Clean Your Beauty Blender Sponge


Hello, lovelies!

I bought a new Beauty Blender sponge last week to replace the one my dog ate. I shared tips earlier this summer about using this sponge, but figuring out how to clean it has been nothing short of challenging. Here are 3 tips I use to clean my Beauty Blender that I hope you can use too!

1. Wash your sponge immediately after use 

I learned the value of this tip after noticing staining on my sponge. Washing your sponge immediately after each use is the best way to maintain it. The less time product remains on the sponge, the less likely it is to leave a stain. Like makeup brushes, washing your Beauty Blender after each use reduces the amount of product buildup on it.

2. Find a cleansing option that works best for you 

Different types of cleansers exist to clean a Beauty Blender. The creators of Beauty Blender developed two cleansers specific for the sponge:

  • Liquid Beautycleanser – Wet your sponge, pour the product onto it, and massage until the water runs clean.
  • Blendercleanse Solid – This cleanser is bar-shaped. To clean your sponge, simply wet it and rub directly onto the bar.

Beauty Blenders can also be cleaned with soap or your favourite face wash. I use soap most often to clean my sponge. This option is more budget-friendly.

3. Pack the sponge correctly 

Storing the sponge correctly will lengthen its lifespan. You should let it dry in an open space after each use, to prevent mould formation. You should also avoid placing the sponge in a coloured bag to prevent colour transfer that could stain the sponge.

How do you clean your makeup sponges? 

Tips and tricks

4 Easy Tips for Perfecting Your Note-Taking (and a Guide to 2 Common Note-Taking Styles!)


Hello, lovelies!

Note taking is an essential skill for college students. I am a meticulous note taker. I like to keep notew neat and organized. Want to re-organize your note-taking process? Check out my tips below!

1. Use Headings + Bullet Points to Organize 

I use a combination of headings and bullet points to categorize my notes. Writing ‘Major Topics’ in bold letters and ‘Minor Topics’ in italics differentiates each section of notes. Bullet points are helpful to summarize important information.

2. Highlight to Emphasize 

I use a lot of highlighter throughout a semester. Highlighting my notes allows me to track important information. It is also a useful technique to find specific topics within my notes.

3. Dedicate a New Page to Each Day

I start notes for each new day on a new page. This process creates an organized sequence for notes. It is good practice to date each set of notes. Further organize each set by numbering all pages.

4. Determine Your Note-Taking Style

Various note-taking styles exist. For this post, I will highlight two note-taking styles:

  1. Cornell Method
  • This style makes reviewing easier and more effective.
  • Start by dividing your page into two columns. Label one column “Keywords” and the other column “Notes”. Beneath these sections, mark off a third section and label it “Summary”.
  • During the lecture, write all notes in the “Notes” column. Capture main points and meaningful topics here.
  • After the lecture write keywords in the “Keywords” column. Try reducing each line of notes into a single keyword.
  • Use only the “Keywords” column to test your knowledge during review sessions.
  • Write a brief summary after your review session.

2. Mind Mapping

  • This is a visual form of note-taking. Mind is a process of drawing your notes. This style helps you find connections you may miss with traditional note-taking.
  • Steps: (1) Write the main lecture topic in the centre of your page. (2) Record new points around the central topic. (3) Draw lines to connect different ideas.

Do you use any specific note-taking methods? 

Tips and tricks

3 Easy, Effective Tips for Better Time Management (Even When You Think It’s Impossible!)

Hello, lovelies!

We all have days where we have a growing list of tasks – and it seems like there isn’t enough hours in the day to complete them. How we manage our time to complete those tasks is time management. I use these tips daily, but they are especially useful to me during a new semester. 
 
1. Complete the most important tasks first 
 
This is prioritizing. Prioritizing is the golden rule of time management. Determine which tasks are the most crucial, and complete those first. Once you complete the essential tasks, you can move on to those which are not as crucial. 
 
2. Start early 
 
It’s tempting to hit the SNOOZE button. I’m writing this post while watching the sun peek into my bedroom window. I decided to get an early start and complete one task before my day fully begins. For example, I wake up  at 6:30 on mornings I publish blog posts. You can surprise yourself at how much youdoh during the rest of the day! 
3. Use a calendar 

Using a calendar is important to time management. If carrying a paper calendar or agenda is not your style, a range of online software exists to create one! A calendar can simply list each day of the week. Most agendas, in comparison, are useful for planning hourly tasks.