Vacation Dreaming - 2017 Travel

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View from my parents' house on Hood Canal.

As of this Wednesday, Exam season (for me at least!) is officially over!  But despite the ridiculous heaps of work until then, I can't help but daydream about 2017's vacation plans.  Whatever it takes to motivate me, right?

In July, I am off to my parents' house on Hood Canal.  Here it will be more relaxation and fun in the sun--I fully intend to spend most days floating around on my unicorn while sipping Coronas with lime.  Or going on adventures with my dog (OK, he is technically my parents' dog, but he and I are buds. So yes, he is my dog, too). Evenings will be spent chowing down on Mexican food or driving into my hometown to catch up with my friends and cousins there.

Zuma Beach, Malibu, CA.

And then, to round off a relaxing summer, it's down to Los Angeles to hang with my bestie, Kim.  I can't wait to get even some sun and city life in before heading back to Norway for the new school year.  One place I have to go back to is Zuma beach.  I love the relaxed vibe in Malibu; it contrasts so starkly with the hustle and bustle of LA, all while still being close to the action (although the locals will be quick to correct me and say that Malibu is, in fact, deep in the country).

But it's not just the beach I'm looking forward to: LA is home to some of the best Mexican food I have ever eaten, fun nightlife, and the best shopping deals. In fact, I almost never buy bags, sunglasses, or other accessories in Norway anymore.  I find them for a much better price in LA, and much more unique pieces.  Norwegian shops have this weird tendency to all stock the same things, so the more unique items I can find, the better!

And so concludes my summer travel plans!  What are your plans for summer vacation?

My 7 Steps to a Better Exam Experience

The last weeks around here have been quiet on the blog front, and that is because they have been decidedly NOT quiet on the exam front.

As a self-declared professional student, I have developed a few exam routines that work for me.  Some of the things that have helped me along the way are:

  • Treat the day before the exam as a review day, or worst case scenario, a last-chance-to-work-out-whatever-you-don't-get-day.  This is probably a given for most people, but for Younger Me, it most certainly was not. (Heck, even current me gets stuck learning things the day before an exam). However, I find that more often than not, I will not remember anything learned the day before, unless of course I already somewhat had a good understanding of the information.
  • Don't stay up all night the night before the exam.  It can be tempting to try to get *everything* down in the last few hours.  In my experience, however, I have found that nothing beats a good night's sleep.  In fact, I once took an exam on low sleep and forgot all the formulas I needed for the test.  I actually have to retake said exam before Christmas this year (fun fact: I remember the formulas now, a year later, but for some reason *cough lack of sleep cough* everything went blank that fateful exam day in 2015).
  • Get up earlier than I need to.  I am not. A. Morning. Person. At. All.  So, it is only natural that I am not firing on all my cylinders until after I have been awake for a few hours and am properly caffeinated. Therefore, on exam day, I always get up at 5:30, even though I don't normally leave my house until 08:00.  This allows me to be properly "awake" by the time I need to focus. 
  • Instead of rolling up in sweats and messy hair, I get ready--at least a little.  Of course, a lot of the time I truly cannot be bothered to do full hair and makeup unless I absolutely *have* to or am doing something fun.  But for exam day, I usually feel more awake and more focused if I at least do a bit of concealer and my eyebrows, plus some kind of easy yet put together hair style. At least making a little effort makes me feel a bit more awake and prepared.
  • Weather permitting, I walk to school.  I am lucky in that I live walking distance to my school.  But I find that a brisk walk pre-exam time helps to both clear my head and help me focus if I am still feeling groggy.  
  • Bring a snack.  I like to bring a banana, bag of almonds, and plenty of water.  If I am particularly stressed, I treat myself to my favorite flavor of sparkling water just to put me in a better mood. I also try to bring green tea instead of coffee because I feel like coffee just makes me wired, while green tea gives me a boost that helps me focus without getting too jittery.  Pretty much the whole routine is all about making myself as comfortable and happy as possible so I can focus on the exam material without distraction.
  • Just try your best.  It also helps that in Norway, you have three tries to get the grade you want on an exam.  So, if I am feeling particularly nervous, I just tell myself that if worst comes to worst, I will just retake the exam.
So, fellow students, what are your exam-day routines?

Monday Motivation: Back at It!

Images found on Pinterest.

Happy Monday!!

Yet another new week is upon us!  As promised, I am picking my Monday Motivation series up again after an all-too-long hiatus.

With the last few weeks being packed with social activities, working, and exams, healthy habits have kind of definitely taken a bit of a nose dive.  Oops!  So, after a long weekend, I am ready to kick off the week by getting back into my workout routine, as well as living on a more structured schedule with designated times for studying for the last exam next week.

I am also full of creative ideas for the blog front.  After a bit of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I am not exploring the full potential of these ideas.  Why not?  I honestly have no good answer for that.  I think the crux of it lies with a healthy dose of self doubt, coupled with a sense of self consciousness connected to the fact that a blog is (to a very small degree in my case) a public forum.  But, as I write this, I can't help but be like "self. Why the hell don't you just test out those ideas?  If you're going to put yourself out there, you might as well do it 100%."  100%, of course, meaning that I go for all of my ideas and stop being so "safe" all the time.  It's already out there. I might as well make it how I want it.

So, with these thoughts in mind, this week's goals are:

1. Get back into a set daily routine in preparation for the last exam.

2.  Fully dive in to new ideas for the blog.

Writing them here seems to light the fire under my butt to actually get them done.  I am hoping that this week will be no exception for this trend!

What do you hope to accomplish this week?

5 Things I am Looking Forward to in June

Hello, June!

I can't believe another month has flown on by! I have to be honest and admit that I have been in a sort of "Exam Bubble" for the latter part of May, followed by a period of feeling well...mentally, physically, and spiritually drained. So the past week has been spent basically recharging and doing as much of nothing as I can before the final push for the last exam on June 14th.

Does anyone else go through periods like this?  For me, there is nothing like one of these tired periods to really zap me of any and all creative energy.  Which is rather inconvenient for anyone who dabbles in anything remotely artistically-inclined (such as blogging).

But, even as I type this, I can feel a bit of my creative energy coming back, which in turn makes me start to feel a bit more excited for the summer ahead!

So, without further ado:

Five Things I am Looking Forward to in June

1.  The Last Exam.  I definitely have to put this one first.  I am so glad that I have one final exam in June, and then I am done for the summer!

2.  Summer parties!  One of the best parts about June is the fact that everyone is so social before scattering around the country/world for summer vacation.  I am looking forward to enjoying the spoils of this before month's end.

3. (Hopefully) More nice weather.  Last weekend, we enjoyed a weekend full of warm weather and sun. I am crossing my fingers in a major way for more weekends like that in June! Although, June can sometimes be a rather wet month, so we will just have to see what the weather gods decide to grace us with...

4.  More hikes!  During last weekend's aforementioned amazing weather, I enjoyed a hike to the top of Lifjell in Sandnes.  As you can see from the picture above, the view was amazing!

5. More time for my creative projects.  May started out on a super high note, with my Monday Motivation project and with lots of plans for content on this blog.  The last half of May unfortunately saw a tapering off of this creative energy.  This is not something I am super happy with, but due to exam-related and other stress, I have had to prioritize both school and my health during the latter half of May. That's just life sometimes, sadly.  However, with just the one exam coming up in June, I am looking forward to having more energy to devote to my creative projects.  It has been super frustrating having so many ideas in my head, but no energy to bring them to fruition.  So, from Monday, I will be bringing Monday Motivation back with a bang, as well as posting more regularly to get back into the swing of things.  Thanks for your guys' patience these last few weeks!

What are you looking forward to in June?

I Fell on Black Days

Post Title: "Fell on Black Days," Soundgarden (RIP Chris Cornell)

T-Shirt: Never Denim by BikBok | Pants: Gina Tricot | Boots: Bianco 
Choker: Nelly | Jacket: French Connection


It has been a whopping two weeks since I last popped in this internet space.  Not cool, I know. But sometimes life takes over.  The past two weeks have been filled with exams, Norway's National Day, and more exams.  I promise that, even though I still have two more exams, I won't let it negatively impact my blogging like this again!

With that said, I have to say I truly missed having this creative outlet to break up the everyday routine. So it feels pretty dang good to be back! I have lots of ideas for new posts, so I hope to bring those to fulfilment in the best way possible!

This outfit is really nothing special.  Black jeans and a white shirt with some red lipstick.  I was on my way to school to study for my Economic Management exam and thought, why not put some effort into my look? Sometimes making the little extra effort with my outfit gives me a kick of motivation to study hard.  And sometimes I can't be bothered to brush my hair when studying.  When it comes to Exam Season, I have found that the best thing to do is whatever makes me comfortable and motivates me to crank it out.

Anyhow!  I am off to enjoy some sun (finally!) and wine with friends.  I will be back again much sooner than later--I promise!

Happy Friday!

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