10 Tips for Exam Season | Survival Guide

Its December, so it means… Christmas season. WRONG! For university students like Rochelle and I, it means exam season. Although Rochelle and I had our exams early on and are basically all done to enjoy a month of festivities, I thought I’d share with you some tips for conquering exams and minimizing stress. This year has been the easiest in terms of exam studying mainly because I changed up my routines and found what worked best for my way of learning. Here is my take on de-stressting during exam season.

 

1. Scheudule- while agendas and planners are the first thing on everyone’s list for getting organized, I like to implement my planning system differently. While setting daily goals is a wonderful idea for staying on track, giving yourself more time than you actually need will have greater benefits. That way you prevent cramming and you feel more satisfied when you are able to move on to the next item on your to-do list faster than planned.

Example: It takes me half a day to review my lecture notes, but I give myself a day to get that done. This way, I can move on to the next task the same day and feel accomplished. I also don’t end up cramming in case I have an odd day where I am not feeling up to the task.

2. Switch it up- I used to be a fan of getting everything done in order from readings to memorizing to reviewing. I figured if I can catch up on the readings I’ve missed first then I can spend the rest of the time studying. Little did I know, this strained my eyes (even eye drops wouldn’t help) and my head could no longer comprehend what I was reading. By alternating between doing the readings and then memorizing for each class was far more effective.

Sad Fact: I would wake up with my eyes hurting from so much reading. So be smart, switch things up. The minute that I did, the pain disappeared!

3. Highlight- taking your study notes and reviewing 100 pages worth of notes is a pain. I have now implemented a system where I highlight only the most importance points from the condensed study notes I make from my readings etc. This way you aren’t studying unnecessary facts/info.

Example: in a sentence, highlight only the key words that convey a message. Try to compartmentalize information to see the bigger picture.

4. Reward- do not stay in the same place while you study, switch it up. I started to dread my room because my desk = exam studying = dreadful. By switching up where I studied, I was able to feel more refreshed and motivated.

Fun Fact: I have studied in the living room, my bedroom, my sister’s room, the kitchen, and my tiny walk in closet (on the floor). I really made use of all the space I’ve got around the house.

5. Review- I reviewed all of my notes every morning after breakfast. This kept things fresh in my mind for longer. The more you review, the longer you can remember the ideas and the easier it becomes to see the relevance of what you are learning. You might be afraid that the information from all of them classes will start to jumble up, but its important to find parallels between all of your classes to bring in unique information in the exam sometimes.

 

6. Time off- aside from switching up your study space, don’t forget to take breaks. It might feel like you have no time or that you can’t possibly be enjoying yourself during exams, but a bit of fun can actually do you some good. When I was studying, I made time to go skating and hang out with a friend on several occasions. These short breaks took my mind off of the stress and the studying. Its good to come out of the study hole and feel human again hehe.

Example: I took a week long break to study for exams. In the mean time, I had time to go skating in the evening and bake some cookies with my sister. I felt much happier afterwards and reenergized to keep studying afterwards.

7. Take the week off- best way to get into exam mode is to just take a week off to yourself. This way I was able to wake up studying and go to bed studying. This sounds slightly unfortunate but I really pushed myself to focus on studying. Not everyone has the ability to put a long pause on their life, but if you find that just dedicating a chunk of time to quiet study, then this might be the way to go.

8. Extra research- one of the most helpful tips have been to do my own additional research. This might be a good idea if you have a professor that wants you to be very specific in your writing or just a wonderful way to piece together what you are studying. The information is also easier to understand than scholarly journals. This is an additional bonus to your reading notes, not a substitute though.

Example: for one of my classes, I researched all the Prime Ministers of Canada since WW2. I had the readings done, but doing my own Google search filled in the exams in my statistical information about each figure and added something unique to the exam.

9. Study group- if you have a chance to share notes with a friend and vise versa than take advantage of the opportunity. Chances are that you both have interpreted the information in your own unique way and may have missed something in general.

Example: I like FB groups for classes as everyone is able to pose their questions and the whole class together can piece an answer. You are helping yourself and everyone else out.

10. You’ll get through it- Yes you will. I know it feels like exams are the end of the world and yes, sometimes I convince myself that they are, but once you are done, Netflix is there to cheer all of us up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips for a Cozy Evening | Evening Route

After a long work day and an even longer day loaded with classes, all I really want is to just sit back and enjoy feeling of a blanket over my legs as I sit comfortably on the coach working on an assignment (so nerdy of me), write a new blog post, or catch up on missed YouTube videos, The Mindy Project, and PLL. Since we are transitioning into the real season of cozy (aka winter), I wanted to share with you some ways that I like to unwind.

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My evening starts of a with a cup of tea or a glass of almond milk. I need some form of snack too, be it slices up apples, a sandwich, or anything that I’m craving that evening. Now, I am not a person that hates eating food on her bed or the coach, so I go ahead and make myself super comfortable. Food always just tastes better when you eat as far away from the table as possible, doesn’t it?

It wouldn’t be cozy without a fuzzy blanket and PJs. Sounds like a recipe for a lazy day, but I try to remind myself to indulge in the simple pleasures such as having a blanket over me before the rude awakening the next day.

Personally, I am not into candles, so instead I dim the lights if I am getting ready for bed, or I snuggle up with a book/school reading. By the end of the day, the last thing that I want to be doing is homework, but all is well when you have a cup of tea in one hand. I have also noticed that after doing my class readings, reading a normal book has become so difficult. I find myself skimming lines, looking for valuable information rather than enjoying the book for what it is.

My next step is to unplug and do some cleaning up around my room before I head over to the washroom to start with my beauty night routine which is quite simple. After brushing my teeth and showering, I cleanse and moisturize my face, that’s it. If I am feeling fancy, I will apply a face mask and a blackheads nose strip. I also enjoy moisturizing my body in the mean time as I wait because #WinterisComing. While many people like to plan their day before bed, I find it most productive to do that early in the morning.

Lastly, considering that I have unplugged from social media, I fill out my Q&A journal and decide to snooze shortly after.


Hope you enjoyed these tips for a cozy, lazy evening. Let me know what you like to do to relax in the evening.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

 

 

Holiday To-Do List

Its officially the holiday season, well technically it already started (you know it when the stores change their theme from Halloween to Christmas literally the next day). Although my Christmas celebrations are not until January 6th and 7th, I do like to decorate the house in time for the December 25th celebrations. Today I want to share with you 8 awesome winter activities to keep you busy during the holidays and to make sure that you are making use of everything Toronto and the GTA has to offer. From the Toronto Christmas Market down to pictures with your furry friend and Santa Claus, I got your back.

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1.Toronto Christmas Market- this is perhaps my most coveted thing on the to-do list. I have been meaning to visit the Distillery District during the holidays for years now and I never get around to it because of exams. However, this time around, I will be making use of the mistletoe photo-booth, the Marshmallow Waffles, hot chocolate, the beautiful decor and the festive vibes, and of course all the goodies sold by vendors.

  • Entry: FREE but $6 on weekends after 5pm
  • Open: November 18th- December 18th

2.Winter Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls- This is another soon to be holiday tradition for me. Every year, Niagara Parks are decorated with 2 million lights and holiday decorations creating a truly illuminating show to capture those holiday feels. This is an 8km route, filled with fun activities along the way. Don’t forget to catch the light show of the falls themselves at night.

  • Entry: FREE
  • Open: November 19th- January 31st

3. Brampton skating ring of lights- although this is not a particular event, the Gage Park in Brampton is decorated every year much like the Nathan Phillips Square for outdoor skating. The cool thing about this particular location is that the skating rink wraps around the park, making loops between the trees. It sounds so magical to be skating under decorated trees outdoors.

4. 12 Trees of Christmas- the Gardiner Museum really feeds into my love for Christmas tree decorating with this event. Artists have been invited to take part in the holiday scene by designing Christmas trees. From modern to traditional styles, this event is so perfect for anyone interested in decor and unique design.

  • Entry: $15
  • Open: November 18th- January 8th

5.12 Beers of Christmas- quite on the contrary is this event which is perfect for all beer lovers. With a small admission fee, you get a chance to indulge in 12 beers to find the perfect one. Don’t forget to bring your ugly Christmas sweater to this event and taste away.

  • Entry: $10
  • Open: December 13th

6. Second City Holiday Comedy Show- I am a huge fan of Second City. I have been to two shows and both were some of my best and funniest experiences. Since its holiday season, Second City got your back with themed comedy shows. I am looking forward to checking out “Eat, Buy, Repeat: the Second City’s Guide to the Holidays” and “What the Elf.”

  • Entry: $25 (if you are student, you have a discounted rate)
  • Open: November 21st- January 1st

7. Cavalcade of Lights- the first lighting of the Christmas tree in the heart of Toronto at the Nathan Phillips Square. Enjoy the fireworks show but don’t forget to bring something or someone to snuggle up with because Toronto gets so cold this time of year. You can rent some skates too, enjoy a night of performances, the Spectacle of Lights, a skating party with a DJ, and of course try out the holiday photo booth.

  • Entry: FREE
  • Open: November 26th

8. Ugly X-Mas Sweater Party- as a bonus, why not host your own holiday party at home. Recently, I have been on the hunt for an “ugly Christmas sweater” but the price point is beyond what I want to pay for one time wear. So why not make your own with your friends? Take some old sweaters, pick up arts supplies from the dollar store and let your creativity soar. Here is a post I’ve written about hosting your own “ugly Christmas sweater party.”


I hope you enjoyed these ideas and will be trying out some of them. Let me know in the comments below what you are excited about for the holiday season.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Dance to Stay Fit & Healthy

This week I attended a ballet class, an elementary ballet class. As someone who has been doing ballet for 15 years of my years professionally, this was a unique experience. I went with a new friend of mine and it was amazing! Getting back into ballet was all kinds of emotions. From nervousness to pure joy and excitement. The biggest changes were all the mirrors and the  floor which I miss so dearly. Today I want to talk about getting more involved in these initiatives. The class I took was 1.5h long and cost me $13.50.



Personally, I am not a gym goer. I find it boring and I walk away all cramped up and too tired to continue conquering the day. On the other hand, ballet trains every muscle of your body but it also teaches you grace with how you carry yourself. Ballet isn’t for everyone but with amazing drop in programs like these, you aren’t committing yourself to a full year program which gives you a chance to find something you love doing to keep active.

Being more into creative forms of keeping active such as following YouTube videos or joining classes, I found these drop in programs such a wonderful way to keep in shape not only for physical health but for mental health too.

Movement:

  • Gets your body going
  • Conditions your muscles, strengthens bones
  • Increases flexibility
  • Clears the mind from unnecessary worry or stress
  • Improves mood


What I’m Looking Forward To Trying:

I have been meaning to try barre fitness classes which is a mixture of stretches to upbeat music to increase body strength and flexibility. This definitely sounds like a more fun version of your ordinary stretching session.

As well, I am excited to give meditation a try. As someone who is always running around and studying or working, meditation seems like a mindful way to detach myself from the city buzz and enjoy peace and serenity of my mind. Free classes are offered at my university and I am looking to make use of this before exam season.

Another idea for getting involved, is to try zumba or adult fitness classes. Exercises and repetitive dance steps in a series of different variations is such a great way to get your exercise in while also enjoying the company of others and really letting go of the awkwardness.

How are you getting your exercise in? 


I hope you enjoyed these ideas for ways to get active without going a gym. These are somewhat dance related but they are also loads of fun. Hope you can join me on this adventure.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

 

5 ways to Save this Holiday Season

So it’s November 9th, and while the focus has been on the US election, something else has creeped up on us all: the holiday season. Some of you might say that there’s more than a month left but have you seen Walmart? Costco? Visited Pier One Imports? It’s apparently already Christmas! In my ideal world the holiday season season doesn’t start until the weather is in the negatives but in the consumer world, the holiday season begins the minute the clock strikes 12 marking the end of Halloween. 


So with Christmas season looming and panic setting in because we all know we have to buy presents for practically everyone and their mother, what can we possibly do to save our bank accounts and ourselves? I hope my 5 tried and tested tricks help you survive this holiday season!

#1. Make a list! Pull a Santa and make a list to figure out to whom you need to gift. Making a list eliminates the stress of the unknown and having a physical list of people allows you to formulate a plan of gift giving.

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#2. Budget: This may seem slightly callous but I actually give gifts based on expected return. Don’t pour out the hate just yet, this is actually a well thought out idea. For a while I used to gift small and expected to receive small as well, but that wasn’t always the case. When you receive a Michael Kors bag after gifting a box of chocolates, it’s just embarrassing. But if you start gifting big while the other person gifts small, it can be embarrassing for them in turn. There’s really no winning so it’s best to read your audience and budget accordingly. But when in doubt, just gift a meaningful gift from the heart with no return gift expected: big or small they’ll appreciate it! Isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?

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#3. Buy early or buy late: Paying full price sucks. Kvitka and I practically never do! We hold out for sales and clearance because it really makes no difference when the product remains the same whether you pay full price or 60% off! The in-between season is the worst because that when everyone gets their shopping done and price rocket upward. Shopping late is badd too because price get raised since suppliers know their customers are desperate! So be on the look out for sales and shop early! Subscribe to store newsletters to stay in the loop for random sales. Or if you can, organise an after Christmas holiday party and shop boxing day sales!

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#4. Secret Santa: My favourite gift giving method! You set a budget, pick a name from a draw and gift only to that person. What a wonderful way to save money and not waste effort on gifting meaningless presents to a large number of people. This way we all win when you a meaningful present to one person and receive one in return too! I find this works best among a large group of friends and within the workplace as well.

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#5. Potlucks: Thinking of hosting a Christmas/New Years party this year? Make sure it’s a potluck event. Simplest way to save your money and make sure everyone is satisfied because most people bring what they enjoy. You can relax from the stress of cooking for everyone and appealing to all tastes. Plus, you get to enjoy your own party for once without being stuck in the kitchen!


Let me know in the comments below, your own holiday survival tricks! Love to hear from you all. 

Until next time,

Rochelle

Q&A Journal | 1 Year Later

Last year, Rochelle gave me a Q&A journal for my birthday. The purpose of this journal is to answer one question a day for 5 years. I was so excited to start filling out the journal because I am not a fan of simply writing my thoughts on paper but I could definitely manage answering one question to fill out 4 lines. That is not to say that some days I would either forget or feel lazy, but on the whole I am so impressed that I have kept with it for over a year now. Today I would love to share with you my journey with the Q&A journal and totally entice you to start your own.

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The cool thing about the Q&A journal is the range of questions which spam from light hearted ones like, “What are you wearing today?” to some deep ones like, “Where do you see yourself in the future?” The questions are really fun and definitely unique while other ones make you sit there for a few minutes and reflect.

Q&A excerpt: ” What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?” 

I fill out the Q&A journal every day before bed so that I can reflect about the day. It is also a good idea to avoid using any brightly lit devices for a good nights rest. Therefore, my general rule is that I do my beauty night routine (washing up, applying moisturizers etc.) which is followed by the journaling session. This strategy has had a really positive impact on my quality of sleep.

Q&A excerpt: “Write down something that inspired you today.”

Initially, I was really hesitant to start writing in the journal without taking a one year gap. I thought to myself that there was no way that I changed that much from one year to the next. Now seeing that the journal is so integrated into my life, I couldn’t put it aside for a year. As I am filling out the same round of questions for the second year now, I am reading my responses above and I notice how much I’ve changed. Even the simple question of what famous person would you like to meet over coffee has changed dramatically. (Last year I said: Taylor Swift and this year it was Hillary Clinton). This goes to show that we are never stagnant, we are always learning and moving ahead.

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I am also very surprised by some of my answers to be honest. For some days, my answers actually haven’t really changed dramatically. (For example, what is your greatest expense, ohhh its definitely still university education.) Sometimes, I am shocked by the things that happened that I totally forgot about such as my bizarre Halloween adventure last year. Overall, I am so pleased with this find. I am committed to sticking to this journal. It has become such an essential that the thought of missing a day gives me a deep sense of guilt.


I hope you find a way to reflect on your day to see how much you have grown over the years. It is amazing how much a year can do! If you are interested in this journal or other themed journals, check out this link.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

 

 

 

 

Chilly Days | Fall Photography Book + Fall Tag

lastWe are into the first week of October and I am already feeling the air get colder and crisper in the morning. As a roundup of the fall season, I finally took my Canon camera out of its dusty shelf and took some photos while the leaves are still turning colours and the son hasn’t entered its hibernation state for the winter months. It felt so lovely to be able to take photos again, I actually felt kind of out of shape with it. I haven’t used my camera in quite some time, so I am looking to get back into photography again. As for today I wanted to do a round up of what fall looks like to me by sharing some photos I took around the UofT campus. To spice up this post, I also answered some questions for the #FallTag.

Halloween Costume: Daenerys Targaryen          Fav Fall Nail Polish: 248 Manhattan by NYC
Fav Thing About Fall: Scarves and the balance between cool and sunny weather
Fav Halloween Candy: Coffee Crisp and Twix
Fav Fall Fashion Trend: trench coats, oversized sweaters, and my plaid purse

20 Facts about Me

I have recently celebrated by 20th birthday, turning the big 2.0 and I decided to do something fun and spontaneous on the blog with a “20 Facts About Me.” Initially I was going to do a “20 Things I learned in my Teens,” but to be honest my ‘wisdom’ currently doesn’t expend past things like high school isn’t the best time of your life and your eyebrows do matter. So I hope you enjoy reading these 20 quirky things about me. I would also love to learn a bit about you, so feel free to leave a comment sharing a bit about yourself.


 1. Where I’m from: I was born in Ukraine and I now live and study in Canada at the University of Toronto.

2. Middle name: My first name is Mariya and my middle name is Kvitlana. But I go by the short form of my middle name- Kvitka. Kvitka means flower in Ukrainian. So yes, my name is flower.

3. Favourite hobby: I have done ballet from the age of 5 and I continued until first year university professionally. I am also a Ukrainian character dancer, something that I continue to do now as well. I also love to go hiking!

4. Languages: English, Ukrainian, Russian, and a bit of French.

5. Favourite travel spots: I have been to Washington DC, NYC, Boston, Warsaw, Lviv, all over Eastern Canada, and Barcelona. My favourites by far have been Warsaw and Lviv (my hometown).

6. Favourite blog: hands down, Cupcakes and Cashmere, I check it twice a day and my favourite posts are the Coffee Talks.

7. Favourite tv shows: The Mindy Project, Pretty Little Liars, The Game of Thrones, and Last Man on Earth.

8. Favourite stores and sense of style: H&M, Dynamite, and Mendocino (although I never bought anything there). I dress business casual all the time, sophisticated chic.

9. Most daring thing I’ve done: swam and kayaked in the Mediterranean despite being scared of deep water. And let’s be honest, having virgin hair, I freaked out when I was getting a balayage.

10. How I start my morning: snoozing my alarm, splashing my face with water, light breakfast, and checking social media/emails.

11. Love language: quality time and acts of service.

12. Last movie I watched: does the US 2016 Presidential Debate count? If not then it would be “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I know, I know, how basic.

13. Tea or coffee: I don’t drink coffee [cue gasps] but I do enjoy lattes as well as black tea with lemon and honey.

14. Favourite memory: Winning a gold medal at the UofT Science Fair with Rochelle despite our endless doubts. We learned to not underestimate ourselves and to take risks.

15. Bad habit: Checking my phone the minute I wake up in order to wake myself up.

16. Zodiac sign: Virgo. A 13th sign has been added to the horoscope so check if you are still the same sign as before.

17. 3 Things I hold close: Family, friends/relationships, education.

18. 3 Things I literally hold close: laptop, my necklace that I got as a gift 3 years ago (wear it all the time), and my planner.

19. Favourite song: “Georgia” by Vance Joy.

20. An Embarrassing moment: Falling asleep in the sun and getting a shorts tan that’s visible from a mile away when I wear my swim suit.


Here you have it! It was surprisingly really hard to think of witty and interesting points to put down. I hope you found this tag interesting and got a chance to learn more about me. I’m also super curious to learn a little bit about you. Feel free to answer some of these question below!

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Group Travel vs Solo Travel

This summer while Rochelle flew to Europe on her own(!), I headed to Spain with a group of 49 people. To say that Rochelle’s and my experiences were different would be an understatement, not only because we visited completely different countries but mainly because solo vs group travel has so many pros and cons attached to them. Rochelle also has a 3 post series (you can check the first two posts here), today I am sharing with you my time in Spain and some hefty tips I picked up along the way.


Although group travel is fun and entertaining, it can also be inefficient. This summer I travelled with my dance group to Spain to perform in Barcelona and Lloret de Mar meaning that I was surrounded by familiar faces and I was bound to enjoy all the company. Unlike Rochelle who had a harder time convincing her family and friends that solo travel was happening regardless, my family was eager to have Canadian-Ukrainian representation in Spain. Furthermore, although its a big group of people, everyone has a warm group of friends surrounding them with similar interests so it never really feels like you are being dragged around.

While with solo travel you are planning for one person, meaning that you can get your tickets 8 months in advance, book multiple layovers, and generally save money, this is not the case in a group scenario. You may get group rate discounts but the savings do not always balance out solo travel savings, especially when your group takes up half the plane seating. Keep in mind though, that if it is a large enough group, you might get “VIP treatment.” To give you an example, we had 49 persons travelling so when we took a yacht trip, we had the whole yacht to ourselves because of the size of our group. However, I did have an immense peace of mind as everything, literally everything was booked for me, even the excursions. Needless to say, I had no use for the travel books I had taken out of the library.



Following Rochelle’s post format, I was also not scared of group travel because traveling in a group is a cushiony experience where “one for all and all for one.” However, I also cannot leave out some major downsides. Because you are in a foreign country, in a non-English speaking environment, you are asked to always stick together which is reasonable. This becomes an issue if everyone’s interests of where to go, what to eat, or where to shop don’t intersect. You are also less likely to get the full experience of seeing every corner of the city as a coach bus is most likely taking you to your destinations. Generally, you miss out on walks in the city, discovering a cute market or boutique, and experiencing the city first hand. You are also less likely to see everything you were wanting to see.



Although group travel is tough and a lot of scheduling goes into it, I would not change the experience that I had. Not only was I able to share memories with some amazing people but I also had no need for a selfie stick… We loved the experience of looking at photos from the trip and laughing at our derp faces. Its great being able to share in the experience with someone else who will understand the inside jokes and remember the time you had. All jokes aside, when the touring part ends and you are all in the hotel, its fun having company to hang out with and go on adventures with during your “free time.”

So here you have it! Some pros and cons of group travel. Let us know if you are planning on traveling anywhere and wether you prefer group or solo travel.

Looking forward to your replies!

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Tips for Maximizing Uni Life

As Rochelle and I are starting our third year at university, we have picked up some valuable tips along the way which have had a big impact on our overall university experience. Everything from the best ways to save money to how to get a boost in those grades, I got you covered. Today I would like to share some tips to inspire you to continue reaching for them gold stars this school year with the same enthusiasm as you started it. Let’s dig in!

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Textbooks


Your tuition is already quite pricy I assume but the price of textbooks also exceeds your monthly spending budget. What should you do? What I have found from experience is that you can definitely save a few bucks by either sharing the cost of the textbook with a friend (Rochelle and I have done this for French grammar books), reading it from course reserves (borrowing from the library), or simply finding an upper year that is willing to sell you their copy. The total of my textbooks was supposed to be around $300 and I paid only $50. How you may ask? Most textbooks are already in your school library so why not take it out for a short term loan?

Office Hours


Although this is usually the first tip that every alumni, website, YouTuber, whomever suggests, I cannot stress the importance of it. Getting to know your professor is not only a valuable way to learn more about the course in a personable way but you get to ask those pending questions that you couldn’t during the lecture. At the start of the school year, I mark up when I’m planning to see the professor which is usually the 3rd week of classes to introduce myself and ask generic questions about the course. This way when a big assignment rolls around, your professor is familiar with you and your interests.

 

 

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Study Abroad


Rochelle and I have been planning to go abroad together since grade 10. A lot has changed since then wether it be the countries we want to see or the programs we wish to take. However, experience dictates that we should let go of the conventional ways of thinking and have some fun in our university years. School and marks are crucial but why not combine both and have a wonderful learning experience of living in a foreign country. We are excited for what’s to come.

Student Business Card


This one is new for me and I learned about this unconventional way to step outside the box from one of the most helpful channels on YouTube: The Intern Queen! When you are networking, its much easier and let alone more professional to whip out your business card and offer it to whomever you are conversing with rather than scramble to write out your email on a piece of paper. I just purchased a batch from Vistaprint, 250 cards for $9.99 (shipping ain’t free though so look out for those coupons).

Get Involved


I tend to overexert myself by wanting to take part in everything from the newspaper to activist groups to free campus classes but I have since learned to pick and choose. Find your interests and I guarantee there is a group for that. Not only are you making meaningful friendships and connections but you are also creating an impact in your student community. If this hasn’t convinced you yet, then think of this as an opportunity to populate your resume. I also am looking to make room for meditation and yoga classes offered on campus for free as well as college offered food events (aka free pancakes) and the gym facilities/ dance classrooms. I use the mentally, “Well I paid for that.”

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Events, the Classy Way


One of the best parts about university or college would be the freedom to go out. Now while partying is fun and a memorable experience, I am also talking about academic events. Come out to public lectures or alumni hosted events to get to know persons who have landed their dream jobs in your field. Not only do you make use of those business cards you’ve invested into but you also learn about the multitude of ways that people like you have gone about landing a dream job or getting accepted into an upper study program. Plus free refreshments, now come on.

LinkedIn and Resumes


Yes, I will admit that I am still trying to reach the All Star status on LinkedIn and I update it ASAP. However, this is all good habits that prepare you for your career and make you stand out. Having a nicely polished resume and great online presence is a must. LinkedIn is not Facebook so feel free to connect with people you admire, shoot them a message and learn how they landed their dream positions. As for the resume, you are already paying so much for your schooling, take advantage of the free resume and cover letter editing workshops to get yours up to date.

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Staying on Track


First things first, to prevent disorganization and unnecessary stress, the minute you get your syllabus, mark those assignments and tests in your calendar. That way you see everything in a larger picture and can plan ahead. Next, go ahead and make that daily scheudule. Although every day might be slightly different, it doesn’t hurt to scheudule in study breaks, free time, and work.

Jobs, Make it Rain


I always found that I needed a job to afford luxuries like going out and a physical activity like dance classes to keep me from burning out and to keep happy. I love dance, I have been doing it professionally from the age of 5. Now with 6-8h of dancing a week, I feel withdrawal and the onset of a grumpy mood whenever I miss a practise. Its important to get those energy levels up, to get the adrenaline going as you exercise. While a job allows me to feel like I’m contributing positively not only to my community but at the same time I don’t complain about #PoorUniversityProblems. While those are the case, I like to treat myself to an occasional trip for drinks with friends too and come on, we all have to learn to do some #adulting.

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Its okay not to be okay (see what I did there)


When you are surrounded by competitive peers and goal oriented persons in your program, its easy to feel like you don’t have a plan, that you are less accomplished then someone else, or that you are not doing enough. Raising my hand right now because I am so guilty of this. You never have to take the conventional route to get where you want such as high school, university, job. The options you have are boundless so remember not to get caught up in the competition and the academics. Do what works for you and trust that gut feeling.


At this point I think you burned out just reading this tips but I hope that you found them useful. Let me know in the comments if you learned anything new in this post and share your advice with me as well.

Question for you: How do you like to help out in your community?

~Kisses, Kvitka~

 

 

We’ve Missed You!

And we are back! Rochelle and I have had a wonderful two weeks to travel around Spain, England, and Switzerland. It was the right dose of relaxation after a hectic summer and a busy school year to come. It felt amazing to wake up to a to do list that consisted of discovering a new city, reading up on the news back home/ keeping in touch with our families and maybe journaling a little bit.

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This summer, after A Lipstick Trilogy’s one year anniversary, the two of us also took time away from blogging to find inspiration and learn ways we could improve our blog and make it stand out (we also had two jobs each as well as summer school and unfortunately blogging took a step aside). However, while traveling, we both agreed that the one thing on our minds (mind you, popping up constantly at that) was, “Oh this is a wonderland blogging opportunity, and so is this, oh and this too!” We missed blogging and have decided to come back stronger and better!

Some changes coming soon:
– Blog posts 2-3 times a week
– More posts about our experiences, travels, and events
– Updates to layout and design
– Greater social media presence and increased connectivity with readers

We are excited to have you continue on this journey with us. For now, stay tuned for a future post and we’re sending you lots of hugs and kisses.

Kvitka and Rochelle

Types of Pokemon Goers + Questions


Although I was going to be a “hipster” and avoid the “Pokemon Go” craze, I decided to cave in and download it onto my iPhone anyways. Although it crashed on me the minute I logged in, I am determined to learn the ropes ASAP. I haven’t experienced this app addiction yet but it reminds me of the time “Flappy Bird” made the news globally and I am little hesitant to try “Pokemon Go” for this exact reason. However, I will stop being Debby Downer and instead entertain you with some hilarious types of Pokemon Goers (which I have personally encountered).

#1 The Lost Boyfriend: this one is still my favourite. While waiting in line at a small convenience store I can tell that the couple in front of me is “pokemoning” its way towards the cash register. Long story short, the disappearing boyfriend made his way into a park 5 minutes away from the store while his girlfriend frantically searched for him. It was not a happy phone convo.

#2 The Lost and Found: while at work, I cannot help but notice the small crowds gathering around High Park. With phones in all sorts of contortionist positions, it is hilarious watching people stare at their phones while navigating in circles and triangles around trees and bushes.

#3 Presidential Palace: Yes Indonesia, yes to banning workers in your presidential palace from playing “Pokemon Go” during working hours. Hmm, drafting laws and policies or looking for Pokemon?


Skepticism


Alright but in all seriousness, I have some questions about “Pokemon Go.”Pardom moi but I might be going on a rant here. I will have to be a bummer after all but I am wondering about the way that our GPS is being tracked. With cameras installed and location identification on, this is a global phenomenon that tracks the where abouts of every individual logged into the game. Although it is cool to see Pokemon pop up in a real life environment (believe me, I used to be obsessed in elementary school), what is the information tracked about us being used for and by whom?

Now let’s address the lack of interaction between people. Although “Pokemon Go” is getting people outside and moving, I also have not seen so many people blindly starring into their phones and avoiding social interaction. Now what about safety concerns as people are bound to be less cognizant of their surroundings, leading to accidents or walking into restricted areas in search of Pokemon. Honestly “DON’T POKEMON AND DRIVE/WALK” should be a thing.

If you have any questions of your own or answers to mine along with hilarious stories about your “Pokemon Go” adventures, leave them in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts! 

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Don’t Forget These Essentials + Giveaway

Summer is in full swing which also means its travel season! Rochelle and I have already pre-booked our flights to get away before school starts again. Although we wont be travelling together, we enjoy sharing tips and tricks for efficient packing, affordable flights, and things to see and do in our country of choice. As for this week, this is no regular old travel post as we’ve collaborated with Always Kaye to bring an array of awesome travel related posts and Giveaway some of these Travel Essentials to our readers! Keep reading to find out more.


Its no secret that packing is a hit or miss situation. That feeling of “I’m sure I forgot something” is an internal alarm and most of the time, the intuition is true. There are a few key items that I always forget to pack last minute yet they make a big difference. Check your suitcases if you are missing these items.

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Now is your chance to win some of these essentials to make sure you are covered for your next getaway! To win an assortment of Travel Essentials we ask that you follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye on Instagram and answer the question posted on our Instagram page in the caption. This week will be dedicated only to travel related posts on Instagram and the blog. To qualify, you must be a Greater Toronto Area resident and can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO to claim your prize. This us NOT a sponsored giveaway and all the items were purchased by us and Kaye. The deadline is Wednesday, July 13th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

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~Kisses, Kvitka~

Our Journey Thus Far & Giveaway

A Lipstick Trilogy hit its one year anniversary last month and we think it’s been an absolutely amazing journey so far. We started blogging on a whim last year at a random Starbucks. We came up with the theme we wanted to go for and the social media aspect of it but what we didn’t expect is how much the blog would change and takeover our lives. So today, we wanted to post a reflection on how far we think our blog has come.

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Before this blog, I was already blogging for my own blog, BooksDecoded. When I say ‘blogging’ I really mean, ‘barely blogging’. Writing every single week and keeping up with the schedule you set for yourself is extremely difficult. You don’t realize how hard it is to make time for personal activities until you try to fit blogging into a schedule filled with school, work, friends and volunteer work.

It’s intense and without Kvitka, I doubt I would’ve kept up with the blog. Blogging with a partner really gives you someone to whom you’re held accountable. It makes you work harder, be a bit more competitive/creative and makes it more enjoyable. And plus, we’re a fabulous team!

Blogging ultimately changed how I function. I constantly pull out my camera to photograph everything in sight in case it’s ‘blog worthy’. Friends constantly reference our blog and I love the phrase “Hey, so I was reading your blog yesterday and it’s actually so cool!”. It also makes me go to events and I’ve taken up new hobbies like learning a bunch of languages. Our blog has also taught me to be more social, which has led to an amazing year of fun and creativity. I’ve loved collaborating with other bloggers and exploring different venues through which we can express ourselves best.

And I’m absolutely certain that without the blog, I would never have had the courage to try a solo Europe trip this summer. I love our blog for being the best creative outlet where I can relax and write whatever I want, whenever I want.

Kvitka:


When Rochelle and I started A Lipstick Trilogy, the idea of blogging was still a little raw in my mind. Yet, I knew that this was something that I’d want to commit to for sure. It was at that Starbucks that we made a pact: we would know if blogging was for us if we could stick to it for a year. And here we are! After not blogging for 2 weeks and instead writing content for other outlets, it made me realize just how much I appreciate being an independent writer, blogger, and photographer.

Taking a look back at the days where we posted twice a day on bloggie and three times a day on Instagram, I’m thinking “damnnn” but it is exactly that commitment that I wish to continue bringing to the blog as it grows. Aside from earning extra cool points from friends and family for starting a blog, it has become more than a hobby, its a passion.

Rochelle and I have been on so many adventures and it is fantastic to have an outlet where to capture those memories we’ve made together. We have been to Elle Canada events and made mini local trips to cafes, national parks, and fashion shows. More importantly, I like the aspect of being able to write from anywhere in the world. So far this has been a blissful journey and to be 100%, this would not have happened if I didn’t have Rochelle to do this with not only because you are held accountable to the other person but rather because its amazing to know that you have a bestie that literally reads your mind. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us.


GIVEAWAY! As a thank you to our loyal readers and followers on Instagram, we’re collaborating with Always Kaye to giveaway a surprise of Travel Essentials! This entire week is dedicated to travel and we’ll be asking all of you travel questions on Instagram which you must answer in the comment section and follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye in order to qualify. The giveaway is sadly only for GTA residents and can only be awarded to those who can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO. The deadline is Tuesday, July 12th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

💋 Kvitka & Rochelle

Road Trip Adventure & Essentials

Happy Canada Day to all of our lovely Canadian readers! As the long weekend is approaching, Rochelle and I celebrated the holiday with a girls trip to Scarborough Bluffs. With the sun out, this is the perfect time to hit the road in search of an adventure. Today I’d like to share with you some tips on planning a perfect day road trip and share some sneak peek moments of our own.

The most important part of the trip was choosing a destination. We went with Scarborough Bluffs to enjoy the views, hiking, and of course laying out in the sun with a picnic. Making the right decision to drive when the rush hour subsided saved us an extra hour!!! Despite the dangerous cliffs, the adrenaline was really kicking in when we decided it was a great idea to try and take a super steep hiking route towards the shoreline.

A lesson to take away from our adventures at the Bluffs was to wear simple, athletic attire with open toed hiking shoes and lots of grip. Of course sun screen would of come in handy considering that Kvitka could camouflage next to a lobster at the end of the day.

The highlight of the day was discovering the beach! Despite freezing cold water that paralyzed our ankles and sand so hot that left us racing towards the grassy area, we enjoyed the hidden gem nevertheless. With free parking (yes please) and healthy snacks, the only thing left to do was a nice long walk along the beach.

Snacks for a picnic:

  • Croissants with gem
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Iced tea lemonade
  • Fruits and veggies with dip
  • Trail mix
  • Chips and cookies

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Blanket
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Water and comfy clothes

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your road trip! We had a blast planning the trip and we hope you do as well.

~Kisses, Kvitka~