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Friday, February 27, 2015

Keeping your dorm clean

I wouldn't describe myself as a neat-freak, but I was certainly raised with cleanliness standards. Rather, I won't keep my space perfect, but there's a point where I just can't stand my own mess anymore.

Over the years, I've found that there is a minimum of cleanliness that I need to work. If my room is too messy, I won't be able to get anything done, or I'll just be frustrated with it and then spend a lot of precious time cleaning it.

Although my dorm is actually pretty spacious, there are a few things that I do at a minimum of weekly - the ones I do daily are specified - to keep it manageable (and to be considerate of my roommate!):

1. All dishes
Yes, all of them. Every day. If you do them daily, it is very unlikely that a large amount will accumulate. I usually have my Keurig coffee filter (I use the reusable filter because K-cups are so expensive), whatever mug I used that morning, and I might have a bowl if I had a meal in my room, or a water bottle if it's time for one to be washed.

2. Change and wash all linens
This makes my room feel a million times better. I change my sheets, bath towels, and dish towels out weekly and wash them all on the hottest option possible on the washers here at school. I am a complete germaphobe, and having the things that touch my face, my dishes, etc. clean makes a big difference to me.

3. Clear your desk
I would be lying if I said I got around to this every day, but I can never let it go longer than every other day. I put all miscellaneous papers away or in a neat pile to be put away on the side of my desk, clear off all trash, put anything I took out back where it goes, and move all the various cords that accumulate back where they go. My desk also serves as my nightstand, so this is important when I'm trying to get ready for bed and need a place to put a cup of water, my phone, etc.

4. Laundry
It's a joy, isn't it? I am very lucky that the laundry room in my dorm is only down the hall from me, and I think that certainly helps when I need a little motivation to go do my laundry. Between my clothes and all my towels/sheets, I do about 2 loads a week. I found out the hard way that if you don't fold it all shortly after it gets out of the dryer, you have to put it back in the dryer because everything will be super wrinkly, so sometime during the week if I have a lighter day (I don't like doing laundry on the weekends because everybody else is and it's hard to find an open washer!) I'll just do it all then.

5. Fix your closet
Does anyone else have a nasty habit of just chucking whatever you wore back in your closet, regardless of where it lands? If I wear shoes, I just leave them somewhere around my room until I feel inclined to put them back in my closet. This is another one of those attempted daily tasks that doesn't always happen daily, but it helps because a) my clothes don't get completely crumpled and b) I can find all my shoes when I need them. And everything isn't in a huge pile on my floor.

For the sake of being honest, I'll admit that I don't always get all of these things done when they're supposed to be done, they're just goals that keep my room manageable for myself and my roommate as well. I'm usually pretty good about finding 15 minutes to tidy up at the end of the day, but it's also important to not get caught up in cleaning when you have studying to do!

xx, Victoria

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tell me about it, stud

Happy Wednesday, folks! It's still absolutely freezing in Memphis, and it's getting to the point where it is not longer socially acceptable to wear Uggs to class (For the record, I did it. It was too cold, and I am not ashamed).

But hey, we're surviving. I bought this dress over Christmas break and think it could become one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. If you take away the vest and the tights, I could easily be in 85 degree weather, but I could add some taller boots and a blanket scarf and call it a day too.

Do you have a go-to dress that works year-round? Shop these pieces & similar ones below:

xx, Victoria

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Borrowed from the Boys

I have too much free time on my hands y'all.

But hey, I love a good sale season, and as spring rolls in, all the winter goodies roll out...on sale.

Check out some of my favorite picks for guys (who am I kidding...I would wear all of that stuff) on major discounts!

xx, Victoria

Monday, February 23, 2015

Music Monday

I hope y'all aren't absolutely freezing out there! It has been so cold here this past week, and although all you Northerners are probably laughing at me, I think we can all agree that a -5 wind chill is cold.

We had two snow days last week, and this left me with a lot more extra time than I anticipated having. Wednesday was my first day to school in a full week, thanks to swimming and the snow! So, after I caught up on all of my homework, I perused YouTube for some music videos and my crutch, makeup tutorials.

I've always been a fan of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness." There are tons and tons of remixes out there, from the MGMT & Ratatat version to the Steve Aoki one. This weekend I found two more and I had to share them with y'all! Just a heads up, the song itself has a bit of profanity in it, so maybe you'll snag some headphones, but I am loving both of these versions.

I hope you like them!

xx, Victoria

Friday, February 20, 2015

So long, APUSH?

Earlier this week, Oklahoma tried to ban AP US History because it "isn't quite pro-America enough," according to CNN's Kevin Conlon.

The bill has not gone through yet, but it has been introduced to state legislation.

I don't have words for this bit of news. I'm still processing how outrageous it is to try and ban a class that promotes critical thinking and analysis of America's shortcomings.

In my final semester of high school, we talked a lot about how the public education system was changing. Common Core was always a big part of this discussion, because it was hard to comprehend a school system that does not encourage any critical thought whatsoever and emphasizes information regurgitation.

My APUSH notes from my junior year of high school. Check out my APUSH study guide here.

However, I always thought to myself that even though schools were now more focused on test scores than on critical thought, it would be okay, because the interested students would be able to take AP classes if they were interested. I cannot comprehend and do not wish to participate in an education system that focuses solely on testing.

My biggest question when I heard this piece of news was "why?" Why take the most popular AP class away from an entire state of kids? I rattled the reasons back and forth; cost, lack of teachers, overcrowded classrooms, insufficient supplies and/or training, etc., and all of them were valid reasons why an AP system might not be feasible for a school. What I did not understand, is why the government wanted to ban this class entirely. Why take away the class that shows you all of America's shortcomings? Why take away the class that makes you learn history from the opposing viewpoints? And once I realized I was asking those questions, the answer became startlingly simple. Critical thought is no longer a critical asset in education; based on the government's shift from traditional classes to Common Core and now, this proposed ban of APUSH, the government does not want it to be.

I am still struggling with the notion that APUSH could be wiped from an entire state because it teaches an opposing point of view. It makes me sad and angry that a state government does not want its young adults to think critically.

"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
- James A. Baldwin

Right on, Mr. Baldwin.

xx, Victoria

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lust List

It has been ages since I've done one of these!

I think that now that I have an extra 5 hours a day (thanks to the end of the swim season!) I've been spending it by sleeping and online shopping (my weakness).

I certainly have spring on my mind. All this extra time has me motivated to put a bit more effort into my appearance, hence the makeup items. My parents were so sweet and gave me the Naked 2 palette for Valentine's Day, and I am obsessed with it. All the shades are so soft and gorgeous, and look incredible together. I'm also still searching for the perfect pair of black booties, and am hoping that since spring is coming, they'll go on sale soon. However, I've still got my eyes on some white Converse. Although they aren't my style per se, my roommate wears them a lot and they seem to go with everything. If only she had huge feet like me...

xx, Victoria