A Peek Inside My Planner

Planning has never been my strong suit. As someone who is quite preoccupied with being organized, I very often fail at planning. For some reason planners have just not appealed to me. Sometimes they’re too big or too small or have the wrong formatting or not enough room.

APEEKINSIDEMY PLANNER

This year (or well the first two months of this year), my planner of choice has been the MAMBI Happy Planner. While I’m usually a horizontal planner girl, but the morning, afternoon, evening vertical split of the Happy Planner is plenty of space to track my to-dos, homework assignments, and appointments.

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Patreon Campaign!

I’ve decided to launch a Patreon campaign to support the Traveling Curl! In the past year the Traveling Curl has grown to reach over 1,000 viewers every month!
I love blogging and creating posts like organizational tutorials, study/homework tips, book reviews, mental health focused content, and fiction inspired fashion on a weekly/biweekly basis. Creating quality, useful content is a time intensive. As we move into 2016, I plan on moving to creating comprehensive posts, helpful worksheets, and even more content!

Besides blogging, I’m also a full time college student pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, which draws on my free time to create quality, creative content for the Traveling Curl.

I am launching this Patreon campaign so that I able to afford spending more time and money creating even more awesome things for The Traveling Curl like email courses, e-books, self-guided lessons, webinars, and text posts. In the next few months, I plan on creating an e-book and workbook directed specifically geared towards helping college students get organized and succeed in college. Supporting my Patreon campaign will help me continue to post weekly and expand the type of content I publish.

I completely appreciate your support of The Traveling Curl!  No matter the financial support, the content on my blog always will remain free and accessible to everyone! If you are able, your contribution will increase my ability to make more of the content that you’ve come to know and love!

I’ve created a few tiers of rewards ranging from $1, $3, and $5, so that you can contribute to the Traveling Curl monthly! Click the banner below to check out my Patreon and there’s a link in the sidebar too 🙂

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Nerdy Girl Holiday Gift Guide

Happy beginning of the holiday season! Now that it’s finally past Thanksgiving and almost the beginning of December, I finally feel like it’s the appropriate time to start getting ready for the holiday and gift giving season.
As a youth who fairly involved in pop and fan culture, I find that people don’t usually know to get for their friends and family who are super into a specific piece of media, so I decided to put together a gift guide for a few popular nerdy things. I think it would be super sweet to get any of these as gifts and I tried to compile an assortment of pieces that are unisex or girl-oriented. It’s difficult to find girly nerdy things out there, so hopefully this helps you find a sweet gift for the nerdy person in your life.

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September & Autumn Quarter Goals

Hello and welcome to September (well the second week of September in truth)! September is my absolute favorite month for so many reasons, 1) my birthday is in September (omg it’s in 3 days!), school starts at the end of this month, and autumn begins! I’m so excited to see what excitement September brings in terms of my life, school, and blogging.

The start of a new month always puts me in a mood to plan out my goals because they help me stay on track and do the things that I want to do. I think I might do this bimonthly with a set of goals at the beginning of the month and then a goal recap towards the end!

Also because why not this is going to be a sort of August Re-Cap too because #yolo

General September Goals!

Blogging Goals

I’ve kind of fallen off track with some of my blogging things, mostly keeping up with social media because it’s a lot of work to update Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram every single day, but I want to keep being active on these sites to help my blog grow so my goals are to…
1) Update all my social media daily.
This is going to be difficult for me, but as long as I use some scheduling tools for Twitter and Tumblr, I should be able to do this consistently. 
2) Start a monthly newsletter!
I see a lot of bloggers with newsletters and I think it would be fun to have one of my own. I’m planning on putting the newsletter out on the last Friday of every month and giving each of my newsletters a cute monthly theme. And of course this month’s theme is going to back to school. I’m really excited to start doing this newsletter and I have a lot of fun ideas for it.
3) Consistently post 2-3 times a week and schedule 5 posts for October.
I don’t start school until the 30th of September (yay quarter system!), so I have an entire month to get a lot of posts written and scheduled for when school starts at the end of the month. I’m planning on having some posts already written so by the time I get really busy with school I don’t pull a month long hiatus like I did last year.
4) Reach 35 followers on Bloglovin’

Personal Goals

1) Save $400
I plan on studying abroad in the spring and having some money in my savings account would make me a lot less stressed.
2) Go the the gym 3 days a week

My final week of Couch 2 5K is this week and I leave for a cheeky vacation at the end of this week, but I want to maintain the stamina I’ve gained from doing this program for the last uh…8 weeks, more like 10 weeks for me. 
3) Read 3 books

I was doing so good in August where I actually read 2 books, but towards the end of the month I completely dropped the ball. Since I doubt I’ll much leisure reading time once the school year starts, I want to read The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathThe Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard by the end of this month. It’s kind of an eclectic array of novels, but I’m so excited to read all of them. The biggest inhibitor to doing this is going to be remembering to charge my Nook. 

Autumn Quarter Goals

My first year of college was pretty meh socially, pretty awesome academically, and on the whole could have been a lot better. I’ve learned a lot since then and I think I have a better idea for how I can make my college experience a lot better, which leads me to my goals.
1) Exercise 3 days a week + 1 weekend day

Your girl is tryin’ to stay healthy, plus exercise makes me feel a lot less stressed, anxious, and mentally in a rut. It’s gonna be crucial that I stick to this goal.
2) Maintain a 3.9 GPA

I’m really nervous about this because I’m taking a few harder classes this year, but after my hellacious year in a quarter of Arabic, I think I can do it.
3) Declare a major

Speaking of that brutal summer quarter, since I got 15 credits I’m about halfway through a degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations! I don’t plan on solely majoring in this course of study, but it’d be great to declare one major on track (so I feel like I have my life together).
4) Use Google Calendar and Planner All Day Every Day

I’ve written here and here all about staying organized in college and I need to get better at taking my own advice. I feel a lot better when things are planned out, so I’m going to try to create a schedule where planning becomes a daily norm.
5) Read 5 Books

Don’t know which ones, but the September books I’m reading don’t count towards this goal sadly.
6) Make 2 Close Friends
I really want to make some new friends this quarter! I’m not the most social butterfly, but I’m hoping that putting myself out there by speaking up more, sharing more of my lovely personality (if I do say so myself), and being more engaged on campus will help me have a better social experience 🙂
7) Join 2 clubs

*See #6
8) Blog 2-3 Times a Week

I don’t want to wear myself thin by blogging too much, but I still want to keep blogging because it’s been a really fun experience for me. By planning my time better I should be able to keep posting on my regular Monday, Friday, and the occasional Wednesday.
And those are all of my goals for this month and this quarter! It’s kind of a lot, but I’m really excited to tackle my goals and get on track 🙂
The last month on the blog was really great. I wrapped up my College Series, updated ya’ll on my natural skincare routine, and on my capsule wardrobe. Here are the last month of posts if you missed any:
What are your goals for this month and this quarter/semester? Let me know in the comments!

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Versatile & Liebster Blogging Awards

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by Sydnie of Snazzy, Sassy, and Classy and the Versatile Blogger Award by Kimberly of Blogs for Days! Thanks so much for nominating me! 
For both of these awards within the blogging community, you’re supposed to write (I think) some facts about yourself, so here are some things you probably don’t know about me!
  1. I lived in Canada as a child and I’m half Canadian (if that’s even a thing) and I’ve even been told I have a Canadian accent
  2. I’m an INTJ on the Meyer Briggs test (introversion intuition thinking judgement) and a Green on the True Colors test.
  3. I’m a Ravenclaw (Ayyyy! Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure!)
  4. The Harry Potter series, The Great Gatsby, and Gone Girl are my favorite fiction books.
  5. I’ve traveled to Morocco twice during high school to learn Arabic and for cultural immersion.
  6. Captain America is my favorite Avenger and Peggy Carter is my favorite Marvel character (and omg Bucky Barnes is my favorite everything. I could literally talk about these three forever)
  7. I sing showtunes basically whenever no one’s around (Into the Woods is the musical that I listen to the most nowadays, but there’ll always be a place in my heart for Phantom of the Opera)
  8. My two dream jobs are to be world traveler and own a bookstore.
  9. I have 6 ear piercings, 4 lobe piercings and 2 cartilage piercings, and I plan on getting more.
  10. I won my university’s Harry Potter trivia competition during our get hyped for college week.
  11. I’m love buying nice shoes and coats…like a lot…it’s sort of a problem. And almost all my shoes are black too no matter if they’re boots or flats or sandals.
It was pretty challenging to think of 11 different things about myself, but there you go hopefully they were interesting 😀 And thanks for much for nomiating me Sydnie and Kimberly.

On the blog this summer I’ve been doing my college series and it’s wrapping up in a week or two I think (if there’s any college related topic you want to hear about let me know in the comments or on social media). Monday I posted the latest installment about Saving Money on College Textbooks. In that post I share all of my methods to make buying textbooks a less expensive endeavor. In that post I also have my first giveaway! If you’d like to win some free goodies makes sure to check it out.

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Week in Review

Welcome to another Week in Review…er should it be called Every Other Week in Review? I don’t think that has the same appeal as Week in Review. These past couple of weeks have been as usual pretty busy and full of stuff. I’m almost done with my class, work is going fine, my blog turned a year old and I turn 19 in a month. I think that’s the most amazing thing because I’ve been a proper adult for a year now…sort of…I still don’t know how taxes work. But any who, here’s my Week in Review.


Books
One of my goals for this summer was to read 10 books, while I still haven’t gotten there yet, I have read 2 books since I did my last Week in Review! I read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn  (which I posted a review on) and The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. After my 2010 vampire paranormal romance phase), my expectations for YA fiction have been set pretty low (I mean honestly how many books can one person read about star crossed immortal lovers),  but the Red Queen surprised me. It’s a really fun, interesting book that tackles discrimination in an interesting fantasy world. It’s the first book in a trilogy, so I’m really excited to keep reading the series.

After my luck with my last two books, I’m planning on reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath this month!

TV

While I’ve never been a hard core anime watcher (or a weaboo), I was very in love with the Saturday morning cartoons during my childhood and the majority of them were dubbed animes. After watching a streamer play the new Yu-Gi-Oh game on Twitch, I decided to start watching it on Netflix. Let me tell you the nostalgia is real.

The show definitely doesn’t hold up (a girl can only handle so many melodramatic Shakespeare-esque internal monologs), but it has been fun to watch. It’s kind of fun to watch a show as an adult that I loved as a kid and see how much my tastes have changed.

School 

I’m almost done with my class! I only have a week left and I’m so glad to be done. I might do a more in depth post about intensive language learning or the FLAS fellowship, but to summarize I took a year of Arabic (30 weeks) in 9 weeks. It was intense as heck, but I think learned a lot. Plus, I get 15 credits from the class, which is an entire quarter’s worth of credits.

All that stands between me and finally getting to enjoy my summer is a 5 page paper and a 20 minute presentation (yikes!)

Fitness

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I restarted Couch 2 5k. I’m on Week 4 Day 2 of the program and it’s tough, but I’m so happy I’m doing it. I have love/hate relationship with running, but it’s nice that I’m getting back into the swing of it. Hopefully before I start school I’ll be able to jog for 30 minutes straight, so I can join my university’s running club!

Along with exercising my healthy eating has been pretty on point! I probably eat wayyy to much fruit, but #yolo banana ice cream is life. On Friday I’m going to post a What I Eat In A Day to show some of the noms I’ve been eating recently.

Blogging

Blogging had been going pretty solidly lately! I’m still forever dealing with my writer’s anxiety and writer’s block, but I’m happy that I’ve stuck to my schedule and put out good content.

In the past couple of weeks my favorite posts have been:

1. Dark Places Review
2. Best Apps & Websites for College Students
3. Self-Care for College Students

I still have a lot more of my college series left since I don’t start school until basically Halloween, so there will be more college-y content on the way!

Also, I’ve decided to expand my blogging horizons to some other projects, so be on the lookout for those in the coming weeks 🙂

That’s basically been my past couple of weeks! I can’t wait to take advantage of my summer after next week and get a lot of blogging done and spend some time on my hobbies!

I hope you all have had a lovely week 🙂

What have you been doing this month to prep for back to school? Let me know in the comments!


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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Natural Hair

I’m a lazy naturalista. There I said it. I don’t spend hours deep conditioning, finger combing, detangling, or re-styling my hair. I don’t have the time or the effort for it.

When I began my natural hair journey five or so years ago, I was much more involved in my natural hair. I would prep with pre-poos (saturating my hair with oils the night before) and dry finger detangling, then wash it, use some homemade treatment, then deep condition, then detangle, and then style. At one point my hair routine averaged in total around 6 hours.
As I’ve progressed in my natural hair journey and become more educated about my hair, I’ve learned that any natural hair routine can be simplified into an easy, stress free process. I don’t use too many products and in this post I’ll show how I maintain my natural hair.

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Week in Review

Welcome to my Week in Review for the week of July
27th! I haven’t done a Week in Review in such a long time and I’ve missed writing these posts. Since my last Week in Review, I’ve changed my blog theme and
bought my own domain (read more about these changes here). I’ve also gone back to posting on
Mondays, the occasional Wednesday, and Fridays. So far, I’m really enjoying the
changes on The Traveling Curl! I hope you are too 🙂


School
I’m about halfway done with my Arabic class and I’m
so ready for it to be over. I’m learning a lot of cool things about  grammar and many new vocab words, but the pace of the class is so intense.The only thing in between me and the joys of summer is a 10
page paper I need to write about different cultural garb in the Middle East.

To help me plan for my summer class, I purchased the Blue Sky Day Designer to help me stay organized between school, blogging, and my work. However, I haven’t been using it too much. I find that I don’t have enough space in my planner to write out all the things I need to. Plus, the pages of this planner are not very thick so pens bleed through them super easily. It’s a good deal for a planner, but I’m waiting until the Live Well Planners to come out because I think those planners will work better for my lifestyle. 

Blogging


This has been a great (couple of) week(s) for blogging! I’m on track to meet my goal of 30 posts for the summer and I think that I’ll surpass my goal too. It’s been a fun challenge to come up with college, lifestyle, and personal content for my blog three times a week, but I think I’m doing pretty well.

These are my favorite posts of this month:

1. The Quote That Guided Me Through College
2. College Student Essentials (with a free downloadable checklist!)
3. 15 Places to Visit in Seattle

I’ve been setting some new blogging goals too of reaching 30 followers on Bloglovin (follow me!), 80 followers on Twitter (follow me :)), and 35 followers on Instagram (follow me) by the beginning of October. There’s a lot of of interesting blogs online that write about building your social media and I’m hoping that their advice will help me reach some of my goals.

Before the summer, I didn’t realize that there was such a big community of bloggers, but in the past month I’ve joined into a lot of cool blogging “things”. On Twitter there’s the Blogging College chat on Sundays, there’s the Blogger Buddies Pen Pal Community, and a ton of other bloggers that I’ve gotten to know a bit more over the summer; they all write really cool content!

Here are some of my favorite posts that I’ve read in the past week:

Must Have Items for Your College Backpack by Chase the Write Dream (for someone who totally overpacked on their first day of college, this is super useful for any college freshman out there!)

How To Deal With Writer’s Block by Welcome to Aly’s World (I struggle with writer’s block constantly and these tips are the great for getting out of a writing rut)

The Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers by I Can Build A Blog (After I bought my blog template, I did a lot of customization and I Can Build A Blog was a great resource for HTML noobs that want to add cool things to their blog)

Personal 


With all the stuff I have going on lately I’ve been super busy for the past like month. I haven’t had time to do a lot of the things that I wanted to do this month, but I have been seeing a lot of movies. In the past month I’ve seen Magic Mike XXL (not good), Ant-Man (not impressed), Selfless (super meh), and this weekend I’m seeing Trainwreck. Since I love seeing movies, it’s been great to relax over the weekends with some good ol’ cinema.

I did a post about my other summer goals (here), so if you read that you know that I haven’t been working out super often because I haven’t had the time. I plan on getting my hair put into extensions on Saturday (my hair was another factor in me not working out), and once I get my hair done that shouldn’t be a barrier. Even though my goal planning hasn’t been going great, I think that this month I’m finally going to make time for a book. I really like Gillian Flynn’s writing after reading Gone Girl and I think that I’m going to read one of her other books, Dark Places. Hopefully I’ll finish it in a timely fashion and be able to do a review on the blog.

And that’s basically been my Week in Review! What have you all been up to? Let me know in the comments 🙂


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Summer Goals Update

Earlier in the summer, I posted my Summertime Planning post all about my goals for the summer and some of the fun things that I wanted to do. Oh snap! It’s a month into my Summer Break and in that time I’ve had 5 tests, starting working my first real job as an adult, and made quite a few changes on blog.

I think with any set of goals it’s important to evaluate what you’ve set out to do and make any changes along the way to ensure that your goals are met.

For a recap by the time I start college in September I wanted too…

1. Hit the gym and get fit
2. Eat more healthy whole foods
3. Get a job and save $500
4. Write 30 posts
5. Create a streamlined capsule wardrobe
6. Write 10,000 words of an original story


Hit the Gym and Get Fit


Before I started my job, I was really committed to getting my work out on. I was doing Couch25k almost 5 days a week after my Arabic class. However, after I began my job, I really haven’t been able to maintain my workout routine or continue to get more fit. It feels really disappointing and discouraging because I haven’t had the chance to meet my goals of running a 5k or losing weight. Keeping my schedule in mind the only way for me to keep hitting the gym is to wake up at the crack of dawn and exercise at like 6 am. I don’t know if I’m prepared to get up so early everyday, but I really want to stick to this routine.

I’ve changed my goal a bit now to working out 3-5 days a week and striving to not feel bad about missing days.

Eat more healthy whole foods


I have been the healthy food queen (young and free only healthy food teen)! It’s been so nice to be back at home where I can cook my own food. I’ve been sticking to a mostly plant based diet with a few Starbucks treat sometimes. I’ve mostly been eating a lot of vegan burritos this week with some brown rice rice cakes, apples, and “banana nice cream”. If you’re interested I can always post some of these quick recipes 🙂

Get a job and save $500


Yay! I totally have a job and after a few paychecks I’ll have $500. This goal I’ve for sure sticked to and I’m sure I’ll end up saving a lot more money this summer 🙂

Write 30 posts


After checking out my progress of posts (nine in June and so far seven in July), I’m on track to get to about 30 posts! I’m really happy with the content that I’ve been posting and the schedule I’ve come up with. Writing is a lot easier when you feel inspired. There’s a lot of really cool bloggers out there whose posts have encouraged me to keep writing posts and keep continuing with writing.

Create a streamlined capsule wardrobe


So far not so good. I’ve been using Pinterest a lot of find some outfit inspiration, but I haven’t really started to buy any clothes for my capsule. Hopefully closer to September I’ll start my legit back to school shopping.

Write 10,000 words of an original story


Writing is a huge passion of mine, but honestly I haven’t had the time or the inspiration to write. I’ve had this writing anxiety/writer’s block for the past four years and I haven’t written much since. I thought that this summer I would have been writing mojo back, but it still hasn’t returned. I think that instead of writing 10,000 words of a story, I’m going to work on writing one story of a thousand words every weekend. My thoughts are that it would be easier/less stressful to write a bunch of smaller stories than one big one.

All in all I’m pretty proud of myself for at least attempting to stick to my goals! Usually I give up on them pretty quickly, but posting them made me feel a lot accountable to sticking to them or at least giving a goal update.

I haven’t really done too much of my Summer Fun List ideas, but I have crossed off some of the ones about blog followers (yay!)

What are your summer goals? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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The Changing Traveling Curl

I began blogging on The Traveling Curl in August of 2014. In that time I’ve gone through a journey to figure out what this blog is. Is it a personal blog? Is it a blog about blogging? Is it a college blog? Through this introspection I’ve changed my theme a couple of times, changed my social media presence, and have tried to figure out what the Traveling Curl is to me and what I want it to mean to other people.

I’ve been inspired by bloggers for as long as they’ve been around because it’s really cool to me that people are able to write about their lives, hobbies, and interests in a way that engages and inspires a community of people around them. Blogging has become a lot more complex than when it started. It used to be a niche part of the internet, but now it’s grown to be full of people that influence a ton of different things. It’s not just as simple as posting some things online anymore. Now there’s this whole fascinating social media/branding thing that exists too.

I don’t want the Traveling Curl to be just another random blog on the interwebs because I believe that I can create this space the way I’ve imagined, as a resource for other college students and a space where I can write about the going ons of my life. These dreams are definitely big, a lot bigger than what I initially set out to do when I created my blog a little less than a year. A year ago, I never thought I would’ve read so many articles about creating a social media presence, branding, coding, or the importance of having “pin-able” images on your website. I never thought I would have invested in a new camera, two different layouts, or buying my own domain. I’ve become so incredibly inspired and passionate about creating for this blog and making it something that I’m proud of.

It’s been a great experience too. I’ve learned a lot of important lessons in persevering even with the likes/comments/etc. are not aplenty, different photo editing apps, graphic softwares, and being flexible.

I write all this to say that I’m feeling really good about blogging write now and the investments that I’m making in this hobby. I know that it won’t be all new blog themes and roses, but I think that’s some of the fun of blogging. It’s not always easy or fun or glamorous. Sometimes it challenging and time consuming and discouraging, but it’s so great to see that you’re post helped someone or to look at your life differently because you blog.

With the new look of the Traveling Curl and the domain change, I’ll be changing my posting schedule as well. I’ve struggled a bit with managing blogging, but since this is important to me, I’m returning to my Monday and Friday posting schedule. The content that I post on these days is not set in stone, but I’m planning to post college related posts on Mondays, lifestyle related posts on Fridays, and my sometimes/cheeky Wednesday post will be something more personal in the style of this post.

I hope you enjoy the changes 🙂

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