How to Gain Instagram Followers

how to gain instagram followers

Now, I am by no means an expert at anything when it comes to social media. I’ve been learning about it all for the past two years, as I’ve grown my blog in the process. Since then, I never really focused much on Instagram. Recently, I’ve seen what an amazing tool it is and how much it can help me get traffic on my blog. Whenever I posted my August Goals, many people commented asking for a post about how I have gained as many followers as I have. I figured, why not share what I’ve done?

how to gain instagram followers

#1 Post regular content.

This may seem obvious but I did not post on a regular basis before working on growing my Instagram following. I rarely posted at all actually, unless it was a photo of my animals or a bomb selfie I took. Now, I put a lot of photos that relate to my blog and it really seems to draw people’s attention.

#2 Participate in Facebook groups.

love Facebook groups for bloggers. They are the reason I get so much traffic on my blog. I find so much support and help from other bloggers and being in them has helped with my Instagram as well. Specifically, I joined a group called UK Instagram Support (no I’m not from the UK but she said anyone could join 😋) and it’s amazing. So much love and people actually follow the rules that are given, so the support is legit.

#3 Be active on other Instagrammers’ profiles.

You get what you give. This is obvious but many wonder why they don’t get activity on their profiles but they don’t do anything but post their own photos. I try my best to go through my feed, go on hashtags I enjoy, and visit other bloggers’ profiles to show the love and inspire them to, hopefully, visit my profile!

I know this wasn’t jam packed with a worksheet, tips to make money, and all that jazz but this is 100% real, free advice that truly helped me gain my following. I may not get thousands of new followers a day but the followers I get are genuine and they have stayed, kept liking my photos, and kept engaging on them as well. This is all I ask for!

What are your tips for growing your Instagram account? Leave them in the comments to share the wealth!

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How to Boost Your Self-Esteem

how to boost your self esteem

Now, taking the title in mind, there is NO sure-fire why of boosting your self-esteem… HOWEVER, there are many things that we can do that slowly improve it over time, with some effort on your part. We all struggle with body image issues, feeling like we’re not good enough, and many other low self-esteem factors. I myself have struggled with all of the above for years. I am a curvy, short girl with acne, crooked teeth, and a ton of emotional scarring… but I make it through! I still have my bad days, like I talked about in my last blog post, but most of the time I can look in the mirror and find something that I like about myself. I believe we should all be able to do this! So, I have some tips that help me make it through each day with a little boost, and I hope they help you, too!

how to boost your self esteem

  1. Take care of yourself. This goes without saying but many of us do not do the things we should each day for our body. We were only given one and we need to take care of it. Whether that means getting a pedicure when you’re feeling it or just lowering your soda intake, whatever it is.. do it and do it for you.
  2. Counter your negative thought with a positive one. I do this A LOT whenever I am feeling down. I will think bad things about myself and knock myself down but then I’ll look in the mirror or think to myself, “Hey, this may be something I think is wrong but I really love this about myself.” It really does help. Eventually, you won’t have to think about doing it because you’ll do it automatically and hopefully someday those negative thoughts won’t come around!
  3. Work towards improving the things you don’t like. The only want to improve is to change it. If there is something about yourself that you don’t like, work towards making it what you want it to be. Don’t do it for anyone but yourself, though. I have been guilty of this many times, trying to change myself to find friends, a guy, etc. You need to change for you and only you.
  4. Dress to impress. This is a must for me. Whenever I want to feel good, I dress better. I will wear those heels and nice lingerie to class because I want to impress MYSELF. It automatically gives you a boost of confidence when you are feeling the outfit you’re wearing.
  5. Be nice to others! I often find that when I am mean to others or snap off, I am also doing the same things to myself. Whether it be a bad mood or a hormone imbalance, it is always nice to just say something nice or nothing at all. Plus, being kind to others can lead to friendships (which can also boost your self-esteem!).
  6. Be nice to yourself. This is a biggy. No one really thinks that being nice to themselves is going to get them anywhere. This directly relates to the counterargument tip above. You have to treat yourself with respect or no one else will. You deserve the world and you best believe that!
  7. Start slow and work your way up. Even if you just start with exercising once a week or taking a me-day twice a month, whatever baby steps you can make towards a more confident you, do them! They can’t hurt if they’re positive and you are still working towards that ultimate goal of improving yourself.
  8. Do something you enjoy. I always feel better when I am doing something that makes me happy. Whether is hanging out with my friends or reading a good book, whatever it is that makes me happy, I go for it whenever I am feeling down. Do this! Call the girls over for a Netflix sesh or go on a shopping spree. Whatever makes you smile is what will do the trick.

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How to Study Efficiently

how to study efficiently

Studying is something many people claim to do but never complete successfully. I’m just as guilty of it as the rest of us. I’ll say, “I’m going to go study at the library,” pack my bag and laptop, get there, and I surf social media for four hours… productive, right? It’s crazy how distracted you can become when you don’t set a purpose for your studying or reward yourself for a successful session. These are just a couple of things that will help you study more efficiently in high school, college, or whatever reason you have for studying information!

how to study efficiently

Tip #1: Make an end goal for your study session.

Study sessions are always bad whenever you go in without something in mind. Whether it’s for an exam, completing a project, or doing a daily assignment, you need to have a goal for your study session so you know what you are working towards. If you do not have a goal then you are working mindlessly and you’ll eventually get distracted.

Tip #2: Bring snacks and plenty of water.

We always get hungry (and inadvertently distracted) whenever we are studying. Whether we forgot our lunch or we get too bored and start eating as a result, it will happen. Pack yourself some healthy snacks to nom on during your session. Additionally, stay hydrated! Water is the best thing for you (although coffee and tea have their benefits) and I think it’s the best drink to bring during a study session so you never feel like you’re running out of steam.

Tip #3: Try to eliminate using the internet so you avoid getting on social media.

I know not using the internet seems entirely impossible when you are studying but it isn’t hard! If you’re working from your textbook, just use your Word software and hard copies of your research to keep you from gravitating towards your Twitter profile. Get your posting and sharing out before you begin. Another alternative would be getting one of those website blocking programs and disallow your computer to allow you on those websites for a set period of time (for those of us like myself with no self-control).

Tip #4: Check items off as you complete them.

There is no better feeling than completion. Whenever you get something important done, you feel like you’ve conquered the world. That is why it is great to use your list of goals as a to-do list as well. As soon as you finish one part of it, mark it off, highlight it, put a checkmark, rip it to shreds… whatever suits your fancy! Allow yourself to feel accomplished throughout your session.

Tip #5: Reward yourself for your hard work!

Rewards are the best part of doing something we don’t necessarily like. If you need motivation, set up a reward system for each study session you plan. Whether it’s an hour of Netflix, a chocolate bar, or going to get a pedicure, make sure you allow yourself to relax and have down time whenever you are recovering from a hardcore study sesh.

What are your favorite ways to prepare for studying?
How do you successfully study for your classes?
Leave your own tips down below!

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How to Organize Your Planner

how to organize your planner

With the new spring semester coming around the corner, being able to organize your life is a must. Being busy when I’m not in school means that I’m that much more so once my classes begin again. I’m going to show you some good tricks to help keep your planner in order so your life will be, too!

#1 Color code by types of entries.

This may be a color for each class, a color for appointments/meetings, a color for each organization you’re in… the list can truly go on! You can color code your planner any way that fits your own personal needs, as long as it does not make it harder for you to organize your life, then it can work!

#2 Use to-do lists!

You can write them on the pages of your planner, use the notes section in the back, or even add in some sticky notes to jot your lists on. To-do lists always keep me organized because it narrows down what I need to do in a certain time period without overwhelming me, like looking at your monthly/weekly view in your planner can do sometimes.

#3 Plan at least one week in advance.

A planner does no good unless you use it to plan. That’s why I like to lay out everything I can as soon as possible. However, sometimes that just isn’t plausible. So, my rule of thumb is just to plan everything at least one week in advance. If I know about events, assignments, etc. more in advance, I’ll write them down but if not, I stick to the rule!

#4 Make your planner appealing to the eye!

When your planner is nice to look at it, you’ll want to use it more and look at it more! That’s why I try to pick out a “pretty” planner that makes me want to use it then use various colored pens (because my planner is color coded!) to keep it looking sharp. Whether it’s a $10 planner or a $50 Erin Condren, you can make it your own!

How do you organize your planner?
What’s your favorite planner?

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Blogmas Day 2 | How To ROCK Finals Week

how to rock finals week

I bet I can guess what you’re stressed about right now. Two words. Many exams. Lots of anxiety. FINALS. WEEK. Yup, finals week is upon us for many universities, including my own. Now, as an education major, the majority of my courses do not do final exams. I have one cumulative final and that is on Monday (positive vibes plz) but other than the things I needed to complete were lesson plans, projects, papers, reflections, and just “end-of-the-unit” exams. I am extremely blessed and grateful that I do not get bogged down with exams in the last week of the semester but I know maaany friends, bloggers, and readers that do. That’s why I’m here to help you ROCK finals week and kick it in the pants!

The Playlist

Now, you know Mama needs a good playlist to rock out to during her study time. I’m sure many of you are the same so I’ve come up with the ultimate INSTRUMENTAL jams list for all your studying needs. Some have some minor parts that say a single word but most of it is either unrecognizable or so quick that it doesn’t bother me. I do have an eclectic music taste so there is everything from EDM to metalcore in this playlist. I personally cannot listen to lyrics while studying or else I’ll write them instead of my notes, I’ll sing them and won’t remember anything I read, and it’s just bad.

The xx – Intro: Seriously my all-time favorite studying song to put on loop. And the link I gave you is an almost three-hour seamless loop of the song. 😉
Brian Eno – The Big Ship
Skrillex & Rick Ross – Purple Lamborgini (Instrumental)
AndrezoWorks – Injection
AndrezoWorks – Neon Lights
AndrezoWorks – My Will
DEAF KEV – Invincible
Jacob Lizotte – Seven Years
Sam Whitaker – Creation
Sam Whitaker – Structure

The Supplies

The perfect set of school supplies to study with is a must have when beginning an all-nighter sesh at the library to study for those three finals you have back-to-back on the same day (Don’t you love have schools schedule that?). These are what I use when studying and what I think you definitely need to have when diving in.

  • Pencils
  • Pens (of assorted colors)
  • Notebook paper or assigned notebooks
  • Textbooks and class notes
  • Laptop computer or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Money (in case you need to buy a new brain or some coffee)
  • Highlighters
  • Notecards
  • Any study guides or important information from classes
  • Sticky notes

Helpful Posts

Lastly, I’ve gathered some awesome blog posts that will also assist you in all your finals week needs. Everything from destressers to study methods to keeping you on task. There are tons of posts out there, just look it up on Pinterest, but I found these to be very helpful and great posts overall.

Finals Week Essentials
Tips to Study Effectively For Your Exams
10 Ways to De-Stress During Finals Week
5 Tips to Improve Your Focus During Finals Week

Don’t let the heat get you down! You got this, fam. I believe in YOU.

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Recipe | Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is not usually the most sought out menu item around the holidays. Most people think of the gross jelly substance that people slap out of a can and onto a small serving dish. Let me tell you, I hate that stuff, too. So when I saw I am making cranberry sauce, people normally look at me like I’m ten kinds of crazy. HOWEVER, I have a recipe that is knock-your-socks-off good and has had amazing feedback from many people (not just my family).

This is a recipe that has been around in my family for awhile and adapted in many different ways by my family members, myself, as well as plenty of people on the internet. You can find about twenty different versions of this recipe just by googling it. Thankfully, I’ve saved you the trouble… because this is the best version you’re going to find. 😉

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries
2 cups of fresh strawberries
1/2 cup of sugar
2 six-ounce packages of pecans
2 cups of boiling water
3 three-ounce packages of strawberry gelatin
1 undrained, eight-ounce can of pineapple tidbits
9×13 pan

Preparation

  1. Finely dice the fresh cranberries using a food processor. Make sure to push down the chunks in between spins to get the cranberry very chopped with no big chunks.
  2. Dice the fresh strawberries by hand, making as small of pieces as possible.
  3. Mix the cranberries, strawberries, sugar, and pecans (amount for personal preference) in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the strawberry gelatin into a large-sized mixing bowl.
  5. Bring the water to boil and then pour it into the large mixing bowl with the gelatin. Mix until all of the gelatin powder has dissolved.
  6. Pour the can of pineapple tidbits into the large mixing bowl and stir.
  7. Pour the cranberry mixture into the large mixing bowl and stir all of the ingredients until they are mixed together well.
  8.  Pour the mixture into the 9×13 pan and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or until firm.
  9. Once firm, spoon out servings and enjoy!

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How-To | Repurpose ColourPop Cosmetics Delivery Boxes

repurposing colourpop cosmetics boxes

One of the best parts of getting ColourPop Cosmetics orders in, other than getting all your beauty goodies, is getting those gorgeous boxes… but then we just… throw them away? NO! Reduce, reuse, recycle, man. You can totally reuse those to make the most adorable storage boxes for your ColourPop products or really anything you want cute organization for. The patterns don’t stay the same but if you order frequently, you can get several of the same types of boxes and theme your organization in your home!

I have found the best method to take this…

and make it look like this!

Minus my huge (this is only a portion) collection of ColourPop goodies. If you’re interested in making use of your delivery boxes, follow the instructions given in this super simple and quick tutorial.

Step #1: Get a ColourPop box that you have lying around your house (you know you keep ’em).

Step #2: Carefully, pull up on either side of the box (while open) while also pushing slightly down on the bottom of the inside of the box until you pop the tab out of the precut hole in the box. Put it out so it is free from the insert hole.


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Step #3: Repeat Step #2 with the other side. Once you have finished, it should look something like this:
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Step #4: Turn over the box so you see the white side and start bending all of the pre-bent areas backwards (inwards).
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Step #5: Cut off the top part (where the lid begins and the side flaps attached to it).

Step #6: Fold forward the flap directly in front of you and pull the opposite sides flap next to it with the opposite side on the outside. This should create the first half of the box. Secure it into place by pulling the flap you previously removed inward and securing it into that same tab slot on the inside of the box.
img_0008img_0009

Step #7: Repeat Step 6 to complete the folding process. The box should then look like this:
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Now, you could just stop right here! It is a perfectly secure box that would look very swanky as a storage container. However, I am very OCD and want things to look as neat and tidy as possible. So, I’ve added in some extra steps to make it look less DIY and more FABULOUS!

Step #8: Take the lid that you cut off and remove everything but the face that says “ColourPop” on it. This should leave a plain rectangle.
img_0011

Step #9: Once you are finished, insert it into the bottom of the box to make for an extra decorative touch. If you are not using your box for ColourPop, you could always put out some matching cardstock or scrapbook paper to fit inside the bottom without using the ColourPop logo.
img_0012

Step #10: Take the top flap from the lid (the long piece) that you just cut off and cut off the two side parts that previously folded into the box (the small parts). Insert this behind the cardboard on the inside of the box on the back wall of the box to secure it into place and add the pattern to the back.
img_0014

Once you have that done, you are finished! You can also use the extra pieces to add in dividers (as shown in my finished product above) so you can organize the box even more. Here is a photo of the finished product:
img_0015

 

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BTS | How to Get Straight A’s in College

Getting all A’s in any school setting can be tricky but it seems so much easier in high school. You don’t have nearly as much personal responsibility and many times teachers walk you through every step. College isn’t like that. It’s up to you to make sure you get that 4.0 GPA. However, lucky for you, I have some awesomely fantastical tips to make this a bit easier on you.

Disclaimer: Even though these tips work for me, they may not work for you. You have to find what is best for you and roll with it. Everyone is different. I’ve seen some pass every class without ever opening a book and some that need to read every night for it to sink in. We all have different learning types and, if you know yours, you should definitely roll with it!

#1 Use. Your. Syllabus.

I really don’t think some people realize the importance of a syllabus in college. Your professors basically map out the entire semester in one little 2- to 10-page document (depending on the professor and type of class). Some include an entire course schedules with all assignments, projects, exams, etc. Some just include what chapters you’ll be covering when. Some just tell you when the midterm and final are. Whatever they give you, utilize it. If you ask them about it and it’s in the syllabus, they will likely tell you that you should already know and ignore your questions. Some professors are nicer than others but I’ve had many get upset with me for missing something in the syllabus and then asking about it later. If you don’t understand something in your syllabus, ask the professor. They will almost most always explain something to you if you’re just not sure what it means… as long as you don’t wait until the day before whatever that applies to happens.

#2 Take the lead. Always.

Group projects, man… you’ve had them, I’ve had them, we all have. They’re the worst. Not only because most of us are antisocial caterpillars but also because we don’t want to depend on others for a good grade. The great thing about it is… you don’t have to. Yes, it may require more work, but if something isn’t getting done, don’t just sit around and get a D because your partner didn’t want to do their part. Do it. I almost always have group evaluations whenever I have these projects and I always and 100% honest on them. Tell your professor who didn’t do what and, on the reverse side, who the best group members were! If you don’t have evaluations, go to your professor’s office hours and tell them that so-and-so isn’t doing their part. Normally they will either speak to them and or lower their grade on the project individually whenever the final grades are given (Sounds harsh, but people who don’t do the work don’t deserve the A that you and your best group member had to push out while the other two played on their phones during every group meeting.).

#3 Use some type of organizational method.

A planner, a to-do list, a calendar app, or whatever it may be, use something to organize your life! You will need this desperately in college. Actually, you’ll probably need this for the rest of your life after high school. Having your life organized keeps you from forgetting things that could easily be fixed with writing it down in a planner or saving a reminder on your phone and it also makes you get in the habit of having something to look back on. Even if you have the best memory in the world, you are bound to forget something… this will make sure everything, including feeding the cats, gets taken care of.

Side Tip: Make a to-do list every week to organize your weekly tasks and thoughts. This really helped me when I started getting closer to the end of the semester and big projects, daily assignments, and studying for exams all started piling into one week. It was difficult. I would make a list every time when things like this happened (first things are what needed to be completed first and in order to the least important item at that date).

#4 Find your best study method and stick to it.

I know so many people that say that you should use tons of different ways to study so you don’t get sick of something but I completely disagree with this. If I used something other than flashcards and note lists, I wouldn’t pass a single class. I tried the Quizlet app and, although it wasn’t the worst way I’ve tried to study, it didn’t do the trick for me because I didn’t have to physically write out everything. If I write it down, especially several times, then I’m bound to remember it. That’s how my brain works. Writing my notes in class, writing a “note list” of important things that can’t be in flashcard form, and then making flashcards helps me keep things fresh in my mind. Then studying those materials makes sure that I’ve got them locked in and ready for my exams.

#5 Don’t take notes with your computer.

Honestly, unless your professor says that you’re going to need it, don’t even take your computer out during class. It is a distraction more than anything. You’re going to want to get on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and who knows what else before you ever open that Word document and get a single sentence of notes written out. That’s just how our brains work these days – “Hi, I’m Kimberly, and I’m addicted to social media.” Taking notes on a piece of paper, in your favorite notebook, or whatever physical writing material you choose is the best way to avoid this. You’ll pay more attention to the lecture and presentations rather than what your best friend did with that girl you don’t like last week.

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BTS | How to Use Your Syllabus

Now, if you’re like me, you like to keep everything nice, neat, and organized whenever you’re in school. Being able to tell what your next move is will make sure that you never fall behind or end up with poor grades due to just not being on top of things. One of the ways to do that with your studies is to learn how to utilize your syllabi. Now, if you’re in high school, this may not be as effective for you as many high school classes, at least in the United States, do not really make use of their syllabi. They make them as a requirement for the classes and students toss them to the side. In college, your syllabus is everything. It holds the magical key to an A in your ALL classes (Yes, I’m dead serious.). You can get a 4.0 GPA by just utilizing these tips and then following through with the needed processes after!

 

#1 Try to print off your syllabi before classes start!

Some people don’t think that is a good idea but I really feel like it gets me in the school mindset before I even get started! Sometimes your professors will actually give you copies of the syllabus in your first day of class but some just say, “You can get it online,” or “Read it online.” I don’t like this. I feel like I have enough to print off without them not giving it to me. However, this is why I’ve gotten into the habit of just printing them ahead of time. If you can’t find a place to print for free, try to print them there in smaller fonts and with less color to save some $$$.

 

#2 Talk with your professors about anything you don’t understand.

Your professors are your resource. They are there to help you. If there is something in the syllabus that you don’t understand, or eve don’t agree with, talk with them about it. They can either explain why it is there, tell you how they can accommodate you, or just assign you with whatever you need in regards to it. I always talk to my professors on the first day of classes if there’s something I don’t understand or something I feel is missing from the syllabus. It’s good to get all of that out of the way ahead of time.

 

#3 Write down all important monthly, weekly, and daily projects, dates, assignments, etc.

This is a vital first step before classes get fully started. As soon as you get your syllabi, write down EVERYTHING. All the important things you need to remember should go in your planner, to-do list, or whatever you record these things in. If you don’t use a planner, a later tip might be of more use to you for this part of things!

 

#4 Make a monthly checklist for big items for ALL classes for your planner/binder.

I think this is the best thing to do for big assignments. Whenever you make checklists (or at least for me), you always are more inclined to work on things ahead of time because you know exactly when they’re due and how much more time you have to complete them. Combining them all onto one checklist also keeps you from missing something because you’re flipping through syllabi every day to see what you have due. Big projects normally take a lot of time so this helps you manage that.

 

#5 Create an assignment list for day-to-day things that will need to be done sooner rather than later.

This is the same concept, except for same, everyday assignments! I recommend making this list all at one, just like the monthly checklist or doing it weekly (this is what I do). Writing down everything you need to accomplishment each week keeps you updated on everything, just like the monthly checklist does. If you want, you could combine both lists to make for a HUGE master list but I think splitting it up making it easier to tackle and more organized!

 

#6 FOLLOW THROUGH!

This is the most important tip of all. If you don’t use all of these resources you’re making, doing your assignments, and following the rules and information stated in your syllabi then none of this is going to help you! Your syllabi are there to guide you through your semesters with ease. Utilize them to do so!

 

I hope you all found this post useful and I wish you all the best of luck with organizing your semester! If you have any requests for back to school posts for this series, leave them in the comments down below.

xo Kimberly Signature

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