Monday, August 28, 2017

NEW CHAPTER

August 28, 2017 2
My life is about to change drastically as I'm moving to another side of the world and I thought I should address this closing chapter and the new chapter I'm about to open.

new life chapter

Ending this chapter...

/ / R E L A T I O N S H I P S / /

The past two years I've had so many relationships change; some for better and some for worse. I am so grateful for both of those types of changes.

Some relationships became stronger and I'm so grateful for those people in my life and it makes me happy to know that I have people who care about me and are excited when I am and sad when I am. I hope I'm doing the same for them and I hope I'm being a good friend to those who are being one to me.

For the relationships that have changed for the worse, or maybe become less significant or less important to me, all I have to say is thank you for the experience. It seemed bad at the time and it took up so much of my energy but I'm glad I went through that because it has changed me so much too. I have learned to listen better and to see through a person better and I've learned to be more patient and mature about tough situations.

The following may seem like I'm almost outing everyone like a mini version of 13 reasons why but I assure you that's not it. I am over being negative and all that and truly want to begin my "new chapter" by closing the previous one with a good note. The people I mention below is not because I will cut them out of my life once my new chapter begins. In fact, it is the complete opposite for most people and I hope to have them in my next chapter because I don't want to begin it alone...

/ / P E O P L E / /

Person 1
You are my best-est friend in the entire world and I love you so much. You know everything about me and you know me so well that you can even make me smile when I'm mad and don't feel like smiling. I give you a tough time all the time but despite all of my mood swings and irrational behavior, you still stick next to me and I am just so grateful for you. You go out of your way to do things for me and I hope you know how appreciative I am.

Person 2
We don't talk as much but we're still close in the weirdest way possible. We won't talk for weeks at a time but there are no hard feelings because we understand that we both are busy. You know a lot about me that I haven't told to anyone else and I always feel safe talking to you. We have weird conversations during the night because apparently after 12 am both of our brains decide to have no filter and let the weird topics loose. But hey, the conversation is still fun! I hope we stay in touch forever, which means we keep messaging each other once every few weeks at least :P

Person 3
Our friendship started weird and there was this entire dramatic situation that occurred but I guess we patched up after that. Our relationship just went up till there and I genuinely think that it was going great from both sides for a very long time. "People change". I never believed when people said that. I always wondered how it could be possible for someone to change so much that it would be hard to even connect their present self with their past self. I guess I was just naive because I found out it was very true in a not-so-pleasant way. I don't have any hard feelings because I am so over the whole ordeal and a part of me will still love you...or the idea of loving you. We can't always mend what is broken and I am not trying to anymore. We're still good friends and I enjoy time spent with you.

Person 4
You are lame and not at all creepy (if you are reading this, I think I just made it obvious that this is about you) and honestly, I don't even know why I still talk to you :P. Okay, enough with the insulting. You're definitely a weirdo (in a good way) and I enjoy talking to you. I must admit, I zone out through your "drunk stories" sometimes, but otherwise, I'm glad I reconnected with you (we never really talked before, but you get it). You're a fun person and it cracks me up when I see how many "being single" memes you have sent me throughout this entire year or so that we've known each other.

/ / J O Y / /

So many wonderful things have happened to me. I have people around me with great energy who motivate me to be a better person and work on my flaws. I am not under the illusion that I am perfect. I'm not even near perfect, but the people around me are helping me get closer to the person I want to be and I'm thankful for them. I got to foster a puppy for 2 weeks this year. It was the best 2 weeks of my life. The little fluff ball taught me stuff in 2 weeks that I couldn't learn in 17 years and it was such a learning experience and so much more space was created in my heart for love. I am so glad she got a permanent home and I am so grateful for being able to take care of such a sweetheart (even though she bit me a million times because she was teething!).
It was nice being genuinely happy due to so many events for so many moments, compared to last year. 

/ / P E R S O N A L  C H A N G E / /

Recently, I went a bit downhill again. A little bit anger came back, more of the mood swings, a little bit more anxiety. But I think it's okay taking three steps ahead and one step back. That's life. You can't expect to have no obstacles or no setbacks. I'm only human and I'm working on becoming a better person in general. I think the main things I'm trying to learn is patience, being calm in stressful situations, and listening to the other person and trying to understand the situation from their point f view instead of immediately reacting in a regretful way. I hope the next chapter in my life helps me grow in other ways too. I assume being independent will definitely teach me a thing or two.

Starting a new chapter...

/ / P R E S E R V A T I O N / /

I hope to preserve the good relationships I have right now. I don't want to lose any of those who I am close with because the thought of that is scary to me. I hope I don't change in a way that will drive them away from me but I also hope I change for the better because I know I can't avoid change. It will happen. People grow and people change. I just hope I change into a better version of me so that I can love myself more and so people I love can continue loving me too.

/ / N O U V E A U  / /

I want to make some solid relationships with people I meet in the future. I want to attract truthful and genuine people in this new chapter of my life and want to make new memories that make me happy. I don't have any idea what this new chapter has for me and the number of uncertainties is terrifying but I am waiting for what is in store for me. 

I am turning the page and entering this new chapter with a positive mindset and hopeful heart. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

How to effectively plan out and create a complete blog post + how to write more - Blogging 101

August 26, 2017 0
I like to be very organized in planning my blog posts and I like to write more to make sure my tutorials or life hacks that I'm sharing are well explained and detailed. Here's how I plan out my blog posts and get inspired to write more for each post:

how to effectively plan a blog post
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored.


FREE PRINTABLES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

Planning blog posts aren't just writing a few words and clicking Publish (unless that's what your blog is, go ahead). You could just post pictures on your blog, but if you want to profit from and have traffic to your blog, only pictures probably won't do the job (unless you are super lucky).

Recently, I have been writing posts every day to stock up for this and the following hectic months so that I can spend more time with my family before I head off to the USA for university. Writing and coming up with a lot of blog ideas can create quite a mess and being organized is definitely the key for not going completely insane, if you too are writing blog posts every day, or more than 3 times a week.

1 Penning it down
I like to start off by making a list of new ideas and variation for a certain topic. When I have ideas for the body of the post I will quickly write them down under the title idea as a sub heading because I will most likely forget that point. If I do not think of a particularly good and important point, I will just continue with listing the ideas.

2 Expansion
The next step in planning out a blog post is expanding the topic into categories. I may start off by listing points I would like to include under the title written on a random page of an old planner or I may skip that step if I have time and create a flow chart or spider diagram to expand the topic. You will see ahead, a flow chart showing all the steps in making a blog post ready to be published below (like a summary of this post)

Once I expand the idea and create categories, I will begin writing my blog post. I start with an introduction as you can see in this post and on basically every recent post of mine. Once I type down the introduction, I evaluate it to see if it would make a good meta description. If you don't know what meta description is, it is basically the text you see below the title of the google suggestions when you carry out a search. Consciously or unconsciously, you read that description to know if the site really contains the information you are looking for. If you are using blogger, the only option to create a good meta description is by adding the relevant information in the first two sentences. If you are using Wordpress, there is a plug-in you can install to type down, separately, the meta description. If my introduction doesn't contain, in my opinion, a satisfying meta description, I add two more lines above it that perhaps would be a better description.

In the body of my blog posts, I write down the key points/categories and then continue to write under each of the headings.

3 Pictures & Links
I like to add pictures and links, when applicable, to my blog posts. In my opinion, images help make the post look more interesting rather than bland and "too many words". It adds a bit of color and doesn't keep the entire page from looking plain. I also add links to any relevant blog posts that I think you would like to read. For example, since you are probably a blogger or thinking about creating a blog (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this), you may want to click on the links and read the posts below:

I also like to add a picture at or near the beginning of the post to tell you, in a visual format, what the post is about. It is kind of like the thumbnail of the post. I usually use PicMonkey or iPiccy to edit and add text to this thumbnail. If I don't have a photo that I have taken to go with the blog post (I try to use one of my own photos when possible), I will head on over to Unsplash to get amazing quality pictures for free!


(Don't forget to add Title and Alt Title to your pictures)

If I have to link to a video or post that is not yet posted/created, I will type [VIDEO] or [LINK] and highlight it like shown, so that I don't miss it when I'm going through my post one final time before publishing incase I forgot to link the post/video.

4 Labels
Adding labels and adding the right labels can make a difference to your blog. Especially if you are a small blog, you may see a slight increase in your traffic when you start using the right labels. I use the Serps Keyword Research Tool to see what are the most used labels and which labels have the highest CPC.

5 Finishing touches and publishing
I add some finishing touches, like a change in the font style or spacing between paragraphs, etc. Next, I publish the post and promote the hell out of it on Instagram and sometimes Facebook (sorry not sorry for the spam).

6 Other Things I Do
I like to keep all my blog ideas typed into Google Sheets so I can make sure that I don't forget to link to other important blog posts and can keep track of how many posts I have ready for publishing and what posts I have to write next.

I like to use Draw.io to make my flowcharts and here's a flowchart to summarize this blog post
(but read below to know how I manage to write at least 1000 words per blog post):


I try to write at least 1000 to 2000 words per blog post. Mostly, I am not able to write 2000 words and sometimes I even fall short by a few words. Writing more words can increase your Google ranking and the more you write, the clearer of an idea Google will get what your post is about.

There are two methods I use to write more words:

  • I copy my entire blog post draft and use a word processing software like Microsoft Word to paste all part of the draft and see how many words there are in total. I proceed to try and add more if the word count isn't sufficient
  • Doing the same thing above, but first, I see how many words the introduction is. Then, I see how many categories/steps/subtitles the post has and calculate how many words on average should be written for each category. I then try to fulfill that average.
FREE PRINTABLES!
I created a basic printable so that you can easily plan your blog posts!
You can either right-click on the below image and click "save image as" or you can go to this Google Drive link and download the pdf version of the same printable (the second option would be easier for you to print). If you want me to email you the pdf file (in case you don't use google drive), then DM me on Instagram: @blackandwhiteandwise
If you download the printable, let me know in the comments or on Instagram if the printable was helpful!

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByYzoYNWNnsDVHNWRFJLeHdYczA/view?usp=sharing
blog organization printable

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Best Skin Care Routine for Acne Prone Skin - Ultimate Guide

August 24, 2017 8
Here's my skincare routine that I live by for keeping my skin oil-free, and most importantly, acne-free. I had acne for around 4 to 5 years and finally got rid of it. I will have at least two more posts related to this topic; one about my acne story and the other of how exactly I got rid of my acne (the routine below helped a lot but there were other factors that played a major role). So stay tuned to read the other posts. Follow my blog (you can click on the follow button to the right. It is under my Pinterest board "My Aesthetic") so that you know when I post.

So without further ado, I will tell you what I do to maintain my face and acne-prone areas on my body.

the best skin care routine for acne-prone skin

This is NOT a sponsored post


1 
Clean your face/acne-prone areas on your body (Twice per day)

Use face washes that are for oily/combination skin types. It is very important to use the right kind of face wash and if your skin is sensitive then make sure to use a mild formula face wash. Two chemicals you should look for in any soap/face wash you use are Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. Salicylic acid basically works by dissolving the skin debris that clogs pores. Salicylic acid can regulate skin cells. Products with salicylic acid are best for white heads and black heads. Benzoyl peroxide unclogs skin pores and prevents bacterial growth. Hence, this is great for cystic acne. 

I used a cleanser with salicylic acid. However, it didn't reduce my acne. If you read my post on how I got rid of my severe acne, you will know that my acne was mainly hormonal. Hence, the cleanser did keep my face clean and possibly prevented acne caused directly due to clogged pores, it didn't have much effect on most of my acne (hormonal acne still is due to clogged pores but the salicylic acid obviously doesn't work on hormones).

My dermatologist prescribed me a face wash that I still live by and it did wonders for my bacne (a.k.a back acne) and my face as well. It helped reduce my acne (with the help of my oral medications too). The most obvious effect, however, was the rapid reduction of my acne marks on my back and on my face. The face wash is called "MDELIC Face Wash" and you will probably only be able to buy it if you live in India. BUT, it contains Mandelic Acid. This chemical is known for helping with acne, wrinkles and a few other skin problems. You don't have to buy an expensive serum or anything like that which contains mandelic acid. All you should do is buy a face wash that has mandelic acid as its main ingredient (i.e it should be at the top of the list of the ingredients). Other ingredients like Vitamin E and Aloe Vera are also beneficial. 
facewash with mandelic acid

You should wash your face 2 times a day. If you wash your face more than 2 times a day, you may end up drying up your skin. 

2 
Moisturize (After you wash your face)

Now you have to be very careful when selecting a moisturizer. Any oil-based moisturizer is a big no-no. The best option is to get a gel, water-based moisturizer. There are a lot of those out there, I use one called "Sebaoff". I'm not sure if this moisturizer is available everywhere but don't sweat it if you can't find the exact one. There are a lot of 100% oil free moisturizers. You could even try the Clean & Clear Oil Free Moisturizer.

3 
Sun Protection (Every day)

The Sun gives you Vitamin D, but it can also give you more acne. "Sun can clear skin" is a complete myth. When your skin tans due to the sun, an illusion is caused by the skin around the acne darkening so the acne doesn't stand out as much. But, if you think the sun cannot harm you, you are mistaken. The sun can cause breakouts if you have acne-prone skin. You should always apply sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. Use a matte gel sunscreen. I use the oil-free sunscreen range from Lotus Herbals but it doesn't really matter if it protects your skin and is oil-free. I also use a sunscreen prescribed by my dermatologist that contains aloe vera extracts (as you can tell, aloe vera is pretty famous in helping your skin).
sun screen for acne prone skin


4 
Topical Ointment (According to prescription or once a day)

This, for those who don't know, is basically just a cream to apply to places where you have acne. However, this should be used when prescribed by your dermatologist. If it is a cream that is found in any general store, you could take your chances, however, a dermatologist can probably suggest a better one that will target your exact type of acne.


5 
Put in a little bit more effort to help your skin

Face packs and face exfoliating scrubs are a good way to help your pores and remove excess debris from your face. Applying a face pack or using a scrub once or twice a week will help your skin and give you a natural glow. You can buy face packs or face masks or you can make your own at home! (Homemade face packs won't have unnecessary preservatives and chemicals)
wine and beer facial scrub

Before applying your face pack, make sure to wash your face and here's a little extra beauty tip you can use a few minutes before you apply your face pack:

Make a rosewater face mist:

What you need:
⇒Rose water
Water 
Saffron (a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus)
(yes that's it)

How to make it:
Mix one part rose water with one part water in a spray bottle
Add only a few sticks of saffron (saffron has an intense orange color and you don't want to stain your face orange) to the bottle
Shake it up and spray it onto your face or use a cotton pad to apply it.

You can spray your face with this before the face pack (hydrating your skin helps it absorb the face pack better) or you can even use it generally, after washing your face, as a toner. The face mist will help your complexion and give you a nice glow.

Here's an effective face pack you can make at home using only 4 ingredients! This face pack is my all-time favorite and it makes my skin look and feel so much better every time I apply it:

What you need:

a lemonfuller's earth powder     rose water bottle

A few drops of lemon juice         Fuller's Earth (powder)                 Rose Water

Mix the ingredients together till the mixture is of this consistency (liquid enough to be able to smoothly apply on your skin but it shouldn't run off or move):

homemade face pack


face pack tested on skin


Whatever homemade face pack you make, or if you are using a store-bought face pack for the first time, swatch it on your wrist first to make sure your skin isn't allergic to any of the ingredients.

TIP: Try not to use normal moisturizers, especially ones with oils in them. Basically, only use water-based (gel) moisturizers.

lancome night cream
Don't use general creams, especially if they are for dry skin!

Be consistent with the basics like washing your face, and even occasionally doing the other things can help your skin!

Monday, August 21, 2017

PROBLEMS with the Bullet Journal! - Deal Breakers!

August 21, 2017 0
Bullet Journaling is trending and I personally have hopped on the bandwagon too. I love it because it's so easy to  customize...but is it perfect? Definitely not. I have identified a few problems over the few months that I've been using this system. Read below to find out what issues I have with the Bullet Journal system.


This post may not apply to everyone. The following issues I have with the Bullet Journal are a mix of problems with the original system and problems I have with how I make my Journal.

I have uploaded a few videos and a few posts on Bullet Journaling and if you've seen my videos are read my posts, you know I have a minimal theme with a simple 3-color palette (black, white, and gray). Check out the posts below (will open in a new tab so you don't forget about this one!)

Some problems may arise when you have a specific stylistic choice but there are also some general things that very mildly annoy me and some general things I cannot stand.
Here are 8 problems I face with the Bullet Journal system and my Bullet Journal:

1 🖉 Too neat to mess up    
I always have to keep it neat and tidy for it to be aesthetically pleasing. If not visually satisfying, I still feel the need to keep it uniform, have the same handwriting, etc. I am one of those people that don't have one single handwriting and so my handwriting changes depending on my mood, time, whether I'm lazy or not, etc. When planning in my Bullet Journal, I have to try and stick to one "font" so that it doesn't look bad. The worst part is when I make mistakes or have to cross out something and it causes my effort on that entire page (that I'd worked hard on looking beautiful) to go to waste.

2 ðŸ–‰  I can't do amazing lettering (frustration)
Sometimes I can astonish myself by writing a word beautifully when attempting hand lettering. But that's not always the case and usually, my brush doesn't want to cooperate or sometimes my hand is shaky. Seeing amazing Bullet Journal Spreads on Pinterest with flawless hand lettering and type-like fonts makes me sort of jealous because my spreads don't look that perfect! It kind of repels me from wanting to decorate and write in fancy fonts in my Bullet Journal because I can't achieve that sort of perfection yet.

3 ðŸ–‰  Can't switch up pages 
For example, if you want to change the position of a page/element to the front, you just can't. What if, when you get to your second monthly spread and then realize you wanted a TV Show tracker? You can't just add it between two monthly spreads as a stand-alone spread. That would not be called "organized". Either you have to plan your Bullet Journal properly or have to have random elements in random places in your Bullet Journal. I'm lucky if sometimes I find a way to incorporate the newly desired element into a monthly spread, but otherwise, there's nothing I can do about it other than cringe while placing a completely random element in a place it doesn't fit in.

4 ðŸ–‰  Decorating can be time-consuming
Yes, decorating is therapeutic to me most of the times. I love art and this is a perfect way to do some "light" art if that makes any sense at all. However, I don't always have time to bust out my Washi Tape Collection and spend half an hour or more decorating my journal with supplies like washi tapes, markers, watercolors, etc. It can sort of make you less productive if you spend a lot of time trying to make your page look perfect, which is the opposite of what a Bullet Journal should make you do.

5 ðŸ–‰  Can get overwhelming
Looking at the hundreds of videos online of monthly spreads, whole journal set-ups, different aesthetics, etc. can be pretty overwhelming especially if you don't know or are not very sure of how you want your BuJo to look like. There are so many elements that you can or can not add and so many ways you can position the elements and so many ways your pages can turnout. It can get overwhelming because of the variety or overwhelming because of the number of elements you want to have.

6 ðŸ–‰  Only for intense planning
If you have a week of no important tasks, you'll just end up wasting the entire daily log section for that week. Pages can be wasted when you are on holidays, have no homework/studying/errands to run, and so on.
Also, the BuJo is for intense planners. Future log, monthly spread, weekly log, daily log. You may only be able to fill up all four of those categories if you like to plan a lot and plan everything and anything. If you only like to plan a certain part of your life, and it doesn't require all those logs, the BuJo may not be for you. This type of journal is amazing and flexible. It's basically like the unicorn of planners, but it's only helpful if you fill those pages up at least partially (with actual tasks, not just the fancy headers and doodles).

7 ðŸ–‰  Page/space can be wasted (the struggle of trying to be a minimalist and efficient)
If you want to achieve a minimal-looking journal like me, you will end up facing the problem minimalism vs page wastage. Minimal doesn't necessarily have to mean spacing all your test. A minimal BuJo could be minimal in the sense of just writing words and no doodles or unnecessary distractions or minimal in the sense of appearance and spacing between elements. If it's the latter, you may not like the fact that something that could fit on one page now takes two and all the empty space could frustrate you a little, especially if you don't like the idea of wasting paper.

8 ðŸ–‰ Sometimes trying to make it look pretty results in bleed-through
Markers and all that is really in right now. I love the idea of using markers that are faded grays or pastel shades as a background for text or anything like that. The only problem is that if you don't have a good notebook (which are usually a bit more expensive) there will be ink bleeding to the other side (or worse to the next page) and that is never a pretty sight to see. If your journal has thin paper, you're restricted to using only certain pens, and hardly any markers at all.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

32 Things to do when you're bored - A Listicle

August 19, 2017 0
1. Read a book

Take yourself into another world and indulge in a good read. There is nothing like reading a good book with a nice beverage.

2. Be productive



Do that one task you have been avoiding for some time because "it's not that important" or you "don't feel like doing it". Check it off your list and feel that happiness of finally being done with it.

3. Play agar.io or slither.io

If you don't intend on doing anything productive, and you have a lot of time on your hands, then you might as well play some super addicting games. agar.io and slither.io are my all time favorites and I can play them all day (provided my WiFi isn't giving me troubles). It's a simple game and there's even a Leadership Board to awaken that inner competitor in you (or clearly visible and external one if you are like me).

4. Watch a TV show


Or better, binge watch a TV show😏😏
Some TV shows I absolutely love at the moment are Suits, Pretty Little Liars, Blindspot (freaking amazeballs), Frequency, How to get Away with Murder, and The Mentalist. If you haven't watched the above shows already, I recommend them to you (they all are different categories/genres)
I'm also watching the Bates Motel at the moment but I'm still not sure how I feel about that one.

5. Watch a movie/binge watch a movie series

The recent series I've binge-watched is the Pirates of the Carribean series, and I'm obsessed. Obsessed. I know the 4th one wasn't great and a lot of people dislike the new (5th) one too, but you cannot change my mind Willabeth is LIFE and the ending was beautiful. *cries happy tears* 😭

6. Clean your room

Clean it already! It's been a mess for so long just finish it off! Unless you just did or your room is always clean (Virgos, I see you) then I'm jealous of your lifestyle...continue reading. If your room is clean (as in, everything is in its place) but you feel like it is still cluttered, you should consider a decluttering session. 
Click here to see my article on how you can declutter like a pro in just a few steps!

7. Give yourself a manicure/pedicure


Either go to a salon and get one or do it at home (#DIY squad). You don't need any advanced tools for it and it's a nice "Me-time" to have.

8. Study


If you are in school/college and you are like me and don't mind (or even like) studying then do that, you can prepare for your next semester, an upcoming test, anything you have to do but you haven't because you're putting it off. (Visit ighelp.blogspot.com for study tips and more!)

9. Sketch/paint/photography/whatever hobby makes you happy


Spend the day doing your favorite hobby! Or you can even do something you've wanted to try for some time now. 

10. Online shop

Hey, it's better than doing it late at night when your brain is shutting down and ending up buying a fortune worth of clothes/items (I'm assuming you are bored during the day for this one).

11. Create a bullet journal


Start a bullet journal! It doesn't have to be the beginning of the year necessarily to be able to start one. Click here to see mine for some inspiration (if you like) or you can even see my latest Bullet Journal video below:







12. Plan the next day in your planner

If a Bullet Journal is way too much for you, then maybe you can consider a planner which still requires a bit of commitment but is less intense (depends) than a bullet journal (unless your bullet journal is very very very minimal).
If you don't want to spend much on a new planner and have an old planner/notebook laying around, here's a quick DIY on how you can customize it to suit you so that it's pretty and functional:


13. Watch YouTube videos


Go watch your favorite YouTubers' videos. Vlogs, planning videos, hauls, makeup tutorials, life hacks, etc. are just a few of the hundreds of things you can watch. Knock yourself out.

14. Clean out your wardrobe and separate clothes to keep and for donation


Kind of similar to cleaning your room but a bit more specific. If you know you need a serious wardrobe makeover, do it while you have time. Donate to an NGO that takes clothes as donations or sell your clothes to make space in your wardrobe.

15. Future planning (for my fellow plan-a-holic viewers)


Plan your next month, the next week, plan an upcoming event, etc. College starting soon? Plan for it. Keep your near future planned to avoid last minute panic.
Here's how I briefly planned the month of July:



16. Create lists

Lists of where you want to visit, things you want to save up for, a bucket list, packing list, and so on

17. Create a journal

Make a personal diary, or thoughts diary, or a memories diary, etc. You can make it however you like and write stuff down when you need to vent but can't talk to someone, or when you just have a lot going on and need to let out the stress. You can scribble and doodle and do whatever that de-stresses you. You could even make the journal only about positive events that have occurred in your life so you can read them when you are feeling down.

18. Instagram

You could potentially spend the entire day on Instagram. If you feel like you've gone through your entire feed, go to the Explore page and you will literally get new stuff every time you refresh it.

19. Ride a bike outside if it's a pleasant day


Nothing like getting some fresh air on a nice cool windy day. If it's too hot, I'd stay inside. If you have a trekking trail or anything like that nearby, clean your dusty bike that's been sitting in that same spot for ages and take it on a ride.

20. Go to the gym


It can't hurt...well it does if you get sore. But hey, look at the long term benefits. Even if you don't go to the gym regularly at least you are doing good to your body every time you go, so if it's once a month it's once a month but at least it's something. Do some light exercising to get your heart rate up if you aren't used to intense workouts.

21. Sign up for that class you always wanted to try out

Just try it. Go for one class, see if it meets your expectations. If it does, well you just gave yourself something to do once/twice a week (or every day, I don't know what class you are signing up for). You can try new things and have new experiences! What's the harm? Maybe even make a friend or something, I don't know.

22. Learn a new language

I've wanted to learn Spanish for a really long time but didn't get the time to do so. After my finals, I started immediately. I strongly recommend you to download an app like Duolingo if you are a very basic learner and know just about nothing when you start. Joining a class may or may not be for you but this app will definitely work. There are other apps too. They're free and make it easy to learn a new language at the comfort of your own bed!

23. Explore a skill like graphic designing or Photoshop - something you haven't tried before

It doesn't have to be related to laptop, it can be something like pottery or whatever you can imagine. Learning a new skill is fun and makes you look smarter!

24. Eat

Chances are you feel like eating when you're bored. It could be that you want to eat because you actually are hungry (not only because you are bored). It could be your body telling you that you need more glucose. So grab a healthy snack (don't eat potato chips or any junk food like that) and fill your tummy.

25. Sit at your window/gallery/balcony 

...and admire the sky and the birds and nature (hopefully you have a view. If you don't there are 31 other things on this list!)

26. Organize your files

Academic records/important documents/anything that needs to be organized but you keep telling yourself, "later".

27. Declutter your devices

Read my post by clicking here on how you can declutter your phone and/or PC.

28. Make plans with your family/friends for the day

29. Go shopping (like actual shopping)

30. DIY something

DIY that super cool thing you saw on YouTube or Pinterest once but didn't have the time to when you saw it. DIY that room decor thing you know you can make and that will pull your room together. So many DIY projects you can do! Click here to see some super cool Floral-inspired DIY projects you can do at home!

31. Fill up an empty notebook 

You can click here to see 20 ideas to fill your notebooks.

32. Read other articles on this blog, check out my YouTube channel, and/or my Instagram   😏😁😉 (plug plug plug plug)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LIEBSTER AWARD

August 16, 2017 0
I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Emma from Beauty and Bentley.
(Thanks for the nomination!). I love her beauty and lifestyle blog! She has reviews of everything - drugstore products like Maybelline to luxe products like Chanel and has other amazing posts if you want to be inspired by her morning skincare routine or to travel to beautiful places on the weekend.

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. Once nominated, you thank and give recognition to the blogger that nominated you and answer the 10 questions they ask. After this, the nominated blogger can pick 5-10 new bloggers to receive this award and create 10 new questions for these nominees.



The questions I was asked:

What is your favorite ever blog post and why?
I'm not sure if this question is asking for my favorite blog post on another blog or on my own blog - so I'll answer both ways. I don't have one blog post I like on other blogs but I usually like "Morning Routine" or "Skincare Routine" blog posts the most. As for on my own blog, I think I loved writing my post 8 Methods you can use to effectively plan your day the most. But I think I will also love making future posts related to college/university in a few weeks/months.

What was the inspiration behind your blog name?
My blog started out as mainly pieces of cathartic writing or posts about me realizing things in my life or around me. I wrote about events that occurred in my life and while sometimes traumatizing or just plain sad, the events helped me grow and helped me become smarter and be the person I am today. That's how I decided I wanted "wise" in the name of my blog. Of course, I am not trying to imply that I am the smartest human being because I am definitely not by any chance, but I do think I have gained some wisdom, especially in the last 2 or 3 years. The "Black and White" part was just originated from my aesthetic. I love the black and white aesthetic (with nudes involved, not just grayscale). I thought "Black and White and Wise" had a nice ring to it, hence that's what my blog's name became.

What was the last book you read?
Dan Brown's Angel & Demons. I know I've been stuck on that book forever but I think I will finish it by this week. I love all of Dan Browns' books I've read so far and I hope I can read Inferno soon (because I've had the book for ages but never came around to reading it).

Where is the next place you want to travel to?
I'd like to go back to Switzerland. I love mountains and snow and I love roaming the streets there. I was very young when I went and so cannot remember everything and probably missed out on so many adventures there so I'd like to go back. I'd also like to visit Honduras and Bora Bora in the future.

How do you stay motivate and organized when blogging?
Okay, so I have a blog post already on how I stay organized and consistent when blogging. The reason why you should click the link below is because I've been very successful in stay consistent and organized. The proof lies in the dates of all my blog posts (minimum 3 per week are posted) and the fact that I have 14 blog posts ready at this given moment.

Screenshot is taken from my Google Sheet, more details on the post linked above

Cats or Dogs?
Though I love all animals, I definitely am more biased towards dogs. I also feel like it's easier, for me personally, to understand a dog through its expressions compared to the same for a cat. I've been obsessed with dogs since as long as I can remember and for cats, I'm probably inclined towards relatively harmless kittens (I've been scratched by cats more than once).

What is your favorite item of clothing/fashion staple?
I think I'm just going to go with the basic black tee, probably cropped. To be more specific, a boxy rolled cuff cropped tee. I bought mine from Forever 21 and I absolutely love it. I feel like you can pair a basic tee with anything from normal jeans for a casual look or with ripped boyfriend jeans and some heels for a bawse look. There are is so much you can add to a simple black tee.

Would you rather explore the deep ocean or outer space?
To be honest, I'm terrified of the deep ocean because I lack the ability to hold my breath for too long and feel like I would drown before I even got to the deep ocean and going to outer space seems pretty lonely and it takes so long - your girl can't stay without WiFi that long. If I was given a 100% guarantee that none of my equipment would fail and I wouldn't drown, or be eaten by a shark, I'd definitely want to explore the deep ocean because nature is just so fascinating. Outer space, on the other hand, does look pretty from a very advanced telescope so I'd stick to that.

Favorite food?
Chalupas from Taco Bell without any doubt. I think a good tie or second place would be a shwarma.
I love food but I'm also very picky so I stick to the already discovered junk food that tastes the same every time.

What is your favorite way to spend the day?
I am a work-a-holic. Maybe I take too long to do a task or maybe I just like being busy the entire day. I am in love with productivity and so my favorite way to spend the day would be to get a lot of work done so that I can free up the next few days. If I'm not feeling like being productive, then my favorite way to spend a day would be to just be in bed all day, binge watch a lot of TV shows and maybe even read a book.

My nominations!








My questions for my nominees!

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  2. What inspired you to start blogging?
  3. What do you want your next milestone/goal in life to be?
  4. What is a makeup item you cannot live without?
  5. Winter or Summer?
  6. Do you prefer city life or living in the countryside?
  7. What is one piece of advice/a quote you live by?
  8. What recent trend do you love and what recent trend are you hating?
  9. What was a really happy moment in your life that you will never forget?
  10. What are you the most thankful/grateful for?

Answer these questions and then tag other bloggers!

Monday, August 14, 2017

How to Stay Organized & Consistent as a Blogger - Essential Guide - Blogging 101

August 14, 2017 0
Blogging 101 How to stay organized and consistentI've been asked by a few people about my blogging schedule and how to stay organized and consistent so here I am sharing my personal tips how I manage to post three times a week and stay consistent with that schedule and try not to go insane while I'm at it.
Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post.

For those of you that don't know, my blogging schedule is usually this:
Writing and editing throughout the week, and posting (90% of the time) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Be sure to follow my blog (button to the right of your screen) to stay tuned and be notified whenever I post! You can also follow me on Google Plus, Instagram, and Twitter. All the social icons are somewhere on the sidebar to the right.

If you would like to read more of my other posts from my Blogging 101 series, click on the link below:


How can you stay consistent header

Consistency requires you, as a blogger, to be passionate about your blog and passionate about what you write on. You need to set goals and be determined and also have will power to be able to consistently post on the days you plan to post on.
If you don't like/support the content you are writing, then you will end up slacking and posting less frequently than you hoped. Write about whatever you love and what you know about. The more you know about and love the topic, the more you'll have to write and the more quality content you will end up creating because you are actually interested in that subject.

Make a proper schedule. Write it down on the first page of your planner or write it on a sticky note and stick it on the wall right in front of you where you work. Somewhere on your workspace, you should have a reminder of when you want to publish articles on your blog. A constant reminder will help you get work done in time. Say you are just sitting at your desk, bored to death. You don't have anything to do. Your eyes will wander around the area to find something you can do and finally, that sticky note will catch your eye and you may end up blogging in that free time.

Another way to stay consistent even when you have a busy day or if you are out on vacation (or simply because you want to do a front load and then be free for a few days) is to pre-write and pre-edit your articles/posts. Write the entire blog post, edit it, add pictures, format it, etc. And keep a few posts ready so that your future self isn't burdened as much. 


How can you stay organized header

The way I stay so organized is simply by using a spreadsheet software. You can use Microsoft Excel if you have a Windows PC or the "Numbers" software if you use an apple device. However, I like to use Google Sheets (you can also use Microsoft but I prefer Google). I've had a lot of instances where I lost data due to viruses in my laptop or other problems causing my laptop not to work and I am also bad at backing up data frequently. Hence, I like to be extra safe and work online. 

Note: It's also important to stay organized so you can figure out what posts to link in which posts and make sure the order in which you publish your posts is right. You don't want to publish a post and then realize it should've gone after the post that you linked inside that published one (make any sense?).

So, this is how I exactly use the spreadsheet software to manage and keep my blog post ideas/etc organized:

I make different columns and give the headers a specific font style (usually just bold)
Google sheets headings
"Prerequisite" basically means what blog posts have to come out before the one I've just added to the list. It also lets me know while writing the post, what other posts from my own blog I should link.
"Status" is basically the completion of the blog posts. Usually in this column will be either "Framework created", "[particular thing] remaining" or "Ready for publishing".
Finally, "Type" is the category (photo album, planning-related, etc).

Here's a small part of my sheet and the key I use:
blog post organizer

blog post color coding key

If you want your spreadsheet software to automatically color code your "Status" column then here's an easy method how you can do so (example below has been done in Google Sheets):
how to automatically color code cells in spreadsheets

If you have more than a few blog posts ready for publishing and want to keep track of the number, here's a simple way you can use the features of the spreadsheet software you are using to do so (I have done it in Google Sheets, as mentioned before):
COUNTIF function in spreadsheets

And the last (but definitely not the least) way I stay organized is keeping a common checklist for all my posts.
This is my checklist:

🔲 Write content
🔲 Format text
🔲 Add pictures and main header picture
🔲 Add appropriate labels
🔲 Think of a clickable title for the post
🔲 Add Title and Alt Text to all images
🔲 Customize the Permalink

I hope I was successful in giving you a detailed guide on how to be consistent and organized as a blogger!

If you would like to read more of my posts from my Blogging 101 series, click on the links below:

How to come up with more than enough blog post ideas
How to effectively plan out and create a complete blog post.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekend Notes

August 12, 2017 0

I woke up pretty early today. Around 7:30 am the first alarm rang and I only snoozed it around 2 or 3 times before I finally got myself to wake up properly. Just like the previous few days, I was greeted by a wet nose and small paws. It's a bittersweet day. Snowy (my foster puppy) was finally about to get adopted and I couldn't be happier that she was getting a permanent and loving home but she became such an important part of my life even though she's been living in my room for only 2-ish weeks.

She threw a fit last night and her behavior was kind of getting on my nerves. I couldn't understand why she was whining and whimpering so much. I gave her plenty food (probably more than I should have) and she still wouldn't sit quietly. For the first time in the 13 or so days she's been with me, she was biting everything from the wooden skirting on my wall to her cage and wasn't ready to listen to anything I said. I don't know if it was because she knew what was going to happen the next day or because of something else.

She looks so cute it's hard to be mad at her for her temporary bad behavior!
Around 8:05 am the person who was coming to adopt her arrived. He sat in the seating area outside of my apartment and we tried to get Snowy familiar to him while I was with her in hopes that she wouldn't be scared when he took her away from me. She gave him some attention only when he held the bag of puppy kibble. Eventually, when he stood up, she did try to "attack" his shoes like she does to me and my cousin (or anyone she is familiar with) so we decided it was time for him to take her home.

Once he left with Snowy, my cousin and I cleaned up my entire room and it seemed like it was cleaner than ever with an entire space now emptied, previously filled with a puppy, a large dog cage, newspapers, and toys. There were no ripped newspaper bits anymore and her food bowl (a plastic container, actually) was all gone. No tissue rolls ready on the window sill to clean up her pee when she decides to ignore the newspaper on the floor. It was empty. By impulse, my cousin and I avoided that area to prevent stepping on puppy pee which was no longer there. I kept looking over the bed to see nothing but just the floor. It was pretty sad if you didn't figure it out already.

A good few hours later, when I was having a shower, I got a call from the guy who adopted Snowy but couldn't answer it. My sixth sense told me something was wrong and I was 100% right when I had a feeling he was bringing her back.

He said he got breathing problems and had to use the pump once or twice. He also said that she wasn't adjusting that well and seemed scared. Snowy has been around kids since she was a tiny bean so I guess that could be a reason since there was no one my age or younger at the guy's place (?).

Thankfully, I had a backup plan. A family had contacted me a few days ago saying they wanted to see her and I agreed. The guy I talked about above contacted me yesterday and said he would definitely take her. The reasons why I told the guy he could take her instead of the family were: 1) He said his family (parents, I think) would be home all day even when he was at work so there would always be someone looking after her. The family wouldn't be home for a few hours because the parents work and their daughters go to college. 2) He had a dog before so he'd know how to take care of her since he has experience. 3) I didn't know earlier how serious the family was on wanting to adopt her till I told them that she had been adopted.

For some reason, it seemed like it was meant to be this way. I had the thought of calling the family immediately when I saw the guy's call but decided to wait and hear him out first in case I was just being paranoid. After talking to him and understanding the situation, I called the mother but she wasn't answering and then I tried calling the daughter. She picked up and I told her in a short and quick way that the puppy was available for adoption and she should come immediately after college.

Snowy was back, we put her in a different, smaller section of my room (enough for her to move around and everything) so that there would be lesser of a mess in the 2 hours she had to be with me. She seemed excited and I tried not to pamper her too much. I truly believe she will be happy with this other family and I hope she is the most pampered puppy ever. She is so smart and she truly deserves a permanent home.

So they came by 4:30 pm (I think) and took the puppy with them. I am so happy she finally (for real this time) has a permanent home. They were so happy that they got her and even Snowy immediately ran towards the girls when they came out of the elevator on my floor. It seemed like a way better match and I'm glad she got a chance at a better life instead of being scared and uncomfortable (I think she also prefers females over males). It was like giving her away all over again but seeing the familys' expressions and their immediate bond with her made me comfortable in letting her go...

The rest of the day has been basically cleaning up (since I'm not giving all my attention to a puppy anymore), running errands, and binge-watching TV shows with my cousin. Back to my regular puppy-less life.

Just in case you needed some new TV shows to binge-watch, here are my top 3 TV Shows this month so far:
  • Blindspot (probably my most favorite show out of all the shows I've watched)
  • Pretty Little Liars (ship SPOBY so hard, you don't even know)
  • Suits (Season 7 is finally airing, yas.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to get inspired (and stay inspired) to plan your day + PRINTABLES - Planning for beginners

August 09, 2017 4

A lot of people have told me that I am an intense planner (I agree). People have also told me that they cannot, for the life of them, plan consistently like they see me or any of those planning gurus on the internet do. So I decided to make this post on what inspires me to plan my day so you can too!

PRINTABLES BELOW!



Planning has been a key part of my life for a long time now. I think I initially started planning in high school to keep track of assignments, tests, etc. and to also establish a studying schedule for my finals in 10th grade. I remember buying a dark blue planner (it was my first one) and being so excited for January to roll in so that I could finally use it. And I did. I decorated it with washi tape and tried to write in decent handwriting. That is when I fell in love with planning. 

The idea of being able to see tasks either get ticked or crossed off gave me satisfaction for some reason. I slowly realized that I could detail my planning as much as I wanted so I created a very detailed calendar schedule for studying for my final exams (10th grade) and for the first time, I realized I actually finished tasks and that I was really productive throughout the time period when I had to study for my finals. 

Making a proper schedule helped me to organize and assign tasks and prevent cramming information the night before the exams.

why does planning help?

In my personal case, planning helps because I am lazy. Usually, I am in denial of tasks I have to do and make myself believe I have enough time or that I don't really have to do that task. I could even make myself believe over a few days that the task is completely unnecessary, hence the task doesn't exist. 

Physically writing down my tasks on paper helped solidify them in a way (if that makes sense) and make them "real". I don't like to have incomplete tasks (I either do the whole thing or don't do it at all) which in my case, I believe, is an inherited trait. Writing down a task in a planner/notepad suggests that it is incomplete. It's like I have already begun the task by stating it. So seeing the task still there on my planner at the end of the day makes me feel awful because I absolutely love productivity. It makes me feel like I have kind of failed myself and I couldn't even do a simple task in the entire day. 

Planning helps me remember the tasks whenever I check my planner incase I have forgotten them and then I proceed to finish the task.


HOW TO GET INSPIRED TO PLAN

start with a notepad

Now, there are several ways you can go about this; it honestly depends on what kind of person you are. If you are a morning person: after you wake up, have a glass of water, and brush your teeth (whatever your initial routine is in the morning), the first thing you should do, after the essentials I mentioned above, is to write down your tasks for the day in a notepad. They don't only have to be tasks with strict deadlines. It can be as simple as doing a hobby or reading a chapter in the book you are currently reading.

If you are not a morning person, do the same thing, but do it the night before. And be sure to read the list in the morning/afternoon as soon as you wake up.

false productivity

Similar to what I said above, write down simple tasks that you would otherwise do anyways, or simple routine tasks you sometimes forget to do. You are very likely to tick these tasks off so it will seem that you have already done a lot in the day! Even if you end up not completing the actual, bigger tasks, you will still get a sense of being a little productive. 

The reason for doing this is, if you only write large tasks that will consume a lot of your brain power, resulting in the rest of the tasks being incomplete, you will end up repelling the idea of planning since it only shows you that you haven't done anything in the day (if you are like me, that is a bad feeling).

The idea is to basically get hooked to the idea of  planning.
 So you have to associate a good feeling with it when you start.


Pinterest

Get inspired by flawless layouts on Pinterest. Get inspiration for format, decoration, etc. Pinterest basically has endless posts on whatever you search for so it's a great place to get a lot of ideas for what ways you can plan and how you can plan.


Once you get used to planning on a notepad or a random notebook, you should definitely advance to a planner, even if it is a small one! If you don't have too much to do every day, you can even print out monthly overview sheets (go to the bottom of this post to learn how you can get my printables!). Having a proper planner will help you organize your day(s) better and will encourage you to plan in a more detailed fashion (since you will probably have more space on each page than on a notepad and your pages will be dated). You can also make a DIY planner from a normal notebook but you will have to waste some time in adding dates/month headers to your pages. However, if that doesn't make a difference to you, then go ahead and save a few bucks by making a DIY Planner. You can even use an old planner and revamp it like I showed in the following video:



(P.S. phone planning apps didn't really work for me because the notifications would annoy me and it was way easier to move a task to the next day)


Personalize your planner/notebook by adding washi tape, doodling in it, etc. By making your planning therapeutic, it'll make you get work done as well as destress!
You can even add sticky notes and other elements to your planner to make it personalize and fun to use. You will not want to use your planner if it doesn't look attractive.

what else you can do heading


  • Add boxes for ticking instead of crossing your tasks out. It will keep your planner less messy (unless you make really clean cross outs)
  • Print out stickers and/or headers if you want to make your planner look pretty but you aren't good at drawing or you feel that your handwriting isn't that good.
  • Get creative and customize your planner to your needs
  • Get used to opening your planner every day in the morning so you don't forget your tasks
  • Make it your goal to make your planner #PlannerGoals ! Inspire yourself!
Note:

Don't forget to slowly start omitting daily-routine tasks from your planner once you get used (and hopefully addicted) to planning! Or you will end up actually not doing any work and telling yourself you were productive because you checked your emails!

Once you become a pro at planning, you may want to consider making a bullet journal. Head over to my Bullet Journal posts:

How you can get my printables!!


Here are my self-designed printables: