January 10, 2017

Trouble sleeping? Try these things!

Hey guys! Honestly, I've been sleeping horribly the past week or two, and while that is nothing compared to some insomniacs, it's still awful not being able to fall asleep. Maybe it's because of finals coming up, stress of homework, or something else, I have just not been able to fall asleep. Not having your much needed rest can mess with you on multiple levels.
1) Not getting your beauty rest can make you not look like your beautiful self. It ages your skin faster and obviously give you under-eye circles. 
2) Being tired dumbs you down and makes you more forgetful. I literally got so confused on a math problem that was actually really easy today just because I was functioning on low sleep. Not to mention I always feel stupid yawning every 3 seconds. 
3) Scarily enough, getting little sleep can seriously mess with your health. Your body needs time to recover from the day. Without that sleep, you double your risk for lots of health problems, particularly cardiovascular disease. 
  With all that being said, here are my tried and true methods to falling asleep a little quicker.
1) Dim it down: Sleeping in a completely dark room is so much easier than sleeping in a light-filled room. My biggest problem is my alarm clock. It gives a lot of light, and also stresses me out when I'm watching the minutes tick by with me not getting any closer to actually sleeping. So, I like to turn it mostly away from me so that the light is dimmed and I can't stare at the clock. 
2) Turn down the temp: Many studies have proven that people sleep better in a cooler room, and it's better for your health. Keep the temperature from around 60 (if you really like the cold)- 68 degrees. Plus, I like being able to wrap myself in my blankets and not be sweating up a storm. (Also, anyone else have the weirdest dreams when they're overheated or is that just me?)
3) Make your bed: This very well could be a me problem, but I hate it when my covers are all messed up and all twisted. It low-key stresses me out trying to fix it! I sleep so much better in a nicely made bed, bonus if the covers are freshly washed. 
4) Exercise- at the right time: I'm all about exercising. It's so good for you and it's fun! It can help you fall asleep, but if you do it too late at night, it can actually have the opposite effect. Your body's adrenaline and heart rate is up after exercising which can make it harder to sleep. Try not to exercise less than 2 hours before you sleep. 
5) Don't worry about it: I always get stressed when I can't fall asleep because I know I will be tired the next day. But I try to just accept the fact that I may be tired tomorrow, and just enjoy my time laying in bed. After all, who doesn't love laying in bed-especially in the morning? It calms me down and I actually fall asleep right away when I do this. 
Alright, that's all I got for you guys! I hope you got a new idea to try out next time you can't sleep! Now, I myself should probably get to bed, because I'm literally procrastinating right now by writing this post!
Sleep well! 
Lizzie

January 7, 2017

update

Hi everyone!

Happy 2017 to you all, I hope that you're starting your year on the right foot. So, there was said to be a big New Years update last weekend, but as you see there is nothing. I will take total blame for this, because it was my job for editing and actually posting our content last weekend, but editing and uploading the content from my camera to my computer is taking a lot longer than expected.

So in this post, I'll be giving you a sneak peek at what these posts will be about.

The first one we have is a what I got for Christmas. We show you a few of our favorites from Christmas 2016. Then we have our New Years post, which will hopefully be an annual video where we share our favorites of 2016. And finally, we are going to upload our New Years vlog, where you guys get to follow us around on a very interesting New Year's Eve.

Stay tuned in these next weeks, and hopefully we can get these videos up fast!

Until next time

- Maddy

December 26, 2016

Boredom Busters for Winter Break

Hey guys, long time no write! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, ate tons of yummy food, got cool gifts, and most importantly, spent time with your family. However, now that Christmas is over, you might be hit with some winter break boredom. Being bored isn't fun (but is better than being at school), so I've come up with a few things that you can do to pass the time.

1) Read: Break is the perfect time to curl up with a good book, some fuzzy blankets, and a cup of hot cider. You can listen to the wind howl and see the snow fly everywhere from the comfort of a blanket. I recommend the Shopaholic series. They are so funny and a really quick read.

2) Get together with some friends: Spending the day with friends will definitely cure any boredom. You could have snowball fights, have a movie night, spa night, or go shopping, the possibilities are endless!

3) Cook: Cooking is awesome for a few reasons. It fills up your day, makes your house smell nice, and you obviously have some yummy food when you're done. I absolutely love peanut butter bon bons. Basically, they are rice krispies and peanut butter covered with chocolate and they taste heavenly. But if you want to go for a healthier option (hello New Years Resolutions), you could go with something like banana bread, a slightly healthier, but just as tasty choice.

4) Clean: Yes, I am aware that cleaning is basically mandatory torture, but it certainly is a productive use of your time! You will also feel super happy when you are done and you have a super duper clean room/house. You can even make a New Years Resolution to keep it clean!

5) Exercise: Most people think going for a run or just exercising in general is pure torture, and sometimes it is. There are ways that you can make your workouts more pleasant. Going for runs with friends are one of my favorite things to do. It makes a boring run 10x more fun. If running isn't your thing, get a fun workout put together and do it with some of your friends. You will also feel so much happier after a good workout.

6) Play an instrument/sing: I have been playing my piano SO much over this break and learning new songs and it is honestly so fun. If you don't know any instruments, you can sing or learn an instrument. Something about making music is so awesome and enjoyable.

7) Get outside: Go outside and play like you're a little kid again! Go make snow angels, snowmen, have a snowball fight (provided you live in an area where there is snow) or even just roll around in the snow. Even if you don't live in an area with snow, there is still tons of things to do outside.

8) Do your homework: Okay, you probably don't want to hear this one, maybe you're even procrastinating doing your homework by reading this (literally me right now). But, I don't know about you guys, but every time I'm relaxing  I remember the homework I have to do and get kind of stressed out. It's way better to suck it up and just get your homework over with.

9) Make a YouTube video: Even if you don't have a YouTube channel, and you don't plan on posting the video, it is still so much fun to sit in front of your camera and pretend you're a famous YouTuber. Since it's after Christmas, you could film what you got for Christmas!

10) Arts and Crafts: DIY's never turn out the way I envision them, but I still enjoy making them. Surf Pinterest for a while until you find a project you want to do, go to the nearest store to pick up any materials you need, and have at it. It keeps you busy, and even if it looks terrible, you'll have had fun making it.

Alright, that's it for today's post! I hope you enjoyed and got some ideas to bust your boredom. I hope you all have a happy New Years!

PS- Don't forget to check out our instagram @withlovemidwest !

Lots of Love,
Lizzie

December 3, 2016

3 Embarrassing Stories that will make your day seem not that bad

Hey guys, it's Lizzie and nearly daily I have a few awkward things happen to me ranging from mild to cringeworthy. Hopefully these stories will make you laugh and make you realize embarrassing moments aren't the end of the world (although they may feel like it).
1) My school has a small running group that about 10 people are on. On this particular day, we ran to a park that has a stream running through it. Everybody decided to get a running start and leap about 5 feet to a sandbar in the middle of the stream and then step across a little more water and onto the other side. I was one of the last people to jump and was really not too thrilled with the idea, but did it anyways. I got my running start and landed on the gravelly piece of land with both feet... and them face planted. I'm not really sure where I went wrong but found myself laying in mud, rough gravel and frigid water (this being the middle of November). My shirt sleeves were soaked, my shoes were wet, I managed to get water all over my face, and to add insult to injury (or maybe the other way around) I got a bloody, skinned knee. To top all that off, when we got back to the school, I had to walk past a bunch of guys in my grade looking bloody, muddy, and wet.

2) So this embarrassing story happened a few years ago, but still makes me cringe. I had an orthodontist appointment earlier in the school day. I got back around 2nd hour, and it was now 3rd hour. My teacher was taking attendance and noticed it said I was missing. He asked me why and I said it must be because I was gone earlier in the day. He then asked me what class I had come back during. I could not for the life of me remember what class I had then. (This was like the middle of the year). I told him I had a mind blank and he kind of looked at me weird and told me to tell him when I remembered. I finally remembered at I had music then and told him. My face was burning, I just knew my face was beat red. To top it off, a guy whispered "Her face is red!!!" (No duh dude).

3) Yet another embarrassing moment by your's truly also happened to involve running and falling (I'm seeing a pattern!) It was homecoming and the cross country team was running from our rival's school back to our school with the football game ball. We had an assembly and came running into the gym to do a lap and present the ball (kind of cheesy, I know). Just as we started our sprint all packed together, my foot hit the back of my friend's shoe, and I stumbled. I did not fall though, so I'm grateful for that, but in my mind, it was a horrible and noticeable stumble. No one said anything to me about it so I guess it wasn't as bad as I imagined. Morale of the story? I'm a clutz while running.

Alright guys I hope you enjoyed those stories and got a laugh out of them, but in all seriousness, here are a few short tips to deal with embarrassing moments.
1) Remind yourself it's over and done with, and you can't do anything to change it. So why worry?
2) No one will remember in the days, weeks, months, or years to come.
3) Remember to laugh at yourself, even if you're mortified. It will make the situation seem less awkward, trust me!
4) The situation is usually not as bad as you imagine it to be.

Be sure to come back next week for another amazing post!
Lots of Love,
Lizzie

November 26, 2016

Finals Snacks and Study Hacks

Hello everyone!

I hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving, I know I definitely did. But now that Thanksgiving is over, I have the honor of having finals this week (yikes). To get into a motivated spirit, I thought I would share with you my favorite study hacks, along with some "brain food" to get you through the long days ahead of you.

Starting with food (everyone's favorite subject), I find it most necessary to share with you my FAVORITE study snack of all time, that takes less than three minutes to make. Now, I can't take all the credit for this (Pinterest ideas have helped me a ton), but these "baked" apples are the bomb.com. Simply cut up an apple (NO GREEN APPLES), a little bit of margarine, and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and brown sugar. toss it all in a glass dish (make sure it comes with a lid. If it doesn't, just use a paper towel.), cover it up, and microwave it on high for two minutes. I swear, this melt in your mouth treat is calming, so you won't feel a stress overload while studying for that economics final, and will stall away hunger for a while. Another one of my favorites is roasted chickpeas. Roast them in the oven for 45 -60 minutes with some olive oil drizzled, and you're good. My favorite thing to do is to make Parmesan and garlic chickpeas, by adding some  garlic powder, dried parsley, and Parmesan after you drizzle on the olive oil. Not only is this an easy snack to grab and go, but chickpeas are proven to be a good source of dietary iron (step away cheerios), and are beneficial to your immune system. Also, if anyone knows me, I have an undeniable love of bagels. While I can't always stop at Einstein Brothers and get my favorite (which happens to be the Nova Lox), and not be broke, I can definitely do it myself at home.

Now on to the study hacks. If it wasn't apparent by the previous paragraph, I am a firm believer that snacking while studying is going to help you stay focused.  I'm not sure what it is, but whenever I snack when I study, I tend to remember things better than being on an empty stomach. I also recommend drinking water and/ or tea when you study. My go- to buddies are green tea (mine are from the brand Bigelow) and Republic of Tea's get smart® - No.16 Herb Tea for Memory/Focus.  I realized that my past two posts, I have been going on, and on, about tea, but it is pretty beneficial for your body. I would recommend green tea in the morning for a boost of energy, unless you want to stay up all night. Also, a do NOT try to pull an all- nighter studying. There is a pretty extensive list of things that can happen to your brain, but I'll keep it short. 

1. The National Sleep Foundation says you remember less when you are tired
2. Your circadian rhythm is thrown off
3.You'll stay stuck on any hard problems you have. Being tired= limited focus
4. You could possibly suffer from a sleep attack- where your brain forcibly makes you pass out, in spite of every intention not to (this could also be deadly. If this one doesn't convince you not to pull an all- nighter, I don't know what will)
5. Your brain stops functioning all together. 

The best thing to do is get 8 hours, so don't save up all of your studying for the night before, and do studying in 20 minute increments for each class you have. to add on, don't forget to take a break. An information overload could possibly lead to a mental break down (that's not exactly fun). If you are more of an extrovert, try working in study groups. Collaboration can sometimes be key to getting good study habits. As an ex- AVID student, there is one thing that I still do, and that is mark up my notes and rewrite them. As much as I love typing, and like how fast it is, writing what you need to know sticks better in your head than typing. 

Well,  that is it for this week's blog post. Happy studying, and watch out for our next post! I think you'll enjoy.

Until next time 

- Maddy

November 13, 2016

School Morning Routine (Fall/Winter)

   Hey guys! It's Lizzie, and today I have a school morning routine! I know I have a pretty specific morning routine, and I thought I'd share that with you guys!
So first thing I do when I roll (literally) out of bed at 6:30 and turn off my alarm (which is purposefully located far enough away so that I have to actually get out of bed), is to grab a throw blanket from off my bed. Getting out of my nice warm bed and going around my cold house is difficult, but a throw blanket makes the transition a little easier. Then I head out to my kitchen and make myself a bowl of cereal, because I'm not ready to make a big breakfast right away in the morning.
   After that, I head back to my room and get dressed for the day. Finding what to wear is hard. Sometimes I have an outfit picked, but even so, I usually end up trying on like five different shirts before deciding on one. (I know I'm not the only one who does this.) Next, I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth (usually getting food from breakfast out from under my braces). I brush my hair, and try to do something with my hair. My go-to hairstyles are leaving it down, and doing a french braid back into a low ponytail and pulling out the baby hairs to make it look more effortless. Then I do really minimal makeup which usually consists of the Benefit They're Real mascara, the Benefit Porefessional primer, and occasionally concealer. I have a pretty good complexion so I don't use foundation and only use concealer for the occasional pimple.
   Next, I head to my room, spray on some perfume and/or body spray, and make my bed. I usually end up with about 15 minutes left to pack my bag if it's not already, find a pair of shoes to go with my outfit and relax.
   I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Please leave a comment giving us feedback and ideas of what to post next. It would honestly make my day!
Love, Lizzie


Instagram: @withlovemidwest

November 6, 2016

The road to de-stressing

Hi everyone!

Remember me? I for sure have been the most busy I have ever been in these past two months. School is hitting me like a ton of bricks. I went out a couple weeks ago with the request of post ideas, and I got a great one (thanks to Anna Marie). Since I have been so stressed, I haven't been remembering to write, nor have I had the motivation to write. But then the realization hit me: when I need to relax, I need write. So, hey, why not update? I always have ways of making myself less stressed, but never remember them. So, when Anna gave me the request to send in my "de-stressing routine", I knew I had to jump on it. So, from the person who should probably not be giving tips on how to not be stressed, is how I relax and get everything settled to get the job (or million jobs) done.

The first thing I do is take a breath, and write what I have to do. I am a very visual person, and when I can see things when they are due, and how I have to do them, I feel so much less stressed. I am a planner, so having those due dates lets me plan and gain structure in my week. For me, structure is calming.

For when I need a quick way to help get rid of my stress, I result to tea, more often than not. Herbal tea, like chamomile is proven to help with problems such as insomnia, anxiety, and you can even use chamomile tea bags under your eyes to hide the fact you got about two hours asleep last night. For when you can't sleep, brands such as Celestial Seasonings (my favorite is the Sleepytime Vanilla) and Yogi (I recommend Honey Lavender Stress Relief) are available at places like Walmart for less than $5.

Because stress shows on my skin, I find some time while I work on my assignments to use a calming facial. Feeling Beautiful dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti- Stress Mask is a quick and easy mask that I can definitely say leaves me feeling refreshed. To relieve the fact that I haven't got sleep in the past month, when I have time, I use the Nugg Depuff Eye Mask. It works wonders for my eyes.

So, that is all for this post, I hope you guys can use this to help be less stressed. Check out our contact post if you wanna get a hold of us!

Until next time- Maddy