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,

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,

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 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

October 18, 2016

How to Throw an Epic Halloween Party

Hey guys! It's Lizzie here, and Halloween is right around the corner! Sorry the post is a little late, school's getting crazy. Anyways, I absolutely love having Halloween parties. For the past seven or so years, we've been having a Halloween party, so I've come up with a list of helpful tricks and treats to help you throw your own epic party.
1) Obviously, you need to figure out who you're inviting. I usually invite around five of my friends, and Emma invites about the same amount of her friends. Depending on the size of your house though, that can get a little crowded.
2) The next thing I love to do is decorate. There are so many ways to spookily decorate your house. You could have a theme (ie. skeletons or pumpkins), you could randomly throw Halloween themed things around your house, etc. Personally, I've come up with a collection of Halloween decor over the years, so I kind of throw things together. Some of my favorite things to use are fake cobwebs and spiders, skulls, pumpkins around the room, and witches hats. Now I can't tell you exactly how to decorate, so get creative. Also, cheap but cool decoration can be found at Walmart.
3) Who doesn't love food? You can't have a Halloween party without some killer (not literally) food. Candy seems obvious, but keep in mind you'll probably have tons of sugar as it is, especially if your Halloween party is on Halloween. I also like to have cupcakes. You can buy cool cupcake tins, get creative with the flavor, frost them Halloween colors, add some cool toppings. This year, we made cupcakes with white frosting, and then stuck these fake edible knives that we got from Walmart in them. You could also add red gel to make it look like the cupcake is bleeding. Next, something that is super simple, cute and tasty is chocolate covered pretzel ghosts. We took pretzel rods, white chocolate chips, and some black icing. Then we melted the chocolate chips, coated the pretzels about 3/4 of the way, and made ghost faces on them. Since all of that was pretty much junk food, it's a good idea to have some fruit there too. It doesn't necessarily have to be super Halloween related. Cantaloupe (which is orange) caramel apples, or just a bowl of fruit could be a possibility.
4) You'll also need to decide what you want to do at the party. Now, most parties will pretty much flow on their own, but just running around and talking with your friends isn't the most ideal party. You could really do anything at the party, but here are a few ideas.
- Haunted House- They are so much fun if you don't mind being scared, and are obviously very Halloween-y (is that a word??)
-Get outdoors- Something that we like to do living in the country is a hay ride. You can get some hot chocolate or apple cider and sip it as you go around the country talking to your friends. Now, I get that not everyone lives in the country, so you could get outside by playing games like ghost in the graveyard, going for a walk, or trick or treating (assuming that it IS Halloween).
-Costumes- Costumes may seem childish, but they really are fun. You and your friends could get dressed up, do scary makeup, and take pictures with your awesome costumes. Costumes are always hard for me-I never know what to dress up as. My best advice is to go on YouTube and find a list of costume ideas. I think it would be cool to dress up as a Snapchat filter, especially if you're good at makeup.
-Last but not least, I love watching a scary movie at night. You can get some popcorn, get in your sleeping bags, and enjoy being scared with your friends.
Alright, that's it for this week's blog, I hope you enjoyed it! Hopefully you got some ideas and are going to throw an epic party! It would mean a lot if you guys tell your friends about us, follow this blog,  check out our instagram @withlovemidwest , and lastly come back next week for another post!

October 5, 2016

Kick off to Fall (FALL FAVORITES)

Hi everyone! I hope you enjoyed last week’s post, because I know I definitely did. This week we are going to shift gears a bit and get more into fall. It’s October, so that means the leaves are changing, it’s getting a bit colder, and it’s time to change things up a bit. So for this week, I’m going to be giving you my fall favorites! Favorites posts are one of my favorites, because I get to rave about the products I love, and maybe you will find some love in this product too!

Another small update: as you can tell, this post did go up on a Wednesday, which is really late. If you didn’t read our post titled “update”, i had a pretty bad glitch with my computer. Because of this glitch, I end up posting a few days later than it is scheduled. I am getting this fixed, but for at least my next two posts, I will be either posting on a Sunday or a Monday.

Now, let’s get into this! Starting with my fashion favorites, I’m going to talk about some little trendy pieces that I have been loving in my wardrobe. The first of these is these little petite gold accents. There is something about yellow gold that I love, and I personally think it’s because it reminds me of the yellowish leaves that fall off the trees. My first of these favorites is this gold bracelet from American Eagle Outfitters (can get it in a set ). The main reason why I bought this set was to get this bracelet, because the accent on this bracelet is a gorgeous color of green that matches the gold fantastically. My other two favorites are rings, which I got from a store called Fun Sisters (Fun Sisters is a local store from my state, and you can check out what they have to offer on Dark colors are always a go to for fall, but my favorite is dark green. My absolute favorite dark green right now is best displayed in these pants from American Eagle Outfitters. I absolutely love the fit of these pants, and the color is another benefit to creating the best looking fit. These pants are so versatile, and also go very well with another one of my fall favorites: chambray. I cannot describe my relationship with chambray with any other word besides fantastic. This top is from the Gap, and is one of the softest tops that I own. Now, I wouldn’t recommend wearing it with denim, because let’s face it: that would lead to a pretty odd outfit, but you can definitely wear it with pants like the ones i mentioned, leggings, the options are bountiful.

Fall beauty is something I really like to get into. I may be the only one to experience this, but whenever it starts to get colder, the dark circles under my eyes embrace the one’s of a racoon. To help fix these dark circles, I have been loving the Benefit “It’s Potent!” eye cream to reduce the puffiness and dark circles. I apply this before bed and before makeup in the morning, and look less racoon like. Moving on to makeup, I’m going to start with the eyes. My favorite colors this year are found in the Naked 3 palette by Urban Decay, which is available at Ulta, Sephora, or the UD website. The colors are fairly warm toned and versatile, so it is easy to create a casual or a dressy fall look. My all time favorite colors that I have been using with this palette are dust, buzz, and blackheart (I’ll attach the link to the palette, and to the other products I am talking about below). I have also been a huge fan of both matte, and berry lips for fall. So, to complete my normal fall look, I have been loving the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Addiction and Passion. The color pay off is absolutely AMAZING, and stays forever.

Now, this category is one of my favorites. Miscellaneous is where I talk about my fall go-tos, whether it be coffee, food, or music. One of my most common ones is coffee, so that is definitely going to be talking about that today. Now, if anyone knows me, they know I am an iced coffee drinker, no matter the weather. Since there is pretty much a Starbucks everywhere in the United States, I thought I would talk about my go- to order that gives a very fall- vibe that’s available all year long. My normal fall order is an iced caramel macchiato. Then, i get a little complicated by adding soy milk, and getting rid of the vanilla syrup, and substituting it with hazelnut syrup. I used to get this drink with normal cow’s milk and getting half vanilla syrup and half hazelnut syrup, however, the soy milk at Starbucks has a bit of a vanilla flavor. So, when I just get the soy milk, you can just cut out the extra sugar from having two different syrups all together, and getting an even creamier texture. Now, usually I don’t do scents, but I have been loving the Pacifica Spray Perfume in Sandalwood. This scent is a little bit musky, but don’t let it scare you! I find that there is a little bit of a citrus scent that lightens the woodsy smell, and it smells absolutely amazing. Another favorite scent of mine is the Unconditional Love perfume from Philosophy. It has a warm scent, with a little bit of a sweet undertone that just screams cozy.

So that is it for this post! I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and I will leave a link to the products below!

Until next time,

  • Maddy



Bracelet set: click here

Pants: click here

Rings: check out for new Merchandise from Fun Sisters


Eye cream: click here

Naked 3 palette: click here

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Cream: click here


Pacifica Perfume Spray: click here

Philosophy Unconditional Love Perfume: click here

September 24, 2016

Organization Tips

    Hey guys! It's Lizzie, and by now, school is back in full bore for nearly everyone (*sigh*). School can be stressful, especially if you aren't organized. Maybe you're not organized with your homework, your room is cluttered, or your schedule is just plain jam-packed. I've got a few tips for you today to hopefully help make your day more organized, (for less stress,) and  hopefully even lead to better grades!
    First, it's really important that you have a good work environment at home. Personally, I work best when I'm in my room, and when my room is clean. Something that's really helpful for me to keep my room clean is to have a set time when I just tidy anything up. That time could be when you get home, wake up, after you shower, or before you start your homework. You should also have a spot in your room (preferably a desk) that you do your homework at. Here you can have any school supplies that you don't bring to school, and whatever else would help you with your homework. If you don't have a desk, I really encourage you to get one, even a cheap one. Desks can be expensive, but I found a good quality, low priced one, and I love it. I would also recommend keeping a potted plant in your room, because studies show that they can boost your creativity, reduce stress and boost your mood along with other things.
    Everyone is different as to what organization methods work for them. I've tried out many things for organizing my homework, and I've found which works best for me. Planners are seriously so helpful to me. I just write down what I did in each class, and circle it if I have homework in it. That way at night, my eye is drawn to the circled homework and I know what I need to do. Plus you can get super cute planners for about $5.00-$10.00 Another thing that really works for me is having a portfolio binder and a folder. I keep all my notebooks for each class and homework that was already corrected in the portfolio binder and put any homework for the night in my folder (plastic folders last way longer than cardboard ones). Just make sure you put your homework in your folder right way so you don't forget about it. Keep in mind that just because these ways work for me, they may not work for you.
    Having a packed schedule is sooo stressful. It's important to have some down-time in the day where you don't have to worry about being somewhere or doing something. Stress isn't just not fun, it's not good for you. Stress can cause headaches, depression, high blood pressure, stomach ache, can worsen your acne/cause it to flare up, and you may not be able to sleep. Sounds horrible, right? Try to plan out your day (you can use a planner!). Work on setting aside sport time, homework time, relaxing time, and whatever else you may have going on. Also, as tempting as some things are in high school, joining every single club and sport you possibly can isn't always a good idea. I'm not saying to not be involved in school, I'm just saying that if you know that you have volleyball practice from after school until 5:00, Spanish club from  6:00-7:00, and homework every night, joining the school play may not be the best choice. You just have to pick and choose and make your schedule work for you.
Alright, that's it for this week's blog! I hope you enjoyed it and maybe got some ideas on how to be more organized! If you have any other tips, questions or anything else, please leave them in the comments! Also check out our Instagram: @ withlovemidwest and tell your friends!
Lots of love,

September 19, 2016

LOST POST FOUND!: Routines and schedules

You all have no idea how excited I was when I found this after doing some recovery this morning. That being said, here is the original post I had planned on presenting to you all.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyed this week, I know I for sure did! Although it would have been way less enjoyable if I didn't plan for it.

If there is something that people need to know about how I process in everyday life, it's that I need to plan EVERYTHING I do. So, for this post, I thought I would let you into how I plan my week so that I can be as successful as possible.

The first thing that I do is plan my meals. I am a big supporter of meal prep, because it helps me with getting healthy options in my hand quicker and easier than it is to grab something more processed. The start of my weekend usually involves me deciding one what I'm going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and after school. I am a very active person, who is heavily dependent on protein, so for breakfast, I usually design my meals around that. I get out a lot closer to 12:00, so I usually pack a pretty light lunch loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables. After school, I load up on protein and grains again to help stay energized for my after school activities. I also plan to drink at least two 20 oz. water bottles a day to stay hydrated.

I also plan what I'm going to wear. I start school at 7:30, so there isn't a whole lot of time for me to spend in my closet in the morning to decide what I am going to wear. I have one main tactic: go simple, style up. I usually do this by going with a pair of jeans or leggings and some sort of shirt. The shirt is really dependent on the weather at my school (I.E. if it's 60 degrees, I'll choose jeans and a lighter long sleeve top). After I choose my basics, then the magic happens. Once I have those basics, it becomes easy for me to decide between my accessories (If i wear a long sleeve, do i wanna add a bralette and small necklace, or wear a scarf and a ring?). Once I dress up the outfit that was once simple, I slide on a pair of shoes and am ready to go.

If you want to see another routine that is done everyday for me, go to our first ever post to check that out (especially if you haven't read it)!

So, that is it for this post! Let us know what you do to plan for your week and to keep a good schedule!

Until next time-


September 18, 2016

How to Get an A+/ Study Tips

Okay, first off, let me begin by saying I'm no Harvard graduate. I mean, I'm sure you probably would have guessed that without my telling you, but just in case, I have now clarified. Even though I'm not an expert or anything, most of the time, school comes pretty easily to me. Maybe it has to do with my ever-resourceful inborn intelligence (I'm totally kidding), or maybe, just maybe these tips actually have some merit and worthiness to them. While everyone has their own methods and quirks to learning and studying, today I will be showing you some of mine and hopefully they help you to boost your grades even just a little.

1. My first tip is to write everything down (at least the stuff worth remembering). My school does vocab each week where we have to do some online assignments followed by a test every Friday. Although it's not required that I write the words and definitions down, I still do. Even though people might think I'm crazy because they just get right into their online assignment, it really helps to have a paper copy of the words right in front of me. I can cross them off if I've used them, and it is super handy for studying. I have found that I memorize the words better if I actually write them down. You should also be sure to write down new terminology, dates, and important facts. Although this tip is a little time consuming, studies show that writing facts down is an important step in the active processing of information. Plus, when you have finals at the end of the semester or year, you can look back on your notes and it is much easier than rereading the textbook or looking at old worksheets.

2. My next tip is to read out loud. Anytime you have to read out of the textbook or read an article at home, try reading it out loud. For some reason, when I read a passage or article out loud as if I'm reading in front of the class, it forces me to focus better on what is being said. You could even pretend that you're the teacher reading to your class (if you're into that kind of thing). When I just read in my head, I will sometimes find my eyes fixated at the bottom of the page and realize that I didn't comprehend anything from what I just read so I will have to reread it, which is very annoying. Plus, when you take a test on your reading, there's a good chance that you will remember a fact you need to know because you've already confirmed it out loud rather than in your head. Sometimes, I will be trying to think of a year or person's name and I will picture myself reading it out loud and then it comes to me. I'm not sure if I remember it because of how I said it, or if I was looking at a picture on my wall that I then could think of and be reminded. Either way, that method really does work!

3. Get a planner and use it. I don't know about you, but if I get to school and realize that I forgot to finish an assignment, I FREAK out. As I scramble frantically to at least fill out the page and make it look like I didn't just forget, I start to sweat, my heart pounds, and my mind conveniently decides to be unable to focus on the questions at hand. Let's just say, it is NOT a good time. To save yourself from this calamity, just have a planner at hand. After every class, fill out what needs to be done for tomorrow. Also, be sure to write down about any projects or big tests that are a little ways out so you are reminded and have time to prepare. Even if you don't look at your planner every night, the act of you writing it down, should be enough for you to remember-(see the importance of tip number 1). Another good thing about planners is that there are some really cute ones out there and there are sooo many options to choose from!

4. Take breaks, but stay focused. Taking breaks is probably one of the easiest things you can do while studying. It helps your mind to relax and refocus for your next study segment. So get up and get some water and a snack because your mind needs fuel too! One problem I have though, is that I will go on my phone and start scrolling through instagram or watching youtube and I will get so distracted that it is hard to go back to studying or doing homework. Small breaks are better than long breaks. Just remember that once you finish what it is you're working on, then you can do whatever you want. Use the freedom you will have as motivation to finish strong.

5. My last tip for you is something that I learned in 7th grade. I watched an inspirational video encouraging me to eat that frog. This may sound weird at first, but the frog symbolizes the item on your list of things to do that you are dreading the most. It can make your whole list of things to do seem unmanageable and it can be very frustrating. You will keep putting it off for another time because you don't even want to begin to tackle it. You could do one hundred little useless things to keep putting it off, like watching tv, painting your nails, or going on your phone but it will keep sitting there waiting for you. It can drain your energy without you even realizing it! The best thing to do to that frog is to eat it, (that is to finish it.) Once the frog is off your plate, everything else on your list will seem so much easier to do. After all, if the worst is over, then what do you have to be afraid of? You will feel so relieved and energized once you accomplish the task that you have been dreading. I know it sucks for the time being, but there are just some things that have to be done. A lot of times, people have an idea in their head about how big and bad a task is, but once they get started and get a rhythm going, they realize it isn't so bad after all.

Hopefully some of these tips helped you out or inspired you to come up with your own study tips! I would have had a few pictures posted with this but there is some technical glitch going on with the site right now so it won't let me:( We'll keep working on figuring out what is wrong so hopefully by the time Lizzie posts, everything is back to normal. If you like our blog please be sure to tell others, we really appreciate every page view we get and I want to thank YOU for reading!
Until next time,

September 16, 2016


Hi everyone!
So sorry for the inactivity last weekend, but there was a pretty bad technical glitch with the website, and my computer. This weekend is going to be a bit different. Both Emma and I are going to be doing a post. However, my post is going to be a bit of a test run. My original post got deleted when I was getting everything back up and running, so stay tuned tomorrow for our little test drive!

See you all tomorrow- Maddy

September 4, 2016

DIY Birthday Gifts, Food, and more!

Hey everyone, it's Lizzie! So today is my birthday, and so for today's post, I decided to do birthday DIY's (food, gifts, and decorations.) Let's hop on into it!

Okay, I don't know about you guys, but I am a pretty big procrastinator when it comes to gifts. I also never know what to get my friends. To help you guys stray away from the typical nail polish, candy, and other things you could find at a dollar store, I've got a DIY gift you guys can make for your friends.

This DIY Memory Jar is something that is inexpensive, customizable, and will mean a lot to the receiver of the gift. All you need is a Mason Jar (with lid preferably), something to decorate the jar with (personalized to the person you are giving it to), and of course, memories. Keep in mind, it doesn't HAVE to be memories. You could also do quotes, put little pictures in the jar, momentos, or any other little thing you want to put in the jar. First, I would decorate the jar. This is the part where you get creative. You could decorate the jar with washi tape, spray paint, string, all up to you. I chose to tie this ribbon around the top of the jar, and spray paint the outside of the jar gold. I cut out a heart from a lint roller and stuck it to the jar, and spray painted around it (I chose the paper from a lint roller because of the one completely sticky side, but you could also use a sticker or something). Once the spray paint dried, I took the heart off, so you could see through the glass in that spot. I've also seen a jar decorated like a pineapple, which was adorable! Then, cut out slips of paper, and write whatever you chose to do on that paper. Fold it up (if you want) and stick it in the jar. Screw the lid on and you're done! I love this gift because it is so cute, personalizable, and you made it yourself!
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(If DIY's aren't your thing, Marshalls and Target are great, inexpensive options for cute gifts.)

I love cake batter flavored food! Annnnd I love cookies. Put them together and it's basically a match made in heaven. You could make these cookies as an add on to your amaaazing gift from earlier, have them at a party, or make them for yourself. (Disclaimer: I did NOT come up with this recipe, nor did I perfect the instructions. I got this cake batter cookie recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. You can check out her page with that link, and see her extra tips. My instructions are a simpler version of her's.)
First, get your ingredients out. You need:

1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 and 1/4 cup yellow (or vanilla) boxed cake mix- needs to be dry mix

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (1 and a half sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg (room temperature)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (you can do white chocolate, semi-sweet, or a mix of both)

1/2 cup sprinkles
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                                                   (sorry for the sideways picture)

Mix the cake mix, flour, and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and the white and brown sugar together (using a mixer) until smooth. Add the egg and mix again, about a minute. Add the vanilla, and again, beat until combined. Add  the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix that on low until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix slowly until they are dispersed evenly.
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Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours. (Yes, you do need to refrigerate it.)
Once your dough is done chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop your dough onto the pan using a tablespoon. Put a few chocolate chips on top to decorate.  According to Sally's Baking Addiction, your dough balls should be taller than they are wide.
Bake 10-12 minutes (edges will be slightly brown. The center may look soft, but they set as they cool. Let them sit on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to the cooling rack. Our's were a little overdone, so they should look lighter colored than ours.
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These cookies are delicious! They are easy to make and can add a lot to any birthday!

Lastly, you'll need some decorations of course! Personally, I'm not a big decorator for birthdays, but one thing I like to do is blow up a ton of balloons and just scatter them everywhere. Its cute, festive, and of course fun. Another thing you could do is make a paper chain. These are soooo simple, and you can customize them however you want. All you need to do is get some construction paper (customize the colors to whoever's birthday it is), and cut out about 1.5 inches by 6 or so inches strips of paper. The chain will look better if you make sure each strip is the same size.  Then, start by making a loop with one strip, and glue it together. Thread the next strip through the first loop, then glue that strip together, making a chain. I'm making it sound way more confusing than it actually is. All you gotta do is make a chain out of the strips of paper. You can write Happy Birthday, or any other little message on the chain. Then just hang it up somewhere! I like to hang mine in doorways but that's completely up to you. Combining these two decorations is super cute, and it is seriously so simple.
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I hope you guys liked my first post, make sure to come back Saturday for a new post by Maddy! We would love feedback from you guys, so don't be afraid to leave a comment or send us an email! Also, go check out my profile to learn more about yours truly!
Lots of Love,

August 26, 2016

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Last Minute Summer Bucket List Items

Hey everyone! I'm Emma and today I'll be sharing with you my very first post on this blog. Let's just jump right into it:)

Seeing as the school year is right around the corner, it is now or never to live your summer to the fullest. Chances are, ten years from now, you won't remember anything from your summer if you just sat around on your phone and checked instagram for the 100th time that day (yes, I have been there). While having a few lazy days here and there never hurt anyone, sometimes it's nice to change things up a little bit. I compiled a list of ideas for you guys to check off your summer bucket list. Hopefully school hasn't already begun for you, but if it has, you can still have a good time and not let the burden of the school year drag you down.

1. Sleep Under the Stars: Lizzie and I really enjoy doing this, it is so cool and makes you really appreciate the beauty surrounding you. We even saw two shooting stars once! We usually carry a twin mattress out to our truck and sleep in the truck bed, but a tent with the cover off will work too. If you live in the city, you could go to a campground with your friends. Anything works as long as you're enjoying the stars and sounds of nature. There's even an app called Skyview Free that teaches you the names of the stars you're looking at!

2. Have a Water Fight: All you need for this idea is some friends and water balloons and/or the handy dandy garden hose to spray all who come into your vicinity. We got our water balloons super cheap at a dollar store for literally a dollar. Also, a fun twist on a water balloon fight is to add dye to the balloons, that way when they break open, they release a burst of color (just make sure you're wearing clothes you don't care about too much). Or better yet, you could wear a white shirt and let it get drenched in color.

3. Watch the Sunrise/Sunset: This one is pretty self-explanatory (not like the other ones weren't...) Anyways, I personally LOVE watching the sun slowly sink beneath the horizon and see the colors shift from bright yellow, to corally pink, and blueish purple. Plus, while you're enjoying the beauty, you can get a ton of cool pictures! My obsession (which if you follow my instagram, you'd already know) is taking pictures of a silhouette with the sunset glowing in the background. You could just have a sibling strike a pose or even an animal sitting as your silhouette. Something I haven't tried yet, but have been meaning to do, is to take a time lapse of the sun setting. I think that would be pretty neat.
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4. Have a Spa Day: Treat yo' self. Whether you just do a face mask, or go all out with a manicure, pedicure, and bubble bath, it is good to treat yourself now and then. Having a spa day doesn't mean you have to go to an actual spa. You can do all of the things you want at home which will save money and you could even have a movie playing in the background as you're painting your nails and letting your face mask soak in (which is always a plus).

5. Go Swimming: This one is pretty typical but it is a MUST in summer. I could be wrong, but chances are you can find some way to get yourself to water. You could go to a local hotel, friend's house, lake, or even the ocean if you are lucky enough to live near one! You can work on your doggy paddle while getting your tan on (or burn in my case). Swimming is great exercise and an excellent way to cool off. Plus, lakes tend to be warmer this late in summer because they have had three long months of the sun beating down on them.
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6. Have a Bonfire and S'mores: Bonfires + S'mores + Family/Friends= BEST NIGHT EVER!! Seriously though, invite your relatives and your friends together for a night filled with fire watching, marshmallow roasting, and campfire stories. It is a good way to have a get-together and not have to be the center of attention, because the fire will take care of that for you. If you don't have a fire pit, maybe you know somebody who does, and hopefully they will be kind enough to allow you to use it:) AND what would a bonfire be without s'mores? They are basically a necessity. While we're talking about s'mores, I feel the need to let you in on one of my favorite s'mores desserts. I love the Betty Crocker Hershey's S'mores bars, they come in a box in the baking aisle at the grocery store. I could seriously eat the whole pan in one sitting, and they are super easy to make. So if you are looking for a new twist on your ordinary s'mores, then definitely check this dessert out!
                                                    Image result for betty crocker smores bars

Hopefully this list inspired you to get out and get moving and not let any more of your precious summer slip through your fingers. If you can think of any other ideas that everyone should check off their summer bucket list, then please feel free to leave a comment letting me know! I hope you all enjoyed my very first post and I can guarantee that you'll love to read all about Lizzie's post next week. Be sure to tell your friends about our blog if you enjoyed!

Until next time,

August 19, 2016

Intro+ Week of back to school ideas

Hi everyone! Welcome to the very first post on With love,Midwest! I’m Maddy, and I originally had a blog that’s format got expired, andwas given another chance to recreate my blog! But this time, I am not doing italone. This time, I have both of my cousins to co-write! You guys will be luckyenough to read their posts in the next weeks. We are weekend posters, sobe sure to check out this blog Friday through Sunday for updates! And finally,the moment we have all been waiting for, let’s hop into the first post!  For this post, we had all decided to go witha back to school theme. We are almost at that time of year where we are goingto be getting up early, spending hours on homework, and rushing around in themorning. So I thought why not give you some ideas?  In this post, you’ll be seeing an easy weekfull of back to school lunches, an easy and simple makeup routine that I do to feelready to conquer the world, and clothing ideas for the first week back atschool!

So let’s start off with nearly everyone’s favorite subject:food. I’m a proud supporter of meal-prep, so these are going to be meal prep(or semi- meal prep) friendly recipes that stray far from PB&J.I am one whois always thinking of a lunch that is anythingbesides a sandwich. So, an easy and fast thing that I like to do is to have apita and hummus. This is an easy meal prep idea, since all you have to do iscut the pita how you want to, and add the amount of hummus that you want to. Ialso add some carrots and freeze dried fruit to this lunch. This second idea isone of my favorites. I may not be a huge sandwich fan, but I definitely am abig fan of wraps. I always start off a good wrap with the Tumaro’s Low-in-CarbMulti grain wraps. These wraps are an excellent wrap for any type of wrap, andare a lot healthier than the traditional flour tortilla that is used in mostwraps. My favorite wrap starts off with herb cream cheese and Dijon mustard, andthen gets completed with turkey, lacey Swiss cheese, and spinach. Wraps arevery quick and easy, but I wouldn’t make wraps as meal prep because thetortilla part of the wrap can get soggy over time. So if I do make a wrap, Imake it in the morning before I go to school. For the meal prep part of thislunch, I normally pack ahead sugar snap peas, and I also pre-pack some Quakerrice crisps.

After that long paragraph, let’s talk about makeup.Personally, I am getting up around 5:30 A.M. to be at school around 7:15. At5:30, I don’t exactly resemble myself. So, to get myself to feeling and lookingperkier in the morning, this is what I do. After washing my face, I ALWAYS usetoner and moisturizer to bring some type of balance back to my skin. I have afairly oily T-Zone, so whenever and however I do my makeup, step one is primingwith the Benefit Porefessional. After that, I go in with my favorite BB- cream,which is the Physicians Formula Super BB. I have sensitive skin, so mostfoundations, BB- creams, etc. don’t react very well to my skin and ultimatelygive me a bad case of hives or a pretty bad breakout of acne. PhysiciansFormula is one of my favorites because their face products don’t irritate myskin in any ways. To put on this BB- Cream I use the Sigma F-868 flat angledkabuki brush to apply this to my face. On a normal basis, I skip concealer, butif I am having some dark circles under my eyes. A tip from one person who hassensitive skin to another: try your best not to layer up on foundations andconcealers- from my experience; I have experienced some of the works breakoutswhen wearing multiple layers on my skin. After I have applied the BB- creamevenly on my face and neck, I powder in my T- Zone and under my eyes using theNeutrogena Shine Control Powder with a Sigma F-86 tapered kabuki brush. I amnot a big fan of bronzer, with the tone of my skin; it looks more natural forme to use a peach colored blush in the areas where I get sun. One brand that Ihave had good history with is Too Faced, so to add color back to my face, I usetheir Sweethearts Perfecting Flush Blush in the color Peach Beach (I think theyjust wanted to make a tongue twister out of this product to be completelyhonest). I apply this blush using a Real Techniques Blush brush. Next, I moveon to my eyes. To cut down on carrying a bunch of products in my makeup bag, Iapply the same blush I used before into my crease; focusing a bit more on theouter corners of my eyes to make them look wider and more awake, using theSigma E- 45 tapered blending brush. My eyebrows are pretty full as it is, so onan everyday basis I just shape them using the Benefit GimmeBrow. Next I curl mylashes and apply a couple coats of my favorite mascara, which happens to be theBenefit Roller Lash. I like to focus my mascara closer to the base of my lashesto give them a full look and to brighten up my eyes even more. For a finishingtouch, I like to apply the Tarte Glossy Lip Paint in the color Goals. I just HADto get this color after seeing a Youtuber named Patrick Starr use thiscolor on Colleen Ballinger. This may sound like a lot, but it only takes alittle bit of time in the morning, depending on how tired you are ;-).





 Last but not least, we have clothes. It’s easiest for me tostick to basics, and then style them up from there. So, for this first outfit,I decided on wearing a loose peplum style top from Urban Outfitters. I added apair of skinny jeans to finish the outfit. To add my own touch to this outfit,I added a pair of Pearl earrings and my favorite (and only) pair ofBirkenstocks. This next outfit is just a little bit on the dressier side of howI would wear things. I got this Grey dress from the store Dry Goods, and pairedit with a super light chambray shirt from Gap and a pair of white converse. Toadd a little bit more, I added a watch from the brand BP, which can be boughtat Nordstrom, and a pair of earrings that I got at Banana Republic. The finaloutfit I paired is this ADORABLE lace tank that I purchased from Dry Goods thatI layered over a bralette from Aerie, along with a pair of jeans that I rolledup just above the ankle. For shoes, I decided to go with a pair of sandals fromSteve Madden that I had purchased at DSW. To accessorize I added the same pearlearrings that was featured in the first outfit.







So that is it for the first post on With love, Midwest!Leave a response below, and tell us if you have any recommendations orrequests! I will catch up with you all later!


-         Maddy