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,