The Classic Brunette: January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Reader Survey 2016



I'm always looking for ways to improve The Classic Brunette, and the best way to do this is by asking those who read here! Y'all can't really see how much I appreciate every single one of you, but I do. Every single view, comment, social media like, email I receive I am thankful. I want to grow my blog as a whole, and although I have huge plans for it in the future, I want to start with the people who matter most here, you all!

I've grown so much already within the past year and a half that I've run this blog (and even more in just the last month!) and I would love to see the growth continue into 2016, but that can only happen with your help.I would love it if you took a few minutes (seriously it's not long!) to fill out this survey about the blog and how I can improve!

Thank you so much for taking the survey and reading my blog!

Monday, January 25, 2016

How To Make The Best Of Spring Semester + Freebies!

The second semester of school always seems difficult when it comes to being ready to work again. The holidays have past, and the dreaded school days are calling for us. For some college students, this semester means graduation is near, for others, the summer is so close you can taste it. Whatever this semester brings for you, it's important to get back in your routine and get you ready for a great semester. I know not everyone who reads my blog is a college student, but these tips can still relate to you if you're any kind of student, or have to get back to the start of your work week. 

Become A Morning Person

After reading Cristina's post about this the other day, I decided she was on to something. I have always been one to sleep in, but recently I've been getting up earlier, and feel like I have so much more time in my day. Since coming back from London I've been waking up early due to jet lag, and I actually feel so much more productive. The other day I woke up at 7:30 and had all of my to do list completed by 11am, I had so much free time I didn't know what to do with it. I have an 8:30am class this semester, so I would have to wake up early anyway, but starting it now has helped me adapt and feel ready to take on the day.

Buy A Calendar/Planner

I have a planner that I use constantly, and it basically keeps me sane with all the things going on with school, my social life, and everything in between. I recently got a new calendar solely for my blog from the dollar (well $1-3) section of Target, and can't wait to start using it. I wrote a post a while ago about how to organize your planner, and I still find it helpful. I also made a cute calendar for you guys to download, so no excuses!

Download your free calendar here!

Make To Do Lists

An optional thing since you already have a calendar/planner, but personally I'm a big fan of writing to do lists. I have to do lists that I write for the blog as well as regular to do lists that cover everything else. I normally have a running to do list in my head, but I always think it's best to write everything down.

Buy All Supplies/Books

Yes, you still have everything you bought at the beginning of the school year like pens, pencils, stapler, etc. But if you're anything like me, you'll go through at least one of the notebooks that you bought, and some of your pens will have run out of ink. Make sure you've restocked on all the essentials and buy anything new that a class asks you to provide. Oh, and don't forget your textbooks!

Put Off Procrastination

I know it's so easy to say "I'll do that reading later" or "I can finish that assignment tomorrow," but try to refrain from doing that. Getting things done early will leave you with more free time and will leave you feeling more on top of things. I'm normally a huge procrastinator when it comes to any essays I have to write, but I'm going to try to kick that habit this semester!

Print Out All Necessary Papers

This means syllabi, online readings (if they're short!), or flyers for events you want to attend. For each syllabus be sure to mark all important dates down or circle them. I've found that when I have all my assignments written down already it makes it a lot easier to prepare for all upcoming due dates and things I need to complete before certain times in the semester.

To help you lovelies get even more organized, I have some other freebies for you made by yours truly.

Pink Blog Organizer | Blue Blog Organizer | Weekly Organizer

I hope you all have a great semester!

P.S. You probably noticed that I've updated my blog's design, tell me how you feel about it in the comments!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Things To Do In London + Pictures!

If you haven't seen any of my Instagram posts recently, or haven't been reading my tweets for the past month or so, you may not know that I just went to London for a two week long study abroad trip! My last post was on Ireland and Scotland, the two places I went before beginning my class on Harry Potter, so check it out if you haven't read it yet!

I was going to split London into two separate posts, just like I did when I went to Rome (1/2), but decided that I will already have enough travel posts for you all to read through.

Similar Sweater | Leggings | Boots
A must do while in London, we visited Buckingham Palace where I waited to find Prince Harry, since we're obviously going to get married soon.


St. Paul's Cathedral is another great place to visit! It was huge and beautiful, and I highly recommend going on one of the guided tours there. These are a set of stairs in St.Paul's Cathedral where they filmed Harry Potter! They can be seen when the students are walking up to Divination class.


This is a picture of St.James park near Buckingham palace, be sure to stay away from the geese as they get a little aggressive! Although, if you're lucky you'll see a few swans swimming out on the lake. Fun fact, all swans are owned by the Queen!


The Roman Baths in Bath were spectacular. If you have a day to get out of the city of London, take a short(ish) train ride to Bath Spa and go visit them!




Big Ben and the London Eye are so much bigger than I expected! Unfortunately the London Eye was closed for refurbishment, so I couldn't go on it, but it was still very cool to see. Big Ben was stunning, and was just a short tube ride away from where we stayed.


Westminster Abbey is incredibly breathtaking. When you enter the halls surrounding it you almost feel like you're in an outdoor scene at Hogwarts, but the actual Cathedral(Church? I'm actually not sure which it is) is stunning.


I hope you enjoyed looking at my pictures from my trip! Have you ever been to London? If you haven't, what's your favorite place that you've traveled to?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Traveling to Ireland and Scotland

I'm back from my travels! (and my blog break!) The United Kingdom was absolutely amazing, but also ridiculously tiring. I know why they say travel young, because after the first few days of walking about 7 miles a day on average, my feet, back, and shoulders were killing me. Seventeen days of this and I was ready to come back home to my nice warm bed and the comforts of home. I loved and enjoyed every minute of this experience, but am also very glad to be home. Side note, it was freezing cold the entire trip, so my attempts to put together some outfits were sadly covered by bulky jackets and extreme layering. Oh well. 

Our trip started off in Washington D.C. for a 13 hour layover where, after no sleep, we walked around some of the memorials and Smithsonian museums. We then got on our flight to Dublin and our adventure started!


The group of us who went to Ireland and Scotland!


Scarf | Jacket | Jeans | Similar Cross body



We only stayed in Dublin for two days, but we did everything we wanted to do and see in that time. Although Dublin felt a bit touristy, I really liked the city and the people were extremely friendly! We stumbled upon the old royal gardens on the last day when our plans fell through, and I'm glad we did, because that was my favorite thing we saw!

We then went on to Scotland for the next leg of our journey. The majority of our time in Scotland was spent in Edinburgh, but we took a day trip where we visited Glencoe, the Highlands, and Loch Ness. What we hadn't anticipated about Scotland was that the city basically shuts down from New Years until the 3rd, and then the 4th was a bank holiday so most things remained closed.


We celebrated New Years at the huge Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh. It was extremely crowded and terribly freezing, but it was also really fun!




The Edinburgh Castle was so beautiful. The view from the top (see below) was spectacular, and it was just so cool to see all the royal history from Scotland.



On to our day trip into the countryside...there were so many sheep! There were also some Highland Cows, which I didn't get any pictures of since we only saw them on the bus, but look them up! They're adorable and fuzzy!

We traveled through the mountains in Glencoe and only got off the bus for 5 minute picture stops since it was so cold! Fun fact: Hagrid was born in Glencoe and that's where they shot his outdoor house scenes in the Harry Potter movies! I think this was my favorite place we traveled to, because the mountains were gorgeous and quite literally were out of a scene from a movie. There were snowy mountains, green mountains, and lakes every few miles. It was truly incredible.


Finally, we ended our road trip with a rainy tour of Loch Ness. Nessy was definitely sleeping or hibernating because we couldn't catch a glimpse of her!

My next post will be about everything we saw in London for my travel course all about Harry Potter! If you have questions about my trip I would love to hear from you!

Would anyone be interested in a post just about the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour? Because I somehow managed to take over 400 photos there...but not sure if any of you are interested in that!

On another note, this blog break of mine was way too long, but it made me realize how much I really love to write on here and share things with you all. When I had internet I was trying to look at Blogger and check my stats and saw that I had some crazy blog views happening! I have no idea what sparked this (my only lead is that a Pinterest post of mine is at 200 repins??) but I'm so glad people were excited to read what I was writing! I'm looking forward to writing new posts and connecting with readers more and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts!
 
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