India Circus Home Decor

HAPPY FRIDAY, Y’ALL! I am so, so, SOOO excited about this glorious Fall weather! For whatever reason, it has really inspired me to do a ton of revamping to this little home of ours. I’ve been cleaning out closets, organizing drawers, sprucing up home decor… and even purging my classroom supplies (a very, very hard thing to do for teachers. You really never know when you could use… oh, I don’t know… everything you’ve ever owned). 
When we first moved into this loft, we only brought about 1/3 of the things we had in our old house. We made trip after trip to Goodwill to drop off trash bags full of items that we didn’t want/need or that didn’t fit our style. For the loft, we tried to keep our color scheme pretty simple and earthy: lots of browns and greens. And even though I loved the relaxing-ness of our new decor, it made me realize that I really need ALL THE BRIGHT COLORS! 
Over the past couple of months, I’ve shared a couple of posts about how I’ve been adding a little cheer and whimsy to our super earthy space. Today, I’m going to share another brand that I just have to let y’all know about: India Circus! The name sounds totally amazing, right? Well, the decor goes right along with the amazing-ness of the name! Think along the lines of some items that you would find at Pier One… except a little more authentic! 
I ordered two of these gorgeous peacock pillow covers and I have just been so absolutely pleased with how beautiful and vibrant they are! In addition to beautiful home decor, India Circus also has gorgeous dishes, bags, and even iPad and phone cases
Affordable, cheerful, and exotic? 
Oh, you can definitely count me in for that! 🙂 

Could your apartment/dorm/house use a little splash of color like mine needed? Did you check out the website? If so, what were some of your favorite things?! 

Fall Break Painting Projects

Whew! Y’all… remember that month called “October”? Where the heck did it go? Seriously. I don’t know if you noticed, but someone totally stole some days out of it because it could not have been that short! Thank you so much to all of you who read the series that I worked on in October! There are still more upcoming posts for it but I think I hit on all of the most frequently requested ones! Another thing crossed off of my to-do list! YAY! 
What you didn’t see (because I was focused on studying posts) was that we did a TON of decorating, organizing, and projects around our home in October, too! 
Now it’s no secret that I’m a little obsessed with Scotch Expressions tape (AKA “washi” tape). I use it in my planner, on my calendar, and for project, after project, after project around our loft! 
But over the month of October, I had a chance to try out a different kind of tape from Scotch, the ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape Delicate Surface with Advanced Edge-Lock TM Paint Line Protector (AKA “painter’s” tape). 


Yes, that’s right… I worked on some painting projects over the past month and I forgot how much fun that is! Every time I see amazing-looking living spaces on Pinterest, I’m so tempted to go out and buy a bunch of new home decor. And the only problem with that is that… well, you know… it costs money. So, during my Fall Break lull in schoolwork, I used my time to revamp the things that I already around the house! 

In order to make this vase ombre, I taped the middle, then spray painted the top white and the bottom turquoise.
Once the paint dried, I removed the tape and blended the two in the middle until it looked ombre-ish enough for me!
Here’s the final result!
This little step-stool used to be a burgundy color… but obviously, pink is better!
This one still needs a second coat of paint, but you get the picture 🙂 

When I finished my projects, I gave the rest to my mom, who is in the process of decorating the “guest cottage” (AKA the fancy name she gave the mother-in-law suite) at my parents’ house. I kind of feel like my husband and I have become expert painters over the past year… while staging our house, we ended up painting almost every single room. Okay, because he reads this blog, let me rephrase that… HE repainted almost every single room while I stood by the ladder ready to call 911 if he fell. 

(My efforts to save his life from a hypothetical-potentially-life-threatening accident were not as appreciated as one would expect them to be.)
No paint where it’s not supposed to be! Perfect!! 
Did you work on any projects over Fall Break? Do you have anything that could use some “revamping” in your home? 
BTW, the paint I used was spray paint from Lowe’s and it was $3 a can! 
So these were all SUPER inexpensive projects!! 🙂 

3 Ways to Form Study Habits

Sometimes it’s easy to make yourself sit down and do some schoolwork (like when your assignment is due tomorrow) and other times, you kind of need a little boost of motivation to sit down and get started on it. That doesn’t mean that you’re a slacker, or lazy, or a bad student. It’s hard for everyone to force themselves to work on things that don’t necessarily have a sense of urgency. Schoolwork and studying really rely on discipline and habit. It takes work and organization… and even planning (YAY!).
We often hear that it takes 21 (or is it 28?) days to form a new habit.  And, with that already in the back of my mind, I heard something pretty interesting earlier this year when I was researching for the 4 Rules for Effective Studying post. In that post, there is a video of a lecture from a professor (Dr. Marty Lobdell), and he suggests a really cool idea: having a “study lamp”. I kind of blended those two ideas together and came up with a couple of other ways to create a study habit/routine in my everyday life.

So, here are 3 tricks that you can use to get into the habit of studying daily, too! 

1: Use a “Study Lamp”

This is the idea from Dr. Lobdell. He especially suggests it for students who study and sleep in the same room (aka bedrooms and dorms). A “study lamp” is a lamp (obviously) in your study area that you only turn on when you sit down and actually start on your schoolwork. When you get up to take a break, turn the lamp off. And don’t use this lamp for any other reason! The reasoning behind this is that your mind eventually gets into the habit of going into “study mode” when the lamp is turned on.

2: Designate a “Study Chair”

That idea kind of inspired me to think of some other things that could trigger that kind of conditioned response. Consider designating a “study chair”. A place where you always sit when you’re working, but that you don’t use for anything else. Since we moved into our loft, I’ve been using one specific chair at our dining table as my “work station”. Even though I sit at that table for dinner and other things, I never use that particular chair unless I’m working. When I’m there, I know it’s time to get stuff done!

3: Buy a “Study Candle”

Along those same lines, I also recently did some research on Aromatherapy, which I am just fascinated by. Did you know that smell is our biggest link to memory? I can still spray the body spray I wore in high school (Love Spell!) and immediately be brought back to those memories. And the smell of dew-covered grass in the morning reminds me of all the soccer and softball games I played as a little girl. The same with the smell of the beach of course! So, I thought, why not do the same with studying?

I have a “study candle” that I light when it’s time to get some schoolwork done, and a “relaxing candle” that I light when I’m ready to calm down my mind, turn off my electronics at night, and just be present in the moment. When I looked into the scents that would be most effective for working, the things that I found were just SO interesting! Different scents have different effects on our brains, such as boosting confidence, creativity, and focus. There are some links below to take you to some of these articles!

Here are some scents that may help boost your productivity:

Cinnamon: Concentration and Focus
Jasmine: Calmness, Confidence, Energy, and Optimism
Lavender: Calmness
Lemon: Calmness, Clarity, and Concentration
Peppermint: Clarity, Concentration, and Creativity
Rosemary: Energy & Memory

And here are the different scents that I use at different parts of the day:

Morning: Jasmine, Peppermint, or Rosemary
Night: Jasmine, Lavender, or Lemon
Studying: Cinnamon, Lemon, Peppermint, or Rosemary
Writing: Jasmine or Peppermint

This, this, and this are some interesting articles to check out if you want to read more about aromatherapy or the Olfactory Bulb (the reason smell and memory are closely linked)! There are even more scent suggestions in the articles, the ones listed above are just my personal favorites. Just a few helpful things to keep in mind while you’re walking down that oh-so-alluring candle aisle at Target! 
… it gets me every time! 🙂 

Do you use any of these kinds of tricks to get yourself into the habit of studying? Have you tried using aromatherapy ever? Do you have a special routine or space designated to “study time”?