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Sunday

Taking Care of Yourself Is Really Important, and Easy (and Cheap)

Hello everyone! Relaxation Sunday, not really, I have a crap ton of work to get done but I thought I'd semi "start" out the day with a nice little post for y'all <3

Ever since 2017 started, I've taken my resolutions really seriously and I've actually been trying to take care of myself. With Pinterest and drug store on my side, I've managed to figure out some tips and tricks, for broke people, like me. Enjoy! And treat yo self. And yo skin. Yo entire body. Yo everything. Love y'all.


((not my background, but the fact that it's gray, bothers me))


DISCLAIMER

All of these things are either, cliche, really good, or may not work for you!! And that's okay!! These are things that work for me,, a person with mildly dry skin, dry wavy hair, and mildly acne prone skin. Keep that in mind :)



DRINK. YOUR. WATER. WATER IS SO GOOD FOR YOU. LISTEN. THIS IS SO CLICHE. YOU WILL HEAR THIS IN EVERY SELF CARE RELATED POST. BUT DRINK THAT WATER. 

I drink two tall glasses of water EVERY DAY. And at first, it felt like a chore, it was annoying and I forgot. But after a week I SAW RESULTS.

My lashes were longer, I hadn't been breaking out, my sweat didn't smell (tmi BUT IT HELPS). 

I didn't like the taste of water (WATER HAS A TASTE NO ONE FIGHT ME ON THIS), I could barely finish a large cup without the bad feeling in my mouth. So I found an alternative, the BEAUTY THAT IS. Infused water. 

You put fruit in. (Make sure you cut it up) Or whatever the heck you want. Leave it in for at least an hour and a half, but not too long otherwise it's too strong, and bask in glory. You feel amazing after you drink that glass, you feel refreshed. AND YOU EVEN GET TO EAT THE FRUIT AT THE END. baboom. 

I like putting strawberries in my water, but the best things to put are cucumbers and lemons, they actually have health benefits. I originally just drank infused water because the taste is better. 

Also!! Don't get it from the store!! That infused water is more processed and just not good, if you make it at home, it's natural!! Yay!! And really easy!! Woo!!
I'm almost 13.. therefore I don't use that many skin products, like eye masks or things like that. But I DO wash my face and moisturize EVERY DAY. TWICE A DAY. And exfoliate twice a week, but that's just a little extra so I can GLOW. 

Cleaning your face is so important, especially if you touch your face often, it gets all icky and gunky and then your pores are icky and gunky and then you break out and that's icky and gunky. Ugh. It's not really good. 

Moisturizing is also good, it feels good, your skin is soft and you are soft, <33. Just love. 

I mentioned exfoliating, I do that as a little extra bit but if you do exfoliate, use cheaper products. They work GOOD. I use a scrub from St Ives that was 5 dollars, and my skin loves it. You don't have to spend 50 dollars on your masks or scrubs. Unless you want to treat yo self. Then treat yo self. 

For my body I just moisturize and put olive oil on! Use olive oil, it makes your skin so so soft <3 And for lips I use Vaseline, nothin fancy. 


I use: Simple Face Wash, Simple Moisturizer, Neutrogena Naturals Scrub, St Ives Scrub (all products I got from my drugstore :0)
All I gotta say is wash your hair. Although not TOO much because it could damage your hair. Shampooing everyday for more than a month is really bad for your hair and could cause it to fall out. But conditioning regularly is amazing, your hair will be so so soft and nice <3

I also recommend using coconut oil in your hair! Every Friday night I just put it all over my hair, put it up in a bun, leave it in overnight, and wash it in the morning. You'll get very shiny hair, it's nice. 

This is extra, but I use a detangling spray when I brush my hair, it's good for my girls w thick hair. 

I use: OGX Argan Oil Shampoo, Garnier Sleek and Shine Conditioner, Some Coconut Oil, and It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Spray. 



what do you do to take care of yourself? any other tips for the crowd? let me know if you tried any of this!!! <3


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Saturday

The Depths of My Legendary Bullet Journal

Hello everyone! Happy Saturday! Since I've been so utterly obsessed with bullet journaling and everything related to bullet journaling, I decided to share a little bit inside my not so glorious yet thing I'm tremendously proud of, bullet journal! Some of my favorite spreads and things I use to make it m a g i c a l.




sorry for the dark pictures! it's been very cloudy lately :(



I've always enjoyed the idea of staying organized through lists and journals and such. I came across the bullet journal on Instagram a while go, and I've been fascinated. Mid December, I purchased a notebook and have been mixing with my planner!

It's a more creative approach to keeping myself on track, and listing things that I wouldn't normally remember. My bullet journal inspires me to do so many interesting activities/things that benefit my life. It's like my best friend, minus the whole talking part. I've also picked up a couple hobbies in order to spice it up, like hand lettering, which is a work in progress. yikes. 



a little quote (the darkness hides my terrible faux calligraphy) and a self care spread, which i love very much :)



I track a various amount of things in my bujo, from my daily tasks, to monthly tasks, to goals. I also like to track movies I want to watch, consistent "habits" I want to keep, honestly whatever comes to mind, and whatever I think will help me in the future!


Here's a sample month spread, I have a small calendar, a couple quotes, and my goals. It's minimalistic and a nice lil thing to flip to when I'm looking through the month. (yes i've started planning February DONT JUDGE ME.) 

To the right, I have a future log where I write reminders for the next couple months. It's a new thing I'm trying out! (hopefully it works ..)



You probably cannot see this, as it's a lot on one page, but this is a weekly spread I did! I've been using it for January, but for February I'm planning on switching it up to something more exciting besides a boring chart! On the right I just have some goals and a terribly done quote :)





I don't really think materials matter, any pen, any marker, any notebook works. My journal is a 5 dollar one from Target. The pens I use vary, but I often use Sakura Microns which were 10 dollars for 6 of them. I also recently bought a giant set of Mildliners which are these highlighters that were 20 dollars for around 25 of them :) 

I used to use sharpie and things that bled through, but it was a pain because I couldn't use the page on the other side smh. 



Hope y'all enjoyed! I might be sharing more of my bullet journal so look forward to that :D Have a lovely weekend <3

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Thursday

New Year, New A Little Bit of Sunshine

Hello everyone! Long time no see! I'm going to skip the apologies, the explanation and just start by saying it feels great to be back. This is the longest break I have ever taken in the history of my almost three years of blogging, and boy did I need it. December was a difficult month for me, it was mainly trying to figure out what I wanted by 2017 to be; how I wanted to take on this new year!



I'm officially back with the blog, and to relaunch, I thought I'd outline my plans for the revamp, the shiny glossy new finish I'm putting on it, which I have been working on for around 3 weeks. Enjoy and I hope you find some inspiration for your blog!



Posts are definitely going to remain the same or similar, my blog may be changing, but I haven't! I've learned to accept the fact that my blog will remain different and.. wild, no matter what I try to do!

You can expect these kinds of posts in 2017: how-tos, book related, fandom related (less than usual), life related, organizing related.

And more! Wherever my mind, and your minds take me!

I'm going to really really try putting my own personal touch on my posts! Like a magic wand! But me! Just so that if you read a post, you'd know it's from me.



I've become more organized since I last put a post up on this blog. Can you guys believe that I've kept up a bullet journal since December 11th? Bow down to the Princess of Bullet Journals.

I've always loved planning, it's so fun and makes me artistic and inspired and.. organized! Hopefully this will motivate me to start posting more often, and on time!

You can expect posts in 2017 to be: at best; every other day and at worst; once/twice a week. And the occasional week break when I need it, breaks are important!



Probably the thing I've missed most about blogging is my lovely wonderful blogging friends! I love y'all and I'm so so so so so so so sorry if I have not answered your email, I haven't checked my email in a month.. yikes.

You can expect to see me on your blog in 2017: probably about every day! Or at least whenever you post :P

I can't wait to get back into reading blogs, I'm aiming for at least three blogs read a day, and at least a new blogging friend made every month! (Help me out by shooting me an email.. here!



Quality quality quality. This is something that has often fluctuated in my blog, one month I'll be A+. Another month.. a solid D-. I'm going to try and keep it at a B level every time, and if you don't see a post from me when expected, that means I'm gussying it up to make it beautiful. (Gussying means beautifying, my soccer coach taught me that one, somehow..)

You can expect my blog in 2017 to be: full of beautiful pictures, nicer cover photos, more interesting posts, and medium length!



I'd really really like to thank everyone who is still following my blog, I'm up to 170 followers now! Thank you! I can't express how much it means to me that you still believe in me, even when I didn't. I won't let you down again. <3 Really. Thank you. 

Thanks for reading + Happy New Year!
Noor

Friday

Why I Couldn't Complete NaNoWrimo

Hello everyone! Sad day, 5 days left in NaNo and I should have been done. Should have been done. I still have 20,000 words to go, and with only 5 days left, that's 4,000 words a day which is nearly impossible for me.

It's very sad for me to say that I will not be able to complete NaNoWrimo this year. Despite all the hype I had getting ready for it, I now realize that I wasn't ready for it.

However, that doesn't mean that I'm giving up on the novel. I plan to take it back up in January, after I finish my mourning and move on, not quite, but move on from the loss.

This loss has really helped me to see the bigger picture, how I can become more organized, how to manage my time, etcetera, etcetera. So I decided to share my findings with you all! Although I am somewhat ashamed that I only made it to 30,000, when last year, when I was a worse writer and younger I made it to 60,000, I think this will help me grow as a writer and as a person!

After all, mistakes are only part of the journey.



i didn’t prioritize or make time for writing

This was probably the major part that caused my doom. It wasn't that I didn't have time, I had a lot of it, I just didn't make time. I wouldn't set up a time for writing, I would just find a slot and fit some writing into there.

I also didn't make it a higher priority. Of course I put things like homework and violin first because I definitely needed to get those done, but for some reason, writing was pretty low on my list of priorities.



A nice thing I could do is possibly make myself a lil to-do list (because LISTS MAKE ME HAPPY and they make me want to actually DO THINGS) and order it based on importance (because ORDER MAKES ME HAPPY)

I should probably set up a time for writing, where I'd actually know when I'm going to write.. good plan.


i slacked and let myself do it

Error number two broskis. Slacking. My goal was 2k words a day, so I would write 600 and then come back and write another 400 and then just didn't write. And I knew I was supposed to be writing, but I didn't do anything?



you know what you gotta do, so do it. For me, 1000 words takes 20 minutes, 2000 would take 40, so why not? Actually by 2000 I'd probably be tired, so take a half an hour break in between.


i wasn't ready

I knew I was going to take on NaNo, and I started preparing in August, but then I slacked. I didn't truly prepare until the last weeks of October. I thought I was prepared for it, but I wasn't. 

I may have been physically prepared, my computer was ready, so was my outline, but I wasn't ready. My brain hadn't really processed that I had this dedication to write 2000 words a day. 

The funny part is, my novel was great. It wasn't a disaster. I was the disaster. I just couldn't GET myself together enough to write it more often. When I did write, it wasn't bad, I'll be honest. 


Start working in late September. Know what you have to do. Make your outline better. Just plan, even if it may not be for your novel. 


So I'm hoping to have this done by January, and then begin editing in March which means I'll maybe be having beta readers by end of March?? Look forward to that I suppose. 



how was your november? did you complete nanowrimo? do you have any tips for this loser? ahem. any tips about recovering from a loss?



Thanks for reading,
Noor

Sunday

NaNoWrimo Recap #1 - In Which Outlines Are My Best Friend

Hello everyone! Week One of NaNo is complete, how are y'all feeling? I'm TIRED, it's been such a long week, I just want to sleep for 1000 years.. goodbye..

Recaps are a little fun, I enjoy checking in with you guys and seeing how you're doing, share some tips, some word counts, some tales of treachery and dismay. cough.



goodnight


day one // 2137 words written | 2137 words total

first day!! went good, i didn't follow any crawl or sprints, but i did participate in the virtual write ins, which are always loads of fun.

day two // 1892 words written | 4029 words total

i started a harry potter word crawl, didn't get that far as i was sick, but still very fun :D

day three // 1971 words written | 6000 words total

kept going with the harry potter crawl, i was so tired that day, so i barely got anything done.

day four // 1698 words written | 7689 words total

friday blues, i relaxed today and forgot about writing until like 7 o clock.. yikes.. 

day five // 3006 words written | 10895 words total

gotta love saturdays, i was at a friend's house for the majority of the day, but managed to fit a lot of writing in. i was really hoping to double up my word count, which didn't happen, but i managed 3k, which was satisfactory. 

day six // 2689 words written | 13384 words total

grr, was really hoping to hit 15k today and make it a 5k Sunday, but didn't work out. i had a pretty good schedule up until 3 o clock, and then i began slacking. although, i started a hamilton crawl, which is fun!!

I love outlines. seriously, i thank myself and my outline for being my savior, i honestly don't know where my novel would be without it. 



I didn't follow it completely, I made some tweaks and completely changed a couple plot lines which may end up being my doom, but I kept the basic structure. I SUCCEEDED WITH MY OUTLINE. probably. 

not to toot my own horn but gosh, I adore my characters. I've been really trying to fit characterization wherever I can, and I LOVE THEM. they are my children and I must protect. they all have their own cute little personalities and they're really really cute. they're all so interesting and are really going to develop as the plot goes on. probably. 



I awarded myself with a donut today, and I gave my character a donut, which I dedicated an entire two paragraphs to. yes, I love donuts. 

Also, completely irrelevant to my novel, but I didn't find a single pumpkin muffin at the store today. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS ABOMINATION. 


I have, much to surprise, not encountered that many problems yet. my biggest one is that I have not had a pumpkin muffin since Wednesday.. I am DEPRIVED. 

However, I do often feel like my writing isn't unique enough. I'll read back on a passage and harrumph because it doesn't have pizzaz. (yes i did just use harrumph and pizzaz in one sentence, and no, i do not regret it thank you also pizzaz looks a lot like pizza)



It feels so bland, I try and add imagery and sensory language but then I think that I'm trying too hard. I WILL NEVER WIN IN THE BATTLE AGAINST MYSELF. 

I also feel like it has a lot of plot holes. Like really small ones that will leave my reader thinking: "Why the heck? or "How the heck?". i thought that to myself, that's probably not a good sign.

Also one more thing, I'm only at 13k but on the 10th chapter, this is not good. i'll be stuck. AAA



do things that will motivate you to write // sometimes, if you feel a little lazy and not wanting to write, do a word war, a word crawl, do your writing in sprints. give yourself something that will make you want to write, or at least challenge you to write. 

take breaks. please. // i don't care if you're superman, don't write for 3 hours straight, it's quite strenuous and you'll be so so tired. take a 10 minute break every hour and make some tea, eat something, etc, etc. take care of yourself like you take care of your characters <3 (unless you're a murder machine who kills off every single character in the novel, then do the opposite)



the harry potter soundtrack is really great to write to // like honestly, there is a song on that soundtrack for every mood, it's literally perfect. and it's harry potter, magnificent. 


do i have to. 

- - - 

Avis was having trouble breathing herself. 5 minutes ago, there was no person in her room, just her and her angry thoughts of throwing her stepmother out of the window. And then, there’s a ghost in her room. She was ready to call up the mental asylum. 
- - - 

“You may think that now, but once you feel like you could lose it all, you get a whole new perspective. Look at the trees, each one has a different beauty to them, they’re all different in their own way. It’s like; they all hold a story in their leaves, a truth, something magical. Sometimes, once things reach the human eye, they lose their magic completely. That’s why they’re so magical, because no one does appreciate them, so they keep their secrets and hold their beauty. It’s amazing.” Sanyi shook his head, still looking at the trees. Avis gave him a soft smile.  

"You sound like my English teacher." Avis replied. 



How is NaNoWrimo going? Any problems, any wickedly amazing things? And what’s your NaNoWrimo User, so we can become buddies? Ooh, what’s your favorite album/song/soundtrack to write to? Share with me dudes.


Hope your week is lovely friends <3

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Monday

Thoughts The Night Before NaNoWrimo

Hello everyone! Today I have tracked all the thoughts that I've had relating to NaNoWrimo and written them down, they were fairly disastrous and it seemed like my brain is a bunch of people running frantically, throwing papers, and crying. scratch the seemed, it is like that. Prepare yourselves for a peek inside my brain, the night before NaNoWrimo.

(this is my Halloween post because honestly it's just as scary)



- I STILL HAVE THINGS TO PLOT

- am i plotter or panster this year i plotted stuff but i didn't.

- am i really sure i want to do this i mean is it worth it



- I STILL DON'T HAVE A WRITING BUDDY. OR A WRITING GROUP. I seriously can't do this alone.

- 2000 words a day, honestly piece of cake, 50k here i come!

- I CANNOT DO THIS WRITING IS TOO HARD FDFBGKBEFBW



- what if i have homework what if i drop my novel into an abyss what if

- *smells freshly printed outline and sighs in joy*



- HOW DOES ONE EDIT A NOVEL. especially a novel that was written in 25 days

- this novel is going to climb out of my computer and PUNCH ME IN THE FACE because it's so bad. 

- no. i'm gonna write this thing and it's going to be good and i'm going to LOVE IT. *stuffs chocolate in face*



- imagining scenes in head and getting really excited

- I want TO WRITE ALREADY *glares at calendar* maybe if i stare at this long enough, it'll change.

- watch me write like 100000 words and then my computer crashes. just my luck. 



- I need to stock up on pumpkin muffins. right now. i can't survive this without my CHILDREN. 

- goodbye world. i am deceased, you won't see me until December and if anyONE disturbs me in my writing slumber they will be murdered. in my book. 

- my characters are so perfect in their sketches and now i'm going to have to like... hurt them and stuff. my smols.

- i'm actually doing this aren't i



are you doing NaNoWrimo this year? how do you feel the day before? are you EXCITED? TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOUR EXCITEMENT OR NERVOUSNESS

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Saturday

Outlines - The Bain of My Existence

Hello everyone! I'm terribly sorry for the lack of posting, but I will try to do more than one post a week in November, October has just been horribly hectic for me.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been outlining. And planning. And not writing. Which is kind of terrible because when I'm planning what to write I want to cry. Because I just want to WRITE. 

LET'S TALK ABOUT PLANNING.

woo hoo.

But wait, why even plan if it’s the most dreadful thing in the world?

You know honestly I ask myself that same question every day. But really, if you want to go back and read any writing I've done in the past 5 years, I can answer that question for you.

It's messy, first drafts are messy but this is after a party pizza on the floor, root beer cans everywhere, pillows scattered messy.

nOT FUN.


How does one.. plan?

Yet another question I ask myself every day. Planning works differently for everyone, you can do specific planning like TOTALLY CRAZILY ANALYZE EVERY SINGLE SCENE or you can grab 3 index cards and write your beginning, middle and end. Or you can find a middle ground.

I found my middle ground, and it works quite well.



Here is a basic outline of a chapter, this is what I use for all my chapters and it helps me gather basic information, not being too general and not being too specific. MIDDLE GROUND !!

Noor, making planning easy since 2016. 


I also do weird things like CHARACTER SKETCHES because I love them and they're my children/my best friends and I need to get to know them well so my readers (who probably won't exist until I PERFECT my novel) can get to know them well. 

Also so that they're not bland and boring like chicken broth, chicken broth isn't fun without a little PIZZAZZ. does anyone still say pizzazz anymore? probably not. 




Basically I just give some basic information on my character, what she's like, her backstory, her conflicts, her education for some reason, and also other things which I didn't show because spoilers. 

IT'S FUN AND EASY AND QUICK and helps me somewhat develop my sweet loves into COOL CHARACTERS. alliterations, haven't even started writing and I'm already using literary devices HAH. 



HOPE Y'ALL ENJOYED THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF PLANNING.

I scream too much SORRY, I'm just so proud of myself because organization! That being said, I only have 3 chapters planned and NaNoWrimo is in 9 DAYS GTG. 

Thanks for reading,
Noor