Alyssa J Freitas

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Her Campus 22 Under 22

She's passionate, motivated, caring, influential, driven, inspiring. She works tirelessly to make her vision a reality and will always stop to help others. We all know someone like this (you might even be her!) and Her Campus is recognizing 22 of these amazing women who are under 22 years old.


For those of you who don't know, Her Campus is the "#1 global community for college women" and is authored entirely by the world's top college journalists. There are chapters on many college campuses, including TCNJ (you can check out my posts for Her Campus TCNJ here). Basically, it's the go-to place for every college girl.

I am so excited to share with you the 22 Under 22 Most Inspiring College Women campaign because I firmly believe that we should recognize those who go above and beyond; the highest of achievers deserve to be acclaimed and can serve as role models for the rest of us :) It is easy to nominate someone, or enter yourself, and I highly encourage everyone to do it! 

Here's what you need to know:
  • Nominations run through May 31st, 2015
  • Any self-identifying female who is 22 or younger as of September 30th, 2015 who will be enrolled full time at an undergraduate institution in fall 2015 and who will graduate no sooner than December 2015 is eligible
The list of 22 Under 22 will be released in September 2015 after a panel of judges review nominations this summer. I can't wait to see who is chosen! 

Who are you nominating? Click here to enter

-AJF

Thank you to Her Campus Media for partnering on this post
   

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Preparing For The Future

Get ready for another linkup with the lovely ladies from The Well! Be sure to check out my other posts from the linkup here. The question of the month is What are you doing (now) to prepare yourself for a better future? What do you think you should start doing to create a better future for yourself? Whoa, what interesting questions, right?!
Preparing For The Future | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com
In order to answer these questions, I need to have goals for my future; something I'm working towards which requires me to take steps now to prepare for it. As I finish up half of my college career (agh!) I am looking to the future with thoughts of employment. For a long time I was convinced I wanted to be an attorney. Now don't get me wrong, I still would love to go to law school, however through my experiences with sales courses and competitions I have realized that my talents can be used for a variety of careers. When it comes to preparing for the future, I am looking to continually improve my transferable skills and will do that by taking on more challenges and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. That will mean seeking more responsibility in my work life and with my organizations.

As great as it is to look to the future and making it "better," I also believe that there is something to be said for embracing the here and now. I am one who is always looking to better herself and who thinks of her resume whenever she does anything (more here on why that isn't necessarily a good thing), however the present is something to be enjoyed. Granted there is always room for improvement, but we need not be obsessed with the future resulting in us missing out on what is wonderful about right now! Living in the future or with dissatisfaction in the present is detrimental and a shame. I am guilty of this on occasion, but have been making a conscious effort to find happiness in where I am today.

Identifying areas you want to work on is wicked important and essential to be successful, which is why I do truly like this question. As always, it is about striking the right balance between forward thinking and present enjoyment. Here is an image I created with a quote from Donald Altman which perfectly sums up what I'm trying to say. New phone background anyone?

Preparing For The Future | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com


What are you doing to prepare for your future? Do you agree that it's all about balance?


-AJF

Check out the other bloggers who are part of the linkup:

Meg Biram Liska Monet 26 and Not Counting soak and simmer Knowing Kelly Carrie Loves Manifest Yourself Rae Loves White Cabana The Yuppie Files Little Wild Heart Life Modifier The Not Quite Adult Random Little Faves Perfect Enough For Us Always, Anita Feathers and Stripes Something Good The Golden Letter Leigh Clair York Avenue Sequins & Strawberries Emilie Lima Burke with love from ellie rejoyce Bite My Fashion White Oak Creative StyledbyKesha xo lacey Whitney Bangel Blog always craving Evann Clingan Turning the Corner...Fearlessly! IN THE GREY Beauty and the Pitch PRBlonde

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How To Make The Most Of Your Morning Routine

I am an early bird, no doubt about it. My body naturally wakes up in the 6 o'clock hour regardless of what time I go to bed; this is both a blessing and a curse, but it does mean that I get a jump on the day.

How To Make The Most Of Your Morning Routine | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com
Since coming to college two years ago (#wheredidthetimego?), I've perfected my morning routine. Today I'm going to share with you what I do and help you figure out how to make the most of your morning routine. Let's get started!

How To Make The Most Of Your Morning Routine | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Here is a breakdown of what I do:
  • First, like I mentioned before, my body naturally wakes up. The time does vary within the 6 o'clock hour, but the majority of the time my eyes fly open at 6:40.
  • Next, I lie in bed while checking social media on my phone. A quick scroll through Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest gets my day started with a little inspiration. 
  • After about 10 minutes I get up and make my bed. This is essential! It's my first "accomplishment" of the day, makes my room look put together, and has been part of my routine since I was 5 years old. 
  • The fun really begins now when I pick out my outfit for the day. I'll usually check the weather, take a look at my calendar, and then choose accordingly. I love picking out shoes and accessories and putting a bit of effort into my look. I then do my makeup and hair which takes about 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Lastly, I put whatever I need for the day into my bag, throw on my coat, and head out the door to breakfast by 7:25 for the dining hall that opens at 7:30.    
Here are my tips for getting the most out of your morning:
  • After you get up (if you need an alarm, I can't really help too much in that respect. Here's an article about alarm clocks for heavy sleepers), take a few moments to get your mind in the right place. For me, that means looking at social media but for you it could be meditation, listening to your favorite song, or writing a list of what you want to accomplish that day. 
  • Now, I know not everyone likes to make their bed and that's totally fine (not really, but I'm working on not judging...) but do something that kick starts your day. Perhaps it's answering emails or checking something easy off of your list. 
  • Outfit time! I'm pretty decisive when it comes to picking out my clothing and accessories, but you can always do this the night before to save time. Like I mentioned, I take into account the weather and my schedule for the day which narrows down the choices. 
  • Streamlining your makeup routine is a huge help if you want to move quickly. I've been focusing on using the least amount of products possible while still achieving what I want to with my look. You can experiment to find out what's right for you!
  • When getting your bag together for the day, already having the essentials packed (like your planner, pens, etc) is a great help so you don't forget anything. Like your outfit, it may even be helpful to pack the night before.
Starting your day out right will allow you to be more relaxed, productive, and happy so make sure you put some thought in to how you will plan out your morning. Hopefully these tips and insights were helpful!

What does your morning routine look like? Any advice to share?

-AJF

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Freebie: Desktop Background

I'm trying really hard to develop my eye for design and have been messing around making desktop backgrounds. I actually really like this one and thought you might too (the main reason I like it is because of the John Adam's quote. I really love John Adams). Feel free to save it and use it as your desktop background too!

Freebie: Desktop Background | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

I am a believer that having principles and morals that are unwavering and that you live by are essential. Of course, it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to modify your convictions as you learn more and experience new things. However, it is equally important to know your own values and be willing to stand by them until the end, no matter what those around you are doing.

For example, I don't drink. My reasons are a combination of experience, health, and moral. I don't have an issue that others drink and I can be around alcohol without a problem, I just don't want to partake. Coming to college there was pressure to drink and I've yet to meet another person who lives by the same principle. I certainly stand on this alone and sometimes that is difficult, but I am willing to "always stand on principle, even if [I] stand alone."

What are some principles you uphold?

-AJF

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blogging Process: Idea To Publish

Blogging is a time consuming process. When I first started I truly had no idea how much there is that goes into blogging. It's not simply writing posts and clicking publish. No, no, no; it is far more involved than that! I've worked hard to perfect my process, and while there is always room for improvement, right now I have streamlined it to my liking. I'm going to share with you every little step and detail, plus at the end I've included a checklist for your own blogging needs. Let's get started!

Blogging Process: Idea To Publish | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Ideas
Sometimes ideas flood in at random moments. When that happens I start a draft (mostly just the title and then a few details in the body) to save the idea and then come back to it later. At other times I have absolutely no post concepts and look to lists for the uninspired. Check out this one, this one, that one , this one too, and finally this one.

Writing 
This is my favorite part! Actually writing out your posts can take hours on end or minutes, depending on your mindset, environment, or any number of factors. I work best by just diving into a post, but I know some people prefer to do an outline so they hit every point they want to. I usually write a post (all or part depending on the time I have) and then leave it for a few hours or a day. Once I come back to it I proofread and improve it any way I can.

Images
Now the fun, visual side comes into play. Words are great, but on the internet images can make or break you. My photography skills are really not up to par so I use stock images and add text. Canva is the photo editor I use. It is especially good to be consistent with the branding of your images (check out a post from Elle & Co. all about that) and I find it easy to do so by using the same filter and text layout in Canva.

Not only do I create an image for my post (and keep the width and height consistent) but I also create an image for Twitter. On Canva there is a sizing option for Twitter which makes it very convenient. I also back up all of my images by saving them on my computer and in google drive. Canva also saves the images you create so you can download or modify them at any time. I just like to have backups of the backup :)

To make it easier for Pinterest purposes, I add Title and Alt text. Usually I put the title of the post and a link to my blog.

Labels and Scheduling 
I use labels to categorize my posts which helps keep everything organized and makes it easy to navigate on the blog. At one time, I had tons of labels and would give a post 4 or 5. Now however, I stick to assigning a post 1 or 2 at the most. This helps keep the blog focused.

I then schedule the post to go live. All of my posts go up at 5am and I usually schedule two weeks ahead.

Put it on the Calendar
On my iCalendar I have a different color for all things blogging. I put my posts up so I can visualize what topics are on what dates and to make sure there's variety. I often rearrange my posts when I decide to post more timely information, so it's essential to have it all mapped out on a calendar.

Schedule Tweets
I use TweetDeck to schedule my tweets and I absolutely love it. Now is when I use the image I made before specifically for Twitter and I include my permalink which is created when I scheduled the post. I schedule tweets anytime in the 10 or 11 o'clock hour on the day the post goes live, and on days when I don't have a post I make sure to share something I've found interesting to maintain engagement.

Sharing
On the day my post goes live, I share it on Pinterest (which is where I get the vast majority of my traffic) and respond to comments as they come in.

Blogging Process: Idea To Publish | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Well, that about sums it up! Feel free to use this checklist for your own blogging process. I want to become better at using social media to drive traffic and to create more of a community, so that will enter my blogging process as I figure out how to incorporate it. Any advice on that front would be much appreciated.

What is your blogging process? Are there any steps you think I should add or eliminate?


-AJF
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