Ten top revision tips

Ten top revision tips

So sadly, exam season is about to start and if you haven’t started already then you’re probably thinking about beginning some revision. I’ve been there, done that and got that stressful t-shirt, so I’m going to spill the beans with my ten top tips to survive revision and get the most out of it.

I got pretty average grades in my GCSEs because quite frankly, I didn’t start really revising until about 48 hours before my first exam – which in hindsight, was stupid. Luckily, I still did okay. But by the time I got to A-Levels, which are about a billion times harder than GCSEs, I knew I needed to get my act together. So, these are the things that I learned worked really well for me and helped me get my A-Level grades. Something I did must’ve worked because by some miracle I managed an A* in A-Level English Lit (which i still can’t believe – I think my examiner must’ve been drunk.)

  1. The first thing I’d suggest is about three months before your first exam, you should make a revision timetable. I totally underestimated the importance of a good revision timetable in my first year of A-Levels, which is probably why I didn’t do very well in my first year. However, I did great in my second year, and I put a lot of that down to a revision timetable. I found that it just made my life feel a bit more organised in a time of absolute chaos and stress. It sounds silly, but because it was written down and set out for me it made me stick to it and I did a lot less procrastinating because of it. Also, because I incorporated breaks into my timetable it meant I was looking forward to my scheduled break as I revised. Basically, it does you a lot of psychological favours. Plus, you can make it look all pretty and colourful, which is always fun.
  2. Carrying on from what I said about breaks; breaks are very important, make sure you allow yourself them. Breaks can be really motivating, if you’re struggling to get through an hour of maths, knowing you can have twenty minutes at the end to watch some Youtube might just pull you through it. Not only that, but your brain needs a break, you’ll over do it and just frazzle your brain if you don’t allow yourself breaks, and then the whole day will have been pointless. I know Sophie from school said she did nine hours straight without a single break and she always gets A*s but Sophie is a weirdo, you don’t have to try and do what Sophie does. Download yourself a pomodoro timer, which times your revision periods and breaks and allows you to set the length of time for each. It is a really useful app, I found it really motivating.
  3. Use your breaks as opportunities to drink lots and lots of water. It’s a well known fact that lack of water leads to dehydration, which affects concentration and absorption of information, so down that water. I always aimed to drink a good 1.5-2L of water a day when I was revising, and I always found it kept those nasty revision headaches at away and it made me feel a lot less tired too. Don’t underestimate the importance of something as simple as water, drink it, and lots of it.
  4. This one might be a myth, a lot of people at the time laughed at me for this one but in all honesty I think it might have made a difference. There is a theory that listening to videos about whatever it is you’re learning/revising and falling asleep with them playing allows your brain to absorb the information more while you’re sleeping. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But, I was beyond desperate by my second year of A-Levels and willing to try anything. So, every night I’d make a Youtube playlist and set it going before I fell asleep and then leave it going all night. I have no idea whether it worked, in all honesty, but if you’re desperate like I was.. might be worth a shot?
  5. About those Youtube videos, if you’re a kinaesthetic learner like me then videos can be really really helpful. For example, John Green does a bunch of videos summarising and analysing books, which was SO helpful. A lot of videos use cool cartoons to show you what goes on, and that really helped me remember things. So if you like seeing things, or would rather be told things rather than reading them, then try Youtube – you’d be really surprised what’s out there, no matter how weird your revision topic, there’s probably a few videos on it.
  6. Sleep. Just like water, sleep is so so so important. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain isn’t going to be working to it’s full potential, and when you’re revising, you need every last bit of that potential, trust me. Get yourself into a really good routine, as painful as it is, I used to go to sleep at 10pm every night and wake up around 7/7:30 every morning at the weekends. It meat that I got a good nine hours, and I quickly adjusted to the time and I’d be sat working by eight in the morning and would stop at about eight in the evening. The routine just helped me keep my shit together that little bit. Like keeping a timetable, it just gives you a bit of order and control over all the chaos. Plus it gives you more day time to revise – if you’re like me and your brain just stops working around 5pm, then this is perfect. I’m definitely someone who’s brain works better in the morning, so this was what i needed. However, I know a lot of people who used to sleep all day and revise all night because their brain worked better at night, so just do what works for you – just as long as you’re getting a good nine hours.
  7. Fill your bedroom walls with key words and short quotes or equations etc that you need to remember. In January (my exams were in May and June) I put all my English, History and Sociology quotes up around my room. I shortened them first, and then put different subjects on different colour pieces of paper, and different themes or topics were highlighted in different colours and placed in different areas of my room. Therefore, I’d get up in the morning and see Professor John Smith talking about Charles I and how he was responsible for the civil war over by my book shelf in pink, and slowly all these different quotes became associated with different parts of my room. By the time my exams came around I could think of an area of my room and visualise the majority of the quotes and knew what topic they were from the colour. It really worked. In fact, a lot more came back to me than I thought it would during the exams. I’d definitely swear by this one, especially if you’re someone who can’t just learn things over night, like me, and need a good few months.
  8. Turn your revision into games. I don’t know about anyone else but just sitting and writing things out over and over just doesn’t do it for me. So, I used to turn my revision into games. Google it, there are lots of ideas out there so find what works for you – there’s bound to be something. I remember for my Sociology revision, I’d put different questions on posters around the house and I’d have all my revision cards with loads of quotes on and I’d give myself three minutes to run around the house matching the quotes to the questions. It really helped those quotes stick in my mind and at the same time made revising fun and made me exercise – something else which is good for revision.
  9. Say things out loud. I always found that saying things out loud as opposed to just reading them made a big difference. It’s easy to just read something but not really read it, if you know what I mean? But saying it out loud makes sure that you really have read it. I was forever stood in my room just having a conversation with myself. My history teacher knew this, he used to get out class to do little radio interviews to get us saying the things out loud. I used to then come home and do this for myself. Sure, I looked crazy talking to myself but if it works, who cares?
  10. Lastly, remember, summer is coming and these exams will be over soon and then you can spend weeks doing nothing and relaxing. Spend a couple of months getting up super early and working hard and then in July you can sleep until the middle of the day and lie in bed all afternoon if you like. I always found that when I was struggling and lacking motivation, I’d remind myself that summer was coming and treated summer like my reward for working hard. It’s great self-motivation. Also remember that exams aren’t everything and it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t do well – so don’t get too stressed or overwhelmed by it all, because that’s not going to help either.

If you have GCSEs or A-Levels coming up, or whatever the equivalents are in other countries, then good luck and I really hope that some of these tips help you. Let me know if you try any of these and if they do help – I’d love to know. Also, if you’re doing any of the subjects I did then feel free to get in touch with me, I’d be more than happy to help! You can tweet me or message me on Instagram, or even snapchat me – my username is emmachxrlotte. If you have any great tips for revision then leave them in the comments, they might help someone out who’s reading this post!

Thank you for reading and make sure you give my blog a follow to catch my DIY post coming tomorrow – it’s a good’un!

emmachxrlotte

Healthy hair hacks

Healthy hair hacks

Before I start, I just want to whack in a bit of shameless self promo and let you guys know that I’ve made a separate Snapchat for fellow bloggers or people who read my blog, so if you’re interested in seeing more of me and getting to see behind the blog then add my snapchat ’emmachxrlotte’! And finally, these are my Instagram and Twitter accounts. Now that that is out the way, let’s get on with it!

This post is just going to be some tips and things I’ve learnt over the years that help me to keep my hair fairly healthy. Trust me I’ve abused my hair a lot since the age of about 15, and after completely ruining it several times, I’ve definitely learnt the hard way how to revive it and keep it healthy. It’ll probably get a bit waffly so I’ll put the main point of each paragraph in bold if you’d just like to skim read!

The first thing I’m going to say (because it’s the most important) is get your hair trimmed. If you’re growing your hair, like me, this is probably the last thing you want to hear. Honestly though, I went about two years without having it trimmed at all and by the end of the two years I ended up having to have it cut really short because it was just split end central. Even if you don’t use any heat on your hair, don’t colour it, and treat it really well, you will still develop split ends and your hair will still need a little trim. I won’t lie, I absolutely hate getting my hair trimmed, but even if it is just half an inch every twelve weeks (that is all I do) then that is better than nothing!

Make yourself a hair mask with ingredients that we’ve all got in our kitchens. I like to make a coconut and olive oil hair mask once a week and leave it on my hair for an hour with a hot towel wrapped around it. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, it’s really cheap and makes a real difference.

Stop with the tight ponytails. I know how easy it is to wake up in the morning and decide that you can’t be bothered to do anything with your hair and just stick it into a tight high pony, but this is so bad for your hair. You’re yanking on the delicate hairs at the front of your scalp which can eventually lead to hair loss if you do it often enough. Not to mention the fact that where your hair tie/hair band sits often breaks the hair shafts. So, if you do have to have your hair up, opt for a loose ponytail and use a soft fabric hair band to minimise damage. If I need my hair back I tend to just loosely french plait my hair, the looser it is the less damage.

It goes without saying that you should avoid bleaching your hair, but if you want to be blonde, there’s not really any way around it. However, if you are going to go blonde, or you’re already blonde and keep bleaching your hair, check out products that are kinder to your hair, like Bblonde by Jerome Russell. They have an extensive range of products, they’ve got something for everyone, and they’re all really kind to your hair – so why not check them out if you’re a fellow blonde, you can find their website here. As I’m growing out my blonde, in favour of my naturally dark blonde colour, Bblonde recently sent me one of their toners and their lightening spray. The toner was great on my hair, it removed all the yellow brassy tones, with absolutely no peroxide whatsoever. It was really quick and easy and smelled great too. Their lightening spray is also great if you’re looking for a natural sun kissed blonde look – as it isn’t an all over bleach it won’t be as harsh on your hair but will still lighten it. I’m going to use the lightening spray in the summer as I always like to go a shade lighter in the summer, so I’ll update you then on what it’s like!

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Try vitamin supplements! You should always check with your doctor or at least a pharmacist before you go putting yourself on any vitamin supplements, but if your hair is dry or damaged, maybe you should consider it? For your hair to be happy you should make sure you’ve got plenty of vitamins A, B, C, D, & E, Iron, Zinc and Protein. Each of these play vital roles in keeping your hair healthy so if you’re low in any of them, re-think your diet or try a vitamin supplement. I had a blood test a few months back and found that I was really low on Vitamin D, but since taking supplements I’ve found that my hair is really shiny and soft again. Holland & Barrett do some Hair, Skin & Nail supplements at a really decent price. I’d always be very careful about where you buy tablets from, but Holland & Barrett are definitely somewhere that you can trust!

Don’t use too much heat. Notice how I say not too much, rather than none at all? I realise it’s more or less impossible not to use any heat, so why not just limit it? Maybe put your straighteners on a lower heat setting and only go over each piece of hair once. Don’t hold your hair dryer so close to your head and only dry the roots, let the ends dry naturally. Only use heat every other day and when you do use heat ALWAYS use heat protector spray first. You can also find alternative methods for straightening and curling your hair (try Youtube, there’s tons of ideas out there), they don’t work for everyone but I use the headband curling method regularly and it always works well for me and means that I never ever have to curl my hair anymore! As in the picture below, you put a stretchy headband around your hair when its damp, wrap your hair around it and sleep on it. Then the next morning you wake up with curly hair like this (sorry for the super posey pic).

 

Pick your shampoo and conditioner wisely. Lots of shampoos contain toxic ingredients that can do your hair and body a lot of damage. Next time you buy yourself some shampoo or conditioner make sure you check you’re not buying a products with any of these ingredients; sodium laurel sulfate, potassium sorbet, phenoxythanol, polysorbates, or polyethylene. Some of these ingredients have been found to irritate the scalp, and for your hair to grow and be healthy, you need your scalp to be happy – so watch out for nasty ingredients! Oh and after washing your hair, ALWAYS finish with a cold rinse to close the pores, this is a big one that makes a world of difference.

Lastly, don’t over wash your hair. I know what it’s like, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of greasy hair, (in fact mine needs washing now, I’m off to do it after I’ve written this) but washing your hair too often is going to dry your hair out and that’s just going to mean more split ends. You’re literally washing the oil away that helps your hair to stay healthy and grow, so if you’re washing your hair everyday, maybe see if you can go every other day. Having said that, I know it’s hard. I personally have really greasy hair – I’ll wash my hair in the morning and by the afternoon it will already be a bit greasy. But, if you’re persistent and push your hair to last longer, it’ll eventually get used to it and won’t get as greasy as quickly. But remember, that oil is actually good for your hair, so don’t feel so grossed out by it!

Now that I’ve finished waffling, let me know if you have any healthy hair tips because I’d love to hear them! Thank you for reading and make sure you come back tomorrow for a post full of revision tips and tricks to help you survive your exams! Or if you’ve finished school, make sure you keep an eye out for a skincare post on Saturday!

P.S. I just want to say sorry for the lack of posts on my blog this week – I normally write all my posts at the weekend and schedule them for during the week, but I was feeling really ill at the weekend and didn’t end up writing anything. So, I’m really sorry about that, but better late than never right?

emmachxrlotte

Must watch series on Netflix

Must watch series on Netflix

I’ve been seriously loving a lot of series on Netflix recently, and I love posts like this because I’m always on the look out for new shows to watch. So, I thought I’d share what I’m loving at the moment. I mean, with exams coming up you need something to help you procrastinate right? (Speaking of which.. would anyone be interested in a revision tips post?)

First up, is Game of Thrones. Now I know that literally 90% of the population is already obsessed with Games of Thrones and I am literally the last person on this band wagon. But, I was one of the 10% until about a month ago that thought it was going to be boring. I was really bored one Friday and decided to give it a shot, and honestly, what was I thinking? I am loving it. So I’m talking to the others that are in that 10% that haven’t watched it or don’t want to, because you should really really watch it.

Next is Riverdale. I wasn’t convinced at all by Riverdale at first. I watched the first ten minutes and turned it off because it was so cringey. But then my brother told me he’d watched them all and that he was loving them. So I gave it another chance and actually, cringeyness aside, it’s actually quite gripping, I’m now on episode six and I’m really enjoying it. If you’re in high school then this is probably your kind of show, it’s pretty good.

Stranger Things. Have I got to say anymore? Once again, I was pretty late with this one. I only watched Stranger Things a couple of months ago – but I’ll put it this way, I watched the whole series in one weekend. I really didn’t think it was going to be my thing, I’d heard it was about aliens and the paranormal and was about a bunch of kids and I just thought, no. In reality though, it’s a hell of a lot more interesting than it sounds and I cannot wait for halloween so I can watch season two!!

Next is Fresh Meat. Fresh Meat is an English thing so if you’re from elsewhere you might not have heard of it. It’s kind of interesting though if you’d like a more realistic idea of what life is like in England – because we definitely don’t all wear tweed, read Sherlock and worship the Queen (is that treason? can I get done for that?) But it’s genuinely a really really funny show and it’s pretty relatable if you’re young, or maybe even if you’re older – it might bring back good memories, who knows. There’s five series I think, they brought out the last and what I believe to be final series this time last year, but they’re all really worth the watch. Fresh Meat is that show that I go back and watch an episode of when I’m feeling down, I definitely recommend.

In hindsight I’m realising that The Crown should really have been at the top of my list, as honestly, it’s probably my favourite. I didn’t have a lot of hope for The Crown really, I half expected it to be a show that Netflix had just thrown a load of money at but made a crap job of, but oh my God I’ve never been so happy to admit that I was wrong! I really like history, especially anything about the monarchy, so really, it would’ve been hard for me not to love it. So if you’re into history then you should definitely check this out. The acting is all so freaking good and I feel like they’ve got everything spot on. The Crown also got a ten out of ten rating from my Nan (which means a lot, trust me) and she lived through all that history, so if she rates it, it must be pretty decent.

Friday Night Dinner is pretty different to all the other shows I’ve mentioned. Like Fresh Meat it was on Channel four and it’s another UK show, but it’s all up on Netflix. It’s a comedy about a Jewish family eating dinner on a Friday night. Which sounds bloody awful. But if you have a family (which I’m guessing most people do) and especially if you have siblings, then it’s really relatable and really funny. I always watch this show with my brother, and I really imagine it’s probably what my brother and I will be like when we’re older and pop in for dinner with our parents. It’s just a really light and funny show, it takes no thinking, it’s just pure mind-numbing funny-ness.

Lastly, you need to watch Orange is the New Black before the next season comes out in June. I’m pretty sure, like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, you’ll have heard of Orange is the New Black, so if you haven’t watched it yet, I’m not sure what you think you’re playing at but you better get on it. OITNB is just another really funny show, but at the same time it’s got that gripping I-can’t-stop-watching thing that shows like Stranger Things have. And season four ended on the biggest cliffhanger ever, so you’ve got to watch them all before season five comes out to avoid spoilers.

Let me know if you can recommend any other shows that I’ve not mentioned, because I’m going to need something else to watch when I finish Riverdale and Game of Thrones. Also, if you’ve watched Orange is the New Black or Stranger Things then comment down below your theories, I love hearing peoples theories!!! Thank you so much for reading and make sure you follow my blog to see more posts from me!

emmachxrlotte

Busy B stationery!

Busy B stationery!

Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to Busy B for sending me a bunch of their products. I’m such a stationery lover so a parcel packed with exactly that was a complete dream for me! So I thought I’d share my excitement with you all, because these products are just too lovely not to shout about.

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I’m going to start off with the pen, because I am actually in love. Not only is the pen itself gorgeous but it comes with a beautiful little case and I mean, just look at the packaging. I think I might just keep it in the box and put it on my wall, because I just don’t want to ruin it (and I will do, lmao). The pen actually matches the notebook, following the same green and gold theme, which I really like. The notebook is really simple, lined throughout, and I can’t wait to start using. It’ll be perfect for planning blog posts!

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I’ve previously mentioned this diary in my February Favourites (go check it out, you know you want to), so I won’t repeat myself too much for those of you that read it. But, it’s a really useful diary. It’s designed for people with super busy lives with its double page weekly schedules, so I like to plan blog posts on one side and then put personal day to day plans on the left. It’s really handy with its pockets and lots of note pages at the back. I also like the fact that it has a little elastic pen holder, because I’m always looking for my pen.

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If you keep a journal then you’re going to love these. These little sticky notes and page markers are going to be great for my bullet journal, and I love how cute the page markers are! The sticky pads are so handy too, they come in a little book with an elastic strap around it, so they’d be great on the go. I really wish I’d known about these while I was doing my A-Levels because I was always losing my page in my notebooks and I used to go through sticky pads like there was no tomorrow!

The best part is, Busy B have currently got 15% off with the code BB15 so you can go get all these goodies for 15% less! So go treat yourself. You can visit their site here, or alternatively you can find them on Amazon, just search ‘Busy B’! Thank you for reading and let me know what your favourite product is in the comments below!

If you loved this post then make sure you give my blog a follow and stick around for more, and in the meantime you can find my Twitter for my blog here and my personal Twitter here.

emmachxrlotte

February Favourites!

February Favourites!

Okay, yeah so this is a little bit early, but I am never ever early for anything so I’m going to go ahead and post this anyway. This month I’ve been loving so so many things, which is why I’ve written this already and I can’t wait to post it. Featuring everything from make-up and diaries to McDonald’s and Angel Delight, this February has been a month full of obsessions for me!

  • Firstly, I have been and still am totally obsessed with and in love with this dungaree dress/pinafore in black from H&M. I bought this at the beginning of the month and honestly, I’d wear it every single day if it was socially acceptable. It was a bargain as I got it reduced at £18 (you can get 25% off an item if you sign up to their newsletter), and it just works with almost any top/t-shirt. I love it. If you want to check it out, here you go.
  • I’ve also been obsessing over a couple of make-up products. I previously mentioned the Freedom Eyebrow Pomade in my drugstore make-up haul and I just thought I’d update you, that following my great first impressions of the product, it has definitely lived up to expectations. I’ve used it every single day for the whole of February and I’ve had so many compliments! Not to mention the fact that although I’ve used it every day, there’s still so much of the product left. It looks like it’ll last forever! I’ve also been loving the Eylure Naturals Eyelashes. I hardly ever wear fake eyelashes as firstly, due to my saggy difficult eyes, they just don’t look right, and second, they always feel so heavy. However, these are really light and natural and a really decent price (just £2.69 at Superdrug, click here to grab yours).
  • I’ve also been absolutely craving non-stop these two foods. First up, the new McDonald’s El Chicken Spicy burger is to die for. I’m usually a Chicken Legend kind of girl and nothing else, but oh my god. With two chicken selects, bacon, chilli cheese sauce, salsa, tomato and lettuce in the most beautiful bun, it is my favourite McDonald’s burger to date. But it is only available for a limited time so, go get one now. I’ve also rekindled my childhood love for Angel Delight. I’ve no idea whether this is a thing outside of the UK, but basically it’s like a milkshake (you get a powder and have to mix it with milk) but you whisk it up and its super thick and creamy and it is just the most beautiful desert. I’ve been loving the banana flavour most, but strawberry and chocolate come close second and third.
  • I’ve never been a very organised person, but recently with starting my new job and attempting to get my shit together, I started keeping a diary. I’ve been using the Busy B Busy Life Diary, and I absolutely love it. I got mine from Amazon for just £7.99, you can check it out here. It’s great because it just has everything you need; it has double paged weekly schedules and handy pockets to hold those important bits of paper that always end up lost. It was such a good price for such a useful little book and it is really good quality. I’d definitely recommend it. They have a few other diaries and planners on sale too that all look fab, so I’d definitely suggest checking their website here if you’re a fellow stationery lover!
  • For my fellow book worms out there, this month I read The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon (amongst others) but I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. After reading Everything Everything, a book which I had really mixed feelings about, I was really hoping that Nicola would redeem herself. Surely enough, she seriously did. The Sun is also a Star is a really unique book, like really unique – which is a rarity these days. I absolutely loved it and was not disappointed at all in the ending! Also, the front cover is gorgeous so, I rate it a solid ten out of ten.
  • This month I finally decided to start watching Game of Thrones. I do realise that I am ridiculously late to this one, but I’ve been wanting to watch them for the last couple of years but I just felt so behind on it all that I thought it’d take forever to watch them all. However, I realise that the list of seasons to watch was only growing so I may as well get on with it. I’m currently half way through the second series, and so far it has 100% lived up to the hype. I’m pretty addicted to be honest, and I totally regret not watching sooner.
  • Lastly, I went to watch Fifty Shades Darker on the 10th (if anybody would be interested in a review – let me know, I know Fifty Shades is a controversial topic but I’m more than happy to write a little review), and following that I’ve been loving the movie’s soundtrack. I’ve especially been loving Corrine Bailey Rae’s cover of The Scientist. The movie kicks off with this song, and I absolutely loved it immediately and I haven’t stopped playing it since.

That is all for February. Why not let me know in the comments what you’ve been loving this month? Thank you so much for reading, stick around for another favourites post at the end of March!

emmachxrlotte