Sunday, August 24, 2014


It can be debilitating. I was recently researching some healthy eating plans and the thing every site emphasized over and over again was that you can’t always be perfect so focus on doing good.
As a classic overachiever and perfectionist I feel like this is still a lesson I'm learning.
There are more times than I can count where I have thought, if I can’t do it perfect I may as well not do that.
Ms. Swift gave us yet another lifelong jam last week and her advice in it is pretty spot on for not getting caught up in what doesn't really matter.
"Hey, hey, hey, Just think while you've been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world,
You could've been getting down to this sick beat."
That's my plan this semester, not to get caught up in all that's wrong but to bask in all that is right.
With the new school year kicking off tomorrow, here’s being your best, not perfect.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Channeling Your Energy Productively

I am often so tied up in looking to, worrying about, and planning for the future that I have trouble living in the present. This has to lead to hours of research during my college career that should've been used to complete my homework, plan, etc. My best advice for those who deal with worrying about the future is to:

1. Make a list. Instead of driving yourself bozo trying to research every last detail, write down all your thoughts about the topic and put it away until you can really invest time into searching for it.

2. Contact People.
The internet can only tell you so much about a topic, program, experience. The people who can really give you all the details are the people who have been through it themselves. Use your social media stalking skills to find the people you need to talk to. I cannot count the number of people I have messaged on LinkedIn to find out more about a topic. Set up informational interviews with people. Do what it takes to find out what you need to know, instead of wasting your time on an interview for a job, position, or program that doesn't work for you.

3. Remember that there is a reason you're doing what you're doing.
The more you start to think about your goals, the more behind you may begin to feel, but remember there are reasons you are doing what you're doing right now, and usually its because you are working toward your goals already. I recently had the chance to interview the professor who oversees the greenhouse at my college.  I was trying to get one takeaway from him to use my article that people would read and think, "Wow the greenhouse is important." Although he had already told me what research  had been accomplished he rephrased it in a way that helped me to appreciate what his team had done. He explained that what they had done was add a building block to the structure of the extensive research on this group of plants. Although the team had not made any astounding discoveries, they were contributing to a larger framework. Often our daily activities are not particularly astounding, but they are contributing to the framework of our success. So take a step back from your work, but then get back to it and remember that the mundane tasks you're investing in now are building your future.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

TED Talk Attire

*In a classic Claire blunder I thought the event was this weekend, but I realized it is not until next weekend, so I have a bit of time between now and then to shop*
Guys I am slightly freaking out about what to wear to the TED talk next weekend. The dress code is casual, but I'm thinking something business casual would be nice.  I'm planning to utilize my local Target, Ross, and TJ Maxx for some outfits. I just think this is one of those events where you could meet someone really cool, maybe make a business connection, and I want to feel fabulous.
Here are some Pinterest ideas I'm loving:
How cute is this stripe on stripe ensemble from A Pinch of Lovely

                                           I mean is that pink not the perfect spring color?
The cuffed sleeves, the curled hair, and the envelope purse, need I say more?

                                              I mean if LC wears it who am I to question ?
The combo of these colors together and those booties, j'adore!

  Has anyone had the opportunity to attend a TED talk or similar business casual event? Where do you buy your business casual outfits for such occasions?

Friday, March 20, 2014

I Did It All

I have a pretty full weekend ahead of me. I took a lot of assignments for my school yearbook and newspaper, doing my research for the TED talk at LSU next weekend,  not to mention the research paper I need to get started on. Sometimes it amazes me what  I accomplish in a week. I'm trying to keep the momentum going into this weekend, and this song encourages me so much. "I Lived," by OneRepublic, talks about looking back at your life in the end and saying, "Wow, I really lived." That is my aim and I'm so thankful for all the organizations I'm currently apart of and projects I'm working on, it may seem a bit overwhelming at times, but I really wouldn't have it any other way ! My college has half days on Fridays so tonight is the beginning of my weekend.

Cheers to the weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Remaining Productive During Intense Studying                     

I have a super intense personality. It has been confirmed by multiple sources, namely my mom and my best friend. Sometimes it's really awesome and sometimes its just a lot to handle. With this personality comes the drive and often the need to produce, produce, produce. In college that can be a really great trait to have, but it has its limits. I entered college as a high school valedictorian determined to make my GPA match the one I made in high school. As someone who has literally committed days to studying I can fully attest to the need to take breaks while you study.
I used to fully believe that if I cleared my schedule to study I would accomplish all I needed to do in one day, while this might be possible for some people I think only a superhuman could do it without taking breaks. 
Based on my experiences the more refreshed you stay, the more productive you are. After a lot of trial and error, I feel like I have finally figured out the best ways to stay refreshed and focused while you study.

  • Take a 5-10 minute break every hour - seriously if you don't do this you will end up on Facebook for 30 minutes, so just do it. Stand up and stretch and make sure you keep your blood flowing.

  • Do your best to study before 6p.m. - The book How To Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport seriously changed my perspective on this. Studying for a short while during your body's peak hours will allow you to take in so much more then you could during later hours when your brain is tired. I now wake up earlier to get studying instead of staying up later

  • If you feel like you need coffee or food to stay awake go to bed and wake up early - this relates to the above principle.  It's easy to fall into the trap of drinking of coffee to squeeze in more study hours, but for the most part at that point it is wisest to simply go to bed and wake up a bit earlier when your brain is fresh.  

  • Study in an environment you can focus best in - this might seem like it goes without saying, but honestly if you are going to study with your best friend  who you haven't talked to all week then chances are you are going to get nothing done.  I've been there too many times, trust me it doesn't work. Another tip I have applied religiously from Cal's book is to find secret study spots. These are places where I know there won't be a ton of activity or distraction. It is here that I am often able to produce my best work in the shortest amount of time. I really enjoyed a tidbit from his book which is paraphrased as follows, "Would you rather get mediocre gossip between classes [this would apply to being in an area where people would stop and talk to you to] or would you rather have all your work done so you can attend the social that night." I hope you can guess which one I would pick.

Obviously different things work for different people, but throughout my time in college this is what I have found has worked best for me. Hope this helps some of you dedicated students out there whether you be in college or high school. 
                                                      Happy Studying!
How do you stay focused during intense study sessions? Comment below to let me know.

Guys as a major fan of TED Talks I am beyond excited to share that I will be covering the very first TED Talk to be held at LSU next weekend! From Sheryl Sandberg to Steve Jobs, TED talks have hosted some dynamo speakers.  I will be working with the magazine Dig Baton Rouge and will get to interview the speakers after the event. I can't wait to share what I learn at the event. Come say hi if you are there next weekend!

Friday, March 7, 2014


My weeks often make me feel like I’m in a whirlwind I often can’t wait to get to the end so  I can calm down a little bit.  Amidst all the busyness I often find that one of the best ways to calm down is to just stop and take in live fully in the present moment.
I have so much to be thankful for. Some people are busy because they’re working two jobs and trying to support a family. I’m busy because I’m finishing up my undergraduate work and building my portfolio through my school paper and going to events with my college ministry and spending time with my family.
Mindfulness is a big buzzword going around right now, and it simply means stopping to enjoy the moment.
I’m a very future-minded person and I’m always thinking about what I need to be doing next. This can put some serious hindrances on me being fully aware of the what’s going on around me to say the least.
This week I found myself drifting off during my statistics class, thinking about all I needed to do this weekend, when in reality I needed to be paying attention in class so I would have less studying to do later for the class. It was a small but powerful example for me of why I needed to keep my head in the game and to live in each moment. Statistics class isn’t something that I always particularly enjoy, but paying attention during it actually ends up saving me a lot of time in the long run.
Practicing mindfulness can help so much in the crazy, busy world of a college student though.

So next time you find yourself drifting off, stop and remember that living in the moment is the best way to enjoy what you have.