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About Me, Blogging Tips, Health

How to be productive

December 1, 2014

As a full-time graduate student with a part-time job and my blog, it is essential that I stay productive and focused. I literally cannot afford to fall behind and sometimes that pressure can be really overwhelming!


I thought it would be fun to share my top 5 productivity essentials to help any of you who are feeling overwhelmed by a million and one demands and to let you know that it is possible to balanced a hectic schedule.

1. Wake up early

 Okay, so although this doesn’t apply to everyone, it definitely works for me. I have always been a morning person and cannot stand working at night. Why? I like to work when the sun is out as this keeps me feeling happy and energized, and I have a lot more concentration in the morning. Plus, I like to be able to work into the morning and into the afternoon (if needed) so I can relax a bit at night, go out for a nice meal or watch a movie. I find that waking up early has always enabled me to be my most productive, so why not give it a go yourself?

2. Organize yourself 

 I am not the type of person to carry around a planner with me and make to do lists, but I DO make a mental to do list and input important events (such as essay deadlines and etc) into my iPhone. Organizing yourself by seeing what needs to be prioritized is so important in being productive. Why waste 5 hours on something that is not actually that important?

If one of your goals is to start a small business, you can turn to Kabbage, an online provider of small business loans (and one of Forbe’s most promising companies), and get a loan to get started. Definitely high on the priority list! Kabbage also posted a great article on how small business owners can be productive which you can read by clicking here.

3. Stop with the excuses & negativity

 Your mental state of being is critical to being successful and productive. Think about the last time you felt sad and negative. Be honest, how much did you get done? Instead of dwelling on how hard life seems and how much you have to do, try and turn those thoughts into positives.

“I will NEVER get this all done by next week” can be turned into —> “Let’s see how quickly I can get all this finished, and then I can kick back with the girls!”

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking 🙂

4. Don’t skip out on nutrition

 Please, pleaaase do not feed your body with high-sugar and high-fat foods that only serve to make you feel sluggish! Make sure you get in meals and snacks that are rich with complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats and lots of fiber to keep you feeling full. Having a latte is an awesome kickstart whenever I need an extra boost and having energy rich snack on hand helps me get through the busy days.

For meal and snack idea’s, click here to get a whole selection!

5. Get some sleep!

 Sleep; something so overlooked but so incredibly critical for being productive and efficient. A lack of sleep can result in a very cranky, tired and inefficient individual! Everyone is unique in how much sleep they need although 7 hours is usually recommended. For me, I need about 8-9 hours of sleep to have a really productive and efficient day. And no, catching up on sleep doesn’t work 😛

Honestly yours,

Fitness, Sunday Summary

Kayla Itsines Round 2 – Week 8

November 23, 2014
Kayla Itsines Round 2 - Week 8

I’m back! … back to doing the Kayla Itsines workouts, that is 🙂

Kayla Itsines Round 2 – Week 8

After last week’s hectic schedule, this week seemed utterly boring and felt like it was dragging on SO slowly. The only particularly interesting thing I did this week was have a lovely baking filled night with a good friend of mine at her place in Santa Clara on Saturday night. Everything else was very mundane and underwhelming (think class, work and the library) although I was presented with a big, fat bill on Friday after getting my car serviced. Just what every student needs!

However, I was very excited to see my first ‘published’ piece up on Click here to read my post – hint, it’s about organic foods 😉 (update: sadly, the site has gone offline and with it, my article. Let me know if you want me to send it to you!).

Kayla Itsines Round 2 - Week 8


My poor legs. After a week of not being worked out they received a crazy and plyo heavy leg workout this week and it seriously took me about x days to feel normal again. The arms and abs, and abs and cardio workouts went pretty well. I was a little slower than I would’ve like in my arm workout as I only managed to do about 1 and a half circuits for each round. All in all a very challenging week of workouts as usual, although the leg workout was particularly brutal. Watch out for it, ladies!


Nutrition-wise, I did well although I definitely ate a bit more than normal for two reasons. A) The temperature really dropped this week in San Francisco due to the rain we’ve had and B) It’s that time of the month 🙂 I’ve still been eating a variety of healthy foods but have added in more carbohydrates and fruits. Although Saturday night was kind of naughty and not particularly healthy hehehe. But it’s all about balance; find your healthy lifestyle balance and you’ll be happier from it.

That’s all from me! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My lovely boyfriend will be flying into the city on Wednesday night which I am verrry excited for and we will be spending Thanksgiving with his parents. And I will continue to do the workouts, and I hope you continue to workout too! Don’t let the holidays stop your progress. Just alter what you do to fit around this busy and wonderful holiday.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? For my non-Americans, how do you deal with working out and eating healthy during the holidays?

Honestly yours,

Fitness, Health

Kayla Itsines Round 2 – Week 1

September 28, 2014
Kayla Itsines Round 2 - Week 1

Today marks the end of week 1 of Kayla Itsines bikini body guide! Feels weird to say that considering I already completed the program a few months ago 😛

Kayla Itsines Round 2 – Week 1

It truly blows my mind how the exercises are still SO HARD. In all fairness, I am using an app I downloaded recently called ‘Pacer’ to keep myself accountable and not rest for too long between sets … but still. Week 1 was HARD. I would have to say that the legs workout was the hardest workout for me this week. I will always have a love/hate relationship with burpees. I absolutely love the benefits of burpees (burns a lot of calories and hits a lot of different muscle groups), but they use up an enormous amount of energy.

Kayla Itsines Round 2 - Week 1

 Lol, death by burpees – for more silly photos visit my Instagram

I am surprised at how easy it has been to follow and stick to the H.E.L.P guide. For those of you who do not know what this is, the H.E.L.P guide gives you a 7 day meal plan and a general guide to healthy eating. I did not feel at all deprived and in fact felt full of energy throughout the whole week. You eat something from every food group everyday, and I think that aspect of it helps a lot in making sure you do not feel deprived. I can still have my beloved carbs, cheese, and lattes! Lattes are so necessary as a graduate student. The only time I really deviated (i.e. ate out with a friend) was for dinner tonight, but we went to a tapas place so it was still easy to stick to having foods recommend by the H.E.L.P guide. It is pretty flexible so I can honestly go anywhere provided I can get some lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

The BBG gets the ‘job done’

And by this I mean you get an effective and intense workout in less than 30 minutes. This is why it is so important to make sure that you are truly pushing yourself throughout the whole workout and pushing yourself to the edge. My ability to do masses of push ups have decreased but I still did as many as I could, right up until my arms gave way lol.

I am excited at how everything has been going so far and I look forward to the challenge of week 2. I weigh myself every Monday, buuut I sneakily weighed myself this morning … 4 pounds lost, eek! I am so happy but I need to not get my hopes up too much. As long as my body looks better, then that is all that matters; I try not to get too hung up by the number on the scale

How did your exercise routine go this week? Did you make sure to push yourself to the max? If you wanna give the BBG a go, you can click on the photo on my sidebar and buy the guides (affiliate link, fyi).

Honestly yours,
Alice xx