Barriers to Success


1. Seeing success as being determined by external factors. (So if I fail it’s circumstances or someone else’s fault.) This takes away my sense of power and keeps me stuck in failure and helplessness.

2. Personal blind spots. Sometimes we keep failing but we’re blind to the fact that there’s something we’re doing that is causing us to fail. That could be related to our communication style, our attitudes, lack of knowledge and ability, pursuing something that doesn’t suit our gifts and talents, and so on.

3. Self sabotage. Sometimes we don’t feel we deserve to succeed so unconsciously we do something that causes us to fail. This includes meditating on self-limiting thoughts (Eg, “I could never …; I don’t deserve …”).

4. Feeling ambivalent about the goals you’ve set. We often set a goal that is someone else’s goal so we’re not really sure if it’s what we want ourselves. That affects our motivation, and our will to succeed.

5. Fear of change. All successes bring some change – and that can feel quite threatening. And we’re often comfortable with our life as it is now – and so we wonder if success will really make us happier.

6. Pressure from others who don’t want you to succeed. It’s very common for our peers to be threatened by success, and we know they’ll be sarcastic or mean if we succeed. Hence, we don’t try our hardest as we recognise the cost will be social isolation, or rejection by our friends.

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Music for Studying [Masterpost; Tumblr]


hey! so i had an anon or two ask me about music for studying, and i was inspired to be extra as usual, and make a masterpost. If the authors of playlists are not stated, their urls

these recs by @prcserpina
flourishment and spatial by @areistotle
everything classic
epic classical by @spotify
an intro to classical music by @violaboss
a mostly instrumental mp by @studyaim 
classic rain by @mssyblr
keep it classycal
late morning studying
sit down and revise
wdym you dont like classical?
this mp by @littleant-studies

with two sugars, please
mostly indie by me
feel good indie rock by @spotify
peaceful indie ambient by @spotify
record shop by @filtr
ultimate indie by @spotify
so we drift
songs i never skip
indie kids
essential indie

this int’l mp by @passionatepolyglot
this french music mp by @studyplants
german music mp by @languagebean
je vole by @flowerylatin
this icelandic and french playlist
french studying playlist
una palabra
multiple ways (portuguese and spanish)
la vita italiana

this super cute masterpost by  @post–grad
in the hogwarts library
find beauty by me
panic attack by me
jolie by @studyplants (this was made for me and is adorable and the best gift i have ever ever ever received it is my favorite playlist pls listen)
late night reading by @spotify
something new (victuri!!)
pretty sad songs to make me feel happy
fragmentary self
misty mornings;
duvets and heartbeats;;
endless immensity

7 spotify playlists for focus~
study by @studyplants
deep focus by @spotify
superior study playlist by @areistotle
yours, vincent: a mix inspired by van gogh
a walk with virginia woolf
creativity boost by @spotify
focus by me
nonstop studying by highschoolering
intense thoughts 
ambient focus

mynoise <3
terraform by @intellectus
this mp by @missveils

theory of everything
harry potter (all) (youtube: x) (spotify: x)
lord of the rings
yuri!!! on ice
game of thrones (szn 1-5)
pride and prejudice
downton abbey

my playlist on spotify
acoustic by @studyplants
ultimate singer songwriter by @filtr
winter acoustics by @spotify
rainy days
the love letter you never sent
cuddles and studies
at night the city breathes
tree lungs
it was another planet

learn japanese with me
anxiety advice

And so here it is, fam! I hope this helped you guys tune into your inner Hermione! (pun intended)


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Professional wardrobes for people with short torsos [Tumblr post]

Question: Hello Shelby!! You give such amazing advice to ppl! You know so much of stuff it’s amazing 😀 I was just wondering if you have any styling tips (for work clothing) for people who aren’t too tall and have short torsos? o.O I want to tuck in my shirts but always can’t cause it makes me look stumpy but leaving them out makes me look sloppy =/ Would be grateful for any advice! xo

Answer: Aww thank you!!

I suggest finding tops that accentuate your waist to give the illusion of a taller torso. Also adding a belt at your hips will give a slimming effect. I think wearing skirts that aren’t extremely long will help; a shorter skirt will show your legs more giving the illusion that you’re slightly taller. Throwing a cardigan or blazer over your outfit will give it a more defined look, but also hide some of the bulging top sticking out of a skirt (I hate this when the top is looser and the bottoms are tighter). Flowy tops with form fitting pants looks great too! A flowy skirt will hide some of the bulging blouse; there is more room for the blouse to lay underneath! Also wearing heels always helps, if you’re comfortable with them! Lastly, tops that are more form fitting will be easier to tuck in and won’t look as sloppy. Here are some examples:

My number one tip, however, would be to check out Mackenzie’s (@pinkandgreenlivingthedream) work outfits! She is slightly shorter than me and has the cutest work clothes I’ve ever seen and she pairs them in ways you wouldn’t have thought of!! I linked some below but if you go to her OOTD page there is tons more cute outfits! She also probably has more tips!

Hope this helped:)
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Difference between business casual and business professional [Tumblr post]

I’m assuming you are asking for girls clothing, because guys would just wear a shirt and pants for casual (and a tie depending on the situation), and a shirt, tie, and jacket for professional.

Business Casual:

-Dress pants, khaki pants, black pants, anything that isn’t jeans

-Skirt that is an appropriate length (doesn’t have to be a pencil skirt, just make sure it isn’t too short)

-Could even possibly wear a casual dress in a neutral color (just depends what you are dressing for)

-Button up or blouse that does not have a super low neckline. You can also add a cardigan on top of it

-Closed toe shoes; flats (preferred), or 1-2 inch heels in a neutral color

-Minimal jewelry, well groomed, put together

-Don’t have to be dressed in completely neutral colors; for casual you can wear brighter colors on your top or cardigan (not like neon…but blue, red, green, patterns…)

Business Professional:

-Dress pants or pencil skirt that hits your knees (must not ride up and show your thigh when you sit down)

-Button up shirt or high neck blouse with optional blazer

-Depending on the rules of attire at the interview/job/meeting you could wear a business dress; form fitting, reaches the knees or below, high neckline, covered shoulders

-Closed toed, 1-2 inch heels, neutral color (black or nude)

-Very minimal jewelry; perhaps a watch and a pearl necklace

-Neutral colors: navy, tan, grey, black, white (important)

-And of course, well groomed (clean makeup, brushed/styled hair, clean nails)

-You can wear muted accents of color such as red or blue, but I don’t recommend it for an interview or business meeting. At least until you know the style and regulations of where you are. I recommend searching Pinterest for outfit ideas!!
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Interview outfit tips: Business Professional vs Business Casual [Tumblr post]

I wouldn’t buy any new clothes specifically for your job until you know the dress code/have seen how other employees dress. Every job is different and defines professional and casual differently. Now, it is good to have 2-3 business professional outfits, and 2-3 business casual outfits for interviews or just in case, so you can’t go wrong with that. But don’t go out and spend hundreds on a new wardrobe for your new job before your first day.  For work, my dad dresses casual and wears dress pants with a shirt everyday (without a tie). My mom dresses casual for work and wears jeans with nice tops. I also dress casual for work and wear athletic clothes/athleisure. However, here are some good guidelines to follow if you don’t know where to start.

Typically, worldwide, business casual and professional are very generic and similar (my mind is blanking on the correct word for this, but you know what I mean…it’s generally pretty similar and standard wherever you go). I would ask about the dress code at the interview (not flat out, but if the conversation goes in that direction), but if your job has a business casual dress code, and you show up on the first day in nice pants with a blouse, and everyone else is in jeans and blouses, you won’t look that out of place. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, especially if you want to make a good first impression.

Also, let me know if you need some interview tips/questions to ask afterwards/what employers are typically looking for.

Business casual: 

  • Dress pants or khaki pants; they can hit at the ankle or all the way down
  • Skirt that hits just above the knee
  • Casual blouse
  • Sweater, or jacket
  • Flats or 1-2 inch heels
  • No open toed shoes
  • For this you may wear brighter colors. Not neon or hot pink/bright yellow, but shades of blue, green, red, pastels, or muted-bright colors
  • May wear a casual dress that is more flowy
  • May wear boots or booties; not at the job interview! But when you actually get the job and know the dress code. Nowadays most jobs have a casual dress code, or at least ‘casual Friday’s’

Business Professional:

  • Neutral colors only
  • Full length dress pants; not cropped
  • Blouse; white or light blue is preferred; make sure it’s buttoned all the way up
  • Knee length skirt with tights or panty hose
  • 1-2 inch heels
  • Blazer or suit jacket
  • Can wear form fitting dress that reaches the knee

Business casual outfits:






Business professional outfits: 






Personally, at all of my business casual interviews I  wore a blouse and skirt with flats/heels. It’s nice to be a bit dressed up to make a good first impression. However, I’ve had a few interviews at daycares and university office jobs where I wore jeans, flats, and a very nice blouse. It honestly depends where you’re interviewing/working at. For graduate school interviews I’ll show up in a full suit with a briefcase (that’s what girls wore when I helped interview the clinical doctoral applicants this year)!
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Tips for building a professional wardrobe in college [Tumblr Post]


1. Stock up on basics; button ups, skirts, nice pants (anything from white/black jeans to business pants), and basic flats/heels. I don’t recommend spending an insane amount of money on these items because there are so many stores from Target to J.Crew that have these items for reasonable prices! I get all of my button ups and skirts that are about knee length at J.Crew because they always have great items on their sale rack and they take a student discount!

2. Splurge on items that will last you forever; blazer/blazer and skirt set, dress pants/blazer and pants set, etc. These items will last a very long time in your closet and go with so many different basics! I’m not saying go out an spend $5,000 on a Chanel tweed jacket with matching skirt; stores that specialize in business attire will work just fine! My favorites are J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor.

3. For shoes, I recommend a nude pair of flats, a black pair of flats, a nude pair of heels, and a black pair of heels. Then from there you can add more fun pieces. You can find these styles of shoes basically anywhere! My favorite brand of affordable classic heels are Madden Girl, my favorite brand of flats are Tory Burch, and my favorite brand of high end heels are Valentino, Prada, and Louboutin!

Just build your wardrobe little by little starting with basics that you can wear on an everyday basis, but that you can also dress up for a business casual or professional look. I highly recommend J.Crew, if that is your style and in your price range! You can find everything from button ups, skirts, blazers, dress pants and more there. There are always great sales and I always find great items on the sale racks! Tip: J.Crew pixie pants are amazing because they are leggings, but look like nice black pants on. Those pants are an example of something you could buy that you could wear on a daily basis as leggings, but also dress up for a professional look!

After you have all the basics, you can start to splurge on more expensive items that will last forever! For example, if you have your eyes on a pair of Louboutins, a pair of Madden Girl black leather heels will work just fine for now, then save up for the more expensive shoes and replace your basic ones later on! This works with all basic items!

When in doubt, search on Pinterest for Business Casual and Business Professional outfits! I have a whole board on my Pinterest dedicated to Post-College fashion, and there are so many fashionable examples!

Hope this helped:)
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Instagram Tips

Hi!! Thanks love! I definitely think it’s important to look at your feed as a whole before you post. Keep it consistent with colors but make sure you are posting a variety of shots.

  • I love to edit my photos using VSCO. It really helps in keeping your feed consistent.
  • Another app I love is Bettr. This app lets you schedule posts to the exact time and day you want them to go live. It actually post for you.

Those two apps are basically my go-to whenever I need to create a new post.
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Studyblr Inspiration Post

Thanks boo! I don’t do anything too intricate, so Canva (a super user-friendly site) works just fine for me! I’ve also used a program called Gimp in the past, which is a nice free alternative to Photoshop – it’s tougher to learn but you can do a lot more x
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5 Simple Strategies To Improve Your Blog Posts

5 Simple Strategies To Improve Your Blog Posts:


Here’s the thing: most people don’t really care about you. Sure, your friends, family, and loyal blog readers love you, but someone who’s just stumbled upon your blog doesn’t love you…yet.

In order to get people to love you and your blog, your posts need to address one or more of the most basic human interests:

  1. to be informed
  2. to be inspired
  3. to be included as part of a community
  4. to have their lives improved and problems solved

I mean, think about it. If you happened to be scrolling through Pinterest and you saw a pin that said “My Favorite Fall Beauty Products”, your first thought is going to be:

“…and who are you?”

If I don’t know who you are and I just happened to stumble upon this post, I’m not really going to be that interested. But, if I saw something instead that said “5 Products You NEED For Fall“, I’m going to want to click on that because it sounds intriguing and I think it could help me in some way.

By rotating the angle of the post to be more about your audience and less about yourself, you’ll get more people interested in what you have to say. You can still share your experiences, but share them in a way that can benefit others.

Remember, people want you to help solve their problems and make them feel like they’re not alone.

The Exception: Posts about overcoming your own struggles or realizing your own mistakes can also do really well, but it’s still because people need help – they want to know how you did it so they can avoid it or overcome it too. For example, ‘How I Overcame My Body-Image Struggles’ or ‘What I Learned From Traveling Solo In A Dangerous Country’ sound intriguing, maybe even controversial, and I think I could apply them to my life.


Your Homework:

Go back through your old blog posts and think about how you can make them more about your audience and less about you. For example, I wrote a post that was originally called My Favorite Food Bloggers, but I recently changed it to 5 Inspiring Healthy Food Bloggers to make it more specific and imply that the post could inspire you (not the best title I’ve ever come up with, but it’s a lot better than it was!)

Examples of Audience-Centered Posts:


This seems like a no-brainer, but so many blogs use a tiny, barely decipherable font that makes it difficult to read for longer than 5 seconds. I want to read your post, okay?! Let me do it with ease!

The best things you can have to make your posts more readable (and therefore more share-worthy):

  1. Increase the font size: Use a medium to large font size. Mine is 15px.
  2. Add space: Space out your sentences by increasing the line height.
  3. Darken the font color: Make sure the body text of your post is black or dark gray. Light gray is hard to read.
  4. Split it up: Split up your content with subheadings, bullet points, lists, and images if you use them.
  5. Go sparingly with the bold text: I know you might want to emphasize something, but bolding an entire sentence doesn’t have much of an impact if it’s mixed into a paragraph. Put an important sentence on it’s own line for emphasis instead.

Your Homework:

Take a look at your current design and see if you can tweak the font size and spacing to make it easier to read. Go through 3-5 old posts and split up your ideas using subheadings, bullets, and anything else you can use to make it easy on the eyes.


There are so many blogs out there that barely skim the surface of the topics they’re talking about, and I’m always disappointed when I see an interesting headline but the post leaves me wanting more information.

Longer posts allow you to go into more depth and include information that sets you apart from other bloggers. This study by CoSchedule shows that long-form content also tends to rank higher than shorter pages, and they make a great point:

If you are conducting a search on “how to kill zombies,” what kind of post are you going to be looking for? The 500 word overview, or the 2,000 word in-depth article with pictures and examples?

The answer is pretty obvious.

People want advice that they can immediately apply to their lives, and they can do this if you give them more information. You want to get your audience thinking, taking action, and bookmarking your post to refer back to. You don’t want them skimming, writing ‘nice post’ in the comments, and forgetting about what they just read.

Quality Over Quantity

You’re probably thinking, ‘But Catherine, long posts take a long time to write. I need to get content out regularly.’

Welp, my dear. Here’s the thing: Your posts should take a while to write. Most of my posts take me days, maybe even a whole week. Unless you’re one of those people who wrote college essays the night before and still got an A, you’re going to have to give your posts the time they deserve before they can get to that epic level.

Take it slow and realize that more content does not always mean good content. One incredibly epic and helpful blog post a month is better than 5 mediocre, un-detailed posts per week. To beef up your posts and make them even more helpful, include links to other posts, add in research and statistics, work in some quotes, or try your own case study.

Content Upgrades

Another sure-fire way to get people more interested in your posts is a content upgrade. A content upgrade is basically an extra bit of goodness that adds value to your blog post and gives your reader even more. You could include any of the following:

  • Checklist or worksheet
  • Wallpaper download
  • Printable quote
  • Audio clip or video
  • Discount or deal on a product you mentioned
  • Even just a summary of your post that people can print out and refer back to

If you’re worried that you don’t have the skills to make these content upgrades, Canva is a free tool that can basically turn you into a graphic designer in less than a minute. It’s epic.

Speaking of content upgrades…


Here’s a free worksheet to help you write incredible blog posts! Don’t you like how I just snuck that in here?

Your Homework:

  1. Use Google Analytics to find your most popular posts (Behavior > Site Content > All Pages), and go into even more detail with them. How To Start A Capsule Wardrobe has consistently been my most viewed post, so I fine-tuned some of my advice and offered a capsule wardrobe planner as a freebie if you sign up for my email list.
  2. Go through some old posts and think about how you could go even further with your advice. Assume that the person reading it is a beginner rather than an expert. Don’t make something up if you can’t think of anything, but don’t be afraid of saying too much. As long as you keep it concise while also sharing the details, you’re golden.

Examples of In-Depth Posts:


So what the heck is evergreen content? I like to think of it as writing content that isn’t time or event specific – it has no expiration date.

You want to write posts that will still make sense if someone found them 6 months from now. Of course, some posts are intentionally seasonal which is totally fine, but you want to have a good balance between evergreen and seasonal posts.

If you want your posts to be shared again and again, it’s going to be worth your time to write evergreen content.

Examples of Evergreen Content:

10 travel wardrobe essentials – Daisy could have made this post about a recent trip she was taking and what she was packing. Instead, she made it about her audience and their needs, and made it appropriate for any season and location.

14 ways to stop living for the weekends – I would usually avoid referencing anything about the day of the week when the post was published, but it makes total sense for Jennifer to mention that it’s Friday because it’s completely relevant to the post (because duh, it’s about the weekend!)

Examples of Non-Evergreen Content:

  • The top ten fashion trends for 2015
  • Why you should visit London over Christmas
  • 5 blogs I’m loving right now

Your Homework:

Find 3-5 old posts where you might have mentioned a season or event in your life that isn’t 100% necessary to share with your reader. Make them more universal and relevant to someone scrolling through your archives so that they can apply your advice to their lives right now.


Okay, you just put all this effort into writing an epic blog post, so how are you going to get it out into the world beyond the group of followers you already have?

You make it share-worthy!

Remember that people typically share things for these reasons:

  1. They want to help others
  2. They want to make themselves look better

People who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge didn’t necessarily do it because they cared about the cause – they knew that if they didn’t accept the challenge, they’d look like an a-hole. It was share-worthy because people wanted to make themselves seem like good people.

You want to write share-worthy content that’s to-the-point, easy to read, and helps solve some sort of problem people might have. If you’ve follow the steps above, you’re already on track to having totally share-worthy content.

Here’s how to take it to the next level:

1. Jazz Up Your Headlines

Headlines are everything. Sure, your loyal followers will read anything regardless of the title, but imagine someone has just seen your post shared on Facebook – it needs to have a good headline to catch their attention. ‘My Favorite Blogging Tools’ it’s less shareable than ‘5 Blogging Tools That’ll Save You Massive Amounts of Time.’ That one just sounds like something I totally need.

Examples of great titles:

  • How to _____
  • 10 ways to _____
  • The ultimate guide to _____
  • What you need to know about _____
  • Have you ever _____?
  • How I survived _____

If you want the most extensive list of topic ideas known to man, this e-book is for you.

2. Make Your Images Pinnable

I started off using horizontal images on my blog, but I knew I wanted to make my images more Pinterest friendly when I redesigned it in July. Horizontal images just don’t do very well on Pinterest because there’s a 554px width limit, whereas there is no vertical limit.

Making my images vertical was probably the best decision I’ve made for my blog so far.

During the month of July (when I hadn’t yet started using vertical images), I had 13 blog sessions that came from Pinterest.

In August, I had 1,065.

In September, I had 2,165. WHAT.

Just look at that percent increase!

You better believe the power of Pinterest for bloggers. I also have to credit the Pinfinite Growth course I took for some of this magic, but making my blog posts Pinterest-friendly was a huge game changer.

Get yourself a Pin It button using this tutorial + start making vertical images in Photoshop or Canva. You’ll have people pinning your content in no time.

3. Add a Click-to-Tweet Message

Check out these 5 simple strategies to improve your blog posts!


Click-to-Tweet is an awesome plugin for WordPress that allows you to craft a tweet that links to your post, and all people have to do is click it to share it with their followers. This is incredibly helpful for getting people to take action because it requires zero effort on their part. I would also recommend getting a widget like Jetpack or something built into your design that makes it a piece of cake for people to share your post on social media.

Examples of Share-Worthy Content:




Look at those beautiful graphics and epic titles. You’d be a fool not to share those!

Your Homework:

  1. Install a share widget to your posts, such as Jetpack.
  2. Start including horizontal images in your posts and sharing them on Pinterest.
  3. Add a click-to-tweet to a post.
  4. Make sure you’ve updated your old blog post titles to make them totally shareable and epic.


Download The Worksheet!

  1. Write posts to benefit others – Make their life easier, inspire them, make them feel like you care about their problems
  2. Make your content readable – Use subheadings, bullet points, and a large font
  3. Write in-depth posts – Share all that you know about a topic, give examples, and offer a content upgrade
  4. Write evergreen content – Make your posts timeless and easy to understand from a beginner’s perspective
  5. Give people a reason to share your post – Jazz up your headlines, make your images Pinterest-friendly, and add a click-to-tweet button

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Studyblr Resource Post: Procrastination and how to get down to work


In all honesty, procrastination is my nemesis– and I think that goes for a whole lot of people, even here in the perfect world of studyblr. Here are some tips to get better at sitting down and going for it without getting distracted!

Removing Distractions

Physical Distractions

  1. Clear any clutter off your desk. Having a more minimal workspace without yesterday’s receipt from lunch keeps you more focused.
  2. Remove irrelevant items. If you don’t need it for the task at hand, get rid of it. This applies especially to appealing books, games, and puzzles.
  3. Close the door. Whether literally, or figuratively, let other people know you’re working and ask them not to disturb you so you stay focused.

Digital Distractions

  1. Use a website blocker. If you really need to stay away, try an app or extension to make sure you stick to focusing. Here are some options:
    1. StayFocusd
    2. Forest
    3. SelfControl
    4. Cold Turkey
    5. Focus
  2. Turn off phone notifications. Almost nothing is more likely to distract you, so use aeroplane mode, or block all social media notifications.


Getting to Work


  1. Make a to-do list. Getting a solid list of what you need to do is one step closer to getting it done! Here are some printables that might help you:
    1. Weekly to-do list from @studeying
    2. To-do list printables from @apricot-studies
    3. To-do list from @aescademic
    4. Let’s do this! from @sundayscholar
  2. Schedule according to your priorities. Breaking your tasks down by importance is another way to categorize and be more efficient.
  3. Ensure that you look ahead. If necessary, look at your schedule in the future and plan that so that you’re forced to stay on track in order to not get behind your schedule.

Structuring your Work

  1. Track what you’ve done. If you can check it off your list, you’ll just want that feeling again. It encourages you by showing that you can do it!
  2. Time yourself. If you commit to ten minutes of work, you’re far more likely to just keep going, and timing’s also a great tracked. Here are a few apps you might find handy!
    1. Toggl
    2. Pomello
    3. ClearFocus
  3. Reward yourself at set times or milestones. Take breaks, grab a cup of coffee or an orange, and don’t work yourself into the ground. Giving yourself ten minutes off will refresh you, as long as you don’t go straight back to your distractions.

You’ve got this!! Get yourself sorted and get going, because you most certainly have it in you 😀

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