Study Tips 101 :: Writing A DBQ

Once you get to high school, you'll start to write lots of DBQs. DBQs are popular in history, and they are especially popular in an AP history class because the AP exam has a DBQ. I take AP US History, so I have written quite a few DBQs this year. Because I have written so many, I have come up with a system on how to write one correctly and efficiently, and I thought I would share it with all of you!

one // pick a side
Most DBQs give you a question with two sides and ask you to defend one of the sides. Read the question a couple of times to make sure you completely understand it. Pick a side that you think you would be able to write about the best

two // highlight & take notes
Read through all of the documents that are given to you. Highlight anything that seems important and anything that you would be able to use in your essay. Taking notes of what you highlight helps as well so you know what to write in your essay when you're looking back on the documents.

three // use background information
Ironically enough, you aren't supposed to rely a lot on the documents in your DBQ. Your DBQ is mostly supposed to contain the information you know about the topic while using some of the documents to back your point and the information you already know. So, think about everything you know about the topic that would help your argument and write it down. The textbook that I have for my class is really good, so I always go through the chapter that we're on (we have to do a DBQ for each chapter we cover) and write down important information. It really helps because when I'm actually writing the essay, I can easily look back at my notes and know what to write.

four // write the essay
Now it's time to write the essay! Refer to your highlights and notes from the documents to use in your body paragraphs. Look back on the notes you took from your textbook or other sources. Use all of those in your DBQ, but remember to not rely on the documents too much.

If you do all of these, you should be golden! The one bad thing about doing a DBQ at home is they take a super long time for me to write. I like to be very thorough with them, so it can take a while!

Do you do a similar process when writing a DBQ?

Show Us Where You Work Linkup

When I found out about the Show Us Where You Work linkup that Rebecca, Dorothy, and Carlee set up, I couldn't resist joining in on the fun! I'm a super motivated person, so I work rather diligently. I'm obsessed with being productive, and I'm always so curious to see how other girls get things done!

{one} Where is your favorite work space located?
Whenever I have study in school, I always go to the library. It's so quiet and peaceful, so it's easy to get a lot of work done there! When I'm at home, I always do my work on my bed. My bed is super comfy, and I love being able to wear pajamas while working!

{two} Do you prefer a sleek desk, or are you more of an "organized chaos" person?
I'm obsessed with being organized, but I would say my desk is more of an "organized chaos." Everything on my desk has a spot, but I have so much stuff on my desk that there are tons of piles everywhere! I hardly use my desk in my room anyway; it's more of just a storage space to store the things I need to use when I work.

{three} What is your favorite kind of writing utensil?
I love using pens! They feel so smooth when I write on paper. It's even better that they come in all different colors, too! I'm also obsessed with highlighters.

{four} Show us your agenda!
I would be nowhere without my Lilly agenda!

{five} What are you looking forward to most about spring?
Getting to wear cute clothes! I'm sick of bundling up and wearing dark-colored clothes for winter and the freezing temperatures. Bring on the pastel-colored clothes!!!

Where do you work?

Strawberry Blueberry Smoothies

One of my goals for 2014 is to eat healthier, and I thought smoothies were a great way to have something that was healthy yet delicious. Strawberries and blueberries are two of my favorite fruits, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a smoothie out of those two fruits! I looked online and found a really easy one to make.

What you need:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries

The recipe also called for honey or sugar if you wanted the smoothie to be sweet, but I didn't add either because I didn't know how sweet the smoothie would be. The smoothie was delicious but kind of tart, so I am probably going to add some sugar or honey the next time I make it!

What kind of smoothies do you like?

OOTD :: First Day of Spring

shirt:: Lilly Pulitzer // skort: Lilly Pulitzer // shoes: Payless // necklace: Best Name Necklace

Although I wear a uniform to school every day (minus the dress down days), I was so lucky to be able to wear Lilly on the first day of spring! I had a business conference to attend for school that day, so I wasn't in school. The dress code was business casual, so what is better for business casual than Lilly?!

I was so happy that it was about 55 degrees that day because that meant I could pull out my Lilly! If it was cold, I would've had to wear a dreary, warm winter outfit. I got the Talya Shirt form the winter sale, and I got the shoes from Payless last year. I got the skort about a month ago while in Boston, and that was the first time I got to wear it! I was obsessed with that outfit, and I got a lot of compliments on it.

I'm looking forward to getting more use out of this skort once the warmer weather and sunshine come!

What was your outfit for the first day of spring?

Ray Bans

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Boston with a couple of friends. We were just browsing through Copley Place and the Prudential Center. We happened to pass a Sunglass Hut, and that's when I realized that I really needed a quality pair of sunglasses.

I've had multiple pairs of sunglasses in my life, but they were ones that I got for about $10 at places like Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, etc. The sunglasses that I had either didn't fit me correctly, broke, or I didn't really love. Finding a pair of sunglasses that I absolutely love is always a difficult task for me because I have a really small face, so basically every pair of sunglasses looks too big on me. I'm also very picky with my sunglasses; I like them to be black or tortoiseshell, and I don't like the lenses to be see-through.

I first tried on a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers that I loved, but they were a little too big for me. Then, I tried on another pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers that were the same exact color and everything but just smaller. They fit me perfectly! I fell in love with them, and I was ecstatic that I finally found a pair of sunglasses that fit me correctly and I absolutely loved.

(I also got the chance to wear my new Shep Shirt that day!!!)

I haven't had the chance to wear my sunglasses much because it hasn't been too warm, and the temperatures are still (unfortunately) very cold. I'm looking forward to using these babies a lot during spring and summer, though!

Do you have a pair of sunglasses that you love?

National Honor Society

Thursday night was the induction for the new members of National Honor Society at my school. I was inducted last year, but I still had to show up for support. To be honest, I don't really see a point in going to the ceremony after being inducted, but I went anyway. Hey, it gave me an excuse to wear a cute outfit!

shirt: Lilly Pulitzer // skirt: Vineyard Vines // necklace: Best Name Necklace

Are you in your school's National Honor Society?

Shep Shirt

I've been eyeing the Multi Gingham Shep Shirt ever since it came out. Once I had enough money, I knew I just had to get it! It actually came in relatively quick, which I was happy about. The Shep shirt is lightweight and full of vibrant colors, so it's perfect for spring. I've only been able to wear it once because of the freezing cold weather, but I'm absolutely in love!

My mom suggested that I wait until it goes on sale ($125 is a tad bit pricy...), but I knew I couldn't pass it up! All in all, I'm happy I got it when I did.

Have you invested in any new Shep Shirts for this spring?

Weekend To-Do List :: Exercise

Although creating weekend to-do lists to relax and be productive are nice, it's also nice to have a weekend to-do list dedicated for exercising! Exercising is super important. As bad as it sounds, I sometimes forget to exercise unless it's in my to-do list notebook... which is why I created a very own weekend to-do list for exercising!

one // create healthy meals
Pinterest is the best place to go when it comes to creating meal plans. Even though I come across tons of pins consisting of unhealthy yet delicious food, I still find a lot of pins that have healthy yet delicious food. Search through Pinterest for healthy meal plans. Find one that you like or find multiple different ones that you like and combine them together to make your meal plans for this weekend - whatever works for you!

two // go to the gym
If you have a gym membership, go to the gym every day this weekend for a good amount of time. If you don't have a gym membership but are looking into getting one, tons of gyms offer free trials where you can get a "membership" there for a week to see how you like the gym! However, if you don't have a membership and don't want one, you can definitely look through Pinterest for exercises to do.

three // do yoga
Yoga classes are super important when it comes to exercising and being healthy. They relieve stress, make you flexible, stretch out your muscles, and give you balance! Do any kind of yoga that appeals to you.

This weekend to-do list can be completed by yourself, but I love doing it with my friends! Going to the gym with my friends keeps me motivated to keep going. Do whatever you'd like!

Do you plan on completing this to-do list this weekend?

Giveaway :: Decor-2-Ur-Door

I was recently contacted by Megan from Decor-2-Ur-Door. Decor-2-Ur-Door is an online website where you can buy all types of bedding and accessories for your room, dorm, etc.! All of the items are very cute. I'm super excited to be giving away a monogrammed pillow! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!!

What do you like from Decor-2-Ur-Door?

Estée Lauder with Lilly Pulitzer

As many of you know, Estée Lauder is doing another collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer! Eeeek! This is considered a gift with purchase, so if you would like to get your very own gift with purchase, read below.

Choose a free 7-Pc. gift with any $35 Estée Lauder purchase through The free gift with purchase includes free makeup valued at $120 and a one-of-a-kind Lilly Pulitzer cosmetic bag available only through Macy’s until March 23. Women can even customize their free gift based on which color of cosmetics they prefer: subtle or bold. You can read all of the details of the exclusive gift with purchase.

I think this is a great idea, and I'm really thinking about taking advantage of this deal! Features that are even cooler about this deal are an Estée Lauder Skincare Finder and an Estée Lauder Foundation Finder! These calculators help you find the shades and products that are right for you and your skin, which is awesome because then you don't have to worry about accidentally getting the wrong shade.

I highly suggest that you take advantage of this amazing deal before it's too late!

Are you planning on getting anything from this collaboration?

Weekend To-Do List :: Productive

This weekend to-do list the complete opposite of my relaxation weekend to-do list! Although weekends are typically meant for relaxing, there are often tons of things that need to get done. Since you have three nights and two full days to get things done, a weekend is the perfect time to do it! Check out the list below to see how you can have a productive weekend.

one //  make a to-do list
I'm obsessed with making to-do lists! I always have tons of things to do, so they help me to really get a visual of what I have to do. If something isn't on my to-do list, I won't remember to do it! I carry my to-do list notebook everywhere with me just because I use it so much. Create a to-do list containing everything you need to do. Once you finish each task, cross them off the list!

two // create an agenda
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the to-do list. Using your to-do list, go in depth on each task. Write down exactly what you have to do for each one. You can even make a little timed schedule if you'd like so you can stay on track!

three // get everything done ASAP
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!! If you delay getting things done, it will only take you longer to actually get them done. If you get everything done right away, you will most likely have time left over to do whatever you want! You also won't be stressed if you don't wait.

Do you plan on having a productive weekend?

Review :: Chuck-Chucks

Yesterday in the mail, I received a Chuck-Chuck bracelet! Chuck-Chucks are bracelets with interchangeable charms. I got a pink bracelet and six charms!

The bracelets are cute, but they're not something I would typically wear. The bracelet and beads are a little too chunky for me, but I think that's just because I have a very small wrist!

If you use the code AshleyMason1 at checkout, you will get 50% off of your purchase! This is a great deal, so use it while you can!

What do you like from Chuck-Chucks?

"Drop 10" Workout

One workout I've absolutely been loving lately is the "drop 10" workout shown above. After each exercise, you drop 10 reps for the next exercise. Apparently it helps you to lose ten pounds in two weeks, but I'm not looking to lose weight! I just want to find an efficient workout that helps me to become toned.

The first time I did this workout, I was so sore the next day! I could barely move. However, it gets better once you get used to it. By the time I'm done with the workout, I'm exhausted and working up a sweat! The workout does take kind of a long time, but it's well worth it.

What is your go-to workout?


In the beginning of January, I met Sammy through Twitter. We started emailing and instantly became friends! We're now really close and talk almost daily. And today is her 17th birthday, so happy birthday Sammy!!! I hope you like your present ;)

Go wish Sammy a happy birthday via her blog, Twitter, or Instagram!


I've been feeling a little uninspired lately (probably because of the cold temperatures and my never-ending amount of homework!), so I thought that I should share some pinspiration and images I love from there! I love my Pinterest, and I always go on it whenever I have spare time!


What has been inspiring you lately?

30 Minutes of Exercise

I am Alex from Preppy Therapy and I am SO excited to be guest posting for Ashley today. Thank you so much Ashley for this opportunity, your blog has always been one of my favorites to read! Lately I have been trying to get active and in shape (spring break is coming up!) I know as high school or college students, we don't have a lot of time to dedicate hours to our bodies each day but all you really need is 30 minutes a day!
So here are some ways that you can incorporate 30 minutes of exercise into your day!

1) Walk/run with your dog! He/she needs exercise too! If it is nice weather out I find it is a nice break from all my stress to walk outside and get some fresh air. Plus, your dog needs exercise too!
2) Do workout videos on Youtube! This is one of my favorites because I can do it right in my room! It is also a great workout

3) Do a workout class! I love doing Zumba because I love to dance so I forget I am working out! 

Lastly I recommend good music. It is actually scientifically proven that you workout longer and better if you have good music playing. Here is my "Power Workout" playlist.

What do you do for exercise? What are your power songs?
Thanks again Ashley!


Searching For A Summer Internship

Now that it's March, it would be a good time to start looking for a summer internship. I can't decide if I want to apply for an internship or not, but I'm planning on doing some research to see if I find one that I really like so I can try to make up my mind!

When looking for an internship, keep the following tips in mind.

one // do something that you love
One of the worst things is having an internship that you absolutely hate. Don't apply for an internship involving research if you hate research! It will cause you to do nothing but dread having to do your tasks, and it will make your summer miserable. It makes it even better if your internship involves what you want your career to be!

two // don't overload yourself
Last summer, I totally overloaded myself, and I was absolutely miserable. I had three different internships: one with the Smart Girls Group, one with Project Eve, and one that was my own with social media. I truly thought I would be able to handle all three, but I really couldn't. I am usually able to read 30 books a summer, but I barely got to read any or do anything because of all the work I had to do. It did nothing but stress me out when summer is supposed to be relaxing. So, look into what the work the internship would involve and make sure it wouldn't be too much. And make sure you only do one internship!

three // see what you can get out of it
When researching internships, make a list of all of the benefits of each internship, such as skills you will obtain. If you see that you'll be learning a lot of stuff, it'll help you make a decision on which internship you want to have.

Keep in mind that the main purpose of summer is to relax and enjoy yourself. So if you do decide to apply for an internship, make sure it's something that is flexible and fun!

Are you planning on applying for a summer internship?

Blog Notebook

Before I took my blogging break, I used an editorial calendar to keep track of which post would be posted on which day. However, after my blogging break, I didn't want to use the editorial calendar anymore. I just decided to use a plain notebook instead!

Whenever I come up with an idea, I just write it down. Then when I blog about it, I cross it off. It's a medium-sized notebook, so I can easily just throw it in my bag and whip it out whenever an idea hits me. It's really simple! I really like it so far until I come up with a new idea ;)

How do you keep track of blog post ideas?