July 17, 2017

15 Things You Need When You Move in With Your Boyfriend

15 things you'll need when you move in with your significant other - amazon echo & smart switch, fireTV stick, bar, dishwasher magnet, extra basics, grocery rebate apps, headphones, mouthwash, phone charges, poo pouri, recipe book, shopping list pad, sleep set, trashcan with a lid, and a wreath | brazenandbrunette.com

Hello friends, I have news for you... me and my bf have moved in together. Yep big things going on in my life because apparently I can't escape adulating lol. Anyways one thing that really surprised me about going to law school is how many people are wifed up. I was expecting law school to be just like 17th grade but surprisingly a lot of law students are in their late 20's/early 30's and I swear everyone you meet is either married (some even with kids!), engaged, or in a serious relationship. So I'm guessing at least one of you out there will be in this situation soon so I figured I might as well blog about my whole 3 weeks of experience.


What to expect

First off, let me prepare you for how this will go living with your POSSLQ (lil family law reference for y'all). The first day or two is like a "honeymoon phase" where you're both just so excited to get to see each other so much and you're ordering pizza to have with your LaMarca so you can have a cute photo session of yay we're living together because when else can you be this cutesy cheesy? 

But then comes an adjustment period. This is where you have little fights over things that are inevitable because you just couldn't have prepared for it— like you both shower at the same time of the day but there's not enough hot water or time for you two to keep up this routine so someone will have to change their daily schedule, or one of you prefers to empty out a clean dishwasher and slowly reload it with dirty dishes while the other prefers to keep an empty dishwasher and load dirty dishes as you go. In my case, he moved in with me so this also included him getting used to where I keep things so I'm not getting calls in the middle of the day because for the love of God he can't find where I store the salt and pepper. 

But then you get used to living together and things are great. It's nice to have someone help me zip up my dresses before work or help me cook dinner after studying. Here's another bonus— one day last week I just didn't sleep well but I still had to rally for work and then stick it out through class/reading and after my workout I just fell to the floor and cried from feeling exhausted and overwhelmed but luckily I had someone who could rub my back and remind me that I'm a badass. 10/10 would recommend having someone on standby to comfort you through a mental breakdown.


What you'll need

Alexa + smart switchOkay I already shared my echo dot as one of my Spring Semester Favorites, but I felt the need to include it again in this list too. In less than a week we already had a situation where we both ended up in bed but lights were still on in the living room. Back in the 20th Century, this would've meant that someone one would have to get out of the nice warm bed and go turn everything off. Cue argument over who was the last person in that room and should be the one sacrificed to the Cold Air Gods. But I had him install a smart switch so now all we have to do is just say Alexa turn off the lamp and problem solved. We plan to get another one for the TV and honestly probably some for bedroom lamps because once you get used to this you can't go back to being a peasant who actually has to touch a lamp switch haha (kidding but not).

Amazon FireTV Stick - Part of the adjustment period is learning to live your life but with someone else there. There's times when his show is on but I need to study or when my show is on at the exact time that that one of his shows are on. So getting something like the fire stick solves a little bit of this because if one of us can't watch our show then we can just go in later and catch up. We ended up having one for the bedroom TV and one for the living room TV so if all else fails we can always just go to the other room to watch something.

Bar - I don't have room in my little apartment for a bar cart, so I make do with this bar shelf. This is turned out to be super handy so far because we love to invite friends over to drink and play poker or cards against humanity. Pro tip- when you first move in together, host a "stock the bar" party and invite literally everyone. What will happen is that your friends will all bring over some liquor, wine, or beer and then boom you're stocked up on free alcohol all at the expense of some mixers, ice, and cups. 

Go ahead and get this bar set. The ice bucket is a little small but other than that it's perfect. Oh and you'll want this electric wine opener (I love it) and these wine caps (traditional wine stoppers usually make bottles too tall for fridge shelves). When we were out shopping for what we'd need when we moved in together, he picked up a set of small wine glasses for us to get and I said If I'm going to live with you, I'm going to need the BIG glasses and this lady that was right beside us overheard me and started dying laughing and told him that I was right. I'm assuming she has experience of living with an S.O. so if she's right then we'll be going through a lot of wine.

Dishwasher magnet - Remember how you'll have little fights over things you didn't anticipate? Prevent at least one of these with a dishwasher magnet that tells you if the dishes are dirty or clean. Because nothing is worse than grabbing a bowl out of the dishwasher because you think they're all clean but you don't realize that the dishwasher is actually full of dirty dishes.

Extra basics - Just trust me that you will need at least double bath towels, dishes, and silverware than what you expect. When I lived with roommates in undergrad we all brought our own things. But here you're playing house (or actually living it) with a shared bathroom and being real adults who are past using paper plates and plastic forks. So get extra of what you think you'll need or else you'll be running the dishwasher or washing machine every other day just so you can have something to eat with or dry off with.

Grocery rebate apps - If you think that having your S.O. move in will equal your grocery bill going down since he can help you pay, you are mistaken. Having a guy around means that you'll go through food faster and there will also be the added expense of having to buy his snacks that you don't like so you never paid for before. And especially now that we are trying new recipes (more on that later), it feels like we're always at the grocery store. 

So we both use Ibotta all the time! I made him download it too because you get an extra $10 free when you sign up (yay free money) and have him use it after every trip he takes... but heads up you can't trick it into you both using the receipt at the same time so only one person use one at a time. But you can also use another very similar app called Checkout 51 that gives you $5 free when you sign up (yay free money x2). So while you both can't use the same receipt for Ibotta, you can use the same receipt for Checkout 51 since they have different promotions. This works out great because sometimes one app has a special that the other doesn't so I definitely recommend using both to get the most $$ back (I'm up to over $40 this summer from both combined!!)

Headphones - Idk what it is but guys love their video games so expect one to be the plus one with your guy. I actually picked out this gaming headset for him after his last one died and he loves it. He can chat with his friends during their raids and I don't have to hear all of them shouting out directions through my TV. On the flipside of this, I have realized that studying is a little bit more tricky with a roommate (I lived alone for 1L and 2L year). While my basic noise-canceling headphones worked just fine to block out my neighbor's noises, I had to step up and get some serious noise-canceling headphones. Right now these are super helpful while I take online classes so I can hear to my lecture videos and he doesn't have to tip-toe around.

Mouthwash - Add this to your nightly routine and it'll really help cut down on morning breath! It's a small little thing but it really does help so you can lay in bed in the morning and cuddle and chat without being self-conscious about your breath being like that one episode from SpongeBob.

Phone chargers - I'm hereby coining Nikki's Law, defined as "for every roommate you have, you will lose a phone charger cord and/or cube." But for real though, go ahead and order an extra phone cord (double points if it's extra long) and at least one extra cube. I promise you they're going to "borrow" it and never return it. So right now we have two phone cords/cubes in the bedroom, another set in the living room, another set in the kitchen, and another in each car. It's worth the investment to have a way to charge your phone at every place you normally need it and then no one is stealing anyone else's any losing carrying it around the house. 

Poo pouri - I got this as a gag gift at Christmas but jokes on them it's actually very useful. Long story short, keep this somewhere where you can't miss it (like right by the toilet paper or toilet handle) and have both of you get in the habit of spraying this on the water before you go to the bathroom. Then this saves you from the very awkward Hey don't go in there for a few minutes conversation.

Recipe book - We came up with this idea and it's too cute for me to not share with anyone who will listen. Get a blank recipe book. Pick a night of the week that is "experiment night." Take turns finding recipes through Pinterest or the Food Network App or wherever and then y'all try cooking a new recipe together. Whoever finds the recipe writes it down in the book if it turns out to be a win. In the end you have a recipe book that's full of only dishes that you know you both like (so later you can just blindly open to a page and cook that) but it also doubles as a cute memento of all of the meals you've shared together.

Shopping list pad - Another one of my Spring Favorites. In undergrad I didn't care when my roommates ate or what they ate because we all just kinda had our own meal schedule. With your SO it's a little different and you end up planning meals and shopping together. This pad helps keep track of all of the things you need for that. It's also a good way to avoid those moments when you get home from the grocery store and he goes oh yeah I forgot to tell you that I used up all of the milk this morning. Again, just trying to prevent those unnecessary little fights. Another thing very similar to this that I got is this "honey do" list and it's actually great. I'm still pleasantly surprised every time I write hang pictures above nightstand and then I come home and they're actually hung!

Sleep set - In an ideal world, you both would go to bed and get up at the same time together. But unfortunately in the real world, and especially during that first week of adjusting, that's not always the case. A good sleep mask with ear plugs is a good thing to have on hand so that both of y'all can go to sleep when you want to and stay asleep for as long as you want to. It's also nice just to have for those terrible days when you come home from class and just need to nap away your problems.

Trashcan with a lid - Another just trust me thing. Even if he's grown up with sisters, you're still going to have to hear an Ew gross! once a month if your bathroom trashcan doesn't have a lid. I swear guys never get used to this.

Wreath - Technically you could use this even if you live alone because they're just so gosh darn cute, but once you start having a home together you should make it look official. Get you a little door wreath and you'll be amazed at how homey your place will instantly feel and you'll feel so grown up when everyone sees it when they come over.

What I've learned

Because I'm a law student, the number one thing that I had to do before we even unpacked the first box was explain what I needed out of him so I could study. In the least bitchy way I could, I had to explain that his job now included quizzing me on my outline before finals and making himself seen and not heard when I had to read and especially the day before finals. I also had to explain to him that in general, but especially around finals, I am a little ball of stress, so if I get bitchy or I spontaneously start crying he needs to know that it's just because of the stress and not necessarily because I hate him. Obviously just because I'm a law student doesn't mean that I can be a complete pain, but sorry kid law students are just a little harder to live with than regular people. Another must that I had to point out: even if the Facebook video of the puppy saving the kitten is adorable and I'd love it, please just save it until a study break and don't interrupt me "real quick" because then I'll get out of my groove. 

And since we both have pretty full schedules, weekends are the best. We got this picnic basket and every weekend we'll pack it with either lunch (club sandwiches are our fave so far) or brunch (fruit and croissants for the win) and go exploring and find a new park. Getting outside and just spending time chatting or playing cards or something is a great way to keep from becoming super boring. We like picnics because they're free but if all else just plan on getting out of the house and spending time together while you can.


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July 14, 2017

5 Tips for a Study Space Redo

5 tips for a study space redo: pick a color scheme, add storage and organization, fill it with supplies, give yourself some motivation and inspiration, and slowly work on it | brazenandbrunette.com

Ok guys, it has been a year since I've moved and I'm embarrassed to say that I still don't have my desk set up yet. This is really bad considering that my apartment has a little built-in study nook that has a little desk with shelves and everything. But I also have another desk at the library. At my school we each get a study carrel which is just a little room that has two big desks and four cabinets, so you share a desk with your carrel mate if all four of you are in there at once (that hasn't happened so far). 

At first I was a little intimidated to decorate my carrel because I share it with a girl and two guys and I didn't want to seem like I was taking over the whole space, but now that I know them better I feel more comfortable making my cabinet my own. So my goal for the next month before school starts is to slowly decorate both desks so I can enjoy my study space. Here's how I'm doing that.


Step 1: pick a color scheme

I think this is the most logical step one because before you even start buying stuff you need to have a plan of what you want to buy so you don't end up with a mis-matched desk. I love the current white and rose gold look so that's what I'm planning on doing for my home desk. 

The first thing I found was this rose gold date cubes. I love it because it matches my color scheme and actually serves a function. Plus it's fun to get to change the date every time I sit down (and is a good way for me to keep track of how long it's been since I studied). Another great thing I've found is this rose gold desk set so I can have my stapler, tape dispenser, and pen holder all perfectly match. 

For my carrel, I'm thinking a more classic white, blush, and gold.  (it's my tribute to Elle Woods but not over-the-top, in-your-face pink). I found this tassel garland that I think would be perfect for the inside of my cabinet door of my carrel so I get a little surprise every time I open the door.

Step 2: add storage and organization

This is super important, obviously. I found this rose gold desk filing system that perfectly matches my stapler and stuff. I keep loan information in one, tax papers in another, and my apartment lease and utilities information in another. I also found this desk organizer that is a perfect catchall for everything else that I don't already have a place for. The worst thing is trying to study and you have little odds and ends that you have to shove to the side so you can have room.

I already had this acrylic filing system and these cute gold file folders that I'm moving to my carrel so I can have a place to keep up with a copy of my syllabi in one file, handouts that I get from class in another file, and other paperwork that I come across in a third miscellaneous file (so like applications to programs and pro bono timesheets can go here).

Step 3: fill it with supplies

I found this cute trinket dish that's actually made for rings or keys but I figured that it's the perfect place to keep paperclips, binder clips, and push pins in! Another thing that I really needed was these acrylic cups. I got one for all of my colored pens and another one for all of my liquid highlighters, and I'll keep my miscellaneous pens/highlighters/pencils in the rose gold cup. This post-it holder matches these cups and is great because I use post-its soo much so I can add little notes to myself in my books like definitions of words or major things I need to remember. I found this amazing rose gold lamp that I bought for when it's late and I need extra lighting at my desk, but I already feel like I'll be using it for more than just my desk because it's so versatile. My final desk must-have is a book stand. It's amazing how much it helps your neck since you're not hunched over a book anymore reading for several hours.

For my carrel I first got this adorable gold and marble paperclip holder. I love it so much because I feel like I can take it with me to my desk job next year too and get lots of use out of it. My desk only came with this God-awful florescent light that I just can't stand to study under. So I did some looking and settled on this desk lamp because it can change between warm or soft lighting and comes with a USB port. I plan on leaving it out since it doesn't take up much space and I trust my carrel mates so I'm fine with them using it too. I also got another book stand for this desk too since the main thing I'll be doing at my desk is reading.

Step 4: give yourself some motivation and inspiration 

I got this six pack of clipboards and hung them on my wall under the lowest shelf and now I have a wall decoration that's interchangeable and I can keep this calendar, my syllabi, and motivational quotes on them. I also ordered this gallery wall print set so that I can change out my decoration prints and they'll always match.

On the side of my wall, I have this small cork board that I'm adding pictures of me from traveling, pretty pictures, and cute little things that I find to make an inspiration board. Sometimes reading is really boring and it's so tempting to quit so I wanted to make something that will remind me of the life that I'm working for.

Step 5: slowly work on it

This might not sound like a lot, but completely redoing even a small space in your apartment like a desk can add up to a couple of hundred dollars quickly. If you don't have a job right now, that might be a little much to throw down all at once. So you can just start with the basics and slowly buy stuff here and there to decorate it. 

But also even if you can go ahead and buy it all now, don't just stop. The best decorated areas are ones where you've slowly added the perfect items as you find them overtime. Remember that if you find the right stuff, it can be reused in a couple of years either in your work office or another home office.

I'm still working on finishing my desks, but I'll post the pictures once I finish getting everything organized and am happy with where I'm at :)


July 10, 2017

Professional Post-Grad Planner + Coupon Code

Why the Plum Planner is the PERFECT planner for college, graduate school, internships, and work! Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com

It's the best week of the summer!! AKA the week that I got my new planner in!! In undergrad, I'd always get excited to use my planner and then slowly stop using it after the first few weeks of class. But since then I've realized that the reason why I stopped using it was simply because the planner I was using wasn't cutting it. Which is why I'm a Plum Paper superfan. If you're new here, you can check out my post comparing Lilly Pulitzer Planners, Kate Spade Planners, Erin Condren Planners, and Plum Paper Planners and my follow-up post comparing The Happy Planners, Day Designer Planners, and Passion Planners. 

Anywhoo, back to this year's planner. As you may know, this past year I have switched to I guess two planners— using the iStudiez app for class assignments and using my PP planner as more of a life planner. I ended up having to use an app for my assignments because 4 out of 5 of my classes ended up getting way off from the syllabus so the "move assignment due date to next class" feature ended up being a necessity since my planner was getting scribbled all over it and I ended up having a hard time knowing what I was supposed to actually be reading. 

Related: How I use the iStudiez app and my Plum Paper Planner together

Why I love Plum Paper

This is my third year ordering a PP planner and each time I get a new one I'm reminded of why I love these so much. The plastic cover before the designed cover on my first planner was slightly opaque and kinda hid the design so I'm glad that they've switched to a much clearer cover. The two covers itself is a great idea because the clear one keeps your design from getting ruined by accidental spills or pen marks.

I reached out to Plum Paper Designs and they were so nice to give me another coupon code for y'all to use again. So use BRAZEN10 when checking out (expires 1/31/18 ) and get 10% off your order 😃 One thing I'll say is that now is the time that everyone is ordering theirs for the new school year so order now because if you wait until August your planner might not get to you before the first day of class. 

Layout

Because I've started using an app just for assignments, I knew that I wanted to get my next planner to have a layout that was the most compatible with my setup (I've always used option 1). After trying out the Passion Planner, I learned that I really liked having just a whole bunch of time slots to write out my day (option 2). It saved time so that I didn't have to write meeting times in my planner and I could just write whatever needed to get done at that hour on that time slot. But this wasn't always great because sometimes I just needed to get things done but didn't have a certain time I needed to get it done, so I also was thinking about getting my new planner to have just a bunch of blank lines (option 3). But then I got to thinking about how really I could get by with just the monthly layout (option 6) since I don't seem to be using the daily pages near as much. Of course after this my next though was well if you're going to do that you might as well just get the fitness layout (option 5) and instead of writing down daily assignments I could keep up with my calories throughout the day. Yes I realize this is level 5 over-thinking it, but I can't help my mind.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

In the end, I decided to try out the new horizontal layout for a few reasons. First off, I decided that I still want daily pages even though this won't be just an assignment planner anymore. Secondly, I really liked the Day Designer planner and it had a layout very similar to this. Third, I'm not taking any classes my spring semester and am instead working for class credit so I needed something that could be versatile enough to be useful the fall semester when I am in class and the spring semester when I'm working. Overall, I think this split-side layout will end up being really great for both uses. 

Right now how I'm using it (I'm currently in summer school), is that I'll write down any due dates and my exam dates on the left side. On the right side, I use the box for two purposes since it's so big— the top to keep track of what I wear to work so I keep from wearing the same thing over and over again, and the bottom to keep track of what I eat (lazy calorie counting). The only thing that I'm iffy about on this layout so far is that it doesn't have the weekly and daily checklists like what come with option 3. I usually like to put little to-do's in there so I miss that but I'm making do by putting these in the notes section at the top of the week.


professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

Another thing that I like about this planner that other planners like Day Designer, Happy Planner, and Passion Planner incorporate is that it has places for you to write out your ideas at the beginning and then at the start of every month it has a place where you can prioritize your goals to help you accomplish them.


professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com


Add-Ons

Of course to make this work, I needed a few add-ons too. Since I ended up not getting the fitness layout, I decided to get the fitness tracking section again. I'm starting to get really in to working out every day and have loved having this in my 2016 planner because it keeps me accountable and helps me track my progress. I've been getting in to spin class lately so I love that this has a place for me to keep track of my monthly progress but also the first page is a before/after for me to see how much progress I make overall in the year.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

Another add-on that I got again is the blogging section. If you have a blog, I highly suggest having this! I credit this for keeping me from forgetting to blog throughout the busy times during the semester. I love how this year they moved the blog stats and expenses to the bottom of each month so now I don't have to flip back and forth through three sections to keep track of everything.


professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

In my last planner, I got a to-do checklist at the back of every month and used each little checklist to keep up with my outlines progress and study schedule. But since I'm only going to be making outlines for one more semester (hallelujah) I decided that I probably don't need that this time (but we'll see). This year PP added some dotted pages in the back so I figure that if I do end up needing a checklist, I can make it back here.

Instead, I got a cleaning checklist added for each month. I like how this breaks down the cleaning by room so that I can work on deep cleaning one room each week. And on the back of the checklist there's enough extra space that I can put my weekly checklist (like laundry, dishes, trash) and keep track of that back there. For some reason, having a messy apartment will really add unnecessary stress so my hopes is that this will help me maintain a clean place.


professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

The last add-on that I got was a monthly bills tracker page. I used to not need this because I had automatic withdrawal set up for my rent, my utilities, and each of my loans (I'm paying them off a little each month during school to try to keep the interest down). However this summer I realized that automatic withdrawals are too scary for me because the withdrawal dates sometimes come before I have money in my account and I got slapped with a big overdraft fee last month. Plus I realized it also really sucks thinking I have a couple hundred dollars in my account so I think I'm fine and then next thing I know my card's getting declined because I forgot about all of this money getting sucked out of my account. But I still want to be a responsible adult and not miss a payment so this was a must for me.


professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com


Design

Yet another way where I overthought this planner. I have loved the designs of both of my planners each year, so when I saw that they re-vamped them (new version of my '15 design and new version of my '16 design) I seriously considered getting them again. I'm obsessed with how my planner looks so honestly as soon as I saw that they had an updated version of it, I made a beeline for the cart and was thisclose to ordering it and then last minute decided to actually go through and look at the other designs and I'm so glad I did!! Here's the top six that I had it narrowed down to:

My new favorite designs for the 2017-2018 school year Plum Paper Planner. Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com
one // two // three // four // five // six

What I love about PP is that you can completely customize the front cover! I never opt to get the year just because I add so much that I don't want too much going on. Of course I had to have them add my monogram, just like I do every year. And this year I decided to try something different and get my blog's name across the bottom. I've never added my blog name to my planner before, but I decided why not since I use this for my blog so much.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com
Check out the cute little notepad they included for free!

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

Planner Tips

The only way a planner can be useful to you is if you actually use it. What I did was get in the habit of taking it out of my backpack first thing when I get in from class. Then I can look over it and see if there's anything I need to do. I also am in the habit of "journaling" in it right before bed. I'll record my workouts, my meals, and check off what I've cleaned for that day before I pack it in my backpack. Pick a time to use it and stick with it and it'll be much easier.

Fill it out as much as possible as soon as you get it. Fresh new planners are fun but the funness does wear off after a few months. So while you're still excited, go ahead and mark the first and last day of class, when you should start studying for finals, doctor's appointments, and major things to remember. You can either find a sticker set for these or use washi tape to block days off and just write on it. Make sure to add these days to both your monthly and your weekly sections, just to be double sure you never forget anything.

Keep up with serious and fun goals. Obviously I'm tracking my progress to being healthier and my loan repayments with my planner, but it shouldn't be all serious. I also have a page in my planner that is a bucket list of places to eat/things to do where I live that I'm slowly working through. I also have a page of books that I want to read. What I did for that is drew a simple bookshelf and then drew books in it. Some have titles, and I'll color those in as I read them. I left some books blank so I can fill in any unexpected books I read. Then I can look back on what I've read at the end of the year :)

Add something positive to your planner. I have a whole Pinterest board of motivational quotes and I always write one in the notes part of the page! It might seem silly at first, but I promise you that there will come a time when you're having a rough week and seeing that little pick-me-up note from yourself will make things a little better.

The 4 things I do to set up my new Plum Paper Planner. Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com

Planner Accessories 

I also have a few planner accessories that I highly recommend because they're just so useful! Last year I ordered these college stickers and they have been perfect so I just re-ordered them! They fit perfectly in a PP planner and have stickers for everything from a registration sticker to a book buyback sticker. And the best part about ordering through Etsy is that in the notes to the seller, I always just request that they change the color scheme to match my planner design (so I asked for a pink/purple/baby blue scheme). I also got these planner sticky notes for when I need little things to stand out. The last little thing that I got to decorate my planner is washi tape. I use it to tape off long-lasting events like 4 day weekends or finals week.

And I use my Staedtler pens for color-coordinating with a color for each class, a color for pro bono hours, one for extracurricular activities, one for my work schedule, one for my wardrobe planning, and one for keeping track of what I eat (but I'm extra haha). But another method of color-coordinating that you might consider is one color for meaning that something is due in a week, one color for due in a few days, one for due tomorrow, and one for due now. My pens are also great for making rules or elements stick out in my notes for class. I don't need a separate pen color for meal planning because I use this snap-in dashboard to keep track of my weekly meals and what I need to buy for those meals.

Another thing that I bought for my last planner and get a lot of use from are these bookmark bands. I love this 3-pack because I use one to keep my place for what week I'm on, another to keep my place in my blogging section, and the last one to keep my place in my fitness section. 


My 6 favorite, must have planner accessories for my Plum Paper Planner. Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com

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July 7, 2017

2L in Review

2L in review | brazenandbrunette.com

Wow guys. So I'm now closer to being a lawyer than I am to being a 0L. Literally crazy that I've made it this far! One of my favorite posts from being a 1L was my 1L in Review post, so here I am again looking back on this past year.


My Cady year

If you're new here, then let me catch you up to speed real quick. I transferred schools for my 2L year so this past year has really felt like I was a 1.5L because I was still getting used to a new school. For me, transferring was one of the best decisions I've made in law school so far. 


Nothing against my old school, but it just wasn't for me. I made a total of one friend from my section and just didn't really felt like I belonged. But within a few weeks at my new school, I was already making new friends in each of my classes and getting more involved with the school. Once I found where I belonged, I felt a lot more comfortable and everything just felt a little easier. One of my friends always jokes that I'm like Cady from Mean Girls since I'm new and I ended up being friends with different friend groups form each section (hence the name of this paragraph).


Not that I'm bitter about not getting in to this school on the first try at all. In fact, if I would have, then this blog wouldn't have even been started and I wouldn't have had this opportunity to share my experiences with y'all! 

First Semester

Idk if I've said this on here before, but I've kinda figured out that your first semester of your 1L year is like being a freshman all over again, your second semester of 1L is like being a sophomore (yeah it's that big of a jump after one semester), your 2L year is like being a junior, and I'm assuming your 3L year is like being a senior. 

The first thing I noticed that's nice about being an upperclassman is you handle cold calls a lot better (yes some professors still do this after 1L). When I got called on the first time of the semester, I wasn't stressed out or nervous so I was able to actually hear the question that my professor had asked me. And since I'd been doing this for a year, I understood what he meant by his question and could answer based off my own knowledge instead of fumbling around through my notes trying to look for the answer in the case. Of course this doesn't always happen and sometimes I would still get stumped and have an onshit moment, but it was a lot less often.

Another great thing about being more experienced is that you've made it through the hazing of 1L so professors know that you've earned your keep if you're sitting in their class. I felt like my professors were a lot more laid back in general and I wasn't stressing out near as much making sure I memorized every detail of a case for if my professor was going to grill me. 

Maybe that's also partly because by the time you're a 2L, you get really good about skimming through the case for just what's important so you can get through your readings a whole lot faster. Yes, I still read all of my cases as a 2L and plan to as a 3L because it really does make studying for finals a lot easier. It can be really tempting to want to get lazy, but I think reading cases is a good goal to have.

Related: 2L goals

But being a 2L doesn't mean that law school is suddenly a piece of cake. It just gets easier. There's still a lot of stress. I was in a group project in one of my classes and would literally scream every time I got a text in the group text because my grades were dependent on these people. And since I transferred, my first semester I was seeing all these people coming to school in suits for Fall on campus interviews and it really stressed me out missing out on that. I'll say this– law school is definitely all about balance. I had to learn how to take a me day as soon as I started feeling really stressed because I knew that I would have a mental breakdown if I pretended like everything was fine (for real though... don't do this!).


Second Semester

I'm really proud of how I somehow got my shit together my Spring semester. There was literally no trick to it, I just got in a productive mood one day and stuck with it pretty well all semester. But I will say that I think it was just the result of trial and error for the past two years. Humble brag: I actually started studying from 9-4, I worked out 4 days a week, I got in to a clinic, I got in to an externship. Adulting has actually been a lot better than I thought it'd be. 

But again, this wasn't all roses. Your 1L year you feel busy all the time because reading the cases just takes so damn long. As a 2L a lot of times it feels like you're just as busy because even though you can do your readings a lot faster, there's just so much other stuff that you have going on and I definitely felt that this Spring. Even though I received my best grade ever my first semester, I also received my worst grade my second semester ☹️ so the highs and lows are definitely still there (PS fuck you evidence).

And unfortunately I still had a voice inside my head every couple of months questioning if I'm really cut out to be a lawyer. I basically just shut this voice up by reminding myself that I'm almost done anyways. And I've officially made it further through law school than Nick Miller did haha.


For real though, I still love law school and I'm still obsessed with it. I love how it hasn't gotten boring yet and I'm still interested in everything that I'm learning. I also am still incredibly grateful to be living out my Legally Blonde fantasy because I haven't forgotten how that dream almost didn't happen two years ago. This year was definitely a challenge but it reassured me that I'm where I'm supposed to be.


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July 3, 2017

5 Things to do Before Law School

5 things to do before law school | brazenandbrunette.com

Hi guys! In case you didn't know, this blog was created because of my nerves before law school. And I know if you're here reading this now then you probably are feeling the same never too lol. So I thought I'd take some time for today's post to talk about what you can be doing your summer before law school.


Work

Best case scenario, you get a paid job in the legal field. But I'm a realist so I will just let you know now that unless you already know someone who has a law firm that has an opening, then this probably isn't going to happen. Unless you need to get a job to survive, your next best option would be to just go to law firms and see what free help you can do. Even if you're not getting paid, this will give you some great experience! You'll be learning vocab and why things happen the way they do before you even step foot in to a class and that will help you a lot. Another bonus is that you'll also be a little ahead of your classmates when you go to apply for jobs because you have relevant experience.

On the flip side of this, if you need cash flow or you strike out trying to find an unpaid job at a firm (yeah I know right like wtf why is it so hard to even get an unpaid job?!), then just get you any job. If you thought college was expensive, try tripling that and that's about what you'll be spending in law school. So money can always help. Even if you have a full-ride scholarship or your parents are nice enough to cover this for you, you'll find a need for this money at some point. Books, supplements, and a lawyer wardrobe are three things that will cost more than you anticipate. Plus, getting in the groove of a set schedule will help you later on.


Watch a trial

Trust me when I say that it'll be to your benefit if you can go watch a trial. Trials are open to the public so you should be able to find one without much problem. Just go down to your nearest court, let them know that you're an incoming law student, and tell them that you are interested in watching a case. In my experience, court clerks are super helpful about getting you in to see some action. 

Even if you want to do one type of law but you can only find cases that are for something totally unrelated, it's still worth it to go. Just like working in a law firm, you'll learn so much about things in the law that will really help you connect and understand what you learn in class. Most importantly, it opens the door to the golden word in law school: networking. Seriously, every career service person, academic support person, or lawyer that you meet will tell you that it's not about the grades you make; it's about the hands you shake is soo true in law school. So get your name out there, meet people, ask questions, and get to know more about the world that you're about to be thrown in.


Be childish

Ok so I know this is completely opposite of the last points but in reality most people turn in to total nerds when they get in to law school. I'm talking you're in bed by 11 on a Saturday night because you know you need to not be hungover the next morning so you can read for your next class. So while you're out there gaining some experience, also be young. 

Remember that you're still in your early 20's and according to SATC, you're supposed to be taking body shots and burping the alphabet or something. You're about to be super lame so have some fun while you can (but remember that the Bar is still watching you so like, not too much fun).


Explore your new city

Almost everyone I know ends up moving to a brand new city for law school. And while you may be thinking oh I have a whole 3 years to explore this city, chances are that won't be as easy as you thought. The problem with law school is that a lot of times you're either too busy reading to do anything or by the time that you have free time to do something, you're so tired you just want to sit on your ass and binge watch Shameless (PS if you haven't seen it then just stop reading this now and go watch it. Only come back once you have a solid opinion on whether juvie Carl or cop Carl is better).

Ok got off topic there for a sec. But anyways, yeah. What I wish I would've done differently is move in a week or two before orientation. Guilt trip your mom, friends, sister, whoever in to staying with you and then go out exploring. It'll help with the homesickness that's gonna slap you in a few months and it'll come in handy when your classmates all say they're going out to this one place and you have no idea if thats a bar or a restaurant or where it even is. Lastly, it'll remind you that there's more to do in that city than just read about the Dormant Commerce Clause.

Read?

I'm torn between telling you to read before law school. It's a very fine line between getting used to a heavy reading load nightly and burning yourself out. I tend to get burned out and I've been a big reader my whole life, so I personally opted for the no-read summer. But if you're not a reader, than it might not hurt to slowly work your way up to being able to read 50 pages a night. 

If you're wondering about pre-law books, here's my limited advice. I did not read any how-to-law-school books before I came (I guess because I was too busy trying to write about it), so I can't tell you whether or not I think they'll help you. I've passed this far so all I can say from experience is Is it necessary? no, Is it helpful? maybe. I've seen lots of recommendations for Getting to Maybe, so right now my plan is to start there and read through a few of the other big name pre-law books and give y'all a review. I'm a little busy rn (so much for 3lol) so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get around to that. If you've read this or any other law school book, please comment below what you thought of it so that others can know if it's worth it or not!!

What NOT to do

Stress yourself out too much. I promise you that you'll be fine without taking a pre law prep class over the summer and you won't be behind if you haven't started pre-learning about your courses. If you want to skim through an E&E, that's probably as much as I'd say is sane to do (Q: What's an E&E? A: here). Just know that if you do any of this, you're just being extra. So in my opinion you're definitely not too far behind if you hear the word "tort" for the first time at orientation. You're smart- you'll catch up.

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