February 9, 2018

Winter Favorites

The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

Happy Friday! I realize that we’re a month well into the new semester, but through the whirlwind of moving and starting my externship I’ve totally slacked on a few posts I wanted to write. As you probably guessed by the title, first up on my catch-up agenda is a little list of things that I discovered last semester! 

PopSockets

PopSockets - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com
First up is my little PopSocket because I actually got one this summer, then Ryan saw how cool it was and got one, then my sister heard us go on about them and got one not too long ago. I’m sure you’ve seen them in everyone’s mirror selfies! At first I was a little reluctant to order one because most of the people who I saw using them were much younger than me (ugh, youths!) but I finally did and am sold. 
Mostly why I wanted to get them is because how I hold my phone when texting or scrolling is to use my pinky underneath to stabilize it. This always would hurt my pinky but my hands really weren’t big enough to fully grip my phone any other way. These have definitely saved my poor pinky! Not only that, I like to watch makeup tutorial videos on my phone while I’m getting ready and this made a perfect stand to prop up my phone on. I’m sure most of y’all reading this already have one, but if you don’t I’m telling you to go ahead and get one. They’re about $10 so it’s cheap enough to see if you like them.

Emily Ley

The woman in general and the brand! Last semester I posted about how I was reading Grace Not Perfection and y’all I loved this book! It’s written by someone who was juggling running her own business and a young family, but it is so relatable to a law student because the whole theme was learning how to accept that you’re doing enough in life, which I’m sure all of us having been hard on ourselves for. 
Not only that, but I ordered my book through her website and now I’m signed up on their mailing list! Usually I’m all about Unroll.Me and unsubscribe from all mailing lists but this is one I’m happy to get. Every month they send out a little email with important dates to add to your planner (this is by a planner company) and some of my favorite Spotify playlists ever. 
Someone had mentioned that I try out the Simplified Planner for my planner review post, but at the time it was too expensive for me to buy just for a post so I didn’t, but now I’m considering getting one after this one runs out just because I’m in love with EL. I also bought her Simplified Life book and while I haven’t had the opportunity to read it just yet, I did watch her YouTube videos on it and she had some great life hacks! 

European Wax Center


This probably doesn’t seem like it belongs on here, but hear me out. Usually I get my eyebrows done by either my nail lady or my hairstylist. But then my friend referred me to EWC and the best part was that I got my first wax free! Not only that, but they have “wax passes” where you can prepay for several waxes at once at a discount, but because I was a student I got even more of a discount. I also like that they do a little bit more than your typical nail/hair lady and prime your eyebrows and then have a post-wax serum to go over it so you’re not as red afterwards. If you do decide to go on in for your free wax and are feeling extra generous, you can tell them that I sent you and I’ll get credit on my own wax pass.

Hulu + Spotify

Spotify and Hulu student discount - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

Another favorite for the simple fact that it’s a money saver! I was paying the $10 a month for Spotify Premium because I listen to it at school, the gym, and in the car so I needed the premium version. Then I found out that for only $5 a month I could get Spotify Premium and Hulu as a student!! Talk about a win-win because now I’m getting two services for half of the price that I used to pay for one. Thanks to this deal, this semester I’m also able to save on cable costs because I don’t have cable and instead just watch Hulu on my TV. So really, it’s a money-saving win-win-win. 

FastWeb

FastWeb $500 referral scholarship - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com
And while we’re on the subject of #poorlawstudent I have another exciting money-in-the-bank favorite to share with y’all! So you might remember that I shared about FastWeb a few months ago. Quick refresher if you don’t— it’s a scholarship match service to help you find scholarships relevant to your education and demographics. Anyways, last semester I won a $500 scholarship through them! This might sound de minimis (proof that I passed tax lol) in comparison to full-ride scholarships, but I’m still excited! When you’re taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans for school, it feels great to just be handed free money.

Echo Routines

Amazon Echo Routines - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

In my last favorites roundup post, I mentioned how last year I got an Amazon Echo Dot and smart plug and now I can’t go back to life before talking to a lamp. Anyways, I recently was playing on my Alexa App and came across the Routines section. It’s not new but I’d never messed with it because I thought that was more for when you have multiple smart devices that you want to go off in an if-this-then-that manner and I only have the one smart plug. But I have since found a way to make it work for me.
I currently have 2 routines. The first one goes off pretty soon after my alarm goes off and it is absolutely snooze-through proof so I highly recommend it if you’re one of those people who accidentally sleeps through your alarm or have a bad habit of snoozing too many times. First, I set it to turn on my nightstand lamp which will really wake you up. Immediately after that, Alexa starts reading off to me theSkimm because I have that Skill enabled and set up as my “news”. At the end of reading me that, she’ll tell me what the weather is going to be like for the day because usually by then I’m awake and up out of bed and in my closet trying to decide what to wear. I’m not going to lie, the first time this went off I about had a heart attack when someone other than me flipped on the switch and I heard a voice in my apartment that wasn’t me, but after a few days I calmed down and now I no longer wake up thinking I’m under attack haha.
My second routine is to remind me to get out the door. I used to have a reoccurring alarm on my phone to tell me to leave, but then it became this huge pain if it was already in my purse and I was in a rush and had to stop and find it and turn it off or because unsafe if I’d beaten my alarm and was driving but again had to find it and turn off the alarm (thankfully it never went off in class or anything!). Then I wanted to set a reoccurring alarm on my Echo to tell me when to leave, but again that’s less than ideal if I leave early but still have an alarm going off back at home. So now when it’s time for me to leave, Alexa will come on and give me a traffic report and since I’ve gone into the settings and set my home and work address, she’ll give me a real-time update on how long my drive should take me. You can also have Alexa say something so I chose to have her say “go get ‘em tiger” after she gives me a commute update and it makes me giggle at how dumb I am every time.

SkimmNotes

SkimmNotes in theSkimm App - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

If you’re new here, Hi I’m Nikki and I love (and maybe am slightly addicted to) theSkimm. I subscribe to their daily emails (you can too) and obviously I have my Echo read it to me every morning because #fancy. But they actually have a theSkimm App that is totally separate from their morning news blasts that I also love. The app itself is really cool because it has all these major events that you can add to your calendar (in emoji form!) and it’s how I know things like when This is Us had its season premier and how I know to tweet about a Supreme Court hearing.
Anyways, something new they recently came out with is their SkimmNotes podcast and I’m all about it. If you also love having general knowledge about things happening right now or love having bits of trivia on hand (PS— great for networking!!) then you’ll love this as much as I do. So for example, I listened to their podcast on IPOs and their analogy to Instagram really helped me understand how that works. And when my nephew asked me who Siri was, I had him listen to their podcast on that. Since the Olympics are now here, I’ve been listening to their daily podcast about the Koreas and Olympics during my drive home from work. They’re short and sweet at about 10 minutes each and they are always super interesting.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge indoor pool and magic quest - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

This is totally not related to any of the above favorites, but I’m going to share it anyways. I have two nephews- one is 8 and one is 4. For my youngest nephew’s 4thbirthday we recently took a family trip to Great Wolf Lodge. If you’ve never heard of it, go check it out on Pinterest! They’re famous for being a hotel with an indoor waterpark. Yep, it was November and freezing outside but we were playing in the pool. You’d think that an indoor waterpark would reek of chlorine, but somehow the room didn’t make me gag like normal hotel indoor pools. I went on the lazy river and down the slides with my nephews a few times and then got to chill in the adult hot tub with a beer! There’s also this kind-of scavenger hunt thing called a Magic Quest that I did with my older nephew and honestly I got a little too into that… haha! 
Anyways, I just thought I’d give a quick little review of that in case anyone out there has nieces/nephews or children or whatever and need a great domestic vacation for kids that isn’t too terrible as an adult (or in my case, overgrown child). 

iPhone X + Apple Heart Study

iPhone X and Apple Heart Study - The 9 finds that I'm loving during this winter are PopSockets, Emily Ley, European Wax Center, Spotify + Hulu, FastWeb, Echo Routines, SkimmNotes, Great Wolf Lodge, iPhone X + Apple Heart Study | brazenandbrunette.com

I’ll admit that I was that nerd who stayed up until 3am on a school night and ordered my shiny new 10th anniversary iPhone. And I love it. I love having the huge, great quality screen and optical zoom options without having to have the huge Plus (see above explanation on my tiny hands/phone problem). The FaceID works so much easier than TouchID like when I’m at the gym and have sweaty hands, it’s cold and I’m wearing gloves, or my phone is propped up and my hands are busy. I also think it’s actually faster too because instead of getting a notification to put my finger on the scanner and then having to move my hand, I’ll be staring at my phone and all I have to do is keep staring to get it to unlock. I did turn off the “detect eyes” setting so that it will be more accurate and faster because really anyone who is close enough to me to be holding my phone is probably close enough to me to already know my passcode so I don’t care.
One of the coolest things though that Apple announced at the same time as the X was their new Heart Study using their Apple Watch! This was something I hold near and dear to my heart because my grandpa has a heart problem called A-Fib and this study could help the watch be able to detect and warn you if you were about to have a heart problem. Obviously I had to jump on board and help the scientists/computer engineers out because how cool would it be to one day have a watch automatically detect if you’re having a heart attack or something and simultaneously call an ambulance for you?! It’d be just wonderful if someone I had a little something to do with saving someone’s life someday. If you have an Apple Watch and want to participate, download their Heart Study app and sign up!
Sorry this post was so long, I’ve just had over a semester’s worth of thoughts piling up in my head! Have a great Valentine’s weekend everyone 💕

let's be friends!

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