Friday, November 21, 2014

TGIF, welcome to the weekend

Happy Friday, Y'all! These past few weeks have been so busy, but in such a good way. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, but also looking forward to finally being done with class/finals and having a chance to relax. Here's a quick look into my week -

1. The Moot Court team I'm on had our first official meeting this week and I am so excited! I know, it sounds so ridiculous, but I was on the team last year and really enjoyed it and I'm so looking forward to the experience again. Plus, my teammate is one of my close friends, which is way better than being paired with a random person like I was last year. Do you think its harder or easier to work on a team with your friends? There are definitely pros and cons - i.e. making sure you actually work and not just play, but I think the pros deffffintely out weigh the cons!

2. If you are in law school you might understand, and if you're not, just think back to high school. There are so. many. cliques. We like to call them "friend groups," but lets be honest - when you get six or eight girls together, tensions rise and feelings get hurt. That being said, tonight we're having a girls night - no boys allowed! And I am so hopeful that some of the tensions we've all shared lately are going to work themselves out and be alleviated, at least to an extent. Plus, who wouldn't be looking forward to facials, manicures, and wine??

3. After today we only have two more days of classes left and that is really blowing my mind. Mostly making me anxious, but it is also so hard to believe that this semester is almost over. I still have SO much to do. I really need to follow my own advice of sticking to a study plan, because lately I have been way too lenient on myself. I also really need to work on getting everything on my to-do list actually done. This weekend is going to be my most efficient and effective yet, and honestly I don't really have a choice. But, luckily I'm not working again until after finals and with class being almost done I will have so much more "free" time to outline, study, and all of those fun things! If you have any motivation tips please send them my way, I am obviously in desperate need!

4. I just discovered this skirt (thanks for the email LOFT) and I think I'm in love. What do y'all think??

skirt (Loft)

5. I'm going to my first UK game of the season on Sunday and I cannot wait! In case y'all didn't see, UK destroyed Kansas, the #5 team in the country! I really enjoy football game for the tailgating, but its not my favorite sport to just watch. I LOVE basketball season and I am so excited it is finally underway! I'm hoping to see a great win on Sunday - Go Cats!

How has your week been?

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all!

linking up with:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wear-to-Work Wednesday

As it has gotten drastically colder here lately, I've (unfortunately) had to result to wearing pants to work more often than I would prefer. I don't think there is anything wrong with pants, but as I've expressed before, I would much rather wear a dress. However, I am starting to get a little tired of having to wear tights and boots every. single. day. because it is so cold! 

These are a few looks I really love to wear with pants. First is a simple cardigan and top paired with neutral pants. Cardigans are always a great option because you have the ability to take it off at any point in the day if your office tends to run hot. For that reason, I always make sure to wear an office appropriate shirt underneath, i.e. no camisoles. Pants also can give you the option of wearing flats or heels (or wedges) depending on the hem of the pant and what you are comfortable with. 
cardigan | top | flats | wedges | trousers

In addition to easily pairing a cardigan and top with pants, I also love the look of colored pants and a neutral(ish) sweater. These pants, although "colored", I think would still be office appropriate because they are still a darker, classic color.

sweater | trousers | heels  

How do you deal with colder temperatures when you have to still dress for the office? 

Have a Great Day, Y'all!
linking up with:

Friday, November 14, 2014

TGIF, Gap favorites

Even though my "spending freeze" is over, I've still been trying not to go overboard with my shopping. But, I am a girl and I always want to shop so I thought I'd share some items that are high on my radar right now and see what y'all think.
Yes. All of these are from Gap. No, this is is not sponsored - I just really love Gap and I have some Gap Rewards $$$ burning a hole in my pocket right now, so I have been frequenting Gap's website a lot lately.
1. Shift Dress in "Port"
The color of this dress is about 95% of the reason why I think I love it so much. I am not big into wearing a lot of blacks and greys and other dark colors, but I felt like a dress in this color could slowly get me used to wearing some darker colors. 

2. Color Block Ponte Dress
I'm still not sure how I fee about the color block aspect of this dress because that style can be so hit and miss on how it looks, but I think this would be a great piece for the winter/fall and could easily be dresses up with heels and pearls. 

3. Fair Isle Sweater
I am obsessed with Fair Isle recently and I love this sweater. My only hesitation is that it looks like it fits kind of short and I generally prefer my sweaters to go a few inches past the top of my jeans, if I decide to get this I would definitely need to try it on first. 
sweater (and in green!)

4. Mock Neck Sweater
Last year I wanted so badly to find an over-sized sweater that I really loved and I never could. I ended up just buying an XL in a regular sweater (from Gap of course!) and that worked out pretty well. I think this sweater is exactly what I was looking for though, it looks soooo soft and comfortable with just enough texture to keep it from looking too sloppy. 

5. Fair Isle Scarf
This would be a great way to work in some fair isle without looking like I was trying too hard, right? I think my hardest decision here would be deciding what color to get? A solid would probably be easier to pair with other things, but the multi-colored one is SO festive and could pair well with neutrals. What do you think?

Of course I want all of these things right now! ha! What do y'all think? What have you had your eye on lately? 

Have a Great Weekend Y'all!

linking up with

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wear-to-Work Wednesday

A lot of people don't seem to like dressing up, but I LOVE it. Sometimes I wish I was going to be one of those wives that just had to go to a bunch of really fancy parties with her husband and got to wear really beautiful dresses all the time. Buttttt 'tis not the case, so here I am getting to "dress up" when I go to work, which is also just fine with me :) 

I just got a black dress similar to the one below and I've already worn it twice. I know everyone needs that LBD, but this is more of a work friendly LBD, rather than a hot date LBD - which this can also be as well. 
A black dress is also a really great way to get to wear all of your statement necklaces and colorful accessories. As someone who has a closet full of color, I generally struggle with finding new ways to wear my bright accessories, but having a couple of neutral dresses really helps me out in that respect. 

While I do really like dressing up, I also like to be comfortable sitting at a desk all (most of) the day. I've already talked about my love of "shirt dresses" here, but when you throw flannel into the mix, it is a game changer. Just make sure that if you choose to go that route you find a dress similar to the one below that still has some structure and detailing that makes it clear it isn't just a fashionable sleep-shirt. Plus, the flannel can give you some warmth without being too hot during some of those warmer southern fall days. 

What are some of your favorite things to wear to work and still stay comfortable? 

Have a Great Day, Y'all!

linking up with: 

Monday, November 10, 2014

6 Basic Steps to Outlining

First let me say, there is nothing "basic" or "easy" about outlining. However, I frequently get to the point in the semester where I know I need to start outlining, but I just don't know where to start. Despite having done this many, many times, the amount of information that I have obtained over the semester is always overwhelming. These steps make it easy for me to step back and get an idea of what I really need to do so that I can effectively outline and not get overwhelmed in the process. 

1. Gather Your Notes

This may seem fairly obvious, and it should, but it is still something that you need to actively do. Generally this is the easiest step, but keep in mind any day that you skipped missed class and need to either ask someone for notes or find the email where they sent them to you. And it some cases, if you have a mixture of hand-notes and typed-notes you want to make sure they are all in one place. Personally I prefer to print out all of my notes because it is easier for me to go through them, as well as not having to go back and forth between screens when I'm making my outline. But, if you have two screens and/or staring at a computer doesn't bother you, that may be unnecessary.

2. Get Organized 

In addition to needing your notes to start your outlining, you are likely going to want the textbook, professor handouts, and any other supplement for the class. Now is a good time to gather everything you are going to need for every class that you intend to outline. It's much more fluid to go from working on one outline to another if you aren't having to stop and look for things all the time. As an overall organization tactic, it might be a good time for you to also make a study plan. Since you have all of your notes, books, and supplements gathered you probably will have a good idea of just how much time you want to spend on each outline and which ones you just want to get out of the way first.

3. Make a Skeleton Outline 

I generally prefer to go to the Table of Contents in the front of the textbook and use that as a skeleton or template for my outline. Occasionally there are other ways that I organize my outline, especially in a class where the professor tends to jump around from section to section in the book. For instance, our Con Law professor set out "Themes of Constitutional Law" at the beginning of the semester, so in that case I let that be my guide. Generally though, I tend to use the Table of Contents as a starting point. Even if I end up rearranging the information here and there, it is a good place to start when you don't know where to start. If you compared the picture below to the Table of Contents of my book, they would look almost identical. 

4. Go Through Your Notes and Highlight Important Information

After I've gathered all of my notes and made the Skeleton outline, then I go through all of my notes and highlight what comes across as important to me. This can be based on the emphasis you remember the professor putting on this certain topic in class, it can be a rule or something that is clearly important, or in a code class like Negotiable Instruments or Contracts it would be a provision of the UCC. Occasionally I will also highlight different things in different colors so I know how to treat them. For instance with our Con Law professor cases were very important, so I always made sure to highlight the case names as I was going through my notes the first time as a guide for what I needed to come back to.

5. Fill in Your Template with Substantive Information

After Step 4, this should be relatively easy, though very tedious. It can also be a difficult task if your professor doesn't tend to go "with the book" in his or her lectures. To that I would say, do the best you can and fill things in where they seem to fit. That is the best part about having a skeleton outline already complete, if something in your notes doesn't seem to match what's around it, look for somewhere else in the outline that it fits and makes sense.

6. Finalize and Format

Congratulations! You are almost done! This step can occasionally become the "if I have time" step, however, if you have at least a few days before the exam and you have completed the outline with information to your liking, I would strongly suggest taking a few minutes and formatting the outline so it is easier to read and follow along. Aside from bullets and numbering I don't like to do a lot of formatting as I go because if I don't want it to apply to the entire document occasionally I struggle with it trying to do just that. But, if you do it all at the end, it's a lot easier to pick and choose which sections you want to have bigger font, underline, etc. The exception is, if I want to make cases, rules, or something of the sort stand out, I do tend to put those in bold as I go because it's harder to catch them just by going back through.
For those of you that never really finish your outline, you can still spend a few minutes to do some formatting to make it easier when you are studying. A few of my friends always use their outlines as a "work in progress" and are never really finished. I, on the other hand, like to be completely finished and print mine, knowing that there may be somethings I would have added or taken out, but keeping in mind those things can always be written in or crossed out.   {Obviously I should have spell checked the document below before posting it on here, another key final step.}

I hope these steps have been helpful to you, I find it so much easier to start outlining if I just know where or how to start. What are some of the things you do when you are outlining to make it "easier" for you? 

Have a Great Day, y'all! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

TGIF, oh hey November

I seriously can't believe we are already one full week into November!

1. Study Schedule

After coming to realization that exams are coming up verrrry soon, I finally sat down and planned out how and what I am going to be studying for the next few weeks. If you are anything of a planner like I am, this can be so beneficial to have it all spelled out in front of you and can really keep you on track. The caveat being, for me at least, when I have something planned out specifically and it doesn't happen I tend to have a (usually) minor panic attack. So - plan some free time and allow for breaks, if you've planned to have a drink then you have to, right?

for some Planning Tips check out this post 

2. This Week is Over

I know I always say it's been a long week, but this has seriously been one of the worst weeks to date. It has finally set in that exams are less than a month away and that brings on its own level of stress. In addition to that, there has been major(ish) drama with the Moot Court Board at school so that was just one more thing to deal with. Luckily that has been resolved, but it was just one more thing, major or minor, that I didn't have time to deal with. Plus I got in a kind of fight with the boyfriend on Sunday night and there is still some lingering tension from that. So when I say Thank God its Friday, I really truly mean it!

3. Running

I am not "a runner" and I'm not sure I ever will be. Running is so hard for me, but I've been really working to build up to certain times/distances that I can do relatively comfortably. This week I ran for 55 minutes. That was a huge accomplishment for a girl who quivered at the thought of having to run for more than 5 minutes this summer - literally. So, I do not want to be one of those people that talks about running all the time because a. it's annoying, and b. I'm not good enough to be annoying. But I just wanted y'all to know, 55 minutes, anything is possible.

4. MY Jacket 

Well L.L. Bean finally had another 10% off sale, which is about the most they ever do, so I finally decided to buy this jacket that I have been eyeing for quite some time now. I am SO excited for it to come in and I will be sure to let you all know if it lives up to the lofty expectations I have of it in my head!

5. Weather 

The weather here has been out. of. control. It goes from 70 to 35 in the blink of an eye and I am not loving it. Luckily it seems to finally be stabilizing, unfortunately that means it is becoming consistently cold. While I prefer sunshine and warmth over the cold any day, I am glad that I can finally pick out my outfit for the day or week and not have to wonder what kind of temperature change I might have to deal with. Plus, I can wear scarves pretty much every day now and not look ridiculous. For the record - I refuse to acknowledge that "summer scarves" are a thing.

How has your week been?

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all!

linking up with: Oh Hey Friday | Five on Friday |

Thursday, November 6, 2014

5 Tips for Preparing a Successful Study Plan

As a 3L, I have already been through FOUR rounds of Law School finals, in addition to undergraduate and graduate school finals. I would not say I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have had a lot of experience determining what works and what doesn't. One of the biggest things I've learned is that preparing to study can be just as important as studying itself. When I prepare a study plan I tend to be more effective in my studying and outlining and waste less time trying to decide what I want to work on next. 

1. Make a Master To-Do List
This is what I have found to be the best way to really get started when you don't know where to start. The goal in the end is to have a few weeks planned out, but you need to know what tasks you plan to complete. Sometimes I find myself wanted to write everything down, but that is not what the purpose is here. I tend to only write down "big-ticket" items, i.e. Decedents' Outline, Negotaibles Outline, Take Home Exam, etc. There are other things that might make it on to my daily to-do list, that don't necessarily need to be spelled out here, for example, "print notes," "print slides," "email professors," you get the point. Write down things that need to be done, not things you need to do. You can see that I included registration, which might be considered as something you don't need to include, but in the chaos of everything going on right now it is definitely not something I can afford to forget to do!

2. Take into Account Pre-Existing Obligations
When you start trying to figure out when you are going to have time to work on each task, don't forget about any pre-existing obligations. The first thing I do after I've printed out my weekly calendar is to fill in work, class, and other meetings. This lets me see how much "free" time I actually have and also ensures that I don't plan to work on something if I'm already obligated to be somewhere else. If you make your own template, it is easy to go ahead and fill in any thing you already have scheduled that takes place on a weekly basis so that you are not having to constantly write it in. As much as I love to have this plan, it can be annoying to write "work" 18 times in each week's plan. Obviously, as you will see on the "final" product at the end, it took me one week's planning to realize this.

3. Be Realistic with Yourself
Being realistic with yourself and your plan is essential. If you aren't realistic about what you think you can accomplish on a daily basis you are setting yourself up for failure. Not trying to be harsh, but this is true. It is a tough place to be when you have scheduled 12 hours of straight work and 6 hours in you are ready to pull your eyeballs out. Trust me, we've all been there, but there is a balance between overestimating and underestimating yourself. Some people might think, set the bar low so that you always meet your goal. In some cases that might work fine for you, but depending on how much work you have do get done, if you set the bar too low, that is only schedule 6 hours of any kind of activity for the day, you literally won't have time to get it done. For instance, I schedule every hour from 8 am until 10 pm, but I know that if I were actually trying to engage in something for every single one of those I would go crazy, which is why I let myself have an entire hour (or 2) for dinner, laundry etc. Which brings me to my next tip - schedule breaks.

4. Schedule Breaks
If you are going to insist on scheduling every hour of the day (which there is no shame in because it's what I do!), make sure you schedule yourself a couple of breaks. Whether that break is to watch some Netflix, grab something to eat, or call a friend, just make sure you do it. I have found that I am much more productive and efficient in my studying and outlining if I take breaks every couple of hours and let my eyes rest and my brain focus on something less demanding. I think it is important to schedule these so that you don't feel like you are "breaking the rules" when you take a break and so that you stay on track.
As an aside, it is also 100% okay to block off a Friday night to have fun. This purpose of the schedule isn't to make sure that you are all study, all the time, but rather to show you how much time you still have left and give you a chance to plan accordingly.

5. Compartmentalize Separate Tasks
Obviously with all of these tips, certain things will work better for some than others. In this case, by "compartmentalize" I'm trying to say, "keep separate tasks separate" (which maybe is just what I should have said.) But what I mean is, don't try to do a different task/project every hour. I've learned that people tend to work more efficiently on something when they can work on it for a few hours at time. That way, in the even that it takes you thirty minutes to really get a grasp on what you are doing/how you want to organize your outline/etc., you still have a couple of hours to implement your plan. When I've tried to go back and forth between classes and projects too quickly, I end up getting lost in my thoughts and have very little to show for my time. If you are able to jump around and do so effectively, I applaud you because honestly I get bored doing the same thing for more than two or three hours, but it has still not been to my benefit to actually change what I'm doing more frequently than every two hours.
I also like to work this way because I can get a big chunk of something done and will normally have "something" to show for it, whether that is in the form of page numbers, highlighted notes, or flash cards. I am very much visual in measuring my accomplishments and I feel much better when I can see where my time has gone.

Hopefully it should look something like this when you're done. As you 'll see, I still have some empty boxes for now (I also made this on Sunday, hence why Sunday is blank). I think it is a good idea to give yourself some room to adjust initially and re-familiarize yourself with having to study longer hours as you approach exams.

How do you prepare for exams?

Have a Great Day, Y'all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wear-to-Work Wednesday

As I mentioned in this post, I have my ups and downs with pencil skirts, but I am currently in the mood for them on a pretty regular basis. It is just so easy to pair a quick shell with and heels and look very put together. I have been working on taking the clothes I have (which is way too many) and rearranging them to achieve new looks and this is one of my recent favorites. Seems like an obvious go-to, but if you are like me and always paired a pencil skirt with an oxford then you may have been ignoring this great combination for too long! 

Despite being back on the pencil-skirt-bandwagon, I am very much a dresses kind of girl. I think it mostly has to do with my level of laziness. Don't get me wrong, I always prefer to look put together, but I would like to do so with the minimum level of effort. Enter: dresses. But seriously, it is SO much easier to throw on a dress than to find a skirt, and a shirt and maybe even a cardigan that are all clean and all match. Whereas a dress is just one piece and it is ready. to. go. 

Check out some other styles here: Style Me Wednesday & What I Wore

The weather here has remained so unpredictable that I've worn three different weights of jackets and I still can't seen to get comfortable. What have you been wearing this week? 

Have a Great Day, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day

If you haven't voted yet please stop reading this and go vote. As Americans we are are so so so fortunate to have the right to vote. I know that may sound cliche, but it is still true. I registered to vote when I was 17 - this was allowed because there was not going to be an election until after I was 18 - and there has only been one election (including primaries!) that I haven't voted in. And in my defense I missed it because someone on my Freshman hall was supposed to be in charge of absentee ballots and let's just say they dropped the ball.

Sticker Source
Anyways, voting is something I take very seriously and I truly believe that everyone else should too. Not only does it give you a voice, no matter how big or small, in the outcome, but in my opinion it gives you the right to complain. I know that sounds silly, but all the time people are complaining about politicians and their actions. If you didn't take the time out of your day once a year to vote it doesn't make sense that you deserve the right to complain when they are just trying to do their job.

I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever else. I don't care if you vote straight ticket or spend an hour deciding on every single office. I don't care if you live in a city with a population of 10,000 or 10,000,000. Please, please, please appreciate your right to vote and go do it!

the Skimm
Also - if you don't already read the Skimm, you should. In case you don't know, the Skimm is a news service that provides quick and to the point daily news right to your email. I discovered the Skimm about seven or eight months ago and I can't remember the last time that I didn't read it first thing in the morning. More importantly, recently they have really been pushing for everyone to get to the polls and "Pop the Campaign", which I obviously whole heartedly agree with. In fact, they have even created an Election Guide, which I would strongly encourage you to check out if you aren't sure who to vote for. I know not every state is covered, but a lot of them are and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of detail that was provided.

Have you voted yet?

Have a Great Day, Y'all!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Currently, November 3

Watching: I finally finished watching the Gilmore Girls, so I’m currently back to my nightly ritual of Friends.

Craving: Ice cream – always. More specifically right now, Extreme Moose Tracks. 

Listening: 1989. I wasn’t sure about this at first, it’s been a while since I was reaching for Taylor Swift, but this album did not disappoint. My favorite favorite favorite song from the album is “Bad Blood.”

Reading: Books for class... I’m counting down the days until I can flip through a magazine without the guilt of feeling like it should be a text book.

Eating: Cinnamon Swirl Pepperidge Farm Bread. Have y’all ever tried this? I used to eat it all the time and then just kind of forgot about it, but it is back in my life and it is even better than I remembered.

Planning: A study schedule – I know, so boring. But I need to get this in writing so that I stick to it. Having a schedule for running has made all of the difference in keeping myself accountable.

Feeling: Slightly overwhelmed at the fact that exams are only a month away. But I’ve taken solace in the fact that a month is still a long time and if I plan accordingly I can get it all done.

Loving: The time change, for now at least. It’s really helping me get up earlier in the morning, however I am not the biggest fan of the early sunset.

Wearing: Fall/Winter clothes! You can check out some of my favorite staples here. As much as I loveeeee Lilly and sundresses, I always forget how comfortable and cozy my clothes are in the fall and winter – while still looking nice. I’ve recently been introduced to sweater dresses and I’m never turning back.

How are you starting off the month of November? 

Have a Great Day Y'all!