Collecting Qs

Hello, World.

In August I plan to do a Question & Answer post series. I’m answering all questions relating to college and law school! Now, this can mean a lot of things. You don’t have to ask me just about school or classes. Lifestyle questions are ok too! If you want to hear about making friends, eating healthy, or where the best coffee is (and how to know), those are all great questions as well.

Please asks your questions through this Google Form or by commenting below!
Truly,
Callie leigh

Stylish Academic’s Guide to Doing It All

Stylish Academic's Guide to Doing ItALL.png

Hello, World.

I was having a conversation with an alumnus of my law school last weekend, and he mentioned that law associates who come in guns blazing, who charge the highest amount and work all hours of the week won’t [usually] last a year at his firm. Then he mentioned that it’s the same for law school – some students go in so hot that by the second semester, they cannot hang anymore. So, why is burnout such a real problem among young professionals and how do we prevent being one of the shooting stars (this is a How to Get Away With Murder reference, which if you aren’t watching, I recommend you start! So wickedly entertaining)? Well, a lot of not burning out is pacing yourself and preparing properly.

I watched a fellow law student my 1L year constantly stay up until the wee hours of the morning, only to get up early to be able to commute to school. This person worked constantly, rarely taking breaks and sort of overworking himself past the point of efficient studying. There were a few times I watched him fall asleep in class. I mean, if you’re sleeping through lecture, you cannot possibly be helping yourself. Also, if I noticed, there is a high probability the professor noticed considering we sat in the second row. At the time, I just kept feeling like that lifestyle just wasn’t sustainable. When I had my first day of property second semester, my professor, an older man who’s been teaching for years, said something about how last semester was over and the people who did well may do worse and the people who didn’t do well may do better.

Well, burnout was real, and a lot of those people who burned the midnight oil in the library looked so tired and worn out. A similar burnout occurs during finals. People don’t pace themselves, and by their last exam, their fingers flutter over their keyboard at a lag and their eyes don’t stay open without effort. Doing it all can be exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are smart strategies for getting it all done without suffering from complete burnout. So, today I want to offer my guide to getting it all done and remaining intact in the process.

Going back to How to Get Away With Murder for a moment, the law students who are referred to as the “Keating five” seem to be doing it all. They seem to be the top of their class, assisting their professor in criminal case trials, having a personal life, and covering up murders. I mean, the five stars are busy people. One of the interesting things about TV that we all know? It’s scripted and only shows us the highlights. We obviously don’t need twenty minutes of footage where the law students are studying in the library. The fact they study is implied by their status as a law student. However, there could be twenty minutes of footage of someone studying or someone working and it wouldn’t be inaccurate, just boring. Still, those boring moments contribute to the person’s outward success (if the students don’t study, their grades suffer, and ultimately they may lose their status as one of the chosen criminal law students). The boring moments are part of the “doing it all.” The reason we don’t focus on them, however, is because we focus on people’s major moments even though we are well aware that there’s much more that goes into that moment.

ONE || Find something that releases stress. The quickest way to get it all done without killing yourself is having something that you love that doesn’t cause stress. In fact, it shouldn’t be a neutral activity, but an activity that actively releases your stress. If you do not have something that releases your stress, you’ll be too stressed out to get everything done well. Remember, a lot of people get everything done, but they cut corners and don’t always get it all done properly.

TWO || Stay aware of your limits. Become familiar with any limits you have, and stay aware of them. If you know you are not someone who can work on Sunday nights, build a schedule that excludes Sunday night working. If you know you’re not someone who works well with a certain personality type, figure out ways in which working with that personality becomes easier (or figure a way to work with them less). Knowing your limits allows you to better play to your strengths.

THREE || Do what makes you happy. This may seem like an odd tip, but I feel like doing it all doesn’t really mean anything if you aren’t doing what you love. It’s a lot easier to stay vigilant and motivated if you love what you do. If you don’t love what you do, chances are every step on your career road will feel like you’re weighted down.

FOUR || Be selective. You can do it all, but when I say all I mean you can do everything you want to do. If you don’t want to do something, you are wasting precious time. When I was in college, my friend proposed that I try to be Co-Editor-in-Chief with her for the school newspaper. I thought initially, yeah, that’d be a good resume builder. However, after more thought, I realized it wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do and I knew my efforts would be better spent on the things I loved. So, be selective in what you want to do, then do it all!

FIVE || Stay organized. When you’re trying to do too many things at once, chances are something slips through the cracks. So, make sure you have a well-established system of staying on top of your tasks and commitments. For me, I make to-do lists. Loads of to-do lists. To-do lists help me track what needs to get done when. I put them in order of highest priority to lowest priority. I also have a section of things I should get done if I have a really productive day and finish my to-list early.

My final tip is this: doing it all is about preparation. You can do it all, but you want to be sure you’re prepared for what’s coming and that you remain in control of your schedule. If you become overwhelmed, you’ll probably start to let things slide, and your work product is diminished. Stay on top of your life and make strategic moves in your career. Look at things with the big picture in mind (aka do NOT get bogged down in too many details, but don’t lose sight of making sure the details are right). Life is about balance. If you are unbalanced, you cannot succeed because you will not know how to handle a heavier workload, a moved-up timeline, etc. Doing a lot of preparation on the front end will make the end result much better (and far more stress-free).

How do you do it all?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Top 5 Tips for First Year College Students

Hello, World.

With the end of July approaching, I think it’s an appropriate time to start discussing the start of college. I remember that during the summer between high school and college, I desperately wanted to begin school. I prepared all summer, buying things for my dorm room, ordering textbooks, picking the right backpack, etc. So, in light of the impending return of academia, I wanted to share my top tips for those of you just beginning college. High school probably felt like an eternity. Well, college goes quickly [too quickly], so starting off on the right foot, and really enjoying your time at your chosen university or college is key to making the most of four years!

As a former RA for first-year students, I’ve seen the beginning of college go a lot of different ways for people. Some people find their place immediately, some people cling to a group of friends that may not really suit them, and some people actually despise everything about the place they thought would be their new home and spend their evening having a love affair with Google, desperately searching for the place to which they can transfer.

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So, considering what I observed as an RA coupled with my own college experience, I wanted to share five tips that I think will lead to a successful first year of college.

First, do not go home regularly. If you’re going to school somewhere that is easy for you to get to from school, resist the urge to go home regularly. Whether it’s once a week, every weekend, etc., just say no. I had a few friends who fell prey to the appeal of going home on the weekends our first year of college, and they never truly bonded with people until our second year. It’s hard to really feel like part of something (the college community, a friend group, etc.) if you’re not around! I think it is vital to a successful time in college to get comfortable at your school and make a conscious effort to bond with your peers! So, rather than heading home for family dinner on Friday, head to a local restaurant with some other people from your residence hall or have a movie night in your dorm room!

Second, be very upfront with your roommate on the first day. Nothing kills a good college experience faster than a shitty roommate situation. If you’re suffering in your living situation, it will bleed into every aspect of your life. You’ll become annoyed, and you’ll find yourself venting to your new friends (who will likely think you’re too much drama, and start to distance themselves). While some situations really are terrible, some seem terrible, but actually aren’t. For example, as an RA I heard about a roommate situation where one roommate was stealing the other’s clothes. There was a situation where one roommate was constantly doing drugs. There was another where the roommate was having guys in and out of the room and would have *relations* while the other roommate was sleeping (or pretending to). Frankly, some roommates are crap. You may be justified in your annoyance. However, be proactive. On day one, set very clear boundaries. Make a list of “turn offs” if you will, and list things that would make the situation unlivable for you. Remember compromise is very much necessary! Have monthly check-ins, where you ask your roommate how she’s doing if there is anything about the situation that isn’t working for her, etc. This may seem juvenile, but I actually believe that having open dialogue and setting boundaries is respectful and mature. If you’re an extremely light sleeper, maybe set a hard rule of no guests in the room after a certain time. If you’re struggling to adjust to college, a bad living situation will make you run even faster away from campus. Be smart, be aware, and be respectful. You can read a more extended version of my advice for roommates here.

Third, get involved. I was very involved in college, and I tried to get involved as soon as possible. Joining clubs, trying for associated student bodies, or going to college sporting events is a great way to meet people. Yes, you’ll have the built-in community of the people who also live in your residence hall, but being around the same people (and living with them) can be tiring. Expand your network and get involved in things, go to meetings, meet people you may not otherwise meet. Some of my favorite college friends are those I met through organizations I was part of, such as Academic Honor Council and Resident Advisor.

Fourth, invite people to do things. Have you heard about the great pub down the street from campus? What about brunch complete with bottomless mimosas downtown? Any news about the hiking trails near campus? College towns typically have some pretty awesome activities for students to do off campus. Figure out one or two you’d like to do, and invite some of the people you’ve met a few times and would like to get to know, but haven’t become full blown friends yet! This gives you an instant conversation piece, and a chance to hang out with people.

Fifth, remember to enjoy the moment. As I said, college goes quickly. I went back to my alma mater for graduation in May, and one of the residents I had my first year as an RA said, “Can you believe I’m going to be a senior in the fall?” I couldn’t… and I bet she couldn’t either! While college is stressful, and you’re thinking about so many things at once, remember to take a moment to enjoy the moments. Go get coffee with friends, don’t back out because you need to study (unless you really really need to study). Go explore your college town, go karaoke at the local bar.

In order to have a great college experience, you have to be willing to experience college. This means going to campus events, immersing yourself in the surrounding area’s culture, and being open to the members of your college community. My biggest caution to any first-year student is: don’t take it too seriously and put yourself out there. Obviously be safe when trying new things. If you’ve never drunk a sip of alcohol, don’t go take 20 shots at a frat house. Remain smart in your choices while being open to new experiences. If you try something and realize it is not for you, don’t try it again if you don’t want to.

If you have any questions about college, feel free to comment below or send me an email! I love hearing about people’s experiences!

Truly,

Callie leigh

Dream Dressing Room with Arhaus

Hello, World.

As much as I love makeup and fashion, sometimes in the midst of studying law and trying to have a life, it’s hard to feel inspired when getting ready in the morning. Sometimes I think about what I want my future home to be like (it includes an in-home library complete with one of those rotating ladders). Recently, I’ve been thinking it’d be great to have a really nice space for organizing my clothes and accessories. I want a room that’s the perfect blend of comfort and glam that makes me excited about getting ready for work each morning or for evening functions. I mean, who can really resist a little glam room?

Even now, having roommates, whenever we get ready for a function (law prom, fall formal or a night out), my friends and I hangout in each other’s rooms, asking if our dresses look okay, whether the lipstick we want to want to wear is too much, or laughing over champagne about how complicated getting ready can be! Therefore, when I think of the perfect dressing room, I think of a space where my friends can hangout with me while I get ready, laughing and listening to a great playlist.

I recently discovered Arhaus, a company that offers amazing pieces for your home that are the perfect blend of trendy, classic, and comfortable. A major plus? They work hard to be sustainable, using recycled natural resources. One of the things I love about Arhaus is the mixture of unexpected elements. Recycled wooden tables blend perfectly with velvety tufted chairs that look like something from a Jane Austen novel.

Today I’m sharing my mood board of what I would include in my perfect, dream dressing room! This post features Arhaus pieces that I think would make a dressing room comfortable and practical. Now, I definitely have a fairly large dressing room in mind in planning my perfect room. I’m picturing this room as a full room closet. I mean, if you’re going to dream up the perfect room why not dream extra big? Arhaus Paint in Wind (4).png

1 – Arhaus Paint in Wind | 2 – Leyland 22 Light Chandelier | 3 – Acadia Tray | 4 – Small 2 Drawer Bombay Chest | 5 – Fiona Cushion 40″ Upholstered Tufted Chair | 6 – Malou Basket | 7 – Evelyn Mirror | 8 – Petrified Accent Table | 9 – Lena 40″ Upholstered Chair | 10 – Coastal Blue Paisley Square Pillow | 11 – Nori Rug | 12 – Fulton 26″ Upholstered Ottoman 

I love gray hues and bright spaces, so I would begin my dream dressing room with a light gray paint. Gray is a little softer than white and I think it grounds a space a bit without feeling heavy. If you’re going to be spending time in a space with the purpose of trying on clothes and getting all glammed up, I think a great light fixture is a must have! This Arhaus chandelier has an old-world feel and I love the gold finish. I personally believe gold makes most thinks look even more luxurious. Check out even more lighting options here.

I have a lot of jewelry and accessories, but sometimes its hard to keep track of it all. How do you display jewelry without it feeling like clutter? Well, on my favorite display methods if by having a tray on top of your dresser for your favorite small pieces. I would have a gold tray in my dressing room that has some fresh blooms (I adore fresh flowers in the house), and my favorite perfume and lipstick. I’m also obsessed with turning vintage teacup saucers into displays. So, I would get a cute saucer, and use it as a catch-all for my favorite pieces (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watch).

No dressing room is complete without clothing, so of course I’d have a chest! I love the French country vibes that this Arhaus chest gives me. White furniture is my favorite, but I love the small scallop detailing of this chest. While traditional dressers and chests are great, I like slightly more creative storage methods. Therefore, I’d add the Arhaus basket to house hats or blankets or even scarves (if they’re folded and stacked).

A full length mirror is essential when getting ready. You never know how an outfit looks all together until you see it in a mirror. The Arhaus mirror has a great stand that makes it the perfect finish for the corner of my room.

As I discussed, I enjoy having friends hangout while we’re getting ready for events, so I wanted to incorporate a seating area in the room. While couches are great, I think chairs are better. When I saw the pink velvet chair, I squealed. This piece is exactly the kind of chair I would love to have in my house someday. When I saw the pattern of the Lena chair, I knew it would complement the pink chair perfectly. I like the feel of having statement chairs and then toning them down with rich, neutral accents. A neutral accent that drew my attention is the petrified wood table, which is small enough to sit between the chairs, but big enough for morning coffee or evening wine glasses. I also knew I wanted a foot stool in the room, in case my guests or I wanted to lounge a little more. The Fulton ottoman is perfect because it mixes clean whites with deep wood tones.

To bring in some blue from the Lena chair, I think the paisley accent pillow is perfect to sit on the Fiona chair. I also imagine my space to have hardwood floors, so the Nori Rug would add texture and pattern to the room! I adore that the rug has an already worn feel, which would go so great with the other pieces in the room. I prefer my spaces to felt lived in!

I think all of the pieces discussed above would create a beautiful dream dressing room! It’d be the glam rooms of glam rooms! I feel inspired just looking at this virtual mood board! While I was picking my items, my dad leaned over and asked what I was doing. I explained, and he asked if there is a store nearby. There is a room in my parent’s house we’ve been unhappy with for a little while, and I’m confident they can find some great pieces at Arhaus!

What are your dream dressing room must haves?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Are the Bad Boy and the Bad Friend Really Different?

If a friend treats your with the same tenderness they'd treat gum on their shoe, they may not be your friend..png

Hello, World.

I was in the fourth grade the first time I was friends with someone who consistently hurt my feelings. This may not seem unusual, I mean fourth graders can be pretty rude little creatures. The thought of my precious niece having to deal with “mean girls” in elementary and middle school makes me physically sick. I dealt with mean girls from a pretty young age. I used to think something was wrong with me. I used to think it was always my fault that something was going wrong with friends. Then I realized that kids change their opinions on literally everything so frequently, it’s hard to know if changing their mind about friendship is personal or not. However, when you’re a fourth grade girl who hangs out with her best friend one night after school, getting stomach cramps from laughing so hard, only to walk into class the next day and have her glare at you and ignore every attempt to talk to her, it’s hard to see that behavior as anything but personal.

Fourth grade and my twenties aren’t that different when it comes to friendships in all honesty. People say romantic relationships are riskier than friendships… I disagree. I personally invest far more of myself into a friendship than I do a relationship. Maybe this will change, but when I make friends, I want to be friends with the person for a long time. Also, I think it’s easier to feel less afraid of a friend hurting you than a potential suitor. How many of us go into friendships with the same guards up as we do when we’re dating someone new? We aren’t as guarded because we haven’t necessarily been scorned the same way by our friends. Sure, friends have falling outs as the years go by, but friends drifting apart is natural. It’s something that people typically don’t bat an eye at in life. Oh, you grew apart from so and so? Ms. Whatshername stopped calling after moving to a new place? That’s just part of life! I once wrote an open letter to the friends I’d fallen out of touch with, and I think falling out of touch is healthy sometimes and it really is normal. As frustrating as it can be, sometimes life just takes people different places and you’re no longer speaking the same language.

However, sometimes we don’t drift apart from people, even when we should. Some friendships seem great on the surface but are actually terrible for us. Why is it that we can recognize a bad boy a mile away, and know immediately the boy is bad for us, but when a bad friend is staring us down, we pretend like the boy and the friend are not made of the same cloth? We’ve grown up hearing about the exception to the rule in men. The Mr. Darcy versus the Mr. Mayer. There is a nice guy out there, just waiting to be found. Yet we don’t have the same scrutiny when it comes to friends. We accept friends like free samples handed out in the mall. We meet new people, find a common interest and bam! We’re friends. There’s so much less fear, no endless moments of thinking, “am I doing this right?” I’ve had a lot of unhealthy friendships in my life. In fact, those mornings in fourth grade made me scared that I was going to walk up to my friends one day and have them not like me, partly because the pattern that started in fourth grade was repeated in eighth grade and sophomore year of high school, until one day I decided to just stop trying to be friends with people who couldn’t decide if I was worthy of their friendship. If they couldn’t decide, they didn’t deserve my friendship. However, when I got to college, I encountered a group of people who were constantly rude to me for no apparent reason. My fourth-grade insecurities came to a head, and I ended up ugly crying in my towel to a friend. That’s when I made the decision final: if someone was going to treat me with the same amount of concern they would treat gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe, they didn’t need to be my friend.

Toxic friendships are hard to spot. They come in all different forms, some friends are passive aggressive, some are aggressive, some are so hot and cold the constant fluctuations give you whiplash. The first time I saw a toxic friendship play out in a big way was in the movie Something Borrowed (book and movie). Ironically, my oldest friend and I joke that we are similar to Darcy and Rachel, but not because of the toxicity of their friendship. We’re just opposites who happen to be best friends [the similarities stop there, though. Trust me.]. Anyway, Darcy and Rachel seem to be best friends on the surface, but the deeper you dig, the more you realize the friendship is incredibly draining and Darcy is consistently acting in such a way as to belittle Rachel. Though they seem like such great friends, the friendship is killing Rachel. No friend should belittle you. I had a law school friend who I talked to a ton first semester but took a step back from the second semester. The perception of myself as a law student, without their influence, was a stark contrast. I no longer felt like I was doing something wrong for not getting something immediately. I don’t want to go too far into it, but let’s just say I realized, with some distance between us, that their small comments were actually contributing heavily to my self-doubt and feelings of incompetence.

I’d like to conclude with this: you may not recognize a bad friend with the immediacy you would recognize a bad boy, but you should develop enough confidence in yourself to know that if someone is making you feel less than or inadequate or like they’re doing you a favor by being your friend, you’re most likely better without them.

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Have you ever had a toxic friend? How did you know? What did you do to change the situation?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Finding Peace in Stress

The mentality should really be “I need to improve my form so that no matter how many hurdles I have to clear, I will be intact at the end.”

Photo by Christopher Sardegna via Unsplash

Hello, World.

Stress is part of life, and even though we’re well aware of this fact, the trend is to ignore stress away. Well, ignore stress as far away as we can. Although self-care is gaining traction as a way of life for people, there is often a pushback against truly acknowledging the magnitude of stress people experience. Most people have a mentality that goes something like — I’m stressed now, but I won’t be forever. I just have to push through this and then I’ll be okay. About a week ago my college friend tagged me in an article on Facebook. I clicked on the notification thinking it’d be a fun article about a new coffee shop or beauty line (you know, the usual). When the article loaded, however, I got a very different vibe. The article was entitled, “The Lawyer, The Addict,” and was about a male attorney who was a partner at his firm. Sounds pretty normal right? Well, spoiler alert, the qualifier “the addict” didn’t mean he was addicted to work. It meant drugs. While I’ve heard of alcohol abuse being present in the profession, I’ve never really heard of drugs being present. To say the least, the article sort of freaked me out. Then I started thinking about why this happens to people in my profession as well as many others. The more I thought, the more I felt like it has to do with a lack of acknowledgment.

People expect stress. If you’re not stressed, you may be doing something wrong. When I was in college, I was always stressed about something. When I got to law school I was even more stressed. Stress is something we all deal with at varying degrees. While I don’t necessarily think we need to all figure out a system where stress does not exist, I do think we need to talk about ways to cope with stress through healthy methods. I titled this post “finding peace in stress” because I do believe it is possible to find calm in the middle of chaos. I’m not necessarily going to be offering tips because I would prefer to share my own experiences with stress and stress relief, which I hope will open a discussion about stress’s role in young adulthood.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been an anxious person. Are anxiety and stress the same thing? Not exactly, but people who have anxiety feel stressed out (sometimes overwhelmingly so) all the time. Therefore, when I started getting more stressed in life, I became really tense and could hardly see straight. I didn’t know how to cope with stress, so I would just internally panic. I dealt with school stress by pushing through my stress. I ignored it away. I pretended like if I just finished what I thought was stressing me, I wouldn’t be stressed anymore. This was wrong. In life, we often clear one hurdle only to find a new one in its place. Therefore, the mentality cannot be “I need to clear this hurdle and then I’ll be okay.” The mentality should really be “I need to improve my form so that no matter how many hurdles I have to clear, I will be intact at the end.” Life, like sports, takes some practice. It’s not like we walk out of the womb speaking in full sentences, acting with the grace and gumption of those we admire (Audrey Hepburn & Kate Middleton for example). Life takes practice at getting better at things we aren’t strong at, which is why in every facet of our lives, we practice (field hockey, yoga, reading, writing, playing the flute, studying for a test etc.). If you aren’t practicing, you aren’t being active enough in living your life.

Therefore, when it comes to handling stress, we must practice effective ways to cope with the state of being stressed. While I do find the determination associated with the “just push through” mentality, I do not believe this is sustainable for a happy, healthy life. Do you want to get to your last day on earth and say “glad I finally got through it?” As Jojo Moyes wrote in Me Before You, “you only have one life to live. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” Stress can get in the way of your ability to live fully, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. In my own experience, I coped with stress by ignoring it, but soon found that wasn’t realistic. I wasn’t sleeping well, I felt so tired, and I felt this subtle bitterness in my life because I was inhibiting my success by not dealing with stress. So, I found ways to cope. Coping mechanisms can come in either a physical or mental variation. My physical coping mechanisms are yoga and the gym. I do yoga when I really need to relax and get some clarity. I hit the gym when i need to get nervous, stressed energy out.

I also journal or write a blog post (!) when I’m stressed. Having a moment to get my thoughts on paper helps me calm down. Journaling helps with private matters, and I’m able to relax. Blogging helps me sift through subject matter that is on my mind (changing dreams) or allows me a creative outlet (fashion & other topics I enjoy that I don’t find stressful). If I need to de-stress by having someone listen, I often call a family member. Though I don’t cope with stress perfectly, figuring out activities that made my stress level decrease makes a huge difference in my day to day life. If you take one thing away from this post make it this: I encourage you to find something, a hobby if you will, that allows you to feel peaceful. Whether your activity is hiking, swimming, journaling, reading The New York Times, whatever, figure out what brings you peace, and make time for the activity every day or at least a few times a week.

I promise that taking small steps to bring yourself peace can go a long way. You will also be more successful because you won’t be one of the people who is debilitated by stress or turned on to unhealthy substances to help cope, which will only take your down a far darker rabbit hole (see article discussed above).

This post is lengthier than I anticipated, but I do hope its helpful! If you already have ways of dealing with stress, what are they?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Dorm Room Decorating Tips

Hello, World.

One of things I miss most about college is decorating a dorm room. While I absolutely love my house in Virginia and wouldn’t change how I decorated my room, I treated dorm rooms like blank slates. I loved that you could change a few simple details and feel like you had a whole new room. So, today I am here with my best advice for making a home in your dorm room! There are many things that can transform the often small space that is a dorm room into a cozy home that you will enjoy returning to at the end of a long study day.

Making your dorm room

Photo by Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash 

One || Less is more. I think the only thing that didn’t work for me in a dorm room was the space…obviously. On-campus housing typically offers pretty tight quarters, unless you live in an apartment style room (and even still there are space issues). The best thing you can do to feel at home without feeling claustrophobic is maximizing space. How do you do this? Well, you pick what you are willing to sacrifice space for, and then save space everywhere else. Saving space means maximizing space. In order to maximize space, you should try to figure out ways to create dual-functionality. I used to have desk in my room that was a desk for most of the day, and a makeup /get ready table in the morning and evening. However, I fought clutter by storing my “get ready” materials (hair brushes, curling irons, blow dryer, makeup, etc.) under my bed or in my bottom desk drawer.

Two || Make it your own with the largest items. If you’re unsure how to bring your personality out or make yourself more comfortable, I advocate choosing pieces that speak to you and that will be clearly displayed. For example, spend a little extra time finding bedding that resembles your personality. If you are happy and cheerful, pick a vibrant duvet that you won’t get sick of in a few months. Or, if you are more simple and understated, a classic white eyelet may be a better choice. I think there a a few spaces you can bring your personality out: the bed and the desk. Let’s be honest, the bed and the desk are basically most of the dorm room. You may have other spaces, but the bed and the desk are the main areas. Create a collage or gallery wall above your bed (while conforming to all wall hanging rules). Add a vase of flowers to your bookshelf!

Three || Shop the sale. A lot of popular stores have back to school specials, and I definitely recommend taking advantage of the sales. PB Teen always has great bedding bundles. While the price may seem a little steep, they are built to last you four years, so it’s well worth it! Follow the stores you like who sell dorm furnishings or accessories, and try to track when they offer sales! Another pro tip: many places discount their items after peak move-in season, so if there is something you like, but don’t need immediately, wait and by the middle of September, it’ll probably be on sale.

Four || Consult your roommate. There may be decoration ideas that you think are brilliant, but your roommate may think are not brilliant. For example, I wanted to buy a rug for my dorm room my sophomore year. I thought it’d be a chic, grown-up addition to the room. I asked my roommate, however, before I made a purchase. I knew there was a possibility that my rug would go into her space, and I didn’t know if she’d be okay with a rug. She gave me the green light, so I ordered a rug. However, we quickly learned part of the reason it was so cheap is because it shed… everywhere. I ended up removing the rug at Christmas because we were both sick of our stuff being covered in tan colors shavings (it was one of those neutral  knot rugs). The point here is make sure your roommate is okay with your design choices, especially when they may affect her space!

I plan to do a “get dorm room ready with me” post soon where I will style a few dorm rooms. In the meantime, what are your favorite places to shop? If you’re beginning college, what kind of decorations are you hoping to do?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Changing Dreams

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Hello, World.

Have you ever had a moment where you were lying in bed or commuting or drinking coffee while reading the New York Times on a rainy Saturday morning and you suddenly felt wrong. What I mean by wrong is you suddenly felt like you chose the wrong path, or you might be in the process of choosing the wrong path? I had this moment my sophomore year of college. My original plan for my life was to be an author. I wanted to write great novels about family dynamics or coming of age stories. Then somewhere along the line, I decided I would be on the other side of things: I was going to be a literary agent, editor, or some other bookish role that went into the process of helping others get their work into the world. Then one day, while chomping on popcorn and drinking tea, I looked at my roommate (who also happened to be my best friend), and said, “what if I went to law school?”

Now, this moment wasn’t the kind of Elle Woods moment you may think. I didn’t wake up and decide I was going to law school one day. My decision to change my career’s trajectory came somewhat slowly. Looking back, law has always been a contributing instrument in the background of my life. I used to have files of research I’d done on things I was interested in, which included a rather embarrassing stint with the Founding Fathers, many of whom were lawyers. I went to Girls State in high school, where me and five hundred other CA representatives had to draft bills, and figure out how laws became laws and what the implications of certain laws are for given groups. I also served on Academic Honor Council in college, where I worked on cases of academic dishonesty. I got a serious rush every time I saw AHC emails come in. I felt an even more intense rush when I picked up a case packet to review. I went through each document with a fine-toothed comb, trying to come up with good questions to ask at the hearing.

Somewhere between my Founding Fathers obsession and my Academic Honor Council service, I decided being a literary agent wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do. That’s when I started researching other careers, and I discovered Intellectual Property law. This area of law deals with copyright (protection provided by law to authors of “original works of authorship.” This includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other creative works.* Think novels or blogs -insert wink face) and trademark (“any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods.”* Think Nike’s swoosh). I felt giddy because this seemed like it could blend my love of the law and working with people to protect innovation with literature, music, and the creation of brands. That’s when I knew my four-year plan was changing.

As you know from my 1L in review, I almost had a life-altering change again once I got to law school. However, the hurricane of stress is now past, and I’ve reassembled myself so I will be sticking with my dream of being an attorney. But the change to my “dream” (for me it was a career dream, but dreams, as we know, come through many facets) was subtle. I didn’t feel it happening all at once until a change was basically having a staring contest with me over popcorn. Change can be seen as negative. I mean, how many times do we hear “she’s changed” or “he just changed” about people in the context of lost romances or friendships? Change in such a context isn’t interpreted positively. The person changed and that was wrong because it led to the demise of something. So, I wanted to share some thoughts on changed dreams.

One || It is ok to change your dreams. I thought about placing this last, but I feel like it’s important to get this out there upfront. Change is ok. Change is allowed. Change should be encouraged. If you know something isn’t right or is no longer making you happy, even if it is something you referred to as your “dream,” do not be afraid to wake up and let it go. The best dreams are those that aren’t clearly outlined, but rather left an impression. Have you ever woken up, knowing you were having a vivid dream, but once your eyes flutter open you realize you can’t recall a single detail but have this wholesome, happy feeling in your gut? Those are the dreams you should chase. If you feel like it’s Groundhog day, and you’re in a rut that’s sucking your life away, it’s okay to make a change. This doesn’t mean going from ballet dancer to top chef, but maybe it means going from ballet dancer to hip-hop dancer. It’s ok to change completely or tweak just enough to get you excited again!

Two || Go with life not against it. Sometimes life just happens. When you think about it, natural disasters and life are basically the same. Life can be gorgeous, and going well for so long, but suddenly, WOOSH, a big huge storm comes in. There’s a reason “when it rains it pours” is a cliche for life. You can plan out every year of your life, but sometimes there’s no chance to prevent change. Dreams can be forced to change because of circumstances outside your control. Don’t fight change when it seems like every “sign” is pointing in a different direction. You’ll tire and burn out faster if you constantly swim against the current than shifting course and letting the current take you [apologies for all the nature metaphors].

Three || Trust your gut. I think the hardest decisions I ever made were those when my head said one thing and my gut said another. Knowing what to do when you are having an internal Cold War can be challenging, and often leads to inaction because we’re too scared to go one way or the other, convinced whatever decision we make will be the wrong one. This may seem similar to my second point, but this is more personal. In my second point, life is against you. In this, you’re against you. When you know something is wrong, listen. I have this thing where if I know something is wrong, but it’s breaking my heart to acknowledge that fact, I have difficulty letting go. I also feel like when everything’s going right I’m just as doubtful! I guess I’m just an overly analytical person, but may you are too! 

Four || Consult the opinions you value most. I think we all have people in our life we go to for advice. Under the umbrella category of “I trust your advice,” we have the “on” category. As in, I trust my dad’s advice on financial decisions, I trust my mom’s advice on my personal life, and I trust my sister’s advice on fashion and beauty (note: I trust them all on a lot more than the listed items). When I am making a big life change, I want to hear what the people who mean a lot to me and who know me well think about the decision. Do they think I’m making the wrong choice? Do they think there’s a better alternative? It’s all up in the air, and if I really need advice, I have a short list of people I consult. However, I find I usually only consult people if I am unsure I want to trust my gut!

I could add more tips, but I think the four that I shared are my best. Changing your dreams is hard. However, dreams are essentially glamorized goals, and people tend to be less scared to change their goals than they are their dreams. If you’re unsure you’ve decided the right path, it’s okay to redirect. If you’ve seen the movie Something Borrowed, there is a part when Dex (the attractive male attorney) asks his dad if there was ever a time when the dad went really far down a path, so far it seemed impossible to turn around and change course, even when he really wanted to. The dad, given the circumstances, brushes this off, telling Dex to stay the course. However, I think this question is so important. We only have one life to live, and it’s very important we live it well. We cannot be afraid to redirect. This doesn’t mean running away when things are hard, or flip flopping all the time, but if you’ve gotten into something and realize it’s not what you feel you’re meant to do, it’s okay to alter your course to feel more at peace.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Stylish Academic’s Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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Hello, World.

I have no doubt that you’re scrolling through a lot of blogs that are all posting about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. However, I’m not here to reiterate to your some diatribe about the sale. This is the quick and dirty version, most appreciated by busy law students interning this summer who have five minutes during their lunch break to see what the sale offers. This post is also for college students who need to cultivate a slightly more grown-up, young professional wardrobe. And finally, if you’re a recent grad who wants to portray yourself as stylish, academic, and hardworking, this post is for you! This sale is the best opportunity to get amazing products at “steal” prices. After the sale, prices go up (way up!), so you want to snag quality pieces that’ll last a lifetime NOW. Note that the current sale is only open to Nordstrom credit card holders, but soon the sale will be open to the public. Don’t feel like you need to get a credit card to shop the sale early, they often restock items that sell out during early access in time for the unrestricted sale! 

I am sharing my favorite pieces from the sale. The pieces I’m sharing aren’t necessarily causal, but the pieces I’ve curated are most appropriate for women who are feminine and academic and/or professional. AS stands for the “after sale price” and DS stands for “during sale.” Alright, here come great savings in three…two…one…

Dresses 1Chelsea 28 Velvet Dress AS $139; DS: $92 | Maggy London Dress AS: $108; DS: $71 | Eliza J Ponte Fit & Flare AS: 138; DS: $92| Eliza J Ruffle Dress AS: $148; DS: $98Dress 3Vince Camuto Body-Con Dress AS: 148; DS: $99 | Caslon Ruffle Split Neck Dress AS: $89; DS: $60 |Eliza J Cold Shoulder Dress AS: $138; DS: $91 | Halogen Button Back Ruffle Dress AS: 99; DS: $66Dress 2

Maggy London Catalina Dress AS: $138; DS: $92 | Halogen Flounce Back Shift Dress AS: $99.00; DS: $65 | Halogen Fit & Flare Dress AS: $99; DS: $66 | BP. Wide Leg Jumpsuit AS: $65; DS: $43Pants

Caslon Patch Denim AS: $79; $49 (giving off major Aria Montgomery vibes from Pretty Little Liars) | J. Crew for Nordstrom Medium Denim AS: $115; DS: $75| Halogen Taylor Ankle Black pant AS: $79, DS: $46 | KUT from the Kloth Dark denim AS: $89; DS: $59tops

J. Crew Ruffle Top AS: $69 ; DS: $51 | Vince Camuto Striped Top AS: $99; DS: $65 |  Vince Camuto Black Bell Sleeves AS: $69; DS: $45 | Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Top AS: $89 ; DS: $59| Hinge Off-the-shoulder velvet top AS: $69; DS: $45 Cardigans outerwear

Kenneth Cole Double Face Coat AS: $198 ; DS: $129| Halogen Long Cardigan AS: $79 ; DS: $49| BP Carmel Knit Cardigan AS: $49 ; DS: $31jackets updated

Barbour Millfire Hooded Quilted Jacket AS: $249 ; DS: $165 | Guess Double-Breasted Coat (NOTE: this comes in pink and is the coat Lorelai wore in the Gilmore Girls revival!!!) AS: $240 ; DS: $140 | Pink Halogen No-Closure Blazer AS: $119; DS: $74 | BOSS Kabira Tweed Jacket AS: $495; DS: $329Misc

Robin Piccone Cameron Plunge One-Piece AS: $158; DS: $104 | Halogen Plaid Mini AS: $69; DS: $45 | Gallery Quilted Vest AS: $118 ; DS: $79 | CeCe Ponte Faux Wrap Pencil Skirt AS: $69 ; DS: $45heels

Sam Edelman Tia Genuine Calf Half Pump AS: $140; DS: $89 | Ted Baker Savei Pointy Toe Pump AS: $229; DS: $150 |   Louise et Cie Jianna Stacked Pump AS: $119; DS: $79 | Sam Edelman Tia Ankle Velvet Pump AS: $119; DS: $79shoes

Stuart Weitzman Bootie AS: $575; DS: $349 | Lucky Brand Kaiya Pointy Toe Bootie AS: $138; DS: $89 |Kristin Cavallari “Capri” Mule AS: $119; DS: $79 |  Tory Burch Janey Pump AS: $258; DS: $164

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Rebecca Minkoff Top Handle Satchel AS: $295; DS: $196 |  Madewell Paint Stripe Transport Tote AS: $198; DS: $129 | Cathy’s Concepts Monogram Tote AS: $65; DS: $42
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Cathy’s Concepts Monogram Passport Case & Luggage Tag AS: $73 ; DS: $48 | Skinny Dip Makeup Brush Set AS: $65; DS: $35 | bkr water bottle setAS: $75 value for $50 | Tory Burch Fragrance Set AS: $195; DS: $130

What are your favorite pieces?

Truly,

Callie leigh

Farmer’s Market

Hello, World.

Law school has changed the way I see the world. I bet that seems like a weird opener to a post entitled “Farmer’s Market” and has the word “weekend” in it. But here’s the thing: law school can be very consuming. Not in a bad way, it’s just if you’re working hard, every aspect of your life is suddenly subject to law school related things. Week days? Studying in a cafe. Weeknights? Studying at my desk before getting a large mug of tea and watching Netflix in bed by candlelight. Weekends? Well, sometimes I have time to go out at night or shop a bit in the morning, but mostly it’s studying, doing household tasks (like the laundry I ignored all week), or hitting the gym. So, this summer my motto is “yes.” Simple right? What I mean by this is I’m saying yes. Yes to weekend trips to the farmers market, yes to re-discovering my hometown’s downtown, and yes to pretty much everything I’m invited to (within reason).

Even though I’m from Chico, I never really did the whole farmer’s market thing. I was always too tired, had other plans, or whatever other excuse works for taking my hometown’s best features for granted. So, this year, I’ve been trying to go to farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. Getting fresh flowers, fresh produce, and an iced chai latte makes Saturday morning a little sweeter. I also love the quality time with my family. So, I wanted to share a few snaps from my weekend at farmer’s market!

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Does your town have a farmer’s market?

Truly,

Callie leigh