Monday, February 24

12x12: Study Smart, Study Less

Study Smart, Study Less
Anne Crossman

This is one of the fastest, easiest books I've ever read. The night after I finished Game of Thrones, I read two chapters of this little book. I didn't read the next day, but the day after that I finished the rest of the book in one sitting!

What I Loved:
  • Good variety of studying ideas, and differentiated by learning style
  • I learned some stuff that I actually Incorporated into my studying habits
  • Super short read - there's no excuse for not reading it!

What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • Definitely marketed towards high schoolers
  • Not always applicable to my learning style

Would I Recommend This?
  • Yes! It's only $10.99, and I do feel that I learned a lot. Plus, you can always share it with your study friends!
Studying Tips I Learned (and Incorporated)
  • I am a visual & auditory learner, which explains why I've always done well in school; our schools cater to both those types of learners, so people who need to touch to learn usually have a lot harder time
  • I've been doing my homework in bed, which is a big no-no! It's the widest space in the apartment that I can spread out, but it's confusing for my brain when I sleep and do homework in the same place.
  • Eliminate as many distractions as possible, even music. It makes it seem like time is passing faster, but you don't learn as much when you study and listen to music at the same time! I normally put on some music or background noise, but I feel like I've been absorbing more information lately now that I've 
  • Use clothing or accessories as a way to motivate studying! The example that really spoke to me was wearing fake glasses when you study. I've been doing that the last few days and I think it's really helped me focus.
  • 20-5... 20 minutes doing homework, 5 minute break, both timed! That's really helped keep me focus. It's easier not to answer texts or check Facebook when you know you're getting a break soon!
There are about a zillion more tips in this book, and they're all different depending on what kind of learning style you have!

What are your favorite studying tips? Which of the ones I mentioned do you like best?

Wednesday, February 19

12x12: A Game of Thrones

A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One: A Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin

After two years of reading this book, I am FINALLY done! I don't know if you've heard, but it's really, really hard to find time to read for fun in law school. After I posted about my plan for 12x12, I got a lot of comments from my classmates that they have no idea how I'm going to do it - Who has time to read for fun?! We got assigned 30 pages of Property homework as well as writing a paper for Legal Writing, and that's just what's due tomorrow!

Well, it helped that I had already read a sizeable chunk before this year. I started reading this again last year, so by the time I started this in 2014, I was just over halfway finished!

It also helps that the chapters are short ("It's only 8 pages, I can read this chapter tonight!"), and each chapter is from a different character's point of view ("UGH YES I LOVE DANY"). It helps to keep me interested. My battle plan with this book was to try and read each night, even if only one chapter.

What I Loved:
  • Short chapters
  • Sooo much like the show! (I now have a deep respect for the show-makers - they stayed pretty damn true to the book, even with chapter breaks as scene breaks)
  • Great writing
  • Great character development
  • So many seemingly details that *aren't* in the show - Did you know that Rheagar Targaryen abducted and raped Lyanna Stark? And that Sansa was the one who told Cersi Lannister that her father was sending her and Arya back to Winterfell, which is what sparked the whole massacre thing at King's Landing?
  • It's a nerd girl's dream!
What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • I have to go buy like 10 more books now to see what happens. Ugh, it's like Harry Potter all over again! ;)
Would I Recommend This?
  • Absolutely! If you like or love the show, you will LOVE this book! It has such great literary value, but more than that, it's just a really wonderful story and keeps you interested. Whenever I made myself read at night when I was exhausted ("Just one chapter, then you can sleep..."), I always wanted to keep reading. Most of the time my body wouldn't let me, like my eyes couldn't focus anymore, but I still wanted to!

Have you ever read the series? Do you love the show?

Saturday, February 15

Life Lately {vol. 17}

I went to Target for fun a few weeks ago to use the gift cards my family got me for my birthday! P.S. Totally got that blue sports bra & I am obssessed with it - it's so comfy and was on sale for $6!

More plunder from that Target trip. I wasn't sure if I loved them enough to spend $34, but the only days I haven't worn them have been the days I had to trudge through snow or was wearing sweatpants. LOVE them!

That same day, my law school friend, Daina, had her going away party at Morimoto! She moved back to New York. :(

Abby and me cheesin'. :) She keeps me sane in law school, I don't know what I'd do without her!

I finally bought curtains for my room! They're sheer and white and so lovely.

My bangs were getting too long, so I decided to go to town with my own scissors instead of paying for a haircut. I don't think I did a terrible job, all things considered, haha!

I drove Abby to Manchester for an interview she had with a Congresswoman. The interview went well, and we got sushi afterwards!

I get homesick every once in a while, which is understandable, but my school is so gorgeous. I live in a beautiful place.

My parents got me this dress for my birthday and I love it! Plus? It's warm!

This is how I write 99% of papers in law school. I have yet to learn if there is any less chaotic way, but according to Facebook comments, there is not. Welcome to being a lawyer, haha.

My cat is so handsome I can't even.
I had a $1 off soup and free birthday desert at Panera, so I got this adorable red velvet cupcake! It was so rich and silky!

This is one of my favorite outfits I've ever worn! Also, I've been kind of obsessively wearing my hair in buns lately. I guess when you grow your hair out exclusively because you miss wearing buns, it's understandable. :P

I'll admit, I drank a little Friday night, and I left my car downtown overnight. So, Saturday morning, I walked downdown, got my car, and grabbed some green juice (my new obsession!) from Live Juice! Yum!

I'm not huge into yogurt, but I've been slowly trying these Chobani Flips and I am a tiny bit obssessed. I tried the coconut with toasted almonds & dark chocolate chips last time. I don't like coconut (but I love coconut flavor), so I was nervous about this one, but it was 100% delicious! I wish I had ten more!

I've been making homemade tom yum soup a lot lately, and it's now one of my favorite meals ever. So many veggies, so much flavor! So much ginger!

My parents and grandparents sent me Valentine's Day presents this week! (But you'll have to wait until later for that post, hehe!)
It's been hard to find anything to post about lately! I've been so busy with school, though we were lucky enough to get two snow days this last week. It was really nice to have the extra time to do homwork. I kind of wish we always had an extra day in the middle of the week, haha.

Have you ever seen "The Borgias?" How wonderful is Target? What have you been up to lately?

Saturday, February 8

Recipe: Coconut Oil Chocolate

  • Baking Cocoa
  • Coconut Oil
  • Stevia (or other sweetener)
(1) Scoop 1/2 cup (or whatever your desired amount) of coconut oil into a microwave-safe bowl. I usually measure out two large spoonfuls. Microwave it for one minute and be very careful taking it out - the bowl will be hot, as will the melted oil!

(2) Measure out equal amounts of the baking cocoa into the coconut oil! If you used a 1/2 cup of coconut oil, add 1/2 cup of cocoa. If you used two spoonfuls, like me, use two spoonfuls. Mix them together well! I used a small wisk this time, which worked perfectly. You want to make sure there aren't any lumps of cocoa left over and its dissolved nicely!

(3) After everything's been mixed, it's time to sweeten your chocolate! I added 20 drops of Stevia to this batch, and it's just a tiny bit sweeter than I would like - remember, you can always add more sweetener, but you can't take some away. The cocoa is really bitter, so you will probably feel like you're adding too much. Test it after 10 drops to assess how many more you should use! After you've added your sweetener, wisk it all together again.

(4) We're basically all done! Next we're going to freeze the chocolate for at least 30 minutes. I separated my one bowl into two smaller bowls. I've found that when the chocolate is thinner, it's much easier to break apart once it's hard, therefore easier to eat! Separating it certainly isn't required - in fact, if you're making more or want it to be in a nice, square/rectagular shape, you could transfer it to a pan and stick that in the freezer instead. Whatever works for you!

I learned this recipe from J's mom, and I've been obsessed every since! The coconut oil gives the chocolate a real richness, and if you're at all a fan of dark chocolate, you'll love it! I hardly ever buy chocolate anymore. The most difficult part for me is finding coconut oil for a decent price.

Here's the recipe again, all together:

  • Baking Cocoa
  • Coconut Oil
  • Stevia (or other sweetener)
(1) Scoop 1/2 cup of coconut oil into a microwave-safe bowl.
(2) Measure out equal amounts of the baking cocoa into the coconut oil. Mix them together well.
(3) Add 15 drops of Stevia & wisk it all together again.
(4) Freeze the chocolate for at least 30 minutes, & enjoy!

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think! :)