Monday, February 23

12x12: Not That Kind of Girl

Not That Kind of Girl
by Lena Dunham

As a huge fan of "GIRLS," I was way too excited to learn that Lena Dunham was going to write a book, and again, way too excited when it finally came out! I was desperate to read it and it was getting great reviews... then that whole bit about the sister molestation came out. I was shocked, to say the least, and couldn't believe that this girl who I respected could have done something like that (though don't we all feel like that when horrifying things come out about celebrities?). I read the excerpts with confusion, and when Grace Dunham refused to classify herself as a victim, I knew I still wanted to read the book and decide for myself how I felt about it - especially the excerpts which had been getting so much attention.

What I Loved:
  • Lena has a really distinctive writing style, and I truly enjoy hearing her voice in her work, whether it's in GIRLS or in this book. It feels like you're in the basement of your best friend's house, playing truth or dare, and your best friend is spilling her secrets - some of them silly, some of them intimate, some of them dark, and some of them terribly sad. It feels honest and genuine, which is why I think Lena Dunham's work speaks to so many people in the first place.
  • There were definitely parts in the book, especially relating to her past (and current) love interests that spoke to me very deeply. I connected a lot to some of the relationships she'd had, and the relief at being with someone who made you feel like you were worthy and respected again.
  • It was genuinely entertaining for most of the book - you get sucked into the stories she tells, and it feels real.
  • I've heard criticism that Lena's life story is just sooo different than most people's that it wasn't relatable, and I think that's valid. She certainly did have a very different childhood than I did - dealing with disorders, paranoias, naked mothers, private schools, and lots of counseling - but there were parts in every quirky story where I really did relate. Maybe it was talking about AIM, or about having a certain kind of friend in college, or going to summer camp, about disordered eating, but I did find areas where I could relate, even in the "strangeness" of her background.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • There was a part about a fourth of the way through where I got kind of bored and didn't especially want to keep reading. It happened again near the end (talking about her working at a child's clothing store), but I made it through those dry spells and was entertained with the stories afterwards.
  • There are times in the book where you can tell Lena's writing the story to shock you or show how weird she is/was. I think you can take those as you will - I decided early on that this was a real person and that I enjoyed seeing into her mind, even if she was a little too self-aware. But I can definitely see how people would find that style annoying or uncomfortable.
  • A lot of stories seemed familiar... because they had been featured on "GIRLS." I was disappointed that Lena couldn't have found inspiration out of something besides her own life to base "GIRLS" on - I'm such a fan of the show that I'm hoping there's something more to it than stories from Lena Dunham's own life.

And the inevitable parts about her sister... Having read those passages, all I can really say is that, in context, and having gotten used to Lena's style, neither of the stories that got circulated seemed especially weird in the book. It seemed like Lena talking about her childhood and the weird things she would do. It didn't come across as predatory. For example, the parts about wanting affection from her sister seemed very gross out of context. In context, it actually reminded me a lot of my family and the desire to have attention and love from the people you love. The story about her sister having pebbles in her vagina seemed more like a story Lena and her family told over Thanksgiving dinner than a story about molestation. Lena wrote at length about her little sister refusing to sleep anywhere but in Lena's bed, and while she did admit that she masturbated in bed next to her at some point, it seemed more like out of desperation than a sexual act done because of a desire for her sister. And maybe those stories seemed less predatory in the book precisely because Lena Dunham wrote them and had the chance to tell the stories in the way she wanted. She's the author, she's the story-teller, and she's in control of what stories are told and how. Having read the whole book, those stories didn't seem out of place or predatory, but again, that doesn't mean they weren't.

Would I Recommend This Book?
  • For certain people and absolutely not for others. I found it an entertaining and intimate read, ut it didn't seem fully-fledged yet, and I can definitely see why some people would be uncomfortable with Lena's "open-book" kind of attitude about writing about her own life. Some might even call it "TMI." I liked that aspect of it, but that's a personal opinion.
  • I have a friend who read about half of it before stopping - not because she was insulted or offended, but because she reached one of those points where she got bored and couldn't bring herself to read more. I had those points too, but one of the frustrating great things about a project like this is that I have to finish the books regardless, haha.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Did you think those passages about her sister were out of line?

Friday, February 20

Evidence Flow Charts

Hey friends! I took Evidence last semester, and about halfway through the semester, realized there was no way I was going to understand the material unless it was in a chart. I'm not even that big of a chart person, but weirdly enough, it worked for me and Evidence!

My friend Hilary introduced me to LucidChart, which is an online program where you can make charts! It gives you tons of options and I loved using the program. I don't really need charts this semester, but I have no doubt I'll need this program in the future, whether it's in law school or out in the real world!

Anyway, back to Evidence! Today, I'm uploading ALL my Evidence flow charts in the hope that it will help those of you taking Evidence study and understand the material better. 

A few disclaimers here, because I am (almost) a lawyer: This is absolutely, 100% not legal advice - it's to help people studying law to get a different view of Evidence. Please do not use these to learn Evidence all by yourself - do the readings for class, work hard, and use these to help yourself learn some of the trickier rules. While I think the flow charts are probably 98% right, I'm human and I'm sure there's a mistake in there somewhere, so if you find a mistake, PLEASE let me know and I'll make changes to the charts! :)

I had to upload the pictures in a smaller format, so to make them as big as possible and download them, click on the picture itself and it should take you to the image on it's own page!

Expert & Opinion Testimony Rules

Habit, Compromise, Plea Deals, Etc. Rules

Hearsay Exceptions

Hearsay Rules 

Witness Impeachment Rules

Privilege Rules

Relevancy Rules

Witness Rules

I hope these are helpful to you! Happy studying! :)

Tuesday, February 17

Recipe: Egg Muffins

Are you ready for the easiest breakfast recipe ever?? Because I'm pretty sure these egg muffins are it!

I got the idea to do egg "muffins" from Pinterest, but I mixed and matched a few recipes to find one that worked for me. I started making them so I had a quick and easy breakfast option, and what's easier than this? Bake, store, and pop one in the microwave whenever you need one!


  • Eggs (enough for one per muffin)
  • Chopped up veggies
  • Pan spray
  • Feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray down your muffin tin so the eggs don't stick as badly.

For veggies, I chose spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms. I left the spinach whole, and chopped up the mushrooms and broccoli super small. Put a few of your veggies in the sprayed muffin tins (leaving room for the egg!) and sprinkle some salt and pepper over them. After that, crack an egg into each muffin tin, and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Add a few more veggies, sprinkle with some cheese, and you're set!

After the oven's hot enough, put them in the oven for 20 minutes, and they should be cooked through! I used a sharp knife to cut around the edges of the tin to separate the egg from the tin, even having used the spray. I used a fork to try and pry the egg muffins out, and they all came out smoothly (albeit, with some "scraps" still attached to the sides of the muffin tin).

I used parmesean in this batch instead of feta, but trust me - use the feta! I didn't really notice any flavor from the parmesean, but the feta adds this beautiful little kick to the egg muffins, even if you don't use a lot!

Once they've cooled, I put them together in some Tupperware and store them in the fridge until I need one. In the mornings, I usually microwave them, lightly covered, for 30 seconds, and that heats them all the way through.

Honestly, I've loved having these on hand in the mornings! I like to work out around 6AM, so I wake up around 5:15AM, make some coffee, and eat something before I head out. These are a perfect pre-workout breakfast, because they're small enough to not upset your stomach during the workout, but enough to give you a kick of protein and veggies!

What did I tell you - easy, right? :) Let me know if you try these and like them!

Wednesday, February 11

12x12: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling

My mom read this book to me for the first time when I was 11 years old - literally the most perfect age to be reading this book. Since then, this has been my favorite series, my favorite world, and my favorite escape. It feels kind of silly to review this book, but hey - it's my second of my twelve books this year, and if I'm going to review all of them, it seems unfair to leave this one out!

What I Loved:

  • Of the series, this may be my favorite book. I love new beginnings, and this book is the epitome of beginnings. It's an introduction to the Wizarding world, full of vivid descriptions of places like the Dursley home, Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley. I love reading about the new world Harry gets freed into - about the new "rules" and all the options now available to him.
  • Going to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando was one of the best things to ever ever ever happen to me, and WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE to be able to actually enter this world. Going to the theme park was the closest I will ever come... besides reading these books over and over and over again.
  • Every time I re-read the books, I find something that I didn't before. It's (dare I say it) magical!
  • It's a perfect book and a perfect start to the series. If you disagree, then you can just get the hell out.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • I think it's probably the least "shelled out" of the series simply because it's the first book. There are weird little quirks, like McGonagall not thinking that Dumbledore knew it was her at the beginning - you're telling me that she's never turned into a cat to help the Order of the Phoenix in the past twelve years or so? Or that Hagrid's doing magic on Muggles without getting in trouble from the Ministry?
  • Psh, I don't even care though.

Would I Recommend This Book?
  • This doesn't even deserve a real response. If you're human and have any emotions or imagination, you would love this book and this series.
  • Honestly, if you haven't read it yet and you're an adult, I still think it's worth picking up. It's fun, easy to read, and super creative. It brings out the kid in me every time I re-read the books!

Monday, February 2

12x12: How to Have the Wedding You Want

How to Have the Wedding You Want 
(Not the One Everybody Else Wants You to Have)
by Christine Egan

J and I got this book for Christmas from my parents, and although I offered to let him read it first, it became clear that it was tailored towards women, not men. He's still offered to read it after I'm done (ahem), but to be honest, I read so much out loud to him, he's probably heard most of this book anyway! I read a small tidbit right when I opened the book, and I could tell immediately that I was going to love this book.

What I Loved:

  • Everything. Literally everything.
  • The book is kind of meant for people who haven't spent their whole lives planning their wedding - who don't really have an idea about what they're doing, but also don't want to be pushed and pulled every which way by our families and friends - who, if we're going to get married, want to have a wedding that represents us. This could not have spoken more to me and J.
  • The entire book is basically made up of interviews, melded perfectly into commentary and reads more like a real BOOK rather than a self-help book. It's easy to read, which I really appreciated!
  • The book is separated by subject, but each section is filled with examples of what real couples have done to make their weddings about them. There was a couple who did a pot-luck style wedding, where every guest brought a food to the reception. It was super cheap for the couple, and they were relaxed enough to not worry about controlling everything. There was another couple who did a really similar thing, but hated it because they were trying to micro-manage everything! There was a couple who had an evening wedding at their favorite bar, spent all night playing volleyball, and went with all the guests who were still there and awake to a breakfast spot at 4AM. Now, that doesn't sound like it's for me, but it was SO refreshing to realize that couples did all of these weird things that were so them, you know? That we weren't limited to a traditional wedding, and could really do something that was us.
  • Along those lines, this book made me SO excited to have a wedding!! It was fun, interesting, and totally non-judgmental about doing weird things that speak to you as a couple instead of trying to make everyone else happy. All that stress I was feeling this past fall? Totally gone, partially thanks to this book!
  • Have I mentioned that the author is actually really funny? And a good writer? It was a breath of fresh air. I couldn't put this book down!

What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • I wish it had been geared more towards men as well as women. I think it's something that's bothered me about most wedding things, actually - that it's all geared towards women ("brides"), and kind of forgets about the person they're marrying. J and I want to be equally involved in this process, so I wish this book (and everything else) was more inclusive of him as well. After all, it's not my wedding - it's ours!

Would I Recommend This Book?
  • ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY. I may actually re-read this book just for fun. 
  • Honestly, I don't think you need to be engaged to enjoy this book - it's interesting, fun, and full of great ideas! It was useful not just to figure out what I liked, but also what I didn't like - which I never would have known if I hadn't heard about the idea in the first place, you know? Like, that bar wedding sounded like a TON of fun, but is it us? Probably not - I'm not a night owl, so the only way I'm staying up is if I'm constantly plied with Starbucks. But breakfast sounds amazing to me, haha. But I never would have even considered that kind of wedding if I hadn't read it about in the first place. I learned more about my (and J's) preferences about the wedding through reading this book than I ever could have learned in three years without it!

What a great way to start off the year! :) I seriously adored this book, and I hope you do too!