Post-Grad Life: Stop Being Impatient

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So I recently read a great blog post by Paris Achenbach (click here to read it) about learning to be patient when it comes to post-grad life and particularly, post-grad success.

Trying to be patient is something that I have been struggling with lately. I stumbled upon Meg Jay’s TED talk a few weeks ago and it reinforced all of my anxieties and fears about not getting far enough in my twenties. I’m only 22, so I know I have time…but I still worry constantly about being where I “should” be at this point in my life. I’m constantly afraid that I will wake up one day and I will be behind everyone else my age.

I know that it’s a silly fear to have and that life is not rat race (in fact, trying to remember that it isn’t is one of my 2014 resolutions—but damn, resolutions are hard) but I still can’t get over the feeling that I need to make things happen right now. And that if those things aren’t happening at this very moment, I’m failing.

It’s ironic that I am the one who often feels this way, because I’ve had plenty of conversations with friends where they seem to mirror my exact feelings, while lamenting that I am the only one moving forward in life, with everything figured out. And while I can generally recognize that, yes, I am moving forward and making progress—I’m in law school, I’ve gotten a great legal internship for the summer already, I’ve traveled quite a bit this year—it still doesn’t feel like enough.

I guess the curse of being a twenty-something, surrounded by social media, is that you’re always made aware that someone, somewhere, is doing 10x as much as you are with the same amount of time. I recently looked up (read: Internet-stalked) an acquaintance from college who graduated with me and she’s already got this amazing, well-paying job and a gorgeous, committed boyfriend. It seems like she’s already moved so far ahead of me in such a short time and it’s a little discouraging. Yes, things are never as perfect as they seem from the outside but that still doesn’t stop me from being jealous–and worried that things aren’t falling into place as easily for me.

But I’m trying to remember that being patient is important. Things will eventually fall into place for me, when it’s the right time, and there’s no point in being hard on myself just because I might not be where I want to be yet. I have to remind myself that things (especially great things, you know, like Rome) do not pop up overnight. They take time and effort and are built bit by bit. It’s just hard to keep the anxiety at bay when it seems like everyone has something going for them, especially in a competitive environment like law school.

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Ready for Summer

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Anyone else ready for summer to be here already?! This whole “polar vortex” business in the northeast has been the worst… I mean, I’m used to cold winters, but the single digit temperatures are starting to get to me. I’m pretty sure that this is one of the coldest winters I’ve experienced in DC. I’m just ready for it to be 70 degrees and sunny already.

To make matters worse, I found the prettiest sundress the other day but I won’t be able to wear it until the weather warms up–which will take months. It’s strange because I actually love, love, love winter (it’s my favorite season), but I think, once the holidays are over, the magic starts to wear off and I start to miss spring and summer again.

The Friday Five

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1) The Mindy Project: Who else watched The Mindy Project’s winter finale (“The Desert”) this past Tuesday? I’ve been a fan of the show since the beginning and I completely, totally loved this episode. And it’s not just because (SPOILER ALERT–stop reading now if you haven’t watch the episode yet!) Mindy and Danny finally kissed. I thought the episode did a great job of showing exactly why Mindy and Danny should be together. Even though they bicker and fight on a superficial level, it’s clear that they both value each other deeply–and that was showcased perfectly when Danny “kidnapped” Mindy because he needed her to be with him when he finally confronted his father. The kiss itself was an adorable throwback to the last time the two were on a plane and held hands when turbulence hit. I’m so, so excited to see how it’s handled once the show comes back in April.

A picture from the Ladies Market in Mongkok, Hong Kong.

2. Hong Kong: This time last year, I was visiting Hong Kong. I miss Hong Kong. The picture above is from my visit to the Ladies Market in Mongkok. That is all.

3) Elite Daily’s The Dos and Don’ts: How to Prepare for Post-Grad Life: This is pretty generic advice but I do agree with one of the “Don’ts” – don’t (necessarily) listen to what others tell you. A lot of people will expect you to have everything figured out the moment you get your diploma and the truth is, you might not have things figured out yet. And that’s okay! The best thing to do in that situation is to take some time and carefully plan out what your next step will be. Too many people feel pressure to pick a career path right away and this can lead to bad decisions (sometimes). I’ve seen this a lot with friends that have gone to  grad/law school. I’m in law school, so I’m not discouraging it but it is a big decision. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re going for a good reason, because far too many people jump in without looking, only realize that it’s not for them after they’ve wasted lots of time and lots of money.

4) Bow Rings: I absolutely love, love, love bows in any form. I’ve always adored the Kate Spade bow ring, but I’ve never felt that it was worth splurging on. But then I found this beautiful Madewell bow ring, which I think is the perfect substitute!

5) Meringue: Lately, I’ve been loving meringue cookies/kisses. I know they are pure sugar, but I can’t help it. I picked up a few from a pastry shop the other day and they were so delicious! So I’ve decided that I definitely need to try making these yummy treats on my own one of these days. Here is a recipe for those of you who want to try making some of your own too.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

10 Things To Know Before Law School

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This list of what to know before starting law school is spot on. Especially #2, 6, and 9 (at least in my experience as an 1L).

Any other law students out there? What are the top ten things you would tell an incoming 1L?

Thought Catalog

1. Law school is not graduate school.

Ever felt like taking a walk down memory-lane? Well, you’re in luck because the law school experience has more in common with middle school than it does with other graduate programs. On the first day, you enter the building like you own the place. You naively think you already understand the true meaning of life. And then very quickly you discover that you’re actually just an awkward and lowly 6th grader all over again. Thank goodness you can drink this time!

2. Be nice to everyone, and be careful with whom you trust.

Unfortunately, a large group of wannabe lawyers necessarily leads to some vicious drama (like I said, welcome back to your middle school cafeteria). And since gossip spreads like wildfire, everyone in your class will know whether you have a good or bad reputation by the end of the first semester.

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Snow Day in Washington

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Snowy Capitol, source: http://www.cnn.com

It’s a snow day! Washington, D.C. is expecting anywhere between 4-10 inches of snow in the next 12 or so hours. While it has only just started snowing where I live, school was cancelled in anticipation of heavy snowfall!

I am unreasonably excited (let’s be real: you’re never really too old for a snow day!) because I could really use the “catch up” day to get up to speed with all of my school work. I have an assignment for my legal writing class to work on and some criminal law readings to catch up on, so that should keep me pretty busy for most of the day. It’s a little bit of a downer (don’t you miss the days when a snow day meant lounging around in your pajamas, watching television, and having your Mom make you hot cocoa?!) that I have to do work on my day “off,” but I figure I’ll regret it later if I don’t make good use of this extra time.

I also might take the extra time to catch up on some television shows I missed: namely, Sleepy Hollow! I don’t know if anyone else likes that show (yes, it can get a little cheesy/formulaic at times) but I’m hooked. I’m generally a fan of new twists on old concepts when it comes to books and movies, so is it any wonder that I’m a fan of the show? Sleepy Hollow came back, but I ended up missing it, because I went to bed early—I have a 9am class on Tuesdays (yay for that getting cancelled!) and after a long weekend, it’s a real struggle to get up and ready on time, so I figured if I turned in early, I would have less trouble waking up. I also need to watch the last episode of Revenge, too. (Though I’ve been kind of been not wanting to watch it all that much, because Daniel’s just gotten to be unbearably annoying lately.)

…But then, school got cancelled, so it was all for nothing! But I can’t say I’m unhappy about it—after all, the best way to end a long weekend is obviously to make it even longer!

What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day?

Lunch at Le Pain Quotidien

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My delicious lunch!

I went to Le Pain Quotidien in Dupont Circle for lunch today. I have only been to Le Pain a handful of times and all of those times, I grabbed a quick snack (a scone or croissant), not an actual meal. So this was the first time that I was actually able to eat lunch there and I was pretty excited!

I was in the mood for something sweet, but also wanted to have some real food. So I ordered the Warm Belgian Waffle and the Avocado and Omega-3 Tartine. Both were super delicious and surprisingly, ended up going quite well together! Just looking at the picture is making me hungry again!

What’s your favorite lunch place?

Get the Look: Miranda Kerr’s Fresh-Faced Beauty

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Miranda Kerr, source: http://www.new-magazine.co.uk

For a flawless, dewy complexion:

  • Korres Wild Rose Face and Eye Serum: This concentrated Vitamin C serum will brighten the skin, leaving it dewy and glowing.
  • Cheaper alternatives: Avalon Organics Vitamin C serum, The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Skin Boost

For moisturized, soft skin:

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (or Gel): This product will moisturize skin, without leaving it greasy or oily.
  • Cheaper alternatives: Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion, Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer

For smooth, baby pink lips:

  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose: This hydrating lip balm will keep lips moisturized, while adding a subtle hint of color and shine.
  • Cheaper alternatives: Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss, Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in Cherish

For naturally flushed cheeks:

  • Benefit Cosmetics Benetint: A small swipe of this rose-tinted cheek (and lip) stain will give cheeks a “just pinched” look.
  • Cheaper alternative: Physicians Formula Powder Palette Blush in Rose.

For voluminous, long lashes:

  • Benefit Cosmetic’s They’re Real! Mascara: This jet-black mascara lengthens, curls, and volumizes to create bigger, better lashes.
  • Cheaper alternative: Maybelline Volume Express the Falsies Mascara in Black

Creating an Inspirational Workspace

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Your work environment can have an enormous impact on how productive you are on  a daily basis. For me, a blah workspace leaves me feeling uninspired, unmotivated, and discouraged. Whether you work in an enormous corner office with a view, a cramped cubicle or a messy desk in your apartment, here are a few (quick and easy!) ways to create an inspiring workspace for yourself.

  • Snacks: Keep a drawer stocked with snacks of your choice, for the days that you need a quick energy boost. Granola bars or nuts/raisins are two good examples of snacks that will help you power through a long day, without feeling (too) exhausted.
  • Candy Jar: Speaking of food, it could be a fun idea to keep a clear jar of candy out on your desk. The bright colors of the candy will liven up your desk and encourage your coworkers to stop by and grab a piece every once in a while. Alternately, a vase of bright flowers might do the trick and brighten up your workspace too.
  • Daily To-Do List: Use a corkboard or dry-erase board to put up a daily “to do” list. Putting up a daily to-do list, instead of a weekly or monthly one will give you a chance to cross things off and feel productive, instead of overwhelmed by your work.
  • A Funny Quote/Joke: Tack up a funny quote or joke (office appropriate, of course!) to your cubicle wall or corkboard. It’ll remind you to smile even on tough, difficult days.
  • Colored Folders: These are much easier to organize than regular manila folders. You can use a color code system to better organize all of your files.
  • A Keyboard Wrist Rest: These can be super handy for keeping your wrist comfortable when you spend long hours on your computer/laptop at work (or at home).
  • Cleaning Wipes: A spotless, clean workspace is always inspiring—keep these handy for any time you feel like your desk could use a quick wipe down.

What can’t you live without in your personal workspace? Comment below and let me know what your must-haves are.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Recipe

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One of my favorite things about winter is hot chocolate (with piles of marshmallows!). A close runner-up to hot chocolate is the Starbucks winter classic, Peppermint Mocha.

So naturally, when I found a delicious recipe that combined two of my favorite warm beverages, I had to try it! Here is the recipe below, I hope you all will enjoy!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 quart of milk
  • Three crushed peppermint sticks
  • Half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • A third of a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Marshmallows!

Directions:

  • Place the unsweetened cocoa in a medium saucepan and whisk in milk until all of the cocoa has dissolved.
  • Add the chocolate chips and crushed peppermint to the mixture.
  • Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Ensure that the peppermint and chocolate chips have dissolved properly.
  • Serve in mugs of your choice.
  • Top off each mug with marshmallows.

What’s your favorite drink to keep warm during the frosty months? Share it in the comments below.

Airplane Essentials

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source:www.timelessprep.tumblr.com

I have a confession: I absolutely dread any kind of airplane travel. My very first flight was at the age of two and twenty years later, I still haven’t really gotten used to it. The whole experience is generally very unpleasant for me: I hate the food, I can never sleep comfortably (and if I do, I wake up with some horrible back/neck/shoulder pain afterwards), and my skin becomes unbearably dry. I suppose it is partly because I am used to traveling long distances via planes (10+ hours in the sky), which exacerbates what would otherwise be minor annoyances on a shorter flight.

Because of this, I have developed a list of absolute must-haves (in my humble opinion) that make flying slightly more comfortable than it would be otherwise:

  • A travel neck pillow: Airplane seats are the worst. While a neck pillow is not a perfect solution to this, it is the best one that is out there. These provide some extra comfort and support for my neck, even when I’m not trying to sleep, so that I can sit comfortably for long periods of time. There are a bunch of options to choose from and they are relatively easy/small to pack in your carry-on luggage.
  • Travel-sized moisturizer and/or lip balm: Airplanes have a way of literally sucking all of the moisture from my skin (and I am assuming that I am not alone in this), so it is a good idea to pack (travel-sized! TSA requires all liquid items to fit in a quart-sized plastic bag) moisturizer and some lip balm in your carry-on/purse to keep your skin from becoming flaky and dry.
  • Fuzzy socks/sweater/scarf: It can get very (very!) cold up in the air and sometimes the airline blanket is NOT enough to keep you comfortably warm. So I’d highly recommend carrying something extra in case you get chilly during the flight: warm socks, a sweater or sweatshirt you can throw on, or a scarf will do the trick.
  • Hand sanitizer/cleansing wipes: I’d highly recommend bringing some hand sanitizing gel and/or wipes with you. First of all, if it is a long flight (5+ hours generally, depending on the time of day), you will most likely be served a meal (or at the very least a snack or two). Since airplanes can be rather germy places (especially the teeny-tiny bathrooms!), I’d recommend having the sanitizer on hand in case you want to use your hands to eat a snack/meal.
  • Chewing Gum: It is pretty common for my ears to pop during takeoff and landing, so I find it useful to have chewing gum on hand to avoid the painful sensation altogether.
  • Toothbrush Equivalent: There are plenty of products that are similar to toothbrushes but do not require toothpaste/water to work. I’d suggest packing one or two of these. If you fall asleep on a long flight, you will definitely need them once you’re up (and have disgusting morning breath!). Trying to actually brush your teeth in those ridiculously small plane bathrooms (especially if your flight is the least bit bumpy) can be a real pain. So I generally opt for the equivalents—obviously, once you’re back on land, you’ll want to brush your teeth for real, but on a plane, these substitutes work just fine.
  • Some Kind of Entertainment: Bring something to do with you. Often, planes might have an in-flight entertainment program (movies, television shows, music, etc.) but just in case you do not find something that interests you there, you might want to have a back-up in the form of a movie you already downloaded onto your laptop/iPad, a book, or music. (Though, for all its drawbacks, I have to say that in-flight entertainment—when it is available—tends to be pretty good, with relatively new movies, television episodes, etc.)