Featured Slider

How to Buy 1L Books on a Budget

Welcome to law school... if tuition doesn't make you broke, the textbooks will! Law school casebooks are big, heavy monsters that update constantly. You often have to buy brand new because the law is ever changing and older editions may no longer be relevant. It makes for a very expensive process when they range from $150-300 per piece and that's not counting supplements. My first year of law school books cost around $1500 total. Now that I am a rising 2L, I have a pretty good system for finding books on a budget, which my sweet husband is very appreciative of. Here are my top tips!

1. Rent the Most Expensive Books
When a book costs over $200, I find it more cost effective to rent. Often by the time you are done using it, highlighting or changing law has made the book value plummet downward and you will not recoup your money. Renting is cheaper and easier- just send it back when you are done.  I usually rent from Amazon.

2. Buy Used When Possible 
As a follow-up to what I said above, if you can use an older edition, do so and buy it used! It saves soooo much money. I like Amazon, Half.com and Thrift Books for finding used books at a good price. Also, checking with 2L's and 3L's is super helpful for used books. Use Amazon Student Prime and get free shipping to save even more!

3. Make Use of Refer a Friend
When I bought my Criminal law book last spring, I used Barrister's Books. I was able to use a referral code from one of my friends to save some money off my order. This can be a great way to save a little cash- work with your friends and everyone can save.

4. Use a Cashback Credit Card
No matter how much you do to find deals, the books for 1L year are expensive. There is no way around it. I bought all my books on a Discover cash back credit card so at least I was able to get some return on the investment that way. Every little bit helps.

Law school casebooks are expensive. Budget at least $1500 for your first year and anything you have left from that is just a bonus! Thankfully, the books seem to get cheaper 2L year. Good luck and may the bargain odds be ever in your favor.

Blue Gingham and other Fun 4th of July Dress Picks

It's almost Independence day!!! As a proud American, I adore this holiday. As a history nerd, I love the surrounding history of it. As a basic white girl, I love picking out a dress to wear for the event. I also love sparklers... and the only appropriate holiday is Independence day.

Every 4th of July for the last 5-6 years, we spend the 4th of July at our local country club for a big BBQ, lawn festival, and amazing fireworks. It is such a fun event with so many of our local friends and I look forward to it every summer. Because it is the country club, the dress code is a touch fancier than your average BBQ. Finding a red, white or blue dress that is classy enough the location and cool for the summer heat is always a challenge. I already picked out my dress and I am obsessed with it. I have wanted a simple Gingham dress like this for SO long.

My dress is from Target and it was under $30!!! It is such a lovely fit and style for a variety of body types. The fabric is cool and breezy; perfect for hot summer nights. I would say it runs a bit small if anything. I love the slightly full skirt and I just want to twirl and twirl in this dress!

Dress it up with heels and a belt

I styled this dress two ways: with a belt and high heels for fancier events and no belt and soft leather sandals for less dressy affairs. I love that it can transition and look perfect either way.

Red Nails and Red Lipstick

Seriously this skirt so fun

I love America

Casual Sandals!

My Dress (size XS I suggest sizing down) and my Sandals

Here are some other picks I found that would be adorable for any 4th of July event!

Happy Independence day friends! 

Growing Up and Growing Apart: Friendship in Your 20's

Alright friends.... It's getting personal today on the blog.

You know those girls who meet their 3 best friends in first grade, are eventually each other's bridesmaids, have kids at the same time, their husbands become best friends and everyone lives happily ever after? Well, I have never had that kind of friendship with girls. I never had a "best" friend from school or even college. I was never in a clique. I was always just kind of my own person with a lot of female acquaintances. I make friends easily and I get along with most people. But I just never seem to truly become close, close friends with people.

There have been many instances over the years where I have thought I found those type of friends. I moved to a new city when I was in 5th grade and immediately made two friends who I thought would be my bridesmaids. Flash forward two years, a million sleepovers and memories later and they up and decided we weren't friends anymore... for reasons I still don't understand almost 10 years later. I entered high school without close friends and I just became an acquaintance to everyone. I thought again junior year I had found a "best" friend but she moved away and we weren't able to keep in touch. 

In college, I found a group of friends freshman year and we became inseparable. After a summer apart at various internships, we just drifted apart. My sophomore year I grew close to one person in particular... I thought I finally found that one best friend everyone else seemed to have. Moving forward into junior year we were still close and I also moved in with 3 other girls. In a very short amount of time, we become closer than I have ever been to other girls and life was great. They all become bridesmaids in my wedding, we did everything together, we were best friends. Rolling into senior year, job searches, wedding coming up and two friendships, one roommate and my best friend from sophomore year, completely fell apart and went up in flames. This left me two bridesmaids short and heartbroken. It also made things very awkward with my other two bridesmaids who were in my wedding but chose the other girls side over mine. I dried my tears and picked two other friends to be last minute bridesmaids and proceeded on with life. I married my true best friend and love of my life right after graduation... I eventually realized that as long as I had my husband, I didn't need the gratification of a "best" girlfriend. 

After the wedding, I really only stayed in touch with two of my bridesmaids (besides my sister who will always be my friend whether she wants to or not LOL).... and that was not for a lack of trying. I sent them birthday gifts and Christmas cards... I texted whenever I thought about them. Those efforts were not reciprocated and eventually, I started giving up the effort.  

Up next, law school. On day one, I met my law school bestie. We were inseparable all throughout the first year... until second semester exams. She just stopped inviting me to study group, stopped texting... once exams were over I didn't hear a thing. I texted her several times and got no response. When she finally did respond, it was all about her and she never even asked me how my summer and internship was going. Once again, I started to realize it was not worth the effort when the only effort came from my end.

Other friendships have drifted apart because life just gets in the way. I am the only one of my close friends who is married, I own a house, I have dogs to care for and I am in a grueling graduate school program that takes over my life. Some don't understand why I don't have time to do this or that because I have to study. Some don't understand why my husband always comes first. Some don't understand that I can't just go out every Friday night and leave my dogs in their crates for hours on end. Life change and evolves and often, the friends you had before don't mesh with life evolutions. and that's okay. Friendships change and sometimes drift apart. 

I have come to a point in my life where I am tired of chasing that kind of perfect, best friendship that is seen in movies. I have some wonderful friends... friends who have stood by me for years on end and are always there for me. They are absolutely wonderful and I do not give them enough credit. For some reason, I kept on chasing a perfect friendship like I thought I needed. I tried so hard to be the best friend anyone could have.... I gave birthday and Christmas gifts and brought Starbucks just to be nice. I planned fun things to do and invited them on vacations with me. I tried everything I could possibly think of to be a great friend and yet... no one seems to care. It seems the harder I try, the worse the friendships end up.

The friendships I have are wonderful. My husband is my best friend. I have a sister I can always count on. I do not need the gratification of a "best" friend to get me through the day. I once heard a saying, "Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Accept each for what it is and take whatever lessons and good memories from each friendship that you can." I have decided that this is a good life motto. I have had friends come into my life for a specific reason: I made those two friends in middle school to help me through that life transition as I integrated into a new school and city. I have had friends come into my life for a season: my friends in college who helped me to enjoy college and make amazing memories. Then, I have friends for a lifetime: my husband; my sister; my best friend I have shown horses with all my life and though we live two hours apart, she is always there for whatever I need;my friend from college who went to a different law school but yet we have become even closer through the shared experience of law school, distance didn't matter; the girls I studied abroad with in London who still keep in touch weekly and we will always share the greatest memories of our time abroad. When you look at it that way, life seems to make a little more sense. I think God knows what he is doing when he places certain people in your life.... for a reason or a season and sometimes for a lifetime. It is much easier to reflect upon friendships when you can think of it like that.

To the friends who came into my life for a reason, thank you for the lessons you taught me and the memories we shared. To the friends who came into my life for a season, thank you for a wonderful period of time in my life. To my friends for a lifetime, thank you for sticking by me through good and through bad and I will always try to value our friendship for what they are and without constantly searching for that elusive "best" friend... I have plenty of those already.

To each and every friend I have had, current or past, thank you for the memories, the lessons and the time we spent together. If you hurt me, time heals all wounds and I forgive you. If I hurt you, I am truly sorry and I hope you have healed and can look back fondly upon our time as friends. If we ever meet again, I hope we can smile and wave as old friends no matter what has happened in the past. Life is too short to waste time being petty or wishing for things that may never happen. The one lesson I have learned is that a perfect friendship does not exist and chasing one is a fruitless effort that will cause you nothing but pain. Appreciate what you have and the people who stick by you no matter what and in time, learn to be happy with that. Theres a song that says don't go chasing waterfalls.... I would say don't go chasing friendships. If you have to chase it, it's not worth your time.

Has anyone else experience this? 

6 Wedding Gifts Millennials Will Love

It's wedding season!!! I have already been to two this year! All this has me thinking about my own wedding and I can't believe it has been almost a full year since my wedding.... time flies when you're married to your best friend! Looking back at our wedding, I can't help but remember all the wonderful gifts we received from our family and friends. The outpouring of love was amazing. As time passes, I have taken note of some particularly useful gifts that have really become staples of our millennial lives. So here are 6 wedding gifts millennials will love.

1. Cash
Good old fashioned cash... you can never go wrong. We got married right out of college and right after we bought our first house. Any cash we received helped us immensely to allow for honeymoon splurges or to buy curtains for our new house. Any young couple starting out can always use a little extra cash if you don't know what else to get.

2. Kitchen Aid Mixer
My Kitchen Aid is my favorite item in my entire kitchen. This is a great gift to maybe buy with a group of fellow friends to help out with the cost but to get the bride and groom an item they will use for the rest of their lives. It is a kitchen staple for a reason- you can use it for anything and everything and it just looks so darn cute sitting there. Mine is a soft turquoise and I am completely obsessed with it. This is a gift that you can't go wrong with!

3. A Keurig
Millenials seems to be a synonym for coffee obsessed. I don't know many couples who wouldn't be ecstatic to receive a Keurig as a wedding gift. I personally use ours every single day. It;s another pricey gift but one which will be loved and appreciated for years to come.

4. A Themed Gift
This is not a gift I received but it is my favorite type of gift to give at weddings. I look at the registry and pick a theme: baking, casseroles, coffee, etc. Once I have that, I pick out a handful of items related to the theme to purchase from the registry. Then I box everything up with a recipe or two for that theme. This could be my favorite baked goods recipes or my easy lasagna recipe or whatever fits the theme. I get so many texts from the couples thanking me for the recipes most of all. It is always fun to make a gift that is unique and slightly outside of the box. Any millennial would love it.

5. Something Personal
Something we received as a wedding gift was a framed copy of our wedding invitation. I will forever have that hanging on our wall to remember our special day. Personal gifts like that are so special and so appreciated. A little thought and creativity can go a long way.

6. "Mr. and Mrs. ___" Gifts
One of our favorite gifts was a set of custom wine glasses that said Mr. and Mrs. Brown. As newlyweds, you get such a kick out of having the same last name and any gifts that highlight that are so fun and so special.

Happy wedding season!

How I am Using Poshmark to Build my Legal Wardrobe

Welcome to the legal profession ladies... you have signed your life away to days in patent leather heels and pencil skirts. Personally, I love getting dressed up. I grew up on a farm so there a part of me that still gets downright giddy to get dressed up in something other than jeans. Now I get dressed up every day... I am interning in the courthouse for the summer so it's blazers and heels for me day in day out. Fun right? Yes. Expensive? Also yes.

I have been stocking up on "lawyer" clothes for a long time. I worked at TJ Maxx all through college and I shopped the sale racks like it was my job for dressy pieces to put into my lawyer wardrobe. The last two Christmases I have asked for shopping trips with my momma for legal clothes. Yet, I still was running out of clothing options by week two of my internship. I am working unpaid this summer and getting class credit. My husband and I are saving up for a vacation and have plenty of bills to pay. There was no spare money for me to go drop a few hundred dollars on fancy dress clothes... it was time to get creative. I have always been a resourceful shopper- I have no qualms about thrifting for quality pieces or picking up a cute shirt at Walmart. I wear what I like and I find cute no matter the brand. Now I am a typical girl and I like to wear good brands but I have never had the budget to buy everything brand new and the top brand. I will never forget desperately wanting a Vera Bradley purse for my freshman year of high school... my mom said it wasn't in the budget to buy the one I wanted brand new since they were putting my older sister through college that year. She gave me a $20 budget for a new purse. I was determined to get a Vera so I got resourceful- I found the purse I wanted in the pattern I wanted on Ebay for $15 with a matching wallet and with shipping in came in right about $20. I got to waltz into my first day of school with my precious Vera and I learned a valuable lesson about budgeting and making the most of a little bit of money and still having quality. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box!

That's a lesson I have never forgotten and something I do to this day. Whenever people compliment my clothes, I love to surprise them by saying this was $5 at Walmart or I found in at Goodwill for $3. Sometimes I buy items with small rips or missing a button- I know how to sew and can fix those things easily and quickly with a needle and thread. I once got a $600 Juicy Couture Dress for $20 because it was missing a button... $0.99 button from Hobby Lobby and 5 minutes of sewing left me with the most gorgeous dress at a steal of a price. That is not to say I never splurge- I adore my Michael Kors purse that I bought with my first paycheck from TJ Maxx. I have a weakness for J. Crew and Vineyard Vines and I will always pay the prices just for the name.

A few months ago someone had mentioned Poshmark to me as a way to sell off an old pair of Jack Rogers sandals that no longer fit. I had downloaded the app and sold my sandals but I never thought anything more about it until I was struggling to find clothes to wear for this summer in the courthouse.

I decided to open the app back up and take a look at some of the dress clothes. I know my sizes pretty well in a variety of brands so I figured why not. GAME CHANGER!

I started searching on Poshmark and I found so many GREAT items.

Here is my $10 Banana Republic Suit in lovely condition.

Here is a Maggie London Sheath Dress I picked up for $18.

Issa? As in the brand Kate Middleton wore for her engagement? In my favorite color green? $23.

Kasper Blazer for $5? Yes please. Pair it with a $10 Banana Repulic Skirt? Gorgeous!

Navy Banana Republic Blazer and Harve Benard Skirt for $16?

Two simple cardigans for the chilly office? $12? Did I mention the brands were Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft? No complaints here!

Not for work but for a wedding- Lilly Pulitzer Dress for $50

Can you believe those deals??? And everything has been excellent quality! I feel like I have spent so little money for the quality and quantity of items I am finding! Buying is so easy. Link a paypal account and when you find something you want, you can buy outright or offer a lower price and negotiate back and forth with the seller. You do have to pay for shipping but it is not expensive and sometimes there are even shipping deals. Also, if you find a seller that had a lot of items you like, you can bundle them all together and most sellers offer a discount % on bundles as well as you only pay one shipping fee. It's fantastic!

Additionally, I am selling some of my older clothes I don't wear anymore here to offset the cost. Selling on Poshmark is so simple- take pictures, list it and once it is purchased, they send you a prepaid shipping label to tape onto a box and drop at the post office. Just that simple! Also, if anything you buy doesn't fit or isn't what you want, just resell it right back on poshmark!

Seriously- all you legal ladies on a budget, this app is so worth the download and a little bit of search time. Someday we will be rockstar lady lawyers who can walk in any store and buy whatever we want but that day is not today. Today, we need to look like those future lawyers without blowing every cent in our bank accounts. Poshmark is helping me do that!

Want to sign up and receive $5 to spend right away in your posh-wallet? Sign up with my code: UQNBO!

Happy Poshing ladies!