My Potential Side Hustles

Now that the bar is over, I am close to being grossly underpaid for my services as a baby attorney, and I want to have another source of income. Here are options, with some action items for each, that I have come up with so far:

  1. Create a community blog for future monetization (a la ManRepeller or TFD)
    1. What do I like reading about?
    2. List articles that I have clicked on, on a daily basis
    3. Start writing
    4. Make a list of articles I wish I could read
  2. Walk dogs
    1. Sign up for Wag.com
    2. Go through the interview process
  3. Start a clothing brand
    1. Sketch ideas of prints to go on clothing
    2. Research how this clothing would be made
  4. Invent something else useful
    1. Think about what would make my life easier
    2. What do I wish I had during the day?
  5. Tutor
    1. Refresh any skills? Do I have any skills?
    2. I could tutor in art history maybe, or basic math
  6. WFH copyediting
    1. Practice copyediting
  7. Freelance writing
    1. Practice writing on this blog
    2. List future articles
  8. Sell arts and crafts on Etsy
    1. Learn how to needlepoint
    2. Merge this into my future clothing brand

 

 

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Packing for Spring Break

For my last spring break (maybe ever), Andrew and I are headed to NYC.  Since we live in LA, we aren’t craving hot or tropical weather at all but apparently in NY it will be SNOWING! I am excited to be able to wear my cute winter clothes that I don’t get much use out of in LA.

Anyway, we have been compulsively checking the weather updates in NY to give us a better idea of what to pack.  We don’t plan on checking any bags so this will likely be a challenge as we are going to be there for 6 days and 5 nights.

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I have two options for a carry-on: my Longchamp expandable weekender duffel bag and my pink DVF rolly carry-on luggage (technical term, I know).

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I think my best bet will be to pack the luggage with wheels and bring the folded up duffel as a back-up for the many things I expect to be purchasing in NY. All that’s left is to actually fit my clothes inside.

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I am a notorious overpacker who arrives at her destination and hates everything packed.  I have recently been trying to plan my outfits out in advance, and also to whittle down my wardrobe generally to avoid the hassle of my favorite pieces clashing with each other.

For this trip, I obviously want to look effortlessly cool enough to be in NY while also wearing some of my favorite pieces.  Not only is it supposed to snow, but Andrew also plans to do a lot of walking, and we are also going to a couple of shows.  Therefore, I will need snow-resistant shoes, shoes appropriate for long-distance walking, and shoes nice enough to watch Hamilton (!!!) in.

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I will be bringing my JCrew rain boots for the snow, Saucony for Madewell tennis shoes for walking, and flats if I ever am brave enough to look a little bit more chic.

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Button ups and turtlenecks all the way. These are my staples in my every day work and school wardrobe, so I figured I would be the happiest having these options while in NYC.

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I don’t really plan on wearing a dress most days because I am scared I will be too cold.  However, I wanted to bring something nice for when we watch Hamilton and possibly Les Mis, so I will be bringing two long-sleeve dresses (and TIGHTS).

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I figure I can wear these multiple days when I feel like it, so I should be safe bringing 3 pairs.  I have decided on my JBrand jeans, JCrew pixie pants in dark grey, and my JCrew Dannie pant in black.

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I wish I could bring more coats, but I don’t even know if my J.Crew cocoon coat is even going to fit in my carryon.  I am thinking about wearing the cocoon coat on the flight just to save room, but I might die of heatstroke wearing it in LA. I’m also packing a Zara faux leather moto jacket and a green utility jacket from Topshop for layering purposes.

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I will be bringing my all black Longchamp neo as well as my Coach wallet-on-a-strap for any times when a big bag is not appropriate.

Studying for the MPRE

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This weekend I will be taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, or MPRE, for my admission to the California Bar.  While studying for the exam, I thought I would give some tips for anyone in law school or otherwise that’s about to take it.

Choosing Exam Location: I find that most testing locations are relatively similar.  I would tend to avoid taking any standardized test at a community college or similar type of school because of the other ongoing classes and presence of students at the same time.  I prefer to take standardized tests in hotel conference rooms or university campuses.  I will be taking the MPRE on Saturday at Loyola Marymount University, so hopefully the testing accommodations are sufficient.  The most important determining factors (for me) in choosing a testing location would be distance (and traffic) and the parking situations for test takers. I would suggest researching the parking situation at each location. Schools often have paid parking lots and hotels might only have valet options available.

Passport Photo: If you can, I would recommend just getting this done at Costco. It’s $5 for 4 photos and only takes about 15 minutes.  Most mail places and other places that do passport photos charge around $13 or more for 2 photos

What to bring: Takers of the MPRE are barely allowed to bring anything, and only what can fit in a gallon size ziploc bag.  I would suggest bringing some (at least 2) freshly sharpened pencils with erasers and your wallet.  Don’t assume the testing center will have pencils for you!  In my experience, hotel locations usually do have extra pencils, and community colleges do not.  It would not be worth it to risk not having good pencils.  Everything else has to be left in the car (annoying) so I would also suggest putting your phone and other valuables out of sight before you even get to the parking lot of your test location to avoid any possibilities of theft.

Details of the test: The MPRE consists of 60 multiple choice questions. Of those 60, only 50 are scored and 10 of the questions are “nonscored pretest” questions.  Test takers get 2 hours to complete the 60 questions.

Score requirements: The bar and NCBE websites are not always particularly clear about the requirements for passing the bar in each state.  After you take the MPRE, the NCBE gives you a weighted score.  Each state has a minimum score number that you must exceed to be deemed as passing.  Today, in California, that score is 86.   Apparently the scores range from 50 (low) to 150 (high).  I have no idea how that is supposed to translate into “number of questions to get correct.”  Assuming a score of 86 roughly means 86%, one would have to get 43 questions correct on the test.

How I’m studying: I am currently taking the practice tests that BarBri provides on their website for free. The great thing about BarBri prep is that when you get an answer wrong, they provide you with the reasoning behind why your answer is wrong and the rationale behind the correct answer.

I find that the most efficient way of studying for this test is to take the practice test, and to separately write down the rationales behind the questions that I answered incorrectly.  Hopefully memorizing the intricacies of the comments on the Model Rules will be sufficiently laid out in BarBri’s practice tests to result in a passing grade this Saturday!

 

 

 

How I Study for Law School

DSC_1270What my desk normally looks like on any given afternoon. Book and planner open, pens out, wallet and headphones on the table from going to class this morning.

DSC_1257.JPGA few of my old law textbooks, decorating and filling up my bookshelf.

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DSC_1256Every week I write down my reading for the week, and once I finish the pages, I cross it off the list. Seeing from my planner, I haven’t been doing too much reading… Hopefully I can cross off some more of those pages soon!

DSC_1265I take my notes split screen, one document for class notes and one for reading notes. I have them both up during class so I can quickly reference my reading notes while taking notes in class. I have been taking reading notes on my big macbook pro while taking my new gold 12″ macbook to class. I save everything directly onto dropbox so that my documents are backed up and I can easily access my documents from any computer.

Tsum Tsum Storage

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In honor of Tsum Tsum Tuesday, I wanted to go over some potential storage solutions for these cute little stackables.

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I currently store my tsums in a glass candle holder from Pottery Barn (similar). I didn’t have any tsums at the store with me when I bought it, so I just got it hoping that they would fit.  The way they are currently set up is not perfect as they don’t fit perfectly in the box, but it’s acceptable.  I store most in the front, and some in the back facing out to the sides.  Now I try to display the box so all tsums are visible from around the room.

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Before I got the PB candle holder, I stored my tsums in pyramids stacked in different places, including this Michael’s charger plate.  I stored the rest of them on top of a stack of coffee table books. This is an okay arrangement, the tsums could get dusty and also fall easily — but they are also more easily rearrangeable and make more of a statement.

I also considered getting the ikea greenhouse box that I saw several people storing their tsums in on instagram, but when I went to ikea the box seemed far too large.  My tsum collection isn’t too big right now, and I wouldn’t want to feel pressured to fill up that box. Plus I don’t have the space to display it! I do think it is really cute though especially when people have that many tsums!

 

What’s on my Docksta

DSC_1197Most of the time I use my docksta as my work station. I try to keep everything organized in a way that I can easily clear off for dinner. I like having as much space as possible to have a casebook open and be able to type my notes on my laptop as well.  I also like to have my planner open so I know what I need to be reading.

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I keep a silver charger from Michaels on my table to corral the things I like to always have on my desk.  I also can easily take these things off the table if I need to since they are all perfectly placed on the charger.

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Currently, I have an anthropologie initial mug filled with pens, scissors, and post-its for my schoolwork.  My newest tsums are also on the charger to keep me company.  Behind these things are kate spade coasters and a small orchid from Trader Joe’s.

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What my table actually looks like on afternoons when I have to study.

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What’s on my Desk

DSC_1168As a law student, my desk would ideally be the place that I spend the most time (studying). Since getting the ikea Docksta, this desk has become less of a study space and more of a storage space for my extra stuff.  I still like to try to maintain the organization of the space just in case I ever need to use it instead. The desk I am using is a combination of an ikea tabletop and legs.

DSC_1164I keep my regular planner on my docksta, but I keep this Target triangle binder on my desk to house my important documents.  I also keep a physical address book for when I want to mail things out, and I have a small LV planner that I bring around instead of my large planner.  I have two small containers for washi tape and page flags also used for my planner.

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Also on my desk I keep my 15″ macbook pro with retina display in a marble-print case.  I put mail and other important documents in the “do it now” divider/sorter, until I file them away in my binder.  I actually bought the “do it now” sorter on instagram, from my favorite seller thehuntedcollection.  I keep a Kate Spade mug full of colored pencils on my desk for added color as well as for the times I want to color in my coloring book.

DSC_1165I use the striped magazine holders from Target to house unsightful things I don’t know what else to do with.  One holds construction paper and pages of felt, and one holds past assignments from law school.  The black binder is an outline from one of my former classes that I’m keeping for future use.  I finally purchased an “adult” coloring book at Michaels and chose “Fantastic Cities” because it offered the most diversity in pages and didn’t have any silly animals in it.

DSC_1162I keep a leaning Erte print on my desk because its glass is cracked so I can’t hang it up.  I also layered a frame from Disneyland over the Erte frame to cover the crack.  The glass rectangular lamp is from HomeGoods.

My Current 3L Apartment [westwood]

Although I am supposed to be studying the law, I find that I am constantly thinking about my apartment decor all day.  I am always getting up from reading casebooks to suddenly start rearranging my gallery wall, or creating a new one, or taking everything down and reassessing.  I finally cleaned up my apartment enough to take some decent photos of how things are looking today.  I am including some before/afters just to show what kind of space I was working with, and how far I still have to go…

THE KITCHEN:

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The linoleum is still hideous, but I thought that this striped rug would make it a little bit more chic.  I also covered my kitchen island with marble contact paper, which you can see in the corner is already starting to peel off (ugh).  It clearly doesn’t help very much, and what you probably can’t tell from this picture is how messy it is.  All I can really do to change this kitchen up is get a new rug, which is on my list.  The shining star of my kitchen is my KitchenAid kettle, which I proudly purchased over the popular smeg kettle and has changed my life for the better.

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This is the entryway into the kitchen from the living room.  I have an ikea table in the corner that is basically just there because I haven’t gotten rid of it and it holds some stuff.  Definitely not my proudest space.

 

THE BEDROOM(ish):

Bedroom Transformation 2.2016This is absolutely the worst space in my apartment.  It is a glorified closet that happens to fit a full bed.  I am not even going to show a photo of the actual bed part because it is so awful, and I am still reworking what can go on the walls.  The “bedroom” has no windows apart from the light that comes in through the bathroom window (so no light), and is always dark and dreary.  I don’t think the grey bedding helps either, but I just bought it and now it is on my list to change again (ugh).  I do think the bathroom is cute now though so this is a little sneak peek.

THE LIVING ROOM:

A little before/after action

So I took the before photos on my iPhone when I was just about to move in to the place, before I decided that I am going to be an interior designer, so I apologize for the terrible quality and also mismatching of the last (window) photo.  The iPhone pics make it look like I potentially got new carpet, but alas I did not and the carpet is not actually purple but still this gross brown color.  It is maybe the worst carpet ever, so I have been covering it up with these giant black and white rugs.  I was trying to make my apartment less girly/shabby chic and more modern, but now I find it looks too matchy-matchy with all the black/white, teal, and pink.  I’m not sure what else I need to change, but I think I need to bring in some more traditional pieces to make the whole thing look less Ikea (because it is mostly ikea).

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The thing I am most happy about is my ikea Docksta table that I have been dreaming about for many months.  I think it completes the look and is also a perfect desk space for me to lay all my books out on. I used the ikea chairs that I got with the table that is in the kitchen and covered them with the fabric from an old curtain.  I think they are too mod for the table so I am currently dreaming about some chippendale or bamboo chairs.

DSC_1124The gallery wall around the TV is relatively recent, and I’m not sure how much longer it is going to stay up.  It looks very chaotic next to my already-chaotic bookshelf and I think it will probably be coming down soon.  The pieces on it used to live in my bedroom and one day on a whim I decided to start framing them around that white HD antenna to sort of camouflage it, which it is camouflaged, just not in the almost-chic way I had originally envisioned.

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Another gallery wall! If not obvious already, I love wall art and I constantly buy things without an idea of where to put them, which is why my walls are covered in holes and constantly getting rearranged.  I overall like this view of the room, except I hate that white bookshelf.  It houses my work flats but I am running out of room and I think the purses look messy how they are.  I am thinking about just filling the wall with white shelves where the bookshelf is, with maybe a few frames staying between that and the wardrobe. I also originally bought this ikea coffee table to spray paint gold, but living in an apartment doesn’t afford much painting space, and I am too lazy/hesitant about spray painting on the roof.  I do imagine that will happen soon though.

For the most part I am happy with how my apartment looks today, despite the things I already mentioned.  My current apartment to-do list looks like this:

  • New kitchen runner rug
  • Wall shelves to replace the bookshelf
  • New chairs around the Docksta
  • Spray paint coffee table gold
  • New bedding to brighten up my bedroom

I would say that’s a pretty short list, but knowing me I am never satisfied and will constantly be thinking of new ways to make this apartment better.

My Unfurnished 3L Apartment [westwood]

While I enjoyed living at my first studio, I was really itching for more space. Renting in Los Angeles for a reasonable price is very difficult especially when you don’t actually have a job (student).  Desperate in my search for a new place, I quickly grabbed this apartment when I could actually envision its potential.  This place is definitely bigger than my last apartment, but definitely not without its challenges…

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The front door to the apartment opens directly into the living room. That “open door” on the right is the “bedroom,” to be discussed below. The door on the left wall is to the coat closet, which is the only actual closet in the unit. The living room ceiling has these interesting brown beams that have pastel, Disneyland Matterhorn inspired designs on them.  Not my first choice, but not a deal breaker either.

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Theres one two-pronged outlet in the bottom left corner of this wall, and one three-pronged in the top right corner… What can I say, I love a challenge.

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These windows are what initially drew me to the apartment, despite the hideous carpeting. My last studio had barely any light coming in, as there were only two windows and on the side of the building which had a view of the side of its neighboring building. I was clearly desperate for some light.  Still not much of a view, but I can appreciate a good bush.

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The Kitchen: terrible linoleum, but lots of space to the left of the lone stove. It has an oven and sink, which was a lot more than I can say for some other studios I looked at.

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IMG_8271_2My bedroom: I am betting this was originally intended to be a walk-in closet to a studio, but they added 2/3 doors to make it a “bedroom.”  I was promised it would fit up to a queen bed. That outlet shown is the only outlet in the “room,” a common problem throughout this apartment. As you can see, there is a built-in dresser in the “hallway” between this “bedroom” and the bathroom.

My 2L Apartment [westwood]

Finally living in LA, the dream I’ve been holding onto since I was in high school. Unfortunately, I am not living in the luxury apartments I always dreamed of while passing by on the way to Disneyland, but that’s the price you pay for wanting to live by yourself.

Enter my ~350 sq. ft. (if even) studio that I paid wayyyy too much for in rent. I took almost all the furniture I had at my Davis apartment, minus the desk and bar stools.

New furniture for this apartment included: new standing mirror (ikea Stave), desk/table (ikea Linnmon/Godvin), coffee table (ikea Vittsjo), and kitchen island (similar here).

Some before pics:

AFTER:

Masking tape on the TV stand because I was about to start packing then decided I should take photos first.. Also the best late night talk show host on my little TV.

Although I did love this apartment, it was very tiny and hard to configure and separate a living space from a sleeping space, no matter how many articles I read on “small spaces.”  I figured that for the amount I was paying I could live farther away from campus in a bigger apartment, or move to another space with a different layout. Finding another apartment actually proved more difficult than I had expected, but the result was well worth the wait…