Beginner’s Guide to: Apartment Hunting 101

Beginner’s Guide to: Apartment Hunting 101

Welcome back! Today I’m delving into the topic of apartment hunting. Within the past year I’ve had to apartment hunt twice, and I feel like there’s definitely stuff I wish I knew going into the process. It can definitely be an overwhelming process, so today I’m sharing all my tips and recommendations if any of you are about to embark on the apartment hunting journey!

Compromising is inevitable

When you’re looking for an apartment, the odds that you find one in the perfect location, under budget, with all the features you want, is unlikely. You will most likely have to compromise on something, so before you start looking you should try to come up with a list of things that are a non negotiable and……

Prioritize

Take that list of things you absolutely cannot live without, and prioritize the rest. Basically ask yourself: what is the most important feature your new place needs to have? A good way to figure this out is to look at your current living situation and think about all the things you do not like, or wish you could change. It’s a great place to start and then you can slowly build your list of features and qualities you need to have, and those you can live without.

Always visit the apartment if possible

Unless you physically cannot visit an apartment, I highly recommend you do so. It is key to helping determine if you like the apartment or not. Anyone can take pretty pictures and make a space look nice, but seeing it in person is often much different. On the other side of that, some apartments may not have great pictures available, so you’d definitely want to visit to get a good feel for the space and amenities you would have.

Take into account potential extra fees

Apartments are notorious for having numerous random fees that you may not initially take into account. That’s another reason why it’s so important to visit the apartment if you can, or at least speak to a leasing consultant on the phone. You may see one price online, and not be aware of fees for parking, trash removal, sewer, water or pets if you have them. These can easily add up and make your rent much higher than you anticipated.

Write down questions you have in advance before you visit the apartment

Before you tour an apartment, it’s always good to have a list of potential questions ready to go. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re touring and not remember something important that you wanted to ask. It’s happened to me before, and it’s one of the most annoying things. If you know you have a pet, make sure you ask about the pet policy. If you’re wondering about parking, make sure you ask how many spots are allotted for guests. These are just a few examples of some things that are always helpful to know, but you may not think to ask.

Take notes/pictures if you’re touring more than two places

If you’re looking at a bunch of different places, it can get confusing trying to keep track of all of them and which ones you liked, and which ones you didn’t. There’s probably going to be pros and cons of all of them, so I found keeping notes/pictures on each place I visited was extremely helpful when it came time to pick which one I wanted to apply to.

Make a checklist of all the necessary paperwork for an application

When you finally decide on an apartment that you love, I’d recommend making a checklist of all the paperwork you’ll need to provide for either your application or your lease. Some places do not take credit cards or cash for an application fee, so you may have to go to your bank to get a certified check, or use a personal check. Most places will also want proof of income so prepare to have two recent paystubs available to provide.

Be aware of the individual policies that apartments have (Pets, income standards, etc)

Again, a lot of places have different policies that can get confusing to keep track of. Some have income standards, (for example, your income may need to be 3 times the amount of rent), so that’s something important to consider. They may also have specific policies when it comes to pets,(a pet fee, extra rent every month for the rent, specific buildings where pets are allowed). The same goes for parking, utilities, cable ( some places have specific providers you have to use), etc. It’s always good to make sure you’re aware of everything you’re getting into before you sign that lease!

And that’s it! I hope these tips and recommendations can help any of you who are currently or will be hunting for a new apartment! Keep it klassy, xo.

Beginner’s Guide: Meal Prep for Work

Beginner’s Guide: Meal Prep for Work

So-planning ahead can be hard, especially when it comes to meal prepping. The idea of eating the same thing every day can sound pretty boring sometimes, but for me, meal prepping for my work week lunches saves me so much time every night, and money when I’m at the grocery store. As someone who works full time and doesn’t have a huge amount of time to spend making lunch every night or an endless amount of money to spend on buying lunch every day, I have found meal prepping to be my best solution. Whether you work full time, are going to school full time, or just have a super busy schedule, these tips will definitely help you.

Tip #1 Go online and find inspiration

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be extremely time consuming and expensive, in fact I find it to be the opposite. Every week when I’m making my grocery list for the following week, I browse pinterest and online recipes for quick, easy lunch meal prep recipes. I get tons of ideas and inspiration and it actually makes me excited to go shopping and get my meals together for the week.

Tip #2 Be realistic about your time/budget

There are tons of meal prep ideas online that look super cool, but may require complex ingredients or several hours to make. I’d suggest looking for crock pot or instant pop recipes since those are usually very simple, and require little to no effort. You can always recreate your favorite dinner recipes into lunch friendly portions that are perfect for on the go.

Tip #3 Have fun with it

You don’t want to add another chore to your list of things to do-make this something you look forward to. Cooking can be stress relieving and enjoyable. Even if you’re just meal prepping to make sandwiches or salads all week (I’ve done this, totally acceptable) try to spice it up and make it something you look forward to doing.

One of my favorite lunch meal preps is tacos! Here’s pictures from my meal prep this week. I made homemade pico de gallo to put on top of my turkey tacos and it was so much fun to make one of my favorite foods!

Homemade Pico de Gallo (1/2 red onion finely chopped, 3 tomatoes, 1 jalapeno, a handful of chopped cilantro, and 1 lime squeezed)
This is my lunch tupperware with all my ingredients! Turkey taco meat, trader joes mexican cheese blend, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and homemade cilantro lime sour cream

What are your guys favorite meal prep recipes?

xo.

Beginner’s Guide: The LSAT 101-Do’s and Don’ts

Beginner’s Guide: The LSAT 101-Do’s and Don’ts

So maybe you’re debating if you want to go to law school, or you’re already in the midst of studying for the LSAT. Whatever it may be, I have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts, as well as helpful tips for anyone who is thinking about/is taking the LSAT for the first time! With the March LSAT date coming up soon, I figured now would be the perfect time to share my tips and tricks for studying for the LSAT.

☆ Do’s

  • Study -I know this seems obvious but I’ve heard of people going into an LSAT never having studied and I have never been more scared for a person in my entire life
  • Practice-Take as many practice tests as you can. Before I took my LSAT, I took about 25 tests over the course of 6 months. When I was a month out from my test, I was taking a practice test once or twice a week to prepare myself for the marathon that is taking the LSAT.
  • Consider taking a Prep Course– These can definitely get expense, but look at it as an investment in your future law career. I took the Powerscore course off of a recommendation from a friend, and I loved it. You can choose a plan that works best for you, and they send you all the materials you need. I wouldn’t have known even where to start had I not done a prep course, so for me it was definitely worth it.
  • Go over questions you got wrong AND right– A lot of people always say to review your wrong answers, but reviewing questions you got right is just as important. I definitely wish I had done more of this because I think it really could have helped me. Sometimes when you get a question right you may have guessed, but when you’re checking your answers you may not remember that, and just assume you knew the right answer 100%. Once you get the hang of the test, I’d definitely recommend spending a good amount of your study time reviewing past test items, and item type to really see where you weaknesses are.

☆ Don’ts

  • Do not wait until the last minute to study/take a practice test– If you look online, a lot of prep courses or websites say to allow yourself at least 6 months to study. I’d 100% recommend this or even more. If you have the time to take two LSATs, you definitely should. Chances are you may not be as happy with your first score, or you may be able to do a little bit better, so having at least the option to take a second test is always the better bet than being stuck with only one test date before applications are due.
  • Do not go over board studying the day before and/or the morning of the exam- this will only stress you out and may not help you in the long run. If you end up getting some questions wrong, chances are you’ll feel discouraged and it will not help your mental state for the test. If anything, I’d recommend maybe reviewing a few questions you have gotten right to make sure you really grasp a certain concept, but even that I would do minimally.
  • Do not leave questions blank on the exam– You only get credit for the questions you get right, so if you don’t know the answer, you’re better off guessing than putting nothing. You have a 25% chance of getting it right, rather than a 100% chance of getting it wrong.
  • Do not psych yourself out- Easier said than done, but if you prepare well enough, when it comes to take the exam it won’t be as nerve wracking as you thought. Also, don’t talk about the exam questions or the exam in general before, during breaks, or after the test. Not only is it against LSAC rules, but it’s not going to make you feel better to hear that the person next to you thought the last section was super easy and you could barely make it through all the questions. (Also, not everyone has the exact same test, so even if you did try to compare to someone else, you wouldn’t even be comparing the same type of section)

I hope this helped any of you out there who are considering or taking the LSAT! I’ve definitely learned plenty from my experiences studying and taking the exam, so I’m always happy to share. Do you guys have any tips/tricks for taking a hard exam like the LSAT?

As always, keep it klassy. xo.

Beginner’s Guide To: Organization 101

Beginner’s Guide To: Organization 101

Hello! Welcome to the first ever Beginner’s Guide, with this week’s post centering around organization. I don’t know about you, but a clean and organized space relieves my anxiety, puts me in a better mood, and honestly, just makes me happy. Organizing can be a bit overwhelming and may seem time consuming and expensive, but I promise after reading my guide, you’ll think otherwise

☆ Choose a space you think could use a little TLC

So you may want to organize your whole house or apartment, but start small and pick one spot you think really could use some help. Starting with one space will be less intimidating than trying to take on your whole house in the same day.

For me, it was under my bathroom sink. Now I know this might not look that bad to some, but to me it was an unorganized mess that needed to be taken care of

☆ Take everything out of the space

Take everything out of the space. You want to be able to have an entirely clean slate and be able to see how much space you really do have. I also recommend wiping down any surfaces that may be dirty or dusty.

(My favorite place to get my cleaning products is Grove Collaborative, they sell all natural amazing cleaning products at a discounted price! Let me know if you’re interested, I can send you my link and you get a free 5 piece welcome set!)

☆ Take inventory of what you have

Once you’ve pulled everything out, take stock of what you have. Did you remember buying 4 bottles of self tanner? Probably not, but here we are, and it’s time to declutter some. Maybe you have some products you thought you were out of, or just forgot you had even purchased, regardless of what you find, it’s always a good idea to take inventory while organizing your space.

☆ Prioritize what you use often, and what can go.

Do you need all 4 bottles of spray tan? Maybe, but if not, get rid all but maybe one or two of your favorites. This is also a good time to check the expiration dates on items and make sure you’re not using products that are well past their use by date. This can be harder to figure out with beauty products, but the rule of thumb I like to use is if I can’t remember buying it, it’s probably expired by now.

☆ Decide if you need any organization bins or baskets

Figure out if your space is workable as it is, or if you need to maybe purchase some shelves or bins. Now before you go running off the to the container store and spending all your hard earned cash, try checking out Walmart, Target, or the Dollar Tree. There are a lot of good finds there that are affordable and very effective! (Stay tuned for an upcoming post about my favorite ways to organize on a budget)

The only things I needed to purchase for this organization project were these cabinet shelves I found at the container store on sale for $4 each.

☆ Play with the space, see what works and what doesn’t

Once you’ve cleaned everything and have your final products ready to occupy their new space, play around with the area and see what will work and what doesn’t. The great thing about organizing is it doesn’t have to be permanent, and you can change it as your needs or products change. Figure out what works best for you and your routine.

☆ Stand back and admire your work

Well, you’ve finally made it to the end! I told you it wouldn’t be that bad. Now it’s time to stand back and admire your new space, and leave you wishing you had organized it sooner.

I highly recommend taking before and after pictures, it will definitely help you appreciate all your hard work even more! The bins I ended up using in this re-organization I already had, and just repurposed them to use for this, and I think it turned out great!

Let me know what your favorite ways to organize a cluttered space are!

Always keep it klassy, xo.