Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bar Studying: Week One

My post finals laze about has come to an end and it is time to get cracking! There are 57 days until the bar exam and it is time to study for it. I am taking the most widely used bar prep class called BarBri. They were owned by Thomson Publishing, the owner of Westlaw, but I think they got bought, or sold or something. I chose it because its the oldest running bar prep organization and a lot of people use it. Tried and True, I guess hope.
Last week was the unofficial kick off of the program and there was a preview course which consisted of answering multiple choice questions in the six multistate bar exam (MBE) subjects. I did those, though, not in the precise two a day schedule they set out and did extremely poorly on all of them except torts.
Tomorrow my official class starts, which is a 6pm-10pm video taped class that we have to sit through and follow along with a work sheet. Sounds boring? Darn tootin! That's why I chose to do the night class, to do the boring stuff during the evening hours instead of during the day when I might actually get some learning done. Other than attending the class the bar prep program consists of practicing the multi-state multiple choice questions, practicing the state specific essays, and learning the material so you don't fail.
Right now I'm pretty optimistic despite doing poorly on the preview prep questions, because I have almost two months to study and to learn how to take this test and the program seems pretty well paced and laid out so that if you follow it and do the work you'll do fine on the test. But I'll keep you guys posted on how that actually pans out.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sleepy Kitty of the Week

Parsley is a huge fan of the bathroom, and lying as spread out as possible. So really this is her at her most happy. :) Can you see her giving the camera the crazy eyes?

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Barnyard Pic of the Week

I hope that my weekend includes seeing some baby animals. Or maybe just animals. Or even just babies.
Realistically my weekend will include cats, Tallman, and an adventure outdoors.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Sheep!
heheheehe that sheep is patriotic, course the llama in the back looks like its eyeing the flag to see how best to eat it.
Happy Weekend!

Movie Review: No Strings Attached

In addition to reading, I've also been trying to get the most out of my Netflix account this week. (I'm paid up through mid June, so I want to use it). First I finished all of Veronica Mars. Which I just plain enjoy. I wish she would get over her trust issues and Logan would stop being such a mess and they'd just be together. They could really benefit from some couples counseling, or perhaps just counseling, for both of them, separately. Clearly I got invested in that show, ANYWAY....

The other night I watched No Strings Attached, with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. I love Natalie Portman. Ashton Kutcher is delicious eye candy and adorable in his bumbling romantic hero way.
Basically the movie was what you expect. Guy and girl have sex, guy falls in love with girl, girl flips out because she is emotionally damaged, girl realizes her mistake, happiness all around. And lets be real: I like romantic comedies. Love them, really. Also, I have fairly bad taste in movies. There, its out there. We're clear.
But it is undeniable, that this movie made me laugh out loud. Something that rarely happens with film or television. I can watch all of SNL and only smile (that might just be SNL though).

Point: if you're in a chick flick romantic comedy mood, this one is a good choice.
Although I will mention that it was mildly crude. Not that a person in their mid-20's would mind, or was unrealistic, in fact I thought it was realistically crude, if that makes any sense. But I wouldn't watch it with my parents, my children, or anyone related to me, or older or younger than me by 5 years. Just giving you fair warning.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oink, Oink, Oink

Money has been on my mind lately: loans, gifts, saving, spending, credit card bills, budgets, etc. Long and the short of it is that this week I've received some incredibly kind gifts from my family which has decreased my debt significantly, but I am incredibly poor. In fact one of the conditions of the biggest gift was that I cut back on my spending. A fair request, considering I have no income.

So I'm canceling netflix, my gym membership, getting shorter massages (I have back problems that require either drugs or massages, I choose massage), and taking a good hard look at what I spend money on.

Chalk it to me piggy
I saw in this month's Real Simple (some thing else I'll have to cut back on) this adorable chalk piggy bank. At first I considered it for a gift for my dad (he collects piggy banks, sort of). Then, after seeing the $85 price tag I decided that I can probably make him one cheaply with thrift store piggy bank and some chalk paint.

I like the idea of being able to write on the piggy bank what you're saving for.
Currently my piggy bank is at Tallman's house, where I put all my change, and all his change. Maybe at the end of the summer I'll see how much change is in there and we can go out to dinner or something. (I've found that my piggy bank half full of change is about $40.)

What do you do to save? Piggy Bank? Under the mattress fund? IRA?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review: Clara and Mr. Tiffany

I decided to read Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland because I have read other books by the author and enjoyed them. I've even reviewed some of them on this blog. This book, like Vreeland's other books tells the story of an artist, in a historical fiction context. Vreeland is very good at telling a tale, and drawing a reader in. The characters are all very real, which sometimes makes them unlikeable, and I think that is why I do not always love her books, while at the same time I do enjoy reading them.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany is the story of a glass cutter working for Louis Comfort Tiffany (son of the man who started the jewelry business) at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. She is a determined artist, fighting to have a place in a world and craft dominated by men and all male unions and a man (Tiffany) who puts his name on every piece of art that comes out of his shop, no matter who designs it. This is the central story to the book, but Clara also has relationship issues, many stemming from the fact that Tiffany won't allow married women to work for him. But that just allows the author to highlight a work/love struggle women have today and have had since women were allowed a choice.

The book is fun, but deals with serious issues of the time that translate easily into our lives today. The parallels between Clara's life and modern times are easy to see in love, men, relationships, even gay issues, and the labor movement.
I recommend this book for those who enjoy historical fiction, art, or watching someone beat their head against a wall. Poor Clara I think frequently feels like her journey is an uphill one and as a reader it seems to take an awful lot of hard work for her to make small progress on her goals, but in the end she is happy which is success.

Graduation Recap- I almost forgot!

I almost forgot the best part of Graduation! My jewelry! Seriously. You think I'm kidding.
I wore presents from me, Tallman, the future future inlaws, and Knowledge. The best part is they totally matched.
Tallman gave me pearls, and his parents the matching earrings.
Knowledge gave me the Kate Spade bracelet that I wore, the inside stating that I'm the creme de la creme. (All of you have heard of this phrase before, right? Tallman hadn't.)
And then I also wore my catbird h ring.
White from the pearls and the bracelet and gold in the ring and the bracelet. It totally worked, with the green dress and with the graduation paraphernalia, which was a riot of purple, blue, gold, black and velvet.
Thanks guys for getting me such useful and personal gifts, I wouldn't look my best with out you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake *Spoiler Alert*

Since finals ended I've been doing a lot of reading. One day I spent in the library reading with the old people while I waited for Tallman to finish work. Its been very nice having the time to read whatever I want. Unfortunately I've read some books that I didn't like all that much.
Today you'll hear about The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. I read it because I like cake. No joke. Oh well, that's what I get for judging a book by my fondness for cake.
The story is told in a first person-esque style where there are conversations but never any quotation marks. I'll give the author credit though, I would have though that this style would've made the book difficult to follow, and maybe it would've been if I hadn't read it all in one day/sitting.
The narrator is a young girl who discovers she can taste emotion in food. Baked goods really carry the emotions of the person who cooked them, but even the act of picking an apple from a tree imparts an emotion that the narrator can taste. This is the backdrop for the more normal story of a mother who has an affair and a father who is indifferent. Until her brother turns into a chair.
Yes, I just spoiled the ending. But man, I do not recommend this book, so I don't feel at all bad about it. Unless you want to read an incredibly emotional tale told in the oddest, and an almost detached, way, do not read this book. It is weird, and not in a good way. And really, has very little to do with cake.

Graduation Weekend Recap

I am officially in possession of a juris doctor. Which is the fancy name for a law degree. Its a little hard to believe that law school is over, mostly because I have to spend the next two months in the law school studying for the bar. But also because time has flown really quickly. We've been over this before so I'll leave it at that and tell you about my weekend.

Friday was Barristers Ball, basically Law Prom. Tallman and I got all dressed up and went and had a marvelous time. I didn't have boyfriends for either of my proms in high school, and Knowledge was the last person I slow danced with (what it was a women's college, totally normal), so it was fun to go to a dance and have a boyfriend as a date. It was also fun to see people's outfits. I wore the blue silk chiffon Sophia dress pictured below. But some people wore wedding dress type gowns, floor length numbers, others wore dresses too short for words. It was amusing.
What I wore to Barristers Ball
Saturday my cousin got her MBA and we went to her graduation and dinner with the family. It was fun, but we didn't get home until late, and Sunday we were up early the next morning, so Sunday my family was exhausted.

Sunday I graduated. The graduation started at 9:30am, and was done EARLY! Can you believe it? I can't. I've never been to a graduation that ended early. It was nice, a good way to close out the time I spent at law school, but it was long and boring and the commencement speakers didn't know their audience at all. They were a husband and wife team and they talked about how the students came from nothing and should be proud of how far they'd come from their parents. While my parents aren't lawyers, a lot of my fellow student's parents are, and I don't know anyone in my graduating class whose parents didn't go to college like the commencement speakers kept saying. It was a little like the speakers were insulting their audience. Very odd. The student speaker was the highlight of the event. She knew her audience, and spoke to our experiences and our future. She was funny and thoughtful and I hope she understands that she was the best part of the graduation.

But really you don't care about the event. You want to know what I wore. Especially after all the Kate Spade dress drama, wait did I tell you that I bought it, debated for a month and then returned it the last possible day? No. Well I did. Mom thought it looked like a table cloth and ultimately it was too much money to spend on a dress I ended up only feeling eh about.
Graduation Dress
Instead I bought this dress from Jcrew. It has pockets and is a silhouette I already own, I actually didn't even try it on until the day of graduation, luckily it fit and looked amazing! You can't really tell from the picture, but it has a darker green stripe to it, its really very pretty.
I haven't seen any of the pictures from the event yet, but I'm really more excited about the giant diploma sitting on my mantelpiece right now. YAY!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sleepy Kitty of the Week

Happy Monday!

I graduated from law school yesterday! It was a bllllaaaaast. Now one more week to prepare myself for a couple months of bar prep! woo!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Barnyard pic of the Week

Don't we all long for a simpler time? But was there ever a simpler time? This picture indicates that yes, there was. Sure WWII was going on, but this fine young woman had time to play with goats and a metal slide. If that isn't proof of a simpler time, I'm not sure what is.

Happy Weekend!

Closet Classic Check List

I found this checklist on pinterest, courtesy of Matchbook (an online magazine which I really enjoy, btw). I really like it, especially since I'm all about having timeless high quality basics in your closet that you can build many outfits around. So I thought I'd share with you what I've got and what I'm missing.

Purple Check for things I have.
Green Check for sub-optimal and/or cheap versions I have while looking for the perfect option.
Here's a version with out my check marks :p

*Loafers: I'm counting boat shoes as loafers.
*Black Bikini: I have a navy bikini with two bottoms and two different tops, I'm counting it.
*Striped Pajamas: in silk and cotton, for whatever mood I'm in. (Would it be over-sharing to tell you that sometimes I put on my silk striped pajamas, pour a glass of port and watch glee? Oddly classy? Maybe, but definitely awesome.)

Some of the things on the list just aren't for me, shirt dresses are something this wide hipped lady cannot pull off. In other places this list shows where there are holes in my classics wardrobe.

Of course, I think there are some classics that this list has missed. Of the classics in my wardrobe not mentioned here I'd like to give shout outs to:
Jackie Cardigan
The cotton cardigan.
The skirt suit (yeah, I said I didn't have a navy blazer, but I do have purple, black, gray and navy pinstripe blazers, and those are just my wool blazers/suitcoats).
LLbean Slippers
Slippers.
A Sweater Dress.

Where are the holes in your closet? Is a closet of classics something you're working toward?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hello! Howdy! Bonjour! Hi!

So, yes, I disappeared for a few days. I was considering apologizing for it, but then I realized that I didn't need to and that I really needed a computer break.

What have I been doing this week?


I went on a day trip to my alma mater, went for a walk, rescued Tallman's sunglasses, and saw some horses.

I baked a pie. This is it pre-baked, I didn't wait to take a picture before cutting into it so there is no after, I am not sorry.
Essie Ballet Slippers

Painted my nails.
Glass in a Boat, Dale Chihuly

Went to an art museum and laughed at captions that were obvious and not at all pretentious.

Watched a fair amount of Veronica Mars.

Read about six books (book reviews coming).
Tried to clean my room, but gave up after realizing that I have more stuff in my tiny room than can reasonably be organized, but now at least my shoes aren't falling out of my closet.
Copied recipes from magazines onto index cards.
Made dinner.
Went to the gym.
Cuddled with kittens.
Steamed wrinkles out of my graduation attire.
Tried to take naps in weird places (public library, friend's house).
Opened boxes of bar prep materials which led to a room wide search for recyclables, which led to destroying a kitty play house, but also led to finding a lot of cardboard in my room taking up space, so I guess I cleaned my room a little.

Aaaaaand generally did nothing. It has been a glorious week. This weekend I graduate from law school, a fact that hasn't quite hit me yet, especially since our grades just got published today, and one particularly hard exam had me a little worried, but I more than passed, so Sunday I'll be walking the stage in a sick outfit trying not to trip and fall and thinking about brunch.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blog-Problems

Sorry for the weird posts at the end of last week, they were up, then down, then not at all. (I bet you all missed the goats!) Well I've been away from my computer all weekend, and will be again for part of the week, and I didn't notice that blogger had a weird down time and lost a bunch of posts.

So I greatly apologize for the interruption.

Forgive me?

Thanks.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Barnyard pic of the Week!

Sleepy Sheep!
From Pinterest

Have a good weekend! Goodnight!

Exhausted

Words can't describe how I'm feeling, so I'll use pictures.
From Pinterest
From Pinterest
From Pinterest
From Pinterest
Although tired, I'm also excited for today. I'm getting a massage, having lunch with Al, seeing Tallman for the first time in a week (he was at a conference), all in all it should be a good day! (knock on wood, throw salt over my shoulder, twirl backwards three times... cuz its Friday the 13th you know..)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Final Final Today!!!!

This afternoon is my final final, the last test before the big test (the bar)! I'm pretty excited! I have a feeling that when the sun rises tomorrow my entire world will look like this:
From Pinterest

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Random pockets of sunshine

Tiffany's love...
These little pieces would be like random pockets of sunshine, I love their simplicity, and the warm tones.
From Pinterest
Tiffany Earrings

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mid-Finals Update

Two down, three to go!
The prospect of being done on Thursday is very exciting, but also a little daunting because it means that there is a lot to do/learn in the next couple of days. So far my exams have been open note and multiple choice but that changes tonight with a multiple choice test that is closed book.

I promise I'll have another update soon but for now: I'm studying!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Apparently I love Bees...

Tallman pointed out the other month that I have a thing for bees. I denied it at the time and thought he was being particularly odd. But since then I've noticed that if something has a bee pattern, I generally like it.
From Pintrest
I like bees on my glasses, brass bees, cardstock bees, bee bedding, and you all remember my dream about bee lace.



From Pintrest
BrassBeeMagnet

From Pintrest

Sleepy Kitty of the Week

Parsley likes to sleep on my pillow. Sometimes when my head is there. Sometimes when its not. Here she is in action.


Oh, can you see Sage?

Happy Monday!

Wish me luck on my Secured Transactions Exam!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Barnyard Pic of the Week

From Pintrest
Aren't these the sweetest goats you've ever seen? And I love the misty sepia quality of the picture!
Happy Weekend!

"Wait for Me!: Memoirs" Book Review

I have been reading this book for what seems like forever, because for a while I was reading it while waiting for Tallman in a bookstore. Eventually I wanted to read it faster and so I got it out of the library. Unfortunately Wait for Me! is like two very different books, an exciting one and one that reads like a date book but you don't know any of the entries. Fortunately the first book is the first 5/6 of the book, and the second book is just the last 1/6 and it still has some interesting tid bits in there. Really I think its just hard to compete with the first part of the book.

Let me say, for the record, here and now: This book is AMAZINGLY good, awesome, interesting, cool, and I learned a lot about a time period I know a lot about already.
The Duchess of Devonshire grew up in a pretty interesting family at a pretty interesting time and grew up to know the worlds most interesting people. The book is an excellent read, and whether you agree with some of her more conservative views, or her interpretations of history is beside the point. This woman has lived for the majority of the 20th century, and has been there for all the major events. Hitler met him, JFK knew him personally, King Edward met him and the Prime Minister was Uncle Harold to her and her family. A seriously interesting life.
But the book isn't just a tale of an interesting life, she is also deeply personal about her struggles with miscarriage, an alcoholic husband, war, and colonialism. What makes this book so very interesting is how real it is, like you're talking to her, and she isn't holding back.
I recommend this book if you're at all interested in Britain in the 20th century, because she was there for all of it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marshmallow Cravings

I usually listen to my cravings (no I'm not pregnant), I figure they are my body telling me that I need something in my diet that I'm not getting enough of. Usually this comes in the form of spinach, and I cannot rest until I've eaten an entire bag of it. Sometimes this comes in the form of berries, or eggs, or something really odd and out of season like the butternut squash in July, or pineapple in October, and I do my best to satisfy it.
But lately I've been craving s'mores. And more specifically toasted marshmallows.
via Pintrest, I found an easy s'mores cookie recipe that seems pretty awesome.
From Pintrest AND Fahrenheit 350
I'll let you know what happens once/if I try it. But I thought I'd pass it along since it seems easy, delicious and you never know who else might be trying to satisfy their marshmallow craving.

I don't know if you'll find this funny...

You might not find this video funny, but it made me laugh... it all started when I put Parsley in the large bowl my parents are keeping on the table Sage likes to sit on (I assume the heavy and large bowl is there so that Sage doesn't knock off the blanket and scratch the wood unintentionally as she races around the house/lolls about on the table).

video
If you hate cat videos feel free to ignore... if you like mindless amusement, this is about 30 seconds so enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Butter, butter, butter, YUM! part deux

Guys/Gals, I did it. I made butter.
Last weekend I accomplished my month long dream of making butter. And it was SOOOOOO simple.
Do you have a blender? If yes, then you can make butter.

I had a cup of heavy cream left over Saturday morning from the strawberries and whipped cream Tallman and I had had for dessert Friday night, so I went upstairs before showering and set out the cream (it needs to be at room temperature for this to work). After showering (approximately 1/2 and hour) I went up stairs and put the cream in the blender. Turned the blender on (it only had one setting, and was SUPER loud, woke the neighbors I'm pretty sure, but it was 10:30am so that's ok) and waited. Design Sponge says that it'll go through phases, and yes it did (one of those phases was a whipped consistency that tasted like clotted cream and was heavenly). I waited for the mixture to separate, which it did in about 5 minutes, and took out the butter, and left in the milky substance.
Then I strained the butter, but there wasn't much liquid there, so I ended up wrapping it in a towel for a minute or two to see if much liquid was soaked up, a bit was, but I wasn't concerned so I moved on to the next step which was putting the butter in a bowl and running cold water over it until the water stopped being milky. I found that the butter didn't like direct tap water on it, but this step happened pretty quickly and I moved on to putting it on some more paper towels and pushing the butter lump around with a spatula to squeeze out liquid. This worked marvelous-ly and then it was butter and ready to be eaten.
Homemade butter, YUM!
The plan, as you may remember, was to make biscuits with the buttermilk liquid that separates when you make the butter. Well I did that too! and a few minutes later I was eating home made butter on buttermilk biscuits.
Time wise it took 15 minutes start to finish on the butter, and another 20 for the biscuits. This is a completely reasonable weekend breakfast that you will find so amazingly satisfying you will become giggly with delight. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mid-study session freak-out

Whoa. (picture Keanu Reeves saying it) So I can't remember if I've mentioned it, but I've been spending a lot of time at school lately, an 8 hour day in the law building is short. Sure, I'm not productive 100% of the time, and I haven't been coming in on weekends, but this was supposed to be an easy semester, so its a lot. This week is more like 12 hour days of studying.
This is my study week, and next week I have 5 exams. My last five exams (ever, if I have anything to say about it, oh wait no nevermind, there is the bar, I'll probably be taking that) of law school. When I signed up for my classes I knew that 5 exams in 6 days would be a lot. But I figured that since they were mostly 2 credit classes and open book I'd be fine. (I'm still hoping that's true).
But right now I'm in panic mode. In high school I assumed that since a test was open note I'd be fine, so I studied less than I should've and ended up getting a D. Luckily it didn't weigh me down completely, and I ended up doing decently in the class. So I know that even though I'll have the materials with me, I still need to study.
However, I'm finding that a little slow going and its leading to an encroaching sense of panic. I can read as many code sections and reread my outlines and I have all the materials. But I'm just not feeling comfortable with the information. Like at all. Hence the panic.
Unfortunately this panic is making me want to eat cookies and watch Sports Night on Netflix and not study harder.
Sigh, I should get back to learning ERISA, or at least familiarizing myself with it. Bleck.

PS. I wrote this post two hours ago, and in that time I've calmed down, studied a lot, and feel a lot better about my ERISA exam and by extension the other ones. Isn't it remarkable how helpful/calming having a freak-out can be? Also, studying helps :p

Does anyone remember Delias being this awesome?

I found a gorgeous dress on Pintrest the other day and it turned out it was from Delias. Yes dELiAs, that place you wanted to shop as a teenager/pre-teen and your mom wouldn't let you (well, my mom wouldn't). Well from the dress on Pintrest I ended up wasting time on the dELiAs site and I was astonished at how adorable the things there are!
Isobel Lace Dress

The Isobel Lace dress is $40, and comes in purple, black, white, pink and blue. Its ADORABLE! I want it in white and purple. Can you imagine this with a sweater and pumps? or just with flip flops!
And did I mention its $40? Too cute!

Lace Shirt Dress
This Lace Shirtdress is pretty darn adorable too. I'm not sure I could rock it. But its demure and sweet, and click the link to see the lacey back. Amazing! Oh and did I mention its only $40?
Crochet-Back Blouse

Also, I looked at the shirts/blouses and found this amazing crochet-back blouse. You can see the detailing on the back, its super duper pretty.

I was surprised by the number of cute things at dELiAs that I would not feel really bizarre and age-inappropriate wearing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy May!!!

Happy May! Did you leave flowers for your neighbors yesterday? What about dancing around a may pole?
From Pintrest
I've been seeing a lot of really adorable things done with mason jars lately. If I had a garden, and neighbors, I would love to leave them adorable mason jars of flowers this May Day. Its a sweet little bouquet with its own vase. Also, I love the wire hanging it from the doorknob. Such a clever idea.

Sleepy Kitty of the Week

Parsley snuggled up against my leg, while I read, procrastinating the inevitable laundry folding.

Happy Monday!