Thursday, February 28

Shopping Trip Treasures!

I hardly ever go shopping. I was laughing yesterday with J and Kelsey that I couldn't remember the last time I've bought clothes. I need to pay for: rent, groceries, utilities, gas and misc. needs. Even when I was in college, I needed to pay for groceries and gas, and working three part-time jobs at Simpson just wasn't covering trips to the mall.

I'm making a lot more money now and now living with J's mom, but I'm still in that mindset. It's not easy for me to go to the mall and spend money on things I want, but don't need. Even now, I still tend to buy clothes that can be worn at work too.

Yesterday, I wanted to give myself a reward for eating well, taking care of myself, and (especially) for making The Big Move and working so hard all week! It didn't stop me from feeling guilty for spending money on non-essentials, but again, I'm trying to remember that rewarding myself is okay once in a while!

What did I get?

  • Blue Blazer - I'm so in love with this, and I got it for $8 at Plato's Closet! It's a little stretchy and I can see myself wearing it casually, at work, and especially at law school!
  • Yellow & Blue Infinity Scarf - I got this for $10 at The Stuff Store! Also in love - it's such a cute, modern print and I've been looking for something like this for months! I can't wait to wear this to dress up a t-shirt or tank top!
  • "Priceless" - One of my favorite movies, which I found for $2.99 at The Stuff Store! I used to watch it on Netflix all the time, but it's not on Instant Watch anymore. It's French (which I love), about a gold digger who mistakes a waiter for a rich man. It's beautifully done and super sweet. I'm so excited to watch it again!
  • "He's Just Not That Into You" - This was also $2.99 at The Stuff Store, and I just couldn't help myself. The book was great, and helped me move on when I realized the reason this guy wasn't calling me back was... Well, you get the picture. The movie is cheesy, but a great chick flick.
  • Tan & Black Polka Dot Top - $29.00 at Maurice's! I normally don't spend that much on clothes (I know, I'm cheap) but I've been looking for this top for three weeks! Someone wore it at work and I fell in love. It's so versatile - I can wear it to work with nice pants or a skirt! I was afraid it was a little tight on me, but I still love it and they didn't have it in a large.
  • Striped Top - $34.00 at Maurice's. I looked all over the mall for a green shirt to wear for St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, with no luck. I found a couple possibilities, but nothing I was crazy about until this top. Even at Maurice's, a lot of their green tops were either green, tight t-shirts or this kind of sea-green color. I loved that this was really green as well as loose and flowy! It'll be perfect for downtown Chicago!
J is driving me to Des Moines today and I'm so excited!! I'm staying overnight with my mom, and then we're flying out tomorrow morning for Hilton Head. My whole family is driving to Orlando next week and going to all the different parks, including... THE HARRY POTTER THEME PARK. AHHH! I can't express how ridiculously excited I am!

I don't know how much I'll be able to blog next week, so be patient with me. I'm so excited to spend time with my family and feel/act like a 13-year old girl again, haha. J can't come with since his spring break is in a few weeks still. I'm going to miss him so much, but I don't want to waste my time in  warm, Florida, Harry Potter paradise pining away.

Which of my purchases is your favorite? Do you prefer shopping at malls or thrifting? 
Are you going anywhere for Spring Break?

Love you all,

Monday, February 25

Finally Moved & Home!

We're finally moved and home!!! 

Yesterday was The Big Move, and boy was it exhausting. I don't know if I've been this physically and emotionally tired before. Jeanna and I finished packing up the apartment in record time before I picked up the UHaul truck I rented.

Driving that huge truck all evening was terrifying! I've driven a Simpson van before, but nothing this large before. I thought it was scary to drive when it was empty - once it was full, it was so much worse. I was so scared that every bump I hit was breaking my furniture, though I worried for nothing.

J and a family friend helped load up the truck. I helped carry the mattress and box spring, but I wasn't really any help for the other big stuff, haha. I'm so glad we got the 2-bedroom sized truck instead of the smaller one.

Everything and everyone got to J's mom's house in one piece, and we unloaded in record time! The cats didn't really like me organizing J's room all morning, but GOD were they happy when the bed was put together. They jumped on us all evening and night.

The bed does take up a lot of the room, but there's more space than I expected. We might even be able to move my dresser upstairs (it's in the basement right now)!

Of course, this move was even harder since J's mom's house is under construction. Her whole kitchen is being redone, so everything kitchen-related is currently in the basement. We can still use the stove upstairs for now, but it's not going to be there for that much longer. It's going to take some time for all of us to get used to these new, big changes!

I took this week off from work so I can help clean the now-empty apartment and unpack at the house! It's been crazy - I'm hoping I'll be able to go into work or work from here a lot this week before I leave on Thursday for Spring Break with my family! Maybe I should just enjoy the break though...

Do you have any tips for adjusting to a big change? Have you dealt with any big changes lately? Can you see how happy the cats are in the "new" room? :)

Love you all,

Wednesday, February 20

Moving Out

Quite the transformation, huh? It's not nearly as organized as I would like, but I'm not sure moving and packing usually is...

Bleh. You see my stuggle and the source of my stress?

There's still so much to take over. Thankfully, I took the entire week off next week to go into moving mode. I have a detailed (some might call it "anal") cleaning list once everything's out of the apartment. I want all of my deposit money back, and I'm not taking any chances. 

Lucky for us, since the apartments are being completely remodelled, it doesn't really matter what the apartment looks like when they get it back, so I'm hoping everything works out. I want them to give us a good recommendation if any other landlords call them!

Please send me good thoughts and prayers for the rest of this move to be stress-free.

Have you ever moved? Do you have any tips or tricks I should know about? How did you make it less stressful on yourself and/or your family?

Love you all,

Monday, February 18

Review: "The Taste"

My favorite part of the show. No shame. I love me some Anthony Bourdain.

I watched an episode of "The Taste" for the first time this morning. I've been meaning to watch it for ages. In all honesty, anything that involves Anthony Bourdain, I am all for. I have watched every episode of "No Reservations" currently on Netflix. 

I love him because he is (in my words), "the 'House' of cooking and travel." He's sarcastic, often drunk, and brutally honest while being open-minded and willing to eat things that I wouldn't look twice at. He's like the rebellious son of the Food Network. Anthony Bourdain is my spirit animal.

The show is not all about Anthony Bourdain, but that's okay. From what I understood from the episode I watched, it's pretty complex and not for someone who: (a) doesn't like food shows, (b) can't keep up, and (c) doesn't have a liking for expensive food & wine.

But seriously, this is a pretty complex show. There are teams like in "The Voice." There are four team leader chefs (Anthony, this French guy, this English woman, and a slightly-annoying American guy who messes with the French guy the entire episode). Contestants are voted off at the end of the show like in "The Voice," so some team leaders have more or fewer people on their team.

What happens first is kind of like a "mini challenge," where each team member has to create a mouthful of their dish on a spoon. In this episode, they had to pair their food with a specific red wine. The chef team leaders helped them with this, one of the team members' spoons was picked to represent their team, and their dishes were tasted by two guys who talked out loud in front of the entire cast. The two guys chose the best, and the winner becomes immune from being eliminated that week.

After that, the contestants had to choose one of four wines and (again) make their own dish to compliment that. Some other chefs come out of the woodwork and the four team leaders leave so they don't see who cooked what. These new chefs assist the contestants.

When all is said and done, the team leaders come back and blindly taste the contestant's food. They each choose their favorite and least favorite, and the least favorites are up for elimination. The team leaders choose who they send home.

Phew! I told you it was complicated. I still liked the show a lot once I caught up. I think there are definitely ways the producers/creators could make it easier to understand (like only having three teams or not having the mini challenge even though it was hilarious because Anthony Bourdain drank like, an entire bottle of wine). 

They didn't spend a lot of time on the contenstant's thought process or preparation for each dish because there were so many, which is one of my favorite parts of watching food shows. I think this will improve once there are fewer contestants.

All-in-all, I thought the show was funny, dramatic, and interesting. I love wine and I really love food, so it was a good introduction episode for me. You should check it out for yourself and see what you think! There's a new episode coming out Tuesday at 8|7c on ABC, which I will definitely be watching now that I'm at J's mom's house and we have cable!

If you'd like to watch the wine episode I watched, here's the link to the full episode:

Have you ever watched, "The Taste?" Do you think you'll watch the episode or tune in on Tuesday for the new one? Do you like wine as much as Anthony Bourdain does? 

Love you all,

Tuesday, February 12

11 Reasons I Love HBO's "Girls"

I have the second disc of Girls, Season 1, on my bookshelf, impatiently awaiting Kelsey Johnston to come over tonight and watch Lena Dunham get naked on my T.V.

You have no idea how excited I am for this.

I am a "Girls" novice, truth be told. I've only seen the first disc of the first season so far, though I'm somewhat up to date with a few episodes in the next season; but really, all I know is that Hannah tries cocaine and that Patrick Wilson is a love interest. Not too much of a spoiler.

In preparation for tonight, here are the 11 reasons I'm pretty sure I love this show:

1) Lena Dunham / Hannah Horvath. 
Not a big surprise here if you know me at all. I love the way she talks. I love that she doesn't have a "typical Hollywood/New York body" (AKA she has lumps and it's so awesome). I love that she gets naked in pretty much every episode. I love that she is not ashamed of doing this. I love how beautiful she is.

2) People are pissed that Lena / Hannah gets naked in pretty much every episode.
Seriously, people are apparently upset about this. Probably the same people who spat venom at (my) Hannah for being a "fat apologist" for suggesting that it's ok to have stretch marks and lumps and curves and stuff. This NY Post critic was all like, "EW GIANT THIGHS why doesn't the skinny BEAUTIFUL girl in the show get to be naked HUH?" I was all like, "Wow, NY Post critic, you are terrible."

3) Marnie has real feelings.
SPOILER UNLESS YOU'VE SEEN THE FIRST EPISODE. Marnie has this great boyfriend who loves her and who she's been with for like, four years. Sure, he's clingy, but everyone's like, "Marnie, he's perfect so what if he loves you too much," and Marnie's like, "SPACE PLS."

We constantly see romantic comedies where the perfect girl finally finds the perfect guy and they are sooo happy together. Well, what about four (or twenty) years down the line when you're sick of them? Real feelings.

4) Shoshana is a virgin and is kind of a freak about it.
I feel like the only time we hear or read about the "virgin" is when people are waiting until marriage to have sex and apparently everyone needs to know. Shoshana is completely wigged out that she's still a virgin. She doesn't want to be, but (as far as I've seen right now) the only time she's gotten close, the guy's all like, "No pls."

I guess that is a virgin stereotype. I don't care if you're a virgin or not. I literally do not even think about the touched/untouched state of your vagina. I am busy watching Girls.

5) People are pissed Lena / Hannah was in an episode with Patrick Wilson.
I'm like, "Wow, you people need more time to do more things." Apparently we don't live in a world where someone who looks like Patrick Wilson would want to do things with someone who looks like Lena Dunham, thereby perpetuating the stereotype that societal-accepted beauties are only attracted to people who also stunningly beautiful in societal-approved ways. It's not like Patrick Wilson could like someone with THICK THIGHS EW.

I mean, what? Maybe people are attracted to different things. Maybe what turns him on is "thick" thighs and a booty and that's perhaps his business and not anyone else's.

Lena Dunham looks kinda like me (and I'm thinking probably a lot of other women in this world), so when you're all like, "EW NO," you're calling probably 90% of the world's women fat cows who don't deserve attractive partners. Stew on that.

Also, I apparently need to apologize to my smokin'-hot boyfriend; I don't deserve to be with him cause I've got a lumpy butt. SO SAYS THE WORLD.

6) As a priviledged, early-twenties white girl, I can relate.
Sad, but true. Nothing has spoken to me in such a way since "Mean Girls." All the girls in the show have "first-world problems," and it turns out, I do too. I'm not trying to be pittied or petted for having such a tough life, but it's nice to see an honest take at our somewhat mundane problems (like weight, stupid relationships, viotile friendships, our own selfishness, etc).

7) Hannah "dates" a douchebag.
Adam treats her like crap most of the time, has degrading sex with her, and never calls her back. He sends her dick-pics meant for someone else. Hannah forgives him because he kisses her and has sex with her (degrading or not). She literally ignores all the bad stuff for inexplicable reasons. Many of us have made such mistakes before in our lives. I feel like I'm yelling at her half the time to stay away from him, and yet she never listens to me.

8) I keep wondering who Jessa is going to have spontaneous, possibly unprotected sex with next.
I think we all know people who do unwise things of this nature. We love them, of course. Jessa is a fascinating character because I'm pretty sure that she knows she's doing dumb things, but she cares more about her image (being spontaneous and "cool") and having a new, exciting story to tell than she does about making smart decisions.

I don't know, maybe she's right. Maybe we should all be more spontaneous.

9) I can't watch this show without thinking about MY girl friends.

10) It's not about "chasing a diamond."
Lena's words. Bask in them.

11) It's called "Girls," but they are, arguably, women.
When do girls become women? I'm not really sure. I still usually call a group of women, "guys." I don't know if that's normal.

Are young women today in a perpetual state of arrested development? Perhaps. Maybe our whole generation is. Maybe being so dependent on our parents keeps us in a girl-like state. Maybe the desire to be "grown-up" without any of the responsibilities makes us girls. Maybe the idea that we're not "grown-up" until we get married makes us girls because we're so dumb.

I still don't really feel grown-up, even though I'm mostly taking care of myself. My parents help me out all the time (Thank yoooou!), but I pay my own rent and 99% of the time pay for stuff on my own. Does that make me a woman?

Seriously, if you're at all interested in anything I've been talking about in this post, go on Netflix stat and rent Girls. It's not a perfect show. It's not an ideal show. It's messy and it's raw and it's real, but that's also why it's so good.

Have you seen Girls? Will you start watching it now? What's your favorite episode? Which character do you identify with most?

Love you all,

Friday, February 8

I'm Going to Law School!

Guys, I'm going to law school!!!

If you haven't seen on my Facebook (or you're not friends with me on there, which you should fix), I very recently got accepted to law school! I applied to a lot of schools, and the University of New Hampshire School of Law was the first one I heard back from.

It was such a relief just to know that a school out there wanted me, and especially because UNH is a such a great school. It's in Concord, which is about an hour from Boston, which is great because Boston is such a fun city and the New England area is just breathtaking! It also has a Social Justice Institute, which is great because I really want to work in civil rights and social justice.

Since then, I also got accepted to New England School of Law!

I was laughing to some friends the other day about this, because I'm not even attempting to be cool and reserved about this - I'm over the moon happy that I've been accepted somewhere, especially after my last LSAT score and the subsequent tears, haha.

I'm very hopeful that everything will work out! I'm trying to trust that I'm going to be accepted to the law school I'm meant to go to. I've done everything I can right now, and I've worked really hard to try and get these schools to understand who I am as a person, quirks and smarts and passion and all! Hopefully it comes across. :)

Has anyone out there applied to law school? Were you as blatently excited as I am, or could you convince people you were cool? If you've applied to grad school in general, were you at all nervous? Do you believe in fate?

Love you all,

Monday, February 4

Book of Mormon Weekend in Des Moines!

What a weekend! Maybe I say that every Monday, but this really was an exceptional few days. My parents (God bless them) got me tickets to see The Book of Mormon at the Civic Center for my birthday. J took off work, and away we went!

Naturally, we were halfway to Des Moines before I realized that I had left the tickets back at the apartment. I called my parents to see if I could get the tickets online (nope), burst out sobbing, then turned the car around. Bleh.

We did finally get to Des Moines and find the hotel my parents reserved for us to stay at (also a birthday present). I think it would be safe to say that room was bigger than our apartment... Seriously cool!

J and I were starving, so we stopped by A Dong's off Ingersoll. It's one of my favorite places in Des Moines, and I get what I always get: #31, grilled shrimp! It's a surprisingly light meal, but it's filling and so incredibly delicious. If you're in the area, I would highly suggest it. So says the Foodie.

After lunch, we headed out to Jordan Creek Mall to go to the Apple Store. J's iPhone's been heating up and losing charge really quickly, so we made an appointment and shopped around for a little bit. Luckly for us, Ben Rogers recognized me spacing off in the mall, so I got to see Miss Julia Warfield while I was in town too! 
J's phone was pronounced expensive and in need of repair (boo), so we left and went to dinner. My choice was Haiku sushi near Drake- it's relatively new in comparison to the other sushi restaurants I know, but it has really good prices and the food is to die for! J and I each had our own little feast, which I'm still drooling over.

We left dinner and went back to hotel for me to change shoes before The Book of Mormon. We had a quick sit and relaxation session in our giant room, then walked through the skywalk to get to the Civic Center! Dad had been telling me how the seats were pretty far away... He was a liar.

Yeah, that's J's seat where the picture was taken. And I'm touching the stage. HOLY. MOLY.

I don't think I've ever seen the Civic Center that packed before! And, of course, the show was AMAZING. It was so funny, but you kind of felt guilty for laughing because the jokes were so offensive! They sang/joked about aids, "fucking frogs," etc., but the whole musical had this sweetness about it. Chase really missed out, because he would have loved this more than life. 

My favorite scene was probably the "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream," because Satan played some sweet licks on the guitar. That, or the Baptism scene ("I'm wet with salvation!"). It's hard to choose because they were all so fabulous!

Anyhow, J and I are back home now and (I think) glad to be here. The cats certainly missed us, but it was really nice to have a break from work and school and stress. Now we really have to buckle down with packing the apartment up for our move this month! Ahhh!

Have you seen the show yet? What was your favorite scene? Have you gotten a break recently that you really needed? What did you do on your break?

Love you all,