Friday, May 24

UNH Visit: Part Two

This is part two of my trip to visit the University of New Hampshire and explore Boston and Concord! If you missed part one (or want a refresher) here is the link: Part One.

Monday was actually a much busier day than all the other days combined, though I took by far the fewest pictures! I was totally absorbed in learning about the school and pretty much left my phone in my purse the entire day. Oops!

What I did take pictures of was the outside of the school! J was kind enough to be in one of my pictures. UNH is a ridiculously beautiful school in a ridiculously beautiful area of the country. Seriously. J and I were both blown away by the brick exterior with the vines and plant life everywhere. Across the street was White Park, which had a large pond where people apparently play ice hockey in the winter. Hockey is a big deal in New Hampshire.

We went on a tour around the school - for a small school, there was a lot to it! My favorite part, by far, was the practice courtroom. UNH really emphasizes real-life (or at least, mock) practice of the law. They maintained that a lawyer can be great on paper, but if you never set foot inside a courtroom or have to argue in front of a judge before you graduate, you're not going to be prepared. I totally agree with this; I'm SO excited to be able to "try" cases in front of real judges throughout my legal education! They're also going to teach us how to mediate!

The other thing I really, really loved was the professors. Every single prof that I talked to (or heard speak) was so passionate about what they taught! You could tell that, given the chance, they could talk about their specific area of the law for hours (much like if I was given the chance to talk about my cats, haha). They got so excited, even talking about teaching. The professors all tried really hard to be good teachers, and they prided themselves on that. 

UNH also works really hard on placing their 3L's into jobs when they graduate! They all try and place students into internships and legal residencies while they're in school so that (a) students have real-world experiences in jobs that they're passionate about; and (b) students have connections to different attorneys when they're about the graduate and are looking for jobs.

Seriously, I can't emphasize enough how much the school impressed me! I got to meet Michaila finally, who I'd been talking to on Facebook. She was just as adorable in person (actually no, she was more adorable) and was super, super nice. I met a few other students I'd "friended" on Facebook - literally everyone I talked to was wonderful! It's gonna be an awesome class this fall!

Monday was also Penina's birthday! Again, I totally forgot to take pictures. J and I drove to her house in New Hampshire after our day at UNH to meet her and her family for the first time. I saw my first "Moose Crossing" sign and I remembered that moose existed. Who knew?

I can't emphasize enough how wonderful Penina is. I knew we clicked online, but as we all well know, online is not real life. Thankfully for all involved, it was a perfect night! Her parents totally spoiled us and fed us a feast. I met her cat, Herbie, and her little brother, Simon. It was a beautiful night - you would have thought that we were all old friends. :) It made me that much more excited to room with her this next year!

The next morning (Tuesday), Penina met us in Concord to visit the apartment we'd been talking about! I don't want to give too much away - that'll be in another blog post!

After checking out the apartment, J, Penina and I checked out a coffee shop we had seen in town! We talked and talked and talked... then realized we had only put an hour's worth of money in the meter. I was like, "There is no WAY our meter's out yet," and yet it totally was. Talking with Penina was just that effortless. It helps that we all love the show, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." I feel like I could easily judge someone on if they like that show or not.

Penina had to leave, so J and I went back to the hotel to get our stuff packed up. For lunch, we check out the Thai restaurant in town. We had already eaten at the Indian place, so it was only naturally that we check out the Thai one!

For lunch, I had the veggie pad thai and the most AMAZING bowl of tom yum seafood soup! It was spicy and full of seafood and mushrooms and perfection. Definitely tom YUM if you know what I mean! ;)

After lunch, we drove back to the Boston airport (a horrible, horrible experience) and returned the rental car. We took a shuttle to our final hotel and had a wonderful night watching Law & Order and cuddling.

Our flight back home didn't depart until 9:40am, but both J and I wanted to be sure we got to the airport in time so we took another shuttle and got to the airport around 6:30. Thankfully everything went really smoothly and we got out of security by 6:50! We grabbed some Starbucks - bagels and iced green teas for both of us - and sat around our gate for the next 2-ish hours. I eventually went on a small adventure to find some cold medicine. I could feel my ears starting to hurt and get clogged, and I didn't feel like dealing with that without drugging myself up. All I found was Dayquil, which basically does nothing for me now, but I'm sure it was better than nothing.

I also had more than enough time to take a few "creative" selfies. Our first flight was pretty non-descript; I managed to finish reading "The Great Gatsby" for the first time since High School. I didn't want to see the movie without reading the book again first, which I'm still glad about. Hopefully I'll have time to see the movie this weekend?

Our second flight left from Atlanta and J and I had enough time between flights to grab some food. We went to some Mexican fast food place where I got two extremely messy (but yummy) tacos and the best tortilla chips ever. 

That flight sucked - it turned out to be super painful for my left ear and by the time we landed, I was pretty much sitting there with my head in my hands like some first-world problems stock photo. After we landed it got a little better, but J and I stopped at a Walgreens to get some over the counter meds. Still super pumped about that decision, because I've felt steadily better since!

It was one busy, stressful, and awesome trip and I can't express how happy I am that we took the time to check out UNH. I was sure that it was a great school before that, but visiting it totally solidified my decision. I feel wonderful about my choice to go to law school there. Along with that, I got the chance to meet a few people who I'd only previously met or talked to online! As a blogger, I seem to get a lot more new online interactions than real-life ones, so it was definitely a wonderful experience meeting Penina, her family, Michaila, Stephanie, and everyone else on Monday. :)

Have you ever experienced an ear infection on a flight before? Have you talked to people online and then in real life? How was that experience? How great does UNH sound?!

Thursday, May 23

UNH Visit: Part One

If you haven't seen my frantic posts on Facebook, I am so sorry that I haven't been blogging these last two-ish weeks! The week before I left for Concord, New Hampshire, I was really busy getting all my work done before I had to travel. Ahhh, the life of an adult!

I was planning on blogging during my 5 days in the Northeast, but life got the better of me. As you will see, a lot has happened since I left and we basically collapsed in bed after we got home every day. It sounds sexier than it was.

Without further adieu, here's part one of my Law School trip!

I had a weird week before I left where I was in Des Moines, working from home, and finally working at the office on Thursday and Friday. Phew! Thankfully I have a wonderful job where they let me make my own hours, and I also have the option of working from home when I need to because everything I do is on my computer!

I got off work early on Friday, and J and I left for Des Moines around 3 pm. He drove so I could work on something, bless his heart. We went out to dinner with my mom and grandparents (which was lovely, as always) in honor of my mama's birthday! Afterwards, Mom, J and I drove to Brooke's house to spend the night. Our flight didn't leave until around 10, but all three of us decided to get up early and go to breakfast. There's a place by my mom's work called the Corner Cafe that our family loves!

Of course, I woke up with a stuffy nose. Bleh! I got up like a champ anyway and Brooke took some pics of J and I in front of my car. Yeah, I wore quite a bit of pink. I needed some comfy pants to wear and my jacket is very bright; whatcha gonna do?

Both of our flights (the first to Detroit, the next to Boston) went off without a hitch. J and I did have to run in the Detriot airport to get to our Boston flight - we had about a 40 minute layover, but they start boarding 30 minutes before, so we had about 10 minutes to run across the entire airport. I was sweaty by the time we got to the gate, but had a few minutes to rest and lay down before we boarded.

When we finally got to Boston, J and I were both more than ready. Sleeping on airplanes is not my forte. We took a cab to our hotel by the Waterfront, which was absolutely beautiful! I made J stand for a picture while I gawked, haha.

At this point, my sickness was hitting me full force. I had started getting chills on the plane, and by the time we landed I was feeling awful. I was freezing even though my body was physically warm. I probably had a fever, but we never officially checked. Once we got to the room, I immediately crawled into bed and insisted I have 5 minutes to just lay there. I told J that I did not fly all the way to Boston to lay in bed all day - so I'd be up in a minute, but I needed time to rest. J convinced me to take a shower, so I took one of the hottest showers of my life. Thankfully that helped - I finally felt warm!

I wasn't feeling great, but as I had said, I didn't come to Boston to lay in bed. I got ready to go for a walk outside and J and I explored the Waterfront area!

We walked all around the Waterfront area! We were kind of looking for places to eat dinner (we didn't have time to eat lunch in the airport, but I wasn't really hungry anyway thanks to my cold) and finally decided to eat at Legal's Test Kitchen, which was significantly cheaper than the "real" Legal's and had great reviews on FourSquare. J had some kind of Indonesian soup and I had the "fruits de mer" pasta. It was amazing - my pasta was defintitely made by hand and you really can't go wrong with seafood in your pasta.

After dinner, J and I walked to a 7-Eleven (we're classy) and bought some Doritos and wine. We walked back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of our early night. It was so nice to be able to lay down after sitting for most of the day. We watched Moonrise Kingdom and fell asleep.

The next morning, J and I got up bright and early. Even though J's not a breakfast eater, I certainly am, so we went down to the floor of the hotel to see what they had in their restaurant. Everything looked good, but it was expensive - pancakes were $14 just by themselves! Neither of us wanted to spend that much for breakfast, so we went to the Starbucks next door. It was a great people-watching spot and we got two drinks, a bagel and a banana for under $10. I was so pumped to be able to save some money for the rest of the trip! We also met a pug named "Capone," because naturally I ask to pet everyone's dogs.

J and I wanted to explore Boston for the rest of our Sunday (until we got the rental car to drive to Concord), so we decided to just walk around! We crossed the bridge into the "city" part of Boston and had a blast walking around the closed shops on diagonal streets. Everything looked well-loved, haha. Those areas are definitely my favorite parts of Boston!

In the back of my mind, I was hoping we would find the Urban Outfitters in the tourist-y area we found last time. J didn't think we were going in the right direction, but I did. It turns out I was right! We "accidently" found the right area and immediately checked out UO. They were having a 50% off sale items sale that ended that day, so we rushed in and checkout out our perspective sale areas. We both left having spend around $30 each on three items - UNHEARD OF when shopping at Urban Outfitters! I got a pair of sunglasses (much needed) and two denim/chambrey vests, which I'm sooo pumped to wear this summer!

J got some food inside the closed market and I got a veggie-tofu rice bowl at Wagamama. It was so delicious!

It got really cold after lunch and had to walk back to the hotel. We found some absolutely gorgeous areas on the way back! You can't NOT love Boston. :)

After we got all of our luggage, we took a bus to the airport and a shuttle to the rental car place. I had to drive out of Boston, which I was terrified of. Once we got on the interstate, it was totally fine and we found our hotel after our hour+ drive. I changed into one of my UO vests and we prepared to check out Concord!

We drove around the main drive of the city first. It's similar to small-town Iowa in the sense that one main street has pretty much everything on it and most of the shops are older. It definitely had a small-town feel to it, though there is everything I need in a town: a cheap coffee shop, a Target and ethnic restaurants! We found a huge record shop and found my favorite CD on vinyl: The National's Boxer! I had to have it, so I bought my second vinyl ever and I can't wait to listen to it! 

After looking around, J and I found out where UNH was, my (possible) new apartment, then went and had dinner at the Indian restaurant in town! J got some kind of chicken curry, I got chicken tikka masala, and we shared garlic naan. It was absolutely delicious!

Phew! There's Friday through Sunday of our trip to visit Boston and UNH. It was certainly busy and fun-filled. I can't wait to post about Monday through Wednesday, visiting the open house at UNH, meeting Penina, my apartment tour, and coming home! Trust me, there's a lot!

What was your favorite part of Part One? What are your "must-haves" in the town you need to live in?

Monday, May 13

Roasted Acorn Squash

One of my favorite blogs is "Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth," a health food blog by a lovely lady named Catherine! I love finding new ideas to eat healthier, and since she's a veggie-centric vegeterian, her blog is just oodles of inspiration! I can't wait to get a RFFMBT tank top when they're in stock. :)

She had a recipe up a while back for Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash. Now, I'm not really a squash kind of girl. I keep trying different kinds and keep getting disappointed. But the recipe looked really good and I thought I'd try it out!

Cut in half and scoop out the seeds!
Rub the inside down with butter (you can substitute the kind you want).
Sprinkle with sugar! I used Stevia in the Raw, she used Splenda brown sugar!
Do you like my little "stands?" Bake at 400 for 45 minutes to an hour.
Voila! I think my oven was on a little too high, because it looks a little burnt
and Catherine's look beautiful.

Again, I'm not really into squash... But it turns out, put some butter and sugar on it and I like squash just fine, haha. I split this with J's mom so we each had a half. I'm definitely trying this recipe again soon!

Check out Catherine's blog, "Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth," if you haven't already!

Are you excited to test this recipe out yourself? Do you read RFFMBT? 
What recipes are you excited to try soon?

Saturday, May 4

Retro Style

This is a pretty normal look for me.

Sweater: Forever 21
Earings: Forever 21

I haven't done an outfit post in a while - I just got these shoes and pants in the mail yesterday and couldn't WAIT to try them on!

I've never owned a pair of high-waisted pants before (since childhood, at least), but I recently realized how badly I wanted to. I texted J's sister, begging for help, and she was sweet enough to suggest this pair from Urban Outfitters. I loved them instantly! I figured if I was paying shipping, I might as well have a look around the site to see if there was anything else I wanted. That's about when I saw these shoes.

If you've seen any outfit post I've done on here, you know I have a thing for coral. I have so many coral clothes, so I knew when I saw a $19.99 pair of coral oxfords in my size that I HAD to have them!!

I really, really liked my outfit today; it was comfortable, sweet, (I think) flattering, but still spunky and fun! I feel like I'm Christina Hendricks in Mad Men. DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD, WHAAAT.

Today has been such a fabulous day, even if it's been raining all day. J and I relaxed all morning until we went to the theater to see, "The Place Beyond The Pines." It was such an amazing movie - very complex and not at all what it looked like from trailers. It was actually way better than I expected! After the movie, we headed out to Coral Ridge Mall, and then out to dinner for sushi. We just got home and are about to watch "Silver Linings Playbook" with J's mom.

Do you seem to have a go-to color that you find yourself wearing a lot? What do you like or not like about my outfit? What did you do today?