Thursday, June 25

Life Lately {vol. 45}

Now that it's nice out all the time, I thought I should bring out my amazing "Feyonce" crop top!

J and I had dinner at Olive Garden... but that's none of my business... ;)

Two weekends ago, J, me, my girlfriend Erica, and her boyfriend Evan all went to Portsmouth, NH for a beach day!

We're dorks...

I love these wild kids so much. :)

Erica could not be cuter, I swear. :)

The next day, it's safe to say that I was MASSIVELY burned. All down my back and legs. I wore tons of sunscreen, but I think it all washed off when we got in the water. (P.S. I promise I'm wearing shorts in this picture, haha)

I started my 8th book of the year: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

James is a tiny bit needy sometimes, haha!

I've been trying to cut down on food costs while still eating well, and I tried making overnight oats with regular Quaker oats, some almond milk, and Cinnabun protein powder. Well, overnight they got disgusting, but when I tried again in the morning (just letting them sit for 30 minutes or so instead of hours), they turned out perfectly! So delicious, easy, and cheap!

I love coming to work, helping real people, and drinking coffee out of this cat mug. :)

Due to an unfortunate pasta-eating incident, J and I met for lunch at this small taco joint in town. I don't usually take off much time for lunch, but it was so nice to be able to see him during the day! :)

Look at this foxy son of a gun who I get to hang with! :)

This past week or so at work has been absolutely exhausting, but I wouldn't change a thing!

While J was off hiking this weekend, I finally got to satisfy my urge to clean the whole apartment! I also drank my weight in tea, haha.

My male cat is prettier than me.

I was supposed to have my first hearing on Tuesday! Unfortunately, it keeps getting pushed back, but at least I have more time to prepare!

I made this AMAZING salmon the other night from a Pinterest recipe! I'll be sure to share it soon!

My grandparents came up to NH for the weekend, so J and I got to have dinner with them last night! Isn't my grandma a beauty?!

My grandparents are the cutest in the whole world! :)

My bestie Kendra sent me these amazing notebooks in the mail - seriously, she is the best! So sweet and thoughtful! :)

Gosh, this week has been busy, busy, busy! I'm only supposed to be working 7.5 hours a day this summer (well, I'm only getting paid for that amount anyway, haha), but I had to work this weekend and overtime on Friday and Monday. I've worked a little over every other day this week too, but that meant I got to leave a little early yesterday. 

Tomorrow I get to leave work after a mediation at noon, because J and I are spending the whole weekend with my grandparents! I'm so excited to see more of New Hampshire than I've gotten to see so far, which really is the point of my New Hampshire summer! I want to enjoy it while I can! :)

I hope everyone else is enjoying their summer and taking advantage of the area you're in! At least here, it's been so beautiful that it's been hard to stay inside! :)

Friday, June 19

12x12: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman

"The Princess Bride" is one of my favorite movies - and let's be honest, one of everyone's favorite movies. I got this book at Barnes & Noble, probably around two or three years ago. All I remember was that it was on sale, and boy do I lack the willpower to say no to a good book on sale. Going into book stores is always dangerous for me, because I'm only too willing to give myself the benefit of the doubt that I'll actually read the book in the near future. Ha. Anyway, like most of the books in this project, I've been wanting to read it for ages, and finally got around to it because of the project!

What I Loved:
  • If you love the movie, there's no way not to love the book. The guy who wrote the book wrote the movie's screenplay, and I would say 75% or more of the scenes are word-for-word. In a way, it made me feel like I was cheating, but I loved being able to hear the quick-witted humor in my mind, or watch Cary Elwes/Westley fight Inigo. It was kind of magical!
  • The best part of the books, by far, was being able to get the background stories on each of the characters, and each of them fills out so much more because of it! Take Buttercup, for instance: The book goes in-depth about the most beautiful women who came before her, and how she never tried to "be" beautiful until she fell in love with Westley. She's also, parden my language, a lot bitchier in the book, which I loved and hated. It made me wish they could have included more in the movie, but for having to cut it down so much, I was super impressed how true to the book the movie was!
  • The writing/author is great! I love how funny the book is. It's intentional, it's witty, it's smart, but it's also really silly.
What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • Through the entire book, starting with the introduction, the author goes into this talk about Florian like it's a real place, and it was SUPER confusing at the start. I literally had to google, "Is Florian a real place?" And I'm presumably smart, so that was really embarassing. The author also pretends that he's just editted this book down from a really long one by a whole different author. But he acts like all of this is real through the entire commentary, and even tells stories about visiting and going to the Cliffs of Insanity. At least for me, this was really distracting, though I can see why he did it. I don't know if it would have been the same book without it, so I guess I can't really complain...
Would I Recommend This Book?
  • If you're a fan of the movie (which obviously you are, because you're alive and human), you'll love this book. It's easy to read once you get past the weird stuff with the author's commentary, and you almost get used to it by the end. Overall, I really enjoyed it, but given the choice, I'd probably just watch the movie.

Have you either read this book or watched the movie? Which was your favorite? Why?

Thursday, June 18

Moving In

I've been in the same apartment for two years, and I'm about to sign a lease for the third year - all three years of law school! I've never spend a year here the same way. During the first year, I was living with a couple who shared the second bedroom. During the second year, I was living with a young woman and then all on my own during the second semester. Each of these living situations were very different, and each made me think differently about "my" space.

For the past two years, I've had the "smaller" bedroom in this two-bedroom apartment. It's not technically smaller, but it has some weird parts that jut out, this way and that way, so that it's hard to fit things in the space to make the most of it. I didn't mind having that room. The first year, it made sense that the couple get the "bigger" room. The next year, I was already moved in and settled in the smaller room, so it didn't make sense for me to move - plus it was a nice selling point for potential roommates. :)

When J and I decided to keep this apartment for another year, it was a pretty easy decision to move into the bigger room. On top of being easier to fit things into and perhaps even being technically bigger, it has about double the amount of windows than my old room had - a fact that my cats never stopped reminding me of! It also had a walk-in closet and another side closet, while I'd been stuffing my whole wardrobe into a dresser and a tiny closet.

The question remained about what to do with my old room. I kept telling people that we didn't need it - what was I supposed to do with a whole extra room? Then one of my friends suggested that we make it into kind of a tv/movie room, and J and I were sold! Since there's a living room in between, J could stay up later than me (as he is want to do) and watch tv or play video games without disturbing me!

We originally wanted to move the loveseat into what we're calling the "Playroom" (Get it - cause there's actually an x-box in there? Anyone get it? Anyone?), but it physically wouldn't fit through the door! Such a shame. Instead, we've tried to just put a lot of pillows and blankets on the floor, and just recently added a folding chair that I got from my friend Erica!

We kept my desk in the living room, but moved the loveseat into a different spot, thereby making it a "reading" chair. J and I just picked up a desk for him today, which we're hoping to paint this weekend and put in the living room as well!

If you don't remember what my room and the living room used to look like, here's a refresher:

Without further ado, here's how we've "moved in" to our little apartment!

That's everything that's changed! To be honest, the rest of the kitchen was a mess, and the bathroom hasn't changed at all, so I decided you guys really cared about seeing those. ;)

In my experience, changing up where things are located really changes the feel of the whole apartment, and it was important to me that my apartment really felt like our apartment. It really does - I think it has a lot of elements of both J and me, and I love how we've mixed our art on the portrait walls. One of my favorite pieces in the apartment is the new shelving unit we got from Ikea a few weeks ago. We finally have room for all my books and all J's vinyl, and I've tried hard to really mix them together. That's what moving in together (again) is, after all - mixing your lives and your hearts and your stuff.

Luckily, the hardest part about living with J again has been that I can't watch whatever I want to whenever I want. I'm used to being able to marathon 3 seasons of "GIRLS" whenever I felt like it, and now I have to... ask his opinion. The horror! ;)

Friday, June 12

Life Lately {vol. 44}

Quick kisses on our way to do errands!

Mom, Dad and I watching J graduate! I love my family! :)

The happy (and very relieved) graduate and I after the ceremony!

Eatery A has the BEST pizza I have ever put in my mouth - I would probably kill for their mushroom, truffle oil, and egg pizza.

My dad, J and I checked out West End Salvage for the first time and fell completely in love!

I picked out my wedding dress in Des Moines while I was in town!!

After meeting with a potential wedding planner and before going back to Iowa City (right before the drive back to new Hampshire), J and I went to Exile Brewery for the sole purpose of getting truffle fries. We don't have a truffle oil obsession or anything...

We were sooo close to being back to my apartment, but J and I decided to stop by this overlook in Vermont that he always begs to stop at. It's a beautiful view and he's a cutie, so I don't usually mind. :)

Setting up the apartment was so much more fun once I found some Magners in the fridge!

We changed which room our bedroom was in, and I set up this gallery wall with some of our favorite pieces of art!

My parents got J (and me, hehe) a Keurig 2.0 for graduation!! It's beautiful and works sooo well! I love the bigger pot too, which works perfectly when you really need more than one cup!

I think he wants to believe... ;)

J and I made a quick IKEA trip to get a desk and a huge shelving unit for our bedroom... but ended up skipping the desk, getting the huge shelving unit, plus some odds and ends for me. That colorful thing is a lap desk that I've honestly needed for the past few years of law school. No idea why I didn't buy one sooner!

I had a few days before I started work for the summer, and I can't say how nice it was to wake up in my own bed, with both the cats, and with the love of my life next to me. Even though the apartment was a mess, waking up like that makes almost anything negative seem small and trivial. :)

Leif is such a cute sleeper! I love how much he loves the sun. :)

J and I ended up buying a grill for Memorial Day and having a few friends over for hot dogs and brats! Not only did we learn how to work a charcoal grill all by ourselves, but we had great company during it!


I started work at NHLA almost two weeks ago, which seems crazy! They have mugs we can use downstairs, and this cat mug gives me life.

Oz and J are ridiculously handsome dudes.

J and I have been walking everywhere around town on the weekends in order to get our Fitbit steps in, and we came across this bright green caterpillar!

I was having a rough, emotional day, but I came home after work to a present from J: My favorite (I mean it, I'm obsessed) Christmas CD on vinyl! He found it at the record store in town and got it for me out of the blue. Surprise presents are my favorite presents, especially when they're so thoughtful!

James couldn't be cuter if he tried! :)

Life with this cutie is full of giggles and weirdness and silliness and I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Weekend Goals Forever

I decided to grill dinner the other night, so I marinated chicken breasts in lemon juice and zesty Italian dressing. HOLY. COW. They were sooo good! Definitely something we're having again soon!

J, Andrew (and his and Abby's dogs, Zooey and Oz) and I went for a hike on Mount Major last weekend! This was us at the top - relieved, exhausted, and so grateful to be done with the hardest part!

Well, what we THOUGHT would be the hardest part. Zooey hurt her foot pretty badly on the way back down, and refused to walk anymore when we were only about 0.25 miles from the parking lot. J, Andrew and I all took turns carrying her down the mountain.

The view from (almost) the top of the mountain!

J and I and Zooey (all looking pretty silly) at the top of Mount Major!

At Starbucks the other morning, they were giving out samples of s'more frappachinos! How adorable is it?!

Our second gallery wall is up and running! This time it's in the "playroom," where we're keeping the tv and games.

Sleepy Leif just kills me with cuteness!

Fun coffee mugs at NHLA forever. :) My job really is amazing. Without making it a blog post on its own, I feel so privileged to be helping people who really need it. It's really opened my eyes to conditions that I never had to deal with because of the privileges I was afforded. It makes me so grateful, so humble, and so determined to do good in this world!

I haven't been working out consistently anymore because J and I don't have a "schedule" down yet since he's still looking for a job, and I've been feeling so grumpy and bloated. Instead of whining about it, I decided to take J's advice and actually do something about it! So I've started working out in the mornings again, and I already feel better!

Yesterday, J and I decided to go for a walk in this giant cemetery in town! It seems so dark and macabre, but I love looking at the really old headstones. I love thinking about who these people were, their lives, their hopes and dreams... and I love discovering fun old names!

I started work almost two weeks ago, and it's been surprisingly difficult for me to be productive when I get home in the evenings. I feel like I always start out my days with this drive to get things done, and by the time I get home, I'm just so tired! I want to eat chips and greek yogurt, read my book, and go to bed. I don't want to do laundry or write blog posts or clean the apartment. 

I mean, I go to bed around 10PM every night (especially since I've been waking up early to work out), and I get home around 4-5PM every day... which means I have 6 hours, tops, at home to cook dinner and get things done. Thinking back on those words I literally just typed, I'm realizing how lucky I really am, because there are plenty of people in this city, let alone this world, who have the same amount of time but HAVE to do so much more.

I hope everyone's week's been well and you're enjoying the summer weather! Have a happy, fun, not-too-productive weekend! :)