Wednesday, September 30

Why I'm A Hufflepuff

I've been chatting with a lot of people lately about Harry Potter. Partially, this is because I've started listening to Harry Potter-themed podcasts and therefore I've been thinking about it more, and partially because I've been reading J.K. Rowling books lately and re-watching the movies. Okay, fine - I'm drowning in Harry Potter stuff lately and I love it. J is holding up well, considering.

I asked people on Facebook a few weeks ago which house they think they'd be sorted into, and I decided to talk about it here on the blog as well.

What I love about asking this question is that it really tells me (as well as the four houses can) what people's base values are, who they are as people, and who they want to be.

I've taken tons of Harry Potter house quizzes and got sorted into almost every house. After all, different quizzes have different levels of "accuracy," especially if you're using some four-question quiz or a Buzzfeed article. I took the same one for several years that's no longer running, but it was based on those ENFP-type psychological quizzes and over 150 questions, so I think it was actually super accurate, all things considered. The last two times I took it, I was just about to start and then had just started law school. The last two times I took it, I was sorted into Slytherin.

I was sorted into Slytherin on Pottermore, too (though I joined while in law school so take it with a grain of salt).

A lot of people may be shocked by this, because I don't seem like a very Slytherin-type person, but I do have traits that Pottermore associates with the house. For example, while I'm very loyal, Slytherins are also very group-oriented and loyal - just to their group. I fear public humiliation more than almost anything (but I mean, I can't think of someone who doesn't). I have a fear of heights, and I desperately want to succeed at what I do. I like being the center of attention (blogging is not for the privacy-focused), and I'm would 100% rather fight than run away from a problem or a literal fight. I like (some) traditions, because I love that they connect us to another time - like books, it's kind of like time traveling!

I think I started getting picked for Slytherin around the same time I started law school, and I'm not at all surprised by that. This isn't to say that law school makes you a bad person, because, at least on Pottermore, being in Slytherin doesn't make you a bad person. But I think law school really started to change me for a while there, and I got really confused about who I was.

When I first got to school, I didn't feel like I fit in. I was emotional (for a whole heap of reasons, but also just by nature), I had pink hair, I didn't wear suits, I liked shitty romantic comedies, and I didn't take things too seriously. I wasn't sure how to be me in law school, so I changed my mindset - I became more logical out of necessity, I became obsessively organized, and I really, really struggled with who I was. I didn't feel like myself anymore.

Then things just... changed. I stopped trying to be "Lawyer M" and started being "M the Lawyer," if that makes any sense. I decided to try this whole law thing as me. That meant playing to my strengths instead of changing myself for the game. It meant embracing my emotional nature, starting to read again (!!!), being more unorganized, and dressing in suits and work clothes that were still totally my style.

It also meant embracing myself as a Hufflepuff.

While part of me wishes I was more logical and not so emotionally-invested in everything, I had to accept myself for who I am at heart. I am fiercely loyal to my friends. I am a nurturer by nature and get frustrated if there's nothing around for me to care for (I once bought a fish in college just so I could care for something alive). I love being around people, and I love being loved even more. I'm a group-oriented person, so I love being on teams where everyone can succeed. While I have bouts of spontaneity, I'm a homebody at heart and love curling up after class with a glass of wine on my couch, watching Netflix. While I don't like confrontation, I embrace it in the law because that's the world I live in. I work so hard for the things I want. I always strive to be kind, thoughtful, and caring - the trademarks of Hufflepuff house.

I will never understand why people paint Hufflepuff as this house of mentally-slow losers, because when I think of Hufflepuff house, I think of them staying in the final battle while half of Ravenclaw and all of Slytherin house leave. It's a house of people who will fight for their friends, who will love and take care of other people, who will try to do the right thing even if it's hard or dangerous. I would HOPE to be in Hufflepuff. I would hope to be that good of a person.

So, more than anything - more than any traits, more than any characteristics I may have - I'm a Hufflepuff because of my values. I value hard work; I value loyalty; I value caring; I value kindness. I would rather be all of those things than brave or cunning or witty. I work hard to be those things. In short, I'm a Huffleuff because I strive to deserve to be a Hufflepuff. And honestly, I think we all should.

Monday, September 28

Review: The Wellness VoxBox

I was sent the Wellness Vox Box through the Influenster program, and I was so excited about it! I try really hard to take care of my body, and if I can do it while being environmentally friendly, that's even better! Almost everything in my box was environmentally friendly and I really enjoyed a lot of them. Now for the reviews!

ATTITUDE Shampoo - B+
ATTITUDE Dish Soap - A

I was super excited to get this shampoo, and not just because I was running out of my regular shampoo! I love finding products that are environmentally friendly and made with natural ingredients. I really love that ATTITUDE products are carcinogen-free and with the intent to give you guilt-free products. I reviewed the shampoo and the dish soap.

To be fair, there's nothing wrong with this shampoo - I just can't figure it out with my hair. One time I use it, and my hair gets greasy pretty fast. Another time, my hair dries out. I don't know what's going on, haha! But I somehow think it's user error, like I'm using too much product in my hair afterwards or something. Ultimately, this product feels good in my hair, smells AMAZING, and has a nice lather. Not a perfect product, but a good one in my opinion.

I really love the dish soap! Not only is it carcinogen-free, but it does an amazing job on our dishes! I've used it exclusively for dishes for the past few weeks, and I've been just as happy with it as the classic dish soaps I usually use. It cuts through grease and I'm thrilled with this product. I will definitely be looking for it at the grocery store when it runs out.

Olay Active Botanicals - Refreshing Gel Cleanser - A

I've been using this almost exclusively for the past few weeks and I've been so happy with this product. It doesn't dry it my skin, it lathers up SUPER easily (seriously - I basically use a droplet each time), and it smells amazing! J loves it when I use it because it really does smell that good! I think it's done a good job cleansing my skin and does well getting all my eye makeup off.

Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer - A+

This was the best of all the products I got in this VoxBox! I had seen a commercial for this and didn't really understand at first - I thought you put it on like a shower gel while you were in the shower. You actually use it right after you turn the water off - before you dry off! I was worried that I'd be too cold in that in-between time, but it really wasn't a problem. More than anything, it works! I am terrible about putting on lotion, but I could actually feel a difference after I'd been using this on my body after only a few days! I'm so happy with how this works, and I'd definitely recommend it!

Colgate Enamel Health Mouthwash - B+

To be honest, I like mouthwash and this seemed like a regular mouthwash to me... but J really loved it! He has sensitive teeth and could feel a difference with his sensitivity after a few uses. That means a lot to me, and maybe it didn't have a huge noticeable effect on me because I only have one sensitive part of one tooth. I trust his opinion (obviously). I really liked this product, and J felt the effects of whatever it is that strengthens enamel in this mouthwash!

Yaye iTunes Application - C-

I was just not happy with this application. First, I couldn't download it. I tried about 10 times over the course of three or four days, and it would just spin and spin and spin... Then when I finally downloaded it, it felt like white noise in a sea of fitness applications. I already have FitBit and don't need a new application. I've used MyFitnessPal (still a big fan of that) and Runkeeper (it's fine), and the only difference is that Yaye is supposed to help you form a supportive friend group. The app works fine (once I finally got it downloaded), but it just didn't seem needed in this kind of app environment.

Urgent Rx Relief To-Go - B+

I used this one afternoon when I was experiencing a caffeine headache, and, long story short, it worked! I don't like fake fruit flavors and "lemon-lime" is one of my least favorites, but again, if the product works, that's great. There are other flavors available, and this one was tolerable even with my picky nature. It's actually a powder that you put on your tongue and just swallow. It was super easy to use and it's a clever way of taking meds. Is it just as easy to take pills? Probably, but this is more fun, right? :)

Overall, I thought this was a good VoxBox! I loved that the products were all health/wellness related, and they all worked (mostly) well. I'm excited to look for some more ATTITUDE products, and since we're all out of the Colgate mouthwash, that's going to have to be future purchase!

Have you ever tried these products? Would you ever try Yaye? Which products do you want to try now?

Wednesday, September 23

Life Lately {vol. 51}

I've been trying really hard to dress up like a real adult lawyer person lately, and I've really liked it now that I have new clothes from Stitch Fix!

I deep cleaned the bathroom while J was at work the other day! It was rough, but so needed!

When Leif was little, he used to sleep on J's skateboards. This is close enough for me! :)

So many cats, so little space in his arms!

Since it's gotten colder out, James has wanted to snug in my sweaters! Seriously, he just paws at my sweaters until I let him in, and then he purrs and sleeps for the next thirty or so minutes.

It was so beautiful out the other day! :) Every once in a while, I decide to walk to the gym and I've never regretted it.

Blurry picture because James is THAT obsessed with ice cream!

Sometimes Concord is really beautiful.

I learned how to make protein pancakes the other day!

I saw this girl cat the other day in PetCo in Concord, and I fell completely in love! I wish we had room for another cat, but also two is MORE than enough for us.

I can't believe how handsome James is sometimes. *heart eyes*

Foggy mornings in Concord!

J, Erica and I went to see Hillary Clinton the other night, and we were chosen to sit up in the bleachers behind her! It was a really interesting night, and I guess we were on MSNBC in clips of her that night!

My boys are so perfect sometimes. :)

J accidently bought me these the other day (I was looking for the FiberOne brownies), but they are AMAZING!

Story of my life, am I right?? I wear this wasn't posed - I was making a grocery list and then I realized that's all I needed!

Snugs for days! :)

I changed up the recipe for protein pancakes to exchange the banana for unsweetened applesauce, and they're AMAZING. I made them with some fresh apples, all cut up and cooked with cinnamon!

I spent the weekend relaxing with my new LUSH face mask and dancing to cheesy songs. It was much needed.

J's mom and stepdad recently drove up with a bunch of J's things, and we found these the other day when unpacking! I made them a few years ago when we were living in Iowa City and hid them all over the house with their eyes poking out. Each of them has a love note on the back, but I had totally forgotten about them!

I also had the chance this weekend to reorganize our two closets and dresser! It feels so good to have it organized since I took out my fall clothes and J had a bunch of "new" clothes that his mom brought!

J and I dogsat for our friends Jay and Tyler this weekend, and I couldn't have been happier to watch sweet princess Ella! She was such a doll!

Jay and Tyler have a gorgeous apartment, but the view on Monday morning was to die for!

Yes, I've fallen into the Starbucks trap and fell in "like" with the PSL. I have a cup of coffee every day, but having espresso makes me so much more productive!

I've decided this week is my cardio week, so I'm running all week. I've been feeling so great! :)

Leif has been obsessed with looking under the counter and fridge lately. I thought it was just the mousetrap, but it's empty... I have no idea what's going on, haha.

I've been feeling so much better this week than I did last week! I kind of had an epiphany a few days ago where I realized that, hey, life is stressful (profound, I know). I'm in law school, I have tons of homework, I'm working 24 hours a week, I'm exercising practically every day, I have an apartment to keep clean (I'm NOT tidy), and I have a fiance and two cats who I need to take care of, and who I need to take care of me. It's a lot, and it wouldn't make sense if I wasn't stressed.

My epiphany was that all of these stressors were going to be there, regardless, so I may as well have fun when I can! Meaning, yes, I need to do my homework and yes, I need to take care of all the things I'm responsible for, but if I need time to clean the apartment (guilt-free) or watch a movie while I do homework, I should!

I haven't gotten as much homework done as I usually do because of this, but I haven't regretted it. Usually I do Monday and Tuesday's homework over the weekend, and this week, I just did Monday's homework. That meant that there was a little more stress during the week, because I wasn't ahead of my homework at all, but just doing tomorrow's homework meant that I had more time in the evening to relax and have fun. I don't know if I will keep doing this in the future, but this week, it was really necessary. I've felt so much calmer, happier, and more stable.

I hope everyone else is doing as well!

Wednesday, September 9

Life Lately {vol. 50}

I love going to work every morning, though the only downside is I never have time to change into other clothes before going to class. Upside, I look pretty fab most of the time! :P

Honestly, I have the most beautiful view from the office window!

My boys are the silliest! James is such a cuddle bug, and even though my arms were free and J's were not, he insisted on laying down in J's arms instead, haha!

One of my favorite parts of working out so early in the morning is the deserted streets, even when I leave the gym. I love watching the sun rise!

The cats are very aware of each other's space, so it was lovely to see them get so close (and relax) the other day! I love it when my babies get along!

I got my latest Stitch Fix box in the mail and I loved it!

It's the littlest things that make me the happiest - like J getting off early and meeting me at the grocery store. :)

Homework's back in full swing, and let me tell you, I didn't miss it...

Leif apparently thinks dirty laundry is the perfect spot to chill out... Ew! At least he's cute...

Everyone thinks we're a little crazy, but J and I don't have a microwave anymore. It's only been an issue one or two times in three months, and most of the time, we just deal with it - like when I had to heat my coffee back up, so I did it on the stove. Classy, right? :P

I've been trying really hard to dress "the part" for work! Hey, if I want to be a badass, powerful lawyer, looking put-together doesn't hurt, right?

Sooo I maybe saw Jeb Bush at the gym the other day?? Looking back, I'm not sure he was tall enough to be Jeb, but BOY did he look like him!

My sweet little boy! :)

Ok though, we kinda have a big cat...

J's mom and step dad drove up from Iowa City with more of J's things, which meant we had to do a little bit of arranging. I moved a bunch of books into the playroom and moved my bookshelf to this corner of the room. Now that it's there (and filled with books), I can't imagine it anywhere else! It looks like I meant it to be there all along, doesn't it?

While J was at work, I gave Jeanna and Phil a (short) tour around Concord!

Jeanna and I got our nails done at a local salon!

Aren't they cuties? :)

We all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant in town for the end of their trip!

I had Sunday to relax, and James took full advantage of my downtime by sleeping on me for about half the day.

J had Tuesday and Wednesday off this week, and he got up before I went to work Tuesday morning! It never happens, so it was a big treat for me to see him. :)

Some days it takes a whole lotta strength to prepare myself for work AND class. They weren't kidding when they said they "bore you to death" 3L year (as far the classes go)...

I FINALLY gave myself a list of rewards when I meet mini-workout goals, which has totally pumped me up! I seriously wouldn't have gone this morning if I hadn't seen that reward in the distance! :)

These last few weeks have been so crazy with work and school taking over my life! I didn't realize how busy I would be with only three classes, but I get to do 24 hours of work at the law office I'm interning with, which means I'm in class or at work every day until 3-5PM. I'm sure it doesn't sound like much, but when you take into account that I still have homework every night (not to mention non-homework studying), it really adds up. Along with that, I'm still getting up every morning at 5:15AM so I can go to the gym, and going to bed anywhere between 9PM and midnight thanks to my night owl fiance (and really good TV shows and movies - he can't be blamed entirely).

Long story short, I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm trying to get a good workout schedule going, I'm working at a real law office, and I'm still taking three classes this semester. Yikes! It's been a good semester so far (all three weeks of it - ha), but I'm really hoping I can keep all of this up.

To be fair, a lot of my classmates are balancing the same things I am, except they're also teaching assistants or presidents of organizations. I've never been a TA, which I'm honestly a little sad about, but that's really what a lot of law school's about - learning to balance things, no matter how much you have on your plate.

I know it could be a lot harder, and that most of my stresses aren't "real" things to worry about. It's important to keep things in perspective, because, stress and all, I am incredibly lucky. Even when I'm tired, I'm really thankful that I'm staying up because my best friend and fiance wants to spend time with me, and I'm getting up early because I owe it to my body. I'm working so hard on homework because I want to do well in classes and learn how to be a good lawyer. I'm working hard at work so I can make a good impression and show that I care, not to mention all the clients I'm affecting.

Even though I've got a lot on my plate, and even though I'm stressed, I'm still really thankful for the position I'm in. I just hope I can handle the rest of the semester!