Wednesday, December 30

2015: Recap

New Years Day (our 4 year anniversary) in Hilton Head // Dancing at a bar // Back to Concord // Reading Watership Down
Leif after tooth surgery // Taking a study break // Visiting my family // Visiting Chase at college
Mom & Dad & I visited Savannah // My new pet hair vacuum (!!!) // Working out // Bridal boxes for my bridesmaids
J visited me during spring break // My bridesmaids all said yes! // Helping Abby & Andrew move // Erica & I at Easter

 Growing a tiny cilantro plant // Mom & Grandma visited me // Wedding dress shopping in Boston // Pizza 4 ever
Post-finals wine tasting // Margs with Erica & Amanda // Flying with James back to Iowa // Seeing Liz again was heaven
J finally graduated!!! // I bought my wedding dress // J moved in with me // Ikea to buy new furniture
Memorial Day // Grilling with J // Hiking with Andrew, J, & the dogs // Working at NHLA for the summer

Coffee hangs // Portsmouth // Grandma & Grandpa visited // Exploring New Hampshire
Work bathroom selfies // Siam Orchid Thai food for our half anniversary // Staycation // Watching "Drunk History" for hours on the 4th of July
Did an entire hearing on my own! // More house sitting with puppies // The best salmon ever // Space museum in Concord
Working at the NHLA booth // Finally beat "The Hobbit" // Breakfasting // Explored the Maine coast

Bought a real plant & haven't killed it yet //  Back to Hilton Head // Got caught in a downpour // Hannah visited me!!
Caught a mouse! // Birthday dessert for Andrew // First day of work // Jeanna & Phil visited us for a weekend
Protein pancakes // Finally got to meet Hillary // Visited Boston to speak to attorneys // Beautiful new planner
Got my nails done // Engagement pictures!! // Apple picking with Abby & Andrew // Joined a local choir

J & I visited Salem, MA // We celebrated Jay & Tyler's wedding // Fall // The best salsa I've ever made
Margot & Shaun for Halloween // Gingerbread latte // Started going to a barre class // Got some great Stitch Fix clothes
Mom & I visited Iowa // Chose a wedding venue // Celebrated Abby & Mert's wedding // Ran a 5K with Erica & Amanda
Thanksgiving with Abby & Andrew // My fav vinyl // We won a wedding photography contest // 3 choir concerts

J & I bought the littlest Christmas tree // Bought new running shoes // Studying for finals // Christmas in Iowa
Chase & I at Star Wars // Caught a cold from the stupid planes // "New" engagement ring // J's birthday
Working out with the family // Felt mushrooms // J on the beach // Saying goodbye until January

I kind of talked about this year in another post, but in a lot of ways, I felt this was a transition year: transitioning to working while in law school, J transitioning to graduate life and working full time, us transitioning to living together again, trying to figure out what we're doing once I graduate this coming spring, making wedding plans... A lot of what we did this year was for big events that will happen in 2016.

It wasn't until looking back, today, when I really appreciated what a good year this was. Sometimes it feels like I spend too much time waiting and not enough time experiencing, but I did experience a lot this year. J graduated and moved in with me, and we had what I dubbed our "New Hampshire Summer," where we tried to explore as much of the state as we could while still working full time. I spent a lot of time with friends, took much-needed breaks, and did a lot of studying. I put myself out there a lot - I asked for jobs, I contacted people, and I learned to brag about myself (within reason, of course). 

I think J and I learned a lot about each other this year as well. We had to deal with a lot of stress about our future, about money, about health and bodies, and especially about jobs. We had to figure out what we liked and didn't like for our wedding. Maybe this year wasn't so much a "transition" year as it was a "learning" year.

It's been fun, 2015. I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring!

Sunday, December 27

2015 Goals: Final Recap

Hello friends! Can you believe there are only FOUR days left of 2016?! I feel like this year flew by, but then again, I feel like that every year.

This year was pretty epic. J graduated from college, I found a wedding dress, J moved in with me in New Hampshire, I worked all summer at NHLA, J got a job, I worked during the school year at a firm I adored in Concord, we got to see two of my favorite people get married, etc. It wasn't so much a "big" year as it was a "transition" year - getting ready to J to get here, getting experience, trying to figure out where J and I were going to go after law school... A lot of waiting.

In the meantime, let's go through my 2015 goals and how I did!

  • Start a new 12x12 project

My goal for 2015 was to read another 12 books, but this time, half of them could be books I'd already read. I got a lot of flack from my family about this new "rule," but I don't regret it at all. I hadn't read Anne of Green Gables or Harry Potter in over a year, and I couldn't go another year without them. I regret nothing. I got through my 12 books and then some! I still haven't blogged about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or the book I'm currently reading, Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies.

The Casual Vacancy
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A Room of One's Own
Anne of Green Gables
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The King's Curse
The Princess Bride
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Gideon's Trumpet
Watership Down
Not That Kind of Girl
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
How to Have the Wedding You Want

  • Notice when I'm gossiping

This was a problem I really experienced last year, so really wanted to notice this year when I was gossiping. I think I did great this year - both on noticing and also on stopping myself when I noticed. Sure, there were times when I still gossiped, but they were few and far between.

  • 30x30 yoga project

Whoops... Didn't do this one. I really intended to do yoga for 30 days straight, but I jut never found the time and/or the motivation. By the time I realized I needed to do it, it was already December and I was about to go into finals. Sure, it may have calmed me down, but I didn't want to focus on yoga: I wanted to focus on preparing for my tests. It was a good intention, but I didn't follow through.

  • Give away 200 things

In this at least, I did not fail! I gave way more than 200 things away, which is surprisingly easy when you think about going through my seasonal clothes and cleaning my bathroom of all those weird, small items that accumulate but you never actually use. Easy goal this year!

  • Have a law school book club meeting

This was also a bit of a failure, but I don't really feel bad about this one. We did not have any book club meetings, but I was also the only person who read the book. I could have had the meeting anyway, but it seemed stupid to meet to only have me talk about the book.

  • Make blogging calendars each month

There were a few hickups in this goal as well. I started out strong and kept up through the summer, but when I started up school again in the fall, it kind of fell to pieces. I was super stressed, tired, busy, and even if a made a calendar at the beginning of a month, I couldn't keep up. One of my professors commented about how much time bloggin was taking from me when I was talking to her about being stressed, but I insisted I still wanted to keep it up. Ironically, I basically stopped blogging after that conversation. I allowed myself a break, guilt-free, and it really helped. I blogged when I felt like it instead of adhering to a strict calendar (which I know isn't ideal, but it's what I needed this fall). No idea how I'm going to progress this next year. It's going to be a busy one!

  • Find and cook two or more recipes each month

I was terrible at keeping track of this goal, but I honestly think I achieved it this year. I tried really hard to find and cook new recipes, and although I didn't blog about them, I think I did this *almost* every month, if not every month. No way to prove it, but hey, I ate a lot of food. :)

  • Make my bed every day

This was a complete disaster, haha. I kept up with it alright when I was living by myself in the Spring, but J actively refuses to have the bed made. He insists he sleeps worse in a made bed and that it is *science*, haha. Regardless, the bed has basically never been made.

  • Physical fitness goals

I had a few goals concerning my fitness this past year. The main one was to work out at the gym 5 times a week when I was in Concord. I did a fabulous job during the Spring semester, less of a great job when I was working this summer, and even worse this fall. I kept trying to get motivated, but I was exhausted all the time and couldn't find the motivation. I did about 5-6 weeks this fall where I exercised 5 times a week, but some of those were a little weak. I actually gained weight this past semester, though I think part of it has to due with cooking for two (which I love to do, mind you) and seeing J eat so much more than me. It's like, "Well, he's doing it, so..." Full recap: It got more and more difficult to get to the gym as the year went on, I didn't feel much of a difference when I wasn't working out as much, and my body didn't really change. So not a great year as far as my fitness goals, but I'm still glad I did as much as I did!

  • Reward myself when I reach my goals

This goal was also touch-and-go: I basically didn't do it until this fall, and I only did it for 6 weeks. During those six weeks, it was really motivating! I really wanted my reward (a Lush face mask), so I worked out five days in a row for two weeks with no problems! Later, though, the rewards just weren't enough to offset how busy and tired I was. Ultimately, I still think it was a good goal, and I'd like to implement more stuff like this in the future.


Looking back, it seems like I didn't get that much accomplished this year, at least as far as my goals go. But I do think I accomplished the things that really mattered - I adjusted how much I talked about other people, which was incredibly important to me; I read a ton of books, even during law school; I gave away a lot of my things to people who needed them more; I ate new, healthy, and interesting things; I tried (in vain) to keep my bed (and apartment) clean; I worked out a lot and took pretty good care of my body; and I rewarded myself for good behaviors! Even though it wasn't as good as I intended, I'm still really proud of what I accomplished in 2015. Here's to another year of growth!

Tuesday, December 22

Stitch Fix Customer Service

A few months ago, I bought three pair of Margaret M pants through Stitch Fix, and I was in love. They were stretchy, so comfortable, perfect for work, and super flattering. I paid quite a bit for them ($98 each, without the discount - but since I bought everything in my Fix, they were quite a bit cheaper), and originally was really happy with them.

I first started noticing the "pilling" after I wore them a few times. Since they're stretchy, I guess they're held together in part by these little stretchy strings, and it seemed like they were breaking and poking out in areas. It was mostly happening on my blue pair of pants, where my thighs rubbed together. Not revolutionary - it happens a fair amount with me. It's friction, and it happens. But I noticed it on the other pairs when I washed them for the first time. There aren't washing instructions on them (at least, not in English), so I washed them in cold water and dried on low. The first time I washed them, there was a little bit of pilling on all three pants, particularly in that upper thigh region. But the more I wore them, the worse the pilling got. I tried not to wash them again until I really needed to, and the second time I took them out of the wash, this is what they looked like:

The blue pair, again, looked the worst, but all the pants had the same pilling going on. I thought it was just pilling where my thighs touched, but instead, the blue pair had pilling all the way up the butt! Completely unwearable! I was so upset, because the blue pair were my favorite. For a few days, I just wore my other pairs and thought about what to do. 

Sure, I had worn them a lot, but it had only been a month, tops. When I pay a lot of money for a (supposedly) quality item, I expect that item to hold up. It's why I don't shop at Forever 21 anymore (besides the obvious reason being that I am 25 and presumably more of an adult) - I'm sick of paying a tiny bit of money for cheaply-made item that's going to fall apart in a month.

I don't usually complain about items, and I've really never tried emailing customer service before. But, frustrated, I emailed pictures of the pants to Stitch Fix, explaining that I didn't know what was going on with these pants, but that I wanted something done about it. I boldly asked for new pants, since these were practically unwearable.

And then I never heard back.

Just kidding. But I didn't hear back for over a week, and decided to email them again. This time, I got a response:

I was so pleased with their response, and all of our subsequent communications. They sent me postage to send the pants back to them, and although they did not have any other blue pants to exchange, I got a new pair of the other two pants (the black houndstooth and the black and grey patterned pants). They apologized profusely, and gave me my money back on the blue pants since there was no exchange available. The entire time, they were professional, kind, and understanding.

I'm happy to report that my new pairs of pants have held up so much better. I just washed the black houndstooth pants a few days ago out of necessity (they were covered in cat hair, tbh). I washed them on cold, like usual, but ended up letting them air dry. After doing some google research, it turns out that's the way I was supposed to be washing them, which bodes well. There was a tiny bit of pilling in the upper thigh area of these pants, but so minor and definitely not something I'm upset about. 

Neither pair of pants showed any sign of pilling after wearing them, which is a huge difference from the other pairs I had. I'm not sure if I just happened to get defective pairs the first time around, or if I was being too rough with them, or if I washed them too often in the wrong way - but I'm so glad that the problem is taken care of. I even bought another pair in a beautiful wine color in my last Fix, so I clearly trust the brand and Stitch Fix to get it right. I'm so happy they came through for me. It was great customer service and made me trust that I was getting a good product for my money, when the experience clearly could have been a disaster for both parties.

Moral of the story: Stitch Fix takes care of its customers, and for that, I am incredibly appreciative and grateful!

If you'd like to check out Stitch Fix for yourself, here's a link that gives me credit:

Wednesday, December 16

Life Lately {vol. 53}

I got a new StichFix Box in the mail and was OBSESSED with this striped t-shirt (with pleather elbow patches!!) and this beautiful scarf! :D I couldn't wait to wear them!

You could say James is a needy cat.

There's a sandwich/bagel shop in town called "The Works" and they make an AMAZING smoked salmon sandwich! Capers and smoked salmon and tomatoes on a sandwich?? Yes please!

I went to Barre class a few times at the YMCA! Love it! Also, it turns out these old joggers of mine are neither flattering nor ideal for barre. Now we know!

A chapter about standing requirements in administrative process, or how I feel every day in law school? You be the judge.

When your makeup's on point and you've got coffee, anything is possible.

Lil' Limber Leif :)

I headed out to Iowa for a weekend a few weeks ago to watch one of my childhood friends get married! On the trip, I read the 5th Harry Potter book and used Nicholas Cage as my bookmark. Weirdly enough, I don't think anyone noticed.

Anna believes in the right for every woman to have control and autonomy over her own body!

My mom and I went to this cute little church Christmas-themed bazaar and took many a selfie!

I also got the chance to see two of my very best friends while I was in Iowa!! We had breakfast together at my favorite place (Mullet's) and got caught up.

On Saturday, Mom and I met with J and I's wedding planner and checked out the venue we booked for the wedding! The more we figure out, the more I can see this vision of what it'll ultimately look like and the more excited I get! :D

Mom and I at Abby's wedding! I hadn't been to Hyperion since I was about sixteen, so I definitely had a flashback or two.

Abby and Mert's wedding was SO beautiful! My mom actually officiated, and I thought I was about to lose it and cry so many times. They're so inspirational, and just genuinely sweet people!

I had to get up waaay too early on Monday morning for my flight back home, but at least I had a playlist from J and my Harry Potter book.

And the day after I signed up and paid for this 5k, I got suuuper sick. Naturally.

Erica, Amanda and I signed up and ran this Christmas-themed 5k in Portsmouth, NH! It was so much fun! Even though I was still super sick and a snot machine, I didn't do too terribly. Amanda ended up winning our age group AND the costume contest (even though I'm sure Erica was a close contender - look how cute they both are)!

After the 5k, Erica, Amanda and I walked around Portsmouth and did some Christmas shopping. I fell in love with this print for myself and couldn't help but get it - it was just so me! :)

These dudes are honestly the very cutest. *heart eyes*

J got his hair cut a few weeks ago and looked v fine!

J worked on Thanksgiving until 3PM, but we spent Thanksgiving dinner with Abby and Andrew. Look at this adorable table Abby set up for us!!

I brought over the stuffing, an apple crumble, and caprese skewers. I'd never made stuffing before, and I decided to make it from scratch this year. I used a bacon-bourbon recipe from A Beautiful Mess and it was a huge hit - though I replaced the bourbon with apple cider vinegar!

How cute are these caprese skewers I made?! They were definitely messy, but so delicious and easy to make!

J and I aren't really into Black Friday shopping, but we headed down to Main Street in Concord around 9AM to look at records and get some new running shoes. I wasn't planning on buying anything besides the shoes, but J found me this "Grinch" record and obviously I had to have it!

I was all like, "Maybe we should go look at Christmas trees? Totes don't have to buy one," and J was all like, "Ok, let's go look, but look only," and then we came back with a tiny, gorgeous, perfect Christmas tree! :D

Our handsome, derpy Christmas cat!

Can I tell you how obsessed I am with my new Asics running shoes?! VERY OBSESSED!

I am that person on Facebook comments, sorry not sorry. For context, it was an article on James Deen sexually assaulting women, and that girl was *trying* to say that the only evidence is these women's accounts of what happened. Hearsay, friends, is an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. These women were (mostly) not describing things James Deen said to them, but things he did to them. Not hearsay (or "heresay").

It's officially cold enough for sweater James. :)

Working on ma' fitness! I've been working on running more, and even though I'm not going paritcularly fast or far, I'm getting so much better than I was! :)

J and I entered this wedding photography contest by Liz Morrow, the fab lady behind "Delightfully Tacky" AND WE WON!!! So pumped, especially because we needed a wedding photographer! It was a dream come true! :D

Jay and I had our choir concerts about two weeks ago! We had a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday concert, and I think they went pretty well.

Leif: "What the hell are you eating?" "Mexican" soup, Leif. Mexican soup.

I had my Admin Pro final last Tuesday, but my Criminal Procedure final is tomorrow morning! I started cracking down on preparing a few days ago at Starbucks.

I had such a good day on Monday! I worked out in the morning, came home and relaxed, showered, drank coffee, and worked on my Crim Pro notes while my hair dried! Afterwards, I went to school for a review session, worked on a project due on Friday, and met with my Advanced Trial Ad group for next semester. It was a long day, but a good one!

Isn't Leif a handsome son of a gun?!

I'm in the midst of finals week(s), but almost at the end! Tomorrow is my last law school final of the year, and I've gotta say, I can't wait to be done! It's been a difficult semester in a lot of ways, but I think a good one. I've had to adjust to having a roommate again (ha), having J here in Concord and adjusting my time between studying and him, and working while I go to school. Oh, and I've been trying to find a job, which has been (more than a little bit) the source of much of my stress.

At the same time, this has been a beautiful few months for me. Getting to move back in with J, getting to work at a firm I've dreamed about working at since I moved to Concord, spending more time with Erica and Amanda, running a 5k (even though I was super sick), getting to visit Iowa, getting things decided about the wedding... So many great things!

I hope if you have any finals left, they go amazingly! If you're all done (or you didn't have any to begin with), congrats! Go celebrate your holiday of choice and listen to "The Grinch." :)