Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roommates.

It's tough.


I'll admit I'm probably not the easiest roommate to live with.  But I do have a very defined set of rules and guidelines to live by.


My sister sent me the picture below with the following comment: "hahahahaha instantly reminded me of you"

Last picture at 20 Hysterical Roommate Notes

I will say that my law school roommate was probably one of the nicest, most cheerful people I've ever met but we didn't quite see eye-to-eye on how to keep a house.


I finally started leaving her notes - nothing quite so clever as this - although I wish I had.


I did start something along these lines:
2nd pic from 20 Hysterical Roommate Notes
My note said the following:
Original work (c) ChristineisPink
My mom said: "You might be right, but no one's gonna like you."


Ahh - the price of being self-righteous...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Silver Fox.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!

So so SO excited for tomorrow!

Source: http://www.nndb.com/people/482/000047341/cooper.jpg

Useful Tuesday! Save. US.

Interesting, yet simple, explanation of why the US is full of big spenders and Europe, thrifty savers.

Why We Spend, Why They Save.
Few Americans appreciate that the prosperous economies of western and northern Europe are among the world’s greatest savers. Over the past three decades, Germany, France, Austria and Belgium have maintained household saving rates between 10 and 13 percent, and rates in Sweden recently soared to 13 percent. By contrast, saving rates in the United States dropped to nearly zero by 2005; they rose above 5 percent after the 2008 crisis but have recently fallen below 4 percent. 
Nearly ZERO!??!?!  That's CRAZY!!!

START SAVING, PEOPLE!!! On that note, I rather enjoyed this book: The Simple Dollar, written by Trent Hamm based on his blog.

Source

I read it on my Kindle for iPhone app and highlighted a whole bunch of things - trying to figure out how I can "export" that info somehow - to print or at least save in a document for later perusal.

So, I'm starting another "weekly" thing: Useful Tuesday!  Hopefully, I'll share useful advice, tips, and other information on Tuesday (just like how I share Food on Friday!)

OK - OMG - sharing TWO useful things today.  1 was SAVE YO MONEY!!!

2 is HOW AMAZING IS KINDLE!??!?!
If you have the Kindle or a Kindle app (as I do), your highlights and notes will still be saved in the book, as well as at kindle.amazon.com!!! How amazing is that??? I've been hoarding these books on my iPhone b/c I didn't know how to get access to all the awesome stuff I had highlighted within Kindle.

I just logged onto kindle.amazon.com and saw all the bits I had highlighted over the past few months.  AMAZING.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - when done right, technology seriously makes life so amazing.

I.  LOVE.  TECH.  NOLOGY.

Check out how to do cool stuff on Kindle apps here.

Real.

In less than 12 hours I will be a real. live. lawyer.

At least in New Jersey :)

Image Sources:
http://www.lifecoachlaurie.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/the-real-deal.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qE-BDlOZiU0/S5u9yoTdYNI/AAAAAAAABOQ/5FGU-wQdh84/s320/mission-accomplished.jpg

Monday, November 28, 2011

What to wear to a swearing-in ceremony?

Source
Unlike NY, whose registration to take the bar exam is almost too quick and painless, NJ requires your application to the bar to be submitted way back in April as part of the exam registration.

What this means is that while in NY, finding out you passed the bar is the first step to completing your application to the bar, in NJ, the bar score is the last step.

I found out that I passed the NJ bar exam on November 17th and the swearing-in ceremony is tomorrow in Trenton.

I figured I'd wear a suit, but trying to decide on the details, I turned to Google.
(Details: skirt vs. pants? button-up vs. blouse? scarf or brooch?)

One of the top hits: The Dos and Don'ts of Swearing-In Fashion.

Hmm... maybe I'll try to pick up a sequined cowboy hat on my way home from work today?
Or better, since I'm from NJ, I'll go get a nice orange spray tan a la Jersey Shore to represent?


I also posted the question over at Corporette, so hopefully I'll get some responses there.

Siblings (rivalry?). Aww.

Sometimes, I get really really REALLY sad that my sister and I will never be able to share a moment like this (starts with highlight #3 at 0:30s):


PLUMLEE BROTHERS!!!

Mason, a junior, #5 passes his rebound to his older brother Miles, a senior, #21 for an amazing sibling assist.  How AWESOME it must be to be able to share that kind of TEAMWORK and a SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT with your sibling!!! They don't show it in the clip but right after that dunk Mason runs over and does the intense manly "YEA!!!" buttslap to Miles.  I nearly died of jealousy right then.  I wish my sister and I were that good at and intense about something.

Not to say we don't get along - quite the contrary.  I couldn't live without her.  She claims I can't even get the salt from the other side of the table without her (quite possibly true). 

But our sort of teamwork is more along the lines of, I'll be trying to get something from the back of a fridge that looks like the one below (because my mom still buys food like my sister and I are in high school and eating 4000 calories a day) and when things start toppling and falling out on me my sister will come and help me out.

Source
That's great and quite a feat, but not quite ferocious manly athletic "YEA!!! YOU GOT IT!!!" buttslapping material.  Le sigh.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Food on Friday 6. Buttermilk Pancakes.

I'm not sure how this happened - but I was with Girlfriend 1 when I decided to call up Girlfriend 2 and told her we were coming over.  Not only were we coming over but we expected breakfast, please, feed us!

For some reason (probably, my friends are super-super-awesome), Girlfriend 2 actually complied despite her ridiculous hangover.

We went over and were greeted with beautiful fluffy buttermilk pancakes.

 
Naturally I asked for the recipe.  I believe it's this recipe from Allrecipes.com but I make a few tweaks.
 
I only use 1 tablespoon of vinegar and add enough milk to fill 1 cup of liquid (milk).  I also don't whisk out all the lumps - I barely combine the wet and dry ingredients.  The lumps are ok and work themselves out on the frying pan as they cook.  If you combine too much - you risk making your finished product too tough and chewy rather than light and fluffy.  I also cook over very low heat on nonstick-coated pan w/no cooking oil.
 
I made these a few weeks ago for a weekend brunch and they were uber-delicious and oh-so-fluffy!



And you can add whatever you want to mix it up!

Here's an example of when I wanted to use up some pineapple and blueberries we had.  I just drop in the fruit on top of the 1/4 cupful of batter in the frying pan.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks.Giving.

Friends: Season 4 Episode 8 The One with Chandler in a Box
Sometimes, I find it's easier to look at the people around me and just give thanks that I'm me, instead of them.

=)

(I try to pre-write and schedule these - but I just saw this new version of the same episode and wanted to add it)

An almost confession. And a real contest!

Was tired and ready for bed 2 hours ago. But just getting to sleep now.

Too embarrassed to share why...
Oh, the things I get "addicted" to...

But I'm not sorry. Because its *FUN*
Teehee. Guess what it is and I'll bake you a treat of your choice!

Source: http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/shame.jpg

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Read to your kid.

Source
I had a professor in college, she taught Human Development, and she used to tell us, "If you remember one thing from my class, from all of college, it should be this: Read to your kids."

She would cite some studies and tell us anecdotes, but she just couldn't overemphasize that we should read to our kids.

My mom read to me A LOT when I was little.  And I always had a wall of books in my room.  And any book I asked for, she would buy me.  I had BOXES of books in addition to my wall.  And I just passed the bar exam in TWO2TWO states.

Not so much with my sister.  And we've all home-diagnosed her with some form of adult ADD/ADHD.

So, I'm gonna go with... this NYTimes article is probably onto something.

READ. TO. YO. KIDS.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let's eBates together!

Just came in the mail today!
(taken with my iPhone)

(I love turning words into verbs).

Is eBates for real?  So, I've tried spreading the word before via Facebook and I think a lot of people thought that my Facebook page got hacked and spammed.

How does eBates work?  I'm not sure exactly how it works (I assume eBates charges the retailers who are listed an advertising or membership fee of some sort) but eBates is a cashback program based on your online spending.  I first read about it via Tiffany at I am Style-Ish and decided to try it out.

Basically you just use eBates' link to the retailers' site before you make a purchase.  I often will put things in my shopping bag (which gets stored for a period of time), go back to eBates to see if the retailer is listed and then click through to make my purchase.  (Sorry, that is a horrible description, just go to eBates, sign in, then use their link to the store before you make a purchase).

I've found it pretty intuitive but just in case, another description on how to use it from Tiffany's blog:
I've had a few people ask me to help with how to use ebates so just a quick summary:  First thing, bookmark ebates!  I have it saved in my bookmarks toolbar (I use Firefox where you can do that, not sure about other browsers) and when I want to start doing some online shopping I make sure to click on ebates before doing any browsing.  When you are on ebates, you can then click on one of the links for the stores they show or do a search for the store you are looking for.  I did a search for Nordstrom below and as you can see the Nordstrom link came up first and it's 5% cashback.  (The other links that came up are similar type stores but it's handy to see them in case you want to shop there too).  Click on the "Shop Now" button and then voila! you're on the Nordstrom site!  That link will remember that you clicked through and then will give you the cashback once you buy something.  The cashback will show up in your account within a few days of your purchases. 

Here's a screenshot of my last eBates' earnings:
There are SO many stores on there - I've made purchases at Gap, The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Land's End, Nordstrom, Sephora, even The Home Depot is on there.  Just check it out.  Since I've cut back on my spending, I haven't used the site as much - but I always make sure to check.

Also, they have daily and weekly specials where you get double the normal % cash back and other discounts.  I was actually going to buy my Clarisonic Mia from the Clarisonic website and then checked whether anyone on eBates sold it - and bought 2 (1 for the sister) from the SkinStore ON SALE and then got cash back. 


Sign up through my referral link and I'll earn $5!!!

*Post not sponsored by eBates.  I just wanted to spread the word before holiday shopping really gets underway!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hi, I'm Mat.


 HEHE.

HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!!!

I have a friend getting married next year (I'm honored to be in her bridal party) and I really want to find this and get it for her as a small housewarming gift because her fiance's name is Matt.

And they are just the right kind of nerdy that they'll find funny (and I do, too!).

Sunday nights vs. Monday mornings.

Source
This is EXACTLY how I feel right now.

Still finishing up a memo that's due tomorrow morning and knowing I have to go into work and finish up a memo that was due last week.

(Hey, 1 out of 2 memos on time is better than 2 out of 2 memos late!).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food on Friday 5: Pasta Carbonara. (A Quest!).

So, there was a boy who was terrified of my cooking and the only American food he claimed to like was pasta carbonara.  Naturally, I had to learn to make the BEST! PASTA! CARBONARA! EVARRR!!!

This was quite an experiment - because I had to learn to make it on my own first, before I could dish it up and "WOW!" the boy.

Naturally, my first instinct was to check it out on Wikipedia to see the "roots" of the dish.

And as per my usual recipe "method," I then looked up all the carbonara recipes on Food Network and AllRecipes.com to check ratios and common ingredients.

Here are some of my attempts.  This was probably my first attempt - SPAM was the only pork-meat I had and I grated my parmigiano-reggiano using a KNIFE and scraping the block of cheese against the side of a bowl.

A little watery and not "mixed/melted" enough.

A little watery still and still not quite enough CHEESE.

I think I made this one for a visiting friend with lunch meat and edamame and still pretty watery.

Back to SPAM but adding broccoli - doesn't the green really dress it up?
This is also when I started getting my working ratios down.
 
The recipe:
Serves 2
  1. Cook 2 servings of your choice of pasta according to directions on box (it's traditionally done with long noodles but I like shapes and ridges b/c I find it "holds" the sauce better) - here it's 1 1/2 cups of medium shells
  2. While pasta is cooking, whisk 1 egg, then stir in 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano and a few pinches of truffle salt.
  3. I cut up 1/2 a broccoli head here and browned it with a single-serving SPAM slice
  4. Drain the pasta, leaving maybe a 1/4 cup or less of pasta water.
  5. Add HOT pasta into egg/cheese mixture and stir vigorously! (the heat from the pasta melds/cooks/melts the egg and cheese into a sauce)
  6. Mix in meat/veggie and keep stirring.
  7. Add 7 cracks of black pepper (or to taste) and split into 2 servings!
  8. VOILA!

With fish roe (I just love the bright colors!)

Used marinated chicken instead of pork - tasted great but not as pretty

The Process:
Cheese and egg mixture

Thick-cut bacon (closer to the traditional guanciale) and tomato bits

Hot pasta (gemelli) and egg/cheese being stirred together

Add the meat/veggies

And enjoy!

So as you can see, I think the traditional recipe is great as a base to work off of.  I try to use whatever pork-meat I have but chicken and shrimp have worked just as well.  I also try to mix in a(ny) veggie in b/c I feel a little indulgent eating just cheese and meat and pasta.

As it turns out, I never ended up making it for the boy but have an impressive yet quick, easy, and versatile pasta dish!

Sshhh!!!

Secret confessions. They only come late at night...
(and let's be real, 1am on a weeknight is plenty late for me.)

Sometimes... Sometimes... Even I get tired of thinking ahead and planning.

It happened last week before my trip to Boston. And it's happening now before the weekend.

Sshhh. Don't tell anyone.

Source: http://theheartofhenna.blogspot.com/2011/08/secret-single-behavior.html (iPhone app doesn't allow embedding of links?)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Belated realizations.

You know that feeling of contentment (contentedness? content?) and satisfaction you get when you have crossed off everything on your to-do list and even worked ahead and gotten future things done and out of the way?

And then you realize that OH-NO! you really haven't crossed off anything?

I just got that feeling about tomorrow's Food on Friday post.
I just threw a bunch of pictures in there and didn't add the text.
Eep!  Gotta go do that now!!!

UGHHH.

From Hyperbole and a Half.

I definitely deserve this for today.

Why so melancholy???

Just 2 hours left.  Let's see if I can't manage a bit o' work.

OWS.

I'll be the first to admit, I didn't take the OWS-ers seriously when they first started.  I mean, come ON, who starts to occupy a park just as the weather takes a turn for the colder?

Nonetheless, I agree with their "statement" (since it seems more of a statement they are making than an actual message/objective).

And I also think some of my fascination (because let's face it, I'm really not a "current events" kind of person) comes from their proximity to my workplace.  They've been living in my eating-lunch park (well, they were until this past Tuesday).

And this morning my commute was a little disrupted by their/the police activity and so naturally it was the first thing I looked up on Google when I (finally) got in.

I read this article from the LA Times.  The description below could totally have been me walking to my non-paying "job," except my Burberry is KHAKI, thank-you-very-much.


One woman wearing a black Burberry coat and carrying a briefcase appeared frustrated but was smiling as she was slowed by the crowds.

Frustrated b/c they are making it hard for me to get into work b/c A) the sidewalks are overcrowded and B) my building has shut down 3 of our 4 entrances.
Smiling b/c I agree with a lot of what I've read are their complaints and frustrations (if not their method) and because if my fancy schmancy law school didn't care so much about its ranking in US News and World Report, I wouldn't have a non-paying office to go to right now.

Then I started reading their live feed and then linked over to watch via their ustream feed.

Because I'm too scared to go watch in person b/c I've never been pepper-sprayed and would like to keep it that way.

Now that I've seen how crowded it got on the sidewalk down there - I'm so glad I decided to get into work a little early.
(The camera guy is across Pine St. from my building - the Capital Grille awnings are my building).
I would've cried trying to get through that crowd, then probably turned around and gone home.  HAHA.  So strong.

Wrong foot forward.


I wore my Tory Burch Revas yesterday for my commute.

I've never found them as AMAAAAZINGLY comfortable as people rave (not enough arch support for me) but yesterday I was surprised at how uncomfortable they were.  They were fine for the morning commute.  But the after-work commute back home was pretty uncomfortable.  My feet felt pinched in all the wrong places.

Today, I wore them again.  Realized I wore them on the wrong feet yesterday...

Now, I've gotta say, a shoe that you can wear on the wrong foot and merely feel mild discomfort and not get the obvious feeling that something is wrong is quiet impressive.

Or... I'm just dumb.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lawyers exude professionalism.

Source.

So, now that I've passed the bar exam, I need to go through the process of applying for admission to the state bar.

One of the requirements is getting two affidavits of good moral character.  The Committee on Character and Fitness prefer these to be from lawyers in good standing who have known you for at least two years.

As you can see below, I've made a good choice in asking a super-professional lawyer friend.

2:04 PM W: hey

2:05 PM I got a question about your character and fitness application

4:08 PM me: hey

  my gchat has been on and off all day today. just got your chat

4:11 PM W: dammit

  dude, I had a pretty important question

4:12 PM me: what was it

4:13 PM W: DO YOU FIND TAYLOR LAUTNER ATTRACTIVE

 me: omg EWWWW NOOOOOO

 W: he looks like a caveman!

 me: he's so creepy looking

4:14 PM http://www.twilightseries.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/taylor-lautner-looks-like-alpaca.jpg

 W: hahahaha YESSSSS

  okay

  just for that

  you get a character recommendation

How has no one bought me this?

Source.

I (used to) say this ALL. THE. TIME.

Actually, I still say it - since I haven't technically been admitted yet.

How to love a child.

(And in complete contrast to last night's post about a totally classy, family- and values-oriented college athletic coach...)

In light of the recent Penn State scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky, I wanted to share some advice via a cute but (I believe) practical image I had saved.  (There are definitely more "journalistic"perspectives out there but this is one from a point of view that I appreciate - a blog that loves sports - but doesn't protect its own).

Apparently, in an interview with Bob Costas, "Sandusky was trying hard to paint himself as someone who “loves” young people, but “isn’t sexually attracted” to them while saying he didn’t realize showering with a ten-year-old was wrong." (Quoted from TAH)

For anyone else who's not sure how to "love children/young people,"



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

903.



It was a good (to me, an exciting and generally fun-to-watch) game and today Coach K won his 903rd game as a Division I basketball coach, passing Bob Knight for the most wins.

(SO WISH I WERE THERE!!! INSTEAD OF AT HOME WRITING A MEMO FOR WORK... pfft.)

Not that he needs to hear it from me, but, well done, Coach.

And always with class and grit.

"Coaches, we get very lucky when we're at good places."
~ on his decision to display the game ball at Duke's Hall of Fame.

And maybe this kid can help him reach 1000.

CNN with one of the first articles.
And ESPN saying he probably will get to 1000.

Spanx on Rue La La!!!

I will perhaps have to devote a separate entry to this topic alone, but I LOVE SPANX.  And I'm not what most would call a big girl.

I just believe that women need the proper underthings to look pretty in their outerthings.

It is for this same reason that I believe in women wearing hosiery and slips under their skirts and dresses.

Nonetheless, SPANX are being sold on Rue La La for the next 1 day and 20 hours.  And although I could devote another whole post to flash sale sites, I do like to use them for tried and true staples.  It's a good deal if you go by the rule of you would've bought it at full-price anyway.

So, go and get 'em!

(If you need an invite - click here!)

Random collateral benefit: they are SUPER-warm so sometimes I wear them just under sweaters and stuff in the winter as a thermal layer =)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ridiculous.

There are so many things in this world that I can't believe are real.

Hand of Glory: old European folklore about supposed powers of the severed hand of a thief (or other bad person)
Link 1
Wiki

Kin-ball: a Québécois game that is utter nonsense.
Wiki

Noodling: catching catfish with your bare hands
Wiki

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Luxury.

Page I tore out of The New Yorker as a goal and reminder.

I think luxury is relative. Walking out of the Boston MFA a few hours ago, a friend asked me how I felt about the day I'd just had. And I could only think of how LUCKY I am.

I'd spent the night with a good friend near Harvard. Had a lovely catchup brunch at IHOP with another friend. Then got to see the Degas exhibit that I'd been looking forward to since i'd read about it in The New Yorker a few weeks ago.

I feel so lucky. It's a luxury to travel and see friends and enjoy art. After reading (other) New Yorker articles about life under Qaddafi and girls who commit so-called "honor suicides" in the middle east caucasus region, I felt so lucky. To have had access to a world-class education. To be ALLOWED to have an education. To freely travel. To wear whatever clothes I want to. To be able to see whatever art without the filter of a government censor.

Some ppl might think I'm satisfied with too little. But I'm just grateful for the amazing situation I've been born into and the life I'm able to lead. It amazes me how being born a female in today's world can still mean a lifetime of second-class citizenship in some places.

And regardless of gender, there are still countries where something as taken for granted as travel or freedom of speech of artists is still elusive. And even in the US, there are ppl who don't have the financial means or freedom of physical movement and independence to travel as they'd like.

So on so many levels, I feel lucky to lead such a luxurious life. The luxury of travel. To luxury to see friends. The luxury to appreciate art.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Food on Friday 4: Strawberry Jam Thumbprint Sugar Cookies.

I joined a book club in October/my friends and I decided to start a book club together.  For the first meeting I sent out a request for snacks and one reader said "sugar cookies."  I decided to try out a few recipes before the book club meeting.

Here's the first one I tried: Ok, true confession.  I snapped at my sister earlier in the evening and then she went into her room and closed the door (we don't close doors in this house).  So then I gave her an hour to cool down and texted her: "Are you painting your feelings? Wanna bake something?"  So then we decided to make these Easy Sugar Cookies.  And because I'm fancy (and also because we bought a gallon of strawberry jam from Costco) we decided to make Strawberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies!

Some ingredients.

The flour, baking soda, baking powder + butter and sugar mixture + egg and vanilla.  It was a bit crumbly.

The Costco gallon of jam.

Made 2 tsp balls of dough.  Then made a "thumbprint" with a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon.

BEFORE: Filled with a 1/4 tsp of strawberry jam.  (Next time I will at least double the amount).

AFTER: They cooked super quickly - about 12ish minutes.

All pretty!  I halved the recipe and made 32 cookies.

As of tonight (24 hours later), we have 12 left.  We ate 20 cookies in just as many hours.

My mom today: "Don't make these cookies anymore.  They're ruining my diet."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Terrorists. Ruin. Everything.

Yet another way the terrorists and the events of 9/11 have made my life more difficult.

I have to send Employment Affidavits out to all of my previous law-related employers for them to fill out and return to me as part of my application to the NY Bar.

The mail in our office doesn't get picked up until 4pm and I wanted these to get processed and sent along their merry way as soon as possible.

So I used Google to find a mailbox nearby with an earlier pickup time.

The USPS website claimed there was only one mailbox within a mile's radius of where I am located with a 12pm (noon) pickup time.

I took my envelopes and walked down Broadway looking for this mailbox.  Curiously there were NO mailboxes on ANY corner of ANY sidewalk. 

I passed these cops a few times walking back and forth where the internet and my iPhone was telling me this mailbox should be.  I was worried they would find my behavior suspicious (clutching several large brown envelopes, checking my phone, and walking up and down the same 100 ft of sidewalk clearly looking for something) so I walked over and asked them in my most "I'm-so-lost-Officer-with-a-capital-O-please-help-me" voice why there weren't any mailboxes on Broadway.

The one cop looked around and said, "Oh, I've never noticed that but they're probably worried about ... terrorists."  He actually paused, looked around furtively, and whispered "terrorists" to me.  He then went back to his normal voice and told me to use the dropboxes inside any of these office buildings.

So, I thanked him, promptly returned to my own building and dropped the envelopes in our dropbox here.  Where they still won't get picked up until 4pm.  And that is how the terrorists ruin everything.  Blergh.

Hawaiian Surprises and a Silver Lining.

Website.

New best part of my day.

Maybe it IS true what they say about every cloud having a silver lining. After my orthodontist appointment on Monday left me unable to bite or chew I was pretty miserable.

But hunger drove me to break one of my cardinal rules: Never eat food from a street cart.

One of the receptionists told me the smoothie cart behind our building was very good.

And now the Hawaiian Surprise (coconut, strawberry, banana, mango) is my new favorite part of my day.

And that breaks another one of my cardinal rules: Don't buy food during work hours (I always pack my breakfast and lunch and refuse to buy snacks from the vending machine).