Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Wish

Merry Christmas!  I won't be long but I wanted to wish my readers a very happy holiday!  Since I'm having a hard time coming up with the right words, I'm going to borrow the always eloquent Kermit the Frog's Christmas Wish (you can check it out here).  I know it's Kermit, but I promise that it's beautiful, and worth a read.


I don't know if you believe in Christmas
Or if you have presents underneath a Christmas tree,
But if you believe in love, that will be more than enough
For you to come and celebrate with me.

For I have held the precious gift that love brings,
Even though I never saw a Christmas star
I know there is a light, I have felt it burn inside
And I have seen it shining from afar.

Christmas is the time to come together
A time to put all differences aside
I reach out my hand to the family of man
To share the joy I feel at Christmas time.

For the truth that binds us all together
I would like to say a simple prayer
That at this special time, you will have true peace of mind
And joy to last throughout the coming year.
And if you believe in love
That will be more than enough
For peace to last throughout the coming year.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, filled with joy, love, and happiness.  I'm so thankful for you all.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

FINALLY

I am FINALLY done with my finals, which, if I passed all of them means that I am officially half-way done with law school!!!!  The past few months of my life have been exceptionally miserable so hopefully I passed everything and don't need to take anything over the summer or stay an extra semester or repeat this past semester or anything...I suppose only time will tell.  The worst part about exams (besides the fact that they bring out the craziest in me) is that I don't actually get my final grades until AT LEAST the beginning of January, but not finding out until late January is not entirely unheard of.


Anyways, despite all of these things, I have an ENTIRE MONTH to myself right now.  I have a few small-ish school things to do over my break, but aside from those things, I'm entirely free, which makes me entirely happy.  


How do I plan to spend this glorious month.  Well if the past few days are any indication, there will be a lot of sleeping and lounging in my pajamas.  Yesterday I got a massage and finally started my Christmas shopping (yeah you read that right...December 12 and just starting now).  


There is also the current state of my nightstand.  Which I think will keep me pretty occupied for the next month:




Hope you've all had a Happy First Half of December and that you are MUCH further along in your Christmas shopping than me!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Home Stretch

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My last final is at 1 this afternoon, so in something like 8 hours from the moment that I'm typing this, I will be free.  For a month.  My supreme and utter exhaustion and stressed-out-ness prevents me from really explaining how excited I am (and how beyond ready I am for it to be 4 pm).  I'm so excited I don't even know what I'm going to do first!  But I think Happy Hour is going to be going down after the test!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Indian Summer

The title of this post is a word New Yorkers use when there is an unusually warm spell in the middle of fall.  But I think South Carolinians just call it November.


People who have spent time with me over the past few weeks may have heard my running commentary on the weather recently in Charleston.  For lack of a better word, its been hot.  I don't really do hot very well, especially when December is three days away.


It's been too hot for me to wear jeans and I'm tired of all of my summer clothes (I mean I've only been wearing them since May).  It's been too hot for me to sleep, and I'm tired of being tired.  And hot.  And sweaty.  And grumpy/irritable due to lack of sleep and wardrobe and copious amounts of sweat.  


The bright side?  It is supposed to drastically cool off tonight.  Instead of highs near 80 today, the rest of the 10 day forecast has highs in the upper 50's to low 60's.  So here's to grinning and bearing it for 24 more hours, but I'm sure ready to cool off.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rivalry Weekend

Wishing I was here:


Or more specifically here:


With these people:



Or even this person:

who I know HATES UVA football, but is too nice to admit it! :)
But instead I'm sitting here:

ok, this is my old apartment
FML.


Ok, pity party over.  In two years I'll be there.  Until then....LET'S GO HOOS!!!



Monday, November 21, 2011

The Muppets

I thought I'd take a page out of my pal Hannah's book and write about a movie I'm DYING to see.  (Hannah, by the way, is one of my fabulous law school friends who manages not only to be my study buddy but is also able to keep up with her winningly witty blog which you can find here.)


I grew up in a Muppet household.  I don't remember a time in my life when there wasn't Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy.  From The Muppet Movie to The Great Muppet Caper and from Muppet Babies to Kermit's stint as a special reporter on Sesame Street, I have developed over the course of my life time a deep-seated and very important admiration for the Muppets.  Christmas was celebrated with this (it never quite feels like Christmas until I hear all the Muppets sing the ba dum dum dums during the 12 Days of Christmas):


The BEST Christmas album EVER
Anyhoo, I have been looking forward to this day since LAST Christmas when I first heard about the Muppets' new movie.  Once I heard that Jason Segel (of How I Met Your Mother fame) had not only written the movie, but was also set to star in it, I was more than sold, I was ready to buy my tickets then and there.

This morning Jason Segel appeared on Live! with Kelly (now without Regis, sad).  He started talking about why he loves the Muppets, and it was EXACTLY why I love the Muppets.  I wish I could find a clip somewhere, but it only aired this morning and quite honestly, my google skills are not quite up to par.  To paraphrase, Jason Segel talks about how the Muppets represent the best part of ourselves, how we're always better together than apart, and how they somehow symbolize the innocence of childhood, just teetering on the brink of chaos.  It was fantastic, if you can find the clip (and love the Muppets) then I strongly recommend checking it out.  It was wonderful.  Almost as wonderful as Miss Piggy.

P.S.  In case you have yet to see it, here's the trailer for the latest Muppet wonderfulness, coming out in TWO DAYS!!!



ANY MOVIES YOU'RE DYING TO SEE OVER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND?
ARE YOU UNABASHEDLY IN LOVE WITH THE MUPPETS?  WHICH ONE?


Odds and Ends

A few things:



  1.  So I pretty much failed at following my pre-planned food attempt.  It was a great idea and totally something I could do, but this point in the semester is not the time to be trying new things.  It's something I'll try again next semester.
  2. I finally decided on my Thanksgiving plans.  Those of you who know me, know that I was really struggling with this one this year.  But for a variety of reasons I decided that it would be better/more practical to stay in Charleston again this year.  I'll have dinner at my aunt's house and I'll run the Charleston Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble.  One big deciding factor, I'll be home in about 3 weeks for a month and I was just home a couple of weeks ago.  
  3. I know that Christmas is right around the corner.  Not because Christmas carols have invaded the airwaves or that Thanksgiving is in 2 days, but because this commercial is again on TV, like it has been since I was little:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Build Your Own

My new-ish favorite trend in food right now is something I call "build your own."  I've always been a little like Sally from When Harry Met Sally.  I'll go someplace and ask for the dressing on the side, hold the tomatoes, can I add some avocado on that, hold the cheese, extra cheese, you get the picture.  This usually winds up with the server getting exceptionally annoyed with me and messing up my order.


So I guess it's not surprise that I've fallen in love with these restaurants where I get to craft my food for myself without any judgment.  


My obsession started innocently enough when I discovered the build your own burrito concept.  My personal fave is Moe's.  I knew it was meant to be when I discovered Moe Monday's - $5 for any burrito of your choosing AND a drink.  That's something that even this poor law student can afford!


I became more obsessed when the self-serve frozen yogurt craze swept the nation.  I love fro yo so it wasn't much of a stretch - especially when I can top it with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups AND chocolate chip cookie dough bites.  When I'm in Virginia, the ONLY place I get my fro yo from is The Skinny Dip.  So awesomely good.  When I'm in Charleston, my fro yo establishment of choice is Yogurt Mountain.  (Personally I prefer the Dip, but Yogurt Mountain is pretty close.)


I recently discovered the trifecta of build your own restaurants.  It's a brand new place in Charleston called Verde.  I LOVE the concept - build your own salad.  For $6.95 you get lettuce (a lot of lettuce), four toppings, and a piece of bread.  You can add chicken, turkey, or shrimp for a few extra dollars.  I'm more than a little obsessed with this place.  It's been open for about three weeks and I've been about 7 times.  It's bad for my wallet, but it's so good.  I love that I can go there and get something that I don't feel guilty about eating a few hours later.  If you're ever in Charleston, I highly recommend checking it out.


WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT OR FAVORITE FOOD TREND?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Now Hiring

It's that time again.  You know that one last Thanksgiving and last spring where I nearly lost my mind?  That's the one...exams are RIGHT around the corner.  My first one is in two weeks from this Thursday.  Gross.


I always think its kind of interesting what happens to me at this critical time in the semester. What I hold onto and what I let go of.  For example, I cling to my work-out time with a vice-like death grip.  Laundry, on the other hand, goes right to the bottom of my list.  So does prepping my meals.  All of last year I survived finals on a diet that consisted mostly of scrambled eggs.  (As a bonus, the scrambled egg/excessive amount of protein/lots of running lifestyle helped me drop a few pounds during the hectic exam period.)


I've decided that having a personal assistant would make my life approximately a billion times better over the next few weeks.  If you're interested, comment here and we'll start the negotiations.  Your duties will be similar to those of Elaine Bennis when she was working for Mr. Pitt.  Well, no they won't.  You'll have to do my grocery shopping, prep my meals, and do my laundry.  As well as pick up after me when I'm at school.  I'm thinking it would be a ten hour a week commitment.  As an added bonus?  I'll pay you with my eternal gratitude.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Carbs

If you've been reading this thing lately, you'll know that I was recently a bridesmaid in one of my best friends' wedding.  You will also know that I was fixated on losing weight before the big day - which I successfully did!  I attribute my recent weight loss success on a few things: lots of running, almost eliminating soda from my diet, and restricting the amount of carbs I was eating.  I'm mostly giving credit to my carb redux.


Since the wedding I have NOT been able to STOP eating carbs.  It's bad.  Real bad - I had TWO bagels this week.  I think after limiting something I so dearly love, I over did it a little bit.  And now, before the pounds start creeping back on, I need to regain control.  So I'm going to try something new: I'm going to plan out my meals for the next five days, and I'm going to share it with you.  


Now some of the blogs that I follow insert tables into their blogs, but I have no idea how to do that, and I don't have the patience to try to learn right now.  Also I eat practically the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch, so dinner is really the only thing that changes.


So for breakfast: 1/2 cup of Fiber One Cereal with 1/2 cup of skim milk and lots of coffee
Lunch: Salad (lettuce with some protein and lite salad dressing), string cheese, Fiber One yogurt, baby carrots,  and grapes
Snack: An apple


Tonight for dinner I'm making a recipe I found on Pinterest - Creamy Cajun Chicken (don't worry, I'm lightening it up).
I'll eat that until I run out of leftovers (probably Tuesday or Wednesday).
Then I'll have scrambled eggs with some toast for dinner.
Friday night I usually let myself eat something that's a little more "fun" so that meal slot stays open.


I'll check back in next weekend to see how I did staying "on track."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where in the World

I don't think that I've ever really talked about this before, but I'm kind of a morning TV junkie.  Ok, I know you're thinking, "get real, Andrea, you're just a TV addict."  Which is true, but there's something extra special about morning TV.


As much as I love my sleep (and trust me, I do love my sleep) there is something wonderful about waking up a little earlier than I need to so I can sit in bed with my cup of coffee, my computer, and the remote control.  My favorite shows are The Today Show and Morning Joe. Basically my mornings are filled with coffee, blogs, guilty pleasure morning TV (a la Today), and getting my politics fix (a la Morning Joe).  One relatively unintended benefit of this hobby is that I'm usually pretty informed as to what's going on in the world.


This week, my favorite news story has to be the extra-special Today Show segment, Where in the World is Matt Lauer.


For anyone unfamiliar with this series, every day of the week, Matt Lauer goes to a new and interesting world location and reports there.  Usually its about the culture, food, customs, life of the everyday citizen, etc.  What makes the segment even better is that Matt always gives the audience a clue as to his next mystery location.  They are hard as a mother to figure out.  So far this week, Matt has travelled to Namibia, Madrid, and Malaysia.  Who knows where that crazy guy is off to next.  Here's the clue if you'd like to give it a whirl: "Time is of the essence as we train our sights on where it all began for us back in 1998."  


Other than Matt Lauer, its been kind of a crazy/controversial week in the news biz.  


First the trial of Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor.  Legally, I get it.  My criminal law professor even commented today that its a textbook example of involuntary manslaughter.  However, Michael Jackson has been dead for two years (I think) and I think its time to put this story to rest.  Dr. Murray received his sentence and will now spend some time in jail or repaying his debt to society in another way, its not something that needs or deserves this much media coverage.  And that's what I think about that.


Second, the Duggars.  The Duggars, the family that stars in the TLC show "Nineteen Kids and Counting" are expecting their TWENTIETH child.  Now I fully respect Michelle and Jim Bob's decision to have as many children as they'd like, particularly since Michelle and Jim Bob are able to feed, clothe, care for, and generally afford to have twenty children.  However, Michelle's last pregnancy was dangerous.  Their daughter Josie was born early and weighed merely a pound.  There were serious health threats for both mom and baby.  While I respect the Duggars' right to have as many children as they'd like, I do think it can be a bit reckless to bring a baby in the world where the chance of serious injury, birth defect, serious mental/developmental issues, and/or death are so high.  And that is what I think about that.


Finally, the Joe Paterno scandal.  I never thought I'd live in a world where people would be more outraged over the state of college football than the fact that children were sexual molested.  It disgusts me more than a little.  I don't care if you are the king of the world: if you know that children are being sexually abused, know you have a duty to report such abuse to the authorities, and fail to do so...well, quite frankly, you deserve to lose your job. If we, as a society, place more value on the "legacy" of a football coach than we do on the rights of innocent children, well, then, we are sorely misguided.  And I believe I've figured out why this worlds is in such a mess.  We can never place too much value on protecting those who cannot protect themselves, even at the chance that it will affect who is playing a Bowl Game this winter.  And that is what I have to think about that.


Where do you think Matt is off to?
Are you a news junkie?
What are your favorite stories of the week (or stories you love to hate)?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Whirlwind

This weekend was a whirlwind of wonderfulness.  My dear friend Laura's wedding went went off without a hitch.  She was a beautiful bride, the ceremony was gorgeous, as was the reception.  I'm so excited for what's next for this great couple!  


I have absolutely no pictures from the actual wedding day, but the photographer put this one up (by the way, the photographer, Dustin Lewis, was AMAZING...if you're in the 757 and looking for a photographer check out his website here):


photo cred: Dustin Lewis

I am still so beyond honored to have been a part of Laura's special day.  I don't know if words can really express how much I love those girls.  But I know that my life would be incomplete without them.    Now its back to the grind.  The end of the semester will be here before I know it, and then I'll have a lot of time with my girls!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wedding Weekend!

The wedding weekend is here!  As I type, I'm sitting in the Charleston airport, sipping a glass of Pinot Grigio (I'm a nervous flyer and it helps...don't judge), and not caring that I'm going to be missing my evening class today (and I JUST got the wine...so its definitely not the wine talking).  I'm supposed to get home a little before midnight.  I took similar flights two weeks ago when I was home for Fall Break, so hopefully this flight will go as smoothly as that one.


I'm so excited for this weekend!  My friend Laura is marrying a great guy and I'm so honored that she asked me to be a part of their special day.  Laura is Meredith's younger sister so I've known her for forever.  I technically met Laura before I met Meredith.  We were assigned the same seat on the bus when I was in fourth grade and she was in third.  Granted we never spoke to each other, but I've known her for a long, long time.


I'm so happy for her and all of the wonderful things that I know are going to happen to her and David in the future!  I know its going to be a beautiful wedding; a great way to kick off what is surely going to be a beautiful life together.


On a significantly more selfish note, I reached my wedding weight loss goal!!!!  Actually, I BEAT my wedding weight loss goal!!!!  Only 2-3 pounds until I meet my Christmas goal, so now I'm reevaluating my Christmas goal.  I've got a new number in my mind, but it might be difficult/impossible considering Thanksgiving, exams, and Christmas cookies are on the horizon.  We shall see.


Anyway, here's to a great weekend and a great couple!  I'll update you with some excellent photos as soon as possible!  Better run, my flight's about to board!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Boot Envy

First of all, Happy Halloween!  I'm not really a Halloween person (it's my least favorite holiday - that's right, it's even behind Valentine's Day) and I'm especially not in a Halloween mood today.  Some punky kids thought it would be a good idea to egg my car.  Needless to say I was NOT amused - those kids are on my list and if I find out who they are, they can expect a bill for having to take my car to the car wash today.  But I digress...


Now that Halloween is upon us, there is no denying it - fall is here!  Even here in Charleston.  The weather's dipped to the seventies and the locals have all dug out their winter wear including those puffy polar vests.


One hallmark of fall fashion is the boot.  I love boots.  They are cute, they keep your legs warm, they instantly dress up anything you wear.  Unfortunately, I have to love boots from afar.  The problem is that they make most boots for girls with tiny calves...and tiny calves I have not.  


Years and years of soccer and running have left my calves more muscular than the average man's.  No joke.  Year in and year out, I attempt to try on pair after pair after pair of beautiful knee high boots only to have my hopes dashed.  


But I'm coming to terms with my wide-calved-ness.  While they might get in the way of me looking uber-fashionable for the fall/winter months, my calves actually are pretty amazing.  Sure they're big, but the are strong.  They carry me for miles and miles and miles without ever complaining.  Even after my half marathon back in February, they hardly complained at all.  When I exercise, they look strong and toned.  With a tan, they look pretty damn good.


If I can't have style for the next 6 months, at least I'll have strength.  And that's going to carry me farther than any boot ever can.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Weekend

This weekend was my fall break and EXACTLY what I needed.  As anyone who's been reading this recently knows, I've been pretty homesick and was able to get home for the long weekend.  It was so nice to be away from Charleston, law school, and stress.  And even though I did significantly less work than I should have,  I feel like I reclaimed a little piece of my soul over the weekend.


I headed home Wednesday night.  My flight didn't land until close to midnight, so by the time I got home, it was close to 1 and I was TIRED!  I spent the next two days with my family.  Isn't it great how just a little family time can make you feel so loved and needed?  After doing nothing but homework for 2 months, I needed my mom and dad to just dote on me for a while.


Saturday was kind of a crazy day.  In the morning I got up and went with a friend to the Broken Egg Bistro.  I had never been there before, but I sure am going to go back!  If you are ever in the Hampton Roads area and are looking for a great place for breakfast, check them out.  Here is their website.


After breakfast I did some homework, went for a run, and got ready for the weekend's main event - my friend Laura's bachelorette party!!!  First we went out for Mexican (I had a jumbo margarita and quickly forgot that I wanted to document the whole party).  After that we did a scavenger hunt.  In all of the years that I have lived in Chesapeake, I have never had more fun.  This scavenger hunt included tasks like "purchase red lipstick and take a picture of your whole team wearing it."


three of us look like trollops...Meredith looks amazingly good in that shade

After the scavenger hunt, we headed to the bowling alley for some midnight bowling and then it was back to a slumber party.  It was a GREAT night.  Thanks to Ginny for putting together such an awesome night.  I was so glad to get to see all of my friends, I can't wait to see them all again in about 9 days for the wedding!!!



Monday, October 17, 2011

ALMOST THERE!!!!

So I know I've been talking about this for a while, but the big day is almost here - in less than 48 hours (pending clear skies and safe travels) I will be back home in Virginia.  I'm really ready for the break!  

First of all I'm crazy homesick.  I miss my parents and my friends and the fall weather and my cat and my dog and everything wonderful that makes Virginia home.

Second of all, it turns out what they say about law schools is true: first year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, third year they bore you to death (someone please remind me why I signed up for this again???).  Rights now I'm about up to my eyeballs in work and I don't know if it'll ever be done.  Seriously....will there ever be NO work to do???  On top of all of my reading for classes (which is a chore in and of itself), I've been studying for a midterm, writing a case note for law review, trying to be involved in a few extracurricular activities, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and not go crazy in the midst of it (For the record, I think I'm about 3 days away from cracking, so this break is coming at a PERFECT time).  I need an extra 5 hours in a day, just to handle the crazy insomnia I've been experiencing...

I know I still have two whole school days to get through (including that stinking midterm) but I'm currently so excited, I can't sleep!  I can practically smell the freedom of a four day weekend and taste the margaritas I'll be having on Saturday at my friend Laura's bachelorette party.

In fact, I'm so excited I've already written a list of things I need to pack:

don't judge me...i do in fact need a reminder to pack underpants
And even though its still two days away, I have already started packing:

sleeping and running...could my fall break BE any more exciting??
I always get really nervous about packing.  It gets worse when I'm getting ready to go home for a few days.  I don't know why but I have this strange compulsion to pack REALLY AWESOME OUTFITS when I go home.  It's like I have to show everyone that even though I don't have four seconds to myself some days, I can put together three rockin' outfits when I have to.  

Usually I wind up taking enough stuff with me to clothe a small nation for a month.  I'm really trying to avoid that this trip.  To add a little pressure, because I'm flying home and because I'm too cheap to check two bags (why the eff does it cost $25 to check ONE BAG U.S. Air???  I know you're keeping $24.95 of that!  AND you don't even hand out pretzels anymore!!), so everything I'm taking HAS to fit into one (week-long) suitcase.  It's going to be a challenge (hey, you saw the list), but I think I can manage it.

(On an unrelated note, I think this blogging while insomniatic is working - I'm yawning like crazy, hopefully sleep won't be quite so hard to find.)

I'll try to check in over the weekend, but no promises....I actually do have some fun stuff planned for the weekend and quite frankly I think I deserve to enjoy a few days of law-free bliss.  But before I can kick back and relax I need to make it only a little longer: one test, four classes, two night's sleep, and I'll be home sweet home!  Wish me luck on my test, which is in 13 hours (yipes!!!)!!!

Even though its only Monday, my short three-day week has already got me excited for the weekend....so I hope everyone has a good one!!! 

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND?
WHAT ARE YOUR PACKING TIPS? 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Small Victory

Today was kind of a long day.  It was definitely grueling and exhausting.  And I'm still working on homework at 11:03 pm with no end in sight.

I need something to be proud of today.  And I need to share it, because its kind of a big deal.  Those of you who know almost anything about me will appreciate the momentousness of what I'm about to say:

I have not had a Diet Coke in THREE DAYS.  

I'm not really trying to "give up" Diet Coke, but I think I can cut back.  I realized Saturday night that I hadn't had one all day and decided to see if I could go another day without one.  And I did.  And I did it again today (even though I came reeeeealllly close today).  And I think I'll do it again tomorrow.

I did replace today's Diet Coke with (another) cup of coffee.  But I figure, first let's work on getting rid of the artificial sweeteners, then the caffeine.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Today is my very best friend Meredith's birthday!  Last year I wrote a general post about the wonderful person that is Meredith.  Since a picture's worth a thousand words, I think I'll let these do the talking for me this year:







Happy birthday to my best friend, then and now.  Meredith, you are one of the best people I know and I love you more than words can express.  You've taught me how to be true to myself and the value of everlasting friendship.  I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day and I can't wait to see you so soon (!!!) to celebrate!!!  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October

So I know my last post was a little Debbie-Downer-ish.  And for that I apologize.  For some reason, the month of October always makes me more than a little homesick.  By the time it's October, I've been away from home for two months, which means that I already miss my family and friends and my non-law school life.  But it gets a little worse than that.  There are a lot of important things in my life that go on in October, and being 500 miles from home doesn't help.


My mom's birthday is on the third, my best friend's birthday is on the tenth, my dog's birthday is on the thirty-first.  In Virginia, the weather is cool and the leaves are starting to change to crisp oranges, yellows, and reds.  In the early morning and at night, it's cool enough to need a jacket or to break out the fall clothes.  It's the baseball playoff games that I watch with my dad.  It's the cool weather comfort food my family eats.  It's high school football games on Friday nights.  It's crisp cool air.  


I'm homesick.  But I am going home in less than two weeks.  So bear with me.  Over the next few weeks school is going to be CRA-ZY.  Life is going to be hectic.  But in two weeks from right now I'll have been home for more than 24 hours and life will be good.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Slo Mo

The weather has FINALLY cooled off in Charleston which means that I can FINALLY walk around and not end up drenched in my own sweat.  It means I can FINALLY wear normal clothes without worrying about suffering from heat stroke.  In short, the weather is good.


On Friday I decided to go for a run to celebrate.  I was having a great run.  It wasn't too hot, I felt really strong.  Even my iPod was playing all of my favorite songs.  


Everything was going really well until I was just about as far from my apartment as I could possibly be.  I took my eyes off of the uneven sidewalk for a minute to check my watch and my toe caught on a crack in the cement.  Time seemed to freeze as I saw myself slowly falling toward the ground.  I stuck my hands out in a feeble attempt to catch myself, but then leg and hands met with pavement.  


Two full days later my leg looks like this:


and it hurts like whoa
Anyway, I learned a couple of really important things from my most recent trip.  



  1. When you fall, you HAVE to pick yourself up and keep on keeping on.  After I fell, I really wanted to sit on the sidewalk and cry.  But I needed to get back home.  So I stood up, composed myself, and actually jogged most of the way back to my apartment.  Sitting on the sidewalk and crying wasn't going to help anyone or solve anything, so I didn't.
  2. A lot of the time, you have to pull yourself through by yourself.  On the mile and a half between the spill and my apartment I passed at least 30 people.  I had a large, fresh looking raspberry and blood running down my leg.  And not one person asked if I was ok.  I'm still pretty bitter about this.  
So what does all of this mean?  Basically it was a way for me to tell anyone who still reads this blog that I'm rededicating myself to a healthy lifestyle.  For the past few weeks I've been very focused on watching what I'm eating and getting lots of exercise.  And I've seen results.  I've dropped about 4 pounds by cutting the junk from my diet, increasing my protein intake and moving a LOT more.  

Losing weight is hard.  I've fallen off of the bandwagon a lot of time.  When it comes down to it, I have to be the one to pick myself up and keep going.  I can't depend on anyone else to do the work for me.  Weight loss is one battle we have to do for ourselves, by ourselves.  I'm not saying that you're all alone, but I am saying that at the end of the day it comes down to what I decide to eat and how I decide to move.

So here's the scoop.  I'm turning 25 in March.  I'm tired of being overweight.  I do not want to be overweight for another year of my life.  I want to be at my goal weight by my 25th birthday.  Right now I am 24 pounds away from my goal weight.  I want to lose 3 more pounds before my friend Laura's wedding in November.  I want to lose 8 more pounds before Christmas.  

Its go time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

On the Road Again....

Today I'm leaving Charleston, South Carolina heading for Auburn, Alabama.  This trip is kind of momentous for two reasons.  First, I'm going to Alabama...who would ever thought I'd go to Alabama before say Chicago or (in all honesty) California Wine Country.  


The other reason this is kind of momentous trip is because I'm leaving the East Coast time zone for the very first time in my life.  When I was growing up my family never really took a lot of vacations.  When we did we visited family who lived in various places up and down the East Coast.  So this is a big step in the process of making me "traveled."  (I'm pretty sure that since I've never left the East Coast time zone before the age of 24, I'll never be what they call "well-traveled.")


Anyway, I'm heading west with my aunt to go visit my cousin who's a freshman at Auburn.  It's parents' weekend and we're going to the game.  Also excited for my first "big time" football game - because football at UVA was never a BIG deal, like it is at an SEC school.


So I'm off for the weekend!  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Life of a 2L

The thing I want most in the entire world at this very moment is Hermione's Time Tuner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  


The saddest thing is that I would use my time traveling abilities for two very specific things: extra study time and sleep.


I'm over-caffinated, under-rested, and overwhelmed.  Such is the life of a 2L.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In Memory

I know I'm a day late, but the thought of composing this yesterday was really too much for me to handle.  However, I couldn't let the tenth anniversary of 9/11 pass without recognition of the Americans who lost their lives that day.


In years past, I've generally avoided the news on the anniversary; but yesterday I couldn't look away.  I watched the re-airing of the morning's news shows, the opening of the memorial, the interviews with survivors.  I cried a lot yesterday.


I was born on Long Island.  I only lived in New York until I was almost seven, so I don't really have a lot of memories from that time.  But I do have a few.  Every Thursday night during the summer months, my parents and about 50 of their closest friends would meet on the beach for a cookout.  There were always a lot of people, lots of kids, and (in true New York fashion) lots and lots of food.  I remember that every once in a while, on really, really clear nights, you could just see the shadow of the Twin Towers from the beach.  You could just barely make them out but they were there.  After my family moved to Virginia we would frequently make the drive back to New York, and the first things to welcome you were the Twin Towers.  


I loved them.  To me they were a beacon of the hope and opportunity that is New York.


I was in ninth grade on September 11, 2001.  I remember that I was in my freshman history class when one of the other teachers burst into the room and had my teacher turn on the TV.  We watched in horror as the first tower fell.  Soon after, the principal came over the loud speaker and announced that all teachers should turn off the TVs as the events did not relate to our educational curriculum.  The rest of the day crawled.  I remember I desperately wanted to get home. 


The days immediately following 9/11 was the first time that I was really scared in my life.  I remember not feeling safe and unprotected.  I remember going to church and crying my eyes out.  I remember feeling like nothing was ever going to be the same again.


And maybe I was right.  But ten years later, I like to think we've learned something.  I think we have learned the price of freedom and the importance of protecting our ideals and our standards of liberty.


Yesterday was a momentous day.  It was a day that deserved a pause to reflect and remember, but I hope we all take a moment each day to remember all those individuals whose lives were taken from them that day.


May God bless the USA and may we never forget.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Emily Giffin

I invested a lot of my free time this summer into one woman: Emily Giffin.  And honestly I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.  Emily Giffin is the author who penned Something Borrowed (that inspired this movie) and Something Blue.  These two books found their way into my beach bag this summer and I saw the movie with a friend of mine.


Honestly?  I did not like either the book or movie version of Something Borrowed.  I did, however, LOVE Something Blue.  Let me explain.


Both of these books are about long-time best friends Rachel and Darcy.  Rachel is bookish and smart, but she is not assertive and lets people walk all over her.  Darcy is vivacious and selfish and takes advantage of Rachel's insecurity.  Rachel is a lawyer (actually so is Ms. Giffin, the law school bits were super realistic).  In law school Rachel meets Dex, develops a crush on him, and then introduces him to Darcy.  Darcy then falls in love with Dex and they get engaged (this is all explained very, very early on in the book, so no spoilers here!).  


At Rachel's thirtieth birthday party, Darcy gets crazy drunk and steals the show (again).  So Rachel sleeps with Dex.  


My biggest problem with this book was this: yes, Darcy was terrible.  She was an awful, self-centered friend.  But she didn't do anything that would justify her fiance cheating on her with her best friend.  I didn't find it to be quite the moral dilemma that I think Ms. Giffin was hoping for.


Now the movie.  Ok, so the story line carried over which I already didn't care for.  My other big problem with the movie was casting.  The guy that played Dex was crazy hot.  But my problem was that John Krasinski (also known as Jim Halpert) played Rachel's other close friend, Ethan.  There are few men that I love more than Jim Halpert so I had a really hard time rooting for Rachel and Dex to get together as I was really rooting for Rachel and Ethan to live happily ever after.  


I was glad to be done with Emily Giffin, but then THREE of my friends told me that I had to read Something Blue.  I'm glad I listened.  As awful as I thought Something Borrowed was, I loved Something Blue.  Where Something Borrowed is written from Rachel's perspective, this book is told by Darcy.  Which I liked a lot more than I expected.


At the end of Something Borrowed some sh!t gets real.  The sequel picks up where it left off.  Its really about Darcy growing up and becoming a good, honest human being.  While there's some sort of endearing quality about Darcy, this book is also missing the moral dilemma that misses the mark.  


So basically, read Something Borrowed because you need to read Something Blue and quite frankly the sequel won't make as much sense without reading the first book.  Happy reading!


WHAT'S CURRENTLY ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
DO YOU READ BOOKS  YOUR FRIENDS RECOMMEND?
DO YOU LOVE JIM HALPERT TOO???

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Reading 2011

Now that I'm back at school, I'm sorry to report that my summer is OFFICIALLY over.  Which means I can officially do my end of summer reading wrap-up.  So that's almost a win-win scenario right?  (It also means that I can do an official end-of-summer-movie guide.  Unfortunately, I can't even begin to remember all of the summer movies I saw over the past few months, which I think is a sad commentary on modern American cinema.)

Anyway, I read a lot this summer.  It was definitely one thing I made time for.  So I don't bore you to tears with annoying book details, I'm just going to provide a basic summary (title, author, my rating, and brief summary).  You can find all of these books on Amazon which you can access here (this is just going to have to suffice because I am far too lazy to look up each book and post a link to it).

So, without further ado, here is my summer reading list 2011:

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
3/5 Stars
This book was an easy read and on an interesting topic (the uber-wealthy Manhattanite), but not the best book ever.  This was a quick, quick read.  However, I couldn't identify with any of the characters and found most of them reprehensible.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
3/5
Talk about morally reprehensible characters!  I actually am currently writing an entire Emily Giffin post, so I'll spare you the deets here; but I will say this: this book was about terrible, terrible people and the terrible things they do to one another.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
5/5 
This book was EXCELLENT.  Its about a southern Baptist minister who moves his family to Africa to "convert the heathens."  Told from the perspective of his wife and four daughters, no one is quite ready for the way that Africa changes them.  I thought this book was insightful and beautiful.

The Black Dhalia by James Ellroy
3/5
I don't typically read murder/mystery books, but this was a selection for a book club back home.  This book was very dark, and it took me a long, long time to read (I'd put it down when I got scared).  I'd say it was well-written and had a few twists and turns but it did not turn me onto the murder/mystery genre.

Something Blue by Emily Giffin
5/5
As much as I hated Something Borrowed, I loved Giffin's sequel.  Instead of being about terrible people who do terrible things, this was about one person's metamorphosis from terrible to pretty good.  But again, more on this one later.

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
4/5
Oh how I love Jennifer Weiner!  There is just something about the way she writes that absolutely does not let me stop reading!  This one is about a senator's wife and daughters who are living in the aftermath of his infidelity.  His wife's life is turned upside-down; but his daughters are struggling with their own issues: one is a recovering addict and the other is dealing with her loveless marriage.  Weiner's characters are always relatable and real.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares
5/5
This is the 5th book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.  I'd like to write a longer post on this one, but who knows if that will ever happen.  I loved this book.  I've loved all of the Pants books.  This one picks up when the girls are about to turn 30, almost 10 years after the 4th Pants book ends.  This book made me laugh and it made me cry.  In fact, this book made me cry at the drop of a hat for about 4 days.  So read with some tissues!

One Day by David Nicholls
4/5
I decided to read this after I saw the preview for the new movie coming out with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.  This book is about Emma and Dexter who meet in college and are friends forever.  It checks in on Em and Dex every year on the anniversary of the day they met.  Amazing idea.  Nicholls did a great job in making the characters real, but also in keeping certain threads going on throughout the book, so you weren't completely lost after not having seen these characters for a year.

and finally:

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
4/5
This was the first David Sedaris book I'd ever read, but it will not be the last.  A collection of essays, this book would be perfect on vacation as its easy to pick up and put down.  Sedaris is almost sinfully funny and had me laughing out loud in my cubicle.  I love books that make me laugh out loud, and this one did.  

And that's it!  As you can see I was a busy, busy reading bee this summer!  I'm still trying to finish a few books I started over the summer, so hopefully I'll be able to update you on those soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It was like I Blinked...

...and summer was over!  Seriously...WHERE DID IT GO?!?!?!?


Before anyone who's a teacher bemoans me for shortening their summer break by 2 or 3 weeks, let me explain...today was my last day of work for the summer.  Monday I head back to Charleston.  I move into my apartment on Tuesday.  The following Monday?  Why, on the following Monday, school starts up again.


Seriously where did my summer go?


It was only yesterday when I had gotten home and had three weeks off before I started working.  I was bored.  Then I started working at the law firm.  And life was good.  Then I started working at Raytheon.  And life was good.  Then working 2 jobs caught up with me and life got hectic.  And then I blinked and now its August and am sitting in my room looking at a pile of clothes and books and shoes and bags and all of the materialistic things that I own trying to figure out how how I'm going to get it all back to Charleston (and also, how is it that my things seem to magically multiply when I store them?).


So what HAVE I done with my summer?  Well not that much.  I'm not saying that it wasn't a good summer, it was, but it wasn't the most eventful summer of my life.  But I'm alright with that.  I read a lot.  I saw a LOT of movies.  I spent a TON of time with friends.  All in all, not so bad, even if all of it took place in Chesapeake, VA.  


Now I know I've been super crappy at updating this thing.  And honestly, I don't really have a good reason.  Life kind of just got in the way, what can I say?  I've been thinking about any of you who still read this, and I've even been planning posts, but I've been having a hard time putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  But anyways, I'm back.  And, hopefully, here to stay.  Be on the lookout for some good stuff!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Bucket List

I was out with some friends tonight and we started talking about that movie Secretariat.  Now personally I love horse-racing (before you start yelling I KNOW its not the most humane thing ever), so I mentioned that attending the Kentucky Derby is on my Bucket List.  For people not in the know, a bucket list is a list of things you hope to accomplish before you kick the bucket. When I mentioned going to the Derby, one of my friends asked what else is on my list.  So without further ado, an excerpt from Andrea's bucket list:



  1. Go to Paris
  2. Swim in the Pacific Ocean
  3. Run the NYC marathon
  4. Be a millionaire
  5. Go to the Kentucky Derby
  6. Go sky-diving
  7. Write something that is published
  8. Complete a triathlon
  9. Raise a dog for a seeing eye dog organization
  10. Go to Italy
  11. Learn Spanish
  12. Pass the bar
  13. Go to a World Series game
  14. Volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  15. See the Northern Lights
  16. Drive cross-country
  17. Visit wine country
  18. See the Grand Canyon
  19. Finish a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle - without help
  20. Drive a convertible
  21. Go to the Olympics
  22. Go on a cruise
  23. Live in New York City (just for a little while)
  24. Go to England
  25. Learn to (re)play the piano.
I know its a lot of traveling but I've never left the country (heck, I've never left the east coast of THIS country).  That's it for now!

WHAT'S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?!?!?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hello again!

Wow!  It's been a while since my last post!  I don't really have a reason why, so my bad!  I've been enjoying the long summer days that have made me forget that I have my own little space in this blogosphere!  

So I've now been home for just about a month.  Virginia is good.  So very good.  I never realize how homesick I get until I'm back home in my own little corner of the world.  

Anyway, the past few weeks have been full of days at the beach/pool which have given me a ROCKING tan!  Seriously I usually don't get this tan ever, but if I do I'm usually not this dark until the end of July or August.  It's awesome.

I also started working.  This summer's kind of different than summers past...I'm working about ten hours a week at a local law firm and thirty hours a week at good old Raytheon (where they not only graciously gave me all of those hours but are also willing to competitively compensate me for my time!).  This week is going to be my first week of juggling the two places so I have a feeling its going to be a bit of an adventure.  Either that or a train wreck, but we'll see what happens.

Other than that, I've been keeping pretty busy.  I've been lucky to get to spend lots of time with friends and my parents.  I've seen bunches of movies and gone out to eat more than I really should.  I love it.  It might not be the most eventful summer or even the most exciting, but its working for me, and I'm loving every single day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Reading

One of my very, very favorite parts of summer is that I have TONS of free time that I can direct to one of my more favorite pastimes, reading.  


I actually got a little bit of an early jump on the summer reading this year.  After our momentous appellate brief was due, I decided that I deserved a few days to read a non-serious, non-legal book.  My choice?  Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner.


Before I dive into the book review, can I just say how much I love Jennifer Weiner?  I'm not a crazy, huge fan of chick lit.  I usually lose my patience with the flimsy, self-absorbed "heroines" that are only trying to find "THE guy."  But Jennifer Weiner's not like that.  It's still chick lit.  But her characters are more developed.  They're real women.  They have real problems and deal with loneliness, heartbreak, and real self-doubt.  I usually feel like I know the women in Jennifer Weiner's novels.  Hell, sometimes I feel like I am one of the characters in her novels.


Enter Good in Bed.  It's about twenty-something Cannie Shapiro, a Philadelphia based journalist who's experienced moderate success in her job.  She struggles with her weight and has some serious family issues.  Cannie recently broke up with a long-term boyfriend Bruce and desperately wants him back.  Until he publishes an article entitled "Loving a Larger Woman" in a nationally syndicated magazine.  


This book takes Cannie from Philadelphia to New York and out to Los Angeles.  She grows and changes and finds herself.  I don't want to give too much away but I will say that it was a good read and I'd highly recommend it.  Once you're done with it, I'd also recommend reading the second novel about Cannie (Certain Girls) which I had read several years ago without knowing that it was a sequel to Good in Bed.


Be on the look-out for more book reviews!  Happy reading!!!


WHAT'S ON YOUR SUMMER READING LIST???