Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creamy Spaghetti

Spaghetti is probably my favorite real food.  My favorite snack food is reduced fat Cheez-its, but my favorite dinner is definitely spaghetti.  If it were just me (and when it has been just me before), spaghetti would probably be on the menu at least once a week.  But the boy seems to like a little variety in his menus, so we don’t have it all that often.  A fun way to mix it up is by doing creamy spaghetti.  All you have to do is add either cream or cream cheese to the sauce.  I’ve done both, and they were both equally delicious.  I’ve served it with chicken before, but last week we had it with Italian sausage and it was delicious

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I also served it with a wedge salad on the side.  I have decided to only serve wedge salads from now on (unless I but salad in the bag).  Why bother cutting/tearing the lettuce when you can just quarter it and call it good?

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Computer Vinyl

I decided my new laptop was looking a little naked, so I decided to spruce her up a bit:

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I love love love cutting vinyl with my Cricut.  I have used both the Cricut brand vinyl and an off brand as well and they both work well.  I have had some issues mastering the use of transfer paper, but I’m pretty sure that is user error.  I especially like that the vinyl is durable, yet if you get tired of it, you can always just peel it off.  I used my SCAL software for these designs, but you can find super cute stuff on the cartridges as well.

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Now she’s looking nice and pretty.  If you had two similar laptops in the house, this would be a great way to tell whose is whose.  I didn’t even have spend any new money on this project since I already had the vinyl.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Day Summary

Menu:

Sunday: Dinner with Friends

Monday: Memorial Day Cookout with Friends

Tuesday: BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Wednesday: Breakfast

Thursday: Chicken Parmesan

Friday: Taco Bell Quesadillas

Saturday: Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Project Goals:

Get all the half finished projects on my craft table done

What I Accomplished Last Week:

Got my office/craft room (mostly) cleaned up) and started bar prep

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Getting Organized

I am forever hopeful that one of these days my life is going to slow down.  I was sure that after graduation things would start moving at a leisurely pace and I would be able to enjoy a couple of weeks off.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Not one bit.  Then this week bar prep started.  Apparently I am supposed to be studying for the bar 8-12 hours a day.  I don’t do anything for 12 hours a day.  My attention span is not that long.  All week I’ve been taking tests to learn just how much I do not know.  And to top it all off, I woke up sick yesterday.  Lame. 

You may have figured it out by now, but I kind of gave up on the everyday in May thing.  I just didn’t have time and it got to the point where it felt more like a chore than something fun to do.  No point in doing it if I’m not going to enjoy it.  Plus for the most part, my life is really boring.  I went to the lake last weekend with some friends and had a great time, but didn’t take any pictures.

I found this quote in my latest issue of Real Simple: “When I cannot bear outer pressure anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings….  As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.  It pretty much sums me up perfectly.  So this week I’ve been getting my life in order before the crazy madness of bar prep really sets in.  The good news for you is that I even made a blogging schedule so I will have posts up regularly (knock on wood).  The bad news is that the most creative thing I’ve done all week is clean my office so I have a place to study and to craft.  So nothing new to post today, but the new schedule will start tomorrow, so check back then.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Laptop Case

I got a new laptop for graduation.  My old one still works and I am still using it because SCAL is no longer compatible with Circuit, so I am going to keep using the version I have which does work for as long as possible.  Also my old laptop has Photoshop, and while my parents have informed me that I can move it onto the new one, I have been too lazy to do so.  Anyway, so while I have a functional computer, its got a few quarks from being used and toted to and from school pretty much daily over the last three years.  And since I have to use my own computer to take the Bar in July, I wanted something more reliable.  Enter a very generous grandmother who supplied me with my as yet to be named new laptop.

Since the new laptop is not going to go on nearly as many trips as the old one did, I asked for, and received, one with a bigger screen.  Only problem with this is that it doesn’t fit into my old laptop case.  It won’t be going on many outings, but I wanted it to be safe during the ones it does go on.  Now, I could have gone out and bought a case, but where would be the fun in that?  I didn’t have too many requirements other than it be cute and not have a zipper because the idea of sewing a zipper scares me.  I did some googling and finally settled on this tutorial from The Cottage Home.  I used magnetic snaps instead of buttons (because button holes scare me too) and added some ruffles, because let’s face it, everything is cuter with ruffles.  So without further ado, I bring you my new laptop case:

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The outside is made from a home d├ęcor weight fabric to make it a little more sturdy and the ruffles are from two fat quarters.

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To make it a little more cushy I used a pre-quilted fabric for the lining.  DSCN3187

Close up of the ruffles.  I tried to use my ruffler foot but it was giving me all kinds of trouble so I ended up just adjusting my stitch length and tension.

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Here’s a close up of the top.  Next time I would probably but the snap on the body down lower but I was afraid the ruffles would get in the way.  I don’t think the straps are really as lopsided in real life as they look in this picture.  Overall though, I love it and I’m pretty sure my laptop loves it too.  Just don’t let my old laptop see it—its case is a free one that I got from school.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Worldly Wednesday

Paris (8)

I love to travel and have been lucky enough to have visited a lot of amazing places.  Every Wednesday I’m planning on featuring one picture of the places I’ve been.

Strawberry Pie in a Jar

I wanted to do a fun, portable dessert for Mother’s Day with the Boy’s family.  I happen to LOVE strawberries, so when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries and Cream Pie at Our Best Bites, I knew that was what I wanted to make.  Plus his sister doesn’t do much dairy so I could easily do chocolate covered strawberries for her.  I’ve seen cake/cupcakes/pie in a jar all over, so I thought that would be the easiest way get it from our house to theirs and then out on our outing without making a mess.  So I gathered my supplies and got started.

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It was a super simple recipe that even I couldn’t mess up.  Can’t forget the jars though.

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Oh good, there they are.  I got them at Wal-Mart, in case you are looking for some of your own.

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I wish I could say that no chocolate bunnies were harmed in the making of this dessert, but that clearly was not the case.  We had a bunch of chocolate Easter candy left so I melted that before I broke into the chocolate chips (I’m cheap).

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Before filling the jars, I got each part ready—the crust, the strawberries, the filling and the chocolate (which was on the stove so it didn’t make it into the picture).  They Boy started helping me at this point since I only have two hands.

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I don’t know how well you can tell from this picture, but I used a small, flat-ish ladle to push the crust into the bottom.  I like a lot of crust, so I did it pretty thick.  Then my hands were too full to take pictures but I layered crust, filling, strawberries, chocolate, filling, strawberries and chocolate.  I went for two layers since my jars were a little taller.

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Here’s some close ups.  I topped them with some left over puff quilt fabric (it was already cut and everything).  You can tell that they are a little bit rustic, but for our first go around, it wasn’t bad.  Plus they were delicious!

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The final touch was to add a plastic fork with some ribbon.  They’re not in the picture, but I also did two with just chocolate covered strawberries.  Pretty much the only thing I would do differently is to make more of the filling because I could have used a bit more to fill the jars a bit more.  They would probably also be a little prettier with less chocolate, but the Boy either doesn’t know what drizzle means or he knew that they would be extra tasty with extra chocolate.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Here's What Happened...

So the Thursday before graduation (that would, I believe, have been two Thursdays ago), the Boy got me some flowers.  Well actually what happened was that I told the Boy he was getting me flowers so we went to Costco and I picked out and paid for some flowers.  He has, two or three times, of his own accord gotten me flowers, but if I want flowers, I pretty much have to get them myself.  That's just how we roll here.  So anyway, I got some flowers.  They were pink and pretty and I put them in a vase by the door.  Then last Thursday, we came home from doing whatever it is that we had been doing and all of a sudden realized that it had, in real time, been a week since I had gotten said flowers.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but it has only been about 30 seconds in Courtney time.  The week flew by and I feel like I got nothing accomplished.  The days since Thursday haven't been much better.  I have things to share, they just haven't had a chance to make it from my head to my computer yet.  I'm thinking sometime in the next couple of days I can make that happen, so don't give up on my quite yet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catching Up On May

Did you guys think I had given up on my Every Day in May project?  My mom did (hi mom), but have no fear, I’ve just been disgustingly busy.  I have all kinds of excuses—would you like to hear them?  Well lets start with a little thing called graduation, or make that 3 graduations in two days.  Then there were two days spent at the Boy’s parents house, one sans laptop, one with my laptop but no internet.  And I got a new laptop for graduation (love it!) but I didn’t have any good photo/scrapbooking software on it, so I had to remedy that (using My Memories digital scrapbooking, which I’m loving so far).  Oh yeah, and I’m still working.  So yeah, I needed some time to catch up, but catch up I have so get ready for this:

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Composition Book Covers

I have five good girl friends that I have gotten really close to during law school and I wanted to get them a little something as a graduation gift.  I was looking through my favorites and came across this link and thought it would be perfect.  We are about to start bar prep and I figured that if we had to study then at least they needed something cute to take notes on.  Her tutorial is easy to follow and unless you are the world’s slowest sewer aka me, then they don’t take much time at all.  I used duck cloth.  Make sure you get the double fold bias tape or it won’t work.  Also don’t get the quilting bias tape unless you cut the fabric bigger than she tells you to. 

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I used extra bias tape to make rosettes to go on the front.  I love love love the fabric!

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Graduation Day

Today’s a big day for me because today I graduate from law school.  That’s some crazy business.  I have wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember.  All throughout high school and college, I did things with the intention that they would help me get into law school.  By the time my senior year of college rolled around, I wasn’t so sure anymore.  There wasn’t anything else that I wanted to do, but I didn’t know if I wanted to go straight into law school.  I had just gotten back into the country after being gone for a year and was involved in a million activities so I was always busy and stressed.  My mom went to a law school fair thing for me (I couldn’t go because of a school commitment) and someone there told her that if I wanted to get in anywhere that I needed to have my application done before Christmas.

I basically was at the point where I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed to do something.  I finally decided that I would apply to two local schools and if they didn’t work out then I would take a year off to reevaluate.  I knew that if it was in God’s plan for me to go straight into law school, then he would make it happen.  I got my applications in during January and then it was a waiting game.

I remember exactly when the lady from UMKC called me.  It was the last Friday in February—my birthday was on Monday.  I was up on my sorority wing because we were having initiation.  I don’t even know why I answered my phone when she called because usually I don’t answer when I don’t recognize the number.  But I did and she asked me if I had decided where I was going to law school. I explained that I hadn’t been accepted anywhere yet because I didn’t have a complete application because I was having a hard time getting a professor to turn in a letter of recommendation.  She said “oh let me be the first to congratulate you” and told me that I had been accepted and was being offered a couple of scholarships.  I was over the moon but took the weekend to think about it and talked it over with my folks, but ended up accepting the next week.

There are better law schools out that than UMKC but I really think I made the right decision for me.  It has been a really great place to go to school.  I’m not going to say that I enjoyed it all of the time, or even most of the time, because that wouldn’t be true.  But that is the nature of law school.  I am so glad that I did it but I am even more glad that I am done.  It has been really tough academically and emotionally.  I feel like I missed out on a lot of things because I was always having to study.  I know that one of these days, all that hard work will pay off though. 

The main thing I loved about UMKC was the people.  I made some really good friends over the past three years.  We laughed, studied, drank, procrastinated and complained together.  It seems like the elite law schools are all super competitive which would not have worked for me.  I needed to be in a place where someone would send me notes if I missed a class or explain something to me that I really just didn’t get. For me it is the people who really make experiences worthwhile and I couldn’t have spent the last three years with better people.

For today, I’m just going to enjoy the moment.  Enjoy being with all of the great friends I have made over the last three years.  In a few weeks I start 9 weeks of Bar prep, but for today I am just going to bask in the glow of my accomplishment. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Every Day in May--May 3

Every Day in May--May 2

I didn't get around to this last night because the Boy finished his finals and we went out for a drink with some people in his class.  But, without further ado, here's May 2nd:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Every Day in May--1

I decided to do something fun for May.  I’m going to try to take at least one picture every day and put it into a digital scrapbook layout.  I’m more likely to follow through with it if it is public knowledge, so I’m going to post the pages here!  Here’s the page for May 1st:

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Its not much, mostly because my computer is being a little tweakish right now but I wanted to get it done and posted because I don’t want to fall behind on the first day.  My goal is to get the LO done each night before bed, but I know that won’t happen every day.  Keep checking back for more of what I’m doing in May!