Category Archives: Life

The Big Announcement: I’m Moving!

Standard

Now that I’ve gotten a few things in order, it’s time for the big announcement that I alluded to this morning (and announced on Twitter) – I’m moving to Blogger! After a lot of thought and deliberation, I decided that instead of having to pay for more WordPress space, I’m going to move to a new blog entirely.

In some ways, this makes me a little sad, especially given that this particular blog and I have almost 2 years (!) of history at this point. However, it also seems a little fitting. I’m just about finished with my wedding recaps and, after all, this did start out as a wedding planning blog. The wedding is now done, you’ve seen all of the recaps…so this seems like a good time in my blogging life to move on. I think Blogger will make it easier to build relationships with bloggers my own age and with similar tastes, so that’s the move that I’ve decided to make.

For the next week or so I’ll be finishing up my wedding recap posts, but then I’m going to officially retire “Life. Love. Law.” If you’d like to keep following me (and I hope that you do!), please come check out my new blog called “Latte and a Prayer” over on Blogger. It’s going to basically be the same kinds of non-wedding posts that I’ve been writing here for some time now, just in a slightly different format to fit the Blogger platform. I hope that if you’re reading this, you’ll at least drop by for a visit!

September Budget

Standard

Well, the good news is that I did much better at sticking to my budget this month than I did last month. The bad news is that I probably still spent too much, especially considering all of the computer troubles that cropped up a few weeks ago. Still, I did much better about only buying things that were on sale or shopping at stores where I had coupons, which made a huge difference. Here are some of the pieces I got (the full list, including prices, is after the pic):

Left column: Packers shirt from Old Navy ($9.50 after coupon), Pink Cardigan from NY&Co ($25.77 on sale), Plaid shirt from Maurices ($0, a “just because” gift from my mom, who also had a coupon)

Center column: Leopard loafers from DSW ($34.95 after coupon), Sequined oxfords from DSW ($29.95 after coupon), Ulta “Oh!” from Ulta ($6)

Right column: Julep Mystery Box ($19.95), BGBGeneration bracelet from Younkers ($14.95 after coupon), Striped tee from Old Navy ($16.99 on sale), Black tunic from Old Navy ($12 on sale)

Total: $164.14

Again, I tried to make my purchases this month very versatile, and I think I did a good job of that. I also think I did a pretty good job of sticking to my “September Wish List” – I found two pairs of fall shoes that both go with just about everything, and the tunic from Old Navy is the closest thing to the “perfect black shirt” that I’ve found so far (I got it in black, not the gray color pictured). The one thing I definitely need to start watching more closely is the amount of nail polish I buy…it’s so easy to get just one or two bottles here and there, but it really adds up after a while! I’m participating in 2 polish swaps in October, and that should keep me stocked with new and interesting colors for a while. I’m committing to not buying any new polish in October except the Julep Maven box. In fact, a shopping ban in general for the month of October sounds like a good thing. My goal for next month is to keep my purchases under $100, so I can put that money towards our honeymoon in December.

Linking up with Franishh’s Budgeting Bloggers. 🙂

The Lost Weekends & Color ADD

Standard

Do you ever wake up on Monday morning and just feel a little bit defeated? On Friday I was so excited to have 3(ish) full days to get caught up on work…but did I? Absolutely not. So today I’m back to the grind and catching up…this semester is getting the best of me pretty quickly! We did have a great weekend though – Shaun and I attended the wedding of one of my close friends from high school. They’re one of those couples who you can just tell how much they love each other when they look at each other, so it was a really touching ceremony and a really special day.

Shaun and I all dressed up for the wedding! I love the colors, the pumpkins and gourds from my grandma’s farm…and the puppy photobomb.

Look familiar? Their ceremony was at the same chapel and performed by the same minister that ours was! It was a gorgeous day, and the fall colors were in full swing in the background as well (although you can’t really tell from this picture.

The photos are really dark, but you can just feel how much these two mean to each other. They’re both amazing people, and I’m so happy that they’re happy together.

In other news, I’ve had a bit nail-polish ADD in the last week/several days. It seems that no matter how often I change my nail color, I’m constantly thinking about what I’m going to do next. And the second that it gets even the tiniest chip, I remove all of it and start from scratch again. Here are just a few of the colors I’ve been wearing since my last polish post on Monday, including the one that I’m wearing right now:

Julep “Sienna”

This is the color that I intended to wear to the wedding, because I thought it complemented the colors of my outfit nicely. Unfortunately, I got a massive chip on one of my nails the night before. Which led to…

L’Oreal Pro Manicure “Sweet Nothings”

Apologies in advance for the sloppiness of this mani, but I did it in about 20 minutes at my parent’s house as we were dropping off the dog on our way to the wedding. Since I’m back and forth all the time, I keep all of my nail polish things at my apartment, but that meant that I had nothing to whip up a new mani…so I had to borrow my mom’s colors quickly. It took about 3 coats to get it this dark, and by the time it finally dried, there was no time for clean-up.

Revlon Colorstay “Stormy Night”

The color I’m currently wearing. It’s a bit more purple than the pictures show, but I love the almost-purple, almost-gray shade.

Other than the usual business for the week ahead, I’m excited to be participating in two nail polish swaps with other blogs – we’re sending out our packages to our partners today, and I believe next week will be the big blog reveal. I can’t wait for my partners to see the polishes that I picked out for them…based on our limited conversations, I think they’re really going to like them!

Linking up with Mani Monday and the Nail Files!

DIY Friday

Standard

It’s Friday! I can’t possibly tell you how excited I am for this weekend. Not only do I have my computer back (finally!) but I’m also spending the weekend with many friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in quite a while! And that makes me very excited. Especially because the reason that I’m going to be seeing many of them is because one of my best friends from high school is getting married!

This is the first wedding that I’ll be attending after our own. I did go to my mom’s cousin’s wedding ceremony the weekend after Shaun and I got married, but I wasn’t technically invited – my mom was just looking for a church buddy. I must say, choosing wedding gifts for people is now much more difficult that we’ve been through the whole process. I know a lot of guests put a lot of thought and time into the gifts that they chose for us, and I really want to continue the tradition of doing the same for them, especially my close friends. If it was up to Shaun, we’d just have written them a check and called it a day. But not this girl! In addition to getting them a gift card to a store where they registered, I decided to DIY a little home decor featuring their new monogram. (Don’t worry, I’m not ruining the surprise by putting it on here…she’s way too busy today to be reading my blog!)

I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of the process because I left my camera at home last weekend and was kind of under a time crunch to get the project done, but this is the final product, minus the ribbon that it will hang from!

This project was actually really simple, and really fun! I bought all of the pieces separately from JoAnn Fabrics – the wooden letters, one bunch of those white flowers, paint primer, paint, and a sealer. I primed the wood, added several coats of paint to each of the letters, and sealed them after everything was dry. I attached the smaller letters to the large one with E6000 glue, and when that was all dry I added the flower as well. The last step will be adding little hooks and a ribbon so that the wall hanging can actually…hang.

And because I didn’t want to completely start a new project without having tried it before (especially when I planned on giving the final result as a wedding gift…) I made one for our apartment as well!

It was after I added the flowers to our own monogram hanging that I decided to only add one on the hanging for my friends. Maybe it’s the narrower shape of the “H” than the “W”, but they’re definitely overpowering my “K.” I still love it though!

The total cost of the project was under $20 – the big letters were about $5 each and the little letters were about $2 each. The biggest expense was probably the paint, but I have a lot left over for future projects!

Do you like monogram home decor as a wedding gift idea? Have you ever made a wedding gift for someone? If so, what was it?

The Biggest Risk I’ve Ever Taken

Standard

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? I should start off by saying that I’m not really the risk-taking type. I’m the type of person who thinks everything through about 50 times before doing it, who weighs all of the options before committing, who likes to know exactly what I’m getting myself into before I commit to something. But there have been a few times in my life (more and more, lately) where I decide to just go for it and see what happens. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t…but that’s half the fun, right?

I have to say without a glimmer of a doubt that the biggest risk I’ve taken thus far in my life was going to law school. There are countless sources out there saying every day why law school is a horrible decision and why no self-respecting, intelligent individual would try to enter the field of law in the United States right now. But I did.

The legal market in this country is abysmal right now, there’s no denying that. But I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that for many, many years a law degree guaranteed you a cushy associate position in a relatively large firm as long as you had good grades. IMO, it attracted the wrong sort of people to the profession. Lawyers by nature are adversarial in this country, but the idea of a well-paying job just for getting a degree after college brings in people who are only in it for the money, not because they like the work. $100,000+ salaries right out of law school don’t really exist anymore (at least not for people graduating from a non-Ivy school like mine, even if it is Tier 1), and honestly with the career that I’m pursuing, it’s doubtful that I’ll ever see that figure in my life.

Still, the risk of going to law school has been completely worth it for me. I’ve finally found work that I find both rewarding and challenging – up until this point, everything that I’ve done seems to only have fit into one of those two categories. And even law school itself hasn’t been so bad. My classes this semester are nothing to write home about, but I think the journal and mock trial will be really great resume builders experiences. And I can’t even begin to describe how amazing some of the people that I’ve met because of law school are. The decision to go to law school will continue to be a “risk” in my book until I find a job after graduation. But for now, I’m just along for the ride.

So now that you’ve heard mine…what was the biggest risk that you ever took?

Bookworm

Standard

Happy Thursday, everyone! I’m really starting to love Thursdays…it’s the part of the week where I no longer have class and can spend my days finally catching up on all of the work that I need to get done before the end of the week. This week that means a cite-checking packet for the journal that I’m on, catching up with clients and other stuff at work, and (of course) the homework I’ve been slightly neglecting. But today is an extra special Thursday…one where I get to reveal how big of a geek I really am to the entire Internet. Ready? Of course you are!

What makes today so special, you ask? JK Rowling’s new novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy is being released today!

I pre-ordered it for my Nook, and I’m really excited to start reading it. Although I must admit, it’s going to be weird opening a new Rowling novel (figuratively, of course, since I’ll be reading on an e-reader) and not feeling the urge to read and read and read until I’ve digested all of it within 24 to 48 hours. Yeah…that’s how I read each of the Harry Potter books.

In case you haven’t gleaned this yet, I’m a bit of a Potter-head. And by bit, I mean…well…it may have played a role in how we chose our honeymoon destination for December. (Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I am so ready for you!) My favorite radio station in Madison recently completely changed their format and the style of music that they play, and I was so frustrated by the change that I decided I wasn’t going to listen to the radio anymore. Between my rides to and from campus every day and my 3 hour each-way drives home each weekend, I spend a lot of time in my car. So what have I been listening to? Harry Potter, of course.

Two summers ago when I was driving back and forth a lot to Green Bay for work, I listened to the 7th book to help the time pass more quickly. Trust me when I say it’s way better than hearing the same 5 to 10 songs played over and over again. So when they cancelled my only radio station worth listening to, I decided to start with book 5…the book that I only read once because I was so distraught over (spoiler alert) Sirius’ death. It was even better than I remembered, and now I’m currently listening to book 6. The 3 hour drives from Madison to Green Bay and back fly by when I have an actual story to listen to. And I’ve actually found that listening to the books as opposed to reading them (after having read them previously, of course) means that I hear all of the little details I might gloss over by reading certain parts too quickly. It’s an entirely different experience, and it’s wonderful for a series like Harry Potter. After I finish 6, I’m planning on going through the whole series from start to finish!

In addition to listening to Harry Potter and reading Ms. Rowling’s new book on the side, I also bought the novel Gone Girl before school started because I’d read from several other bloggers how amazing it was.

I really like it so far, but I haven’t gotten too far into it yet because of all of the reading I’ve had to do for school. Obviously, I have high aspirations for my “free time”…whenever I find some.

Are you currently reading a great book (or two!)? And what are your feelings about books on tape? I like them…but only after I’ve “properly” read the book at least once…otherwise it’s cheating!

Baby Dog, Growing Up

Standard

In the midst of everything that’s been happening lately, I completely forgot that we passed Tucker’s half birthday! He’s now 6 months old, and I can’t believe that we’ve already had him in our lives for 4 whole months. In some ways that seems so short, but in other ways I already sort of can’t remember what life was like without him.

He’s still not quite fully grown, but he’s about 20 pounds and shouldn’t gain more than 5 or so before he’s done growing. I think he’s getting to be quite a handsome (albiet sassy…) little man. 🙂

A Feel-Good Outfit

Standard

What makes a great outfit? Is it something that’s trendy or new or cutting edge? For me, it’s more something that I feel comfortable in. It’s not often that I find the “perfect” anything – I don’t have a “perfect” pair of jeans, or a “perfect” t-shirt. But this weekend when I was shopping with my mom, I found a few pieces that I really like. When I put them on, I feel like me. They fit well, they work well with my personality and my style. And that’s the one thing that I think makes a great, feel-good outfit! Confidence!

I got this shirt from one of my favorite stores, and I had a 20% off coupon! Plaid is very in right now, but what I love most about the shirt is the way it fits and flatters me, the colors, and how comfy it is.

And let’s take a closer look at the bracelet from that previous picture – another weekend buy. I was still feeling pretty down about my computer problems from last week when I was shopping with my mom, and when I found this bracelet at Younkers (which was on sale and I had a 25% off coupon from the Goodwill sale), I knew that I had to have it. Here’s a better look…

That’s right – fearless. And even though I wasn’t feeling so fearless yesterday when I was worried about my sick puppy, wearing the message on my arm gave me strength and the confidence to know that everything would be ok in the end. It might be cheesy, but it really worked. And look at all of those lovely polish colors! Those all came in my Julep Mystery Box last week, and I’m pretty excited to use them. 🙂

In case you were wondering, the puppy is doing well. He must have just been carsick, but the whole experience was nerve-wracking nonetheless. It’s tough to see your baby sick! (That statement alone makes me nervous for when Shaun and I have children some day…) Anyway, I really hope that this was an isolated incident with Tucker, because we ride in the car back and forth between Green Bay and Madison a lot. And I got some other great news last night too…I made the mock trial team for law school! So things really do seem to be turning around.

Do you have an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself, even if it’s not the most fashion forward or “put together” outfit you own?

A Truly Manic Monday

Standard

Do you ever feel that nothing can go right?

I already told you about the computer troubles that I had last week that are causing me a major headache. Well, when it rains, it pours apparently. Today is my husband’s birthday, so I stuck around home during the morning instead of heading back to Madison last night so that I could at least spend a little time with him (even though he had to work, so I got to see him for about…5 minutes at 4 am).

I used the morning to finish up some homework that was due today, and got on the road with Tucker around 10:30. Now, the drive from Green Bay to Madison is about 2 1/2 hours long, and nothing was really out of the ordinary until we were about 20 minutes away from my Madison apartment. Out of nowhere, Tucker got very sick in the car…he probably threw up about 4 times in the car alone. Tucker never gets car sick, and we make this trip quite often, so I was worried.

When we got home, he drank some water and couldn’t keep any of it down for at least an hour. He was listless and just…not his usual crazy-puppy self. I called my mom, Shaun, and finally the vet to see whether it was serious enough to take him into an emergency vet in Madison. Our vet told me to wait and see if he seemed more normal in a few hours and to watch his digestion over the course of a few hours. If he was still going to the bathroom normally and was starting to be able to eat and drink small amounts, he was probably just carsick. Luckily, as of right now, that’s what seems to have happened. But I have to tell you, I was one distraught doggy mama this afternoon.

And so even though it seems a little trivial compared to my sick baby today (which maybe I’m blowing way out of proportion, but it really freaked me out), it is Monday, and I do have a mani to share with you all. I went shopping with my mom this weekend, and bought this color from Ulta to cheer me up about my computer woes.

Base Coat: Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea & Bamboo Strengthener
Color: Ulta Salon Formula “Oh!”
Top Coat: Seche Vite Fast Dry Topcoat

In addition to the nail polish, I got a few other cute pieces that I was really excited to wear today. But I’m going to save those photos for another post, because I’m exhausted after today’s events. Let’s hope things start to turn around soon!

Linking up with Mani Monday and the Nail Files.

A Pity Party

Standard

Let me tell you, blog friends…I am so glad it’s the weekend. It’s been a crazy week, and not in a good way for most of it.

First of all, I decided to try out for my law school’s mock trial team this week, which took up most of my brain power and time. Luckily, the tryout went ok, and I’ll be finding out this week whether or not I made the team. I have about a 50/50 chance, and I’m really hoping I made it…but I’m trying not to get my hopes up, just in case. You know how that goes.

Thankfully the worst of it didn’t happen until after the tryouts were over (I don’t think I could have handled the stress!) but my computer decided to stop working Wednesday morning while I was trying to make up hours at work. When I took my Macbook Air to the Apple Store in Madison, they told me that it was a problem with the keyboard, and that they were going to order a new part and fix it in the store. Everything was covered under warranty. Easy peasy.

On Thursday, I got a call from Apple saying they had gotten the part and were trying to replace it, they found extensive “liquid damage” inside of my computer. I don’t really know how that happened, but it meant two things: 1) the repair was no longer under warranty and 2) there were several other important parts of my computer that needed to be fixed in addition to the keyboard. They quoted me a price that made my no-income-living-on-student-loans heart drop, and told me that if I wanted to back up my files before they sent it to be fixed, I had to bring in an external hard drive. But if I did these things, and did the repair through Apple, my computer would still be under warranty for the remaining 2 years of my AppleCare plan.  I cried a bit, vented to some friends, decided to just pay for the fix, and brought in a hard drive. I was upset, but was starting to get over it. At least I would have my computer and all of my files back, and my computer would still be under warranty, right?

On Friday night, I got another call from Apple. The external hard drive that I had provided was failing, and so after more than a day of being hooked up to my computer, not even half of my files had been transferred. I could risk not backing them up and just send it to be fixed, bring in a new hard drive, or have Apple open up one of their new ones and add it to my bill, to be paid when I picked up my computer after it was done being fixed. Now friends, I knew that hard drive had been acting funny, but I figured it was something that I was doing wrong. And right about that time, I felt like nothing could go right where my computer was concerned. I can’t lose all of my files, so chancing it was not an option (especially when the rep told me that one of the damaged pieces was the internal drive, so that it was actually pretty likely everything would be lost). At this point I had already headed home for the weekend, so if I were to bring in a new drive purchased from WalMart or something, I’d have to wait until Monday to even get this stupid repair process started. So I sucked it up and bought the Apple hard drive…another expense, but at least I’ll get something new to take home with me at the end of this, I guess.

I can only hope that by now my computer is backed up properly and on its way to the Apple “Depot” for repair. I love my Macbook, but this whole process has kind of disenfranchised me to the brand as a whole. And it’s made for a very stressful week. Now I’m spending the weekend doing homework on my husband’s PC desktop and DIY’ing a few crafty projects on the side to make myself feel better.

Do you ever have days where you just feel the need to throw yourself a pity party? I apologize for the extensive feeling-sorry-for-myself-ness of this post, but I think it’s helped a bit to get it all off of my chest. What do you do to make yourself feel better when nothing seems to go right?