Thursday, October 31, 2013

H-A-Double L-O-W-Double E-N

...spells Halloween! Please tell me you remember singing that song in elementary school music class?! Anyways, I love Halloween even though I'm not dressing up this year (besides in my special homemade Halloween sweatshirt that makes me look like a 9 year old.. I still love it!).. but I will dress up my dogs!!

Here's me in some old cute Halloween costumes:

Check out my other Halloween-themed posts: 
-- John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt & a Halloween Song Gone Wrong
-- How to Survive a Haunted House
-- Pumpkin Painting

Also, I am being featured over on Chelsee's blog today, so check it out!

Have a great and safe Halloween and don't forget: Calories don't count on Halloween! Eat all the candy and pumpkin seeds!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Oldest Kid Pays the Most for Textbooks

In case you're new around here, or if you didn't already know, I'm the oldest of 6 kids. My youngest brother is almost 10, then I have a sister in high school, a brother and a sister in college, and a sister who just recently graduated college. I graduated from college in 2010 and from law school in 2013. As the oldest sometimes you and your parents kind have to learn things through trial and error. For example, my punishments were way harsher (I'd get my cell phone taken away for weeks at a time and they'd give it to my 10 year old sister to play with and she'd change all the names of my contacts to Big Bird and Batman.. whaaaat?! They'd never do that to my 15 year old sister now.. if hers is taken away for 15 minutes she loses her mind!) --Thanks a lot Mom and Dad! haha

I like the being the oldest though, it makes me kind of a leader. But the one reason I wish I wasn't the oldest was because I was the first to go through the craziness that is college, and boy, navigating admissions and costs and all that is a lot of work and it would have been nice to have a sibling who went before me to lead the way. Textbook buying is no exception on the craziness front! $200+ for a textbook from the bookstore is no joke! I ended up creating spreadsheets and calculating the costs of the bookstore versus websites online. This is definitely an area of college life I wish I could have improved on because I wasted a LOT of time and energy (not to mention $$$) trying to buy books at the cheapest price.

One piece of advice I have since learned since graduating college and law school is to rent books, I mean c'mon, let's save be environmental and save some trees people; you know you're never going to look at that textbook ever again. Also, I would advise people to never pay shipping! What a rip off. Seriously, I hate paying shipping and will often not buy stuff online (shirts, candles, headbands, books, whatever) if shipping is not included. I mean how hard is it for them to include the cost shipping in the price?! I just feel better when I look at the shipping cost and it says $0. haha maybe I'm cheap but that's just me. 

Anyways, now I have a good tip for my siblings-- check out where you can rent text books at 40-90% off the purchase price and shipping is FREE both ways. Plus, you can highlight all over the textbooks as if they were your own, which is totally awesome considering in law school I went through multiple highlighters PER WEEK (we had to read a lot of cases, okay? haha). The rental periods are flexible depending on your schedule, and they also have a new program called RentBack where you can rent your textbooks to other students (you can make 2-4x more $$ than with regular buyback programs).

So check them out and you wont be sorry. Plus, they've partnered with Operation Smile and a donation is made with the purchase of every textbook! Smiles are so important, they are definitely the first thing I notice about a person, and a charity that helps a child smile is a worthy one in my book. 

The only other advice I have for college students right now is to beware of the main campus dining hall. Everyone at my college called ours "Scurve" (seriously, I don't even remember the real name of the dining hall) because we said it gave you scurvy.. plus it made your clothes smell SO BAD that everyone knew you ate there for hours afterwards. I'm not kidding, I Febreezed people before they came into my dorm room because I didn't want to smell the stench!! 

If you have any other advice for college students, leave it in the comments :-) 

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**This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own, because believe you me, there is nothing I hate more than being told what to do or say! haha** 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"We Had a Big Lunch"

Okay so this is might be a leeeetle bit long, but believe me, it's funny (at least, I can look back now and laugh at it). In my second year of law school, I went on a trip for a Moot Court competition. Going to this particular competition were our coach/professor, Tara* Ashley* Jon* Sean* and me (*names changed to protect the not so innocent). We had it all planned that we were meeting at and leaving from the parking lot at our school at 10am the day of the competition. Late the night before, we get an email from Jon saying that last year they picked him up on the way to the competition because he lives an hour and a half away and it's on our route to NY, so can we do that this year? Uhh thanks Jon for asking us last minute and leaving us no choice (and we weren't even on your team last year!), so sure, we will pick you up. 

We all squeeze in the minivan with our luggage and garment bags and it's decided that Sean's driving because he's a father and probably drives one of these suckers safely so he is a good choice, right? WRONG. Sean drove about 90mph the whole way. We thought we were going to die. Our professor kept looking at us in horror, and I am sure we looked back equally terrified. But hey, we did get to the competition in only about 4 hours actual drive time (it should have taken 5.5)! 

So eventually we get to the park & ride, pick up Jon, and he sits in the front seat next to Sean. They discuss their oral arguments and act like the rest of us aren't there the. whole. rest. of. the. trip. I wish I was kidding. They had already made it clear to us in the preceding months that boys rule girls drool, so it wasn't like we were shocked, but c'mon man. 

Randomly we pull into a rest stop about an hour and a half away from the competition around 2 pm. No communication, just they wanted to stop so we stopped. Alrighty then, we all go in and use the bathroom, and us girls (when I say girls, I am including the professor, because she was treated like chopped liver as well) returned to the car, but the guys are nowhere to be found. 10 minutes later they return with hot dogs. Hot dogs? We already had discussed food and it had been decided that we were going to stop right before we got to our hotel, that way we would eat right before the competition which we had to be at at 5pm (at which point we wouldn't get to eat again til around 10pm). "Oh well, we'll stop again" said the boys.

But we didn't. Nope, they drove us straight to the hotel. We stormed out of the car, leaving them to get our luggage and check-in. The boys brought our luggage to our room and told us there were cookies we could eat (to hold us over til 10pm!) in the lobby. COOKIES, FOR DINNER. At that point Ashley, Tara, and I lost it. We pretty much were a tornado getting ready, ranting about how rude the guys were. We met them down in the lobby after we were dressed and told them how starving we were and can we please stop somewhere on the way to the school, but they said nope, no time. Grr.

We get to the school and thank heavens, there is a Starbucks next door. We sprint in our heels and suits to the Starbucks and each pay $11 for like 3 pieces of cheese and 5 grapes in a plastic container, then run back to the school and get checked in. I almost passed out, since we hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Great way to go into a competition. 

Saw this in the parking lot and it was probably the only time I laughed the whole weekend

So the competition happens and our teams meet up in the banquet hall dinner after at 10pm for announcements of who's moving on in the competition and to eat some dinner, yes! finally! Then we see the appetizer-sized plates...

Well Tara, Ashley, and I pile those babies high with food and come back to the table, only to find that Jon and Sean hadn't gotten any food. We asked them what was up, and their response "oh, we had a big lunch." YOU HAD A BIG LUNCH? YOU HAD ONE HOT DOG! Ignored

So when it was over we head back to the hotel and Jon is like "you guys wana go out to the bars tonight?" Oh yea that'd be so much fun to go with you, you food withholder. So that was a no, and it was decided we would meet in the lobby to go somewhere for breakfast at 10am the next day (the competition didn't start til 5pm again that day).

10am rolls around, and there us girls are in the lobby, waiting to go to breakfast.. finally a real meal!! Jon and Sean come up to us and inform us that they ate already at 7am. WHAAAAT? 

My mouth couldn't even form words, and Ashley looked like she was going to faint. Tara spoke first, "give Jessica the keys and no one gets hurt, she's driven a minivan before, we're leaving." The guys said nah, they could eat again, and we went to IHOP where they proceeded to literally shovel mountains of food into their mouths. They were so messing with us at this point, because how do you go from eating ONE hot dog and being full ALL DAY, to eating TWO breakfasts the next day? Answer-- you don't, you're just mean. 

It gets weirder. That night, Tara, Ashley, Sean, and me went out to eat. Trying to be nice and make conversation, I asked Sean (who hadn't spoken barely a WORD to his partner Tara the whole 3 months they had to work together) what his daughter wanted for Christmas. He responded with 3 words, "a kitchen set." Welp, monosyllabic man Sean strikes again. Or so I thought, until later Ashley tells us that Sean shocked her and basically told her his whole life story, including some extremely inappropriate stuff, at dinner while Tara and I were talking to each other. Whatever man. 

Needless to say, we were glad Sean drove home fast the next day because we were so ready to go home. Even though it was snowing and he was still driving 90 in the left lane. And we didn't even win. Bah humbug.

Help us!!

Ashley, Tara and me still rant about that trip from h-e-double hockey sticks to this day! So, what is the moral of this story, you might ask? 


The end.

Epilogue. Brian and I stopped by the infamous hot dog rest stop on our way to the lake this September and I made him get one of the hot dogs to see if they have magical stomach-filling powers. They don't. 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh, look. Another glorious morning.

Well Monday has rolled around again and this is pretty much me this morning:

I didn't really have the best weekend, to be honest. I did a lot of boring stuff for my professional life (sending out resumes, loan stuff, you know), then Saturday night we took my mom's dog Snoopy to the emergency vet because he was very sick. He ended up having to stay 24 hours, but he's home now and doing much much better, so whew! 

Then Sunday stunk too. Long story short, the past few weeks I've been having some severe stomach pains, and my doctor has had me on some meds trying to quell them, but Sunday morning the pains were very very bad. I called my doc and he called ahead to the ER where he told me to go. So I got to spend my Sunday at the hospital having lots of fun tests and scans and stuff, and now I'm home with pain meds and a gastroenterologist appt/endoscopy set up for this week. Fun fun.

Sorry for the super boring post. Here's a cute pic of my dogs to make up for it. Have a happy Monday! 

P.S. I realized something this weekend: the word 'uber' really bothers me. That's all. 

P.P.S. Another thing.. why does Careerbuilder think my job matches are "plant controller" and "customer service rep?" Get it together. 

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Friday, October 25, 2013

I Believe...

As I type this it is 31 degrees outside and 59 degrees in my house, so my fingers are kinda numb but I do not want to have to turn the heat on yet! I'm trying to hold out until November, which is why this morning I did NOT want to get out of bed with my nice electric blanket, but the dogs wouldn't stop whining and I'm a good dog mom so out I went haha. Now I need to warm up big time before I go to the market, but I'm out of hot chocolate!! 

Anyways, so last Friday I talked about things I can't believe, and today I'm going to talk about things I DO believe. I'm so creative (and I actually wrote these Friday at the same time I wrote that post haha).  
I believe..  

... in singing in the car. Even if you suck at it, but me? I'm an excellent singer ;-) 

... in crock pot recipes requiring no precooking-- just dump it & leave it. 

... dogs are a woman's best friend. I can't imagine not having a dog to snuggle up with!

... the book is almost always better than the movie. And hey, if you go to bed with a book, you never go to bed lonely! haha

... that you should decorate your house, your car, and your phone for every holiday! I have decorations for most holidays, all the way down to salt and pepper shakers, garden flags, candles, soaps, plug-ins, mugs, rugs, car air fresheners, iPhone cases, the works. 

... that going to church doesn't always make you a good Christian-- how about we let God do the judging, k? Cool.

... in Lifetime Movie Network. No explanation necessary.

... in watching Christmas movies anytime of year. Even in August.

... in listening to sad songs. Sometimes it's just nice, even if you cry.

... that honesty isn't always the best policy. If it's going to hurt someone's feelings unnecessarily then a little white lie is okay, at least in my book. 

What do you believe in? Have a great weekend!! 

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt & a Halloween Song Gone Wrong

I love love love Halloweenie (sorry I have dachshunds and can't resist making that joke all the time haha) and I am really excited that Helene and Sarah decided to have a link up all about Halloween! Okay so I've talked about my Grandmom on the blog before (here and here), and she really was the sweetest lady ever. One thing she liked to do was sing us little old songs she knew, and one of these was a Halloween song that went like this:

Halloween, Halloween, 
Oh what funny things are seen.
Witches hats, coal black cats.
Broomstick riders,
Mice and rats. 

Welp, at my church preschool we had a day where we did Halloween activities and had a mini costume parade in the halls of the school. My costume was controversial. Okay not actually, but to me it was because I was mad. See, I wanted to be John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (you know, from the Barney song, da da da da da da da da). My Mom searched everywhere and no one knew what she was talking about, so she got me an ELF costume and tried to tell me it was John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. I wasn't fooled. I obviously had an idea in my head of what he looked like and an elf just wasn't it! So during the parade whenever an adult asked me who I was, I answered, "Well I was supposed to be John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, but I'm actually just an elf."

We can't even find a picture or video of me in the elf costume. My Mom said I probably was mad and wouldn't let her take a picture of me in it. Thus, the clown costume I wore on Halloween for trick or treating instead that year:

Anyways back to the Halloween song, that day at preschool we were asked to share any Halloween songs we knew. Of course I raised my hand and sang the song my Grandmom taught me. But, it wasn't EXACTLY the song she taught me, because here are the lyrics I sang:

Halloween, Halloween, 
Oh what funny things are seen.
Witches hats, coal black cats.
Doom d*ck riders,
Mice and rats. 

Yup, Doom d*ck riders, whatever they are, are obviously extremely  "funny things to be seen" on Halloween, especially at a Trinity Lutheran Preschool! I'm sure my teachers and the other parents thought it was hysterical or wanted me kicked out of the preschool, but I'm sure my Grandmom was mortified! She tried explaining to me that those were NOT the actual lyrics, but I was vehement that I had the correct lyrics and there was no telling me otherwise. So seriously guys, this Halloween make sure you are on the lookout for Doom d*ck riders, you never know where they may be lurking.

**This was a public service announcement, courtesy of 4-year-old Jessica, circa 1992**

Helene in Between

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Yup, I'm a Veggie

Or vegetarian, as most people call it. A lot of people find this weird, and I really just don't understand why. There are lots of people who don't like chocolate, or eat carbs, or certain types of veggies, but me not eating meat seems to truly baffle some people, so let me break it down for you by answering some of the questions I am frequently asked:

1. What don't you eatI don't eat meat, fish, or food that contains gelatin or any other animal by-products. Though some people that are vegetarian eat fish (pescatarians), I view fish the same as like a chicken or a cow, but to each his own. 

2. What DO you eat? I eat eggs and dairy, which technically makes me a lacto-ovo vegetarian. If I didn't eat eggs and dairy, I would be vegan. I love to eat pizza, mexican food, anything sweet!!, and pretty much anything you can think of that you eat that doesn't contain meat. I also eat veggie burgers and some meals that are typically made with meat but make mine with veggie crumbles (kind of like ground beef but made from soy-- they're not half bad I swear). My favorite veggie burgers are Morningstar Farms Grillers Prime

3. What do you eat at restaurants? I can pretty much eat anywhere (although I detest asian food). Seriously, there is always something on the appetizer or salad menu (or even kids menu) that I can be satisfied with if need be, even at a steakhouse. I never let being a vegetarian stop me from eating out. 

4. Have you always been a vegetarian? As a kid, I never really liked eating meat. My dad has been a vegetarian since he was 17, so my mom always made meat and veggie meals, and I always gravitated towards the veggie meals. I always have been a PB&J girl, but I officially became a vegetarian when I was 8 and one day on the way to get a new piano for my lessons, I declared to my parents I was becoming a vegetarian. 

5. Why did you become a vegetarian? Like I said above, I never really liked meat anyways, but I also feel strongly that many animals that are killed for our food are mistreated horribly (I am not referring to hunters; I am talking about the meat industry). If you don't want to know about this, then don't google it, because you'll never be able to think about it the same. This is why I buy cage-free eggs. 

6. Aren't you missing out on important nutrition, like protein? Nope. As a kid my mom used to get my B12 and whatever else tested, but I was always fine. It is tough sometimes to not eat too many carbs, but I eat enough nuts, eggs, cheese, almond milk, and protein powder in smoothies to be fine. My calorie counting app Lose It! is awesome with tracking my protein and carb intakes for the day. 

7. Does it bother you when people eat meat in front of you? Not at all, it's a personal choice and I do not mind or even give it a thought that people eat meat. What does bother me is when people shove their burger in my face and ask me if I mind that they're eating meat.. I mean seriously, would you like it if I shoved my food in your face? Yea, probably not, and that's usually my response. 

8. Does it bother Brian that you don't eat meat and he does? Umm no, not at all, why would it? Brian is perfectly fine with me being a vegetarian and it has never been an issue. 

9. Will you make your future kids eat meat? They can do whatever they want. I was never pressured by either of my parents one way or another, so I will not make this life choice for my kids. In my family, my dad, 15 year old sister, and I are the only vegetarians out of the 8 of us. 

10. If someone gave you $100, $1,000, $1 million, etc., would you eat meat? Oh come on with this question. I get this all the time and it is seriously so irritating. You could ask anybody this question with something different subbed in at the end. My answer is no, probably not, but if you wanna offer me the million and find out, then feel free!

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me; I'm an open book!

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Treat yo' self

In case you didn't see my last post, I PASSED THE BAR EXAM!! My weekend was pretty much straight out of a Parks and Rec episode okay not exactly

Brian came home from work early Friday around 3:30pm because results were supposed to come out after 4pm. My Mom kept me pretty busy all day to distract me. 3:59 finally rolls around and I pull my computer onto my lap, open the website at exactly 4pm, and say to Brian "they're up." Brian said I was so calm I was like a robot. 

I scrolled down the page ever so slowly to find my name (not knowing at this point that my family already knew I'd passed because apparently the results actually came out at like 3:58 and my Mom and sister had been refreshing the page since like 3:40 haha). Brian said it was at this point he started to get nervous because it was finally real. I mean I had been waiting 2.5 months for these results! 

I see my name then burst into tears. Brian didn't know at this point whether I'd passed or failed because he couldn't see the screen! haha so once I caught my breath I was like "my name is there!!" 

Then the rest of the night (okay, the whole weekend) was pretty much like this: 


I had lots of calls to make and celebrating to do. So that's what we did! 

The restaurant brought me out this (aww Bri is sweet)!

My parents surprised me with these!

And it was pretty much the best weekend ever. I couldn't stop singing this because all my friends passed too!!

Thanks so much to everyone for the well wishes! I am beyond happy, have a great Monday :-)

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