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Monday, April 14, 2014

'Dulce de Leche' Cupcakes

Baking cupcakes is one of my favorite ways to de-stress.  It's a great way for me to take my mind off of certain things and channel my energy somewhere else.  When I was doing my undergrad in Louisiana, I used to bake all the time because I had teammates and roommates that would eat all of the cupcakes for me.  It is a little bit more difficult for me to bake now since I live alone and cannot eat an entire tray myself.  In either case, I still do it from time to time when I really need some kind of release.

These are my second favorite kind of cupcake to bake from scratch (the first being White Chocolate).  They're 'Dulce de Leche', which is basically a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk, and they are so delicious.  I generally use a recipe from Joy the Baker that can be found here.  It isn't too complicated and doesn't require a whole lot of expertise, although it can be a little bit time consuming.

 (I always tend to add a little more vanilla than is required to all my baking)
This batch turned out great and I was particularly satisfied.  Although I ended up only eating a couple before giving the rest of them away to students at the law school.  I'm really going to have to start planning ahead and finding someone with a sweet tooth to indulge before I bake from now on.  Maybe I should just call in all of my Louisiana friends and teammates :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Quote Collector

Since I was young, I have always been a fan of collecting quotes.  I find them really therapeutic so I would write them in my agendas and keep some in my phone.  They're just a great way of helping me "get through" moments.  Today I was looking through some of the many quotes I've saved over the years.  I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes I like to refer back to depending on what I'm facing in that moment.

For Those Moments When You're Not Sure Whether Or Not To Keep Fighting 
  • "If there's just one piece of advice I can give you it's this: when there's something you really want, fight for it.  Don't give up no matter how hopeless it seems.  And when you've lost hope, ask yourself if in ten years you're going to wish you gave it just one more shot because the best things in life, they don't come free."
  • "Losers quit when they get tired.  Winners quit when they've won."
  • "Mistakes are proof that you are trying."

For Those Heartbroken/Un-requited Love Type Moments
  • "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you.  I like my choices."
  • "And it always seems like there is just one person in this world to love and then you find someone else ... and it just seems crazy that you were ever worried in the first place."
  • "The best way to cheer yourself up, is to go cheer someone else up."

For Those Moments When Someone Is Just Driving You Crazy
  • "Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle."
  • "Try to find something to love in everybody, even if it's a small thing because there is always something.  There has to be."

For Those Moments When You're Feeling Just A Little Misunderstood/Mistreated
  • "Do not allow other to define your identity for you.  Do not allow them to write even a portion of it.  They can be a mirror that shows you who you are, but they cannot tell you who you are.  They will always, somehow, get it wrong. Nothing and no one can write that part better than you.  Define yourself and believe in that.  Truly."
  • "Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad.  Let God deal with the things they do because hate in your heart will consume you too."

For Those Moments When You Begin To Doubt If It's Enough To Just Be You
  • "There is a reason for everything; Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you.  Grow from it.  The only way to gain the respect of others is to show them that you respect yourself and most importantly do your thing.  Never apologize for being you."

These are just a few of my MANY MANY favorites.  If you have any good ones, feel free to share.  I'm always looking to add more to my collection :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Not Getting What You Want Isn't Always A Bad Thing

A friend of mine from high school is working on a spiritual/devotional book for athletes and he asked me if I would write a short piece for one of the sections.  After writing it, I decided that I would share it here as well since I know that I don't normally share too much about my life besides the usual day-to-day activities.  So this is my personal story about a time when I didn't get exactly what I wanted.

"Eventually, all of the pieces will fall into place.  Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason."

Growing up, my mother always told me not to worry about anything because God had a plan for my life.  "If it's for you, then no one can take it from you."  The words sounded nice and they were comforting at times, but I did not always believe her.  These words always seemed like more of a consolation prize than anything else; no one ever wants the consolation prize.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Don't Quit

"It's so worth the fall when you land where you want to."

Hello all!  Lately I've really been feeling this song by Tori Kelly.  I love her as an artist and for some reason this song in particular just speaks to me and I'm sure so many people can relate.  Regardless of what our aspirations are in life, we'll never achieve them if we stop trying. This song is a nice reminder to keep pushing on, even when things get tough.  I hope everyone is having a great week (it's almost Friday, YAY!) Also, I had a pretty big exam this morning for my legal writing class and although it was a pain, I am officially done with that class for the year and one step closer to completing my first year of law school.  That is certainly something to celebrate, which I am doing right now with a big glass of wine.  Let me know if you've been up to anything interesting :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Highs and Lows

I suppose it is time for an update.  Classes were back in session this week and they've been pretty action packed.  We have actually been preparing for my oral argument which took place today.  If you are not sure what an oral argument is, it is basically a mock trial. We presented the arguments discussed in our appellate briefs that were handed in earlier this month.  The oral argument went a lot better than I was expecting and my partner and I did fairly well.  I'm pleased with our performance and it feels awesome to have gotten it out of the way.  Also, I secured a job at the District Attorney's office this summer which is exactly what I wanted.  All in all, as far as law school goes, this week has been a decent week for me.

Now to the lows: I guess it really isn't much of a low as I cannot pinpoint exactly what it is, but I just haven't been feeling myself lately. My appetite is gone and I feel kind of stuck in a rut.  I'm unmotivated, which is strange because I'm still in school and have been putting in more work than ever ... but it seems like it's never enough and I feel really really burnt out.  It's a little scary because (1) It's only first year so I have a long way to go and (2) It's March and we're only a few weeks away from finals so I need to get it together.  I'm not sure what to do about it and I almost feel bad that I feel this way because I literally wake up in one of the most beautiful places on earth every day but I just haven't been appreciating anything lately.  It's all very strange ... 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oceanside and Sunsets

I have been trying my best to really make the most of this Spring Break when I can.  Although I don't plan on taking any full days off, I am trying to do something enjoyable and relaxing each day so that I don't let this entire week go to waste.  So far it has been going quite lovely and I'm really enjoying myself.

I went out to eat at Moonshadows in Malibu with some friends.  The food there is soo soo good.  It's not to difficult to find good seafood in Malibu though, so I guess this isn't too surprising.  In either case, dining on the ocean is almost never a bad idea so I'm really glad we decided to go there.  This isn't a place that I would go to very often because it is a little more pricey than I like for just any random meal, but once in a while it's okay.  For more affordable oceanside dining in Malibu, Duke's is definitely the better option.  (FYI Moonshadows in Malibu is also where Mel Gibson went on his infamous rant.) 

The sunsets here have also been extra beautiful lately.  It might be a stretch, but I should mention that the evening we wrote our last final this semester was the last time that we had sunsets this amazing.  This clearly only means one thing = God is awarding us law students for all our hard work LOL :)
Hope everyone is having a good week.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pacific Palisades: The Getty Villa

This afternoon, I took some time off from studying to go to the Getty Villa with one of my fellow classmates and a friend of hers who is in town from Arizona.  It was my first time at this museum and I absolutely loved it.  It is a gorgeous museum, modeled after Ancient Greece and Rome and a visit here is the most perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon!

 Hat: Topshop, Dress: Wilfred Sabine, Bag: Michael Kors, Shoes: Material Girl

Of course the gardens at the Getty are beyond amazing, but they aren't all that this place has to offer.  There was this little room filled with plates and bowls that you could draw on.  I also took a little silhouette photo of myself trying to be all badass with my sword.

Most of the art at the Getty, you can't touch (naturally), but there was a statue of Venus that you were able to (and encouraged to) actually feel.  It was pretty neat.  I'm not too well versed on the story of Venus, but I gave her a rub and hoped that somehow her magic would help me score an awesome grade on the brief that I had just turned in.

Of course, there was a lot of other artwork and statues that I won't get into because I am not going to pretend that I'm some sort of expert.  I just really enjoy these kinds of places and love experiencing the moments.

Overall, I had an amazing afternoon and a lovely start to my Spring Break ... Now back to outlining I go.  I hope that you all enjoyed this post and if you're ever in the Malibu/Pacific Palisades area, definitely check out the Getty Villa.  So so so worth the trip!