Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Don't worry, I did not succumb to the Wednesday blahs...I just had a busy end of the week. We have our big court brief due this coming Friday (worth 50% of our grade!!!), so I have been buried in the Fourth Amendment and the search-incident-to-arrest exception.

So, first things first. On Wednesday, I tried out for a moot court team. On Friday, I found out that I made the Pepperdine Entertainment Law team!!! One of the best parts of it is that the competition is held in Malibu, CA!!! The website says that the schedule allows competitors to do some sight-seeing in the L.A. area - hopefully that is true!

Wednesday night Jocelyn and two of her friends had a gig at Common Grounds, the coffee shop right next to Baylor. I was the designated "Skyper"/videographer/photographer, so I kept quite busy. However, the weather was perfect, and they did a great job! Hopefully they will perform again soon (hint, hint).

I was especially impressed that Jocelyn had all the music memorized. Yes, I realize that, as classical pianists, this is expected. However, she was playing "pop" piano, aka from a lead sheet. She looked like a complete natural, handling both the piano part and the backup vocals with ease.

Yesterday evening there was more music in store as the Waco Symphony had their fourth season concert. Here was the program:

Mozart: Overture from The Marriage of Figaro
Dvorak: Czech Suite
Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 2

The guest pianist was Sahun Hong, a 17-year-old pianist from the Fort Worth area. Although he played well, I wasn't a fan of the actual concerto itself. Somehow, over the past year or so, I have become a complete romantic. No longer do lots of fast notes impress me. All I want is a gorgeous melody that I can walk out humming.

The Dvorak, on the other hand, was beautiful. My favorite movement was No. 2 - the Polka. I have included a youtube video below for your listening pleasure. Unfortunately for you, I don't think this performance is as good the Waco Symphony's was last night. This recording is a bit too fast. :)

The Mozart was fantastic! It was so crisp, clean, and full of energy. And the orchestra was completely in sync - MARVELOUS!!

Jocelyn was sweet enough to treat me to dinner at Chili's beforehand (meal plans often come in handy!). We split chips and salsa and and order of beef fajitas. SO YUMMY!! She even let me take the leftovers, which made a delightful lunch today!

This afternoon I picked up some WD-40 in an attempt to fix my ceiling fan on my own. This past week it got really hot (read: summer weather - in the 80s every day). However, the only setting on which I could use my fan was high. For some reason, the lower levels squeak REALLY loudly. It has always squeaked some, but apparently the winter hiatus has made it return with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the squeaking has rendered it virtually unusable at night, at least at the lower settings. (MaryLou laughed at me when I used these words the other day - she said I'm really starting to sound like a lawyer!.)

Well, two rounds of WD-40 later, I am happy to say that the problem is mostly fixed. I still need to have someone look at it - it wobbles quite a bit, so it probably needs to be reattached to the ceiling. However, the squeaking is mostly gone, and the noise is down to a level where I should be able to sleep. HOORAY for fixing it myself!! I always feel quite proud of myself when I fix something around the house on my own.

While I was at Lowe's, I also picked up some twine so that I could hang my racing bibs. Before, I mingled them in with the other items on my random wall. However, my wall is rapidly filling with cards, invitations, and the like, so I decided to remove my bibs and place them up higher. (I'll have to take a picture of the entire wall later).

My first thought after finishing was, "When's the next race??? I need another bib!!!" Clearly, this has become quite the addiction. My summer goal is a fast 5K - under 25 minutes, and as close to 20 minutes as possible. Unfortunately, registration will have to wait until I land a job...(hopefully soon!)

Summary of my racing career.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Blahs

I can't put my finger on exactly why, but today was a blah day.

  • Maybe because it's the middle of the week. 
  • Maybe it was the advising session which made me think about what is to come in the next two years of my life.
  • Maybe it's because the numb feeling I have had over the last two days is beginning to wear off.
Whatever the cause, it has made me wonder why I chose the legal profession. It's days like today that make me want to get married and stay at home raising children. I picture myself concocting amazing dishes, running my household like a Navy ship, and sneaking vegetables into my kids' smoothies. Surely that would be easier than law school, right??? ;)

I sat in our advising session today, thinking, "Gosh, this career is just so hard. Why didn't I pick an easier one?"

And then I remember...

I didn't pick this profession.

God directed me to it.

And then, this evening, as I did my quiet time, I read Psalm 23. Not because I picked it randomly, or on purpose, but because I'm working my way through the Psalms, and today's reading included it.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 
he restores my soul
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

And that, my dear readers, was a balm to my soul. Although law school isn't quite a "shadow of death," it can often feel like it. And yet, I can rest in the fact that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and that He will guide me through.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Second Day of (Spring) Summer

Texas weather is CRAZY. 

Two weeks ago while I was on spring break, I was dying for the weather to be warm enough to wear shorts. Unfortunately, highs were in the mid-60s to low 70s, which didn't work out quite so well. The few days I tried, I usually ended up quite cold. :(

However, fast forward two weeks, and the heat is about to kill me. Granted, we don't have the A/C on in our condo. So, at the current moment, the inside temp is 80 degrees (and feels much warmer), while the outside temp is 79 degrees. I am going to try to hold off on the A/C as long as possible, but with a forecast of 90 degrees for Saturday, the spike in my electricity bill is likely to come sooner rather than later.

Now, let me clarify: I am happy that it is finally warm enough to wear shorts. However, I do miss the gradual temperature shift which South Carolina so wonderfully offers. Additionally, the 20-degree shifts in temperature from one day to the next can be quite irritating.

I guess I am just not meant to be a Texan. :)

In other news, I officially started my countdown clock to summer on my iGoogle page this evening. GUESS WHAT?!?!?! It's only 39 days away!!! Or, 915 hours, 40 minutes, and 30 seconds. :) Can you tell I'm excited???

Now if I can just find a job...

And on that note, here is my Bible verse of the day:

Psalm 20:7
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." 

 I am replacing "chariots" and "horses" with "jobs" and "internships." :)

P.S. I am trying "overnight oats" for the first time tonight!! Or rather, I will be trying them in the morning!! Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dreams of Spring Break

Thankfully, today wasn't too bad. My Property professor was sick (is it terrible that I was relieved to hear class was cancelled, even though she was sick??), so I only had two classes, and I was able to come home for lunch. I know we will have to make it up later, but making this week easier is more important at the moment. As my last farewell, I am wrapping up with some highlights over the last couple days (aside from the Bearathon!).

First things first: the fry recipe that I have been promising for over two weeks!! I still haven't been able to develop a spicy fry recipe that I like. The last batch was the best, but I only managed to eat one because they burned my mouth so bad! :) Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures (I was too busy eating them!!), but here is the recipe!!

To Kill a Mockingbird Seasoning
(kudos to the person who figures out the connection between the name of the fries and the movie! And thanks to AnnaGrace for the idea!)
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Fries
Combine the seasonings in a gallon-size plastic baggie. Pour in the desired amount of fries (I usually make enough for two small servings), and shake!! Bake according to the package directions.

Last Thursday, AnnaGrace and I headed to the undergrad campus for a long-overdue jam session. We played through one of the movements of Dvorak's Four Romantic Pieces, the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, the Rachmaninoff Vocalise, and a Brahms violin concerto. We were having so much fun that we lost track of time and missed CLS!! Oops...

Thursday night we headed out for a short walk, since I didn't feel like running (I chalk it up to tapering before the big day!).
Let us out!!
Here is a little video from our walk, too. :)

While Joy and Joel were in town, they stocked up on Baylor gear. Check out the cutest lil' fan!

Yesterday afternoon I made one last use of AnnaGrace's amazing new blender to have a Chocolate Peppermint Patty Green Monster. Yes, this is another Oh She Glows recipe - I told you I am addicted!! To make it chocolate, just add dark chocolate cocoa powder to her recipe. YUM!!! I also got to use some mint leaves off of my new mint plant! I think my next addiction might be gardening...

Looks disgusting, but is oh-so-wonderful!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scrambled L'eggs and Achin'

Yesterday, I finished my first half marathon!! WHOO HOO!!! It's funny - two years ago, the thought of running 3 miles was daunting, and yesterday I did 13.1 (which apparently was actually 13.5 - and yes, those extra 4/10ths seem really long!). Those miles were completed in 2:16:22 - a personal record!!! ;) It has been so exciting to see my progress as a runner. I truly have become addicted - within an hour of the race, I was wondering when the next will be!! Unfortunately, I need to nail down my summer plans before I go signing up for another race, but I will keep you posted! My goal for the summer is to run a 5K sub-25 minutes.

Since there was also a 5K, we roped in a bunch of friends to join us so we could have a team. Our team name. as evidenced by the title, was Scrambled L'eggs and Achin'. :)

Creating our team shirts!

The team!
Only four of us were brave enough to attempt the "Bearathon" - which is appropriately called the "Toughest Half in Texas." I used to think Texas is flat - HAHA!!! The hills in Cameron Park are ridiculous!!! Seriously, two of them are like a 45% incline - but, we managed to run up all of them!! Unfortunately, my quads are protesting today!

The half marathoners: before
The half marathoners: after. We're still alive!!
 AnnaGrace and MaryLou set out at a good clip (about 8:30 pace!), while Jeremy and I brought up the rear at about a 10:30 pace. It's funny how a normal pace seems so slow on race day!! We had a very enjoyable time, though I think Jeremy was ready to kill me during the last two miles. It was only my threat to leave him behind if he walked that kept him going. :) For never running more than 9 miles, though, he did wonderfully.

I am quite sore today, though the general achiness normally felt after a long run is gone. This morning at church, I groaned a little bit every time they said, "You may be seated." It got more difficult every time!!

Well, the Bearathon marked the pinnacle, and nearly the end, of my two weeks of spring break (although only one was official, I pretended this past week). Unfortunately, Sunday started out cloudy, and yet another church visit was a bust. I am once again so frustrated that I feel like staying home on Sundays and watching a sermon online. *Sigh*

So, at the current moment, all of my visitors are gone, and my condo is hauntingly quiet. Additionally, I have property homework calling my name, a statutory construction exercise due Tuesday, and a moot court tryout Wednesday. Is it bad that I am dreading the week before it even begins?

And finally, a theoretical question: Why are goodbyes so difficult? I have always hated them, but I swear they get more difficult each time.

Sorry to end this post on such a low note, but such are the Sunday evening blues!! Here is praying that tomorrow is NOT the typical, crummy Monday...

P.S. Tomorrow, I will finally post my very first french fry recipe! Something to look forward to, I suppose.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Morning Glory

Time for another movie review!! Unfortunately, my list of movies that I just had to see has consisted of mostly B-list movies. So disappointing. I mean, the trailers looked so good!!!

Warning: This review contains spoilers (I'm not good at this yet!)

Anyway, so about "Morning Glory." This one looked really cute, and has a great cast - Dianne Keaton (love her!), Harrison Ford (who's looking awfully old - yikes!), and Rachel McAdams. Unfortunately, even the great names couldn't save this film.

Becky Fuller (McAdams) is a young broadcaster who is waiting for her "big break." Unfortunately, her program gets a budget cut, and she gets fired, forcing her to take the old job available - at the last-ranked morning show. She immediately fires one of the anchors and hires a crotchety old newsman (Ford) who thinks that the morning show is beneath him.

After a couple months, Fuller gets the news that the program is going to be cut unless she brings the numbers up. She immediately starts pulling sensational news stories in a desperate attempt to attract viewers. Meanwhile, her relationship with her boyfriend is falling apart because she never turns off her phone, is constantly watching the news, and can only talk about her job.


Of course, at the last minute, Ford pulls through and catches wind of a breaking news story that no one else has, saving the show and giving it at least another year. And yes, he comes around and starts acting nice. And Fuller makes up with her boyfriend, and it ends with everyone happy.


Sorry...maybe I'm just too much of a realistic, or I get sick of happy endings...I don't know. All I know is, I'm super glad I only paid $1 to see it (thanks Redbox!).

Additionally, for a PG-13 rating, there was quite a bit of cursing, which, as usual, was highly unnecessary.

There was one redeeming moment in the whole hour and 45 minutes. It's a quote from Harrison Ford's character to Fuller:

"You would sleep at the office if you could. Let me tell you how it turns out...

You end up with nothing."

An interesting remark coming from Hollywood, don't ya' think?

It was a very good reminder for a girl who is entering a profession that prizes working the latest and longest. Having a wonderful career means nothing if you become a slave to it.


Hello world! a.k.a. Katelyn's blog buddies!

Before I launch into what will be my first blog post ever, allow me to introduce myself as the Strange person that invaded Katelyn's life approximately two years ago. Yes, I, AnnaGrace Strange not only invaded Katelyn's life, but I have also invaded her condo on this glorious week of my spring break. And subsequently, I am now invading her blog. :) SIDE NOTE: Before I continue, please allow me to say that I have never written a blog post in my life. I have written boo-koodles of other things, but never a blog. So, bear with me while I venture into this new area of creative expenditure! I am assuming that the majority of the people reading this blog know who I am. If not, hello. I am AnnaGrace. I am biologically Strange and intrinsically unexpected. (For further explanation about me feel free to contact Katelyn as she can most assuredly attest to the Strangeness that is me.)  :) I am a graduate student at the University of North Texas pursuing a master's in historical musicology - a field that entails more space than this blog post can give, but that innately requires a love for thinking, theorizing, philosophizing, feeling, analyzing, researching, writing, and adoring - all of which are circumpolar around music. If you aren't thoroughly freaked out yet, congratulations. You've made it this far - it's only a few more paragraphs to the finish. :)

Seeing as I plan on posting here everyday this week,  I figure that, primarily, I would post about and discuss the most vital parts of who I am. (Music, running, more music, more running, and my infatuation with my new blender). :)  Apart from my relationship with the Lord, I suppose it could be said, that AnnaGrace + music = intricately intertwined. (In fact, I am pretty sure that music is ingrained into the fabric of my DNA). If I were to write a post about myself and music, I would be here until who knows when?! So, I do believe that since I am currently "homesick" for Vienna, Austria, I will start with a post about music. (Also, it should be noted that "homesickness" for Vienna is a phenomenon that I experience daily, but that is all the more acute at the moment thanks to a brief mention of it during lunch). 

Even though I have been granted a brief respite from life as a graduate student in historical musicology at the University of North Texas, I am always and ever finding myself immersed in music. In spite of the fact that this immersion includes extra work and assignments that professors assigned over spring break (yikes!), I must must must say that I am gloriously in love with music. In fact, even as I type this, my heart is melting thanks to Mahler. *sigh* I do most assuredly believe that I am incandescently in love with a man named Gustav and a man named Johannes--both of whom, much to my dismay, are dead and both of whom, in my opinion, wrote some of the most sublime music that will ever resound in the universe! (I am currently chuckling to myself, because I know that Katelyn will read this, and in some form tell me that I am, "a goober" and/or "a nerd" - a title which I wholeheartedly embrace).

Since I am currently finding the very essence of my being subject to the sublime intonations of rich and poignant emotion, (thank you third movement of Symphony No. 6 by Mahler) I have decided that I am beyond ready to go back to Vienna. And, since these blog posts will feature vital aspects of me, myself, and I, please indulge my inclusion of pictures from my trip to Vienna. Since I am more or less addicted to Brahms and Mahler, the pictures I am including pertain to my experience of them while I was there. :) For various reasons that Katelyn can clarify and to which she can no doubt attest, Brahms and Mahler resonate profoundly with me - their music permeating all aspects of my intellect and emotion

Grave of Johannes Brahms - a fellow Brahms adorer and myself brought flowers to the cemetery where we visited not only Brahms's grave, but also Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, and a few others. :)

At the end of a dock next to the lake and hut where Gustav Mahler composed 

And since I am now aching for Vienna, I should probably stop making myself even more "homesick" by perusing the 1,000+ pictures that I took. As a penultimate picture, below is a photo Schönbrunn palace - my next door neighbor, as it were. :)

I went here almost everyday to study - and I never even began to come to the end of the extensive grounds.
And finally, a group of my fellow study-abroaders in Salzburg at the gazebo where scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed. Since those particular scenes are romantic in nature, it was decided that this picture would only include us romantically sappy girls. :)
Sadly, the gazebo was locked, so we couldn't go in and leap around the benches as occurs in "Sixteen Going on Seventeen".

Hmmm...I just realized that this isn't exactly the most fun blog post ever. But, oh well. Such is me at the moment. I hope that I have not frightened you all away from Katelyn's blog. I will attempt to make my next blog post more entertaining/chipper. :)

AnnaGrace a.k.a. Katelyn's resident moocher :)

One quick note: yesterday's title referred to our dinner Sunday night. Sorry to keep you hanging. :)

Here are a few more highlights from the past couple of days. Yesterday morning I made Carrot Cake Oatmeal for breakfast (another great recipe from Oh She Glows!). I really enjoyed it, though I used brown sugar as a sweetener, and added more than the recipe called for.

After school, we headed to the gym for a 4.5-mile run. Hurray for tapering!! Although, I had a sad moment this weekend when I realized that after this week I won't run for another week or two. It's so wonderful to hit markers that make one realize, "I am a real runner!!" :)

After the run, we were both pretty hungry. Another order of fries was on the menu, as was broccoli with cheese and a Mocha Berry Frappuchino.

Dinner, graduate student style.

Here is the recipe for my frappuchino, modeled after the "Coffiefied Green Monster."

  • 8 oz. chilled coffee (I used chocolate truffle flavor!)
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 2 handfuls frozen berries
  • 10 pieces of ice
  • 3 Tbsp. Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa
  • Dash of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate syrup
Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend!! I recommend putting the banana and coffee in first, and then adding the other ingredients last. Add the frozen berries last, as this will make the smoothie thick and difficult to blend if you do them first.

This is a great way to get your coffee, fruit, and vegetables! It doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Salad, Fries, and Peanut Butter Pies

Alas, my spring break has ended, and I headed back to school this morning. However, after a week without classes, it wasn't too awful. People kept telling me I looked too happy. I was thinking, "Of course!!! I just had a wonderful week!!! What is there not to be happy about?!?" I am just refusing to think about the next 7 weeks (including one more set of exams) and my brief that is due in exactly 3 weeks.

But, on to happier subjects. The last four days were spent at Joy and Joel's house - it is so wonderful to have family so close!!! And of course, I enjoy spending a good amount of time doting over Ross. :)

Look! I found a worm! And then I tried to eat it...and mom and Katelyn freaked out! :)

Saturday held a 10-mile run, a walk to the thrift store (where I found an uber-cute top from NY&Co!), and  a girls' night out to see The King's Speech!! This movie is fantastic. Though it's rated "R" for language, I think it's rather mild (the language occurs in all of two scenes). The cinematography is very nicely done, and the soundtrack is to die for!!! The one error in sound editing was cutting all but 10 seconds of the clarinet out of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. I mean, the clarinet is the star in that piece! Seriously... ;)

Over the weekend, we also rented "Conviction" and "The Next Three Days." I was glad that I got these from Redbox, and hadn't paid to see them in the theater. They were decent, but nowhere near worth $10!!

Basic storyline: Hilary Swank's brother is arrested and convicted of murder. After losing the appeal, she goes to law school to get him out.
  • Rated "R" for language, and with good reason. Tons of swearing throughout, to the point where it got distracting. I don't mind a few words here and there, but this was just over-the-top and unnecessary/
  • As a law student, I found myself suspicious of the movie - I would be interested in knowing the real times, I felt like the story was just too good to be true.
  • While the dedication to her brother was admirable, Hilary Swank's character basically gave up her own life to free him. She completely destroyed her family and (almost) neglected her children. There were several times where I just wanted her to give up and get her life together. I believe in sacrificing for family, but she gave up everything, including her marriage.

The Next Three Days
Basic storyline: The protagonist's (Russell Crowe) wife is arrested and convicted for murdering her boss. He is convinced of her innocence and vows to break her out.
  •  I actually like this movie more than Conviction. It had an interesting storyline. For people who like details, this would be a good choice, as a lot of the movie is centered on his preparations for the jail-break. Additionally, there are quite a few twists and turns along the way which keep you guessing as to how it's going to end. Only rated PG-13, and there is nothing too objectionable in the film (except for the fact that he is breaking his wife out of jail). 
  • Maybe I just wasn't in a movie mood, but I thought the movie moved really slowly. My uncle appreciated this, because it made the movie seem more realistic. 
  • Up until the very last minute of the ending, you didn't know how it was going to end (let me spare you the effort - don't try and guess - you'll be wrong!!).
  • The ultimate ending, however, was lame.

Yay for The King's Speech!!! :)
To come this week:
  • The recipe for my mocha-berry-green monster (YUM!)
  • My final fry recipe (we have been eating fries every day, I just haven't found the right combo yet!)
  • Guest posts from AnnaGrace, who is in Waco for the week on Spring Break! Let the festivities continue!
  • We were supposed to see "Rabbit Hole," but apparently it was only in Waco theaters for two weeks! LAME.
  • My first half-marathon!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lessons from "The Little Mermaid"

Age 4: "Ariel's Dad was wrong. He said bad things would happen if she went to the surface, but good things happened."

That statement is why I haven't watched the movie in 18 years. :)

Age 22: No wonder this movie was banned at my house! There are multiple things wrong with it, beginning with this quote from Ursula:  "You've got to get dear ol' princey to fall in love with you. That is, he's got to kiss you."
Are you kidding me??? 

Ursula then goes on to tell Ariel that she can make the prince fall in love with her without her voice - just use her good looks and "body language." 
Appalling. Now I know why my generation is so messed up.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now. :)

Chocolate Chip Scones

I have become an avid blog follower (as can be seen by the column on the right side of the screen). The sad thing is, all of the blogs I follow have to do with cooking. As Jocelyn said last night, "You are just so domestic." Yes, it's true...I love cooking just as much as I love law school. It's so wonderful to be a well-rounded person! :)

Anyway, AnnaGrace pointed me to this recipe for chocolate chip scones. As soon as I saw the pictures, my mouth started watering, and I knew I had to make them. And so they quickly got added to my list of goodies to  make over spring break.

Uber excited!!!
The recipe can be found at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life. The recipe actually calls for cinnamon chips. I, however, in a moment of not-very-good eyesight, thought they were supposed to be chocolate chips. Since I like chocolate better than cinnamon, I changed the recipe. Plus, it's more fun when you make it your own! :)

The recipe is super easy. Mix the dry ingredients, pour in the buttermilk (I used half almond milk and half regular milk, and it turned out just fine!), and stir in the chocolate chips. Knead it 10-12 times, shape into a circle, and cut into wedges.

Enjoy with Dunkin' Donuts Mocha Mint coffee...Mmm!!!

Well, Jocelyn just woke up, so I am off to make breakfast! Although by this time, it's practically lunch. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is a Rabbit Trail?

By not explaining to you the title of this post, I'm going off on a rabbit trail. :) Or rather, make that lots - because this is a really random post. Now that you've been warned (uh-oh...the lawyer in me is beginning to make disclaimers), let's begin.

Over the past two days, I have been able to re-immerse myself as a music student, pretending that I do indeed belong in a classroom talking about Beethoven, Schoenberg, and period instruments from Schubert's day. Thankfully, I have managed to retain a portion of my music knowledge, so I haven't been completely lost! :)

At the bus stop!
On the way home - do you think we will run out of funny faces before the end of the week??
When we got home yesterday afternoon, I went for a quick 5-mile speed workout. I am now convinced that getting enough sleep is essential to having a successful training plan. Over the past couple of weeks, I have had trouble hitting the times listed on my training plan. I've basically just been doing the miles and have thrown the mile splits out the window. Yesterday, however, I felt like a completely new person - the weather was beautiful, there was new scenery, and I felt so fast. It was so refreshing to feel like a capable runner once again!

To reward myself for a successful workout, I decided to try my hand at some seasoned french fries. This time I opted for sweet potato fries. The recipe still needs some work. The recipe just lacked depth. Sorry, but I don't know how else to describe it! :) I will keep working and report back once I have a successful recipe. Although on second thought, maybe I will keep the recipe to myself and sell it!! (Just kidding!)

Not the final recipe - don't try this at home! :)

Yes, I even put ketchup on sweet potato fries...
Well, that's all for now...I should go do some homework, considering that I've done hardly anything over the past two days!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Frozen Yogurt, Accidents, and Chocolate Granola

Church this morning was different, and yet very good . I always look forward to going to Denton Bible Church with AnnaGrace, because not only is the preaching excellent, but the musicians are fantastic as well. Since I've had trouble finding a church in Waco, it's always a breath of fresh air to be in Denton. This morning, the comedian Jeff Allen spoke, so there wasn't actually a sermon. He, however, has a fantastic testimony - you can look for the audio version of it here in the next couple of days.

This afternoon we went to downtown Denton for frozen yogurt  (yum!). I, unfortunately, had a mishap with mine while trying to pull out my camera...

Yes, that's grass stuck to my yogurt...
I was able to pick off a good portion of the grass, though I did get some immuno-boosters in my portion. :) This stuff is too good to just throw away!!

Tonight's dinner was salad...following by Chocolate Crunch Dessert Granola!! It's another recipe from Oh She Glows - and it was fantastic, as usual. I omitted the nuts because we don't have any, and it still turned out fine without reducing any of the liquid ingredients. It also smells wonderful while it's cooking!

Chocolaty granola goodness!
We paired the granola with ice cream made in AnnaGrace's amazing new Vitamix blender. This is THE BEST kitchen appliance I have ever seen - I need to figure out how to get my hands on one!! Seriously, it crunches ice in's a pretty fantastic sight.

Enjoying this treat while watching "Cake Boss" was the perfect end to a wonderfully relaxing day.

And guess what?? I don't have to go to school tomorrow!!!! WOO-HOO!!! :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring Break Has Sprung...

Finally!! After weeks of counting down, spring break has finally arrived!! Here are a few of my plans over the next week:

1) Tons of cooking - Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Chocolate Crunch Dessert Granola, and developing my very own french fry seasoning - without peeking at any online recipes! :)

In the spice aisle - picking out seasonings for my french fry recipe!

My first attempt. Recipe to come - it still needs some tweaking!

2) Lots of movies (The King's Speech, Rabbit Hole, Ramona and Beezus)...

Sadly, Ramona and Beezus was quite disappointing - although it had some good quotes ("If you can't be brave at recess, how can you be when it really counts?"), overall I was not impressed. Inconsistent characters, bad parenting, and a too-happy ending made it a "C+" in my book.

3) Read The Emperor of Ocean Park - a novel written by a Yale law professor. My grandpa found the book, and sent it to me just because (yes, he's always that amazing!). So far, I'm 6 chapters in (I started early because I couldn't wait!), and it is quite the page-turner!

4) Hopefully lay out by the pool - if the weather warms up. Today it was a high of 53 degrees!! :(

5) Take more than 5 photos every day. Please check Facebook for the whole slew of them. :)

Pizza for dinner? Yes, please. After a long run (12 miles), it was the only thing that sounded good. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From the Other Side

Well, for now, the moot court competition is over, and I can breathe easily, knowing that spring break is only 20 hours away!!!! We find out tonight who "breaks" into the outrounds (top 16 teams). Honestly, I won't be disappointed if we don't break (and I'm not expecting to do so) - mainly because it means the competition is completely over, and I don't have to think about it over spring break!! And yes, feel free to roll your eyes at that last comment. :)

Here are some observations from the "other side":

Remember two weeks again when I was terrified about getting up in front of people and speaking? Yeah, that person is gone. While I still get nervous, I have found that I actually enjoy the oral presentation part of the competition. It's waaay more fun that reading through 20 cases to find rules!! :)

Additionally, it's been a big confidence-booster. While it has been frustrating to get so little direction, after the class round I felt much more confident that I was headed in the right direction. Although I've definitely had some not-so-stellar moments, overall I am pleased with my performance. It's amazing how being faced with a challenge and then surviving changes your perspective. As I look back over the past 7 months, I am astounded by the things I have accomplished which looked impossible when I first got them. And now, add moot court to the list!!

And finally, even though there is not a cross-examination, answering questions from judges is just as fun! The best part is when you get to say, "Your Honor, I respectfully disagree..." and then explain your position. BEST FEELING EVER!!! :)

On Friday night, we went up against a good team, and had phenomenal judges. One of them won the competition in the fall! They asked super-difficult questions, but all of us were ready, and it made the round so much more interesting. It was my favorite round of the competition!! I have no idea who won, but honestly, I wouldn't bother me one iota if we lost both ballots on that one, because the other side would have deserved the win.

And now, for a change of subject - only one class stands between me and spring break!! I have decided to do tons of cooking next week. Here's hoping I don't gain 20 pounds in one week! :) The first item on my agenda is to create my very own french fry seasoning. I was inspired last week (with some prompting from AnnaGrace!) after trying the Southbound Fries at George's, a local restaurant. My goal is to create one sweet and one salty recipe...haven't really decided how I'm going to go about doing it, but I have ideas. And don't worry - I'll take tons of pictures of my experiments! Hopefully there won't be too many failures. :)