Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorry for the long delay (again) in posting. Since my lips must be sealed about work, there's not really a whole lot that I can report. I am really loving my internship. So far I've worked on three projects, plus another small one today. I'm getting exposed to many different areas of law, which is really cool. I need lots of variety in my life to keep it interesting! (And yet, I don't like does that work??)

This past weekend was my birthday. Unfortunately, the one picture that I have is on AnnaGrace's camera, so I don't have access to it. :( It was a wonderful day - we went on a run/bike ride (I rode the bike) and did eight miles. Then we cleaned up and headed to the new Batman movie. It was great!! I really enjoyed it a lot, and I'm hoping that this actually isn't the end of the series...(I won't say anymore so as not to give it away).

On Sunday, my parents came down and took us out to lunch, which ended up being kind of an ordeal. We went to Baris, this cute local Italian restaurant in Waco. I've been there a couple times before, and their food is fantastic! Plus, the portion sizes are huge and the prices are very reasonable (great pluses when you're a student!). Unfortunately on Sunday, Dad's order never came until we were ready to walk out the door. I don't know exactly what happened. At first we thought it was the kitchen's fault, but then two Strombolis came out and went to other people...apparently our waitress wasn't keeping close tabs on it like she should have been. The plus was that we all got a free meal out of it! :) I was really disappointed that my parents' first experience was so terrible...

My parents gave me this super-cute dress, which I promptly wore on Monday, paired with the orange cardigan I picked up at a consignment shop in Aspen. :) Sorry for the bad picture - there's only so much you can do trying to take a picture in a mirror.

Last night, I tried a new recipe. I've got a basil plant that's just been sitting there all summer, minus the one time I made pesto back in May. So I decided that I need to find new recipes that incorporate basil. I had a couple chicken breasts I wanted to eat, so I made Chicken with Lemon Basil Cream Sauce. It was really good!!

I found the recipe on Divine Caroline's website (don't ask me who she is - Google sent me there, and hers was the easiest recipe). However, I did tweak it a little bit.

Chicken with Lemon Basil Cream Sauce

Four boneless chicken breasts
4 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon paprika
Salt/pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter

Combine seasonings with flour and coat chicken evenly. Heat oil and butter. Cook chicken over medium heat for four to five minutes on each side or until cooked throughout. Remove from pan. Wipe excess grease from pan.

I skipped the coating on the chicken because I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. I did sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it once it was in the pan.

Basil Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Two cloves minced garlic ** I skipped this and the onion because I didn't have any - it tasted fine without it!
3 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ** I used lemon juice from concentrate
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Salt to taste

Combine butter, garlic, and onions in same pan. used for chicken. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken stock. Cook two to three more minutes. Add the cream and fresh lemon juice. Cook until sauce thickens a little. Add fresh basil and salt.

Serve the chicken on your pretty platter and top with the cream sauce.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Since I've been at the Supreme Court for a little over a week now, I figured it was time for an update on my life in Austin. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as exciting as my time in Colorado - there aren't any mountains to scale!! :)

Work is going really well. I turned in a draft of my first study memo yesterday to one of the clerks. That was terrifying!!! I had finished a rough draft on Thursday of last week, but then spent a day and half checking citations, re-reading it to make sure it made sense, and checking for typos. I was also putting off turning it in and still moving stuff around. After I turned it in, I went back to my desk and prayed that it would be good enough.

Thankfully, the clerk was really pleased with my work. She said that my writing is good, and my citations were perfect. Thank the Lord!! There was quite a bit of red on the page, but she said it was really good for a first draft, and a lot of things she marked are specific to the Supreme Court or our justice.

They also got me started on another study memo. The cool thing about this one is that it is on a topic that we covered in our first-year writing class. So I'm already a little familiar with the topic. Good choice, Professor Cordon! :) Plus, it's only one issue, instead of three (four? the Petitioner in the previous case just threw everything in the brief hoping it would stick), so hopefully it won't be too bad.

On Saturday, I went for a nice long workout, then hung out by the pool and went grocery shopping. AnnaGrace and I went to see "Brave" on Sunday. As a Pixar film, I was really looking forward to it, but I was actually kind of disappointed. The movie was pretty dark for a kid's film, and it just didn't have the same charm that some of their other movies have had. This may sound weird, but the girl's hair was AMAZING. It was red and curly, and the graphics were phenomenal. I want her hair!! :) (I did a great job of selling this movie, didn't I???).

Hope you had a great Tuesday!! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


This post is going to attempt to finish recapping my last few days in Colorado, as well as the last week or so. Hang on for a long ride! (I'll try to only hit the highlights.)

My grandparents ended up coming out to Colorado the last week I was there, so they came up and visited on my last weekend. It was wonderful to see them! On Saturday, I took them hiking up in Rocky Mountain National Park. We did the trail around Bear Lake, and then headed up Trail Ridge Road. It was funny to me how the scenery had changed in the couple weeks since I had been there. Having less snow on the mountains definitely made it look different!

We stopped in Estes Park on our way down, and then at the Colorado Cherry Company. I don't think I've mentioned this place before, but it the BEST. PLACE. EVER. They sell all kinds of ciders (cherry, strawberry, peach), jams, pies, etc. Their cherry juice is so good!! AnnaGrace and I bought a half gallon to take with us back to Texas so that we could remember Colorado (because the 1500 pictures just aren't enough). :)

Stirring popcorn at a candy shop in Estes Park
On Sunday, we went to church and then hung out with family all afternoon. I ate until I was stuffed, including some banana pudding - which I had been craving for a week, thanks to a pin of Banana Pudding Pie on pinterest.

And then Monday came, and we had to leave to come back to Texas. :( AnnaGrace and I spent the day in Colorado Springs, doing a little bit more sightseeing before we left for good. We had planned on driving up Pikes Peak, but all the smoke from the wildfire kept us away - although the mountain reopened on Monday, we figured we wouldn't be able to see anything, so it wouldn't be worth the money.

Our first stop was Focus on the Family, where we went down the slide, had a WodFamChocSod, and each bought an Odyssey CD album (which we listened to the entire 12-hour drive on Tuesday!).

Our next stop was the Olympic Training Center. This place was amazing!! They give free tours, so we got to see several locations where actual Olympic athletes have been training. My only disappointment was not getting to see Michael Phelps at the pool...The visit got me super pumped up for the Olympics later this month!

Our last stop of the day was in Manitou Springs, where we walked around the shops. We even played Skeeball!! We won 7 tickets, which equaled two butterscotch candies. Yay us!

Side note: Don't ever spend the night in Pueblo, CO. The "city" is like a ghost town with only KFC and McDonald's for dinner (or Wal-Mart if you're a vegetarian). :)

Tuesday we drove from Pueblo all the way to Rockwall. The drive (especially the Texas part) felt like it took forever. I was so glad to finally be out of the car! On Wednesday, we just hung around the house until the evening, when we went to see fireworks. Rockwall's actually got a pretty decent fireworks show! I highly recommend it for next year (if you're looking for something to do already...).

I saw this fruit dish on Facebook, so naturally I had to do it myself. Didn't it turn out cute??

And now, I'm in Austin, two days into my first week at the Supreme Court of Texas. I think I'm really going to love this job!! They had me start on a study memo yesterday, which should take a week and a half or two weeks. Basically, I'm looking at a petition for review (someone appealing from the court of appeals' judgment) and outlining the issues for the justices. It's a lot of research and writing, but so far I think it's going okay. It's a little nerve-wracking, though. It hit me yesterday afternoon that what I'm doing now is going to affect real people in real life! Yikes!!!

Well, that's all for now. So far, I haven't done anything fun in Austin, though tomorrow I'm going to play Bunco with my hostess! I've never played before, so it should be interesting. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Long Overdue

Side note: Sorry for the long delay - I started this post almost two weeks ago, but I was waiting to get all the pictures uploaded! So, this is severely late...

You know a blog post is long overdue when you get a reminder on your Facebook about the lack of posts. :)

The past week and half have flown by. Last Tuesday, I left for a trip up into the mountains to deliver more boxes. No one in the office was able to get away, so I got to take AnnaGrace with me! We traveled through Frisco, Breckenridge, Vail, Edwards, Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and all the way to Grand Junction (clear on the other side of the Rockies - a whopping 5 hours from Loveland). Thankfully, we had enough time to do some sight-seeing along the way.

Our first stop was in Breckenridge, where we walked around downtown and picked up a couple gifts for people. We also got stickers for our water bottles - after all the places we visited, we now have quite the Colorado collection! :)

We both discovered that we were NOT fans of Vail. First off, it has this really fake vibe about it (at least the area we saw), like it's one massive ski resort. We found out later that it was never a real city - so it was built intentionally as a resort. Secondly, the prices are way out of control. A salad for lunch would have cost $25!! No thank you - I can make one at home for way cheaper.

After delivering a couple more boxes, we stopped in Edwards for lunch at the Smiling Moose Deli. I had their Parisian sandwich (chicken breast, melted Brie cheese, avocado, sun-dried tomates, and pesto mayo), which was amazing.

After lunch we drove through Glenwood Springs to get to Aspen and Basalt. Aspen is so beautiful!!! It was way cuter than Vail. After delivering a couple boxes, we walked around downtown for a little bit. We also found the Aspen Consignment Shop and stopped in. I found a black jacket for one of my dresses, as well as a melon-colored cardigan!! Hurray for checking two things off my list of necessary clothing items. :)

Can't you just see me in this?? :)
We ended up spending the evening just outside Aspen in Snowmass Village at a ski resort. AnnaGrace was able to find a hotel room for the same rate as we were going to pay in Glenwood Springs! It was a lot of fun to stay in a nice hotel, rather than a Holiday Inn Express. :)

The next day we drive to Grand Junction, which was ugly. It's the Waco of Colorado. :) It was interesting, however, to see the difference between the landscape on the east and west sides of the Rockies.

We stopped for lunch at Sacred Grounds in Glenwood Springs. AnnaGrace had a green smoothie, and I had a delicious turkey sandwich.

I wanted to take this little moose home, but he was $50, and my graduate school budget doesn't allow for it...

Isn't he cute???
Instead of taking I-70 all the way back, we went back through Aspen and took Highway 82 through Independence Pass. It was a little nerve-wracking at times - I was afraid I was going to lose control of the car and go straight over the edge! The views were TOTALLY worth it, though...

On our way home, we went through Leadville, home of the Leadville 100-mile race. I've read about the race in Runner's World, so it was great to actually see where it happens! Leadville is a tiny town way out in the middle of nowhere, but the downtown was adorable. I also picked up some coffee for a friend called "Mount Massive." I later regretted my decision not to pick up a pound for me - it smelled amazing!!

Well, I think this post has gotten long enough. I will slowly be updating on everything that's happened in the past week or two, since I've got a ton of pictures still! :)

I am currently sitting in Austin, looking up directions and preparing for my first day at the Texas Supreme Court tomorrow (SO excited!!!). Have a wonderful Sunday!