I have heard a million times that law school is about figuring out what you want to do with your career.

Yesterday we visited 5 law firms and spoke to both long-time partners and newer associates about the law school experience and what it takes to land a job. We talked about where we might want to work, we talked about extracurriculars, we talked about the lifestyle of being an attorney in a firm.

I also had a realization yesterday that was a long time coming: i really want to do work in wills/trusts/estates. I know next to nothing about the subject, but I feel a strong pull towards it.

In my last post I mentioned that I am caring for my grandma. As well as shuttling her to doctor’s appointments and making sure she’s fed, I am also her Power of Attorney. I’m currently neck-deep in a crash course in what that means. I’m reading articles online, books, and reaching out to whatever resources I can find. It isn’t tedious, and I don’t dread it.

Everything that my grandma has now, she and my grandpa worked their entire lives to have. Neither of them had any schooling beyond a high school education. My grandmother was a secretary, my grandfather was a maintenance man. But they worked hard, were smart with their money, and it shows in my grandmother’s assets. So when we encountered issues accessing money in one of her accounts, it scared me.

What my grandma wants to do with that money is entirely her business. If Grandpa were still here, he would want that as well. I desperately want to make sure that whatever she wants with her money will happen. It doesn’t matter if she’s leaving it to me or donating it all to charity; what matters is that her wishes are fulfilled. I want to help people achieve that goal. I don’t want to see her wishes unfulfilled when she is beyond this world and has no control over it.

I feel moved to tears thinking about what it must mean to her that she is able to disperse that money as she feels fit. She deserves it more than anything. We shall see in a year or three if I still feel so strongly about the subject, but I thought it wise to put it on  paper (figuratively, obviously..) so I can revisit this post later and make sure I stay true to my goals. Working in a beautiful office with 70″ TV screens and panoramic views of Honolulu is amazing, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think those things will keep me going. Maybe this will.

Xoxo,

Laurel

 

Growing up without my mother and a single dad who worked long hours (to support me and give me a wonderful life, don’t get me wrong!) meant my grandmother took me on a lot. She fed me, bathed me, packed my lunches, washed my clothes, and did everything I could possibly ask for. She also indulged some of my more obnoxious habits.

When I was in preschool, I hated when foods mixed. My plate had to have separate sections for each type of food, and a different utensil for each one. The thought of them even touching was horrid and would make me lose my appetite. (I also only liked my toast cut into square quarters; toast cut into triangles tasted terrible).

Now that Grandma is 88 and only somewhat mobile, she has decided it is her turn to be spoiled, and I have no problem with that. The other day she decided she did not like the food at her retirement home anymore, and to prove her point, she ate bread with some guava jelly for dinner. This is a lady who needs to gain 10 lbs to be at her minimum goal weight. Aiya!

I already meal plan for my own household 4 weeks out. Now I’ll be meal planning for her as well, but no complaints. I genuinely feel very lucky that I have the opportunity to spoil her like she spoiled me. So many of my peers have lamented that they wish they had grandparents around at all. I am so very grateful to have her! She can be an absolute pain, but I love her so, so much.  I just hope I can keep up with my classes while putting 10 lbs back on her little frame! Wish me luck.

Xoxo,

Laurel

 

 

I know I’ve been gone for ages.. WordPress tells me it has been 10 months. I thought it was longer than that! In the last 10 months I went from part-time barista to full-time shift supervisor to full-time law school student, part-time barista (again), and primary caregiver for my grandmother. A lot has happened and I am now trying to regain my balance. I have been giving a lot and not taking at all. I am going to try to update this blog as a gift to myself, and if I have anything fantastic to share, hopefully a gift to you!

Yesterday I picked up my knitting needles for the first time in probably a year or more. It caused me to notice something about myself.

I picked up the needles and realized I didn’t remember how to knit anymore. The motions were buried somewhere in my brain, but I couldn’t pull them to the front. After watching a  couple videos, I was well on my way.

About halfway through, I dropped a stitch. But I didn’t notice. I didn’t notice until I was a few rows past the mistake. There was a big, gaping hole staring at me in the middle of my dishcloth. And I never learned how to go backwards. I thought about unraveling the whole thing, but that was a disappointing prospect. So I soldiered on.

Except, now I was frustrated and angry. As I tied of the end of my sad little dishcloth, I realized 2 things. 1, My shoulders and neck hurt. I was holding all the tension and frustration in my shoulders that I built up. I was so angry at myself for making a silly mistake that I caused myself physical pain. 2, My stitches after I noticed the hole in my dishcloth were noticeably tighter. So the tension wasn’t just in my neck and shoulders, it was in my hands as well.

As I held up my dishcloth and looked at it, my dad came home from work. He looked at it and cracked up laughing.. and I laughed too. Hysterically.

The hole in my dishcloth wasn’t that big of a deal. And when I realized that and laughed about it, the tension melted.

It was only one little episode, but I need to remember it and apply it to my life. Getting upset over a missed stitch wasn’t worth the anger I managed to harbor over it.

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Xoxo,

Laurel

tea

I work at Starbucks, and have for nearly 8 years.  So when I tell people that I don’t drink (much) coffee, they’re absolutely shocked. But I don’t feel the need- I’ve found everything I could ever want in a beverage in the form of tea.  And herbal infusions, if we’re being politically correct.

My favorite is your standard breakfast tea.  I start every morning with a cup, sometimes with sugar and sometimes without. I could never do coffee first thing in the morning without a sweetener.  For a while the BF & I were doing Splenda, but using so much of that just didn’t sit well with me.  That was strike one against coffee.

In the afternoons I usually supplement with a cup of green tea, which I definitely prefer without sweetener.  It takes a while to get used to if you aren’t a green tea drinker.  It kind of tastes like grass/vegetation steeped in hot water…

After dinner I always have a cup of something or other with ginger in it.  I don’t know if I have food allergies or what, but often times food/milks don’t sit well with me (soy, almond, rice and coconut included). The no-milk thing was strike 2 against coffee, by the way.  Ginger infusions have been a lifesaver!  My favorite way to get some ginger in my tummy isn’t actually a tea OR an herbal infusion-it’s a syrup.  About every other week I boil some sliced ginger root in hot water and add sugar to make a simple syrup, and put some of that in a cup with a squeeze of lemon.

Tummy troubles, begone!

Finally, I have trouble winding down in the evenings.  I am a high-stress, high-energy person (I think I have some kind of anxiety issue, but let’s not go there…) so chamomile tea is a lovely way to cap off my day.  Many nights I get off work at  12:30am, and come home still bouncing off the walls.  I’ve been known to do laundry at 1 in the morning..

That’s my normal tea-routine!  There are a couple others I enjoy on occasion, but I’ll save that for another day. (The picture is a hint, if you can tell what kind of tea that is!) 🙂

xoxo Laurel

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Teehee…

Sarah and I planned on making cauliflower crust pizza ages ago.  We just got around to it this week, and I’m so glad we did!!!

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Doesn’t that look amazing!? Once we got the pizzas in the oven, it smelled AMAZING.  But I have to admit, the steamed cauliflower in the blender was not a pretty smell.  Ugh.

1. First things first, I washed and cut 1/2 of a cauliflower head into small (1-2″) pieces and steamed them for about 10 minutes, until they were soft.

2. Into the blender!  The instructions we read said to pulse until “shredded”.  That’s not exactly a term I’d use to describe mushy cauliflower once it’s all blended….Nonetheless, we pulsed a few times until there were no big chunks.

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(Action shot!)

3. Then we put the steamed cauliflower in the fridge for about 15 minutes to cool off, stirring a couple of times.  (I can’t guarantee it was 15 minutes.. We may have been having a glass of wine and watching Netflix while we waited…)

4. Into the mush add 1 egg, one Sarah-sized handful of cheese (1/2 cup?), 2 cloves of chopped garlic, a healthy sprinkling of parsley & basil, as well as the necessary salt and pepper.

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5. On a baking pan lined with parchment paper (or, in my unprepared case, foil sprayed with non-stick spray), flatten out the dough into a crust.  I recommend keeping it relatively thin so you get a texture closer to that of a traditional pizza crust. The cauliflower has a lot of moisture, so a thicker crust will have an… odd texture.

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6. Now, we bake! 15 minutes, and your mush on a pan will look like a pizza crust!

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7. We added good ol’ marinara sauce, some basil, sun-dried tomatoes and a little chopped garlic (as well as the mozzarella of course).  Next time I am definitely doing a BBQ pizza. 🙂

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Back into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until your cheese looks bubbly, toasty, and delicious.

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Today I learned that I like lots of marinara sauce, I make my pizza crusts too thick, and steamed/blended cauliflower smells awful.

XO,

Laurel & Sarah

Almost as much as I like rice, I like potatoes.

They get a lot of bad publicity. Remember the “low-carb diet” craze? Poor taters.
Yes, they are high on the glycemic index, but I don’t eat them every day.  Or even every week.. But really, they’re not all bad!

– One medium baked potato w/ skin has more potassium than a banana
high in fiber
– no cholesterol or fat
not to mention inexpensive (I haven’t gotten out of my college student budget yet!)

That’s not too shabby right?

[Now, the presentation I have of potatoes may not be the healthiest, but I am definitely not a diet goddess.  I don’t eat perfectly, I’m not vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, or any of those other diets.  I apologize if this offends anyone!]

LET’S MAKE MASHED POTATOES!

…What?  You don’t have time? Oh yes you do.

I cheat.

SEMI-HOMEMADE MASHED POTATOES

You will need:
1: one or two potatoes (I use Russet.. I mentioned the budget right?)
2: instant mashed potatoes
3: ~15 minutes

Step 1: Scrub your potato, and bake it.  If you prefer the oven method, we’re going to add a little time, but I understand if you want to avoid the microwave. I also recommend if you’re using the oven method, wrap your potato in foil.  It helps the skin get soft-something you don’t typically want in a baked potato, but when you’re mixing the peels in your mashed potato, you don’t want awkward crunchy bits. Eep. If you’re using the microwave, stab it a few times, wrap it in a damp paper towel, and microwave about 5 minutes, then flip over, then another 5.

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Step 2: Prepare your desired amount of instant mashed potatoes according to the box.

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Step 3: ..Do you know where this is going yet? 🙂 Using a couple of forks, pull apart your “baked” potato and add the chunks to the instant potatoes.  *I definitely believe in using the peel, as long as you scrubbed it well. I like B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium,& potassium in my mashed potatoes!! I have a picky eater in the household, so I’m slowly working on convincing them that the peels in mashed potatoes do not make it “dirty”. :/ *
You’ll probably need to add a tad bit more milk here if you want to keep the creamy consistency.  I like my potatoes to stay a little chunkier so I don’t mix the potato in too much, and I add only another TBSP or 2 of milk.

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“YES!  Homemade mashed potatoes!”

I love hearing that.  I don’t specify that they were “semi” homemade, and no one asks. 😉

 

XO,

Laurel

 

 

 

What kinds of grains do you use for your oatmeal?  I always just used plain old rolled oats.  

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But I was feeling adventurous. I present to you my new oat blend: rolled oats, rolled rye. rolled spelt, and chia seeds! (I had an abundance of chia seeds, so I’ve just been putting it in everything I can..)

It’s delicious and filling and I’ve been eating it a lot lately.

& Everytime I eat it my dad says “Mairzy doats, and dozey doats  and little lamzy divy”.. Heard that one before?


 

(Apologies in advance, the serving size for rye on the right is different than for oats and spelt..)

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On the left we have oats, in the middle is spelt, and on the right is rye.

-Both spelt & rye have less calories than oats
Rye has more fiber.
-In order of fat content highest to lowest, it would go oats (7g), spelt (2.4g), then rye (1.6g).
-They’re all good for you!


 

Living in Hawaii, cold mornings are pretty rare (unless you wake up before the sun… that’s not me and definitely not Sarah).  I always thought oatmeal was only a hot food, but this morning I had cold oatmeal.  Doesn’t that sound gross?

It’s really not.  I put about 3/4 C of my favorite mix of oats in a container with a TBSP of Chia seeds, along with about a 1/2 C of soy milk and a healthy dollop of soy yogurt, and leave it in the fridge overnight.

(Btw, soy yogurt by itself is pretty gross, at least the one I bought. It’s a horrible brown color and very bitter.  This is my method of concealing the taste so I don’t waste it!)

I ate it just plain, but it’d be delicious with some bananas.  Or dark chocolate chips.  Or pretty much anything!  It’s very refreshing on a hot morning like today! 

Tomorrow I’ll try the leftovers- this could prove to be a good breakfast to prep one night and eat for the next 2 or 3 mornings! 

XO

Sarah & Laurel

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