Sunday, May 27, 2012

new beginnings

Lots of changes have sure been happening this weekend!

I finally upgraded my phone after 3 years to an iPhone.  I'm mostly really excited because I think it will make things easier for me to capture more photos/moments on-the-go and share them since obviously I am SO bad at pulling out a camera and then uploading the pics onto my computer later.  Hopefully this will allow me to blog more often, like my goal of daily/every other day.  Feels great to have new technology at the tip of my fingers :)

Funny Siri story:  I attempted to show Matt how cool she is that she can help me 'write' text messages when I speak to her.  I proudly spoke to her and said 'hi monkey' and after a few moments, she spit out my message in type as 'I eat meat.'  ....FAIL.

We spent Saturday helping Daf and Josh move into their new apartment.  It was a long day full of fun, laughter, sweat, frustration (at times - looking at you, Ikea), but much success in the end.  (Pics from my iPhone with filters I used on the Instagram app to *jazz* them up.)  

Taking a breather in the living room mid-move

Showing off the chandelier... fun!

I was glad we were able to help out and it was a really great feeling at the end of the night after everything was finally done.  Phew!  So excited for them that they were able to find a cute and roomy place in just a few days and that everything worked out in the end.  Looking forward to the (hopefully near) future when we'll also be able to move to a new and bigger place, too.  Dinner parties complete with lots of yummy food made by yours truly - yeah!

Today has been a lazy day.  While at Ikea yesterday (and dangit, I never took a hilarious picture of us there considering our misadventures), I bought an awesome shelving unit that I decided would be perfect to organize all of my beautiful handbags.  I spent today cleaning out junk so I could build it up and get everything organized.  After a few hours, many bags of trash, and almost killing myself when I slipped and fell crashing into everything (I'm ok but currently pretty sore, ugh), it's all set up and looks awesome!  I'm so happy.  Yay!

Tomorrow will be yet another relaxing day.  Planning on heading to the mall to snag a few things I need but then taking it easy the rest of the day to enjoy the extra day off.  Next Saturday is actually Matt's birthday... Do you have any gift ideas because I sure am clueless on what to give him.  We have some unexpected plans in place thanks to his parents but that will be shared later ;)  Good times!

Friday, May 11, 2012

grad day

This happened today - yeah!  Lots more pics to come from the day, but things are pretty busy now with family still in town and assorted stuff going on.  Super sleepy but a fun day nevertheless of course :)  Super proud!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

out with the old, in with the new

This is what happened this past Thursday night:

Bye Jeep :(

Hello Big Jeep! :)

And then I'm reminded of all of the things that have been happening, changing... which I have not had the time or energy to post about at all.  Sigh.  Where did the time go?

Things are still busy and crazy now and will be for the next month or so.  But, as always, I guess I just have to find a way to find 'me time' and not just focus only on having to get things done all the time, being everywhere at once, etc.  Finally, at least, I have a day to myself to spend at home and try to get my life back into order.

Things that have been happening over the past 2 months:

~ I turned 30!  Yup, the start of a new decade.  My mom flew into town for both my birthday and Daf's Culture Night and it was a whole lot of fun.  And yummy foods haha.

~ Matt's mom had an art show in San Pedro so they came to town to celebrate my birthday belatedly and it was good times as always.  Here's the link to the PDF of the artists in the show, her painting is near the bottom since the artists are alphabetical order.  Fabulous, isn't it?  As always.

~ Lots of people have been celebrating bdays lately, too.  Daf celebrated hers 2 weeks prior to mine, and we enjoyed a fun day of dim sum and games at Dave & Busters.  Always good times with Daf and Josh!  Can't wait until everything is settled down this summer hopefully and we can enjoy fun times together more consistently, and even go on some trips.  (Looking at you, San Diego, Vegas...)

~ Matt's mom also celebrated a bday this past week.  We went up to celebrate with her and her friends last weekend.  Always a blast!

~ Work has been incredibly busy.  Discovery requests have been pouring in and deadlines have been piling up all together.  There are some days that I really hate defense counsel.  Especially when they send me stacks of requests.  With hundreds of requests.  All due on the same day.  Thanks a lot!

This weekend, Matt and I participated with members of my law firm for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Hope Steps & A Cure Walk (which our firm was a sponsor).  It was really fun!  And always great to do some charity work.  Some of my co-workers participated in the 5k run in the morning, but we only participated in the walk later that morning.  The weather was perfect and the walk was right along the water.  Awesome to raise awareness and funds.  Afterwards, we went to the USC v. Oregon State baseball game with my co-worker/friend (who went to Oregon State).  All the years I went to USC and I had never been to a USC baseball game, strange.  Happy to report a USC victory though, haha.  Then we (Matt and I) had dinner with Josh and Daf at O Dae San - love it!  I have Josh to thank for making me love Korean BBQ and handling all the ordering/cooking like a pro.  Too bad we were all pretty exhausted and starving so we ate too fast then got food coma :)  Can't wait until we can go again soon!  Once a month tradition? ;)

The work week ahead will be pretty crazy... Actually things will be pretty crazy up until Daf's graduation which isn't so far away at this point.  Both my parents and Matt's parents will be coming into town for all the festivities.  There are just a lot of changes coming... good ones, but things always feel kinda crazy when a lot of things are up in the air at the moment, e.g., Matt's job, Daf's job, Josh and Daf's housing situation... One day, I'll look back at this time and laugh about it, I think, like 'hey, remember when things were so crazy and it felt all weird?'  But for now, it just feels weird!  I don't really like change, I guess, and just hope everything will be ok. 

It also is my favorite time of year with NBA Playoffs having started... and between the Walk and the baseball game, we caught the final quarter or so of the Bulls game.  And, much to my horror and disappointment, we watched the Derrick Rose season-ending injury happen live :(  I just feel so utterly heartbroken, feel terrible for him, the team, the city... and as such a die-hard fan, I'm just sad and disappointed.  The show must go on and he wouldn't want everyone to pity him but you also can't help it.  He's really had a lot of terrible luck this shortened season, huh?  But, you can only take one game at a time and we can only hope he'll recover quickly and be back to his old self whenever he returns next season.  Bummer he'll miss the summer Olympics, though, which he was also looking forward to so much.

That's too sad of a note to leave on.  Hmm.  Well, I'm hopeful in the coming months to get back into crochet (I've done some here and there lately) and really work on my knitting (I'm not sure why I always scare myself off?) and start some awesome cross-stitch projects.  Maybe I'll dabble in some today while some playoff games are happening.  We have some things to do around the apartment (like laundry and cleaning some pets) but other than that, I'm looking forward to just getting life back into order.  Or some semblance of order at least :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

easy peasy baked risotto

How good does this look??  It may feel like summer in LA but I saw this recipe for baked lemon risotto this morning and considering that I haven't been having nice, tasty home-cooked meals, I knew I had to make this for dinner.

I normally don't have a thing for risotto and thinking about slaving over a hot stove stirring, stirring, stirring is never enticing.  But Joy's method is all about putting this risotto in the oven and baking it, requiring just some stirring in the pan.  Genius!

I rushed to Trader Joe's after work to pick up the ingredients I didn't have, e.g., the arborio rice and parm cheese, and I decided to have this alongisde some baked lemon pepper chicken breasts.  It may be super hot in LA and now my apartment is super stuffy, but I just pulled this pan out of the oven and snuck in a taste while I'm waiting for it to cool down a bit and it is DELICIOUS.  I had to add a little extra water near the end of the cooking process, more than the recipe calls for, because the rice soaked everything up before getting perfectly soft, but it finished nicely.  The flavors are lemony, creamy, savory and just a little spicy from the red pepper flakes.  Yum.  I can't wait to eat this in just a few minutes.  Totally worth the hot apartment, sweating, and late dinner.

I love Joy the Baker's blog and have been reading it for years.  Joy has such a lovely way with words and her recipes, usually sweet, always look amazing and tasty.  I still haven't had the chance to try her mini pretzel dogs which look oh-so good. 

Joy just had her cookbook published and it just came out last week!  I ordered it a few days ago and should be getting it sometime this week.  I can't wait to see what's in store and try out more recipes.  No doubt that they'll be just as tasty as this one.

Now, it's time to eat... Go make yourself some baked lemon risotto, too! :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

pizza love

For Valentine's Day, my mom sent us the most delicious treats:  Lou Malnati's pizzas!  Sausage pizzas to be exact.  And one was even heart-shaped.

Yum!  I couldn't wait to eat them...

Ready for baking!

All done and ready for eating!  They were as delicious as they look...not your typical sweet Valentine's Day treat but so yummy nevertheless.  Matt never had sausage pizza before and I wasn't sure if he'd like it, but he polished off half the heart by himself.  I was so proud haha.  Thanks mommy! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

bar exam, day three - aka, it's done!

Well, it's finally done.  Feels weird and...well, just weird.  I think it's really jarring to live out of a hotel room and do the same thing all day long, come, go, rinse, repeat...everything blends together after a while.

Today's portions were ok.  I don't know.  It's hard not to feel numb after a while.  The essays weren't great but at least the performance test, as opposed to Tuesday's, seemed manageable.  And it was a more positive way to end.  (I am also glad to be rid of the annoying dude who was sitting in front of me, he would not quit trying to talk to me about nonsense.  Bleh.)

It's funny to see all the different types of people who take the exam.  Just general age, backgrounds, etc.  Some people, I can't help but think, you want to be an attorney?  Who knows how things turned out...after a short hiatus, I think I'm going to start studying again.  If there is a next time, I'm thinking about trying out the BarMax app which seems to have positive reviews.  This BarBri stuff is/was just not very good materials-wise.  Just too generic and not enough oomph.  I think everyone feels the same after, just lost and confused.  And most of us were repeaters rather than first timers so we're even more clueless.  As we say to each other in the end, "it's been fun but I hope I never have to see you again, no offense."

Being a repeater obviously sucks, but I think it also gives you perspective on the exam experience.  The first time, you get all worked up and nervous and freaked out and it's a really horrible experience.  By the latter time(s), you feel like a pro and it's not so scary anymore.  You only worry about what topics they'll test you on, since it's such a nasty surprise usually, but it's nice to feel calm about things.  Well, until frustration sets in again if you find out later that you didn't pass and you realize you have to do it all over again, haha.  But, hey, a year ago, I took the exam and a week later, my hair started falling out like crazy - scary.  So, I guess I have a better perspective on things.  I can try my best and do what I can, and be happy that I'm employed, am relatively healthy, and have lots of great and supportive friends and family.  The exam is just something to be conquered and it will be eventually.  Have to enjoy life and every day I get to wake up and live it!  Good stuff.

Right now, I'm waiting for traffic to die down but I'm packing in a bit then heading home.  I'm going to miss living out of this suite but it'll be good to be home.  I'm looking forward to a nice night of rest.  Tomorrow, Matt and I have tickets to see the Lakers/Kings game, and we're planning on going a bit early before the game to have dinner at El Cholo near Staples Center and then head to the game.  Mmm, El Cholo makes the best blended margaritas!  I'm not too sure what the weekend will entail, but hopefully something fun and relaxing.  I *must* finish the ami I was working on for my co-worker/friend so I can give him to her on Monday when I head back to the office.  After being in a daze for the last week and a half, it'll be quite the adjustment to be back in the office.  My calendar for March is already full so it'll be a very busy month already, and who knows what else has been going on there since I've been gone.  Fingers crossed that everything is ok!

Time to pack up! :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

bar exam, day two

Survived day two!  It's always a relief to have a multiple choice day in the middle, it's a good break from a lot of writing and typing.  At least this morning started off with some hot water unlike yesterday haha.  I thought the morning session went ok but the afternoon session really dragged on!  I think everyone was pretty tired because it seemed we all shared the same sentiments.

My favorite thing about the multiple choice questions is how bizarre they can make the fact patterns.  Sometimes, they're so off the wall that I want to laugh in the middle of the exam!  My favorites are usually the ones about people who own wild animals as pets, sometimes the things that happen to these 'people' in the questions are just so crazy.  I have no idea how they come up with this stuff, some sick and twisted minds maybe :P

Anyway, just one more day to go and then I get to go home.  That's always a weird feeling.  I get to used to this routine and then I have to go home.  In a way, it's nice to be away and have this 'me time' to focus on things, but I know it'll also be good to be back home again.

p.s.  I have no idea if they ever look at the exam booklets again or just run the answer sheets for scoring, but...umm...someone might discover a sweet surprise (pun intended) if they do look because when I got frustrated or worn down by some of the questions around hours 4 and 5, I may have done some fun doodles to take my mind off things for a minute and re-focus.  Doodles such as one of a cupcake.  With a cherry on top.  AND a cute little smiley face.  Surprise! :)  Haha.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

bar exam, day one

The internet is fairly stable here (surprisingly) so I thought I'd make a little post to take notes of my (mis)adventures.  Hey, I was trying to blog more often, right?  And yes, I know, silly picture of me (and Nyago! <3 him)...I took that a little while ago and as you can probably tell, it's been a long day.

Things out here in the boonies is pretty nice, like a mini vacay minus the whole 'I have to take this horrible, terrible, hellish exam' part.  Ha!  Matt was awesome enough to book me a crazy room, aka suite aka palace, so I'm living it up with more room than one little person like me needs.  I've been here since Monday, when I had to fight hellish traffic and rain just to make it here in one piece.  I nearly dropped all my food/groceries on the ground because of 1) the rain making my brown bags wet and 2) the flimsy-ness of Ralphs' new brown bags.  For your information, so you know, just because they may look like TJs awesome brown bags, alas they are not and in fact, are far inferior.  Not only did the handles break off on 2 of the 3 bags I brought here within the first few minutes, but then when grabbing one bag by the top, a big chunk ripped out of it!  Huh?  Lesson learned:  TJs brown bags >>>>>>>>> Ralphs brown bags.

It has been lovely and quiet though, just how I like it.  Although this morning didn't start off so well.  With so many people here waking up at the crack of dawn, I ended up taking a fairly lukewarm shower since the hot water was sucked up.  Does that even happen in hotels?  Apparently it does because I was freezing my tush off.  Nothing like a cold shower to wake you up!

I did, however, make it smoothly there and when you're an old pro like me, you know the drill.  Funny to see people fumbling around and all nervous and meanwhile, I know the routine.  As they say, it's not my first time at the rodeo?  I have no idea why that phrase keeps reverberating through my head (true story, I've been thinking that all day).  The proctors keep trying to tell me what to do and my response is, 'oh, I know, it's not like I haven't done this before.'  Oops.

My proctor is a very nice lady, maybe too nice.  Every time she comes around, she has a whole greeting prepared, starting off with, 'hi, how are you?' and 'welcome to (x) session' and 'thank you very much' and 'good luck on this section.'  Nice sentiments but borderline creepy when she stops purposefully and stares you in the eyes every time.  

The sessions today were...harsh.  I know, aren't they always.  The morning session was disgusting topics, aka Trusts, Constitutional Law and Evidence.  Umm, yuck?  The afternoon performance test was disappointing.  Performance tests, oddly, are usually where I strike exam gold and score the highest.  They're closed universe mock real world cases that you are given a task to complete.  I thought I had a handle on today's, until I started going...and going...and things got more confusing, convoluted, and just plain long.  Nothing made sense and everything seemed like an issue that was a mess to organize and discuss.  Sigh.  After a while, I had no idea what was up, down, left or right.  What a mean problem they wrote :(   

But the show must go on, and there are still 2 days left.  Tomorrow is a full day of multiple choice.  200 questions over 6 hours.  Sounds fun, right?  But after all this typing and writing, I'm looking forward to just filling in some bubbles with #2 pencils.  Thursday will be a repeat of our day today and then we get to go home.  After all this, I can't believe I'll be back at work next week again.  It'll feel really weird to switch gears again, but also good in a way.  I can't imagine what's been going on there, but hopefully things are ok.  No one ever knows how they did after these 3 days so I'll just hope for the best.  It's such a crapshoot and luck of the draw on what topics you're tested on and how the exam goes.  Sometimes everything just feels all wrong and sometimes it can feel great, but when everything is scaled, there's no telling what the end result will be.  But it is what it is and I can only try my best, right?  

Here are some funny observations from the day, to lighten the mood:

~ A sign that a bunch of Bar takers are on the loose:  everyone is running around clutching ridiculous gallon-sized clear ziploc bags containing items like pens, pencils, IDs, etc. looking crazed.

~ A bunch of guys were wearing NBA jerseys today.  For the exam.  Jerseys...really?  Most of us are dressed like we're going to bed, and dudes are dressed like they're going to dribble b-balls on a court.  Weird.  Listen, channeling Kobe is not going to make you 'clutch' for the exam.  Have you seen the dude play?  You might want to do that and reconsider your choice of jersey, should you choose to continue to wear one tomorrow.

~ I'm really amused by the items that people bring to the convention center.  No joke, people are hauling around pillows, footrests, giant keyboards, giant clocks - remind me again, but are we taking an exam or taking a nap?  Granted, we're sitting at long tables but our chairs are surprisingly cushioned.  Is it really necessary to bring enough bedding items to make one's bed?  How can that little chair hold that many pillows anyway?  I don't get it.  Although the girl in front of me did put her head down on her pillow when the general instructions were being read...strange.

~ I seem to be sitting in the 'older persons' section of the room.  Not that it was purposely done this way, but a lot of people near me are middle aged and above.  Are the Bar examiners trying to send me a message?  As my friend/co-worker put it, hopefully this doesn't mean that it's taken them THIS long to try to pass haha.  Then again, I got the sense that a lot of them are repeaters...

~ Old dude in front of me really wanted to be chatty cathy after the exam.  There's nothing I hate more than rehashing an exam after it's already over.  You're not going to change anything by talking about it, and in your mind you might've written the greatest thing ever but that's not what was really put on paper.  He didn't get the hint when I kept avoiding eye contact.  Hey mister, you continually asking me why I'm not smiling and me not really responding is probably an indication that 1) I'm exhausted and don't want to talk and 2) we just took a full day exam that is only the first of three days, is there really that much to smile about?  And telling me about your great essay writing from the day does nothing for me.  Let's face it, you've repeated this more than once, too, so I don't think you're in any position to tell me how awesome you are, mmkay, thanks.  Damn, I still have to see him tomorrow...and Thursday...

~ The head proctor stands at this podium in the front while reading endless pages of instructions.  It's a real buzzkill, especially when you have to sit there for 30 minutes listening to the same, repetitive instructions for every session.  What IS amusing, however, is the dude has this whole 'Morgan Freeman as the voice of God' thing going, especially when you can't really see him and his voice is echoing around the room. Awesome.

~ I'm thankful to have a seat farther in the back this time.  Last February I was in the front row and not only was it lame to stare at a wall but it was a real distraction to watch people come/go to the bathrooms.  Phew.

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now.  And I have to get back to reviewing for the multiple choice tomorrow and then get some rest.  Good times!  Or, as good as they can get for now, all things considered.  Good night!  

p.s.  Oh, and happy leap year day tomorrow!  If I had the time and ability, I'd check out the 24 hours of Disneyland (I can't even fathom this) since the park is supposed to be open from 6am Wednesday until 6am Thursday.  Craziness!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's Day!  I found this ridiculous little dude seat-belted into my passenger seat when I left for work this morning - haha!  I wasn't expecting so it really scared me.  But cute, huh?  I also got a card and some Dove chocolates, mm. 

Matt and I are pretty busy during the week so we decided to wait until the weekend to 'celebrate.'  Nothing too crazy, probably going out to eat somewhere and then some shopping to buy more appropriate (read:  formal) gifts.  We usually don't go too crazy, but I do like how this day is a good day for just spreading the love to everyone, not just romantically.  And you can't go wrong with all the cute decor, patterns, and designs that are out there on merchandise, too cute!  My mom also sent heart-shaped Malnati's deep dish pizzas and I can't wait to eat them, nom nom nom.  Thanks mom! 

Hope you enjoyed your lovely day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

fugu for me, fugu for you

Happy Sunday!  It's been a busy and productive weekend.  Matt learned he unexpectedly had to go up north to Eureka for some weekend work so he's been gone since Friday, boo.  So much driving!  You can look on a map to see just how far Eureka is...he might as well have been driving to Oregon, yeesh.  

Anyway, it's been a quiet and peaceful weekend for me, one that I've spent indoors and in PJs, woohoo.  It's been busy, though - cleaning, cooking, studying, doing laundry...phew.  I took a crafty break to make these fugu (aka pufferfish) though, aren't they adorable?  The pattern was a little finicky, particularly for the tail and fins, but I thought they came out super cute anyway.  I had intended to make the first pair (lower set) for Matt for Valentine's Day, but then I liked them so much, I made a pair for Daf and her new car, who also happens to be named Fugu!  I've been invaded by fugu :)

Aww, so sweet!  Fugu in love :)

Earlier this week I was finishing a different amigurumi for my co-worker/friend, but after he was done, I decided he didn't look quite right! What a bummer :/  The way the pattern is written is awkward and I just wasn't feeling he was quite right to give to her.  Matt, of course, loves when my ami come out crazy, the jankier and weirder the better, so he claimed the ami for himself and wouldn't let him go - ha!  I'm re-working the pattern to my liking so it'll come out the way I want and perfect for gifting.  But here's Matt's little Mr. Crab, haha:

He's cute and awkward, isn't he?  I think his body needs to lie flat with the eyes on top and the claws coming out of the sides.  This version is too 'tall' to me, but I still like him anyway :)

The Super Bowl just ended and I managed to win the 1st quarter and halftime of my Super Bowl pool, yay!  Not too bad if I do say so myself :)  Did you watch the game?  I only checked on the score, and saw some of the half-time show.  It's too bad tomorrow is Monday already...why can't weekends be longer?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

c is for cookie

Or cookie bar?  I don't know.  All I know is, I was craving 1) chocolate chip cookies of some sort, and 2) baking something easy with ingredients I already had on hand.  Enter one of my favorite food blogs, Mel's Kitchen Cafe and her Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  As you well know, I love Mel's blog and her recipes are always a hit around here!  (Earlier this week, I made an adaptation of her Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup and it was so good, maybe even better than Panera's?)  

These cookie bars were easy to make, bake, and are delicious!  (Sorry for the poor picture, I was too lazy to take out a camera so I snapped that with my phone.)  I've only had one for now... :)  I liked the simplicity of the ingredients and the ease of putting it all together - less fussy than dealing with cookies that need to be scooped, watched carefully while baking, and cookie sheets changed constantly.  As long as Matt gives his seal of approval later, then I'll know they're a winner!

It's been a nice weekend, but never long enough.  And never enough rest!  What's up with that?  Our Chinese New Year dinner with Daf and Josh last night was mighty tasty, and even Matt got in on the action.  He enjoyed some nice char siu and even poked around some chicken fried rice which was surprisingly delicious.  The rest of us had fish maw soup, spicy salt squid, beef chow fun, yang chow fried rice, and pea shoots, followed up with some boba drinks.  Deliciousness!  While we waited for our table, we even had some fun at the gift shop next door where Matt found himself a pink alpaca plush (he LOVES alpacas, what were the chances?) and Daf got a Hello Kitty steering wheel cover for Fugu.  Josh's goal is to pimp her ride for future gifts, haha.  

I like that we've all been hanging out for a night the last few weekends.  This coming weekend, I'll be taking Daf to get her xmas/early birthday/graduation gift, we'll do some filming for her senior thesis, then all of us will have dinner, we're thinking maybe Wako for chicken katsu finally.  It's nice to open Matt's eyes to new foods and he's being a good sport about it, it's slow progress but progress nevertheless. 

This morning, I woke up early to talk to my grandma and wish her a happy Chinese New was hilarious that she was so excited when she realized it was me.  Plus she cracked herself up when she forgot to wish me a happy new year until the end of the conversation, something along the lines of, 'I forgot to say it even when you remembered!'  Haha, she's so cute :)  

The week ahead looks to be pretty stressful and especially busy at work.  Somehow, a bunch of deadlines snuck up on me for February 1, what gives?  Oh well, have to just keep on moving forward and tackling each thing one at a time.  For now, there's still a full night ahead and some delicious leftovers from last night still waiting for me in the fridge - yum!

Friday, January 20, 2012

happy chinese new year!

Happy Chinese New Year!  Will you be doing something to celebrate?  We're planning to have a nice Chinese dinner with Daf and Josh - yummy!

As we enter this Year of the Dragon, I was curious to see what was in store

2012 Yearly Chinese Horoscope for Dog (from



Every 12 years the Dragon shows up and rains on your parade. But take heart: At least you have one favorable month this year, as well as two others that are not so bad. In a year like this, timing is incredibly important. Plan your big events during those three months ... and keep a low profile throughout the other nine. You'll also increase your chances of success if you simply go with the flow. In a Water year, education, networking, communication and travel are favorable, so you'll have your best chance for success if you focus on these. A conservative approach is likely to be your smartest move this year, so hold off on risk-taking, exploring new areas or making major commitments.



There's only one thing you need to remember when it comes to your career this year: Rock the boat. Last year you made some headway in your career, and now it's time to familiarize yourself with new responsibilities before placing your nose on the grindstone and making real progress. The Dragon will try to trick you into effecting sweeping changes, but with many unfavorable months this year, you're better off telling the Dragon to back off! By rising to challenging tasks this year, you can put yourself in a great position at the start of 2013.



Your home life should be fulfilling this year, mainly because you'll want to lean on your loved ones a little more than usual. This is a good development for you, though, since you'll be able to find out who your true friends are, and whether or not love will last. The Dragon favors marriages and celebrations, so there might be something big looming on the romance front. If you're single, it may feel like progress is coming slowly; just keep in mind that success always follows a period of patient waiting. Date your heart out, but know that new romances may fizzle out fast. Use your time this year to work on yourself as you try to define what you really want in a partner.



Anxiety could get the best of you when the chips are down this year. More than ever, now is an excellent time to start exercising if you've gotten out of the habit of doing so. Find a positive outlet for your stress and dive into healthy habits. Get clear about what you can give up when it comes to unhealthy eating, smoking, drinking and the like. You'll need your energy this year -- don't waste it away. Find some sort of meditation practice. It doesn't have to be religious or even spiritual; you can simply stare at the wall for ten minutes a day. Whatever you do, just give your head some space to be clear, as this will help you make better decisions.



Did you overspend over the course of the last 12 months? If so, it's time to put a lid on it. Surely you can learn to do without a few things. While you may not get ahead this year, you can certainly make wise financial decisions. You may want to consider hiring a tax accountant or someone similar to help get your financial house in order. Stay close to home and avoid offshore investments or get-rich-quick schemes -- your best approach is to simplify. Create a weekly budget and have your spouse or best friend keep you accountable. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Hmm...that's not so great (major understatement!) :/  What I think I need to do is hitch my wagon to Matt's lucky star this year and share in his fortune-filled, glorious year:


2012 Yearly Chinese Horoscope for Monkey (from



12 out of 12 favorable months this year? That's right -- it's time for the Monkey to shine! The spotlight and all the success that comes with it are yours for the taking. All you need to do is simply go for it. You can make good things happen in almost every area of your life. Since it's a Water year, travel, education, networking and communication could all turn out to be exceptional for you. Enroll in a course. Try something new. Turn your biggest dream into your reality! But beware: Sometimes the Dragon's schemes are so outlandish that crashing and burning is the likeliest outcome. Can you exercise a little restraint? Live on the edge ... but be careful about leaning too far over it.



What you set in motion last year is about to become bigger as you move into a time of positive change. You've probably been working towards success for some time now; however, big leaps will only turn into successes if you take the first step and pick up momentum from there. You'll have to be proactive about work this year. Have you been considering a big career move? That resourceful nature of yours is your best asset right now. Show a willingness to go big, but be calculating at the same time. The Dragon loves drama, so be a team player. Finally, act wisely and in the interest of your loved ones -- not just yourself.



Cheers to new beginnings! Last year you might have hit some relationship roadblocks that left you feeling stuck and frustrated. Not so this year. Expect to move full-speed ahead while preparing for a big shift in your love life. The Dragon favors celebrations, so this may be the time to start a family, get engaged or begin a lasting romance. Passion should reign supreme, but don't get too carried away. Your greatest joys will be found in day-to-day living, which, for you, could be more fulfilling and satisfying than ever this year. There will be options to explore, parties to attend and plenty of sparkle in your love life, so go for it!



High energy is virtually limitless for you this year! You should be able to feed your curiosity with all kinds of new things, and your health is no exception. You might pick up a new sport or embark on a journey of better health. Whether it's going vegetarian or switching to strictly green cleaning products, you'll want to consider becoming more conscious of holistic living. Such awareness will serve you well during this very busy year. Also, outdoor adventures will keep your spirits up and your body strong. Since it's a Water year, consider swimming or kayaking as another activity. Remind yourself that a healthy mind-body connection is essential for success in all areas.



Luck should be with you a great deal this year, but you probably love spending your money just as much as you love making it. Be careful you don't jump the gun! Instead, see how things shake out first. A little caution can go a long way this year. If you're thinking about big home improvements or personal purchases, do your homework before committing to something. It might be better to wait to see what appears down the road. If you celebrate your successes modestly, it's very likely you'll come out ahead.

Umm, yes please!  Share the wealth!!

Note:  I had originally written this post and published it, then when editing it, my computer ate the post so this is actually my second re-write :(  I don't think it bodes well for my year that the post I wrote about my bad luck this year ended up having bad luck itself!  Maybe it's just a coincidence...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

and now back to your regularly scheduled programming

Seasons greetings!  I hope you enjoyed your holiday season as much as we did.  Things have been busy but full of fun, happiness, and laughter.  All very good things.

I've been looking forward to the start of the new year for a while, if mostly just for a fresh start.  It's been hard getting back into the swing of things and honestly, I'm still working on it.

Today, I saw one of my good law school friends when he came to my office for a deposition.  There we were, me working at one firm, and him decked out in a suit working on the other side for the 'enemy' (haha) and I couldn't help but remember when not so long ago, we were just kids sitting next to each other in a law school classroom.  It's amazing how much we've all grown up and now we're real life working professionals.  Not just textbooks and mock problems anymore!

I'm not one to come up with new year's resolutions usually, but I started thinking that for this year, it would be great to have some goals to work toward.  So I've come up with an incomplete work-in-progress list:

-- Blog more.  So much to say, so much to do!

-- Cook and bake more!  I am lucky enough to own both a Cuisinart food processor and a Kitchenaid stand mixer now, so it's about time to put them to work!  And eating healthier as a result would also be great.

-- Clean/organize my apartment.  And on-going project that we've done some major work on but still need to keep going.

-- Craft more.  I have so many awesome patterns and books and things I've been wanting to make for a long time, it's about time I get to it.  The world needs more cute crafty creations, haha.

-- Practice my knitting skills.  

-- Read more.  Thanks to my new Kindle (which replaced the one I broke, ugh - thanks mom!), I have thousands of books at my fingertips and new worlds to discover.

-- Go on more adventures of the food, zoo, beach, animal, sports, and vacation variety.

-- Catch up on all the TV shows I've been behind on (looking at you, Glee, Modern Family, Criminal Minds, CSI) and discovering new shows (30 Rock, Revenge, Once Upon a Time...).  Matt and I are going to put his Apple TV to work, lemme tell you.

-- Watch more movies, even classics.  I used to watch so many movies and then I stopped, not really sure why.  But I'm taking recommendations for must-see movies, what are your favs?

-- Work on being more organized, being patient, staying stress-free and letting things go.  I am stubborn and temperamental as a bull and I'd really like to chill out in the new year, haha.

-- Learn how to make the most of my DSLR and take pictures galore.  I have this pretty nifty camera but I am a total buffoon when it comes to knowing how to use it. 

--  Work on looking/dressing nicer.  I own all these great clothes, accessories, and make-up but I never have enough time to get ready to use them all, in the morning or on weekends.

-- Get more rest.  Time always seems to slip away, especially when things are busy.

-- Always remember to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.  Sort of cheesy but I think it's easy to forget sometimes in the hustle and bustle of every day life.

And the list goes on...

What are some of your goals for the new year?