New Life, New Blog

2 Sep

Hi All! It’s been a while, ya? For any that are still following, I wanted to let you know of my new blog adventure over at lifestylesofthebrokeandprofessional.blogspot.com. New recipes, some fashion, new life in Austin, getting married, lots of excitement. Hope you’ll read!

Mollie

How many places can you call home?

12 Jul

My girls.

This past weekend I got to go back to DC to see my girlfriends from college. Even though I was feeling really under the weather all weekend, it was great to be back and to see them. We had some much needed girl time–talking, catching up, laying out by the pool, dancing, and having some great food. I of course took full advantage of having some of my favorite DC things including my beloved Poland Springs Mineral Water.

I knew that I missed my girls, but what I didn’t realize was how much I missed DC and being in the city.

DC and I had a love/hate relationship while I was in college because most of my thoughts about DC were tied to my thoughts about my alma mater, and let’s be honest here, I didn’t love my college experience all that much. I will never say I am unhappy that I went there because I am so happy with the friends I’ve gained and where it has led me to today, but if I could go back and do it again, I would have gone somewhere else.

Nevertheless, I began to fall in love with DC the summer after I graduated when I moved away from campus and into a different part of the city with one of my best friends in the world. And being back just made me realize how much I miss it, but even more so how much I miss being in a city.

My friend M and I (who I go to law school with and went to undergrad with) have been talking about this a lot lately, and even though I really thought I may just stay in St. Louis for a while after I graduate, now I don’t know. The reality is that St. Louis isn’t the same kind of city as a DC or Chicago where you can just walk everywhere to get what you need. Also, on the salary that I would most likely have, there is no way I could live downtown here. So…my thoughts have been leaning more and more towards Chicago.

I think Chicago would be the perfect mix of what I want, still in the midwest with a lot of nice midwestern people, but a big city where I can get Starbucks on every corner (hello, St. Louis what is wrong with you!?), walk to bars and restaurants, and just meet more people in general during my day. I’m not sure how I would really go about getting a job there since Chicago non-profits definitely don’t come down to St. Louis looking for people, but I’ve been looking into some internship opportunities there for two summers from now when I can get another legal internship (next year will be a social work practicum).

Crazy right? Not at all what I thought I wanted a few months ago. I feel like I will be making some more life changing decisions soon on what I want with my future. Life might not be quite where I thought it would, but I’m going to run with it anyway.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday Random Thoughts

25 Jun

I don’t really have enough thoughts to write a post on one particular thing, so here goes a random sloshing of thoughts.

1. It is kind of weird that I have this blog and like to write on it because I always hated having a diary. I tried to have a diary a million times growing up but I would always get frustrated and stop. My first problem was that I would skip a day or a week or a month and then I would think to myself, “ok I can’t keep a diary of failure where I never write so I guess I need to start over.” Hence I have about 10 of them lying around my parents’ house somewhere. And every time I would start a new one my first page would be something completely pathetic like: Hi Diary! I am going to name you Paco! (I always had to have a name) I am really bad at writing diaries but I promise I am going to be very good this time and write every day! It is going to be great Paco! Ok, bye for now! My second problem was that I actually hate to read my own writing. I always felt so boring and self involved when I was writing about the stupid things that went on in my day. I really like to write, but I need a medium to do it that is not all blah blah blah let me tell you about my day in 5th grade and how much I am in love with this boy and I am going to do something stupid like get glamour shots so he likes me. I do much better when I am writing a (mostly) themed blog, a poem, a short story, something along those lines. I really credit my writing teacher in high school for bringing back my love of writing. We would always write short vignettes about our lives for him and I loved that format. I could be funny or not. I could write in present or past tense. I could play around with it and share my life without feeling like I was a self-centered complainer. Not that I’m not.

2. The boy cooked me dinner last night and it was lovely. I love boys who cook and it was so sweet of him to do that while I manically cleaned my apartment…more on that in a minute. He made us garlic cheese bread, steak, and I helped him out with some mashed potatoes. Speaking of such, I believe that my mother has taught me to make the worlds best mashed potatoes and now I shall share with you how I make them.

Cindy’s Mashed Potatoes

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes

1 stick of butter

1 container of sour cream

Milk

Salt and Pepper

Peel your potatoes and cut them into quarters. Put them in a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 30-40 minutes. You will be able to tell they are done when you can break them up with a fork, but they aren’t falling apart. Drain the water. Use a fork to smash them up so they are somewhat broken down. Add your stick of butter (if it’s cold cut it up a bit), and your sour cream. Use a hand mixer to beat the potatoes until they are creamy smooth and there are no chunks of potato left. If you need, add some milk to get them even creamier, but be careful not to add too much or you will have potato soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Perfect potatoes I promise. 

3. I have always been pretty OCD. I don’t have weird obsessions or compulsions like checking the lights a million times or tapping 24 times on the door before I enter somewhere, but I am really pretty particular about having things in my life and my apartment a certain way. The older I get, I seem to get more intense about it. Yesterday I decided I needed to clean the crap out of my apartment because I had been so busy the last few weeks that I just haven’t had time. It has been a struggle getting up for work every day and seeing what a mess it was and not having time to do anything about it. Now to the naked eye, it probably wouldn’t be that bad. I am never a messy person, I won’t ever have anything on my floor or lying around. But if you looked closely you would see hair on my bathroom floor, litter on the carpet by the cats’ boxes, and food dried in my sink. And that is gross y’all. So the boy was nice enough to make dinner while I deep cleaned the whole place. He even offered to help with the cleaning, but like I said, I really am picky about how I do things in my apartment, and I just don’t trust him to do it the right way. Yes maybe that is insane, but let me just tell you he doesn’t mind one bit that I tell him not to help me clean.

4. I am getting very excited to start social work school this fall. Deciding to do the joint JD/MSW program was the best thing I could have ever done. Not only am I so excited to get the exact degrees I want and to be able to take classes that satisfy both my logical side and my human side, I have gotten nothing but positive responses from everyone I tell about it. Working at the Public Defender’s office this summer, and considering doing that as a career, everyone is so impressed and encouraging about my dual degrees. On PD even told me that everyone should be required to have that second degree because you essentially become a social worker/counselor for your client. I also love the flexibility I feel I will get in my life because of my two degrees. Although my current plan is to work as a lawyer who just happens to have a social work degree that I feel will make me an even better lawyer, I always have the option to completely switch over to something in the social work field. I love that. My boss even told me that she has a friend that works at the Federal Public Defender and has both degrees, and she started as a lawyer but now works as a social worker in their mitigation field. How lucky am I? I cannot wait to share with you all the trials and tribulations of social work school in the fall 🙂

5. I am excited to announce that I have joined REACH, the young professional’s board for Covenant House in MO. I have tutored at Covenant House since this spring and every time I am there, I am more obsessed by their mission and every thing they do. I recently went to my first REACH meeting and between hearing some stories by current CH residents (one of whom I tutor), and watching their mission video about everything they do for kids in need, I couldn’t be more behind this program. I truly hope I can contribute to more of an awareness of teenage homelessness and the amazing program that Covenant House runs. We are looking to have a fundraiser happy hour in September and a candlelight vigil for homelessness in November (which is homelessness awareness month by the way) so if you are in St. Louis please look for more information and come join me! Finally, here is their website if you want more information about the wonderful mission of Covenant House: http://www.covenanthousemo.org

I hope you all are having a great Saturday! Enjoy this beautiful picture of St. Louis!

The Hostess with the Mostest

7 Jun

Hosting a French Dinner in High School

Thanks to my lovely mother, I have high standards to live up to as a host. Even if she is having neighbors over for a glass of wine or a piece of cake, she sets out an entire spread, impressive enough for a cocktail party. So needless to say, whenever I have people over whether it is for a study session, a football game, or a game night, my mother would be extremely disappointed if I did not pull out all the stops.

So not so long ago, I had some friends over to enjoy a nice relaxing game night. Nerdy? Maybe. Cheap? Yes. Fun? You betcha. We played Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase and enjoyed lots of wine and laughs. And I like to think that I set out a classy buffet of hors d’oeuvres for all of my guests to enjoy. The food and wine disappeared like they did! Here is a quick recap of what I made.

Chocolates and mint cookies (store-bought)

Cheese and cracker tray with two types of crackers and four kinds of cheeses (store-bought separately and put together)

Garlic and Cheese Crostinis

Homemade Spinach Dip and fresh baguette

 

And here are my recipes for my homemade appetizers. Super easy I promise, and hopefully pretty impressive for a casual evening!

Garlic and Cheese Crostinis

Baguette, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 carton ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

6 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pepper

sun-dried tomato slices

Place baguette slices on a large baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake, turning once until bread is toasted. You can do this in advance early in the day or the day before to save time. When you are ready to make them, stir together all of the cheeses, garlic, and salt and pepper. Spread it thickly on top of the bread and top with a sun-dried tomato. Bake until the topping starts to melt and brown at 350 degrees. My mom said this should only take 8-10 minutes, but it took about 15-20 for me. Maybe I put the cheese on too thick. Serve warm. These are not that good cold. 

 

Classic Spinach Dip

1-10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 package dry Knoor vegetable soup

1-8 oz. can water chestnuts, finely chopped

3 green onions, finely chopped

Thaw and squeeze spinach dry. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Serve in a bread bowl with baguette slices! Easy! Delicious!

Ladies who (hate) lunch

7 Jun

I hate lunch. No, not in a “I don’t want to each lunch because I’m on a diet” kind of way. I hate lunch because I never know what I want to eat. I have always had issues deciding what sounds good to me, either because everything does or nothing does, but lunch especially brings out this dilemma for me. And now this is a problem because I don’t have my nice law school cafeteria to eat at every day, I am a working woman downtown. I have been trying to bring my lunch as much as possible to save up the little money I am getting from my law school non-profit stipend, but it is a battle y’all. I am a terrible lunch packer. And to make matters worse on the other end, there are few choices for lunch downtown without schlepping it 8+ blocks. Here is a short list of what I think my main lunch issues are.

Issue 1: Sandwiches? Eh…

I don’t love sandwiches that much. Yeah, I’m totally up for a great sandwich on some crusty french bread every now and then, but how often can you actually eat that great sandwich? Most of the time it is just a boring old sandwich on some boring old bread. And even when it is that great sandwich, sometimes I still don’t want it anyway! Plus, it never fails to not be that appetizing if I made it myself.

Issue 2: I like it hot.

My second problem, is that I’m not really into cold foods. I like to have a hot meal for every meal. For example, I always try to eat something warm in the morning whether it is a quick omelet or even a toaster pastry (yes I am 10). But it is hard to have something hot for lunch. Cold foods are much easier to pack, carry and store. And some hot foods just don’t heat up that well in the microwave. I am a big proponent of the oven whenever possible. Even for reheating pizza. But, lo and behold, there is no oven at the Public Defender’s Office.

Issue 3: I’m picky. Get over it. 

Finally, because I know you were all going to suggest this, I don’t really love leftovers that much. I know, I know, I’m sounding really picky here. But some things just don’t heat up that well, and other times I just get sick of eating the same thing a few days in a row. Plus I have gotten extra good at cooking for one, so now making big portions is sometimes difficult.

So what is a girl to do? I have been trying some of the delicious prepared foods that they have at my local grocery store. You can buy pre-made mashed potatoes, bbq pork, and even shred up a rotisserie chicken and pack a nice meal for lunch. But even that is getting a bit boring. And I try and stay away from tv dinners as much as possible. Not that great (especially not in the microwave), full of salt and preservatives (the only time you will ever hear me care about health), and when I interned at a market research firm for two summers in college we once did a project on frozen lunches/dinners so now I’m really grossed out by them.

Alas, I am in a rut on the lunch front. What do you do for lunch? Suggestions are more than welcome.

In law news, I am loving my summer internship. I wish I could tell you all about it, but, lawyer confidentiality y’all. You understand.

Hope everyone is enjoying their week! It’s hot in the Lou!