Fin.

Well. It’s over! It was brutal, exhausting, stressful, and everything I thought it would be and more.  But now-it’s done.  Time to get going on those March plans.  For now-couch.  Cookies.  Wine. 



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Hello, February

What a difference a weekend makes! Made a conscious effort to use this weekend as a bit of a re-set to gear up for the final three weeks. Enjoyed a bit of sunshine, water views and a great breakfast with David at the Ferry Building before a day of studying at the CV East Asian Library:

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Sunday morning, David and I went for a loooong walk through a gorgeous redwood park just 20 minutes east of here:

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And then-back to the library.

The time away from studying was really helpful. It felt so good to take time to be outside, just enjoying this gorgeous place together. It’s pretty serious here on out, but hoping this brief reset helps fuel me through the next three weeks!

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If you don’t have something nice to say

Been pretty quiet as a) have no time to think, but b) any writing thoughts I’ve had have been venting/stress, and so figure, better to not say anything at all.

One more month.

Just went on a nice walk, called my mom, and am feeling grateful for this quiet day to catch up. Can’t wait for this test to be over and to get back to feeling like myself again.

For now, just want to remember this spectacular view. One perk of leaving work before the sun goes down-catching this glorious scene at the BART stop:

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Tiny House

Now that I’m off Facebook, David’s daily social media reports are my main source for updates on the world (and people-I’m kind of a nosy parker).  For example, last night, I learned about #deflategate, Monday’s Chipotle Sofritas deal AND the Tiny House TV Show.

It will take intense self-control to abstain from watching an episode as one episode will quickly turn to a day of binging. So, Tiny House Nation, you’re now on my March of Fun List.  Tiny Houses are fascinating.  We watched the documentary, TINY, this fall and I’ve spent wayyy too much time pouring over Tiny House blogs. Ever since we moved–and this is likely a direct result to the realization that housing is OUT OF CONTROL expensive–I’ve become more and more fascinated with small living.  Actual tiny house living would not work for me, but the Small Spaces section on Apartment Therapy is incredibly inspiring.

So many reasons I’m eager for March-Tiny House Nation is now on the list.tiny house

Photo from: http://archinect.com/news/article/103322782/interview-with-zack-giffin-host-of-tv-show-tiny-house-nation 

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Surprise! Weekend :)

Saying goodbye to a quiet and productive weekend-with some very generous surprises!

Saturday afternoon, I came home from a study day to a package from FedEx. It felt like Christmas opening it-and when I did-what an awesome surprise:

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A care basket from KMB! Katie filled the basket with treats, hot chocolate mix, a hilarious card and an inspirational calendar. I could just hear Katie’s encouraging voice telling me to keep calm and just get through this. It was JUST the boost I needed to power through the rest of my practice questions. So, so thoughtful. I’ve been enjoying the snacks all weekend :)

I was motivated to get my work done so I could enjoy dinner. David said he made a reservation at Oliveto, so I pushed through a lot of work to have some fun. I was so excited to go out to dinner! As the hostess brought us to our table, we turned the corner, and found my parents, chatting and drinking red wine :)

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It was a very happy surprise! They flew up to SF for a fun weekend away and coordinated with David to surprise me during a study break. It an awesome burst of energy and encouragement to see them, catch up, laugh, and NOT think about the exam. Also-holy smokes, Oliveto is delicious. The room is warm and glowy, the food is subtle and delicious, and it’s just a very special, very nice place. The evening was the perfect respite from all the stress. I wish I could have spent the weekend tooling around SF with my parents, but I’m so grateful for their incredible surprise at dinner.

The rest of the weekend, I was parked right here:

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at the dining table, working through bar review. The flowers made it all much cheerier and were a very sweet surprise :) It was SO nice having the extra day today to catch up, sleep and catch my breath.

Also, pizza!

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David made an incredible “use up all the leftovers” pizza last night. My favorite topping: leftover rosemary. SO good.

And another week begins!

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A bit of weekend gratitude

It’s a quiet and very sunny Saturday morning and I’m about to head out to take on a day of studying. Inspired by Julie and Divya’s cheerful Friday lists, reflecting on a few things I’m loving this weekend:

The Fighting Hydrangea!

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Bought a bunch of hydrangea at TJ’s nearly two weeks ago. Two of them died that day (fickle creatures!) but this guy is holding on strong. I’m rooting for him to keep thriving this weekend as he’s sure brought me joy this January.

The Gradual End of Daylight Savings

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Feeling like Daylight Savings is beginning it’s slow retreat out of our lives. In fact, knowing it wouldn’t get dark quiet as early, on Thursday, I felt emboldened to bike to Berkeley. I discovered two things: 1) I missed biking! And 2) The East Asian Library. This doctored-up looking photo is from my phone at the library. The library is gorgeous. I’m actually almost excited to spend the day there. Thursday’s trip gave me the courage to bike to work again. Kicking off Friday biking through the neighborhood was a perfect start to the end of the week.

Mindy Lahiri’s LDR Monologue

Took a brief study break Wednesday for some take-out Noodle Theory and Mindy Project. From the opening scene (of UCLA!) with the monologue on long distance relationships (brought back several cringe-worthy memories….eating Nutella for dinner….) the first half of the episode was definitely one of the highlights of the week. It’s beginning to feel a lot like 2014 MP and that’s a goooood thing.

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Good views

Sitting here at the Rockridge BART stop, looking at the SF skyline, cursing myself for not leaving my apartment 2 minutes earlier and missing the train. Happy Tuesday!

I’ll be here for a bit (thank you, absurdly infrequent BART schedule). Ohh-ouch. Feeling some Tuesday grouch coming on.

Need to turn this around-the day has barely started! One thing I’ve been immensely grateful for during these weeks of studying are the beautiful views from my window.

At home, I love studying in the evening and watching the sunset from our dining table. It was pretty gorgeous the this weekend, and my phone camera does not do it justice:

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At work, we’re lucky enough to have massive windows in our office. The best part of a foggy, gray day is when it burns off into a glimmering, sunny afternoon:

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I’ll spend most of the next 6 weeks looking out at those views while studying and working, and I’m grateful for the pretty surroundings.

Sometimes, I take a break :) Like this weekend. My colleague, Georgia, hosted our belated work Christmas party at her home in SF. It reminded me how grateful I am to work with such interesting, dynamic and funny people. And the view from the deck made it all that much nicer;

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Hooray! Here’s the train. Here we go, Tuesday!

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Tuesday Gratitude

Hit some pretty serious Bar Blues today.  It’s been an embarrassingly unproductive evening-came home after work, had some dinner, and crawled into bed. I need to get some work done tonight.  I need to stay motivated and focused-it’s too early to get down.  I need to keep going and pass the bar.

In an attempt to reverse the course of the evening, will write about a few of my favorite things.  And then, hopefully, a practice essay or two (ughhhh).

Anyway, it’s not all dreary.  Here are a few bright spots:

Seeing some of our favorite people while I study:

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I’ve been studying a lot more at home this time around.  David decorated our tree with our friend’s cards and the photos cheer me up while working.  Today is Three Kings Day, so tree is coming down tomorrow-but it’s been fun while it lasted!

Knowing that the light at the end of this tunnel is a weekend with Kelleen and Katie!!

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They’re flying out the weekend after the Bar and I cannot wait.  I’m already day dreaming of a wine trip, brunch and just a ridiculously fun weekend together.  So grateful they booked their tickets and they’re making the effort to do this!

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The Rockridge News, the monthly neighborhood newsletter, includes: 1) Historical photos, 2) Construction updates on the new Safeway (very controversial), 3) Previews of neighborhood events (I’ve already calendared the Rockridge Kitchen Tour in September [seriously]), 4) Gentle reminders that You’ll Be Renting Forever and Can Never Afford to Buy Here via friendly real estate ads (“What a great year for Rockridge prices, up 22% from Nov 2013!” <—-actual advertisement).  It’s overpriced and quirky, but man, I am so thankful we’re in this neighborhood.

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And our Christmas break together.  When I get bummed, just think about beaming myself back to Christmas together.

BEACH WALKS.  Enjoyed several sun-filled walks on that gorgeous coastline during the holidays-so restorative:/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/550/63612561/files/2015/01/img_7383.jpg

Just a few weeks shy of the 100 day countdown to Katie and Kevin’s wedding! So grateful for a night all together during break.  And wine tasting for the reception :)

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NYE with some our our DC Bruin favorites (not pictured-the lovely photographer, Katie Frost) and friends!

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Other notes of gratitude:

1) The Seaview Tail at Tilden Parkand a beautiful hike with Budak and Bex during their visit to CA. Bex has such a delightful, calming presence, Budak is hilarious and I love talking to them and learning about their Swedish adventures. Of course, I’ve been searching flights to Stockholm (there’s R/T flights for less than $400 from Oakland during Labor Day Weekend!) So grateful we were able to spend an afternoon catching up.

2) Sunshine.  Did you know that in Stockholm, the average total hours of sunlight in November is 55? And get this-due to insane weather-this year, it was 5.  In the whole month of November-5 hours of sun. Despite being a bit of a cave dweller as I work and study, trying to soak up and appreciate the moments of sun when I do get outside.

3) Fancy day with Mom.  Before flying back, I took one more day off and spent it hanging out at Fashion Island with Mom. Life is busy, and we rarely get to spend a whole day together.  I know how lucky we were to have that time-and what fun it was!

4) David’s Dinners.  David made a mean braised pot roast and potatoes on Sunday-it was delicious.  It’ll get another chance to shine tomorrow night when we make http://www.simplyscratch.com/2013/10/pot-roast-cheddar-grilled-cheese-sandwich.html.

Hmm! Feeling better already.  Bring it on, Bar Review.

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Hello, 2015!

Happy New Year!

Hooray 2015!  Very excited to greet this year.  34 hours in, 2015 has been nice and sunny, quiet, productive and cozy.  Last year was such a whirlwind of major changes. The main goal was to revel in the joy of the wedding, get through the move, and keep my job in a new city.  So, so, thankful all of that worked out.

With a bit more flexibility in 2015, here’s what I hope to accomplish:

Become a member of the California Bar

This is the most important and top priority until March.  Really, the rest of the list will have to wait. I started 2015 eliminating a few more distractions in an attempt to focus (adios Facebook and Instagram).  It scares me to document how important this is to me, but here it is-I must pass the bar.  That’s probably enough for 2015, but after March, there’s a few more goals:

Gain Strength

Physically and professionally. Continue ClassPassing, discover new studios, and continue to become stronger. Professionally, I want to become a stronger and more valuable attorney.  This means ending the year with a clear, measurable impact that demonstrates an improvement in the health care security for low-income seniors.  Looking forward to making that happen.

Break up with Brie Cheese and Brioche

Ever since the wedding, I haven’t seen a brie wheel I don’t want to park myself next to for the night.  And the bakery section at Trader Joes is bursting with temptations-have you tried the cinnamon roll bread? And made it into french toast? Incredible.  Anyway, it’s time to replace some of these indulgences with more of that awesome California produce.

Get Involved in Oakland

As I’ve said before, I’m loving living in the Bay Area, but do not feel connected to Oakland. This is totally on me-I continue to make a poor effort to get to know the city.  After March, I would like to find an organization-either a senior center, nursing home, or something-I can volunteer with and become more connected to Oakland.  I’ve been living here for 6 months, it’s time to become part of the community.

Get to Argentina!

2015 marks 10 years since I last visited in 2005. David and I have been talking about going for so long, this is the year we need to buck up, save money and vacation time, and make it happen.

363 more days to make this happen :)

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Good night, 2014

One of the best parts of living in a city is observing the collective hustle bustle before a holiday:

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The original Penn Station on Christmas Eve 1960

You’re surrounded by people eager to get going on the festivities, and the anticipation is palpable. I love taking in the flurry. The BART riders-the teenager, teetering to stand, gripping a bag full of board games; the tourist family, squinting on the sunny platform, on their way to SF; the college students, home on break, giddy for a night of fun. TJ’s was packed-with quite the huddle around the champagne shelves. And when we went for Zachary’s, it was a revolving door of families picking up pizzas for parties.

It’s the last big hurrah of the holidays, and it’s thrilling to watch everyone make their way to celebrations.

2014 was a very special year. I am so grateful for all the major changes, and could gush for pages of the joy of this year. With four hours left until 2015, I’m thinking of the past with gratitude and looking forward to the New Year!

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