Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lions, Tigers and Bar Prep! OH MY!

I will be sitting for the NC bar exam this July. I paid my BarBri tuition tonight. Seems crazy to think that I just paid a crazy amount to subject myself to torture for 10 weeks this summer. 11-12 hours a day of studying, outlining, and practice exams. My stomach is literally in knots thinking about not just the actual exam but making it through the prep without having a complete heart attack. I feel like I am being thrown to the Lions...

And not these cute lil guys I played with in South Africa this summer either (it was winter there, hence the coat)...

In all seriousness, while I have a BAD case of senioritis, I am super nervous about the bar exam. I know it seems pretty trivial compared to some of the horrific things people have to go thorough and I know its just a test. But my ability to start my career and my life rides on this test. My job and a ridiculous amount of student loans are on the line. Not to mention the thought of taking it twice makes me a little crazy, like a lock me up on the 8th floor of the mental hospital crazy. (Just ask my husband)

In all the stress and all the worry, I am reminded that God will see me through. He has been so faithful in my life and I know that he will be by my side as I enter this new season in my life.

I am reading this really AWESOME book right now called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. (another sign that i have senioritis, I haven't had time to "read" for fun in 3 years and now I am making time). Anyhow, the book has a great chapter about stress. Francis Chan says that when we worry about our life, our family and our jobs we convey the belief that we think what we are going through is more important than God's command. That command is found in Phillipians 4:4 says "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice." In verse 6 it says "Do not be anxious about anything." Chan says worry implies that we don't trust that God is big enough or powerful enough to handle whats going on.

This really stung. You know that feeling when you read something and you know it was written just for you to hear. I got that feeling. Yup, I worry and stress. I stress a lot. Sure I pray about things and I ask God for help and guidance. But, so many times I find myself trying to do things own my own and worrying about what tomorrow might hold. My hope is that as I embark on this new season in my life that I will trust God to see me through and that in everything I will rejoice....(yup, rejoicing even when I am studying 12 hours a day for 10 weeks)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bark for Life

Today was my county's first "Bark for Life." The idea is to bring awareness to canine cancer, but the primary purpose is to raise money for Relay for Life. To find out more about Bark for Life, click here

One of the biggest fundraisers was the the "dog walk." Participants could register their dogs for the walk for $20.00. Each dog was given a goodie bag and an adorable bandanna. Macie LOVED seeing all the other dogs and enjoyed the walk. She has enjoyed all the treats in her treat bag and is still sporting her purple bandanna.

Our Youth sponsored a concession booth to raise $ for our Relay team. We sold homemade doggie bones, awareness ribbon suckers, popcorn and cotton candy. We also raffled off a Paul Mitchell Puppy Hair Care set. Paul Mitchell for dogs? who knew?

We also sold these GREAT t-shirts. They are a spoof on Pig*ly W*ggly...(for those of you not from NC or SC.. its a chain of grocery stores) It has a Cougar on the front in place of the pig and the back says "I'm right with the Fight" in place of "I'm big on the pig." One of our youth designed them and I think she did an AWESOME job!

It was a great day! We had a lot of fundraising for a good cause!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Steals, Deals and Thrills

If your looking for Cleaning Tips scroll down one entry...

I don't consider myself cheap, but I love a good bargain like anyone else! Brian is currently the only one working while I am in school. Living on one salary stinks... I am looking forward to taking the bar, passing (if all goes as planned) and starting work in early Sept.

Since this week was my spring break (or more appropriately, spring catch-up), I spent a good part of the week catching up on laundry, organizing, spending time with friends and SHOPPING....

Yesterday I hit Harris Teeter's sale up. I don't cut coupons. (1) I'm just not that organized and (2) We don't get the paper.... But, they had a lot of B1G1 items. I spent $25 and saved $35!!! Chicken Breasts were buy one get 2 FREE!! I got the following items for free: 4lbs of Chicken Breast, 2 bags of cheese and 1 jar of spaghetti sauce. And I got the following items 1/2 off: country crock and a square of sharp cheese..... (Tiffany, you would be proud. I bought the Vitamin D fortified country crock)

I also got some GREAT deals on toys from my "nieces" today. My brother and sister-in-law have 2 foster daughters whom I adore... I wish I could post pictures but for identity reasons I cannot. They will be celebrating there 6th and 7th birthdays really soon. For their birthdays one of them, who I affectionately call miss. priss, asked me to buy her "high heel shwoos and fancy dresses just wike wours Cawol" I looked at the outlets on Tuesday, but came up short... so I'm still on the hunt for fancy shoes and dresses!

But, I did find a great deal on clearance toys at K-mart. I ran into K-mart for dish detergent (because there is no target in our town and its 10x faster to get in and out of than Walmart), and they had a HUGE clearance on toys with an additional 50% off the clearance price.

I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS MADE MY WEEK... okay, so growing up I had 2 favorite dolls and this was one of them... This is the 80's version of PJ sparkle. I'm pretty sure she is still in my closet at my parents house.

I found the "modern version" after Christmas and wanted to buy the girls both one, but they were $26.00... I decided "aunt cawol" just couldn't spring 50 bucks on dolls. ("uncle Bwian" would have killed her) But, GUESS WHAT? K-MART had them on clearance today and I got them for $9.50 EACH!!!!!

This is modern day PJ Sparkle. She is still delightfully tacky if you ask me!

I also got one of them the Three Musketeer's Barbie for $9.50 (org. 24.99) and the other twin Barbies for $7.50(org. 29.99)!

So I got $106.00 worth of toys for $36.00!!!

After buying all theses gifts, I needed some wrapping paper. I hit up the "mighty dollar." Let me tell you Mighty Dollar IS NOT your average dollar store. They sale NAME BRAND items...(I checked they are only located in NC and Kentucky). I bought 5 rolls of adorable wrapping paper originally from Swoozies for $1.00/each. If you don't know what Swoozies is, its an adorable gift store chain. Love it!

Here is the site:

I also got Sara Lee bread and bagels and 2 boxes of Duncan Hines cupcake mix, for a $1.00/each!

So that's my week of deals, thrills and steals...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Show us your life

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I loathe cleaning!

However, this lil' guy performs miracles! Magic Erasers are one of my favorite cleaning products. They work wonders on tough stains. I use them to clean my flat stove top and my garden tub. I also use them on light switches, blinds and baseboards. NO MORE SCRUBBING! And the best part is the Walmart brand, Good Value's version is just as effective.

When Brian and I first moved into our home, I had a hard time finding something to clean our hardwoods. I felt like everything left spots. One of my friends told me to mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water. I was skeptical. But, boy does it work! IT WORKS WONDERS. My floors shine so pretty and never spot! :)

I mentioned above that I don't like cleaning. So I have found a few things that help motivate me. (1) blaring my ipod and (2) opening the windows and letting fresh air in.

Okay ladies, I need help with one particular area. HOW DO YOU CLEAN YOUR SHOWER DOORS? No matter what I use and how hard I scrub, I just cannot seem to get the glass doors to look clean. Any suggestions? I'm at a loss.

Thanks y'all! Happy Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


please don't judge me..............I have a confession

I laid in bed until 12:00 today. 12:00. Honestly, I have never ever done that before (except on days when I have been sick, and I cant recall having done that since high school).

Brian called me at 12:00 to see if I wanted to meet him for lunch. When I told him I was still in bed, he did NOT believe me. Sleeping in to me is 8:00. It. drives. him. nuts. He said he was proud of me for sleeping in and that my body was probably catching up from how sleep deprived its been over the last three years of law school.

Today was the first day that I can remember not having anything pressing that had to be done. After I finally got up and going I drove down to Gaffney, SC and hit the outlets by myself. Unfortunately, I had very little luck. I bought 1 shirt and a couple of tanks to wear under sweaters.... But the weather was beautiful and since the shops are "outside" it was nice....

This evening I went to see Remember Me with my friend, Lindsay. Tuesday nights are $1 popcorn and $1.00 drinks. Good deal. $8.50 for a movie. Not such a good deal.

My review: Umm.. Not my favorite. I wouldn't pay $8.50 to watch it in the theater. Its rent worthy, I guess. Slow start, surprise ending. Good moral? I'll have to think about this some more.......

Speaking of reviews, let me tell ya one book you MUST read: THE LAST SONG by Nicholas Sparks. The story is set in one of my favorite places, Wrightsville Beach, NC. I loved the story. It took me for so many turns and had such a good ending! I don't want to go into detail because I don't want to spoil it for you. The movie comes out April 1st. My brother's girlfriend and I are going April 2nd!

I stayed up til 12:00 last night finishing it. I basicaly sobbed the last three hours I read it. (it gave Brian a lot of good material to make fun of me with) Ahh.. such a good book.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Monday!

I was so excited when I clicked over to Danielle's blog at She tagged my blog as part of her beautiful blog award... Thanks Danielle!

As part of this award I am suppose to tell 7 things about me. So here goes:

(1) My favorite past time is probably taking baths. I take one almost everyday. I forgo bubbles most nights...
(2) I think I am now addicted to blogging.
(3) I have been in school for 20 years straight and have only 2 months to go! (this makes me a little nervous, I'm not going to lie)
(4) I was hit by a car once while running across the street. It hurt.
(5) In high school my senior superlative was “most likely to become president.” I can go ahead and let ya’ll know I won’t be fulfilling that.
(6) I plan on adopting at least one child.
(7) Tony's chocolate milkshakes are my favorite

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seriously, Spring Break?

The title of this post represents the fact that I have spent the last two hours in my office reviewing practice MBE (multistate bar examination) questions. Did I mention I am still not done? I have to go through 60 questions that I missed on a practice MBE and explain why I missed each question. It's due tomorrow the first "official" day of spring break. While very helpful, its NOT how I want to spend my spring break. Not to mention that I have to do another 3 hour practice test over break.

Okay, I'm done whining! :) Let me talk about something AMAZING! The weather yesterday! 75 degrees in sunny North Carolina.

I found any excuse possible to be outside, including washing my car! I got my exercise in let me tell you. I took Macie, my adorable 2 year old toy poodle, on such a long walk that she got tired and eventually just sat down.

Today, I had nursery at church. Oh, how I love me some babies! (for about an hour) Mr. Brian says I can't get attached because I'm not getting one anytime soon. I get my "fix" when we have nursery duty.

After church we had lunch with Brian's family. His lil' sis MK was heading back to college this afternoon after a week of having her home on spring break.

Since it is my spring break, I decided to read a book. Law school doesn't leave a girl very much time for leisurely reading. This is what I choose:

I started it last night. By started, I mean I read 100 pages. ;) So far its good, not my favorite yet. Before law school I had read all of his novels, now I am probably behind 1 or 2. Love some Nicholas Sparks!

Well good night blog world! Even though its Spring Break I agreed to do some legal research for the firm I work for tomorrow. Guess I better not stay up too late reading.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wine Down Friday

Last night, my sister in law invited my husband and I to a Relay for Life fundraiser dinner at the Owl's eye Vineyard and Winery. I have wanted to tour the vineyard for a while now, so I jumped at the chance to support one of my favorite causes and to see the place. Owl's eye is relatively new. It's funny because, before it was built, I remember telling Brian that I thought it was one of the most beautiful pieces of land in this county and that if I ever ended up living here I wanted to buy it. Notice the beautiful NC mountains in the background. Obviously, I wasn't the only one who thought it was breathtaking!

It was a nice evening. We enjoyed an "Irish dinner" in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I'm not so sure how Irish it was, but it was quite yummy: Reuben dip with pita chips, Caesar salad, beef stew, cheesy biscuits and some kind of chocolate goodness type of dessert (but, then again how can you screw up chocolate?)

If your not familiar with Relay for Life its a fundraising campaign sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The money goes to find a cure to cancer. You can learn more about it here:

Relay for Life's philosophy is that it represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

It's something especially special to my family and I because my Nana (my dad's mother) passed away in 2005 from ovarian cancer. In the past I have always helped my mom's team at Hospice. But this year our youth group at church is having a team and Brian and I are helping with it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Show us your life: Missions

Kelly over at Kelly's Corner is doing "Show us your life: Missions" and I thought I would post a link since missions is something so special to me.

Caveat: this post is meant in no way to boast about the opportunities I have had, it is meant to encourage others to serve.... :)

Serving others is one of the christian values my parents instilled in me from a very young age. I hope that one day I am able to model this service for my children like my parents and grandparents did for me.

As a child, my parents fostered children. Our family saw this as the “mission field” that we were called to serve in. Fostering children was one of the greatest gifts my parents could have ever given me. From an early age I appreciated and valued my family. I understood that not all children were as blessed as I was and a deep compassion grew in me for orphaned and vulnerable children. If you are interested in learning more about foster care and or adoption, please message me.

My parents were also awesome at making sure that as a family we were involved in regular missions and service projects. We were constantly raking someone’s yard, serving at soup kitchens, helping an elderly community member, cleaning clothes closets for local charities, etc. This is something I plan on doing with my children one day as well.

One of my favorite opportunities I have had to do organized mission work is through a summer camp called World Changers. Its a camp for teens and young adults. As a student, I had the opportunity to build homes for low income people in Raleigh, North Carolina, Nakiski, Alaska and San Juan, Puerto Rico (It was actually on this trip as a 16 year old that I met my husband, cool huh?). God blessed my life in ways I could never imagine through these trips. My sweet husband is actually taking a group of 20 teens from our church to this camp this summer to work on houses and evangelize in inner city Chicago this summer. Please commit to praying for this trip.

God has given me the opportunity to serve him abroad as well. In 2005, I had the chance to serve in Ecuador. I spent a week doing VBS and loving on the beautiful people of Ecuador.

God really reminded me on this trip just how BIG he is. Sometimes we get so stuck focusing on our little lives that we forget about the people, both in our communities and all over the world, who are so hungry for him.

As a freshman in college, I really really struggled with what God would have me do with my life. I didnt feel called into missions, but I knew that God wanted to use my career to serve him in some way. I also knew God had a plan for me and I spent a lot of time praying over Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

One night during a small group bible study God showed me this verse and I have used it as my "theme song" ever since. "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

I realized that God wanted me to use my life and my voice as an advocate for those less fortunate. I have a huge heart for international children's rights issues. I have had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa in pursuit of learning more about how I can use my voice in the legal and academic world to improve the conditions of orphans and vulnerable children. God also allowed me to use these trips to serve him. This is something I want to blog more about, but I think its better suited for a blog series. :)

I want to encourage all of you to take some time to pray about how God can use your life to serve him. I can truly say that when I am serving, I am blessed 10x over by any "sacrifice" I may make..

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


St. Patty's Day reminds me of my sweet Nana. My dad's mom (my Nana), was born in Great Britain and met my grandfather, an American, while he was stationed in London during WWII. They fell in love during the war and were married in Great Britain before V-E day. My Nana left Britain at 21 years old to follow her love to America. Their love story is my favorite. I loved to hear her tell it. It was one of the stories she sometimes told me as we shared "tea" together. Even though she has been gone almost 5 years, I miss her so much. What I wouldn't give for just one more cup of tea with her and to hear her sweet voice. Over 60 years in America and she never lost her accent.

She was one of the most amazing and brilliant women I have ever known. She always encouraged me to study hard so that I could have the opportunities in life that she was unable to. She desperately wanted to go to college, but in the 1940's her parents simply didn't see the need for her to be educated any further.

St. Patty's Day was one of her favorite holidays because she would get together with some of her Irish girlfriends and have a traditional Irish lunch or dinner. I would assume she choose fish and chips or bangers and mash, although I'm not sure. My Nana had about 10-15 girlfriends from England and Ireland that she would have tea with or play darts with regularly. Precious huh?

As for me my St. Patty's day was a fairly typical day, other than the fact that I wore green (it's really not my color). I observed court all morning and then had a meeting with my supervising attorney this afternoon to discuss my cases.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What kind of message are we sending to the future generation of women?

Several of my friends are headed to Tanzania, East Africa Thursday. They are traveling with the same Prof. that I did this summer and will be visiting many of the orphanages and baby homes that I had an opportunity to spend time at this summer. I'm so jealous that I can't go back. I know its crazy, but I just feel at home in Africa. It's such a different world. Sadly, the bank account simply can't handle 2 trips to Africa in less than a year.

So, in preparation for their trip I wanted to buy a gift for this sweet little girl I met this summer. Her dad is a friend of my professor and drove us all around Arusha. He was such a blessing. This is name is Solema. Isn't she precious?

Because the last couple of weeks have been super crazy for me, I waited until the last minute to buy her a gift. I just assumed that I could run by W*lm*rt and pick up a baby doll for her on the way to school. I was SHOCKED to find that out of all of the baby dolls, there was only ONE black doll and the box was totally beat up. A lady that worked there saw me bewildered standing by the dolls. She asked if she could help me with something. I said actually yes, I would like to buy a black baby doll but all you have is this one doll. She apologized once she realized that out of an aisle full of baby dolls there was only one black doll. I settled for a Princess and the Frog Barbie (thank heavens this movie was recently released) and a magna doodle.

This experience REALLY bothered me. (1) It bothered me that there were a lack of multicultural dolls and (2) it bothered me that I had never noticed this before.

Is America a melting pot? Or are we simply imposing our standards of beauty on everyone else? What kind of message are we sending to the future generation of women?

I want my little girl (one day) to have dolls of different colors, shapes and sizes.

Monday, March 15, 2010


My belly is FULL. Our friends Matt and Lindsay came over tonight for dinner. Lindsay is such a great cook. She has cooked for us soo many times. So, I figured it was my time to return the favor. I made fajita quesadillas. They were yummy! I'll post the recipe below.

The real reason for our Monday night dinner was because Lindsay was using my kitchen (her oven went psycho) to bake a raspberry cheesecake for my neighbor. She is serving them dinner tomorrow night. Our neighbor purchased a meal from her as part of our parade of tables fundraiser for missions at church.

Below is a picture of the table I decorated for parade of tables. My table theme was "Zainy Zebra." Parade of Tables was a lot of fun and we raised over $10,000 towards missions.

Our Speaker was Rachel Lee Carter. She is currently Mrs. North Carolina and has a ministry called Modeling Christ. Her ministry focuses on teaching modesty, purity, evangelism and Christian Identity. What a great message for girls today! Parade of Tables was such a wonderful night. I am already looking forward to it next year.

This was one of my favorite tables of the night. The theme was green apple.

Here is the recipe: (I am not domesticated by any means)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
1 cup quartered, sliced onion
1 cup green OR red bell pepper strips
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
1 (1.25-ounce) package ORTEGA® Fajita OR Taco Seasoning Mix
1/3 cup water
10 (6-inch) flour tortillas, divided use
2 1/2 cups 4 cheese Mexican blend, divided use

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Spread 1/2 cup fajita mixture on one tortilla; sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Place second tortilla evenly over mixture. Cook in a quesadilla maker for 3-5 minutes.

Fill or top with tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream. I served them with Mexican Rice and Chips, queso and salsa.

Welcome to my blog: 7 things about me

Okay. So, I finally did it. I broke down and decided to start my own blog. Over the past few months I have read so many blogs that have encouraged me both in my life and in my faith. I have been a “lurker” on other blogs for a while now, but I decided that since I like to write and I love to read blogs that this would be a good outlet/hobby for me. To be perfectly honest, since I started law school three years ago I lost any sort of hobby I use to have. I feel like I have spent the last three years running on a treadmill that never slows down. This blog is one of my attempts to return to normalcy.
I am really not sure where to begin, so I decided to tell you 7 things about myself.
(1) My husband, Brian, is my rock. We met in 2001 on a World Changers Mission Trip in Puerto Rico. I was a junior in high school and Brian was about to start his senior year. We started dating in October of 2001 and have been together ever since. Without his support, I really would not be where I am today. It sounds cheesy, but he has believed in me even in the times when I haven’t believed in myself.

(2) My family is crazy and wonderful. I have 3 brothers. 3 crazy brothers. My parents are super supportive and have made every sacrifice possible to help me succeed in life.

(3) I LOVE TO TRAVEL. As a child I decided that one of my life goals would be to travel to every continent before I die. So far I have been to three continents: South America, Europe and Africa. Well, four if you count North America.

(4) Africa. I had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia in 2007 while working for an international adoption agency. It changed my life forever. This past summer I traveled to Tanzania and South Africa with one of my law professors. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about children’s issues first hand. I’m sure I will post more about my love of Africa later.

(5) Macie. Macie is my two year old toy poodle. She is the light of my life!
(6) I am an alumnus of North Carolina State University. My husband is probably one of the biggest NCSU fans on earth. So much so that we have seriously considered naming our first born son after the football stadium, Carter Finley Fletcher… it has a nice ring if you ask me.
(7) I don’t like to exercise. That’s right. I said it. I want to like it. I really do. I’m working on it. Seriously. I recently joined a zumba class. For the first time in my life I am actually enjoying exercise.