Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye to 2012.

Whoa.  This is my 300th post for Life. Law. Luck. - can you believe it?!  When I started this little blog during law school, I had no idea that I would love blogging so much!  It never fails to make my day when someone tells me they read my blog.  So, a huge thank you to all of you for reading and sticking around!

In saying goodbye to 2012, I thought it would be a good time to look back on the highlights of the year.  It was a big one for me but I'm not sad to see it go.  2012 felt like the year to tie up loose strings and wrap up some journeys.  2013 seems full of promise.  A year for new beginnings.  A year to make a splash.

2012 in Review

January:  K and I took a dream vacation to Hawaii.  I could definitely get used a beachy getaway from Minnesota winters.  Maybe next year!

February:  A tough month for us when we brought home Finnegan, only for him to pass away a week later.  We also attended our last law prom which was the beginning of the end of our law school journey.

March: K and I completed our first project together.  (The first of many I hope!)

April:  We had a fun date night, celebrated Easter Sunday at the lake, and spring finally arrived with the Macy's Flower Show.  I traveled to St. Louis and Arkansas with some of my fabulous sorority sisters for a Kappa wedding.

May:  We finally finished law school!  We celebrated graduation with our families - such a great feeling!  We wrapped up the month with a trip to the lake for Memorial Day.

June: Summer was in full swing and that means it's time for some Vodka Lemonades.  Anything to help studying for the bar to go by faster.  Oh, and I took my first trip to Chicago.

July:  Two weeks before the bar and I needed some motivation.  And then the bar exam was over.  Oh Happy Day!  Then it was time to cram as much summer into the next months as possible (i.e. Triathalon and Grilled Peaches

August:  Now that the awful bar exam was over, it was time to savor delicious meals with great friends.  But my absolute favorite day in August is the day we go to the Minnesota State Fair!!

September: K painted our front door red - I just love the pop of color.  It makes me so happy!  I also traveled to Ohio to facilitate Leadership Academy.  That was a bucket list item for me and was simply an amazing weekend.  We traveled to Hack for Carve for the Kids 2012.  And I started playing the waiting game.

October: We both passed the bar!  Best news ever.  I also shared all the progress we made on our yard.  Yard work was our study break from the bar and we got a lot accomplished this year!  I can't wait to see what it looks like in the spring!

November:  We hosted our first Friendsgiving (my new favorite tradition!) and spent Thanksgiving with my family up north.  K and I also started making progress on our ugly basement (part 1 and part 2).

December:  I went all Christmas up in here with my Merry and Bright series.  The blog got a new look and I finished up some outstanding resolutions.

So that's it - my 2012 highlights!  I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store.  I have a feeling it could be our year.



xoxo,
Alex



Friday, December 28, 2012

Finishing Resolutions.

Maybe it's being a New Year's Eve baby, but I take resolutions very seriously.  Starting a new year one year older is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and set some realistic goals for the next year.  I try to make them achievable yet challenging, some tangible, some intangible.   For example, my 2012 resolutions included Run a 5K, Be a Better Person, and Graduate, Take the Bar, and Be Sworn in as Attorney.  Obviously some I can easily track and some I can't but they are all reminders through the year to continually push myself.

I always try to include some sort of fitness goal to keep me on track.  2012: Run a 5K.  

But as of last week, I still had not run a 5K.  I hate to run.  I'd much rather go to Zumba, yoga, or hop on the elliptical than run.  It has always been a challenge for me.  But for the last three years, I've resolved to do it but never completed it.  Until this week.  

I can finally cross Run a 5K off my list!  On Christmas Eve Eve, K and I went to the gym and I hopped on the dreaded treadmill, punched in the 5K program, and off I went.  I'm not going to lie, it sucked, but I did it.  I did intervals because I couldn't run the whole time, but in less than an hour, it was over.  And I finished with a grin on my face.

Crossing it off my resolutions list was the best feeling ever!

This summer, K and I completed our gym's Lazyman Triathalon - 6 weeks to complete the Ironman.  Those were my two huge fitness challenges for 2012 and I'm already brainstorming about what I am going to do for 2013.  I'm thinking it will involve Body Pump (a class I've always wanted to try) or another race-like challenge.

Do you do New Year's Resolutions?  I'll be back with some of my 2013 resolutions next week!

xoxo,
Alex


P.S. Tidbits will be back next week.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MexiCorn Chip Dip.

Over the holidays, there were plenty of times to gather with family and friends and nosh on some delicious food.  We had a little Christmas shindig at work that called for appetizers so I whipped up an old favorite: MexiCorn Chip Dip.

Growing up, this was my mom's go-to recipe.  It's easy, delicious, and a great alternative to salsa and guacamole.  If you are looking for a quick recipe for your New Year's Eve party, look no further!

[Sorry I don't have a picture - the dip was devoured, people started asking for the recipe, I didn't have a camera...it was really just poor planning on my part.  Next time.]

MexiCorn Chip Dip

1 can of MexiCorn (I used 2 small cans from the jolly Green Giant)
1 can chopped green chiles (again, I used 2 because the can was tiny and I wanted a little extra kick)
1 dry ranch dip packet 
1 8 oz. package of light cream cheese
1 8 oz. container of sour cream
1 can chopped black olives (I despise olives so I always pass on this)

Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together.  Add the ranch packet and mix together.  Drain the corn and chilis and add them to the bowl.  Stir together.  Chill and enjoy!  Serve with tortilla chips.

Refrigerate the dip in a air-tight container and it should last about a week.  Just give it a stir before serving!  This would be the perfect, easy appetizer for a New Year's Eve party!

Enjoy!

xoxo,
Alex

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Look!


Hey there!  We're back from the holidays and with a brand new look!  I figure, a new year is coming and it's time for a new look for my little space on the interwebs.  It's a work in progress so let me know what you think!

The biggest update are these little buttons on the right.  ----->
You can now follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!

Also, I've updated the About page.  If you are new to Life. Law. Luck., welcome!  Feel free to contact me at lifelawluck@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

That's all for now!

xoxo,
Alex

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry and Bright Tidbits: 12.21.12.



Add a simple touch of Christmas to your home.

What to wear everywhere this holiday season.

DIY holiday party decor ideas.

DIY gift ideas for the holidays

Two holiday playlists: here and here.

Delicious drinks to celebrate Alcoholidays (I'm thinking this needs to be more of a thing.)

And what you might have missed:  Christmas is almost here, there is hope and light in the sadness if you keep the faith,  my new favorite - Gluten Free Blondies, the Naughty List, and the Ultimate Guide to Gift Guides (if you are still searching for the perfect gift!). 

.....


I hope you have enjoyed my Merry and Bright series!  I'm taking a couple days off to relax with my family, and celebrate some good things happening to the people I love.  I want to wish you and yours a very happy Christmas!

xoxo,
Alex




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry and Bright: Four Days.


We have four days until Christmas Eve.  Where did the past couple weeks go?!  Our presents are wrapped, our stockings are hung, and our tree is still alive.  We've stocked up on food and alcohol and I'd say we are ready for the holidays to begin!  We'll be taking this weekend to enjoy time with our families, friends, and each other.

Are you ready for the holidays?  

xoxo,
Alex

p.s. I have one more post coming at you tomorrow (one last holiday themed Tidbits) and then I'm taking a couple days off to relax and shut down the technology!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry and Bright: Faith, Hope, Light, and Joy.


I've been praying a lot lately.  For my family, for our future, for my country, for Sandy Hook.  This prayer has always been one of my favorites.  It says it all when there are just no more words or tears.

Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

May your holiday season be filled with faith and hope, light and joy.

xoxo,
Alex



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry and Bright: Bye Bye Blondies (Gluten-Free).


Oh my goodness.  These are just about the most delicious little treats I've made since going gluten-free.  You can make them with regular flour or GF flour but honestly, I couldn't even taste the difference.  And neither could K, my true kitchen tester.  I'm affectionately calling them Bye Bye Blondies because they were gone a blink of the eye.  These three are all that were left when I went to take photos.  Just scrumptious.

Bye Bye Blondies
adapted from Dot's Blondies with Chocolate Chips
2 sticks of butter (I know.  Don't judge.)
2 cups of brown sugar
2 tsp. of baking powder
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
2 cups of GF flour (I use Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Flour Gluten Free)
2 eggs
2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking pan with butter or spray.  [Note: I cut the recipe in half when I made these and used a 8-inch round cake pan.  You can use whatever you have.]  Melt the butter and mix in the brown sugar.  Add the baking powder, salt and vanilla extract.  Stir until mixed completely.  Add in the flour and stir until mixed thoroughly.  

Here's where it gets weird but trust me.  Beat the eggs in a separate, small bowl.  Add the eggs to the batter and stir until they are completely incorporated.  Add in the chocolate chips.  [Note: I added extra chocolate chips from the original recipe.]

Spread the batter in your greased baking pan.  Bake about 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the blondies start to pull away from the edge of the pan.  Do not overbake!  Blondies should have a slightly gooey consistency to them.  

Cool for 20 minutes or so before cutting the blondies into squares.  [Note: I dare you to only eat one.]  Store in an airtight container.



  These freeze well and would make an great little holiday gift for someone special in your life.  If you can get them wrapped before they go Bye Bye.  Enjoy!

xoxo,
Alex









Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry and Bright: The Naughty List


This post is for sure getting me on the naughty list.  I obviously love the holidays season (here, here, and here), so don't get me wrong but sometimes some things get a little old.  In fact, they make me cringe.

Disclaimer:  This is my opinion.  If you love anything on this list, good for you!  For whatever reason, I don't.  Don't judge me. Hell, go ahead and judge.  I'll judge you for liking this crap. ;)


Here are 5 things on my Naughty List 
(aka Things I Despise about the Holidays):

1. The claymation movies - People around the world love these movies but I just can't get on board this crazy train.  Give me real animation any day.  


[Source]

2. A Christmas Story - I just don't get it.


[source]

3. Terrible Christmas songs like Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, anything by the Chipmunks, the awful Hippopotomas song, and any version of Feliz Navidad.  My ears are bleeding just thinking about these songs.


[source]

4. Crowds - people, just move out of my way.


[source]


5. Snowbabies - these just creep me out.  What is the point?  Seriously, can someone tell me the appeal in these things?


[source]


Alright, what's on your Naughty List?  

xoxo,
Alex

Friday, December 14, 2012

Merry and Bright Tidbits: Ultimate Guide to Gift Guides 12.14.12..

[source]

Oh my stars.  Are you as overwhelmed by the amount of gift guides that are out and about on the interwebs?  For this week's Tidbits, I'm bringing you the Life.Law.Luck. Ultimate Guide to Gift Guides.  Maybe next year I'll throw my two cents in and offer a gift guide of my own.  Until then, happy shopping!

For the Ladies
Honestly WTF: For the City Girl
Ruche: For the Ruchette
Design*Sponge: Jewelry
This is Glamorous: Calypso St. Barth
Nutritionella: For the Travelista
The Average Girl's Guide: For the Average Girl
A Cup of Jo: For your Outdoorsy Sister...
Marie Claire: For the Domestic Diva


For the Gentlemen
Men's Health: What Men Want
A Cup of Jo: For Your Younger Brother...
Behold-A-Honeybee: For the Downtown Dude
Honestly WTF: For the Dudes
Real Simple: Creative Gifts for Men
Cupcakes and Cashmere: For Men
Alisa Burke: For Dudes

For the Tiny Humans
The Average Girl's Guide: For the Little One
A Cup of Jo: For the Chatty Toddler...
Green Wedding Shoes: For Little Ones
Fitnessista: For New Moms and Babies
Young House Love: Kid Gifts

Miscellaneous
Definitely Daisies: Gift Giving Guide
To and From: Holiday 2012
Sprinkle Bakes: Essentials and Gifts for Bakers
The Everygirl's Gift Guide
Giada de Laurentiis for Target
DIY gifts from A Beautiful Mess
Little Green Notebook: Fab.com Gift Guide
Eat Live Run Gift Guide


Whew!  I'm hoping to finish my shopping this weekend.  Wish me luck!

And in case you missed it this week: Chill Christmas playlist, our beautiful real Christmas tree, put a little holiday in your heart, my favorite holiday tradition,  it snowed in Minnesota, and holiday puppy chow!

xoxo,
Alex

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry and Bright: Baking Party and Holiday Puppy Chow.

It's no secret around here that I love Chex and doctoring puppy chow.  Well, I did it again.  I whipped up some Holiday Puppy Chow to share for a baking party I attended last week.  It was our 2nd annual holiday baking party with my favorite law school girls.  Everyone bakes something, we split it all up, and you walk away with a variety of delicious goodies!  So fun!



Holiday Puppy Chow
adapted from Chex Muddy Buddies
1 box Gluten Free Rice Chex cereal
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 bag dark chocolate M&M's (holiday version)
1 bag mint chocolate M&M's (holiday version)

I use a double boiler but you can easily use the microwave.  Pour the box of cereal in a big bowl and set aside.  [Note: I used two bowls to make it easier to mix.]  Melt the chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter together and mix well.  Pour the melted chocolatey goodness over the cereal and mix until the cereal is fully coated.  Dump the mixture into a brown paper bag.  Add the powdered sugar, fold the bag, and shake it all up until the cereal is fully coated with powdered sugar.  Pour the puppy chow on baking sheets to cool and mix in the M&M's.  Store in an airtight container.  

I made three batches of this and gave away 11 quart-size bags of Holiday Puppy Chow.  Hopefully the girls enjoyed it as much as I did!

Here are a couple of the other goodies that were made:

Peppermint Almond Bark

Pretzel Turtles
 I wish I would have gotten a picture of all the goodies!  Can't wait for next year's baking party!  Do you have a favorite treat to bake around the holidays?

xoxo,
Alex


P.S.  Follow me on Instagram @amcampion!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Merry and Bright: Winter Wonderland.


On Sunday, Minnesota transformed into a winter wonderland!  We got 10-16 inches of snow in the Cities and the temps dropped into the single digits.  The snow is so beautiful.  I just love it!  The roads are a mess, but now we are officially ready for Christmas.  It's just not the holidays without a little snow!


xoxo,
Alex

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry and Bright: Yes, Virginia.

This year I have thought a lot about my Christmas traditions.  Analyzing which ones are the most important to me, which ones I can maybe let go this year, which ones K and I can start and share together.

One of my favorite traditions is my annual reading of "Is There a Santa Claus?" by Francis P.  Church, the editor of The New York Sun.  Written in 1897, it still resonates with me as timeless and relevant.  It is simply magical.  

Believe in Santa Claus.  Believe in miracles.  Believe.



Do you have any favorite holiday traditions?

xoxo,
Alex

Monday, December 10, 2012

Merry and Bright: Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart.

Hi there!  Can you believe it is only 2 weeks until Christmas Eve?!  This year, without having finals, I feel like I finally have time to enjoy the full Christmas season.  But in case you are feeling stressed, busy, or chaotic, here are some easy ways to put a little holiday in your heart!






Top Row L-R:
Send a holiday card to a friend.
Put on a little Christmas music (NoelWhen My Heart Finds Christmas, or Chill Christmas).
Hot cocoa.  Chai tea.  Peppermint anything.  Drink something yummy.

Middle Row L-R:
Cozy up with a festive film.
Add some ornaments and twinkle lights to your home.

Bottow Row L-R:
Read a Christmas classic like The Polar Express.
Bake up some goodies to share. via The Dirty Sink.
Cut out a snowflake. via The Pink Couch.




Alexandra is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Merry and Bright: Our Christmas Tree.


Real or fake.  This time of year, everyone falls into one or two camps.  A real fresh Christmas tree or a fake efficient one.  For years, I have been a friend of the fakes.  It's easy, perfect every year, and shed proof.  What's not to love?  


My family used to rally with the reals.  But then one year we had The Incident.  Our tree stand leaked and our carpet grew mold for a month before we realized it.  Terrible.  From then on, we became a fake family.
But now K and I are celebrating Christmas together.  And he comes from a line of reals.  And now as we are starting our new traditions, we decided to go for the real deal.


The Sunday after Thanksgiving, K and I drove out to Hansen Tree Farm in Ramsey.  For a rookie real tree like me, Hansen's  is the best!  They give you a map and a saw.  They shake it, wrap it, and tie it to your car for you.  All you have to do is find the perfect tree.


We searched for about an hour, scouring the fields for our perfect tree.  It needed to be tall and full, Not too many gaps we couldn't hide, and well, it had to feel right.


And then, there it was.  Our tree.


K quickly chopped it down and I made us pose for pictures with our beautiful real tree.



We spent the rest of the night decorating the tree.  I just love it.  It smells delicious and fills the space wonderfully.  I did put up my little fake tree in the dining room.  Old traditions die hard, ya know.


Here's the before and after:


So, do you rally with the reals or are you a friend of the fakes?  


Merry Christmas!

xoxo,
Alex




Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry and Bright: Happy Hanukkah!


Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends and readers!  Wishing you and your families a wonderful eight days and nights!

xoxo,
Alex

Merry and Bright: Chill Christmas Playlist.

Hi there!  I just wanted to pop in and share my Chill Christmas playlist with you.  It's definitely a work in progress, but these are some of my favorite relaxing holiday songs.  I'm baking up a storm today and have this mix on repeat!

Enjoy!



Friday, December 7, 2012

Merry and Bright Tidbits: 12.7.12

Tidbits - merry and bright style!  Enjoy!




DIY - paper stars for garland or gifts.

One family's list of treasured holiday stories.

Winter white wish list.

Impressed as always by the Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows.

Beautifully decorated Christmas trees and mantels!

Recipe roundup of hot drinks for cold days.

Still need Christmas cards?

Hotties of Hannukah.  Yessss.

And what you might have missed: the magic of ChristmasSaint Grand is back, Christmas Chai is delicious, this is my holiday attire, and my favorite festive films.


Have a wonderful weekend!  We have a holiday party to attend and I want to get some extra baking done.  What do you have planned?

xoxo,
Alex
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