Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

smithlove: the new lucky penny

don’t fret! lucky penny is not gone forever.

you can keep up with the somewhat newly minted mr. & mrs. over at our new blog, smithlove. catch up with us as we explore our new city of los angeles, try new recipes, furnish & decorate our apartment, search for inspiration in daily life, travel to distant lands, connect with friends & family, and so much more!

we hope you enjoy a little peak into our new life together. grab a cup of coffee, a slice of chocolate cake {may we suggest a great one to whip up?}, & stay awhile…

xo, anna & robert


little luxuries

why do dried apricots & french music seem so luxurious?

i could eat them all day. . .

& listen all night. . .

i’m clinging to the little things that tend to cheer me up

as i sit here




oh, & thankgoodness for hot tea too.

♥ ♥ ♥

on name-changing

i loved this post on changing one’s name, from a practical wedding.

i especially liked the dialogue about the beauty that is in a woman’s *choice* to change or not change her name. no longer is it true that women in our country are required/expected/forced to change their last name to their husband’s.

this comment especially struck a chord:

I settled this by deciding I wasn’t going to “change” my name. The word “change” just seemed so weird to me. I wasn’t changing who I was fundamentally so why would I change my name? What I was doing was adding to who I am. I was taking the person I’d developed over the course of my lifetime and who I’d come from through my family and adding wife/lover/my own family to it.  So rather than “change” my name, I decided I would add to my name. And as I was adding my husband to who I am, I added his name to mine. I added, not changed.

& so that’s what I will do – add Smith to (not change) my name. the beauty in this is that it will be my own, personally-decided choice, showing respect for both my current family and the new family i will be joining.


Anna Corinne Camp Smith, (Esq.)  ♥

wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…

raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens

bright copper kettles & warm woolen mittens

brown paper packages tied up with strings

these are a few of my favorite things…

when the dog bites

when the bee stings

when i’m feeling sad

i simply remember my favorite things

and then i don’t feel so bad!

on the eve of my second-to-last final of law school (ever!), i can’t seem to get this song out of my head.  it’s such a bittersweet feeling to almost be done with law school, while also realizing that two+ months of studying for the bar lay right around the corner.

WHEN THE DOG BITES, WHEN I’M FEELING SAD, i simply remember my favorite things, & then i don’t feel so bad. ♥

no matter how tiring & lonely studying can be, i am thankful for it all.  i am thankful that i get to go to law school, lucky that my fiance & family support it.  grateful that i’m finishing (because i couldn’t have gotten through intact without a lot of prayers).  & i will be eternally glad that i pushed myself to get this j.d. – i have wanted to practice as a lawyer for a long time, and that dream is becoming a reality.


traditions, traditions

[photo credit: project wedding]

i love vintage wedding decor, and most traditions are sweet and meaningful, but this is ridiculous…

tradition: according to ancient roman ritual, the bride is expected to stand on the left at a marriage ceremony with the groom on the right. this was so the man could then use his right-handed sword to protect her because everyone expected the bride to be too weak and completely incapable of protecting herself.

meaning: to me, this tradition is a little insulting. to most, it’s just plain meaningless (just one of those things you do without thinking because your grandmother said you had to).

if law school has taught me anything, it’s to be skeptical & not to trust that what’s always been done or is expected by others is best.  i identified the issue, discovered the rule, applied my own thinking and analysis, and to conclude…

i think i’ll stand on the right, thank you!

you and i ♥

a cute homemade video to go with an adorable song…

it brightened my day, hope it brightens yours too!


the newest rob/anna masterpiece

… homemade vegetarian chili & cornbread!

we used this recipe (we knew it would be good when we saw that it called for a bottle of beer!)  … we only made half of the recipe (still had a ton of leftovers), left out the ground beef, & added sauteed corn, chili pepper flakes, fresh (not canned tomatoes), & black beans.

soul food to the rescue. yum!

engagement ♥

[photo credit: elle jae photography]

last week, robby & i had engagement photos taken all around san francisco. it was a lot of fun … we had such a great time capturing some of our favorite places in our current home, san francisco – the most beautiful city.

we kissed in the park (alta plaza & golden gate, to be exact), rode our bikes a bit, lounged in the grass on a quilt my mom made for my dad when they were in college, strolled along the beach, & walked down fillmore (perusing books & poking our heads into our favorite chocolate shop, bittersweet) … all while our photographer snapped a few sweet shots along the way.

i cannot speak highly enough of elle jae photography. they did an incredible job, and james was a blast to work with!

to view a slideshow the photographer made of some of the highlights, turn up the volume & click here.

meals in a snap

often, i find myself cooking completely random meals made up of whatever i happen to have in the kitchen at that time … grilled cheese with pickles & carrot/spinach salad? pasta with zuccini &  mushrooms? pitas with feta & boxed couscous? nachos with black beans & veggies?

but when i take the time to plan out meals, they often turn out a lot healthier & much more satisfying.  here are a few quick & easy recipes robby &/or i have tried over the last few weeks that i think you’ll love too!

[most of these recipes also make for great leftovers!]

& for dessert, the best homemade sugar cookies i’ve ever had: martha stewart’s ideal sugar cookie recipe

happy cooking [&  baking]!!


drumroll, please …

i’m happy to introduce to you our wedding website!

many of you have probably seen this already, but we now have a personalized domain name!  really excited about this –


a golden birthday

sunday was robby’s “golden” birthday (the day he turns the age of his birth day – 28!), so we celebrated this milestone all around san francisco.  just in case you were wondering …

i made him homemade buttermilk pancakes. he had bananas and pecans on his & i had dark chocolate chips, pecans, and peanut butter on mine. (it’s all about the toppings, we say.) we had granola with yogurt & fruit. we drank mimosas & good coffee. i ate entirely too much! we both wanted a nap after breakfast, but we pressed on…

[don’t be fooled by his face, he LOVED the card!]

we next headed over to the sf museum of modern art (the MOMA) to peruse some new exhibits & stop by our favorite pieces in the permanent collection – fascinating photography of california and san francisco’s past, monet, renoir, matisse, etc.

we had lunch at the MOMA (delicious), and then we headed upstairs to explore the new rooftop garden. we’d heard blue bottle coffee (some of the best coffee in all of sf & the world, in our opinion!) was being served on the roof, & we couldn’t wait to check it out. we shared a perfect latte (in a heath ceramics mug) in the sculpture garden, complete with a foam heart!  we sat on a bench in the sun for awhile because it had turned into a clear, sunshiney day (a nice break from all the gloomy, rain-filled days we’ve had).

next, i had a nap scheduled into the day’s activities because it was robby’s birthday (& we all know how he likes naps)… he was happy about this surprise!

after naps, we headed to the “top of the mark” (a bar on the top floor of the mark hopkins hotel) for cocktails.  robby had a merlot, & i tried what they called a “dirty olivia” – a dirty gin martini.  the drinks were fabulous, & it was a beautifully clear night.  we had a table by the window, & it was fun pointing out the buildings where we work & go to school, our apartments, our favorite neighborhoods, & the bridges!

after cocktails, we went to dinner at saffron grill in robby’s old neighborhood on divisadero.  it was a fun, hole-in-the-wall type of family-run place.  adorable & homey.  the food was delicious.  robby loved that i fit some indian food into his day. (it’s his absolute favorite!)

after dinner, we headed back to my apartment for cheesecake, topped with fruit (& complete with a candle – you never get too old to make a wish!) & hot tea.

it was a wonderful, relaxing day to celebrate robby’s 28th year of life.  it was literally  good to the last drop.

i’m just so glad he was born!

one reason to celebrate the wonderfulness of 2009

It was a chilly winter day, December 22, 2009…

Anna and Robert’s families were at the Camp’s home to make gingerbread houses. The room was overflowing with gumdrops, sprinkles, icing, candy canes, & coconut snow.  The fire was roaring and Christmas music was playing.

Everyone ate dinner together & opened gifts near the Christmas tree, while admiring their gingerbread handiwork.  After dinner, the tradition was carried on to take pictures with funny holiday-themed hats.

It was a perfectly sweet night.

As the families were parting ways, Robert and Anna sat on the antique loveseat in the entry, saying their goodbyes.  Anna remembers saying that she wishes Robert never had to leave.

As everyone was gathered near the door, Robert stood up.  He said he had a few words to say.  Anna was confused and wondered if Robert had a few too many glasses of wine with dinner…

Robert spoke about his admiration and respect for both of their families, how grateful he was that we were all friends, how thankful he is for Anna, & how very lucky he feels to be with her.  Robert remembers saying that Anna is his hero.

Anna started to wonder what was going on.  She still had no idea what was about to happen.

Robert then pulled something out of his pocket and knelt on one knee.  Anna’s eyes welled up with tears (& the moms were tearing up too) as Robert looked at her with excitement & hope to ask her to be his wife.  Robert held a beautiful, sparkling ring and said, “Will you marry me, Anna?”

Anna was still in shock and remembers saying, “Are you serious? Are you SERIOUS?!”   In her heart, she knew Robert was serious.  She’s known they would get married for a long time, but she couldn’t believe it was happening at this perfectly sweet moment with both of their families standing with them.

Anna said “Yes!”  Both families rushed at them with hugs and congratulations, & champagne toasts followed at the Smith’s home.

Happy New Year to you!!  May 2010 bring lots of blessings your way.


two of my worlds collide

you must check out this blog (from SCOTUS – what we law school nerds lovingly call the Supreme Court of the United States)…

a little excerpt:

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether it is unconstitutional for a state-run college to exclude from official status a student religious group that limits its officers and voting members to those who accept its religious beliefs.  The case involves a student group at a public law school, Hastings, in San Francisco. The case is Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (08-1371).

i know much of the backstory in this case, and honestly, it’s quite sad to me.  a few years ago, a religious group (a CHRISTIAN group) on hastings’ campus did not allow as voting members (basically, did not welcome as attendees) those who admitted to engaging in certain acts/lifestyles (which i can only assume are acts the christian group considers “worse” than others), such as extramarital sex & homosexuality, among others.

personally, i think the christian group was in the wrong here – legally & morally.  first, they violated the schools’ antidiscrimination policy, and they were validly kicked off campus.  second, what a sad story to have a christian group on a campus that desperately needs to hear the gospel be turning away potentially all if not most of the student body from membership?!  i only wish christian groups were more inclusive.  shouldn’t we, as christians, be welcoming to those  with ongoing sin in their lives (because, really, aren’t we all full of sin & selfishness)?  shouldn’t we be standing with open arms (and open eyes) to ALL people, regardless of how scary this may seem?

here’s another excerpt from the christian legal society’s site:

The CLS chapter asked school officials in early September 2004 to exempt the group and other religious student organizations from the religion and sexual orientation portions of the university’s nondiscrimination policy. As applied to CLS, this nondiscrimination policy would force the chapter to allow persons who hold beliefs and engage in conduct contrary to the CLS Statement of Faith, which includes a prohibition on extramarital sex, to join as voting members and to run for officer positions. School officials denied this request and stripped the chapter of recognition and the benefits of recognition, including student activity fee funding.

In its lawsuit CLS alleges that UC Hastings’ exclusion of its chapter violates, among other constitutional rights, CLS’ right of expressive association and CLS’ right to be free from viewpoint discrimination.

CLS argues that is a violation of the right of expressive association to force a religious student organization to accept officers and voting members who hold beliefs and engage in conduct in opposition to the group’s shared viewpoints, thereby inhibiting the group’s ability to define and express its message.

the saddest part of it all is that after the christian group in this lawsuit was kicked off campus, it took at least four years for another christian group to get the courage to continue meeting at hastings.  i’m only assuming that this was due, in part, to the fact that christians now have a horrible reputation on our campus.

in san francisco, i have seen christians who act exactly like this group (closed-minded, exclusionary, upright rude), and i have also seen some of the most welcoming, genuine, purely-focused  followers of christ than anywhere else i have lived.  this will be one of the marvelous lessons i learn from this city – to be humble, always seeking to fully acknowledge my own sin so that i can better reach out and be a light to those around me.


what i never knew i couldn’t live without, until law school

this grind & brew coffee maker (my neighbors must hate the loud rocket-ship-launching grinding sound it makes every morning, and often in the afternoons)

peach black tea (i have gone through SO many boxes of this tea!)

my macbook (which hasn’t failed me yet & saves me from hand cramps in class/on exams!)

orange juice (because all those glasses of oj are the only explanation for why i haven’t gotten sick much in law school – after riding the muni every day with what always seems like a busload of sick people)

these bose noise-canceling headphones (because my upstairs neighbors like to stomp around in boots at 2 am. a lot.)

this bill evans trio cd (it is the perfect mix of upbeat and low-key jazz music that makes for perfect study tunes … i think i must have listened to this about 5,000 times over the last couple years) thanks robert!

wikipedia (when you need a brief recap of that SCOTUS case that isn’t quite fitting together in your notes)

lexis nexis (when you need a good case brief or some major help with that research paper)

my bathtub (when you need a nice, long bubble bath after a long, hard day) …

and a happy thanksgiving to you

in the spirit of the season, here are just a few of the many things i am thankful for:

  • a loving & supportive boyfriend (who cherishes me better than anyone ever could)
  • a sweet & caring family (that i cannot wait to see this friday!)
  • the ability to go to law school (and, hopefully, finish next year)
  • a great community group in san francisco (it’s like a bible study, but focused on service too)
  • a healthy body
  • the fact that finals will be over by this time next month (and this is a killer semester because i have 5, yes 5 finals coming up!)
  • the even more exciting fact that next semester will be my last time to take law school finals.  you have absolutely no idea how thankful i am for that.

i am so, so very lucky.

happy thanksgiving!!



i was reading a design*sponge post which mentioned the art of practicing handwriting & learning the alphabet in grade school (and also included a graphic designers’ favorite ABC cards for kids – all were beautiful).


[photo credit: from brooke reynolds’ guest post on d*s]

this picture of a little boy sitting at a table with milk & cookies brought back a flood of wonderful memories.  i LOVED handwriting homework in school.  i remember the joy i found in writing letters and forming words with those letters.  i loved those big books of lined paper (& dotted half-lines) we used to practice our handwriting.  i liked the way that my kindergarten teacher, mrs. key, would remind us to cross each “t” and dot each “i.”  i was not nervous at all for our “test” at the end of the year which consisted of recognizing and naming each letter of the alphabet.  i loved trying to make my letters look exactly like the sample even if it meant practicing page after page.  i liked experimenting with different handwriting styles.  and, oh, learning to write cursive… well, that’s an entire blog post in itself.  i loved it all!  i was a total school-nerd from the beginning.

all of this got me thinking… (as i write this on my little macbook) are we missing out on something by doing most of our writing on a computer? do we gradually chip away at our ability to hand-write graceful words as we pull away from the traditional process of taking notes on paper & communicating through written letters?

i forgot my computer charger for class one day a few weeks ago. i had to take all of my notes by hand.  it didn’t seem like a big deal at first.  but it was a disaster.  without the repetition and daily practice of writing notes on paper, i found that my ability to write quickly and accurately had eroded significantly.  how sad!

i’m not saying computers aren’t useful.  i couldn’t live without my laptop in class for a million other reasons than just to crank out my notes quickly – i use it to keep dates organized in an online calendar, to check hastings info on their site, to search quickly through past notes for a certain word/phrase, to look up cases, to keep up with email, to search terms i’m unfamiliar with, and so much more…

but i’m also committed to sticking with handwriting for certain things:

  • i still send handwritten letters.
  • i still make reminder notes to myself on post-its.
  • i still write groceries lists by hand.
  • i still mark up & write out notes in the margins by hand in my casebooks.
  • i still hand-write overview outlines for each class before exams (i think the process of writing these out by hand helps me remember them better).

there’s still something very important and useful about handwritten words.

why do you think we still hand-write our signatures at the bottom of so many things (contracts, cover letters, hallmark cards, etc.)?  the handwritten word still seems to have more meaning – even in an increasingly digital age.



today’s lesson: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.


While U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had his share of successes, he had more of his share of failures.  He failed in business, ran for the Illinois State Legislature and at first was defeated, went into business again and went bankrupt, ran for Speaker of the Illinois State Legislature and was defeated, was defeated in his efforts to secure nomination to the U.S. Congress, was rejected for an appointment for the U.S. Land Office, was defeated in a U.S. Senate race, and two years later was defeated again in a nomination for vice presdient.  Then, in 1860, he became our 16th president and saved the Union.  To the best of my knowledge, not even his present-day detractors call him incompetent.

A Class with Drucker, William A. Cohen

in the spirit of fall

after reading posts about fall on the blogs of a dear friend and my sister, i thought i’d capture what i love most about this season.

FALL - Pumpkins

autumn is great because …

  • the films: i can watch you’ve got mail with a cup of coffee on a saturday morning and chalk it up as a personal, fall tradition (not that i don’t watch the movie other times of the year) … the only problem with this little tradition is that it makes me want to book a plane ticket to new york the very minute the opening credits roll. other favorite fall films include: love actually, funny face, father of the bride, & any of the friends episodes that revolve around thanksgiving (i cheated, that’s not a movie, but close enough!)
  • the food: they sell pumpkin pie at the grocery store … one of my favorite desserts! and, oh how i love trying new fall recipes from here & here. last but not least, let’s not forget about thanksgiving dinner – hello, fall feast!
  • the colors: changing leaves and warm-colored flowers are right up my alley.
  • the decorations: i can buy mini pumpkins to decorate my apartment. they are just so darned cute!
  • the smells: williams-sonoma sells their spiced chestnut candle that i buy, as a treat for myself, every fall … it smells like a homemade pumpkin pie is in the oven. nothing better! and while we’re on the “smell” theme, i will admit, i’m a fan of pumpkin spice lattes (so yummy & sweet), and oh how i love the smell of coffee shops as they’re making these fall-themed drinks!
  • the clothes: now, i realize that in san francisco, the weather tracks fall almost all year round, but i am a girl with a heart for fall and winter clothes. i do love dresses, but my favorite seasonal clothing has got to be layered sweaters, jackets, jeans, boots, and clothes with hints of dark browns and greens. truth be told, i don’t spend much money on clothes these days, but i do love to check out the fall trends on, even if merely to window-shop!
  • the music: maybe it’s just me, but i also love listening to fall-themed songs this time of year. a few of my favorites? –  “i love the rain the most” by joe purdy; “fire” by rachel loshak; “the city” by matt kearney; “nobody knows me at all” by the weepies; “both sides now” by joni mitchell; “if you were coming in the fall” by carla bruni; “sea green, see blue” and “corduroy” by jaymay; & pretty much anything by frank sinatra.
  • the upcoming break: it’s not long until christmas and a month-long break (although, this will most likely be my last such break). also, this break doesn’t come without a price = final exams!

enjoy your fall, wherever you are!


promises like pie crust*

for those of you that wait anxiously for updates to this blog (most likely none of you)… i would like to apologize for the extremely long gap in posting.

these last few weeks have been filled with more running around, stressing out, & altogether anxiety than normal.

i am hoping that a brief recap of things i’ve been up to will fill the void in your lives that has been empty for so long (almost a month – since my last post on candyland, august 19, to be exact).

what i have been up to

  • going to class, reading for class, and (due to my own misfortune) being called on multiple times in every one of my classes.  these include:  federal income tax (challenging, but surprisingly, i love it!); corporations (the professor is a renowned corporate law expert – he shows up on news stations all the time & gets cited by courts in cases; we aren’t required to buy a casebook but must subscribe to the wall street journal); state & local government law; administrative law; and contract writing & analysis (highly practical & super interesting).
  • training 2Ls how to do journal tasks & doing my own editing to law journal articles — this requires copious amounts of time spent up on the 22nd floor of the mcallister tower, in the law journal office (at least there’s a really cool view).
  • applying for clerkships with federal judges for after i graduate law school — although i do not intend to even get interviews for any of these highly-competitive positions, i’m proud of myself for sending out dozens of applications.  this includes drafting cover letters, acquiring recommendations from professors, editing my resume & writing sample, among other things.
  • applying to internships for next semester — this includes pretty much everything mentioned above.
  • stressing out.
  • cooking & baking to de-stress — this includes: one of the best homemade blackberry pies robert & i agree we’ve ever tasted (the recipe is from molly’s recipes); homemade tacos with homemade guacamole (& homemade margaritas, to boot!); cookies; homemade arugula and fontina cheese pizza; etc.


exciting events that passed & those that are coming up

  • robert & i celebrated our third anniversary  earlier this month —  oh, how lucky i am to be with sweet robby austin.  as we like to say, “we’re still in love after all these years…”  ha!  robert rented a car, drove me to an undisclosed location (turned out to be adorable los gatos, ca), & had an appointment for a very fancy pedicure for me when we got there.  it was all so thoughtful & a fun way to celebrate!  we even used the car the next morning to drive over the gg bridge to sausalito for breakfast… man, i miss having a car here sometimes.


  • a cousin’s wedding in charleston, south carolina on october 3!  — this is the first camp cousin wedding.  i’m sure it will be nothing but classy and fun.  robert is also excited since he’s never been to charleston before.  i just know he’ll fall in love with the city.
  • graduating in may 2010 — when i first began law school, they sent me a magnet that said “class of 2010” on it.  it made graduation seem so far away. i mean, i wasn’t even sure how to say it … twenty-ten or two-thousand-ten? … but now 2010 is so close i can almost taste it.  this is VERY exciting.

*this is the name of a song by carla bruni. (my interpretation of the song: we all make promises sometimes that are so crumbly & weak, yet sweet, that they fall apart the minute you try to grab onto them – like pie crust.  / i promised to update this blog regularly, and this song is a reminder that we all, at times, make good-intentioned promises like pie crust.)  other carla bruni favorites include:  l’amoureuse, le temps perdu, l’antilope, l’excessive, la derniere minue, & quelqu-un qui m’a dit.  yes, this is the “loose” woman (also: singer, songwriter, & former model) who is married to the annoying french president nicolas sarkozy.

i still like her music.  especially the french stuff.



i’ve been meaning to update this for awhile…

the list (10 things i would like to do before i’m 30): 

  • 1.  pass the california bar
  • 2.  go skydiving
  • 3.  run another (half) marathon
  • 4.  cook an entire meal (from appetizers to dessert) for at least 15 people, all by myself 
  • 5.  visit italy (lucca, in particular) for the first time + visit london again
  • 6.  climb an extremely tall mountain (mt. whitney?)
  • 7.  take another french class (+ read a french novel?)
  • 8.  watch more oscar-winning films
  • 9.  volunteer more to help the poor & homeless in san francisco (and any other city i find myself living)
  • 10.  get a dog

u11428486 images images-1  

do any of you have any ideas of things i should add to the list? 

what’s on your list?

gist, part two

thought i would make another grace in the small things post …

today, i am thankful for…

  • an awesome summer boss (he’s a judge) & yummy chocolate cake this morning for his birthday!
  • coffee, specifically blue bottle’s bittersweet blend
  • sunshine that provided a glowy tan (well, a tan by my skin’s standards. i still look white against most!)
  • iphones (yes, i know. this makes me evil. but i am really thankful for it & all the games/internet/phone calls it provides on the long bus rides to & from work.)
  • fresh blueberries.
  • the dream of a dog in my future. preferably a springer spaniel. one that looks like this! i plan to name her millie. 
  • college friends and trips with our moms! 


grace in the small things… it’s never a bad idea to look for things to be thankful for in our daily lives.

as oxford english dictionary defines “grace” — elegance of movement; courteous good will; attractice qualities or behavior; the free and unearned favour of God; a short prayer of thanks. [all great things!]

today, i am thankful for…


  • a healthy body that allows me to walk, run, ride my bike, go to yoga, & enjoy lots of outdoor activities
  • trips with friends, moms, & dads (camping!  oregon!  caribbean cruise!)
  • my african violet that always stretches over to the window to reach for the sun & continues to bloom cheery little purple blossoms every few weeks
  • unusually warm weather in san francisco
  • margaritas! chips & salsa!
  • good books & a great local bookstore (browser books, on fillmore)
  • fresh-squeezed, homemade lemonade
  • real simple magazine
  • iced coffee with 1/2 & 1/2
  • sweet boyfriends


also, another reason to love my name: “anna” means graceful one.

a week in the mountains

i took a few snapshots on the way to & up in the beautiful mammoth mountains where we went camping for a few days last week.  trips like this make me so thankful to live in such a beautiful state.

what other state has countless wide, sandy beaches, mountains up to 14,000 feet [and snow year-round], deserts, valleys, rolling hills, and so many geographic formations it’s hard to keep track? only in california.


[the whole crew!]




[a ride up the gondola, just for the view]


[at the top – still snow]


[ashley’s yummy kebabs with pineapple, bell peppers, & onion – grilled over the campfire]


[on the way to a super mountain bike ride – bikes piled in the back of the truck]


p.s. someday i WILL climb mt. whitney [the highest point in california] … who wants to go with me??


last weekend, mom & aunt linda came to visit me in san francisco … it was a lovely, relaxing weekend full of beautiful weather & lots of laughter.

we explored all kinds of animals [a mutual love – something proven by the constant dog-talk all weekend] at the cal academy of sciences: 


[an albino alligator]


[a friendly penguin]


[colorful fishies]


we ate a tons of good food: 


[tiramisu with extra amaretto ;)]


& we generally enjoyed the beautiful sites of san francisco together: 


[the palace of fine arts, built for the world’s fair]



* what is a staycation, you ask?

bike ride with a view!

over the weekend, robby & i rode our bikes down through the presidio and the marina, near the water, and over by fisherman’s wharf and fort mason.  the weather was absolutely perfect, and it was one of the prettiest bike rides i’ve ever been on . . . 











my style

took the style quiz on & discovered mine is . . .

vintage modern

decorology Victoria Perry Victorias+house+-+lounge


cottage chic

domino gasl02_warmmodern


modern elegance 

decorology martha stewart la100324_1003_traylivingroom


this might be the first quiz, ever, that turned out to be pretty accurate. 

(i have a long history of taking quizzes with horribly inaccurate results – starting with that first “career aptitude test” we were required to take in high school which informed me that i was best suited for a career as an air traffic controller. i mean, seriously?!! i am SO glad high school tests don’t determine our careers like in france!)

bike ride to the mission…


… for a picnic in delores park!

my break: part II


day 4, tuesday: 

  • cooked chicken hash w/an egg for breakfast. YUM!
  • baked peach cobbler, just for fun.
  • made homemade granola. very impressed with the results. much better than store-bought AND healthier!!
  • grilled cheese + brussel sprouts for dinner.

day 5, wednesday: 

  • went for a good, long run. 
  • worked on cover letters for externship applications.
  • researched which classes to take in the fall.  the list, as of now: corporations, tax, contract writing & analysis, negotiations, criminal procedure, comparative corporate governance.  [this list will need to be shortened; i always want to take more classes than i have time for!]

day 6, thursday: 

  • ate homemade granola for breakfast with hazelnut coffee (my new favorite!)
  • got a little freaked out about not being prepared for my summer job …
  • subsequently, did a bunch of cali exercises to brush up on legal writing & research.
  • had gumbo at brenda’s french soul food for lunch. SO worth the 45-minute wait!
  • exchanged a dress i bought here a few days ago — for a cuter black one. much happier with it!
  • went to a “pilates mat” class (& decided i like yoga much better).
  • upset the office was a repeat.  😦

day 7, friday: 

  • ate homemade granola for breakfast. definitely making this again.
  • did four long-overdue loads of laundry (!!!) – it took ALL morning…
  • had coffee with a lovely local hastings grad i had met at a hastings clerkship reception. discussed my career path & got lots of excellent advice for the future. thankful to be getting better at networking.  
  • took a nap. usually, i have trouble falling asleep, but not today!
  • dinner at 1550 hyde cafe & wine bar to celebrate robby’s graduation. SO proud!!
  • coffee at nook. a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!





[if you look closely at the last picture, you can see robby’s head is turning to look at the trolley passing outside the window.]


    my break: part I

    before work starts, i have 10 days to spend doing whatever i please. this is how it began…

    day 1, saturday: 

    • cleaned the entire apartment – bathroom, kitchen, wood floors, & windows. [to some this may not seem relaxing, but i had been waiting to do this for over a month!] 
    • helped robby finish up his thesis [yay!] + took it to get printed at kinko’s.
    • had dinner at long bar  – salad & calamari.
    • went to a friend’s new condo to part-ay!

    day 2, sunday: 

    • robert made chocolate chip pancakes for us for breakfast [you can get the great mix here].
    • picked up robby’s thesis & drove it to palo alto [where his professor lives to ensure on-time delivery].  
    • had lunch and shopped a bit in palo. love that cute town so much!! [some day i will see a classic christmas film here.]
    • dinner at the blue barn in the marina, san fran. the weather was just so absolutely perfect that we sat outside & absorbed the sunshine.

    day 3, monday: 

    • made homemade biscuits for breakfast. ate with apricot jam [my all-time favorite!] + orange juice. 
    • wrote some overdue thank you cards that had been patiently waiting for me to finish finals.
    • brought robby lunch at work. [he now officially has a master’s degree – he deserves it!!]
    • did a little shopping with some birthday gift cards. [spent entirely too much time looking at cute knickknacks in anthropologie!]
    • went for a run.
    • dinner with stasie & robby!

    Happy Mother’s Day!!!


    We love you, Debbie & Pam! 🙂


    secret slides. don’t we all love secrets? …

    need a fun, free thing to do in san francisco?? … go to the seward street slides

    i’ve actually never been, but it looks so fun that i will definitely be trying it out soon.


    [the picture is from jordan ferney’s blog]

    you wear pants & long sleeves. bring a piece of cardboard or plastic & zip down these “secret” [but completely free] slides!

    watch a video here.

    reminding myself that it’s all about perspective

    perspective   (noun)   \per-spek-tiv\   a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view; to look through, see clearly; true understanding of the relative importance of things.   choosing the right perspective can be key to a good photograph.




    as i head into finals… 

    the lesson is that you never know in life whether something is going to work out to your advantage, even if it seems to be a terrible impediment.

    – justice ruth bader ginsberg, legal times, justice ginsberg remembers her first steps in the law, november 13, 2007

    a san francisco saturday


    the boyfriend took me to the MOST AMAZING brunch on saturday – at garibaldi’s on presidio. YUM. i had bacon & potato hash with eggs & fresh-squeezed orange juice. robert had a frittata (all of which was just perfect).

    . . . we will definitely go back sometime.


    then we headed to the de young for one of the BEST museum experiences i have ever had. there were a few really great exhibits going on – andy warhol live, yves saint laurent, and signs: wordplay in photography. i suggest anyone in san francisco should head over for what will be the best $15 you spend all week! 

    . . . subsequently, became intrigued with andy warhol & gathered enough information online to write a report on the guy! (interested? — see here, here, & here)


    we also went to kabuki cinema to see duplicity. great movie, but i’m still a bit confused about the ending.

    . . . can anyone who’s seen it explain to me why it ended that way?

    a beautiful saturday with the darling boyfriend.

    forecast: gloomy


    is it weird that i sometimes hope it will rain [no, POUR] over the weekend so that i won’t be tempted to ignore studying for the sunshine?

    that way i can cozy up in my apartment or a coffee shop, listen to sad music, watch it rain outside, & forget there are more exciting things i could be doing with my time. 

    yay! gloomy days ahead . . .

    in 2008 i …

    Voted for Barack Obama.  Prayed he would win.

    Got my law school grades from first year.  Beat myself up about it, then went on with life.

    Worked at an immigration firm in SF.  

    Felt clients’ pain when Visas and Green Cards were rejected.  Celebrated with clients when applications were approved.

    Made a great decision to be a teacher’s assistant for Legal Writing & Research.  Became protective of my “little” 1Ls.

    Kept 3 plants alive.  Killed 2 in the process.

    Celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday.

    Found myself filled with joy as a good friend got married.  Wore dark teal as a bridesmaid.

    Cried after I got home from class more than once.  

    Learned the healing power of happy hour.

    Left my iPhone in a cab.  Felt gratitude for the cabbie that tracked me down.

    Joined a community group through my church.  Best decision all year.

    Read hundreds of cases – funny, inspiring, sad, boring.  Finally started getting the hang of this law school thing.

    Was asked to be on a Journal.

    Went white-water rafting.  

    Visited San Antonio, a vineyard in Oregon, Palo Alto, Marin, Sausalito, Los Angeles, and others.

    Learned that baking is my therapy.  Licked fingers after stirring batter for shortbread, muffins, biscuits, cupcakes, and cookies. 

    Tried to cut back on coffee intake.  Fell in love with Vanilla Bean & Orange Dulce teas by Mighty Leaf. 

    Bought a fish.  Named her Eleanor after the former First Lady [who happens to share my first name]. 


    Scrubbed and bleached the bathtub too many times to count. Affirmed all indications that I am a clean freak.

    Decided San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the world.  And too expensive to call home forever.


    Fell more in love with my darling boyfriend.  So, so thankful for the ways he loves me and keeps me sane.

    Fell in love again with my life.