Victory Lap

So as you could tell from my last blog post, I PASSED THE BAR EXAM!

Finding out that I passed was the proudest career moment of my life thus far. I worked really hard, twice, to achieve this goal. I had a huge smile of my face for several days after finding out the results and I still look at the screen shot I took of the screen telling me I passed because I can’t believe I really did it. I checked my scores with my boyfriend, drank a bottle of prosecco in celebration, and then went out for drinks and dinner to celebrate. It was probably one of the best nights of my life!

I also made a baller thank you breakfast for my boyfriend.

Behold:

This is my breakfast special: a layer of hash browns, with an egg scramble with onion, pepper, cheese, bacon and sausage topped off with avocado and more bacon on the side. I made a variation for myself that was the same but instead of scrambled I had mine sunny side up which is my new favorite way to eat eggs.

Last week my Dad was also in town on a stopover before going to the Grand Canyon for Memorial Day so we continued the celebration with several meals out at Circa in Manhattan Beach and Pecorino in Brentwood. When I was in high school if I made the honor roll my Father would take me out to dinner. Food is the best incentive ever for me so I obviously strove to make the honor roll every semester of high school. He declared our dinner at Pecorino to be the “final honor roll dinner”. It was nice to be around my old stomping grounds. We even popped into Tavern for a drink.

I was very anxious about bar exam results in the weeks leading up to May 17th. I started to work out more in order to distract myself. In addition to running I expanded my cross training. I start marathon training for Long Beach the week after the 4th of July. My working out hasn’t been focused since February and I definitely haven’t done a “long run” since then. Here is a rundown of what I’ve been up to.

Spinning

Thanks to hanging out with Gillian, I’ve been spinning more than usual. The week I got bar results we met up for a #SoulDate and went to Huckleberry after.

I could not love their brisket hash more.

Over out matching orders of brisket hash we decided to expand our spinning horizons and check out Fly Wheel. Fly Wheel is similar to Soul Cycle in that it’s a very expensive spinning class. However, the first Fly Wheel class is free! Obviously, we were in a Fly Wheel class about 10 days later.

Source

The Fly Wheel studio was very open and bright. The shoe rental is always free which I appreciate. When you arrive at the studio you sign in on computers and there is both cold and room temperature water available.

Gillian and I were attracted to Fly Wheel because of the torq board element. Basically, each bike has a little computer. You can control your “torq” or resistance and you also can see your RPM’s while you bike. The instructor tells you about where you should be in torq and RPM as you progress through the class. At the end of class you can go online and check your stats. There is also a leader board at the front of the room. At various times in class the instructor told us to sprint and put the leader board online.

As a competition junkie, I loved the torq board. It made me push way harder in class. Gillian loves competition as much as I do and for the class we went 1 and 2 on the torq board. Gillian got the number 1 spot. Unsurprising because she is a total badass and just ran Rock n Roll San Diego yesterday (her first) in under 4 hours.

Overall, I enjoyed Fly Wheel. I like that I can track my stats and I loved that the shoe rental is complimentary and how open and welcoming the studio is. The price of Fly Wheel and Soul Cycle are the same but Fly Wheel comes with more free “extras”. Let’s be honest, if I’m spending that much on a spinning class, it’s nice for them to throw in the shoe rental. I loved being able to track my distance and calories. On the whole, I think I like Soul Cycle more than Fly Wheel but I’ve also been doing it longer and have my favorite instructors etc.

Swimming

I’ve wanted to get back into swimming for a while and I finally bite the bullet and bought a swim suit online. I managed to find one at SwimOutlet.com for only $22. I decided to jump on it. Living in Manhattan Beach and South Bay there are tons of open pools with cheap lane swimming. Going into marathon training I want to have plenty of cross training options lined up for myself. Luckily it is pretty inexpensive to swim laps at the pools near my home (think $4). Way cheaper than Soul Cycle. Clearly, I need cost effective cross training options.

So far I’ve checked out the Hawthorne pool and one of the public pools in Manhattan Beach. I’ve loved both! Both are clean, there are always open lanes and they have kick boards readily available. I’m starting to look up beginner swim workouts. I’m not technically a beginner. I swan club at Northwestern when I was in middle school and I played water polo my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I wasn’t super talented, but I enjoyed being in the pool and spending time with my friends. I liked the occasional two a day work outs a lot less. I haven’t swum in a long time so I’m easing back in and looking up workouts online.

Today in fact, I went to the pool and completed an even 2000 yards. I did a warm up, alternating sets of kicking and pulls, a ladder, 200 yards of kicking and cool down. I realized I was going to be 200 yards shy of 2000 so I tacked on the kicking workout because I was so close to 2000.

Anyone out there swim? Any workouts you want to share?

Running

On the running front, I finally went to a running group in Manhattan Beach last week. I ran a mile to the store, 5 miles in my group and a mile home. Holy hills. My legs were DEAD the next day. I usually do not run in groups but I really dug this run in particular. I’ve been struggling to stay motivated, especially on the hills in my hood.

On Saturday I partook in a running and yoga class on the beach with the same running group. We did the run on soft sand which was more challenging than my usual run.

And finally, I am putting together my marathon training plan which will start in July! I’m taking this month to base build. Basically, I don’t want to feel dead after the first few weeks of training and I want to be able to hit the ground running next month. I’m piecing together a plan based on Hal Higdon and Nike. I want to do plenty of cross training and allow of rest days that will work with my schedule. What marathon training plans have you used? Any suggestions?

Holy Cannoli!

I know the title of this post is terrible but I just could not help myself.

The past week has been spent getting into the groove of my new work, study, social life schedule. So far… so good. Luckily I came very close to passing the bar last time so this time I’m targeting the areas where I’m weak and doing a general overview. I feel much more at ease than I did last time because a lot of the information is still relatively fresh in my mind.

Also, I got my hair cut. You like?

I’ve also been pretty good at getting back into my workouts after a slight hiatus over Christmas. I scored a free Soul Cycle class yesterday with David. He kicked my ass all over the studio but I felt great (and sore) afterwards. It’s amazing what a good workout can do you my attitude. I’ve also been doing a good job of eating well, not dining out too much and not over indulging at work (which is a CHALLENGE at Susie Cakes, believe me).

However, last week I got a special treat. My friend Kelly, whom I often dine with at establishments like Plan Check, Geisha House, Tart, Ugo or Umami, invited me over to try her family’s homemade cannoli.

Kelly is Sicilian and her family makes ravioli and cannoli from scratch every Christmas. She brought extra shells and filling back to LA. It was a major treat for me. I love cannoli but rarely order when out. Living in Boston and eating cannoli at Modern Pastry, Mike’s and other shops in the North End spoiled me in college. The cannoli Kelly served me was on par with the best cannoli’s I had while living in Boston.

Her family hand makes the shells, with a deep fryer and everything. She listed the ingredients that are in the shell but I forgot most of them, except wine. Let’s face it: I never forget anything that has wine involved. The shells were crispy and delicious.

She filled the shells with the most delicious filling. The filling has heavy cream, ricotta, orange zest, vanilla, and chocolate chips. There are more ingredients, but they’re escaping me right now. The filling is whipped for a long time and came together soft, rich and delectable. I love a dessert that is made with real ingredients like heavy cream, I love them even more when you can TELL there are delicious real ingredients.

Kelly stuffed the shells with the filling and then dipped the ends in crushed walnuts.

This was so tasty. Despite the fact that it was a week after Christmas all the components tasted fresh. The filling was creamy, thick and rich but not over powering. The shells were still crispy and crunchy. Honestly, this cannolli was at least as good as the ones in Boston’s North End, if not better!

Thanks Kelly for such a special treat!

Back by popular request.

Gee whiz guys, I’m so flattered!

I know. I was blogless in June. This has not happened since, well December 2009 before I started this blog. In my defense I’ve had my hands a bit full over here.

Don’t let Izzy’s docile stare fool you, she is not amused with the lack of attention she’s getting.

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At the end of May I started my bar prep class with BarBri. The class is every day from 9-1. After class we have homework, around 5-8 hours daily. The most overwhelming part of the process is the sheer amount of material I need to learn: contracts, criminal law, criminal procedure, torts, property, civil procedure, California civil procedure, remedies, evidence, agency and partnerships, corporations, community property, professional responsibility, federal evidence, California evidence, constitutional law, and wills and trusts. Some of the information has flooded back along with some amazing 1L memories and other bits and pieces have come back more slowly. Some of the topics are brand new. No surprise that I had no interest in taking corporations in law school yet I managed a large number of classes involving constitutional law. Yes, I still find boardrooms and stocks boring and affirmative action sexy. This will never change.

The process thus far has been long and tedious. I’ve been putting a lot of energy into keeping mental inventory of my adrenaline and anxiety while staying motivated and positive. The standard for passing the California bar exam is actually a failing score. The perfectionist in me still hates seeing anything less than the personal standard of acceptable I’ve more or less arbitrarily set for myself. However I’ve mostly been happy and focused on staying positive. In the past week I’ve really harnessed my adrenaline and I’m starting to actually feel excited to take the exam. Obviously, the feeling waxes and wanes but I’m feeling like I will soon be ready to take this exam out.

The last exam related thing I’ll say is that there is a big analogy to be had about marathon running and bar exam taking but I’m going to explore that more thoroughly another time.

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In terms of food, my eats have been super dull recently. A lot of the stress I’ve experienced has been internalized and my appetite has been suppressed. I’ve been eating lots of KIND bars, Greek yogurt with granola (homemade sent from my mom!), take out from Subway, Lemonade, and Whole Foods. I’ve cooked salmon precisely once. I’ve cooked orzo precisely once. I’ve had more ramen and mac and cheese than I am comfortable admitting to. Despite this, the new jeans I bought the week after graduation are super loose. Go figure.

I did go to an amazing food truck fest with my fabulous friend David over the weekend. No photos made it out (I know!) but I ate at the Lime Truck, White Rabbit Truck, Ludo Truck, and Boba Tea Truck. The food was amazing. We had Wagyu beef foie gras cheese steak (getting in the foie before the ban started today) and carnitas fries at Lime Truck. Fried chicken was sampled at the Ludo truck and it was as tender and juicy as ever. No surprise there. We split a pork belly burrito at White Rabbit truck and got a taro bubble tea. It was a meat extravaganza and totally what I needed after a long study day. No photos as I mentioned but enjoy this vintage image of the fantastic fried chicken from Ludo truck:

Delicious!

I’ve resolved to make more of an effort with my eating and cooking in the next few weeks.

In terms of working out, that has been the biggest shift. I’ve been hitting yoga way more than I used to. I’m up to three or four times a week with long walks and periodic short runs in between to expel my extra energy. I super miss zumba and I will probably track down a class in the next few weeks since I am no longer able to use the UCLA gym. Farewell 18 year old weight lifters bathed in Axe body spray. I will not miss you.

I’ve been going to mostly heated vinyasa flow classes or “detox flow” classes where the heat is jacked up to around 90 degrees and I look like someone threw me in the ocean at the end of class. I love that feeling of lying on the mat at the end of class completely spent. Yoga has strengthened my arms and core and I think it’s partially responsible for my appetite suppression. Running distance makes you hungry. Very true story. The yoga is helping with the random hip stiffness (it band stiffness? Who knows?) and eventually I will ease back into running more regularly.

***

That is about all I have to report. What can I say? My life is boring right now. Things like discussing the merits of doing essays over multiple choice problems or the relative attractiveness of Chief Justice Roberts as compared to the other Supreme Court justices are about as exciting as its going to get at any given time. Sad I know.

24 more days.