Belle of the Law

The life and mind of a 1L Southern Belle. Follow my Twitter for more (@Belle_ofthe_Law)

Labor-Free Recipe for Labor Day Weekend

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

One of a belle’s most sacred gifts is the ability to cook. Food truly is the best way to bring people together, and thus, with the holiday weekend upon us, I wanted to give all y’all an easy & cheap way to mix up you backyard barbecue this year: soup!

I love soup. Hot soup, cold soup. Soup in a square bowl, soup in a bread bowl. Dark colored soups, light colored soups. All of them. All of the soups.

This recipe is from the book Tasting Table. It’s from chef Jason Fox from his restaurant, Commonwealth, in San Fran. From start to finish it’ll take you about an hour to make, and the best part is that you can get everything you need at Kroger (without using your Plus Card) for under $30.00 (this is making the recipe as outlined below, which will serve 4).

So here y’all go…

Watermelon Gazpacho is a fast, cheap, and easy way to make sure all y’all’s guests are dining well this holiday weekend.

~ Watermelon Gazpacho ~

How long it’ll take: Max 1 hr prep. 4 hrs refrigeration time before serving.

How many y’all be able to serve: 4

What y’all need:

– blender

– 1 medium size bowl

– 1 large bowl

– fine-mesh strainer

 

What goes in it:

8 cups chopped seedless watermelon (also 1/2 cup finely diced watermelon for garnish)

1/2 loaf (or 4 cups) of country bread (I used whole wheat, just make sure the bread is fairly heavy), crust removed and torn into small pieces

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

1/3 cup tomato juice

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine (yes, they will ID you for this at Kroger, 18+ only)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I probably used closer to a full teaspoon)

Salt to taste

1 baguette cut into rounds (for garnish)

Paprika to taste (for serving)

 

How it’s made:

1. Puree the 8 cups watermelon in your blender. Pass that through your fine-mesh strainer into your medium bowl. (I found that doing a little at a time worked best because the strainer would get clogged up with the pulp that was left behind. Also, if you shake the strainer side to side, you’ll get more out of your melon.) Discard the pulp left behind.

2. Pour remaining, pulp free, watermelon juice into your blender. Add your bread, olive oil, tomato juice, water, lemon juice, and cayenne. Puree this mix until smooth. Strain into your large bowl (using the same hints in Step 1). Season to taste with salt (I didn’t add any to mine).

3. Cover your bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until well chilled (I did mine over night). Y’all can make this as many as two days in advance.

4. When serving, divide your gazpacho into 4 bowls. Garnish each bowl with a bread round from your baguette. Top your bread rounds with 2 tablespoons of the finely diced watermelon. Drizzle your olive oil on the gazpacho, dust with your paprika, and serve. (I also put olive oil on the melon topped bread rounds to rave reviews).

5. Eat up!

 

To make this a meal, I’d suggest adding light sandwiches (i.e. cucumber and sour cream and/or pimento cheese), salad, or fruit salad. Cucumber and lime infused water makes an excellent compliment as well.

Enjoy, y’all! Have a happy, safe, and relaxing Labor Day Weekend. Don’t forget to hit those sales!

 

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

P.S. Please follow the Twitter account if you don’t already! Get your Belle of the Law fix anytime you want @Belle_ofthe_Law =]

 

 

 

What Got Me Here: Three Simple Steps to Success

The average estimate themselves by what they do, the above average by what they are. – Charles Edwards

I’m not an extraordinary person. I don’t speak any interesting languages; I haven’t ever been a straight A student. I surely haven’t saved a life, or probably even changed one for that matter.  However, I am stellar at one thing: being above average. I’m that Exceeds Expectations on the Hogwarts OWL scale. I go the extra half-mile. I’d win Olympic Silver.

Why am I proud of being above average? Being outstanding is underrated. If you’re Einstein, no one blinks when you know the right answer. Being average is boring. All Camrys look the same driving down the road. Falling just below Einstein and just above the Camry crowd gets people’s attention. It’s unusual and a little unsettling to others. In other words, it’s noticeable. Hooked? Here’s how to join my semi-elite community:

1. Today must be better than yesterday. What you did/said/wore yesterday becomes the expectation others have for you for today. You have to up your game a little every day to keep people intrigued and to stay above average (since yesterday is now today’s “average”). Do this, and others will notice you. When they notice you, they’ll find out who you are. This can open doors for jobs, friendships, relationships, vacations, or even just a great conversation. No person is not worth impressing. Applying this rule to my life has caused me to be on a first name basis with all of my undergrad professors. I’ve been able to work in a law firm with no legal education because I proved to just one lawyer that I am capable of bettering myself, that I am self-motivated.

2. Every action is a deliberate step towards an end goal. You sit in the front so you can be sure that you can read every word the professor writes. You eat and do your homework at a certain café because you know some local attorneys frequent the place and you want them to know you’re a law student. This can even be an simple as mapping out your day in an agenda so you can use every minute to the fullest so you can have time to see your friends that night (something I do every day, even in the summertime). The grandest example I have of this in my life is in how I planned my high school classes. I made friends with administrators, teachers, etc. so I would be able to bend the rules and take more AP classes than usually allowed so I could finish college in three years and get to law school a year early. Nearly seven years of deliberate decisions to make sure I would be exactly where I am today.

3. Live life with a smile. I am an insufferable optimist. I say hello to everyone. Besides maybe brightening someone else’s day, living life with a smile on your face just makes everything more tolerable for you. Smile and be kind and see how much kindness comes back to you in turn. The world is a beautiful place if you allow it to be, and that realization has made working hard and growing up fast much more enjoyable than I ever dreamed it could be. To me, being able to say you enjoyed your life is the ultimate measure of success and living with a smile has made that possible for me thus far.

 

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

P.S. Please follow the Twitter account if you don’t already! Get your Belle of the Law fix anytime you want @Belle_ofthe_Law =]

Return of the Belle

Hey, y’all!

Sorry about my long absence. It’s been a crazy few weeks here with travelin’, workin’, and movin’ into the new place. This belle’s barely had time to eat ‘n’ sleep!

I’ll be back to postin’ regularly startin’ next week with the start of school, and a whole new batch of belles and gents to meet ‘n’ swoon over. 😉

Until then, keep it classy and below the Mason/Dixon!

 

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

P.S. Please follow the Twitter account if you don’t already! Get your Belle of the Law fix anytime you want @Belle_ofthe_Law =]

Some of Mama’s Wisdom

“She looked like the kind of woman I could fall in love with. Trouble is, she was standing next to the kind of woman I’d like to make love to. 
”
― Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title

 

Lord knows Mama’s always right, and tonight Mama told me that I don’t want the boys that want me ’cause the ones that want me aren’t The One.

Good gravy. The One.

I’ve heard about him forever and ever and I’ve found so many that aren’t him I can’t even count ’em all. He sure as hell ain’t easy to find. I’ve looked everywhere, tried to force things that weren’t gonna work in the hope of bein’ able to stop that search. But that didn’t work (big surprise, right?).

Mama told me when I was young that you gotta keep boys runnin’ after you. If you’re too available, if you don’t keep ’em on their toes, they lose interest, start treatin’ you bad, and then move on to the next belle and they’re off runnin’ again. Give ’em just enough to keep ’em wanting more, never enough to satisfy.

Personally, I hated this idea. Keepin’ them runnin’ and interested made me have to spend less time with gents that I’d love to be totally available for. Sounded like a lose-lose situation to me. But as I’ve grown older, seen more of the world and the male gender, Mama’s words have been proven right.

I want what I can’t have ’cause now I’m addicted to the chase too. When a boy’s chasin’ after you, you feel wanted, special, important, and sexy. You’ve got the upper hand, and honey keep it that way! Don’t settle, don’t force, and don’t lie. I’ve learned that last lesson one too many times. Ain’t nothin’ worse than tryin’ to make yourself love someone you just can’t.

Now that the summer sun is out and the gents are out to play (in fewer clothes too), belles, let’s be sure to keep ’em runnin’. The One’s out there for each of us, but summer’s time for fun. And to me, there ain’t nothin’ more fun than a good game of chase. 😉

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

P.S. Please follow the new Twitter account if you don’t already! Get your Belle of the Law fix each and every day @Belle_ofthe_Law =]

Life Is What You Make Of It

Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.
– Mason Cooley

My friends will all tell you that I’m an insufferable optimist. Everythin’ always has a cheery side, a silver linin’, or a blessin’ in disguise. “Everythin’ will work out the way it’s supposed to,” is what I tell myself and my friends every time one of us hits a bump in the road. “Everythin’ happens for a reason.” Consequently, there’s one thing in the world that gets under my skin more than anythin’ else, and that’s people that complain.

“My hair’s so flat today!” – Use more hairspray.

“Ugh, I’m so fat!” – Eat less, run more.

“I can’t believe that she got chosen over me for that job.” – Push yourself harder to be more marketable for the next one.

“Why did he decide to date her?! I mean, come on.” – He’s obviously not your Mr. Right, so don’t settle for less.

“My life just sucks right now.” – You’re alive, healthy, and livin’ in America. You’re better off than most people in the world.

I know, I know, here I am being the hypocrite complaining about complainers. But honestly y’all, life is what you make of it. You have the power to change every situation. You don’t like how someone treats you? Let them know that you expect and deserve respect. You don’t wanna be the worst at something? Try, try, try again. Take lessons. Ask questions. You don’t agree with a policy or decision? Stand up. Speak out. Make an argument and prove the world wrong.

I love y’all, all my fellow Gen Y-ers, but we need to step up to the plate. Too many of us are content to sit back and complain about our lives, but not do anythin’ about it to fix things. Each of us has the power to change any situation we don’t like, and we have a duty to ourselves to do just that. So come on, y’all, let’s get it together and look on the bright side of life instead of becoming the victim in the movie of our lives. If life is what you make of it, why should we settle for less than awesome? Just a thought =]

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

My (Not So) Strange Addiction

American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.

–       William Somerset Maugham

If you don’t know already, my Twitter account, @BelleoftheLaw, was suspended this week. I got a little too excited about the #ThingsImGuiltyOf trend, and now I’m payin’ for all those now-named crimes. I was gonna talk about bein’ in Twitter Jail for this week’s post, but, in light of recent events in my life, I’ve changed my mind. Instead I’m musin’ ‘bout my favorite topic (and that of my fellow belles): GENTS!

Please, stop the eye roll; y’all know that the topic of gents never gets old. They’re terrible, wonderful, devils, angels, gross, delicious, and drive us wild in good ways and bad. I for one can honestly say that I’m addicted to them.

There’s just somethin’ ‘bout gents that makes my heart feel like butter meltin’ down warm toast. One look ‘n’ a smile from a well dressed, well-groomed man and I’m done for. Add on a dash of confidence and someone better find me a preacher man. Well that may be a slight overstatement… but only just. 😉

And when I think about it, gents are the reason for so many of the things that I do. Let’s think about it, belles. How many of us would shave regularly if there weren’t gents in the world? From talkin’ to my friends that went to all-girls high schools, I’d say not many of us. We’d let our hair, nails, clothes, and overall presentation get lax (as all my sources can attest to doing). Goodness, wouldn’t the world be a sorry lookin’ place then?!

Gentlemen, on behalf of the greater belle community I’d like to thank y’all. First, I’d like to thank y’all for existing in the first place. You’re the reason we get up in the mornin’ and make sure we look just so before walkin’ outta the door. And I’m sure that no matter how much you complain to us about takin’ so long, you appreciate the end result. Second, thank y’all for doing the same. We’re glad that (most of) you know that sweats have a time and a place (and that it’s not 24/7).

Finally, thank y’all for keepin’ our fairy tale dreams alive. If there wasn’t any truth to them at all, the legend would have died out by now. There’s a reason why we all dream of Prince Charmin’ and it’s because all y’all gents do things every day (big and small) that make us firm believers that chivalry is not, and never will be, dead.

It’s been said time and time again that we can’t live without men and we can’t live with ‘em either. That may be true, but gents are a different story. Gents are a refined class of the male species: one that respects and reveres the female species as we are meant to be. Bein’ a gentleman isn’t a title to be handed out frivolously. Bein’ a gentleman is a mindset, an overarchin’ theme to everythin’ a man does and says. It’s the embodiment of that perfection that we American belles have come to long for and expect accordin’ to Maugham. It’s just plain addictin’.

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

P.S. Don’t forget to follow the Twitter if you don’t already! (@belle_ofthe_law)

Belle Essentials

“A southern girl is a girl who knows full and well that she can open a door for herself but prefers for the gentleman to do it because it demonstrates a sense of respect. After all, every girl wants to be treated like a princess. We know how to make sweet tea and grits while telling you everything about any football team in the SEC. We pick our battles and fight with the heart of a pit bull while still maintaining grace and elegance. Our mystique is that of a soft-spoken, mild-mannered southern belle who could direct an army, loves her momma and will always be daddy’s little girl.” ~ Anonymous 

Hey, y’all! Welcome to my inaugural blog post! As the name denotes, this will be a place where I talk about life from my strictly southern point of view. With that bein’ the case I wanted to start of with some background. After all, there’s a lot of talk about bein’ southern these days (let me tell you from experience there’s nothing better), but how are we different from them Yanks?

1. Football. If I say “Bear,” you should say “Bryant,” not “Grizzly” or “You mean Chicago?”.

2. Tea. There’s only one kind. If it ain’t sweet, it ain’t really tea.

3. Liquor. If your adult beverages are clear, there’s a problem. There’s only four kinds of things worth drinkin’: beer, bourbon, whiskey, and tequila. Beer is for sporting events (other than Derby). Bourbon is for everyday sippin’. Whiskey is for the days you want a switch-up from bourbon (so hardly ever). And tequila is for Margarita Mondays out with the girls.

4. Manners. Everyone deserves to be a honey, sugar, darlin’, or dear. Belles should not (and do not where I’m from) open doors, pay for anything, pull out their own chairs, or hold their own umbrellas. We get dropped off at the door. Gents, get up and give a belle your seat on the metro (if you’re in a sad urban place that requires mass public transportation). My mama bore me and my daddy raised me, so if you wanna stick around past “hello,” you better greet them with a “Ma’am” and a “Sir.”

5. Class. Yanks are so tacky. If they don’t like you, it’s all over their face all the blessed time. Down in Dixie we know how to put on a smile, shake your hand, and ask about the family (and really mean it when we say we’re glad they’re doin’ well). Sure, we may be wishin’ you’d just go on to hell already inside, but there ain’t no need to bring down the neighbors too. Life’s too short to be hateful, so let’s make the best of it and move on. Jesus is gonna judge us all in the end anyways. No need to waste our time doin’ his job for him.

All in all, Yanks are just cut from a different cloth. They like to live in dirty, tiny, crowded places and are always in a foul mood. They force themselves to endue freezing temperatures for 2/3 of the year and don’t even have a yard to put that snow to good use. They may think we’re stupid ’cause we talk slow and have a twang, but the fact of the matter is that we just know how to enjoy life. We got Jesus, family, friends, and our southern pride, and honey that’s all we need.

xoxo

     Belle of the Law

 

P.S. Don’t forget to follow the Twitter if you don’t already! (@belle_ofthe_law)