Today’s “a day in the life”  is the adorable Erin of The Law Student’s Wife. Erin more than won me over when she sent me a lengthy email telling me that she ” would lovelovelove/be honored/love to be a part of your day-in-the-life series.” Uhhh–okay! You could have left it there and you still would have heard a resounding yes, Erin!  

But she didn’t stop there! She went on to tell me why she would be a great feature (anyone that stops by your blog could see that in a heartbeat) and she even gave me a teaser of what her interview would look like. Oh…and she had some super nice things to say about my site too.

Flattery will get you everywhere. Seriously.

Anyways. Featuring Erin was a no-brainer. I hope you love her as much as I do!

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TheLawStudentsWife-Banner

Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

I’m a spunky, (late) 20-something wife to a diligent University of Wisconsin law student. I started blogging in Spring 2012 right after Ben (the aforementioned law student) and I were married as a fun way to keep myself occupied while he spent time in the library and to keep my family updated on our lives Up North (the upper Midwest is a one large blank space in their minds). I have long loved writing and cooking, and blogging seemed like a natural way to combine those two passions. Plus, my grandma gets a huge kick out of it.

Take me through your day. Erin&Ben-LawStudentsWife&LawStudent

7:00 a.m. Smack alarm button. Lie in bed and contemplate the universe/what I want to eat for breakfast.

7:04 a.m. Brew large pot of coffee. Start getting ready for work, pack lunch, fumble around on Twitter via my iPhone and ask myself why I’m not doing this on my laptop.

7:27 a.m. Sit down for breakfast (oatmeal loaded with fruit and nuts; one of the 17 different muffins I have lurking in the freezer from a prior post; granola) and scope my daily blog roll. If I have a post that day, promote it on social media and share my blog-friends’ fabulous posts as well. Wonder aloud what I used to do in at this hour, prior to being a blogger.

7:35 a.m. Ben wakes up and asks how my “Twittering” is going.

7:55 a.m. Leave for work. Drop Ben off at school (doesn’t it sound like I’m talking about my son?)

8:10 a.m. {Insert day job here.} I’m a consultant at a large insurance company, which I can’t explain in detail without a) droning on or b) putting you to bed. Mostly, I handle a lot of communication and documentation..while thinking about food.

4:30 p.m. Leave work and catch the end of The Pioneer Woman. (Don’t you just want to hang out at the ranch with her, then have a giant plate of cheesy chicken casserole, followed by apple crumble with her kids? Just me? OK.)

5:15 p.m. Work out. If it’s sunny, I’m on a run with my bad ‘90s playlist. And by “bad,” I mean “amazing.”

6:45 p.m. Start dinner. Pick Ben up from school. Frequently leave the oven on and hope our apartment isn’t on fire when I return.

7:45 p.m. Dinner and dishes with Ben. Thank Ben for being patient if this is a dish that I want to feature on my blog, and he has to wait for me to take photos.

9:00 p.m. Dessert time! Big bowls of ice cream or whatever treat I’ve made that week. Watch rerun episode of The West Wing (we have all 7 seasons) or Breaking Bad(HOOKED.)

10:00 p.m. Blog stuff: Write; edit photos; respond to comments and emails; recipe plan; try to keep up on all the technical stuff that I had no idea would be involved with running a blog.

12:15 a.m. Wonder what the heck I’ve been doing online for the past two hours. Pledge to go to bed by 9:30 p.m. tomorrow. Sweet slumber.

What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?

So cliché, but I am in a serious relationship with my Kitchen Aid standing mixer. With the proper attachments, I could save the world. Or at least whip up a killer soufflé trying.

What is your favorite part of your day? Why?

See 9:00 p.m.: Right after dinner when the dishes are done. Since Ben is so busy with law school, our time together during the day is limited to dinner and the short time after before he goes back to studying. We’ve developed this tradition of finishing dinner, then having dessert while watching a West Wing

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

Sweet Saturday. I usually get up a little before Ben, and I love that moment of quiet in the morning. The entire weekend is unfolding, and anything seems possible. This is also farmers market day. Madison has the largest market in the Midwest, it is 2 minutes from our front door, and is my heaven on earth. I can wander around for hours and return home loaded with cheese (staple for a WI diet), whatever fresh produce strikes my fancy, and an impulse-buy tulip bouquet.

If you had to choose one place to travel to every year over and over, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?

Paris. I studied abroad in a small town France, and there isn’t a day I don’t miss the country, the language, and (of course) the food! I have a not-so-secret plot to travel there with Ben after he graduates.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?

Thailand. I’m dying to spend a few weeks exploring the jungles and beaches, cuddling with baby tigers (yes, it’s a thing!), and eating copious quantities of Thai food. Anyone with a winning lotto ticket looking for a travel buddy?

What is your favorite cookbook?

Simply in Season. It’s a collection of fantastic recipes from cooks all over the U.S. and is entirely organized by the season of the year. When I use fresh produce, I want it to be in its prime (both for flavor and for price), and this cookbook makes it so easy. Many of the recipes are very budget-friendly too—important when supporting a hungry student :-)

What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?

For the recipe, my Strawberry Lemonade Shortbread Bars. With nearly all of my recipes (especially my baked goods), I strive for stealthy-healthy ingredient swaps. My goal is to shock my friends when I tell them that the dessert they are eating is actually “light.” The Strawberry Lemonade bars are a shortbread crust made with whole-wheat pastry flour, topped with all-fruit strawberry jam, topped with a lemon cheesecake that I made with mostly non-fat Greek yogurt. HOLY MOLEY. Those babies are one of the best desserts I’ve ever made, and never in a million-skillion years would you guess they had “good-for-you” ingredients.

Strawberry-Lemonade-Shortcake-Bars-The-Law-Students-Wife

For the writing (and yes, for the recipes too), I love my Thai Spice Crispy Edamame and my Chocolate Beet Cake, because I feel like I hit a perfect analogy and points to which my readers can truly relate in both. Red velvet cake is seriously a sleazy ex-boyfriend and appetizers definitely come with a subtext. Read the posts. You’ll feel me.

Thai-Spice-Crispy-Edamame-&-Choc-Beet-Cake-The-Law-Students-Wife

What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?

My Boyfriend Brownies, otherwise known as caramel-stuffed, knock-you-naked brownies. They are so deadly—sweet enough to be outrageously addictive, but not so rich that you can only finish one. I usually reach a point where I make Ben hide them from me, and my readers adore them too. It’s a fun story as to how they earned the name “Boyfriend” brownies, but I’ll let you refer to the post for that.

Boyfriend-Brownies-{Caramel-Brownies}-The-Law-Students-Wife

What is your guilty food pleasure that you’re embarrassed to fess up to? Kraft Mac & Cheese? Spagetti-o’s? Canned cheese? We promise not to judge!

Cool Whip. I know it’s not exactly “guilty” inherently, but I keep an entire tub in the fridge at all times and eat it directly from container with a spoon. I blame my parents. They fed me whipped cream as a baby to stop my crying, and I’ve never quit the stuff.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?

Be you; don’t play the comparison game; remember why you started blogging. When I first began, I could have cared less if my photos stunk (which they did), if I had 10 hits or 10K hits (hint: it was closer to the first one), and if anyone besides Ben’s Aunt read my work. Then you start to look at other blogs, not to read them but to compare them to yours. You start to wonder why a post you worked so hard on didn’t take off. You feel like if a brand isn’t returning your emails, you did something wrong.

At the end of the day, there will always be someone who is a better photographer than I am, who can more perfectly describe the aroma of freshly cinnamon rolls than I can, who has more hits than I do; but, there is only one person who can overuse alliteration, compare salad ingredients to members of a rock band, and confess to knowing an obscene amount of Disney trivia like I can, and that person is me, The Law Student’s Wife.

You can’t be the best by trying to be the best. Your blog shines brightest when you are at your most authentic. Give yourself a high-five, go bake yourself a big batch of your favorite cookies or chili cheese fries. Snap a photo with your iPhone, slap it on your homepage, and profess your love of Kelly Clarkson. If that is you, then you can love yourself for it. And your readers will love you too.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?

Thank you all! It’s been a pleasure to be featured here. I’m so grateful for your time, and I hope to catch you around The Law Student’s Wife sometime soon.

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 Thanks Erin! Love these words:

“You can’t be the best by trying to be the best. Your blog shines brightest when you are at your most authentic. Give yourself a high-five, go bake yourself a big batch of your favorite cookies or chili cheese fries. Snap a photo with your iPhone, slap it on your homepage, and profess your love of Kelly Clarkson. If that is you, then you can love yourself for it. And your readers will love you too.”

So true! Thanks for sharing your day with us!

You can find more of Erin on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.